Zucchini or Cucumber "taster" - This is the first of more to come!
*Unless otherwise noted, all vegetables are certified organic and grown by Prairie Wind Family Farm.
This Week's Fruit Harvest (from Mick Klug Farms, St. Joseph, MI)
Fresh Sweet Cherries
What's New at the Farm Stand
Fresh produce from our partners! In addition to our own organic produce, we offer fresh fruit, storage crops, microgreeens and specialty greens, which are grown by our local farming friends. Check back often as selections change with the seasons, weather and availability. The Farm Stand is open daily, 7am-7pm.
Upcoming Farm Event
The Liberty Prairie Foundation (our landowners, partners and friends) are seeking volunteers to help clean up the Prairie Crossing Farm hedgerows following the spring wind storm and prepare their outdoor learning spaces for the 2023-24 school year.
We warmly welcome members starting their Early Summer Shares this week and wish all a happy summer solstice! We hope that your gardens are growing well and your plants are enjoying the milder temperatures. We've heard from a few of you growing plants from the plant sale this spring -- we love to hear about your progress! We also welcome your feedback as we begin planning for next year.
The summer solstice is the time of year when we begin to see a resurgence of wildlife on the farm. Barn swallows are dancing in the skies, feasting on bugs dispersed by the freshly mowed, lush rye and vetch cover crops at dusk time. Deer hoof prints are scattered throughout the fields and we oftentimes catch glimpses of them amidst the early morning dew.
We're are quickly fencing in our potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce crops with the hope that we can avoid the situation that happened to us several years ago. Early one morning, we spotted a buck exploring our hoophouse tomatoes and those antlers are no friend to hoophouse plastic! Luckily, neither the hoophouses, deer nor tomato plants were harmed by this amusing situation.
Bees are gently encouraged to head back home!
The bee population is creating a symphony throughout the fields these days. Recently, our team helped us to re-capture our bees that, unbeknownst to us, had swarmed. Bees swarm for various reasons, but one of the main reasons is that they believe it's time to start a new hive with their new queen bee. With everyone in bee suits or safe locations, the team placed the new queen and the swarming bees safely into a new home. Gavin was thrilled we kept them safe and happily producing honey.
We still have a couple of chickens from last year's adopted flock, and they are pretty much in charge around here. Maria and Bacha run free-range around the grassy areas of the farm. You might have run into them at the Garden Center drinking some water. Or, perhaps you've seen them enjoying the scenery around the beginning farmers' trucks or visiting our crew at the red house. They dodge predators with skill and agility, so we let them roam as they help us mow grassy patches.
There's lots of life at the farm this summer! Speaking of which, we plan to share more about the good people that make up our hardworking farm crew this season in an upcoming newsletter. In the meantime, please enjoy this week's early summer harvest and solstice!
Warmly, ~ The Miller Family, Cleto, David, Anacleto, Miguel, and Riley
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Strawberry season is quickly drawing to a close, as the sweet cherry season just begins to gain momentum! This wonderful intersection of growing seasons is a perfect time to put berries together in recipes or preserve overripe berries in a quick, small-batch jam.
This week, we wrap up our early summer fennel harvest. Young fennel at a baby size to take advantage of its tender, sweet flavor. Members will receive young bulbs with fronds attached. Raw fennelhas a distinct anise flavor and smell. Try fennel paired with fruit, like oranges or this week's recipe with cherries.
Again, we're sharing a beautiful garlic scape harvest with members this week! The curly garlic scape is the flower stalk of the garlic plant. We snap the scapes off at this stage in the plant's development so that the plant will devote all of its energy to making a delicious, big garlic bulb rather than a flower. You can use the entire scape. Chopped scapes can be used in place of chopped garlic cloves in most dishes. Scapes have a mild garlic flavor and are only available for a limited time (and volume) in early summer.