Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Season is over ~~ WHEW!

Another year, another bunch of tired farmers...
We hope you have enjoyed participating in our CSA this year! We have a few more shares to get out Thursday and Saturday, and very few next Thursday, and we have fulfilled our obligations to you all.
Please let us know how this year worked for you and if you are interested in participating next year. We will probably limit ourselves to 50 shares again, and hope to continue the delivery options. We've had more people from the White Lake area express interest, so maybe a delivery or drop-off will work there, too.
Sorry - no cauliflower this year, and jack'o'lantern pumpkins were scarce, but we feel like we did pretty well with most other veggies this year. We still have a late crop of broccoli we hoped to have ready for this WEEK 20. Ah well. If you 20 week share families want to email me and come pick up a head at Sweetwater Market in a few weeks, let me know!
Thanks for being a part of our farm!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cooking and Storing Winter Squash

Baking is our favorite way to cook winter squashes.
To bake squash, all types of squash, cut them in half lengthwise, scoop the seeds out and place them on a baking pan with the open side facing down. And don't forget to season them! You can opt for any seasoning you wish: from a little olive oil with salt and pepper to a sweeter butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon combo. Place them in the oven at 400 degrees and let cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour and a half, depending on size and texture. You really want your squash to caramelize to eliminate excess moisture and release its natural sugars. Once out of the oven, scoop out the pulp and use it to make soups, purées, sauces, pie fillings and other wonderful preparations. Just pick a good recipe!

Store most winter squashes and pumpkins as close to 50 degrees as possible, and for best results, try to keep the humidity between 70 and 80 percent. Good air circulation in the storage area is also helpful. Do not store pumpkins and squash in layers. Avoid storing them near the ground or floor where the humidity is highest.

Avoid storing them on paper or in paper or plastic bags, as bags tend to hold in too much moisture. An attic or high garage shelf, if kept above 50 degrees, may work well.

Under proper storage conditions, pumpkins last about a month, acorn squashes will last from five to eight weeks, butternut, delicata and dumpling squashes from two to three months. Keep an eye on your stored pumpkins and squash and remove any that are turning soft.

Patti's recipe in the Oceana Herald Journal!

from Andrew Skinner:

I did manage to get away from the interwebs long enough recently to give Patti Kreilick’s Eggplant Fajita recipe a try.

I met Patti, who is interning at Earthscape Farm, in Hesperia, and their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, earlier this month at a Shelby High School football game.

Patti said she enjoyed my work and cooking column, so as I do with anyone brave enough to say they actually read my column, I asked her to send me a recipe… and she did.

Patti says she came up with her recipe for Eggplant Fajitas after some of the CSA participants said they had a hard time enjoying eggplant.

“I started playing with different combinations and came up with some things that I liked,” she said.

When Patti first mentioned eggplant during our original meeting I was a little worried. I couldn’t recall ever eating the large purple vegetable and had no idea what to expect; but I figured like most people she would never send me a recipe.

Being a first time eggplant(er) I was unsure if I should cut the skin off. According to my friend the interwebs, I should — which I did — this was also seconded by Patti in a later e-mail.

Just in case you were wondering, according to the interwebs I had a female (lots of seeds) eggplant. That is why I love the good old interwebs so much. It is filled with so much useful and useless information.

Anyway, back to the recipe.

My first taste of raw eggplant reminded me of a cucumber, just dryer.

As I started cooking the cubed eggplant — since my chopping/cubing/measuring skills are lacking my cubes were 1/3 inch rather than the suggested 1/4 inch — and added the spices, I became worried I had chosen a pan that was too small. Lucky for me it cooked down and I had room for the rest of the ingredients.

The addition of the rest of the ingredients went just as planned. No fingers were sliced off or nicked during the chopping process.

The only problem I may have had relates back to my lack of measurement/size differential skills. I may have added a bit too much onion. I realized this about halfway through chopping one of those huge sweet onions. To me that is a large onion. aAs I stared at the mountain of onion on my cutting board I realized Patti probably meant a large regular size onion.

Prior to taking a few pictures of the finished fajitas, I decided to give one a try — and almost downed the entire batch.

The fajitas have a nice and spicy taste. Just like a fajita, with meat, the eggplant holds onto the spices, making for a wonderful meal.

I think I may like eggplant fajitas more than regular (meat) fajitas.

Thanks for one of my new favorite recipes, Patti.

I will no longer fear the (egg)plant.


4 Fajita shells

1 large eggplant, peeled, cube 1/4”

1 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

pinch cayenne

1 sweet pepper

1 large onion

1 clove garlic

1 hot pepper (optional)

4 oz. jalapeno cheese


• Over medium heat saute eggplant in olive oil and add spices.

• Chop and add each ingredient individually. Follow the order of the recipe.

• Warm the fajita shells on the stove top

• Let everything cook down pretty well at a low temperature.

• Put the filling in shells and let the cheese melt a little.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is the last share week for 16 week shares

There may be a few things in your boxes this week that we want to be sure you get, and we have 2 more weeks to get them to 20 week shares.

Have a great Fall, Winter and Spring! Keep eating fresh and local, as much as you can here in Michigan. Come see us at Sweetwater Market!

Butternut Squash Heart of Gold Delicata Squash

celeriac_stalks200.jpg Here's a great link to a website about celeriac, including recipes:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beans for freezing or canning

Mike and Amanda Jones have a lot of beans available in quantity. They put in a large late planting at their farm and so far the weather is holding and the beans are producing. Please email or call if you are interested in quantity beans. Their phone number is 861-2535.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Daikon Salad

Printed from COOKS.COM

8 oz. daikon radish
1 lg. carrot
1 tsp. lemon peel
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Slice daikon crosswise and cut each slice into thin strips. Cut carrot crosswise into 2 inch wide pieces. Slice each piece and cut into thin strips.

In a bowl, mix daikon and carrots and sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and squeeze. Let stand 5 minutes. Rinse them under cold running water, drain and squeeze well. Cut lemon peel into thin strips and mix with daikon mixture, set aside.

Combine sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour vinegar mixture over daikon mixture and let stand 1 hour. Makes 4 servings.

Masai Filet Beans

Masai Haricots Verts are a gourmet bean, quite time-consuming to pick. It takes the same time to pick a bean 1/3 the size of a normal green bean, but oh-the-flavor packed into this small bean! They are a favorite of ours and we like sharing them with you all.

DAIKON Radishes!

Snowy (F1) Daikon Radish (Raphanus sativus subsp. longipinnatus) is an everyday component of Asian cuisine. In fact, it is the most widely grown vegetable in Japan. You’ll find it with your meal at almost any Japanese restaurant. It can be prepared almost anyway you like, including raw, fried, grilled, boiled.

Eaten raw, Daikon has a spicy taste but becomes quite mild flavored when cooked. In addition, it has an almost magical ability to bring out other flavors in the dish.

Storage -Keeps well in the refrigerator if they are placed in a sealed container or plastic bag in order to maintain high humidity.

Preparation - This is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads or cut into strips or chips for relish trays. It also can be stir-fried, grilled, baked, boiled or broiled. Use the daikon as you would a radish. It may be served raw in salads or grated for use as a condiment (if you don't have a Japanese-style grater, use a cheese grater and grate just before serving), pickled, or simmered in a soup. They are also preserved by salting as in making sauerkraut. Daikon also is used in soups and simmered dishes. To prepare, peel skin as you would a carrot and cut for whatever style your recipe idea calls for.

A Japanese secret to cooking daikon is to use water in which rice has been washed or a bit of rice bran added (this keeps the daikon white and eliminates bitterness and sharpness}.

For Chips, Relish Tray Sticks or Stir Fries - Simply peel Daikon with a peeler and cut crossways for thin chips. Dip thin chips in ice water and they will crisp and curl for a Daikon chip platter with your favorite sour cream or yogurt dip. Cut into julienne strips for relish trays, salads or stir-frys.

Nutrition Information - Daikon is very low in calories. A 3 ounce serving contains only 18 calories and provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Rich in vitamin C, daikon contains active enzymes that aid digestion, particularly of starchy foods.

Here's a link to recipe ideas.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When does this year's CSA end?

16 week shares will end with Week 18, as you started on Week 2. That will be September 27th / 28th for Monday/Tuesday shares, or September 30th /October 2nd for Thursday / Saturday shares.

20 week CSA ends the week of October 11th.

We will continue to bring our vegetables and beef to Sweetwater Market on Saturdays 9-1. We'll also sell some veggies and beef at the farm. Call or email to make arrangements ahead of time.

Still to come:
Winter Squashes: Acorns, Butternuts, Buttercups, Kabochas, Delicatas, Dumplings
Pumpkins: Mini decorative, Pie, and at least some large jack'o'lanterns
Potatoes: Russets, Kennebecs and Fingerlings
Sweet Potatoes
Leeks, Onions, & Garlic
Celery & Celeriac
Broccoli & Cabbage (we hope!)
Carrots & Parsnips
Plus Kale, Chard, Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplant and maybe some other vegetables.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day

We are still filling share boxes on Labor Day. If you can't pick up till Tuesday, just let us know and we will put your share in the walk in cooler.

Enjoy the change of weather and the Holiday Weekend!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Satina Potatoes

Well, this is the last year we are growing this variety. They seem to have low yields and this year, a lot of heart rot. So cut them open before cooking them. If there's a black spot or whole in the middle, it's safe to cut around it and use the rest of the potato. Sorry - we have no way to tell if they have this until they are cut open!

Satinas are a yellow-skinned, yellow-fleshed potato, normally quite tasty, similar to a Yukon Gold.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Roasting Chickens for sale

Mike and Amanda are butchering their first batch of roasting chickens next Thursday. Let them know if you are interested in any!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Arugula is one of those greens you either like or don't like, BUT tastes can change. I like it much more now than I did 5 years ago. My favorite way to use it is shredded on top of homemade pizza!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Best way to keep celery

And yes, I should have found the time to tell you with the last bunch of it!
We leave all the leaves on as their flavor is superb. You should separate the leaves from the stalks so all the celery can be bagged. Wash it all well and store in ziplock bags in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. It can also be dried to use in the future. This is what I do for winter storage of it.

Our celery doesn't seem as good as in the past because, believe it or not, we have not gotten the heavy rains that have hit a little south of us. Celery thrives on water and mucky soils.

I think there will be one more bunch of it in the 20 week shares, plus some celeriac.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We have a lot of basil so if you would like some to make pesto, bring a bucket or cut off milk jug to stuff full. It freezes so easily, and stores that fresh basil flavor into winter.

Basil Pesto

Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens with additions by Patrice

Prep Time:
15 min
1 cup


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, raw or toasted
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese


Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing or storing in the refrigerator, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Use within 3-4 days or Freeze for up to 3 months. (I've had it remain good for a year!) Thaw and stir in cheese.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What are Heirloom Tomatoes?

An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it's valued characteristics. In the past 40 years, we've lost many of our heirloom varieties, along with the many smaller family farms that supported heirlooms. The multitude of heirlooms that had adapted to survive well for hundreds of years were lost or replaced by fewer hybrid tomatoes, bred for their commercially attractive characteristics.

In the process we have also lost much of the ownership of foods typically grown by family gardeners and small farms, and we are loosing the genetic diversity at an accelerating and alarming rate.

Every heirloom variety is genetically unique and inherent in this uniqueness is an evolved resistance to pests and diseases and an adaptation to specific growing conditions and climates. With the reduction in genetic diversity, food production is drastically at risk from plant epidemics and infestation by pests. Call this genetic erosion.

It is up to us as gardeners and responsible stewards of the earth to assure that we sustain the diversity afforded us through heirloom varieties.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beans for canning or freezing?

We have a lot of Green Beans right now. They are for sale to CSA members for $1.50 per lb - half off the normal price. Let us know if you are interested!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hot weather crops

Are coming on strong. The melons are very early and of great quality! Let us know if there's ever a problem with ripeness. We do our best and try to only grow the varieties that are easier to pick.

Sweet corn is bountiful. We've been through the Spring Treat (2 different plantings) and are now picking the Tuxedo. Kandy Korn will be next week, and an old heirloom Silver Queen will be the last variety.

Tomatoes! No blight in sight! But we are having some trouble with blossom-end rot and splitting because of uneven rains and watering. The Heirlooms coming this week are Costulato Genovese, Prudens Purple, Kellogg's Breakfast, Old German, Cherokee Purple. One of the best sites to look at pictures of the different varieties and read about them is There are paste tomatoes, yellow slicers, red slicers and smaller cherry and oval tomatoes, too. Finally!

Thursday - Saturday shares are getting a Jenny Lind muskmelon. The flesh is light green and they have a turban-like blossom end, and are quite sweet.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I haven't written anything here for awhile. We've been plugging away, doing a lot of picking and a lot of planting and maintenance. This is the time of year when we have to get seeds in if there's a hope of a late crop before frost and snow. More beans, carrots, lettuces, beets have all been seeded. And we are putting in flats and flats of brassica plants: broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower. These are all cool-weather crops and can usually withstand a little cold weather.

Tomatoes are getting strung up every few days to keep them up off the ground and staked. They are starting to ripen more each day. We've had a lot of blossom end rot but no late blight! And the tomato worms are wreaking havoc. They are so gross.

What you are getting: still some early red varieties: Sophie's Choice, Belii Naliv, Siletz and others. The Glaciers and Yellow Taxis are done, tho more Taxis are coming. A few shares are getting an early heirloom Costoluto Genovese - red, smaller and ruffled. The red ovals are Juliets, one of my favorites for salads, drying or cooking. The little tomatoes are red Sprite (grape shape), Sungold (orange round), Principe Borgese (round red). We picked a few Kelloggs Breakfast (I think) and Cherokee Purple that had blemishes but were still good enough for lunch!
Costoluto Genovese Cherokee Purple Tomato

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sweet Pepper Bonanza!

There are multiple kinds of sweet peppers in the CSA boxes today ~~
  • Jimmy Nardello are the ones that look like chili peppers only they are green. They are called frying peppers.
  • Mild Jalapenos look like hot jalapenos, but they aren't! They have great flavor for eggs.
  • Cubanelle are the light green long peppers.
  • New Ace are the standard green peppers.
  • Lilac are the beautiful purple peppers.
  • Feherezon are the small yellow ones.
Hot peppers are available to help yourself at the Farm, or in ziplock bags in boxes, marked HOT.

We certainly should get a good crop of red peppers this year! We have Ace Red, and medium red bell, Carmen, an elongated type, Lipstick, a smaller pointy pepper, and Red Knight, larger bell-shaped. Last summer was so cool we hardly got any red peppers.

The potatoes are French Fingerlings - a favorite. We don't have as large a crop as last year so this is the only time you will get these. They are a gourmet variety, just need to be steamed or boiled and served simply with olive oil or butter, salt, garlic, pepper.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Check out those boxes today!

Wow, it looks like a taste of summer! We had enough little sweet peppers to give one to everyone! And cucumbers and tomatoes! We checked - we didn't have tomatoes and peppers to give out till Week 10 last summer, Week 8 the summer of 2008, so we are really early this year. It looks like eggplant may be ready next week!

The garlic bulbs are small. They were supposed to be green garlic (like scallions), but because of the heat they bulbed up right away. Even tho it doesn't look like they have skins, even the individual cloves have to be peeled.

See the post below for info on the potatoes.

The onions are a very early variety. The smaller ones can be cooked whole or any of them can be used like any kind of onion.

This is the last big week for peas. There may be a few straggling in next week.

Please let us know if you would like any herbs. A lot are on now and ready for harvest.

Not-Very-Pretty Potatoes Today

We tried out growing potatoes in black plastic, and while they grew well and produced an early crop, they do not look as nice as usual. There's a small amount of these for everyone, and we will start digging the field-grown potatoes in a week or so.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tomato plants are on the left with their stakes and the first few lines of string. Then there are rows of potatoes, hilled and mulched. We have 3 kinds of fingerlings, russets, red norlands, kennebecs in. You can see a bit of onions, leeks and garlic on the right edge of the photo.
Cows and calves, hanging out in the shade.


Please remember there are no CSA veggies this Thursday, Saturday, or next Monday and Tuesday. We will resume CSA veggies with Thursday shares on July 8th. We will be at Sweetwater Market on Saturday from 9am till 1pm with whatever will not hold till next CSA Day.

In the meantime we are getting hay baled, weeding weeding weeding, planting later summer and fall crops in cells for transplanting in a few weeks, and seeding some things directly in the ground, doing bug patrol and spraying with the biological controls when needed, making compost, stringing up tomato plants, mulching. Etc. etc. etc.

When CSA resumes, we will have yellow and white early onions, potatoes, more peas, and summer squashes ready. We will also have peppers and cucumbers soon. We've picked 4 sweet peppers, and the cucumbers are almost ready to snitch some early ones. We ate fresh-dug Red Norland potatoes a few days ago - so creamy and flavorful! Can't wait to share them with you all.

On Saturday, July 3rd the Sweetwater Local Foods Market celebrates its 5th Birthday (since founding in 2005) with cake and music in celebration of the 100th birthday of our official "Queen of the Market" - Jeanette Keiser of Marne. Jeanette's son Paul is a regular vendor and brings his mom to share in the fun. She still gets a long pretty well and is a joy to be around. We will also begin a month-long "Pasture-Raised Local Meat" sale with samples of Creswick Farms sausages.

For CSA share holders, remember you can stop by the Market and pick up fresh herbs any Saturday. I'd appreciate an email on Friday letting me know what you want so I can be sure to bring enough. And if you let me know ahead of Earthly Kneads deliveries, I can add special order herbs to your box. We have Italian Parsley, Dill, and Basil in quantity now.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Farm work and veggies coming soon:

Snap peas. Beets with greens. Cabbages. More carrots, scallions, snow and shelling peas. Cucumbers are about 1 inch long. We've picked about 10 summer squashes and 3 smallish green peppers. Melons look great and are blooming and setting fruit.

We have gotten about a half inch of rain in the last 2-3 weeks - all the storms have gone south or north of us. It's quite dry here, but we have the irrigation hooked up to most of the gardens now.

The summer onslaught of weeds and weeding is in full pull-and-hoe mode. If we don't keep ahead of them now, we are behind all the rest of the growing season. We bought a new weeder this year that pulls behind a tractor with a person riding it and controlling the tined weeders. Very cool!

A woodchuck has been eating beans and carrot tops. We have the live trap set and the guns loaded. They are so destructive. They also dig huge holes in fields that will break a cow's leg.

All the melons are planted now, and doing well. We still have more cucumbers to plant, many more beans to plant. All the winter squashes are in, and pumpkins, too. Corn is growing well. The tomatoes are in need of trellising but are doing well. We are picking and eating a few each day and hope to have them for you all soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery

Will have bread available for sale at Thursday's CSA pickup. Try some samples! Buy some to treat your family to more wholesome food! Read the post from a few days ago to know more about this delicious opportunity.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A week off

Remember we are taking a week off of CSA around July 4th. There will be no pickup on July 1st or 5th, and no deliveries on July 3rd and 6th. We are not going out of town, but this gives us time to catch up on the maintenance and get the Fall crops planted. We are also usually putting up hay and doing large farm work, too. AND maybe, just maybe, we will get time to go to Lake Michigan, visit friends, have a few days off. We haven't been to the lake yet - Farming doesn't allow for much leisure time in the normal vacation time of Summer.

We will still be at Sweetwater Market on Saturday, July 3rd, selling the things that won't keep till next CSA day, July 8th. Come visit us there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery!

Greetings members of Earthscape/Full Circle Farm!

My name is Hilde Muller. My husband Charlie and I are former CSA members (and farm workers) at the Bobier's farm. We are currently in the process of opening a small Bakery adjacent to our home in Elbridge township.We are calling the bakery Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery and we aim to take bread and other goodies to various farmers' markets by mid-July. As a way of gearing up for our official bakery debut in July, we are conducting a series of trial bakes in our Wood-Fired Brick Oven. This hand-built oven utilizes wood-fire heat that is stored in 15,000 pounds of masonry! Traditionally, ovens of this sort have been used all over the world for professional and communal bread-baking. To our understanding, there are only forty of these ovens in use in the United States and now we have one right here in our own backyard that Charlie built last winter! We are very excited to be baking in this oven and to be producing handmade, full-flavored bread for the good people of Oceana County.

Nearly all of our breads are naturally-leavened--this means that, rather than using commercial yeast, we cultivate a starter that captures wild yeast (yeast naturally present in the flour and in the air). A naturally-leavened bread is more easily digested by our bodies because it undergoes a longer period of fermentation. This long period of fermentation contributes to the development of extraordinary flavors!! Our breads are made with simple ingredients (organic flours and grains, sea salt) but the breads themselves are full-flavored and complex. Another wonderful benefit of a naturally-leavened bread is that it keeps for a week on the counter. Our bread also freezes beautifully if a whole loaf is too much for one to eat at a time!

The two breads we are baking on Monday that will be available exclusively to the members of Earthscape/Full Circle CSA at the trial bake price of $5/loaf are:

WEST MICHIGAN WHEAT. Our signature loaf. A rich, chewy crust and a creamy white crumb (interior) flecked with the sweetest hint of Michigan Whole Wheat (grown in Eaton Rapids). Perfect for bread and butter or memorable sandwiches--an everyday treat... Twenty-five hours from start to finish (from the time we feed the starter to the time we pull it out of the oven...)

GRIFF'S 8-GRAIN. A hearty 8-grain, 3-seed bread named for our hearty neighbor Jim Griffin. We don't know what we'd do without Jim and we don't know what we would do without this deeply satisfying loaf. Made with four Michigan-grown organic grains (wheat, rye, barley, kamut), plus four additional organic grains (millet, buckwheat, steel-cut oats, cornmeal), and topped with sunflower, sesame, and poppy seeds--this is easily our most complicated loaf! But well worth every ounce of effort (especially considering all those grains are soaked for 12 hours before the dough is even mixed!) We love this bread sliced and bare-naked...It doesn't even need butter! We mix a bit of raw Michigan Honey into the dough and it lends the finished bread just a touch of sweetness. Needless to say, this bread makes AMAZING toast. Also, twenty-five hours from start to finish...

So, Come to Monday farm pickup and sample a slice or two of bread!
We are delighted to be able to offer these trial-bake loaves to you and your family.

Peace be with you,

Hilde and Charlie Muller
Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chinese Cabbage and Carrots!

The carrots today are Mokum, an early, smaller, sweet variety that make me continually say "I need to grow more of these!" They win the taste test and are so fun to grow!

The Chinese Cabbage has tried to bolt (make seed), so rather than having 1 head for 2 weeks, you will get 2 heads today. If you have a Vegetables A to Z book, look up storage and recipes there. this is a Napa cabbage called Fun Jen. Chinese cabbage originated near the Beijing region of China, and is widely used in East Asian cuisine. Napa cabbage is lighter in color than pak choy.

In Korean cuisine, it is the main ingredient of baechu kimchi, the most common type of kimchi, but is also eaten raw as a wrap for pork or oysters, dipped in gochujang. The outer, tougher leaves are used in soups.

Stir fry it or make an oriental salad!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Raising good beef

As a meat grower, I disagree with the notion that bovines should never eat grain. Should humans never eat dessert? Our steers love to have all the grass and hay they can eat, plenty of land they can roam, even in winter, and a little home grown and ground-on-the-farm grain in their last few months. The natural diet of free ranging ruminants changes as the season progresses. Grasses and forbs lose their succulence, the stems become woodier, and the seeds mature. The seed of many wild grasses resemble and have nutrients much the same as the commonly fed small grains like oats, barley and rye. We believe the quality key is free-range pasture and a limited amount of non-GMO mixed grains as the animals mature. NO corn silage, crowded confinement or feedlots!

People always tell us our beef is more tasty and tender than other 'grass-fed' beef they've had.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sweetwater Market today!

Come see us! If you are a CSA Shares family you should have received a parsley plant. I'll have some at the Market for anyone who missed out.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Turnip Greens Recipe (thanks, Heidi!)

Leon O'Neal's Turnip Greens Epicurious | April 2002

by Robb Walsh
Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook

At Leon's "World's Finest" In & Out B-B-Q House on Galveston Island, they serve tender ribs and tangy sauce with sensational Southern-style vegetables. "It's all in the seasoning," says Leon. Here's his recipe for turnip greens.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
1 large bunch turnip greens
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
Dash of sugar
6 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
Salt to taste
Louisiana hot-pepper sauce

Wash the greens in several changes of water in the sink until no more grit is seen. Chop the greens coarsely. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the greens, the turnip, and the sugar. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

In a large skillet, sauté the bacon until it gives up its grease. Add the onion and cook 7 minutes until the onion is soft. Toss the greens with the bacon and onion. Add the lemon pepper and salt. Serve with Louisiana hot-pepper sauce.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This is the perfect book for people who want to know more about vegetables. I purchase it to sell to you all and our customers at Sweetwater Market. CSA members get a reduced price ~~ $18 per book.

This informative and easy-to-use cookbook celebrates sustainable farming with a wide array of scrumptious recipes for seasonal, farm-fresh produce. From peas, peppers and potatoes to basil, bok choy, and burdock root, From Asparagus to Zucchini highlights the best of seasonal cuisine from around the country.
Revised and updated third edition features:

-- 420 recipes, 80% new, 100% are original

-- Recipes and information for more than 50 vegetables and herbs

-- Dishes from growers, farm members, and home cooks who love vegetables

-- Special sections on community supported agriculture, the benefits of eating locally, seasonal cooking, recipes for kids, and much, much more!

Today's veggies

Garlic Scapes are the seed heads of garlic that should be cut off in order to get bigger bulbs. They taste like garlic and make a yummy addition to anything that needs garlic flavor. You can also make garlic scape pesto, tho I don't think there's enough in your share box for a large batch of it. Simply grind the scapes with almonds or pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil and sea salt.

Our turnip roots are not as blemish-free this year (hot weather mostly, as they are a cool weather crop). We tried to sort out only good ones for Shares. If there are any bad spots, it's pretty obvious and they just need peeling and trimming. We had mashed turnips for lunch today! I trimmed the rejects and cubed them. I sauteed some onion, added a little water and cubed turnips, some garlic and also some left over cauliflower. When it was all soft and mushy, I blended it together, added some butter, salt and pepper, and could hardly wait for it all to cool to eat!

Turnip greens are supercharged with so many different nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin A (through their concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, copper, calcium, and dietary fiber. They should be stored separately from the roots and used in 4-5 days. Wash them, trim out the rib unless you are cooking them a longer time in a soup. Chop them and steam or saute them. Here are some ideas for eating:

Serve sautéed turnip greens seasoned with some tamari, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

Make a simple meal with a little Southern inspiration. Serve cooked turnip greens with beans and rice.

Healthy sauté turnip greens, sweet potatoes and tofu, and serve alongside your favorite grain.

Use turnip greens in addition to spinach when making vegetarian lasagna.

What's in your box??

If you are visiting this blog page, you will see the list of this week's share veggies on the right side. When the next week's veggies are posted, the list of veggies from the previous week moves to the very bottom of the blog under 2010.

I try to get this all updated by Monday or Thursday afternoon. Of course, Thursday update wasn't completed till this morning...

Feel free to email or call if you have questions about anything.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Patti Kreilick joined us this past week! Her Dad lived in our Sugar Shack one summer when he was about her age. Everyone is glad for better housing now. Here's her bio:

I was born in Shelby in 1983 (note from Patrice: I was at her birth). As a baby in a back pack, I toured the cow pasture with Bill, and an interest was sparked at a young age. Most of my childhood was spent in Fremont, OH, where I lived on a farm as a young girl. After attending Miami University and achieving a degree in English Literature, I moved to Nashville for four years, working at The Tin Angel Restaurant. My interest in food, its production and preparation grew through this experience. I'm looking forward to getting back to my roots and experiencing life in Western Michigan as an adult.

We'll have to update her picture to Farmer Patti soon!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kohlrabi and fresh oregano, turnips

Have you ever eaten a kohlrabi? These little sputnik-shaped vegetables come in green or purple, can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste a lot like broccoli stems. The word kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip (kohl as in cole-slaw, and rübe for turnip) though kohlrabi is more related to cabbage and cauliflower than to root vegetables. We usually eat them raw, just peeled, sliced and added to a salad, but they are also delicious cooked and are often used in Indian cuisine.

Fresh oregano can be used in any dish that dried oregano can go in. I made pizza last night with fresh oregano on top. Use it in salad dressing or tomato sauce. My hands still smell great from picking it!

I used the rejected turnips in a pot roast this week. I cubed them and put them under the roast with onions and garlic, potato, celery, and let it cook in a crock pot all day. The turnips have a way of absorbing the juice from the roast and were fantastic!
Turnips are also good cooked with potatoes and made into mashed potatoes/turnips.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot Hot days

Whew. We still have to pick veggies and work in the gardens, no matter what the weather is. Cold, rainy, hot, humid.

This heat has made the pak choi bolt (try to make seed). It doesn't affect the flavor, but does make them less pretty. It's happened in just a few days. Most of the ones that went out in Monday's shares were lovely. We will have to harvest the rest of it in the next few days, and if it holds over ok in the coolers, give it out in shares next week. You get a lot of it today! And I'll have some at Sweetwater Market on Saturday. Seeds were planted in the greenhouse in 2 different plantings, but it still all comes ripe and ready at once.

We have been busy transplanting in the cooler mornings and evenings ~ melons, cucumbers, summer squash, tomatoes. 400 plants were put in yesterday, and we have about 400 more ready to go in this evening. Irrigation is set up in part of the gardens - the rest has to be hand-watered.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Earthscape / Full Circle Farm 2010 CSA Season Begins!

Welcome to our FARM! We’ve been gardening here since 1972, always using organic methods. Our soil is rebuilt every year with compost, organic matter, soil amendments like rock phosphate and wood ashes, and tilled-under green manures. If you nurture the soil, it will nurture you in return. We do pest control with biological predators and row covers, hand picking, crop rotation, some sprays allowed with organic production, etc.

Please take time to walk in the gardens or visit the animals. If we have time, we can show you around. Always, always ask questions!

This will be the only planned printed newsletter. Please check the website often for updates and a list of what is in your share box. I will do email updates periodically. Make sure you add us to your email address book so any emails will not go to your spam folder.

If you haven’t paid for your share yet this season, please do!

In your share box this week:

  • Spinach – a Spring plant. It doesn’t like this heat. It won’t last long in the garden.
  • Leaf Lettuces – a mix with 6-8 kinds of lettuce, arugula, beet greens, kale, mustards.
  • Head Lettuce – There’s a real wide variety of kinds today.
  • Pak Choi – Pak Choi is excellent stir fried with garlic and onions, plus any other veggies you might have. Or make an oriental salad!
  • Scallions – Use raw or cooked.
  • Radishes - 3 different kinds. We grow these under row covers to keep the bugs out and off them. Same with the Pak Choi.
  • Chives have flowered and can go in a vase or be eaten, all but the harder stems. I usually pull out the flowers and then only eat the softer stems. Double duty.
  • A Parsley plant – Mostly Italian Flatleaf Parsley, the better-flavored kind. It likes sun, and should be transplanted into a fairly large and deep pot as it has a long taproot, or directly into the ground. You will be able to harvest the outside stems all summer and fall.
  • The best veggie scrubbing brush ever! This brush is a tradition in our first share box.

Most produce is water-cooled immediately after picking, and then bagged because it stays fresher that way. We also try to keep things refrigerated as long as possible before packing your boxes.

The Department of Agriculture Food Safety people do not allow us to sell things ‘washed, ready to eat’ since we don’t have a certified kitchen. Lettuce and spinach leaves are triple washed and spun dry. Everything else is washed once or twice, and trimmed a bit if it’s appropriate. (Our trimmings go to the chickens!) None of it is officially ready to eat, but most needs just a little more washing. If you don’t have a salad spinner, I highly recommend one.

Please return boxes every week, and we will also reuse clean, dry bags.

Eggs are available for sale in the refrigerator - $2.50 per dozen. Put the $ in the container there.

We also sell beef by the package or quarter. Ask for pricing.

Please email or call with any questions. Happy Eating !

Patrice and Bill Bobier, Mike Jones and today’s crew: Caitlyn & Arielle Fritcher, Marty Wyels, & Tim Schirmer