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Paying It Forward

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Paying It Forward
This Week's Vegetable Share Harvest:
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Scarlet Turnips
  • Celery Root
  • Baby Bok Choy or Radicchio 
  • Parsnips - Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
  • Brussel Sprouts - Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
  • Cranberries - Mick Klug Farm, St Joseph, MI
  • Sweet Potatoes - Big Patch Farm's Amish Community Growers, Platteville, WI
  • Garlic
What's New at the Farm Stand
  • Prairie Wind Family Farm Goods. Tshirts, reusable bags, mugs and (soon, hats, too) are now available at the farmstand. Support your farm and share with friends!
  • Masks: We ask that you please wear a mask while inside the farmstand. Thank you!
  • Hours: Open daily, 7am-7pm 
Farm Journal
Good evening from the farm!
As we get closer to wrapping up our outdoor growing season (next week is the final week of the fall season), we wanted to provide you with a window into your impact on local agriculture, small family farmers, and sustainability. In this week's newsletter, we share a story of how other farmers, like us, are growing their farms.
2015 Fall Team: Scott, Donna, Nadia, Adam, Tyler and Jeff
As the resident farmers at the Prairie Crossing Farm, we serve as mentors to beginning farmers. This is the time of year when many of us are laying the groundwork for the upcoming farming season, so we took time to meet with the farmers of Adam's Acres, Adam and Clarissa. We've known Adam for many years. He was on our farm crew back in the 2015 season, and he was one of the hardworking crew members who harvested hakurei turnips in early fall snow! Since that time, he's worked on other local farms and started his own farm, Adam's Acres in Grayslake.
We shared the story of how we began our farm in 2006 with the help of our first employee, Jeff's dad, Harvey (pictured above)! Through consistent mentoring and talking with experienced farmers, we learned the intricacies of creating a farm share program. Starting with 20 member families (you know who you are!!), then serving 500 families in partnership with Sandhill, and now serving 230 families each week, we've worked hard to build long-lasting, trust-based relationships with our community.
Jeff and boys sharing produce (2019)
Adam and Clarissa raised many of the questions we had when we started out: What if we cannot fulfill our promise to our members? What if we don't know the pests, diseases and needed for a diverse set of crops? How do we balance the needs of our crops, our members, our livestock, our team, and ourselves?  
Abbey grafts hoophouse tomatoes for an early CSA crop (2020)
In fact, we had those same nerves starting our CSA program nearly 16 years ago. We reassured them that farming is not easy for anyone! As mentors, we have an open-door policy. This winter, we offered to give a window into our production planning, share numbers, talk further, and support them when they needed us. We sell their products in our farm stand, and we continue to look for ways to collaborate and support their dreams. Because this is how it feels to be supported by a community.
Tyler and Donna show a weekly CSA share (2016)
We told Adam and Clarissa that we value our CSA community. We always wanted to share more than an anecdote at a market. We wanted to educate, share and be transparent in how we and the farmers we work with produce food. We, and our farm team, get an opportunity to meet member families, talk about cooking, and invite members to the farm to better connect with local land. These connections and relationships are what matter.
Family gathering at the farm
Adam and Clarrisa also value these relationships and look forward to starting their CSA next season. We will continue to pay forward the support and encouragement we received from mentor farmers to beginning farmers because that's how we, together, build a sustainable food system that we can trust.
As we wrap up the final weeks of our 2021 growing season, we want to thank you for joining us for this year. We're grateful you value real food, sustainable family-owned farm business, and supporting a farm that strives to give back more than it takes from our earth. As we open registration for the 2022 growing season later this week, we hope to continue our relationship through food and we'd be honored to be your farmers again.

Thank you for your trust and enjoy this week's Fall CSA Share!

~ The Miller family and the Prairie Wind Family Farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Fall field spinach makes another appearance in shares this week. Thanks to the freezing temperatures over the past few evenings, the spinach flavor is sweet and delicious. Like last week's spinach, don't forget to eat the stems! The stems simply need a bit more time to cook but also add nutrients and texture. Keep your spinach refrigerated and within the plastic bag for the best storage.
This week's share contains scarlet turnips that have a mild radish flavor and a delicate sweetness that can be played up in dishes that call for apples, apple juice or honey. You can leave the skin on for a beautiful addition to roasted root vegetable combinations, or use a mandoline to slice into thin medallions and combine with other fall veggies for a roasted vegetable gratin.
We're filling your fridge with a variety of flavors and textures this week, and our greens assortment is no different! Members will receive either baby bok choy or radicchio in shares this week.

We grow baby bok choy in both the spring and fall time, as this crop loves cooler weather. These small gems add a delicate flavor to sautéed dishes, soups, or are perfect lightly roasted as a side dish. To roast, turn oven to 450°F, half the bok choy lengthwise, and toss in salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast the choy cut side down on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, then flip and roast 5 minutes more.

Radicchio was grown by our friends at Harmony Valley and here's what they share: "The key to bitter vegetables is balance.  Bitter is balanced by sweetness, acidity and fat, so while you may not find a big bite of a leaf to be to your liking, you may find you really like this vegetable when it is incorporated in dishes with other ingredients that help to balance and complement the bitterness. Cooking can help to mellow out the bitterness and techniques such as grilling and roasting help to bring out some of the sweetness in this vegetable as well." 

In its raw form, radicchio is often paired with other greens as well as fruits such as apples, pears, figs, oranges and persimmons to make delicious fall salads.  It is also often incorporated into pasta dishes, risotto, savory pies, omelets, gratins, or used as a topping for focaccia or pizza.
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen

Easy Cranberry Apple Cake

Homemade Root Vegetable Chips

Breakfast Hash with Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes

Radicchio Salad with Sour Cream Ranch

Brussel Sprouts and Sausage Quiche with Almond Crust

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