Farm News (6/30/15)


Important Reminders & Announcements:

  • This week we are delivering vegetables, eggs, dairy and meat.
  • This is a pickup week for full and half vegetable shares.
  • Fruit share deliveries start next week for members who registered for a full share. If you registered for a half fruit share (pickup every other week), your first fruit delivery will be the week of July 13th.
  • We're making it easier to eat locally-grown food this winter with a new frozen produce share! Frozen fruits and vegetables will be available at both on-farm and off-farm pickup sites this winter and can be picked up at the same time as winter egg, dairy and meat shares. Please visit our website to learn more.
This Week's Vegetable Share:
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Baby Leeks
  • Kale
  • Arugula or Lettuce
  • Fresh Basil
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Purplette Onions
  • Zucchini or Cucumbers

This Week's Dairy Share:

  • Greek Yogurt from PastureLand Cooperative
  • Cultured Butter with Sea Salt from Nordic Creamery
  • Parmesan from Nordic Creamery
  • 'Pastures' Cheddar from Saxon Creamery

This Week's Meat Share:

  • Bratwurst
  • Thick-Cut Bacon
  • Whole Chicken
  • Beef Stir Fry or Fajita Meat
  • Ground Beef

The pork for this month's meat share comes from hogs we raised at our Brodhead farm. Our friends Jen and Bryce Riemer produced the chicken and the beef. On the way to pick up the PasureLand yogurt on Monday, we passed the Riemer farm and snapped this picture of some of their cattle grazing in the pasture.

Farm Photo Journal

Thank you to all who turned out on Sunday afternoon for our CSA open house at the Grayslake farm. It was great to see long-time members again and to meet new members who were visiting for the first time.

 Matt, Peg, Jen and Jeff took turns leading tours of the vegetable fields, but it was the animals that seemed to steal the show. (No big surprise!) In addition to the chickens and the goats, members enjoyed meeting three little bottle lambs that had come down from the Brodhead farm for the day.

The lambs seemed to enjoy the attention and were especially appreciative of the many little handfuls of oats generously handed out by our young guests.

Those little lambs were pretty tuckered out by the time the party was over. We were sure they'd sleep all the way home, but alas, a continuous refrain of rather pathetic baaing could be heard over the noise of the truck's engine every time we pulled up to a stoplight, provoking suspicious looks from vehicles in adjoining lanes. Carefully avoiding eye contact, we continued on our way and eventually arrived home where we promptly reunited the bottle lambs with the rest of the flock. By that point we felt pretty tired ourselves, but we were so happy to have spent the day with such enthusiastic and supportive members. A big heartfelt thanks to all of you! 

This Week's Featured Recipes
In the days leading up to the open house, the Sheaffer girls stayed busy making dozens and dozens of mini zucchini muffins.

The muffin recipe they used was adapted from a cake recipe created by our friend Lisa Kivirist, owner of Inn Serendipity Bed and Breakfast. Lisa is a good friend, a tireless advocate for sustainable farming, and a fellow SOIL SISTER! (Scroll down to read more about the Soil Sisters.) Here's our version of Lisa's recipe:

Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Mix oil and eggs in another bowl until smooth; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Add zucchini; stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in walnuts, if desired. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins; bake until muffins are golden and firm to the touch.

In addition to the muffins, we served platters of crunchy vegetables accompanied by a seriously addictive veggie dip that Jen whipped up in the farm kitchen. The recipe is loosely based on one from the Barefoot Contessa that calls for dill and parsley. Here's a version that works nicely with the items in this week's box:

Jen's Barefoot Vegetable Dip
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small purplette onion, bulb finely chopped and green tops sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend. Serve at room temperature.

And finally, here are several more recipes that are perfectly suited to the contents of this week's CSA share. We hope you are enjoying your early summer bounty!

Garlic Scape Pesto
10 large garlic scapes
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound spaghetti

Make the pesto: Puree the garlic scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)

In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water, then drain the pasta. Whisk together 2/3 cup of the pesto and the reserved pasta water and toss with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.

From The Farm by Ian Knauer

Kale, Carrot & Avocado Salad
1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup thinly sliced purplette onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to thoroughly mash avocado into kale. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow kale to soften.


Thai Beef with Basil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3-4 garlic scapes, thinly sliced
2 red chiles, thinly sliced, seeded for less heat if desired, divided
1 pound ground beef
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups fresh basil leaves, divided
3-4 medium carrots, julienned or coarsely grated
2 purplette onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce 
1 teaspoon sugar
Steamed rice and lime wedges (for serving)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic scapes and 1 chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon and pressing down firmly to help brown, until cooked through and nicely crisped in spots, 8–10 minutes. Add broth and 1 cup basil and cook, stirring, until basil is wilted, about 2 minutes.

Toss carrots, onions, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and remaining chile, 1 cup basil leaves, and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Mix soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice in another small bowl until sugar dissolves.

Top rice with beef and slaw and drizzle with soy dressing. Serve lime wedges alongside for squeezing over.

from Bon Appétit, November 2013

Mark your Calendars!

Soil Sisters: A Celebration of Wisconsin Farms & Rural Life
July 31August 2

This jam-packed culinary event offers an immersive farming and culinary experience. It's led by women – the soil sisters -- who are committed to healthy, farm-made and artisanal foods. Some of these soil sisters are assisted by their husbands (aka "soil brothers") and other family members. Participants can tour farms in the Brodhead and Monroe areas (including our farm), take part in on-farm workshops and enjoy delicious homegrown foods. Learn more here.

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)...cabbage, lettuce, cherries, beets, dill, blueberries, cucumbers, broccoli, raspberries and more!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer