Week 1, 2016

Field Notes Farm CSA Newsletter
Week 1: June 14, 2016

Green Onions – Fresh, mild onion flavor from white tip to green top (without all the eye watering). Simply chop and top your taco or salad, or sandwich.
Swiss Chard- Tangy, tender green (& Polly’s favorite!) It is hardy enough to hold up in cooking, but tender enough to fill a salad bowl. You’ll see the Rainbow mix in today’s box.
Spinach -We are overjoyed with our spinach crop this spring! So sweet and crisp –we recommend it in a salad with some fresh strawberries, toasted pecans and blue cheese.
Magenta Romaine Lettuce Head – Oren’s favorite! Crunchy and flavorful these lettuce heads have benefitted from a healthy rainfall this spring. This variety is a perfect sandwich topper.
Radishes – These cherry belles are mild with a tinge of sweet and a solid crunch.
Beets (with greens)- The appropriately named Early Wonder Tall Top! The greens are similar to swiss chard with a more earthy flavor. You can cut the tops off about ¼ in from the root and use immediately. The roots will last quite a bit longer.
Sugar Snap Peas – Call us crazy but we started peas inside our hoophouse this season! We have 3 plantings and hope to have many snaps peas for the first part of the season (We don’t grow shell peas.)
Oregano- A peppery-piney herb. We’ve been enjoying it chopped fresh atop our salads this spring.
Garlic Scapes -The flowering tops of garlic plants trumpeting true summer. Use as you would garlic.
Basil Plant – A basil plant for your own garden!

Welcome to season #2!

We are glad to have you a part of our community this season. Each week in the newsletter you will find a list of what is in your box along with a brief description or fun fact. We’ll share some news from the farm and what is our mind, and include some recipes we enjoy for the produce. The newsletters will be posted on our website under the CSA section, so you can always check back. In addition, we have compiled some tried and true recipes for the vegetables you will see across the season. The recipe database is searchable on our website.

You’ll see included with your share this week the first postcard from Jennifer Levenhagen, one of our farm artists this season. We have 2 artists creating art this season to share with you. We’ll share more with you about the program in the coming weeks.

We would like to extend an invitation to all of you to come out and visit the farm.! We have heard in the past that seeing the farm in action adds a new level to the experience of receiving a box each week. We can often get bogged down in the never-ending to do list, and a visit from a fresh set of eyes helps us to appreciate the whole pictures as well! Our contact information will be listed at the end of the newsletter each week, so do not hesitate to call or email if you might coming by or if you have any questions about your share.

News from Field Notes Farm:

I ran across this quote in the footer from American poet, William Blake this winter and found it an apt description of the farm year. As we begin another CSA season and the time of harvesting begins, we look forward to sharing what we’ve been learning out in the field and community.

Spring has included many landscape changes on our 2 acre plot. We constructed a 8x24ft shed in the center of our land. It provides a covered spot for our tractor and hand tools and a permanent shaded area for washing and packing vegetables..

We’ve also replaced some annual vegetable growing space with perennial fruit trees and bushes. Eight foot high, 3-year old plum, apricot, pear, and apple trees now line the western slope with rhubarb and herbs filling in between the trees. On the southern edge, we now have a raspberry patch, a strawberry patch, and an asparagus patch. The berries will not begin fruiting until next year, and we expect to see our first CSA size yield from the fruit trees in 2 years. In addition, we saved apple seeds all winter and started over a thousand apple trees have survived.. Our plan is to select out the healthiest and most vigorous ones over the course of the next 5-10 years to develop new Wisconsin based apple varieties.

Our landscape has been altered a bit by mother nature herself! This past Friday a terribly windy thunderstorm swept through Custer, WI. It destroyed one of our 5 hoophouses. The damage to the crops was relatively small considering the dramatic scene, but we are down one hoophouse for the season. Many of the parts are salvageable, but we will likely wait until things slow down in the fall to order new parts and rebuild it. It took 2 days and the help of a few friends to break it down.

Our first market in Appleton is this Saturday and we are excited to have a colorful display for the first week. You can find our stand on the corner of Durkee and College right in front of the Fire pottery studio.

Snap Pea & Radish Salad

Yields 4-5 servings

½ pound sugar snap peas,, cut in half on diagonal
Dash Kosher salt & Black Pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
½  teaspoon favorite fresh herb for garnish
1 bunch radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
4 ounces ricotta salata or feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
⅔ C Greens Onions, chopped

Whisk oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and herb in a small bowl.
Toss peas, radishes ,green onions & cheese in a bowl.
Add dressing to salad and toss.

Potherb and goat cheese pie with a potato crust

Great for a light dinner, brunch, or lunch. We love this flavorful egg dish from The Nourished Kitchen.  Feel free to substitute your favorite greens or herbs in place of the chard and oregano.

½ pound Swiss chard
½ pound other green (beet tops, spinach, kale)
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 Yukon Gold potatoes
2 Tablespoons butter
8 eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon finely ground salt
4 ounces chevre or feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Trim the chard and greens of any tough stem, then stack the leaves on top of one another, roll them into a cigar, and slice them crosswise into strips about ¼ inch wide. Put greens in a bowl with the oregano and thyme.
Keeping the skins on, slice the potatoes crosswise into ⅛ inch thick rounds.

Melt the butter in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Swirl the skillet so that the butter lightly coats the bottom and sides. Turn off the heat and carefully arrange the potato slice along the bottom and sides of the pan to form a crust. TIghtly pack the greens and herbs into the potato-lined skillet.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the cream and salt. Beat them together until uniform in color. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, filling the skillet to within ½ inch of its rim., you may not need use all the eggs. Drop the cheese a teaspoon at a time into the eggs and vegetables.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the center of the pie no longer wobbles when you gently shake the pan. Allow the pie to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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