CSA Newsletter: Week 4

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Snap Peas & Snow Peas // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Lettuce Mix // Store loosely in a plastic bag until ready to use. Should last up to a week.

Butterhead or Romaine Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Curly Kale // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture. Also freezes well for soups.

Zucchini and/or Summer Squash // These are the first zucchinis of the year which means they are imperfect. Imperfect produce always needs to be used quickly so store these beauties in your fridge and use within a couple days. They will get soft after that.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Beets // Trim the leaves off the beets. Store the leaves in a plastic bag if you plan to use them (the leaves should last 2-3 days). Once leaves are removed from the beet roots, the roots will easily last a couple of weeks. They’ll get soft after that but can still be used. Store the roots loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

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Hello dear members!

And welcome to week 4 of the CSA season!! In case you haven’t noticed, this green bounty of early summer is definitely going to continue here at Raleigh’s Hillside Farm.

With days above 80 degrees and (what feels like) non-stop rain, the fields are really beginning to burst with flavor and abundance. Though the zucchini and cucumbers have just begun, within a week of our first harvest we were able to haul in a couple hundred pounds. These crops are absolutely loving the humidity and moisture. Lettuce heads continue to grow more and more massive. Kale, chard, and collards are begging to be picked every week. Kohlrabi and beets are also massive and full. Parsley beds are overflowing. It’s absolutely crazy out here.

And above everything else, it appears to be the best season for snap peas we have ever encountered in our seven years of farming. Because it stayed so cool and wet for so long, the peas grew comfortably in their perfect climate. Since we dialed in our pea trellising system four years ago, every May and June have been pretty hot causing the peas to stress and put out lackluster fruits. This year they flowered like mad while in a perfectly low stress environment and now that the heat has come, it’s encouraging the peas to fruit and size up more quickly. This week and next should be massively abundant with high quality snap peas. We could not be more excited.

And how is the rainfall affecting other things? Mostly the rain feels annoying. It means the heavy weeding season will definitely last until mid-July (at the earliest) and it’s making planting near impossible. Luckily, we have a two-week gap in any urgent seeding or transplanting so though frustrating, the rain isn’t actually putting us behind schedule. We’re keeping up with the weeds just well enough to keep things growing, but it has been a pretty overwhelming task at times. With no tractor cultivation, keeping things well-weeded is a very physical task.

As for the crops, a couple things seem unhappy with the excessive rain—mainly the peppers, beans and watermelon—but generally things are doing really well. The worst damage we’ve seen is to the basil. This crop is prone to a disease called downy mildew and with increased rain and humidity, every year this disease seems to come a bit earlier and earlier. This year, the plants seem to be affected already even though they’re less than a month old. We will likely remove the plants, re-till that bed and plant something new.

All in all, the rain really just means we can spend the week focused on finishing one of the season’s biggest projects: trellising the tomatoes! Over the last couple weeks, we have been laying landscape fabric in between the tomato rows and mulching them to keep the weeds down. The most recently planted five beds of plum tomatoes still need landscape fabric and mulch and then everything (all 22 rows!) will need to be trellised. This means pounding 25 posts into the ground for each row and then weaving them together with tomato twine to help the tomatoes grow upright instead of sprawling everywhere. It’s a huge project we have to set up and take down every year, and with 22 rows of tomatoes, it feels more daunting than ever but we’ve already got two rows done and will start doing more just as soon as the CSA boxes are packed and out on delivery.

Now that the harvests are so full, it’s becoming harder and harder to balance field week with all the harvesting but we’re overjoyed with the bounty we have for you all and we can’t wait to share our overflowing (and maybe a little weedy) fields with you all this Saturday!

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 11-12 of these items in your box next week

Lettuce or Lettuce Mix

Red Cabbage

Broccoli

Kohlrabi

Beets

Fennel

Scallions

Kale

Snap Peas

Snow Peas

Zucchini

Cucumber

Parsley

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

2 Variations on “Caprese”

#1 Grilled Zucchini & Pepper “Caprese”

Fresh Mozzarella, sliced as thin as the zucchini

Zucchini, sliced diagonally, lightly grilled

Roasted red peppers (larger pieces), from a jar

Lay slices of mozzarella, zucchini and lg. pieces of peppers on a serving platter, overlapping about 2/3rds, alternating items to make a row. When row is complete, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Chill until serving.

#2 Roasted Beets & Honey “Caprese” 

Fresh Mozzarella, sliced as thin as the beets

Beets, roasted (see instructions below)

Honey

Walnuts, chopped and toasted

Microgreens if desired

First, prepare the beets. Cut greens off, leaving about an inch. Wash beets, wrap loosely in foil. Smaller beets can be roasted together. Roast beets until tender, about 50min.@ 400⁰, longer at lower temps. When beets have cooled somewhat, rub w/ paper towel to remove skins. Allow to cool completely, slice thinly.

To make the “Caprese”: On a long serving platter, lay slices of mozzarella and sliced beets, overlapping about 2/3rds, alternating items to make a row. Drizzle honey overall, sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Sprinkle microgreens over if using. Chill until serving. You may need to use a paper towel on either side of row to keep the beet juices from running on the platter. Remove paper towel before serving. 

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Spicy Peanut Sauce // Snap OR Snow Peas // I know most folks will just eat their snap peas straight out of the bag, but in case you didn't get enough grilling in this past week, I want to open your mind to the wonderful world of grilled snap peas. They are one of the most amazing summer treats I've ever experienced. The spicy peanut sauce is also out of this world.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Garden Greens Goddess Pizza // Zucchini, Kale, skip the Arugula/Watercress (unless you still happen to have some lying around) // I love a good veggie pizza and this one is going to be on rotation this summer for two veggies that can overwhelm me quickly (abundant zucchini and abundant greens).

P.S. Let shaved zucchini be your new favorite method for using the summer treat!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free (with the right crust)

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Beet, Pea & Avocado Salad // Beets, Snap Peas, skip the herbs if you don't have any on hand // Crunchy, sweet, creamy, tangy: this recipe inspired by the chef Ottolenghi is an absolute explosion of flavors and textures. It's simple and well worth using up your limited number of snap peas.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Iceberg Wedges with Grilled Bacon & Croutons // Uses Mirlo Lettuce // The Bibb/Butterhead lettuce most of you received this week is the closest thing to an Iceberg we grow on our farm and I think it makes an absolutely beautiful wedge salad. This salad is super simple and just feels like what we all should be eating before we head out to watch fireworks.

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Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Pork Meatballs & Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil // Uses Kohlrabi, Lettuce, and leftover Garlic Scapes & Scallions if you’ve got ‘em //  There is just something I love about a cold noodle salad with warm pork meatballs. This dish is so yummy. My favorite part might just be the garlic scape chile oil— so whatever you do, don’t leave that out!

Gluten-Free (depending on the noodle)

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Winter Beet and Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Pecans + Balsamic Citrus Dressing // Uses Lettuce, Beets // I made this salad for Christmas this past year and it blew everyone’s mind. The amount of flavor packed into one salad is truly incredible and I’ve been waiting to give you beets just so I can share it with you all! Even though this recipe is titled as a winter salad, the only thing that really keeps it in the winter category is the pomegrante which you can absolutely leave off. Feel free to substitute strawberries or cherries if you still want a fruit on there.

Vegetarian, Gluten Free

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Summer Vegetarian Cobbler // uses Zucchini or Summer Squash, substitute Kale for Collards // Top this summer mix of veggies with fresh homemade biscuits or premade biscuits from the fridge section of your grocery store. Either way, you’re going to love them!

Vegetarian

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Raw Beet & Cucumber Salad // Beets, Cucumber, use whatever herbs you have lying around or toss in your Lettuce Mix instead, sub red pepper flakes if you don't have any chiles //  I love this recipe. I love the rawness of the beets paired with crisp, sweet cucumbers and the abundance of fresh herbs. The recipe calls for English and Persian cucumbers but regular old cucumbers work just as well. I like to peel strips of skin away (as the recipe suggests), halve the cucumbers, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then thinly slice. I do, however, find this recipe to have way too many poppy seeds though so feel free to reduce the quantity or leave them off altogether.

Vegetarian, Vegan (without the cheese), Gluten-Free

photo by: Yay! For Food

photo by: Yay! For Food

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls with Garlicky Kale // Kale // Brown rice + beautiful wilted greens + a protein makes for a delicious, healthy dinner packed full of flavor when paired with this teriyaki sauce (and plenty of garlic!!).

Gluten-Free (with soy sauce substitute)

Photo by: Dishing Up the Dirt

Photo by: Dishing Up the Dirt

Kohlrabi Fritters with Garlic & Herb Cashew Cream // Kohlrabi, any leftover Garlic Scapes you still have in your fridge // Fritters are one of our absolute favorite ways to transform vegetables we may be sick of, or at the very least, are out of ideas for how to eat them. I love these fritters so much, but typically don’t make the sauce. It’s absolutely delightful, but we usually opt for a quick yogurt sauce with any leftover goodies we have on hand instead (scallions, garlic scapes, random herbs).

Vegetarian, Vegan (with an egg substitute)

CSA Newsletter: Week 3

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli (All Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Snow Peas (Only Small Shares who did not receive Broccoli) // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Romaine Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Rainbow Chard (Small Shares Only) // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Collards (Large Shares Only) // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Zucchini (Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // These are the first zucchinis of the year which means they are imperfect. Imperfect produce always needs to be used quickly so store these beauties in your fridge and use within a couple days. They will get soft after that.

Cucumbers (Only Small Shares who did not receive Zucchini // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Turnips (with greens!) // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Garlic Scapes // Garlic scapes will last up to three weeks loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge. They also freeze extremely well; just chop and freeze!

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Hello dear members,

I really hope you’ve enjoyed these newsletters so far this season. I’ve really loved taking some quiet time on Tuesday morning before I head out to the fields to harvest our CSA veggies to tell you about our history as a farm and how the season is going to date. I really hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know us while enjoying your first couple of boxes of food! We’re so proud of the CSA so far. Despite a weird, cool spring, we think these boxes have been absolutely perfect and we can’t believe we’re harvesting the first zucchini and summer squash already!

Today, I want to spend a little time introducing you to our little farm crew because as I said in the first newsletter, its not just Kyle and I out here each week harvesting your veggies, packing your veggies and growing your veggies. We feel absolutely blessed to have a crew by our side who is dedicated, hardworking, goofy and just as obsessed with growing vegetables as we are.

This is our fourth year managing employees and honestly, it hasn’t always been easy. We have loved and appreciated every one of our crew members past and present, but early on, we were hiring friends and inexperienced hands to help because we were still young in our business and a) didn’t know how to find or retain great farm labor and b) couldn’t pay enough to make the gig very attractive. The folks we found did a wonderful job, but we were quite limited as their managers. Even though we knew we needed help, we didn’t always know how to manage or create systems that others could easily plug into.  

This year, things have begun to shift completely. We have three paid crew members helping us in the field and we are tremendously grateful for all of them. All three have worked for other CSA farms, and training folks who already understand the ins and outs of harvesting, washing, and packing (among so many other things) has helped us become better managers and focus on higher level systems and planning.

We feel so lucky to have these three kickass folks beside us, and perhaps one of the most wonderful parts of our team culture this year is that all three of them feel just as lucky to be working alongside us. The mutual respect and love apparent between all of us fills our hearts with so much joy. It’s the only way we ever wanted to run a business. If we were going to have employees, we wanted to treat them right and be a true team and we truly, deeply feel we have that.

Rebecca is our first ever returning employee and we hope we can figure out how to keep her here for a while. She and Kyle met working together at Kopke’s greenhouses in Oregon. When she expressed interest in working for us, Kyle and I both got so excited. We had already known Rebecca for several years and knew she was amazing at pretty much anything and everything she does. She works hard and gives her full heart to anyone she works for. You can usually find Rebecca alongside Kyle in the field, the only one who can truly keep up with him harvesting pretty much every single crop. These two have such a beautiful team dynamic and I love to watch them work together. Rebecca is also an incredible mother of four and so much fun on and off the farm. Whenever you see activities at our farm parties that your kids are loving, Rebecca probably came up with the idea.

And what does she say about working for us? Rebecca told us recently, “I am truly thankful to be a part of the amazing team at Raleigh’s! Rain or shine, breezy, buggy or hot as hell, I couldn’t think of a better place to spend my summer. We laugh, sing or harvest peacefully in the rain. Kyle and Lauren are passionate farmers that I am happy to call my friends. I have watched their farm grow over the past few years into greatness. Happy to be here!”

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Zoe is new to our farm this year. I first met her at the In Her Boots workshop hosted at our farm last summer through Soil Sisters and MOSES. When I led a tour of our farm, Zoe was always in front, scribbling down notes and asking incredibly thoughtful questions. I knew immediately this woman had more passion for farming than anyone I had ever met and the knowledge to back it up. When we got to talking after the tour, I asked if she was currently farming and where, and I learned that she would possibly be looking for work this year. I grabbed her contact information and kept in touch all winter. From our couple hours together, I knew I loved her. Originally from Illinois, but living in Colorado, Zoe moved back home to take the job with us and we were truly thrilled. She began working four days a week at our farm in April and has been a god send. We’ve never flown through a spring planting season with such ease. She is quick, meticulous, and always willing to learn. She has experience on lots of different size operations as well as farming on her own, and the knowledge she brings is truly tremendous. She does, however, hate being in front of the camera so don’t expect a ton of photos of her this year.

In a letter to us early on Zoe wrote, “Although I learned more [at the Soil Sisters In Her Boots workshop] than I can convey in this space, your utilization of regenerative practices, your commitment to both tradition and experimentation, and your emphasis on maintaining a work-life balance suggested to me that this environment would be incredibly suited to my values as a young farmer.”

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Emily is also new to our team this year. They have two years of experience working with our dear friend Kristen at Blue Moon Community Farm and are currently sharing their time between our farm two days a week and Snug Haven in Belleville. They bring such a beautiful energy to our farm. I’ve never met a crew member more zen—happy with any task put in front of them and never frustrated even if the weather or the system is a little less than ideal. When a day or a task feels daunting, they always remind us to just put one foot in front of the other because we’ll finish, and what’s the point of stressing when we could be enjoying? I love the lightness, comic relief, and kindness Emily brings to our fields.

And they love working for us too. I’ll never forget Emily’s interview this past spring, they asked such thoughtful deep questions about our operation. It was clear they weren’t just looking for any farm job, they wanted the opportunity to work for us. When I asked them what they love about working for us, Emily said, “I am proud to work at a farm committed to looking beyond organic standards to care for the soil and minimize external inputs. I love working with people so passionate about sharing the veggie love.”

I really hope you enjoyed meeting the folks who are growing your food alongside us this summer. Until next week!

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Salad Turnips ↑

Just like with regular turnips you receive in the fall, salad turnips are a member of the Brassica family. These spring beauties are one of our absolute favorite spring/early summer vegetables even though we’ve never had success growing them ourselves before. These turnips have very tender skins and do not need to be peeled. They are also a bit sweeter than the turnips you get in the fall. You can literally crunch on them just like an apple, slice them thin for salads, cut them into matchsticks for a simple slaw or braise them until tender. The greens are also delicate and delicious. I love to eat them raw in salads, saute them down or add them to eggs in the morning.

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: Garlic Scapes

An edible shoot that hard-neck garlic puts out in the spring. It is the plant trying to flower and reproduce and we have to cut this shoot off before it flowers so that the garlic puts energy into its bulb. Luckily, this shoot is edible and delicate and everything good about garlic in one little crunchy green ribbon. Munch on them raw, mince and put on your asparagus pizza (below), or use in salad dressing. The sky is the limit. If you love garlic, you will love these beauties. 

IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 9-10 of these items in your box next week

Lettuce or Lettuce Mix

Broccoli

Kohlrabi

Turnips

Beets

Scallions

Chard

Collards

Kale

Snap Peas

Snow Peas

Zucchini

Cucumber

Parsley

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Asian Style Stuffed Cabbage

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin

½ - ¾ cup kohlrabi; sliced or diced fairly small, optional

2 teaspoons minced garlic scapes

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

1 pound ground pork

1 cup cooked rice

1-2 large turnips, shredded

3 scallions, sliced

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 head cabbage

Teriyaki sauce

¼ cup Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

  2. In a large saute pan, warm oils over medium heat. Saute’ mushrooms and kohlrabi (if using) for a couple minutes until mushrooms begin to release their juices. Add ginger and garlic scapes, saute 1 minute more; set aside.

  3. In bowl, gently combine raw pork, rice, turnips, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Stir in mushroom mixture; set aside.

  4. Start a large kettle of water boiling. Using a paring knife, cut out core of cabbage  in a cone shape, leaving head intact. Drop cabbage into boiling water. Using a tongs, gently peel off outside leaves as they become pliable but still leaving the head in the kettle. Set leaves on a tray.

  5. Using an ice cream scoop, put a level scoop of filling on the stem end of a cabbage leaf. Fold edges in and roll towards end of leaf. Place rolls in a greased 9 X 13 pan with a small amount of the teriyaki sauce in the bottom.  Repeat until all filling is used. Mix hoisin with water in a small bowl, and pour over each roll. Bake 30 – 40 minutes.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad // Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Scallions // I've always been a huge fan of broccoli salad (especially when the broccoli is cut into very small, tender pieces as it is here). I love the combination of sweet dried fruits, crunchy roasted nuts, sharp raw scallions, and a creamy, tangy dressing all over a pile of fresh broccoli. This recipe is even better because of the small cubes of delicate kohlrabi. I eat bowl after bowl of this stuff for as long as the broccoli is in season and you really should too!

Vegetarian, Vegan

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Turnip & Bacon Fritters // Uses Turnips (and their greens!) // These beautiful fritters us both the turnips AND their greens! Add those delicate spring flavors with bacon and you’re in for a real treat!

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Market Mac & Cheese // Uses Chard, Scallions, Garlic Scapes // We whipped up this dish on Saturday night and it was so good, I just had to share it. It’ll be added to my blog soon, but for now, follow these instructions.

Bring a large pot of salted boiling water (enough for 12 ounces of noodles) on the stove. On another burner, melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until it just begins to get foamy. Add sliced chard stems (roughly chop the greens for later!) along with sliced scallions and garlic scapes to the butter. Saute for 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add in a 1/4 cup flour, stir and cook for just a couple minutes again until flour just begins to smell nutty. Slowly stir in 1 cup whole milk until its well incorporated into the flour-butter paste (aka roux). Stir until there are no clumps and the consistency is smooth then add in 2 more cups of whole milk all at once. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens a bit.

Meanwhile, boil 12 ounces noodles according to package directions. And cook 1 pound of sliced smoked sausage (on the stove or on the grill) until charred.

Add your chard greens into the milk mixture once thickened and let them cook down for a minute or two. Then add in your noodles and sausage. Finish it all off with a bunch of freshly ground black pepper and 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese (we used a mixture of mozzarella, cheddar, havarti, and spicy gouda). Top with kimchi and/or microgreens or pea shoots.

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

BLK Sandwich // Uses Lettuce, Kohlrabi, sub Garlic Scapes for Garlic, skip the Basil // Substituting kohlrabi for tomatoes seems a bit strange, I know, but trust me that this sandwich made entirely of vegetables, bread and bacon is simple spring perfection. Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt, the woman who created this recipe, also happens to be a master of great vegan substitutions like cashew mayo. But for this recipe, which has bacon (and is therefore absolutely not vegan) I sub mayo for the cashews for a quicker sandwich spread.

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Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Pork Meatballs & Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil // Uses Kohlrabi (turnips would also be fine!), Lettuce, Garlic Scapes, Scallions //  There is just something I love about a cold noodle salad with warm pork meatballs. This dish is so yummy. My favorite part might just be the garlic scape chile oil— so whatever you do, don’t leave that out!

Gluten-Free (depending on the noodle)

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Cabbage & Snow Pea Rice Bowl with Warm Coconut Peanut Sauce // Uses Cabbage, Scallion, Snow Peas if you’ve got them, feel free to Sub in Turnips for the radish that’s called for // A bowl of warm rice topped with abundant veggies and a creamy, rich peanut sauce? Is there a better way to get through your CSA box? I think not.

Vegetarian, Vegan (with a substitute for fish sauce used), Gluten Free

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Summer Vegetarian Cobbler // uses Scallions, Zucchini (leave it out if you didn’t get any this week), Collards or Chard, Garlic Scapes // Top this summer mix of veggies with fresh homemade biscuits or premade biscuits from the fridge section of your grocery store. Either way, you’re going to love them!

Vegetarian

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Collard Green & Turnip Slaw with Spicy Seed Brittle // Uses Collards, Turnips // This brittle is heavenly and would be delicious sprinkled on just about anything but I LOVE that it’s sprinkled over two of my favorite, underappreciated vegetable. Collards are an EXCELLENT salad green and I love them so much. Turnips made into slaw is also one of my favorite preparations of an oft overlooked root vegetable. Give this recipe a whirl. You won’t be disappointed!

Vegetarian, Vegan (without Honey), Gluten-Free

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Alison Roman Inspired Wedge // uses Lettuce, Turnips, Scallions // I love doing plays on classic Wedge Salads this time of year when Romaine is at it's absolute loveliest. Inspired by the incredible Dining In Cookbook by Alison Roman of the New York Times, this is my current favorite wedge. Recipe below.

First I slice my Turnips and a couple Scallions real thin (use a mandoline for the turnips if you've got one!) and combine them in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to quickly pickle them while I prep the rest of the meal. I cook up 10, yes 10, slices of thick-cut bacon (preferably the peppered stuff) either in a skillet if I'm real hungry or in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes if I'm feeling a little more patient, and then pat the browned and crispy slices with paper towels to get the grease off.

In another bowl, I quickly whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil and another 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon until smooth and then spread it evenly onto two (if doing entree salads) or four (if doing side salads) plates. I cut my washed and dried lettuce into quarters, putting one (if serving four) or two (if serving two) onto each plate. I sprinkle the whole thing with turnips and scallions being sure to get some of the vinegar right on the lettuce and I follow that up with a bunch of that bacon. I drizzle it all with a little olive oil and devour immediately using a steak knife and fork. Voila. The perfect spring Wedge.

Gluten-Free, skip the Bacon for a Vegetarian salad

Photo by: Bon Appetit

Photo by: Bon Appetit

Classic Coleslaw // Uses Cabbage, feel free to throw in some Turnips // Everyone needs a simple go to coleslaw recipe and for going on five years, this has been mine, though I do of course make some of my own adjustments. I tend to use whatever cabbage I have on hand (just green or just red— rarely some of each) as well as half mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt. I also often skip the carrots if I don’t have any on hand but in this case, you should totally give kohlrabi a try!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

CSA Newsletter: Week 2

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli (Some Large Shares) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Kohlrabi (Large Shares Only) // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Asparagus (Large Shares who do not receive Broccoli, and all Small Shares)** // Of all your spring goodies this week, be sure to use the asparagus first! Asparagus has a short shelf life (less than a week). Keep it banded and up-right in about an inch of water for best long-term storage. Large mason jars work well for this. Don't bother with this step if you plan to use within a couple days.

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Bok Choy // Store unwashed in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Use within a couple days for best texture. Greens will wilt relatively quickly. Stems will retain firmness a while longer.

Lovelock Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Rhubarb // Store in your fridge and use within a week. Store in a plastic bag wrapped loosely in a damp paper towel for longest life.

Radishes (with greens!) // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Turnips (with greens!) // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Garlic Scapes // Garlic scapes will last up to three weeks loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge. They also freeze extremely well; just chop and freeze!

**The asparagus you’ll be receiving from us this year is certified organic from Little Heathen’s Farm north of Stoughton. Though we did put an asparagus patch in last year, it takes a couple years to really begin producing so for now we’ll be buying in from our friends.

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Alright, so now that we got all of that storytelling out-of-the-way and you know little bit about us, our partnership, and our evolution as a farm over the past seven years, let’s get talking about this season because if you’ve been reading the headlines, you’ll likely know it’s been a pretty rough spring for farmers. Plagued with torrential storms throughout the month of May and not enough sunshine or warmth to keep the plants growing at a normal rate, it’s fair to say conditions have not been favorable for anyone trying to grow things for a living.

All in all, we can’t really complain. Our planting windows have been tight, our fields have not been worked in the ways we want (to work towards healthier, happier soils), and things are way behind schedule, but we have friends and neighbors who were literally under water for weeks and we feel pretty insulated from that on our little hillside. We feel grateful that we didn’t have to deal with any actual standing water or flood damage, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

Our farming season generally begins in the fields during the third week of April. By then, all the things we seeded in early March are ready to be transplanted into the ground if weather conditions allow. We planned to get our onions, kale and the first field of brassica crops (broccoli plantings one & two, three plantings of cabbage, and one of kohlrabi) planted that week. When April 16th rolled around, conditions were basically perfect.

It was dry for five or six days straight with a storm at the end to water in all our transplants. We had a crew member who was able to start at the beginning of our season (for the first time ever!) and Kyle had no commitments away from the farm (he’d spent the past six seasons splitting his time between the farm and a greenhouse where he worked during March, April and May). We got the plants we wanted into the ground with time leftover to focus on getting our walk-in cooler built. Everything felt balanced and organized. That continued for another week until the late April blizzard. We were fearful of negative effects to all our young plants, but also knew from experience that plants were freakishly resilient and that snow would likely provide insulation for the below-zero temperatures.  We did what we could, focused on the positive, and everything made it through without issue.

Then came the real tough stuff, the rain and the cloud cover and the temperatures that refused to rise. Most farmers in our region are saying this is the wettest spring they’ve ever experienced. Others go so far as to say its quite possibly the wettest spring on record, and definitely the most rain in May in the last 20 years. Given any of those stats, we feel pretty grateful to have been able to stay mostly on track. Our planting schedule kept pushing a couple days behind and now it’s a solid 10 days from where we would like it to be, but generally we have stayed on top of the weeds and the plants look healthy and happy.

The two main concerns at this point are 1) that our plants are getting stressed having to deal with the compacted soils they were planted into (to be able to stay on schedule we had to till and do field work in less than ideal conditions thus packing the soil down a bit with the weight of our tractor—plants don’t like compacted soils because they have to put a LOT of energy into growing roots, and 2) the cool temperatures are keeping things small. Aside from a few crops that are rocking the cool days, cooler nights and lack of sunshine (peas, cabbage, lettuce, onions), a lot of crops are straggling along at a snail’s pace.  

We know that some of our early boxes might not look exactly how we wanted them to or thought they would, but as usual, farming is a practice in finding your zen. We can make plans but they rarely are able to come to fruition. Mother Nature always has a plan of her own. And like it or not, we can’t speed the plants up. We can only continue planting, harvesting what’s ready, weeding in every spare moment, and keeping our heads held high because things will catch up (as they always do).

And once again we’re reminded why CSA is the most beautiful business model that exists for farmers: it’s all about taking the trade-offs (of less asparagus but early cabbage; of less spinach, but more kohlrabi; of delayed snow peas but beautiful turnips with greens out of a storybook) and communicating them well with our community of supporters. Every year and every season has a mind of its own. CSA makes it our job to ride these waves and take you along with us. It’s a model I never take for granted and I never tire of. So once again, sincere thanks for being here. We’re so jazzed to be riding these farming waves with you.

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: BOK CHOY ↑

Be not afraid of that leafy green vegetable with white almost celery-looking stalks in your box this week. Bok Choy is one of the vegetables I had never heard of before we began farming that I have grown to have a deep love for. It is a member of the brassica family (I'll mention the brassica family a lot; it includes lots of popular veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts as well as some odd ducks like kohlrabi, bok choy and rutabaga).

It sometimes also referred to a pac choi or Chinese cabbage. This green is mild and sweet with an almost silky texture. A lot of dark leafy greens can be bitter or harsh, but bok choy is the complete opposite. The leaves are light and tender. The stalk is crunchy and crisp.

So how do I use it?

The first step is getting it clean. We washed the field dirt off the bok choy, but dirt still likes to hide between the layers. I fill my sink with cold water, rip off as many leaves as I plan to use and then soak them for 5-10 minutes. I rub my fingers over any dirty parts of the stem after they soak and then swish them through the water before use.

Then all that's left to do is cut it up. This will vary a little bit based on what recipe you are using, but I like to cut the stems from the leaves. I usually roughly chop the leaves and slice the stems.

What is the best way to prepare bok choy?

Because the leafy greens are so tender and the stalks so crispy, I love to eat bok choy raw in salads. There is an amazing salad recipe below that calls for bok choy as well as one that turns bok choy and radishes into a simple slaw. My friend Sarah loves to grill bok choy because it stands up well to the heat. Lots of folks stir fry it or add it to soups. You can also make a quick ferment or kimchi out of it. I've also simmered it in coconut milk (ala creamed spinach, but vegan and so much better!) and that was one of my favorite simple preparation. And as always, never forget that you can roast literally anything. The sky is the limit with this leafy green so be not afraid. You too will learn to love it!

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: Garlic Scapes

An edible shoot that hard-neck garlic puts out in the spring. It is the plant trying to flower and reproduce and we have to cut this shoot off before it flowers so that the garlic puts energy into its bulb. Luckily, this shoot is edible and delicate and everything good about garlic in one little crunchy green ribbon. Munch on them raw, mince and put on your asparagus pizza (below), or use in salad dressing. The sky is the limit. If you love garlic, you will love these beauties. 

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Head Lettuce

Cabbage

Broccoli

Kohlrabi

Radish with Greens

Turnip with Greens

Beets

Scallions

Chard

Collards

Peas

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta

5 cups dry pasta of choice, I used rotini

1 – 1 ¼ pound (6) favorite Italian Sausage links

1 bunch scallions

1-2 green garlic or garlic scape

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

½ teaspoon crushed rosemary

¼ teaspoon pepper

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups half & half cream

½ - ¾ cup flavorful shredded cheese i.e. fontina, asiago, etc.

1/2 cup reserved pasta water

1 cup milk

4 cups or more lightly packed chopped hearty greens (this is a great place to use your turnip or radish greens— or even bok choy leaves would work!)

  1. Cook pasta according to package or until al dente’.

  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet add a couple teaspoons olive oil and brown sausages well on both sides. Poke a few holes in the sausage with fork or knife tip. Add mushrooms, scallions and green garlic or garlic scapes and seasonings. Cover pan and saute for a few minutes until veggies are tender and sausage is almost cooked.

  3. Remove sausage to cutting board. Add flour to skillet and stir into veg juices. Cook a couple minutes. Add half & half, cook and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese. Slice sausage into bite size pieces and add to skillet. Add reserved pasta water and pasta, stir until combined.

  4. Stir in 1 milk and greens, stir to combine, cover and over very low temp, heat until greens are wilted.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad // Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Scallions // I've always been a huge fan of broccoli salad (especially when the broccoli is cut into very small, tender pieces as it is here). I love the combination of sweet dried fruits, crunchy roasted nuts, sharp raw scallions, and a creamy, tangy dressing all over a pile of fresh broccoli. This recipe is even better because of the small cubes of delicate kohlrabi. I eat bowl after bowl of this stuff for as long as the broccoli is in season and you really should too!

Vegetarian, Vegan

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Midwest Bok Choy Ramen Salad // Uses Bok Choy, Scallions, feel free to add julienned Radishes to the salad for extra crunch and minced Garlic Scapes to the dressing // I’m not sure if everyone else grew up with ramen noodle salad aka “Chinese Coleslaw” but this is a Kathy Wells (my mother) classic. It’s usually made with that bagged coleslaw mix but I wanted to play around with some spring veggies and it brings me back to my childhood while feeling a bit healthier. I did keep the ramen noodles because that’s such a key component of the original. I know it’s silly but dang it’s tasty. Oh and yes, the ramen noodles do go in raw. You want that crunch.

Vegetarian with the right Ramen packet

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Spicy Pork Tacos with Scallion Green Garlic Chimichurri & Radishes // Uses Scallions, Radishes, sub Garlic Scapes for the Green Garlic, and use whatever herbs or greens you feel like (chopped really small) // With the help of a crock pot and a food processor, this meal comes together easily in 15 minutes on a week night. Plus the flavors are out of this world. What a weeknight win!

Gluten-Free with corn tortillas

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

BLK Sandwich // Uses Lettuce, Kohlrabi, sub Garlic Scapes for Garlic, skip the Basil // Substituting kohlrabi for tomatoes seems a bit strange, I know, but trust me that this sandwich made entirely of vegetables, bread and bacon is simple spring perfection. Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt, the woman who created this recipe, also happens to be a master of great vegan substitutions like cashew mayo. But for this recipe, which has bacon (and is therefore absolutely not vegan) I sub mayo for the cashews for a quicker sandwich spread.

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Spinach, Turnip & Green Garlic Dip // Uses Turnip (or Radish), sub Turnip Greens and Radish Greens for spinach, sub Garlic Scapes for Green Garlic //  My veggie-centric riff on Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Everything you need when feeling overloaded by salad.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Cabbage & Snow Pea Rice Bowl with Warm Coconut Peanut Sauce // Uses Cabbage, Radish, Scallion, leave out the Snow Peas // A bowl of warm rice topped with abundant veggies and a creamy, rich peanut sauce? Is there a better way to get through your CSA box? I think not.

Vegetarian, Vegan (with a substitute for fish sauce used), Gluten Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Chicken Tacos with Bok Choy & Radish Slaw // uses Bok Choy, Radish // When life throws a lot of veggies at you, always make tacos. You’d be surprised how many fresh veggies you can turn into a simple slaw and serve over zesty chicken or beef and wrap into a corn tortilla. This recipe makes using up your Bok Choy and radishes super simple! 

Gluten Free with the right tortillas

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Buttered Radish & Ricotta Toast // Uses Radish // Buttered radishes over ricotta-slathered toast is pretty much everything we all need for breakfast. Even without the sumac and parsley this is a true breakfast of champions.

Vegetarian

photo by: Epicurious

photo by: Epicurious

The Shubarb Cocktail // Uses Rhubarb // A syrup made with rhubarb that is tangy and bright instead of sticky sweet (aka a shrub!). If you are sick of baking, this is exactly the right thing to make with your rhubarb. Serve it with gin, bourbon or tequila for a stellar CSA day treat.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Alison Roman Inspired Wedge // uses Lettuce, Radishes or Turnips, Scallions // I love doing plays on classic Wedge Salads this time of year when Romaine is at it's absolute loveliest. Inspired by the incredible Dining In Cookbook by Alison Roman of the New York Times, this is my current favorite wedge. Recipe below.

First I slice my Radishes or Turnips and a couple Scallions real thin (use a mandoline for the radishes or turnips if you've got one!) and combine them in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to quickly pickle them while I prep the rest of the meal. I cook up 10, yes 10, slices of thick-cut bacon (preferably the peppered stuff) either in a skillet if I'm real hungry or in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes if I'm feeling a little more patient, and then pat the browned and crispy slices with paper towels to get the grease off.

In another bowl, I quickly whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil and another 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon until smooth and then spread it evenly onto two (if doing entree salads) or four (if doing side salads) plates. I cut my washed and dried lettuce into quarters, putting one (if serving four) or two (if serving two) onto each plate. I sprinkle the whole thing with radishes or turnips and scallions being sure to get some of the vinegar right on the lettuce and I follow that up with a bunch of that bacon. I drizzle it all with a little olive oil and devour immediately using a steak knife and fork. Voila. The perfect spring Wedge.

Gluten-Free, skip the Bacon for Vegetarian salad

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Shaved Asparagus, Spinach & Mushroom Quiche // uses Asparagus, sub Turnip Greens or Radish Greens for Spinach, feel free to add Garlic Scapes and/or Scallions // I make a ridiculous amount of quiche this time of year. It's partially because it's quick, easy and heats up well, but it's also because as much as a I love salads, I too get overwhelmed by fresh greens. Cooked greens wilt down and feel so much more manageable and I love the way they pair with creamy eggs.

Vegetarian

CSA Newsletter: Week 1

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Romaine Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Bok Choy // Store unwashed in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Use within a couple days for best texture. Greens will wilt relatively quickly. Stems will retain firmness a while longer.

Spinach (Full Shares & Some Half Shares) // Store in plastic bag in fridge. Plastic bag will help spinach retain moisture which keeps it fresh for longer. Try to use it within a week. If it gets limp or wilted, you can still use in recipes that call for cooked or wilted spinach.

Arugula (Full Shares & Half Shares who do not receive Spinach) // Store in plastic bag in fridge. Plastic bag will help arugula retain moisture which keeps it fresh for longer. Try to use it within a week. If it gets limp or wilted, you can still use in recipes that call for cooked or wilted greens.

Lettuce Mix // Store loosely in a plastic bag until ready to use. Should last up to a week.

Asparagus** // Of all your spring goodies this week, be sure to use the asparagus first! Asparagus has a short shelf life (less than a week). Keep it banded and up-right in about an inch of water for best long-term storage. Large mason jars work well for this. Don't bother with this step if you plan to use within a couple days.

Rhubarb // Store in your fridge and use within a week. Store in a plastic bag wrapped loosely in a damp paper towel for longest life.

French Breakfast Radishes // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge for longest storage. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Green Garlic // Green garlic is similar to a scallion or green onion and can be stored similarly. Place in the crisper drawer of your fridge and use within 5-7 days. For best storage, wrap bulbs (the white part) in a damp paper towel.

**The asparagus you’ll be receiving from us this year is certified organic from Little Heathen’s Farm north of Stoughton. Though we did put an asparagus patch in last year, it takes a couple years to really begin producing so for now we’ll be buying in from our friends.

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Hello and welcome to the Raleigh’s Hillside Farm CSA! I know we have said it before—probably a couple times—but we are so thrilled to have you as part of our little farm family. About half of you are new this year so I just wanted a couple minutes to begin our season together by introducing Kyle and I and the business to you all.

Raleigh’s Hillside Farm CSA was starting in the spring of 2013 though the dream began in 2011 when Kyle and I were both attending UW-Madison. We were falling in love while learning about the state of the world (Kyle and I both have Environmental Studies certificates and classes like Energy Resources, Wildlife Ecology, and Environmental Geography taught us that Climate Change was real, agriculture was changing, and our food system was beyond broken), and we both knew when we graduated we had to do something big, something that would have real impact and something that we could really sink our hearts and bodies into. For a combination of reasons, CSA farming felt like the best fit for our skills and interests—Kyle has a Soil Science degree and dreamed of working outside for most of his life; I have a Community & Environmental Sociology degree and dreamed of healing people and communities in Wisconsin.

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We talked to my parents, who live on 180 acres in southern Wisconsin, about our vision and asked if we could begin leasing land from them to start a small CSA operation. Always being incredibly supportive of my dreams, they said yes immediately, definitely not understanding the infrastructure needed or the growth we may encounter while on their land. Honestly, even if they would have known, they probably would have said yes anyways, but perhaps not so quickly. We have had to communicate with them a lot over the years as we have grown our operation to make sure it’s still working for everyone and no one is crossing over any lines.

We still farm on land leased from my parents (now 7 acres instead of that initial 2) and have worked really hard to create boundaries and infrastructure that respects their space. We built a pack shed last season and are using it for the first time this week! It’s a big project that really takes us out of our parents’ space. Prior to this year, all of our irrigation was running from their home and all of our vegetables were washed and packed on a cement slab connected to their walk-out basement.

As for Kyle and I and our roles in this business, you will most often be hearing from me, Lauren, and seeing lots of pictures of my husband because we have a real farm partnership with each of us taking leadership in different areas and letting each other flourish in the spaces we enjoy and find meaning (while still always being available to help when needed).

I am obsessed with the CSA model as a whole and do a lot of that work for our farm—selling the shares, setting up the systems, arranging delivery, communicating about the boxes, sharing cooking resources, planning our events, etc—as well as our overall business planning and managing our finances. Kyle is the grower and leads everything that has to do with that—creating field plans and seeding calendars, greenhouse work, soil and nutrient management, planting, weeding, leading harvests, setting up irrigation, watching for pest and disease and creating a plan as necessary, etc —as well as managing our crew and upkeeping/building our infrastructure (everything from tractors to new walk-in coolers). Essentially, I’m Admin & Marketing. Kyle is Production & Infrastructure. It’s obviously a lot for two people to do but our roles become better defined and more systematized each year.

We also have three incredible crew members alongside us to help! Zoe, Emily and Rebecca are tremendous assets to our farm team and we are so grateful to have them. They all come with great and varied farming experience-- I’ll definitely introduce them in more detail later. We also have seven worker shares who work 60 hours a season in exchange for their CSA share. Last year, we began outsourcing delivery to an amazing local guy named David. We have always farmed with a pretty lean crew and having someone else do our delivery has felt tremendous and really helped open some space in our week.

As for the business and where we are today, this year the CSA makes up the largest portion of our income at about 75% of our projected sales. The other 25% is veggies sold through wholesale accounts—mainly restaurants. This year, we added our first grocery store—the Willy Street Co-op!!!—and we are thrilled to be selling case after case of Lacinato kale to them throughout the season. We haven’t done a farmers’ market since year one and probably never will again (though we have great respect for all our friends how do!). We really love CSA as a model and the opportunity in provides to deeply connect and feed a family throughout a full growing season. Restaurants and a few big wholesale accounts are a perfect complement to that. We are able to really only grow produce we know is already sold. We care a lot about food waste and because of the ways we market our food, we are able to waste essentially nothing each week.

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Because of our deep love of CSA, it has grown a lot over the past seven seasons from eight members to 293 members this year (up from around 200 last year). We went from offering one CSA option in year one to offering eleven different options this year, and as we continue to offer more variety and lots of smaller share options, our membership began to grow quite quickly to accommodate our income goals. We can’t believe there are 293 families eating from our fields this year and we truly never imaged our CSA growing so large but we continue to realize year after year that it is the best way for us to have impact in this world.

We are honored to grow good, clean, certified organic food as sustainably and with as little footprint as possible. And we love to do so for you. We love growing for a community. We love sharing resources and helping you learn to cook and feel confident in your kitchen. We love helping you all understand what eating local really looks like and connecting you with other amazing producers.

So, we just want to start this season by saying thank you. Thank you for getting it and for caring and for allowing us to do what we do. Thank you for being a part of this farm family. Thank you for spending your summer and fall with us. And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for caring about our food system, connecting with a farmer, and doing your part to create a better food system. It’s going to be a delicious season!!!

Much love,
L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Bok Choy ↑

Be not afraid of that leafy green vegetable with white almost celery-looking stalks in your box this week. Bok Choy is one of the vegetables I had never heard of before we began farming that I have grown to have a deep love for. It is a member of the brassica family (I'll mention the brassica family a lot; it includes lots of popular veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts as well as some odd ducks like kohlrabi, bok choy and rutabaga).

It sometimes also referred to a pac choi or Chinese cabbage. This green is mild and sweet with an almost silky texture. A lot of dark leafy greens can be bitter or harsh, but bok choy is the complete opposite. The leaves are light and tender. The stalk is crunchy and crisp.

So how do I use it?

The first step is getting it clean. We washed the field dirt off the bok choy, but dirt still likes to hide between the layers. I fill my sink with cold water, rip off as many leaves as I plan to use and then soak them for 5-10 minutes. I rub my fingers over any dirty parts of the stem after they soak and then swish them through the water before use.

Then all that's left to do is cut it up. This will vary a little bit based on what recipe you are using, but I like to cut the stems from the leaves. I usually roughly chop the leaves and slice the stems.

What is the best way to prepare bok choy?

Because the leafy greens are so tender and the stalks so crispy, I love to eat bok choy raw in salads. There is an amazing salad recipe below that calls for bok choy as well as one that turns bok choy and radishes into a simple slaw. My friend Sarah loves to grill bok choy because it stands up well to the heat. Lots of folks stir fry it or add it to soups. You can also make a quick ferment or kimchi out of it. I've also simmered it in coconut milk (ala creamed spinach, but vegan and so much better!) and that was one of my favorite simple preparation. And as always, never forget that you can roast literally anything. The sky is the limit with this leafy green so be not afraid. You too will learn to love it!

 

VEGGIE ID: Green garlic ↓

Doesn’t need much work! Just trim the ends and the dark green portion (much like you would a leek), chop, slice or dice and use as you would use regular garlic. I love it in salad dressings and other raw preparations that really let the flavors sing.

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 8-9 of these items in your box next week

Red Leaf Lettuce

Bok Choy

Kale

Asparagus

Rhubarb

Radishes

Turnips

Scallions

Garlic Scapes

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Easy Rhubarb Cake

1 box regular-size yellow cake mix + ingredients on package (eggs, oil, water)

4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup heavy cream or half-n-half (or whole milk)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Mix cake according to the directions on the box.

  3. Pour into greased 9x12 baking pan.

  4. Sprinkle rhubarb evenly over cake batter. Then sprinkle sugar evenly over the rhubarb. Pour cream over top of all. DO NOT STIR.

  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, but check after 30. If it’s browning too much, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Shaved Asparagus Pizza // uses Asparagus, sub Green Garlic for Scallions // No question, this is our favorite spring pizza of all time. We make this 3-5 times a season and are always happy we did. If you got arugula in your box this week, feel free to check out my blog’s version of the pizza (which adds arugula green garlic pesto and spinach).

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free with the right crust

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Alison Roman Inspired Wedge // uses Romaine, Radishes, Green Garlic // I love doing plays on classic Wedge Salads this time of year when Romaine is at it's absolute loveliest. Inspired by the incredible Dining In Cookbook by Alison Roman of the New York Times, this is my current favorite wedge. Recipe below.

First I slice my Radishes and a couple Green Garlics real thin (use a mandoline for the radishes if you've got one!) and combine them in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to quickly pickle them while I prep the rest of the meal. I cook up 10, yes 10, slices of thick-cut bacon (preferably the peppered stuff) either in a skillet if I'm real hungry or in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes if I'm feeling a little more patient, and then pat the browned and crispy slices with paper towels to get the grease off. In another bowl, I quickly whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil and another 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon until smooth and then spread it evenly onto two (if doing entree salads) or four (if doing side salads) plates. I cut my washed and dried romaine into quarters, putting one (if serving four) or two (if serving two) onto each plate. I sprinkle the whole thing with radishes and green garlic being sure to get some of the vinegar right on the lettuce and I follow that up with a bunch of that bacon. I drizzle it all with a little olive oil and devour immediately using a steak knife and fork. Voila. The perfect spring Wedge.

Gluten-Free, skip the Bacon for Vegetarian salad

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Rhubarb Margaritas // uses Rhubarb // These margaritas were quite the conversation starter on a recent WPR show and it's for good reason! I love a good rhubarb dessert (which is why I listed two- one above and one below- for you to try), but every once and a while you just want to go in a different direction. Enjoy these rhubarb margaritas once you tire of rhubarb sweets.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Midwest Bok Choy Ramen Salad // uses Bok Choy, feel free to substitute julienned Radishes for the scallions and add minced Green Garlic to the dressing // I’m not sure if everyone else grew up with ramen noodle salad aka “Chinese Coleslaw” but this is a Kathy Wells (my mother) classic. It’s usually made with that bagged coleslaw mix but I wanted to play around with some spring veggies and it brings me back to my childhood while feeling a bit healthier. I did keep the ramen noodles because that’s such a key component of the original. I know it’s silly but dang it’s tasty. Oh and yes, the ramen noodles do go in raw. You want that crunch.

Vegetarian with the right ramen packet

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Spring Harvest Grain Salad // uses Spinach, Arugula, Asparagus, Green Garlic, feel free to use 2 cups of whatever greens you like (spinach, arugula, kale, lettuce mix), leave out the Scallions and scale up the Asparagus if you want to use it all in this recipe // My favorite spring salad. This baby is packed full of veggies, totally healthy and still so so filling. Make this salad (and riffs on this salad) all season long!

Vegetarian (if you sub mushroom broth), Vegan (if you sub mushroom broth and leave out butter), Gluten-Free

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Shaved Asparagus, Spinach & Mushroom Quiche // uses Asparagus, Spinach, feel free to add Green Garlic and/or substitute Arugula for the spinach // I make a ridiculous amount of quiche this time of year. It's partially because it's quick, easy and heats up well, but it's also because as much as a I love salads, I too get overwhelmed by fresh greens. Cooked greens wilt down and feel so much more manageable and I love the way they pair with creamy eggs.

Vegetarian

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Chicken Tacos with Bok Choy & Radish Slaw // uses Bok Choy, Radish // When life throws a lot of veggies at you, always make tacos. You’d be surprised how many fresh veggies you can turn into a simple slaw and serve over zesty chicken or beef and wrap into a corn tortilla. This recipe makes using up your Bok Choy and radishes super simple! 

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Honey Butter Biscuits // uses Rhubarb // I would usually never give you a rhubarb dessert recipe that also calls for strawberries when we don’t have any strawberries and there so many great rhubarb recipes out there (see here, here and my mom's recipe above) but this one is just too damn good to pass up and is what we’ll be making this weekend! 

Vegetarian

photo by : Smitten Kitchen

photo by : Smitten Kitchen

Chicken Caesar Salad // uses Romaine, throw some Green Garlic in the dressing, add some sliced Radish // Sometimes with a beauty like romaine it’s best to just keep it simple and here’s no going wrong with a beautiful Caesar salad. Here smitten kitchen makes her own croutons and salad dressing but you wouldn’t necessarily have to do either. In a pitch, store bought croutons and dressing with tender chicken, a hefty head of romaine (recipe calls for two but with the size of these this week you will certainly only need one!) and some Parmesan will make a real winner of a dinner.

CSA Newsletter: Storage Share

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Lettuce Mix // Store loosely in a plastic bag until ready to use. Should last up to a week.

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating. The longer you store the cabbage, the more layers you may have to peel away.

Curly Kale // Lasts at least a week if kept moist. Kale doesn’t taste as good once it’s dried out. Keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge or loosely in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture. Also freezes well for soups.

Carrots // Refrigerate carrot roots in a plastic bag. They will easily keep for 2-4 weeks this way.

Beets // Beet roots will easily last a couple of weeks to a couple months. They’ll get soft after that but can still be used. Store the roots loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Purple-Top Turnips // Store loose in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can also store them in an open plastic bag to best retain moisture but they may mold faster. Either way, turnips can store weeks if not months.

Rutabaga (Large Shares Only) // Store loose in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can also store them in an open plastic bag to best retain moisture but they may mold faster. Either way, rutabagas can store weeks if not months.

Celeriac (Large & Medium Shares Only) // Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge with the skin (and dirt) left on. Root vegetables store much better before they are washed. You can also store in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to help it keep longer. It should last 4-6 weeks with no issues. After that it will soften but still have great flavor.

Watermelon Radish // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge for several months.

Purple or White Daikon // Daikon always seems to last for forever in the crisper drawer of my fridge, especially if it has not been cut. It will get a little soggier the longer you store it, but will still work quite well pickled. Use within a month or two and you should be a-okay.

Butternut Squash (Large & Medium Shares Only) // Store winter squash in a cool, dry place and try to use within a week or two. Do not store in the fridge! This will cause it to spoil much more quickly.

Oneida Gold Potatoes // Store just like you’d store any bag of potatoes from the grocery store: in a cool, dark place. Out of the light, they should keep for at least a couple months.

Leeks // Store in the fridge and try to use within the month. Store in a plastic bag for best storage.

Yellow Onions // Store along with your potatoes in a cool dark place. Use any that feel soft first. Should last several months.

Shallots (Large & Medium Shares Only) // Store in a cool dark place until ready to use. These have been cured and should store for months, though you should use within a month for best quality. Use any that feel soft first.

Thyme (Large & Medium Shares Only) // Store in the fridge. For long term storage and drying instructions, see here.

Sage (Large & Medium Shares Only) // Store in the fridge. For long term storage and drying instructions, see here.

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Thank you all so much for your purchase of a fall storage share from our farm! We had so much fun putting this beautiful box together for you all! 

The items in your share are the kind of things that sustain Wisconsin vegetable farmers all winter long. Most of us enjoy making a game of sourcing from the root cellar or fridge all winter long. In other words, aside from the kale (which I encourage you to freeze if it’s too much for you to consume raw) and lettuce, you needn’t be in any hurry to use up this box of goodies. Some of the roots will soften over time but they will still taste just as amazing roasted, pickled, and tossed into soups. The text below will have lots of tips on storage so that you can maximize the life of your veggies. 

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There also may be some things that are new to you. Even if you’ve gotten a CSA box from us before you may never have had to deal with any quantity of purple top turnips, beets or radishes. Don’t worry. You will also find tons of vegetables IDs and recipe suggestions below. A quick scan will show you soups, salads, roasted veggies and so many bowls of goodness. It is our hope and our goal to help you love Wisconsin winter eating just much as we do. I think my favorite thing about looking at a box like this is the reminder that local eating doesn’t have to boring or brown or bland in the cooler months. The contents of this box are colorful and varied. They will add a lot of flavor and interest to your meals. 

Thank you all so much for taking Raleigh’s Hillside Farm produce into November with you. It feels so good to end our season with a massive harvest and delivery of bounty. After today’s delivery there is very little left to do in the fields. We’ll be mulching the garlic on Friday and hoping to seed some late cover crops of winter rye before this weekend’s forecasted snow. Then we’ll roll up all the remaining row cover (that had been insulating so many of the crops we harvested for you on Monday), move it out of the field and into our pack shed and the 2018 season is a wrap. Only record keeping, book keeping, marketing, and business planning and visioning left to do for the farm this year. 

Thanks for being a part of a great ending to a year that has been so hard. Your support of us through a difficult season is not only appreciated but also essential to our long-term success. Having a bountiful storage share and ending the season on such a high note helps us go into our year-end review and goal setting for next year with such positivity, aspires and joy. 

Happy November everyone! May it be delicious! 

-L&K

PS If you need more ideas for recipes, be sure to head to the farm’s Pinterest account where you will find recipe boards categorized by vegetable! 

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VEGGIE ID: rutabaga vs purple top turnips

Rutabaga and Purple Top Turnips are not so different. They both fall into one of my favorite categories of delicious savory storage root vegetables. They are both in the brassica family and even look alike with purple tops. They have subtle almost radish or kohlrabi-esque flavor.

See the pictures below to identify but note that you can absolutely substitute one for the other without issue.

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VEGGIE ID: CELERIAC ↓

Celeriac is not the prettiest vegetable you will ever encounter and because of that fact, folks often think they're not gong to like it. But celeriac is a wonderful fall veggie with loads of flavor. It's also a long-season crop (meaning it takes over 100 days to grow) with tiny seeds and for that reason, this is our first time actually growing it successfully. It's a hard crop to grow and we have often lose ours to the weeds. This year we transplanted the delicate crop in late May and kept it in a low field with lots of shade and lots of moisture. It did very well here! We're so excited to have celeriac for our members for two weeks!

What does it taste like?

Some people call it celery root as it is essentially a celery plant bred to grow large roots instead of large stems and leaves. It tastes much like celery but with a more nutty, sweet flavor.  It's also rather starchy and potato-like.

How do I eat it?

First and most importantly, you are going to need to peel the celeriac and you will want to do so aggressively. I cut off both ends and then peel it with a knife rather than a vegetable peeler. I'll lose a little bit of flesh this way but its a much faster and easier way to peel it. Then the options are limitless! I love celeriac mashed with potatoes. It's great in soups to impart a little creaminess and celery flavor (you can always sub it for celery in soups). Even just roasted with a bunch of other root veggies, celeriac really shines. But if you want to find some more creative ways to use this interesting veggies, head over to Rodale's Organic Life. They have some really awesome ideas for how to use your celeriac!

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VEGGIE ID: DAIKON RADISH↓

Daikon is not all that different from a regular radish (crisp and sweet with a little bit of spice). The main difference is just that it's MUCH larger. Daikon can get anywhere from 3-15 inches long. You can enjoy them raw, sliced, shaved, or cut into matchsticks. They add a great crunch to pretty much any dish with just a very subtle spice. In fact, because they were in the ground through a few frosts they will actually be a bit sweet. I especially love to pickle daikon and toss them on sandwiches or grain bowls.

Have fun experimenting and if you want to learn more about this unique veggie: head over to Food 52 where they give you loads of  information and ideas for how to use it.

VEGGIE ID: LEEKS ↓

Leeks are the super tall vegetables in your box this week that look almost like a giant green onion. These are one of my all time favorite veggies and I hope you learn to love them too!

They are in the allium (onion, garlic, shallots, etc) family so have that delicious allium flavor. They can be used any place where you would use an onion but I LOVE them in potato leek soup! To use them, you want to cut a tiny bit of the bottom off (the fringy part that was in the ground) as well as the leaves (use the parts that are white and pale green, skip the parts that are dark green- though they can be used for soup stock) and you can then cut them into rings or slice the leek in half and slice it much as you would an onion.

For more info on leeks and how to cut them, head over here!

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VEGGIE ID: SHALLOTS ↓

The pretty pinkish purple thing in your box this week that looks a lot like an onion is actually a shallot. Their flavor is a lot richer and sweeter than an onion. They lend a lot of flavor to any dish, but I really love to mince them finely and use them raw in salad dressings made of buttermilk or caramelized and the focus on a pizza or other savory dish. I also love to use them in any salad that calls for raw onions because they have the perfect amount of subtle pungency.

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Appetizer Potato Skins Carbonara // Potatoes, Thyme or Sage

6 large potatoes (or equiv. smaller ones)

2 tablespoon butter, melted

Salt

1/4 pound pancetta or bacon

1 cup mascarpone cheese or cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 cup grated romano or other flavorful cheese

1 teaspoon minced thyme or sage

1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic (or in oil)

1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (I’ve also used those McCormack spice grinders – either Italian herb or garlic pepper)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake potatoes directly on oven rack for 1 hour. Remove from oven, set aside, let cool to the touch. (I’ve even baked, cooled and refrigerated them until the next day).

  2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop out middle leaving ~1/4” shell. At this point can cut them in half crosswise.

  3. Preheat oven to 425 or 450 degrees. Place skins upside down on greased baking sheet, skin side up. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle lightly with salt.

  4. Bake shells 20 min. until crisp and golden brown.

  5. Meanwhile, dice, cook and drain bacon or pancetta. Drain on paper towels. Soften cream cheese, cream, stir in bacon, egg,  romano cheese, thyme or sage, and garlic (+ other seasonings if desired).

  6. Take potato skins out of oven, turn right side up, divide filling evenly between them. Top with mozzarella cheese.

  7. Return to oven, bake for another 5 minutes. .

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Favorite Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Apples & Cheddar // Kale, Butternut Squash // I shared my favorite kale salad recipe many newsletters ago. It had tiny pieces of cubed apple and cheddar cheese with a simple lemon juice dressing. Now that it’s fall I’ve tweaked this awesome salad ever so slightly adding roasted squash and a sweet tangy vinaigrette of apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil. An upgrade suitable for fall indeed!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Sesame Noodle Bowls with Lemongrass Meatballs // Carrots, Daikon // For some reason or another, this dish has turned into a winter staple in our house. I love the combination of hot meatballs, sesame noodles, pickled winter veggies and a cool creamy sauce. If you are stumped on how to use those daikons, make this recipe on repeat all winter long! PS. The cashew sauce is the only part of this recipe I find complicated so we often do a sauce of mayo, yogurt, sesame oil and sriracha instead!

Gluten-Free

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Beet Citrus Salad // Beets, Shallot, Sub Lettuce Mix (or Kale) for Arugula, add Watermelon Radish // If you haven’t quite figured out how to love beets yet than I challenge you to try this salad. With sweet candied nuts and delicious winter clementine, orange and/or grapefruit segments, the beets melt into something that resembles a bright, earthy candy. Feel free to also add some pieces of quartered and sliced watermelon radish!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Roasted Roots with Turmeric Tahini Sauce // Rutabaga, Turnip, Carrot, Sub Potato for sweet potato (unless you still have some), and skip the parsnip altogether // This box is just begging to be roasted. All those root veggies will taste swell together, especially if covered in a delectable sauce. This simple turmeric tahini sauce is rich, vibrant, healthy and hearty at once. It’s sure to be a new favorite.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

Watermelon Radish Toast with Miso Honey Butter // Watermelon Radish // If you haven’t had watermelon radishes yet, I hope this recipe helps you understand the joy and beauty they bring to cold month tables all around the Midwest. Watermelon radishes have this perfect blend of spice and sweetness that deserves celebration all on their own, but then you slice them and see where the real excitement lies. These radishes are a beautiful addition to any table and any meal. And because of their subtle flavor you can keep it simple like done here, just throwing them onto your morning toast.

Vegetarian

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Leek Soup with Shoestring Potatoes // Leeks, Potato, skip the Garlic and Parsley // A CSA member reminded me of this favorite recipe over the weekend and I’m so overjoyed that they did. I made it for a farm to table event a few summers ago without the fried herbs (mine just turned into a greasy mess) and added a simple jalapeno oil (poblano oil would also be fabulous). The soup has a lot of butter and a lot of cream, actually a lot of dairy generally, but don’t let that stop you. It’s the best leek soup you will ever eat.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Cabbage Salad with Squash, Beets & Rotisserie Chicken // Butternut Squash, Beets, Onion, Cabbage or Kale for red cabbage // I developed this recipe right before leaving on vacation and then attempted to eat it every single meal. Then I made it again as soon as we returned from vacation. This salad is a WINNER! Equal parts simple, healthy and incredibly filling. And I know you aren’t receiving red cabbage from us but I have a sneaking suspicion that green cabbage or kale would be just as lovely as a base for this salad. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Radishes with Buratta // Watermelon Radish // You may think you aren’t a big radish person but let me just tell you that you are WRONG and that watermelon radish will change your mind. My all time favorite watermelon radish recipe is just sliced watermelon radish, sliced carrot, an avocado and a ton of garlic, olive oil and lemon, but I couldn’t find that recipe so instead you get my second favorite. It’s a bit fancier with the expensive cheese but a beautiful, delicate way to appreciate radishes and let them be center stage. Yum!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Crock Pot Pork Carnitas with Roasted Vegetables // Celeriac, Carrots, sub Potato for Sweet Potato, skip the Parsnips sub some Turnips or Parsnips, leave out the Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts // Slow cooker + sheet pan and a boat load of vegetables. My favorite kind of cooking. Simple, healthy, quick to pull together, delicious. What’s not to love?

Gluten-Free

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Spicy Kimchi Slaw // Sub regular Cabbage for Napa cabbage, Daikon Radish, Carrots // Napa cabbage and daikon radish are a match made in heaven, but I didn’t want to give you a kimchi recipe because I know most folks won’t go home and make a vat of kimchi (but if you do happen to want to, check out this great recipe). This recipe calls for prepared kimchi mixed with Napa, daikon and carrots for a light, bright salad that would taste great paired with some ribs or fried chicken. The only veggie it calls for that we didn’t give you is scallions, and I recommend buying some because scallions are an essential part of kimchi.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Lentil Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie // Onion, sub Turnips for the Parsnips, use just Potatoes for the topping // My all-time favorite way to eat rutabaga is simple: mash it up and serve it with butter and a bit of maple syrup. The caramel-y notes of rutabaga make the best mashed vegetable you’ve ever had. However, it’s not November and mashed rutabaga seems a bit premature for the season. So, instead, try this. Mashed potatoes a top of slew of other veggies, mushrooms and lentils for a healthy light version of one of my favorite childhood meals.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Sheet Pan Chicken with Cabbage & Leeks // Cabbage, Leeks // I need more recipes like this: recipes that come together on ONE PAN and require next to no dishes but are still absolutely delicious. This recipe is a sure winner!

Gluten-Free (sub tamari for soy sauce)

photo by: The Awesome Green

photo by: The Awesome Green

The Ultimate Veggie Burger // Beets, Sub Festival or Butternut Squash for Sweet Potatoes, Onion // It’s the burger of your dreams, and guess what, it’s totally vegan. Whoever thought of adding sweet roasted sweet potatoes (or squash) AND guacamole to a burger is pure genius.

Vegetarian, Vegan

photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Celery Root & Carrot Soup // Celeriac, Carrot // Celery Root or Celeriac is a beautiful fall vegetable with the flavor of celery, but the creaminess of a potato. It’s delicious roasted, but I think it shines best in soups. With accents of apple and ginger, this soup is everything I love about warm fall flavors all in one lovely bowl and I just adore it.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by Half Baked Harvest

photo by Half Baked Harvest

Fall Harvest Apple & Kale Salad // Kale (or sub lettuce), Shallot, Thyme, add some thinly sliced radish // This salad came out just a couple weeks ago and I’ve already stared at the photo longingly five times. I finally made it this past weekend and it is every bit as perfect as it looks. And a great way to use up kale if you aren’t a huge kale fan. You could also sub lettuce for the kale if you prefer that as a salad green.

Vegetarian (without the prosciutto), Vegan (without the prosciutto and cheese), Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Root Vegetable Gratin // Onion, Potatoes, Celeriac, skip the Sweet Potatoes // Rutabaga, celeriac and potatoes can all absolutely stand alone, but I’m just in love with making them the star trio of pretty much any root vegetable dish. This lovely gratin calls for totally different vegetables (fennel, celeriac and gold potatoes) but onion, turnip, rutabaga and russet potatoes will be equally (if not more) delicious.

Vegetarian

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Crockpot Caramelized Pork Ramen Noodle Soup with Curry Roasted Acorn Squash // Carrots, sub Butternut Squash for acorn squash, sub Leeks for green onions, add some daikons or watermelon radish cut into matchsticks // This clearly qualifies as a PROJECT recipe. I prefer not to share project recipes for all you lovely members because I know your preference is usually to cook maximum vegetables in minimum time with limited crazy techniques and/or ingredients, but this recipe, this recipe is oh so worth it. And it uses a crock pot, so that equates ease, right?

Gluten-Free