Farm News

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Follow the weekly newsletter for our 2012 CSA season here

Posted by on 07 Aug 2012 | Tagged as: Farm News

See what’s going in the boxes every week, read updates about the farm, browse links to recipes and helpful resources, and check out our photos.

>>Click here for the weekly CSA newsletter

2012 Season Officially Open – Reserve Your Spot Today!

Posted by on 20 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: CSA, Farm News

We are very excited about the coming season and we hope to see you back in 2012! Stranger’s Hill Organics Partner Dave Rollo will be our Farm Manager this year, and partners and original founders Dale and Lee Jones will be very involved in crop production, sharing their 30+ years of experience as organic growers. Registration is officially open and we encourage you to enroll early, as shares are limited. Fill out the CSA-Membership-Agreement-2012 and send it in with your deposit or full membership fee to reserve your spot!

Questions?  Contact Farm Manager Dave Rollo until May, when CSA Coordinator Ben Smith begins.

Dave: 812-272-2207 or

Ben (starting May 1): 317-625-2901 or

Check out our 2012 crop list on the CSA webpage.

Farmhouse for Rent

Posted by on 29 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

Historic farmhouse for rent at 80-acre organic farm
6.5 miles from downtown Bloomington
3 bedrooms, 1 bath
$900/month + utilities
($300/month + share of utilities on a per room basis)

*Ideal candidate for house will be interested in farm labor


Third annual farm tour gives visitors a look at locally grown food

Posted by on 28 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

From the Herald Times, June 30, 2010

Vanessa Carusso works at Stranger’s Hill farm and sells produce grown there at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market. Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

Some might find it strange that a person who hates hot weather as much as I do looks forward with great anticipation to our Hoosier summers. The reason for this schizophrenia is to be found during a stroll through the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market on any Saturday morning.

Surrounded by heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, mushrooms, summer squash and a veritable riot of other summer treasures, I’m in hog heaven. Judging by the hundreds of other Bloomingtonians who attend the market every week, I am far from alone.

Once a year we are offered an opportunity to go beyond the market and see just how our favorite foods make it from field to table. Co-sponsored by Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, Slow Food, the Local Growers Guild and Bloomingfoods, the third annual Homegrown Indiana Farm Tour is coming up July 18.

Farms visited change every year, and this year’s program looks to be especially interesting. A short bus ride from Showers Common will take tour participants to the first stop on the tour, Stranger’s Hill, the oldest continuously certified organic farm in the state. If you’ve ever wondered why organic produce costs more than conventional, here’s the opportunity to see for yourself the weapons that organic farmers must deploy to defend their crops from the ravaging hordes of critters determined to eat your food before it can make it to your plate.

Stranger’s Hill is also home to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank Garden, where volunteers grow quality produce for the food bank on land donated by the Stranger’s Hill partners. (Nice going, guys!) Last year — the garden’s first — yielded 5,600 pounds of organic vegetables for local residents in need of food assistance.

Next stop is Chris and Feng Valliant’s Phoenix Hill Farms. Chris and Feng grow Asian vegetables and other greens, but their main claim to fame is their artisinal tofu, which I have written about enthusiastically in a previous column. See where they make their small-batch tofu entirely by hand, according to the methods they learned in China.

The last stop on the tour is the 150-acre Marble Hill Farm, home to a herd of free-ranging Angus cattle. The beef here is all-natural, hormone and antibiotic free, the kind you can feel good about feeding your family. This is a great opportunity to educate yourself on the vast differences that exist between the supermarket meat of today and the meat our grandparents ate.

The usual suspects (Rags Rago of Nick’s and Jeff Finch of Finch’s) will be on hand to cap the day with a feast composed of the bounty of mid-summer, all of it local, and all of it delicious. You can relax and enjoy a delightful al fresco meal while discussing the day’s events with the new friends you are bound to make along the way.

The Homegrown Farm Tour has become a highly anticipated event for a growing number of Bloomington residents, and it sells out quickly. If you haven’t been, this is a particularly good year to give it a try, as all of the farms are in Monroe County, so time on the bus is minimal. Registration closes July 12, but don’t wait: This is an excursion you don’t want to miss.

A note to midweek grocery shoppers: If you need to restock your produce bin, the Wednesday Farmers’ Market in the eastside Bloomingfoods parking lot is in full swing. From 8 a.m. to noon, you’ll find the McCulloughs here with their ever-popular sweet corn, joined by five or six additional vendors selling a rich variety of local produce.

Farm tour info

WHEN: 2-9 p.m. July 18

WHERE: Leaves from and returns to Showers Common, 401 N. Morton St.

COST: $60 (wine and beer available for a nominal charge)

REGISTRATION: By July 12 in the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department office or

MORE INFO: Call Marcia at 349-3738 or e-mail

Sauteed Bell Peppers and Golden Raisins with Baby Spinach

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil6 red bell peppers, cut into strips

2/3 cup golden raisins

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

8 cups (about 6 ounces) baby spinach leaves

Sea salt

Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and saute until slightly softened, about seven minutes. Add the raisins and fennel seeds, and cook until the peppers are soft, about five minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, toss the spinach with the remaining oil and vinegar in a large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt. Spoon the pepper-raisin mixture over the spinach. Sprinkle on a bit of sea salt. Serves eight to 10.

From “Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes” by Jeanne Kelley.

Pickled Tomatoes

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns6-8 small vine-ripened tomatoes (enough to fill a 2-quart glass jar)

8 small jarred pepperoncini

4 small fresh bay leaves

4 sprigs dill, stemmed

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup red wine vinegar

21/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine peppercorns, tomatoes, pepperoncini, bay leaves, dill and garlic in a 2-quart glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 11/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour vinegar mixture over tomatoes. Seal jar; let cool. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

From “Saveur” magazine.

Corn with Bacon and Miso Butter

This weird-sounding dish is incredibly delicious, especially when made with fresh sweet corn. If you don’t already have some miso (Japanese soybean paste) in your fridge, this recipe is the only reason you need to get some. (Miso will keep forever with refrigeration.)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened1 tablespoon white miso

1/4 pound thick-sliced bacon (about 3 slices)

1 small onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

10 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut from cobs

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions


Stir together butter and miso in a small bowl; set aside.

Cut bacon crosswise into 1/8 -inch-wide strips. Cook in a 12-inch skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about eight minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet.

Cook onion in bacon fat, stirring, until golden, five to eight minutes. Add corn and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, increase heat to moderately high, and cook, stirring constantly, until some of the kernels are pale golden, three to four minutes. Add water and butter mixture and cook, stirring, until corn is tender and coated with miso butter, about four minutes. Stir in bacon, 1/4 cup scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve corn sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions. Serves four to six.

From “Gourmet Today.”

Copyright: 2010

Native Plant Give-away!

Posted by on 22 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

Free Native Plants at the June 26th Community Farmers’ Market
June 21th, 2010

For more information:
Mike Tosick, Chair, Environmental Commission, City of Bloomington, 391-9756

Heather Reynolds, Stranger’s Hill Organics, 339-7916

Bloomington, IN – Discover the benefits of Natural Landscaping!  The City of Bloomington Environmental Commission and Stranger’s Hill Organics have teamed up for the fourth annual native plants giveaway.  Purple coneflower, butterfly milkweed, and bergamot are just some of the native prairie perennials that will be available free at the June 26th Bloomington Farmers’ Market.

“The EC strongly supports the work that Stranger’s Hill Organics has done in promoting the use of native plants in our area,” says Environmental Commission Chair Mike Tosick.  “And we commend them for once again coming forward to give away native plant species to local residents.”

The Environmental Commission will be distributing its Natural Landscaping literature along with the plants.  In addition to a brochure introducing the concept, a series of Natural Landscaping fact sheets explain how residents can assess their property, purchase native plants, create gardens for sun, shade, and other conditions, attract wildlife and build water features. This literature can also be accessed at the Environmental Commission’s website (

The prairie plants were grown organically by Stranger’s Hill Organics. “Native plants are an important part of our farm,” says Heather Reynolds of Stranger’s Hill Organics.  “Besides being beautiful, native plants promote beneficial insects and birds that pollinate crops and provide natural pest control, help to build rich soil, and filter storm water. We are delighted to help to spread the benefits of native plants throughout the Bloomington community.”

“Native plants have evolved over many years and have adapted to local conditions,” continues Tosick.  “They require very little watering once established, are well-adapted to local soil conditions, and do not spread aggressively like exotic plants can do.”

Natural Landscaping:

  • is good for the environment.  Locally, it improves air and water quality by eliminating pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer.  Globally, it cuts greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use associated with mowing and chemical production.
  • saves you time and money.  Less time and money spent weeding, mowing, and treating with chemicals means more time spent enjoying the great outdoors.
  • is easy for both novice and experienced gardeners.  Native plants are adapted to the local environment and can thrive with little or no help.

Stop by the June 26th Saturday Farmers’ Market to pick up free native plant seedlings and free information to assist you in creating sustainable, more natural, and beautiful spaces.

You can reach the Environmental Commission by phone via the City Planning Department at 349-3423, or send an email to: Find out more about Stranger’s Hill Organics at


Report: Stranger’s Hill Organics Honored as an Outstanding Community Partner

Posted by on 22 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

From the Herald Times, June 10, 2010

Six individuals or groups were honored with Hunger Recognition Awards for their outstanding support of the Hoosier Hills Food Bank Tuesday night at the food bank’s Fourth Annual Hunger Recognition Awards Ceremony and Volunteer Appreciation Reception at the Indiana Memorial Union.

They are:

Bloomington Hospital, Outstanding Community Partner, for being a longtime and substantial donor to the Meal Share prepared food rescue program and sponsor of a large annual food drive.

Mother’s Cupboard, Outstanding Partner Agency. This Brown County soup kitchen and food pantry has stepped up to feed about 90 people per day and provide groceries to 450 people each month.

Stranger’s Hill Organics, Outstanding Community Partner. The Monroe County farm is a food donor and provided the opportunity to start the food bank’s Garden Program, which raises organic produce that is distributed to food bank agencies.

Sen.Richard Lugar, Outstanding Advocate. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Senator Lugar has been an advocate for the hungry and for Indiana food banks, sponsoring anti-hunger legislation and last year’s statewide Hoosiers Fighting Hunger food drive.

T.J. Deckard, Outstanding Volunteer. A volunteer for over six years, Deckard has provided technical support for the food bank’s IT network, saving the food bank thousands of dollars.

Soup Bowl Organizing Committee, Outstanding Volunteers. More than a dozen people have helped lead volunteers Carrie Newcomer and Robert Meitus organize the annual Soup Bowl Benefit, the food bank’s largest source of community support.

Copyright: 2010

Flower shares now available!

Posted by on 17 Feb 2010 | Tagged as: CSA, Farm News

Strangers Hill is offering a cut flower share to all of our CSA members!  If you opt for a flower share, you will receive 8-10 weeks of cut flowers along with your vegetable box during the early summer. Varieties will include small sunflowers, cosmos, zinnia, cockscomb, and others.  The price of the flower share is $50 for the season.

Introducing Farmshare Partners

Posted by on 10 Feb 2010 | Tagged as: CSA, Farm News

We are happy to introduce Farmshare Partners, a new program to make local, organically grown food available to everyone. As a Farmshare Partner, you can sponsor part of the cost of membership in the Stranger’s Hill Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for one family. Members of the CSA receive a share of the produce we grow each season, getting weekly boxes of local, organically grown fruits and vegetables. Additionally, members are invited to take part in social and educational activities out at the farm.

Through the Stranger’s Hill CSA project, we endevour to supply community members with our certified organic produce at an affordable price. However, it is sometimes difficult for families on a tight budget to pay in full for a CSA share. We believe that it is important for everyone to have access to good food that is good for the environment, and we hope that you can help make this possible by becoming a Farmshare Partner! For more information, please visit the Farmshare Partners Page.

CSA Kickoff Party – Tuesday, Jan 5

Posted by on 30 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: CSA, Farm News

You’re invited to welcome in the new year with the Stranger’s Hill CSA kickoff party!  This will be a great chance to learn about Stranger’s Hill, meet others interested in sustainable food, and become part of the CSA.  There will be free hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and lots of good company.  The party will be held in the FARMBloomington root cellar (108 E Kirkwood) on Tuesday, January 5th from 8 to 10pm.  It’s an informal gathering, so feel free to show up and leave any time you like.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Announcing the Stranger’s Hill Organics CSA!

Posted by on 14 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: CSA, Farm News

We are pleased to announce that we will be kicking off a new CSA (community supported agriculture) project in 2010! Some of you might remember that we ran the first CSA in Monroe County during the 1990s. Now we are back, and with an expanded farm operation and many more people involved, the Stranger’s Hill CSA promises to be better than ever!

Members will receive shares of fresh, organic vegetables every week for an extended season of 24 weeks, running from May through October. We will also host many activities out at the farm, including potlucks, you-pick days, and workshops on food preservation. For more information, including a list of planned CSA crops and instructions on how to become a member, visit our CSA page. You can also contact our new CSA manager Alex Smith ( to learn more.

SHO CSA logo

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