July 23, 2015
What’s in this week’s box??
2 ½ more inches of rain!
broccoli zucchini Summer squash Lettuce
Savoy cabbage kohlrabi onion cilantro
Fennel green beans dill potatoes
Fair week is now a happy memory. The kids showed their projects, learned a lot and met new friends while reconnecting with old ones. Mike and I had pretty much the same experience. We came home each evening tired, sticky and happy. We love the opportunities that 4-H offers kids in our community. If you would like information on 4-H, please let me know!
Despite our love of the fair, it highlights the struggle that July is for us as farmers. July is always the hardest month. We’re still planting crops for fall harvest, weeding and harvesting daily. It’s a lot to get done. The days are long, but we’re still up before the sun and going to bed after it has set. I am often asked, “How do you do it all?’ The answer is: I don’t. I have lost the battle of a functionally clean house, some weeds have won in the field and my kids are a bit more free range than I’d like. At times it seems overwhelming. Then- I ask myself- “Is it worth it?” and the answer is yes. We love what we do and I am proud of the beautiful food, the inspiring community of people we feed and my work worn hands. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The late summer crops- tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc. are looking really good. The new transplants are weed free (well… almost) and some of our weediest stuff is getting mowed down as we are finished with them. I am in no rush to have summer leave, but I know it will go fast and I will savor every exhausting moment of July!
**Awarded an “Honorable Mention” ribbon at the St. Croix County Fair!
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.
In your box:
More rain! This has been a very wet summer. We’re enjoying this much needed, drier week.
Savoy Cabbage: Keep in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. At the time of this writing, I am not sure if we will have enough cabbages for each of you. This planting is not liking the wet conditions. We’ll do our best.
Kohlrabi: Crisper drawer. We love to eat them sliced and raw.
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.
Fennel: Store in crisper drawer
Zucchini/Summer Squash: Store in refrigerator, crisper drawer is best.
Lettuce: Store in plastic bag in crisper drawer
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.
Cilantro and Dill: Place stems in glass of water and place in refrigerator or on the counter.
Roasted Fennel with Parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 fennel bulbs, cut horizontally into 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly oil the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve.
Pizza Dippers (Thanks to member Mindy Connelly for sharing this one!)
3-4 small zucchini, sliced long into quartered spears, and then I like to halve each spear so they are easier for little ones to dip (smaller/skinnier zucchini work better than the big fat ones)
1 TB avocado oil (or melted butter or coconut oil)
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
¼ cup (or more/less) grated Parmesan cheese
Place the zucchini on a baking sheet and toss them with the oil, seasonings, and cheese.
Line up the zucchini so the flesh is facing up.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, and then under the broiler on high for another 3-5 minutes. Watch the dippers under the broiler after a few minutes so they don’t get too brown.
(This is an all-time favorite of mine! I freeze this pesto in mini muffin tins, and then store the “muffins” in a bag in the freezer. I pop one out and thaw to eat with avocados in the winter or spread on a sandwich. YUM!)
½ cup walnuts
1-2 garlic cloves
½ c. olive oil
juice from ½ lemon
½ tsp. sea salt
1 large bunch cilantro, stems removed
Blend all in food processor and enjoy!
Chicken Salad Pesto
Very good… and the leftovers are excellent sauted for breakfast with potatoes and zucchini!
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
In food processor:
½ cup finely chopped dill
¼ cup raw walnuts
1 garlic clove
Pulse. Slowly add ¼ cup olive oil.
Toss chicken with pesto, ¼ cup chopped onion and juice of 1 lemon. Salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar. Toss and enjoy!
Have a great week and happy eating!!
Jody, Mike, Claudia, Malcolm and Jonas