What's in the bigger box?
Winter Squash - acorn, butternut, pie pumpkin, long island cheese
black spanish radish
savory/Sage herb bunch
black spanish radish
herbs- savory/sage bunch
Notes on the box...
We had planned on two more deliveries, but looking at the positively frigid temps we have been having, we realized that the crops we have been waiting on just aren't going to make it in time for delivery. We are so bummed not to have brussel sprouts and cabbage and spinach for you all! They have been suspended in time since the temperature dropped. But most of the other crops have already been harvested and are ready for you. So, we have combined the last two deliveries into one delivery where we will just give you all that we have all at once! Several of our CSA farming friends have made the same decision and said that members seem to understand.
New veggies this week include some beautiful black spanish radish. These guys will store in your fridge pretty near to forever, so when you want a little something spicy and crunchy in the middle of December, you might have a Black Spanish Radish rolling around in your crisper, just waiting for you to rinse it off, slice it up, and enjoy!
Leeks can be stored in your fridge. They pair well with potatoes and have a nice delicate onion flavor. The best part of the leek to use is the white part and up to where the green leaves part from each other. Look out for dirt as you get to the green part up top. Dirt likes to hide in there. The tops can be used in vegetable stock. These guys are pretty small and never really sized up, but they are still quite tasty. We tried to make up for lack of bigness with a greater quantity of little guys, but these smaller ones probably won't keep as long.
[yumprint-recipe id='27'][yumprint-recipe id='28'][yumprint-recipe id='29']Feel like getting fancy? Risotto with Butternut and Leeks
On the farm.....
One year ago from today we were hunkering down out in New Auburn, planning the 2014 season as the hunt for a new farm seemed to be fruitless. Nothing closer to the cities with enough tillable farm land, that had less rocks, and didn't need major building repairs so we could roll into the next season. After visiting over 50 farms in the area and looking at countless real estate ads and asking farm questions to realtors that don't know the meaning of silty loam, we gave up because we didn't want to move in the Winter. We also knew that we HAD to move to keep doing this. The rocks were hurting our backs, our morale, and our ability to grow vegetables efficiently and sustainably. Our soil was very poorly drained and not great for vegetables, and frac sand mines were popping up way to close for comfort. Moving was the obvious way forward, but the prospect seemed impossible. The right farm just didn't seem to be out there...
This is the second farm we've hunted for. The first one we had little to lose and much to gain. But this time our criteria had narrowed, our standards were higher, we had a lot more to lose. We knew perfect was impossible, but something better then what we had was out there. Just before Christmas we found this place here in Clear Lake and by the end of Jan we had a signed purchase agreement with the help of P and K, our angel investors. So much for not moving in the Winter! We had roughly 30 days to get the greenhouse moved and put back up to start the plants that would become this years harvest.... There were moments that I thought it wouldn't happen, that we would be left buying in thousands of dollars of plants just to be able to get the season going. But through frozen temps, frozen fingers, many broken tools and much slippery ice... we made it! And not only did we get that greenhouse standing in the frozen tundra of February, we proceeded to put up two MORE greenhouses, jackhammer out an old milk house and gut a 1920's era barn to start a 25 cow dairy where there hadn't been one since the 80's. We put deer fence around 20 acres of vegetable fields, put in a packing shed, built a walk in cooler, put up storage shelving, built housing for the crew, and moved an entire fleet of farm equipment required to grow 15 acres of vegetables. That means over 5000 miles of road time back and forth from New Auburn to Clear Lake with only minor injuries were sustained. We had a help from family and friends that we are so grateful for, as well as the hard work of another amazingly resilient farm crew!
This year has been one for the record books. a foot of snow in May, moving the whole farm, record moisture followed by 2 months without rain, and now twins on the way! No rest for the weary! This has been a rough financial year for us. As the farm owners, we take the hit of the bad weather and the move. We didn't have enough produce to sell to our few wholesale accounts, we weren't able to offer "extras" for canning and freezing, we weren't able to offer a Winer Share, and we moved a minimal amount of produce to the food shelf. That translates to lost income for the farm. But filling the CSA boxes is always our top priority! Even though every box wasn't spilling over with produce, we did give all that we had. And though CSA is the most stable model for farmers financially, we tend to put every penny back into the business. That's our choice and we don't regret it. Working this way provides us a good life. We are doing what we love and a we have a job that feels right for us. We are eternal optimists and expect that next season will be better! We are sure that being in a community with other CSA farms, closer to our members and people that really "get it" is going to have a positive impact on our lives, your lives, and the life of our farm. Struggles aside, we are happy and we just keep working to make our farm a better place!
Above all, we eat well and we hope you are eating well too! The most important thing to us is our health as a community and the health of the land. We and other small farms like ours are the front lines of rebuilding our food systems, thinking about the next steps. We want to continue to make the CSA experience better and better. We, along with CSA farmers in our area, are exploring options for a multi-farm CSA where the work and the risks of growing 50 different vegetables can be divided and spread out over all of our farms. We can make this something bigger than just our little farm and ultimately provide better food options and service to you. We will keep you posted on this project, but in the mean time please fill out the survey (check your email) and let us know what you liked and disliked and sign up for next season!
Thanks for trusting us with your growing your food!
We will be contacting folks with the opportunity to purchase pork, beef, and chicken throughout the Winter. We hope to see you on the farm in the near future!
Now for the pictures....
Kaden shared his recipe for spinach radish sandwich. Sandwich a slice of radish between leaves of spinach and enjoy! Thanks for the recipe!
Sign up for next season!
If you would like to sign up for next season, this is the link. The prices right now are the same as they were for the 2013 season. The price of the share will increase after January 1, so early sign-up is encouraged! Also, please check your email for the coupon code! No need to pay the full amount now. You can choose to make up to 5 payments. The first payment will be due upon sign-up and the next payment won't be due until January of 2014. Let us know if you have any questions or trouble signing up!