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

SAVE THE DATE: Garlic Harvest Party and Farm Tour on July 24th 1:30-4:30
Saturday Evenings Around the Radio

Although we did not take the 4th of July off from farm work (especially with severe weather forecasted for Tuesday night), we did take Saturday afternoon off, as we have for many years, to listen to the radio.  For those of you that are familiar with A Prairie Home Companion on public radio, you know that this past Saturday was Garrison Keillor's last show.  I grew up listening to this show every Saturday evening during my childhood (and disliked almost every minute of it).  While my family sat around the dinner table as Garrison droned on, my sister and I sat in silence or were shushed when my parents wanted to hear a particular part of the show.

Over the years I learned to really enjoy A Prairie Home Companion, and as President Obama said this past Saturday when he called in to the show, I too have found comfort in the news from Lake Wobegon and Lives of the Cowboys. Once Adam and I started listening together, we chose Saturday night as the time when we would also make a nice meal and sit for a couple hours listening and eating and laughing about Midwest mannerisms we had become so accustomed to. Whether in Colorado, New Hampshire, or streaming it in Norway, I recall feeling close to home and family when listening to A Prairie Home Companion. 

Garrison later sang a song about my experience--the cycle of being tortured while my generation's parents listened to the show and later doing the same thing to our children. As Edith danced around the room to songs on this weekend's finale, I was a little sad to know that she won't grow up with the same Saturday evening show that I did. We'll be listening this fall when Chris Thile takes over hosting and hope to continue the tradition I can now thank my parents for today.


ON THE FARM: We are now in what feels like a constant cycle of harvesting with a whole lot of weeding in between. Flowers are harvested Sunday nights, Monday mornings, and Thursday mornings. Vegetables are harvested Tuesdays and Fridays (although squash and cucumbers are harvested every other day since they ripen very quickly).  Whether cultivating with Belle, wheel-hoeing, or hand weeding, there are plenty of lambs quarter, pigweed, and quack grass to keep us busy. Our friend Ian and his son Alden visited on Sunday to work for a couple hours--a huge help (and fun for me because I got to play with the kids). See the video below of Adam and Ian cultivating with Belle.

Transplanting has slowed way down, as we are just putting in 2 or 3 beds of fall crops every couple weeks. The first of the fall cauliflower and kale went into the ground on Sunday morning, and the first round of fall broccoli and cabbage will get transplanted in about 5 days.  It seems crazy to think about fall already; summer is flying by. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Garlic Harvest Party on July 24th from 1:30 to 4:30.  More details to come, but this is a great opportunity to see your farm, pull garlic, talk with other members (and us), and even try some roasted garlic on the day it's harvested. We hope you and your family can make it.


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. 

We knew that this would be the first week for cucumbers, but we certainly didn't expect to harvest so many.  Everyone gets 4 cukes this week!  We love cucumbers at our house and can easily go through 4 or 5 in a day. Just slice, sprinkle with a little sea salt, and munch. We tend to harvest cukes on the smaller side before the skin becomes tough (and to help us keep up with the harvest).  While you can peel them, it isn't necessary.

Also new this week is a huge fresh garlic bulb.  The plants are still growing, so we feel pretty good about the garlic this year if the bulbs are already this big.  Broccoli makes an appearance in some of your boxes (kohlrabi for others).  The first succession of broccoli and cauliflower were set  back by the mid-May freeze, so the harvest leaves a little to be desired.  Luckily, there are several more successions of broccoli and one of cauliflower, so everyone will have broccoli in the coming weeks. Green cabbage is also a new addition; tender and perfect for raw slaws or lightly cooked. If an entire cabbage is too much for one recipe, cut it in half and store the other half in a bag for later use.

Rounding out the box are shades of red--butterhead, beets, and kale--and green--scallions, zucchini, and snap peas.  Adding to the rainbow next week: carrots! 

Enjoy this week’s harvest.

-Megan, Adam, and Edith

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

 
  Fridge? Bag?
beets yes plastic
broccoli or kohlrabi yes plastic
butterhead lettuce yes plastic
cabbage yes plastic
cucumbers yes plastic
green garlic yes no
kale yes plastic
scallions yes plastic
sugar snap peas yes plastic
summer squash yes plastic
zucchini yes plastic
Recipes
 
Grilled Beets with Dilled Cucumbers
 
2 pounds beets, trimmed
1/2 cup ice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons white­ wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Heat grill to high. In heavy ­duty foil, wrap beets, in one layer, with ice. Cover grill; cook until beets are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 40 to 45 minutes, turning once. Rub off skins with paper towel. Cut beets into wedges. Toss in bowl with oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, toss cucumber slices with sour cream, dill, and remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Place beets on platter; top with cucumbers.

Adapted from Marthastewart.com
 
Kale and Sugar Snap Pea Salad

For the dressing
¾ cup canola oil
½ cup peeled, chopped ginger
¼ cup miso paste
½ cup rice vinegar, or as needed
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons or limes
¼ cup sugar, or as needed
Coarse salt and black pepper

For the salad
2 tablespoons sugar
4 dried apricots
1 medium bunch kale coarse stems removed and discarded, roughly chopped
2 cups sugar snap peas, stemmed
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, or as needed

Make the dressing: In a blender or food processor, combine the oil, ginger, miso, 1/2 cup vinegar, lemon or lime zest and juice, and sugar. Process for about 30 seconds to form a creamy emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add vinegar if needed.

Make the salad: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup water. Add the dried apricots and poach just until rehydrated, 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

In a serving bowl, combine the kale, snap peas and feta. Add salad dressing to taste, and toss well. Sprinkle with almonds and garnish with poached apricots. Sprinkle with mint and serve.

Recipe credit: Mark Bittman for the New York Times


 
Click these recipes for additional ideas:
Clockwise: Adam, Ian, and Belle cultivating between the onion beds; Edith is so proud of the bouquet she made; 4th of July fun with sparklers.
Details about today's
CSA box

Beets
Beautiful red beets. Try this week's recipe for Grilled Beets.

Broccoli or Kohlrabi
The first succession of broccoli got nipped by the mid-May freeze which set back several of the plants.  There isn't enough broccoli for everyone this week, but we still have three more successions to go--at some point everyone will get it.  If you don't have broccoli, there are two beautiful kohlrabis.

Butterhead Lettuce
This is the last of the butterhead.  Tender deep red leaves.  

Cabbage
A green cabbage that is perfect for coleslaw, fermenting, sauteing, or stir-frying.  If stored properly, it will keep for quite a few weeks; just pull off any leaves that dry out.

Cucumbers
We were expecting everyone to get two cucumbers, but after harvesting, you'll have at least double that.  Let cucumber season begin! Hooray!

Green Garlic
This big bulb of garlic has not cured yet, so there is not a papery skin.  Instead, break it open and pull off a clove. Cut the ends and peel away the thicker layer of skin.  Fresh garlic is often stronger than cured, so a little goes a long way.

Kale
A frilly red bunch in your box. This green is becoming a household staple and is very nutritious.  Great raw, cooked, or turned into chips.

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. This is the last week for peas, and everyone has a heaping bag full.  This variety is a keeper--sugary and extra large.

Summer Squash and Zucchini
Once squash season starts, there is no slowing down the harvest schedule.  Too many for you to eat in one week?  Shred and freeze.  Two cup portions seem to be just right for frittatas, sloppy joes, and baking.
Make these ladies smile.  Remember to return your cloth bags to your dropsite!
This is a video I caught of our friend Ian learning to drive our horse Belle while Adam cultivates.  Coincidentally, Adam was explaining to Ian what they are doing, so you have a chance to learn too.  We don't have a cultivating tractor, so we use Belle for a most of our major cultivation.
Photos below: Flower beds are filling out--it's a jungle in there; We finished weeding the onions, celery, and carrots just before the Tuesday evening storms rolled in.
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173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007






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