shiitake for you

what’s in the brown bags??

shiitake in a sack


shiitake in a sack, for you!!




3/4 pound

After a few more years of growing these shiitake, and enjoying them all along, I’m going to update our experience with the stems.


yep, the stems


Don’t worry much about them at all. Chop them with your knife. Slice them thin. Even throw them in whole. No sweat, we feel. They’re delicious. The “excessive chewiness”, is not excessive. Don’t worry ’bout it.

Many people’s critique of mushrooms is their mushy-ness, their squishiness, their texture. The stems lend a nice chew, we think.


this is what we’d said before, largely based upon hearsay and other’s experience: I still think it’s great advice and guidance. We’re just not nearly as concerned about the stems being “excessively chewy”.

Shiitake stems should be removed from caps. Simply break them away. If you feel any “cleaning” of these mushrooms is necessary, use a mushroom brush or a very soft, never-used-for-painting paint brush (that’s what we use. very soft. very fast). The stems are very tastey, but very tough. Don’t discard so much taste! You can immediately chop the stems, fresh, in your food processor. Let the machine deal with the toughness, not your mouth! Then include in your mushroom  prep, or store separate to use later in soups or stocks or teas (the stems are diced, of course, and work really well in a soup or stock, or eggs!).


For some fantastic information,

some great recipes,

check out the Mushrooming Together blog.


Here’s some valuable information I will share with you. The source is Field & Forest Products

Putting Up Your Harvest:“Too Many Mushrooms!” This happy complaint is always followed by a request for advice on the best way to preserve them… All mushrooms keep their freshest taste when sliced or chopped, sauteed with a bit of butter or oil, and then placed in the freezer. Freeze in amounts that you’ll most frequently use for one dish, usually 1-2 cups. Experiment with additions: Shiitake sauteed qwith onion, garlic and a pinch of salt, add a dash of soy sauce; Oyster mushrooms with onion and chopped red pepper; Wine Caps with walnut oil and  thyme. A cup of these mushrooms thawed and heated can make a delicious, quick meal when used as a burrito filling, a topping for eggs or meats, or when blended to make soup.

….Most mushrooms can also be dried, but many often lose much of their flavor once rehydrated. Exceptional successes can be achieved with both Shiitake and Maitake. Shiitake can be dried as whole caps or slices; stems can also be dried and pulverized for adding flavor to stews and soups.

Medicine and Mushrooms:The western world is slowly discovering what Asian herbalists have known for thousands of years… that, apart from their nutritional value, mushrooms are good for you! In Asia, mushrooms have traditionally been prescribed in conjunction with chemotherapies and other therapies we label “alternative”. In recent years western medicine has taken a more serious look at the potential medicinal properties of various mushroom species. Though studies are ongoing, some promising results have surfaced which link mushroom components with aiding treatments for cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease….

Shiitake  (Lentinula edodes), is prized for anticancer effects, immune system boosting and reducing cholesterol. It is also a good source of protein.


Here’s some interesting info too, from Eden Foods

Mushrooms are the only source of Vitamin D in the vegetable kingdom

Mushrooms convert UV light into Vitamin D, as does the human body

All mushrooms contain Vitamin D2

Mushrooms grown outdoors (all of ours are), exposed to natural UV light, are higher in Vitamin D

Dried mushrooms have higher Vitamin D than fresh

Vitamin D is a powerful immune enhancer

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin we humans acquire from exposure to sunlight or from foods containing it.

(source Eden Foods)


Garlic Harvest Party 2014! WOW, now that was a party!


Thank you to all the many who contributed so much to the 10th annual garlic harvest party. Your efforts really surpassed any and all expectations! Thank you greatly!


community supported garlic!


We’d like to send a great big Thank You to all the many who chipped in so generously throughout the day! We had many, many helping hands. The level of enthusiasm was really invigorating for us all. The time was very well spent, people visited throughout, enjoyed the wonderful company. Worked and Ate. Oh boy did we eat!

(I asked our daughters to help with photos this year (we again got mostly work-centric photos) - and I’m going to ask all you’s who took photos to send ‘em along too – oh yes, and recipes from your potluck contributions too. Thanks!)


anybody got some photos of the fun??


recipes of your potluck dish??


thank you!


“Our families so glad you let us

be a part of this!”



kids garlic harvest party 2014

 I tallied some 36 people throughout the day,

amongst them at least 11 children. This was great fun for all. Thank You!



“wow – now that was a party!”



harvesters garlic 2014


“It’s good to work really hard…

now and again.”

(mark b)


garlic "neckers" 2014


“I’ve never been part

of such a big group effort.

This was so neat….

I looked around,

there was so much going on…

Everyone doing something,

how could I not help!”




“We need to make a cookbook:

the 10th annual

garlic harvest party




“We need to do this more than once per year!”

(mark w)

recipes from the Garlic Harvest party



And before I share my recipes, I need a solemn promise that Kate will share EXACTLY what she put in her kimchi because I loved it and want to make some just like it.  It was just great, even in the “unripe” state. ~Angie F


Kate, the pressure’s on to share the Kimchi recipe!



Avocado Corn Salsa

from Angie F

1 & 2/3 cup corn (great use for any leftover corn on the cob, and frozen works too)

2 large cans olive, drained & chopped

1 med. red onion, chopped

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 c lemon juice

3 TB apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4 med. ripe avocados

In large bowl, combine all vegetables except avocados.

In smaller bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, s&p. Mix well, pour over corn mixture.

Toss to coat.

If you’re a plan-aheady type person, cover and refrigerate overnight.

If you’re hungry, no biggie, proceed. It will still be good.

Just before serving, peel and chop avocados and stir into salsa.



Clafouti (Fruit Custard)

from Angie F


Seasonal fruit, washed & pitted if necessary (2 different types of fruit is especially nice, like nectarines + blueberries)

4 large eggs

3/4 c sugar

1 cup milk

1 TB cognac or rum

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 c flour

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375

Grease the bottom of a tall sided cake pan or med. size ceramic baking dish (bigger than a bread loaf pan, but smaller than 9×13) and dust pan with 1 TB sugar. Distribute fruit evenly across the pan.

Beat eggs & sugar until frothy. Add milk and beat until smooth.

Stir in cognac, vanilla and baking powder.

Add the flour and a pinch of salt and beat until a smooth batter (like pancake batter.)

Pour batter over the fruit in prepared pan, bake for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 and bake until puffed (about 35 minutes), dust with generous layer of powdered sugar.

Serve room temperature or chilled.

(We always double this recipe and baking it takes much longer, but it’s worth it.)

recipe: Green Goddess Dressing on Your Fresh Baby Kale Salads



greens glorious greens

green goddess dressing

Try this on your baby kale

baby red russian kale

using Christine R’s awesome kale salad recipe:

Christine’s Kale Salad

Little did I know how much Christine R. enjoys her kale salads, until one week she was willing to trade her basil (what!?) for kale. My mind was pleasantly blown. To be frank, she has been “forced” into this favorite kale salad by the non-stop frequency of kale coming in your CSA crates. But she now enjoys it so much that she’s “even bought some kale at the grocery store, and it wasn’t as good as yours, Chris”.

Thursday, on the curbside, she explained to Cheryl B. how to make her kale salad. I eaves dropped.

here it is

Rip and Tear the leaf off the stem.

Chop the leaf very fine.

To ease the inherent tough nature of the kale leaf, Poke and Stab repeatedly with a fork. Pierce it again and again, throughout. Ouch to the Kale, (Christine, did I get the sequence correct?)

Dress with your favorite dressing Now.

The pokes and stabs will help the dressing “marinate” the leaf, infusing and tenderizing it.

(Our girls have really enjoyed Caesar dressing on their kale salads. Me too.)

Store in an airtight container in the fridge, you’ve got salads marinating, ready to eat on a moment’s notice.

turnip greens

We’ve usually topped our turnips before delivering to you. I’m thinking that we won’t later this fall, when you receive your next batches of turnips!

turnips, August 2014



greens glorious greens

turnip greens


cooking leafy greens

I know, I know, I haven’t quite got the formatting around just right to actually make this presentable and useful for you. It’s a work in process for me. Thanks for your patience… Or your ideas of how to get it more presentable (scanning has mixed results, from my perspective).


greens glorious greens

cooking leafy greens







CSA Veggie Harvest Eight : August 12 & 14

a few reminders

August Farm Photos

Mushrooms For Sale

Swier Family Farm Recipes Page

Swier Family Farm Veggie ID Page

a CSA Veggie full share, from Tuesday

full CSA share : Tuesday 12, 2014

in your crate

summer squash



bagged baby kale (see recipe below)






Full Shares Only: Eggplant or Cauliflower, Beets

Share Crate: tomatoes, summer squash, cilantro, broccoli, cukes

one of the Share Crates from Tuesday

one Share Crate Tuesday 12 August 2014

recipes: Kale


also, bound to please the kiddos:

kale chips - Click on that kale chip link for recipe. We’ve been totally enjoying the (over?) abundance of small, young, tender, loose kale.  But What to do with it all? You’ve either figured this out, or you’ve tossed a lot out!?

 baby red russian kale

I’ve got some really good and exciting new recipes to send out to you for the greens. Later this week, possibly this weekend, I’ll try to carve out some time from the field to get on this. I’ve got them around, just need to get the formatting better so you can easily use them (helpful if you can use them, yah!). I’m very busily working on this, that, and the other. Such as:

needin' fixin'

That is, in fact, a this, that, and the other all wrapped into one. Mostly because it’s borrowed from the neighbor, and it broke down on my watch, behind my tractor, as I was driving it.

Always return borrowed things in better shape than you found them

yep, I’m working on that.

Also, am working on plantings in the hoophouses… These will be the final plantings under cover for this season. We are wrestling control of the soil back from the summer jungles, adding prudent amounts of water, setting up to appropriately amend the soil for optimal health, and all around getting readier to re-seed new foods for your enjoyment and ours!

Tomatoes are lining up beautifully thus far, though slower than you, I, and the rest of central Michigan would like. We’ve got beauties hanging on the vines, just awaiting a bit more warmth (during the days and night). Really a fantastic assortment of tomatoes, some new to us this year (black ones! even!).

here’s a look at some thus far:

tomatoes: sizes, shapes, varieties, and tastes! 

Peppers and eggplant (especially) are somewhat questionable… Will they come? When? How many?

(after last season, an eggplant overwhelm (almost!), I’m wondering about eggplant in 2014!)

The peppers you’re getting now, by and large, are Anaheim Peppers. These are considered a “stuffing pepper”, say for a chili relleno. Honestly, they are much like any green bell we grow: delicious, crisp, juicy, and so fresh when at your table and to your mouth the day of picking. Green peppers fresh from the garden are mind-bogglingly better than store bought. Hands down. We are currently thinning the peppers, all varieties. In our northern clime we are pressed for time and heat enough to allow a pepper to color up nicely. So, we thin the plants of fruits. We thin and thin, leaving some few to hopefully ripen to color. We have many pepper plants, we hope to get many peppers too! And to you.

CSA Veggie Harvest Seven: August 5th & 7th

Sirah’s back from her cholecystectomy

(what a word!)


we’re all smiling ’bout this news!

Sirah, late May 2014

(she got her gall bladder removed)

we’ve got nutso amounts of shiitake mushrooms for sale

(that’s what’s in the brown bags at your veggie pick-up)

mushroom CSA shares May 15 2014

contact me

or purchase ‘em on the spot


$10 for 3/4 pound


swier family shiitake


(This will be a somewhat limited post today. We’re sitting in the hospital, our oldest daughter recuperating from a tonsillectomy. All’s well.)

in your crate


beets or turnips


red Russian kale (bagged)


kohlrabi (growing bigger)


collard or chard (bagged)


summer squashes (see Harvest Six)

Share Crate: tomatoes, kohlrabi, cauliflower, cukes, chard, collard, Happy Rich



a photo of turnips I snagged from the web

those turnips are seriously photogenic, very web-worthy, no?

and beets, our actual BEETS!

beets and beets and more good beets


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