Monthly Archives: September 2017

Threshing Table Farm Week 16B, September 28th, 2017

In this week’s box:

Carnival Squash              Kabocha Squash              Onions                  Celery Root                Celery Leaves
Napa Cabbage                 Radishes                         Cauliflower              Peppers                    Oregano
Tomatoes                        Potatoes                            Asian Greens        Parsley                         Lettuce


Hello Farm Members!
What an odd weather week! Though we expect a couple of hot September days, this past weekend was more than we bargained for! The tomatoes and cauliflower loved it. The heat and rain really worked together to make some pokey things out in the garden mature much quicker. The lettuce and cabbage have struggled a bit with the heat, as have the farmers. 😊 The bugs have also been thriving in these wet, warm conditions. Frankly, we could use a frost to wipe them out! Our cauliflower and cabbage have definitely been damaged by the bug pressure, which you will likely notice. There is a lot of good produce there, just ignore or cut off the damaged parts. That’s what we do, and the eating is still good.

This past weekend we enjoyed an absolutely wonderful meal put on by our friends from Taher. A handful of very talented chefs were here to roast chickens over the fire pit, grill squash, make ice cream just as desert was served, and delight our senses with beautiful and delicious food. It’s really wonderful to see all of our produce and other local farmer’s produce highlighted in that way. But better than the food, was the community of people the farm dinner brought to the table. Thank you for coming if you were lucky enough to take part in it! If you didn’t get to come, I sincerely hope that next year you make it out for one. It is truly a one of a kind experience!

We are sad to say goodbye to the pigs this week. It’s always a sad day to see them go. However, we are thrilled that we got to share our farm with them for the season and we are blessed by the bounty they provide us as we fill our freezer. They also did a great job eliminating the Creeping Charlie we had in the woods and eating a lot of scraps from the vegetable washing and weeding. If you would like to get some pork from these pigs, please give our neighbor Dave Jensen a call. I believe he’s got a few pigs left to sell. Call Dave at: 612-685-0155

Also wrapping up this week is my 9 months of service on the Ground and Surface Water committee for St. Croix County. I was asked to serve on this committee that was put together by the County Board. We looked at lots of research and listened to a lot of experts as we tried to evaluate what the health of our ground water looks like and how we can improve it. These 2x a month meetings were never fun. Always informative and we learned that there is so much more that needs to be learned. As we worked to make recommendations to the County Board on ways to improve the quality of our ground water, I feel more strongly than ever that each and every one of us has to do our part. The fertilizer we may be putting on our lawns, the functionality of our septic systems, the type of agriculture we take part in- it all effects the ground water. We all share this valuable resource and Mike and I will continue to do the best we can to protect the ground water we share with you.

Sharon Overland was here Friday night with her pottery class. What a fun time! We had a great time making beautiful fairy luminaries! She’s a great teacher- even mine turned out! Check out the community ed. Book for more classes she is teaching- maybe I’ll see you there!

Phil’s Raspberries: $4 a pint. Let us know if you would like any.
Maple Syrup: $15 a quart, $8 a pint. Great for that winter squash and oatmeal 😊
Farm Sweet Farm Grass Fed Beef and organic Chicken: Heather is making a trip here towards the end of the week. If you’d like to order meat, contact her.

Free Beans!!
We have one last batch of beautiful green beans in the field. We are not going to put these into the boxes, but if you’d like to come out and pick all you want, please do! They are in the north field, near the large corn field. If you send me an e-mail letting me know you are coming I’ll make sure to be around to show you where the patch is.

Storage tips
Celery Root: Crisper drawer. Celery root is awesome! Peel the outer layer off. Dice and use in soups, stews or salads. Raw or cooked. Tastes like celery! Great steamed or roasted like potatoes and very low carb!
Lettuce and greens: salad spinner and covered bowl
Radishes: Remove leaves, and place those in the salad spinner/bowl with other greens. Radishes do great in the fridge in a bowl with a little water.
Cauliflower: Crisper drawer. Cauliflower bruises easily, (like an apple). Handle with care!
Peppers and cabbage- crisper drawer
All others- kitchen counter

Wild Rice Celeriac Pilaf
1 T. Olive oil
¾ cup diced celery root
¼ cup diced onion
1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
1 T. fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup beef stock
Salt and pepper
2 T. dried cranberries

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add celery root and onion; saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in wild rice, thyme, parsley and stocks. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and lower to a simmer. Cook until rice is nearly tender, 30-60 minutes. Stir in dried cranberries, cook until rice is tender, 5-15 minutes longer.

Chinese Cabbage Salad
5 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
¾ cup sliced or shredded radish
1 ½ cup chow mein noodles
1 cup crushed peanuts
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 T. rice vinegar
4 T. sesame oil
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. honey
½-1 tsp. dry mustard

Combine cabbage, radishes, chow mein noodles, peanuts and sesame seeds. Mix remaining ingredients. Toss with cabbage, using just enough dressing to suit your taste. Make 6-8 servings.

Silky Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock
½ cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper

Chop Cauliflower. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not brown. Add cauliflower and stock. Boil, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. When soft, puree using an immersion blender. Add the parmesan and stir until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Have a great week! Happy Eating-
Your farmers, Jody, Mike, Claudia, Malcolm and Jonas lenz



Mike and Jody Lenz
Threshing Table Farm

Threshing Table Farm Week 15A, September 21, 2017

Hello Threshing Table Farm Members!

In your box:

Eggplant        Bell Peppers              Jalapeno peppers                 Kabocha Squash                  Spaghetti squash

Lettuce          Beets and Greens     Onions                                  Garlic                                     Celery Leaves

Thyme           Tomatoes                  Ground Cherries                  Beans                                        Potatoes

We have been needing rain for quite some time, so it was nice to get a good watering on Monday. We had to work out in it, but it was good for the plants. The fields continue to put on a fall show while hanging on to the last bits of summer. We are pulling in the most bountiful crop of winter squash we have ever had. We will be sending different varieties each week.  The popcorn is drying nicely on the stalks and the cauliflower and broccoli are starting to size up.

Another sign of fall is that the pigs will be soon leaving us. This always makes me sad, but I do love the wonderful pork in the freezer. It not only tastes wonderful, but I know that these pigs have been loved, fed great produce and allowed to dig in the dirt and root to their heart’s content. We’ve given them the best life a pig could ask for while they were here. If you would like to have pork in your freezer this year, please call Dave Jensen at 612-685-0155.  He has a few pigs left to sell as whole or half hogs.

Another great sign that fall is here is the FALL FARM DINNER with Taher. The chefs have another amazing meal in the works to celebrate the fall harvest.  We look forward to seeing some of you here on Saturday.  The dinner is sold out but we will post a few photos on the farm facebook page afterwards.

The tomatoes have graciously agreed to hang in there one more week. The cherries are done, but the larger tomatoes are doing alright. This might be the last week- we’ll see how it goes. With a late first frost date, we have enjoyed them longer than we thought we might.

It is with sadness that we report that our single baby chick was attacked by another critter last night. The chick and his momma did not like going in the coop, so they slept unprotected in the large shed. Something found them and made a meal out of the chick. Nature is harsh sometimes. But, it is also really beautiful at times. Come on out and take a walk around the farm if you haven’t had a chance yet. The fall colors and textures in the field are good for the soul.

Are you needing some Maple Syrup for your fall apple crisps, morning oatmeal or squash dishes? Let us know- Mike’s syrup is available for $15/quart or $8 a pint. We can send it with your share.

Phil’s Raspberries are going strong! $4 a pint. Order ASAP and we will get them to you with your share. Just send us an e-mail.

Last chance to get into Sharon’s Fairy house Luminary community Ed Class. The class will be held here on Friday evening and there are just a few spots left.

Friday, Sept 22nd from 6-9pm.

Cost is $30 for a project with a $5 materials fee. A single person or parent/child could work on one project, or people have the option to pay $15 + $5 (for materials) for a second project for a child or additional child.

Sign up online with New Richmond Community Education at
Or stop in the Community Ed office from 7:30-4:00. 715-243-7421


Bell Peppers: Crisper drawer. Are you getting more than you can use? Slice or dice them up and pop them in the freezer. Done. You now have peppers for your winter meals. I like to put them in glass jars with screw on lids to keep the pepper smell from escaping.

Tomatoes, onions, garlic, thyme, ground cherries and squash- kitchen counter

Potatoes- cool, dark place

Beet Greens and lettuce- store together in a covered bowl or plastic bag

Everything else- in the fridge’s crisper drawer!


Grilled Eggplant

1 eggplant

3 T. olive oil

3 T. balsamic vinegar

2 T. minced garlic

dash of celery leaves

dash of thyme

dash of oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together except the eggplant.  Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush the sliced eggplant on both sides with the marinade mixture. Let sit for 5 minutes. Brush again with the mixture and place on a hot grill for 7 minutes and flip. Grill for another 7 minutes and serve.


Wild Rice and Beet Salad

1 cup Wild Rice
Large Beet and small bunch of beet greens
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup Pecans
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 avocados, halved, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper As Needed

1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees°.
2. Wash the beet under cold water and pat dry. Wrap in foil and place in preheated oven.
3. Roast the beet until knife tender 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Place a large pot of water on the stovetop. When the water boils, add the wild rice and cook until the rice pops.
5. Drain the rice and run cool water on it and place in a large bowl.
6. While the cooked beet is still warm, peel the skin off of it. Cut into 1/4 inch dice. And add to the wild rice in the bowl.
7. Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over a burner and add to the bowl with the rice and beet
8. Add the sliced green onions to the bowl.
9. Pour in the vinegar and oil into the bowl and toss to combine the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper

10. Cut beet greens into small pieces. Saute in a pan over medium heat until wilted.  Add to the salad. Cool and serve.


Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash (2 pounds)
1-2 medium bell peppers, sliced
4 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Place squash cut side down in a microwave-safe dish or plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Cool.
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the peppers, mushrooms and onion in oil until tender. Add tomatoes and garlic; saute 4-5 minutes longer. Add the broth and salt; simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes.
When squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate strands. Place squash on a serving platter or individual plates; top with the pepper mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

Threshing Table Farm Week 14B September 14, 2017

Hello Threshing Table Farm Members,

In your box this week you will find:

Kale                    Fennel                 Onions                          Broccoli                         Delicata Squash                       Potatoes

Sage                  Parsley                Bell Peppers                  Jalapeno peppers         Cabbage                                  Ground Cherries

Garlic                 Tomatoes             Sweet Corn


We have really been enjoying the weather this week, as I know many of you are! Last week I was wearing my long underwear (Really! I was!) and this week the kids are back in the swimming pool. The only down side to all this warm weather is all the gnats, mosquitoes and flies that are back with vigor.  Small price to pay.

The sweet corn has matured nicely. Though we don’t have huge cobs, they look to be timed out beautifully. We also have petite cabbages in the boxes. They may be small, but they still taste great!  The tomatoes have really surprised us. We have had blight confirmed in our field for the past week. We pulled all of the plants in our field that looked to be infected with blight. This was about a quarter of the crop.  The rest of the tomatoes are looking very nice. This is unlike blight as we know it. Usually, blight comes in and wipes everything out in a matter of days. It seems to have stalled or greatly slowed. We’re not sure what will happen to the tomatoes, either frost or blight will eventually wipe them out. It’s interesting to watch and until then, we’ll enjoy the tomatoes! We recommend placing them on newspaper on your counter. Do not let the tomatoes touch. Use them as soon as they are ripe and watch closely for any bruised/rotting spots. The blight won’t hurt you, but it will cause the tomato to rot and that is not nice.

I have to confess that I have been luke warm to fennel to say the least. I just don’t like black licorice and that is what it reminds me of. But- I got brave and I used a cut up fennel bulb with a beef roast. Oh My Gosh!  It was amazing!! I couldn’t believe how wonderful that fennel bulb was after roasting with the beef all day in the slow cooker. Super easy and super yummy! If you, like me have been hesitant to use the fennel, this is your week to give it a try!


We’re looking forward to the Taher dinner on the farm next week Saturday along with farm member, Sharon Overland’s pottery class on Friday of next week. We hope to see you out here for one of those events. If you would like  a different option, remember that we are open for a mini-farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, 8-1. Come on out and enjoy some time on the farm then!


Phil has a beautiful crop! $4 a pint. Order ASAP and we’ll try and get them delivered to your pickup site.  Or you can pick up on the farm. Send a check (Phil McConville) to us at

2249 150th St.
Star Prairie, WI 54026

Bifrost Goat Cheese

Only one more month to order cheese! If you didn’t get your order in for September, get going on the October order!

Orders will be delivered the first two weeks of October.



Storage Tips:

Squash, tomatoes, ground cherries. sage, onions and garlic- Leave on your kitchen counter

Potatoes- cool, dark space

Parsley- Glass of water on your counter

Fennel, broccoli, kale, peppers, cabbage, peppers and Sweet corn- keep in your crisper drawer


Eggs in Purgatory By Barb Krueger, local librarian and friend of Threshing Table Farm


Medium size frypan depending upon how many eggs you want to fix. Medium high heat.

Add tomato juice or tomato sauce or salsa (approximately a couple of cups). I have also taken plum tomatoes, sliced them, cooked them down to make juice in the pan (if I do this I add basil & oregano, salt & pepper) My parents liked using V8 juice.

Season as desired – I will add cumin or oregano, or fresh tarragon,

Heat to just starting to boil, turn heat to simmer. Add eggs. Cover pan. Cook for approximately 5 minutes depending upon how done you like your poached eggs.

While eggs are poaching toast bread or English muffins, or savory waffles

Place toast on a plate and cover with a slice of Swiss cheese (cheddar, garlic cheddar, many possibilities here.)

Remove fry pan from heat. Using a large spoon place an egg and sauce/juice on top of the cheese and toast. If extra juice left divide it between each of the servings. Serve with extra toast.


Here are the weblinks: (This one adds lemon zest to the tomato juice).


Fennel and Roast Beef

Place roast beef in slow cooker.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley. (Thyme would be lovely too!)

Cut fronds off of the fennel. Sprinkle some cut fronds on the roast.  Slice the fennel bulb into chunks. Add that to the roast.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Enjoy!


Garden Pasta with Broccoli and Herbs

1/2 cup butter

2 T. chopped fresh basil (optional)

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp.  olive oil

8 oz. pasta

2 cups small broccoli florets

1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Bring a pot of slated water to boil. Add olive oil. Add pasta and cook until just under al dente. Add broccoli and boil until pasta is tender, about 2 minutes longer. Drain pasta, and broccoli, transfer to large serving bowl.

Add herb butter and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with jalapeno, salt and pepper. Gently stir in tomatoes and finally a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Threshing Table Farm, Week 13 A, September 7, 2017

Hello Farm members,

In your box this week:

Green Beans                 Onions                   Delicata squash                        Leeks                            Sage                     Thyme

Lettuce                         Bell Peppers           Tomatoes                                 Cherry Tomatoes          Ground Cherries

Jalapeno peppers         Broccoli                 Sweet Corn


Sad news from the farm. We found out today, that we have late blight on our tomato plants. We were hoping that we were invincible. It was not to be.  Too much rain. Too much cold. Too many cloudy days.  The tomatoes you are receiving were picked on Monday. We pick the tomatoes a few days early, while still partially green. They hold better, ripen more evenly and are less cracked than if we let them ripen on the vine. This saved the tomatoes you are getting today from getting blight. Blight will move very fast through the field and will likely have caused all the tomatoes to rot by the end of the week.  We’ll try and pick some green ones in the next two days and if we catch them early enough, we may get them to hold until we send the boxes next week. We’ll see. Late blight is not dangerous to us, only the tomato plants. It also affects potato plants (Remember the great potato famine in Ireland? Same blight.) Mike mowed the potato plants down a few weeks ago when we heard reports of blight in the area. They were done growing any way, so the potatoes won’t be affected. We will soon be destroying all the plants in order to help stop the spread of the disease to neighboring gardeners.

On the positive side, the sweet corn is young and sweet! The ground cherries are ready too! They are in the bag with the cherry tomatoes. Ground cherries are ripe when the paper husk they grow in is brown and papery. Peel the paper off and pop it in your mouth. It’s a favorite treat for everyone around here!  If your ground cherries are not brown and papery yet, just leave them sit on your counter. They will ripen.   And the green beans are still beautiful!  Winter squash is also on the way! We are sending the first of them, the delicata  Delicata are great for slicing and roasting or sautéing, because they have thin skins that can be eaten.

The kids are all off to school this week. That makes for some intense mornings of getting everyone out the door, but a quieter day around here. I’ll miss their help, their chatter and how well they kept Tess and June (Our dogs) busy and on the run.

Please remember to order your Bifrost cheese for next week’s delivery.

We also have Phil’s raspberries for $4 a pint. If you would like to order some, please let me know! We can send them with your share box.

And also remember to sign up for the fairy house making event, here on the farm, with farm members Sharon Overland. I can’t wait to see what Claudia and I come up with for our fairy house! Check out last week’s newsletter for all the info. (Can’t find it? GO to to see our newsletters for all the info).

Sign up online with New Richmond Community Education at    Or call or stop in the Community Ed. office from 7:30-4:00. 715-243-7421


Storage tips

Squash, ground cherries, thyme, tomatoes and onions: All of these will do well sitting on your counter. The thyme will dry nicely, and if the tomatoes are getting “too” ripe, then you can stick them in the fridge to keep them a bit longer.

Lettuce: Plastic bag in the crisper drawer

Corn, peppers, leeks, broccoli and beans- Crisper drawer

Sage- try keeping it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. You can also put it on the counter and leave it to dry.

Bell Pepper Relish

1 bell pepper, chopped into small pieces

1/2 onion, chopped in small pieces

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or a bit of jalapeno pepper cut up

Add everything to a small sauce pan an stir all ingredients well. Cook the relish on medium heat for 5 minutes and turn down the heat to medium low for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has reduced. Remove from heat and cool before serving.  Serve on bagels with cream cheese, crackers or bread with brie.


Corn and Bell Pepper Vegan Soup

2 T. Olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cups finely chopped bell peppers

3 cloves garlic,  finely chopped

6 ears of corn, kernels cut off

4 cups vegetables stock

4 sprigs thyme

1 jalapeno, chopped to taste

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Saute onion, peppers, and garlic in olive oil on medium-high heat. Stir to coat and cook 3-5 minutes until softened.  Add corn and stir again, let cook another 3 minutes. Add vegetable stock and leaves from four thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper.  Add puree to the remaining soup and  Garnish with fresh thyme.

Squash with sage and leeks

2 delicata squash

olive oil

1 T. salt

2 leeks, washed, all but first 2 inches of green removed

1 stick butter

4 T. fresh sage leaves

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Rub the squash generously with olive oil and season well with salt. Pierce 3 holes in the top of the squash with a sharp object to allow the seam to vent when cooking.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, until thoroughly soft and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the onion.

When cool enough to handle, cut open the squash, carefully remove the seeds and throw away. Using a large spoon, scoop out all the flesh and place in a bowl.

Cut the leeks lengthwise and julienne into straw like strips, about 2 inches in length and set aside.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan and cook until the color reaches brown-butter stage. Add the fresh sage leaves and continue cooking until the sage becomes slightly crisped. Add the julienne of leeks and continue stirring until cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the 1 T. of slat and 1/2 tsp. pepper and stir to blend.

Add the cooked squash and continue to stir over medium heat to mash the squash and to blend all the ingredients together. Spoon into bowls to serve.