Tag Archives: veggies

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:

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What Lies Beneath the Snow?

There is a hoop-house and a turkey tractor under that snow!

I know that there are delicious greens under that snow, just waiting for a few sunny, warm days!  In a few weeks, we will harvest what is ready and begin re-planting for our spring greens.

Another sign of spring is Matt’s return to Wisconsin after a few relaxing months in Central America.  Well-rested, he handled the 2 day layover in Dallas remarkably well as he waited to find the first southern Wisconsin airport that would re-open after the big blizzard of 2011.  Now he seems ready to start planting some seeds!

We are excited about the veggies that we are planning on for 2011.  We are looking forward to some of our old favorites and some mouth-watering new varieties.  As we look out the window at all the deep snow, our eyes always seem to turn towards the fields as we daydream about feeding the soil that will grow healthy and nutritious vegetables for out next season.  I know that those days will be here before we know it and there is plenty to do before the snow melts!

The membership is growing this year, and we look forward to meeting all of our new farm friends!  There is still room in the CSA for more members and we have added another share size for members who enjoy canning or have large families.  Although we are adding a few additional shares this year, we expect to fill up again fairly early in the season.

We still have some nice organically grown potatoes for sale, and we almost always have eggs available for sale before the CSA season starts.  Feel free to call if you need eggs or potatoes or if you have questions about the CSA:  920-699-3658.

Summer Marches On…

Evan, Matt and Darrell picking cucumbers

From green beans to cucumbers, Cukes to corn.  Just when we’ve had our fill of something, there is another to replace it.  The early corn went out this week, and the delicious bi-color will be coming soon.  Corn is easy to freeze and make other dishes with, but me-thinks you grow weary of cucumbers?

We’re taking a break from the green beans for now, but there will be more in a few weeks.  What I am looking forward to the most is the edamame!  The delicious soy beans (edamame) are filling out nicely and are sure to be a favorite for many of our new members soon.  All of the summer melons are ripening and look great, although the vines are reaching far outside of their designated area and into the celery and celeriac.  We’re keeping a close eye on that situation.  You can expect to see some great melons in your boxes soon.
We still have several weeks of summer to look forward to and 11 more weeks of veggies, but our days are getting shorter.  Last night was the most noticable to me.  I was in at 8:30 and the light felt like 9:00.  Although the cool-weather crops are something to look forward to, the short days are not.  I am definitely a long-day variety.
All of the garlic has been pulled and is curing in the barn and the onions will be pulled next.  The late-season crops are in the ground for the most part, although we will still be planting greens.   Summer marches on and soon we’ll be thinking of autumn.
We still have green beans, summer squash and cucumbers available at the farm.  Just give us a call if you need them!

Oh, Potato!

What an amazing plant!  To put a little piece of potato into the ground, wait a few months and pull out multitudes of tender treasures is a wonder to me. 

We have planted 8 different varieties of certified organic seed potatoes this year:  Dark Red Norland, Pontiac, French Fingerlings, Yukon Gold, Carola, Kennebec, Adirondack Red and Adirondack Blue.  They are having a fantastic year, thanks to the irrigation that Mike installed on each row.  Mike and Hassan have kept them weeded and hilled all season.  No easy task, considering they were planted in what was a hayfield last year!  Mike set off on watering and bug-picking missions every day.  All of the efforts have paid off.  It has been one of the most beautiful fields of any crop I’ve seen.

We are 2 weeks into our potato harvest, and expect to be digging a few rows every week through fall. The earliest harvested are the outstanding Dark Red Norlands.  With tender red skins and creamy middles these are a delight to eat and cook with.  IMG_0959

We’ve been harvesting the potatoes with our “new” antique potato digger, and it has been working out great!  All that we have to do is pick them up off of the ground, bring them in and wash them! 

After the Norlands are harvested, we will be harvesting the Yucon Gold, Carola and the Fingerling potatoes.  We do offer discounts to anyone that would like to come and help with the harvest.  The video shows our “new” machine doing all of the really hard work.

 

Give us a call if you’d like to order any potatoes, or if you would like to come when Mike is harvesting.  920-699-3658.

Summer

Box 7, June 24

Box 7, June 24 Peas, Beets, Carrots, Purslane, Cauliflower, Head lettuce, Boc Choi, Parsley, Green onions

Leah and Casey washing beets and carrots

Leah and Casey washing beets and carrots

The Stuves washing and bagging lettuce early Wednesday morning

The Stuves washing and bagging lettuce early Wednesday morning

Wednesday was a hot one.  Many thanks to the worker shares for their help in harvesting, washing, and boxing all those veggies.

I hope you all are enjoying your food!  We your appreciate feedback!