Farm News for the week of July 10th
Reminders & Announcements
- This week is a pick-up week for weekly Vegetable and Fruit Share members.
- Next week, all Vegetable, Fruit and Egg Share members will pick-up.
This Week's Vegetable Harvest
- White Scallions
This Week's Fruit Share
- Sour Cherries
Know Your Family Farmers Good morning! This week's featured picture (above) is of three generations of the Miller family working together at Saturday's Oak Park Farmers' Market. We spent Saturday morning together sharing our favorite family recipes with market customers. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the stand!
Like earlier generations of farmers, our family farm truly depends on our families' help and support. When we first started farming and we were in a pinch, our family helped us plant, water, weed, harvest and cared for our babies while we worked in the field. Now our boys are becoming more involved in the daily work. They help with the crop reviews, market preparations, large harvests and CSA deliveries. We realize how lucky we are to have a supportive family who is there when we need them most. We couldn't farm without our family!
Partner Farm Spotlight: Mick Klug Farm
Speaking of family farms, we wanted to share with you a bit about the family that grows the fruit for our Fruit Share members.
The Klug family farms 150 acres between St. Joseph and Berrien Springs near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Because of the moderating effect that Lake Michigan has on the climate, the area is particularly well-suited to growing fruit.
Mick was born and raised on the farm that his parents purchased in 1940. When Mick was growing up, his parents' farm was very diversified. They grew a wide range of crops including strawberries, asparagus, currants, tomatoes, peaches and much more. Gradually though, fruit farms in the area, including the Klug farm, began to specialize in just a handful of crops, namely peaches and juice grapes for Welch's. It was during the 1980s, after Mick and wife Cindy had taken over the farm, that he realized that direct marketing and a return to crop diversity was the best way to keep his operation viable.
Today, the Klugs highly-diversified farm continues to flourish providing fresh fruit to Chicago restaurants, farmers markets and wholesale customers. Mick and Cindy recently sold the farm to their daughter, Abby and husband, Mark. Mick works alongside Abby and Mark each day, mentoring, advising and helping to transition the family farm into their trusted hands. We very much enjoy working closely with the entire Klug family, and love trading stories of our kids getting involved in daily farm work.
Here's to family farming and the raising the next generation of farmers!
~ Jen, Jeff and family
Making the most of your share
Surprise! This week's fruit share contains apricots after all, as the harvest was more successful than predicted. I recommend eating those that are soft and ripe, and saving any that need more time to ripen on a pretty dish in your kitchen. Once they are ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Apricots are also wonderful sliced alongside a variety cheeses on a platter or in baked goods.
This week's fruit share also contains sour or tart cherries which are rounder, softer, and more tart than sweet cherries. They can be eaten fresh, though I enjoy baking with them and using them in smoothies. If you're not interested in making a pie, try a batch of muffins or as a topping for grilled pork chops. If you aren’t going to use your cherries this week, pit them and and place them in a freezer bag for use later.
In time for warmer temperatures, the refreshing cucumbers arrived in the field. The cucumber vines are taking over our fields as the plants tend to stretch to 6-8 feet and look for more area to spread out! Elaine, our Crew Leader, called harvesting cucumbers a "treasure hunt" as the "cukes" tend to blend in and hide beneath the large, protective leaves. You'll see more cucumbers in your share throughout the summer.
Farm Kitchen Recipes
This is my go-to galette recipe. I love galettes for their simplicity and versatility. I tend to add a sprinkle of sour cherries or blueberries to this galette before baking to make it more colorful and delicious!
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 5-6 fresh apricots (preferably firm)
- half a 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a food processor pulse almonds with confectioners' sugar until finely ground. Pit apricots and cut into 1/8-inch-thick wedges. On a lightly floured surface unfold pastry sheet and cut out a 9-inch round. Transfer round to a buttered large shallow baking pan and prick pastry all over with a fork. Spoon almond mixture evenly over pastry, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Decoratively arrange apricot wedges, overlapping them, on top of almond mixture and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake galette in middle of oven until edges are golden brown, about 30 minutes. With a metal spatula transfer galette to a rack to cool.
(adapted from epicurious.com)
Cucumber-Basil-Goat Cheese Toasts
This is a nice, easy and refreshing lunch!
3 ounces goat cheese
1 squeeze lemon
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
Several fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees. Split baguette lengthwise and lightly brush cut sides with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Bake until golden around edges, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread cheese over toasted baguette and top with cucumber. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and top with a fresh basil leaf. Cut into pieces to serve. Serves 2.
Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino Cheese
1 bunch kale
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese or 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 freshly squeezed lemon, juice of
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl. Chop or microplane the garlic and transfer to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice & zest, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves). Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then massage with hands if dressing hasn't fully coated). Serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil. Serves 4-6.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... green beans, broccoli, zucchini, blueberries, cucumbers, garlic, and more!