Shared Harvest Tomato Puree - a collaborative project of Prairie Wind and Turtle Creek Gardens
Frozen Bell Peppers
Frozen Green Beans
Frozen Strawberries - from Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
Frozen Tart Cherries - from Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
*Note: All items are grown by Prairie Wind unless otherwise specified.
Good evening from the farm!
Around the farm, puddles are becoming a more frequent sight as snow tunnels melt exposing the muddy, wet ground beneath. Farmers call March "mud season" as we transition towards more sunshine, warmth and growth ahead.
March is also meaningful time for our small family farm business, as it marks two anniversaries: the start of our farming careers and month we first became parents! Our first born son, Owen, is turning 16 years old tomorrow (how did that happen?). We plan to celebrate him his favorite foods, small gifts and few surprises. We also always celebrate Owen's birthday as a turning point in our lives.
Owen's birth served as a wake up call for Jeff and myself. When he was born, we realized that as parents, our actions modeled our values to our children and we could do more. We wanted to make a more positive impact on the world and our community.
Jeff was already considering ideas of place-based work as landscape architect, though he sat behind a desk each day. He realized with each interaction with the land, the soil and his community, he wanted to make a tangible difference. Our shared passion for business drew us towards creating something together.
So while the baby slept, we would plan our farm business. During the winter months, Grandma Miller watched our newborn as we learned the business side of farming. We met with farmers and landowners from throughout Wisconsin and Illinois, often with a baby strapped to our chest. We conducted research, tested ideas and drew up a detailed farm business plan. Long stories short: we found our way to launching our farm business at the Prairie Crossing Farm so we moved to Grayslake and we became a farming family.
Owen grew up at the Prairie Crossing farm doing spring chores with dad including watering in the greenhouse, feeding the chickens and washing eggs. Once his brother, Gavin, was born, the boys joined Jeff as our youngest farming crew.
Now that the boys are older, Owen and Gavin have seen first-hand the challenges of running a small family farm business and what it means to pull together as a farming family. No matter the reason, the boys are always willing to help out when we need them the most.
They even took part in parts of our COVID planning process last March to adjust and operate our farm business safely for our family, our crew and our customers. Our farming business is successful in large part to our family, our both immediate and extended. We could never thank them enough!
So each March, we acknowledge how fortunate we were to become parents, become farmers for our community and continue to do both for 15+ years.
Now, we'd better get back to Owen's tractor training that he started long ago! :)
Enjoy this week's winter harvest from our farming family to yours!
Warmly, The Miller family (Jeff, Jen, Owen & Gavin)
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen
Vegan Shepherds Pie - Both this and chicken pot pie are great uses for fresh and frozen winter veggies!
Instant Frozen Berries Yogurt 1 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt 1 1/2 cup frozen berries 1 T honey Optional toppings: unsweetened coconut, almonds, chia seeds -- be creative!
Blend berries, yogurt and honey (or agave syrup) in a food processor for 20 seconds, until it comes together to a smooth ice-cream texture. Scoop into bowls and serve.
Sunday Evening Vegetarian Chili 1/4 cup olive oil 2 large shallots, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 6 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons dried oregano 3 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 jar Shared Harvest tomato puree chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream and grated cheese for garnish
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots, green pepper and garlic; sauté until shallots soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, cumin, oregano; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans and tomato puree. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro, sour cream, and grated cheese. Serves 4-6.
Freezing Celery Root Celeriac freezes well for use at a later date! Wash, peel and cut into discs or cubes. Blanch in boiling water for four minutes, plunge into ice water, drain, pack in freezer bags, label and freeze.