Threshing Table Farm Week 7 A

July 30th, 2015

What’s in this week’s box??

*Leopard frogs

broccoli zucchini Summer squash Kale

cabbage? Thyme onion Cilantro

Fennel green beans Carrots potatoes

It’s been a beautiful week on the farm. The rain today (Tuesday) certainly slowed our field work down, but the heat and sun of the other days have sped up the growing most other days. Our summer squash and zucchini patch gets picked every single day and it’s amazing the growth we see each time we pick. When we find a zucchini that is the size of a baseball bat we can’t help but giggle at the ridiculous size and wonder how we could have walked past that thing day after day! The pigs and chickens don’t mind the big ones, they enjoy them often!

Our cucumbers are still plugging along, slowly. We were hoping to have lots of them in the box this week, but it’s again going to be a lottery win if you get one. Next week… Next week… On the other hand, I feel very confident saying that next week we will be having sweet corn!!

The beans are a fun mix that include mostly green beans. We also have some yellow wax beans thrown in as well as an heirloom variety called Dragon’s Tongue. Enjoy the splash of color!

Our tomatoes are starting to show a bit of color on one of the early varieties. I’ll walk the patch tomorrow and see if I can round up enough to put in the box. You might find one…

It’s a bit of a surprise box this week!

Our pigs are growing so fast! If you’ve gotten the chance to visit them you’ve probably seen them rooting in the mud, sleeping cuddled up with one another or scratching against a tree. It is so much fun watching them be pigs, and enjoying nature the way they were intended to. The pigs belong to our neighbor Dave Jensen. He is taking orders for ½ and whole hogs. The pigs will be butchered in fall. If you would like to purchase some, please call him at

612-685-0155. He also has beef to sell. If you are interested in purchasing some local beef, give him a call about that too.

Maple Syrup

We still have syrup available-

Quarts: $15

Pints: $8

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:

*Leopard frogs- Ruth Hilfiker is a farm member with a lot of knowledge about the soil, insects and plants that make up a healthy farm. She is often seen walking through our fields, looking at what is going on and evaluating what is going well and where things are struggling. She noted this on her last visit, “ I saw lots of leopard frogs hopping around your “organic” farm in the cabbages!  They do not tolerate pesticide contaminated soil so yeah you.”

We couldn’t agree more… Yeah us!! Yeah Leopard Frogs!!

Savoy Cabbage: Keep in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. We’re again sending cabbages as we have them. The wet conditions continue to be a struggle for them. The red cabbage, still to come, will hopefully fare better.

Kale: Store in crisper drawer, preferably in plastic bag or container.

Broccoli: Store in your crisper drawer or in a covered container. Summer broccoli has a stronger flavor than the fall or earlier broccoli. If it’s too strong for you plain, enjoy it smothered in cheese or in your favorite salad.

Fennel: Store in crisper drawer

Zucchini/Summer Squash: Store in refrigerator, crisper drawer is best.

Carrots: Store in plastic bag in crisper drawer. Remove the tops for best storage results.

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.

Beans: Store in plastic bag in crisper drawer.

Cilantro: Place stems in glass of water and place in refrigerator or on the counter.

Thyme: Leave on the counter. It can be used fresh or when it has dried.


CSA Salad

I wanted to share this recipe with you I found in a cookbook from our local grocery store.  It has evolved in our household with family and friends as the “CSA Salad” and is a popular request.  I will be making it tonight with my broccoli from our last CSA box!  I add some cubed mozzarella and pepperoni to make the salad an entree.- Jessica Rennich, Member

  • 1 pt. Grape Tomatoes, halved

  • 2 cups broccoli florets

  • 1 cup diced yellow bell pepper

  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper

  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion

  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles

  • 1/3 cup prepared Greek vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil


In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, or serve immediately.


Fennel, potato and thyme gratin

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced thin

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2lb potatoes

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 1/2 cups grated cheese

  • 1 Tblsp. fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup crumbled raw walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of a 10-cup baking dish, then set aside.

Thoroughly wash your fennel to remove any soil or grit. With a sharp knife, remove the stalks, woody base and fronds (retain the feathery fronds for garnish and discard the rest). Divide the fennel bulb in half; thinly slice the bulbs crosswise.

Melt the butter in a large pan or pot with the splash of olive oil (the oil helps to prevent the butter from burning).  Add in your sliced onion and fennel, then sauté on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes (or until tender). Set aside to cool slightly.

Wash and peel your potatoes. Thinly slice them (about 3mm thick) by hand or with a mandoline. In a large bowl, mix your sliced potatoes with the cream, 2 cups of cheese,  the fresh thyme leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add in the sautéed fennel and onion. Mix well until the cheese and fennel mixture are thoroughly incorporated

Pour the potato mixture into your prepared baking dish. if necessary, then press down lightly to immerse the top layer under the cream. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for one hour before removing the foil and sprinkling over the walnuts. Bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbling. Set aside for ten minutes to rest before serving.

Kale Salad

Kale is a superfood: an antioxidant, a powerful anti-inflammatory and an exceptional source of vitamins K and A which are necessary for blood clotting and healthy vision. So eat it up!

6-7 cups kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn

1 T. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. olive oil

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 small avocado, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

¼ cup fresh blueberries

¼ cup feta cheese


¼ cup fresh blueberries

3 T. olive oil

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. honey

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

In a large bowl, combine kale, lime juice, 1 tsp oil and salt and pepper. Massage mixture into kale with your hands until leaves are slightly wilty. Transfer to serving platter.

Sprinkle rest of salad ingredients on to the kale.

Prepare dressing by placing all dressing ingredients in a blender. Add 3 T. water. Blend until smooth and drizzle over salad.


Cheesy Chicken and Kale Quesadillas

  • 10 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders

  • 1/2 tsp olive oil

  • 3 cups kale, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can unsalted pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup diced vine tomato

  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion

  • 2 tbsp seeded and minced jalapeño chile pepper

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 3 tbsp shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

  • 3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

  • Olive oil cooking spray

  • 8 6- or 7-inch whole-grain tortillas


  • 1 small avocado, peeled and pitted

  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat (1% or 2%) plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 cup diced red onion, divided

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced, divided

  • 2 tbsp seeded and minced jalapeño chile pepper, divided

  • Pinch coarse sea salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 cup diced vine tomato


  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add chicken and bring to a simmer; cook until opaque throughout, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then dice into 1⁄4-inch pieces.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare guacamole: In a medium bowl, combine avocado, yogurt and lime juice; use a fork to mash mixture until smooth. On a cutting board, pile 2 tbsp each red onion and cilantro, 1 tbsp jalapeño and pinch salt; mince mixture finely, then use flat side of knife to scrape mixture against cutting board into a paste. Stir paste into avocado mixture. Fold in remaining 2 tbsp each red onion and cilantro, 1 tbsp jalapeño and 1⁄2 cup tomato. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

  3. In a medium pot, heat oil on medium-high. Add kale and sauté, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Reduce heat to medium and add beans, 1⁄2 cup tomato, yellow onion, 2 tbsp jalapeño and cumin. Sauté for 5 minutes, until onion softens and mixture is heated through. Stir in chicken and cheese and cook until cheese melts; stir in 3 tbsp cilantro.

  4. Mist a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Stack 2 tortillas and add to skillet; heat for 30 seconds. Turn and cook for 30 more seconds, until soft and heated; remove from skillet. Transfer 1 tortilla to a clean cutting board and spread 1⁄2 cup chicken mixture evenly over top, leaving 1/8-inch border along edges. Brush edges with water and place second warmed tortilla over top, pressing edges to seal. Carefully transfer to skillet and heat, turning once, for 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture.

  5. Cut each quesadilla into 4 pieces and serve with guacamole.

Have a great week and happy eating!!

Jody, Mike, Claudia, Malcolm and Jonas