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The Weekly Weeder

July 14, 2016
Weekly shares and Garlic EOW Group
The garlic crop is just about in!  This above wagon load is ready to be hung in the hay mow to cure for the next 2-3 weeks. 

We hang garlic in a similar way to how tobacco was hung - using old tobacco lath we drape 4-6 bundles onto each lath - then lath by lath they're carried up the stairs to the hay mow.  In 2012, after our tobacco barn was taken down, we outfitted the dairy barn with cables strung across the entire upper floor.  This season we'll fill it!

Box Contents and Tips

It's an in-between box this week....the peppers and tomatoes have just started ripening and they'll start to appear next week!
  • Basil: 1 small Small; 1 large Standards; 2 large Doubles.  The basil is dirty because we don't like to wash it in fear of blackening before it reaches you.  Wash, dry thoroughly, and use soon as it is perishable.  We like to store it in a vase out on the counter top.  When it is stored too cold (refrigerators) it can turn black and immediately rot. Try a batch of Pesto Noodles!    
  • Beans, Purple: Half pound Smalls; 1 pound Standards; 2 pounds Doubles.  Store in plastic bag in your refrigerator to avoid dehydration (softening/wilting).  Sadly the purple color will diminish to a dark green color once cooked, but the antioxidants from the purple bean are still intact.   
  • Broccoli:  pounds Small;  pounds Standards;  pounds Doubles.  Store in plastic bag until used. 
  • Cucumbers! A lot for every share!  Wow, the cucumbers are kicking into high gear - time to eat cucumbers!  We enjoy a peeled slice of cucumber on sandwiches, tacos, burgers and the standard yogurt/cucumber salad.  Store in refrigerator crisper drawer and put into a plastic bag if you don't intend to use right away (will dehydrate inside a refrigerator).
  • Dill: 1 small bunch Smalls; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  Cucumber Dill Salad time or top your cooked beans with a little chopped dill.  Dill is also easy to dry or can be make into dill cubes for later Spanakopida
  • Garlic, Fresh: 1 small bulb Smalls; 2 large bulb Standards; 3 bulbs Doubles.  Freshly dug!  Store on counter top as you would regular cured garlic.  Use as you would garlic. 
  • Eggplant: Small Shares Only. Eggplants don't like to be stored too cold, so be careful they aren't put into the back of your refrigerator. We put into a plastic bag to keep firm until used.  This variety is not bitter so doesn't need to be salted prior to use. The skin is also thin so you can slice entire fruit and eat it.  Excellent grilled and eaten as an "ELT".
  • Lettuce, Green Leaf &/or Red Leaf: all shares. Store in salad spinner or plastic bag until used.
  • Onions, Fresh Sweets: 1 Smalls; 2 Standards; 1 big bunch Doubles.  Store in the refrigerator inside a plastic bag so everything in your refrigerator doesn't smell/taste like onions.  You can store them this way for many weeks so no need to use them up.
  • Pepper, Jalapeno: 1 Smalls; 2 Standards; 3 Doubles.  These have good spice to them this year.  If you don't like a lot of spice, cut in half and remove the seeds, and use half if you like.  Store in plastic bag to avoid softening.  Stored cold but humid they will keep for weeks!
  • Zucchini - combination of green, gold and patty pan (round). 2 count Smalls; 3 count Standards; 3 count Doubles.  Store on your counter top to avoid rubbery zucchini's. 
COMING SOON: More Basil & Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Peppers & Carrots and lots more!

Video of the Week

A video of the under-cutter in action as it lifts the soil and loosens the garlic in the bed.  Then we can easily pull the garlic out of the soil, rub and shake off the soil, and bundle them together.  This simple tool has allowed us to hang up our pitchforks!  

News From the Farm

It was a hot, humid Monday.  Shirts, socks and hats were dripping wet after 4 hours of harvesting zucchini and a mega load of cucumbers!  Lunch was accompanied by refreshing blueberry shakes after most of the crew participated in fun garlic bulb eating dares on Friday....we owed them a milk shake for the dares.  Everyone was surprised how mild the garlic is when it's fresh - cured garlic is pungent and spicy.   Hum, perhaps another milk shake bet will be in order come August!

Over the last two weeks we have been harvesting our garlic crop....amid harvesting other crops and rain events, we're hopeful that Thursday we will finish! 

This season we grew 1-acre of garlic with an estimated yield of 12-15,000 pounds.  It's a crop that many view as a money-maker, but it's a labor intensive crop from planting, mulching, harvesting, trimming, cleaning and sorting.  

We aren't new to growing garlic.  Fifteen years ago we purchased 1-pound of seed and every year since have gradually built our own seed bank.  We select the  highest quality bulbs from each variety to use as our seed.  In October we plant the cloves and use cover with 8-12 inches of mulch.  By early April the garlic is growing through the mulch and now in mid-July we're harvesting the crop!  This year we have 5 different varieties (German Extra Hardy, Asian Tempest, Red Italian, Chesnok, and Porcilan) all or hard neck varieties and  have excellent flavor, and are easy to peel.    We will be giving garlic and most of the boxes the rest of the season but for those hardcore garlic lovers there will be opportunities to purchase larger amounts.

We don't grow garlic because it is a large money maker, we grow it because we love growing it.  But mostly because we love eating it.  If you are one that doesn't care for it, take a look at how you are cooking it.  We have found that when cooked properly it is mellow and sweet.  Try making sure it is cooked in a hot pan with oil but taking care not to brown too mush or burn it as it can become bitter.  If cooked in a wet environment added to a pan overloaded with moist vegetable and not direct contact with oil it can be strong and stringent.  Take some time to research this Cooks Illustrated and Cooks Country has some good ideas...  Most importantly don't just assume that your don't like garlic- give it another try.  For those who love it (like we do)... enjoy.

Eat well everyone -
Cate & Mat
The Strange Vegetable Lottery!
On occasion we come across a funny shaped or colored vegetable.  To encourage people to read the newsletter and simply for fun we play a game called The Strange Vegetable Lottery.  Here is how it works: we take a picture of said vegetable and put it in the newsletter and we put the vegetable in a random box.  If you receive this strange looking vegetable you must take a picture of it and email it to us at  Once we have photographic evidence that you received the same strange vegetable shown in the newsletter you will receive a prize in your next box.

So these weeks vegetable is this beautiful double jalapeno pepper.  If you get this pepper  in your box send us a pic and you will receive a fabulous prize!
Last weeks winner was Robyn who picks up her share at the Mayo Clinic in La Crosse.  She will receive a pound of garlic for winning the Strange Vegetable Lottery.

We received many pictures from members of their patty pan squashs.  Just to be clear in order to win the lottery you must receive the strange looking vegetable pictured in the newsletter- see above for rules.

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!
BASIL,12 bunches $18  -- great for pesto lovers & drying.
12 bunches $18 -- great for freezing!
Farm Email:
Farm Address: E5538 Nelson Road, Viroqua, WI 54665 

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If you are still not receiving our newsletters try resubmitting your email address to our mailing list on our website (the form to do so is on the bottom right of the homepage of our website), they can also be downloaded from our website here:

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.  However, tracking the requests is very time consuming  we serve 500 members.  So we ask that you provide the following information 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!!
Member Submissions
Send us your pictures and meal ideas. We will put your pictures, recipes/ideas  this section of the newsletter.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps from Robyn in La Crosse
Pesto noodles with garlic, onion, zucchini, broccoli. Delicious, healthy, and quick! from Robyn in La Crosse
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