Let's Talk Tomato!

Yay tomatoes!

Yay tomatoes!

Tomato season always brings up a lot of questions from people at farmers market. Words to describe different tomatoes get throw around that don't always mean what you want them to but are floating around in popular food culture. Words like, Heirloom, Hybrid, Field Grown, or Hot House. What I really want to talk to you about is heirlooms & F1 hybrids from a farmers perspective. Heirlooms have been grown forever they have huge genetic diversity and you can usually save their seeds with success. F1 hybrids are crosses where if you were to save the seeds you would get tomatoes that were more akin to the parent tomatoes than the tomato you grew. Hybrids got a bad rap because of the tomatoes you get a the grocery store they have been bred for shipping and not flavor. But if you were to grow a beef steak type Hybrid in your garden it would taste great. So that brings me to heirlooms. They got popularized by folks like Michael Pollan. And great! We need to hold on to our diversity. The problem with heirlooms is that their popularity out paced the science for farmers. So while hybrids have been bred for natural disease resistances heirlooms have only been mainly selected for flavor, size, or color. Meaning they don't have very good natural resistance to common tomato diseases. So while I really am hoping to give you all a Cherokee Purple tomato, the plants are saying other wise just from a little too much humidity. It's hard to depend on heirlooms, and for a farmer who's business depends on healthy crops, heirlooms can been boom or bust. Finally keep in mind not all red tomatoes are hybrids. There are just as many heirloom reds as there are hybrids. So don't be too quick to judge a tomato just because its not an heirloom. There are a multitude of great tomatoes out there are grown seasonally by Wisconsin farmers.

Cheers,

Elisabeth & Steven

June Rains - Farm Share Newsletter

Wk 2

Wk 2

Greetings,

The rain today has been wonderful. I know - not something you'd expect a lot of farmers to say with how crazy wet its been for some folks. We've been spending a lot of time this past week moving the irrigation around the farm making sure everything is getting enough water. In our lighter soils we really have to be on top of irrigation. While having a working well with great clean water and a pretty good irrigation set up has been wonderful, theres nothing quite like a good rain. This is also a really nice kind of rainy day for us because its overcast so it gives the soil and plants more time to absorb the moisture. Not only that but the moisture also helps to make the nutrients in the soil easier for the plants to uptake through their roots. Once the sun pops back out the soil will start to dry up quickly and we'll be back to the irrigation rotation. 

Below are your suggested recipes. Please let us know if you have any questions. 

Happy eating!
Elisabeth & Steven

Miso Glazed Turnips with Mustard Greens

1 bunch small-med turnips, trimmed, scrubbed, cut into wedges reserve greens to chop with the mustard greens

1 green garlic stalk. Minced

1 bunch mustard greens washed then rough chopped

2 tablespoons white miso

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Serve with rice.

Combine turnips, green garlic, miso, butter, and sugar in a medium skillet, then add water just to cover vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook turnips, turning occasionally, until they are tender, and liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Once all the liquid has cooked off, add the chopped greens and  toss occasionally, until they are well incorporated and cook down. When the sauce thickens and glazes the vegetables, remove from heat.

Add lemon juice and a splash of water to pan and swirl to coat turnips and greens. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over Rice.

Chopped Greens Salad with Feta

1 head of romaine, chopped and rinsed
1 bunch green kale, chopped and rinsed
1 head of Koji (Tat-Soi), Chopped and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup Feta crumbles
½ cup Pine Nuts toasted
Chop All of the greens into bite sized pieces wash and spin in salad spinner or drain and pat dry.
Toast pine nuts
Toss and combine all the salad ingredients with the dressing until thoroughly mixed.

Lemon- Green Garlic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about one large lemon)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon minced green garlic tops
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously until combined and emulsified.

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Farm Share Newsletter

Week 1 6/6/19

Week 1 6/6/19

Welcome to Week 1! Thank you so much for being part of the farm! We've spent a busy spring building infrastructure to keep the farm moving along. We had to dig a new well to access clean water, bring in electricity for the well, greenhouse and coolers. So while it felt like and many of our pictures were of the construction and building we've also been furiously running after planting, and tending the fields. Having to re-build infrastructure can be overwhelming, we are feeling very lucky to be at our new farm. The size and scale of the farm is more manageable and we have beautiful views of the bluffs that edge the river valley. We also have a new soil type to work with, sandy-loam, that so far is handling rain really well making it easier and faster to get into the fields after big rains. 

Below are your suggested recipes. Please let us know if you have any questions. 

Happy eating!
Elisabeth & Steven

Sautéed Spring Garlic Vinaigrette

Standard Vinaigrette ratio is 3 parts oil to one part vinegar. An acceptable low fat alternative is 2 parts oil to one part vinegar. This is a good starting out point. You need to keep tasting and adjust to make sure the balance of sweet oil and acidic vinegar is pleasing to your palate.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, I would suggest picking one up does wonders with making vinaigrettes and mayonnaise. A blender will work just fine as well.

1 Cup Olive Oil
½ Cup White wine Vinegar
1Tbsp Dijon
3Tbsp Green Garlic Minced
1 Tbsp canola oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mince green garlic and sauté over medium-high heat in canola oil for 2-3 minutes until it starts to get some color. Measure out your Oil and Vinegar. Mix together and add Dijon. Toss in the green garlic and blend thoroughly. If you have an immersion blender you will get a very nice full bodied dressing for your salad.

You may need to add a little more Oil or a little more Vinegar depending on whether you like a sweeter or more sharp vinaigrette Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Asian Greens Mix and Green Garlic Stir Fry

1 bag of Asian Greens mix (Mizuna, Hon sai Tai, Arugula)
1 Bunch Radishes or turnips with tops, cut into wedges and rough chop the greens
1 stalk Green Garlic, sliced into thin strips
¼ cup tamari (soy sauce)
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. corn starch (optional)
1 tbsp. minced ginger
Serve with rice
 
Mix sesame oil, tamari (soy sauce) ginger, half of the green garlic and corn starch together with and whisk until corn starch starts to dissolve (don’t worry if it clumps when you add it to the heat it will begin to separate)
Heat wok or sauté pan to medium high heat. Add the remaining green garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until aromatic take care not to burn the garlic (it can get a little bitter)
Add the radish/turnip wedges and cook for one minute then add the greens. Sauté until greens begin to wilt.
Push the greens and other veggies to the side of the pan and add the tamari mixture. Wisk to make sure the corn starch is completely dissolved. Once the sauce is uniform and starts to thicken, turn the heat off and then toss the greens and veggies with the sauce that you’ve just made.
Serve with rice

Spinach harvest

Spinach harvest

Kiva Loan

Hey Lovely people!
 We are happy to announce that Steadfast Acres is crowdfunding a 0% interest loan on Kiva. Steven and I want to thank all of you for the support you have shown us as we have worked towards our goal of starting Steadfast Acres and buying our own beautiful plot of land to live out our farming days. We have been incredibly busy building all the necessary infrastructure to get this puppy up and running for this growing season. We need a little help financially to secure the funding for the pump and electrical service. This is for the new well we had to dig to irrigate our crops and wash produce with clean water. Please consider investing in us through the Kiva micro loan program. You know us and you know that we work incredibly hard to make this dream a reality. But sometimes we need a little help to get to our goal. 

We are currently in a private fundraising period, during which we have 15 days to get 17 lenders in order to make it on the public platform where anyone on Kiva can lend to us. We would like to ask you to lend as little as $25 (which you will get back!) so that we can progress to the public fundraising period. If you would like to support us please follow this link to the profile page https://www.kiva.org/lend/1750116 This is the only way your loan will be tracked as coming through me. 

Thanks for your support, We are honestly so grateful!

Thank you@

Thank you@

Lentil & Roasted Root Vegetables with Miso-Parsley Sauce

Roasted Vegetables

·       1 pound potatoes

·       5 medium carrots, cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces

·       2 tablespoons olive oil

Lentils

·       1½ cups vegetable broth or water

·       1 cup French green lentils or regular brown lentils, picked through to remove debris and rinsed

Gremolata miso sauce

·       1 cup fresh parsley, gently packed

·       1 lemon, zested and juiced

·       4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

·       1¾ teaspoon white miso

·       Pinch red pepper flakes

·       3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

·       Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste

1.    Roast the vegetables: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the chopped potatoes and carrots in 2 tablespoons olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on a (preferably rimmed) baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and golden.

2.    Cook the lentils: In a medium saucepan, bring the broth (or water) to boil and add lentils. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until tender. Drain the lentils, return to pot, remove bay leaf and cover.

3.    Make the sauce: In the bowl of a small food processor or a blender, combine the parsley, lemon zest and juice, garlic cloves, miso and red pepper flakes. Blend the mixture while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. (If you don't have a food processor/blender, you could finely chop the parsley, press or mince the garlic cloves and whisk the ingredients together.)

4.    Assemble the dish: In a large serving bowl, toss together the lentils, vegetables and sauce. Season with black pepper and salt to taste (miso is salty so you might not need much or any salt). Serve.

The Big Share - Giving Back

Growing for the community.

Growing for the community.

This year we are working on increasing the ways we give back to the community that supports us. We know that our move and transition to our “forever farm” was in large part because of our community. You believed in us as growers and trust us to grow healthy delicious vegetables for their families. This year is a big year for us, on new land it’s a mix of starting over and continuing on what we started back in 2015 when we started farming for ourselves. The new farm means we have some bigger expenses this year for building the farm, (well, electric, greenhouse, coolers) and in theory we should be holding tight to ever dollar we make. BUT we also want pay forward the good karma that’s gotten us this far. And that’s why we are participating in The Big Share. We want to encourage you to sign up with an opportunity to pay-it-forward.

Leading up to “The Big Share” campaign that takes place on Tuesday the 5th of March. We will be partnering with our favorite non-profit FairShare CSA Coalition to donate 5% of our sales from Friday March 1st Through Tuesday March 5th. This 5% donation will go towards FairShare’s Partner Shares Program. FairShare’s Partner Shares Program began in 1993 to improve access to fresh vegetables grown by local farmers.

The Partner Shares Program provides financial assistance to limited-income households and eligible organizations to purchase CSA shares from FairShare farms. Elisabeth and I have been proud farm members of FairShare since 2016. We are excited to give back to this incredible organization that not only helps create food access, but also provides educational support to local farms and the surrounding community. Join us this season for fresh produce and join us in the next five days and Pay-it-Forward!

Cheers,

Elisabeth & Steven

Sweet potato Curry & Rice

1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil or safflower oil

1 small yellow onion minced

2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (+1tbsp minced ginger to cook with the rice)

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp crushed red pepper

3 Tbsp red curry paste

2 medium Sweet Potatoes

2-3 carrots sliced thin

2 14-ounce cans coconut milk 

1-2 Tbsp maple syrup 

1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

Sea salt to taste 

2 cups chopped kale

1/2 cup roasted cashews 

1 medium lemon juiced

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil, shallot, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Add red curry paste, sweet potato and carrots, stir, and cook for 2 minutes more.

  • Add coconut milk, maple syrup, turmeric, and a pinch of salt and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, slightly reduce heat to medium-low heat.

  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to soften the potato

  • At this time, also taste and adjust the flavor of the broth as needed. Once the broth is well seasoned and the potatoes are softened, add kale, cashews and lemon juice, and cover. Simmer for 3-4 minutes more over low to medium-low heat.

  • Serve over rice.

Valentines Day Gift Ideas!

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Give the gift of

Farm Shares!

Give the gift that lasts longer than those chocolates! (not to knock chocolate…) Our flower and farm shares are a great gift that arrive all summer to keep your sweet heart knowing you care. We just love the idea that local flowers are making such a huge resurgence all over. Local flowers are more interesting, fresher and so much more personal. It’s so much fun every week during the flower season to mix and match the colorful flowers knowing they are headed for homes to grace kitchen tables, office desks or where ever the fancy strikes.

Farm Shares are certainly the healthy gift! They match perfectly with your New Years Goals of healthier eating. Increasing your vegetables daily is a sure fire way to feel better and try new recipes! Not only do we take great care of our vegetables in the field, but we also try to make the Farm share experience great for our members. Weekly newsletters contain info about the farm, two suggested recipes that are focused on using items in the shares. Plus we give you tips on storing or quick ways to preserve. Give the gift that keeps on giving and supports your local farmer!

Winter Eating - Creative Salads

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Beets!

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges

This is a great winter recipe, Oranges are in season in Florida and beets are great storage crop that you can store for a long time in your crisper drawer in a plastic bag or are usually available at farmers markets. You can use any beets of your preference for this recipe

Ingredients

3 medium beets with beet greens attached

1 large orange

1/2 sweet onion, cut through root end into thin wedges

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard stems. Coarsely chop leaves and reserve. Wrap each beet in foil with a sprinkle of thyme. Place beets directly on oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 8 wedges or dice depending on your preference. Place beets in medium bowl. Cook beet greens in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Cool. Squeeze greens to remove excess moisture. Add greens to bowl with beets. Cut peel and white pith from orange. Working over another bowl and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release segments. Add orange segments and onion to bowl with beet mixture. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, and orange peel in small bowl to blend; add to beet mixture and toss to coat. You may have a little of the dressing left over, you don’t want the beets to swim in the dressing, just a good coating. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Serve. Use extra dressing in chopped salad, or light coleslaw dressing.

Happy New Year!

Hope you rang in the new year with enthusiasm! We joyfully celebrated until after the 9pm fire works and pulled a classic farmer on vacation and snuck back inside to go to bed!

New year was very special this year because Steven and I were able to get down to Florida to celebrate my mothers birthday with close family. The weather was great, and we ate as much local fish as we could find. Now that we are back from vacation we are getting back into gear and working on all the important new year tasks we farmers work on. The seed catalogs are dog eared and book marked as we discus new varieties. We also go through and catalog our existing seed stock and evaluate which types we want to grow again.

This new year is especially important this to us this year. With the big leap we took back in May to purchase our own farm we are now right in the heart of what makes or break a farm. Which isn’t as dramatic as it sounds but I can’t stress enough how much additional planning being on a new farm takes. We’re also at that point in the year where your membership is really important. We are still 8 weeks away from starting new seedlings and another 4 weeks after that will we start to have a small amount of greens to sell for income.

We are also making a big change for our quality of life and scaling back production. One of our goals from the last four years is to avoid the 85-90 hour weeks. We love farming, but year after year that kind of hustling can really break you down. This also gives us a chance to really focus on our Farm Share members and closer community. Thank you to everyone that has signed up already! Yes you are purchasing vegetables when you be come a member. But you are sincerely supporting every aspect of what we do to grow those vegetables!

Check out some photos from the trip and enjoy a great seasonal recipe!

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Nights

of Lights in St. Augustine. The oldest city in the US knows how to party!

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Pelicans

on the beach at sunset. The water tends to be too cold to get in, but the wildlife watching is great!

Sweet Potato and Cabbage Curry

3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup chopped onion

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 cup vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

Salt and pepper

2-3 sweet potatoes, diced

2 carrots cut into coins

1 daikon radish, quartered then sliced

½-1 cabbage, shredded

Juice of half a lime

 

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes, onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, ground cumin, curry powder and cook, stirring, about 1 minute.

Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Add the potatoes, cabbage and carrots. Cover and cook about 15 minutes. Then daikon radish (you want this to still be a little crisp) and the lime juice Stir well and cook for 2 minutes more. Serve warm on top of rice.

Happy Holidays & Farm News

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May your

holidays be filled with love, joy, and prosperity. Thank you for supporting us in 2018, we look forward to growing for you in 2019!

We hope you have a great holiday season! We are very close to taking some time to decompress from our move and are looking forward to seeing family this winter.

December means a bit of a slow down for us which gives us time to really dig in to the details of the farm and future planing. Below is a quick recap of things that we’ve been working on!

One of the transitions for the land will be to certify it to organic. Since we be bought the land we’ve been managing it organically. We’ve been working with our certifier (MOSA) for the last four years and have a good handle on how to move that process forward. We’ll be transitional to organic for 2019 and be able to officially certify in 2020. Other things that we are really excited about for the new farm is how much more accessible and easier it is to get to the new farm! We're working on plans to offer a couple of worker share opportunities, hopefully farm visits and tours and a road side stand. It's been exciting to dream and imagine new possibilities for how we farm going forward. 

We've been endorsed by FairShare CSA Coalition, we'll have our official listing on their website by mid-December. For those of you who receive the insurance rebates or with FairShare’s Partner Shares & Snap Program this means you can continue to do so with our farm.

Did you see Steven on Wisconsin Public Television? You can see him talking about Farm Shares on Around the Farm Table at this link  https://wptschedule.org/detail.php?epid=48134842

Let us know if you have any questions!

Elisabeth & Steven