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August Photo Journal Through the Years

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August Photo Journal Through the Years
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Sweet and Cipollini Onions
  • New Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Italian Green Beans
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots

This Week's Fruit Harvest:
  • 'Early Magic' Plums
  • Blackberries
  • 'Red Haven' Peaches
What's New at the Prairie Wind Farm Stand
  • Peaches! - We're sharing the Klug's most notable Michigan-grown crop: peaches! July and August are peak peach season, so stock up (and preserve!) them in season. You can taste summer within each bite!
  • Hours: Open daily, 7am-7pm. We restock two to three times per week.
Save the Date! CSA Farm Share Member Open House and UPick, Saturday, September 10th 
Each year, we invite our Farm Share Members to visit and enjoy the farm. All 2022 Farm Share Members are welcome. Please save the date, more information to come.
Farm Journal
Good evening from the farm!
When we're asked how the farm is doing this time of year, we often say, "Well, it's August!"

As many family-scale vegetable farmers will tell you, August is a tough time of year. Our team is tired, our crops are growing quickly and the weeds seem to be growing even faster. Some of our team begins to head back to school. Sometimes, our farming days are focused on crisis management: Which crop do we save from the weeds, or the heat, or the deer? 
How do we share water between five farmers and keep everything happy?

And then, the corner turns and it is September, then October and the season will slow. Then, we'll miss the non-stop motion. We'll still have plenty to do but we'll have a little less worry and a little more sleep. Every year, we find the adage true: "no big decisions in August!"

This week, we're sharing a six-year retrospective photo journal. These pictures are taken from this same week of previous farming seasons. Enjoy this look back at what has changed throughout our Augusts and what has stayed the same over the years.
In 2016, Johnny, Jeff and Lindsey planted fall broccoli together in Field 3, where our newest hoophouse now resides. Johnny has joined us again this season after six years in New York to bring his east coast farming experience back to our midwest farm. Welcome back, Johnny! 
Also in 2016, Owen was excited to join the crew to pack CSA shares for members.
In 2017, Sarah, Jem, Charlotte, Matt and Arlet harvested basil within a fully planted (and mosquito-filled!) hoophouse. Though a few mosquitos still love to pester our crew during basil harvests, our tomato trellising systems are much improved. The increased airflow between plants does help to keep bugs at bay!
That same year, Jem, Charlotte, Shulamis and Sarah planted summer lettuces in the fields that would soon transition from annuals to our perennial food forest. 
In 2018, we had a bumper onion harvest! You can feel Tyler and Jeff's giddiness through the photo as they loaded onions onto the wooding drying structure for curing.
In 2019, we planted our first nut trees, fruiting bushes and asparagus understory to establish our the food forest. In July, the team felt excitement as the baby seedlings started to look like mini trees!
In 2019, we also invested in a finger weeder implement that further mechanized our cultivation and weeding of crops. There's nothing more calming that looking at a nearly weed-free broccoli field!
In 2020, we farmed throughout COVID wearing masks no matter the weather. With masks on, we came to appreciate the smiling eyes of our team, especially after a successful arugula harvest!
In 2021, Gavin cracked us up as he lamented #chickenfarmerproblems. The "double yokers and the teenies" didn't fit into cartons and Gavin was not happy about this for our members! Despite this, Gavin was willing to spend hours being silly with mom and talking about chickens while washing thousands of eggs.
In 2021, we also experienced the most severe drought of our farm since 2012. We watered consistently and we also allowed for a few leaky hoses to go unrepaired to give our painted turtle friends some much-needed water, too.
In 2022, we've been blessed with plenty of beautiful sunsets as we spend the summer evenings relaxing outdoors. We hope you've enjoyed them as well!
From our 2022 farming team to you,
~ Jeff, Jen, Owen, Gavin, Arlet, Cleto, Riley, David, Yamany, and Silas
Notes from the Farm Kitchen

This will be our last harvest of Green Romano Beans of the season, so we're happy to share them with you one more time! Also known as Italian Flat Beans, these are within the green bean family. They are broad and flat with a juicy, sweet flavor and great crunch. They can be eaten raw, however, they really shine when they are cooked (e.g., braise, roast, grill, stew). Keep them in plastic for one week or until you're ready to enjoy.

This is also our final harvest of new red potatoes. Typical potato harvest involves mowing off the potato leaves with a tractor and then waiting a few weeks for the skins to cure before harvesting the potatoes.  We've found our rich, moisture-holding soils are not as ideal for curing potato crops, but they are perfect for growing rich, delicious new potatoes. This week's new red potatoes (the variety is called Norland Reds) haven't had any curing time. They have an excellent flavor and because their skins are very delicate, we leave them unwashed until cooking.  I hold them underwater, gently brushing the soil away with my fingers to clean them. Store these potatoes in a brown paper bag in a cool, dry place and use them within two weeks. 
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen

Zucchini Butter Spaghetti

Plum Blackberry Streusel Pie

Creamy Pineapple Cucumber Smoothie

Roasted Green Beans works well with Italian Green Beans!

Southern Style Peach Cobbler

Tzatziki Sauce

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