Sweet Corn - not organic but local and delicious! Details below.
This Week's Fruit Harvest (from Mick Klug Farms, St. Joseph, MI)
'Saturn' Flat or Donut Peaches
What's New at the Farm Stand
Peach Season Continues! - There may be nothing sweeter than Michigan-grown stone fruit season. Take advantage of a great harvest and stock up while there are here! The Farm Stand is open daily, 7am-7pm.
Good evening from the farm!
Thank you again for your kind words in response to last week's newsletter story about our father-and-son team of Anacleto and Cleto. We are glad to hear you are enjoying this series.
Within one week's time, students will be heading back to school. So, in the second story in our "Get to Know Your Farm Team" series, we are sharing the story of Riley, our returning college-age team member. Riley is pictured above with team members, David and Cleto.
Riley is originally from Wadsworth, Illinois, and he grew up near some of the remaining corn and soy fields within northern Lake County. Spurred by a family interest in plants, the outdoors and growing, Riley began gardening with his father in their family backyard. The family decided they no longer needed the kids' playset and decided to replace it with a garden for the family. Riley enjoyed working alongside his father in the garden and over the years, took over the garden himself. Today's Riley's garden looks amazing and he even installed overhead irrigation!
After spending time in the garden, Riley became interested in working outside and found an opportunity to work at the Prairie Crossing Farm. For four years, Riley was employed as a member of the youth education farm program, the Prairie Farm Corps, run by Liberty Prairie. Riley farmed, learned, and eventually transitioned into one of the core group of student leaders running the Prairie Farm Corp's annual plant sale and the Libertyville Farmers' Market booth.
When Riley joined our farm team in 2022, we were struck by his passion for organic farming, interest in learning new skills, and his work ethic. In 2023, he returned to our team as a Production Specialist, which means that he serves in a leadership position in several of our most important projects. Riley helps to manage the CSA packing; makes accurate, timely, and friendly CSA deliveries and staffs the Oak Park pickup site; and operates machinery and tools as an experienced member of the team.
With his growing expertise and his ability to speak both English and some Spanish, he also serves in a training role for our newer team members. Plus, he also has a great sense of humor. Recently, he noticed that the squash were starting to resemble Pac-Man characters. The whole team, both American and Mexican, giggle and trade Pac-Man references when spotting more Pac-Man squash in the field.
Next May, Riley will graduate from Illinois State University with three majors: Agronomy Management, Agribusiness and Landscape Management. Before he heads to school next week, our farm team plans to send him off with a special lunch. If you see him on the delivery route or at the farm this week, please join us in wishing him a great senior year!
Thank you for caring about the people who grow your food. We will share more stories in the weeks to come. In the meantime, enjoy the summer harvest!
Cheers, ~ The Miller Family, Riley, Cleto, Anacleto, David, and Miguel
Note: Thank you to Riley and Liberty Prairie for photo contributions.
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Sweet corn season continues this week and adds a classic summer accompaniment to green beans, tomatoes and zucchini. The sweet corn in this week's CSA shares comes from our longtime partner farmers, Mick Klug Farms, located in St. Joseph, Michigan. While their sweet corn is not organic, it is local and delicious!
This week, we continue to distribute our new red potato harvest. Typical potato harvest involves mowing off the potato leaves with a tractor and then waiting a few weeks for the skins to cure before harvesting the potatoes. We've found our rich, moisture-holding soils are not as ideal for curing potato crops, but they are perfect for growing rich, delicious new potatoes. This week's new red potatoes (the variety is called Norland Reds) haven't had any curing time. They have an excellent flavor and because their skins are very delicate, we leave them unwashed until cooking. I hold them underwater, gently brushing the soil away with my fingers to clean them. Store these potatoes in a brown paper bag in a cool, dry place and use them within two weeks.
This week's fruit shares include Saturn 'Donut' or flat peaches. The Saturn variety is rosy in color, though the tango variety is pictured here to demonstrate the interesting look of how they grow! Saturn flat peaches have a sweet traditional peach flavor, while this week's white peaches are even a bit sweeter. Use both sweet peaches together in salsas, pies, jams, cobblers, etc., or use them separately to balance the flavor of a more tart nectarine.
Deadline Extended! SWALCO is offering reduced pricing on compost bins and rain barrels. Please contact Merleanne Rampale (a longtime PWFF CSA Member!) with questions: MRampale@swalco.org