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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Farm Fresh Newsletter, August 20, 2011

(Subscription information, including how to subscribe & unsubscribe to this email newsletter, is listed at the end.)

Hello everyone, the summer is just flying by.  I'd like to take this opportunity to invite you all to our farm Open House on Monday, September 5 (Labor Day) from 2-4 pm.  This will be a chance for you to see how your food is grown, tour the gardens, see the hens, view our equipment, and ask us any questions.  We hope to see you here! Email for directions.

Some news from the farm this week.  It's been a busy time around here for the last couple of weeks, our intern has returned to college and the boys are getting ready to return to school (preschool, kindergarten, and 3rd grade).  We've been planting fall seeds & plants, harvesting the summer crops, building a greenhouse, and planning for next year already.  Another thing keeping us busy and a bit insane: our flock of 50 red hens (the day-old chicks we got back in April).  Many of you may remember my news in the farmers market newsletter several weeks ago, when my oldest son, our intern, and I clipped the wings of these young hens.  They were flying the coop, literally, and ranging all over the farm.  This is bad news because they get into the gardens, eat the seeds, scratch the crops, and worst of all..... get chased & caught by our dog.  So we clipped the wings.  It worked great for several weeks, they could fly a bit but not high enough to reach the top of the 4 -ft fence.  Well.... like any haircut, it grows back.  Theirs grew back quickly, and now there are several of them flying over the fence again every day.  Our puppy is no longer being "nice" and we've had to leash him all day long before he kills one.  It's not been much fun for anyone.  These hens are fast, and we have a hard time catching them!  Some of them can't get back inside the fence once they've flown over it, and we can't catch them, so they end up sleeping outside the coop (bad news for anyone who knows what a raccoon does to a chicken).  So, we're planning another wing-clipping session for the near future - anyone want in on that party?  No?  Don't blame you.  (By the way, wing clipping does not hurt the chickens, it is similar to a human haircut.  They just don't like being caught & held while we do it.)  Our mature laying flock of hens that gives you your beautiful brown eggs is much more calm than these crazy red hens!

Want our organically-grown vegetables and free-range eggs delivered right to your door?  Become a shareholder in our farm's fall season and get a weekly "share" delivered to you (farm pickup also available).  We still have fall shareholder CSA slots available!  More info: http://all-natural-mama.blogspot.com/2011/08/fall-csa-announcement.html


Still offering our stock-up sale on squash & cucumbers, details at end.

So what's going to be at farmers market this week?  Here is what I'm planning on bringing, but it may not be exact as we harvest things may change.   By the way, we're planning on selling this week at the Rockford City Market (Fridays 3-7 pm) as well as the Freeport Farmers Market (near Higher Grounds coffee, Saturday 7:30-11).


-Tomatoes - Ripe red full-sized tomatoes AND heirloom tomatoes! 

-Cherry & Pear Tomatoes - Our beautiful rainbow of many colored cherry & pear tomatoes.

-Kale-   The most nutritious of all vegetables. 

-Summer Squash - a variety of our summer squashes. 

-Parsley. 

-Lettuce Mix or Baby Swiss Chard

-Cucumbers - several varieties, some very unique

-Sweet Onions- 

-Hot Peppers -
a few types

-Garlic -


And here are some recipe ideas for all those delicious organic veggies!

Recipes:


Cucumber Sandwich

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dill weed or fresh dill leaves
  • 12 slices pumpernickel rye bread, or any bread on hand
  • 2 to 3 medium cucumbers
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and dill. Spread on one side of each slice of bread. Peel cucumbers if desired thinly slice and place on six slices of bread. Top with remaining bread. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.


Creamy Summer Squash Soup (one of my all-time favorite soups, it freezes well too - you could take advantage of our 1/2 bushel for $10 sale and freeze a huge batch for winter)
The step-by-step recipe, with pictures, is on our farm blog here: http://all-natural-mama.blogspot.com/2009/10/creamy-zucchini-soup.html


Tabbouleh
(a customer made this with our farm vegetables last year and shared some with me, it was absolutely delicious)

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped  (could substitute your share's sweet onions here)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  1. Place cracked wheat in bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes; drain and squeeze out excess water.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, parsley, mint, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Toss again prior to serving.

More information on the Extra Purchases: (email me by Friday evening if you'd like any special purchases brought to farmers market for you to pickup)

  • Bulk Bins: 1/2 bushels of cucumbers or summer squash  - $10 each.  Tons of cukes are great for making freezer, refrigerator, or canned pickles or for eating fresh, you can go in on a 1/2 bushel and get about 25-30 cukes or squash to split with friends & neighbors!  Squash soup (above) freezes very well. 

Thanks for all your support!  Let me know if there is anything we can do for you, or any questions you'd like answered.

Penny Peterson
Wishful Acres Farm
Certified Naturally Grown
http://wishfulacres.blogspot.com




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