Farm fresh vegetable, fruit & egg CSA Shares

Happy Memorial Day

Farm News for the week of May 29th
Important Reminders
  • This week is a pickup week for all members registered for Spring Vegetable Shares.
  • Upcoming dates:
    • Early Summer Shares - Begin the week of June 25th 
    • Pizza Night on the Farm - Sunday, June 24th, 4-7pm at Prairie WindFamily Farm
This Week's Harvest:
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Hard Red Winter Wheat Flour - from Breslin Farms, Ottawa, IL
  • Cilantro
  • Red Head Lettuce
  • Green Head Lettuce
  • Red Scallions
  • Japanese Salad Turnips
  • Asparagus
Farm Journal
We hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend with friends, family and plenty of good food.

Yesterday our farm crew (pictured above) brought in the harvest on another unseasonably warm day. A hot day harvest is hard work, and luckily the crew makes with work fun with conversations, joking and sometimes, working together in the peaceful quiet of the farm. They took the late afternoon off to rest and recharge for the rest of our busy planting week ahead.
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the May Pizza Night on the Farm event this past Sunday! It was a wonderful crowd, filled with neighbors, CSA members, friends, farmers' market customers and newcomers to the farm. Thank you to friends of the farmPizzeria DeVille, musician Ryan Herrick, and special guest, Sparkle, the tiny, young bottle-fed goat (from the Kroll's Farm) who allowed plenty of cuddles and won the hearts of many that night.
We hope everyone enjoyed the event and if you weren't able to make it (or would like to come back again), we welcome you join us for our next Pizza Night in June!

Your Farmers
Jeff, Jen & the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen

Winter wheat, photo credit: Breslin Farms

This week's shares include a special Hard Red Winter Wheat Flour from our friends, Molly and John Breslin of Breslin Farms, in Ottawa, Illinois. Breslin Farms is a father-and-daughter operation growing certified organic row crops on the family farm.

Last year, I visited their farm and reminisces with John about his start in farmingin 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 and grains with a history and story behind them, and began to work with Seed Savers Exchange to grow heirloom varieties. In 2009, John and Molly enrolled in the FarmBeginnings 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 Breslins also work with bakers and chefs throughout Chicago to refine their products to best suit baking needs. Their Whole Wheat Flour includes the wheat germ and the bran, which means its completely whole grain flour and has a richer, nuttier taste. This flour is also unique in that it was stone-milled locally and organically at the Mill at Janie’s Farm, an organic grain mill located in Danforth, Illinois.

Stone milling preserves the flavor and nutrition of grains. Here’s an overview of how their mill works: “Our mill was custom-made especially for us by Engsko, a Danish company that has been in the milling business for over a century.  Although it's brand new, this is the most ancient type of mill, feeding whole grain kernels between stationary and rotating mill stones. We carefully monitor the temperature of the stones to ensure that they stay cool and preserve all the nutrition of the whole kernel--including the bran and germ, with all of their essential proteins, oils, vitamins, and minerals. Even our sifted flours contain 70-90% of the whole kernel, so you get more flavor, and more nutrition.” 
 
Both the Breslins and Janie’s Farm support a larger regional movement to educate and connect chefs, bakers, students, and food citizens to the source of grain-based foods. We strive to support their efforts by sharing this local, organic product with our members. To best store, keep this flour cool in your refrigerator for up to one month, and then it can be stored within your freezer. Our favorite way to use this flour is to add a 1/2 cup to any baked good, and we've found its especially wonderful in homemade pancakes and pizza dough. We hope you'll enjoy it, too!

 

Our Favorite Seasonal Recipes

Glazed Salad Turnips

1 bunch salad turnips trimmed, greens reserved
1/8 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoons sugar or honey (less if desired)
Kosher salt
 
Place turnips in a skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt. Serves 4 as a side dish.


Whole Wheat Bread
This recipe is based on the Slow-Rise and Sourdough Whole Wheat Challah recipes in Maggie Glezer’s book, A Blessing of Bread. It works well with either a yeasted starter or a sourdough starter. For a lighter textured bread you can sift your Breslin Farms Whole Wheat Flour to remove some of the bran – the nutrients and flavor from the wheat germ will remain.

Makes 2 loaves.

Starter:

1/4 t. instant yeast OR 1/4 c. very active, ripe sourdough starter
1/2 c. + 2 T (150 g, 5 oz.) water
1 1/2 c. + 2 T (230 g, 8 oz.) Breslin Farms Whole Wheat Flour*

Dough:

2 1/2 c. + 2 T (600 g., 21 oz.) water
3 T (40 g, 1.5 oz.) vegetable oil (optional)
2 T (30 g., 1 oz.) honey (optional)
5 1/2 c. (770 g, 27.5 oz.) Breslin Farms Whole Wheat Flour*
1 T + 3/4 t. (18 g, 3/4 oz.) salt

*Sift, if desired, before weighing or measuring.

Mix starter ingredients together and knead briefly to form a soft dough. Place in a small container (like a quart yogurt container), cover, and let ferment at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. The starter should triple and then begin to deflate.

To mix the final dough, combine the water and ripe starter in a large bowl and stir to break up the starter. Add the vegetable oil, honey, and Breslin FarmsWhole Wheat Flour, and mix until combined. This dough should be quite soft and easy to squeeze. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Now add the sale and knead by hand or machine until the dough feels soft and smooth. Cover and let the dough rise for 2-4 hours at room temperature. It will not necessarily double in bulk, but should slowly push back when you poke an indentation in it with your finger.

Divide the dough in half, form into the desired shape, and place on an oiled baking sheet. Let the loaves proof for another 2-3 hours, until the dough barely pushes back when poked.

One hour before baking, place a baking sheet on the rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When the loaves are ready, spray or brush them with water and place in the oven on top of the preheated sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, rotating the breads half way through the bake.

Loaves are done when they sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. For best flavor and texture, we recommend cooling the bread completely before slicing.

Recipe developed by Lauren Bushnell of Peerless Bread & Jam in 2011.


Local Tastes Better Apple Pie - This feature's the Breslin's flour amongst other farmers in our region.

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... salad mix, napa cabbage, asparagus, rhubarb, dill and more!
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