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The Weekly Weeder

September 17, 2015
EOW 'Beet' group
Brussels Sprouts are sizing up (this photo is a few weeks old). While this is one of the controversial vegetables (along with eggplant, cilantro and fennel)  it will be in the last few boxes of the season.

Box Contents and Tips

  • Broccoli: sweet and delicious this time of the year - the beads of broccoli are actually tiny flower buds and must be harvested before they're open.  Store in plastic bag until used.  
  • Cabbage, Savoy: store in crisper drawer.
  • Carrots: Store the roots in a plastic bag until used. The tops are not as pretty this time but the carrots are still beautiful.
  • Garlic: store on counter top
  • Kale, Green Curly: One of our favorite recipes is the Sesame Kale Salad - it's easy to throw together quickly and great way to learn to love kale.  Kale is one of the best things to eat regularly for optimal heart and blood health.
  • Leek: Use the white portion as a replacement for onions.  Compared to onions, they have a much higher nutrient rating and are higher in iron, beta carotene, vitamin K and manganese.  
  • Onion, Red: Store on counter top.
  • Parsley, Italian Flat Leaf: One of the best tasting parsley varieties that can be used raw, cooked, or dehydrated.  If you can't use up your bunch within a few days, lay out to dry or chop, put into ice cube trays and cover with water (same method we do for cilantro for optimal fresh taste in winter soups and stews)!
  • Peppers:  Sweet Italian & a colored Bell.  There may be a bad spot that needs to be removed - these dewy mornings spread mold spores easily.  Keep monitoring your peppers so you're sure to use them up before they go bad.  Easily put into the freezer too by removing the seed cavity and putting into a freezer bag.
  • Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Mixed Slicers & Paste:  We're nearing the end folks....the patch is getting tired looking and a bit slimy from rotten or really cracked tomatoes that we leave in the field.  However, you're bound to find ones that turn bad.  Take them out of your bag so you can monitor your tomatoes, using up as necessary.  Put uneaten cherry or slicers onto a cooking sheet and roast them for your freezer bags!
COMING SOON....
winter squash, more broccoli, red onions, saute mix, turnips, and more!
A foggy picture of Cate gathering contents for the sample box- (determining what size box we will need and how it will be packed)

News From the Farm

Cate and I were looking through some photos of our first years on the farm (15 years ago).  And it is amazing to see how far we have come.  We are so close to what we are doing- heads down focused on the immediate tasks at hand such as the needs of our boys, trying to throw together a meal of whatever we have on hand (often some sort of sauteed veggies with eggs), planning the next project for our crew and what needs to happen to keep your boxes full and diverse.  We are so focused on these things and the path ahead that we forget about the path we took to get to where we are now.  It is fun to see the contrast to how we started farming- our first packing shed (inside a falling down tobacco shed), cooler and wash set up.  Our first acre garden.  Thinking we were rolling in it with $2,000 in yearly sales.  Now we are a bustling farm with 7 full-time, and 4 part-time employees and 28 acres of produce.  We have been improving a rundown farm- tearing down dilapidated buildings, restored a beautiful barn and built a new packing shed. We now have a 500 member CSA as well as a some nice wholesale customers.

One of the biggest reasons we have been able to grow and improve our farm is in large part because of our CSA customers. One of my favorite things to do while generating our site lists and when printing the labels for the boxes, is to look at all of the longtime customers we have- there are many many people who have been with us since the beginning. As well I enjoy familiarizing myself with the names of new customers and sites that I hope will continue to eat our food. 

People need to understand that purchasing a CSA share has a huge impact in strengthening our local economy - virtually all of the money we earn stays here in our state.  Where as if you shop at the grocery store only the small percentage the store marks up stays locally.  Our CSA customers have allowed us to improve and grow this farm.  Our customers are responsible for the creation of real jobs that help real people pay their rent or mortgages. Our CSA customers make a difference for us as farmers and for our local economy.  And we can not begin to thank them enough for their support.  I hope that they can feel our thanks and love in the sweetness of our carrots.
 
We wish you a joyful week!
Cate & Mat
Our first wash set up.  It was crude but we made it work.  We spent many all-nighters in this shed- packing for market and our CSA deliveries.  And boy was it chilly in November!
An early winter shot of the farm stead.
Mat and Derek make good headway on the new greenhouse.  The farm has really changed.

Bulletin Board

 

BULK PURCHASE OPPORTUNITIES


* Garlic, 5 pounds $25

* Kale (green or red curly), 12 bunches $14

Place your order by 8 am Tuesday (csa@ridgelandharvest.com) and send your payment to the farm: E5538 Nelson Road, Viroqua, WI 54665.
 

Rescheduling a delivery: New this season, we are allowing members to reschedule, one time only,  to an alternate week to accommodate travel and vacation.  Or you can choose to postpone and double your next delivery. 
 

We must be notified of your intent to reschedule or postpone delivery by 8 am on the Monday of your normally scheduled delivery week.  There will be no exceptions to this deadline.  We are happy to offer this to members, but it has been taking a significant amount of time to track and manage the changes so to help please be sure to include the following:  Name, share size, delivery schedule (weekly or EOW group), pickup site, relevant dates

Newsletter Archive: Sometimes despite our best efforts our newsletters don't make it to your inbox, never fear our newsletters are archived on our website.  We usually have the newsletter done late Wednesday evening and they are immediately archived and accessible on our website:  http://ridgelandharvest.com/newsletter-archive/

MEMBER HANDBOOK: You can read it through our website under our "newsletters" tab for 2015: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2c8787a9f015805c236a13570&id=d01ceeae19

 
Copyright © 2015 Ridgeland Harvest, All rights reserved.


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