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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Farm Fresh Newsletter, June 29, 2011

Hi Everyone & welcome to this week's edition of the Farm Fresh newsletter from Wishful Acres Farm, your source for Certified Naturally Grown vegetables and more!

This week at the Rockford City Market (Friday afternoon) and Freeport Farmers Market (Saturday morning), I'll have:

  • 1st baby squash (Freeport only)
  • 1st parsley
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Snow Peas
  • Arugula
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic Spinach (mustard)
  • Brown Eggs
Farm News
This week has brought dry, beautiful sunny days and temperatures in the upper 70s - in short, it's been gorgeous, hasn't it!?  We have been taking advantage of the dry weather to get a lot of field work done - wonderful things like hand weeding, mulching cucumber and tomato beds, tilling in old crops and planting new.  Planting on our farm is a continuous process, we don't just plant in spring.  In order to keep those lettuces, green beans, radishes, and more coming throughout the season, we plant many times. Things are growing well on the farm, with some of the summer squash & zucchini plants 5 feet around and knee high.  The first small squash will be at the Freeport farmers market this week, but not a lot so get there early!  The tomatoes plants are blossoming as well, in a few more weeks I hope to have tomatoes at market. I hear that we are in for hot conditions later this week, but I hope you'll visit our farm booth at farmers market just the same.  Stock up on ingredients for a wonderful cooling salad for 4th of July - that's what I'll be serving as well.

Now that the weather is warmer, my young sons have been enjoying the unlimited water access now that we are in the country with a well.  The sprinklers, slip n slides, and small pools have been getting a lot of use lately.  I've caught them trying to give water enjoyment to our farm kitten & some small hens as well...  boys on a farm = mischief in the making.  They are a bit too young to help much in the gardens (ages 3, 5, and 8), but my oldest loves to help with the farm animals.  Yesterday, he helped our intern and I clip the wings of our no-longer-baby chickens.  It is a bit like cutting hair, it doesn't hurt them at all, but does limit their flying ability.  I didn't want to do it, but there are 49 of them, and each day about 40 were flying out of their fenced pasture area and running all over the farm.  This is not good for the gardens, nor is it good for the hens when our dog gets loose (he likes to chase but doesn't hurt, but boy does it scare those chickens) as well as being chased by little boys.  So, we spent a long hour cutting back their wings so they can remain safe inside their large fenced run area.  What a job that was - I had the job of chicken calmer, laying each hen across my lap and covering their eyes to calm them (they don't particularly like being held) while Lenna (our intern) gently folded out each wing and gave the tips of the feathers a haircut.  My oldest son had the job of catching each one for their turn.  Needless to say, I was covered in feathers, the floor was covered in feathers, and we were all in need of a break after that job!  It was worth the effort, though, when yesterday the farm was free of little red hens running around everywhere.

In other news, Wishful Acres will be adding a CSA this summer!  If you are unfamiliar with a CSA, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and you can read more about it on our farm web site here.  It's a great way for you to support a local farmer (me!), and share in some of the risk & rewards of farming.  The CSA will begin in mid-July and run through the end of September.  Each week, a box of fresh vegetables (about 3/4 bushel total) and brown eggs will be delivered right to your door if you are in the Freeport area (this is an extra bonus, as most CSA formats require you to pick your box up).  The box will contain a variety of produce each week, and will be enough vegetables to feed a family of 4, or 2 if you are very heavy vegetable eaters (I'm guilty!).  For details and cost information, you can visit the page on our web site here:  http://all-natural-mama.blogspot.com/2011/06/announcing-wishful-acres-csa.html .  Our CSA customers will be given priority, so the brown eggs & 1st vegetable crops will go to you first, before farmers market.  You'll also sometimes receive a surprise free gift or two of farm products in your boxes, things I don't or can't sell at market (you're intrigued, aren't you! :-).  I hope you'll consider it, it's a wonderful way to show your support & eat the best vegetables you can get your hands on!  If you are in the Rockford area and want to join, there are options for a Rockford pickup - email me for details at wishfulacres@gmail.com .

That's all the news from the farm this week, there are recipes below with a focus on grilling this week!  Thanks everyone for your support!

Hope to see you soon!

Penny
Wishful Acres Farm

farm web site: http://wishfulacres.blogspot.com/
farm journal: http://all-natural-mama.blogspot.com/

RECIPES


Grilled Baby Summer Squash
-1 pint box baby summer squash
-olive oil
-salt & pepper

Coat squash in oil, sprinkle seasonings.  Grill for 5-10 minutes.


Grilled Potato Packs with Farm Greens
-4 medium potatoes
-1 cup chopped arugula
-1 cup chopped swiss chard
-1/4 cup chopped onion or onion tops
-olive oil
-seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder

Dice potatoes, place on a rectangle of aluminum foil.  Top with chopped greens & onion.  Pour a couple tablespoons olive oil over, then sprinkle with seasonings.  Toss to coat.  Fold aluminum foil to make a sealed pack, then repeat with another piece of foil so it's double bagged.  Place on edge of grill (not directly over hottest part) for about 20 minutes.


Grilled Garlic Scapes
-8 garlic scapes
-olive oil

Coat garlic scapes with olive oil.  Tie them together in a bunch with a piece of aluminum foil.  Place on grill for about 5 minutes.


Grilled Lettuce
Think outside the box - grilled lettuce. Has a great smoky flavor.-1 head fresh farm lettuce
-olive oil
-garlic powder salt
Coat lettuce with oil & seasonings. Place on grill for 3-5 minutes.


Everything Salad  -  we had this for lunch recently and it was so good. Serves 10.

-2 bags lettuce mix
-1 bag arugula
-1/2 bag chopped swiss chard
-1 bag sugar snap peas or snow peas
-1/2 cup chopped onion tops

Place all in a bowl, top with cheese if desired.  Great for a potluck or with grilled food.  Refreshing!



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