The Weblog

…from Farm Where Life is Good

We’ll give you an insider’s view of life and growing on the farm. Share the excitement of a great harvest and experience the disappointment of a crop failure.
We have it all!

Subscribe to an RSS Feed

Online Market is OPEN for Business (Week 28)

High tunnel growing UP!

Farm Where Life is Good

Life on the Farm (Week 28)

Who forgot to turn off the heater? Whew! 93 degrees today while tilling and transplanting and tomato pruning/trellising (in the 105 degree high tunnel!) Didn’t realize sweat could actually pour down one’s face, but yes, it can and did. (Well I wasn’t sweating, actually just glowing!)

We are trying out a new pest deterrent this year for the cucurbits (cucumber, squash, melon); it is a kaolin clay (same stuff in the original pre-1980s Kaopectate, often found in cosmetics, and recently introduced into combat bandages to stop major wound bleeding) in a fine powder that you mix with water and either dip the transplants in (prior to planting) or spray on the hanging vines using a (new!) backpack sprayer. Gotta love new toys. Theoretically it creates a barrier to egg-laying and biting/sucking so a little population control and prevention of virus transmission (yes, plants get viruses; they have all sorts of fun names but the gist is that when the plant gets infected it goes kaput! It also prevents plant sunburn; we don’t want our wittle pwants to get sunburned, now do we?

Recently dipped squash transplants.

The Market has your herbs for salad dressings and your favorite baby-leaf salad fixin’s this week. Try some fresh kale for roasting and dipping (see recipe below).

Ordering will be open from Sunday morning until Monday 8pm. Get your orders in now so harvesting can begin specific to your requests.

Deliveries will be made Wednesday per usual to your chosen Dropsite Location .

Recipes for your consideration

Crispy Sesame Kale
Quick and easy with an unusual flair. And plenty of those great phytochemicals! Eat straight, or dab in your favorite sauces.

1 bunch fresh kale
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven 350F.

Slice kale leaves off major stems; discard stems (or put in green smoothie or feed to dogs!)

In large bowl , mix kale, seeds, oil and salt. Toss and massage with your hands.

Spread leaves out on large baking sheet , single layer.

Roast in oven until crisp, approximately 12-15min.

Serve immediately.

Peanut Sauce with Cilantro
Lots of flavor, easy to make, great variety of fresh things to dip in it. Try spring rolls, roasted kale, carrot/broccoli/cauliflower sticks. Or pour it over rice noodles, add some fresh vegetables and enjoy.

1-2 Tbsp fresh ginger, zested or minced (if you are a big fan, use the higher amount)
¼ cup hot water
½ cup peanut butter, preferable fresh and unadulterated blended peanuts!
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar, maple syrup or agave syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1" bunch fresh cilantro, rough chopped

Combine all ingredients except cilantro in small sauce pan; over very very low heat, stir/whisk until well combined and smooth.

Remove from heat, top with cilantro and serve with something in need of dipping.

Did You Know…

You are eating phytochemicals, and lovin’ it!

“There is some evidence that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains reduces the risk of certain types of cancer and other diseases. Available scientific evidence does not support claims that taking phytochemical supplements is as good for long-term health as consuming the fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains from which they are taken.” American Cancer Society

And they give us the fun of eating all colors of the rainbow! (Try tossing these words around at your next party— “Say, I was eating some phytofluene yesterday, and noticed that…”)

Color Wheel of Foods & Phytochemicals
Red (Lycopene, Phytoene, Phytofluene, Vitamin E)

Green (Glucosinolates, Isothiocyanates, Indole-3 Carbinol, Folic Acid)
Brussel Sprouts
Bok Choy

Green/Yellow (Lutein, Zeaxanthin)
Green Beans
Green Peppers
Collard Greens
Mustard Greens

Orange (Alpha & Beta Carotene, Beta-Cryptoxanthin)
Butternut Squash

Orange/Yellow (Vitamin C, Flavonoids)
Yellow Grapefruit

Red-Purple (Anthocyanins, Ellagic Acid, Flavonoids)
Red Wine

White/Green (Allyl Sulfides)

Produce Subscription Highlights

Anticipated this week for the CSA produce subscription boxes:

Lettuce (maybe a summer crisp head, but deer have been in it!)
Salad mix (2 kinds; trialing a new type that starts as a head; we’ll need reviews from ya’ll)
Green onion
A sweet pepper (maybe!)

Start your meal planning now!

If there are any of you crazy spinach-loving, green smoothie-making peoples out there, we have an gleaning offer for you. The heat has just about bolted the last of the spring spinach (beds we haven’t even harvested yet!). If you’d like to come pick it yourself, please feel free. Again, it is almost bolted and won’t be good for much beyond the blender (still quite good in the blender tho, if I do say so myself.)

We hope to feed you soon!

Roger and Lara

**If you’d like to stop receiving emails, just jump into your account on the website (, My Account) and scroll to bottom; check appropriate box.


Your box for Week 27!

Farm Where Life is Good

Produce Subscription (Week 27)

We are in the lull between the seasons. Spring delicacies are waning and summer beauties are waxing. And maybe, just maybe, the bounty in the woods and meadows is sufficient to keep the deer from the fields!

We have seen some gorgeous dry days this week, so lots of seeding and transplanting going on. Cover crops are getting mowed and transferred to the high tunnel for mulch. An intercropping of clover is going down under all of the well developed brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) to act as a living mulch and to “fix” nitrogen for the next succession to occupy that space in the fall or next spring. The summer alfalfa we seeded to the third high tunnel position is peaking up; we hope to let it grow for two months (making nitrogen, building soil tilth and suppressing weeds) and then put in the fall crops that will live under the tunnel after it is too cold for tomatoes/peppers/cucumbers. If it all sounds quite confusing, well, it is. Believe me! Thank goodness for computer calendars to keep us on task.

The delivery is light and leafy, with a mix of the following in your boxes this week:

Salad turnips We squeaked out another round of these crunchy white roots. Hope you enjoy them in your salads this week.

Lettuce, red leaf A few small heads to provide some leaves for sandwiches and burgers this week. Nothing to write home about, unless you want to lament the deer in your farm’s lettuce beds to your mom!

Mini-Broccoli These little fellas are so easy; floret, stem and leaf are all fair game. Just rinse and braise/grill/stirfry.

Baby lettuce mix A milder version of WLIG salad mix, but just as easy and fresh.

Spinach, loose leaf More green goodness.

Kale, lacinato/dinosaur Ha! Finally some kale. (I know that’s what you have been saying recently.)

Cilantro A little more invigorating cilantro; take it beyond salsas!

Thyme A staple for savory gravies; if you can’t eat it all fresh, put in very low heat oven (150-200F) and then turn off and let dry overnight.

Sage Fresh or dried/rubbed, sage is a unique and soothing herb. Also easy to dry and save.

Garlic scapes We didn’t put these on the top of your box for fear of spooking you with “Snake!” A great little fresh garlic taste for your cooking and salads. Chop and enjoy.

Recipes for your consideration

Fellow CSA member, JQ, taught me a WONDERFUL way to make salads on-the-go, preparing ahead easy-peasy. Salads in a Jar— the concept is apparently “out there” on the web; a quick search found me many websites and blogs.

The key features appear to be:
1) Use a wide-mouth Mason jar; the white multi-use lids are probably most useful.
2) Salad dressing on the bottom, layer on top of that veggies that can tolerate dressing for awhile (like radish, turnip, broccoli, cabbage)
3) Avoid cut tomatoes; too juicy.
4) Put nuts and seeds toward the top, away from dressing.
5) Top it all off with your lettuce.
6) If making several for the week, place a small square of papertowel on top/under lid for moisture control.

To eat, just shake and stir/fluff a little and enjoy.

A couple of blended cilantro sauces to bring the vibrant herb to lunches and dinners.

Cilantro Vinaigrette

½ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp maple syrup or agave syrup or brown rice syrup
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp sea salt
Pinch of ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.

Simple Cilantro Sauce

1 cup cilantro, rough chop
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or seasoned rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ tsp sea salt
1-2 Tbsp water, as needed to thin

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.

Spoon over a beans and rice, pasta, corn and tomato salad, mesclun wraps. Great zest of flavor.
(Both from: The Saucy Vegetarian by Joanne Stepaniak)

What are those crazy curly green things? Garlic scapes are the young flower stalk of developing garlic plants; they are traditionally removed to allow all of the growing energy to go to the garlic bulb. The side benefit is the fresh green garlic taste you get with the scapes. They are crunchy and delicious, fresh or cooked.

White Beans with Garlic Scapes

A simple side dish to accompany any meal.

1 Tbsp olive oil
3-5 garlic scapes, cut ½-1inch lengths
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup cooked/canned white beans, drained
2 Tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh lemon juice

Sauté scapes in oil and sea salt over medium-low heat for about 5min, until tender.

Add beans and parsley, and stir additional 5min until heated thru.

Add lemon juice and serve.

Everyone feel free to add your favorite recipes to the website.

For Your Reading Pleasure

So! Well into the greens eating season, and frankly, almost through it (!), it might be time to refer you to several “local and seasonal eating” recipe books.

A book create by the Madison, WI Community Supported Agiculture Coalition (a community with a VERY well established locally grown food network) is a fun ride thru the alphabet of vegetables. The recipes tend to be fairly simple, relying on the vegetable to headline in a straight-forward manner. And they give you a brief overview of the history of the vegetable and some storage and prep tips.
From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Vegetables

Another good cookbook around the seasonal produce theme guides the reader thru each season with more emphasis on learning to cook, stocking the pantry, and mastering the simple things that make cooking seemingly complex dishes simple. Recipes are richer and more diverse.
Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables by Andrea Chesman

A good little cookbook I received from my sister, tackles the seasonal eating concept from the vegetarian perspective. The author is a restaurateur in Seattle, so the season is a tich off, but the recipes are creative yet on the clean and simple side of the palate.
Local Bounty by Devra Gartenstein

And finally, a cookbook that is still on my wishlist, but looks like my next purchase. EatingWell in Season: The Farmers’ Market Cookbook Copyright 2009 by Eating Well, Inc. Published by The Countryman Press, P.O. Box 748, Woodstock, VT 05091

Farm News

We are just about to kick into high gear with vegetable variety. The summer squash is almost here (soon you will be cursing its existence), green peppers are here (awaiting some color changes), cherry tomatoes are green going on red/yellow/orange, cucumbers are fattening as we speak, carrots are the slowest roots on the planet (but almost), peas are flowering (peppers will beat peas?), beans have escaped the deer (I just jinxed us!), cabbage heads are fattening and beets are popping out of the ground (we did better this year). This week’s box may have been a light leafy experience, but soon you will need your dolly to transport the box indoors.

Happy Independence Day. Spend a beautiful, sunny day outside.

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the vegetables.

Roger and Lara

Online Market is OPEN for Business (Week 27)

Early potatoes are flowering— harbinger of new potato harvest coming up.

Farm Where Life is Good

Life on the Farm (Week 27)

The birds are tweeting and chirping and singing, the sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing, and the bees are in a frenzy gathering their nectar and pollen from all of the bolted (i.e. flowered) early spring brassicas.
(Note the “pollen baskets” full of yellow pollen on both sides of rear legs.)

It’s going to be a beautiful day out in the fields. Other than more rain Friday night making the soil difficult to work and plant, growing is going well here at Farm WLIG.

Our weekly deer story is of a curious yearling venturing into the high tunnel. With all of the string trellising installed, it is a challenge for a biped with a higher order brain to navigate, let alone a quadriped with a flighty brain. We had visions of mass destruction of the tomatoes and cucumbers, as we ran out to ask the youngster to evacuate. Thankfully, it is a happy ending to this week’s deer story. She/he turned and sauntered out (I think they are completely without a startle reflex here in WI.)

The cucumbers are getting fat and sweet peppers are actually starting to turn colors. Soon, very soon!

Herbs headline The Market this week— a version from every culinary corner of the world. And more leafy things.

Ordering will be open from Sunday morning until Monday 8pm. Get your orders in now so harvesting can begin specific to your requests.

Deliveries will be made Wednesday per usual to your chosen Dropsite Location .

Recipes for your consideration

Kale, Lentil, Sausage Skillet

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 package Kielbasa Tofurky-brand sausages, sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Pinch of crushed red pepper, or to taste
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cup lentils, preferably French green
8-12 cups chopped kale leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Add the oil and onion to large skillet and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add water and wine, increase heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add lentils, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, partially covered, for 40 minutes.

Add kale, sage, sausage and salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and kale are tender, about 10 minutes more. Add black pepper to taste.

Adapted from: EatingWell magazine
Gravy Every Day

We eat a lot of gravy…it is a simple one-pan way to make up something flavorful and then just add a protein and top a starch or greens. This recipe is where we start, and modify the herbs as cravings direct.

1 # button mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 Tbsp dried parsley)
5-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp dried, ground sage)
¼-½ tsp fresh ground pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
¼-1 tsp sea salt (if needed)
½ cup wheat flour or cornstarch
¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional, gives robust flavor)
1 cup cold water (1/2 cup margarine, for high fat version)

Sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic in olive oil until onions clear and mushrooms tender. Add wine (if using); allow to evaporate a few minutes.

Add parsley, sage and black pepper.

Add vegetable broth, cover and bring to a light simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add salt if desired.

Mix flour and nutritional yeast with cold water in a container with lid. Shake vigorously to create a thick, pourable paste with no lumps. Add more water as needed.

Alternatively, for high fat version, melt margarine in pan, mix in flour and nutritional yeast. Add more melted margarine as needed to make a paste (roux). Stir over low heat for 2-3min.

Slowly pour paste into simmering broth while stirring constantly with whisk or slotted spoon. Note gravy consistency; stop adding or make up more paste as needed to achieve gravy consistency you prefer.

Did You Know…

“Until 100 years ago, most recipes didn’t call for specific measures.” (From The Science of Good Cooking) Recipes were basically suggestions of ingredients. And since most people had limited repertoires, had learned traditional cooking at the elbow of another cook (another family member or work supervisor), and were limited to (or blessed with) local, seasonal ingredients, meal variety was not what it is today. Considering our dietary dependence on fossil fuel these days, maybe limited variety and local ingredients is something to get back to!

But today we have measuring devices; if you want to be uber-precise, go with weight measuring. Short of that pain-in-the-neck, make sure you have both “dry” measuring cups, “liquid” measuring cups, and measuring spoons to reduce variability. Nowadays, you can find dry measuring cups with the added convenience of 2/3 and ¾ cup; and measuring spoons with 1 ½ Tbsp and drop/smidgen/pinch options too!

To use a dry cup, dip it into your dry ingredient, hold level and sweep the top edge with a flat blade/knife. To use a liquid cup, set it on a level surface and pour your liquid ingredient in while holding your eye at cup-level; fill until the liquid at the center of the cup (not edges) is at the appropriate line. To use measuring spoons for dry ingredients, follow the dry cup dip-and-sweep method. To use measuring spoons for liquid ingredients, hold steady and level and fill to the brim.

Easy conversions for scaling up or down your recipes: 1 Tbsp = 3 tsp and 4 Tbsp = ¼ cup

Produce Subscription Highlights

Anticipated this week for the CSA produce subscription boxes:

Salad turnips
Salad mix
Cucumber (maybe)

Start your meal planning now!

We hope to feed you soon!

Roger and Lara

**If you’d like to stop receiving emails, just jump into your account on the website (, My Account) and scroll to bottom; check appropriate box.

CSA Produce Subscription Distribution-- Week 26

Your box for Week 26!

Farm Where Life is Good

Produce Subscription (Week 26)

Hello everyone! What a beautiful day it was for harvesting today; sun shining, light breeze, no bugs for some reason. We’ll take it!

This past week brought some vigorous weather, didn’t it?! The soil here was pummeled and lots of sand and dirt was kicked up. Make sure you rinse the greens well to pick up where we left off.

Things dried out enough for us to get four hundred row-feet of melons transplanted. We have a plan. This season, we WILL get melons worth putting in the boxes! Since we don’t want to grow using miles and miles of plastic mulch, it is a distinct challenge to get melons that aren’t eaten by soil critters before they are ripe. But we have a plan. (We may come to you for donations of recycled plastic containers. Stay tuned.)

The high tunnel cucumber vines are growing a foot a day. Whew, they like the heat, don’t they!? And the peppers are fast on their heels. I accidentally pulled a baby carrot today (whoops, and had to eat it too), but the first planting of carrots is coming right along. Sure wish they went faster.

More spinach? Try chopping fine and using instead of frozen spinach in a standard spinach dip. I like the fresh version better.

Don’t worry, spinach is slowing down. You still get a pound of it this week, but also you’ll find in your boxes this week the following:

Radish Cherriette & D’Avignon.

Salad turnips See what you think. Let us know. We’ll try for another round in the Fall, hopefully with better pest luck.

Lettuce, iceberg or romaine Iceberg is an art, and we are not iceberg artists. (Romaine for some folks.) We’ll keep trying.

Lettuce, red leaf The last of it that remains after the deer feast.

Broccoli (mini or head)

Vitamin Green Tatsoi Nice crunchy stalks for an Asian coleslaw!

Salad mix It’s good for you, and so very easy. Eat it up.

Spinach, loose leaf The spring spinach beds are slowing down…

Parsley The old staple is here; see recipe below for a flavor-filled condiment.

Cilantro Yeaaaah! Finally! My other favorite herb. Chipotle move over…

And Chives The standby seasoner until onions and garlic make a showing.

Recipes for your consideration

Navajo Fry Bread Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice

I was introduced to fry bread at a Pow Wow in CA while dating a native American young man in college (don’t tell Rog). Pow Wows are wonderful community experiences. And the food was great! This bread (tho not that healthy!) can be served simply with honey atop, or serves as a great receptacle to create Navajo tacos. (Make ’em big enough to accept your fillings! “Cilantro Rice”— THE best base for a Fry Bread Taco!)

Navajo Fry Bread
4 cup soft wheat flour
1 cup water
1 cup soymilk
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1 cup canola oil, more as needed to fry

Mix flour, water, soymilk, baking soda and salt together until sticky dough formed. Let sit 30min.

With well floured hands, break off 2" lumps and shape into balls. Don’t do a lot of kneading. Roll out into “rounds” with rolling pin, or pat/stretch to form a thin “round”. Sprinkle flour as needed.

Heat oil in heavy (cast iron) skillet or electric skillet (approx 350-375F). Oil should be approx 1" deep.

Gently lay round in oil and press down with spoon to submerge a bit. Cook until golden and turn carefully. Remove when both sides golden brown. Set on papertowels to drain.
From Cooking with the (Grateful) Dead: Recipes and Stories from Fans on the Road

Cilantro Lime Rice
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup long grain white rice (preferably basmati)
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ lime, juiced
½ tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped fine

Sauté rice in oil in heavy skillet or large pot until starting to become translucent; stir/shake frequently.

Add water and bay leaf, and bring to a boil.

Turn heat to low and cover. Cook 20min, until water absorbed.

Simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

Remove from heat, and let sit 15min.

Transfer rice to large mixing bowl.

Mix salt and lime juice in small bowl; pour over rice and fold it into rice thoroughly.

Add in cilantro, and toss well to mix.

To turn this adventure into a full-fledged taco, make like Chipotle and add chopped lettuce, salsa, guacamole, black beans and you are set. Fold and go!

Mesclun Wrap (gluten-free)

While trying to eat gluten-free for a while, I discovered Brown Rice Tortillas (Food for Life, at the co-op type stores) and have been playing with them a bit. I have come to learn that I like them MORE than flour tortillas for wraps. And now that it is mesclun season (that’s “salad mix” to you and me), I have partaken in the following recipe for lunch just about every day I am home. (And then I saw an actual recipe in the Grateful Dead recipe book (see above); go figure.)

Brown rice tortilla (Food for Life brand)
Mozzarella-style Daiya cheeze
Garlic powder
Mesclun (i.e. salad mix, spring greens, etc.)
Salad dressing

To assemble:
Preheat oven 400F. Place tortilla on baking sheet, sprinkle single layer of Daiya shredded cheeze and then lightly sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake 8-10min. (This is key; I have tried microwave too and it is a complete failure. Baking it is.)

Remove from oven, pile a huge pile of mesclun on the tortilla, drizzle with salad dressing, fold over and hang on! (The more mesclun you can cram in the better, but you won’t be able to put it down or everything will fall apart!)

Parsley Sauce with Breadcrumbs

1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 cup packed parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. capers, drained
1 tbsp. pine nuts or walnuts
10 pitted green or Calmata olives, chopped
2 clove garlic, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Stir together bread crumbs and vinegar in a bowl; set aside. Pulse parsley, oil, capers, nuts, olives, and garlic in a food processor until smooth; stir into bread crumb mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Use as a pate-like recipe to top fresh veggie finger-food, or as a bright flavoring for a simply prepared protein.

Everyone feel free to add your favorite recipes to the website.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Living the Good Life: How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World by Helen and Scott Nearing

My parents gave me this book (their copy dated 1971) well after we had moved here and named our little piece-of-perfect WI. Irony indeed. Then I read the book and wished I had had the opportunity to meet the Nearings. Since reading their books (they have published several), I find that their names come up often in various circles. I think many people learned from them over the years.

This book is a nice introduction to the Nearings and an easy read. In some ways they were wacky, in others quite omniscient. See what you think (if you can find a copy thru a used-book website.)

Farm News

Caught in the act! (Which one ? )

Ya’ll have heard of the Razz Deer Dance. Well, Rog has his own version, and he was gracious enough to display it for the trail camera we have out in the fields. Three quick shots to catch the action!

Bonus: If someone finds a purple icicle radish in their bunch, they get a surprise next week! Just send a photo for proof to Happy radishes!

Remember to return your box for pickup next week.

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the vegetables.

Roger and Lara

Online Market is OPEN for Business (Week 26)

The First Cucumber of the Season! Get your cucumber tastebuds reved up.

Farm Where Life is Good

Life on the Farm (Week 26)

We were pretty jazzed last night while trellising and pruning tomatoes and cucumbers. Fruit on the vines! And peppers, in the same high tunnel, with pint-sized peppers. They are coming right along; soon, soon. And we were able to work right alongside a beautiful bumble who had found the bounty in the high tunnel; you can hear those gals a mile away! The perfect tomato pollinator.

Salad turnip are another story. These crisp, little, sweet, pearly white beauties took quite a hit from pests due to repeated row cover blow-off with storms. Major crop failure was noted last week during harvest; much exclaiming was heard. We are hopefully saving a handful for CSA produce subscription folks to try, then they will return in Fall for all.

The weather brought 3 more hard storms to the Farm; heavy winds Friday/Saturday and lots of water. The soil has sent up a white flag for the week. We are hard pressed to get any transplants or seeds in.

But on the flip side, lots of warmth and moisture means growing! Weeds or crops, they both love the temps and water. Friday was an adventure in finding the carrot seedlings amongst the tomato-volunteer seedlings from last year— thousands of them!

In the Market, you will find similar springtime items— Salad mix, spinach, lettuce, radish, mints, herbs. The hanging flower baskets are doing their job in the high tunnel, but can always brighten a new home.

Ordering will be open from Sunday morning until Monday 8pm. Get your orders in now so harvesting can begin specific to your requests.

Deliveries will be made Wednesday per usual to your chosen Dropsite Location .

Recipes for your consideration

Gluten-free Double Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

1 cup coconut oil
1 ¼ cup evaporated cane juice
1/3 cup homemade applesauce (see below) or store-bought unsweetened applesauce
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed or alkalized)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2-4 Tbsp minced peppermint leaves
1 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
¼ cup flax meal
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
1 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix together oil, evaporated cane juice, applesauce, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and mint in one bowl. In second bowl, whisk together flour, flax, baking soda, and xanthan gum. Using rubber spatula, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine until dough is formed. Gently fold in the chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Using a melon baller, scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing portions 1 inch apart. Gently press each with the heel of your hand to help them spread. Bake the cookies on a center rack for 14min, rotating sheet 180 degrees after 9min. (Finished cookies will be crisp on the edge and soft in the center.

Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 10min, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely before covering. Store in airtight container at room temp up to 3 days.

Homemade applesauce:
Step 1, Bake ’em—
2 lbs peeled, cored, diced 1" apples of the tart variety (Granny Smith or ½:1/2 with Pink Lady)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
½ cup agave nectar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Toss all together in a bowl until well coated. Spread evenly on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325F for 35min, rotate baking sheet 180 degrees at 20min for even roasting. Remove and let sit 30min.

Step 2, Blend ’em—
Roasted apples
¼ cup agave nectar
1 cup hot water

Place all in food processor or blender; blend until smooth.
And an Everything Peashoots from Britian website suggestion from KAH. I guess the Brits are nutty for peashoots!

Did You Know…

Not all fruits and vegetables are stored the same way, ideally.

Cornell put together a nice article with chart that helps us understand the differences.

And to take it a step further into how produce takes a turn for the worse, here is an article that talks a little bit about how produce breathes (i.e. respires) and the gas/hormone they give off that influences themselves and others near them.

A FarmWLIG member has reviewed the Biofresh Bags and glows about them. Other similar products are: Clearly Fresh , Peak Fresh , Debbie Meyer , Evert Fresh, Ethylene Gas Guardian, Extra Life.

Produce Subscription Highlights

Anticipated this week for the CSA produce subscription boxes:

Salad turnips (maybe a handful)
Head lettuce
Salad mix
Tatsoi (Vitamin Green)
Cilantro (maybe)
Pea shoots (maybe)

Start your meal planning now!

We hope to feed you soon!

Roger and Lara

**If you’d like to stop receiving emails, just jump into your account on the website (, My Account) and scroll to bottom; check appropriate box.

CSA Produce Distribution-- Week 25

Your box for Week 25!

Farm Where Life is Good

Produce Subscription (Week 25)

It was a beautiful, perfect harvest day today, with slight breeze, 70 degree temps and on-off clouds and sun; wish you were here (for the spinach!) Ok, enough about the spinach. Wait, another deer story, and it relates to spinach. I was bent over harvesting spinach—-

Razz’ view of the spinach

(just so you know, every little bitty leaf is individually harvested with tender loving care; well by pound number 30 I don’t know about the “love part”)—-ok, back to the deer story, yes another one—- I am quietly harvesting spinach (not a loud job in general) when I happen to look up and there is a yearling deer 2 beds (that’s 72 inches to you and me) over from me eating, yes EATING, our/your lettuce!!!!! I stood up straight. He looked at me, chewing. I said, “What do you think you are doing?” He didn’t answer, just bent and took another bite. Another bite! I hopped one bed and that got his attention— a little tail flick. I hopped another bed and just about slapped him on the rump before he turned and sauntered, SAUNTERED mind you, 10ft away. I did a minor Razz deer dance (I figured I needed to stretch a little anyway from the spinach harvesting for the past 2hrs) but there he stood. So, off I went, walking him out of the production fields. I tell ya, these young men.

Spinach, spinach everywhere.
How To Freeze your Spinach:
Start a very large pot of water to boil.
Fill a very large bowl with ½ water and ½ ice cubes.
Place a metal colander atop and cover with lid.
When boiling rapidly, fill colander with washed spinach leaves and cover.
Set timer for 90 seconds…don’t walk away or you’ll have spinach mush.
When time’s up, remove lid and plunge colander into ice water for 60 seconds.
Remove and drip dry for a few minutes.
Remove in handfuls and squeeze well.
Place in a pile on cutting board.
Chop as fine as you like.
Place in freezer bags in portions that are logical to your intended use. (Think spinach dip that calls for one of those blocks of frozen spinach.)
Freeze well. And enjoy spinach year-round!

Spinach IS top billing this week; along with a pound of that green superfood, you’ll find in your boxes this week the following:

Radish A little cherry bomb, called “Cherriette”.

Lettuce, romaine More salad and sandwich crunch!

Broccoli (mini or head) Ok, so the heads are small too. A persnickety little veggie to grow!

Boc Choi (black summer) Is boc choi the new “kale joke” for this CSA?

Baby braising greens Quicker and easier into the hot pan.

Pea shoots The Tea House introduced us to these wonders…see what you think.

Spinach, loose leaf If you are overflowing, consider prepping for spinach dip come 4th of July (see above)

Dill This little sprig is early dill; Razz’ favorite herb (showing Scandinavian heritage!)

Oregano Another early herb, perennial this time…made it thru the snow and cold. Visit Italy this week.

Recipes for your consideration

Everyone feel free to add your favorite recipes to the *website. The more the merrier; it should be pretty self-explanatory to enter them. KAH had an addition she shared with the group , and I put it on the website for ya’ll.

Pea shoots come but once a year. I never knew they existed until one evening I was introduced to them by MP while eating take out from The Tea House in St. Paul (great restaurant, by the way). They were simply done. And the taste— well it’s first the texture of greens and then “pea flavor” comes thru. Very odd. Very delicious.

Sauteed Pea Shoots
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
¼# washed, rough chopped pea shoots
1 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed/minced

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add pea shoots, soy sauce and garlic. Cover and cook for 3-5 min, until pea shoots are well wilted but still retain a bright green color. Serve immediately.

Dill in salad; perfect combo. This dressing recipe packs it all.

Dill-Dijon Dressing
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh dill

Combine all ingredients in small bowl; whisk together until well emulsified.

Here’s a wonderful way to use up those herbs in combination. And fresh bread! Whew, nothing better. (a little tedious, but if you have a bread machine, toss it all in on “dough” setting and then just pat out your dough, let it rise and bake that impressive aroma right into your home.) Next time you see Roger, ask him what he calls this bread.

Herbed Focaccia
1 package (1 Tbsp) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional for the loaves
2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
Course sea salt

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, 1/2 cup of the warm water, and 1 cup of the flour. Sprinkle the remaining flour on top of the mixture and do not stir. Allow the yeast mixture to rise until it rises up through the flour, 30 to 60 minutes.

Add the remaining warm water, olive oil, salt, and the herbs, stirring to combine. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. It should be very soft and a little bit sticky. Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, coating the dough well with additional olive oil. Allow to rise until double in volume.

Punch the dough down and divide into two equal pieces. Shape into balls and place on heavily floured surface at least 6 inches apart. Brush the tops with olive oil and allow to rise until doubled in volume.

Stretch and shape each ball into a 10-inch disk and place on a heavy baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Sprinkle with course sea salt. Bake in a preheated 450F oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes two 10-inch loaves, to serve 6 to 8.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water by Kathleen Dean Moore

This is a collection of short essays with the central theme of the title, but generally nature writing very well done. It is a book I pick up and read every now and again. The stories are simple, real and a pleasure to engage. An escape from the hectic nature of everyday life— into just plain nature. Enjoy.

Farm News

What a happy sight; our gold is in those fields!

It’s late on a Tuesday night; another full day of harvesting is packed and chilling in the cooler. Growing is going fairly well. Planting is (somewhat) on schedule; melons and winter squash hardening off outside the greenhouse and another round of salad mix is seeded in. More lettuce and broccoli is being started in the basement. Weeds are out of control and low on the priority list. Gotta move them up a bit before they consume us!

We are happy to be growing some good food.

Everyone be careful now with the boxes! Open gently; return for pickup next week.

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the vegetables.

Roger and Lara

Online market is OPEN for business-- Week 25

Only half done with the tomato mulching & trellising. Drat!

Farm Where Life is Good

Life on the Farm (Week 25)

It’s a broken record out here at Farm WLIG; deer, deer, deer. Someone snuck in and decimated 100 head of lettuce the night before last. What a sad sight; they eat the heart of the head and leave a “bowl” of outside leaves as evidence.

On the bright side, the high tunnel tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are doing wonderfully. We spent yesterday “indoors”, with the rain pounding the plastic roof, installing the twine/spool trellis system for the tomatoes and cucumbers. We train them up the twine and as they reach the 10ft limit, lower the spool of twine down and lean the plant to the side. Ya’ll better be tomato fans! In the high tunnel, we have 4 cherry varieties, 2 heirloom varieties, a standard red slicer and a meaty paste variety. Get your taste buds limbered up for the taste testing.

In the Market, you will find more leafy items— lettuce, braising greens, mints, herbs. Get your vitamins while they last! The hanging flower baskets are blooming and looking beautiful as they attract pollinators to the not-yet-ready tomatoes/cucumbers/peppers.

Ordering will be open from Sunday morning until Monday 8pm. Get your orders in now so harvesting can begin specific to your requests.

Deliveries will be made Wednesday per usual to your chosen Dropsite Location .

Recipes for your consideration

Green Cheeze and Mac
Another “hide them in plain sight” recipe for getting your greens! An elegant compromise for kids and adults alike. This creamy sauce is great if you just want to make creamed spinach too, sans pasta. Raw cashews are great to have around the house for just such rich recipes (high-ish fat content, but no cholesterol!)

10 oz noodles (elbow mac, fusilli, small shells, other small noodle)
4 cups greens, rough chopped (spinach, mustard, arugula, dandelion, etc.)
3/4 cup raw cashews (find in the “bulk” section of Co-op type stores; keep in the fridge for quick creamy recipes)
2 ½ cup water
5 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (again, find in bulk section)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp garlic granules/powder (make it yourself in the Fall)
1 ½ tsp onion granules/powder (another make-it-yourself in the Fall)
1 ¼ tsp smoked paprika (if you don’t like the smoky taste, use all sweet/regular paprika)
1 ¼ sea salt
½ tsp sweet paprika (another make-it-yourself, in the Summer; THE best)
1 Tbsp margarine (Earth Balance is best)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

Bring a large pot of water to boil. While that is starting, rough chop your greens; rinse and spin in a salad spinner. Add pasta to boiling water and set timer for time according to directions minus 1 minute. Add greens for that last minute of cook-time.

When time’s up, drain well and return to large pot; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, put cashews and water in blender. Start slow and wean up to high speed. Blend until it is pure cream, no pieces of nut. (Time depends on blender power.)

While that is blending, measure out remaining dry ingredients (5 Tbsp nutritional yeast, cornstarch, flour, garlic, onion, salt, paprika x2). Once cashew cream is well on its way, add to blender and mix well.

Transfer to sauce pan and heat over medium heat, whisking continuously. Once simmering, reduce to low heat and whisk 3-5min until thickened.

Pour over greens and pasta and fold in to cover/distribute well. Add margarine and last Tbsp nutritional yeast and stir well. Salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot/immediately.
(Adapted from Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food for the Body and Soul)

Garlic Dill Bread
Quite easy to make and bake, and oh, the flavor. Dill is my favorite herb; this bread does it justice.

3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or 2c whole wheat + 1c AP flour)
2 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
¾ tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or 2 tsp dried dill)
12 oz beer, room temp (use a microbrew with rich flavor)
2 garlic cloves, minced/pressed

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9×5? baking pan.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, dill. Slowly add beer and stir to a sticky mass. Stir in garlic.

Spread dough into pan. Bake 45-50 min or until golden brown and tester in center comes out clean.

Remove and cool for 10-15min. Turn bread out from pan and cool 10-15min. Serve warm with a good olive oil for drizzling/dipping.
(From Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food for the Body and Soul)

Did You Know…

you can eat the flowers too! Salad presentation (and flavor) can be enhanced with a splash of color. Get the dinner party talking and exclaiming with the following additions to your salads.

1) Nasturtium: most often in the orange/red family, these flowers will add a dash of pepper-flavor to your salads and a bright bold color contrast. The plants are easy to grow in containers (such as these FarmWLIG baskets) and in your landscape or garden. The seeds (after the flowers are gone) can also be pickled like capers, if you are a fan.

2) Viola: a huge variety of colors, these flowers offer a hint of wintergreen or mint. Their pretty little flower faces dress up any salad beautifully. They are easy to grow and will self-seed to come back year after year.

3) Borage: one of the bees absolute favorites! This entire plant smells of cucumbers; the flowers are either blue or white and the leaves are pale, fuzzy green. Plants can get quite large and make a wonderful landscape addition to feed the bees and scent the night air.

4) And of course, the herb flowers: you have been introduced to the chive flowers, but thyme, basil, dill, arugula all put up tiny flower petals that give a hint of flavor and a sprinkling of color to your salads. So when that herb plant “bolts”, don’t give up on it. Use it!

Produce Subscription Highlights

Anticipated this week for the CSA subscription boxes:

Salad turnips
Head lettuce
Baby braising greens
Boc choi
Broccoli sampling
Pea shoots

Start your meal planning now!

We hope to feed you soon!

Roger and Lara

**If you’d like to stop receiving emails, just jump into your account on the website (, My Account) and scroll to bottom; check appropriate box.

CSA Produce Subscription Distribution-- Week 24

Your box for Week 24!

Farm Where Life is Good

Produce Subscription (Week 24)

We have decided winter is gone for the year! Yesterday put away the Carhart jacket/coveralls and today brought out the mosquito shirt/hood. Whew! The mosquitoes are hungry when they first hatch.

Very sorry about the lack of direction for some folks on pick up locations last week. I uploaded the newsletter/email before it was finished. The actual final version (on the website) did offer instruction but not much help; so sorry for the confusion. Hopefully this week is smoother for ya’ll. Dropsite Location Details

Welcome market shoppers! Enjoy your veggies and flowers this week.

More Green Power! The weather is good for the leafy greens, so in your boxes this week you’ll find the following:

Radish They are getting a little sassy as the temperatures warm!

Lettuce, red leaf Delicate leaves need a light dressing.

Lettuce, romaine Crisp and crunchy, bright green and beautiful.

Boc Choi (black summer) Yes, boc choi; you will come to love.

Braising greens triplets Check out the risotto recipe below— perfect!

Salad mix WLIG original

Spinach, loose leaf Keep it coming…

Chives Full flower now! Garlic chives are on the horizon, for a little twist.

Thyme The thyme needs a little time, but here is a little sprig for a nice creamy gravy.

And a sweet treat gift from the The Four Suns maple crew— Maple Sugar. Addictive flavor. I use a zester or grater to scratch out my daily serving over oatmeal or in tea/coffee or whatever needs a rich, bold, local sweetener.

The Four Suns
(Anderson, Hansen, Paulson, Rasmussen)
Now, don’t look too closely; yes, there is a cigar in Razz’ mouth, well in all four mouths. But I didn’t inhale; actually I didn’t even light it, and I spit and gagged afterwards for good measure. Yuck! Oh, and that is our new wood cooker; big flat pan goes on top, and we cook 24/7 until it is all done!

Recipes for your consideration

Your chives would go nicely in the following recipe. Sourdough starter is easy to keep and gives a nice variety to bread products made at home.

Or dry your chives for later use when local onions are here, and you have sourced and started your sourdough starter!

How To Dry Your Chives:
Chop into ¼" pieces.
Oven drying— Spread thinly on cookie sheet; set oven for as low as possible (~140F), prop door open slightly, dry for 1hr, turn off heat, open door to cool slightly, then close door overnight.
Dehydrator drying— Spread thinly on rack; set temperature for 95F and dry until brittle (approx 6-8hrs)
Store well dried chives in sealed jar (add one of those dehydrating packs that come in your vitamin bottles.)

Carmalized onion sourdough biscuits
1 Tbsp margarine
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ cup cold margarine
3 Tbsp chives
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed

Combine margarine, onion, maple syrup in pan over low-medium heat. Cook covered 30min, stirring every 5min, until caramelized. Cool and refrigerate until well chilled.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Work margarine into flour until uneven crumbles. Toss in chopped chives and caramelized onions. Cut in sourdough starter until dough cohesive.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and fold on itself 5-6 times until it comes together. Pat into 1" thick disk. Cut w/ 2 ½" biscuit cutter; pat together scraps and keep cutting.

Melt 2 Tbsp margarine and paint top of biscuits for add’l golden color. (optional)

Bake biscuits on parchment/cookie sheet @ 425F for 15-18min until just turning golden.

A rib-sticking, hearty meal comes out of this risotto recipe. Greens, hiding in plain sight. If you want to make a main course of this recipe, consider doubling and adding a protein (Italian sausage, Tofurky-brand, diced is oh-so-nice!)

Greens risotto

1 tsp sea salt
1 cup cooked, drained greens (mustard, spinach, kale, chard, wild greens (nettles, dandelions, lamb’s quarter))
Note: This will be a considerably larger volume of fresh greens!
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, minced (or chives, green onion, regular onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio risotto rice
2 to 4 cups vegetable stock/broth, divided
½ cup dry white wine (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp margarine

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a spoonful of salt.

2. Put the greens into the boiling water. Stir the greens and let boil for about 3-5

3. Remove the greens with a skimmer or tongs and immediately dump them into a big bowl of ice water. Once the greens are cool, drain them in a colander.

4. Roll up the greens in a cloth or tea towel. Twist one end of the cloth one way, then the other end of the cloth the other (like a candy wrapper) and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.

5. Chop the greens finely (don’t use a food processor, or you will get mush). The finer you chop, the smoother your risotto will be. Remove any stray stems.

6. Heat olive oil in a large saucier or heavy pot over medium-high heat; add the shallot. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.

7. Add the garlic and the rice and stir to combine. Stirring constantly, cook everything for a minute or so or until all the rice is well coated with margarine.

8. Stir 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of the vegetable stock into the rice and increase heat to high. When the rice starts boiling strongly, turn down the heat to medium and stir often, at least every minute or so, until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat with a second cup of stock.

9. When the second cup is absorbed, add the greens and the third cup of stock. If using store-bought broth, switch to water for this third cup—otherwise your risotto could become too salty. Stir well to combine. Keep stirring constantly to develop the creaminess in the risotto and to distribute the greens evenly. Let the stock absorb well. Add white wine and allow to absorb, stir well.

10. Add additional salt, if desired. The risotto may need another full cup of stock or water, as you want the dish to be loose, not firm (and you will need at least a little more stock to loosen the risotto for the nutritional yeast).

11. Add the final tablespoon of margarine as well as the nutritional yeast. Stir everything well and let the margarine and nutritional yeast melt in the risotto for about 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often. Serve immediately.
(From Organic Gardening website)

For Your Reading Pleasure

If you are wondering why you get red greens and (in the future) purple cauliflower and rainbow carrots and striped tomatoes and purple beans, the article below (tagged by my dad for me) is one of the reasons. The other is that they are just fun to grow / pick / cook / eat.

Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

I have heard rumor from a friend about purple sweet corn (haven’t met it before), so maybe next year.

Farm News

The deer are settling into the nightly ritual of munching, getting chased, and then having a stern talking-to about staying away. They came down to the washing shed this evening while we were packing salad mix; Rog said they preferred their salad greens washed. I wish the fencing contractors would return our calls; why is it that when you want to hire a job, no one wants the work? So much for a recession! We have plans for an 8ft fence encircling the production fields; as you can glean, deer pressure it just too high. We have become known as the salad bowl of the valley! So if you are a spinach-phile, it is only a matter of time before they find the spinach. You had better get your sleeping bag, headlamp and a fog horn and get out here!

Not sure what is on the horizon for the next few weeks. The weather has put our best laid plans into shambles! Ce la farming, I suppose. Soil too wet for bed prep and direct seeding. Temperatures were too chilly for hot weather transplants. Broccoli is being odd, some bolting already (flowering) and some not even starting the head-stage. Kale is coming tho; don’t everyone jump thru the screen at once now. Everyone will get their share!

You didn’t meet The Machine last week (due to my web uploading error), so here he is in the onions last week. No one stops The Machine!

The Machine!

Everyone be careful now with the boxes! Open gently; return for pickup next week.

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the vegetables.

We hope to feed you soon!

Roger and Lara

Online Market is OPEN for business-- Week 24

525 pepper plants (right) & 1200ft of potatoes (left)— Whew!

Farm Where Life is Good

Life on the Farm (Week 24)

We almost had 2 new pets join the family last night. It was 6pm, we were planting peppers, dogs were sleeping along the field margin, Rog whispered “Look over your shoulder.”, I looked and 2 yearling deer were 20ft from us and still coming! I exclaimed, dogs awoke just as surprised.
Dazs woofed.

And Sage took a couple step toward the youngsters (WHO DIDN"T RUN).

Sage stood there confused, and they kept coming all curious-like! I finally whooped and hollared and waved my arms (did the “Razz Deer Dance” No photo available.)

It took awhile, but they finally found some flight instinct and turned. Then it took 5 minutes to scoot them around the field and into the woods. Odd, and life-threatening if they don’t learn a little healthy fear of people and dogs! Especially a fear of Razz since they were probably the little twirps who munched the beautiful lettuce heads awaiting harvest this week!

The green, leafy things are enjoying the mild temps and this nice early morning soaking we are getting. The pepper transplants are especially liking the soaking! Today looks like a good indoor seeding and outdoor weeding day since the beds are too wet to plant.

In the Market, you will find some tangy greens for cooking and salad fixings for your lunches. Also available are a few vegetable transplants; these are all 8-10wk old seed-starts that will come “bare rooted” and in need of immediate planting into your gardens. We also have a small selection of hanging flower baskets to add some colorful flair to the mix.

Ordering will be open from Sunday morning until Monday 8pm. Get your orders in now so harvesting can begin specific to your requests.

Deliveries will be made Wednesday per usual to your chosen Dropsite Location .

Recipes for your consideration

Lentils and Greens
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 ½ cup sliced/chopped morel, cremini or portobella
1c brown lentils
7-8c broth
1 bay leaf
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp red pepper (optional)
3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced
4 cup greens (spinach, mustard, boc choi, kale, chard)
2 tbsp dry sherry (optional)

In soup pot, sauté oil, onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms until tender. Stir in lentils, broth, herbs/spices and garlic. Boil, reduce heat and simmer 20min until lentils tender.

Remove bay leaf. Puree half of soup and return to pot. Adjust consistency with add’l broth. Stir in spinach and sherry. Season w/ salt and pepper to taste.

Boc Choi Slaw

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp white or black sesame seeds
6 cups very thinly sliced bok choi (about a 1-pound head, trimmed)
2 medium carrots, shredded
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Whisk first 6 ingredients together. Pour over vegetables and toss. Let sit in refrigerator 2-3hrs prior to serving.

Did You Know…

It’s easy to eat more vegetables by hiding them in plain sight!

Smoothies: It may look funny, but 2 handfuls of spinach, kale, or boc choi with 2 sprigs of parsley well blended in a fruit smoothie will go down pretty easily! Add a date and/or a ¼ of a ripe banana for nice sweet taste.

Bean stews: Creamy soups made with beans (kidney, white, lentil, black) are an easy place to pile loads of vegetables; they add to the complex, rich flavor. Even the greens go down easier in a stew.

Stir fry: A large pan, a little oil, high heat and a pile of vegetables. Change up the 1) oil choice, 2) protein choice, and 3) seasoning choice to make it “new” every time. You can do the typical Asian style (soy sauce, ginger), but Italian (oregano/basil/garlic) and Indian (curries) and Thai (coconut, mint) are all open to this quick-meal cooking strategy.

Produce Subscription Highlights

Anticipated this week for the CSA subscription boxes:

Salad turnips (maybe)
Head lettuce
Asian green triplet
Boc choi
Pea shoots! (maybe)
And a sweet surprise…

Start your meal planning now!

We hope to feed you soon!

Roger and Lara

**If you’d like to stop receiving emails, just jump into your account on the website (, My Account) and scroll to bottom; check appropriate box.

CSA Produce Subscription Distribution-- Week 23

Your box for Week 23!

Farm Where Life is Good

Produce Subscription (Week 23)

Welcome to the first distribution for seasonal CSA subscribers! We are proud to be handing off 9# of sassy greens, crunchy roots and loads of spinach this first week of June.

What an odd spring it has been; I was cruising thru the website of our local farming colleagues and laughed out loud as each one came on the screen. We ALL had the EXACT same comments about the weather and growing and hoping for some help from Mother Nature. Everyone got the same cards this year.

We know that vegetables that are willing to grow in the Great White North in the spring are not common fare for everyone. But they do have a lot to offer— tons of vitamins (one is even named Vitamin Green), flavor complexity, and accommodating functionality in cooking. From simple braising in a hot skillet to chopped and stewed in a wonderful lentil soup, greens of various denominations can ease into your culinary repertoire fairly easily. So don’t be put off!

And don’t be put off by the “lacey” presentation of the various salad greens, mustards and boc choi’s. I’ll divide blame relatively equally between the weather and the pests. The spring storms we have had brought whopping winds thru the fields and took down the row covers faster then we could put them back up, and thus, the flea beetles were blessed with the feast of the Cole Crops. Integrated pest management (not pesticides) will get us to the non-lacey varieties in time; we promise.

Green Power! In your boxes this week you’ll find the following:

Radish Add some crunch to those salads; or sprinkle a little sea salt and munch!

Green onion Provided a pretty big handful, but they store well and get us an early onion for cooking.

Chives Stick them in a small vase, and the flowers might open for you.

Boc Choi (2x mei qing choi) I’ve grown baby boc choi, but never have had them HAVE babies; Mei Qing wanted to be harvested 2 wks ago!

Boc Choi (black summer) Don’t like the name, but pretty little thing.

Braising greens triplets Southern giant curled mustard, Vitamin Green, Red Splendor mizuna

Salad mix WLIG original

Spinach, loose leaf Or, spinach on steroids!

Rhubarb Sorry, stems were all too long for the boxes so had to do some chopping to fit.

Recipes for your consideration

My all time favorite way to eat various greens (boc choi, mustard/mizuna, spinach, in order of preference) is the following:

In a skillet, simmer the protein of your choice (mine is Wildwood extra firm tofu, sliced in to ½ inch slabs) in the barbeque sauce of your choice (mine is a recipe I canned in 2011 and can probably never repeat!) for 10-15min. If you are using a meat product, cook it sufficiently.

Rough chop a pile of greens, wash and let drip dry a bit (don’t spin dry).
Heat a large skillet to medium, add toasted sesame oil and toss in the greens (sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt if you like.) Cover with lid. Set timer to 1-2 minutes; don’t overcook. (Overcooked greens are blah.) You want them to maintain a bright green color and not dissolve into a pile of mush.

Use the greens as a base (a pile in the middle of your plate) for your main, like you would a starch like rice or mashed potatoes. Spoon the barbeque sauce and protein over the greens. Enjoy!

Also check out the Spicy Grits and Greens recipe on the website. Great combo!

And to manage the radishes, try a Simple Radish Salad recipe.

If you are new to working with rhubarb, head on over to The Rhubarb Compendium and see if you can find something to your liking. I am working on a couple of muffin recipes using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free products, so I’ll pass those on via the website when I have thoroughly tested them.

For Your Reading Pleasure

This is a repeater from last year, but I really have to plug this book again. I really think it was one of those pivotal influences for me. Barbara Kingsolver is a wonderful writer, if you haven’t read some of her things. This book takes you thru a year in the life of her family eating locally and seasonally. Her husband joins the book with chapters on the politics of food and her daughter adds flavor with tasty seasonal recipes from their daily bounty. Have a read, worth your time.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle — Barbara Kingsolver

Farm News

Ok, so we are off! Just about one planting of every vegetable/fruit has been started in the basement or planted in the field; more successions are obviously in the future. But, everything is ticking along. The cold nights are a challenge to the little melon starts and pickling cukes (40F Sunday 2am); we hope the high tunnel will be giving an edge to the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers started inside there; next week we hang the trellis strings/reels. Pumpkins (yes, new this year) are plugging along and waves of lettuce mix are sprouting all over field #2. Potatoes are ALL in the ground; we even have a planting of early/new potatoes that started in the high tunnel when it was in position #1. We hope to surprise you with those earlier than typical.

Rog had fun picking 30 pounds of spinach this week; not sure I can talk him into spinach next week. (i.e. it is a tedious harvest to say the least.) Make your bribes to him early.

But I had The Machine working the green onion harvest, so that’s why you have a bundle of those this week. (I didn’t want to stop The Machine!)

The Machine!

Next week we’ll look to open the market with a few things. Greens for sure, cuz ya’ll love them so much. Hanging flower baskets, a few plant starts (leeks, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers). We’ll see how things shape up!

Everyone be careful now with the boxes! Open gently; return for pickup next week. Labels are fussy; we’ll get that solved. And for newbies, go here for Dropsite Location Details.

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the vegetables.

We hope to feed you soon!

Roger and Lara