Frozen Blueberries - Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
Frozen Tart Cherries - Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
Frozen Apple Cider - Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
Good evening from your farm!
Thank you to our Winter Share members for joining us this 2021-2022 Winter Season. We hope you've enjoyed the winter sweetened greens, storage vegetables, winter eggs and preserved summer flavors. We enjoyed visiting your neighborhoods, seeing names as we packed your share and in some cases, chatting with you between snowflakes. You made our winter bright!
We're now deep into spring farm work, and here are just a few of our spring preparations for growing your food this upcoming season. There are plenty of spring flavors to come!
Throughout the last couple of weeks, Tyler, Jeff and Arlet have planted over 68,000 seeds in the greenhouse including onions, ginger, lettuce, fennel, chard tomatoes and peppers! Most of these seedlings will start their lives in the greenhouse, and they then move to the hoophouse. Some of our slower-growing field crops, like celery root, have been seeded, too.
As Hoophouse Four temperatures reach the upper eighties, Jeff and Tyler begin to transition the soil from winter growing to spring growing. After growing winter spinach for nearly seven months, it's time to get this soil ready for the active spring growth that is coming. This means that Jeff begins to employ a warm-weather-focused approach to increasing water and moisture, building soil nutrients and encouraging the soil biology to wake up.
Meanwhile, in Hoophouse One, the first, peach-colored radish seeds of the season went into the soil and that's this farmer's first sign of spring! We expect to see the little green cotyledons pushing through the soil any day now.
After a full season in lush green cover crop, the plants died back over winter and were incorporated back into the soil of Hoophouse Two. This rich soil is ready to hold this year's early bird tomatoes.
After last summer's drought (which dried this pond for the first time ever!), it was extremely reassuring to see the farm retention pond is being refilled by the winter snow melt.
Back in the greenhouse, our youngest, Gavin, is assembling his own beehives. With his older brother's help, he plans to raise bees this season. They are learning from longtime Prairie Crossing Farm beekeepers, dear friends and now mentors, Lily and Liviu Ilciuc. While Gavin and Owen are driven by a love of eating honey, they want to inspire other teens to become interested in our bee population.
The farm's spring preparations will heat up as we take a little break from farm share deliveries, but we'll be in touch again soon to prepare for springtime.
Thank you again for allowing us to be your farmers this winter!
Warmly, Jeff, Jen and the Prairie Wind team
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week's shares include a variety of frozen vegetables and fruit to last you through to the spring! Here are a few ways I use my frozen vegetables: I love using frozen celery, frozen garlic scapes and fresh carrots as my farm kitchen mirepoix for soups. The frozen peppers and frozen tomatoes are perfect with Italian sausage for a quick sheet pan weeknight dinner. The broccoli and caulilini are great additions to weeknight pasta recipes, and try the frozen ginger in a warming tea or healthy breakfast smoothie with winter spinach, tart cherries, and coconut water. In all uses (except smoothies), I gently defrost the frozen vegetables, remove any water or ice crystals by hand that formed through the braising/freezing process, and then throw them into your recipe.
We are including a favorite in our last winter shares -- Mick Klug's apple cider. The Klug's cider is nothing but apples, and UV treated for safety. This cider can be enjoyed fresh, heated, mulled, spritzed or spiked as you like!
Apple Cider Mimosas ¼ glass apple cider ¾ glass with the remainder of glass with prosecco or brut champagne Decorate with dried apple chip
Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sandwiches 1 (7-to 8-pound) bone-in pork butt 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 medium onion, sliced Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 4 cups apple cider Rolls
Score the skin of the pork with a sharp knife. Make 1-inch deep incisions with a paring knife all over the pork and insert 1 slice of garlic in each incision. Season the pork with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
In a sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat until hot. Sear the pork butt, turning once, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a plate and stir the onion into the pan. Brown the onion, scraping up any browned bits, until golden, about 6 minutes. Place the pork and onions in the crockpot along with the cider and cover the crockpot. Step 2 Simmer the pork butt on low, covered until the meat is very tender, 7 to 8 hours. Shred the pork, discarding the bone, then place the shredded pork back in the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with rolls and your favorite condiments (e.g., sweet pickles, spicy giardiniera). Serves 6-8.