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Our Blog: The Hoot

Posted 10/15/2015 7:39am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

There is a freeze predicted for Saturday and Sunday morning.  There’s a lot for us to do today and tomorrow in preparation for these freezes. Most of what is growing outside in the fields right now are cold hardy, and although the plants will live through a freeze with added protection with row covers the plants will continue to look as they should.  Without the protection, the plants will get beat up and burned.  By keeping the freeze off the leaves of the vegetable, it prevents plant cells from of bursting.  The temperature can get as cold as a freeze and the vegetable will be ok if it is protected, but if the freeze makes it to the leaves the physiologic response is usually ruptured cells and leaf death. 

We’ll be covering lots of greens today and I hope we have enough row cover to cover them all.  The catch is that even though we spend the time and money to cover the vegetables depending on the depth of the cold, it may not be effective. Farming is almost always a gamble of sorts and these moments bring out gray hairs for most of us. Although Trump may disagree with me, I don’t think gambling is a good business plan.  With that said, our plan is to have delicious nutritious vegetables to give all of you for the next couple weeks.  

Enjoy your share.  

Your Farmers,

Chris, Aeros, Garett, Lauren, Krystal, Greg, Jodo, Jessica, Brian and Emily is off on her galvant to the west coast and the southwest, we might get her back next season if she doesn't get hooked on the south west.  We'll cross our fingers!  

In your share this week:

Small:  Beets, Cilantro, Head Lettuce, Parsley, Spinach, Carnival Winter Squash, and Hakurei Salad Turnips

Large:  Beets, Chard, Cilantro, Escarole, Garlic, Head Lettuce, Kale, Parsley, Spinach, Radish, Carnival Winter Squash, and Hakurei Salad Turnips

Recipe of the Week:  For something a little different.  How about pickled beets.  Here is a recipe from In Sonnet's Kitchen


1 bunch beets

 ¼ red onion

sliced 3 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

½ cup water

½ cup apple cider vinegar


1. Chop off the beet greens (if they are still attached).

2. Place the beets in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil.

3.Simmer beets on medium heat for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the skins can be rubbed off with your fingers.

4.To test one, fish one of the beets out of the pot with a pair of tongs and run it under cold water until it’s cool enough to handle. 5.Remove the skins (they should rub off easily using your fingers). 6.Slice beets and add to a jar, along with the onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, water, and apple cider vinegar.

7.Place jar in the refrigerator, marinate overnight and then enjoy the beets!

Note: Beets may be stored for up to a week in the fridge.

Posted 10/8/2015 8:53pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy folks,  

A couple crew members are leaving this month. This time of year is interesting on the farm.  We harvest, distribute vegetables and clean up.  The morning is busy and the afternoon is not.  It’s an ok time for some people to leave.  In the past, we’ve let go of some people in early October to save some money,  but it makes for an extremely busy fall then being short help.  This year we’re holding onto our help a little longer in hopes to circumvent that experience and in exchange work fewer hours a day and less days.  I’m excited to have a slower fall.  It will be our first.  

It’s been a wonderful week!  The weather has been just about perfect. As far as I’m told the harvest dinner was a good time.  The weather couldn’t have been better.  There are a few things I wish I would have mentioned to everyone just before we began the feast.  Although Aeros and I started this farm, we’re clearly not the only ones working here making all of this happen.  We’re grateful for our farm hands and couldn’t do this without them.  I had the opportunity to introduce a couple of neighbors that have helped us in many ways.  Without them we wouldn’t have gotten off the ground. I was so busy at the party that many of these opportunities were overlooked.  It’s ok.  I’ll have my chance again and I likely will not miss it.  For the record I want to thank everyone that has helped us here on the farm.  We’ve come a long way and could only do so with the all the support we’ve received. I, also, want to thank all of you CSA members for supporting our farm.  We certainly couldn’t do it without all of you either.

In your box this week: 

Small: Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Radish, Spicy Greens Bunched (good for braising), Turnips, and Head Lettuce 

Large: Garlic, Ground Cherries, Leeks, Pea Shoots, Potatoes, Radish, Rosemary, Spicy Greens Bunched (good for braising), Turnips, Head Lettuce, Carnival Winter Squash and the last of the summer squash.

Recipes of the week:

Radish Spread

8 oz. cream cheese, softened  

1 tbsp. chopped chives or scallions   

1 tsp. chopped fresh dill  

½ tsp. sea salt  

1-2 tbsp. prepared horseradish, drained (optional)  

1 cup finely chopped, or grated radishes  

Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Serve with crackers or crusty bread (baguettes, sourdough, thin slices of rye). Makes about 2 cups.  

Baked Turnips  From The Farmer's Market Cookbook by Richard Ruben

12 small turnips with leaves still attached

¼ cup of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste  

Preheat oven to 350º

Wash and trim the root base from Turnips.  Discard any leaves that look sorely worn.   Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, covering its edges.  Lat the turnips down, with the stem and leaves folded under the turnip bulb.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Tightly cover the turnips with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.  Serve immediately to complete any dish.



Posted 10/1/2015 8:50am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,

Our fall crops look good.  We harvested broccoli yesterday and the heads were consistently beautiful.  The crew was impressed by some of the heads being quite large.  For me, it was a battle partially victorious. Broccoli is an easy plant to grow.  What is not easy is to get the plant to provide big heads.  I often say that broccoli is one crop in particular that can make a fool of a farmer. It’s difficult for a few reasons. It’s difficult to know if it’s going to perform well based on what you’re seeing.  It’s, also, difficult to know when it’s ready to harvest. It’s very easy to harvest underdeveloped heads when they’re big and the florets are tight and not loose.  We don’t want them too loose though.  Some things to keep in mind are:  Is the size of the plant good, color very dark green, damage on the leaves kept to a minimum… Even after all these factors are considered, broccoli heads can still be small.  I imagine a farmer with tiny broccoli heads in his hands falling to his knees in a sign of defeat screaming towards the sky. Fertilizing broccoli 2 weeks before it’s going to head up seems to help dramatically to secure large heads.  Timing is very important and the strength of the fertilizer is important.   

The ground cherries in your share are wet from rain. Please take them out of the bag and put them on a plate on a counter. We don’t want the husk to get moldy. The husk will dry in no time. Most of the cherries are ready to eat now. FYI The more golden the color of the cherry the sweeter the flavor. If the husk is greenish, leave it for a couple days to ripen to a gold color.  

The green tomatoes are ready to go! They want to ripen so use them in the short term.  

Please RSVP if you’re planning on attending the farm dinner.  There are lots of people coming so we’re planning on having a great time!  We are covering all the bases for food. We’ve been asked if people can contribute food to the event.  For those that can’t resist contributing, please bring a dessert.  

In your share this week:

Small:Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Cilantro, Kale or Chard, Husk Cherries, Green Tomatoes

Large:Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Cilantro, Eggplant, Kale or Chard, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Radish, Spring Mix, Husk Cherries, Green Tomatoes

Enjoy your share!

Your Farmers,

The Who Gang


Posted 9/24/2015 9:48am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Yup.  Potato leek soup is an amazing soup.  No matter how typical this soup is it always makes me happy to indulge. A big spoonful of grass-fed butter and some pea shoots on top makes for a delicious bowl of soup. I suppose if you diced up broccoli and threw it in there it would turn into a creamy broccoli soup instead of potato leek soup.  Sounds great to me!  I’m one for packing in lots of vegetables into one dish.  I’m not one for separating prepared vegetables and tasting them one at a time. I like it all in one spot and I enjoy each spoonful to be large and crammed with a bit of each. It’s true that post cooking I often can’t reflect how the potatoes tasted or the broccoli for that matter. I isolate none of these vegetables when I cook.  This is a flaw in my eating approach.  CSA members often tell me that the broccoli is very good or a market customer may reflect on how a particular item tastes.  As a salesperson I should know my product.  I suppose, though, the goal is to get it in ya. I will, also, say that cooking a casserole style dish with everything jammed into it is an effective method to get children to eat whatever you want them to eat.  It’s not a silver bullet but it’s much easier to get our little boy to eat his greens if they’re pretty well indistinguishable from everything else vs. sitting all alone on his dish. If anyone has a particularly wonderful potato leek soup recipe they’d like to share, we’d be happy to share it with the rest of the CSA.

    I want to remind everyone of the harvest dinner on October 4th from 2-7.  We’d love to have everyone and their families come out to the farm.  Please email with questions if you have them and don’t forget to RSVP with how many adults intend to come.  

In your box this week:

Small:  Broccoli, Cilantro, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Pea Shoots, Potatoes

Large:  Arugula, Broccoli, Cilantro, Garlic, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Pea Shoots, Potatoes, Radish, Winter Squash 1 acorn and 1 spaghetti, Scarlet Queen Turnips

Recipe of the Week:

Leek and Potato Soup From Alice Waters' book The Art of Simple Food (Makes 2 quarts: 4-6 servings)

Trim off the root end and the tough upper greens from: 2 pounds of leeks

Cut the trimmed leeks in half lengthwise and slice thin. Rinse in a bowl of cold water. Lift the leeks out of the water to drain.

Melt over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot: 3 tablespoons butter Add the leeks along with: 2 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, Salt

Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add: 1 pound yellow potatoes, peeled, halved or quartered, and sliced

Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes, then add: 6 cups of water

Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. When done stir in: 1/3 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream

Do not boil one the cream is added. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste. Remove the bay leaf and thyme before serving.


-Garnish with fresh-ground black pepper and some fresh chives.

-For a heartier soup, use broth instead of water

-Remove the bay leaf and herb sprigs and puree the soup before stirring in the cream.

-Omit the cream, puree the soup before serving, and garnish with a pat of parsley butter.


Posted 9/17/2015 8:14am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

We have an on-going joke on the farm that if you make a mistake you’ll get docked pay.  Clearly this is absurd, which is why we (maybe it’s just me?) like to say it.  We came up with a t-shirt idea.  It would say Who Cooks For You Farm.  Don’t get docked. But the negative in there doesn’t work well.  I think we would change that to Who Cooks For You Farm.  I just got docked.  What do you think?  I realize this is a super inside joke and wouldn’t make sense to anyone who didn’t work on the farm. It still makes me laugh to think we’d put something like this together b/c it implies the inevitability of making mistakes and better yet that no one is good enough to work on the farm to avoid making such huge mistakes that their wages would be taken and possibly to the extent that at the end of the pay period our employees would actually have to pay the farm. This is clearly absurd…and silly.  

We’re going to have a pig roast.  We should have had this information available a few weeks earlier.  We would like for as many CSA members to come as possible.  Like I wrote last night, we’ll send the finer details today or tomorrow.  There are a few more things to figure.  

We have had a beautiful week so far. From our window, we can see the sunrise and the climbing sun reminds me it’s going to be good and hot today. I find myself often reflecting on the “final” hot days of summer.  I have a feeling this string of hot days is going to be the last of the hot hot days.  I don’t mind seeing them go. I just wish it didn’t mean serious cold is on its way.  Oh well…I miss hot stews and homemade bread anyways.  

In your box this week:

Small: Pea Shoot Arugula salad mix, garlic, parsely, sweet peppers, scarlet queen, ground cherries, topped beets,  

Large: Pea Shoot Arugula salad mix, chard or kale, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, parsely, radish, sweet peppers, scarlet queen, tomatillos, topped beets,

Posted 9/10/2015 1:22pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Last year we used a 100 yr old potato digger to dig our taters.  This has allowed us to grow lots of potatoes. The machine is set to dig to a certain depth and a bouncing conveyor chain brings the potatoes up to the top of the soil all the while dropping the soil through the conveyor chain.  There are important considerations when using this tool.  It’s best to dig potatoes when it’s dry! Last September when we were digging, the ground was relatively wet which clumped up and clogged up the machine over and over. This year the ground is super dry and the digging worked very well!  Know how good it feels to get all the potatoes dug the day the rain came? This is a danceable moment.

Anticipating the rain, we were able to seed some in the fields and get some transplants of different asian greens planted. It’s amazing how much of a relief it is to have all this stuff watered in from the sky!  We’ve been waiting to plant hoping the heat would pass and some rain would fall.  Worked super well!   

In your share this week:  


Small: Cilantro, Garlic, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes  

Large: Arugula, Cilantro, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes, and winter squash; either Delicata or Acorn.

Recipe Idea of the week:  Do you have too many greens?  Well this usually isn't a problem at this time of the year, but in no time you'll have lots of greens again.  Arugula and Pea Shoot can both be blended up to make a tasty and refreshing Pesto.  We know you get enough garlic to give this one try.  I usually don't use the traditional pinenut, but instead use something that  I usually have on hand either walnuts or cashews.  Even sunflower seeds are nice.  This can be a creative and yet a little sneaky way to get greens inti picky eaters.  This pesto can be used with plain pasta, on potatoes or also lathered onto a slice of bread.

We hope you enjoy your share.  Have a great week.

Your Farmers,

The Who Gang


Posted 9/3/2015 9:27am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,

Not only is it dry, but it's been super hot! Irrigation is the key in situations like this. Although irrigation does not invigorate soil biology and plant vigor like good soaking rain does, irrigation keeps the ball moving forward. I think irrigation keeps the plants content and holds them until it finally rains.

It's interesting to see just how happy plants can be when watered during a dry spell. They can be limp and beaten from the strong sun and upright in no time once the irrigation gets going. We irrigate once a week for a couple hours and that's it. That's enough to keep'em happy until it rains. We primarily use drip irrigation for most of the season although now we are using overhead sprinklers. Weeds aren't so much an issue right now and we have undersowed our crops with grasses and legumes and we'd like them to germinate. We do this to avoid tillage and to get a jump start on cover crop growth. Cover crops are a major part of our fertility program on the farm.

In your box this week:

Small: arugula, carrots, head lettuce or escarole, kale, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Large: arugula, beets, carrots, garlic, head lettuce or escarole, husk cherries, kale, leeks, onions, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Recipe of the week:

Thanks to Loun-Loun, a CSA member we have an appetizer to share this week.

Have a great week!  Enjoy your share!

Your Farmers,

Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, Garett, Lauren, Krystal, Greg, Jessica, Emily, Joh-Doh, and Brian



Posted 8/26/2015 10:25pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,  

Wednesday morning was in the 40’s!  I saw the crew starting the day wearing winter hats, many layers and nitrile gloves.  It’s always a shocker when mornings are relatively cool in August. We’re pretty excited about this fall.  We have lots of food planted and most of it is looking good.  As long as we can keep the deer out, we shouldn’t have too many early morning surprises.  “Where’d all the lettuce go?”  I imagine there’s deer off to the side laughing at our loss and surprise. I feel grateful they don’t eat car tires or we’d all be in the same sinking ship.  

From the farm fields, we see bands of birds flying overhead.  The mornings are quiet now.  Birds don’t sing much this time of year like they do in spring.  We have a couple random patches of sunflowers around our house and they are loaded with goldfinches eating the sunflower seeds. There is Jewel Weed flowering in a ditch below our house from which we hear a peculiar sound that’s a hybrid of insect, helicopter and atv in the distance.  Hummingbirds.  They love the nectar from Jewel Weed blossoms.  It’s a treat to watch them dance from blossom to blossom and fly away like a lightening bolt.  

It’s hard to believe it’s going to be September in a week. I love this transition from hot summer to cool fall.  The tremendous amount of diversity in vegetables as summer and fall overlap. It’s really a magical time to eat and what an amazing blessing great food is!  The abundance is wonderful.  I say this after finishing the The Grapes of Wrath and wrestling with a reality of a surrounding abundance without access.  Heavy stuff…  

Along with the summer fare, we’ll soon have lettuces, salad turnips and radishes again.  We’ll have some neat-o asian greens to offer in a few weeks. Lots of potatoes and winter squashes, too!  

We hope that you all enjoy your share. Have a great week.  

Your Farmers, The Who Gang; Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, Garett, Lauren, Krystal, Greg, Jessica, Emily and Joh-Doh

In your box this week: Sorry about the poor image quality this week.  I can't find my camera and this is taken with my phone.  The food tastes better than it looks.  Also oops on the Spaghetti spelling!

Small: Beets, Garlic, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomato, Cherry Tomatoes

Large: Beets, Cabbage, Chard, Eggplant, Garlic, Onions, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomato, Cherry Tomatoes, Winter Squash; Speghetti or Delicata

Recipe of the week:

Shredded Beet Salad from Simply in Season A world community cookbook; Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. ( This book was given to me by my mother in law, Betty.  She can always put a wholesome meal on the table in no time.) It's a great book!

2 cups beets (cooked, peeled and shredded)

½ cup fresh parsely

3 Tbspn olive oil

2 Tbspn lemon juice

2 Tbspn onion (chopped)

1 Tbspn sugar

½ Tspn salt

pepper to taste  

Mix together and chill.   

A couple Variations…  

Simplest shredded beet-carrot salad:  Combine equal portions of shredded carrots and shredded beets with a handful of chopped fresh parsley.  Dress with oil and vinegar.  

Shredded beet-cabbage salad:  Steam separately (or in sections of a steamer) until barely tender, about 5 minutes, 1 medium shredded beet, 2 shredded carrots, and 1 cup shredded cabbage. Let cool to room temperature. (You can also make this as a raw salad with an oil and vinegar dressing. It’s crunchy and sweet similar to the simple beet-carrot salad.)

Can also be served with a Tahini Dressing: shake together in a jar with a tight lid ½ cup tahini, ½ cup oil (combination of canola, sesame, olive), ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari, and water to desired consistency.

Posted 8/19/2015 9:36pm by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,

It was a beautiful day today!  The day after a strangly modest summer rain.  We have a lot of fall crops in the ground that are looking happy now that they are watered in.  Even if you have a 9 horse two stage water pump that pumps 110 vertical feet and you saturate your crop with water, it still doesn't beat the rain.  Yesterdays rain brought an instant freen to a field of beets that were suffering from sun stroke.  

Rain is funny like that.  It brings life and death.  Rain storms bring renewed vigor and growth when crops seemed to be sitting still.  At the same time it can bring the most devastating diseases.  See?  Isn't that kinds funny?

While Chris is on vacation, the crew is busting rear and swirling the life blood of this farm.  We are so grateful for their dedication and hard work.  

Have a great week.  

Your Farmers,

The Who Gang

In Your Share this week: You are getting a little bigger share than you normally do this week, due to a little miscommuication on the farm.  Enjoy!

Small: Beets or Carrots, Cabbage, Garlic, Kohrabi, Onions, Pea Shoots, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomato, Cherry Tomatoes

Large: Beets, Cabbage, Chard, Cilantro, Garlic, Kohrabi, Onions, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini

Recipe of the week: Stuff that Cabbage! Chris is always really inventive when it comes to my celebrating my birthday!  A couple of years back he through me a surprise party.  The main dish for dinner was Cabbage Rolls.  A day before the party I saw some stashed on the shelves in the walkin cooler.  I was inspired to make them, but then they were made for me.  I haven't made these since, but seeing this weeks share items has inspired me once again.  So below are a few links to a few different recipes. Once you make your first rolls, there is a lot of experimenting and play you can do with the stuffing.  Enjoy the process!  They sure are beautiful!

Golabki: Polish Cabbage Rolls 

A traditional Golabki recipe:

A Vegetarian Golabki recipe:

A Vegan Golabki recipe:

Posted 8/13/2015 6:44am by Chris and Aeros.

Howdy Folks,

As reported from the field crew, it seems like the fall crop is looking very nice! As long as we can keep the deer out of our fields, we'll likely be in good shape. That's not very easy, but we're going to get very serious about keeping them out. For the past week, I've been laid up going for little slow walks up and down the driveway. We have short meetings in my bedroom and use walkie talkies constantly. As far as I can tell, the crew is doing a great job making it all happen with some guidance when necessary on my part.

This has opened my eyes enormously. Not only to taking better care of my back but, also, just how prepared the crew is for a brief meltdown situation. Our crew is trained pretty well to keep the ball rolling. I now see that early August is a good time to take a 2 week vacation!!!!!

we'll see about the fun down the road. Right now I'm determined to walk down this road to recovery to get back into the fields by September.

Lauren a member of the farm crew from last season is now back.  We are so glad to have her!  She is helping us keep up in the field and in the office.  We feel lucky that her farm job in Michigan just wasn't all it was chocked up to be, and that WCFY was on her mind enough for her to want to come back.  It helps that we have her sweetheart, Garett on board here.  Now we have them both, happy living together in the tiny house below our house.

We'll try to get together some employee intro's this week, so you can have an idea of who is helping this food get to you.

In Your Box this week:

Small: beets or carrots, new potatoes, winter squash, onions, mesclun mix, garlic, red slicers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Large: beets or carrots, cherry bombs (sweet mildly hot red peppers) eggplant, new potatoes, winter squash, onions, mesclun mix, garlic, red slicers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes

Receipe of the Week: 

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

This recipe and photo was sent my way via a Market CSA member.  Thank you Chelsea for sharing! If anyone else has any good recipes they have tried this summer with WCFYF produce we would love to share the recipes.  

Enjoy your share!

Your Farmers,

Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, Krystal, Greg, Emily, Joh-doh, Jessica, Garett and Lauren.