Farm News for the week of January 9 Winter Share Reminders
- This week, all Winter Produce and Egg Shares pick-up:
- Tuesday: Deerfield, Evanston, Northbrook/Highland Park, Lake Forest
- Thursday: Allstate, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Oak Park, At the Farm
- Upcoming Winter Share Deliveries
- Tuesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 8
- Tuesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 8
- Tuesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 5
This Month's Produce Harvest
- Winter Greens Salad Mix
- Red and Yellow Onions
- Celery Root
- Beautyheart Radishes
- Red Cabbage
- Apple Cider*
- Roasted Broccoli*
*These summer treats are frozen.
Don't delay...join the farm today!
Thanks to our loyal CSA members, we're nearly 80% of the way to meeting our 2018 goal for farm share membership! If you haven't already, please reserve your farm membership to enjoy locally and responsibly grown, healthy food. Your membership also includes farm newsletters, CSA member-only events at the farm, CSA member discounts on bulk produce (think tomatoes!) and conversations with people who grow your food.
As a token of our appreciation, we're offering the following discount codes good through February 28th:
- Use discount code healthy to save $30 on the Vegetable Share Package.
- Use discount code fresh to save $20 on the Summer Fruit Share Package.
Please contact Jen if you have any questions. Thank you for supporting local, family-scale agriculture! Farm Journal Happy New Year from your farm!
We hope you enjoyed peaceful holiday season. Our family adventured to Wisconsin and western Illinois to visit family and share meals with friends. When we returned to the farm, we were greeted with some very cold temperatures.
As farmers, we embrace variability and change, which includes the challenges and rewards each season brings us. The past weeks of sustained, dramatic cold was definitely one of those challenges. We experienced eggs freezing within an hour of being laid and heaters unable to keep up against the frigid cold, working tirelessly to warm water pipes and storage spaces. However, we try to look at each new challenge creatively, and come up with solutions that help us move forward and be better prepared next time. From revising the way way we get running water to our chickens (I think we're on version five of our new system!) to meeting the needs of growing plants in January, it has been a very creative new year!
Each sunny morning, we uncover crops in hoophouses to give plants as much exposure to sunlight and warmth. Each evening, we recover the crops to protect (as much as is possible) them from nightly low temps. We also take a moment to enjoy the glow of the sunset within the hoophouse!
When our heated livestock water buckets and heat-taped pipes couldn’t keep up with the cold temperatures, Jeff checks in with all of the farm animals every several hours to change water, make sure animals had enough bedding and food to be comfortable and observe their health.
Leia enjoys extra visits and plenty of alfalfa hay to keep her warm.
Lettuce grows in the greenhouse on heat mats that keep it warm until its ready to get planted into our hoophouses later this winter.
We love this winter work because it extends our season allowing us to continue to do what we enjoy the most! Each day, we suit up in our winter gear and head outside to care for the living things. We find monitoring seedlings, harvesting greens and washing eggs are certainly a little clumsier in big jackets, gloves and boots but the reward is great! Even during the cold winter temperatures we find joy in smelling, seeing, hearing and touching the life that joins us through this winter season. Have a great rest of your month and stay warm!
Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Making the most of your share
Our late summer broccoli crop was a delicious one and when at its peak of freshness and flavor, we harvested and transported several hundred heads to a local commercial kitchen for preservation. The broccoli included in your share are gently roasted to enhance the broccoli flavor. Fruit and vegetables often lose their original textures due to the freezing process, so we suggest using this broccoli in cooked dishes like vegetarian lasagna, vegetable soup, and cheddar and broccoli frittata.
This week's share also includes one gallon of Mick Klug's frozen apple cider. Enjoy a mug of warm apple cider with a cinnamon stick to remind you of late summer apples! Or use it to cook with, as I often do with the pork recipe listed below. The cider is made from a mixture of Mick's apple varieties including their fall honeycrisp and mutsu varieties.
Each year we harvest our popcorn crop just before Thanksgiving. It has been stored since this harvest, and the kernels are now dry enough to pop. (You should store the ears in a cupboard or other dry place.) We realizing making popcorn on the stovetop is a little more work than the microwave version, but the kids that hang out at house can attest -- the results are well worth the effort! First, you need to remove the kernels from the cob. I use my hands to gently rub the kernels off starting at the ends and I work over a bowl to catch them. Rubbing two cobs together also helps to loosen kernals. Cover the bottom of a pot with vegetable oil. Add one layer of kernels to the bottom of the pot and cover with a lid. Place the pot over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as the popping stops. Add salt to taste.
Farm Kitchen Recipes
Warming Roasted Broccoli Soup
2 bags frozen roasted broccoli
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach, chard, kale or other greens
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmesan + additional for topping
1 tsp. lemon zest plus 1 tbsp. juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion and garlic in pan with oil on medium-high heat until tender (about 3-4 minutes). Add fresh spinach and cook down (about 1 minute).
In blender, puree roasted broccoli, stock, onion, garlic and spinach mixture, parmesan, zest and juice until smooth. Return to pot and heat soup over medium until warm; season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with additional grated parmesan. Serves 4.
Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 (7-to 8-pound) bone-in pork butt
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
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.
Celery Root Hash
1 large celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into ¾-inch pieces
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ¾-inch pieces
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
5 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
Chopped fresh parsley (for serving)
Cook celery root, sweet potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, chicken broth, oil, and cayenne pepper in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are just beginning to soften and liquid is evaporated, 15–20 minutes. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and black pepper and cook, tossing often and scraping up any browned bits, until vegetables are tender, 30–35 minutes. Remove thyme and bay leaf and toss in bacon. Serve topped with parsley.
(source: Bon Appetit)
Simple Sweet & Spicy Salad - our recipe featured in the January Natural Awakenings magazine
Next Month's Harvest (our best guess)... blueberries, tomatoes, cherries, shallots, beets, carrots and more!