February Farm News

Reminders & Announcements: 
  • The third pickup of the winter share is tomorrow, February 5th from 2 to 7 pm at the farm in Grayslake. We will be distributing eggs, dairy and meat.The farm address is 560 North Harris Road. Please come to the white farmhouse to pick up your shares. If you have any questions, please call 847-548-4030
  • Spring vegetable and spring egg shares are sold out.  All other shares are still available, including spring dairy and spring meat shares. Shares may be purchased by the individual season or as multiple-season packages.

This Month's Dairy Share:

  • Harvest Butter from Nordic Creamery
  • Plain Whole Milk Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • Raw Milk Medium White Cheddar from Brunkow Cheese
  • Sheep Milk Feta from Nordic Creamery

This Month's Meat Share:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Steaks
  • Beef Roast
  • Beef Fajita Meat
  • Ground Beef
  • Beef Soup Bones
Lange Farms (Platteville, WI) provided the chicken and steaks for this month's share. All other items were provided by Riemer Family Farm (Brodhead, WI). Your meat share is packaged in a larger box this month in order to accomodate the beef soup bones, which are a little bonus added on to your regular 10-pound share. Scroll down to find out how to use the soup bones to make your own beef broth. It's easy and so delicious!

Farm Photo Journal
February 2015

Three days of snowfall this week turned the Brodhead farm into a real winter wonderland. 

The scene at the Grayslake farm, where we have received close to a couple of feet of snow, is even more dramatic.

Removing snow from the driveway and the farm roads posed quite a challenge earlier this week. When it comes to snow removal, Matt's weapon of choice in Brodhead is our 90-horsepower Deutz tractor. 

At the Grayslake farm, Jeff relies on the smaller but more agile skid loader. The only thing it lacks is an enclosed cab. (The ski goggles, while they do complement the outfit rather nicely, were selected more for function than fashion.)

When it came time to take care of the animal enclosures, Jeff ditched the skid loader and opted to shovel out the goats by hand.

Back in Brodhead, our St. Croix ewes aren't bothered in the least by the snow. St. Croix is a breed of hair sheep. Instead of wool, a St. Croix sheep has a hair coat much like a goat. The thick hair coat keeps them toasty warm even on the coldest days. So does their increasing bulk as they grow rounder each day awaiting the birth of their lambs. We can't wait for lamb babies--only one month to go!

In the Farm Kitchen

This month's dairy share includes feta from Nordic Creamery, an enterprise owned by dairy farmers Al and Sarah Bekkum. Their farm has been in the family since Sarah’s ancestors immigrated from Norway in 1917. The farm is located in Westby, Wisconsin within Vernon County's lush, green hills and valleys. This unglaciated land is recognized for its fertile soil and exceptional grazing land. Nordic's feta is great on pizza, as a filling for stuffed mushrooms, in a greek salad, added to an omelet, sprinkled on pasta, and anything else you can think of. 

Red Potatoes with Olives, Feta and Mint
2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, cut into quarters
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata), pitted, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin oil

Place potatoes and 3 tablespoons mint in large pot of salted water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat and simmer potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes; transfer to large bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons each of mint, cheese and olives; add remainder to warm potatoes. Mix in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish potatoes with reserved mint, cheese and olives. Serve warm.

from Bon Appetit, June 1996

Homemade Beef Broth
2-3 pounds beef bones with a little meat on them
2 unpeeled carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, quartered
1 garlic head, halved crosswise
2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place beef bones, carrots, onion, and garlic on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Toss the contents of the pan and continue to roast until deeply browned, 10 minutes more.

Fill a large stockpot with 8 cups of water. Add celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar. Scrape the roasted bones and vegetables into the pot along with any juices. Add more water if necessary to cover bones and vegetables. Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook with lid slightly ajar, skimming foam and excess fat occasionally, for 2-3 hours. The longer you simmer it, the better the stock will be. Add more water if necessary to ensure bone and vegetables are fully submerged. 

Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly. Strain broth and discard bones and vegetables. Let continue to cool until barely warm, then refrigerate overnight. Remove solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth.

Romanian Meatball Soup
for the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef or pork (or a combination)
2 slices bread
1 small finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons uncooked rice
2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper to taste

for the soup:
1 small finely sliced onion
1 cup finely chopped celery and celery leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 peeled parsnip
4 peeled carrots
1-2 pounds meaty beef bones
4 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt as needed
2 to 3 tablespoons vinegar, or to taste
Sour cream for garnish (optional)
Hot pepper (optional)

In a medium pot bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add onion, celery, parsley, parsnip and carrots. Add beef bones. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface, reduce heat and simmer partially covered. 

Meanwhile, make the meatballs by first soaking the bread in water or milk and then squeezing it dry. Mash the soaked bread in a large bowl. Add the meat, onion, rice, water and salt and pepper. Wet hands slightly and make small meat balls. Set aside. 

When the vegetables in the pot are almost tender, return to boil and carefully drop in the meatballs. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. When the soup is almost done and the meatballs come to the surface, add the tomato paste and stir well. Season with salt and vinegar. If desired, serve with a dollop of sour cream and a little hot pepper.

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  • Margaret Sheaffer