Farm News for the week of June 26th
Reminders & Announcements
- This week is a pickup week for weekly Vegetable and Fruit Share members only.
Next Week's Schedule - Due to the Fourth of July holiday, please note next week's modified delivery schedule for Vegetable, Fruit & Egg Share members. Please contact Jen at email@example.com if you need to make alternative arrangements.
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)
- Interested in Gleaning? Gleaning is a great way to volunteer at the farm. Volunteers work with our friends at the Liberty Prairie Foundation to harvest Prairie Wind produce that otherwise would not be harvested from our fields. These fresh vegetables are then delivered to a local food pantry for distribution to their clients. Adults, kids, families and groups are welcomed! Help to increase access to fresh healthy foods for those in need, learn more here.
This Week's Vegetable Harvest
Green Romaine Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Rainbow Swiss Chard
This Week's Fruit Share
Farm Photo Journal
Thank you to everyone who joined us this Sunday for pizza on the farm! Its was a sunny, cool early summer evening filled with delicious wood-fired pizza smells filling the air. We enjoyed chatting with CSA members, watching families share a casual picnic and an evening stroll on farm, and working with our friends from Pizzeria Deville to create farm pizzas from our fresh produce.
On Monday, we were back to work with the first carrot harvest! The early summer carrot harvest is always one we eagerly anticipate. We love the sweet, young early carrots, and its always fulfilling for the farmer to gently tug on the carrot greens and pull these orange beautiful roots from the soil. While we usually break into smaller teams for projects, we gathered the full group to participate and enjoy this harvest together. Our moisture and nutrient-dense soils are wonderful for growing carrots so you'll see several rounds of carrots in shares this year.
Jeff also continues to monitor upcoming crops for future weeks, and he's saw some of the early signs of cherry tomatoes, cabbage and summer broccoli. Exciting! While we strive to contain our excitement, we set our sights on maintaining plant health through a regular regime of tying and trellising the tomato plants upright to avoid disease, foster plant growth and ease the harvest.
Finally, one of my favorite pictures of the week! Jeff captured this great shot of the red-wing blackbirds chasing the red-tailed hawks (and us!) away from their nesting territory. What a moment filled with sights, sounds and quick aerobatics. There's never a dull moment in the fields and we love being a part of this natural system. We hope you'll enjoy this week's goodies from the farm field!
~ Jen, Jeff and the farm crew
Making the most of your share
The Purplette is a mini onion variety with beautiful purple and white coloring and a delicate, sweet onion flavor. You can eat the whole plant, from the bulbs all the way to the tips of the green tops.
The Rainier cherry is an attractive golden yellow cherry with a bright red blush. These delicately flavored sweet cherries have a yellow, firm flesh and are best enjoyed fresh. They are beautiful on a platter of mixed cheeses and meats, and we also enjoy them sliced and pitted in a fresh lettuce salad with goat cheese and sliced almonds. Farm Kitchen Recipes
This week's share includes the last of our garlic scape harvest, so I'm including a recipe from our friends at River Valley Ranch. I make this pesto, then freeze portions in ice cube trays so I can use scapes in soups, pasta sauces and sandwiches throughout the winter.
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few generous grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Place the garlic scapes in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the pine nuts or walnuts and pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the olive oil and process on high for 15 seconds. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Add the garlic scapes and lemon juice, and process until reaching the desired consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. If freezing, wait to add the cheese until you plan to defrost and use the pesto.
Fruit Oatmeal Crumble
Here's the recipe I made for dessert for Sunday's CSA event at the farm. While I used frozen blueberries, any berry combination could be used.
Crust and Crumble Topping
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned whole-rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch salt, optional and to taste
12 ounces (2 cups) blueberries, cherries, raspberries or a mix!
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
Crust and Crumble Topping - In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power. Add the flour, oats, sugars, optional salt, and stir to combine. Mixture will be dry and sandy with some larger, well-formed crumble pieces. Set 1 heaping cup mixture aside to be sprinkled on later as crumble topping. Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust; set aside.
Fruit Layer - In a large mixing bowl (same one used for crust and crumble), add all ingredients and toss to combine. If sugar hasn't dissolved fully that's okay because it liquifies while baking. Evenly distribute blueberry mixture over the crust. Evenly sprinkle with the reserved heaping 1 cup crumble topping mixture. Before sprinkling, I squeeze the mixture in my palm to encourage bigger crumble pieces to form.
Bake for about 55 minutes, or until edges are set and center has just set. Crumble topping should appear set and very pale golden. Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 30 minutes.
(Adapted from AverieCooks.com)
1/2 cup bulgur
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic scape, minced
3 medium zucchini, washed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
2 purplette onions, bulbs and greens finely chopped
1/2 kohlrabi, finely chopped
Sprinkle parmesan cheese (optional)
In a bowl combine the bulgur with the salt. Pour enough boiling water over the bulgur to cover it by 1 inch, and let the bulgur soak for 1 hour. Drain the bulgur and squeeze it dry in a kitchen towel. In a bowl stir together the bulgur, the lemon juice, the oil, and the garlic scape and let the bulgur marinate, covered and chilled, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
With a spoon, scoop out the zucchini flesh, reserving it for another use and leaving 1/4-inch shells. On a steamer rack set over boiling water, steam the zucchini shells, cut sides up and covered partially, in batches for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are just tender. Transfer the shells, cut sides down, to paper towels to drain and let them cool. Stir the mint, parsley, onions and kohlrabi into the bulgur mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the tabouli among the zucchini shells. Lightly sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... bunching leeks, zucchini, blueberries, cabbage, lettuce, and more!