Wild Ramps - from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
Baby Bok Choy
Overwintered Sunchokes - from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
Overwintered Parsnips - from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
Russet Potatoes - from Igl Farm, Antigo, WI
This Week's Egg Shares:
We are sharing our chicken's pullet eggs (also known as "farmers' eggs") this week. Read more in Notes from the Farm Kitchen about these springtime treats!
See recipes below!
Adjusted Pick Up Site Details (UPDATED)
Deerfield, First Presbyterian Church, 824 Waukegan Road, Wednesdays, 4:00-7:00pm The pick up location is the same (the back, outdoor vestibule of the First Presbyterian Church). CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Northbrook/Highland Park, Cancer Wellness Center, 215 Revere Drive, Wednesdays, 3:00-6:30pm The pick up location now be located within the front entrance vestibule. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Evanston, 2719 Asbury, Wednesdays, 4:00-7:00pm The back porch pick up location will remain the same and the gate will be propped open to limit touching. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Wilmette: St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, 1140 Wilmette, 2:00-5:00pm Pick up will be located at the back of the church under the covered, door-free rear entrance. You can access the small parking lot from the alley just north of the church building, which connects Wilmette Ave. & 12th Street. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Lake Forest *This week only* 1020 Meadow Lane, neighbor to the Murleys’ home) The pick up location be within the driveway. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact. Next week onwards: 994 Meadow Lane, Wednesdays, 4:00-7:00pm The pick up location will remain within the inset portion of the Murleys’ front driveway. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Grayslake, Prairie Crossing Farm, 560 North Harris Road, Wednesdays, 3:30-7:00pm Please enter the farm at the first farm driveway which is marked with CSA pickup sign. The pick up location will remain at the long white barn with the sign “Prairie Crossing Farm” on top. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. We will have signage to direct members appropriately.
Buffalo Grove, 11 Strathmore Court, Thursdays, 3:30-7:000pm The garage pick up location will remain the same and the door will be open to limit touching. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Glenview, 2410 Glenview Road, Thursdays, 3:30-7:00pm The pick up location will move outdoors to the porch of the preschool, which is covered and accessible from the circle drive/parking lot. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Libertyville, NEW LOCATION: Pizzeria DeVille, 404 N Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, IL, Thursdays, 3:30pm-7pm The Advocate Condell Centre Club is closed to deliveries. Pizzeria Deville welcomes Libertyville members as our new spring pick up location. Shares will be placed on the front benches, in front of the restaurant. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Oak Park, Buzz Cafe,905 S Lombard, Thursdays, 4:30-7:00pm The pick up location will remain outdoors on the back patio of the Buzz Cafe. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. Please park on Flournoy or Harrison and walk into via the alley to the back patio.
Vernon Hills, Wild Lavender Acupuncture, 830 West End Ct, #700, Thursdays, 2:00-7:00pm The pick up location will remain the same, outside of the front doors of Wild Lavender Acupuncture. CSA Shares will be packaged and labeled for your pick up. The site will be self-serve to limit contact.
Welcome to the start of our 14th 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 week's share special, high quality and delicious.
As you may know, we are deeply committed to our farm share / community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Each year, we make a commitment to our members that we will provide the safest, highest quality local food we can produce in exchange for an upfront financial commitment to us. This allows us to buy seeds, hire spring staff and plan our growing season. We plan carefully to ensure that no matter the weather conditions, we fulfill our promise to our farm share members. Farm share members receive the best of what we have to offer!
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 busy as the spring season has been, this spring is a time of reflection. In the words of our good friends at the Illinois Stewardship Alliance:
"The COVID19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our food supply chains concentrated in the hands of a few big corporations. This pandemic is not the first, nor the last, threat to our food supply. Climate change will continue to exacerbate conditions that will lead to future disruptions, and even future pandemics. We need a just transition to a diversified, regional food system that can more easily adapt to, and prevent, crises. One where farmers can make a living stewarding the land raising diverse livestock, produce, and grain. One where local processors, butchers, millers, canners, and grocers can supply their community, rather than consolidated into larger and larger monopolies. One where Illinois can feed Illinois."
We realize eating seasonally is a commitment that takes time, thought and planning. Thank you for taking this seasonal 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
Due to their size (and outstanding flavor!), pullet eggs often only make it to our farmhouse kitchen and the plant sale. However this week, CSA members are receiving these "farmer's eggs," a true springtime treat.
Every spring, we collect smaller-than-normal sized eggs from the nest boxes of our pullets, or young hens. Because these are among the first eggs ever laid by the young hens, typically less than 4 months old, they produce medium eggs -- medium eggs are defined by the USDA as weighing 21 to 24 ounces per dozen, versus between 24 and 27 ounces per dozen for large eggs – every couple of days during the first month or so of their egg-laying careers. Research shows that ounce for ounce, the nutritional content of the yolks and the whites of pullet eggs is identical to that of large eggs. The pullet egg yolks are generally that same size as ones found in large eggs, but there is typically less white, which in the end, makes them richer in flavor. Chefs love their rich yolks and round sizes. Pullet eggs are perfect for baking, deviling, or simply frying (over easy on arugula!).
Sunchokes are a versatile, knobby looking root vegetable that's grown underground and harvested like a potato. Similar to a potato in other ways, its earthly flavor and root texture is perfect for roasting, frying, boiling, steaming and grilling. We generally combine with other root vegetables for a nice vegetable puree or roasted vegetable medley to use on top of salads.
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 bunch to allow for a quick chop of the leaves and stems -- no waste! 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 eggs.
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. If you have a dappled shady woods in your yard, try planting the end roots. This will allow you to make use of the whole plant and harvest some ramps next spring from your own yard! These ramps are cultivated 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.
A Note on Packaging Even during challenging times, we try to minimize our plastic packaging for members. To do this, we're combining produce, which we might be normally packaged separately, together. Since most spring vegetables must be refrigerated in a plastic bag, please reuse these plastic packages. Keeping greens 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
Sunchoke Fries with Chives 1 lb. sunchokes ¼ c. olive oil salt 1 medium shallot 2 Tbsp. chives, chopped
Peel the sunchokes and slice them thinly, placing them into water as you go. Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet. Add drained sunchokes and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium heat until they begin to soften and caramelize. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat remaining Tbsp. of oil. Saute the shallots at high heat until they just begin to brown. Add the sunchokes, and chives and season to taste. Serves 4.
Grilled Ramps - we slice these ramps and add them to our mashed potatoes! 1 bunch ramps Olive Oil Salt and Pepper 1 lemon
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat on the stovetop. Spray with extra virgin olive oil. While the pan is heating up, wash, trim the ends and dry the ramps. Place each ramp, leaves included, on the grill pan and cook for ~5 minutes on each side or until charred and tender (you can also do this on the grill). You may have to do several batches to cook all of the ramps. Transfer the ramps from the grill pan to a serving dish. Drizzle with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and a fresh grind of sea salt, to taste.
Simple Baby Bok Choy Salad 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic 2 cups thinly sliced baby bok choy 3/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add bok choy and remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Serve along your favorite meat or noodle dish.