Small Family Farm CSA

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June Tenth, 2019

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(Brassic Fields Forever)

I like to use an early newsletter to introduce ourselves. It’s a bit of repeat for the returning CSA members, but fun for our new members who really don’t know the faces behind the food. I also find that I retell the story differently each year as the story of us evolves and changes. My perspective changes as well as our life stage and farm age change.

Knowing the story behind where your food comes from feels like CSA 101. Community Supported Agriculture is cultivation of food and community together. Adam and I are the orchestrators of this symphony, but without all of you, our worker shares and employees, to believe in and support us, there would be no music. So you are now part of a living story that I tell and retell each year.

The Small Family Farm started in the Spring of 2006 with 23 CSA members. From the beginning, we knew that CSA would be our primary focus. We knew we wanted to farm, but farming was really only appealing if we knew we were doing it for CSA members and not wholesale markets. The idea of community support and involvement was appealing on a visceral level. We loved the diversification of CSA farms, the security and the way a CSA membership felt like a team of people who were rooting for us, backing us and supporting us through the fate of the highly unpredictable growing season.

I have always loved the athleticism of farming. All in a days work I get my exercise, my fresh air, my sunshine, my social experience, and clean water and good food. Lucky for me, Adam had always dreamed of being a farmer since he was a small boy. I had the most farm experience when we bought the farm, but he certainly has brought his skills to the table and we work as an impressive team to make this ship sail.

My mother lives on 5 acres next to our farm and if it were not for her support in the early years, we may not exist. She made us dinner, washed our clothes, mopped our floors, delivered our vegetables and was our biggest cheerleader. Now she still makes us dinner, washes our clothes, mops our floors delivers our vegetables and is our biggest cheerleader. She ALSO watches our kids, mows the lawn and helps in ways that feel small to her but are huge to us.

Over the last 14 years, we have grown to cultivating 11.5 acres of vegetables primarily for our 310 member CSA program. Our little farm is on 21 acres of ridgetop land in La Farge, WI. We live in the heart of amish country with the rushing Kickapoo River at the bottom of the road. There is a huge, old, perfectly rounded maple tree at the highest point of this farm that stands alone right in the middle of our produce fields like a wise and knowing soul that knows a longer piece of history of this farm that I could never tell you. Adam and I and our three small children are the humble, short-lived current stewards. We plan to care for and nourish this piece of land to the best of our capabilities before someday, someday, passing it on to someone who will hopefully love it and care for it as much as we do.

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(Garlic looking great!)

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

Asparagus-  1 pound bunches of Asparagus.  Asparagus is one of the only items that we actually purchase for CSA boxes all year.  It is such a wonderful, seasonal treat that we couldn't leave this Spring delicasy out.  We get it from a local, organicy asparagus producer who we feel does a fantastic job!  

Pac Choi-  Pac Choi is another very fun spring treat.  It is an Asian Spring brassica that we really only attempt to grow in the Spring when the weather is cool and the bug pressure is low.  Flea beetles love Asian greens and want to eat them as much as we do which is why there may be tiny holes in some of the leaves.  We cover them with a white floating row cover while they are growing to keep the bugs off.  We love Pac Choi is asian salads fresh or cooked in a stir fry.  How do you love to eat it?  

Cherry Bell Radish-  One generous bunch of radishes per member this week.  The radishes this Spring are crunchy and so fresh!  They have a tiny bit of bite to them, but not too much.  Remember that the greens on your radishes are edible and are a great addition to your salads or quiches.  Sautee them and add them to your eggs or mix them in with just about anything you're making for dinner to add more green to your life!

Shallots-  These are .41 lb bags of shallots that we harvested last summer, cleaned and stored all winter in our cooler.  They are an overwintered treat that we saved just for you!  Shallots can be used like an onion in just about any dish, but they really shine with added to a home-made salad dressing, marrinade or sauce.  Since they have been in cold storage all winter, they will want to sprout if left on your warm counter space.  Keep them in your fridge until you get to using them up!

Potatoes-  2lb bags of potatoes that were also overwintered from last years harvest.  Potatoes keep wonderfully well in coolers overwinter-best unwashed which is why these guys are a little dirty.  We left the cleaning up to you!  You may have received reds, golds, russets or purple viking.  They will also want to sprout if left on your counter.  Keep them in your fridge until you get to using them up!  

Red Buttercup Lettuce-  One large and beautiful head of red buttercup lettuce that was hoophouse grown!  They are so delicate and fragile they want to crumble with even the most minimal handeling.  Take advantage of this Spring delicasy while the tender Spring lettuce lasts.  As the weather warms, lettuce gets a little tougher to stand up to the heat.  For now, tenderness all the way!  

Spinach- .35 lb bags of spinach per member this week.  Possibly we would have had more if the deer had left the patch alone!  We're seeing more deer pressure this year than in previous years.  But these spinach leaves are so young and tender, you may just want to eat them raw in salads.  Spinach is also wonderful in pasta dishes, egg bakes and sandwiches!  

Herb Pack-  Each 4-pack of herbs has a mint, oregano, thyme and rosemary.  Some of the rosemary did not survive the transplant into the packs (Rosemary is a bit finnicky), so we may have subed a sage instead of rosemary in some of the four-packs.  Transplant your culinary herbs into pots to be set on your porch or windowsil.  If you have the garden space, transplant them out with plenty of water at transplant and send three kisses to the moon.  

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(Strawberry Blossoms! Hoping for strawberries in just a couple more weeks!)

Recipes

 Pac Choi Fried Rice

 Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

 Citrus Shallot Salad Dressing