Farm News for the week of June 12th
- This week is a pickup week for weekly Vegetable and Fruit Share members.
- Next week, we will deliver every other week and weekly Vegetable Shares, every other week and weekly Fruit Shares and Egg Shares.
- Annual CSA Event, Sunday, June 25th, 5pm-7pm. Please join us for an evening of wood fired pizzas on the farm! Pizzeria Deville's Chef John Durning will bring his wood-burning oven to the farm to create delicious, farm-fresh pizzas for purchase. We invite all CSA members (any season, any share) and their families to join us. No need to RSVP. Please bring your picnic gear (blanket, chairs), plates and utensils, and your own beverages. We hope you'll enjoy a sunset dinner on the farm with us!
This Week's Vegetable Harvest
Radishes or Zucchini
Japanese Salad Turnips
This Week's Fruit Share
- Blueberries (frozen)
- Tart Cherries (frozen)
Farm Photo Journal
As a result of plenty of sunshine and warmer temperatures, we're seeing the arrival of many of our favorite summer crops. Jeff and I couldn't help but share our excitement by taking a picture amidst the beautiful garlic scapes.
With each harvest, Jeff and the crew go to the field together to discuss the basics of crop development and harvest techniques.
Sarah and the team harvest the first purple kohlrabi of the season.
The first of the zucchini fruit also appeared this week. Members will either receive radishes from our final succession of radishes (until fall) or a taster of our first zucchini harvest. We begin our regular zucchini harvest schedule to maintain the plant health and provide our members with this foundational vegetable for all sorts of healthy summer dishes. There will be more zucchini to come!
We often get the question of how the weather affects the farm. The warm, dry weather keeps the pests and plant disease at bay, and for this, we are thankful! However, this year's farm soil consistency is reflective of the stressful spring to summer transition we've experienced. The heavy, continuous rains followed by the ongoing warm, dry spell is causing soil cracking, clumping and general unevenness in growth patterns across crops. We continue a regular routine of monitoring, watering and selective weeding, as sometimes weeds can maintain a level of moisture around crops without inhibiting their growth.
We also strive to keep our hens cool by providing lots of fresh water and shade. They also love to take dust baths, a chicken's way to keep clean their feathers clean of mites and other parasites. Yesterday, I watched hens intentionally getting the top of their heads wet from their drinking water. Apparently we're not so different in the ways to use to stay cool in the farm field! Making the most of your share
The curly garlic scape is the flower stalk of the garlic plant. We snap the scapes off at this stage in the plant's development so that the plant will devote all of its energy to making a delicious, big garlic bulb rather than a flower. You can use the entire scape. Chopped scapes can be used in place of chopped garlic cloves in most dishes. We grill the entire scape along side our zucchini and then, chop both and put into our cool pasta salad. Scapes have a mild garlic flavor and are only available for a limited time (and volume) in early summer. Here's a favorite link of ideas might be helpful. Enjoy!
Kohlrabi is a member of the broccoli and cabbage family. Kohlrabi forms when the stem swells to a bulb right about the soil. Some varieties are purple and others are light green or white. The bulb is delicious peeled and eaten raw. Just peel it, slice thinly and serve with or without dip. I tend to slice into match sticks and kids eat like apples! The greens of kohlrabi can be used like kale, collards, and other hearty cooking greens. These types of greens become tender and delicious when simmered over low to medium heat for 30 to 60 minutes.
We strive to take full advantage of strawberry season, so this week's Fruit Share includes more delicious, fresh strawberries from our friends at Mick Klug Farms. The strawberries are perfectly ripe, so you’ll want to eat them in the next day or two. The best way to store them is to put a paper towel on a plate and gently empty the strawberry pints onto the plate. Store them in the refrigerator. Abby Klug says that the fresh cherries will begin in the coming weeks, followed soon thereafter by blueberries. In the meantime, we're providing you with some of their frozen tart cherries and blueberries preserved from last season. We love having the frozen berries available in the freezer to put into desserts and smoothies. Farm Kitchen Recipes
Herbed Vegetable Dip
I made this for our CSA event last year. Pair this dip with sliced kohlrabi, zucchini or radishes and salad turnips for a cool summer vegetable platter
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend. Serve at room temperature.
Mixed Berry Crisp
This is the crisp that I make for crew member birthday celebrations! Add ice cream to make it refreshing
- 2 12-ounce packages frozen mixed berries (such as blueberries and cherries, about 6 cups), unthawed
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine berries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour and lemon juice in large bowl; toss to blend well. Transfer berry mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Combine remaining 3/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, spices and salt in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until topping holds together in small moist clumps. Sprinkle over berry mixture. Bake crisp until berry mixture bubbles thickly and topping is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.
Grilled Gem Lettuce Salad
Grilling lettuce is one of our favorite ways to change up our nightly salad routine. Grilling lettuce works especially well with gem and romaine lettuces.
- 2 heads of gem lettuce
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Soft, crumbly goat cheese
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 garlic scape, chopped small
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
Set grill to low-medium heat. Whisk together the dressing in a jar. Combine olive oil, juice of one lemon, vinegar, parsley, garlic scape and about a tsp of salt and pepper. Cut your little gem heads into half, longways. Brush them in dressing, using a brush if possible, and place onto the grill. Cook for about 2-3 minutes each side. Once blackened to your preference, remove from the grill and top with a little more dressing, crumbled goat cheese. Important Announcement: Schedule for the week of July 3rd
Due to the Fourth of July holiday, please note that we will have modified delivery schedule that week:
Wednesday, July 5th
Northbrook/Highland Park, 3-6:30pm
Lake Forest, 4-7pm
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)
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... lettuce, fennel, sweet cherries, beets, kale, dill and more!