Farm News (07/29/14)

Important Reminders:
  • This week we are delivering vegetables, fruit, eggs, dairy and meat.
  • Next week we will be delivering vegetables and fruit.

The Vegetable Share:

  • 'Superior' White Potatoes
  • Romano Green Beans
  • Fresh Basil
  • Leeks
  • Green Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Cipollini Onions
  • Sweet Corn (grown by Scott Koster of Geneva Lakes Produce)
  • Leafy Asian Cabbage (also known asTokyo Bekana)
  • Zucchini and/or Summer Squash (on-farm pickup only)
  • Melons or Eggplant (We're starting to pick small amounts of both this week.)
The Fruit Share:
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • 'Shiro' Yellow Plums
  • 'Early Magic' Red Plums
  • Blueberries

The Dairy Share:

  • ‘Mezzaluna’ Fontina from Roth Käse, Monroe, WI
  • Summer Butter from Nordic Creamery, Westby, WI
  • Assorted Fruit Yogurts from Sugar River Dairy, Albany, WI

The Meat Share:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Italian Sausage
  • Ground Beef
  • Steak
  • Breakfast Sausage
  • Beef Stew Meat, Beef Roast or Beef Sirloin
The meats included in this month's share were raised on three Wisconsin family farms--the Riemer Farm in Brodhead, the Elmer Farm in Albany and the Lange Farm in Platteville.


Producer Profile: Jen & Bryce Riemer of Riemer Family Farms


Our wonderful friends, Bryce and Jen Riemer, raise Hereford cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys. Their farm is located in Decatur township on the northwest side of Brodhead where the fertile soils produce abundant crops and lush pastures. Members of the Riemer family, including Bryce's parents and grandparents, have been raising Hereford cattle since 1927. Bryce and Jen, along with their three little girls, are taking over the reins of the family farm. They have quite a legacy to carry on, and so far they're doing a terrific job.


When you live on a family farm you're never to young to help with chores! In this photo, one of the older Riemer girls teaches her younger sister how to bottle feed a calf.      


Registration for Fall Shares
We're sold out of fall egg shares, but meat, dairy and vegetable shares are still available for fall. Register soon for pickup beginning the week of October 13th. There's good news for Deerfield, Mundelein and Northfield members. Dairy shares are now available at all three pickup sites, and meat shares have recently been made available at Deerfield and Mundelein for pickup starting this fall.

Registration is online at


In the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of your Share

Cipollini onions, pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee, are smaller and flatter than regular storage onions. They are slightly sweeter than regular yellow and white onions, and are therefore a great choice for carmelizing and roasting.

Eggplant does not need to be peeled, but some people prefer to do so. Before using it in a recipe, we recommend lightly salting eggplant slices and then letting them sit in a strainer for at last 10 minutes. This helps reduce the water content in the eggplant, and improves texture and taste.

Leeks are members of the lily family and are close relatives of onions, garlic, shallots and chives. Leeks are milder than most onions and tend to get sweeter as they cook. When using leeks, cut the tops off about 2 inches above the white section. Then cut them in half lengthwise and wash any dirt out from between the layers. Leeks may be sauteed, braised, grilled, baked or eaten raw.

Romano beans are similar to traditional green beans except that they have a wider, flatter pod. They can be cooked and eaten the same way as traditional green beans.


This Week's Featured Recipes

Italian Sausage, Pepper & Fontina Strata
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
2 medium cippolini onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound Italian sausages, casings removed
2 medium bell peppers, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch wide-strips
1-pound loaf rustic French bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 cups (loosely packed) coarsely grated Fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2- inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl; sprinkle generously with pepper. Set aside.

Place sausage in large nonstick skillet; push to 1 side. Add bell pepper to other side of skillet. Saute over high heat, breaking up sausage with fork, until sausage is cooked through and bell peppers are brown in spots, about 7 minutes.

Arrange half of bread slices in prepared dish. Pour half of egg mixture over. Sprinkle with half of cheese, then half of sausage pepper mixture. Repeat layering. Let stand 20 minutes, occasionally pressing on bread to submerge. Bake strata until puffed and brown, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

adapted from a recipe in the June 2009 issue of Bon Appétit                                                                         

Eggplant Panini
Olive oil (for brushing)
1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 2-inch-wide strips
8 1/2-inch-thick slices olive bread or country white bread
8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat panini press or grill pan and brush with oil. Brush eggplant rounds and pepper strips with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill eggplant until tender, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes. Working in batches, grill bell peppers until tender, turning occasionally. Place 8 eggplant rounds and 8 bell pepper strips on rimmed baking sheet.

Place 4 bread slices on work surface. Divide half of Fontina cheese among bread slices; top each with 2 eggplant rounds, and 1 tablespoon basil. Top each with 2 bell pepper strips. Arrange remaining Fontina cheese atop peppers, then top with remaining bread slices, pressing to compact.

Heat panini press or grill pan again and brush with oil. Place sandwiches in press or pan; cover and cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 (4-lb) chicken, cut into 6 pieces, wings and backbone discarded
1 tablespoon butter
3 red cipollini onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
1 cinnamon stick
6 apricots, cut in half
1/3 cup whole blanched almonds

Stir together ground cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl and turn to coat well.

Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then brown half of chicken, skin sides down, turning over once, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Brown remaining chicken in same manner, adding any spice mixture left in bowl.

Add onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, chicken, and any juices accumulated on plate to the skillet. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

While chicken cooks, bring honey, remaining cup water, cinnamon stick, and apricots to a boil in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in a small skillet over moderate heat and cook almonds, stirring occasionally, until just golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Ten minutes before chicken is done, add apricot mixture to tagine. Discard herbs and cinnamon stick, then serve chicken sprinkled with almonds on top

from Gourmet magazine, 2006

Next week's harvest (our best guess)... garlic, beets, broccoli, apples, peaches, eggplant, blackberries, kale, melons, zucchini, sweet onions, beans and probably the first tomatoes!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer