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Posted 8/7/2017 11:13am by Stefanie Jaeger.

Hello again from Hidden-Vue Farm

Well, it was another interesting Spring and summer for us.  We finished up making first crop hay on July 19th this year which is pretty much the same time as last year, so back to back years of extremely late hay making.  We did have a very cold and wet spring but we ended up with 900 bales of first crop which is very good.  The grasses on our farm are almost all cool season grasses which means they continue to grow even in colder weather and all the rain helped grow a lot of grass.  I reseeded the field that was flooded out last year and as soon as I finished seeding it promptly rained 10 inches in the next 10 days.  Surprisingly about ⅔ of the field survived this new flooding.  Several weeks later I had to go in and re-plant the remaining parts of the field.  

Spring calving went well for us but for the first time in quite a few years we did not lamb any sheep.  I sold all of the sheep last fall as the kids weren’t very interested in them anymore and I was tired of chasing them when they went through the fence.

Late July was pretty quiet around our farm as my wife Jennifer and the children went to England for several weeks to spend time with Jennifer’s twin sister and her family.  They should be coming home in the next couple of hours which means that I took time out from my last minute cleaning of the house to write this letter.  It is surprising how quickly the house gets messy with only 1 person here.  And no kids to blame it on either.  :)

We have less than a month before our county fair so now it’s time to start training the all the animals.  This year Kieren will take a steer and Matthew and Mia will each take a hog.  We will also bring several cows with calves by their sides.  Visitors to the fair always enjoy petting the baby calves.

We raised 65 chickens and 10 turkeys this year.  I really don’t like chickens but I like eating them so my compromise is every other year I raise enough to feed our family for two years.  I’m not alone in liking to eat chicken.  This year we had a golden eagle that decided that chickens were pretty tasty too.  And he ate a turkey too, just for variety.

 

Posted 8/2/2017 3:16pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Wisconsin Public Television's "Around the Farm Table" contacted us a few months back about doing a show in Northern Wisconsin, featuring some of our CSA farmers and potentially a restaurant that does farm to table. They were in luck because we have a ton of farmers and one of our wholesale customers, Freehands Farm and Lakeside, purchase a lot of food from our cooperative. It was the perfect fit. I got them in touch with all the right people for filming and scheduling and they paid us a visit this week. Here are some pictures from their visit to Great Oak Farm!

The show will air later this fall so be sure to catch it then!

 WPT at Great Oak Farm 

   

 WPT at Great Oak Farm 

 

 

Posted 8/2/2017 3:02pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Dani Kaeding from Wisconsin Public Radio interviews Chris Duke, CSA Committee Chair and veggie farmer at Great Oak Farm and Stefanie Jaeger, CSA Manager for the Lake Superior CSA about local food systems. 

Listen to her show here!

Posted 8/2/2017 8:38am by Stefanie Jaeger.

Broccoli Soup (it's soup weather again!)

Crock Pot Chicken

Perfect Steamed Green Beans

Caprese Salad 

Recipe Idea 

If I have brats or pork sausage in the freezer, I'll thaw it out, and sauté it with chopped zucchini, spinach, onion and tomato or whatever other random veggies I have around. Sometimes I'll throw Quinoa or Wild Rice in my rice cooker and then add that to the sauté. It's my "lazy person" dinner while using up things in the fridge! 

Posted 7/31/2017 5:22pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Here at Maple Hill Farm, we raise our hogs on pasture when it is available. Most folks don’t realize hogs eat grass. Our animals enjoy eating legumes and grasses as part of their diet. We try to bale enough hay for them to continue to provide “baled pasture” for the times of the year when there is not pasture available to them. Typically, we need three days of no rain to get hay baled; one day to cut the hay and two days to dry. Up until this week, we have not had those three days of no rain in a row. The days ahead look promising, so the plan is to get all our haying done in the upcoming week. We are almost exactly a month late in getting our hay put up this year, a new record for us!

The rye we have planted is nearly ready to combine. Rye is used on our farm to mill into rye flour and also as a small portion of our hog feed. This years’ crop of rye looks like it could be one of our best ever. This is surprising since the plants were under tremendous stress due to a very wet spring.

Our corn crop is looking very good this year even though we were forced to plant two weeks later than normal due to wet conditions. Corn makes up the bulk of the feed our hogs consume, so it is critical that we get a good crop. We grow field peas, which are high in protein, as another part of our hog feed. It appears we may have a bumper crop this year. Most farms use soybeans as a protein source, which requires roasting to make them palatable. For our farm, peas seem the better option since they grow well in our climate and also do not require roasting which reduces some of the energy input needed to produce feed. We have found that oats do very well on most of our soils, and have increased the acreage grown this year. We expect to be combining oats in a couple of weeks to use as feed. The straw from the oats is one of the best to use for bedding our animals in winter months. Another important small grain we grow is spring wheat. We have an on-farm flour mill and we mill much of the wheat we grow into whole wheat flour. You can try out our flour by ordering through the Lake Superior CSA Special Order. We sell our flour to several bakeries, and they all comment on the exception flavor profile of our stone ground flour. Wheat not used for milling ends up as hog feed. Nothing is wasted on a farm! One real side benefit of growing small grains is the straw that is produced. Nothing beats straw for bedding livestock. I enjoy seeing baby pigs burrow into the straw in cold weather knowing that no matter how cold it gets they will be comfortable.

We hope you are enjoying this CSA season and the summer. Tom, Connie and Matt Cogger

 

Posted 7/25/2017 11:56am by Stefanie Jaeger.

Here's a few recipes to help you get inspired for your share this week!

Asian Cabbage Rolls with Spicy Pork (You may still have some ground pork left if you get a meat CSA share!)

Broccoli Cheddar Zucchini Boats

5 Things To Do With Kohlrabi

If you have a meat share, you've got beef stir fry. You may even have some carrots and broccoli left. Low carb? I went to the grocery store the other day and found "riced" cauliflower in the frozen section! Life saver! Otherwise, I love my little rice cooker - cooks in about 15 minutes while I'm throwing together other stuff! 

Beef Stir Fry

Need some berry inspiration? I love making parfaits with berries! 

10 Healthy Fruit Parfait Recipes 

Posted 7/25/2017 11:41am by Stefanie Jaeger.

Greetings from Twisting Twig,  

It is hard to believe that this is already the final delivery of July. I hope that you all have been enjoying the veggies so far. For those of you unfamiliar with our farm, I would like to give you a brief introduction.   Twisting Twig Gardens and Orchard is a diverse micro-farm located on the Bayfield peninsula halfway between Bayfield and Cornucopia. My family and I have been working to transition an abandoned farmstead back into production since 2009. Our vision is to create a low-input, biodiverse agricultural ecosystem which integrates trees and shrubs with annuals and, eventually, animals. Not only are we growing vegetables and fruits, but also promoting systems which yield soil fertility, farm resiliency, wildlife habitat, and beauty.   The focus of our production gardens is to grow veggies that are chemical-free, nutrient-dense, and taste delicious. Although we are growing a variety of crops, we specialize in growing lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, and shallots. Surrounding the gardens and throughout the farm, we are managing our “wild” apple orchard for cider production.   This week we are pleased to be contributing Italian parsley to your boxes. One of my favorite garden pleasures is the scent of freshly cut parsley stems as I am harvesting and bunching. Not only is this herb flavorful and versatile, but it is also a nutritional powerhouse. Research suggests that it is rich in vitamins and minerals, has anti-inflammatory properties, supports healthy kidney function, and contains cancer-fighting compounds. We love to add it to smoothies and sprinkle it fresh on to salads and pastas.  

Hope you enjoy! Thanks for supporting us and the other producers in your Lake Superior CSA.  

Have a great week, Rob

Posted 7/17/2017 3:33pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Here are some recipes utilizing ingredients in the veggie, meat and fruit shares this week. I hope you find them helpful!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats  ---> Hint! You can use your ground beef from your CSA share! 

Sweet Potato, Bacon & Zucchini

Basic Zucchini Noodles

--> Use the zucchini noodles with this meatball recipe with all the ground beef 

Dress Up Your Broccoli

Deconstructed Hamburger Salad (I think I've posted this before) 

Vegan Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffins 

 

Posted 7/17/2017 3:31pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Just in case you missed it in the newsletter....

Hello fruit share customers!   When running a fruit orchard, you survey your berries and apples each spring, trying to guess what kind of fruit season you might have.  Of course, you always hope it’s your most plentiful year yet!  Most years, you truly have more fruit than you know what to do with!  (Thankfully for the BAC, we turn this fruit into jams, jellies and cider).  Then...there are the years that you wonder, what happened?  Unfortunately, we had one of the “what happened” years with our Bayfield strawberries.  Usually strawberries are one of the best fruits to ship in the LSCSA fruit share!  They are typically plentiful, have excellent flavor and ship well.  They are a great way to start out our fruit season and your fruit share season!  This year, Bayfield had a shortage of strawberries.  Just to give you a glimpse...a large orchard that supplies strawberries to Bayfield, Washburn, Ashland AND have a pick-your-own operation from their farm, were limited to supplying only Bayfield accounts and running their PYO.  Another orchard that advertised for a strawberry festival was unsure how to supply all of their customers when this festival came around.  They ended up letting PYO customers pick “jam berries,” because they just didn’t have enough nice, large fruit!  For us at the BAC, we had some really nice berries this year, but we didn’t have quite enough to supply all of our valued LSCSA customers!  Fortunately, we were able to source a small amount of strawberries from a pick-your-own orchard in Marengo, called Basket Flats.  This farm was gracious enough to help us out when we wanted to fill your boxes!  Even with BAC and Basket Flats strawberries, we still didn’t have quite enough to fill your fruit share boxes, so we had to get a little creative!  Last week, you had 2 quarts of fresh strawberries and a 6-pack of fruit spritz, crafted by another member of Bayfield Foods, White Winter Winery.  With no fruit in Bayfield, we wanted to get you a taste of local fruit somehow!  This fruit spritz is made with juice from local fruit and is a refreshing summer drink!  We hope you enjoyed the spritz and understand why you received spritz, instead of a whole box full of fresh fruit.   We are glad to say that the rest of the fruit season looks great!  This week, you will find Bayfield sweet cherries and strawberries in your box, as well as an Apple Raspberry Jam (made with Bayfield fruit at the BAC).  As we look forward throughout the summer and fall, here are the fruits you can be expecting in your box: raspberries, cherries, blueberries, pears and apples.     Thank you for being a LSCSA fruit share customer and teaming with your local farms, in good seasons and in “what happened?” seasons!  We love the support we get from our customers and love bringing you fruit throughout the summer and fall!  Here’s to a plentiful season for all of our farmers!