173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 •
CSA Newsletter: Fall Share Delivery 2
11 November 2015
It's Survey Time!
Your feedback is important to us and helps us plan for next season. Please take 5 minutes to complete this year's survey by clicking on this link: 2015 CSA Member Survey.  

A Mild Fall and a Cornucopia of Vegetables

This season has embodied abundance. A relatively normal spring allowed us to get in the field early and plant everything on schedule.  We saw very little crop loss this year until late season when the temperatures remained cool and disease spread through the tomatoes (but hey, it was still a pretty good harvest up until that point).  Now, with mild fall temperatures, the greens and turnips we planted as an "experiment" to see how late we could harvest, are doing great and look beautiful.  Hence the reason that you have two boxes again this delivery--one of storage crops and one of fresh crops.

We deliberated whether packing two boxes again this delivery was sending the wrong impression or an inaccurate portrayal of what is typically in a Fall CSA Share.  However, if you read about Community Supported Agriculture and the commitment that farmers have with their membership, in times great abundance, we share this with our members.  Every season is different, and while it is our dream to have such bounty every year, this is not always the case. For those members that have been with us in season's past, you know that there have been times when we have had a crop fail completely, or a spring downpour that washes away entire beds direct-seeded crops.  For now though, we have much to be thankful for: a season of bounty, supportive farm members, a healthy family, and enough vegetables frozen, canned, and stored to nourish our souls until next season.

Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you choose Sweet Top Farm as your farm again next season.  Happy Holidays!

Your Farmers,

 -Megan, Adam, and Edith

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

  Fridge? Bag? Other info.
arugula-bunched yes plastic
beets yes plastic or cooler
cabbage yes crisper drawer
carrots yes plastic or cooler
garlic no dark, cool area
kale-bagged yes plastic
onions no dark, cool area
potatoes no dark, cool area
sage & thyme yes plastic
spinach-bagged yes plastic
turnips yes plastic
winter squash no garage, closet


Butternut Mac & Cheese
submitted by members Cynthia and Joe Covelli--really good!

12 ounces, weight Macaroni
1/2 whole Butternut Squash
 Olive Oil, For Drizzling
2 whole Yellow Onions, Sliced
8 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 cups Whole Milk
 Salt And Pepper
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Carefully cut a whole butternut squash in half lengthwise. Drizzle half the squash with olive oil and place it on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Roast it in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender, watching it to make sure the surface doesn't get burned (it should have some brown areas.) Store the other half of the squash in the fridge for another use. When the squash is roasted and tender, scrape out the flesh and mash it with a potato masher until smooth. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and set it aside. 

While you're roasting the squash, add the onions and 2 tablespoons of the butter to a large, ovenproof skillet over low to medium-low heat. Stir occasionally, cooking the onions until they're deep golden brown. Remove them to a plate and set them aside.

To the same skillet you used to cook the onions, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk it to make a thin paste. Cook it for 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk. Cook it, whisking gently, for a couple of minutes or until slightly thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. You'll probably want to add more salt!

Turn the heat to low and stir in the mashed butternut squash. When it is warmed, stir in the cheese. If the sauce is overly thick when the cheese is melted, add a splash of milk. Keep stirring until the sauce is nice and hot, then stir in the macaroni. Taste and add more salt if needed. 

Melt the remaining butter and combine it with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the macaroni and bake it (I do it straight in the skillet!) at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and the edges bubbly. 

Adapted from

Root Vegetable Gratin
3 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 1/3 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Cook vegetables in a large pot of boiling water until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer. Combine flour and the remaining 1/3 cup milk in a small bowl to make a smooth paste; stir into the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, thyme, salt and pepper.

Combine breadcrumbs, the remaining 3/4 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Layer the vegetable slices in the prepared baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake the gratin until it is bubbling and the top is golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from

Click these recipes for
additional ideas:
Storage Tip: If you are lacking in fridge space but have an area that remains somewhat consistently cool WITHOUT FREEZING, such as an unfinished/unheated basement or attached garage, you may want to consider storing your root veggies, taters, and onions, in a plastic bag stashed in a box with a blanket or something thrown on top for a little insulation or in an cooler. The trick is to check on things every few days when you are grabbing food for cooking.

Details about this week's
CSA box

A zippy green that is great raw or lightly cooking.  It pairs well with sweeter salad dressings or try sauteing with the turnips greens.

Bagged Red and Gold Beets.  Store these in a bag in the crisper drawer and they should last a couple months.

Tender and crisp, this cabbage is wonderful finely shredded for a salad or added to soups and sautes.  It will keep for several months in your fridge; peel off any leaves that seem dehydrated, the rest of the cabbage will be fine.

Loose in a bag.  No need to peel these beauties!  If you don't have room in your fridge for the roots, store them in a cooler in your garage.  Cover with a sleeping bag or blanket when it gets really cold.

7 bulbs; check for sprouting at the root end on a regular basis.  The smaller bulbs keep the longest, so use the larger ones first.

Kale-Red Russian, bagged
A large bag of tender and sweet leaves.  It's fantastic raw and if cooked, do so only for a short time. The kale is still a bit damp from washing, so spin it soon if you can to prolong storage. You can also place a few paper towels in there to soak up some of the moisture as well.

10-12 red and yellow onions; see storage info for specifics.  If storing long-term, check for sprouting on a regular basis and remove any that are.

12 pounds of red and gold potatoes.  Remember to keep the gold potatoes in complete darkness as they will turn green if exposed to light.

Sage and Thyme-Herbs
Two common herbs used for holiday cooking.  Store wrapped in a paper towel in a bag in your fridge.

A large bag of dark green leaves. Great raw or cooked. 

Two bunches of white roots. The greens are great sauteed with butter and garlic, and the roots are wonderful raw, sauteed, boiled, or roasted.
Winter Squash
Butternut--3 of the pear shaped squash; classic soup squash and also great in curries, cubed and steamed, etc.  
Green Acorn--4 more very sweet squash that are perfect for stuffing. Need a vegetarian dish for Thanksgiving?  Try stuffing these with wild rice, onion, carrot, cranberries, dried apricots, and pecans...Yum!
Sunshine Kabocha--The deep orange squash that looks like a flat pumpkin.  For some reason, these are not storing well for us, so we recommend using it soon or roasting, scraping out the flesh, and freezing it for a holiday "pumpkin" pie or winter soup. Here's the recipe we use: "Pumpkin" Pie
Clockwise from Top: A hungry giraffe headed to the field for a snack; Looks like this giraffe loves turnips; Beautiful November sunrise; Edith helping harvest potatoes.
Storage Information

Carrots, Beets, and Turnips 
Take the greens off of the turnips and see storage details for Leafy Greens. Combine all of the round root veggies into one bag and keep carrots separate. Keeping them together helps to regulate humidity in the bag. Refrigerators dehydrate vegetables, so bags are really crucial to keeping these firm and prolonging storage life. If you just throw them in the crisper without a bag, they will shrivel up.

Store potatoes in a paper bag, rolled up (or in your closed CSA box) and stored in a cold space which stays at 50-55 degrees in the winter (heated garage is great for this). Don’t let light into the bag or box—the potatoes will turn green and won’t taste very good. If you aren’t trying to keep them for a very long period of time, and if you have the space, you can keep them in the fridge.

Store in a dry, cool place that DOES NOT FREEZE. A garage that doesn’t freeze but that stays in the 32 to 40 degree range is best. Keep in a paper bag or your CSA box. Do not store in same bag/box as your potatoes; doing so will cause sprouting.

Store in a paper bag in cupboard or pantry. You can also peel and roast your garlic and store it either frozen or in a jar, packed in olive oil in the fridge.

Winter Squash
Store at 50-60 degrees in a dry place. Best kept on a smooth shelf or tabletop where they are not stacked, so that any rot spots can be caught before spreading to other squash. If spots develop and are caught soon enough, you can chop them off and use remainder of squash. 

Leafy Greens and Cabbage
Store in closed bags in fridge. Use within a week to 14 days.   Cabbage will keep for weeks or more in a bag in your crisper drawer; you might need to pull off the outer leaves if they soften. 


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2015 CSA Share pricing.

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2016 Registration Form
During the autumn season (ending December 21), we are taking registrations for 2016 CSA Shares and offering this year's pricing (payment plans are available). Please click the link above to register or visit our website to do the same: CSA Registration. We have had a wonderful first season on our new farm and look forward to celebrating our 5th year of farming with you next season.
If prior arrangements have NOT been made, share boxes left after the 7pm pick-up deadline (6pm for Pathways Chiropractic) will be given away or donated as our pick-up sites do not have refrigeration space to hold CSA boxes overnight.
You can find the newsletter and recipes here: 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.
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Copyright © 2015 Sweet Top Farm LLC, All rights reserved.

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