Farm News for the week of May 22nd Important Reminders:
- This week, we are delivering Spring Egg Shares and all Vegetable Shares.
- Next week, we will deliver to weekly Spring Vegetable Share members. This will be the last week of our Spring Shares.
- Early Summer Shares deliveries start the week of June 5th.
This Week's Vegetable Harvest
- Spring Spinach and Rainbow Chard Mix
- Head Lettuce
- Wintered onions
- Rhubarb - from Mick Klug Farm
- Golden Rainbow Medium Cornmeal - from Hazzard Free Farm
- White Button Mushrooms - from River Valley Ranch
This Week's Farm Photos Journal
It's been a busy week so far, but that's pretty typical for late May on the farm. Last Friday, we harvested and washed hundreds of heads of lettuce, chard, turnips, spinach, herbs, asparagus and eggs to prepare for our first farmers' market of the season. On Saturday, we woke up bright and early (even before the rooster's crows), packed up the truck and headed to the market. By 7am, we were set up and ready to help our customers. Despite predictions of rain, we had a great turn out and we look forward to heading back to the market this weekend!
Knives on the cultivating tractor slice through the weeds next to the beet plants.
Back at the farm, we keep busy with tending to our crops. Now that we have a good number of plants in the ground, we strive to provide them with a happy life including plenty of sunshine, water and as little weed and pest pressure as possible. Our tender plants stay warm and safe under protective row cover. We cultivate (weed) with tractors and hand our more hearty plants. In this video, Jeff shows (in slow motion) how the tractor gets up close to the plants to free them from weeds. Grow crops, grow!
This morning, I was struck by the beautiful color of the crops being prepared for vegetable shares and smiling faces of our farm crew. Each day, our crew members work in whatever conditions Mother Nature presents and they do so with a great spirit. We're thankful to work together to bring you the beautiful colors and crops of the spring season. From all of us here at the farm, we hope you'll enjoy this week's shares!
Making the most of your share
This week, each member will receive medium cornmeal from Hazzard Free Farm Grain & Beans. Our friend, Andy Hazzard, raises heirloom grains and beans on land near Pecatonica that has been in her family since 1847. Her whole grain products are organically grown, unbleached, unbromated and non-GMO. They are always stone milled to preserve taste and quality. Stone-milling avoids the high-heat conditions found in many industrial mills that can alter flavors and nutrients. All of Andy's grains contain the germ, bran and natural oils that nature intended. We recommend that you place your cornmeal in the freezer or refrigerator to maintain freshness.
Recipes from Friends of the Farm
This week, we're featuring contributed recipes featuring our CSA ingredients. We love to learn how you're cooking, so we welcome you to share your recipes with us!
Andy's Grandmother's Cornbread
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9" iron skillet or cake pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk, sugar (if liquid), and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into greased pan, turn oven down to 350 degrees, and bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Spinach and White Bean Pizza
Contributed from our site hosts at the Cancer Wellness Center
One of the world’s oldest dishes, pizza has been a culinary favorite for over 20 centuries. Classified as an Italian staple, it has been a part of the Mediterranean diet – in one form or another – since the Stone Age. History even points to the ancient Babylonians and Greeks who ate flat bread baked with assorted toppings. Turn the traditional notion of pizza on its head, forgoing the tomato sauce in favor of a garlic-infused white bean puree.
This recipe takes advantage of pizza’s ability to seamlessly meld unique ingredients. Here, a white bean puree (reminiscent of hummus spread) is combined with rich sun dried tomatoes and nutrient-packed spinach. If you can find a whole-wheat pizza dough or pre-baked crust, you’ll enjoy added fiber as well.
Garlic, a member of the onion family, lends its intense flavor to this dish. In addition, scientists point to the many health benefits of garlic, including its likely role in offering protection from colorectal cancer.
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 package pre-baked thin Italian pizza crust, preferably whole wheat
1 (15 oz.) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup spinach or Swiss chard leaves, torn into small pieces
Fresh basil, torn as desired
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
Set oven rack in lowest position and pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Cover sun dried tomatoes with boiling water, let stand for about 12 minutes.
Drain tomatoes and cut into thin strips, set aside.
Place beans and garlic in food processor and blend until smooth.
Place pizza crust directly on oven rack and crisp for 10 minutes. Remove crust and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Spread bean mixture evenly over pizza crust. Top with spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and seasoning.
Bake 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Serves 5. Per serving: 260 calories, 5 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 44 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 9 g dietary fiber, 530 mg sodium.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... arugula, lettuce, radishes, salad mix, fennel and more!