June 4, 2013

CSA News for the Week of June 3rd

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

This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Red Scallions
  • Green Scallions
  • Rhubarb (from Mick Klug Farms in St. Joseph, MI)
  • Head Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • White Salad Turnips
Next week's vegetable harvest (our best guess)... spinach, baby beets, chard, baby leeks, strawberries, lettuce and more!

Mark Your Calendars

Delivery Schedule for the Week of July 4th
Tuesday, July 2nd
  • Grayslake Farm 4-7 (including members who normally pick up at the farm on Thursdays)
  • Allstate 2:30-5:30
  • Glenview 3:00-6:30
  • Evanston 3:30-6:30
  • Lake Forest 4:00-7:00
Wednesday, July 3rd
  • Buffalo Grove 3:00-6:30
  • Barrington 4:00-7:00
  • Glen Ellyn 3:00-6:30
  • Clarendon Hills 3:30-6:30
  • Oak Park 4:00-7:00
CSA Farm Picnics
Interested in learning more about how your food is grown? This summer we're hosting two CSA picnics for your enjoyment -- one in Grayslake and one in Brodhead. Pack a picnic basket (don't forget plates and utensils),  bring your lawn chairs or a blanket, and come enjoy some time on the farm. Water, lemonade and brownies will be provided at both picnics. Walking tours will start around 3:30. The Brodhead picnic will include time to pick your own tomatoes. Please RSVP to jen@sandhillfamilyfarms.com and let us know if you'll be attending one or both. More details coming soon!
  • Picnic at the Grayslake Farm--Saturday, July 20th, 3-6 p.m.
  • Picnic at the Brodhead Farm--Saturday, September 7th 3-6 p.m

Crop Report
You're probably familiar with the adage about making hay while the sun shines. Well, there's some real agricultural truth in that old saying. You can't cut, rake, and bale hale on a rainy day unless you want to end up with a barn full of spoiled feed. The last couple of weeks have required some tricky choreography as we try to squeeze in haymaking and other important fieldwork between rain showers. Fortunately, we have had enough dry days in the last week to cultivate the onions, do some spot weeding in the zucchini field, and plant most of the peppers.

Here's a good shot of a mostly weed-free onion field.

Looks like the zucchini harvest will begin soon!

Jenna and Tommy sit on the back of the planter holding flats of peppers.

The start of summer vacation means we now have extra helpers around the farm!
On Monday, Ruby gave the crew a hand by sorting flats of peppers.

Getting to Know your Farmers: A Profile of Jen Miller

[My husband, Jeff, and I are really happy to be partnering with Matt and Peg Sheaffer as Sandhill Family Farms evolves. Here’s a little bit more about the two of us and how we ended up in this line of work. ]
Jeff and I met when we were in school at Beloit College. I moved to Chicago for some time to pursue banking/technical consulting, and Jeff moved to Indiana to complete his masters in landscape architecture.  After he completed school, we moved together to Oak Park where I continued to consult and Jeff worked as a landscape architect. We lived in Oak Park for 5 years and had our first child there.  Right about the time that Owen was born, we started to consider the type of life and world we wanted him to grow up in. We wanted flexibility to be with our family and wanted to start a business that we could believe in and teach our children about. We started our own business, Dea Dia Organics, which evolved into a 7+ acre farm providing vegetables, eggs and pork to over 80 members, 2 farmers markets and some wholesale/restaurant partners.

Several years ago, we realized we hadn’t quite achieved the balance we’d been seeking. Jeff was commuting to the land where we grew our crops, and I was commuting to my job in Milwaukee. Around this time Jeff had the opportunity to join the Sandhill Organics team in a management role. We'd known the Sheaffers for years and knew the job would be a good fit. Jeff felt recharged working side-by-side with Matt to manage the farm and work closely with the crew.  

It was excitement, enjoyment and the feeling of being recharged that motivated the four of us to work together as partners. Now we're extremely fortunate to be living at the Grayslake farm. Jeff and I get to work together every day and neither of us has a commute. Our boys are becoming more and more accustomed to what it’s like to be, as Owen says, a "kid farmer".  Each night, we do three things at dinner time:  first, we take stock of how lucky we are to farm each day together with our friends and family; second: we discuss where each delicious piece of food on our table comes from and why; and thirdly, we clean up the table and head off to close up the farm for the night -- putting away goats, collecting eggs, and bathing muddy, but very happy, little boys.

This Week's Featured Recipe

Quick Pickled Radishes and Turnips
2/3 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Coarse salt
8 medium-size red radishes, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
8 medium-sized baby turnips, ends trimmed, thinly sliced

In a medium bowl, stir together vinegar, sugar, and 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Add radishes and turnips, and stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. These are best used within a week.