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The Weekly Weeder

September 22, 2016
Weekly shares and Garlic EOW Group
The forecast Monday called for clear skies and sunshine.  But as usual that was too good to be true.  These storm clouds seemed to appear out of nowhere.  The rain was brief but heavy.  Considering the soil is completely saturated it didn't take many drops for puddles to appear and the ground to become slick and greasy.

Box Contents and Tips

* All items should be stored in your refrigerator unless otherwise stated. *
  • Beets,Red: 1 small bunch Smalls; 1 big bunch Standards; 2 big bunches Doubles The roots and leaves are both edible.  Store the beet roots in a plastic bag until ready to use - will store for many months.
  • Cabbage, Green: 1 small head Smalls; 1 large head Standards; 2 heads Doubles. 
  • Garlic, Italian: 1 bulb Smalls; 2 bulbs Standards; 3 bulbs Doubles.  Store on counter and not in the refrigerator
  • Onion, Yellows: 2 Small; 4 Standards; 6 Doubles  Store on the counter top (not in the refrigerator).
  • Sage: 1 small bunch Smalls; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  Wash prior to use and dehydrating. 
  • Spinach:  1 bunch Smalls; 2 bunches Standards; 3 bunches Doubles. Hard heavy rain caused the fragile leaves to tear, so use up quickly. Sadly this is our only fall spinach since we couldn't get into the fields to plant.  So savor every bite!  Store in a plastic bag until used.  Great chopped up into eggs, tacos, spaghetti sauce or for a salad.
  • Squash: Delicata; 2 Smalls; 3 big Standards; 6 Doubles.  Store on your counter top until used.  This is our only Delicata giving and unfortunately they're ugly.  Luckily we have lots of other beautiful squashes for the coming weeks.  The Delicata didn't do well in the moisture and we found many slugs covering them when harvesting.  Use them up quickly. 
  • Squash: Spaghetti - 1 small Smalls; 1 big Standards; 2 big Doubles.  Store on your counter top until used. A favorite type for gluten-free diets but also tasty cooked and served with butter and salt. 
COMING SOON:  Potatoes, Celeriac, Leeks, Swiss Chard, More Winter Squash varieties, Fall Radishes, Turnips and more!

CSA Field Day and Picnic has been cancelled due to a scheduling oversight.

We are sorry to have to cancel this event and are already planning a grand event next year during the month of August.

News From the Farm

Happy Fall!

We had a dry morning Monday, bringing on 8 more people to help us crank through much needed carrot and potato harvesting.  Both crops were brought in caked in mud, but it felt great to get into the fields at long least for the morning.  With only a few beds of potatoes left, the rain began to fall, and since the ground is already saturated it quickly became too slick and muddy to finish digging the potatoes.

Weather is always a big topic for farmers, but to have a constantly wet August - October season is really a first in our 16 years.  And frankly it's wreaking havoc here on farms across our region.  Vegetable farms around us are experiencing losses of fall greens like arugula and spinach, disease issues on fall brassica crops like broccoli and cauliflower, and root crops rotting or splitting.  Our farm is not immune to issues though we continue to be hopeful.  But we have lost a planting of purple carrots, our rutabagas have turned to rotting mush, and we are concerned about our last plantings of cauliflower, romanesco, broccoli and large carrot planting that is our winter income. 

The remaing CSA boxes will be impacted from this weather as we have missed seeding more spinach and salad mix.  With the continual wet there is a good chance that crops in the fields will suffer become diseased.  We have already adjusted our plan and are happy to have a lot of potatoes and squash to offer and we are hopeful that things will be OK and not become diseased.  At this point there isn't much more we can do but wait and ride the storm out while we pray for 2 weeks of  sunshine and good breeze.

So how do we mentally and emotionally handle a weather pattern like this?  It's frankly hard not to panic and think we should be applying for off-farm jobs.  But the reality is a crew of 6 that shows up faithfully to work every morning and a perennial CSA membership of 400 members that we're responsible to feed.  So we truck through the work we can do before the next rainfall.  We have napa cabbage transplants that we're shifting to our high tunnel since we can't get into the fields to transplant.

It's a hard time here, but we're holding on to hope for some dry periods next week so we can dig the rest of our potatoes, get the last field of winter squash, and start harvesting turnips, radishes and celery root. 

Your farmers,
Cate & Mat
Is that primitive cave art?  Nope just one of the boys having fun with muddy hands.
Close to a full crew hustling to get the potatoes harvested before the looming clouds open up.  The tractor could barely keep up with their quick hands.

Bulletin Board

Bulk Purchase Opportunities!
To order: send us an email with your order request, name & pick-up site by Monday 12:00 pm (noon) for delivery on Thursday.  Then mail your check to the farm!

Kale, Green Curly 12 bunches  $14

Onions:  Yellow Storage or Red Storage
10 pounds $15 
20 pounds $25

GARLIC, 5 pounds $30 - hard neck varieties
               10 pounds $60
Farm Email:
Farm Address: E5538 Nelson Road, Viroqua, WI 54665 

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Member Handbook:  if you have questions about how to pickup your box the answers can probably be found in this document.  You can download it here:

Having someone else pickup your box?  make certain they take only the box with your name on the label.  When people take the wrong box it causes a chain reaction of trouble for many people.  The system is simple.  Look at the labels and take the correct box.  Please,  Please if you are having someone else pickup your box help them to understand this small but critical step.

Rescheduling Delivery:  We are happy to reschedule your boxes to allow you to travel and still reap the full reward of our CSA.  We must be notified via email of your intent to reschedule or postpone delivery by 8 am on the Monday of your normally scheduled delivery week.

However, tracking the requests is very time consuming  we serve 500 members.  So we ask that you provide the following information in this format when you are rescheduling your delivery:

1. Name of the primary member,
2. pick up site,
3. share size,
4. delivery schedule (weekly or EOW), 
5. if applicable your EOW group (garlic or tomato), 
6. the date you will be gone
7. the date you want your share delivered.

Having all of the above information saves Mat a lot of time in making certain your share is delivered when you want it.  Thank you!!
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