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173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 • sweettopfarm@gmail.com  
www.sweettopfarm.com
CSA Newsletter: Week Three
29 June 2016
scroll down to read what is in your CSA box, storage tips, recipes, and see photos of the farm this week

On the Farm

Edith visited Grandma and Grandpa in Rochester, MN for a couple of days last week just in time for us to bale hay and stack it in our loft.  Luckily, we got the last of the 385 bales in just as a storm rolled through and not a one got wet!  Belle now has hay for the next 2 winters. Needless to say, we were a little achy the next morning.  But we were right back at it trellising tomatoes and harvesting flowers for a wedding, pulling weeds and cultivating with Belle. We often work long hours when Edith is away to catch up on our to-do list (only to add more to-dos) and tend to eat whatever is easy and fast.  We realized very quickly that having a child helps us eat well and regulate how hard we are working.  We eat meals together as a family, we read books, we play legos, we splash in the kiddie pool, we laugh, we get to be silly, we get to sit down.  We joke about how much we could get done if we didn't have Edith, but thank goodness we do.  

After a very hot and sticky farmers market on Saturday, it was no surprise that a wild storm passed through that evening.  Although it only lasted an hour or so, we had strong 45 mph winds and about an inch and a half of hard rain.  We needed the rain, but most of it came down so hard and fast that rivers ran through the beds of vegetables instead of soaking deep into the ground.  A majority of the flowers have support netting (to encourage straight, tall stems and keep them from flopping down during rain and wind); however, the sunflowers, which we do not net, couldn't quite handle the strong winds, and we lost about half of them. There are 2 more successions going in, so we aren't too worried. It was quite a sight to watch rows of squash and broccoli blowing so hard the tops of the plants touched the ground.  Fortunately, everything fared well, except for the napa cabbage whose leaves look like they went through a shredder (hence the reason we put bok choy in this week).  

On Monday morning, I had some major catch-up to do harvesting flowers since Sunday was too wet.  It was the perfect morning to harvest, cloudy and 70, and boy did I!  The snapdragons jumped into high gear with the warm weather and I bunched hundreds of them. They were one of several flowers in the first CSA bouquet delivery going out today--this week with a red, white, and blue theme.  My favorite in the bouquet is called Frosted Explosion, a grass that looks like a firework going off.  If you are not a flower share member and want a bouquet, you can find us at the Hudson Farmers Market on Carmichael on Saturdays from 8-noon.  Sweet Top Farm bouquets are also sold at River Market Co-op in Stillwater  We can provide flowers for special events and parties and are happy to do special orders that can be picked up on farm or at the farmers market.

ABOUT THE BOX: You'll notice a cloth bag in your box this week. In it are sugar snap peas.  Megan's Grandma Joan sewed most of the bags we have now.  A year ago, Megan's mom Beverly retired from teaching and joined the bag making team, lovingly called "The Bag Ladies."  We use the bags for sugar snap peas and green beans as an alternative to using plastic bags.  Please return the bag to your dropsite for us to use again in the future. 

Also new to the box this week: beets, zucchini and squash, and kale. For those of you new to beets, they are delicious!  For beginners, we suggest boiling the roots until you can put a fork into the center. Drain. Under cool water, rub the beet in your hand and the skin will slip right off.  Slice, place in a bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and feta cheese.  Serve hot or cold.  Check out this recipe for our favorite Kale Salad.

The baby bok choy is the squat cousin of the pac choi in the first two boxes. This is the last of the choys for the season, so enjoy the tender stems and leaves.  The size makes them great for grilling!

Rounding out the box is a lovely red leaf lettuce, a bunch of scallions, garlic scapes, and arugula. The arugula is zesty, so in our opinion, it is best cooked.  Try these recipes if you need some ideas: White Pizza with Arugula or Easy Weeknight Spaghetti

You can find the newsletter and recipes here: www.sweettopfarm.com. On our website, you can find recipes from seasons past if you need additional ideas.  We frequently post on Facebook, and you can "follow" Sweet Top Farm by liking us on Facebook.  Like us on Facebook for more news, information, and photos.

Enjoy this week’s harvest.

-Megan, Adam, and Edith

What's in your box and
where does it go?
  Fridge? Bag?
arugula

baby bok choy

 
yes

yes

 
plastic

plastic

 
beets yes plastic
garlic scapes yes plastic
kale yes plastic
red leaf lettuce yes plastic
scallions yes plastic
sugar snap peas yes plastic
summer squash yes plastic
zucchini yes plastic
Recipes
 
Cold Sesame Noodles with Bok Choy
 
1 package (10 1/2 ounces) dried udon noodles
1 baby bok choy
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice ­wine vinegar (not seasoned)
1 large garlic clove or garlic scape, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red ­pepper flakes
Sesame seeds, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; let cool completely.

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; boil bok choy 30 seconds. Drain; rinse well. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Whisk together the peanut butter, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and red­ pepper flakes. Put sauce, noodles, and bok choy into a bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with seeds.

Adapted from Marthastewart.com
 
Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together butter, garlic, Italian seasoning and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Brush zucchini slices with butter mixture.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Add zucchini in a single layer and grill until charred on both sides and just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes per side.

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.


Adapted from Damndelicious,net

 
Click these recipes for additional ideas:
Details about today's
CSA box

Arugula
Bunched green in your box. A bit zippy so we suggest cooking this green or chopping and mixing with leaf lettuce. Also good raw with a sweet salad dressing and strawberries.


Baby Bok Choy
We had every intention of taking a break from bok and pac choi and putting napa cabbage in the box.  However, the 45 mph winds Saturday night shredded the leaves.  The bok choy looked beautiful, so we opted for that instead.

Beets
Beautiful red beets with nice tender greens.  Chop the greens and saute with olive oil, then add a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Garlic Scapes
Green curly cues in your box; this will eventually flower if left on the garlic. We pinch them off so the plant puts the energy into making a large garlic bulb. Chop and use in any dish calling for garlic.

Kale
This green is becoming a household staple and is very nutritious.  Great raw, cooked, or turned into chips.

Red Leaf Lettuce
The lettuce this year is really beautiful, but don't let that keep you from eating it. While lettuce is packed with Vitamins A, B-6, and C as well as iron, magnesium, and potassium, there are only 7 calories in a one cup serving--so go ahead and indulge!  Before long, lettuce will be done until fall.

Scallions
These green onions shot up in size this last week.  We love them on everything from salads and sandwiches to stir fry and tacos.

Sugar Snap Peas
In a cloth bag that you should return with your CSA box. We managed to pick enough for everyone to have a pound, but it wasn't without fighting the family of 13-lined Ground Squirrels for them.  They've been fattening up on loads of sugar snap peas (those stinkers!!).

Summer Squash and Zucchini
We picked the first few zucchini last week and the next day were overwhelmed with a cart load.  It's amazing how much growth can happen when we have a hot spell.  Summer squash isn't as abundant, so there is only one or two in the box...just wait, there'll be more.
Photos from top to bottom: Edith and the "Bag Ladies"; Snapdragons galore; Cucumbers are starting to size up and should make their debut next week; Teeny tiny watermelon; Carrots are growing...in the box in two weeks? Fingers crossed.
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Copyright © 2016 Sweet Top Farm LLC, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007






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