*Wilmette, Evanston, Glenview, Deerfield, Northbrook, Lake Forest, Vernon Hills, Libertyville and Ikonix members will receive this week.
Good evening from the farm!
As we mentioned in last week's newsletter, our team is working very hard this spring! Jeff made plans, changed plans, changed plans again, and coordinated with Tyler, our Farm Manager, to simultaneously plant our fields between rainstorms. Our clay-based soils hold moisture longer than ideal for most veggie farmers, so timing is critical for us to take full advantage of any sunshine and spring warmth to come.
Tyler's planting team was responsible for placing cucumber and squash in the ground while watching soil and plastic mulch for problems and keeping an eye on the tractor for issues. On this two-seated mechanical transplanter, Arlet and Cleto also have the advantage of sitting low enough to inspect the drip tape irrigation laid alongside the plants to ensure that our watering system will be ready for future weeks.
Fortunately, Arlet and Cleto still have time to smile for a photo!
Jeff drives the three-seated mechanical transplanter, where the team rides high above the soil to plant three-row crops such as the very tall onions pictured here. The team moves quickly to stay warm and keep up with the speed of Jeff's tractor driving, as David walks behind to ensure that plants are planted correctly and identifies if tractor adjustments are needed.
Our audience members seem amused by these quick-moving farmers, as they watch from a distance.
While we plant into cultivated fields or plastic mulch, we still prioritize keeping cover crops undisturbed wherever possible. These "living walkways" between our future tomato beds mean that for every piece of soil we disturb, we strive to keep just as much covered in green to sequester carbon, balance moisture, and feed the soil with nutrients.
So, please enjoy your Memorial Day weekend knowing that your food is planted in the field and ready to grow! Also, the regeneration of soils and natural habitats for wildlife are also in progress on the farm because of your support.
Thank you for your ongoing support and enjoy your share of the spring harvest!
The final storage-sweetened roots are gracing CSA member shares this week. Carrots, parsnips and beets are beautiful when roasted together and dressed atop a green salad with a light sprinkle of cheese. They also make a great addition to a rainy day stew, or delicious shredded and made into a root slaw like the one pictured here. It's a bittersweet end of the 2021 season though now we have room in our coolers for bountiful summer harvests to come.
Swiss chard is flavorful yet mild, and can be used in the same ways as spinach in many dishes including quiches, lasagna, pasta sauce, smoothies, etc. Chard is high in vitamins A, E and C and the minerals calcium and iron. You can use all of its beautiful color by chopping the entire leaf as well as the tender stem. We enjoy it sautéed with mushrooms and garlic, then and used as an omelet filled with aged cheddar, added to pasta with Parmesan on top or as a colorful addition to a mixed greens salad.
It's final week! Green garlic is the immature stage of the garlic plant. We planted our garlic in late October and harvest the bulbs in July. Most of the garlic we plant will grow to maturity, but we harvest a small portion in the spring when they look like very large green onions. You can use everything but the tough, dark green tops. We substitute green garlic for garlic cloves in many different recipes since the flavor is similar and it's wonderful to have fresh garlic in the farm kitchen again!
In our 2021 survey, members requested a resource for finding our recipes. So we wanted to share one such resource with you. Scroll to the bottom of the Newsletter section of our website where you can find a list of the fruit and vegetables in our shares.
Here you can click on these ingredients and you'll find the newsletters that include those ingredients in the recipes.
We look forward to sharing additional recipe resources in upcoming newsletters!