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The First Winter Shares

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The First Winter Shares
This Week's Winter Produce Harvest:
  • Green Curly Kale
  • Beautyheart Radishes
  • Garlic Heads
  • Winter Spinach
  • 'Honeycrisp' Apples - from Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
  • Salad Mix
  • Carrots
  • Pie Pumpkin - from Big Patch Farm's Amish Community Growers, Platteville, WI
*Note: Due to the cold temperatures, all shares are packed into wax boxes. Please take home to unpack or unpack into your own bags and return the wax box to us at your next pick up. Thank you! 
Farm Journal
Good morning from the farm! 

We'd like to welcome winter members to the winter share season. We're grateful for members who value eating locally year-round.
Here at the farm, the hens and their goat friends enjoyed what was a fairly warm December and early January. We visit with them each day, feed them extra greens (seen above eating damaged spinach leaves) and provide them with TLC. Our hens generally lay fewer eggs in the winter due to the shorter day length. However, their overall health and happiness is providing us with a consistently steady supply of brown eggs.
Given the temperate weather, Jeff found our hoophouse greens were thriving! So this week's winter shares feature several greens. Our winter shares contain fresh produce grown in our solar-warmed hoophouses and root vegetables stored within our coolers. In upcoming shares, we will include produce that we've frozen or otherwise preserved from last year's harvest. Finally, we always like to feature produce that our farming friends grow (e.g., fresh and frozen fruit from the Klugs!) to round out the variety in your winter produce shares.
As year-round vegetable producers, we stick pretty close to our farm for much of the year. However last July, our boys decided that for Christmas, they wanted to take a family vacation. So this December, we headed to Tucson for a week of adventure and relaxation this while our trusted farm friends cared for the farm.
What an adventure it was! We rode horses, hiked in the desert, learned about desert animals, ate amazing food and spent time relaxing outdoors around a fireplace. The trip was just the break we needed to recharge ourselves and prepare for our 14th year of farming.

This winter, we will continue to share our plans for the upcoming season, keep you in touch with what's going on here at the farm and share all of the recipes we're making in the farm kitchen.

Enjoy this week's share of the harvest!
Your farmers, 
Jeff, Jen, Owen, Gavin and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Overwintered spinach has thicker and sweeter leaves than spring-planted spinach because it gets planted in October and grows throughout the winter. The deep green color come from the warm, southern winter sunshine it enjoys through the plastic walls of the hoophouse. 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. 
Our fall share members are familiar with one of our favorite roots, the beautyheart radish. Also known as Watermelon Radishes, these radishes are unsuspecting on the outside but a brilliant, beautiful pink on the inside. These radishes are known as storage radishes as they are meant to grow to a much larger size than an average radish. Beautyhearts are a little sweeter and less spicy than traditional radishes, and we use them similarly as a delicious addition to sandwiches, salads or on a vegetable platter. We had a great crop this season, so we'll continue to share with you. They will store for months when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Recipes and Ideas from the Farm Kitchen

Red Lentil Soup with Spinach
How to cook and use pie pumpkins
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Tips for roasting garlic
Green Soup with Lemon and Cayenne

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