CSA Veggie Harvest #13 : September 16 & 18, 2014


some mixed flowers this week

mixed boquets 9/16/14

a full share this week

full share 9/16/14

in your crate

basil (rinse well, spin!)

bagged kale (try cooking)



broccoli or happy rich



mixed flowers!!

Share Crates: Watermelons, summer squash, basil, dill, sweet peppers, kohlrabi, tomatoes


one of the share crates this week

a Share Crate 9/16/14

 Basil is a bit of a delicate doll. It is super susceptible to wind, hail, and cold damage. Also rough handling. It’s appearance suffers from any of those challenges. Then it doesn’t want to store very well nor very long in your fridge. It’s finicky.


but so tasty!

basil 2014

Basil is the “canary in a coal mine”, our garden plant most prone to the cold. It’ll show cold stress first. Anything near a sustained frost will kill it outright. The cool nights (some have been cold!) recently have been challenging for the basil. Tonight (Wednesday) is predicted cold again. I’m really hoping to be able to harvest basil for our Thursday CSA shareholders. We’ll see… you’ll see in your crates tomorrow…

The cosmetics of the basil are suffering already, undeniably. The weather has already pushed basil towards its edge. The minor flaws we’ve seen thus far in no way affects its taste. Tuesday  the basil was sandy. The heavy rains previous to harvest really caused some splashing of the soils up onto the plants. Because basil is so delicate (to cold water, to being wet in a bag, etc), I did not want to over-process it. You’ll want to rinse it repeatedly in slightly lukewarm water, then spin it very dry. Perfect. Delectable.

These cool nights, cool days have been concerning, of course. Some crops have been slowed. Some will stop if we get much colder much longer. We’re doing all we can to keep the growing going!


hope you’re enjoying!



CSA Veggie Harvest #12 : Sept 9 & Sept 11, 2014

 take a break, have a read of this week’s post

boots on the ground, taking a dusty break)


a few reminders

these are hyperlinks, click ‘em if interested


help needed

September Farm Photos

Garlic For Sale

Swier Family Farm Recipes Page

Swier Family Farm Veggie ID Page


I apologize, last week I did not post for Harvest #11. Our summer help has all gone back-to-school. Lucky learners. This means my time in the field has become ever more necessary to get ‘er all done. (Yes, yes, I admit I also went to Wheatland Music Fest…. some.)


As many of you have noted, the progression of the crate’s contents evolves…. The in your crate may add or subtract a component week-to-week, here and there, but the progress is fairly predictable.


As my computer time is once again short, I will not backtrack with my posts unless I find an unusual abundance of available time.


sample full share, Tuesday 9 September

sample full share 9 Sept 2014

in your crate


bagged juvie collard greens (click cooking greens)

baby collards - harvest 12 - 2012

bagged kale (try, try again!)


summer squash (see recipes/usage below)

“doorstop” Kohlrabi (a term of Endearment, right?!, from the Smiths!)


sweet and hot peppers




melons (for the Half Shares, Full Shares got ‘em last week)

Share Crate: broc, eggplant, basil, cukes, one lonely melon and kohlrabi


one of the Share Crates

one Share Crate Tues 9 Sept 2014

yep, more summer squash!

recipes/usage summer squash


* You can treat the yellow summer squash (whatever size, shape, configuration) as you would a green zucchini. Here are a few recipe ideas from the “Recipe Tab” on our website.




Zucchini-Walnut Pancakes

1 pound zucchini (crookneck or any summer squash will do), shredded (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4  large eggs
1  cup all-purpose flour
1/2  cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2  cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
1/3  cup minced celery (or try kohlrabi)
2  tablespoons finely chopped onion
4  to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Put summer squash in colander; sprinkle with salt and toss to mix.  Let stand for 30 minutes; press out excess moisture.  Mix summer squash and remaining ingredients except oil in a medium-sized bowl.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a heavy-bottomed skilled over medium-high heat.  Drop scant 1/4-cupfuls of squash mixture into hot oil; flatten each into a 3-inch circle.  Fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned, adding additional oil to pan as needed.  Drain pancakes on paper towels.  Serve warm with sourcream and applesauce.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

3/4 cup oil
1  1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini (or any summer squash)
1/2 cup sour milk, buttermilk or yogurt
3 tablespoons cocoa or carob powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and cloves
2  1/2 cups flour
small bag of chocolate or carob chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Mix all ingredients and bake 30-35 minutes.  Makes 16 servings.
A definite favorite at the garlic harvest party.

To Freeze Your Summer Squash For Later

Wash the squash clean. Coarsely grate the whole squash, “skin” and all, into a collander. Press grated squash, with your flat palm, thereby squeezing water out of squash. Place a good serving size for your family into a bag, freeze. Defrost when needed and make a great Squash Bake, or recipes above!

a recipe for a Squash Bake



School’s In – Workers Are Out – Could You Pitch In??

a few reminders

these are hyperlinks, click on ‘em to check ‘em out

Our Shiitake Mushrooms for Sale to You

See Some August Farm Photos

Swier Family Farm Recipes Page

Swier Family Farm Veggie ID Page





we have more than just



to do!




we could use your helping hands

(especially Tuesdays or Thursdays)



Sirah’s done for the season,

tough boots to fill


wishing her the best

as she moves on,

back to Mid-Mich

sirah with the thumbs-up

Korie (center) covered

a few weeks,

though she’s back-to-school too

cleaning garlic 2014

now and again,

we get some other

helping hands


helping hands

many of whom are also

going back to school

girls getting it done

"the best part's riding the tractor!"

we’d like to say a HUGE

thank you!

to each of them


and to the many un-pictured too

the unknown farm worker

thank you


if you’ve got some time

to chip in

please just be in touch

CSA Veggie Harvest #10 : August 26 & August 28


a few reminders

these are hyperlinks, click on ‘em to check ‘em out

Our Shiitake Mushrooms for Sale to You

See Some August Farm Photos

Swier Family Farm Recipes Page

Swier Family Farm Veggie ID Page


suns august 2014

in your crate




summer squash

1/2 pound BASIL : use quick, HIGHLY perishable! (see recipe below)

bagged baby kale (see kale recipes & usage)





Share Crate: grape, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cukes


one of the Share Crates on Tuesday

one Share Crate Aug 26 2014

The tomatoes are coming strong… we have many, many varieties!

Allow me to introduce:

speckled or striped roman, an heirloom roma-type tomato

striped roman

recipe/usage: Basil


1/2 pound makes about 2 batches (SEE RECIPE BELOW) of pesto. Pesto is great to freeze now for winter use.  One great tip is to make your pesto, put it in ice cube trays and freeze, then remove from the trays and keep frozen in quart bags.  Pull ice cubes of pesto as needed.

Here’s some info on basil I’ve pulled, source: From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce. “Basil is most commonly known for its primary role in tomato sauces, pesto, and salad dressings…. Basil, like tomatoes, thrives in the heat of the summer. Remove basil leaves from stem before usiing. Wash very gently. Toss fresh whole basil leaves into green salads and chopped into pasta or rice dishes. Top slices of tomato with chopped fresh basil leaves, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Storage: Fresh basil deteriorates quickly. Use ASAP. For short-term storage, wrap in a lightly damp towel and refrigerate. Do not wash prior to refrigeration. Basil can be easily dried.”

Presto Basil Pesto!

2 large cloves garlic
3 firmly packed cups fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (can skip until eaten)
1 cup olive oil
½ cup pine nuts (can substitute walnuts, cheaper, still very tastey!)
Put garlic in food processor or blender and grind.  Add all other ingredients and blend until basil leaves and nuts are in small pieces.



We’ve had some great helping hands many of these Thursdays.

In absolute honesty, Evie says, “The tractor rides the funnest part!”

Thank you Evie and Christine!

We’re kinds sorry school’s starting again….

"the tractor rides are the best part!!"

CSA Veggie Harvest Number Nine : August 19 & 21

a sample full crate from this week Tuesday

sample full share Aug 19 2014

in your crate




beets (see recipe below)


summer squash



bagged kale (see recipe below)

Share Crate: carrots, green beans, cherry & grape tomatoes,

radish. one kohlrabi!, summer squash

(I really, really wish I had a photo of one of the two Share Crates yesterday.

The mix of grape and cherry tomatoes,

with all the other veggie colors was positively phenomenal!

I’ll try to snap one Thursday.)

recipes & usage: beets



these are from a great (and entertaining) cookbook

farmer john's cookbook

beets! farmer john's

 recipe: grated raw beet salad

grated raw beet salad - farmer john's

… grated raw beet salad, continued…


… grated raw beet salad, continued…

grated raw beet salad #2

“Farmer John’s” has some asides, for e.g. :

(caution: too much sun, too many beets may cause such dreams)

too much sun, too many beets??

recipe/usage “cooked greens”


farmer john's cookbook

farmer john's simple cooked greens

…cooked greens, continued…

farmer johns greens

…cooked greens, continued…

farmer johns cooked greens, #2

recipe/usage: Kale


farmer john's cookbook



recipe: Kale + Walnut Pesto




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)


here’s a recipe for

shiitake barley


source: go fresh

shiitake barley one

shiitake barley two

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.)


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