White Button Mushrooms - from River Valley Ranch, Burlington, WI
Scarlet Turnips- from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
Hot House Cucumber - Members who did not receive last week will receive this week.
Thank you to our Spring CSA members for joining us! We’re extremely grateful for your trust, loyalty and partnership during our most historic and challenging spring season to date.
Next week, we transition to Early Summer and Early Summer Vegetable, Fruit and Egg Shares begin. Please expect an email from us later this week to confirm memberships and provide pick up information.
The transition to summer also signals the active continuation of our two farm research projects. This does not included Gavin's research on how to build homemade, pushable farm go-kart!
Last year, we were awarded a two year SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) grant to research in the long-term impacts of dramatic weather events on our crops. In the first year of this project, we purchased a drone to provide aerial photography of our crops and fields, and an agricultural weather station to provide us with a variety of detailed data including wind speeds, temperatures, moisture levels, humidity and more. We studied the impacts of weather events on our broccoli crop, and considered the modifications for growing broccoli effectively in years to come. This year, we will gather and study data with a particular focus on our beet crops. We will be honing our ability to predict the impacts and adaptations necessary to weather major weather events (e.g., the wettest May we experienced in the last 150 years) on our longer-term field crops.
For our second research study, we’re working with SeedLinked and the UW-Madison Department of Horticulture on a collaborative seed testing program. SeedLinked fosters collaboration between growers through sharing seed testing data to build a more resilient agricultural ecosystem. For this study, we’re growing over 40 trial varieties of winter squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, broccoli and lettuce. At each stage of the crop's development process, we are reporting through a mobile application on growing characteristics, pest/disease resistance and taste. The information Jeff and other regional farmers provide will be shared with all growers.
SeedLinked seeks to link farmer's perspectives on seeds and variety performance with hard data on crop performance so that farmers needn’t rely on seed companies for performance information, rather they can rely on other farmers’ experiences. We appreciate the farmer focused approach, and we're always happy to share our knowledge with others, too.
The common thread between the two projects is a focus on providing regional farmers with better information from each other. In our ever-changing climate, farmers rely on unbiased data, technology and research, and each other, to build the resilience we need to grow food while adapting to climate change. We’re happy to be a part of this collaborative research work and we’re hopeful it will strengthen all local food farmers!
Enjoy this week's farm share!
Your farmers, Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week’s share includes a mixed bag of spring spinach and swiss chard. One of the results of an extremely wet spring is that our cool weather-loving spinach suffered. We seeded 5 different plantings of spinach to lose nearly all of it to wet weather conditions! However, we always strive to make lemonade out of lemons, so we’ve combined the spinach we were able to harvest with a similarly used crop, swiss chard. These two can be cooked together and thrown into a variety of dishes that call for either green. For inspiration, check out what Chef Durning of DeVille Pizza and Provisions made this week -- a beautiful combination of our sautéed greens and asparagus!
This week’s share includes another final stored root crop, scarlet turnips, which are beautiful addition to other root vegetables you may have remaining in your refrigerator. These turnips just need a simple wash and chop, as I generally keep the skin on to maintain a the beautiful red color in my dish. We’re adding roasted root vegetables to our salads, along with some local cheeses, to bring winter and spring flavors together.
Prairie Wind Farm Stand Open! We've reached out to longtime farming friends and small producers to source a variety of local products including locally made jams, honey, condiments, cheeses, meats, as well as offering a selection of the produce we grow. Our farmstand is open and you're welcomed to visit!
The farmstand is located at our address (560 Harris Road, Grayslake, IL 60030) and within the long white barn pictured here. Products and availability change weekly, so please visit the farm to see what’s available. Currently, the Farm Stand hours are daily from 7am-7pm and the stand is self-serve. We accept cash, check and Venmo (for touch-free payments). More instructions are posted at the farm. We’re observing safety measures including one visitor at a time, social distancing and encouraging masks.
Thank you for your continued support of local farmers and small businesses!