Winter Share # 5
My Fine Homestead Newsletter
1/5/2017
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even the pups are snuggling up
In This Issue:

  1. Announcements
  2. Your Box this Week
  3. Recipe - Fingerling Potatoes with Caramelized Onion and Bacon
  4. Vegetable Spotlight on Microgreens
  5. On the Farm . . .


Announcements

Today is the 5th winter box

Upcoming Winter Share dates (1st & 3rd Thursday of each month) - J anuary 19,
February 3 & 17, March 3 & 17.

Sign up (with a payment) for any of our 2017 shares by January 31 and receive 5% off. www.myfinehomestead.com/csa-shares.

Previous newsletters are on our  website and our  Facebook page .  

?? Questions ?? stacey@myfinehomestead.com   

Your Box
Microgreens - mix of arugula, radish, dill, mustard greens - small bag of greens
Radishes - Alpine (a daikon variety)
Pac Choi - 1 bag This variety has a lighter leaf that I'm using this like a leaf lettuce. The stems can be chopped into small pieces for your salad also or used in a stir fry.
Kale - Toscano or Dinosaur (probably the last of the kale until spring)  
Carrots - 2 lb
Potatoes - 2 lbs - red French Fingerlings, from The Chriestensen Farm These rose colored potatoes have thin, smooth skin and ivory flesh with some pink marbling which stays firm and waxy even when cooked. Their flavor is robust, earthy and buttery flavor, and the entire potato, skin and all is edible. see recipe below Store on your counter in a paper bag for at least a week. They can be stored even longer in the refrigerator however their starch will turn to sugar.
Garlic - 1
Onion - 1 yellow 
Oregano - 1 bunch

our plan for the next box - spinach, pea shoots, carrots, onion, garlic, and more
Fingerling Potatoes with Caramelized Onion and Bacon


2 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 tsp olive oil (divided)

1/2 sweet yellow onion

1 clove of garlic, minced

7-8 fingerling potatoes

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel until cool, then crumble. Remove all but 1 tsp of bacon grease from the pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, once the pan is hot, add the onion slices. Sauté until caramelized, about 20 minutes, making sure to stir frequently. While the onions are caramelizing, par cook the fingerling potatoes in a pot of boiling water over high heat, for about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from water and let cool.

Once the onions are caramelized add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for an additional 60 seconds, stirring constantly, remove from skillet and set aside. Slice the fingerling potatoes in half lengthwise. Add the last 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to the same skillet over medium heat, once hot, add the fingerling potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes then flip, cooking for an additional 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Add the bacon crumbles, onions and garlic to the pan to reheat. Top with fresh chopped parsley and serve. Enjoy.

Vegetable Spotlight on  Microgreens

Frequently called "vegetable confetti," microgreens are young, tender greens that are used to enhance the color, texture, or flavor of salads, or to garnish a wide variety of main dishes. Harvested with the stem, cotyledons (seed leaves), and sometimes the first true leaves attached, they are among a variety of novel salad greens available on the market that are typically distinguished categorically by their size and age.

While they’ve been available for quite some time in health food stores and some specialty farmers markets, microgreens have recently become more widely available in large supermarkets. Their increasing popularity is due partly to their ability to pack a lot of flavor in a small amount, as well as their flexibility in being included in a dish. Mix them to create a small, flavorful and delicately textured salad, or use only one or two greens to give a plate a final touch. Microgreens, in addition to their strong flavors, are also lauded for their health benefits, which can vary depending on the type of microgreen.

 
Bill holding a tray of microgreens.
 

Types

 Microgreens are most commonly harvested from leafy greens such as kale, arugula, beet greens, onions, radish greens, watercress, chard and bok choy and herbs such as cilantro, basil, chervil, parsley and chives. The taste of microgreens depends on the original vegetable. Microgreens have a very strong and concentrated taste of the original vegetable. This means that cilantro microgreens will still taste of cilantro but in a stronger, more vegetal and condensed format. The health benefits of microgreens are similar to those of sprouts; however, the specific nutritional profile for each microgreen depends on the type of plant it comes from originally.

Greens Versus Sprouts

Microgreens differ from sprouts because sprouts are grown only using water, whereas microgreens are grown with soil. Microgreens absorb minerals from the soil as they grow, increasing their nutritional content. Because microgreens undergo more photosynthesis than sprouts, they develop more nutrients. Microgreens are further developed than sprouts and have a slightly higher fiber content.

Nutrients and Health Benefits

The nutritional profile of each microgreen depends greatly on the type of microgreen you are eating. Leafy greens are a good source of beta-carotene as well as iron and calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and chard are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin.


Storage & Eating Ideas

Microgreen will keep for a week or more in a loosely closed plastic bag in your refrigerator. If you wash your microgreens, be sure to dry or spin them out (line the spinning bowl with paper towel so the tiny greens don't get stuck or fall out) before putting back in the fridge.

Microgreens are too tender to cook, but that doesn't limit the ways they can be eaten! Include in vegetable salads, tortillas, pitas, burritos, sandwiches, on burgers, bagels, toast or pizza (add after cooking pizza), garnish eggs of any kind: scrambled, omelet, quiche, deviled, even fried. 

On the Farm . . .
When the summer boxes ended in October, we stepped away from the main growing season and took stock. We thought about what worked, what didn't, and where we want to go from here.

Bill and I  had many conversations that started with, "What if next year we . . ." and "Next year we have to make sure . . ."

Some ideas, like making the Yearly Shares customizable and offering quarterly payments, seemed doable and better. Some, like raising the price for the Meat, Egg & Sweet Shares, seemed necessary to be able to continue offering those products. Some, like Bill and I splitting up to sell at different markets on Saturday, didn't feel right and were forgotten.

By the end of the year our plans began to gel just in time for 2017 shares to go on sale with a discount. W e are excited about the year to come and watch with anticipation as the minutes of light accumulate each day.

We're still harvesting from the greenhouse and growing microgreens - all for winter shares, but in about 6 weeks we'll be starting seeds for summer. So next up - we decide which varieties of vegetables to order. I have a tendency to want some of everything - it all looks so beautiful in the seed catalogs! Bill is more cautious. My dad once said that we made a good match because we have different inclinations evening each other out. (I might argue that all that balancing is exhausting, but fortunately neither of us is getting off the scale anytime soon!)  

So as we keep moving on, we want to point out the main changes we've made.

We lengthened our summer season from 20 weeks to 22. It seemed cleaner to start the first week of June and end the last week of October. It is also more in line with our mission of providing food year-round and means more value for our members.

We are looking to hire a part-time employee or host an apprentice to help with fieldwork. Last year it became clear to us - we need more help.

We have a new software program to help us on the paperwork side of the business. This means less time spent at the desk and more in the fields.

We added more payment options.

Spring Share will now have 4 deliveries instead of 5. This change makes scheduling and pickups more consistent and easier to remember for everyone!

We re-vamped our Yearly Membership - now the base share is vegetable only ( in full or half size) with optional add-ons. The add-on options are: Meat (pastured chicken, turkey, beef), Eggs from our free-range chickens,  Sweet (Maple Syrup, Honey, Vanilla). This change from the all-inclusive Yearly Membership of the past gives members more flexibility.

Some of the share prices have gone up – these include the Yearly, the Every Other Week Half Summer Vegetable, the Full Meat, Eggs & Sweet, and the Winter with Meat, Eggs & Sweet. We made these changes so that prices better reflect our costs with an eye to making the farm financially solvent.

If you'd like to see more information about the shares we offer, visit our website at http://www.myfinehomestead.com/csa-shares .

We appreciate your support of our farm and hope you will consider joining us for 2017. Please let me know if you would like to discuss any of these changes.  You can reach me at stacey@myfinehomestead.com or at 608-588-5153.

Stay warm,

Stacey