February Farm News

Important Announcements & Reminders
  • If you haven't done so already, it's time to register for 2016 CSA shares! In a few short weeks we'll start planting seeds in the greenhouse and the hoophouses. Head lettuce, green onions, swiss chard, arugula, salad mix, baby carrots and radishes will be among the first crops we plant. Don't miss out on the opportunity to share in the bounty! Visit our website for information and registration.
  • Winter members will be picking up frozen produce, meat, dairy and eggs today and Thursday.
  • The final pickup of the winter season is the week of March 7th. The first spring pickup is the week of May 2nd.
February Frozen Produce Share
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Corn
  • Peaches
  • Tart Cherries
  • Blueberries
This week's frozen produce share is pure summer in a box. Remember summer? That magical season when the farm produced fresh fruits and vegetables in such miraculous abundance that it almost felt like a burden at times having to eat it all? And now we find ourselves in the middle of February, carefully rationing our dwindling store of salsa, pickles, kraut and other home-canned goodies. In terms of capturing the essence of summer,  this month's frozen strawberries might just take the prize. They're intensely sweet and should only be shared with people you really, really like. Enjoy!

Easy Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
The natural pectin in the apple is what causes the jam to jell, so be sure not to omit it. 
1 pound frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large apple, peeled, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine strawberries and sugar in a large heavy skillet. Stir in grated apple. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up strawberries, until sugar dissolves. Simmer until jam is thickened, 10-15 minutes. Stir in fresh lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl or jar; let cool. Cover and chill until set, about 2 hours. Keep chilled; use within 2 weeks.

Strawberry Lassi
A lassi is a an icy yogurt and fruit drink that is popular in India where it is often made with mango. 
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup ice cubes
2 small pinches ground cardamom

Combine yogurt, strawberries and honey in a blender and pulse until strawberries are puréed. Add ice and milk and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 tall glasses and garnish with cardamom.

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
5 ounces baby spinach (8 cups)
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted and cooled

In a blender or food processor, mix olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, tarragon and sugar. Blend until smooth. Drizzle over spinach to taste. Garnish with pecans.
February Dairy Share:
  • Maple Butter and Sheep Milk Feta from Nordic Creamery
  • Plain Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • 'Driftless', a Fresh Sheep Milk Cheese from Hidden Springs Creamery(Driftless is best used within 2 weeks)
This month's dairy share includes two outstanding cheeses made from sheep milk. Sheep have been raised for their milk for thousands of years. People started milking sheep before they started milking cows. Sheep milk is very nutritious. It's high in vitamins A, B, and E as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Compared to cows milk, it has more short-chain fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), both of which have recognized health benefits. 

Lacaune and East Friesan (seen above) are the two main dairy breeds kept bymost Wisconsin shepherds, including Brenda Jensen, the farmer and cheesmaker who makes 'Driftless'. Obtaining a cheesemaking license in Wisconsin is a long and arduous process due to the state's complex regulatory structure. Brenda, winner of dozens of cheesmaking awards, didn't start making cheese until the age of forty four. She has an MBA and worked at a high-powered management job in her former life, but all of that changed when she met her first sheep and fell in love. We know how she feels. It's hard work, but farming is the best job there is!

Pan-Roasted Sweet Corn with Sheep Milk Feta & Tomatoes
1 pound frozen sweet corn
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
6 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus more as needed
In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, 20 to 30 seconds. Add the corn and sauté, stirring occasionally, until just tender. Add the green onions and sauté for about 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large bowl. Allow to cool then toss with tomatoes, feta and lime juice. Taste and adjust with seasonings and more lime juice. Serve at room temperature.
   February Meat Share:
  • Italian Sausage or Breakfast Sausage Patties
  • Whole Chicken or Pork Roast
  • Bacon
  • Ground Beef
  • Pork Chops
In contrast to last month's share, your February meat share contains more pork and chicken than beef. As usual, the pork and chicken were raised by our good friends, Jen and Bryce Riemer. We've recently started working with another partner farmer, Jacob Marty, who lives near our Brodhead farm. 

Jacob raises beef on pasture outside of a little town called Monticello. His sixth-generation farm has been in the family since the 1850s. He is committed to practices that regenerate and build soil, sequester carbon, and conserve and protect water. 

We're so happy to be working with Jacob. He's a good friend, a committed environmentalist and a great farmer. We're looking forward to sharing the results of his hard work with you in next month's meat share.

Take care,
Peg, Matt, Jen, Jeff & the Sandhill Crew

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  • Margaret Sheaffer