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Welcome to Spring Shares!

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Welcome to Spring Shares!
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Overwintered Scallions
  • Wild Ramps - from Mick Klug Farms, St. Joseph, MI - Cut off the roots and use the whole stalk and leaves. The flavor is outstanding!
  • Asparagus from Mick Klug Farms, St. Joseph, MI 
  • Yellow Popcorn
  • Carrots
  • Celery Root (aka Celeriac)
  • Beautyheart Radishes or Scarlet Turnips
  • Russet Potatoes  - from Igl Farm, Antigo, Wisconsin
Organic Plants for Sale at the new Garden Center! Opens May 13
Opening on Saturday, May 13th at 7am, the Garden Center at the Farm Stand will feature a wide variety of certified organic plants, potting soil and seeds to local gardeners. When you pick up plants, stop to shop locally produced goodies (check out our new farm tshirts, too!) at Prairie Wind Farm Stand. We look forward to having you back at the farm this spring!
Farm Journal
Welcome to the 2023 Growing Season! We're grateful to be your farmers this season, whether it's for the first time or the 17th season with us. From our hard-working field crew (both veterans and new members) to our fellow farm partners that we collaborate with to bring you farm shares, we thank you for choosing us to be your farmers. 
Late April 2023
Late April 2022
Each spring, we take a series of pictures to document spring patterns. We watch the perennial shrubs, bulbs and trees for clues on what to expect for spring growing and you can see the differences between the two different spring photos (2023 is the first picture, 2022 is the second). We're about one to two weeks behind last year's spring due to cold spring soils and temperatures. We've twice shut down our water systems due to frosty evening lows to prevent freezing pipes!
Those 80-degree days in April pushed the growth of outdoor crops forward, and the recent frosts have slowed growth. While we wait for our greens and asparagus to receive a surge of sunshine and heat. We continue to work closely with our farming friends at Mick Klug Farms,  Igl Farms and others to bring you delicious early spring shares. 
Update on our GoFundMe Campaign: we also met our goal and in fact, we surpassed it! Thank you again for lifting our spirits with your words and actions. We are grateful for our community's generous support and trust. 
As a result, today, we met with an agricultural hoophouse consultant to develop hoophouse rebuilding plans. In the meantime, we are busy taking down damaged houses, getting creative to protect spring crops, and using different approaches to grow early spring growing. 
Our work has changed significantly this spring! Unlike previous farm crews who would spend hours working inside our protected hoophouse structures to weed spring crops...
This year's crew is working in winter coats, wool socks, hats and gloves to weed early spring crops outdoors and construct new protected growing structures.
In this picture, Cleto and David work to erect a caterpillar tunnel that will be used as a temporary protected growing space for the summer ginger and basil as we rebuild our hoophouses.
We've covered existing spring plantings with row covers to keep them warmer and frost-protected as possible while we pull down damaged hoophouse structures around them. As we have volunteer needs with this effort, we will let you know. Thank you for your offers! 
We're even trialing new crops, like pea shoots, to experiment with different early growing conditions. After some time working in software development, we've always taken an agile approach to farming, which is to say we test, learn, modify, and begin the cycle again. We'll see how this test goes!
We've certainly learned a lot this season already. As we adapt to more unpredictable weather patterns, we intend to share what we learn with other farmers and our community so that we can all weather the storms that come our way. 
We look forward to more sunshine and we invite you to the farm starting Saturday, May 13th as we open our spring Garden Center featuring organic spring plants which will be open daily from 7am-7pm. You can find more information on our website.
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, Owen and Gavin Miller and the Prairie Wind Farm Crew
A Note For Our Egg Share Members
Egg Shares are delivered every other week, so please note your schedule at the top of our emails. Joe's Farm is again producing pasture-raised, beautiful orange-yolked eggs for egg share members this season. Joe's Farm is committed to regenerative farming and by moving the hens to fresh pasture regularly, Joe's gives the hens a clean, natural environment to express themselves naturally. Pasture-raising allows the hens to scratch around for bugs and worms all in the clean, fresh air. All of their hens are fed Non-GMO feed and are never given antibiotics or hormones.
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
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. 
Roots return! Members will receive carrots, celery root and beautyheart radishes or scarlet turnips this week. Many farmers call late spring storage roots "bridger" crops as they are nearly the last of the stored winter harvest and they keep us all healthy while we wait for spring greens to grow. Experiment with mixing the seasons within dishes in your kitchen -- delicate ramp greens make a delicious addition to roasted roots! Store these roots in plastic in your refrigerator and peel when ready to use. Also, remember to check last year's newsletters for more recipes.
This week's overwintered scallions were in the hoophouse but they became field-grown this spring (!) meaning that they endured frost, snow, heat, rain and wind. Unlike a more delicate spring scallion, these field onions stand up to heat and they are great when cooked or raw. 
Tips for Packaging and Storage

We try to minimize our plastic packaging for members. To do this, we oftentimes combine produce (e.g., greens), which might be normally packaged separately, into one bag. Since most spring vegetables must be refrigerated in a plastic bag, please reuse these plastic packages. Keeping green items in plastic helps prevent wilting. If ramp tops or another tender vegetable appears droopy, you can soak it in cold water for a few minutes, gently 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.
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen

Mashed Celery Root and Russet Potatoes
Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Ramps
Spring Minestrone
White Bean and Beautyheart Radish Salad

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