173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 •
CSA Newsletter: Week Ten
23 August 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 9 Newsletter. 

In the past several weeks, we have had many people ask us how our season is going. This is a complex question, and since we have a new baby, I often interpret the question as one referring to the coexistence of a growing family and operating a farm. To that I answer that it is going much better than we expected. Harvey is a sweet, patient baby and is still in the stages of eating and sleeping and for the most part staying put (although he is scooting towards things across the room). Edith is handling big sisterhood quite well. Adam and I are not complete zombies since Harvey is a relatively sound sleeper. On the farming front, I feel that we have better control of the weeds than we have any other year, and for the most part, we've kept up with the planting and direct seeding. Despite a slow start due to the June hail storm, we've been really happy with the harvests for the CSA boxes.

One crop that we gave special attention to this year was tomatoes. Last year, we lost the crop to late blight. This season, we were meticulous about everything from their health in the greenhouse as seedlings to how much fertilzer they got to making sure that we trellised, mulched, and weeded rows at the appropriate time. And it really looked like all of our hours and money spent was really paying off. The foliage was beautiful dark green and the plants were loaded with perfect green globes. All we needed was for a stretch of warm days and nights to start the ripening process. All of the farms around us are struggling with the cool temperatures as well--here we are near the first of September and no one is seeing color in their fields. Some farmers are even concerned that if this weather pattern keeps up, they won't even have a harvest before the first frost. 

About a month ago, we heard about a farm in River Falls that found late blight. At that point, I started scouting every plant (that's 600) for signs of late blight, and I did this nearly every day. Last week, we heard about two farms in Osceola that mowed their tomatoes after late blight. Our concern was heightened a bit with this cool weather and extremely dewy nights and mornings. Late blight is held in check by hot, dry weather--the opposite of the weather we are having this month. Still as of Friday, our plants looked great and disease free.

Monday morning, as I was doing a field walk and making a harvest list for the CSA box this week, I walked through the tomatoes. My heart sunk. Late blight dotted the leaves of nearly every plant. We spent extra money this year on one variety of seed that is Late Blight resistant. So far, we haven't seen anything and will continue to monitor that one variety with the hope of getting a few tomatoes to each of you this season. We will keep you up to date as to the status of this variety, Mountain Merit. All the other tomatoes had to be mowed down. To read last season's newsletter that has more information about what late blight is, click here: Week 10 Newsletter 2016

Know that this is very difficult news to share with you, and we are sickened at the thought of mowing down months of time and hard work. It is times like this that your support is critical to the health and viability of our small farm. If we relied solely on farmers markets or wholesale accounts, losing a high value crop like tomatoes would be devastating to our business. We thank you for your continued support and understanding. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or phone.

Details about this week's harvest are below.
                                                                                                                    Your Farmers,

Megan, Adam, Edith, and Harvey

What's in your box and
where does it go?
  Fridge? Bag?
cantaloupe once cut container of choice
carrots yes plastic
cucumbers yes plastic
eggplant no  countertop
green beans yes  plastic
kale yes plastic
onion yes  plastic
peppers-hot, italian, and bell yes plastic
potatoes-blue no  countertop
zucchini/squash yes plastic
Summer Veggie Soup
1 large onion, diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
7 carrots, diced (about 5 cups)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coarse salt
8 ounces green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 packed cup baby spinach or kale ripped into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a pot over medium heat, cook onion in oil until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in carrots, turmeric, and salt. Add 10 cups water, bring to a boil, then simmer, 30 minutes. Add beans and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes.

To serve, fill a bowl with spinach or kale and dill. Ladle 3 cups hot soup over greens, cover with a plate, and let steep 5 minutes. Add lemon juice.

Try adding diced potatoes and sliced zucchini or squash to incorporate more from your CSA box.

Adapted from

Sesame Cucumber and Carrot Salad

1 cucumber, sliced thinly
½ cup raw carrot, shredded
1 T. grape seed oil or any other oil that has a light, clean flavor
2 T. rice vinegar (You can substitute cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, too)
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 T. toasted sesame seeds

Place cucumber and carrot in a medium bowl. Make vinaigrette by whisking together the grape seed oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Toss the veggies with the vinaigrette. Place in the fridge until ready to serve. When serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Kale cut into thin strips and massaged into this dressing would be a nice addition to this salad.
Adapted from chef turned farmer Heather Wiarda.

Click these recipes for additional ideas:
Last of the transplants (kohlrabi) went into the ground on Monday afternoon. Special thanks to our neighbor Luke for planting the final rows with me!
Details About Today's

This special treat could use another day or two on the countertop to continue ripening. When it's fragrant, cut it open!

Summer carrots are going strong with no end in sight!

4-5 slicers. Lots of cucumbers out there, so they should be in the box for a few more weeks.

A smaller variety called Diamond. Tired of eggplant? Coarsely chop, saute, cool, and put in a bag in the freezer. In the winter, add it to sauces, soups, stews.

Green Beans
A nice harvest again this week; please return the cloth bag with your CSA box.

Kale-Curly Red or Green
This is the first harvest off our fall kale, so the leaves are nice and tender--perfect for raw salads (or cooking but just for a short amount of time).

The onions this year look like they are on steroids. If you think you have a big one in your box, just wait--there are ones that are even bigger out there! If you don't need it all at once, bag and put in the refrigerator.

One small medium-hot jalapeno (pointed green pepper), one large green Italian pepper (not hot), and one purple bell pepper. If you like the color, eat it raw; cooking turns it back to green.

Potatoes--Blue Gold

This is a new variety for us call Peter Wilcox. It is high in vitamin C. Let us know what you think.

Zucchini/Summer Squash
A couple of each again this week. Powdery mildew is setting in, so harvest will likely end soon.
This week's harvest (left to right): kale, eggplant, cucumbers, onion, carrots, cantaloupe, blue-gold potatoes, squash and zucchini, green beans, jalapeno, purple pepper, and green Italian pepper.
After mowing a row of tomatoes
Late Blight on leaves of tomato plants.
We are lucky enough to have a telescope with a solar lens as well as a special viewing lens to look at the sun. Our neighbor Jessica brought over her kids and their friends to watch the solar eclipse on Monday.
Adam viewing the solar eclipse through our telescope. We could even see sunspots!
Harvey and Edith put a smile on our face, even after a hard and frustrating day. So thankful for our kids!
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173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007

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