Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This Week's CSA Harvest (11/04/13)

Reminder: This week we are distributing vegetable shares. Next week we will be distributing vegetables, eggs, dairy, meat and trout.

The Vegetable Share:
  • Carrots
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Squash (Acorn, Butternut or Buttercup)
  • Parsley
  • Shallots
  • Kale
  • Tokyo Bekana (use like lettuce in green salads)
  • Fennel
  • Garlic

Farm Journal
What a lovely fall it's been here on the farm. October is always a beautiful time of year, but this October seemed somehow more beautiful than most. The entire month appeared to pass in a series of picturesque vignettes, scenes that looked as though they'd been composed for one of those inspirational calendars they give out down at the feed mill. Local farmers have finished combining their corn, and cattle have been turned into the fields to glean what they can from the remaining corn stubble. A neighbor's big, wooly Dorset sheep make quick work of a pile of leftover Halloween pumpkins. Another farmer friend stops by on her way to the butcher to show off the ten fat geese honking noisily in the back of her pickup truck. After school our kids pick apples in the rapidly diminishing autumn light and then run to the fence to share a few with the an appreciative old mare. These ordinary, everyday scenes make all of the hard parts of farm life worth it. Here's hoping that November is just as wonderful!

Have a good week.  --Peg

Ordering Lamb and Thanksgiving Turkeys

In addition to vegetables, we also raise sheep here at our farm in Brodhead. Each fall we sell a limited quantity of lamb by the half. A half consists of approximately 20 to 22 pounds of meat and includes an assortment of loin chops, shoulder roasts, shanks, leg, gyro-spiced lamb brats and ground lamb (sorry, no substitutions). Our sheep are rotationally grazed on grass pastures. Their diet consists of pasture grass, hay, and a small amount of barley. The price for a half is $195.
We will also have pasture-raised certified organic turkeys just in time for Thanksgiving! Rich Lange raises these turkeys on his farm near Platteville. Turkeys will be available in two sizes: small (13-14 lbs ) and large (15-16 lbs). The price is $4.79/lb.

Orders may be placed through our website. There is a $100 deposit for half lamb orders and a $40 deposit for turkeys. Once you've placed your order online, please mail a check for your deposit to Sandhill Family Farms, 16228 Skinner Road, Brodhead, WI, 53520. Lamb and turkey orders will be available for pickup the week of November 18th at the following sites:

Tuesday, Nov 19th
Glenview, 3:00-6:30
Lake Forest 4:00-7:00
Grayslake Farm, 4:00-7:00

Wednesday, Nov 20th
Barrington 4:00-7:00
Thursday, Nov 21st
Oak Park, 4:30-7:00
Grayslake Farm, 4:00-7:00

This Week's Featured Recipes

Carmelized Fennel and Apple Tart
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pie crust (refrigerated or homemade)
3 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
chopped fennel fronds and chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Heat oil over medium heat in large saucepot. Add fennel, shallots and sugar; cook 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Press crust into tart pan; cut off excess dough hanging over edge. Use a fork to poke some holes in the bottom of the crust. Bake 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
In medium bowl, whisk eggs and cream. Spread fennel in bottom of crust. Arrange apple slices on top of fennel. Pour egg mixture over fennel and apples. Sprinkle with chèvre and walnuts. Bake tart for 30 minutes or until eggs are set. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with fennel fronds and parsley.

Creamy Cannellini and Kale Soup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Scant 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
12 ounces cannellini beans (2 cups), picked through and soaked overnight
6 cups water
1 dried bay leaf
1 bunch kale, stems and center ribs removed, leaves sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook shallots and carrots until shallots are just softened, about 5 minutes. Season with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir in minced garlic, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
Drain and rinse cannellini beans. Add to pot with water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Discard bay leaf.

Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth, transferring it to a clean pot as you work. Bring soup to a simmer. Stir in kale and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until kale is tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Next week's harvest (our best guess)... lettuce, rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, leeks, potatoes, cabbage and more!

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