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Let's Get Cooking Together!

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Let's Get Cooking Together!
This Week's Vegetable Share Harvest:
  • Green Leaf Kale
  • Zucchini or Cucumber
  • White Scallions
  • Head Lettuce
  • New Red Potatoes
  • Bell Pepper
  • Fresh Basil
  • Kohlrabi - great for adding to any slaws or store and combined with cabbage in the future!
  • Early Summer Tomatoes
This Week's Fruit Share Harvest:
  • 'Early Star' Peaches - they are ripe so enjoy soon!
  • Sweet Red Cherries
  • Blueberries
Save the Date! Farm Share / CSA Member Gathering

We would like to bring you, our community, together again here on the farm.

We will be hosting a CSA member gathering outdoors on Saturday, September 11th (rain date: Sunday, September 12th) at 12pm. 

Please join us! More details to come.
What's New at the Farm Stand
  • Mushrooms! - For years, we've worked with the good people at River Valley Ranch and Kitchen located in Burlington, Wisconsin which is only a skip and a jump from our farm. Beyond fresh mushrooms, Eric Rose and his team create a number of delicious ways of enjoying mushrooms. We feature a selection of their bottled mushrooms, frozen mushroom tamales, veggie burgers, and fresh mushrooms, too. Give them a try if you're not already a loyal fan!
  • Open Daily, Summer Hours (Memorial Day - Labor Day, 7am-8pm), Normal Hours, 7am-7pm
Farm Journal
Good evening from the farm!
This weekend's dreary weather motivated our family to spend time in the kitchen creating works of edible art. Jeff created a few loaves of sourdough, and Gavin tried his hand at scoring faces into the bread. We couldn't help but giggle when their mouths exploded with the growth in the oven.
During the pandemic, we started spending more time together in the kitchen as a family. The boys love a good cooking competition, so we recently competed in a Chicken Challenge. We each made different BBQ chicken recipes and from-scratch dipping sauces to compete for a grand prize (pride!).
Owen dashed into the farm fields for herbs and ingredients, while Gavin reviewed our condiment selection to mix up something tasty. In the end, the boys surprised us with their creativity and willingness to try each others' creations.
There's nothing more fulfilling for us than cooking together. We are always inspired by the bonding and learning that we've seen happen in kitchens -- from working alongside students farm-to-table lunches in schools to preserving food with our extended family -- many of our fondest memories come from the kitchen!
So with your help, we're striving to provide food and support cooking education in the communities we serve. We provide weekly produce donations to Beyond Hunger, an organization that not only shares food but also shares cooking knowledge. Beyond Hunger "provides hunger-relief programming and services to 13 zip codes across Cook County, including portions of Chicago and its near-west Suburbs. Their service offerings seek to provide the food, resources, knowledge, and skills people need to live healthy, active lives."

With your help, we've donated over 1,000 lbs of produce so far this season -- with more donations to come! Ricardo, the Senior Pantry Programs Manager at Beyond Hunger told us, "The produce is included prepackaged boxes of food (about 20 pounds of produce, 20 pounds of frozen meat and 60 pounds of dry goods), or a pedestrian system where families can select the foods they want to take home (like a mini-market). Thank you so much!"
We each of you can enjoy some quality time in your kitchen this week with the knowledge that you're supporting others who are doing the same.

Enjoy this week's summer harvest!

~ Jen, Jeff, Tyler, Abbey, Arlet, Ben, Alex P., Peggy, Alex J., Laura, Jack, Lucas, Silas & Owen
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Kale is high in fiber and rich in calcium and Vitamins A & E. Kale is interchangeable for spinach and broccoli in many recipes, but it takes longer to cook. Before cooking with kale, take a sharp knife and slice out the tough, center rib. Add steamed, sautéed or boiled kale to omelets, quiches, scrambled eggs, lasagnas, and pasta. Add chopped raw kale to hearty soups and pasta sauces mid-way through the cooking time. Or try a fresh kale salad or in your smoothie -- its a versatile green! 
This week's share contains beautiful new red potatoes. Typical potato harvest involves mowing off the potato leaves with a tractor and then waiting a few weeks for the skins to cure before harvesting the potatoes.  We've found our rich, moisture-holding soils are not as ideal for curing potato crops, but they are perfect for growing rich, delicious new potatoes. This week's new red potatoes (the variety is called Norland Reds) haven't had any curing time. They have an excellent flavor and because their skins are very delicate, we leave them unwashed until cooking.  I hold them underwater, gently brushing the soil away with my fingers to clean them.  I recently made smashed potatoes with them, and they are also delicious gently boiled alongside a delicate fish.  Store these potatoes in a brown paper bag in a cool, dry place and use them within 2 weeks. 
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen

BLT Wrap with Basil Mayo
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
4 whole-wheat wraps, 9 inches in diameter
4 lettuce leaves
8 thin slices tomato
8 slices cooked bacon
Mix first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread 1 tablespoon of the basil mayonnaise onto each tortilla. Top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 2 slices of tomato, and 2 slices of bacon. Fold in the ends of each wrap and roll up tightly.

Red Potatoes with Olives, Feta and Mint
2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, cut into quarters
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata), pitted, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin oil

Place potatoes and 3 tablespoons mint in large pot of salted water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat and simmer potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes; transfer to large bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons each of mint, cheese and olives; add remainder to warm potatoes. Mix in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish potatoes with reserved mint, cheese and olives. Serve warm.
Bon Appetit, June 1996

Kale and Potato Hash
1 T. olive oil
8 cups torn kale leaves
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 scapes, minced
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked shredded potatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Prepare the kale by removing the tough ribs, chop or tear the kale—allowing some water to cling to the leaves. The moisture helps steam the kale during the first stages of cooking. Place olive oil and kale in a large sauce pan and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain, cool slightly, and finely chop. Meanwhile, mix horseradish, shallot, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the chopped kale and potatoes; stir to combine. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the kale mixture, spread into an even layer and cook, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes and returning the mixture to an even layer, until the potatoes begin to turn golden brown and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes total. Serves 4.

Grilled Cheese and Peach Sandwiches
2 tablespoons softened butter
4 thick slices bread of choice
2 firm-ripe, peaches, pitted, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon runny honey
2 slices fresh mozzarella
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
Butter one side of each bread slice. Flip 2 slices over and top with peaches. Drizzle with honey. Top with cheeses and remaining bread slices, buttered sides up. Cook sandwiches in a large frying pan over medium heat, turning once, until golden and crisp on both sides, about 8 minutes total.

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