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The first spring harvest!

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The first spring harvest!
Important Reminders
  • Who picks up?
    • This week is a pickup week for: 
      • All members registered for weekly vegetable shares.
      • Members registered for on-farm pickup of every other week Spring Vegetable and Egg Shares.
    • Next week is a pickup week for: 
      • All members registered for weekly vegetable shares.
      • Members registered for neighborhood pickup of every other weekSpring Vegetable and Egg Shares.
    • Questions? Please refer to the pickup chart.
  • At neighborhood sites, packed shares are delivered in wax boxes for best maintain freshness of the produce. Please unpack your share into your own bags or containers, as we clean and reuse these boxes throughout the season. Here's a brief video from our farm team on how to unfold a CSA box.

This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Wild Ramps - from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Arugula
  • Red Radishes
  • Overwintered Spinach
  • Overwintered Parsnips - from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
  • Wintered Carrots
  • Chives
  • Wheat Berries from Breslin Farm, Ottawa, WI
Farm Journal
Welcome to the start of our 13th growing season!

We'd like to send a warm welcome to this year's Farm Share CSA members. While some members will pick up for the first time this week and some will pick up for the first time next week (and some will pick up later this season!), we strive to make every share special, high quality and delicious.
Many of you are returning members to our farm, and we want you to know how much we value your commitment. We’d also like to welcome those who are new members, and we look forward to getting to know you better. As a result of your upfront commitment to our farm, we started this season off on solid footing! We sold out of our seasonal shares, purchased (and sowed!) thousands of vegetable and cover crop seeds, and we welcomed back a seasoned, passionate farming crew with experienced farmers as well as new faces joining the team.
We're having a great spring season! Despite the two snowfalls we received atop of our newly planted crops (!) and plenty of rain as of late, we're right on schedule with our planting. The majority of April was warm, sunny and dry, which allowed us to get into the fields early for planting allowing plants to get established before significant rainfalls. 
Earlier this season, we were awarded a two-year Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant to quantify and study the impacts of significant weather events on our crops. Jeff flies a drone over our fields every other week and collects data daily from our on farm weather station in an effort to more scientifically study plant growth, development and yields related to significant weather events. Our goal is to share this information with other farmers, adapt our farming strategies to a shifting climate and communicate with you what ecologically-minded farming looks like each day.
We realize eating seasonally is a commitment that takes time and thought, and we're grateful that you're on this journey with us. There's no greater honor than to be your farmers, sharing the bounty of the farm, your farm, with you and those around your dinner table.

Happy spring eating! 
~ Jen, Jeff and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Spring arugula, has a mild kick but is not bitter. This arugula was harvested from the hoophouse so its leaves are delicate, so we love to feature on whatever we’re cooking.  We eat arugula on sandwiches in place of lettuce, within salads and as a pizza topping. Its also great gently cooked with olive oil and garlic, and used as bed for fish.
Overwintered spinach has thicker and sweeter leaves than spring-planted spinach because it gets planted in October and grows throughout the winter. Because of its thick leaves, it is best used in cooked dishes rather than eaten raw in salads. You may notice it’s a bit more textured and that's a good thing! This means that the spinach won’t cook down as much as late spring or fall spinach.
Ramps are sort of like a cross between a green onion and a baby leek. After chopping off the end roots, I like use whole stalk and leaves and use them in place of onions. They grow wild in the woods around Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin. We’ve gotten to know the farmers at this farm and we admire their work greatly.  Their farmers harvest them judiciously, selecting large bulbs with healthy leaves, leaving behind plenty to replenish the population for future harvests. 
Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels, which are a high-protein wheat used for a variety of purposes. They can used for baking, sprouting or boiled for salads or soups, and are best stored in your refrigerator or freezer. Here's background on the growers, the Breslins written earlier this year and recipe ideas for your wheat berries from the farmers.
Tips for Spring Produce Storage
Most spring vegetables must be refrigerated in a plastic bag. Keeping these items in plastic helps prevent wilting. If arugula or another tender vegetable appears droopy, soak it in cold water for a few minutes, shake off the excess water, and refrigerate in a plastic bag until it perks up. Also, we rinse all the vegetables here at the farm, but you should always wash them thoroughly prior to eating.
Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Arugula Pesto 
2 cloves garlic, chopped
⅓ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
4 cups loosely packed arugula leaves, washed and dried
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese  
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
In the bowl of a food processor, place the garlic, pine nuts, arugula, and grated cheese. Pulse to chop finely. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil until the pesto has a smooth consistency (you may not need all the oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve on pasta or add to the top of a grilled pizza.
Serves 4-6.

Chive Butter on Toasted Baguette - Decorate with a mixture of thinly sliced radishes and carrots for color.
1 bunch chives, ends trimmed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 baguette, lightly toasted
Combine chives and butter in a small bowl; mix well. Slice baguette in half lengthwise, and place under broiler in oven; toast until crisp and browned. Remove from oven, and cool slightly. Spread chive mixture on toasted baguette; season with salt and pepper. Slice each half into four pieces, and serve. Serves 4.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach
4 cups winter spinach, chopped
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
Zest from 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped chives

Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the spinach for 5 minutes. Remove chard from water using slotted spoon, squeezing out as much of the water as possible. Chop again and set aside.

Keep the pot of water boiling, and add the spaghetti noodles. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside, retaining about 1 cup of liquid from cooking the noodles.

Saute shallot in olive oil until soft. Add the spinach and toss well to break up the spinach clumps.

Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl, and add the lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add to the spinach mixture in the saute pan and mix well. Add cooked spaghetti, and some of the pasta water as needed. Garnish with chives and serve warm.

Baby Bok Choy with Warm Miso Ginger Dressing
2-1/2 Tbs. peanut oil
1-1/2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1/2 Tbs. minced garlic
1/4 cup mirin
1-1/2 Tbs. white miso
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. Sriracha
1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
2 lg or 3 medium baby bok choy, quartered or halved lengthwise
Heat 1/2 Tbs. of the peanut oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the mirin, miso, lime juice, vinegar, and Sriracha, and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the sesame oil, transfer to a heatproof bowl, and keep warm.
Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. peanut oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the bok choy, toss gently, and then cover and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned on some edges, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with the dressing, and serve. Serve with rice. Serves 4-6.
(source: Fine Cooking)
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... winter spinach, ramps, radishes, carrots, popcorn and more!

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