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173 130th Street • Deer Park, WI 54007
507.923.6251 • sweettopfarm@gmail.com  
www.sweettopfarm.com
CSA Newsletter: Week Eighteen
12 October 2016
scroll down to read what is in your CSA box, storage tips, recipes, and see photos of the farm this week
NOTE: This is the final week of regular season deliveries. If you registered for a Fall Share, you will receive information within the next week regarding the first delivery. Wish you ordered a Fall Share? Email us today for information.

We will pick up boxes and cloth bags for the last time on October 26th (don't worry, we'll remind you). 
Sending you a warm thank you on a chilly day

We harvested the final fresh crops yesterday for the regular season CSA, always a bittersweet time. By this time of year, our mind and especially our bodies are ready for the break. While we still harvest for the farmers market until the end of October and will harvest fresh items for the Fall Share, possibly into November, the pace is much more relaxed. All of the winter squash is out of the field now, and there are still 600 more feet of potatoes to dig. We'll leave carrots in the ground and dig as we need them because the frosts make them sweeter. Spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts all taste better this time of year when the plants react to cold weather and frost by increasing their sugar production (part of the reason Fall Share members love their boxes so much). 

Now our main focus shifts from harvesting to farm clean-up. Crops that are done for the season will get mowed down so plant material can break down over the winter. We'll pull all the irrigation out of the field so small rodents don't nest in it during the winter. Garlic gets planted in another two weeks and mulched. We'll also mulch the strawberry plants with the hopes that they'll happily overwinter and produce a nice crop next year. The dried beans need to be threshed (stay tuned for details on how to order some), and we still have about 600 pounds of winter squash to wash. There is of course some office work to do as well as we close out the 2016 season. We try to finish up everything by Thanksgiving so that we can enjoy the last six or seven weeks of the year as a family without worrying about what still needs to be done on the farm.

We want to thank all of you--our farm members--for a wonderful season. It has had its ups and downs, but that is the reality of farming. Your kind words of support are heart-warming, and we feel blessed that you have welcomed us into your home by nourishing your family with food we grow on your farm. Our community supported farm truly would not be what it is without you, our community.

We specifically want to thank members and their families that have been with us since we started five years ago: Carole, Jaculin, Barb, Lois and Dave, Jim and Karen, Cathy and Chad, Kerry and Jim, and Randy and Phyllis. These members have been advocates for us in their communities and have continued their support through some really great years and some tough seasons of production too. Thank you. It really means so much to both of us.

We also want to thank our dropsite hosts who make my life so much easier by having organized dropsites and great communication skills: Ethan, Liz, Carly, Michelle and Danielle, Lois, Tessa, and Carole. 

A special thank you to Amy who introduced us and our farm to our Woodbury members and continues to advocate for Sweet Top Farm as a healthy choice in her community. 

Finally, we could not farm without the wonderful caregivers that love our daughter Edith so much and allow Adam and I to farm together uninterrupted for hours at a time (doesn't sound like much, but it really makes a difference in our life, on the farm, and for our business): Grandpa Randy and Grandma Phyllis and Petra and her kiddos Solomon, Astrid, and Aberdeen. 

Farming, although hard work, is very rewarding.  We love what we do and are so thankful to be able to share our passion with you.  We hope that you choose to continue your farm membership and look forward to being your farmers next season.  You will receive information within the next week regarding our fall membership drive for 2017 shares. Enjoy the fall harvest!

EXTRA PRODUCE AVAILABLE:  This is the time of year for stocking your pantry with items from the harvest. If you are interested in extra winter squash, potatoes, or garlic, we have it available for special order. You will need to order no later than October 19th and plan to pick up at the farmers market on October 15, October 22, or October 29.  You can pay us at the farmers market or mail your payment.  Please email us with your order and the date you plan to pick up. If you are receiving a fall share, you can order this in addition to your fall share but you will need to pick up these "extras" at the farmers market. Picking up at the farm is also an option for anyone that is interested. Stored at cool temperatures, like in a basement, the following items will keep well into the new year.  Check often to pull out any items that are showing signs of decay. This keeps it from spreading to others. Stock up now and enjoy the bounty from your farm over the holidays and beyond.

Winter Squash--customize your own mix of acorn, butternut, carnival, spaghetti, and kabocha (or one single variety if that is what you prefer); 35 pounds (10-12 squash) for $30

Garlic--10 bulbs for $12

Potatoes--Red or yellow potatoes (your choice or a mix); 25 pounds for $25 (fills a brown CSA box)


WANT A PUMPKIN? Visit us a the Farmers Market before the end of October and pick out a pumpkin to take home--free for CSA Members. 

 
Your Farmers,
Megan, Adam, and Edith
What's in your box and
where does it go?

 
  Fridge? Bag?
acorn winter squash no countertop
arugula yes plastic
baby carrots yes plastic
broccoli and cauliflower yes plastic
brussel sprouts yes plastic
butternut winter squash no countertop
garlic no countertop
kale yes  plastic
kohlrabi yes plastic
onion no countertop
potatoes no paper
turnips yes plastic
Recipes
 
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
 
1 (1 ½-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces arugula, chopped, washed, and spun dry
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about ¼ cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Adapted from barefootcontessa.com


Cauliflower and Brussel Sprout Gratin

3/4 head of medium or 1 small cauliflower, cut into large florets
3/4 lb of brussels sprouts, trimmed, and quartered lengthwise through core
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of grated nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare a large bowl filled with ice water and ice.  Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain. Throw the cooked cauliflower into the bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking any further.  Bring the pot back up to a boil and put in the quartered brussels sprouts and cook for 3-4 minutes.  The cauliflower should be completely cooled.  Drain them and set aside. After the brussels sprouts are done, throw them in the bowl of ice water and ice.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower and brussels sprouts on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

Adapted from acozykitchen.com
 
Click these recipes for additional ideas:
Above: We harvested the final totes of winter squash before the first frost on a very cold and windy Friday morning. Photos on the Right: Three very happy farmers finishing the final week of the regular season CSA--first with a party, then the celebration of Edith's third birthday (when she got 3! baby dolls), and finally, Adam bunching the last item from the field--with a smile on his face. Thank you for a great season!
Details about today's
CSA box

Acorn Winter Squash
Sugary sweet when roasted and great for stuffing. If you aren't ready to eat them yet, store in a cool area, such as an entryway or insulated garage, until you are.


Arugula
A zippy, tender green that is great on sandwiches or alongside eggs. It's just a small bunch, so if you cook it, add other greens to it or mix it into a quiche.

Baby Carrots
These likely won't last long as the entire family will probably eat them raw in one sitting. The cooler weather has made them sweeter. We will have carrots at the farmers market for the next 3 Saturdays if you need more.

Broccoli and Cauliflower
A small head of each; both frost kissed and sweeter as a result. Try roasting both and then adding a dash of cider vinegar and salt as a nice (and easy) side dish.

Brussel Sprouts
This is an exciting new addition to our crop list this year. Trim the ends, peel off the outer leaves of each sprout, wash, and cook--roasting is wonderful or slicing thin and sauteing in coconut oil. Your bag has one pound of sprouts, enough for 4 generous portions or 6 smaller portions. Enjoy this special fall treat!

Butternut Winter Squash
The tan pear shaped squash in your box. A classic soup squash, it is also great peeled, chopped into bite sized pieces, and roasted alongside potatoes. If you don't need it all at once, freeze and cooked portion you don't need.

Garlic

Kale

Either a bunch of green curly, red curly, or lacinato (dinosaur) kale.

Kohlrabi
The squat green orb in the box. Peel, slice, and serve with a sprinkle of salt. You can also chop and stir-fry or grate and use in slaw.


Onion
One or two yellow onions 


Potatoes
This variety called Red Gold that has gold flesh and red skin; it's slightly sweet and we love to roast them.

Turnips
The bunched white roots in your box. Great sliced and eaten raw or sauteed in a little butter. You can also eat the greens, although you might have to full out the bad leaves first. Saute quickly in a hot skillet until leaves are bright green. 
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173 130th Street
Deer Park, WI 54007






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