173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 •
CSA Newsletter: Week Eight
29 July 2015
scroll down to read what is in your CSA box, storage tips, recipes, and see photos of the farm this week
Several of you emailed us asking about the plane crash that occurred a couple miles from the farm.  We are fine.  However, our thoughts and prayers are with those of you that know the Ortners and the Larsons.  Please let us know if you or their families need anything--a bouquet of flowers, a bag of vegetables, etc.  It is important to us to support the communities that give so much encouragement to us, and we are happy to help in any way that we can.

The In-Between

We are at a point in the harvest season that is somewhat of an "in-between".  Early crops of lettuce, turnips, and broccoli are done until fall, and summer favorites like tomatoes and melons aren't quite ready yet.  We did harvest a few ripe tomatoes (you might have a surprise in your box) and are starting to see a little color among the foliage, so we're hopeful that we will have tomatoes for everyone within the next two weeks.  As soon as we have significant color, we will start taking member orders for additional tomatoes for canning and making salsa.  We also tried a watermelon this week; it was almost ready, so we'll keep a close eye on them.  We hope to start harvesting melons in about 2 to 3 weeks.

We are also in-between seedings of green beans right now.  While we planned on harvesting a bean called Dragon's Tongue that is purple and yellow striped, the yield was poor and there were not enough to constitute a harvest.  If you don't have a tomato in your box, you will have some of these beans.  The next seeding of green beans is looking good and should be ready for the next delivery.

The most exciting event of the week was the 2015 garlic harvest.  We are really pleased with the size of all the heads, and we estimate to have harvested about 3600 bulbs.  You might wonder what in the world we are going to do with SO MUCH garlic.  Some goes to our members, some goes to market, and a decent bit of it  is broken up into individual cloves and replanted in the fall (CSA member garlic planting party?).  Every year, we build our seed stock a little more because purchasing garlic seed is quite expensive.  The first garlic bulb of the season is in your box this week.

On to this week's vegetable share:  As I am sure is the experience of many parents, Edith is going through a phase right now of loving a certain vegetable and hating it the next week ("Ewwwy" in her own words).  We delighted in watching her eat all sorts of vegetables last summer, and now, it is almost embarrassing to admit that she doesn't appear to like much at all.  However, she has taken a liking to gnawing on celery and slurping up mashed, sauteed eggplant with olive oil and salt.  

For those of you stuck on what to do with your giant celery bunch, good ol' Martha Stewart came up with
18 Recipes for Celery that all look pretty good.  
We also freeze A LOT of celery for use in the winter.  It is very easy to do: wash, dice, spread on a tray, freeze, scoop into a Ziploc, and then use as needed in soups, sauces, Thanksgiving dressing, etc.  It works wonderfully and adds a great flavor to whatever you are cooking. 

A host of flavorings are also new to the box this week: garlic, sage, and a hot pepper.  This is the first of the peppers this season, and while we always get a little nervous when we don't see many bell peppers this time of year, we remind ourselves that peppers really are a late August/early-September crop.  

Swiss Chard rounds out the new items in the box.  This is one crop that has not performed well this year; nearly every plant in the first bed went to seed, and we are starting to see the same thing happening in the second planting.  We are a bit perplexed as to why this is happening, and other farmers that we've talked to are seeing this happen as well--perhaps something to do with seed leftover from previous seasons.  This could be the only chard this season, but I suppose it is better a chard failure than a tomato failure.

Enjoy the harvest!

Your Farmers,

-Megan, Adam, and Edith

What's in your box and
where does it go?
  Fridge? Bag?
carrots yes plastic
celery yes plastic
cucumbers yes plastic
eggplant no countertop
fresh garlic no countertop
hot pepper yes plastic
red new potatoes no countertop/paper bag
red torpedo onion yes no
sage yes plastic/vase of water
summer squash  yes plastic
swiss chard yes plastic
zucchini yes plastic
*highlighted words are new items in the box
Summer Squash Sloppy Joes
  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or pork
    1/2 onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
    1 carrot, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
    1 1/2 c. summer squash, quartered lengthwise and very thinly sliced
    1 6-ounce can tomato paste
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 -2 t. mild chili powder
    1 t. dried oregano (or 1 T. fresh)
    Salt and pepper to taste

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the ground beef or turkey until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté 2 minutes. Add the squash and sauté 1 minute more.

    Stir in the tomato paste and 1 1/2 cups water (or pureed canned/fresh tomatoes), stirring until the paste has dissolved. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, and oregano, and season with the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Adapted from

Sage Pesto

This is a great spread for chicken breasts or to brush onto fish before poaching.

1/2 c. sage leaves
1/2 T. pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
1/2 T. olive oil
1 T. parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Puree all ingredients except for the parmesan cheese.  Once well-blended stir in the parmesan cheese.
Adapted from Delicious Living publication

Click these recipes for
additional ideas:
Edith's Veggie of the Week: Celery

Details about this week's
CSA box

This finishes up the first planting of carrots. The greens were marginal, so we opted to give you loose carrots.  Next week, we will start harvesting a new planting, so the carrots will be a little smaller and more tender.

Celery-Edith's Veggie of the Week
We love celery and this is a great growing year for it.  Big, juicy stalks.  It's important to wash and store the stalks in a closed bag so that they stay firm and hydrated.

Lots of cukes out there.  Try making refrigerator pickles if you have more than you can keep up with.

Dark purple Japanese type.  

Fresh Garlic

We harvested garlic on Thursday, and it is curing in the greenhouse for the next couple of weeks.  The bulb in your box is fresh and can be used as you would cured garlic.  It tends to be a bit stronger when fresh. 

Fresh Torpedo Red Onions
A bunch of onions that can be used fresh or cooked.

Hot Pepper--Hungarian Hot Wax
The first of the season.  Great in refrigerator pickles recipe for an extra kick.

Red New Potatoes
Tender red potatoes; you know that they are new potatoes if bits of their skin slip off.  We have been roasting them with olive oil and coarse salt, but they are also delicious boiled and tossed with butter, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Fragrant herb.  Try the Sage Pesto recipe and freeze what you don't use.

Swiss Chard
For some reason, both plantings of chard are starting to go to seed.  This might be the only harvest we get this year (boo-hoo).

Summer Squash and Zucchini
Try this week's recipe for Squash Sloppy Joe's.

Vegetables we hope to have next week: walla walla onions, beets, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, squash, zucchini, tomato?
Clockwise from the top: Garlic curing in the greenhouse; Beautiful, big bulbs of garlic--yum!; Pumpkins coming along nicely; recently weeded onions sizing up.
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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Our mailing address is:
173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007