Greetings from the farm!
In your box:
Broccoli Summer Squash Beets with tops Radishes with tops
Peas Basil Green Onions Lettuce
I’m listening to the thunder roll and we just came in from watching a beautiful lightening show and a visit from our neighbor. We could use a little rain, but it also makes it harder to do field work, so wet night or dry night- we’ll take the good of either. I am writing this newsletter a few days early this week. I generally write the newsletters Tuesday nights. By Tuesday I have a good idea of what is going to be in the boxes, so there are few surprises. As it is Sunday night, I am making my best guess as to what will be harvested for the boxes- but don’t be surprised if something is missing or extra by Thursday.
I am leaving town tomorrow evening (Monday). Which is absolutely unheard of. I never leave during the farm season! But- it’s a pretty special occasion. Farm Technology Days is being held in Kewaunee, WI this week. Farm Tech days is a 3 day farm show like no other. 1 county hosts it each year. This year, for the first time it is being held in Kewaunee. I grew up in Kewaunee and most of my family is there. My family has farmed there for at least 7 generations. My parents have been involved in the planning for this event. It’s taken 3 years to plan and 1,600 volunteers to make this show happen. 30,000 people will attend the 3 day show. These shows are always about big ag. Held on huge dairy farms, this time it is no different. It will be held on a 6,000 cow dairy farm. There is a part of the show called, Innovation Square. In Innovation Square, the hosting county decides what should be highlighted as new, innovative farming trends. I imagine that in the past, it has held robotic milkers, GPS systems on large combines, drones, that kind of thing. Frankly, I haven’t attended in years because I am too busy farming and also because there isn’t a lot at these shows for farmers of our scale. This show will be different. My dad decided that what is new and innovative in farming, are farms that are feeding the people in their communities. Small, local farms and their products and economic impact. He took that idea to the rest of the planning committee and they agreed. This is a first for Farm Technology Days! My hope is that it will go well and all counties will leave space for small, local farms in the future shows. So of course, I decided last winter that I would not be attending Farm Tech days, because it’s a 3 day event in July. I’m too busy. But then in March, my dad called to tell me that they would have a whole tent, just about CSA’s and they wanted me to run it! I was flattered, but couldn’t see how to make that happen. Claudia said, “Mom, it’s a once in a life time opportunity- do it! We can manage the farm!” So- I am! I am only attending on Tuesday, so I can drive out Monday night and come back Wed. morning. (It’s a 5 hour drive to Kewaunee.) Mike is taking Tuesday off to be here on the farm and everyone else will pitch in to make everything run smoothly. My friend Jen is going with me so that I have company for the long drive. We’re looking forward to our adventure. I hope to inspire others to farm or support a farm that feeds their community. Wisconsin Farmer’s Union is helping to set up the displays and find other farmers for the other two days of the show. I’ll report on how it went next week!
On the farm, we’re excited to have both broccoli and summer squash arriving!! It looks like Cucumbers could be as early as next week and maybe potatoes? This rain and humidity has been great for growing. The weeds are their worst in July. If you ever thought about volunteering out at the farm, now would be a great time! We’ve got lots of weeding to do! I find it very therapeutic. If you’ve got some thinking to do, do it while weeding. It works for me!
We send our peas, beans, cherry tomatoes and any other small items in cloth bags we call bean bags. These are used to help cut down on the amount of plastic we might otherwise have to send in your boxes. My mom and her sisters spend many winter days sewing these for us. We love all the fun and beautiful fabrics they are sewn in and they love that it uses up scrap fabric and my mom and aunties can visit while sewing. However, we only have a limited number of them. Please remember to send them back to us with the boxes at your pick up site. You are welcome to take them home, but return them the next trip so we can wash and reuse them. Thank you!!
Broccoli: Store in a plastic grocery bag
Summer Squash: Zucchini is a type of summer squash. So when we say summer squash, it could be any color. Use it all the same. They are very interchangeable. Store in the crisper drawer.
Beets: Remove the tops and store as you would any green. Beets do well in the crisper drawer. Beet tops can be used as you would Swiss chard.
Radishes: Remove the tops and store as you would any green. Radishes will do really well in a plastic bag or a bowl of water in the refrigerator.
Peas: Crisper Drawer
Basil: Glass of water on the counter or try in a closed canning jar in the refrigerator. Sometimes I have luck with that. We have 3 kinds of basil. The first cutting is always when they are small plants. This encourages much more vigorous growth. We have large Genova basil, which we gave a few weeks ago, and some small plants of lime basil and spicy globe basil. I can’t say which you will be getting, so that will be a surprise.
Green onions: Crisper Drawer
Lettuce and Arugula: Salad spin and then store in a covered container or platic bag in the refrigerator. Arugula is spicy, so it’s great mixed in with a salad of lettuce. Hopefully, we’ll see more robust bunches of arugula in the weeks to come.
one very large beet (or two medium beets)
2 T. of tahini
2 cups chickpeas
2 medium cloves of garlic (Or use those leftover scapes)
1 small lemon, juiced
Peel and chop beets into medium cubes, put into sauce pan with just enough water to cover beets and simmer until beets are tender. Drain the water. Combine beets, chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, salt and tahini in food processor and blend. Add a little water if the consistency is too thick for your liking.
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
2 sticks butter, room temp.
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 cup, pureed, cooked beets
preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except beets and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Fold in the beets. Spoon the batter into paper lined cupcake tin. (Makes 12 cupcakes.)
Bake 20 minutes. Use the toothpick test to see if done.
Oven roasted broccoli with Parmesan, Garlic and Lemon
One head broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with olive oil, lemon zest and garlic. Spread broccoli on large baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan and return to the oven. Bake another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and squeeze a wedge or two of lemon right over before serving.
Cold Zucchini Salad
zucchini or summer squash
coconut oil or oil of your choice
red wine vinegar
Slice squash into thin strips lengthwise. Fry lightly in hot oil until soft throughout. Transfer squash to a bowl; salt lightly. Discard most of the oil in the pan. Add generous amounts of garlic and sauté lightly. Add 1/4 inch of red wine vinegar to the pan and bring to a quick boil. Toss sauce with the squash. Cover and refrigerate, serve in a few hours.