Farm News (11/11/14)


Reminders & Announcements

  • This week we are delivering fall vegetables.
  • Next week is the final week of the season. We will deliver dairy, egg, meat and vegetable shares.
  • Saturday is the deadline for earlybird savings on next year's CSA shares. Use discount code renew when you register
  • Save 10% on holiday gift boxes by using discount code holiday at checkout. The discount code expires November 15th.
  • At this week's Tuesday and Thursday farm pickups, CSA member Joel Kahling will be selling honey from the hives he tends at our farm. Joel will be here from 3:30 to 7:00 both days.

This Week’s Vegetable Share
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Scarlet Turnips
  • Head Lettuce
  • Celeriac
  • Acorn Squash (This squash was grown on the farm of our neighbor, Brad Paulson. It is not organic, but it was grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.)

Field Report
Tuesday afternoon

In anticipation of today's plunge into the polar abyss, our entire crew worked feverishly yesterday to harvest all of the week's crops. The CSA harvest is typically spread out over the course of 3 or 4 days, but the weather forecast indicated that we were not going to have that luxury this week. Yesterday was our last chance to do a field harvest, since very few crops can survive a dip into the low 20s. The crops that are growing in the protected environment of the hoophouse are the exception, and those crops will be in your final CSA share next week. 

I want to give a big shout-out to our wonderful Grayslake crew who worked extra hard to bring in the harvest yesterday. As the season draws to a close, our seasonal staff will be going back to school or moving on to new jobs, some of them in faraway places. A few will even start on the path to owning their own farms. After close to fifteen years of mentoring employees, we are proud of having helped more than a dozen of them launch their own successful farming careers. This is just one of the many rewarding aspects of the work we do. Thank you, CSA members, for the role you play in making all of this possible. Together we are growing the good food revolution!

Have a good week,

Donna and Ryan enjoyed sunny skies on Monday as they worked on the carrot harvest.

There were nine of us out there yesterday, gleaning the last of that gorgeous spinach.

By the time we made it back to the packing shed we had filled every last harvest container. It was a beautiful sight!

This Week's Featured Recipes

Celeriac & Carrot Slaw with Buttermilk Dressing
1 medium celeriac bulb, peeled with a paring knife
4 medium carrots, peeled
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried

Cut into 1-inch-thick slices, then cut into very thin ribbons (use a mandoline if you have one), placing in cold water to prevent browning. Drain and blanch briefly in boiling salted water. Squeeze out water, and set aside.

Cut the carrots into thin ribbons using the mandoline and combine with the celeriac in a bowl.

In a blender or food processor, combine buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Add capers and herbs, and process until coarsely chopped, about 5 seconds.

Pour the dressing over the celeriac and carrots and toss well to combine.

Gratin of Leeks and Turnips
2 leeks, white and light green parts cut into 3-inch pieces
1 lb turnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
3 oz grated cheese 
1/2 teaspoon butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper 

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the leeks and turnips for 15 minutes.Butter a gratin dish and spread the drained vegetables in it.

Break the eggs in a bowl. Add mustard and whisk well. Add cream, half of the walnuts and mix well. Season to taste and pour on top of vegetables. Sprinkle with the remaining half of the walnuts and the grated cheese, and put in oven for 15 minutes or until the top is nicely golden. Serve immediately.
Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

from SELF, November 2013

2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups tightly packed torn kale
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.

Next week's harvest (our best guess)... sweet potatoes, lettuce, radishes, tomato puree, shallots, onions, potatoes, carrots and rutabaga.

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  • Margaret Sheaffer