Mums! Pumpkins! Soup! - Fall arrived in the front of the farmstand with beautiful mums from Amish Community Growers and pumpkins grown by high school students on wagons out front. Inside, we feature as many as ten different soup flavors throughout the year, produced by the talented cooks at Bushel and Peck's in Beloit, Wisconsin. The farmstand is open year-round with hours daily, 7am-7pm.
Reserve Your Local, Pastured-Raised Thanksgiving Turkey Note: We are taking reservations until the end of October or when we sell out, whichever comes first!
Reserve a local, pasture-raised turkey for Thanksgiving dinner from our friends at Jake's Country Meats. The farmers at Jake's raise their turkeys on pastures with pride and respect. Each bird enacts their natural instincts out on the pasture foraging for grass, bugs, and more. Jake's does not use any antibiotics and they are fed a NON-GMO diet of farm-grown grains. The natural environment promotes the best flavor and highest quality meat for your Thanksgiving holiday feast.
Turkeys will be available for pickup on the farm on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19. Place your reservation here. Thank you for supporting local farmers!
Good evening from your farm!
Welcome to the fall season! We hope you are also enjoying this season of beautiful frosty mornings and magenta-colored sunsets.
Recently, we were asked how we put together our shares. So we thought it could be fun to share a behind-the-scenes window into our CSA planning process.
Most often, the thought process starts from the feedback we are given on our CSA shares from members. We consider what you say and what we've heard from members in the past. We think about what members have received from us in previous weeks vs. what looks (and more importantly, tastes) fantastic in the fields. We think about what you might be seeing in magazines, on Pinterest, or even, your seasonal traditions at this time of year.
We're also inspired by what we see in the field. We want our members to share in the beauty of food like a beautiful, green planting of carrots, or a sweet celery root peeking over the edge of soil that, when sliced open, smells amazingly fresh.
After the field inspiration, we consider a few reference points. We look into our own refrigerator, the farm's coolers, and lastly, the several years of CSA lists. We consider: have our members had too many roots? Have members gotten enough garlic? Too few greens? Are we hitting enough of the favorites and avoiding more divisive crops (i.e. crops that some members love and other members dislike)?
But, is everything ready for harvest? We head to the field to consider when the crops will be ready and sized well for recipes. Will multiple crops from one recipe be at peak readiness at the same time, or should we adjust our plans to include one ingredient next week and one ingredient this week? We balance our every other week members to strive towards an even distribution for both week A and week B every other week members.
Once we have a solid plan, we consider how does the share look, feel and smell together? Is the share too much (we strive to avoid waste!), too little (we want to be generous!) and how does this share compare to last week, next week and the same share in same week as previous years? How can make it better, more beautiful or last longer for our members?
Finally, we listen for more feedback after shares are received and listen for what members discuss at CSA pickups, email feedback we receive, or just the general feeling we get from farmstand shoppers. We listen for whether members' creativity is being sparked by certain produce (“Ooh! I know what I’m having for dinner this evening!”) or whether the items they are seeing are stumping them in terms of how to handle in the kitchen (“I never know what to do with these greens?!”). Or we listen for questions we can help with like how to store things (“Should I store in a plastic bag or not?”) or combinations of ingredients to cook together (“Would beet greens cook well with turnip greens?”). We address some of the things we hear in newsletters so many community members can benefit from these tidbits of information!
We consider all of these questions when we put together your final package as we hope it feels like a thoughtful gift. Please enjoy each week’s gift of the harvest!
Your farmers, ~ Jeff, Jen, Gavin, David, Cleto, Miguel, Anacleto
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
We've worked Honeynut Squash into our winter squash rotation due to the warm reception it received from our members. This mini butternut is smaller and sweeter than normal butternut, and it cooks more quickly. Members will receive several for meals or for storage, as they can store well into the late fall months.
As we've shared previously, Honeynut Squash was a part of the SeedLinked and University of Wisconsin seed research project we conducted in 2020. Our role in this research project was to grow, from seed, several different varieties of squash. We recorded extensive observations from yield to flavor, and vegetable growers from across the midwest region did the same. During our taste tests of the varieties, honeynut was the clear winner within the butternut category. Our friends at Stonebarns are part of the interesting story of this variety's development.
Salad or hakurei turnips are slightly sweeter in fall, and we thank the chilly temps of autumn for this gift! When chilly outside, we generally roast our turnips and add them to our favorite mixed bean and veggie soup, though you can always eat them raw or cooked. Remember to separate the greens from the roots, packaging them separately to maximize their longevity and freshness. We like to sauté the turnip and kale greens together for a mixture of flavors and textures.
Celery root, also known as celeriac, is a funny-looking but delicious relative of celery. This week, members will receive both! These cousins can be used in different ways or together. For celery root, use a sharp kitchen knife to trim the outside layer from the bulb before chopping it. Because celery root has a mild celery flavor, we use in place of celery, as a roasted vegetable or shredded and combined with apples to make a delicious slaw. The bulb will store for weeks to months in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Our fall celery is denser and more intense in flavor than store-bought, so we recommend using for juicing, soups, or stews.