Small Family Farm CSA

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June Twenty Sixth, 2019

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The summer solstice seemed to get the message across to the fireflys that it was now okay to come out in full force. These gorgeous summer evenings twinkle with the magic that they embody due to their presence. The monarchs are finally ubiquitous while temperatures shyly creep into the 80’s. This has been one of the more pleasant Springs of memory. I feel hopeful that the Summer will be equally as mild.

Much of the produce in our country comes from more airid, temperate, and dry states like California. Plants feel stress when it’s too hot, too wet or when it weather patterns fluctuate too drastically or too often. Here in Wisconsin, we are blessed with the gifts of rain, seasonal changes and restful winters, but as a trade-off we are given a shorter growing season, too much rain at times and the looming possibility of frost in the Spring and Fall, and a very hot stretch of weather over the peak season. And while a droughty season or two is worrisome, it does make vegetable farming a little easier in some ways. Dry weather is a favorite of ours. If we can control how much water plants get and how often they get water, we can work to create a more ideal growing condition for the plants. Additionally,. some plants would rather only have water at their root zones and not on their leaves. If a plants leaves are too wet for too long, rot and disease arise.

Plants do not actually love the hottest part of the summer. Contrary to what many people think, all of our Midwestern summer crops would all perform just fine if temperatures never rose above 80. They need sunlight, water and warmth, but not intense heat. They feel stress in the same way you or I would feel when standing out all day under the hot sun.

We are hopeful for a nice stretch of dry-ish weather now as Strawberries come into season on the farm. The children are picking a few strawberries here and there that are ripening around the edges as the season begins, but we are about to start picking the strawberry patches every other day starting this week. There will not be berries for this week’s box as they are only just beginning, but there will undoubtedly be berries for Weeks 5 and 6 (and maybe longer?). Strawberries are extremely perishable and do not handle well if picked when wet.

Strawberries are coming on a week to ten days later this year on our farm than in the last few years. We do grow a variety of strawberries called Darselect that has done well for us in the past. Darselect is a later maturing variety which is also why our strawberry season is just beginning and while some farm’s strawberry season is just ending. Darselect has all the loveliness that a local, seasonal strawberry is capable of possessing and they have been larger berries in the first season of production on a new patch.

Consider coming out to the farm this Saturday for our Strawberry Social! We may open up a part of the strawberry patch for picking (for $3/lb) between 3 and 4pm. There may be just a limited number of quarts to pick per family. We will have a wagon ride tour of the farm between 4 and 5pm and then a potluck dinner in the packing shed of the farm between 5 and 6pm. We will have vanilla ice cream for any berries you might pick for after the potluck. This is a great opportunity to come out to the farm and check out the fields, facilities and farmers. Come and ask us questions, play in the yard and visit your farm!

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

Kohlrabi x2-  We had enough large kohlrabis to give everyone two this week.  There were mostly white kohlrabis, but there were some purples.  Some people may have received two white or one while and one purple.  They are both the same on the inside!  Just peel away the tougher outer layer and you'll find that they're white and crunchy on the inside and all have the same deliciousness!  Don't forget that your kohlrabi greens can be used like kale.  

Lettuce x2-  Two heads of tender, Spring lettuce this week.  You may received either a green oakleaf, red oakleaf or buttercup lettuce.  They are all fabulously tender and wonderful for salads.  I just LOVE these early Spring lettuce varieties.  They don't stand up to the summer heat well, so we don't offer them in the Summer months.  Soon we will be sending some romaine or red leaf lettuce or green leaf lettuce.  These tender oakleafs and buttercups are a special cool-weather treat for us all.  

Lacinato Kale-  Humongous bunches of Lacinato kale this week!  Lacinato Kale is also known as Dinosaur Kale or Tuscano Kale.  It is one of the more trendy varieties of kale these days.  It is actually an heirloom variety.  Lacinato has a darker green color than other varieties of kale which makes it more nutritous as well.  It has a smoother texture.  It originates in Italy-like so many wonderful things do!  

Dill-  The aromatic Dill!  One bunch of Dill per member this week.  Dill can be minced into a salad.  It can be used in egg salad, potato salad or with salmon.  Get createive.  We only send Dill a few times out of the year, so have fun with it!  It coudl also be dried and used in the winter if stored in a glass mason jar with a tight lid.  We recommend un-bunching it and laying it out on the tray of a dehydrator if you plan to dehydrate it.  

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  More generous bunches of these lovely Hakurai turnips this week.  They're a little larger than last week as well.  Hakurai salad turnips will make you fall in love with turnips if you thought you didn't love them.  One member called them the "gateway turnip".  They will revolutionize how you fell about turnips, I promise!  They're wonderful shaved thinly over a salad, eaten raw like radishes or you coudl have fun and add them to a stir fry or glaze the with their greens on.  Don't forget to make use of their greens as well!  

Broccoli-  About 1 pound of broccoli per member this week.  We were worried about our broccoli this Spring, but it is turning out to be a decent harvest after all.  Early summer broccoli heads have been traditionally smaller on our farm.  But our late-season head are typically larger.  Delicious and welcome no matter the size!  

Green Onions-  Our first green onion harvest of the season.  Finally!  These guys can be used from the base of the plant all the way up to the tips of the greens.  The green part of the onions makes a nice garnish to a soup, egg dish or even sprinkled on a salad.  Use them up!  

Next Weeks Best Guess:  Green onions, garlic scapes, lettuce x 2, kohlrabi, broccoli, swiss chard, turnips, strawberries (hopefully!), peas, zucchini and/or summer squash

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Recipes

Lemon Dill Dressing

Creamy Dill Chicken Salad

Dill Dip  (Great for Chips or Veggies)

Hakurai Turnip and Apple Salad

Kohlrabi Oven Fries

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