Week 20

October 2012

 

barns

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • pumpkin
  • zucchini
  • peppers
  • lancinado-kale
  • butternut or acorn squash

As we gently wind down the season, preparing to rest more, sleep longer, meditate, contemplate, do more yoga–we reflect with big smiles and warm hearts toward the experience overall, and the people that made it possible.   It is truely a a blessing and an honor to have friends like you who come together as a team to support and give encouragement to our mission.

We can’t thank each and every one of you enough for your dedicated support and care of the farm and what it offers.  Every year is an experiment with a strong and favorable hypothesis toward good harvest overall, yet unknown conditions can make or break some of the crops.   Our farm is simple, yet complex when summarizing the workings of a total ecosystem and unknown transient weather conditions.  Some crops flourised and other did not.  The very cool and damp beginnings gave us challenges and the small window of sun and heat gave us hope, thus beautiful tomatoes and butternut squash to name a few.

Also, please know that you are always welcome to come out to the farm and use it as a place of rest and connection to the earth.  The grounds are very beautiful and lush.  The evening  hours offer perfect lighting for many photographic opportunities.  And please if you do get some good shots, please share,  as we will use them in next year’s newsletter.

Save a pumpkin or butternut squash, if you can for October 24th, Food Day.  Food Day is a nationwide celebration and movement for healthy,  affordable, and sustainable food.  Check out foodday.org for ideas, tips, tools, and more.

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Week 19

October 2013

flower

 

What to expect in this week’s share

  • pumpkin
  • zucchini
  • peppers
  • lancinado-kale

Peppers, Peppers, Peppers!!!!!  I bet by now you’re remembering that old tongue twister, about a kid named Peter,  picking peppers.   Luckily we’re not just relying on Peter to pick the peppers, we have Will, Ryan, Kaisa, Dave, and Crystal to pick the peppers for you.  With all these hands and all these peppers, what’s a gal…..or guy to do?  Freeze them!  Of course this is one of the simplest and most time efficient ways to handle your peppers if you need to take care of them a.s.a.p.  Follow the link below for easy tips on HOW?  In addition, I hope that the abundance of particular items challenges your culinary skills and helps you find new ways to create masterpiece meals.  As always, please share recipes and tips with us!

Freezing Peppers

Below is a short article I’d like to share with you about biodiversity in relation to Organic vs. Conventional.  Luckily, we have a biologist and ecologist on staff to guide our biodiversity efficiency efforts.  They’ve been working on this for years and have so much wisdom to share with the farm, and yet the farm has so much to teach them yet.  Just ask Dale and Lee, the original owners of Stranger’s Hill Organics, they’ve been in this sybiotic relationship for well over 30 years!

Organic vs. Conventional Article

Farm Hands, in action below:

Ryan harvesting kohlrabi 72

Ryan, is a backbone team member of the farm! He’s gained strength and stamina this CSA season! He probably didn’t realize a complimentary workout package was an additional benefit to working at the farm. Great work this season!

Kaisa and chicken

Kaisa, also a Bloomingfoods employee at the Elm Hieghts store, is one of the hardest working and sweetest ladies I know. She always has a great story is never shy of making new friends. Today, the chicken is the benefactor of her friendship.

 

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Week 18

September 2013

peppers

 

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Sage
  • zucchini
  • peppers
  • acorn squash
  • lancinado-kale

Recipes

 Acorn Squash with Ricotta and Sage

Roasting Red Peppers

Stuffed Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper 

 

goldfinch crop 72photo

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Week 17

September 2013

108367934753334819_GPApmSXT_c

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • winter thyme
  • zucchini
  • peppers
  • butternut squash
  • pie pumpkins

More on storing squash:  Now is the time to stock up on squash for the fall and even early winter.  Make sure the squash you choose to store has a stem and are free of large dents that break the surface.  If the squash is missing a stem or has large dents, no problem, just use those within 1-2 months.

 

Chipotle butternut squash lasagna

lasagne

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

pumpkinpiesmoothie_01_96

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Week 16

September 2013

photo - Copy

 

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • eggplant
  • zucchini
  • peppers
  • butternut squash
  • pie pumpkins

Fall flavors are in the air with darker tones steeping and sweet flavors roasting. Swirling gusts of cinnamon and nutmeg  infuse air, while smokey undertones ground us to good earth smells.  Although not quite here yet, Fall flavors are in the air…………….

 

RECIPES

Roasted Butternut & Coconut Soup with Chévre Yogurt

Roasting Butternut Squash Seeds (This link provides many tips on how to cook the butternut Squash, as well!)

NUTRITION AND STORAGE 

Butternut Squash

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Week 15

September 2013

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • corn
  • zucchini
  • roma tomato
  • red bullhorn pepper
  • green bell pepper
  • butternut squash

FRIENDS OF THE FARM

Every day, I look forward to seeing my farmyard friends, especially Combi! The pictures below are of our free range chickens, Combi eating corn, and the Katydid!

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Lip licking good

The Katydid,

a species of grasshopper found in the United States, which may have found it’s name  from the male’s repetitive call, which has been phoneticized as “katydid.”

157149

Katydid – Katydid

The lingering sounds of a late summer’s night are the Katydid’s loud and shrill love call. Though you can not see their rounded heads, you can hear them until the first frost in Fall.
The stage is set, the curtain is drawn, the Katydids prepare for a pageant to unfold. Their entry brings a special music to the ear, and their presence is awesome to behold.
The emergence of the Katydids is evident as part of Nature’s spectactular show. Pause to reflect and marvel at their sound, for you can hear them everywhere you go.
Each greenish Katydid has a song to sing, ‘ Katydid, Katydid ‘ is their redundant call. Their song begins at twilight – ends at dawn, while living in trees that are lush and tall.
Each Katydid is a protegee of nature, and proclaim that summer is on the wane. Their love call fills the heart with a special joy, ‘ Katydid – Katydid ‘ – the call is always the same.

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Week 14

August 2013

163

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Sweet Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Squash
  • Zucchini

To husk or not to husk, that is the question. Click here to read more!

Whatever you do, make sure your corn is lubricated and hydrated before exposing it’s delicacy to the open grill.   If you decide that cooking corn without the husk is the best way to give it a smokey, yet slightly caramelized finish,  then soak the corn in a salt water overnight and brush oil over the corn right before grilling.  You may also like a combination approach.  The steps are listed below.  

1. Soak the corn in salt water over night.

2. Cook the corn, husk, and all, on a grill for approximately 15 minutes.

3. Now, peel the husks back,  and finish the corn on the grill for an additional 5 minutes, to bring out the smokey caramelized flavors.

MEXICAN CORN!!!!!  Who knew?????

My first culinary experience with Mexican Corn!  Wow!  Who knew??!!! What a delectable treat that was!  Last weekend, Upland Brewing Company celebrated it’s 15th year anniversary and offered an array of local microbrews and Mexican corn.   I asked them how they prepared the corn, and this is what they said.  “We soaked the corn in a salt water solution overnight.  Then we grilled the corn husk and all for at least 20 minutes.  After the corn is nice and tender, brush a cilantro aioli, roll in Romano/parmesan cheese, and then sprinkle with a red pepper/paprika blend.”  You probably don’t need a recipe for this, but I’ll attach one anyway, just in case!  

Mexican Corn Recipe. 

download (1)

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Week 13

August 2013

melon

 

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Watermelon

It’s all about watermelon!

Our friend the watermelon, a gift from Africa, offers over 1200 varieties.  We have 2 varieties to offer you.  Don’t be surprised if your watermelon is yellow over  red in flesh–although we have the red variety too.  The “Yellow Crimson” variety is often described as a bit sweeter with hints of honey, then the more common red flesh watermelon.

Nutrition

Most fruits are typically a great source of vitamin C, and watermelon tells no lies when it comes to it’s immune boosting potential.  Although incredibly hydrating, it’s slightly diuretic with some research in the works about it’s anti-hypertensive rewards.  So in other words if you’ve had a tough day and feel like pulling your hair out, just make 10 minutes for a refreshing slice of watermelon or two, a hammock won’t hurt either, and put your stressors at bay.  The yogi in me also recommends at least 20, six count equalized breathes–fine peace, recharge,  and then tackle your obstacles with ease.

Nutrient profile for red flesh watermelon, which is similar to yellow flesh.  Red flesh has higher lycopene content and yellow flesh has a higher vitamin C content (a great addition to a lower calorie diet).

Nutrient Profile Watermelon

Recipe

The great thing about watermelon is that you don’t need a recipe.  Just eat it!  I did find, however that you can eat the rind, and some even pickle it.  Hmmmmm.  Let me know it you experiment with it!

A juicing recipe

This vitamin C and A powerhouse is hydrating, low in calories, and metabolilsm boosting.

Process all ingredients through a juicer.  If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a strong blender and then strain through a collander or stainer and Wa-La! (if using a blender, de-seed the watermelon first)

3 cups (1-inch) cubes watermelon

1 grapefruit

1 small red chilli pepper

1 lime

(serves 1-2)

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Week 12

August 2013

 close up corn tomatoes

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Maybe Watermelon too!

National Farmers Market Week (August 4-10) has come and gone, but it’s not too late to celebrate it!  Thanks to your business, we now have over 8,000 farmers markets registered throughout the U.S– a 3.6% increase from 2012 to 2013!

Other ways you can support your local farmers:   Spread the word and avoid waste:

  • Plan a REAL food dinner with friends on Oct. 24th, Food Day.
  • Intruduce a new friend to the fun of going to a farmer’s market.
  • Donate any food you cannot use to a local food pantry like Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard or Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
  • Shop like you’re in Paris!  Get what you need when you need it.  Be able to see the back of your refridgerator and know what’s in it.

Thanks for all you do and all your support!  See you at the farm or at CSA!

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Week 11

August 2013

tomato abundance

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant

Reflections: As I reflect upon last year, as a CSA member myself, I remember feeling a sense of gratitude toward the efforts of the farm and it’s offerings.  It was actually last year that I started to like eggplant, for example.   Now I am grateful to have discovered a new vegetable that I love, especially when it comes to moussaka.  Yummy!  I wasn’t particularly fond of eggplant in years past.  I didn’t like the texture of it–kind of spongy.   I think I gave my eggplant to a friend the first week.  After the eggplant kept coming and coming, I decided to read up on it.  I discovered that you can increase the meatiness of the eggplant by drawing out some of it’s moisture.  Genius!   It doesn’t have to taste spongy….hmmmm?  So, I started to learn how to cook it, how to store it, salt it, and more.   Well, you almost have to, right?  After getting the same vegetable 3, 4, 5 weeks in a row and still offering gratitude to it, you start to try new things.   This is when the creativity begins, which brings more gratitude to the new found cooking skills and taste buds arriving.  So, have fun playing with your food!

RECIPES: JUST STUFF IT!!!!!!

 

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Week 10

August 2013

tomatoes

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Eggplant

CLICK HERE: for Tomato Nutrient Profile, Recipe, and MoreIMG_20120719_201805

RECIPES

Fried Green Tomatoes

Pesto

Monarch Butterflies in Peril.  Strangers Hill Organics lends a helping hand at Vincennes Public Library, whose intentions are to establish a butterfly garden.  Just one more reason to support local organic farming is the decline in monarch butterflies because of the widespread conventional farming.  Milkweed is the native plant that butterflies love.  So, go ahead a plant some milkweed, the butterflies will love the addition to your permaculture yard.  To read more click here:For Monarchs in Trouble, a Little Milkweed Goes a Long Way.  short green milkweed

 

 

Week 9

July 2013

blackcrates

What to expect in this week’s share:

    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini
    • Okra
    • Basil
    • Tomatoes
    • Eggplant

Volunteer Highlights:

Special Thanks to Melissa Lahn and Steve Host for volunteering their time at the farm.  Bloomington is a special place in that a lot of it’s residents are connected with their food, the farmers, local distributors, and the food pathways.

Come Volunteer at the farm, we enjoy sharing our daily connection to mother nature with you through our love and labors of farm work.  Some things you could learn while you’re here are:  how to pick and handle tomatoes, how far apart to plant eggplants, what is in our soil, how to pack a csa box, what are the names of the varieties of kale, and even the names of the farmers who pick your food.  These are just a few things you could learn while volunteering.  Every crop’s preparation, maintenance, and harvest has a valueable lesson.

It’s tomato time, so if you’d like to earn a little extra food while helping harvest tomatoes, please volunteer as soon as you can.  A great time to work is from 9am-12pm.  Bring a sack lunch, so we can break bread and swap stories.

If you’re interested in coming out to volunteer or know of anyone that would be interested, please e-mail us:  csa@strangershillorganics.com

Words from our volunteers

Question: “What did you enjoy most about working at the farm?”

Steve: ” I was excited to harvest food, that I knew was going directly to CSA member within a few hours.  That’s a pretty awesome turn around if you ask me!”

Melissa: ” I really enjoyed learning about Strangers Hill Organics, and the food they have to offer Bloomington.  I also liked putting the CSA boxes together.”

volunteervolunteer 2

Eggplant tips:

Storing and preserving- Don’t refrigerate, unless you plan on storing for at most a day or two, it will start to develop brown spots and become bitter.  Optimum storage temperature is 50 degrees, so try to keep eggplant in a cool spot.  The best case scenario for the most flavorful eggplant is to use within 24hours, but if that’s just not going to work, wrap with a paper towl and store in a paper bag.

To salt or not to salt-Some cooks might disagree about whether to salt eggplant or not.  To take away the excess moisture and eliminate any bitterness an eggplant may have, salting is recommended.   An eggplant will also need less olive oil while sauteing if salted first.  Unsalted eggplant will absorb about 6-8 tablespoons of oil compared with a salted eggplant, which will only requre about 2 tablespoons.  To salt the eggplant, simply sprinkle the cut eggplant with salt and place in a colander for 30 minutes or more.  After the 30 minutes, lightly squeeze out the moisture and pat dry.  If you prefer not to salt, I recommend blanching the eggplant as the best cooking alternative.

RECIPES

The following recipe is an excellent moussaka recipe I found last year.  Instead of using lamb, I used an soysage crumble mix–crumbled tempeh would also work.  You just might have some extra zucchini that would fit into this recipe perfectly.   You may not have 3 large eggplants as the recipe call for, so use some zucchini in it’s place.

Moussaka

Quick and Easy Cucumber Salad

 

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Week 8

July 2013

basil further

What to expect in this week’s share:

    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini
    • Okra
    • Basil
    • Garlic
    • Chard or Kale

Notes from the farm:

As the tomatoes are getting ready for next week’s harvest, we are preparing to harvest them with delight. Although many organic farmers, especially in the Midwest, are biting their nails in anticipation for the tomatoes to ripen. Last weekend’s beautiful clear skies gave us rays of hope for the tomatoes. If you look at the picture of the tomatoes below, you will see our tomatoes are currently about the color of the 3rd tomato, from left to right.

imagesCA7FWETQ

In addition, we had a giant scarecrow of a hot air balloon touch down at the farm, just briefly though, as if to command  presence and oversee to the abundance in work,  at Stranger’s Hill Organics.

scarecrow 1 72 scarecrow 2 72 scarecrow 3 72

Recipes

Crystal’s Basil Bloody Mary

Tip on lowering OKRA’S slime quotient

To make a simple

Bruschetta : you need 6 ingredients:

  1. Raw garlic
  2. Basil
  3. Roma Tomatoes
  4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Salt (preferably ground sea salt)

Top the above on warm, fresh, Italian Bread (ingredient #6). Yummy!!!!!!

We love to cook at my house, and bring more garlic please…..vampires need not bother.  Feel free to experiment with the ingredients listed above.  The rough equivalents of the ingredients we used are included next.  In a bowl, we added two heads of garlic, yep, that’s right….. not two cloves, 2 heads. Tear up 1/2 bunch of basil leaves.  Diced roma tomatoes (~4) and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Let your taste buds explode!

*Caution: make sure your loved one’s and snuggle bugs eat this too! All in! Allicin!

2013 Newsletter

Week 7

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Chard or Lettuce

**Beautiful Nutritious Foods Photo Contest**

Winners: Tiffany Lippincott and Ben Timpson!!!!!!!!

Click here for: Cabbage Pancakes Recipe.

cabbage and beet pancakes

 Special thanks to Jean Briddell of Know Yoga Know Peace for donating 2 yoga class cards.

Notes from the farm:

The previous weeks rain and unseasonable chill have left many farmers yearning to harvest the fruits of their labor.  The tomatoes are on the vines and they have a nice juicy shape, now we need a little more heat and a bit more sun and the tomatoes will be dropping off the vines with the turn of the their lusty red colors.   Although we all continue to work on our patience, we are happy for the rain, as last year was a completely different story.

On multi-tasking:

We are sharing the back lot of Bloomingfoods West with Revolution Bike and Bean Tuesdays in July.  Take advantage of their free bike maintenance help while picking up your CSA distribution.  They are offering for free:  a flat changing clinic, bike inspections, t-shirts, and hilly hundred info.  Hours: 5-9pm.

More Recipes:

Mock Apple Crisp(use zucchini)

Caprese Pasta (use basil)

goldfinch crop 72

American Goldfinch overseeing the sunflowers
Photo taken by Heather Reynolds

 

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Week 6

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • potatoes
  • zucchini
  • beets
  • cucumber
  • cabbage
  •  basil

 

**Beautiful Nutritious Foods Photo Contest**

CLICK: here to VOTE and see all contestant’s PHOTOS

VOTE by e-mailing csa@strangershillorganics.com or just reply to your newsetter e-mail

1 vote per CSA share please and all votes in by Friday, July 5th 2014

squash (2)

 

RECIPES:

Courtney’s Awesome Slawsome

I love, love, love cabbage season.  The fun thing about cabbage, is you can do so many things with it…..  Add it to soups, salads, slaws, stuffed peppers, and the list goes on………..  Listed below is a recipe I gathered from my best friend Courtney, an 18th century literary genious, with a few amazing culinary tricks up her sleeve.    This is a slaw that is nutritious, easy to make, and I can literally eat it every day until it’s gone! 

Roasted Beet Hummus

This recipe, shared by Sue Whittington, is  fabulous!  This is an excellent snack idea for anyone,  and especially someone with diabetes.  Hummus is a great snack on its own, but it just got better! Add roasted beets and decrease the overall calories, adds more iron, fiber, and betalains (a phytonutrient).  Certain flavonoids in the beets delay the breakdown of sugar in the body, giving it an extra special property to aid with blood sugar control. 

 farmers 2013

 Just a few of our CSA farmers! From left to right: Cameron, Dave, Nick, Ryan, and Kaisa.

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 Week 5

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • red pontiac potatoes
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • beets
  • mystery vegetable

 

************Beautiful Nutritious Foods Photo Contest*************

plant-vegetables-tennessee-200X200

Don’t forget to submit your photo for this contest.  I have no submissions so far, so your odds of winning 2 yoga passes looks pretty good at this point.  Know Yoga Know Peace on Morton Street is happy to provide 2 CSA members with complimentary passes for your involvement of this mindful photo contest.  Remember simplicity! Please e-mail your plate creation photo to csa@strangershillorganics.com by June 28th. (Deadline has been extended)

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

-Michaelangelo

JUICING

Rudolf Breuss, a Austrian naturopathic doctor developed this juice consisting of beets, carrots, celery, radish, and potatoes in specific ratios to provide a balance of basic elements required for the body’s nourishment.  This juice is used as part of a 42-day fast for total cancer treatment.  The intended effects are to starve cancer cells.  The key here is finding foods you can incorporate into your diet daily that are anti-angiogenesis feeding foods.  To listen to the thought and theory behind starving your cancer with a good diet,  follow this link: Ted Talks-Can We Starve Cancer?   

BREUSS JUICE FORMULA

beets condensed

1 medium beet, washed and peeled

1 large carrot

1 large parsnip

1 large celery stalk

1 medium pontiac red potato

1 cup sliced radish

Process all ingredients through a juicer

Serves 1-2

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Week 4

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • carrots
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • collards

Notes from the farm:

sunflowersOhio Spiderwort 72

    After years of hard work and love of the land we notice many supportive communities at the farm.  The village that raises the child can translate to the ecology that nurtures the seed.  It is not only the careful planting of the seed, but nurturing the family that sustains it. This will create an ecosystem of support and enlightenment.  Our friend the Garter Snake enjoys the fine dining atmosphere of the watermelon fields, while devouring slugs with a sly grin.   The cute tadpoles find their way back again, as they do every year to assist with cultivation of the lily pads, while the Snapping Turtles give a shell full of pond maintenance, and the Goldfinches………………….. anticipate.  These feathery friends wait patiently for the sunflower seeds they so desire.  They’ll be waiting for a while as these seeds are far from ready yet.

Crops:

We’ve planted an annual flower beds,  including sunflowers, calendula, nasturtium, zinnia, borage, snapdragon and sweet alyssum.  We look forward to sharing some of these beautiful flowers with you later in the season.

************Beautiful Nutritious Foods Photo Contest*************

Studies show that if your food looks better, it also tastes better.  We have the freshest, most flavorful, and beautiful vegetables around, just look inside your weekly distribution box.   Please share your beautiful plates with us.  We want to see what kinds of creations you come up with.  Please send your plate creation photo to csa@strangershillorganics.com by June 25th and we will announce the winner of 2 yoga passes in the July 1st newsletter.

Arranged Vegetables Creating a Face

 

Week 2

rainbow swiss chard

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • collards
  • kohlrabi
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • radishes
  • swiss chard
  • kale

Nutrient Information:

Click Here: Swiss Chard Nutrient, Recipe, and other information

Recipe Sharing:

Kale Chips Recipe Clip : video on how to make kale chips.  One of my favorite and easy to make snacks.

If you have any dynamite recipes you’d like to share, please send them to csa@strangershillorganics.com

Notes from the farm:

What’s a killdeer anyway? These brown and black feathered, white bellied, squawking plovers are at the very least entertaining with their “broken-wing-routine”.  Their willingness to nest next to people, makes them our field friends when planting hundreds of seeds by hand.   Never a lonely afternoon in the kale fields with killdeer friends by our sides.  Soon we may get to see the babies arrive!

Killdeer Killdeer Charadrius vociferousKilldeer eggs

Volunteering, YES YOU! This is such a great year to volunteer!  Why? The soft and gentle spring is bringing forth abundance and beauty.  You might notice the extravagant intricacy of the rainbow swiss chard in the picture above.  It reminds me of the veins of life that our bodies soak up from the fresh and raw earth harvests.

In addition, why not get out of the gym and instead give yourself an hour or two farm workout and learn a thing or two that will inspire your gardening ambitions or give you a deeper appreciation of what organic food means.

Lastly, lets talk about RAW.  Raw diets are what everyone is talking about these days.  Would you like to take raw a step further?  How about trying a fresh kolrabi right out of the ground and into your mouth.  Now I have a deeper appreciation for raw after trying a couple vegetables right from the field.  Keep and eye open for further RAW recipes and discussion.  Your CSA shares are a great way to add more raw foods in your diet.  Why not?  Raw foods are some of the most pure and delicious forms of cuisine. Bon Appetite!

 

Week 1

Kale, chard, and broccoli seedlings in mid-April. Photo by Dave Rollo.

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Lettuce (Red, Green, or Romaine)
  • Radishes
  • Chard or Spinach
  • Kale
  • Herb bundles (oregano and sage)

Recipes:

Click here to review Lee’s excellent tips for Washing Lettuce.

Friends Dave and Sherry passed this tasty Winter Greens and Potato Casserole recipe along. Any winter greens can be used (e.g. kale, chard, collards, mustard greens). We can attest that warmed up leftovers make a delicious breakfast when topped with a fried egg and served with toast.  This recipe would also likely be good with sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes.

Green Machine Health Smoothie: A fast and tasty way to get your vitamins and antioxidants. If you include the beet it will actually be a brilliant red-purple color. Makes a super breakfast drink. Wash and add to your blender the following raw items: 1 leaf swiss chard, 1 leaf kale and/or 1 cup spinach; a palmful of blueberries and/or raspberries; 1 carrot (cut up, tops removed); several slices of beet; 1/2 an apple (cut up, core removed). Add about 1.5 cup water and blend until smooth. Drink up! Makes about two 8 oz portions. Variations are endless – mix and match vegetable and fruit amounts and varieties to your taste. You can also play with the amount of water, or use part unsweetened fruit juice (apple, grape).

Notes from the Farm Manager:

  • Weather: It’s been a long cold spring compared to last year, which began with nearly 10 days of 80-degree temperatures and moved into a nearly 4-month drought by early May. This year in contrast, it’s often been cold and there have been several nights with freezing temperatures, which impacted some crops. The consistent rains have been very welcome!
  • Herbivores: Half of a hoop house full of lettuce was hit by a mysterious predator in April. The survivors were transplanted into the field where they’ve been growing nicely. Fierce cucumber beetle outbreaks on the zucchini and winter squash have been brought under control by spraying the crops with a commercial soap solution (approved by OMRI, Organics Materials Review Institute, https://www.omri.org) combined with white vinegar.
  • Crops: In addition to the vegetables found in your share boxes, planted crops to date include: potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, broccoli, kolrabi, carrots, garlic, pie pumpkin, winter squash, and sweet corn. Parsley and watermelon seedlings are currently in the hoop houses and will be planted out within the next 2 weeks.
  • Wildlife: A mated killdeer pair have made a nest in the broccoli field. Dave got too close and the killdeer did its broken wing routine. The nest contains 4 speckled eggs and has been flagged so that the killdeer can remain in peace. Photo to come. Box turtles, salamanders, frogs and garter snakes have also been observed on the farm this spring. Promotion of biodiversity is a wonderful effect of an organic farm, and organic farming in turn depends on a diversity of native plants, animals and microbes to pollinate crops, provide natural pest control, help to build rich soil, and filter storm water, among many other ecological services.

Stranger’s Hill at SNAYL Day this Saturday, June 1st: In addition to vegetables, we also raise a wide variety of native prairie, woodland, and wetland perennials (available at Bloomingfoods East). We will be vending a selection of these at the 2nd annual Sustaining Nature And Your Land Day, held at The Warehouse, 1572 S. Rogers St., on the B-line Trail. Led by Monroe County Identify and Reduce Invasive Species (MC-IRIS), SNAYL Day provides an outstanding offering of workshops, hikes, and demonstrations on managing exotic invasive plants and restoring land health, beauty, and value with easy-care native species. FREE lunch is provided, and registration is also FREE!  Registering is as easy as a few clicks of a button at www.MC-IRIS.org. The event runs from 10a to 3p, and registrants are welcome to come for all or part of the day. A variety of other vendors and exhibitors will also be there!

This cave salamander, Eurycea lucifuga, makes its home at Stranger’s Hill Organics. Photo by Dave Rollo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Newsletter Archive

Week 22

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Additional to-be-determined.

Quick End-of-Season Notes

  • As a reminder, Thursday members have one more week of pick-up after this. Distribution will be at Bfoods East in the usual spot, from 4-6PM. If you switched from Thursday to Tuesday pick-up after the day we canceled, be sure to come to Bfoods East for your final share.
  • If you have any extra share boxes, we can definitely make use of them—just bring them to your pick-up location and we can most definitely take them off your hands.

Message from Rick Dietz and the partners of Stranger’s Hill Organics:

Friends, it has been great to have you as partners in our farm this year through our CSA program. Your support has been essential this year as we have struggled through historic drought conditions. I hope that you will join us next year and continue to be a part of our farm and to support sustainable organic farming in Bloomington and Monroe County. Thank you!

Message from Ben Smith,  CSA Coordinator at Stranger’s Hill Organics

As many of you already know, this will be my last year coordinating the CSA at Stranger’s Hill Organics. In the past two years I’ve grown to love this farm, and I have utmost respect for the people whose hard work sustains it. I’m grateful to have been able to work alongside Dave Rollo, a kind, persevering farm manager and tireless community leader, and Dale Jones, a thirty-year pillar of organic farming who serves as a local well of knowledge and wisdom. Heather Reynolds, Lee Jones, Rick Dietz and George Huntington—I don’t know how I was lucky enough to find myself in the company of such awesomely good people, individuals who offer constant inspiration and whose influences will no doubt have a lasting effect on me in the future.

My decision to leave has been a difficult one, as more than ever I feel that society needs more people, not less, contributing to the effort to grow food responsibly; however, I’m motivated by the intense desire to communicate the insights I’ve gained through these experiences, and my sole intention is that my contribution—aside from a lifelong commitment to growing my own food and supporting local organic farmers—will take the form of writing and sharing this knowledge with others. After deep consideration, this is a goal that I’m willing to pursue with absolute resolve.

And to be honest, I’m going to seriously miss you guys, the CSA members, and the unfailingly pleasant interactions and always fruitful conversations that I have with you every week. I can’t express how thankful I am to have had this as an occupation for the past two years—you’ve made my job exceedingly enjoyable. Whoever takes my place as CSA coordinator next year will no doubt do a fantastic job, working to further build on the relationship between the members and the farm, and the program will continue to improve as each year we develop better methods and more effective systems using the feedback that we receive from you; I’m looking forward to visiting in the future so that I can witness this progress as it unfolds.

You might see me for the next few weeks at the farmer’s market under the Stranger’s Hill canopy, and if you do (or if you see me anywhere else around town) feel free to stop and say hey. I know the name of the farm would suggest otherwise, but please, don’t be strangers.

Thank you for everything, for always exhibiting kindness, for your patience and understanding, and for supporting an organization and a mission that I wholeheartedly believe in. Have a wonderful off-season, and I hope to see you when I visit the Stranger’s Hill Organics CSA program next year.

-Ben Smith

Registration for the 2013 CSA Season

We want to be sure our current members are the first to know when we officially open registration for 2013—if you’re interested in joining us for another season of organic veggies, let us know by email (csa@strangershillorganics.com) and we’ll add you to the list of folks who are notified when we make the announcement.

Thanks for another amazing year, and we hope you can join us for the 2013 CSA season!

 

Week 21

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Winter Squash
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers

*As always, this list is subject to change.

Notes: The first frost arrived especially early this year, and it’s going to have an effect on the summer crops of farmers across the region, possibly reducing fruit quality and, in many cases, bringing their production to a premature halt. Among the plants that are affected by these temperatures are tomatoes, peppers, basil, okra, and eggplant. This early onset of cold weather (as well as the drought) is a predicted effect of climate change, and if this pattern continues into the coming years, farmers are going to have to find ways of adapting. As we move forward, we want to urge everyone to continue to support small farms, local sources of food, and most preferably, organic agriculture.

Farmers who work outside of the conventional system are resilient adapters by nature, as much of their practice is centered on the close evaluation of their environment. Rather than fighting conditions, or engineering temporary fixes that ultimately exacerbate the issues that plague their crops, responsible growers work with the changing patterns, maintaining a flexible approach. One of the keys to their success is biodiversity, which allows for the systems to benefit from the relationships between organisms, ultimately increasing the plant’s ability to survive amidst certain rapidly changing factors.

The conventional system is inching closer towards a breakdown, evident in the millions of acres of dead or unproductive crops that blanket the Midwest. Fields of corn and soy bean, aside from lacking in the benefits of biodiversity, also leave the farming system vulnerable to certain widespread failure; if that’s all you plant, and the conditions turn out unfavorable, then you’re left with nothing to harvest. When it comes to conventional systems, solutions to the problems that have typically plagued farmers are limited to the following: gene modification,  larger machinery, and the general increase of inputs like water, chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and insecticides. Why are these detrimental? With gene modification, we are systematically weakening the plant on both a biological and an evolutionary level, reducing their root systems, strengthening diseases and pests, and enabling a methodology that is apathetic to the degradation of soil quality. The use of heavy machinery further damages natural systems by causing soil compaction (among other issues, like increasing our oil dependency). In the case of water, we’re seeing the swift depletion of massive underground aquifers that have supplied these farms for years, aquifers like the Ogallala that spans the entirety of the bread belt, as documented by the U.S. Geological Survey. Chemical fertilizers further lead to the loss of soil quality, increasing the general toxicity of our ecosystem and, again, reducing biodiversity by creating conditions of low-oxygen. And the use of pesticides and insecticides? More of the same.

The success of a plant is dependent on healthy soil, deep root systems, and the strength of it’s natural defense mechanisms, as well as the relative balance (not elimination) of pest and disease. In a drought, healthy plants are able to collect water and nutrients to a degree that a plant without these qualities cannot; in the case of conventional farming, we’re like doctors who have never seen a healthy patient in their life, who doesn’t even know what a healthy patient looks like, and thus we’re constantly seeking the relief of symptoms without any knowledge of disease. The healthy patient, in this case, is the organic farm.

When you spend enough time around healthy plants, you develop the ability to recognize the conditions that naturally allow a plant to thrive. You need rich soil, plenty of organic matter, a fragile balance of nutrients, and so on. And when all these factors are present, a farm is as productive if not more so than the conventional counterpart, which lacks all of the above. The problem, however, is that much of the damage exacted on the world’s farmland is lasting, and it takes time to nurture it back to health. That’s why we need to continue to support local, responsible growing operations. We need to turn around the slow extinction of our small farms and prevent the land from ever being cultivated by conventional means in the first place.

When things seem bleak in the farming world, you can be certain that the responsible growers will adapt and ultimately thrive again, so long as they have the support of the communities around them, the support of people like you. Keep this in mind when you’re making your food choices this winter and through the coming year: you have the agency in this situation. And as a practical reminder, the outdoor farmers market runs through November, at which point it shifts locations to the Harmony School.

Without your help, our farm and those like it would never have a chance at solving the many problems that exist in our food system. Without our collective efforts, what remains of the world’s healthy land would be lost to the current trend, swallowed by industrial farming or left vulnerable to the whims of a developer. You’re help is appreciated enormously, and we hope that others take from your example and choose a food system that can last.

Infinite gratitude,

SHO

Week 20

 

 

(Photo of eggplant tacos from Vegetarian ‘Ventures, a blog maintained by one of our members. More information and a link included below. Check it out!)

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Sage

 

Volunteer Update:

Many have asked if we will be organizing anymore volunteer days. We are unsure at this time, but Hoosier Hills Food Bank could always use volunteers in their garden, which is actually located at our farm. Volunteer days are on Monday from 9-11am, Tuesday from 5:30-7:30pm, and Thursday from 9-11am. Click here for more information on how you can get involved. Thanks for being so eager to help increase food security in our community!

Member Experiences:

Last week we asked if you could share photos or stories of things that you’ve done with your CSA veggies, and the responses were fantastic. We wanted to post some of them here for your enjoyment, and who knows, maybe you’ll get some ideas of your own!

One of our members has a blog where she posted photos of a pizza she made using her tomatoes and basila link to the blog, and I’ll copy the recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Dough (I used Pillsbury Artisan Crust)
  • Fresh Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese

First I opened and unrolled the pizza dough, cut it in half. Then I laid it on a cookie sheet and brushed each side with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking to the grill.

Next, I put one half of the dough straight onto a gas grill on low heat. I closed the lid for about a minute and then flipped the dough. My first attempt got a little crispy burnt, but each subsiquent side was better!

Now I moved back into the kitchen and put the ingredients onto my pizza crusts. I used a little drizzle of infused olive oil (basil!) and then layered on the tomatoes, basil and cheeses.

Finally I popped them into the over until the cheese was melted. The result was a soft but crispy crust, warmed tomatoes and gooey cheese. The whole meal took about 15 minutes to make and the possibilities with toppings are endless!

And here’s a photo for good measure:

Wow.

And here’s another blog, Vegetarian ‘Ventures, containing numerous recipes, photos, and stories about the Stranger’s Hill Organics CSA share. There’s tons of creative dishes featured on here, for example:

Savory Vegetable Cobbler

Serves 2 as a main (double for a family of 4 or to have leftovers)

For the topping:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • dash of sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon ice old water

Filling:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • Salt/Pepper

To make the topping: Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and cheddar into a small mixing bowl. Throw in the butter and with [washed hands] press the butter and batter between your fingers to create a coarse dough. Slowly add in the tablespoon of cold water and mix until a thick ball forms. Wrap in foil and stick in the freezer until ready to use.

For the filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes. Add in the squash and bell peppers and cook until everything is soft and begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Fold in the tomato, sugar, flour, and milk. Place in a 9 by 9 inch pan.

Remove dough topping from fridge and pinch off tablespoon pieces to lay over the top. Stick in the oven for 35 or 40 minutes or until it’s browned.

Oh, my, that is amazing. And you should see the photos! Oh wait, here’s one:

 

 

 

Week 3

kale

Starbor Kale: Picture taken June 7th, 2013 by Crystal Olry

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • collards
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • swiss chard
  • kale
  • broccoli

GREAT JOB CSA MEMBERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Almost everyone brought back their boxes from last week.  Thanks for being part of a sustainability team!  Keep up the good work!

Special thanks to Carole Nowicke!  Thanks for sharing recipes, especially the one listed below.

Click here:  Learn how to MASSSAGE your Kale

Recently I had an absolutely delicious massaged kale salad at Bloomingfoods!  I couldn’t believe how good it tasted, yet then I hadn’t quite heard about the kale massaging technique.  As I ate the salad, I wondered how the kale leaves were able to maintain their form while boasting all the flavors raw kale has to offer.  Carole was so kind to bring light to this simple secret I ran across at Bloomingfoods.  As we share ideas and offer new solutions on how to incorporate raw foods in the diet,  we might find the secret ingredients behind these uncooking recipes.   For example, add one cup of love, a dash of appreciation, and many thoughtful chews, and discover your palate through simplicity.

Nutrient Information:

Click Here: Kale Nutrient, Recipe, and other information

 

*****************SPECIAL NOTE******************

Next week we will announce information about “Beautiful Nutritious Foods” photo contest.  So, start snapping shots of your meal creations.

eggplanttacos

 

Week 2

rainbow swiss chard

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • collards
  • kohlrabi
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • radishes
  • swiss chard
  • kale

Nutrient Information:

Click Here: Swiss Chard Nutrient, Recipe, and other information

Recipe Sharing:

Kale Chips Recipe Clip : video on how to make kale chips.  One of my favorite and easy to make snacks.

If you have any dynamite recipes you’d like to share, please send them to csa@strangershillorganics.com

Notes from the farm:

What’s a killdeer anyway? These brown and black feathered, white bellied, squawking plovers are at the very least entertaining with their “broken-wing-routine”.  Their willingness to nest next to people, makes them our field friends when planting hundreds of seeds by hand.   Never a lonely afternoon in the kale fields with killdeer friends by our sides.  Soon we may get to see the babies arrive!

Killdeer Killdeer Charadrius vociferousKilldeer eggs

Volunteering, YES YOU! This is such a great year to volunteer!  Why? The soft and gentle spring is bringing forth abundance and beauty.  You might notice the extravagant intricacy of the rainbow swiss chard in the picture above.  It reminds me of the veins of life that our bodies soak up from the fresh and raw earth harvests.

In addition, why not get out of the gym and instead give yourself an hour or two farm workout and learn a thing or two that will inspire your gardening ambitions or give you a deeper appreciation of what organic food means.

Lastly, lets talk about RAW.  Raw diets are what everyone is talking about these days.  Would you like to take raw a step further?  How about trying a fresh kolrabi right out of the ground and into your mouth.  Now I have a deeper appreciation for raw after trying a couple vegetables right from the field.  Keep and eye open for further RAW recipes and discussion.  Your CSA shares are a great way to add more raw foods in your diet.  Why not?  Raw foods are some of the most pure and delicious forms of cuisine. Bon Appetite!

 

Week 1

Kale, chard, and broccoli seedlings in mid-April. Photo by Dave Rollo.

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Lettuce (Red, Green, or Romaine)
  • Radishes
  • Chard or Spinach
  • Kale
  • Herb bundles (oregano and sage)

Recipes:

Click here to review Lee’s excellent tips for Washing Lettuce.

Friends Dave and Sherry passed this tasty Winter Greens and Potato Casserole recipe along. Any winter greens can be used (e.g. kale, chard, collards, mustard greens). We can attest that warmed up leftovers make a delicious breakfast when topped with a fried egg and served with toast.  This recipe would also likely be good with sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes.

Green Machine Health Smoothie: A fast and tasty way to get your vitamins and antioxidants. If you include the beet it will actually be a brilliant red-purple color. Makes a super breakfast drink. Wash and add to your blender the following raw items: 1 leaf swiss chard, 1 leaf kale and/or 1 cup spinach; a palmful of blueberries and/or raspberries; 1 carrot (cut up, tops removed); several slices of beet; 1/2 an apple (cut up, core removed). Add about 1.5 cup water and blend until smooth. Drink up! Makes about two 8 oz portions. Variations are endless – mix and match vegetable and fruit amounts and varieties to your taste. You can also play with the amount of water, or use part unsweetened fruit juice (apple, grape).

Notes from the Farm Manager:

  • Weather: It’s been a long cold spring compared to last year, which began with nearly 10 days of 80-degree temperatures and moved into a nearly 4-month drought by early May. This year in contrast, it’s often been cold and there have been several nights with freezing temperatures, which impacted some crops. The consistent rains have been very welcome!
  • Herbivores: Half of a hoop house full of lettuce was hit by a mysterious predator in April. The survivors were transplanted into the field where they’ve been growing nicely. Fierce cucumber beetle outbreaks on the zucchini and winter squash have been brought under control by spraying the crops with a commercial soap solution (approved by OMRI, Organics Materials Review Institute, https://www.omri.org) combined with white vinegar.
  • Crops: In addition to the vegetables found in your share boxes, planted crops to date include: potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, broccoli, kolrabi, carrots, garlic, pie pumpkin, winter squash, and sweet corn. Parsley and watermelon seedlings are currently in the hoop houses and will be planted out within the next 2 weeks.
  • Wildlife: A mated killdeer pair have made a nest in the broccoli field. Dave got too close and the killdeer did its broken wing routine. The nest contains 4 speckled eggs and has been flagged so that the killdeer can remain in peace. Photo to come. Box turtles, salamanders, frogs and garter snakes have also been observed on the farm this spring. Promotion of biodiversity is a wonderful effect of an organic farm, and organic farming in turn depends on a diversity of native plants, animals and microbes to pollinate crops, provide natural pest control, help to build rich soil, and filter storm water, among many other ecological services.

Stranger’s Hill at SNAYL Day this Saturday, June 1st: In addition to vegetables, we also raise a wide variety of native prairie, woodland, and wetland perennials (available at Bloomingfoods East). We will be vending a selection of these at the 2nd annual Sustaining Nature And Your Land Day, held at The Warehouse, 1572 S. Rogers St., on the B-line Trail. Led by Monroe County Identify and Reduce Invasive Species (MC-IRIS), SNAYL Day provides an outstanding offering of workshops, hikes, and demonstrations on managing exotic invasive plants and restoring land health, beauty, and value with easy-care native species. FREE lunch is provided, and registration is also FREE!  Registering is as easy as a few clicks of a button at www.MC-IRIS.org. The event runs from 10a to 3p, and registrants are welcome to come for all or part of the day. A variety of other vendors and exhibitors will also be there!

This cave salamander, Eurycea lucifuga, makes its home at Stranger’s Hill Organics. Photo by Dave Rollo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Newsletter Archive

Week 22

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Additional to-be-determined.

Quick End-of-Season Notes

  • As a reminder, Thursday members have one more week of pick-up after this. Distribution will be at Bfoods East in the usual spot, from 4-6PM. If you switched from Thursday to Tuesday pick-up after the day we canceled, be sure to come to Bfoods East for your final share.
  • If you have any extra share boxes, we can definitely make use of them—just bring them to your pick-up location and we can most definitely take them off your hands.

Message from Rick Dietz and the partners of Stranger’s Hill Organics:

Friends, it has been great to have you as partners in our farm this year through our CSA program. Your support has been essential this year as we have struggled through historic drought conditions. I hope that you will join us next year and continue to be a part of our farm and to support sustainable organic farming in Bloomington and Monroe County. Thank you!

Message from Ben Smith,  CSA Coordinator at Stranger’s Hill Organics

As many of you already know, this will be my last year coordinating the CSA at Stranger’s Hill Organics. In the past two years I’ve grown to love this farm, and I have utmost respect for the people whose hard work sustains it. I’m grateful to have been able to work alongside Dave Rollo, a kind, persevering farm manager and tireless community leader, and Dale Jones, a thirty-year pillar of organic farming who serves as a local well of knowledge and wisdom. Heather Reynolds, Lee Jones, Rick Dietz and George Huntington—I don’t know how I was lucky enough to find myself in the company of such awesomely good people, individuals who offer constant inspiration and whose influences will no doubt have a lasting effect on me in the future.

My decision to leave has been a difficult one, as more than ever I feel that society needs more people, not less, contributing to the effort to grow food responsibly; however, I’m motivated by the intense desire to communicate the insights I’ve gained through these experiences, and my sole intention is that my contribution—aside from a lifelong commitment to growing my own food and supporting local organic farmers—will take the form of writing and sharing this knowledge with others. After deep consideration, this is a goal that I’m willing to pursue with absolute resolve.

And to be honest, I’m going to seriously miss you guys, the CSA members, and the unfailingly pleasant interactions and always fruitful conversations that I have with you every week. I can’t express how thankful I am to have had this as an occupation for the past two years—you’ve made my job exceedingly enjoyable. Whoever takes my place as CSA coordinator next year will no doubt do a fantastic job, working to further build on the relationship between the members and the farm, and the program will continue to improve as each year we develop better methods and more effective systems using the feedback that we receive from you; I’m looking forward to visiting in the future so that I can witness this progress as it unfolds.

You might see me for the next few weeks at the farmer’s market under the Stranger’s Hill canopy, and if you do (or if you see me anywhere else around town) feel free to stop and say hey. I know the name of the farm would suggest otherwise, but please, don’t be strangers.

Thank you for everything, for always exhibiting kindness, for your patience and understanding, and for supporting an organization and a mission that I wholeheartedly believe in. Have a wonderful off-season, and I hope to see you when I visit the Stranger’s Hill Organics CSA program next year.

-Ben Smith

Registration for the 2013 CSA Season

We want to be sure our current members are the first to know when we officially open registration for 2013—if you’re interested in joining us for another season of organic veggies, let us know by email (csa@strangershillorganics.com) and we’ll add you to the list of folks who are notified when we make the announcement.

Thanks for another amazing year, and we hope you can join us for the 2013 CSA season!


Week 21

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Winter Squash
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers

*As always, this list is subject to change.

Notes: The first frost arrived especially early this year, and it’s going to have an effect on the summer crops of farmers across the region, possibly reducing fruit quality and, in many cases, bringing their production to a premature halt. Among the plants that are affected by these temperatures are tomatoes, peppers, basil, okra, and eggplant. This early onset of cold weather (as well as the drought) is a predicted effect of climate change, and if this pattern continues into the coming years, farmers are going to have to find ways of adapting. As we move forward, we want to urge everyone to continue to support small farms, local sources of food, and most preferably, organic agriculture.

Farmers who work outside of the conventional system are resilient adapters by nature, as much of their practice is centered on the close evaluation of their environment. Rather than fighting conditions, or engineering temporary fixes that ultimately exacerbate the issues that plague their crops, responsible growers work with the changing patterns, maintaining a flexible approach. One of the keys to their success is biodiversity, which allows for the systems to benefit from the relationships between organisms, ultimately increasing the plant’s ability to survive amidst certain rapidly changing factors.

The conventional system is inching closer towards a breakdown, evident in the millions of acres of dead or unproductive crops that blanket the Midwest. Fields of corn and soy bean, aside from lacking in the benefits of biodiversity, also leave the farming system vulnerable to certain widespread failure; if that’s all you plant, and the conditions turn out unfavorable, then you’re left with nothing to harvest. When it comes to conventional systems, solutions to the problems that have typically plagued farmers are limited to the following: gene modification,  larger machinery, and the general increase of inputs like water, chemical fertilizer, pesticides, and insecticides. Why are these detrimental? With gene modification, we are systematically weakening the plant on both a biological and an evolutionary level, reducing their root systems, strengthening diseases and pests, and enabling a methodology that is apathetic to the degradation of soil quality. The use of heavy machinery further damages natural systems by causing soil compaction (among other issues, like increasing our oil dependency). In the case of water, we’re seeing the swift depletion of massive underground aquifers that have supplied these farms for years, aquifers like the Ogallala that spans the entirety of the bread belt, as documented by the U.S. Geological Survey. Chemical fertilizers further lead to the loss of soil quality, increasing the general toxicity of our ecosystem and, again, reducing biodiversity by creating conditions of low-oxygen. And the use of pesticides and insecticides? More of the same.

The success of a plant is dependent on healthy soil, deep root systems, and the strength of it’s natural defense mechanisms, as well as the relative balance (not elimination) of pest and disease. In a drought, healthy plants are able to collect water and nutrients to a degree that a plant without these qualities cannot; in the case of conventional farming, we’re like doctors who have never seen a healthy patient in their life, who doesn’t even know what a healthy patient looks like, and thus we’re constantly seeking the relief of symptoms without any knowledge of disease. The healthy patient, in this case, is the organic farm.

When you spend enough time around healthy plants, you develop the ability to recognize the conditions that naturally allow a plant to thrive. You need rich soil, plenty of organic matter, a fragile balance of nutrients, and so on. And when all these factors are present, a farm is as productive if not more so than the conventional counterpart, which lacks all of the above. The problem, however, is that much of the damage exacted on the world’s farmland is lasting, and it takes time to nurture it back to health. That’s why we need to continue to support local, responsible growing operations. We need to turn around the slow extinction of our small farms and prevent the land from ever being cultivated by conventional means in the first place.

When things seem bleak in the farming world, you can be certain that the responsible growers will adapt and ultimately thrive again, so long as they have the support of the communities around them, the support of people like you. Keep this in mind when you’re making your food choices this winter and through the coming year: you have the agency in this situation. And as a practical reminder, the outdoor farmers market runs through November, at which point it shifts locations to the Harmony School.

Without your help, our farm and those like it would never have a chance at solving the many problems that exist in our food system. Without our collective efforts, what remains of the world’s healthy land would be lost to the current trend, swallowed by industrial farming or left vulnerable to the whims of a developer. You’re help is appreciated enormously, and we hope that others take from your example and choose a food system that can last.

Infinite gratitude,

SHO

Week 20

 

 

(Photo of eggplant tacos from Vegetarian ‘Ventures, a blog maintained by one of our members. More information and a link included below. Check it out!)

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Sage

 

Volunteer Update:

Many have asked if we will be organizing anymore volunteer days. We are unsure at this time, but Hoosier Hills Food Bank could always use volunteers in their garden, which is actually located at our farm. Volunteer days are on Monday from 9-11am, Tuesday from 5:30-7:30pm, and Thursday from 9-11am. Click here for more information on how you can get involved. Thanks for being so eager to help increase food security in our community!

Member Experiences:

Last week we asked if you could share photos or stories of things that you’ve done with your CSA veggies, and the responses were fantastic. We wanted to post some of them here for your enjoyment, and who knows, maybe you’ll get some ideas of your own!

One of our members has a blog where she posted photos of a pizza she made using her tomatoes and basila link to the blog, and I’ll copy the recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Dough (I used Pillsbury Artisan Crust)
  • Fresh Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese

First I opened and unrolled the pizza dough, cut it in half. Then I laid it on a cookie sheet and brushed each side with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking to the grill.

Next, I put one half of the dough straight onto a gas grill on low heat. I closed the lid for about a minute and then flipped the dough. My first attempt got a little crispy burnt, but each subsiquent side was better!

Now I moved back into the kitchen and put the ingredients onto my pizza crusts. I used a little drizzle of infused olive oil (basil!) and then layered on the tomatoes, basil and cheeses.

Finally I popped them into the over until the cheese was melted. The result was a soft but crispy crust, warmed tomatoes and gooey cheese. The whole meal took about 15 minutes to make and the possibilities with toppings are endless!

And here’s a photo for good measure:

Wow.

And here’s another blog, Vegetarian ‘Ventures, containing numerous recipes, photos, and stories about the Stranger’s Hill Organics CSA share. There’s tons of creative dishes featured on here, for example:

Savory Vegetable Cobbler

Serves 2 as a main (double for a family of 4 or to have leftovers)

For the topping:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • dash of sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon ice old water

Filling:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • Salt/Pepper

To make the topping: Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and cheddar into a small mixing bowl. Throw in the butter and with [washed hands] press the butter and batter between your fingers to create a coarse dough. Slowly add in the tablespoon of cold water and mix until a thick ball forms. Wrap in foil and stick in the freezer until ready to use.

For the filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes. Add in the squash and bell peppers and cook until everything is soft and begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Fold in the tomato, sugar, flour, and milk. Place in a 9 by 9 inch pan.

Remove dough topping from fridge and pinch off tablespoon pieces to lay over the top. Stick in the oven for 35 or 40 minutes or until it’s browned.

Oh, my, that is amazing. And you should see the photos! Oh wait, here’s one:

 

And there’s plenty more where that came from. I’ll be posting more in the next newsletters, but in the meantime, visit one of these blogs and send a fellow member some much deserved internet traffic.

And folks, for everyone’s sake of everyone’s stomach, please keep sending us your awesome photos and stories. Also, I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is for us at the farm to hear about your experiences. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Week 19

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomato
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Basil
  • Also: Possibly okra, depending on availability.

Photos:

See you around! SHO

Week 18


What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Okra
  • Basil

Note: Above list subject to change depending on availability of produce.

Big Red Eats Green

This Thursday, I.U. will be hosting it’s second annual Big Red Eats Green festival at the I.U. Art Museum Lawn. It’s free to enter, and a number of Bloomington restaurants will be there serving various dishes made from locally-grown ingredients. Support the local food community by spreading the word and stopping by if you have some free-time!

Recipes and Links:

Quick Refrigerator Pickles (Ready in 1.5 Hours)

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad

Sichuan Pickled Cucumbers (24 Hours)

Whipped Feta with Cucumbers

Cucumber Sandwiches

Gazpacho with Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Super Slow-Cooked Tomatoes

Photos

 

Week 17


What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomato
  • Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Zucchini
  • Watermelon
  • Okra
  • Oregano

Recipes and Links:

 

Baba Ganoush

Italian Polenta Casserole (Fix and Freeze)

Roasted Red Peppers (Fix and Freeze)

Roasted Okra

Tips For Using Massive Amounts Of Eggplant

Tips for Preserving (Tomatoes, Peppers, Winter Squash, Beets)

Use Food Waste: Tips on Composting from the US EPA

US Drought Monitor

The Benefits of Biodiversity:

As an organic farm, we place a high value on biodiversity, or the amount of variation present among the species of lifeforms within an ecosystem. We welcome the presence of so-called weeds and native plants because their presence produces benefits like decreased soil erosion, efficient nutrient cycling, and even natural pest control. Conventional farms that use chemical herbicides are, essentially, destroying the very systems that prevent pests from thriving, resulting in the need for added pesticides. This unfortunate cycle has led to a gradual degradation of overall soil quality, the development of certain herbicide-resistant “super weeds”. And the pests? The ones that are unaffected are left with virtually no predators or competition.

So take advantage of the abundance of plant species at Stranger’s Hillit’s one of the perks of having access to an organic farm. Many of them can be useful to humans either as food (be sure to consult an edible plant guide, like this one, before consuming anything) or dyes or even just decorations. In fact, one of our members recently picked a basket of pokeberries to use as a natural dye:

A basket of pokeberries collected at Stranger’s Hill. Though the seeds are toxic, the berries have long been used as a natural dye.

Wool, soon to be yarn, recently dyed with the above pokeberries. As it dries, the color will gradually become brighter.

Farm Photos


 

Week 16

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Watermelon
  • Tomato
  • Eggplant (Japanese and Globe)
  • Peppers (Sweet)
  • Zucchini

Choosing A Watermelon

If you find yourself having difficulty choosing a watermelon, you might follow this simple guideline: Turn the watermelon in your hands to find a light colored spot (the “ground spot”). It may be white or yellow, and typically, the more yellow the spot is, the more ripe the watermelon will be. And remember, unless you arrive at the end of distribution time, chances are we still have a large quantity, so if you don’t see a melon you like, let us know and we’ll bring out more for you to look at. This, of course, is true of any item.

Recipes

Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Vinegar

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Roasted Eggplant Feta Dip

Ratatouille à la Casablancaise

Eggplant-Cheddar Bake

Pan-Fried White Eggplant with Onion, Caper, and Herb Sauce

Livestrong: How to Cook A Small White Eggplant

Links

Stranger’s Hill’s Facebook Page

Organic Gardening Guide

Tips For A Great Fall Garden

Week 15


What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Watermelons
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Pepper

Note about watermelons: one of our varieties has naturally yellow flesh on the inside, so don’t be alarmed when you cut into it and don’t see the typical red or pink. It has a vanilla-like flavor.

Links and Recipes

Agua de Sandia (a watermelon-based Mexican beverage)

Thai Roasted Eggplant Salad with Cilantro and Lime

Vegan Baba Ghannouj (Eggplant)

Mom’s Stuffed Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza

Vegan Tempeh and Eggplant Pot Pies

Eggplant Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

Chilled Watermelon Soup

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

 

Week 14

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini/Summer Squash
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Herb Bundles

Tips:

  1. Peppers can stay fresh for up to 1 week in a home refrigerator. After that, it’s probably still edible, but it’s cook’s discretion as to whether or not they want to use it.
  2. Eggplant may stay fresh anywhere from 4-7 days, however it is really best to eat it within a day or two of receiving it. If you cook eggplant, you can refrigerate for 3 days, or freeze in puree form for as many as 6 months.

Recipes and Links:

Quick Vegetarian Chili

Vegetable Lasagna

Cool Zucchini Slaw

Feta-Stuffed Zucchini

Proper Pepper Storage: Some of What You Need To Know

Supposedly Authentic Ratatouille Recipe (Though I Can’t Personally Confirm)

A Collection of Interesting Zucchini Recipes

A Collection of Vegan Zucchini Recipes

Vegan Zucchini Snacks

The New York Times on Green Peppers

Vegetarian Zucchini Pancakes

Eggplant: Food Network Recipes

Photos




Week 13

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini

Recipes and Helpful Links:

Pickled Peppers

Baba Ganoush

Eggplant Parmesan

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches with Red Onion and Aioli

Malidzano (Eggplant Dip with Walnuts)

Eggplant Croquettes

Eggplant Creole

Comprehensive Zucchini and Eggplant Recipe Collection

Photos


Week 12

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers
  • Herbs
  • Garlic

*Note: List is subject to change.

Recipes

Mom’s Zucchini Bread

Organic Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

Sweet Potato Zucchini Bread

Kingman’s Vegan Zucchini Bread

Vegan Chocolate Cranberry Zucchini Bread

Preservation Instructions: Drying Herbs For Storage

Gumbo With Okra, Tomatoes, and Squash

Gazpacho

Photos

*Note from Ben Smith: I took a series of panoramas last Thursday evening around sunset at Stranger’s Hill as a thunderstorm passed just to the north of the farm. I managed to get these before it started raining.

Click the photos for a larger view.


Week 11

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Sage

Note: Because of the drought, many of our crops are growing at a slower-than-anticipated rate. In order to give some of the plants more time to generate their fruit, this week’s box is unfortunately not going to have the variety that we’re used to. But no worries! We’ll make up for it in the coming weeks as peppers, eggplant, and melon continue to develop.

Recipes and Links:

For canning: USDA Complete Guide To Home Canning (2009)

Canning 101: Home Canned Tomatoes

45 Things To Do with Fresh Sage

Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Pasta

A Large Online Collection of Tomato Recipes

Mama Carolla’s Bruschetta (substitute any variety of tomato for Roma)

Homemade Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Fries

Tomato Zucchini Bake

Tips

  • The best way to store freshly cut basil and sage is to remove the rubber band, trim the stems as you would a flower and place them in a glass of water. Leave it out on the counter, as the leaves of fresh herbs turn black if kept in a refrigerator.
  • Tomatoes are ripe when their skin gives way slightly to pressure (wrinkling may indicate a bit over-ripe). Like herbs, avoid storing tomatoes in the refrigerator—temperatures under 50 degrees (F) will negatively affect a tomato’s flavor.

Week 10

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Basil
  • Kale

Recipes

Caprese Salad

Artichoke Tomato Gratin

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Tomato, Basil, and Avacado Tortilla

Spanish Tomato Toast

Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Herbs, and Cheese

Tomato Pie

Sauteed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zucchini Tomato Casserole

Roasted Zucchini with Garlic

Zucchini Broccoli Tofu Stirfry

Zucchini Broccoli Ricotta Galette

Cajun Corn with Louisiana Butter

Ratatouille

Week 9


Important reminder for Tuesday pick-up: As you know from last week’s newsletter, we’ll be switching back to our former location by the picnic tables on the opposite side of the Bfoods West building. We will no longer be distributing the share at the Tuesday market.

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Onions

Notes from the farm: Right now, we’re in the midst of the worst drought this region has seen since 1988. Those of you with gardens are well aware of how difficult it is to keep a plant watered when the temperature is in the triple digits, the humidity is virtually non-existent, and the wind is blowing at a constant. You may have noticed that people’s fading green lawns are turning completely brown almost immediately after they mow them—any additional stress is devastating to a plant that’s already struggling to survive in these conditions.

Then again, for some crops—like tomatoes and eggplants—extreme heat is not necessarily a bad thing: it means less disease and fewer insects. But that’s assuming you’re able to keep everything hydrated, which requires either constant watering or an irrigation system. Luckily for us, we have the latter, and it’s fed by two separate wells. So, for now we have water, though that doesn’t mean that the dryness isn’t an issue for us.

We’re putting tremendous strain on our well pumps, which require a certain level of water in order to power themselves and produce adequate pressure for getting water to our fields.

And it’s not just the plants that don’t have water. Neither do the animals, which is one reason why you may be noticing a rise in the number of wild animals that are wandering away from their natural habitats and into the city; and of course, what better a source for water than fresh produce! It’s one explanation for why the farm has found itself the nightly target of our antlered nemesis. They look at our fields and see a massive pantry stocked with their favorite delicious, tender food staples. They continue to snack on our beans, and have now turned to the corn. And apparently, the raccoons are starting to catch on. We planted copious amounts of the stuff, so unless they invite the rest of the forest we should be fine in terms of the CSA; still, it’ll be a significant loss.

Ultimately, there isn’t much that an organic farm can do in these circumstances aside from preparing for the worst and hoping that the weather makes a turn for the better. Like I said before, we’re doing okay right now, but that’s not the case with every farm. Some growers are going through an incredibly difficult time right now as they try to rescue their only means for making a living. I ask you to keep in mind local farmers when you’re deciding what to eat in the coming weeks: it’s more important now than ever to make food purchases that support the people in our community. If you’re missing an ingredient for a meal, try to find it first at the farmer’s market or at Bloomingfoods, or substitute it with something that’s locally available. With such an enormous amount of farmers nearing retirement (or working beyond the age where retirement will be typical), it’s going to be imperative that local farms survive into the future. Help them out by making an especially strong effort to support local agriculture as much as you can, and thank you for supporting us by being a member of our CSA. You guys are already rock stars.

Week 8

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Zucchini (Tentative, but they may well be ready in time.)

Recipes

Lentils with Tomatoes

Insalata Caprese

Southwest Cilantro Mango Grilled Chicken Sandwiches (w/ Tomatoes)

Bruschetta

Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa

Peach and Tomato Gazpacho

Tomato Egg Sandwiches

Mama’s Best Broiled Tomato Sandwiches

Farm Photos

Week 7

 

Note: In case you missed the explanation provided at orientation, Dale and Lee Jones (two of the six partners in the farm) maintain a separate, smaller farm operation across the road from us, unconnected to the CSA. To avoid confusion, we wanted to let you know that in the coming weeks you may occasionally see vegetables on sale at the Stranger’s Hill farmer’s market booth that aren’t included in your share. Worry not, for this isn’t a CSA conspiracy: those are Dale and Lee’s vegetables, not the farm’s. For further explanation, we’ll be sending a more detailed letter from Lee Jones sometime this week.

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans

Recipes:

Fresh Green Beans with Garlic

Garlic Bread

Easy Vegan Guacamole

Wheat Berries with Vegetables

Roasted Garlic Soup

Onion Pizza with Ricotta and Chard

Baked Eggs with Garlic Sauteed Chard and Polenta

Swiss Chard Scramble

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche

Savory Swiss Chard Pie

Philippine Mung Beans in Coconut Milk with Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup with Lemon Juice

Canning and Freezing Green Beans

Asian Green Beans

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Fresh Broccoli Casserole

Tofu and Broccoli with Peanut Sauce

Week 6

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Beets/Chard/Beans (tentative, contingent on extent of deer damage)

Important notes from farm manager Dave Rollo and CSA coordinator Ben Smith:

  • Deer have been continuing to take toll on crops. Besides lettuce, they have hit the beans and the chard hard, and have also been taking beet greens. Thus the uncertainty about the last item above, and the strategy of providing a combo of each using the produce that hasn’t been touched. We are doing what we can to control the deer and minimize loss.
  • We are in a transitional time, with spring crops waning and summer crops not quite coming on. Very soon, however, you can look forward to the summer crops in your shares, including sweet corn, tomatoes, and zucchini.
  • Tuesday Bloomingfoods pick-up members: This week, we will be distributing shares on the west side of the Bloomingfoods West location, on the other side of the building from where we were before. Beginning this week, we will be stationed among the venders at the Tuesday Farmer’s Market, under the usual blue canopy.
  • Volunteer Work Day: We’re welcoming the farm to volunteers for the second time this Friday, June 15th at 6pm.

Recipes

Massaged Kale Salad

Provencal Kale and Cabbage Gratin

Kale and Potato Soup

Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Five Minute Indian-Style Cabbage

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini

Green-Cabbage and Red-Apple Slaw with Brussel Sprouts and Citrus

Kale and Broccoli Mac n’ Cheese

Cabbage and Onion Marmalade

Simmered Cabbage

 

Week 5

Volunteer Opportunity

Our first volunteer workday at the farm will be this Friday, June 8, at 6:00PM. Put on some close-toed shoes, a hat, and some sunscreen and meet us out there for good fun and satisfying work. RSVP if you know ahead of time that you’ll be coming; if you can’t, no sweat, we’ll have another workday next Friday!

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi

Recipes

Southern Fried Cabbage

Portuguese Bean Soup with Cabbage

Cabbage, Onion, and Sweet Pepper Tart

Spicy Stir-Fried Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Kale and Cabbage Gratin

Potato Cabbage and Broccoli Colcannon Mash

Kale and Broccoli Frittatta

Sweet and Savory Kale

And remember, kale is one of the most nutrient dense, locally-available greens, so it really pays to learn how to fully utilize it!

Week 4

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi

Recipes

Broccoli, Cabbage, and Kohlrabi Coleslaw with Quinoa

Sweet Broccoli and Kohlrabi Salad

Creamy Broccoli and Kale Soup

A Collection of the Best Broccoli Side Dishes

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli Cheese Cracker Casserole

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

Creamy Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Vegan Kale Lasagna

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Shredded Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi Home Fries

Stuffed Kohlrabi

Vegan Sauteed Kale with Kohlrabi

Also, here’s a link to a blog called 365 Days of Kale, in case you find yourself running out of ideas. There’s a list of recipes at the bottom of the right side bar.

Week 3

Photo of week 1 CSA half share

Crop Update:

The deer recently made a meal of our lettuce beds, and as a result, we’re going to be a little pressed to get lettuce for this week’s share; of course, we’re going to do what we can with the heads that went untouched, and we’ll work hard to make sure everyone gets a great share. Unfortunately, once a deer knows where they can find food, they typically return. As a result, we’ve resorted to using a heavy row cover as protection, but it has some downsides: they can move it or chew through it if they really want to, and it signals to the plants that it’s time to flower, meaning the lettuce will bolt and become unusable sooner than it otherwise would. There are other deer repellent solutions out there, but most are just not feasible at this scale.

Volunteer Opportunities: Though it isn’t mandatory, we feel that volunteering provides a good chance for people to more completely see how their food is produced and to have a hand in the process. You can choose in what area you’d like to assist (planting, harvesting, etc.) depending on your interest. If you have free time and you’d like to take us up on this offer, send us an email (csa@strangershillorganics.com) at least a day or two ahead of time and we’ll be sure to have things ready for you. Otherwise, we’re going to organize some dates for large group volunteering that we’ll be keeping you updated about. Thanks for the helping hand!

Here’s what you can expect in this week’s share:

  • Lettuce
  • Kohlrabi
  • Carrots
  • Kale

Recipes

Kohrabi and Carrots

Roasted Kohlrabi

Braised Kohlrabi

Quick Kohlrabi Pickles

Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw

Spicy Kohlrabi Sukke

Masala Chili with Kale & Kohlrabi

Toscana Soup (w/ Kale)

Kale Carrot and Avocado Salad

Kale Tacos

Stir-Fried Kale and Carrots

Chorizo and Kale Pasta Bowl

Bulgur and Kale Casserole with Yogurt Topping

What you can do with a whole lot of kale.

 

Week 2

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Assorted Herb Bundles

Recipes:

15 Kale Recipes from seriouseats.com

Healthy Bean Soup with Kale

Rosy Rice Risotto with Beets and Kale

Couscous with Chick Peas, Beets, and Kale

Radiant Beet and Kale Penne Pasta

Kale Chips (Bunch not required, use any amount of kale)

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens

New York Times’ Recipes for Health: Best Beet Recipes

Romaine and Radish Salad with Buttermilk Lemon Dressing

Note: Remember, you can eat your beet and radish greens, and if you want to eat your kale raw, just massage it with salt and a little oil to soften it up. Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 1

Welcome to the Stranger’s Hill Organics CSA!

Right now, the cold weather crops take the center stage. Here are the items to expect this week:

1. Lettuce

2. Radishes

3. Beets

4. Carrots

5. Assorted Herb Bundles

In a few weeks we’ll have kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, peas, beans, rainbow chard, and other cooler weather vegetables, and then as the season moves along, we will eventually shift into the summer crops like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, watermelons, zucchini and various summer squashes, etc.

Recipes

Citrus-Ginger Roasted Beets and Carrots

Honey-Balsamic Glazed Roasted Beets and Carrots

Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

Carrot Radish Salad

Grated Beet and Carrot Salad with Radish-Miso Dressing

Three-Day Pickled Beets

Cold Carrot Soup

Maple Dill Carrots

Raw Beet Salad

Beet Rosti with Rosemary

And:

Radish Dressing
from Bon Appetit 1995

5 radishes, trimmed, coarsely chopped
½ C olive oil
2 tbsp. sherry wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey mustard (or make your own with 1/2 tbsp. honey, ½ tbsp. mustard)
½ tsp. minced garlic

 

*Check back for new recipes throughout the week. We’ll periodically update as we find more.

Farm Photos

 

 

These structures allow us to plant earlier than we otherwise could because of their ability to trap sunlight and maintain soil temperature. This is where most of the food for the first shares is being grown.

 

 

 

 

 

Vibrant red and green leaf lettuces.

While the red and green leaf, romaine, and butter head lettuces are growing out in the fields, a second batch of lettuce starts is in the greenhouse waiting to be planted. No shortage of lettuce here.

Between the production houses, beds of radishes receive a refreshing spray of water. Most of these photos were taken on 4/20 of this year, and they’ve grown considerably since then. You’ll find these in your first share.

Large heads of romaine lettuce growing beneath long sheets of thin row cover, a cloth material called reemay. In this case, the reemay is being used mostly to protect the lettuce from deer, who of course love feasting on organic veggies.

Farm manager and partner Dave Rollo lays drip tape, a plastic hose punched with tiny holes to allow the slow release of water directly onto the beds.

 

A view of the interior of one of our production houses. You can see rows of beets (right) and carrots (left).

 

 

 

I’m happy to see that there’s some precipitation in the forecast tonight, even though we’ve had some terrible luck when it comes to rain at the farm: often times when the city of Bloomington sees rainfall, it somehow misses the farm entirely. Keep doing your rain dances—we need all the help we can get.