Farm News (6/3/15)

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Important Reminders & Announcements:

  • This week we are delivering vegetables, eggs, dairy and meat.
  • Next week is the final week of the spring season.
  • Registration for summer shares closes next week. Our summer crops look amazing, and it promises to be a bountiful season. Visit our website to sign up.
This Week's Vegetable Share:
  • Cilantro
  • Radishes
  • Green Garlic
  • Romaine Lettuce (red and green)
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Asparagus
  • Baby Salad Spinach
  • Cremini Mushrooms (from River Valley Ranch, Burlington, WI)

This Week's Meat Share:

  • Breakfast Sausage
  • Pork Chops and/or Pork Steaks
  • Ground Beef
  • Beef Roast
  • Ground Pork

This Week's Dairy Share:

  • Mascarpone Cheese from Crave Brothers
  • Raw Milk Cheddar from Brunkow Cheese
  • Sheep's Milk Feta from Nordic Creamery
  • Plain Lowfat Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy


Farm Photo Journal
Despite intermittent rain showers, Friday proved to be an extremely productive day on the farm. In addition to harvesting vegetables for the Oak Park Farmers market, we managed to fit in the first planting of watermelon and cantaloupe as well as the last planting of tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers. The potatoes and carrots got cultivated, the sheep were sent to fresh pasture, and we prepared hoophouse beds for planting ginger.
 

We felt so good about everything we had accomplished that we took a little time off to the Green County Dairy Breakfast over at the Wegmueller farm. For those who haven't had the experience, cradling a hot cup of coffee while standing in a pasture and gazing out over the rolling green countryside is one of the best ways you could possibly spend a Saturday morning. The fact that we were surrounded by these Brown Swiss beauties was a bonus!

 

Returning to the farm after breakfast, we found our own beauties waiting patiently to be let into fresh pasture. All this rain we've been getting has turned our pastures into a lush salad bar for our animals.


It seems that all of our creatures (great and small) want to spend as much time as possible out on the green grass these days. We can't say that we blame them as it's a pretty nice place to be!  


Notes from the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of Your Share
 
Green garlic stalks are the immature stalks of the garlic plant. We plant garlic cloves about 8 inches apart in October, and we harvest the mature bulbs in July. 

 

We allow most of our plants to develop bulbs, but a small portion are harvested at this time of year when they look like We allow most of our plants to develop bulbs, but a small portion are harvested at this time of year when they look like very large green onions. The cloves that we know we'll harvest for green garlic are planted only an inch apart. This results in smaller stalks like the ones on tvery large green onions.

When cooking with green garlic, use everything but the fibrous ends of the dark green leavres. In the farm kitchen we substitute garlic stalks for garlic cloves in many different recipes since the flavor and pungency are very similar.

Swiss chard, a close relative of the beet, is a nutritional powerhouse. White-stemmed chard and red-stemmed chard are both pretty common, but we prefer to grow a variety called 'Bright Lights'. It produces stems in a rainbow of hues from pink to orange to ruby red.

We like to cook with the entire plant, including the stems. Depending on the size and thickness of the stems, you might choose to cook the stems separately from the leaves, since the stems typically require a few extra minutes of cooking time.

Mascarpone is a bit like cream cheese, but it has a less tangy flavor. It is used in the well-known Italian dessert, tiramisu, as well as many other types of cakes, pies, and fruit tarts. For a quick and delicious dessert, add a little sugar or honey to the mascarpone, whip with a fork and serve as an accompaniment to fresh fruit. On the savory side, mascarpone adds unparalleled creaminess to gratins, pasta dishes, and soups.

 

This Week's Featured Recipes

Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Radish Salsa

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound skirt or flank steak
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 radishes, trimmed, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green garlic
1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 corn tortillas, warmed
2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Let steak rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop half of cilantro and toss with radishes, onions, chile, lime juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Season radish salsa with salt and pepper.

Slice steak and serve on tortillas topped with radish salsa, queso fresco, and remaining cilantro.

Chicken, Black Bean, Avocado, and Radish Salad

2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained well
2 avocados, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice (to toss with avocado)
1 bunch radishes washed, trimmed and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons chopped green garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon mayo
2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Whisk together the olive oil, mayo, lime juice, and cumin to make the dressing. Put the beans into a bowl and toss with about half the dressing, then let beans marinate while you prep other ingredients.
Peel avocado and cut into pieces about 1 inch square.  Put the avocado pieces into a small bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice.
 
Add the chicken and chopped radishes to the beans and toss with additional dressing until the salad is as moist as you'd like it.  Stir in the sliced green onions and chopped cilantro, then gently stir in the avocado.  Season salad well with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve right away.

Sesame Radish Noodle Salad
1 lb  whole wheat, soba or rice noodles
1 bunch spinach or chard, roughly chopped
1 bunch radishes, sliced thinly in rounds
1/2 cup black or white sesame seeds
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar

Cook noodles according to package, adding chopped greens to the hot noodles and water just before draining. Toss with small quantity of oil to the noodles to prevent sticking and chill in the refrigerator while prepping remaining ingredients. Put sesame seeds in a skillet or pan just large enough for them to cover the bottom. Toast over medium heat about 3 min, shaking the pan gently to prevent burning. Remove from heat.  Mix the vinegar, tamari and oil in a bowl.  When noodles and greens are chilled, toss or layer them with radishes, seeds, and dressing. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)...strawberries, kohlrabi, lettuce, baby turnips, asparagus, and maybe broccoli.

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  • Jen Miller