*Unless otherwise noted, all vegetables are certified organic and grown by Prairie Wind Family Farm.
This Week's Fruit Harvest (from Mick Klug Farms, St. Joseph, MI)
'Early Red Haven' Peaches
Upcoming Farm Events
We welcome you to visit the farm! Here are upcoming farm events:
Summer Volunteering at the Farm* Friday, July 28th, 8am-11am The Liberty Prairie Foundation (our landowners, partners, and friends) are seeking volunteers to help clean up the Prairie Crossing Farm hedgerows following the spring wind storm and prepare their outdoor learning spaces for the 2023-24 school year. If you're interested, please sign up on their website to volunteer. Thank you!
*While we originally planned a summer gleaning volunteer day, we've adjusted plans towards an immediate gleaning need for educational programs. District 127 students are gleaning our produce on a weekly basis to include in the kitchen instruction portion of the "Engineering for a Sustainable Future" class. Thank you for being understanding of this change!
CSA Member UPick Day at the Farm (2023 CSA MEMBERS ONLY EVENT) Saturday, September 9th, 9am-12pm, Prairie Wind Family Farm Back by popular demand! Please join us for an afternoon of family-friendly u-pick opportunities, farm tour, refreshments and open house. As always, there will be farm products for purchase.
What's New at the Farm Stand
Ball Zucchini and Squash - We are trialing a few new varieties of zucchini and summer squash this season including patty pan and round or ball zucchini. They are both adorable in sizing and perfect for quick cooking in the pan or on the grill. The flavor (and skin) is more delicate than standard zucchini, so it is perfect for a quickly sautéed summer side dish. The Farm Stand is open daily, 7am-7pm.
Good evening from the farm!
We hope you've escaped some of the daytime heat. With the weather increasingly warm this week, we often get questions about how our produce and the team manages. Here are a few tricks that we use with our farm crew and perhaps they will be helpful to you, too!
We start early. We start our days at 7am normally and 6am during heat waves. Ideally, this means the internal temperature of our produce is lower, receiving less of a temperature change when being hydro-cooled and placed into a cooler, which is better for shelf life. Our staff also benefit, as we work in the cooler part of the day.
We wear protective clothing. You may notice Jeff and the crew use protective gaiter wraps for their necks, faces, and heads. Oftentimes, these gators are wet or chilled, in addition to protective arm and leg-wear that protects our skin from the sun and heat.
We drink a lot of water and eat a lot of popsicles. We all try to keep a water bottle with us at all times. To keep bottles nearby, some of us attach to our bodies and others leave messages to the water bottle finders! The crew brings a refilling cooler full of chilled water out to the fields and there's a seemingly endless supply of popsicles around.
We always, always adjust the work. When Jeff plans the week's farm activities, the work always takes into account all aspects of weather including temperatures, dew points, wind, and our team's comfort and safety level to name a few. Jeff then determines the daily activities based on the forecasts and adjusts accordingly throughout the day. On super hot days, we limit the work to tasks that must be done, are shaded or protected, or receive plenty of natural breezes. There are some harvests that need to be done when it is hot -- we're talking about you, green beans -- and in this case, we break the harvest into multiple days, even if that means some amount of crop loss.
Finally, we take breaks. We and our farm crew take morning, lunch, and afternoon breaks, and if needed, we take an additional break as well. These breaks allow us to replenish energy, recharge and if needed, hydrate further.
Please take good care throughout the heat, and enjoy this week's early summer harvest to cool off!
Cheers, ~ The Miller Family, Cleto, David, Riley, Anacleto, and Miguel
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week, we will continue to distribute some of the first fruit from our pepper and eggplant crops. These early solanaceous crops are growing within one of our salvaged hoophouses. In addition to our normal pepper hoophouse crop, this year, we're experimenting with placing eggplant in our hoophouse as well. Even with some structural damages remaining, we're finding success in better protecting this sensitive crop from the intense pest pressures in the field and less disease with closer water management and trellising them as we do tomatoes and peppers. More to come!
This week's fruit share includes the start plums and the Klug's peaches. Mick Klug Farm grows 10 varieties of yellow peaches, and three of white, and in round and donut shaped. This week's variety is an Early Red Haven. With its red and yellow skin, this yellow-fleshed semi-clingstone peach will need a few days to fully ripen on your kitchen counter.
Tropea onions are delectable, oblong, torpedo-shaped red onions named for the beach town in Calabria, Italy, where they originated. They are a sweet, mild red onion that works well in everything from pasta dishes to pickled on a panini.