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173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 • sweettopfarm@gmail.com  
www.sweettopfarm.com
CSA Newsletter: Week Four
12 July 2017
scroll down to read what is in your CSA box, storage tips, recipes,
and see photos of the farm this week

* * * * *
Did you miss last week's newsletter? Click here to read it: Week 3 Newsletter

 

Finally, a stint of summer weather blessed the farm last week. We were able to do one last cultivation with Belle on the winter squash, and it is now vining out and covering any visible soil. The plants look great. And remember the photo I took last week of the summer squash and zucchini? Those plants have doubled in size thanks to the  recent heat. The cucumber vines are stretching out as well, and we expect a cuke or two in the box next week.

A wild storm rolled through the farm last night with high winds and a down pour of rain. We walked around this morning and saw a few broken leaves and a blowdown of sunflowers that were about to be harvested, but that was about it for damage. The most irritating damage right now is caused by a too cute for its own good thirteen-lined ground squirrel. You might remember me mentioning them last year when they ate loads of sugar snap peas. Well this year, it's carrots. They are quite difficult to trap compared to a pocket gopher and are very fast. The best I've been able to do is share a nasty look and some choice words when I see them scurrying around the fields. Critters aside, carrots are close to being ready and we expect them in the next box as well.

Edith spent several days in Rochester with Grandma and Grandpa, and Harvey was a complete angel--taking naps at opportune times while we caught up on farm work and sleeping well at night so we could also catch up on some sleep. He turns three months old this week and is such a happy guy. We also celebrate the one year anniversary of the arrival of Sassy the Basset Hound--our "farm" dog from the animal shelter. Sassy is no longer allowed to roam free across the farm acreage due to her love of harvesting and eating fresh vegetables, but she remains sweet, a little smelly, and as sassy as the name she came with.


ABOUT THE BOX: During the winter, I help coordinate and edit an annual publication written by farmers in our region for Western Wisconsin CSA farmers called The Share. Each year, we include a question that is answered by CSA members. This issue's question: How do you eat through your CSA box each week--what's your "recipe for success"?

Here is another member response from a neighboring CSA farm that I found helpful and hope you do too. 


Even though the vegetables were very clean, I rewashed them before putting them away. This spurred my imagination as to what I would cook with them or if we would eat them raw. A scrubbed carrot, radish, turnip, etc. will always be eaten before an unclean one. I know our family loves greens, so if the box contained an abundance of spinach, kale, Asian greens, or roots veggies like beets or turnip with greens attached, I would always freeze a bag or two for later while leaving enough to enjoy fresh.  We freeze washed and dried kale and crush a couple of handfuls into our eggs in the morning.

I have found that foods that ripen at the same time naturally taste good together so that was another strategy we used. The quality of the produce was so high that only a brief steaming and seasoning with salt and pepper and the herb of the week was often all that was needed. Many people don’t think of veggies when they think of grilling, but anything can be grilled even cauliflower and romaine lettuce.  Olive oil, salt and pepper, and a bit of lemon are good starting points. Quick roasting is good too. Let the glorious flavor of those perfectly sweet veggies shine through!

I think paying for the produce in advance was a good impetus to eat everything in the box before eating anything else. Even though the initial outlay for a full share seemed significant, we actually saved money by eating veggies first #veggiesfirst. Our diet became more plant based and my blood sugar returned to normal. My advice to eating through a whole share each week is to really look at what’s in the box, give thanks for the bounty, eat salad whenever you can with all kinds of vegetables, prepare some veggies to munch on raw, learn what your family likes to eat, and explore recipes from different cultures and new cooking methods. Finally, there is no shame in freezing some for the long winter.  


OH MY! Two heads of lettuce--savor these beautiful heads of lettuce because there won't be more until this fall. Take Abby's advice and eat salad whenever you can! Enjoy the rest of this week's beautiful harvest!

-Megan, Adam, Edith, and Harvey

What's in your box and
where does it go?
 
  Fridge? Bag?
beets-gold yes  plastic
broccoli yes plastic
cabbage-green yes  plastic
green beans yes plastic
kohlrabi yes plastic
lettuce yes plastic
scallions yes plastic
turnips yes plastic
zucchini/squash yes plastic
Recipes
 
Bacon Ranch Zucchini Noodle Salad
 
2 medium zucchinis or squash
3 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 small can black sliced olives, drained
1/2 cup dairy free ranch (Try this recipe: 
AIP ranch)
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt


Spiralize the zucchinis with a spiralizer (like this one ). Add the cooking oil to a pan and set to medium/low heat. Cook the zucchini noodles for 2-3 minutes or until just barely soft. Remove the zucchini noodles and drain off any excess water. Place the noodles in a large bowl and add in the bacon, olives, and carrots. Stir in the ranch dressing of choice. Top with fresh parsley and sea salt and serve chilled.
Adapted from www.unboundwellness.com

Roasted Beet Salad with Yogurt-Mint Sauce

1 bunch medium beets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss beets with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover dish tightly with foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on size. When cool enough to handle, rub beets with a paper towel to remove skins.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mint, cumin, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Spoon yogurt sauce over beets and serve.
Adapted from Chef turned Farmer Heather Wiarda at Sleepy Root Farm
 
Click these recipes for additional ideas:
Above: Adam mulched the tomatoes and started trellising this week. They're looking great!

Right: Thirteen lined ground squirrels are enjoying biting the tops off of carrots and giving them a taste...grrr!
The Bag Ladies
Megan's mom and grandmother made all of the cloth bags that we use for sugar snap peas and green beans. Please return them to your dropsite and put them in the clear tote for us to wash and reuse.
Details About Today's
CSA Box

Beets
A beautiful bunch of gold beets. Milder than red beets and often sweeter. Roast or boil or try parboiling and then grilling for a smoky flavor. Greens are in great shape and can be simply sauteed in olive oil until wilted and then tossed with balsamic vinegar.

Broccoli
One or two heads of broccoli

Cabbage
Very tender and perfect for a salad or slaw. 

Green Beans
First of the season. Please remember to return your cloth bags to your dropsite.

Kohlrabi
The round green orb in your box. Our favorite way to eat them: peel, slice, and top with a dash of salt. Last of this until fall.

Lettuce
Two heads. The tender smaller of the two is a butterhead and should be eaten first. The other large head is either a green leaf or romaine. Wash and bag so it is ready to use.


Scallions
A nice bunch of onions to add to salads or sautes. Great raw on sandwiches or mixed with eggs.


Turnips
The white roots in your box. Still tender and delicious. Can be eaten raw or cooked (and don't forget the greens--wonderful substituted for the spicy greens as part of this sandwich:
Open-faced farmer's sandwich.


Zucchini/Summer Squash
Hot weather arrived, the plants doubled in size, and the fruits are growing faster than we can harvest them. Wonderful simply sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper. 

 
Sassy the Basset Hound
This week's produce (clockwise from the top): Leaf Lettuce, Butterhead Lettuce, Gold Beets, Broccoli, Squash and Zucchini, Kohlrabi, Green Beans, Turnips, Scallions, and Green Cabbage. 
My favorite field this year full of beans, carrots, leeks, celery, beets, and brussel sprouts.
Watermelons and cantaloupes are vining out and looking great!
A cantaloupe about the size of a baseball.
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173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007






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