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Keep Your Produce Cool and Happy

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Keep Your Produce Cool and Happy
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Mixed Head Lettuces
  • Red & Golden Beet Bunches
  • Scallions or Purplette Bulb Scallions
  • Salad Mix
  • White Button Mushrooms - River Valley Ranch, Burlington, WI
  • Red Beans Breslin Farms, Ottawa, IL
  • Zucchini or Cucumber 
  • Garlic Scapes
This Week's Fruit Harvest:
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Sweet Cherries
  • Fresh Black Raspberries
Farm Journal
Good afternoon from the farm! 
We've gotten the question a few times recently: how is the farm doing with the heat? We're happy to answer this question in this week's Farm Journal.
Our crew starts extra early these days to harvest while the weather is cooler, and a beautiful mist still remains throughout the fields. It's a beautiful time of day to be outside as the fields are mostly quiet, with only sprinklers watering.
As we harvest, we oftentimes notice animals enjoying the cooler temperatures in the field, too. Jeff and the boys saw baby coyotes (which were moving too fast for pictures!) scampering throughout the farm this week.
While the mid-day temperatures are sometimes uncomfortable to work in, the summer crops are thriving! Tomatoes, potatoes, and green peppers have all nearly doubled in size in one week's time. Zucchini and cucumbers are starting to put on more fruit, so you'll see more of this harvest in the coming weeks. This is due to a well orchestrated, consistent irrigation schedule kept by our farmers and plenty of dry heat. We are also seeing less rot and disease in the field, compared to previous years with high levels of rainfall, which makes for healthier plants and better harvests.
During the late afternoon hours, we notice that we're not the only ones looking for a bit of reprieve. After a full day of farming, Jeff got the kayak ready for a visit to the lake and found a visitor relaxing in the cool shade of the boat! This garter snake gave us a bit of scare but was otherwise friendly to visit with before we put him/her back into the cool, shaded grass.
In the evenings, we and our animals take advantage of the cool temps by eating outside, taking walks and resting. For the Fourth of July, our family enjoyed a late-night walk together. We watched a huge number of fireflies lighting up the farm fields for yards and yards. We all are striving to make the most of this beautiful summer season.
Have a great week, stay cool and enjoy the summer harvest! 
Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Half Cases of Tomato Puree Available! 

Tomato puree is a sauce of pureed, briefly cooked tomatoes that have been strained of seeds and skins. Our recipe includes a nominal amount of organic seasonings.  The puree is a wonderful base for soups, chili and pasta sauce. It can also be used as a basting liquid when roasting vegetables or in the crockpot when for slow-cooking a roast. The puree is shelf-stable and should be refrigerated after opening.

  • Includes 6 - 32oz jars
  • $49/ half case, 20% off jar price
  • Order by noon Monday, July 13
  • We will deliver your puree to your pickup site with your next CSA share delivery (weeks of the 13th and 20th)
  • Quantities are limited so order soon!
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week, each member will receive mixed golden and red beets which include their greens. We don't often share beets for two weeks in a row. However, we are doing so intentionally to ensure that everyone receives a part of this excellent early summer crop! Beets grow well on our farm and come in all shapes and sizes. Beets are closely related to Swiss chard. Like Swiss chard, beet greens can be used in place of spinach in many recipes. I'd encourage you to separate your beets from the beet greens when you get them home and store the two separately. They should both be stored in a plastic bag. The greens should be used within a week, however, the roots will keep for a longer time. The beets themselves are so lovely and tasty that you don't need to do a whole lot to them. We generally wrap in tin foil with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400-degree oven until a fork easily moves through (45-60 min). Once cooled, you can remove the skins and eat.
Berry season continues with strawberry season drawing to a close and blueberry season just beginning! Berries are extremely sensitive to condensation, so when they move from a cool place into the extreme heat, they may soften somewhat. After you pick up your fruit share, cover a plate with a dry paper towel pour out berries before putting into your refrigerator to help evaporate moisture. We also encourage you to enjoy ripe berries quickly and/or preserve them by freezing them for later enjoyment. Here's a link to good berry freezing tips.

Members will receive either scallions or Purplette bulb scallions this week. Scallions Purplettes are a mini onion variety with beautiful purple and white coloring and a delicate, sweet onion flavor. Just like a scallion, you can eat the whole plant, from the bulbs all the way to the tips of the green tops.  

Seasonal Recipes from the Farm Kitchen
White Button Mushroom & Burrata Crostini
1 lb mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 c olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
1 baguette, cut into 1/2 in slices
1 clove garlic or garlic scape
2 balls (8oz ea) burrata cheese

Preheat the oven to 450. Place the mushrooms on a sheet pan and drizzle 1/4 c olive oil on top. Sprinkle pepper, salt and thyme leaves to coat. Spread into single layer and roast for 15 min.

Arrange baguette on another sheet pan, brush with remaining oil and sprinkle with salt. After 15 minutes, lower the oven to 400 and add baguette to oven to toast. Roast for 10 minutes, flipping baguette slices halfway through.

While baguette is hot, rub with garlic. Cut the burrata balls in half and spread liberally onto baguette. Spoon mushrooms on top and finish with extra thyme leaves. Serve.

Fresh Fruit Parfait with Shredded Coconut
1 c yogurt (we like whole milk vanilla)
1 apple cut into chunks
1 c blueberries
1 c raspberries
2 bananas, cut into chunks
1/4 c granola
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c shredded coconut

Layer fruit in 2 parfait glasses or bowls, diving equally. Top each with yogurt, then sprinkle with granola, raisins and coconut. Serve or chill. 

Farmers' Market Garlic Scape Soup - If you have scapes remaining from previous weeks, here's a delicious recipe to use up the last of this season's bounty!

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