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Summer Share #3 Newsletter 
June 16 - 22, 2015

 

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Table of Contents 
 (click on the links to go directly to that part of the newsletter)

  1. Calendar & Reminders
  2. This Week's Box
  3. On the Farm . . .
     
  4. Bike the Barns Event
  5. Berry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
  6. Lettuce Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Herb Dressing
  7. Collard Greens with Toasted Almonds
     

half share this week

full share this week

Calendar & Reminders:

Sunday, July 26th,1 to 4pm - Farm Party.

Sunday, September 20 - Bike the Barns Event. See item listed in Table of Contents.

 
Remember to return your empty box.

Previous editions of our newsletter are on our Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Fine-Homestead/145013635612327

This Week's Box
 

Full Share:
Green Romaine Head Lettuce - 1 See Lettuce Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Herb Dressing recipe.
Baby Leaf Salad Mesclun (Mix) - 3/4 lb See Berry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe.
Mizuna & Arugula Mix - 1/2 lb Mizuna is an Asian green with a pleasant mustard taste mixed with arugula's spicy flavor. This mix can be eaten raw, steamed or sauted.
Strawberries - 2 qts 
See Berry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe.
Garlic Scapes -1 bunch Pungent & garlicky when eaten raw. Cooking mellows their flavor. Flavor also mellows over time and with refrigeration. Can be frozen. Our favorite way to prepare is to cut pointy tops off (can be used to make pesto) and chop into 3 or 4 inch spears. Steam and serve with a pat of butter. They are similar in texture to asparagus.
Broccoli - 1 medium
Kohlrabi - 1 large - The greens can be used as collard greens. See Collared Greens with Toasted Almonds recipe.


Half Share:
Butterhead Head Lettuce - 1 See Lettuce Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Herb Dressing recipe.
Baby Leaf Salad Mesclun (Mix) - 1/2 lb See Berry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe.
Mizuna & Arugula Mix - 1/4 lb Mizuna is an Asian green with a pleasant mustard taste mixed with arugula's spicy flavor. This mix can be eaten raw, steamed or sauted.
Strawberries - 1 qt See Berry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe.
Garlic Scapes -1 bunch Pungent & garlicky when eaten raw. Cooking mellows their flavor. Flavor also mellows over time and with refrigeration. Can be frozen. Our favorite way to prepare is to cut pointy tops off (can be used to make pesto) and chop into 3 or 4 inch spears. Steam and serve with a pat of butter. They are similar in texture to asparagus..
Broccoli - 2 small


*** Feel free to contact us with any questions on the contents of your box or for ideas of what to do with them. We are happy to talk "food" with you! ***

On the Farm . . .

what's happening this week in words and pictures

Here are some pictures from the fields.
  • Developing red onion bulbs grown in a cluster.
  • Rows of green beans and yellow wax beans.
  • Garlic scapes before being pulled for your box. If left on the garlic plant, the scape straightens and develops a seed head. Pulling encourages the plant to put its energy into developing a bigger garlic bulb.
  • A view of the brassica (broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi) field with new transplants in front of ones planted earlier.

We received a little over 2 1/2 inches of rain in the last week. The produce enjoyed the big drink and growth increased accordingly. Even so Bill spent time working on the watering system he set up this spring. New transplants need to be watered, and we are well aware that watering will be a priority through the main growing season.

This year we've increased the amount of land in vegetables. That along with our water pump being a mere 1/2 hp, the fields being 400 to 800 feet from the pump and a small water pressure tank means irrigation will be challenging. Next year we hope to upgrade the pump and purchase a bigger water pressure tank. This summer we (meaning mainly Bill) will be monitoring and adjusting as we go.

Aidan, Marlee and Bindi discovered a skunk den in a culvert across the road from our fields. The babies are still in the nest and are very cute. It is hard to think about killing them. We dread the dilemma animals like skunks present to a farm like ours. We'd like to let them be but know from experience, we risk the lives of the pastured chickens living in moveable pens nearby.

A couple years ago we lost quite a few to a mystery predator over several nights before a skunk was caught red-handed feasting. Shortly after a den was found under an old shed. We had been oblivious to the female and her 5 half-grown youngsters living with us at 32727 Byrds Creek Valley Dr!

Over the course of the next week Bill used a live trap to catch a couple, but it wasn't a great solution. Even though never directly sprayed, he always ended up smelling like skunk. And where do you relocate a skunk anyway? While we were trying to decide how to proceed, it seemed we were beseiged by all the skunks in the surrounding neighborhood. We'd see them on our road when coming home at night, the barn started to possess a strong skunk odor and we found broken eggshells in the hay manger.

One day Liam went to gather eggs in the barn and was surprised by a big male curled up for a nap in a nest box after gorging on fresh, local, free-range, soy-free chicken eggs! I didn't believe Liam when he burst in the house shouting, "Skunk!" I had to see myself. He was correct, and Bill was gone to work. I couldn't say, "this falls under your department" and walk away like I wanted to. In my head I heard the childhood warnings from my elders about skunks carrying rabies and did what I felt needed to be done. I got the .22 and shot the skunk.

Needless to say we haven't found a way to co-exist peacefully with skunks yet, but it looks like we are getting another chance to figure it out this summer! Wish us luck ;)

Stacey

 

Bike the Barns
Bike the Barns is a recreational bike ride touring CSA farms and the beautiful Southern WI countryside – fueled by fresh, local, delicious food! It raises funds for FairShare CSA Coalition, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
 
Registration includes farm-fresh snacks and a delectable plated lunch. Plus, after the ride, stick around for a foodie picnic paradise; beer, live music, camaraderie and fun at the After Party! We often hear riders celebrating the fact that BTB is is the one ride where they take in more calories than they burn…and that’s a good thing when the calories are this tasty!
 
Folks return to this beloved ride year after year (even after they’ve moved away!) to ride with friends. Some even build their own mobile party to celebrate birthdays, bridesmaids celebrations and more!
 
This year, you can choose from two routes – 55 or 38 miles. See a route map and learn more at www.csacoalition.org
Vinaigrette:
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 tbl maple syrup
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of salt

 
Combine all ingredients in a sealable container, cover securely, and shake until emulsified; or whisk vigorously in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more maple syrup and/or salt as desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

Salad:
3 c mixed baby salad greens
2 tbl Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette (or to taste)
1 c quartered fresh strawberries (6-8 whole berries)
1/2 c fresh blueberries
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled (about 2 tbl)
2 tbl croutons

 
Toss salad greens with a portion of the vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Scatter the strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese and croutons over the greens. Serve immediately.

 Lettuce Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Herb Dressing
(Seed Savers 2002 Calendar)

Dressing:
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 tbl Dijon mustard
1/4 c buttermilk
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbl chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, chives, dill, chervil or 2 finely chopped scallions (green onions)

 

Place mayonnaise in a small bowl and whisk in all the other ingredients. Keep chilled. 
 

Salad:
1 big head or 2-3 small heads of lettuce
and 1 c a
ny or all of the following vegetables
grated (or julienne) carrots
sliced ripe avocado
thin slices of red onions
sliced or chopped celery hearts (the innermost tender yellow parts)

To prepare lettuces, tear off and discard any bruised or damaged outer leaves. Remove a few more outer leaves and cut the tender hearts into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the heads. Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves and the hearts. Cover and chill prior to salad assembly.

To assemble the salads, arrange some torn leaves and some hearts on each plate. Add any or all of the other vegetables. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Collard Greens with Toasted Almonds
(Jennifer Kerr)


2 T. dark sesame oil
1 T. cider vinegar
crushed red pepper
1 bunch collard greens, or leaves of kohlrabi
1/2 t. rice vinegar
1 clove garlic
toasted sliced almonds
 
 
Cut hard stem out of leaves. Roll 2-3 leaves together and slice thin strips. Set aside.
Saute chopped garlic in sesame oil.
Add crushed red pepper to desire and vinegars with the sliced greens and steam until the greens are bright green and just soft (do not over cook).
Serve with toasted almonds over the top.

Early morning sun coming up over the hay fields.

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