Harvest Five: July 22 & July 24, 2014

some friendly reminders

(wow, what a color, huh?)

these are hyperlinks, click on ’em if interested:

Garlic Harvest Party

Saturday 2 August

Open Invitation!


Mt. Pleasant Shareholders : BEWARE!


Some July Farm Photos


If you are not finding my (more than) weekly posts easily on facebook,

please Follow Our Website/Blog instead


Swier Family Farm Recipes Page


Swier Family Farm Veggie ID Page



and, yet again, mark your calendar

and attend:


the garlic harvest party

Saturday August 2nd

9am-5pm, anytime in-between

potluck around 1pm-ish


“I love me a pot luck with garlics!”

a priceless comment,

as cut and pasted from one of our CSA share holders,

who will sadly (for all of us) be in Chicago

Saturday August 2nd


but you’ll be out in Remus,







what’s in those brown bags, Chris??


mushroom CSA shares May 15 2014


yep, our own homegrown, artisinal, outdoor, natural log


swier family shiitake

I’ve been harvesting our shiitake. Many of you signed up for our Mushroom CSA. You’ll get them at a reduced rate, and directly in your Veggie crate!

What I have in addition, supplementally, we bag and bring to the curbside. These sell like hotcakes. Especially if I have one or both of our daughters along to tend the mushrooms, draw some attention to them, etc, etc.

Keep your eyes peeled if interested.


Remember: BROWN BAGS.



sample full crate, Thursday 24 July 2014


in your crate


green cabbage

beet tops (bagged) (see recipes below)

baby red russian kale (bagged) (see recipes below)


green onion

toscano kale (loose) (see recipes below)

bastante broccoli (blanch & freeze)

snow and/or snap peas

Share Crate:   happy rich, cukes, assorted summer squash, zucchini, patty pans, broccoli, toscano kale

the share crate, sooooo orange

sample share crate, 24 July 2014

recipe/usage: kales


Christine’s Kale Salad


just a little note, this years’ (where does that apostrophe go??) kale is

full-sized toscano kale

toscano/lacinato/dinosaur leaf kale July 2014

and baby/junior red russian kale

red russian kale - harvest 12 - 2012

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.


Rip and Tear the leaf off the stem. Chop the leaf very fine. To ease the inherent tough nature of the winterbor kale leaf, Poke and Stab repeatedly with a fork. Pierce it again and again, throughout. (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 winterbor. Me too.) Store in an airtight container in the fridge, you’ve got salads marinating, ready to eat on a moment’s notice.


an awesome dressing for your greens


Salad Greens with John’s Oil and Vinegar DressingZephyr Community Farm

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup olive or canola oil

1 tablespoon horseradish mustard

5 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon honey

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

salad greens

garlic scapes

Chop fine, one large handful (approx 10 stems) garlic scapes. Mix all other ingredients (except greens and garlic scapes). Toss scapes, greens, and dressing together. This recipe was inspired by Rob Summerbell. Makes about 3 cups dressing. (source: From Asparagus to Zucchini)


use up the greens!


Green Gumbo: or, or “How can we eat all those greens!”

Cooking time: 90 minutes, plus 30 minutes prep.


4 cups vegetable stock

6 Tbs olive oil, or 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp dried  thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp  cayenne

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, diced

2 pounds (about 8 cups) greens, cleaned, stemmed and roughly chopped, of any combination: collard, mustard, beet, kale, chard

1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt

ground black pepper

4 cups cooked basmati rice, made from 1 1/3 cups uncooked rice


Keep the stock warm over low heat in a covered saucepan.

Prepare the roux: In a large pot that will eventually encompass the whole gumbo, heat the fat over high heat just until either the oil smokes or the butter bubbles actively. Lower heat to medium, add flour, stirring til completely blend.

Stand by the pot at least 15 minutes, constantly stirring as it changes color from blond to a shade of burnt orange.

Remove from heat and add onion., bell pepper, and celery ( known as “the trinity” in Creole cookery), plus the garlic. Stir to combine, return to medium heat, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

Slowly add simmering stock to the roux., while stirring. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.

Stir in the dried spices and chipotle chile, followed by the greens, which will wilt and shrink. When the greens are wilted, add salt gradually, plus black pepper, then taste and re-season as needed. Cook over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes, until greens reach desired tenderness.

Serve gumbo over rice.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

source: The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook. Kim O’Donnel. 2010.


Chris, why are you

soooo late

in posting this week??


Remember about the labor shoestring situation?


Well, on top of our already hyper-narrow labor margin, Sirah, our hired farm hand, has been out and away for emergency Gall Bladder surgery. OUCH.

Sirah, late May 2014

we wish her a speedy recovery.

back up and at it all as soon as able.


So last week, Thursday July 17, my family rallied to help the old man get ‘er done.

girls getting it done

thank you family.


We quick made some calls and found some other help too. It’s been

spring training

all over again. But it’s not spring (though maybe spring-like weather?).

Spring Training is the time when we all start working together, getting up to speed, trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together, do all sorts of new things, and build our speed and ability. Try to build “the team”.

It’s best, of course, when this happens in Spring.

When the clock’s not ticking so loud, so fast… When the harvest and delivery deadline is not so



Tuesday took every ounce of energy, and every second of time to get it done as well as we did. Tuesday’s harvest is about twice the size of Thursdays. This was Korie’s first harvest day.

Talk about immersion! Korie has been a welcome addition, very hard-working, very capable, very willing. In one weeks time we have done, literally, every last activity I do in any one year with our hired help, except seeding new plants.


she has:

planted out to the field


harvested veggies

jumped-up transplants

harvested mushrooms


trellised tomatoes

so, I’m calling on our farm-ily,

if you’ve got time,


or Thursdays,

after 12 noon,

we could use your help!


thank you

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