173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 •
CSA Newsletter: Week Six
20 July 2016
scroll down to read what is in your CSA box, storage tips, recipes, and see photos of the farm this week

Mid-Season Update

As we entered our 5th season of farming this spring, we felt more prepared than ever.  We had several years of completely different and challenging growing seasons under our belts.  Although our farm still feels new to us, we started the season much more familiar with our soil, field layout, infrastructure, and equipment.   With a few new equipment purchases this spring, we flew out of the gate feeling strong. 

Mid-July marks the half way point for us in the growing season. The planning stages for this season began in January, and the greenhouse has been going since the first week of March. Our last fall share usually leaves the farm mid-November, and once Thanksgiving arrives, we take 5 or 6 weeks off to relax and spend time with family. 

Overall, the fields are looking pretty good. We’ve started mowing down spring crops in preparation for seeding a cover crop of buckwheat. There are a few major weeding projects that we hope to get done in the next week or two. Just this morning, we were able to complete some of this when we cultivated with Belle at 6:30 a.m. before if got too hot.

We can now count the number of flats that need to be planted on three hands; hooray! Now, other than that little bit of transplanting and seeding fall spinach, turnips, radishes, arugula, and kale, we are done planting (and most of this happens one bed at a time over the next 6 weeks). Now, it is harvest, harvest, weed, (sleep and play legos and make dinner), weed, harvest, harvest. This time of the year, we slog along (a little slower when during an intense heat wave), but for the most part we can see where we have thrived and areas where we have struggled. We start taking note of these observations as it better prepares us for next season (yep, we’re already talking about a year from now). 

Try not to blink because it won’t be long until you see a save the date for our annual Fall potluck—a celebration of Sweet Top Farm’s fifth anniversary—and kids start making their way back onto the school bus. We hope your summer is going great, and try and stay cool this week!

Enjoy this week’s harvest.

Your Farmers,
Megan, Adam, and Edith

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

  Fridge? Bag?
broccoli yes plastic
carrots yes plastic

cauliflower or purple peppers
yes plastic
cucumbers yes plastic
fennel yes plastic
green beans yes plastic
jalapeno yes no
kale yes plastic
new potatoes no paper
summer squash yes plastic
walla walla onion yes plastic
zucchini yes plastic

Kale and Fennel Salad with Red Quinoa

2/3 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 small carrots (preferably mixed colors)
1/2 fennel bulb
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 cups baby kale or mixed greens, larger pieces roughly torn
1/3 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Flake salt, for finishing

1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions, about 20 minutes. Mean­while, very thinly slice carrots on the diagonal and very thinly slice fennel.

2. Whisk together oil, sherry vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Massage dressing into the kale, and then add carrots and fennel with two-thirds of dressing in a large bowl.

3. Transfer cooked drained quinoa to a bowl, stir in remaining dressing, and add to kale mixture.

4. Divide salad among 4 dinner plates. Scatter cheese and nuts over salads and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with flake salt.

Adapted from
Garlic Parmesean Broccoli and Potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cupe broccoli florets*
16 ounces new potatoes, cut into bit size pieces
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and onion powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide broccoli and potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in a single layer. Fold up all 4 sides of each foil packet. Spoon the garlic mixture over the broccoli and potatoes. Fold the sides of the foil over the vegetables, covering completely and sealing the packets closed. Place foil packets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 12-14 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.

Adapted from damndelicious,net

Click these recipes for additional ideas:
Clockwise: Sneak peek at this week's Flower Share Bouquet; Sassy watching Adam work; A peak into the winter squash forest revealed some nice acorn squash.
Details about today's
CSA box

Lots of broccoli this week! Stir-fry, grill, make broccoli pesto. We've seen a surge of cabbage worms, so wash well or soak in salty water.

Nothing tastes better than a fresh carrot. No need to peel them. 

Cauliflower or Purple Peppers
The cauliflower won't cooperate, so there wasn't enough for everyone.  We'll continue to put it in over the next week or two; otherwise, it will be back in the box this fall. Purple peppers are in the other boxes.  This is a small, early pepper that tastes like a green pepper but doesn't stay purple when cooked.

A couple of cukes this week. The first planting is slowing way down. We uncovered the second succession and they are looking good--lots of tiny cukes and blooms.

White bulb with frilly leaves, a strong anise smell and flavor.  This is great chopped on a salad or roasted with other veggies. Often paired with citrus.

Green Beans
Another beautiful bag of beans this week. We do not wash green beans; it is best to wash them just before you cook them.
 Please remember to return your cloth bag.

Small, dark green, pointed pepper. 

Try this week's recipe for Kale Fennel Salad.

New Potatoes
The first of this season's potatoes.  Oddly shaped due to Growth Cracks--a result of moisture followed by heat and quick growth.  They scar over completely and taste fine--just ugly. We're hoping this hasn't happened on all the potatoes; time will tell.

Summer Squash and Zucchini
First succession is slowing down, but the next one will be ready for next week.

Walla Walla Onion
A sweet onion.  The onions took quite a hit a couple weeks back when a storm with 45 mph winds came through. They aren't sizing up as they should and also appear to have bad spots (not the ones in the box). The next couple weeks will be critical for growth, and we are hoping that these hot days and warm nights will help.
Image of growth cracks on the potatoes.
Photos below: First succession cucumber plants are about done; Beautiful second succession has flowers and small cucumbers.
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173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007

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