Farm News (06/3/14)
Reminder: This week we are delivering vegetable, egg, dairy and meat shares. Next week we will be delivering vegetable shares only.
The Vegetable Share:
-Green Leaf Lettuce
The Dairy Share:
-‘Driftless’, a fresh sheep cheese from Hidden Springs Creamery
-Strawberry Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
-Garlic & Basil Butter from Nordic Creamery
-‘Capriko’, a cheese made by Nordic Creamery from a blend of goat and cow’s milk
The Meat Share:
-Beef Roast or Chicken
-Pork Chops or Bratwurst
Producer Profile: Brenda Jensen of Hidden Springs Creamery
Brenda Jensen’s farm is located in southwestern Wisconsin where the steep hills and lush valleys are perfect for pasturing dairy sheep. Brenda has been making cheese for about 8 years, and she has already earned nationwide reputation as a top-tier cheesemaker. Last summer her cheese won a record 6 ribbons at the prestigious American Cheese Society competition.
Brenda milks about 250 East Friesian and Lacaune ewes. These two breeds are of German and French origin and are the most productive milking breeds in the world. Sheep milk is pure white, very rich, and slightly sweeter than cow’s milk. Brenda makes both fresh and aged sheep milk cheeses. This week we’re sharing Driftless with you, a fresh cheese that has a consistency like fresh chevre and can be used in similar ways.
In the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of your Share
Kohlrabi is related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli. It is delicious peeled and eaten raw. Just peel the bulb, slice into match sticks and serve plain, with hummus or with your favorite vegetable dip. It also makes a fantastic slaw when shredded or thinly sliced. Kohlrabi leaves have a wonderful flavor and can be cooked like collards or kale.
Dill is probably best known for its role in flavoring dill pickles, but it can also be used to enhance many types of dishes including egg salad, tuna salad, creamy dressings, spring pasta dishes and grilled or broiled fish. Store fresh dill in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
As spring moves into summer we turn our attention to those crops that will begin to mature in July and August. The peppers, eggplant and tomatoes have all been planted. Today we started planting the first succession of watermelon and cantaloupe.
With so many different varieties, record keeping is a big part of the planting job. In this photo Evan records how many flats of each type of melon will be planted and in which beds. Varieties on this year’s list include Baby Doll, Sunshine Yellow, Athena, Sugar Baby, Little Flower, Blacktail Mountain, Sarah’s Choice, New Queen Orange and Sorbet Swirl.
Once the flats have been organized, Kelsy and Brianna get down to the business of planting. Our transplanting machine makes the job easier by allowing us to plant from a sitting position rather than on our knees. After today our main job will be to keep these beautiful plants weeded and watered until early August when we will all start to enjoy the fruits of our labors!
Registration for the Summer Season Ends Soon
If you're thinking about registering for summer vegetables, dairy, meat or fruit there's no time like the present. The summer delivery season starts the week of June 16th, and there's only one week left to register. We have a small number of summer shares remaining, so don't delay! Registration is online at http://sandhillfamilyfarms.com.
Spinach & Quinoa Pilaf
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 minced clove garlic
1 cup rinsed quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
5 cups chopped spinach
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add quinoa and cook 1 minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach and lemon zest, then season with salt and pepper.
From Everyday Food, by Martha Stewart
Kohlrabi Slaw with Dill and Dried Cherries
2 medium-large kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
3 tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup dried cherries
zest and juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup spinach, sliced into ribbons
Mix together the kohlrabi, dill, green onions, cherries, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, and oil. Massage everything together for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes. Add the spinach, salt and pepper, and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spring Panzanella with Asparagus
(Panzanella is an Italian salad made with rustic bread and fresh vegetables.)
4 large eggs
4 slices of rustic bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chopped spinach
2 cups chopped lettuce
grated parmesan for garnish
chopped green onion for garnish
chopped dill for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the eggs in a saucepan of water and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Simmer for 7 minutes. Drain the saucepan and fill it with cold water. Crack the eggs all over and let stand in the water for 1 minute. Peel and thickly slice the eggs; the yolks will be barely cooked but not runny.
Spread the bread pieces on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 12 minutes, until crisp.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and cool.
In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of oil with the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the asparagus, toasted bread, spinach and lettuce. Drizzle with the dressing and toss. Garnish with the Parmesan, green onions and dill.
- Margaret Sheaffer