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Farm News - Week Of July 3

 

Farm News for the week of July 3rd   

Reminders & Announcements

  • This week is a pickup week for all Vegetable, Fruit and Egg Share members.
     
  • This Week's Delivery Schedule:

    Wednesday, July 5th
    Deerfield, 1:30-6:30pm
    Northbrook/Highland Park, 3-6:30pm
    Evanston, 4-7pm
    Lake Forest, 4-7pm
    Allstate, 2:30-5:30pm
    Libertyville, 3:30-7pm

    Thursday, July 6th
    Vernon Hills, 2-7pm
    Oak Park, 4:30-7pm
    On the Farm, 3:30-7pm (including members who normally pick up on Tuesday)
     
  • Apricot Special Orders - Due to the cold spring and late frosts, Mick Klug Farm lost much of their apricot crop this season. While they are unable to provide apricots to fruit shares this season, they are able to fill a few special orders.  Apricots are $5/lb and orders will arrive next week. If you are interested in placing a special order for apricots to arrive next week, please email Jen with your order by this Friday.

  This Week's Vegetable Harvest

  • Green Frilly Leaf Lettuce

  • Beets

  • Green Cabbage

  • Zucchini

  • Brown Crimini Mushrooms - from River Valley Ranch in Burlington, WI

  • Sage

  • Baby Leeks


This Week's Fruit Share

  • Blueberries

  • Sweet Cherries

  • Black Raspberries

Farm Photo Journal Good morning!  We hope you enjoyed a sunny fourth of July holiday.

We took part in our annual Prairie Crossing parade led by Luis driving the farm's haywagon on John Deere 2040 (pictured above).  We also enjoyed meeting one of our newest neighh-bors, Blue, the miniature horse.  Blue lives at the Prairie Crossing horse stable near the farm, and you might see him walking the trails nearby the farm during your visit. He's very friendly and became fast friends with our puppy, Winston.   

 

Back at the farm, we're finding our farm fields are now fully watered, officially lush, and a touch soggy. Although Monday's weather predictions were for a day of filled with sunshine, the crew worked together through several rain storms and brought in a beautiful harvest despite the downpours.  We do our best bring in the harvest when its dry and sunny but sometimes a rainy harvest is unavoidable and necessitates rain gear and a determined spirit -- and our crew has both! 

 

Our first green cabbage harvest of the season did not disappoint! The crew brought in over 220 heads in one days harvest and we brought in another 50 the next day.

   

Watch the green cabbage fly from the Jem to Tyler in this slow-motion harvest video The best part of this harvest is everyone gets involved.  Each person plays a key role on the team, whether its scouting for the best heads, cutting and preparing the cabbage, tossing to the cabbage catcher, or catching and counting the cabbages.  Its a great, healthy (and productive) workout! 

 

Finally a friend visiting the farm captured this fun photo in the field.  Between seeing friends and family for the holiday and a busy harvest schedule, Jeff and I relish a moment of calm with a gentle, subtle breeze on our backs and warm sun on our faces. We stay quiet, listen to the birds and insects around us, and casually chat about the farm as a whole. We hope you can enjoy a quiet moment in your week as well.

Have a great rest of your week!
~ Jeff, Jen and the farm crew   

Making the most of your share 

 

Cabbage is one of our summer staples as we use in a variety of slaws, salads and its our favorite veggie to ferment.  As one of the items that grow especially well in our soils, we enjoy watching it grow almost as much as we enjoy eating it! In the cooler months or when we're itching for a different preparation, we love to roast cabbage in the oven with butter and any remaining garlic scapes sprinkled on top. When slicing cabbage, cut the head into 4 wedges and either roast as a wedge or cut those wedges diagonally across the wedge for slaws. 

 

Baby leeks are the immature version of full-grown leeks. They can be braised, roasted, or sauteed. Trim and discard about half of the fibrous green tops, just like you would on a larger leek. I tend to freeze those tops for making veggie stock in autumn.   

Farm Kitchen Recipes

Roasted Beets with Sage

This is a great side dish with grilled or roast meats. Or you could serve as a main-dish warm salad, atop mixed greens, then add crumbled goat cheese, toasted walnuts and/or dried fruit.

3 to 5 small beets, scrubbed, cut into bite sized pieces, greens removed and set aside
reserved beet greens, washed, chopped, soaked in cold water
1/4 cup olive oil (or to taste)
fresh sage, thinly sliced, to taste
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

In a bowl, toss beats, olive oil, salt, pepper and sage together until the beets are well coated. Transfer to a roasting pan and cover in aluminum foil. Place in a 350 degree F. oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until beets are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and transfer to a mixing bowl. Five minutes before the beets are done, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beat greens and transfer them to the hot pan; the water on the leaves will be enough to steam the greens. Add a pinch of sea salt and cook, stirring, until wilted and tender, less than 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the beets and toss.

Serves 2.
(Adapted from Green Earth Institute)

 

Pickled Lettuce
Here's a different use for lettuce, especially firmer green leaf lettuce. Use as a side dish, atop sandwiches or anywhere you'd use a pickle.

  • 2 large head Green Leaf lettuce, washed and dried
  • 4 large garlic cloves or scapes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium bunch fresh dill, thick stems removed and fronds roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, tart cherries, or raisins
  • 1 cup boiled warm water
  • 1/2 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or your favorite hot chile pepper, finely diced
Trim the ends of the green leaf lettuce and chop it in about ¾-inch wide ribbons. If using iceberg lettuce, core it, slice in half and then cut in about ¾-inch wide ribbons. Transfer to a very large bowl and toss with garlic, dill, and dried berries.

In a measuring cup combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Let cool to room temperature and then pour over the lettuce.

Cover the bowl with a shallow plate that is a little smaller in diameter and place something heavy on top to press down the lettuce mixture. Let stand for about 2 hours, then pack tightly into a quart container and pour the pickling liquid over the top. Cover and chill until ready to use. It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for more than 1 week.  Makes 1 quart.
(adapted from Food52.com)

Zucchini-Mushroom Tacos
1 pound small mushrooms, left whole or cut in half
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
2-3 medium zucchini, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch sticks
4 medium baby leeks, quartered
12 (4 1/2-inch) corn tortillas
6 ounces (1 cup) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh salsa 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss zucchini and baby leeks with remaining teaspoon oregano and tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper.

Place both sheets in oven. Roast, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are browned and fork-tender, about 20 minutes (zucchini may cook faster than mushrooms).

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, warm tortillas according to package instructions (they should be lightly browned but still soft). Wrap loosely in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.

To serve, fill each tortilla with mushrooms, vegetable mixture, shredded cheese, and salsa.

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... green beans, broccoli, zucchini, blueberries, salad mix, fresh onions, and more!



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