Farm News (11/17/15)


Important Reminders & Announcements:

  • This is the final week of the fall season.We are delivering vegetables for full and half-share members.
  • We're also delivering dairy, meat, eggs and gift boxes for those who ordered them.
  • There's not much time left to take advantage of early bird pricing for 2016. Full season fruit shares and the 3-Season Vegetable Package are available at a 5% discount until December 1st. (The price on the website already reflects the 5% discount. There's no need to use a discount code.)
  • Winter deliveries of meat, eggs, dairy and frozen produce will take place four times between December and March. Delivery dates are December 16th/17th, January 13th/14th, February 10th/11th, and March 9th/10th.

This Week's Vegetable Share:

  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Cranberries (scroll down to learn more)
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Beauty Heart Radishes
  • Red or Savoy Cabbage
  • Assortment of Mixed Root Vegetables
    (rutabaga, potatoes, celeriac, scarlet turnips and/or parsnips)

This Week's Dairy Share:

  • Gouda with Garlic & Pimento from Saxon Creamery
  • Heritage White Cheddar from Red Barn Family Farms
  • Blueberry, Peach, Strawberry & Raspberry Yogurts from Sugar River Dairy

This Week's Meat Share:

  • Pork Chops, Pork Steak or Spare Ribs
  • Ground Beef
  • Whole Chicken
  • Assorted Pork Sausage

This week's meat share features chicken and beef from Riemer Family Farm in Brodhead, WI and pork from Elmer Family Farm in Albany, WI. The final batch of pastured-raised chickens went to the butcher last week. It will be too cold to put birds out on pasture again until next spring. We're going to give pastured poultry a try at our Brodhead farm next season, along with a couple of other new animal ventures. Until then, we'll have to content ourselves with reading, research, and planning. There's always something new to try, which is what makes farming such a cool job. We look forward to sharing new adventures with you!

Have a great winter,

Notes from the Field

We're happy to be able to bring you some of Brian Ruesch's organic cranberries this week. Brian claims that his one acre of organic cranberry production constitutes the world's smallest cranberry bog. He is proud of the fact that he uses no pesticides or herbicides, substances that are commonly used in conventional cranberry production. 

Although cranberries evolved as wetland plants, they don't actually grow underwater. You've probably seen pictures of flooded cranberry bogs at harvest time. Although Brian floods his fields in late May to control weeds and pests, he prefers to keep his berries dry at harvest. In the photo above, he's using a wooden rake to harvest cranberries the same way they've been harvested for over a hundred years. Using a hand rake rather than a mechanical harvester is gentler on the cranberries and allows Brian more control over the quality of the final product. 

Your fresh cranberries can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. They are also easy to freeze. Just rinse and dry them, then transfer them to a freezer bag. Enjoy!

This Week's Featured Recipes

Carrot-Cranberry Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 banana
2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together in a large bowl.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat egg into the butter mixture. Mash banana into the butter mixture until smoothly incorporated. Fold in carrot.

Mix flour mixture into the butter mixture. Fold cranberries into the batter. Divide evenly between prepared muffin cups to fill nearly to the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Bulgur with Leeks, Cranberries and Almonds
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups bulgur
2/3 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped leeks and sauté until very tender, about 12 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Stir in bulgur and cranberries and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 15 minutes. Fluff with fork. Mix in sliced almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mashed Root Vegetables and Caramelized Leeks
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium turnip or rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large parsnip or medium celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, white and light green parts sliced
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Place root vegetables in a large pot; cover with 2 inches cold water. Season water generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and vigorously simmer until vegetables are very tender and breaking apart, about 30 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook until golden, about 15 minutes. Add root vegetables, and stir, mashing with the back of a large spoon. Add milk and cream, and stir to break up vegetables. Heat until hot; season with salt and pepper.

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  • Margaret Sheaffer