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173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 • sweettopfarm@gmail.com  
www.sweettopfarm.com
CSA Newsletter: Week Seventeen
11 October 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 16 Newsletter

THIS IS THE LAST BOX FOR WEEK A HALF SHARES.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT THIS SEASON!

The first frost arrived on Edith's 4th birthday. We spent a good portion of Sunday and Monday harvesting for the CSA and harvesting the rest of the winter squash so that we could spend Tuesday morning with the birthday girl, and when I saw that it was 27 degrees on Tuesday, my fingers and toes thanked me. With the first frost we say goodbye to peppers and say hello to the sweetest part of the season. With each frost, the fall crops in the brassica family produce sugars making them taste sweet while root crops like carrots convert starches into sugar. Really, if you are hesitating on whether or not to get a Fall Share, this fact alone should convert you. To me, this is the tastiest time of year.

The last delivery for the regular season share is next week. About this time every year, Adam and I hash out the good and the bad of the season, usually while harvesting carrots (or drinking a cup of coffee during Harvey's morning nap). The early June hail storm seems like ages ago, and when we look at our harvest list for CSA boxes or the farmers market right now, that storm is a distant memory--there is just so much great produce in the field. The destruction of some of those early crops helped us put into perspective what the typical CSA member enjoys most about the early boxes (and it isn't 3 heads of lettuce each week, more like 1 to maybe 2). Other memories of the season we would prefer to let go: late blight on the tomatoes, flea beetles, and rodents (let's hope for one of those traditionally frigid Wisconsin winters).

On the brighter side, we made some equipment purchases that changed the way we farm for the better. Your early season CSA payment helped buy a mechanical transplanter, a flame weeder, and other cultivating equipment. We spent last winter trying to find ways to be 1) more efficient, especially in the way of weed management; and 2) easier on our bodies (we aren't getting any younger and our bodies remind us of what hard work this type of farming is--a shout out to chiropractors at Pathways and Arvold, members and our doctors). We accomplished both of these goals with this equipment and will continue to look for ways to improve efficiency on the farm.

As for the crops that were standouts this year: green beans (so many!), cucumbers (lasted forever), carrots (great weed management this year led to 2400 feet of beatuiful roots), broccoli (more heads in more boxes than ever before thanks to tighter spacing) and cauliflower (several overly ambitious successions, but nice to have), salad turnips (someone recommended we transplant them early on and that was a great idea), and my favorite--Italian Carmen peppers (took a while to turn red, but man on man, I love 'em!). We would love to hear from you: what was your favorite crop this season? 


A FEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

REMINDER: The final regular season share will be delivered 10/18. The first fall share starts the following week on 10/25.

FALL SHARES AVAILABLE: Not ready for the season to end? Email us today to reserve your fall CSA share. Two deliveries (10/25 and 11/15), lots of veggies--most of which will keep through the winter months--and our favorite harvests of the year! $150.


TIME TO STOCK UP: You can order extra crops from us for use over the winter months (Fall Shares will receive similar produce but can order additional crops if you would like). Place your order and we will bring it to the Saturday Farmers Market for you to pick up on your choice of Saturdays: 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, or 10/28. Available this year:
       Winter Squash (single variety or your choice of a mix), 35 pounds for $30
       Potatoes (red or gold, or a mix), 20 pounds for $35


NOTE: This week's harvest was a muddy one (that's three weeks in a row)! While we wash all of your vegetables, we recommend that you carefully wash them all again. Dirt often splashes in places we can not reach. Details about this week's harvest are below.

                                                                                                                    Your Farmers,

Megan, Adam, Edith, and Harvey

Did you miss the Pumpkin Pick? Come pick up a free pumpkin from us at the Saturday morning Farmers Market on Carmichael (beside Faith Community Church). The market goes through the month of October, and we'll have a selection of pumpkins for you to choose from.
What's in your box and
where does it go?
 
  Fridge? Bag?
beets-red yes  plastic
brussel sprouts yes plastic
carrots yes plastic
cauliflower yes plastic
chard yes plastic
garlic no  countertop
kohlrabi yes plastic
onion-yellow no  countertop
peppers-hot and sweet yes plastic
potatoes-red no  paperbag
turnips yes plastic, remove tops
winter squash-butternut and carnival no  countertop
Recipes
 
Cauliflower Gratin with Greens

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
2 cups chopped greens, such as kale or chard
1 cup orzo pasta or Israeli (large pearl) couscous
2 pounds cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups finely grated (about 10 ounces) Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup coarsely grated (about 2 ounces) Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in lower third. Butter a 1 1/2-quart, deep, wide ovenproof dish. Put greens in bottom of dish. Arrange pasta or couscous over greens. Top with cauliflower.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in milk; cook, whisking, until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in marjoram, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Whisk in Gruyere until smooth. Pour over cauliflower. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Set dish on a baking sheet.

Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake until cauliflower is tender, about 40 minutes. (If browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from marthastewart.com

Brussel Sprout Salad with Roasted Beets

3 medium size beets
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup slow roasted pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon grainy mustard
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces goat cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the ends of the beets and wrap in aluminum foil in groups of three, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Seal the foil packets tightly and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until beets are fork tender. Remove from the foil and allow to cool, then rub and cut the skins off of the beets. Set aside or if making ahead, refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Use a sharp knife to cut away the end of the core of the Brussels sprouts and finely slice around the core of the cabbage heads one at a time, discarding the core. Place in a large bowl.

Slice the beets into bite size pieces and scatter on the Brussels sprouts with the chopped pecans.

In a small jar with a screw top lid, add the olive oil, mustards, maple syrup, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake well and season to taste. Pour over the salad and toss well to coat. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Allow to sit 15-30 minutes before serving for flavors to marry. When ready to serve, sprinkle with chunks of goat cheese.

Adapted from foodiecrush.com

Click These Recipes for Additional Ideas
Brussel Sprouts with Lemon and Parm
Butternut Squash Salad
Butternut Mac and Cheese
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Harvesting dried beans
Details About Today's
CSA Box
Beets
A bunch of red beets. The tops, although not very beautiful, are edible. We love beets roasted alongside squash and potatoes.

Brussel Sprouts
A less than impressive crop of sprouts this year, so this will be the only harvest until we harvest for the fall shares. Remember to trim away the outer leaves and give the sprouts a good wash.

Carrots
Kissed by the first frost 

Cauliflower
Wow! The cauliflower is knocking it out of the park this year. The heads are huge!

Chard
Barese is the variety of this chard and it is often mistaken for bok choy. It is a "one-cut" variety that has thick leaves that become silky and delicious once cooked. Great for sauteing or using is soups. Works as a substitute for spinach. 

Garlic

Kohlrabi
Just one or two small and very tender kohlrabi. Perfect for a little snack: peel, slice, salt, eat.

Onion-Yellow

Peppers
This is it for peppers. We harvested before the frost and got enough for everyone to have one red Italian and either a yellowish Italian or bell pepper. Also a jalapeno or two.
 
Potatoes-Chieftan
Red potatoes with white flesh. Good for anything. The dark markings on the skin is called scurf and is safe to consume.

Turnips
First harvest off the next succession of turnips; that's why they are small (but still wonderful!). The greens are delicious too.

Winter Squash-Butternut and Carnival
The long tan squash is a butternut--commonly peeled and roasted in chunks or baked and used for squash soup. The speckled acorn is called Carnival. Looks ornamental but is meant to be eaten; use as you would a green acorn.
This week's harvest (left to right): brussel sprouts, red potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, turnips, butternut squash, kohlrabi, chard, peppers, beets, and cauliflower. Not pictured: Carnival acorn squash
Edith celebrated her 4th birthday on Tuesday!
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173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007






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