Eggplant - Big Patch Farm's Amish Community Growers, Platteville, WI
Heirloom and Mixed Red Tomatoes
This Week's Fruit Share Harvest:
What's New at the Farm Stand
The Final Weeks of Heirloom Tomatoes - For both our CSA members and the farmstand, we are sharing the final few weeks of heirloom tomatoes from a successful tomato season. Enjoy the heirloom flavors while they last!
Masks: We ask that you please wear a mask while inside the farmstand. Thank you!
Hours: Open daily, 7am-7pm
Good afternoon from the farm!
Photo Credit: Laura Dias We have to kick off this week's newsletter with another warm thank you to Grayslake Village Trustee, Laura Dias, and our community members for visiting the farm on Sunday! We were a stop on Grayslake's first "Let's Ride, Grayslake" cycling event, in conjunction with Let's Ride, Illinois, an initiative across Illinois to host family-friendly, casual bike rides within communities. We shared the story of the Prairie Crossing Farm, our family's farming story, and together, the group discussed how to apply a few simple regenerative agriculture methodologies into backyard gardens. We're thrilled that we (and farmers in general!) can help to build healthy and sustainable communities in our region.
After the Sunday visit, we welcomed the arrival of the Harvest Moon later that evening. The Farmer’s Almanac recounts the age-old belief that planting fall and winter vegetable seedlings under the Harvest Moon yields "a larger, tastier harvest.” The modern title for this method is called biodynamic farming.
We take cues from biodynamic methodologies and we take part in this agricultural heritage by following some of the same seasonal patterns. In fact, this week’s Harvest Moon, followed by a nightly storm that brought daytime temperatures into the sixties, coincided with our early morning moonlight harvests bringing in scallions, lettuce and broccoli for members.
Plants get the signal to begin storing sugars for winter energy during their dormant period (read more about this in the carrot section below) which we notice visually as leaves begin to change color in the fall. We observe these color changes within the food forest trees and shrubs, and our farm crew harvests every day to bring in the sweet storage root crops of late summer and fall. In addition to these continuous harvests, we will soon begin to transplant vegetable starts for winter greens growing.
We’re proud to uphold long-standing traditions of measuring time by the sun and the seasons, rather than simply by a digital clock. The seasonality of our work is one of the many things we cherish about farming. We hope you, too can take time to notice the changing fall colors, changing bird and animal patterns and the transition of nature on its own clock to maintain your connection with the cycles of nature.
Warmly, ~ The Miller family and the Prairie Wind Farm Crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Ginger is a tropical plant that we grow in our hoophouses throughout the summer, which is the most tropical environment on the farm. We plant the ginger in early March in our greenhouse and by early summer, the plants are large enough to transfer into the hoophouse beds. Throughout the summer we tend to the crop by weeding, adding compost, watering, and we hill the beds to keep the ginger bulbs protected while they grow upwards. When the plants are nearly waist-high, we gingerly (sorry:)) dig an experimental patch to see the size of the treasure beneath. We were pleased to see the results!
We store ginger in a paper bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. However, if you won't use all of it within a week, we encourage freezing it in a zip-lock bag. When you are ready to cook with it, simply use a knife or grater to shave the peel away, and then grate to your desired amount.
Carrots are one of our specialties here at the farm. As we mentioned in this 2020 newsletter, Jeff uses carrots as a window in our soils' health when he measures their sugars using a Brix meter. A Brix meter measures sugar content in crops, and the higher the sugar content or Brix, the higher the nutrition level. This is because the sugar that is produced by the plant is illustrative of what nutrients the crop can access in the soil. In other words, the higher the Brix, the healthier the soil and thusly, the healthier the crop. As the weather cools and the days shorten the plants respond by produce more sugars resulting in the sweet, delicious carrots of fall and winter.
Bosc pears are a beautiful looking pear with a deep tan outside and very sweet inner flesh. They are delicious eaten raw or cooked (they retain their shape well when poached or grilled), and they need not be peeled to be enjoyed. We like to use them on platters alongside cheeses, as their sweetness holds up well next to strong cheeses. They should be kept at room temperature until ripe and will keep up to an additional week when stored in the refrigerator.
Reserve Your Local, Pasture-Raised Turkey for Thanksgiving
Farmer Cliff raises Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys which are moved to pasture at 3 weeks of age. They are free-range in and around portable shelters with their shelters being moved daily. They are fed certified organic, non-GMO feed mixture from day one with no antibiotics or growth hormones. They are processed at 17-19 weeks for maximum flavor and they are humanely processed at local, family-owned USDA inspected facility.
Weights range from 12-25 lbs. We will do everything we can to provide you with a turkey in your desired weight range. Turkeys are frozen and packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag. Heart, liver, neck, and gizzard included inside each turkey.
Reservation: $35 deposit per turkey due at time of order. Final Price: You will be invoiced with your total at $7/lb (less your deposit) due upon pickup.
Turkeys will be available for pickup from the Grayslake farm on Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14 from 7am to 7pm.