We had our first frosty fall morning on Monday. Wow! The frost in the morning light is a beautiful sight to behold. This picture of the ice crystals forming on the edges of kale struck me. Each little frozen droplet of water has such a profound effect.
Frost effects our work routine. In the early mornings, the team works on alternative projects until frost is melted so our harvests don't damage delicate frosty leaves.
Frost has different effects on our crops. For some like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, frost signals the end of productivity. This week, we're taking down the trellised tomato crops to clean up the field for a much-deserved rest and soil nutrient building for next season. While for other crops like kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, frost sweetens their flavor and doesn't hinder their growth.
Frost effects our daily farming lives. No matter how tired we may be (and Winston the farm dog is certainly exhausted from keeping an eye on things!), we need to summon our remaining strength to work hard every day until snow falls. The team works hard to plant and tend to farm fields for both the winter and spring upcoming seasons. Luckily we've been gifted a beautiful week full of sunshine and warmth which gives us energy and puts a smile on our faces!
We're taking our cues from Mother Nature and with her frosts, she signals us to take a moment to enjoy this transition and watch the beautiful changes on trees, grasses, crops and animals throughout the farm. We hope can enjoy a few special autumn moments, too.
Warmly, The Miller Family (Jeff, Jen, Owen & Gavin)
Reserve your Pastured Local Turkey Reserve a local, pasture-raised, organic-fed heritage turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner from our friends at All Grass Farms.
Farmer Cliff raises Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys which are moved to pasture at 3 weeks of age. They are free-range in and around portable shelters with their shelters being moved daily. They are fed certified organic, non-GMO feed mixture from day one with no antibiotics or growth hormones. They are processed at 17-19 weeks for maximum flavor and they are humanely processed at local, family-owned USDA inspected facility.
Weights range from 12-25 lbs. We will do everything we can to provide you with a turkey in your desired weight range. Turkeys are frozen and packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag. Heart, liver, neck, and gizzard included inside each turkey.
$35 deposit per turkey due at time of order. You will be invoiced with your total at $6.50/lb (less your deposit) due upon pickup.
Turkeys will be available for pickup from the Grayslake farm (560 Harris Road, Grayslake IL) on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 from 7am to 7pm.
Poblanos are making one last appearance in shares this season, as we saved them from the frost. Members may see a variety of shapes, colorations, and sizes but rest assured, they are all flavorful poblanos. When poblanos are smaller in size, they are my go-to for adding heat to whatever I'm making especially my favorite, white chili (recipe below).
This week's fruit shares includes one half gallon of Mick Klug's apple cider. This year's cider is a unique blend of sweet and tart apples, starting with Honeycrisp, for the perfect, not-too-sweet, can-drink-by-the-gallon sip. Nothing but apples, and UV treated for safety, this cider can be enjoyed fresh, heated, mulled, spritzed or spiked as you like! We plan to share this cider again with members next week to ensure all members can enjoy.
This week's apples include honeycrisp and empire apples. Empire are great for baking or eating fresh, while honeycrisp are best enjoyed fresh.
We're having an amazing celery root season so we're distributing again this week to ensure all members can enjoy! Celery root, also known as celeriac, is a funny-looking but delicious relative of celery. Use a sharp kitchen knife to trim the outside layer from the bulb before chopping it. Because celery root has a mild celery flavor, we use in place of celery, as a roasted vegetable or shredded and combined with apples to make a delicious slaw. Make sure to trim the top off the bulb and the bulb will store for weeks to months in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. We left the celery root tops, which are also edible! They have a strong celery flavor, thought much more fibrous, and are best used as a flavor enhancer to make vegetable stock or within soups.
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen
Ginger-Maple Baked Squash 1 carnival squash 2 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side up in a baking dish. Divide butter, maple syrup, and ginger between cavities, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour about 1/2 inch of hot water in the bottom of a dish, and cover squash with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and brush squash flesh with melted filling. Continue to bake, uncovered, until squash is easily pierced with a fork and tops are lightly glazed, 10 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.
White Chicken Chili with Poblano - this recipe is very flexible so be creative! Sometimes I throw in preserved sweet corn, coriander and green chilis, too.
1 T olive oil 2 medium, chopped onions 2-3 poblano peppers, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 T chili powder 2 t kosher salt 1 1/2 t ground cumin 1 t dried oregano 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1lb cooked chicken (I generally use shredded white and dark meats) 3 (15 1/2-ounce cans) canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained Chives Fresh lime
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblanos and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add broth, chicken, and beans and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve with a slice of lime and sprinkled with chives or cilantro.
Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwiches - a farm family favorite! 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 Rolls
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.
Garlicky Fall Greens 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 garlic cloves 1/2 - 3/4 lb mixed greens (use a combination of kohlrabi greens, turnip greens, kale, chard, etc), coarsely chopped 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock ¼ cup dry red wine (optional) pinch of teaspoon hot red pepper flakes salt to taste
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Finely chop 2 of the garlic cloves and saute until they begin to color. Add the chopped greens and saute until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. (You may have to add the leaves in two batches if your skillet is not large enough, but the leaves will quickly decrease in volume.) Add the stock and bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. If you're using wine, add it during the last 5 minutes of the cooking time and keep stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed or evaporated. Add the red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
Boiled Cider (Cider Reduction) 1/2 gallon apple cider
In a large, heavy stockpot (such a dutch oven), bring cider to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook uncovered for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. The boiled cider is done when it can coat the back of a spoon and the consistency is like maple syrup. Transfer to a clean jar, cool, then use immediately or seal it tightly and store in the fridge.