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Celebrating Autumnal Equinox

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Celebrating Autumnal Equinox
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Curly Kale
  • Carrots
  • Italian Frying Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Green Beans
  • Yellow Popcorn
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Kohlrabi or Cabbage
This Week's Fruit Harvest:
  • Ever-Bearing Strawberries
  • 'Empire' Apples
  • 'Bosc' Pears
  • 'Golden Supreme' Apples
What's New at the Farm Stand
  • Autumn Mums are Back! We're offering 14' mums for outdoor autumn decoration grown by the Amish Community Growers. Currently, we're featuring yellow and white colors.
  • And...Thank you! To those who make a weekend trip to the farm those who stop by during their neighborhood those who make the farm stand a part of their weekend routine...although we don't always have a chance to say it in person, we appreciate your ongoing support and visits. Thank you for your support!
  • Hours: Open daily, 7am-7pm 
Reserve Your Local, Pastured-Raised Thanksgiving Turkey 

Reserve a local, pasture-raised, organically-fed heritage turkey for Thanksgiving dinner from our friends at All Grass Farms.

Farmer Cliff raises Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys which are moved to pasture at 3 weeks of age.  They are free-range in and around portable shelters with their shelters being moved daily.  They are fed certified organic, non-GMO feed mixture from day one with no antibiotics or growth hormones.  They are processed at 17-19 weeks for maximum flavor and they are humanely processed at local, family-owned USDA-inspected facility.

Weights range from 12-25 lbs. We will do everything we can to provide you with a turkey in your desired weight range. Turkeys are frozen and packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag. Heart, liver, neck, and gizzard included inside each turkey.

Reservation: $35 deposit per turkey due at time of order.
Final Price: You will be invoiced with your total at $7.50/lb (less your deposit) due upon pickup.

Turkeys will be available for pickup from the Grayslake farm on Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13 from 7am to 7pm. 

Place your reservation here. Thank you for supporting local farmers!
Farm Journal
Hello to you, from your farm!
At this time last week, we were sweating and hydrating throughout the fieldwork and this week, we were laughing together at the number of layers we are wearing! The beauty of these days cannot be overstated. The brilliant blue skies provide a beautiful backdrop for our work and the work of beneficial insects including parasitic wasps (whose eggs can be seen above) attacking destructive tomato hornworms. Thanks, wasps! The afternoon sunshine provides welcome warmth for all creatures, big and small.
As lovely as the days are, we know our style of labor-intensive vegetable farming can be challenging -- both physically and mentally, at times -- which is what makes late summer and fall so sweet. 

This is the time of year when we give ourselves (and our team) permission to go to bed earlier with earlier sunsets and wake up just a touch later with the later sunrises. We irrigate and weed less, as Mother Nature generally takes care of these chores for us. We take every opportunity to spend time together as a team. Besides the daily harvest and fieldwork, we take time to celebrate together, sharing birthday cakes, potluck lunches, and plenty of stories and inside jokes.
We have great respect for the people who farm with us each season, and this season is no different. Our core team includes Cleto, David, Yamany and Arlet, all of whom have demonstrated throughout the season a desire to do their best work on behalf of our farm. Their passion inspires us to work smarter, be flexible and embrace all that we have in common.

One commonality is our shared love for family. So, when one of our crew members mentioned striving to do something special for his family, we wanted to help him. Cleto (pictured above) lost his young brother-in-law this summer to a sudden accident while on duty. Cleto would like to help his sister provide for her two children (girl, 14 years old, boy 8 years old) so we are taking up a collection of gently-used clothing for his niece and nephew on his behalf. Sometimes our farming family feels truly like an extension of our own!
If the quote is true that, "only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly," we're grateful that the thousands of seeds that were sowed, planted, and tended were indeed harvested by our dedicated team this season. In fact, we've packed nearly 5,000 vegetable shares, nearly 3,000 fruit shares and distributed nearly 3,500 dozen eggs to date! Together with your support, we have achieved greatly in feeding our community and sharing with others in the process. 

We look forward to filling your kitchen with the last of the tomatoes and the first of the frost-sweetened brassicas through the last few weeks of late summer shares.

Thank you for being a part of this warm community and here's to a blue-sky-filled rest of the week for us all!

~ Jeff, Jen, Owen, Gavin, Arlet, Cleto, David, Yamany
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Bosc pears are a beautiful looking pear with a deep tan outside and very sweet inner flesh. They are delicious eaten raw or cooked (they retain their shape well when poached or grilled), and they need not be peeled to be enjoyed. We like to use them on platters alongside cheeses, as their sweetness holds up well next to strong cheeses. They should be kept at room temperature until ripe and will keep up to an additional week when stored in the refrigerator.

This week's fruit share includes two types of late summer apples: golden supreme (similar to golden delicious, mildly sweet and crisp) and empire (tart, crisp and juicy). Each type of apple varies in its flavor and texture, though both are good for baking or eating fresh.

Carrots are one of our specialties here at the farm. As we mentioned in this 2020 newsletter, Jeff uses carrots as a window in our soils' health when he measures their sugars using a Brix meter. A Brix meter measures sugar content in crops, and the higher the sugar content or Brix, the higher the nutrition level. This is because the sugar that is produced by the plant is illustrative of what nutrients the crop can access in the soil. In other words, the higher the Brix, the healthier the soil and thusly, the healthier the crop. As the weather cools and the days shorten the plants respond by produce more sugars resulting in the sweet, delicious carrots of fall and winter. 

Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen

Japanese Vegetable Pancakes [Okonomiyaki] with Cabbage, Kale and Carrots

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

Mom's Microwave Caramel Popcorn - we substituted honey for corn syrup and it worked really well!

Roasted Red Peppers

Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey


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