My Fine Homestead
Newsletter
Spring Share #5. May 25, 2016
In this Issue:
  • Calendar & Announcements 
  • In Your Box 
  • Recipe 
  • On The Farm . . .

Marlee with a radish bouquet.
Previous editions of our newsletter are available at:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Fine-Homestead/145013635612327  

Announcements:

There are a couple spots available for the summer shares. If you haven't signed up yet - don't delay!

This week is the last Spring Share pickup.
Middleton - Today 2-6pm @3417 John Muir Dr
MadisonToday 2:30-7pm @ Fit Moms Transformation Center
Madison - Today 4-7pm @ 2825 Wayland Dr
Spring Green - Sat. 5/28 @ SG Farmers Market, Library Lot

Summer Shares (both Vegetables & Meat, Eggs & Sweet begin the first week of June. Watch for an informational email before the end of the weekend.

Annual Farm Party - Sunday July 31.
 
In Your Box This Week:

Radishes, Shunkyo & table - Shunkyo are long, red Chinese specialty radish with a hot, sweet flavor. Delicious raw or cooked (traditionally used in stir-fry). Cooking removes some of the "hotness."
Salad Turnips - Salad turnips look like white table radishes but aren't. Mild, sweet and crunchy, eat raw, sliced in a salad, or lightly saute in butter. Store like radishes.
Green Head Lettuce
Spinach - The warm weather is causing the spinach to bolt or grow a seed head. You'll notice the leaves are a little thinner and may have a more pointed shape. Flavor is still good though. Simply means we are getting to the end of our spring lettuce crop.
Asparagus - From Spring Run Farm.
Green Garlic - Like green onions in appearance but stronger in flavor. Milder than common garlic. Mellows quite a bit with cooking. Use in any dish that calls for garlic. Cut the roots off the ends and slice into thin rounds or dice smaller if you prefer. You can cut up the shaft until the leaves get tougher. 
  Green garlic & Salad Turnips
  Coming in the next few weeks: mesclun mix (lettuce & greens mix), radishes, turnips, asparagus, green garlic, green onions.

We wash all produce before packing it, but you may want to wash it again.
Rhubarb Torte
Crust:

1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup butter

Crumble all together, pack into a 8x8 pan. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Filling:

3 egg yolk (Reserve whites for meringue. If not making meringue, I use the whole egg.)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon orange rind (optional)
1/3 cup cream (or half & half)

Mix together, add 2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb. Bake at 350 degrees F 50-60 minutes until set.

To top with meringue: Beat the 3 reserved egg whites until foamy. Add 6 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Spread over cooled torte and brown for 15 minutes.
I make this for a special morning treat (similar to muffins or quick bread) in the spring. As such, I cut the sugar by 1/4 cup, add an additional egg (it is for breakfast after all!), and skip the meringue. In all honesty, I skip the meringue because I'm terrible at making it! On the couple days I make this - I am the most loved mom and wife.
 
On the farm . . . what's been happening in words and pictures.

Here is a list of things we've been doing: 

  • starting more seeds blocks - summer squash, cucumbers, melons
  • planting lots of potatoes! 
  • transplanting more kohlrabi and cabbage
  • planting seeds directly in the ground for more successions of lettuce, greens, turnips, kale 
  • watering seed flats in the greenhouse, germinating seeds and plants in the gardens
  • hoeing

We've had two farmers markets in Spring Green. The first week we forgot our sign. Even though this is our seventh market season, it seems to take us a couple weeks to get back in the swing of things. There was a nice turnout both days, and we sold all the produce on our table.

Bill has been working on updating our watering system. He had planned to make the pretty basic setup we used last year work for one more year. After using it more intensively this week with the 80 degree days, he determined it isn't good enough. We increased our planting area quite a bit, and the old system won't be able to keep up. A new water pump and pressure tank will be installed in the next week or two which will increase the gallons of water we can pump per minute. Right now we can only run two sprinkler heads at a time. The new equipment will allow us to run many more putting out the same amount of water in a much shorter time. It will be essential during dry times. 

  Marlee brought Morgan to help transplant kale.
View across newly transplanted kale to beds ready for potatoes with necessary pieces of equipment (at least on our farm) in the foreground - the two-wheel tractor, a rake, water hose, and a bike!
As we finish the spring shares we are both excited and nervous for the summer CSA season to start next week. After months of planning, preparing, and members signing up, the first week is upon us. We always spend these days worrying about everything! Will we have enough produce for the first boxes? Have we have forgotten to explain some important information? Will we meet member expectations? While it has been hard to stay out of the fields when the weather has been cooperative for fieldwork, I have spent time at my desk getting organized for the summer shares. We have also switched our email marketing service so I'm learning a new system for creating the newsletter. 

This seems an appropriate time to remind ourselves and all of our members, year-round and seasonal, how much we appreciate your membership in our farm. We are proud to produce nutritious, fresh, local, safe food for you and realize we couldn't make our living doing it without your support. And not just financially. The relationships we develop in person, through email, over the phone, even by handing off boxes feed us emotionally and give us purpose.

As always, Bill and I thank you.

Have a great week,

Stacey