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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Recipes by Vegetable type!

This is a new tool I'm putting together with my farm's CSA members (Community Supported Agriculture) in mind!  Our farm's organic vegetable "share" comes with an email newsletter every week that lists a few recipes, but I really want to have a huge list available for each vegetable & herb grown here at Wishful Acres Farm!


American turnips
Asian Greens.  Can be eaten raw as salad greens, either by themselves or mixed with other greens such as lettuce, spinach, etc.  Most commonly cooked.  Some recipe ideas are listed below.
Chinese Cabbage / Napa Cabbage.
Garlic.  A common item in most recipes!  Your garlic comes in a "bulb", and you take the bulb apart to reveal the individual "cloves".  Make sure to remove the outer skin from the clove before using, just as you would an onion skin.
Garlic scapes.  These are the tops of the garlic plant, and a gourmet treat!  You can use them as a substitute for regular garlic in any recipe, or try some of the recipes below.
  • 6 Garlic Scape recipes - here
  • 7 Things to do with Garlic Scapes - recipes here
  • Garlic Scape Pesto - recipe here
  • or use as substitute for regular Garlic in any stir fry or soup recipe!
Garlic Spinach (Garlic Mustard).  A slightly bitter, wild, green leafy vegetable.
Green Beans
Green Onions
  • 7 ways to use up Green onions - ides here
  • Radish, Cucumber, and Dill salad - recipe here
  • Summer Rice Salad with Vegetables - 
  • Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Style) - recipe here
  • Vegetable Thai Tom Yum Soup (bak choi is same as pac choi) - recipe here
Hakurei are Japanese salad turnips.  Not to be confused with American Turnips, these do not taste the same at all.  Hakurei are similar in taste to a mild radish.  They are typically eaten raw - they make great snacks, also great on a veggie tray or salad.  Other ideas:
Kohlrabi.  Kohlrabi is a mild, crunchy root vegetable that is typically eaten raw.  It is similar in flavor to a mild sweet radish.  Excellent on a vegetable tray, with a dip, or sliced onto a salad.  Looking for more ideas?  Here are a few:
Lemon Balm

Lettuce - I don't know that I really need to include recipes here, lettuce is so widely eaten!  However, here are a few ideas!  

Mizuna -Asian stir fry or salad green. 
  • Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce (use any Asian Greens) - recipe here
  • Fried Rice (use any Asian Greens instead of the pea greens listed) - recipe here on this blog
  • 8 ideas for Mustard Greens from Martha Stewart (Mizuna is similar to mustard greens, but slightly milder in taste) - recipes here
  • Simple Asian Stir Fry - recipe here on this blog
  • Vegetable Thai Tom Yum Soup (use Mizuna instead of the bak choi, or in addition to) - recipe here

Mustard Greens.  Mustard Greens can be eaten raw & mixed with other salad greens such as lettuce & spinch.  However, mustard greens are typically eaten cooked.  They are super nutritious, and have a unique horseradish & mustard flavor.  

Onions (sweet & regular)

Pak Choi (Asian stir fry vegetable)
Peas, sugar snap and snow pea - These are mostly eaten raw here at the farm, since we only grow the edible-pod type of sweet peas.  However, there is much more you can do with Sugar Snap and Snow Peas!

Peppers, hot
Peppers, sweet




Spinach - Our favorite way to eat spinach here on the farm is raw.  Spinach grown here tends to be super-sweet, and so we enjoy mixing it with other greens for salads.  However, there are many other things you can do with spinach!

Summer Squash & Zucchini.  The following recipes will work with all the varieties of zucchini, patty pan, and summer squash grown here at Wishful Acres Farm.

Swiss Chard - Do not fear Swiss Chard!  In fact, if you like spinach, you'll probably enjoy Swiss Chard as well!  You can substitute Swiss Chard in any recipe where you would use spinach, or even substitute it for kale in any recipes.  Here are few more ideas:

Tat Soi.  Tat soi is an Asian vegetable, very similar to Pac Choi (Pak Choi / Bak Choi).  When compared to Pac Choi, it is slightly more delicate, the leaves are smaller & more thin.  The flavor is almost identical.  Tat soi can be used interchangeably in any recipe calling for Pac Choi.  

Tokyo Bekana.  Tokyo Bekana is a loose-head variety of Chinese Cabbage.  It can be used in all Chinese Cabbage recipes, plus any pac choi recipes.
Tomatoes (over 20 varieties grown here at Wishful Acres Farm!)

Winter Squash

Zucchini & Summer Squash.  The following recipes will work with all the varieties of zucchini, patty pan, and summer squash grown here at Wishful Acres Farm.

Friday, February 27, 2015

So Many Benefits in our Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA)

Do you know the benefits of joining the Wishful Acres Farm CSA Program?  Here are a few!
  • Washed, ready-to-eat produce.  Did you know all of the food in our CSA share, including salad greens, is washed and ready-to-eat?  All items that can be bagged are provided as such, and it's all ready-to-go straight into your refrigerator!
  • Weekly Newsletter & Recipes.  CSA Members receive an email newsletter every week, listing the items in that week's share, some recipe ideas, and weekly news from the farm.
  • USDA Certified Organic.  We go above & beyond organic, and as a guarantee to our customers that we are "truly organic", we pay over $1,000 each year, and spend dozens of hours on the paperwork & inspections, to have our farm USDA Certified Organic!  Every single vegetable, herb, fruit, garden plant, micro-green, etc. that we grow on our farm is certified organic.
  • Large Share, Great Price.  While all CSA Programs operate on the pre-paid model, they are not all the same.  Our program is extra long (30 weeks), offers 2 options based on frequency & budget (half share and full share), and is quite big -  providing at least 10 items per share, and typically 1 bushel basket's worth of food.  Our CSA share price, when broken down, is just $36 per share.  You can view our video from last year's program here, which shows every share from 2014!
  • Farm Access.  We're not open to the public, only to CSA Members.  CSA Members pick up their shares right here at our farm.  They have the ability to see the food being grown, walk the gardens, ask questions, and enjoy the beautiful countryside & rolling hills on their drive out (we're less than 10 miles from Freeport, and 5 from Lena).
  • Flexible Pickup if Needed.  We know people are busy, especially in the summer!  We've always been flexible with our CSA Members who needed to reschedule a pickup time.  With the construction of our huge walk-in refrigerated cooler last year, we have the ability to be even more flexible.  If you're on vacation or simply out of town, you just let us know and we store your share for you until you return.  Then, you schedule a day and your share will be waiting in an insulated picnic cooler for you to pickup here at the farm, at your convenience.
  • Super Healthy!  Everyone knows the benefits of eating super-fresh, local, organic vegetables.  With a CSA program, the vegetables are provided right to you, which makes eating them a priority and a necessity!  There is no putting off eating those healthy vegetables when they're already waiting in your refrigerator.  One CSA member confided in me that she lost 30 pounds last season, and did nothing different besides eating her full CSA share each week.  I was astounded, but healthy eating obviously makes a big difference!    
  • We grow year-round!  Through the use of season extension, hoophouse, greenhouse, and indoor growing area, we grow fresh, local food 365 days a year right here on our family farm in NW Illinois!  This is how we're able to have such an extra-long CSA Program, running from May through December, as well as a winter micro-greens program.
We still have a handful of spots left in the upcoming 2015 Community Supported Agriculture program here at our farm!  If you'd like to reserve your spot, please send in your form soon (contact me via email or phone if you need the form, or visit our web site at  You may pay with installments, but all installments are due by the start of the CSA season in May, so the clock is ticking!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Video: 30 weeks of Local Food at Wishful Acres Farm!

I hope you all enjoy this video I put together!

Each week during our 2014 CSA season, I took a picture of the CSA member share.  I have now compiled all of the shares into a short video, entitled "30 Weeks of Local Food".  It's so interesting to watch the season progress, as reflected in the type of food that is in season here along the Illinois / Wisconsin border!

Here is the video!


You can also view it here on YouTube:

2015 CSA Sign-Up has begun!

The time has begin!

The Wishful Acres Farm 2015 CSA Program is now accepting members for our upcoming 2015 season!  The CSA Sign-Up sheet can be found here (PDF file).

To learn more about our CSA Program (Community Supported Agriculture), please visit our web site at .

The Wishful Acres Farm CSA Program tends to sell out each year, there are a limited number of membership spots available, so please visit our web site or contact Penny soon with any questions (

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's growing here now in January? Lots!!!

The Wishful Acres Farm microgreens CSA program is in full swing!

Our USDA Certified Organic micro-greens are grown in indoor greenhouse conditions all winter long, right here on our farm on the IL / WI border.  It may be below zero outside, but we're growing!

Our Winter CSA members have been receiving fresh micro-greens biweekly since early December, and the program continues through late April.

A large microgreens CSA share is pictured below:

And a small microgreens CSA share is pictured here, below.  These bags contain half the microgreens of a large share:

Now you know what's growing right now here at Wishful Acres Farm!

Wishful Acres Farm

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Final CSA share of the 2014 season!

Final CSA share of the 2014 season!

Lots of storage vegetables, so our farm members can continue to "eat fresh" from our farm well into the winter.

Wishful Acres Farm

Friday, November 28, 2014

CSA share Nov 28, 2014

We are nearing the end of the CSA season, but still plenty of food in our farm member's shares!

Wishful Acres Farm