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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!

Posted 7/10/2017 1:15pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Happy Summer folks!                  We made it to July and we are happy to report that things are growing and thriving at River Road farm! The Spring of 2017 will go in the books as another cool and wet one. We had over 10 inches of rain in the month of May alone. So, Lots of delayed direct seeding and the unfortunate loss of over 600 pepper plants. Unfortunately, this means there will be no RRF peppers this summer. Such a bummer! Just too wet and cold for finicky peppers. Thankfully, June ushered in some very hot (high of 96) and sunny days, so things are really looking good now and we’re excited to see everything taking off.                  We are particularly excited about two new River Road Farm projects this year. The addition of monthly ‘Family Farm Days’ and a brand new, much larger, high tunnel greenhouse. Our Family Farm Days were born out of a dream we’ve had for years to share the abundance and gifts of the farm life we love so much. We wanted to create a program where families could get away from screens and connect with each other and the natural world. So, we decided to open the farm one Saturday a month to anyone wanting to enjoy the blessings of living on a farm. We are inviting families to experience the messy, tasty and wild side of life on a farm. There have hosted three successful events already this season. It has been such a joy to meet local families, hear parents express their gratitude for having a place where their kids can meet baby pigs, collect eggs, play in the woods, and snack on fun and new farm treats. And most importantly, be their loud and wild and playful selves! Feel free to check out our events page on our website https://www.riverroadfarmwi.com/upcoming-events to sign up for our upcoming family days!                  The other big and exciting addition to River Road Farm in 2017 is our new 30x96 moveable high tunnel greenhouse. Yup, it’s almost one hundred feet long and it moves on a track. Last summer after the epic flood we did some re-evaluating on where and how we were going to continue farming this land, and the one absolute necessity we identified was to acquire land on high ground and establish greenhouse production there. With the generosity of our neighbor to the north we were able to lease land and invest in our dream high tunnel. We’ve laid the tracks, build the trusses and are now assembling end walls and prepping to put it all together. It’s taken a bit longer that we had planned but we can see the light and the end of the tunnel now 😉. Funny how building a high tunnel during the growing season sounds like such a good plan in February but feels awfully daunting come July! Our goal is to have it ready to roll for our fall plantings. So, no matter what the river decides to do, this high tunnel of crops will be high and dry! As always, we want to shout out a big “Thank You!” to all of you, our members, for supporting us and helping to make sustainable farming a viable living for our families!

Kelsey and Seija

Posted 7/2/2017 7:51am by Stefanie Jaeger.

If you missed it in the newsletter, here is what's happening at Great Oak Farm! 

June is probably the most exciting month on a vegetable farm - each year I am thrilled to see it arrive, and just as relieved to see it go. Here at Great Oak Farm it is a season in and of itself, an unpredictable transition from Spring to Summer, a wild ride that can quickly go from long johns to shorts and back again! June starts off with big harvests of leaf-crops in the hoop houses (like greens and scallions). It finishes up with the first fruits - hoophouse tomatoes and cucumbers - as well as the first field crops, getting ready for harvest. In June, we’re doing nearly every task imaginable on the farm all at once – seeding both in the field and greenhouse, transplanting tender starts, prepping fields outside for those transplants, spreading rock minerals and compost, weeding a-plenty, harvesting and packing veggies, and the list goes on. All the while, the weather in June is far from settled or predictable. Early in the month of June, we can often expect to see our last frost, usually around the first full moon if that falls in the first 12 days of the month or so, but sometimes even later. In June, we’re going full throttle 12-16 hours a day in between screeching halts due to wet spring weather, which we had plenty of this year. June gets the season going, then sets the stage for the rest of the year in many ways, and we’re racing the clock to have things in the ground on time for fall harvest. In early June, we need to have transplanted the winter squash crop and seeded the first of 8 plantings of green beans. In late June we must have seeded the last of 10 different plantings of broccoli, as well as over 3 miles of fall/winter carrots – neither of which will be harvested until October or November! Last week, I finished seeding the fall carrots at 11:30 pm (right before it rained the next day) to a serenade of frogs and crickets under a sliver moon in the night sky, with an escort of dancing fireflies. It was a gorgeous night, and thank goodness for tractor headlights! This June threw us some curve balls with cooler than usual weather, so your boxes have reflected that seasonal variability. The summer field crops are about 2 weeks behind where they were last year - we had hoped to have enough broccoli in particular for every box this week, but try as we might Mother Nature will have the last word, and we’ll see how it’s looking next week. The carrots are on the cusp of being ready as well – maybe 10 more days to go before they are nice and plump. While 50 and 60 degree overcast, rainy days are not “tomato growing weather” the greenhouse tomatoes are at last beginning to ripen – we’ll get as many as we can in the boxes this week, and expect more regular appearances in boxes to come! One of my early season favorites, the sugar snap peas, are finally beginning to flower – they are another candidate for boxes next week, but again we’ll have to see what the weather holds. While we’re talking about the veggies in the boxes, I wanted to chat a bit about the greens – chard, collards, and kale. While greens are a springtime vegetable staple, powerhouses of nutrition, if you are not as familiar with using them you may find yourself wondering, “Why are there so many greens in our boxes?!” While those bags of greens may appear large, when cooked they really shrink in volume. The official serving size for cooked greens is one cup, so it takes a good amount to “count” as a serving. Whether it’s in a soup or just simply sautéed in some butter with a dash of salt as a dinner side (my personal favorite) don’t be shy – eat ‘em up! If the ideas in the newsletter don’t get your green gears turning, Google can help find some recipes that might. Greens freeze well if blanched first, and are an easy addition to later season soups. Also, check out the Lake Superior CSA Recipe page on Facebook, where members can share cooking ideas and tips for using what’s fresh in the boxes this week. Often in our typical Midwestern diet, vegetables are used as a garnish more than actually as a part of the meal. I recently heard a simple “rule” for getting more veggies in our daily diets called the “1-2-3 rule.” Try to have one veggie with breakfast (like spinach or scallions in your omelet), 2 with lunch (a salad with your soup or sandwich), and 3 at dinnertime (main course soup or several sides of greens.)   I like that – easy to remember, and a good goal to aim for! Until next time, thanks again so very much for making us your farmers, and for making the commitment to fresh local veggies! Yours in community – Chris Duke, Great Oak Farm

 

Posted 7/2/2017 7:16am by Stefanie Jaeger.

I touched on this briefly in the newsletter, but here are the links for how to store both tomatoes and herbs! Hint - the fridge is not always your friend! 

How to Store Herbs

How to Store Tomatoes

 

 

Posted 6/26/2017 5:05pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Greetings from Maple Hill Farm!

To say this has been a cool wet spring would be an understatement. On Maple Hill Farm we raise hogs and grow most of our feed for them. Corn is the main field crop we grow and generally strive to get our fields planted by the middle of May. The cool wet spring delayed our planting by two or more weeks this year. We always have our eye on the calendar. The corn variety we grow takes about 79 days to mature. We need the corn to mature and dry down so we get the nutrients in the corn and have it dry enough to store all winter and not mold. So far our corn looks pretty good with only one field underperforming. The other day I disked in about half of that field and will plant an emergency crop of Sorgum- Sudan grass. We plan on harvesting this feed and making it into silage. Actually, hogs really like ensiled feeds although it can only comprise about 10-20% of their diet. We also have a 25 foot by 95 foot greenhouse and use it to produce peppers and tomatoes. The plants we use in the greenhouse are started indoors in late February and are planted in early May. I always enjoy getting the greenhouse planted and spending time in the spring-like environment in the building. Growing high value crops like tomatoes and peppers in the controlled environment offered by a greenhouse allows us to spread out our risk. Growing these crops in a greenhouse also allows us to offer extremely high quality products to our customers. Maple Hill Farm sells the majority of our peppers and tomatoes to Northland College and the Chequamegon Food Co-op. You will however see our greenhouse products in your CSA box from time to time as we help fill in any gaps in production from our primary producers. We hope you are enjoying the many quality products our Bayfield Foods producer’s labor many hours to produce for you. Your business is greatly appreciated by all of us.