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Simple, fresh food and news!

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Simple, fresh food and news!
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Celery
  • Black Turtle Beans - Breslin Farms, Ottawa, IL
  • Young Fennel
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • White Scallions
  • Basil
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini - onfarm members will receive this week
This Week's Fruit Harvest:
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • "July Prince" Peaches
Farm Journal
Good morning from the farm!
Last week was quite the weather experience! Even with weather extremes, we strive maintain normal farm activities while doing what we can to make sure people and animals are safe and comfortable. We took advantage of slightly cooler mornings, asking our crew members to start their workdays an hour early and end work early, too. We doubled the number of times we checked on our delicate seedlings waiting to be planted. We increased our monitoring of our chickens and goats offering plenty of water, shade and some extra treats (vegetable scraps fresh out of refrigeration). Thankfully a cooler night arrived on Sunday and to say that the animals were happy would be an understatement!
In the kitchen, we embraced cool, vegetable-filled meals in various shapes and colors. Last week, we enjoyed a summer corn salad made with preserved corn, preserved peppers and Breslin's Black Turtle Beans. Another evening, we enjoyed a make-your-own type of dinner feasting on our favorite bread, cheese, tomatoes, onions and herbs for sprinkling on top. From our farmers' market conversations, we know many did the same with their farm veggies and fruit.
Speaking of refreshing flavors, this month’s “Pizza Night on the Farm” is changing to “Taco Night on the Farm” and we hope you'll join us! We’ve invited friends from Milwalky Taco/Oscar Lee’s to join us at the farm this month for something new, inspiring and delicious. Chef Lee Kuebler plans to bring several of his most popular summer taco offerings, including a taco inspired by the current farm harvests. Pizzeria DeVille will return in August.

Here's a story written about our last event in June that gives a sense of the event. Join us this Sunday or in August for these celebrations of local summer food!
Your farmers,
~ Jen, Jeff and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen

This week's fruit shares are featuring an early peach called "July Prince" which is a free-stone variety and similar to an early Red Haven peach. 

As mentioned in an earlier email, many of the peach trees across the Midwest were taken by the harsh temperatures experienced in January and February. Peach trees are particularly sensitive to temperature changes, diseases and pests. This past winter's polar vortex combined with dramatic, fast drops in temperature the previous fall made this year's stone fruit season uncertain.

The Klugs sadly lost their early plum and some peach varieties, however the Klugs are in close touch with us to share bountiful stone fruit varieties whenever they are available. Enjoy the bounty!

This week's shares include the first of our celery harvest. Based on our winter reading, we tried something new (again!) by placing the celery into the hoophouse this year. So far, its been a success! The stalks are more tender and longer, the texture is softer and the flavor is outstanding. While still more fibrous than what's grown out west, this year's celery is wonderful raw, cooked or juiced. We look forward to sharing more of the bounty in the weeks to come.
Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Celery and Fennel Salad with Toasted Walnuts
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, some fronds reserved
3 celery ribs, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
Toasted walnuts (optional)

Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin. Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped toasted walnuts if you like.

Basic Black Beans
2 cups black beans, soaked overnight in water, rinsed well
1 med. red onion, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
2 medium hot peppers, dried or fresh, (stems, seeds and membranes removed)

Add all ingredients to a medium pot. Cover beans with 2-3 inches of water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, add lid and cook until just tender (30 to 40 minutes). When tender but still very soupy, add one 6 oz. can tomato paste (organic preferred).

Use as is with breakfast dishes, tortillas, quesadillas, tacos, etc. Or use as a base from which to make soups and other Mexican dishes.

Spiced Peach Sundaes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 pounds ripe peaches, pitted, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
Whole pecans, toasted
Sweetened whipped cream

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar; stir to blend. Add vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg. Stir 1 minute. Add peaches; toss gently to coat. Cook until sugar mixture melts and peaches are tender but do not fall apart, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm over low heat before using.)
Place 2 scoops ice cream in each of 8 bowls. Spoon peach mixture over ice cream, dividing equally. Garnish with pecans and whipped cream.
(source: Bon Appetit)

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... new potatoes, peppers, kohlrabi, peaches, lettuce, tomatoes and more!

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