Taking a week off from CSA delivery created time for our crew to get caught up on fall plantings, prioritize some weeding projects, and take a moment for big picture planning. In the last week, we had our organic certifier out for this year’s inspection, we made sure some of the longer season crops like onions got their much needed hand weeding done, and we were able to get caught up on plantings that were still sitting in the greenhouse waiting for us to get them out. In the past, these kinds of projects were difficult to tackle in the midst of the heavy harvest demands of summer. Often times, we just had to let go of some of our visions for a crop that year. Sometimes that meant losing a crop because we didn’t get to the weeds in time, or couldn’t get it in the field before the planting window closed. Sometimes, it meant the crop would be compromised and yield less. Although we chose a Holiday to not deliver the CSA boxes, the week is still very much a work weeks for us out here on the farm.
- 1-1.5 lbs cubed LotFotL pork steak pieces or cubed butt roast
- 2-3 T cooking oil (olive, avocado, coconut, peanut, etc.)
- 1-2 T cooking oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons fresh pineapple juice, or juice from the canned pineapple, or substitute orange juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 cup fresh or canned bite-size pineapple chunks
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into bit sized strips
1. Heat a pan with oil to med high. Add the pork cook until nearly cooked through, watch heat and turn down if needed. Remove from heat.
2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the water, ketchup, pineapple juice, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
5. Heat the oil in the wok or a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until just aromatic, about 20 seconds. Add the bell pepper, pineapple and the sauce and stir to coat the vegetables. Let the sauce simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the pineapple to become tender (about 1 minute for canned pineapple). Return pork to the wok and toss until well coated with the sauce. Transfer to a plate and serve over rice.
|Below is a list of what we plan to grow or purchase for this year’s CSA. The growing year is unpredictable though, so items planted do not guaranty that they will be in the CSA shares. Some crop failure is to be expected every year, but this will give you a good idea of what items you can hope for.
LotFotL’s 2017’s “What can I expect in my CSA share” list
|arugula||beets||onions-red, yellow, white|
|collards||radish-fresh and storage||leeks|
|lettuce||turnips-fresh and storage||pearlette bunching onions|
|beetberry||Hon tsai tai||cucumbers|
|salad mix||bok choy||eggplant|
|french thyme||napa cabbage||frying peppers|
|parsley||mini sweet peppers|
|broccoli||sweet corn||Other items in CSA shares|
|broccoli raab||snap peas||blueberries*|
|cabbage-red, green, savoy||snow peas||cherries*|
After 24+ weeks of hard work, both on the farm and in your kitchens, the 2015 CSA will officially end this Thursday. 2015 will be archived by us as a pretty good year, with mild weather, few diseases, and some marked abundances in production. We are anxious look at the member feedback in our survey results and get moving on year 2016. While we have grown and raised at least 2 farmers to fruition (we will say goodbye to both Casey Lynn and Dan), we are eager to bring some new blood into the mix next year. And most of all, we could not have done any of it without the support of our membership. Thank you for all of the energy that you put into making the LotfotL food community successful.
In a nutshell, it was a record year for broccoli, and we were able to get it into almost 1/2 the shares this year. This was the first year in recent memory, too, where our tomatoes never experienced late blight. Along with the successes, came the less than hoped for. Some of the fall crops didn’t come out as strong as hoped. We will also remember the summer that wasn’t (did we ever even break 90 degrees?), the ravaging effects of Canada Thistle on all cropping, and the warmest fall so far on our new farm. Since the drought year of 2012, the night time low temps of summer have been far below what is required for good summer cropping. Incidentally, these temps seem to be just fine for our most troublesome weed: Canada Thistle. Not only did thistle and cool temps set back summer production of melons, peppers, and once again eggplant, but a resurgence of fall thistle took its toll on long standing fall roots, leaving celeriac, rutabaga, beets, and turnips conspicuously absent from fall shares. The fall shares looked more like spring ones, filled with spinach, arugula, salad mixes, and radishes. Though not ideal, we know that soon all that will be available locally will be root cellar crops, so we may as well enjoy the leafy greens while we can.
The 2015 member survey results have begun trickling in (fill out the survey today, so we can better serve your needs and the needs of our membership broadly in 2016). I’m happy to say that most of the responses so far, even when critical, are in good spirit, and do make substantial impacts on how we crop and pack shares. To those of us who do not eat potatoes all that often, our CSA must seem rather nuts for giving out potatoes as regularly as we do. Year after year though, potatoes rank in the top 3 of crops that members feel we gave the right amount of. The focus on more beets and broccoli early this year was a direct result of the previous year’s surveys. Next year’s push for more cauliflower (a super finicky, tough to grow crop) will be not only because we like a challenge and love eating cauliflower, but because of your feedback. Please do let us know how we did.
I can’t express enough how grateful I am to all of you for helping to fund our adventures in CSA this season. The results of this decision you’ve made have far greater benefits to the farming community of SE Wisconsin than just keeping our bills paid and your meals on the stove-top. Together, we have grown 2 more new farmers for 2016. Dan, our long time crew leader will be leaving in 2016 to begin his own agricultural enterprise on soon-to-be family land in NE Michigan. Casey Lynn, assistant extraordinaire, will take on full time farm management at Farm290, the ingredient backbone for Pier 290’s restaurant on Lake Geneva.
While we will miss them specifically, there’s a new crop of future growers waiting in the wings to work with us. While with us, they’ll learned how to develop the chops, exercise decision-making tools, and burn into their core the work ethic needed to succeed in the world, as growers of food. Together we are not only growing LotFotL, and growing food for you, but we’re growing the next generation of farmers, so your children’s niece’s and nephew’s local food choices are abundant and diverse. To this end, 2016 starts this Friday, as we look forward to another season of considerable growth.
Thank you all,
LotFotL Community Farm
Yes, you read that correctly. Grilled cheese. In casserole form! It’s even a great way to sneak some veggies to those picky eaters, but ssshhh! don’t tell them!!
– Bread slices, amount will depend on the size pan you’re making
– Cheese(s) of choice (I used Gouda, Gruyere, and extra sharp cheddar)
– Vegetables of choice (broccoli would work amazingly, or any greens you have on hand)
– Kefir milk OR plain yogurt thinned out with milk
– Egg(s) (OPTIONAL)
- Grease your baking dish of choice (I used a 12″ cast iron skillet) and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Layer bread slices along the bottom of your baking dish, covering as much of the bottom as possible.
- Layer cheese slices on top of your bread, again covering as much surface area as possible.
- Layer vegetables or greens in top of your cheese layer.
- Layer MORE CHEESE on top of your vegetables or greens.
- Layer additional bread slices on top of cheese and vegetables/greens, again covering as much surface area as possible.
- Pour Kefir milk or thinned out yogurt on top, enough to coat the bread and soak in a little, but not so much that it’s soggy. This will prevent the bread from becoming too crusty.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
- If you’re adventurous and you want to try it with egg(s), crack on the top and bake an additional 12 or so minutes, or until egg reaches desired doneness (personally, I prefer my yolks a little runny).
This is a popular questions. Every year is different based on weather, land availability, seed germination rates, staff experience, and more. Below, we offer resources that will give you an idea of what to expect in your shares.
The CSA crop link take you a list of the crops given out to 2014 CSA members and how many times they received it. In addition you will see the farmers notes in response to customer feedback. You can also read farm Tim’s response to last season survey results. The newsletters are great tools to see what is given out when, in addition to understanding what is happening on the farm and why. You can view last seasons newsletters on the CSA page of our website.
CSA crops 2014 (click to see what was given out in 2014)
Vegetable farming is different from year to year. Each week we may be dealing with any number of things, from pests or bad weather to an over abundant harvest. These are the things that effect what ends up in CSA shares. But, we also know that just because the fields are full of cabbage right now, doesn’t mean that our members are willing to eat 3 heads a week. This is why we also have market stands and wholesale accounts. In the past, drought may have left us with zero cucumbers. In situations like these, we might choose to use emergency funds to purchase local cucumbers from a farmer that still had those cukes. Happy members are important to us and we do our part to give out a balanced box each week throughout the season. Here is what we will be planting in 2015.2015 planting plan
Gaile and Joe Yaeger are a beautiful couple out in Cambridge Wisconsin that are working their tails off to raise sustainable lamb that will honor values like respectful care of the animal and sustainable care for the land. Lamb from Yaegers acres is pastured and fed organic feed, which means no GMO’s, no preservatives, and no hormones or preventative antibiotics (commonly found in pelleted feed). Gaile has her Bachelor of Schience degree in Natural Resources as well as being a certified LPN. In part, this training, helped to shape the values now reflected in her lifestyle and the meat she raises. Being a healthy part of the cycle of life is very important to her and her husband. You will find their meat available directly from their farm, at local farm markets, and through LotFotL Community Farm.
Yaeger’s Acres llc
Gail and Joe Yaeger
- 1 pound lean ground lamb
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced onion
1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15 1/2-ounce can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb to pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove lamb from pan with a slotted spoon. Discard drippings. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and carrot to pan; saut
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 pounds ground beef, lamb, or left over beef roast (or meat from the soup bones)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef stock
1 1/2 cups frozen peas or corn
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows
4 pounds potatoes, peeled, quartered
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated mature white Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.
Add butter and oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic until tender for about 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables have softened and start to brown a little add the tomato paste and mix evenly. Add the ground beef and cook until beef is no longer pink about 10 minutes. (If using left over meat that has been cooked, reduce cooking time to 2-3 minutes just enough to reheat and soften the meat.) Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook and simmer for another 10 minutes. Mix in peas. Transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and spread evenly. Place potato on top of ground beef mixture and spread out evenly, once the top surface has been covered, rake through with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook until browned about 20 minutes. Spoon out the shepherd’s pie and serve.