Early Summer – 5th week

cucumber!

Oliver found a cucumber!

Good Morning, Everyone!  Hello from the Farm!

We’re looking forward to the July 4 holiday as I’m sure you all are.  This week will be a busy one!

First, please remember that we will NOT be at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, July 4, as our entire family is gathering for the holiday. So pick ups this week will be at the farm Tues and Thursday.  Those who normally pick up at the Market please make other arrangements with us. Thank you!  And watch for little minchkins when you drive up to the farm!

The rains are causing a lot of problems throughout our area; every garden bed is soggy and the excessive water is affecting the plants.  So our harvest schedule is a bit unusual this year.  Thank you for bearing with us!

This week, we have lettuce and arugula, kale, and chard on the greens menu.  From the herb garden, you will get fresh baby dill and flat-leaf Italian parsley.  Also in your basket, cabbage, cucumber and fresh garlic!   My grandchildren have requested that we make fudge instead of cheese from the goat’s milk this week, so we’ll have fudge in your baskets too (providing there’s some left!)

We are about a week or so away from beets, snow peas and carrots – if we get some sunshine!

Keeping our fingers crossed,  Jane and Charlie

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Early Summer – 4th Week

Good Morning Everyone!

This week’s basket will be a little light compared to the past weeks. We’re in a bit of transition time when some of the spring vegetables are winding down and many of our summer vegetables haven’t quite reached maturity yet. Certainly our crazy, wet weather has helped some crops and hindered others, but each year has its own challenges.

Kale is growing well, and will continue to be in your basket.  Besides kale salad, kale chips, and sauteed kale dishes, you can also use young kale in a pesto!  Simply blend with olive oil, almonds, garlic, lemon juice – and make a wonderful dip for your raw veggies and crackers!  Check the web for recipes.

You’ll get one bag of lettuce, and one of chard or arugula this week. Also a bunch of rhubarb (yes, it’s still on the menu) onions, goat cheese, half-dozen eggs and your choice of herbs. We have chives and cilantro this week.

A reminder, this weekend’s Farmers’ Market will be held at the Parkview Whitley Hospital parking lot on Saturday due to Old Settler’s Days blocking off downtown.  Come visit us for fresh breads and other goodies!  Have a great week!

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Early Summer Basket – Week 3

Hello, Farm Friends,

We hope you’re staying dry! We certainly have had our share of precipitation over the past week, and it looks like there’s more to come.  It’s keeping the lettuce and salad greens growing at a record rate, along with the weeds and grass!

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Garlic Scapes

This week’s basket includes two bags of  salad greens (lettuce, chard, spinach, kale), kohlrabi, cucumbers, 1 lb. local strawberries, garlic scapes, half dozen eggs, and goat cheese as available.  We have the following herbs available this week:  mint, chives, oregano, cilantro, flat Italian parsley, thyme.  Please let us know what you need and we’ll harvest it in advance.  If you have empty egg cartons on hand, we are almost out here on the farm, and would be happy to recycle them for you.

Just a note in advance for the next few weeks: for those who pick up their share at the farmer’s market, we will be at Parkview Whitley Hospital parking lot on the 27th due to Old Settler’s Day blocking off the downtown area.  On July 4, we are not going to the Saturday market, so you will need to reschedule your pick up for the holiday week.

Thanks for sharing the farm with us.  We’ll see you all this week, and we hope you stay high and dry!

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Early Summer Week 2 – Greens and more Greens!

Good morning, Farm Friends,

Some of the good rain we received overnight will go a long way towards growing our crops. As humid as it’s been, the soil has been dry this week. I’m glad we don’t have to irrigate.

This week we again have salad greens. Lettuce is plentiful, as is spinach, and both have been delicious this spring. The chard is growing well too. Chard makes a great pizza topping. Try using naan bread for your crust, spread with a little garlic/herb butter, drained chopped tomatoes, green onion, some (goat) cheese and pile with cross-chopped Swiss chard.  It’s a whole meal with lots of veggie goodness!

arugula salad

Arugula salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seed (pepitas).

We’ve got some arugula too! Arugula is another great flavor treat in salads or as a pizza topping (arrange it on the top after baking.) It’s nutty and peppery, adding fresh, spicy flavor to any dish. Valerie says it’s particularly good in her potato salad!

You might want to explore using beans with our greens to make a highly nutritious and healthful diet.  We’ve had kale on the menu lately. Try adding your kale to sausage,  potatoes, thyme, chicken broth and add a can of drained navy or pinto beans for a great soup. One of our favorite recipes is kale and cannelloni ragout from Bon Appetit. It’s vegetarian, easy, and makes a quick weekday meal.  See recipe below.

This is the 2nd week of the early summer subscription, and this week’s basket includes lettuce, greens (kale, chard, arugula), green onions, radishes, goat cheese, asparagus, eggs, and as a special treat, our own homemade goat milk fudge for desert. Yum! Oh, and one more week of asparagus!

Herbs available this week include thyme, chives, cilantro, chervil, and parsley.

Enjoy!

Kale & Cannellini Bean Ragout   (Epicurious.com)

Yield:  4 servings.

The oversize croutons add a nice crunch to this warming dish, which is a cross between a soup and a stew.  Serve with romaine salad.

Ingredients:

6 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Four 1 ½ inch thick slices Italian bread, crusts removed, each slice quartered

1 tsp. plus 1 Tbls. chopped fresh thyme

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼ tsp. dried crushed red pepper, if desired

5 cups (packed) thinly sliced kale (about 1 large bunch)

1 14 ½ oz. can vegetable broth

1 14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion in juice

1 15 oz. can cannelloni (white kidney beans) drained

Preparation

Heat 2 Tbls. oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add bread and 1 tsp. thyme; cook until bread is golden on both sides, turning with tongs, about 2 minutes total. Transfer croutons to bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper,

Add remaining 4 Tbls. oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to same pot; sauté over medium heat 30 seconds. Add kale and broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, and remaining 1 Tbls. thyme.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Ladle ragout into shallow bowls. Top with croutons and serve.

Note: To cut fresh kale easily, remove thick stems; roll leaves into cylinders and slice crosswise into ¼ inch wide strips

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Early Summer Basket, Week 1

Hello Farm Friends,

Welcome to the first week of the Early Summer Season on Old Loon Farm.  We didn’t get the floods of Texas, but sure got a lot of rain this weekend, along with cooler temperatures.  Our crops are not sure whether they’re coming or going — some a coming along very slowly, and some are going to seed way too quickly. Each year brings its unique challenge!

This week’s basket will look pretty similar to last week’s:  Salad greens (variety lettuce, spinach or arugula), kale or Swiss chard, radishes (lots of radishes ready this week!) 1/2 lb. asparagus, chevre, 1/2 dozen fresh eggs, and herbs.  This week in the herb garden we have chives, oregano, flat leaf Italian parsley, cilantro, and thyme.  We still have rhubarb available in the garden. Let us know if you want herbs or rhubarb in your basket! You’ll also find a baked surprise in your basket this week as well!

And if you’re putting in a few plants in your home garden, we have extra tomato plants we’d love to share with you!

Looking forward to sunshine and seeing you all this week!

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Spring Basket Week 5

Happy Memorial Day!

We hope you are enjoying this traditional start-of-the-summer holiday.  The nice weather yesterday makes up for overcast and rain today, and the warmer temperatures surely signal that summer is really here!  Last week’s temps in the 30’s caused us to cover many of the crops that we had set out in the 80 degree weather the previous days.  Whatever, it’s Indiana weather. We ought to be used to it!

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Swiss Chard

This week is the final week of the Spring Salad Bowl session.  We have fresh salad greens this week, along with radishes, green onions, and your choice of kale or Swiss chard.  This will probably be our last week of asparagus.  We also have fresh eggs in your basket, and if all the stars align, fresh goat cheese.  Keep your fingers crossed! Herbs available this week include thyme, oregano, cilantro and chives.  And we have plenty of rhubarb available too.

We will also have a special Old Loon Farm baked item in your basket this week: our own recipe whole grain granola!  

The Whitley County Farmers Market in downtown Columbia City has been open now for three Saturdays and is really an event you ought to check out, if you haven’t been there yet.  We vend from the Market Street side; come and visit when you’re downtown! You will be amazed at the broad array of foods and beautiful crafts available from the many small farmers and artisans in this and adjacent counties.

More about the greens.  Swiss chard is another one of those nutrition-packed greens that often replaces spinach in summer diets as the weather heats up.  Spinach bolts to seed, and chard thrives in the heat.  It’s a great source of vitamins A, K  and C.  It can be steamed, sauteed, boiled, or baked. Try it in salads, add it to soups, try it as a side vegetable, saute it into a frittata, or baked into a gorgeous quiche.

Early kale is great in salads, soups and is also full of nutrients. It’s another one of the so-called super foods!  Here’s our favorite Kale Salad recipe:  Wash and chop the young kale crosswise, removing the stems.  Crush a clove of garlic and soak it in the juice of 1 lemon for 15-20 minutes.  Add some honey, salt, pepper and olive oil to the lemon juice/garlic mix to complete the dressing. Adjust seasonings to your personal taste. Add dressing to the chopped kale and let the salad set for an hour or two. Before serving, add a handful of dried fruits such as cranberries or apricots, or fresh fruits such as apples or nectarines, and a handful of nuts or toasted seeds.  Toss.   This salad holds well, it’s great left over!

Enjoy your week!

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Spring Basket Week 4

sweet potato rows

Sweet potatoes are in!

Good morning!

Lots happening these days on the farm.  We’re dodging cold weather, hot weather, and rain, and enjoying the sunshine in between.  We’ve got the sweet potatoes in the ground (yay!) and some tomatoes, beans, and other warm lovers.  We hear the temp is supposed to drop to 38 degrees tomorrow night, though, so we might hold off transplanting peppers till later this week.  Hopefully the weather won’t get that chilly!

This week’s basket includes

  • Fresh salad greens – including arugula, spinach and lettuce varieties.
  • Asian Greens – both young mustard greens and tat soi.
  • Asparagus –  one pound. Additional available at a discount for members
  • Scallions – young green onions
  • Chuck’s Chicks Fresh Eggs – One dozen; additional available at a discount for members
  • Radish – a bit iffy, they’re maturing somewhat haphazardly
  • Herbs this week are chives and oregano 
  • Goat Cheese  – Sorry, no cheese this week!

Last week it was Goats 1, Jane 0, as we contended with low production, an unruly nanny, kicked buckets and one full milk-bath for Jane. So far, this week isn’t going any better! Time to reboot!

Mustard greens and tat soi are in this week’s basket.  Leafy mustard greens are packed with nutrients – vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – are low in calories and fats, and high in fiber.  They’re GOOD FOR YOU!  One of the easiest ways to fix mustard greens is to chop crosswise into 1″ – 2″ pieces and wilt them in a saute pan with your favorite additions – garlic, bacon, white wine, mushrooms, almonds and/or spices.  The young (baby) leaves add a spicy punch to your green salads.  Chop and steam leaves lightly and add to your favorite pasta with some fine grated cheese and you’ have a wonderful dinner!  check the Internet for many and varied recipes for mustard greens.

tat soi

Tat soi

Also in the basket is tat soi.  This vegetable of the brassica family is sometimes called spinach mustard or rosette bok choy, and it adds great flavor to your green salads.  It can be stir-fried lightly as well, and added to your scrambled eggs, pasta or served as a side.  Again, check the internet for more ways to prepare tat soi!

Have a wonderful week.  And enjoy all of May’s beautiful gifts!

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