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Growing local food system leaders

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Growing local food system leaders
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Head Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Scarlet Turnips
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Carrots
  • Green Cabbage
  • Beautyheart Radishes
  • Spaghetti Squash - from Big Patch Farm's Amish Community Growers, Platteville, WI
  • Garlic
Farm Journal
Good morning from the farm!

This morning, we were thinking about recent conversations around food. From the chats we've had a the weekly farm share pickups to the cooking tips being exchanged at our farmers' market table to the conversations amongst those of us in the field. We cherish how food brings us together.
Last week, Jeff sliced open one of our most surprising crops: beautyheart radishes. These radishes are unassuming on the outside with a stunning magenta color on the inside. They have a mild, sweet radish flavor and store extremely well throughout the winter. 
When I asked Arlet how she eats radishes, she shared that her family uses to top their warm posole soup adding color and flavor. We included Karolina in our conversation about uses and traditions, and she discussed her family's uses for radishes, salad turnips and other vegetables we grow.
Arlet and Karolina first came to the farm as a part of the Prairie Farm Corps program, a program of the Liberty Prairie Foundation (our partner and landowner). The Prairie Farm Corps farms on this farm, too, with their 10 acres of educational fields running on the north side of the farm. The Prairie Farm Corps is an immersive summer training program for teens in sustainable agriculture, providing mentoring, and reflecting on the collaboration between land and living systems. Participants gain job skills applicable to any career, the capability to grow and cook fresh vegetables, and a hands-on introduction to sustainable agriculture.
After completing this program, Arlet joined the Prairie Wind team. Over the past four years, Arlet has grown to lead our washing and post-harvest handling of vegetables, serve as a model for fast, efficient work in the field and brings a sunny attitude to each task (no matter the weather!).  
After Karolina led the Prairie Farm Corps program as Crew Leader, she joined our Vegetable Production team. She's also our Food Forest Apprentice taking part in each step of the process: caring for seedlings, laying out the food forest, planting and maintaining the forest to learn more specifically about permaculture. Her interest to learn, willingness to do whatever it takes to get a job done and positive spirit is contagious.
As the Prairie Farm Corps begins recruiting students for the next farming season, we welcome the wide variety of experiences, cultures and interests that students will bring to the farm. We look forward to sharing our passion for food with them, and we hope to inspire them to continue to build a resilient food system.
Enjoy this week's fall vegetable harvest thanks to our passionate farm crew! 

Your farmers,
Jeff, Jen, Tyler, Abbey, Karolina, Arlet, Peter, Scott, Jacob and Kathryn
Help our Food Forest thrive!
Prairie Wind Family Farm and the Liberty Prairie Foundation collaborated on project to plan, purchase, plant and deer-fence over 400 seedlings on the Prairie Crossing Farm. Now we need to protect the young trees against winter cold, spring weather variations, summer sunscald, and the little creatures that chew the bark above and below the coming snow. Can you help with a donation? Can you help by volunteering to install the tree protectors? Please visit our fundraising project. We would be most grateful, and your donation is tax deductible. Thank you!
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week's share contains scarlet turnips. These turnips have a delicate sweetness that can be played up in dishes that call for apples or honey. You can leave the skin on for a beautiful addition to roasted root vegetable combinations, or use a mandoline to slice into thin medallions and combine with other fall veggies for a roasted vegetable gratin (a great, flexible vegetable dish to bring to holiday dinners). These turnips store extremely well. Simply place them into a plastic bag in your refrigerator and save them for a warming winter stew addition.
The spaghetti squash comes to us from Big Patch Farm, which is an Amish community of growers located in Platteville, Wisconsin. These farmers use traditional, farming techniques and work collaboratively across farms to combine multiple family harvests. Spaghetti squash has a nutty flavor and the spaghetti squash flesh separates into long, thin strands when cooked, creating long squash “noodles.”  Cook the spaghetti squash whole in the microwave or oven, then remove seeds and scrape the flesh with a fork.  Substitute spaghetti squash for noodles in pasta dishes, or simply sauté with olive oil, garlic, and some cheese for a simple side dish.
Recipes Ideas

Classic Posole
Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese
Carrot Ginger Bisque
Cabbage, Sausage and White Bean Stew

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... parsnips, lettuce, ginger, swiss chard, carrots and more!

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