Small Family Farm CSA

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July Fourteenth

There is an effort on our small family farm to cultivate a sort of community. There are the worker shares and the employees and the neighbors and all of YOU. We are tied together through the shared soil that our food is grown in. We are unified by experiencing a growing season together intimately that we can digest and process as a group. The rarity of knowing the names, faces and land from where your food is grown is real. Through the internet, delivery trucks and smart phones we are able to foster a sense of transparency and relationship. It feels good enough, but there is potential for more.

Each season we host 2-3 farm events to create opportunities for our CSA members and their friends and family to come out to the farm to see the place where their food is grown. An impression of the landscape, a ‘feel’ for the farm as a whole and the structures, or an experience here at either a dinner or a wagon ride or a potluck enriches the experience of being a CSA member so much more. A sense that there are real people with real lives behind the food in the boxes humanizes our relationship to food in world dominated by marketing, price strutures and import from far away lands. Knowing the ‘who’ and ‘where’ and even the ‘when’ behind our food is uncommon.

On Saturday, August 14th we will be hosting a Summer Evening Farm dinner here the farm. We will be featuring the seasonal favorites in this 6 course dinner held in the yard near the farmhouse. The food will be prepared by Momma Jane’s Kitchen and served by many of the people who work and encircle our immediate farm community. There will be local musicians playing music while we talk and eat and share food together. There will be beer pairings with each course from Turtle Stack Brewery which is a local micro brewery out of La Crosse. Your farmers will be available, in a sense, and moving at a slower pace and ready to just talk and eat and enjoy a single evening with our friends and community. Tickets for the farm dinner are available on our website and there are a limited number remaining.

Again in the Fall we will host another event on Sunday, Septeber 19th which is a free event. We will offer wagon ride tours around the farm and we hope to have pumpkins available for each child to pick and take one home. We will have our apple cider press out and ready to crank apples and drink cider with our friends. In the past we have also had Turtle Stack beer available to share. We will host a potluck dinner at 5pm and will once again make ourselves available for socializing and answering questions.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I could not imagine a vocation as a farmer any other way. I would not love the work we are doing in the same way if we were simply wholesale vegetable farmers selling to grocery stores and food coops. I remember falling in love with CSA farming when I was a wee 20 year old working at a CSA farm called Angelic Organics out of Caledonia, IL when they hosted their Fall Farm Potluck and many of their CSA members came out to the farm for an afternoon/evening. It transformed my experience from a simple farm hand to a believer in community agriculture. A kind of blooming happened for me seeing the families and children and the rows of cars of the people who were part of the CSA carving an evening out of their lives to pause and share food with the people on the land of plenty where the vegetables were grown. Farms are living and breathing and alive in more ways than are apparent at first meeting. I sincerely hope you are able to join us at one of our farm events this summer!

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Sooo….What’s in the Box????

Green Cabbage- Large heads of Quickstart cabbage this week! This is not a storage variety, so the heads aren’t quite as dense as a storage variety, but they have all the crispness and cabbage goodness you would expect from a summer cabbage!

Fennel- These are the white bulbus vegetable with the frawns on top. The frawns smell a little like licorice. Fennel is lovely shaved raw with a sharp knife or a mandolin into a salad or sautéed and snuck into any favorite dish. Once sautéed it resembles caramelized onions.  

Green Onions- These are the green top onions bunched. We will continue to share these guys until our actual onions are ready for harvest in a few weeks!

Purple Kohlrabi- By now you’re fully in love with kohlrabi and know just how to cut it up and enjoy all the crisp, crunch and glory of the kohlrabi. Add the kohlrabi greens to your kale bunch and use them when you’re cooking up your kale! No one will know they at kohlrabi greens!

Celery- Yes! Celery! It makes a farmer feel good to grow local celery! It’s a very tricky crop to grow as they seem to have fussy nutrient needs and need high volumes of water. We were able to irrigate them through the drought earlier this year and they have been getting steady rain ever since. Local celery is a darker green than the California celery you are used to seeing in the stores. It also has a stronger celery flavor and lacks some of the crisp and wateriness that Cali celery has. This is our best shot! We will be sending celery the next 3-4 weeks as well, so use these babies up in your egg salad, potato salad, soups, or any other favorite summer salads! Yum!

Cucumber- The cucumbers are beginning! This is the first week of cucumber harvest! Just one cucumber per member this week, and we know you will enjoy every slice! Lots more of these alkalizing, juicy orbs to come!

Zucchini and Summer Squash- 4 per member. You may have received any combination of summer squashes or zucchini this week. There are hundreds of ways to cook with zucchini and summer squash, so dust off your favorite recipes and get that cutting board and knife out. Luckily, they don’t have a strong flavor of their own so they will absorb whatever herbs, vinegars, oils or seasonings you soak them in or sprinkle on them. We included a very simple and easy recipe this week we suggest you try out!

Garlic Scapes- This is the final week of garlic scapes that we will share. A reminder that the best edible part is from the blunt end up to the little nodule towards the top of the scape. From the nodule upward the material gets a little more chewy, but some members have told me they eat the entire thing which is just dandy too!

Red Kale- Red kale bunches to keep you stocked in cooking greens. Check out the recipe below for Kale Salad with cabbage! Very delicious and simple!

Red Leaf Lettuce- The lettuce this week is so tender and crunchy! We’re so happy to have such tender lettuce this far into summer! We’re also happy to be keeping the deer away from our lettuce patch finally this year as well!

Broccoli and/or Cauliflower- The broccoli and cauliflower is coming on strong now! You may have received two broccoli or one broccoli and one cauliflower.

Next Week's Best Guess-  Broccoli, Cauliflower, kohlrabi?, celery, beets, garlic, bunching onions, kale, lettuce, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini, 

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Simple Baked Parmesan Summer Squash and Zucchini Rounds

Maui Kale Salad with Cabbage and a Sweet Onion Dressing

Cheesy Cabbage Gratin Recipe

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