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Farm News - Week Of June 5

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Farm News for the week of June 5th   

Important Reminders:

  • Early Summer Shares deliveries this week!  We are delivering Vegetable Shares (both weekly and every other week members), Fruit Shares (both weekly and every other week members) and Egg Shares.
  • Please check our CSA Delivery Calendar for the delivery schedule and ourEarly Summer CSA email for details on your CSA share pickup.
  • Visit the Events page for upcoming fun farm events this summer and fall!

  This Week's Vegetable Harvest

  • Red Head Lettuce

  • Green Head Lettuce

  • Boy Choy - from Genesis Growers
  • Red Scallions
  • Asparagus

  • Spinach & Chard Mix

  • Black Turtle Beans - from Breslin Farms

  • Oregano

This Week's Fruit Share

  • Strawberries

  • Rhubarb


Welcome to Early Summer!

We'd like to warmly welcome our Early Summer Share members. Thank you for making us your farmers for healthy, local food.

Recently, the weather truly has felt like early summer with temperatures in 70s and 80s this and plenty of sunshine.  We transition from heavy spring rains to providing gentle, regular water to plants, and we enjoy watching them grow each day. 


In early summer, we also transition our hoophouses from growing tender spring lettuces into growing heat-loving crops like tomatoes, basil and fresh ginger.  Plus, we add two new members to our crew (our sons and summer breakers, Owen & Gavin) who help us sucker and trellis tomatoes on sunny Sunday mornings. 


Finally, our crew works each week to harvest, plant, weed, attend farmers markets, make chef deliveries and much more. We're grateful for our smart, happy, hard-working team and their willingness to accept puppy kisses in the mornings.  Enjoy your shares this week! ~ Jen, Jeff and the crew   Meet the Farmers This week's vegetable shares include Black Turtle Beans from our friends, Molly and John Breslin at Breslin Farms in Ottawa, Illinois.  Breslin Farms is a father-and-daughter operation growing certified organic row crops on the family farm. 


When I visited their farm recently, John took a break from his busy planting day to reminisce with me about his start in farming in 2009. John wasn't always a farmer (more about that story here), however he started his farming career with a test plot vegetables on a friend's vegetable farm and within the test, he had planted a few beans. He had great hopes for a successful vegetable crop but to his surprise, his beans were the most successful crop! John realized he enjoyed growing beans with a history and story behind them, and began to work with Seed Savers Exchange to grow heirloom bean varieties. In 2009, John and Molly enrolled in the Farm Beginnings Program to develop a business plan for the farm.  The Breslin's farmed ever since concentrating on small grains and dry beans, using heirloom varieties and saved seeds.   


The black turtle bean is believed to have originated in southern Mexico and Central America over 7,000 years ago. Black Turtle beans are one of the tastiest beans the Breslin's grow. They have a deep, rich flavor that works superbly in soups, chili, and as refried beans. Its become one of our favorites! (photo credits: Molly Breslin) Farm Kitchen Recipes

Black Bean & Asparagus Salad - 
From the Breslin family

1/2 pound (approximately 7 spears) asparagus
3/4 cup cooked Breslin Farms heirloom black turtle beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1-1/2 teaspoons jalapeno, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh Italian Parsley, minced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes in boiling water. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Dice asparagus into 1/4 inch rounds. Combine with remaining ingredients. Chill before serving.

This salad works as a salsa with chips, on its own as a salad, or as a garnish for grilled chicken or meat. The beautiful color combination is a treat for any table.

Serves 4-6

Fresh Oregano Ideas
Fresh oregano has a robust, woodsy flavor pairs well with meats and vegetables alike.  Here are some ideas on how to add to dishes you may already have in mind:

  • Oregano & Chicken: Whisk minced oregano into a marinade or stuff whole sprigs inside the chicken before roasting. 
  • Herbed Dinner Rolls: Baked into a soft yeasted roll, either by itself or with other fresh herbs. Finely mince a few tablespoons and knead them right into the bread dough. 
  • Burger Seasoning: Use a tablespoon or two worked into the ground meat to brighten the flavor.
  • Oregano & Beans: Chop up a few tablespoons of fresh oregano and add it to a pot of home-cooked black beans in the last fifteen minutes or so of cooking. 

(adapted from

Simple Garlicky Boy Choy

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, cut into quarters, with core intact
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bok choy, soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp. water and cover immediately. Cook 1 minute. Uncover and toss, then cover and cook until bok choy is tender at the core, about 3 more minutes. Serves 4.

(adapted from Bon Appetit) Making the most of your share: Freezing Asparagus

Since we're nearing the end of asparagus season, now is a great time to preserve your asparagus for late fall asparagus soup!

Asparagus freezes well and can be used in recipes requiring cooked or pureed asparagus, as the texture of asparagus changes in the freezing process.  Here's how to best preserve:

1. Wash and trim off the base of the spears.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

3. Dip the asparagus spears into the large pot of water for only 30 seconds and remove to cool.  This best preserves their flavor, color and texture. 

4. Once cooled, pack the spears closely into the ziplock bags whole or chop them into pieces.  Remove as much air as possible to prevent ice crystals and discoloration.

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... lettuce, salad turnips, strawberries, beets, arugula and more!

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