July 16, 2015
What’s in this week’s box??
* Monarch caterpillars
broccoli zucchini Summer squash beets
Swiss Chard kohlrabi onion
Basil green beans dill potatoes
What do you call a baby potato? A small fry! A little farm humor there…
It’s another beautiful week on the farm! We’ve again been blessed with plenty of rain and more rain and lots of sunshine. The produce is coming on strong! We have a few new arrivals this week, including potatoes! There is something so wonderful about the first new potatoes! The humble, beautiful, potato that makes amazing potato salad, golden breakfast hash or drizzled with oil, chopped dill and roasted on the grill. I should not write these newsletters on an empty stomach!
We have been blessed with a little too much rain . We are battling mud in the fields which is making it hard to harvest and weed (yet again!), causing the beans to get rust spots and generally making things soggy. Many unwanted pests seem to thrive in this wet weather as well. We’re looking forward to some dry and sunny days. We enjoy the weekly rains. Mike hasn’t had to irrigate once this summer. However, we wish it would rain ½ an inch instead of 3+. Farming… Mother nature is our greatest partner but she doesn’t much care what we have to say. We realized a long time ago that this is not an equal partnership.
Here are updates on some other yummy opportunities:
The berries are done for the season, this last rain hurried that up a bit. We sure appreciate all the work Demullings did to provide us with great berries and we look forward to their return next year!
Will be coming very soon! Maybe as soon as next week. We’ll keep you posted!
Each spring, while I am manning the greenhouse and the baby plants, Mike spends his free time at our cabin in Winter, WI. With the help of family and friends, they tap over 400 trees, attach buckets and wait for the drip, drip, drip of spring. This year was a great sap run. They cooked 100’s of gallons of sap over a wood fire, resulting in beautiful, tasty Maple syrup.
If you would like some, we have the following for sale:
Make checks payable to Mike Lenz
And mail them to us at:
2249 150th St.
Star Prairie, WI 54026
Or leave in the red barn cookie jar at the farm.
Roasted Sweet corn, honey lemonade, deep fried cheese curds, chocolate malts…. Mmmm….. The list of summer food just keeps going!
This is it! The biggest week of the year for the Lenz kids! The St. Croix County Fair is in Glenwood City, this Thursday- Sunday. They are each bringing a calf to show. Claudia is also bringing her horse Chumley. There are also some non-animal projects like woodworking, home decorating and legos. I’m getting in on the fun too by entering some home canned items in open class.
Stop by and see us! Some or all of us will be there the entire time. In the dairy and horse barns, look for Riverside 4-H club. The kids’ calves’ names are: Tropicana, Mrs. Gunderson and Instagram.
They’ve been working hard, under the guidance of their project leaders, getting their animals trained, washed and learning how to show the animals. We hope to see you there! There is free admission to the fair. You do pay for parking if you choose to park on the fairgrounds.
In your box:
Monarch butterflies: The plight of the Monarch is important to us. They have lost so much of their habitat to mowing, pesticides and development, that their population has decreased to dangerously low numbers. We are doing what we can by farming with organic methods, saving their most important food, milkweed, whenever possible. We have seen some monarchs flying around the fields and the other day we found a caterpillar. Go Monarchs!
Swiss chard: Keep in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Kohlrabi: Crisper drawer.
Broccoli: Store in your crisper drawer or in a covered container. There may be some cabbage worms in your broccoli. Sorry- it’s just that time of year. We’re working at moving them out. Until then just keep an eye out for them when chopping up your broccoli. Or you can soak your broccoli in a gallon of ice water with ¼ cup of salt for half an hour. This will kill any worms that made it home with you.
Basil: Basil doesn’t like it below 40 degrees. It’s best to place it in a glass of water on your counter. Our basil is a little rough, having been beaten down by the rain. However, the flavor is still amazing!
Zucchini/Summer Squash: Store in refrigerator, crisper drawer is best.
Beets: Remove greens and store separately. Store greens like any other green. Store beets in crisper drawer, in a plastic bag.
Onion: This is a fresh onion, one that hasn’t cured. Store in your refrigerator until you need it.
Potatoes: These potatoes have not cured either, they are new, with tender skins.
They will not store as long as cured potatoes. Store at room temperature. NEVER put potatoes in the refrigerator. It will turn them starchy.
Green Beans: Store in plastic bag in crisper drawer.
Dill: Place stems in glass of water and place in refrigerator or on the counter.
Zucchini Patties from member Ginny Rassier
Here is the zucchini patty recipe. It’s a great basic recipe you can adjust to your tastes. (you’ll notice we like cheese)
2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt to taste
Garlic to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil —-for frying
1. In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.
Almost as good reheated!!
I use Almond meal instead of flour. Delicious!! Add or subtract ingredients to your taste!
(A favorite in our house!)
**Shred extra zucchini and freeze in 2 cup amounts. Thaw and add to your meatloaf all winter long!
2lb ground beef 1 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded zucchini 1 tsp. oregano
1 c. milk 1 tsp. parsley
1 c. bread crumbs ¼ tsp. pepper
1 onion, finely chopped ½ c. parmesan cheese (optional)
1 egg, beaten
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Bake in a loaf pan at 350 for 1 ¼ hours.
How to freeze green beans:
Break stems off and break beans into desired size.
Drop 2 handfuls into pot of boiling water.
Blanch (boil) for 3 minutes and immediately immerse them into ice cold water.
Drain and freeze in freezer containers.
Wilted Swiss Chard with Basil
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
6 to 7 large Swiss chard leaves, rinsed and coarsely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh basil plus whole leaves for garnish, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chard and basil, and cook just until the chard begins to wilt, for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Garnish with basil, if using, and serve warm.
Have a great week and happy eating!!
Jody, Mike, Claudia, Malcolm and Jonas