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Summer begins this week!

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Summer begins this week!
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Young Fennel
  • Red Butter Head Lettuce
  • Green Butter Head Lettuce
  • Fresh Dill
  • Salad Mix
  • Black Turtle Beans - from Breslin Farms, Ottawa, IL
  • Scallions
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Tomato Puree - Members picking up at Oak Park and the Grayslake Farm will receive this week. Vegetable Share members at all other sites will receive next week.
This Week's Fruit Harvest:
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Frozen Tart Cherries
  • Frozen Blueberries
Farm Journal
Welcome to this week's episode of Between Two Silos!
Never fear, we're not starting up a new YouTube comedy series -- we're sticking to farming!
This week marks the start of summer! This is true for our Summer CSA member calendar, and the solar calendar as we celebrate the summer solstice this Saturday. As we've shared a few times on social media, we're listening, reflecting and striving to act in ways that are responsive to voices other than our own.
Here's a portion of Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquín's keynote address at the Savannah Institute 2019 Perennial Farm Gathering.
This winter, Jeff attended the Perennial Farm Gathering and heard a moving keynote delivered by Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquín, the President of the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, a pastured poultry innovator, author and native Guatemalan. Regi spoke about the role that farmers play by listening and using an “indigenous mindset” as we work to steward natural resources and at the same time, address injustices in our food and agricultural systems. 
Listening is a skill! While we're not perfect, we strive to listen to both the voices around us and to our land. As we work at growing nourishing food, we are always looking for ways we can improve what we do, leave things better than we found them and better serve our community. 
We also strive to bring balance back to land where there was imbalance (for example, the land pictured above which needed a break from chickens!) and share our resources. This week's share is truly a collaboration. What you'll find is a culmination of months of planning by us and our farming friends, so we hope you'll feel the good energies we're all sending your way in the form of delicious food! 
Your farmers,
The Miller Family (Jeff, Jen, Owen and Gavin) and our farm crew (Tyler, Abbey, Arlet, Kim, Ryan, Chrissie, Andromeda, Lucas)
Notes from the Farm Kitchen

Our Farm and Oak Park members shares include our organic Shared Harvest Tomato Puree this week (next week, other sites will receive). We created this product by preserving our 2019 tomato harvest, along with the harvests of farmer friends at Turtle Creek Gardens and LotFotl Community Farm. All of our farms grow a wide variety of certified organic tomato fields, including many heirloom varieties, and we combined the harvests to produce one Shared Harvest Tomato Puree for our farms' CSA members.

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 certified 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.

Note: After distributing to members next week, we will let you know if we have extra to purchase. Thank you for your interest!

This week's vegetable shares include Black Turtle Beans from our friends, Molly and John Breslin at Breslin Farms in Ottawa, Illinois.  Breslin Farms is a father-and-daughter operation growing certified organic row crops on the family farm. The black turtle bean is believed to have originated in southern Mexico and Central America over 7,000 years ago. Black Turtle beans are one of the tastiest beans the Breslin's grow. They have a deep, rich flavor that works superbly in soups, chili, and as refried beans. 
The curly garlic scape is the flower stalk of the garlic plant. We snap the scapes off at this stage in the plant's development so that the plant will devote all of its energy to making a delicious, big garlic bulb rather than a flower. You can use the entire scape. Chopped scapes can be used in place of chopped garlic cloves in most dishes. We grill the entire scape along side our asparagus and then, chop both and put onto a grilled pizza with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Scapes have a mild garlic flavor and are only available for a limited time (and volume) in early summer.  Here's a favorite link of ideas might be helpful. 
We are proud to offer fresh fruit grown by Mick Klug Farm. Mick Klug grew up on a 40-acre farm in St. Joseph Michigan his parents established in the 1930s. He took ownership in 1974, and has expanded the land to over 120 acres. His daughter, Abby and husband, Mark, work together to produce delicious fresh fruit for our CSA as well as restaurant and farmers market stands in Chicago.

The Klugs are committed to sustainable agriculture and promoting locally grown produce. They use a growing system called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Farmers who use the IPM approach conduct extensive monitoring of insect and disease problems to ensure that a synthetic pesticide or fungicide is only used as a last resort and only in the smallest quantity necessary. This approach minimizes the impact on the natural environment.
Seasonal Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Grilled Butter Lettuce With Creamy Dressing
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 slices crusty bread
1 garlic scape, chopped
2 heads butter lettuce, such as bibb or Boston, halved

Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise and vinegar. Stir in basil and chives; season with salt and pepper. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 3 days.)

Brush both sides of bread with oil and grill, flipping once, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Rub with garlic, season with salt and cut into cubes.

Grill lettuce, cut side down, until charred in spots, about 3 minutes. Serve warm, topped with dressing and croutons.


Balsamic Roasted Strawberry and Basil Grilled Cheese

½ qt fresh strawberries, capped and sliced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey
Freshly ground black pepper
Hearty white bread, sliced thick
1 - 2 tbs butter butter, divided
Fresh basil
1 wedge triple crème brie, about 5 - 8 oz
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Toss the sliced strawberries in a bowl. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and honey together. Toss the strawberries with the balsamic mix to coat. Arrange on a baking dish in an even layer and sprinkle with freshly ground salt. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Preheat your skillet to medium heat.
3. Meanwhile, butter one side of each slice of bread. Arrange the strawberries, brie and basil on half of the bread. Season with a bit of black pepper. Top with the remaining slices. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in pan and toast each sandwich on both sides until golden and cheese is getting all gooey and perfect.
4. To serve, brush with any remaining balsamic mixture on the roasting pan if desired.

(from, by Kita Roberts via our friends at Mick Klug Farms)

Black Beans and Asparagus Salad
1/2 pound (approximately 7 spears) asparagus
3/4 cup cooked Breslin Farms heirloom black turtle beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1-1/2 teaspoons jalapeno, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh Italian Parsley, minced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes in boiling water. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Dice asparagus into 1/4 inch rounds. Combine with remaining ingredients. Chill before serving.

This salad works as a salsa with chips, on its own as a salad, or as a garnish for grilled chicken or meat. The beautiful color combination is a treat for any table.

(from our friends at Breslin Farms)

How to cook dried beans

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