Farm News (09/30/14)


This Week’s Vegetable Share

  • This week we are delivering vegetables and fruit.
  • Next week we will deliver vegetables, fruit, dairy & eggs.
  • Next week is the final week for fruit shares as well as summer vegetable, summer egg, and summer dairy shares.
  • The fall share starts the week of October 13th.
This Week’s Vegetable Share
  • Broccoli
  • Swiss Chard or Spinach
  • Kohlrabi
  • Butternut Squash or Pie Pumpkin
  • Green Onions
  • Fennel
  • Red Cabbage
  • Curly Parsley
  • Red Head Lettuce

This Week's Fruit Share

  • Apple Cider
  • Bosc Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Niagara Grapes

Join us for a Fall Festival at the Farm
Together with the Liberty Prairie Foundation and several other local farmers, we will be celebrating another successful farming season at our farm in Grayslake. Please join us from 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday, October 18th. There will be hayride tours of the farm at 10:15 and 11:15. Learn about topics such as composting, fermentation, pastured poultry and check out a display of farm-themed art courtesy of the Lexicon of Sustainability, which explores sustainability concepts through art installations throughout the U.S. The farm address is 32140 Harris Road in Grayslake. Enter the farm through the Prairie Crossing subdivision and follow the “Farm Event” signs.

Fall is beautiful time on the farm. Come on out on Oct 18th and see for yourself!

Visit the Corn Maze and Pick out a Pumpkin at Kroll's Farm
Spending an afternoon at Kroll's Farm is another fun way to celebrate fall. The farm is operated by Tyler Kroll and his family in a rural corner of unincorporated Waukegan. Tyler is a long-time Sandhill employee whose responsibilities include everything from crop cultivation to tractor repair to driving the delivery truck. The fun at Kroll's farm includes a corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin patch and lots of different animals including goats, donkeys, sheep, chickens, turkeys and more! For more info, visit

This year's corn maze. Visit the Krolls on Facebook to see mazes from past years.

In the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of Your Share
Speaking of pumpkins, here's a picture of Tyler holding some of the pie pumpkins we grow at our Brodhead farm. This year's crop isn't as big as we had hoped, so some members will receive butternut squash instead. The two are interchangeable in many recipes. Both pumpkins and butternut squash can be prepared in sweet or savory ways. In the farm kitchen we use mashed pumpkin or squash to make muffins, quickbreads, pies, soups, chili, etc.

Bosc pears are perfect for snacks as well as for cooking. This type of pear is particularly well-suited to cooking and baking because it doesn't turn mushy when poached or roasted, and it has such a lovely, slightly spicy aroma. To ripen Bosc pears, leave them at room temperature and only refrigerate after the pears have ripened.

This Week’s Featured Recipes

Lentils with Italian Sausage & Fennel
8 ounces dried lentils
4 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium fennel bulb, stalks discarded, reserving fronds
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
3 small carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, or to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Bring lentils, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender but not falling apart, 12 to 25 minutes. While lentils simmer, cut fennel bulb into 1/4-inch dice and chop enough fennel fronds to measure 3 tablespoons. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then stir in onion, carrot, fennel bulb, fennel seeds, and remaining teaspoon salt. Cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a small nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, until cooked through.

Drain cooked lentils in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve cooking water. Stir lentils into vegetables with enough cooking water to moisten (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and cook over moderate heat until heated through. Stir in sausage, pepper, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds. Season with vinegar and salt. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon fennel fronds. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.


Moroccan-Spiced Chicken with Fennel
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander and ginger 
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, skin removed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups fennel, sliced
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fennel leaves, chopped

Combine spices with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Season chicken all over with mixed spices. Arrange the chicken (meat side down) in the center of a dutch oven or large pot, and surround with onions and fennel. Add the water and orange juice to the pot.

Cover and bring the chicken to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, and continue cooking, turning the chicken once or twice, for another hour, or until the chicken is tender enough to pick easily from the bones. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve with couscous.

Sweet-and-Sour Red Cabbage
3 tablespoons butter
10 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add cabbage and sauté until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Add sugar; toss to coat evenly. Add vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until cabbage is tender, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked mashed pumpkin or butternut squash
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 muffin tins. Mix sugar and oil. Stir in pumpkin, water and eggs. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and baking powder; stir in chocolate chips. Pour into muffin tins. Bake until wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tins.

Next week's harvest (our best guess)...  spinach, parsnips, lettuce, radishes, arugula, beets, honey crisp apples, shallots or onions, thyme, German Butterball potatoes and more!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer