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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wishful Acres Farm newsletter for June 28

Hi everyone & welcome to this June 29 edition of the Farm Fresh newsletter from Wishful Acres Farm!

In news this week, our first crop of green beans was harvested yesterday!  You can find some in our farm store this weekend, located in the yellow mobile home on our farm at 4679 N Flansburg Rd, Lena, off Hwy 20 between Freeport & Lena (Friday 10-7, Saturday 10-4, Sunday 10-4).  If these times don't work for you, we're also open by appointment (815-990-2380) or you can opt to have a delivery to Freeport for a $3 delivery fee on select days.  We'll have plenty more in the Farm Store this weekend, so please read on for the list & recipes as well.

Our CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture) has memberships available for our 10-week Summer Season, which begins on July 20.  If you're unfamiliar, you can read more about our CSA program on our web site here: .  Members pay an up-front fee and then receive a "share"; a large amount of our organically-grown produce each week (or bi-weekly).  A great deal on a large amount of delicious, naturally grown vegetables.  Click here to see a picture of last week's Spring-season CSA member share.

I've been mentally & physically preparing for the heat wave.  This weather reminds me so much of 1988.  I was only 13 years old at the time but it has remained in my mind... parched grass, no rain, high temperatures, dry crops.  To be honest, this weather has created a bit of burnout here at the farm.  When the days are very hot, much of my time has been spent simply trying to keep the farm animals alive.  Hauling buckets & buckets of water to our ever-growing number of animals.  It seems that lately the crops have taken backstage, as they can tolerate the heat much better than the animals (but not for much longer).  For those keeping track, we currently have about 400 chickens (100 egg layers, 100 soon-to-be egg layers, and 200 meat chickens), 4 pigs, 2 goats, 1 big crazy dog, 2 cats, and to the delight of my sons... 6 kittens.

I'm a bit worried about what this drought will do when our fall crops get planted, which I'll be starting in just a few weeks.  We can't irrigate everything, so it will be a challenge.  If the seeds don't get rain, they won't germinate.  Some of the crops get transplanted, so I'll water each of those as they are transplanted, but if they don't get rain again shortly thereafter, I'll probably need to haul water to those as well.  So, yes, a bit of burnout has been realized here at the farm, which I suppose is to be expected in a very challenging, hot, dry year like this.  We're hoping for rain soon!!!  Come on out this weekend to purchase some vegetables & beef at our Farm Store, support our farm, and help make this all worthwhile!

Here is what should be available this weekend in the Wishful Acres Farm Store (hours & directions can also be viewed on our web site at

  • Green Beans (1st harvest of the season)
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce (red or green Romaine heads and looseleaf ready-to-eat bagged salad mix)
  • Green Onions
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Meat: cuts of beef raised on a Certified Organic dairy farm a few miles from Freeport
  • free-range eggs: a few dozen, if you're driving out just for eggs it's best to call first as we've been running short of demand: 815-990-2380

Crockpot: Italian Vegetable Soup (I made this last week, even our sons loved it)

  • 10 cups broth: chicken, beef, or vegetable
  • 2 cans white beans (such as Cannelini or Great Northern)
  • 1 quart stewed tomatoes (4 cups, can also used crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Optional: carrots, chopped, snow peas, chopped, escarole, chopped, zucchini, chopped
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese, if desired.Kale Smoothie for Kids (this recipe comes from one of our CSA members, she loves it and so does her young son, and even friends who don't typically like kale enjoy it... thanks so much for sharing this recipe!)
Yields: 4 servings

12 ounces 100% apple juice
3 - 4 large kale leaves (stem removed)
3 bananas (peel removed)
2 cups of ice

Blend juice and greens for about one minute on high. Make sure the greens are thoroughly blended. Then add the banana & ice and blend for an additional 30 seconds, until smooth. More info, and pictures of this Green Smoothie recipe, can be seen on this blog page:

Taco Salad
  • 1 head red romaine lettuce, washed & chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • Optional toppings: seasoned & cooked ground beef, shredded cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt, salsa, jalapenos, olives
Chop vegetables & arrange on platter.  Top with optional ingredients.

Penny Peterson

Wishful Acres Farm

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