June 25th, 2019

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What’s in your share?

Radicchio

Bunching Onions

Stir Fry Greens

Kohlrabi

Hakurei Turnips

Butterhead Lettuce

Spring Ferment

In the past few weeks since we have started harvesting our crops, we have felt so much inspiration for many reasons. Feeding ourselves and our community is very empowering, and knowing that people love and support what we do makes every day that is difficult worth it.

But this feeling of inspiration is coming from elsewhere, too. When we first moved onto our farm in April of 2018, we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t know what our soil would be like, we didn’t know how the climate would be so close to the lake, and we didn’t know how the people who lived here before us treated the land. It turned out that we have some of the heaviest clay soil in the midwest. When we first started planting last spring, it was like we were planting into concrete, leaving our fingertips sore and bleeding and us feeling discouraged. Planting started out as a dreaded and painful chore. We knew that this soil needed a lot of love, and that it wasn’t going to be an overnight fix. Soil structure and health take years and years to build, and can be destroyed in an instant with the use of chemicals and heavy machinery.

After just one year of hauling endless wheel barrows full of organic, plant based compost, composted horse manure, amending our soil with nutrients, and never inverting the soil with a rototiller, the difference in our soil has been immense. Planting is going much faster, there are more earthworms gliding through the soil that has become more loamy, and the plants seem to be responding well. There is still so much we can do to improve the ecosystem of our farm, but each year will get better and better.

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This feeling of inspiration doesn’t end at our farm. The farm is a microcosm of the planet. We all are aware of the dangers of climate change, whether we acknowledge it or not. The mentality that we too often see is, “if something is broken; give up on it, throw it away, and buy a new one.” As humans, we are stewards of the land we live on. It is our responsibility to put great efforts into making this planet one that can sustain life in all its forms. Even though sometimes it seems easier to give up on a place in search for a better one, soon, it will not be an option. Just like in our field, we can make change happen and improve the quality of our land. It will take time, but we will see small results instantly.

We want to thank you all, once again, for taking direct action to be a part of this change and supporting our CSA this season. By purchasing directly from a farm in your area, you are reducing the fuel mileage it takes to get your food from the farm to your plate, and are also giving the farmers a better chance to make a decent wage.

We hope that you enjoy the food, and let it be an inspiration to continue taking small actions to make this planet a nourishing place!

A few notes about veggies we don’t commonly see in the grocery stores:

Turnips: These are the white, round roots with green leaves. The turnips are excellent eaten raw. Cut a piece off and try it. It can also be sauteed, roasted, steamed, or boiled for a short time in a soup. The texture is much softer than a classic storage turnip, and the taste much sweeter. The greens are also delicious and very nutritious, best sauteed.

Kohlrabi: These are the purple and green bulbous stems with leaves. Kohlrabi has a similar flavor to broccoli, and has the texture of a potato. Unlike a potato, kohlrabi can be eaten raw. Some people like to peel kohlrabis, but it isn’t necessary. Remove the leaves (you can eat these too, best sauteed or cooked in a soup), and if eating raw, shred, cut into matchsticks, or slice into thin rounds. You can also treated it like a potato and cut it into bigger chunks and roast or boil it.

Radicchio: Radicchio looks similar to a cabbage, but is deep purple and white. It is in the same family as a dandelion. Just like a dandelion leaf, the radicchio has a bitter flavor that softens with cooking. Bitterness in vegetables is usually a sign that it helps detoxify the liver. Radicchio is delicious grilled, roasted, sauteed, or eaten raw in thin strips. It tastes great drizzled with a mixture of honey or maple syrup and olive oil.

Spring Ferment: This is similar to a sauerkraut. Its a medley of our vegetables, shredded, salted lightly, and fermented. Fermentation is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Billions of microbes exist on all surfaces, (vegetables in our case) which eat the natural sugars of the vegetables, and in exchange, help to break down their cell walls, and make the vegetables easier for our bodies to digest. Aside from helping with digestive health, fermented foods are living foods that provide many micronutrients, healthy bacteria, and cultures that normally don’t occur in foods which have been cooked. The ferment can be eaten with anything! Its great on sandwiches, salad (in lieu of a dressing), as a side, as a garnish, or just out of the jar with a fork. Because it is living, we never heat the jars, which means we do not seal them. Do not be alarmed when you don’t need to pry the lid off.

Ingredients: Cabbage, radishes, turnips, bok choy, sea salt

Keep refrigerated

Recipes

Simple Stir Fry

1/2 or whole cabbage, depending on how much stir fry you want (cut into thin strips)

Hakurei turnips and their greens! (quartered for cooking, save a few slices for a raw garnish)

Bunching onions (chopped)

Kolhrabi (greens removed and root removed, thinly sliced)

Stir Fry Greens (chopped into bite sized pieces, or thinly sliced)

2-4 T Cooking oil

1-3 T rice vinegar

1-3 T Tamari or Soy Sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Spices of your choice. Suggestion: ginger, turmeric, lemongrass

When you have all the ingredients cut, find a pan or pot with a lid (or wok if you have one) that will fit all of the veggies. Heat oil on medium-low. Add turnips and kohlrabi and a little salt to help soften them. Cover for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cabbage and stir fry greens and cover until they begin to wilt, stirring occasionally. Add the bunching onions, spices, vinegar, and soy sauce. Taste every couple minutes to determine when the texture is to your liking. This is great over a bed of rice or udon noodles. It also a great breakfast dish with an egg if you have the time! If you want to make it more savory, you can add 2-3 T of peanut butter.