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A Window into Sunny, Frosty Mornings on the Farm

 

Farm News for the week of November 7   

Announcements & Reminders

  • This week, all Fall Vegetable and Egg Share members pick-up.  This is the last week for every other week fall shares.
  • Next week, weekly Fall Vegetable and Egg Share members pick-up. This will be the last week for weekly fall shares.
  • Early Farm Share Registration discount is available until November 20th!
    • Sharing healthy, honest food with our community is at the heart of our farm. Your ongoing membership allows us to grow a diversity of fresh food year round. We are offering 5% off discount to all members through November 20th and can be applied to the Spring/Summer/Fall Vegetable Package Share and/or the Summer Fruit Package Share. Please use discount code renew at checkout.  Additional details are available on our Farm Share page and feel free to contact Jen with any questions. We welcome the opportunity to share the harvest with you!  ~ The Miller Family

  This Week's Vegetable Harvest

  • Crimini Mushrooms - From River Valley Farm in Burlington, WI

  • Celery Root

  • Spinach

  • Carrots

  • Red & Sweet Onions 

  • Pie Pumpkin - From Kingshill Farm in Mineral Point, WI

  • Beauty Heart Radishes

  • Head Lettuce

Farm Journal 

Good morning from the frost-kissed fields!

As the day length continues to shorten, our daytime routines shift.  The farm crew starts their work day later in the morning allowing for field crops to warm up and frost to dissipate.  The picture above captures the beauty of that early morning field wake up.

  

Together we work on projects that get our bodies warmed up. This allows the sun time to rise higher into the sky for more light and welcomed warmth. Arlet and Mark await warmer morning temperatures as they weigh and bag mushrooms for this week's vegetable shares. 

 

Once warmed up, we're on to the field harvest and various farm projects as the majority of our days filled with winter preparation projects.  Last week, we moved our winter chicken flock from their home in the field to their nearby home in the hen house.  We found that convincing the chickens to climb into the "chicken bus" wasn't as difficult as we anticipated -- apparently they were looking forward to a leisurely ride through the farm!

   

Tyler drove "the bus" and the rest of our farm crew helped to safely unload the chickens into their freshly bedded coop. The chickens still have access to sunshine, green grass and plenty of vegetable scraps. Now that they are closer to the farmstead, they are more protected from wind and predators, and we enjoy giving them a bit of extra attention, too.

  

Jeff and the farm crew also continued to rotate the hoophouse beds from our summer-loving ginger and tomato crops into winter hearty spinach and winter cover crop plantings.  The winter cover crops helps us to protect and build the soil structure and microbial life, which in turn improves crop health and flavor. 

 

This morning, Charlotte oversees a few last adjustments to our hoophouse structure to make sure it is in great shape to withstand winter winds, snow and keep our indoor crops protected. 

 All of these projects make it possible for us to do what we love: building our farming knowledge, skills and ability to produce seasonal, local food for our community throughout the year.

Thank you for supporting local organic farming throughout the year, and we hope you'll also enjoy the change of seasons!
~ Jeff, Jen & the farm crew   

Making the most of your share 

 

Beauty Heart Radishes, also known as Watermelon Radishes, are unsuspecting on the outside but a brilliant, beautiful pink on the inside. These radishes are known as storage radishes as they are meant to grow to a much larger size than an average radish. Beauty hearts are a little sweeter and less spicy than traditional radishes, and we use them similarly as a delicious addition to sandwiches, salads or on a vegetable platter. They will store for months when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. 

 

Crimini (baby bella) mushrooms are shaped like regular white button mushrooms, however they are darker and drier and offer a deliciously earthy flavor and meaty texture. Because of their low moisture content, crimini mushrooms are great for sautéing. Simply wipe them clean with a damp paper towel as you need them.  

Pie pumpkins may look similar to a jack o'latern variety but they are much sweeter and more flavorful. You can treat pie pumpkin similarly to butternut squash.  First, cut the pumpkin in half or in wedges about 2-3 inches wide, scoop out the seeds, lightly brush with olive oil and bake it in the oven just like you would any member of the squash family (35 minutes at 400 degrees).  Then, simply remove the skin and add to your favorite curry dish or puree until smooth for pumpkin pie or muffins.     

Farm Kitchen Recipes

Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples - This warming fall recipe is a farm crew favorite.

Sea salt
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium celery roots , peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 stalks celery , chopped
1 large onion , chopped
2 quarts faux chicken or vegetable broth (try Better than Bouillon brand)
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple , very finely diced
Flavored oil (such as garlic or chive oil)

Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

Add the celery root, celery, and onion and sauté for 6 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft but not brown. Add the stock and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cream and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, cover the lid with a towel (the hot liquid tends to erupt), and blend on high. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls. Place a spoonful of the diced apple in the center of each serving, drizzle the oil around the apple, and serve.  Serves 6.
(source: The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen)

Pumpkin Ravioli With Sage Walnut Pumpkin Butter - This is my favorite way to use pumpkin. I've also made with wonton wrappers in place of fresh pasta with good results.

1 small pie pumpkin, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Sea salt and black pepper
1 egg
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, more as needed
Semolina flour
About 3 pounds fresh pasta sheets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons crushed walnuts
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (adjust to taste)
 
Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pumpkin on pan, cut sides up, drizzle with olive oil and generously season with brown sugar, salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin into the bowl of a food processor. Add egg and nutmeg, and purée until smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup pumpkin purée for the sauce.
 
Dust a work surface with semolina flour. Lay out a sheet of pasta, then place 2 teaspoons of filling every few inches. Brush around the filling with water, then place a second pasta sheet over the top. Cut with a ravioli stamp or sharp knife, and crimp to seal individual raviolis. Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with 2 tablespoons salt. Drop in ravioli a few at a time and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
 
Make the sauce to serve by heating 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the reserved 1/4 cup pumpkin filling, the sage leaves, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of nutmeg and cook until combined and sizzling. Spoon sauce onto plates and top with ravioli. (Ravioli can be frozen on a cookie sheet dusted with semolina flour. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer storage bag, return to the freezer. Ravioli can be cooked from frozen; increase cooking time to 10 minutes.)  Serves 4-6.
(Source: NYTimes) 

Wilted Spinach with Crimini Mushrooms and Bacon - We like this as a bed for our eggs with a nice piece of crusty bread on the side.

2 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped into bite size pieces
1 large shallot or red onion, finely chopped
1 pound wild mushrooms (or a mix of your favorite mushrooms) cut into large dice
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 pounds spinach (about 5 cups)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste

In a large heavy bottom pan, fry the chopped up bacon over medium high heat. Cook until lightly crispy on all sides. Remove the bacon from the pan to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Reserve the bacon grease in the pan and add the shallot and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and white wine. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Toss in the spinach, and use tongs to continue to toss the mixture until the spinach is wilted and tender. About 3 minutes. Add the bacon back to the pan and grate in the lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.  Serves 4.
(DishinguptheDirt.com) 

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... kale, red cabbage, spinach, rutabaga, leeks, potatoes and more!



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