Farm News 6/14/16

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Important Announcements & Reminders

  • This is the first week of summer vegetable deliveries. It's a pickup week for members registered for weekly and biweekly vegetable shares.
  • Home delivery members will receive their summer vegetable deliverieson Thursday.
  • This is also an egg and dairy week for members who pick up at the farm or at one of our neighborhood pickup sites. Home delivery members will receive their first egg & dairy combo in 2 weeks.
  • Last week we sent an email with information related to pickup site logistics. If you did not receive the email, please let us know.


Farm Potluck & Hike

Although the hot weather seems to have resulted in a smaller-than-usual turnout for our farm open house, we had a lovely time getting to know the folks who came out to the farm on Saturday.
 

Jeff led us on a hike along the trail overlooking the farm. it was a great vantage point from which to view the crops. After a short hike we gathered for a meal in the shade near the farmhouse. Thanks to all who joined us, old friends and new!
 
 
 

This Week's Vegetable Share

  • Strawberries (from Mick Klug Farm)
  • Baby Beets
  • Head Lettuce
  • Flat Leaf or Curly Parsley
  • Arugula
  • 'Purplette' Onions
  • Easter Egg Radishes or White Salad Turnips
  • Kohlrabi
  • Zucchini (only at the on-farm pickup this week)


Vegetable Notes: Making the Most of Your Farm Share


While leafy vegetables like spinach, chard and lettuce will remain the foundation of your weekly CSA shares for a few more weeks, the first of the fruiting vegetables is making an appearance in some of your CSA shares this week. Zucchini is considered a fruiting vegetable because its edible seed-containing portion results from the fertilization of a female flower. 
 

Zucchini grows quickly, and the plants need to be harvested every other day in order to keep them healthy and productive. Over the course of a couple of months, all of this harvesting adds up to many pounds of zucchini! In order to keep from overwhelming our members, we distribute zucchini on a rotating basis to our various pickup locations. We're starting with the Tuesday andThursday farm pickups this week. Off-farm pickup sites will receive zucchini next week. Store zucchini in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
 

During the course of the summer season members will receive beets once every 3 to 4 weeks. The size of your beets will vary depending on the time of the season.  The beets you'll receive this week were started from seed in the greenhouse in early March and then transplanted out to the field in mid-April. Small to medium-sized beets like these are so wonderful and tasty that you don't need to do a whole lot in the kitchen. We recommend boiling or steaming them, then slicing and making a simple salad with your favorite vinaigrette and some chopped parsley and green onion. As far as the greens are concerned, they can be used in place of spinach in many recipes including egg dishes, lasagna, pasta sauces, curries, stir-frys, etc. The greens should be stored in a plastic bag and used within a week.
 

Fresh parsley is ubiquitous as a garnish, and for good reason, but we also like to use it in ways that allow it take center stage. Try making a batch of tabbouleh, chimichurri, pesto or gremolata this week and savor the flavor of this vitamin-packed herb. 
 

This Week's Dairy Share:

  • Summer Butter from Nordic Creamery
  • Plain Greek Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy*
  • Raw Milk White Cheddar from Brunkow Cheese
  • Petite Swiss from Roth Käse
    *FYI--This week's yogurt is the Greek recipe, but it is packaged in the regular whole milk cartons. The Greek recipe is thicker and smoother than the regular recipe. We hope you love it as much as we do!

Producer Profile: Brunkow Cheese
Historic Brunkow Cheese, founded in 1899, is located to the west of our Brodhead farm in Wisconsin's driftless area. This fourth-generation creamery sources milk from 18 neighboring dairy farms.
 

When our friend, Joe Burns, isn't busy making cheese at Brunkow's small factory in Darlington, he can be found at farmers markets and festivals hawking his delicious cheese. We met Joe years ago when we were new vendors at the Oak Park Farmers Market. Our market stalls are located right next to one another so we have gotten to know Joe pretty well over the years. The folks at Brunkow have been making cheese since 1899, but it wasn’t until Joe came on board that they tried direct marketing their cheese at farmers markets. Although Joe has added a number of new artisan cheeses to the lineup in recent years, Brunkow's classic white cheddar remains one of our favorites.
 


Recipes from the Farm Kitchen


Mac and Cheese with Beet Greens & Ham
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente according to package directions
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 bunch beet greens, stems chopped and leaves sliced (about 1 cup stems and 2 cups leaves)
2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups warm milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra ½  cup
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups diced ham (optional)
½ cup bread crumbs 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 ½ quart casserole dish and set aside. Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the beet green stems for 5 minutes or so until softened. Add the leaves, stir to coat with oil, and sauté until wilted, another 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned. Pour in warm milk in small amounts, stirring or whisking in between each addition. Add cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until incorporated. Once all the cheese is added, add salt and pepper then cook and stir a few more minutes until thickened. Season with nutmeg and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine beet greens, cooked noodles, ham if using, and cheese sauce. Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with extra ½ cup shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until top of casserole is lightly browned.

Moroccan Beet Salad
6 to 8 medium beets
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped  fresh parsley

Fill a 3-quart saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Add beets, and simmer until beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Cool, peel, and cut beets into bite-size pieces. Place in a serving bowl. Place lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil, then toss with beets. Let sit a few hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley.

Burritos with Black Beans & Beet Greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch beet greens, washed and chopped
Kosher salt
4 burrito-size tortillas
4 oz white cheddar cheese, sliced
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
¼ cup salsa

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for one minute. Add the beet greens and toss well to combine. Season with salt, as desired. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until wilted. Set out four squares of aluminum foil and place a tortilla on each. Divide the cheese evenly among the four tortillas, top each with ¼ cup black beans, 1 tablespoon salsa and ¼ of the beet greens. Fold in the ends of the burritos and roll up. Fold the aluminum foil around each burrito.Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Parsley Vinaigrette
2 cups (packed) parsley (leaves and stems)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon vinegar (white wine or champagne)
1 garlic clove, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulse parsley, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic in a food processor until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
 

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... zucchini, lettuce, garlic scapes, fennel, broccoli, carrots, chard and more!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer