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From fall harvests to spring preparations

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From fall harvests to spring preparations
Reminders & Announcements
  • We are delivering to Winter Produce and Egg Share members today (Tuesday) and Thursday.
  • Winter Produce Shares are packed into wax boxes for protection from the winter weather. Please return any CSA boxes you may have so we can continue to reuse, thank you!
  • Next Winter Share Delivery: Tuesday, March 5 and Thursday, March 7
  • Save the Date! We're busy planning farm events for this upcoming season, so mark your calendars! Check out our farm events page to learn more about what's coming up.
  • Do you know someone interested in a seasonal role in organic food and local agriculture? We value passionate, hard-working, positive individuals, and we're hiring team members to join our production crew this season. More information is available our website. Thank you!
This Week's Produce Harvest:
  • Yellow Popping Corn  
  • Brown Crimini Mushrooms from River Valley Ranch, Burlington, WI
  • Winter Carrots
  • Beautyheart / Watermelon Radishes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Apple Cider (frozen) - from Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
  • Tomatoes (frozen)
  • Green Beans (frozen)
  • Broccoli (frozen)
*All items are grown / produced by us unless otherwise indicated.
Farm Photo Journal
Good morning from the farm!

This week, we are setting up and preparing the greenhouse for the first vegetable seedings of 2019! Jeff, Mark and Tyler work to repair the greenhouse electrical system, improve the germination chamber, sanitize seedling flats, organize seeds, set up tables and repair the greenhouse watering system. 
While the greenhouse is buzzing with activity, the kids and I spent Presidents Day weekend attending the Winter Market in Oak Park and working on CSA preparations including bagging popcorn for this week's winter shares.
Jeff plants popcorn each May and we harvest our popcorn crop just before Thanksgiving. The popcorn was stored since this harvest, and the kernels are now dry enough to pop. Our 2018 popcorn harvest was not as bountiful as our 2017 harvest due to last year's extreme weather patterns (very dry summer, very wet fall). This season Jeff intends to plant our popcorn crop in a different field location which offers a different soil makeup and (we hope) will better handle the fluctuations in weather and water. In the meantime, we have plenty of popcorn to share!
We found a great, antique, cast-iron hand-crank corn sheller once used by farmers to shell and select their corn seeds. So Jeff and Tyler mounted the tool and adapted for our popcorn shelling work.
A window into how we shuck your popcorn
In this video, you can see how the team inserts the corn kernel into the sheller. As the hand crank is turned, the cob also gets turned and rubbed against a very rough surface to loosen the kernels. The kernels and the cob fall into the container below, and the team then sorts out cobs and remaining silk. After sorting, the popcorn is blown with a fan to remove any additional dry debris leaving the beautiful, yellow popcorn kernels. 
While making popcorn on the stovetop is a bit more work than the microwave version, the kids that hang out at our house can attest that the results are well worth the effort! Cover the bottom of a large pot with oil (we oftentimes mix vegetable and olive). Add one layer of kernels to the bottom of the pot (about 1/3 cup) and cover with a lid. Place the pot over medium-high heat. When you begin to hear popping, shake the pot and keep it moving! Remove the pot from heat as soon as the popping stops. Pour into a bowl, add salt to taste and enjoy with a great movie.

Have a great week!

Your farmers,

Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Thank YOU for helping us spread the word about joining our 2019 CSA Program for the upcoming outdoor growing season with your friends, co-workers and neighbors. Your word-of-mouth and online recommendations and referrals continue to be our most valuable marketing resource. We are truly grateful for your support and sharing!
Farm Kitchen Recipes and Tips

Apple Cider Mimosas
¼ glass apple cider 
¾ glass with remainder of glass with prosecco or brut champagne
Decorate with dried apple chip
Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 (7-to 8-pound) bone-in pork butt
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups apple cider
Score the skin of the pork with a sharp knife. Make 1-inch deep incisions with a paring knife all over the pork and insert 1 slice of garlic in each incision. Season the pork with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
In a sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat until hot. Sear the pork butt, turning once, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a plate and stir the onion into the pan. Brown the onion, scraping up any browned bits, until golden, about 6 minutes. Place the pork and onions in the crockpot along with the cider and cover the crock pot. Step 2 Simmer the pork butt on low, covered, until the meat is very tender, 7 to 8 hours. Shred the pork, discarding the bone, then place the shredded pork back in the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with rolls and your favorite condiments (e.g., sweet pickles, spicy giardiniera). Serves 6-8.

Maple Glazed Carrots 
4 large carrots, peeled
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon grade A or B maple syrup
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slice the carrots at an angle into ½ inch-thick pieces.  Put the vegetables and stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook until lightly tender, about 7-8 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the butter and maple syrup.  Stir to coat the vegetables and continue to cook uncovered until the vegetables are glazed and beginning to caramelize around the edges, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Cream of Mushroom Potato Soup - from our friends at River Valley Ranch

Next Share's Harvest (our best guess)...russet potatoes, tart cherries, carrots, frozen bell peppers, and more!

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