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Updates from the farm and this week's fall shares

 

Farm News for the week of October 24   

Announcements & Reminders

  • This week, all Fall Vegetable and Egg Share members pick-up.
  • Next week, weekly Fall Vegetable Share members pick-up.
  • Upcoming dates:
    • Week of Nov 13 - Last week of Fall Shares
    • November 20th - Deadline for renewing member discounts on 2018 Farm CSA Shares.  More information in this newsletter.
    • Week of December 4th - First week of Winter Shares

  This Week's Vegetable Harvest

  • Butternut Squash

  • Salad Turnips

  • Salad Mix

  • Shallots

  • Fresh Ginger

  • Potatoes - From Igl Farms in Antigo, WI

  • Rutabaga

  • Storage Kohlrabi

  • Asian Leaf Cabbage

Farm Journal 

Good morning from the farm! Today is a chilly, rainy autumn morning on the farm however this past week was quite the opposite with comfortable temperatures and plenty of sunshine.  We took advantage of the sunshine and ideal soil conditions to get some fall planting projects underway. 

 

We planted several varieties of hardneck garlic including one called music which is known for its lovely rosy outer skin, large cloves and distinctive flavor. As we planted, a friendly, green praying mantis decided to join in the activity. We welcomed the help as these beautiful creatures delight us with their interesting features and they serve as one of the beneficial insects that help to defend our crops against damaging pests.  

 

Mark and Jem plant garlic in the outer row while riding the planter as Sarah and Elaine plant into the inner row. 

 

We enjoyed cool morning harvests and moderate lows at night last week. With the overnight lows predicted in the 30s tonight, the crew spends time covering delicate field greens and pulling in the tender crop harvests like the salad turnips like those that Elaine holds in the picture above.   

 

Our flock of chickens graze on the remaining fall pastures as we work diligently to prepare their winter housing. We'll soon move them to our nearby hen house location which keeps them safe from hungry winter predators as well as warmer and drier so they stay healthy throughout the winter months. 

 

Finally, we're also starting our "season of learning" as we call it which includes talking with fellow farmers, visiting farms, reading, researching and analyzing our farming season. Last week, Jeff spent a few hours visiting farmer Yoram Shanan's new farm property in Hebron, IL. The farmers spent the morning discussing modifications to field layouts, advantages and disadvantages of existing soil conditions, improvements to pollinator habitats and overall farm management. These conversations seemed to inspire and energize both farmers to continue their planning efforts for winter projects and next spring.

Enjoy this week's fall harvest!
~ Jeff, Jen & the farm crew   

Making the most of your share 

 

Kohlrabi, like broccoli and cabbage, is a member of the Brassica family and as such has a sweet and peppery flavor -- sweet like cabbage and peppery like a turnip. It has a wonderful crisp and juicy texture that is comparable to jicama. We like to peel it and eat it raw, sliced on its own or combined with other fresh vegetables in salads.  This week's kohlrabi is a storage variety which means that you can remove the top leaves and place the bulb into a plastic bag where it will store well for months. I like to throw the kohlrabi greens into a warm soup and cook like a collard green or kale. 

 

Rutabagas are creamy and starchy with a pale yellow flesh. Rutabagas are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and antioxidant compounds. They work well for mashing, roasting and braising.  We like to use in place of potatoes or combine with potatoes for a mashed rutabaga and potato dish. Rutabagas also store extremely well when wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.   

Farm Kitchen Recipes
Ginger Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash, cooked 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger, peeled
2 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil or butter)
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 can coconut milk salt and pepper, to taste
1 heaping teaspoon ground turmeric
roasted squash seeds and fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
 
Cook the squash by placing it whole into your slow cooker for 3 hours on high.  Remove, let cook, halve, deseed and remove flesh from peel.  Or halve it and roast in your over at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour (soft when poked with fork) and then remove seeds and peel. 
 
In a large pot, saute the ginger and shallot in oil over medium heat until softened. Add the stock, bring to a boil. Add the cooked butternut squash, coconut milk and season with salt, pepper, and turmeric.  Stir well and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend to a smooth puree. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve topped with roasted seeds and/or fresh cilantro, if desired. Serves 4.

Beef Roast with Fall Root Vegetables
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and pepper
2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 pounds chopped vegetables (rutabaga, potato, celeriac, turnip etc)
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, season flour with salt and pepper. Coat beef in flour, shaking off excess. In a large heavy ovenproof pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. In batches, brown beef on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining tablespoon oil, shallot, garlic, and tomato paste and saute until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add beef and any accumulated juices, root vegetables, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is fork-tender, 1 hour. Stir in vinegar and serve. Serves 4-6.

Fresh Autumn Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Couscous
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 ½ cups dry pearl couscous, (cooked to package directions)
3 heaping cups salad mix
½ cup red onions, thinly sliced
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans
6 sliced salad turnips or radishes
 
Dressing:
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup olive oil
salt and pepper
 
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the diced butternut squash on a baking sheet, toss in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread squash out in an even layer. Roasted squash for 20-25 minutes total, tossing every 10-12 minutes or as needed.
 
While the butternut squash is roasting, prepare the pearl couscous.
 
Add the orange juice, mustard, garlic powder, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and give it a few shakes until the olive oil combines with the other ingredients.
 
In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients of the salad. Add the dressing and serve. Alternately, you can dress only portions of the salad and refrigerate the rest in an air tight container.  Serves 4. 
(adapted from littlespicejar.com)   

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... carrots, chard, cilantro, lettuce, beets and more!



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