Category Archives: Cooking

High Meadow Farm has a New Site!

Pea sproutsA new Website, that is;  Our new Website is ready to roll!  

If you subscribe and follow our blog updates and would like to continue receiving them, I encourage you to re-submit your subscription on our new page so that you will know when we have a new post.

As the new season approaches, we are looking forward to introducing our new, customize-able shares to our members, the addition of lambs to our farm and farmers market season starting soon!  We hope that you will stay in touch with us.   Meanwhile, check out our new Website and let us know what you think!

Thank you for following us through our changing seasons at High Meadow Farm.  Have a great summer!

~Meg~

Bringing Salad to the Table?

 

Our Easter Sale is over, but there could be more chances to get tasty greens and produce!  Sign up for our email list to hear about them HERE and visit us at the Fort Atkinson Farmers Market April 9 and starting in May,  every Saturday morning from 8 – noon!

We always have fresh, organic, soy-free eggs at the farm from our free-range, pastured chickens!

Call or email highmeadowfarmcsa@gmail.com for more information!

Garden Gleanings and Open Farm Days

Days like these have me missing the harvesting for the farmers market, but then I know there will soon be more days like last Saturday’s market; low 40’s and pouring rain!  That’s not so much fun anymore!

None the less, there are crops in the field that are continuing to grow and produce beautifully.  We have already harvested and put into cold storage most of our crops for winter.  There are still some tasty vegetables in the field that we’ll harvest for the early winter storage share boxes and for our Open Farm Market and we also offer some select produce for sale now from the fields while the weather holds.

With the extended warmth of this extraordinary fall, I have been enjoying the continued season of gleaning produce that remains in the field, even though I know that an El Nino season isn’t without consequence.  We have had a few light frosts, but no hard freezes yet and that is very unusual for this time of year.  The frosts have made some of the hardier greens that remain in the fields sweet and tasty and we continue to harvest them until the extreme cold arrives.  I know that we will be relying on our storage crops soon enough but for now, with a little more time to cook we’ve been gleaning the fields and loving it all.

With a little more time on my hands I have been playing with leafy “blends” and there have been some interesting creations.  I wince each time I say “pesto” (sans basil) so perhaps “pâté would be more appropriate.  My favorite so far is Kale and Fennel Leaf.  You may find that blend surprising, but then so did we! The Fennel leaf brought an unexpected sweet balance to the kale and it was very good. Spinach and cilantro was also a hit although the Arugula/cilantro mixture was…so-so.  I’m still working on that.

Sweet Onion and Savoy Cabbage Casserole

Sweet Onion and Savoy Cabbage Casserole

We’ve also been on a bit of a sweet onion binge.  (So sweet they have Halloween candy beat!) The large, sweet beauties don’t store as well through the winter months as the storage varieties do but they sure do caramelize and cook down for some delicious onion soups, onion tarts and baked onion dishes. They were also a perfect pairing with Savoy Cabbage in a Sweet Onion and Savoy Cabbage Casserole last night.

Our first Winter Market at the farm is coming up on Saturday, November 21. From 10:00 – 2:00 pm. There will be lots of certified organic produce, eggs and more.

Available from the farm NOW are some varieties of potatoes, onions; red, yellow, white or sweet (get them while they last) and anything that we can easily harvest from the fields for you: beautiful broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, celery root and Daikon radish and leeks. Just call ahead to set up a time and stop out: 920-988-5023.

For the “cream of the crop”, mark your calendars for Nov. 21 or sign up for a winter share to be sure that you get the crops that we have reserved just for them!

Fall/winter shares are available now!

Leeks

Leeks

The harvest continues at the farm, as we get ready to fill our winter share boxes with sweet fall crops like tasty carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and Romanesca, spinach, potatoes and much, much more.   We have grown a nice selection of onions, leeks, shallots and garlic and 10 varieties of potatoes.  Winter shares will have a great sampling of these as well as winter squash, pie pumpkins and sweet potatoes to name a few.

Sign up soon for our fall/winter shares; 3 nice deliveries of organic, local and fresh produce to sustain your family through the holidays and into next year with recipes and storage tips included.   These shares are filling up fast!  $190.00

Egg shares are available over the winter months also; 10 egg deliveries over 20 weeks. (Eggs are delivered every-other week, so you will receive your eggs and then miss a week…repeat.) Egg shares begin with vegetable shares on November 18 and then continue throughout the season.  $55.00.

Here is some of the produce that you can look forward to:

Wrapping up the Season on the Farm

Standard share; week 20

Standard share; week 20

Wednesday morning harvest and afternoon packing crews.

Wednesday morning harvest and afternoon packing crews.

This was the final week of our summer CSA season.  It feels very strange not to be thinking about next week’s box and what needs to be done before that.  It also feels sad to think that all of our dedicated worker-shares are done for the season, too.  Next week, the farm will be quiet. Ugh.  We are going to miss everyone and we are eternally thankful to all of our members and workers for making another great season possible!

We have a new deadline for harvest now; the hard freeze.  We’ve had some frosty mornings, but nothing that a head of cabbage can’t stand…yet.  Last year, we still had some cabbage in the fields when the temps dipped to the teens and the cabbage looked like it was frozen beyond return.  A few upper 30 degree days were all it took to be restored.  What an amazing plant family those brassica’s are!  Last year, Matt and Casey were washing carrots outside when it was in the 30’s.  This year, we have a root tumbler to help with that. We also have a lot more carrots to wash!

Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, Romanesca, leeks and late potatoes are the big crops that we have left to harvest.  Most of that will occur in November after the storage areas have cooled down more.  After the fields are cleaned up and after the garlic is planted.  We will have all of these staples throughout the winter and available for anyone to stock up on.  Most of the greens that we have planted in the high tunnel and some of the less prolific cold-weather crops will be used for winter shares, but we may have some of those available from time to time, too.

Brussels sprouts in the field.

Brussels sprouts in the field.

If you would like us to send you an email when our winter farm market is “open” just sign up here:

Winter Produce 2014-2015

or email highmeadowfarmcsa@gmail.com and ask to be added to the mailing list.

Thank you to all of our CSA members, farmers market friends and farm customers who have helped us to have a great season of produce!

Summer and the Height of the CSA Season

Tomato and cucumber salad

Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, onion and Bragg’s cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

We’ve had a few rainy days.  The first since July 1 and I love every second of it.  Although irrigation keeps the crops lush, the grass around the fields, the trees and wildflowers have all had their heads bowed for weeks.  There have been many insects, birds and amphibians finding an oasis at our irrigation headers when we are watering.  It had become the miniature Serengeti watering hole; a good place to view all of the local creatures.

I have been waiting for a rainy day to get caught up with paperwork, canning, cleaning and updating our blog.  I need more rainy days.  I need many of them.  I am starting with the blog.  When I am out in the fields, weeding, harvesting and spending time with the plants, I often think of things that I would love to tell everyone about them.  (I really can’t say I ever think that much about cleaning or paperwork, at least not when they are out of sight.)  Then I come inside to make dinner and ‘POOF’, the thoughts are gone.

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes

I do, however, manage to get excited about the armload of vegetables that I bring in for dinner each night.  Our meals are almost always later in the evening (much later than they should be) and the goal  is often to make something in a short time frame with a quick thought to what is needed the most that day; carbs, protein or something light?  Then I look at my husband and consider how much longer he can go without food; are we in an emergency situation?  (He is a hard worker, but sadly, not a chef.) If so, the solution usually involves eggs and/or tortillas or pulling some bacon out of the freezer for BLT’s and O’s (onions). If we have a little time to spare, a frittata, omelet or Quiche or a quick stir-fry, likely seasoned with ginger, soy sauce, chili and sesame oil.

I love to cook, but let’s be clear that I don’t make any claims to being a great cook.  I can’t say that I really ever measure ingredients, so if I think that a meal is worthy of writing down, doing so after the meal has been made is tricky.  I think adjusting recipes to suit one’s taste is the best way to cook unless you are unfamiliar with the spices that are called for.  I find that this principle rarely works when baking though.  A pinch of this and a handful of that usually ends poorly. Someone told me once that cooking is an art and baking is a science and that flipped the light switch on for me.  Now I have an excuse to avoid baking (too scientific) unless it involves free artistic license after the science project has been completed!

Quesadilla with purslane leaves

Quesadilla with purslane leaves

Before I pat myself on the back again for cooking though, I have to emphasize that it is hard to fail if you are working with the best and the freshest organic produce.  I think that the only way to ruin a meal that starts with fresh, organic vegetables is to overcook or burn it badly, spill the salt into it or mistake the cayenne pepper for paprika.  (Too many jalapenos might ruin it for some, too.) Once you learn what fresh, clean food tastes like and you become accustomed to eating it on a regular basis, your body will send out the “danger” signal when you eat processed foods.  The trick there is not ignoring that warning when you hear it and you will be adding years on to your life.

We are halfway through our CSA season.  School will be starting soon, days will be shorter and for many, time to cook will be challenging.  I am hoping that our members have been getting in the habit of putting great meals together from their CSA boxes each week and will continue to do that as the days shrink into the next seasons.

Here are a few of the quick meals and other things that we have made this summer:

So Many Ways to Love a Pumpkin

20131117_122052 - CopyI think that pumpkin may be one of my favorite things ever.  I love the word “pumpkin”, I love how they look, feel and taste, right down to the seeds.  They are also so diverse; you can use them for a meal, a soup, or for deserts and they are perfect for stuffing with their big, hollow middle! We had a bumper crop of these beauties this year; both Sugar Pie pumpkins, with their sugary-looking netting covering the pumpkin, and the Heirloom ‘Long Pie’, a.k.a; ‘Nantucket’ pie pumpkin.  The Long Pie are new for us this year and one that we have been enjoying a lot. Right now, they are stacked like a pile of logs in our squash storage.  They were turning orange when we picked them, but now they are bright, pumpkin orange and they are lovely and flavorful! The slow, steady ripening is one of their attributes and charms.  They are also easier to scoop the seeds out of because they don’t have the same stringy membrane that attaches to the meat of the pumpkin and they are the first choice for many bakers for making delicious pumpkin pies.

20131112_120730On those chilly, rainy days of fall, when the weather keeps me indoors, I love to fill a roasting pan with pumpkins and cook them in the oven.  When they cool a bit, I scoop out the soft flesh, puree and bag the puree in 2 cup portions to be used well beyond pumpkin season for baking, soups and pancakes!

Here are a few of our favorite pumpkin recipes, and there are a few more in the recipe section: