Explaining the jars! Support the change you'd like to see
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This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
Green Bell Pepper
This Week's Fruit Harvest:
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Tacos on the Farm this past Sunday. We were blessed with beautiful weather for the evening, and we have record-setting turn out!
This event is free and open to the public, however we've suggested donations towards three categories of farm projects and improvements: food justice, soil health and farm events. We thought we'd take a moment to share more about these projects.
To us,food justicemeans that everyone has access to clean, healthy food. For years, we've offered our field up for the Gleaning Program, run in partnership with the Liberty Prairie Foundation. Volunteers harvest our excess produce that we're unable to use and this produce is donated. Gleaned produce is provided to local food pantries (listedhere) and food and nutrition programs hosted at theBeacon Place in Waukegan andMidwest Veterans Closet in North Chicago.
Contributions towards food justice mean we can get more fresh organic produce into the hands of those in need. For instance, as a result of a crowd-funding campaign last winter, we built an additional hoophouse where we grew a gleaning garden this spring. We also donated our time and our crew's time to plant, tend and care for the garden. This spring garden meant volunteers harvested spring produce a month and a half earlier than previous years! We would like to expand this effort in the upcoming season(s) with additional hoophouse structures. We want to support a healthier community, and your donations help us to continue these efforts.
We've previously written about what we do to advocate forsoil healthand build regenerative agriculture on our farm. Soils take years to improve and change, and in our management of 40 acres, there's much that we can improve. We would like to add additional cover crop plantings, invest in more long-term crops (e.g., trees, shrubs planted in our permaculture fields), and develop new strategies and invest in tools to lower our reliance on tillage. These initiatives protect and build our soils, and they can sequester carbon in the soil to begin to combat climate change.
We strive to be the best stewards of the land that we can be, while also running an economically sustainable family farm business. Your contributions allow us to make the most responsible, soil conscientious choices even when those choices may require more time and resources.
Finally, supporting farm events is fairly self explanatory. We strive to continually improve our existing farm events and develop new and engaging ways to invite you to experience the farm. We want you, our community, to enjoy the farm in the same ways we do (i.e., like enjoying the nightly songs of summer cicadas over a relaxing Sunday dinner with friends). With your contributions, we hope add amenities to improve a farm event experiences and offer more events that welcome everyone to the farm.
We believe a better environment, access to healthy food and gathering together at the farm can create a better community. We thank you for supporting the change you want to see. We're honored to be stewards of this work!
Your farmers, ~ Jen, Jeff and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week's share contains beautiful 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 excellent flavor and because their skins are very delicate, we leave them unwashed until cooking. I hold them under water, gently brushing the soil away with my fingers to clean them. They are also delicious gently boiled served with a compound butter (garlic butter is a personal favorite) and salt. Store these potatoes in a brown paper bag in a cool, dry place and use within 2 weeks.
This week's shares include the firstbell peppersfrom our hoophouse experiment. When the field soils were too wet and cold to plant in late spring, and our pepper seedlings needed a home, we planted peppers into our hoophouses for the first time. Many farmers plant tomatoes, peppers, celery and a variety of crops in hoophouses to get a jump start on the warm temperatures and allow for closer water management. While we also have peppers in the field, we also have peppers thriving in the extra summer heat the hoophouse provides (pictured here to the left of our celery planting). Enjoy!