Small Family Farm CSA

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June Fifth

Welcome to the Summer Share deliveries of 2013.  We are excited about our 8th year running our little Small Family CSA Farm.  We enter this growing season with fresh enthusiasm for life and all things that grow and live.  Still, even after "all these years" it is exciting for me to watch all the little hopeful carrot seeds push away the hard clay soil, through the wet mud or dry crust and spread their limbs toward the sun.  The little baby beets and dill and cilantro and parsnips.  They all stand like soldiers in long straight rows, so proud and perky and perfect looking.  It's enough to make you move in your seat just thinking about it. firstboxMany hands make light work!

For those of you who don't know us, we're the Small Family Farmers.  Adam and Jillian and our 19 month old daughter, Ayla, steward this land.  We bought the farm in the Spring of 2007 with 60 faithful CSA members who had so trustingly invested in our farm.  What we lacked in knowlege or equipment, we made up for in our optimism and extremely hard-working character.  I had half a dozen years experience working as a farm hand on various organic farms in the country and my husband, Adam, had been fostering a long-time dream to become a farmer.  Adam was also armed with an impressive memory that I insist plays a key role in our success today.  Together we were young, dreamy-eyed and boiling over with passion and dreams to change the world...or at least one small part of it.  

My mother, Momma Jane, also played a key role in us getting onto our feet.  She moved on the farm with us and started mowing lawn, canning tomatoes, doing load after load of our dirty farm jeans, and has been cooking up some of the most amazing, gourmet, home-cooked meals a young farm family could ever imagine.  She has been a loyal hand to the farm and is always, I mean always, there when we need her.  As of lately, it has been more in terms of babysitting duty so we can get our tractorwork done.  Now we call her Gramma Jane, instead of Momma Jane, or Bakka.  Conveniently enough, she now lives 400 feet away in her own home that she is almost finished building.  We love that we get to keep her so close.

The years just keep passing by and occasionally we stop to notice our growth and improvement.  We see that our ridgetop, clay soil has taken a darker shade of brown and now crumbles with lively ease.  We see our shed fill up with the needed equipment to run our farm in an effecient way.  We see the fruit trees we planted several years ago now with fruit hanging from their limbs.  We see increased yields in crops that we had previously found difficult to grow.  We see our daughter running around who is a real, live, visual of the passing of time.  We see returning CSA members from year to year, a small handful of who have been with us since our first year starting out.  jillaylaJillian and Ayla in the garden on Eatin'

We are armed with a spectacular and truly impressive community of supporters.  Spiritually, we are rich and thankful for everything we have.  However, we are not insulated from nature herself.  Truly, we are raw and exposed to her whim.  The gamble of farming is real and humbling.  No matter how much knowlege or community support we have, we cannot stop a hail storm.  But we can survive it.  We come together under this beautiful, colorful CSA umbrella and we learn more about sharing.  We learn more about sharing the bounty of the food that is grown here and the inherent risk in growing it.  So thank you for your support of or Small Family Farm in all the ways you give it!

Sooo... What's in the Box???

Asparagus-  So fresh!  Picked Tuesday morning.  This is one item that we do buy from a neighboring organic farmer for the boxes to help fill out these earlier boxes.  Asparagus prefers to stand in a little water, or stand on a moist towlette to continue "drinking" to keep it crisp and moist.  

Radish X 2-  Radishes love the cooler, more moist weather!  Hot and dry weather will turn radishes spicy and tough. These radishes are crunch, crispy and mild in their spicyness.  The greens are also wonderful for cooking.  Use them in salads, stir-fry or in any dish that calls for 'cooking greens'.  

Overwintered Shallots-  These are in the onion family, found in the small paper bag.  Shallots have fantastic storage ability.  Keep them in the refrigerator to keep them from wanting to sprout.  Shallots are commonly used in sauces, dressings and marrinades to add a mild oinon flavor.  Or just have fun with them and use them however you fancy!

Pac Choi-  Please understand that pac choi is very difficult to grow in the Spring time due to insect damage.  We covered these with Remay (or floating row cover) to keep the bugs off them, but asian vegetables are hard to grow in the spring time when the insect pressure is strong.  But they still taste the same even with a few holes in them.  This is organic pac choi in the Springtime in Wisconsin!  

Lettuce-  The heads were a touch on the small side this week.  The cooler weather was making them grow a bit slower.  Exceptional flavor and tenderness in these early spring greens!  We are also able to grow some fancy buttercrunch varieties and oakleaf varieits we have never tried before.  You may have recieved a red or green leaf lettuce.  We also shipped some romaine lettuce.  

Basil Plant-  These little guys can be potted in your favorite organic potting soil mix in a pot in the house near a sunny window or somewhere in the yard with good fertility that gets good sunlight.  Basil loves sun and warmth!  Pick fresh basil leaves for any dish all summer long.  Pinch off any seed heads if you see the plant wanting to make seed.  

Arugula-The first time we've ever had spring Arugula!  Covered under row cover, they were able to grow protected from the flea beetles.  Still a few holes, but a nice, distinctive, mild arugula flavor.  

Spinach-  A modest first picking of Spinach, but there will be more to come!  There is enough here to do something with for sure.  Oh, how all winter long I missed the taste of fresh, Spring spinach.  Now it's here!  


Arugula Salad

Radish Dip

Butter Beans with Bacon and Arugula

Sesame Soy Glazed Baby Pac Choi