Farm Newsletter September 29, 2020

Farm Newsletter September 29, 2020

Farm News        Crop Forecast

U-Pick       Recipes       Nuts and Bolts

Remember to


$25 deposit, installments or full payment by October 15th.

Here is the link for next year’s sign up.

See last week’s email or Nuts and Bolts below for more detail.

If you didn’t get that email lettuce know.

Storage Share Email Coming This Week —

We’ve been finalizing details of how to operate it with Covid.


Welcome to fall! That was a fantastic run of warm days in mid-late September — people were smiling, crops were growing. The dryness meant we were watering fall crops for their final push of growth before … well .. before growing stops! This cooler weather system is slowing things down, but those two warm weeks helped most crops make up for the setbacks caused by losing so many leaves in the hailstorm 6 weeks ago.

We’re sure you’ve noticed the switch to fall eating in the shares the last couple weeks … less of the juicy fruits of summer and more of the hearty foods of northern fall and winter. It’s been great to have peppers, at least some green bells — this week we’ll have some bigger greens, but will still be a little light on red peppers. This is still one of the hardest things for us to let go of from the storm!

Yields on other fall crops are looking good, and some are great. Kale 🙂 as you’ve seen the bins full of it … and spinach has been healthier for longer than the last few years. Winter squash, small ones and big ones, and now sweet potatoes too!!! Good weather for roasting in the oven.

On the wholesale side, after a bizarre 3-4 weeks in August and September of having 10-20% our usual amount to sell, a couple weeks ago it started to feel almost normal again, with 8-10 pallets of veggies going out each week. While schools are buying less, the distributors we work with are buying close to normal, and some federal CARES Act money has made it possible for us to sell a few pallets of kale and other crops to hunger relief programs, unneeded by schools this year but redirected to people who need it. That’s a good use of tax money, benefiting both farmers who’ve lost markets to Covid and families struggling to have enough food to eat.

Looking forward to seeing you these next 3 weeks, and hopefully for next year too!

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Crop Forecast

It’s Squash Time!

There will be at least two squash per share from now on, and mostly the bigger types will be in the bin — butternut, buttercup and ambercup are all ready to eat now. The smaller ones — carnival, acorn, delicata — will be on the table to mix in the bag with other smaller crops. They’re all great on their own, roasted, grilled or smoked even, and can be pureed into soup, cubed into coconut curries, scooped onto salads … so many uses! A rich, nourishing fall staple.

If you get a squash with any rotten insides, we’re sorry! Please lettuce know and help yourself to a free replacement the next time you are here. There are likely to be a few more undetectable rotten spots than usual, since every squash got pelted over and over again with ice balls. Most are fine. We cull out ones we’re suspicious of, as we always do, but we might miss some.

And Sweet Potatoes!!! We picked some early (2 weeks ago) and the flavor is pretty good already. Allia-approved. Should have plenty for the remaining shares.

SPINACH — Has been growing super well, but a fungal disease has moved in. We’ll have some but the amount will be smaller. We’ll try to sort out the icky leaves but you might find a couple.

Lettuce and Greens — look amazing!

Peppers — still slim picking on the reds, but we should have some green ones that sized up more in the warmth of the last two weeks.

Kohlrabi, Radish, Celeriac — Plenty of radish and celeriac to go around. Kohlrabi we’ll have this week and maybe next.

Garlic! Extras for sale in the barn anytime, $1 / head.

Onions , Leeks, and a few Shallots — We have a few shallots to spread amongst you. They’re low yielding and thus much more expensive to grow, but so, so mild and sweet that we like to do some.

Kale ! And Collards! The best of the year, especially once it goes through a frost maybe later this week. And chard —  we’ll keep scrounging if we can.

Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Celery all look good. Cauliflower has mostly come and gone but there may be a few stragglers.

And Pumpkins! Outside the barn, your choice of 1 per share, either Jack-O-Lantern or Pie Pumpkins. Some have hail damage for added scariness.

And the last week of pickups – Brussels sprouts ! After the frost they should taste pretty good. They are not big this year … small but mighty!

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What’s for U-Pick?

Before the Frosts Wednesday and/or Thursday nights —

Last Chance for Basil and Flowers and Beans! Beans and Most of the flowers perish at 32, basil at 34.

Other Herbs This Week –Cilantro, Parsley (flat and curly), thyme, oregano should survive the frosts just fine.

Kale will be open for U-pick the last week of the share. Details on that will be in the last newsletter in a couple weeks.

Always check the U-pick board when you’re here to see what’s available, and picking amounts.

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Nuts and Bolts


$25 deposit, installments or full payment by October 15th.

Prices for 2021 are as follows; Full shares are on a sliding scale from $550 to $675, with our budgeted goal of $625 average payment. We welcome you to pay higher or lower on this scale, depending on your income. Our split share price range is $575 to $700 (or $287.50 to $350 per family), with our budgeted goal of $650 (or $325 per family).

Here is the link for next year’s sign up.

For payment, we are accepting cash, check, credit card, bank transfer, or GooglePay (an online payment system with no extra fee).   With any of these payment options, you can pay just the deposit, pay in full, or pay in installments throughout the winter.  To pay by check, you can put it in the money box in the barn or send it in the mail. And please write separate checks for the 2021 CSA and 2020 Storage Share. 

Storage Share Info coming Soon too!

The Storage share is a one-time pickup the week before Thanksgiving, separate from the regular share. You will again be able to pre-order specific amounts, and/or order the “full” storage share. We’re still trying to figure out how to do it with good Covid precautions, probably over 2 days to spread people out. We will hopefully roll it out this weekend.

If you like the book Everything Elderberry by Susannah Shmurak — say thanks to Susannah by leaving a review on Amazon and/or Good Reads! We hope you enjoy it, we have been loving elderberry for staying healthy in recent years. And thanks to Susannah for gifting us the sales proceeds from the book at the farm the last couple weeks!

Last Share Pickup Days are October 13 and 15, with double volume / two weeks’ worth that week.

Bulk Produce for You —

Check here each newsletter for what we have available for extra purchase.

To place a bulk order, simply call or email us at least 2 days ahead of the day you’d like to pick it up.  Orders can be picked up at the farm during our regular pickup hours, but it doesn’t have to be your share pickup day.

This week’s selection is : Spinach $5 / lb. Kale $2/lb. Lettuce $5 /lb. What’s available next week might change, you can always ask.

Share Pickup Hours TUESDAY and THURSDAY 1:30-6:30 pm.

Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here.  Please fill out this form instead of emailing us.  Thanks!  If you need to come during a different time slot on your same pickup day, that is ok, no need to email us or fill out the form.

Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.

Thanks for your support!

Your farmers,

Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alexandra, Alissa, Emily, Erika, and Harper


Gorgeous Beet and Apple Salad

from Rolling Prairie Cookbook

  •  4 to 5 medium-sized beets, cooked , cut into large cubes
  • 1 large Granny smith apple, unpeeled, cut into large cubes
  • ¼ cup slivered red onion
  • 1 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallots
  • ¼ tsp sugar or honey

Toss beets, apples, and red onions together in a medium-sized bowl. Mix remaining ingredients to create the dressing. Pour over vegetables and toss to mix well. Chill. Serves 4.

Best Lentil Soup

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


This simple vegan lentil soup recipe comes together quickly with mostly pantry ingredients. Be sure to have your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking! Recipe yields four large bowls of soup, or six more modest servings.SCALE1X2X3X


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (½ to 1 medium lemon), to taste


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  4. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  5. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. (Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)
  6. Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
  7. Serve while hot. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

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