March Farm News

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Important Announcements & Reminders
  • We will be making our final deliveries of the winter season this week. Members who signed up for winter eggs, meat, dairy and frozen produce will be picking up today(3/9) and tomorrow (3/10).
  • Our spring delivery season starts the week of May 2nd.  Learn more about spring shares here.
  • There are lots of great  food and farm events coming up. Keep an eye out for a separate email later this week.
 
March Frozen Produce Share
  • Roasted Winter Squash or Veggie Medley*
  • Sweet Corn
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Tart Cherries
    (The veggie medley is a mix of winter squash, tomatoes, sweet corn, red peppers and carrots.)
 
March Dairy Share:
  • Harvest Butter from Nordic Creamery
  • Havarti Cheese from Roth Kase
  • Gran Cru, a Gruyere-Style Cheese from Roth Kase
  • Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
 
March Meat Share:
This month's share will contain 5 of the items listed below. Many thanks to our partner farmers, Jacob Marty, who raised the steers for the ground beef, and Jen & Bryce Riemer who produced the the remainder of this month's beef and pork. You can read more about our awesome partner farmers here.
  • Beef Roast
  • Ground Beef
  • Pork Steaks
  • Beef Bacon
  • Pork Bacon
  • Beef Fajita Meat
  • Pork Bratwurst
     

  Farm Photo Journal

 



Jeff and Tyler spent many hours in February doing some major structural upgrades to our two largest hoophouses at the Grayslake farm. Once the structural work had been completed, both houses were recovered with new plastic. This was no small undertaking since each piece of plastic is 150 feet long and 48 feet wide. Working with a piece of plastic that big requires patience, ingenuity and a small army of helpers. Thanks to all who lent a hand!



Jen took this wonderful photo at dusk recently and captioned it, "Light at the End of the Tunnel". A great metaphor for the transition to early spring, don't you think? In about a month's time, the scene inside the hoophouses will look much different...




Here is a shot from several years ago. This is what our hoophouses typically look like by mid-April. Last week we planted the first seeds for the lettuce, swiss chard, bok choy, and green onions that spring members will receive in May. Today we'll be working on planting radishes and white salad turnips. It's amazing how quickly things grow.



Our vegetable crops aren't the only things growing right now. Our new batch of laying hens went from looking like this in November...




To looking like this in March! They are about 18 weeks old and have just started to lay eggs. For the first several weeks of a hen's laying cycle, her eggs are typically pretty small, but they get progressively larger as the weeks go by. 


We're used to seeing small eggs with a new batch of hens, but this egg, laid last week, takes the prize. It was just slightly larger than a penny. Despite the modest size of these first eggs, our hens will be laying lots of nice, full-sized eggs by the time we make our first deliveries in May. There's still time join, but don't delay. Egg share go quickly!

This Week's Featured Recipes

Winter Squash and Sweet Corn Casserole
1 pound winter squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
small yellow onion, diced
2 cups frozen sweet corn kernels
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
3 oz shredded Gran Cru, or similar gruyere-type cheese 

Position an oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine all of the ingredients except the cheese in a small casserole dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake the casserole on the center rack for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, lift off the foil, and sprinkle the top of the casserole with the cheese. Bake the casserole, uncovered, until the squash is fork-tender and the cheese is golden brown and melted.

adapted from a recipe in My Life on a Plate by Kelis

Claudia Roden's Little Meatballs with Cherries
2 pounds ground beef or lamb
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pitted tart cherries
Sugar
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pita bread
Mix the meat, spices, salt, and pepper with your hands until smooth. Form the meat into marble-size balls, and fry them over medium heat, turning them to make sure they brown all over.

In a large pan, heat the cherries over medium-high heat, adding sugar or lemon juice to taste. Once the cherries have released their juices, mash them a bit with a fork or potato masher. Add the meatballs and simmer them until they're cooked through and the cherry juice has thickened a bit. If the juice becomes thick before the meatballs are cooked, add water and continue cooking.

from Claudia Roden's Picnics and Other Outdoor Feasts
Blueberry-Beet Smoothie
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup water
1 banana
1 small beet, grated
1 cup frozen blueberries

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

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  • Margaret Sheaffer