18th Harvest Week: Wed/Thurs Delivery October 12th & 13th, 2011

 In Farm News

Farmer John Writes…

Greetings from Angelic Organics!

Vegetable of the Week: Daikon Radish
From our cookbook: although daikon radishes are actually members of the far-flung cabbage family, they look like white, overgrown carrots and taste like mild radishes. Unchecked, daikon radishes have been known to weigh in at 50 pounds. Read more about Daikon radishes starting on page 274.

We have several enticing daikon radish recipes in our cookbook. You might try Daikon with Tahini Dressing on page 276: an attention getting dish: it’s unique, it’s attractive and it tastes wonderful. Or, how about Ginger Miso Soup with Daikon, Kale and Carrots on page 275: not your traditional miso soup, this exceptional variation is loaded with vegetables and distinction… We’re including the daikon greens for your vegetable soups.

Our undercutter does not go down as deep as the tips of the longest daikons, so some of these beauties get severed in the harvest process.

Crop Update
After the frost, we are enjoying autumn balminess. We’re dismantling the tomato trellising, taking up irrigation line, and spreading Biodynamic compost on the last 4 1/2 fields that we’ll be raising vegetables on next yr. (These fields were in tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, so we had to leave them until now.) We’ll seed them right away to peas and oats, just to establish some cover on them before winter arrives. The peas and oats will help prevent erosion, build soil fertility, and feed the soil microbes. It’s a joy to apply compost and seed cover crops, so we look for opportunities to do it. In case you didn’t see our cover crop activity from late August, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/user/FarmerJohnsTractor#p/a/u/1/bv-x_f51YcY

Letter Excerpts from Shareholder Joyce Coffee
Dear Farmer John and April,

Thanks again for a wonderful weekend visit to the farm.  We created all sorts of memories there once again.

Visiting the farm is a huge highlight of our season.  We love the goats and chickens of course.  But the best moments are less immediately obvious.  On this last visit, some significant experiences included getting drenched by the farm sprinkler outside the packing barn, watching my son fill his arms with flowers torn (not cut – the visual is not of elegance, but of determination to capture the color) from the u-pick, hearing the snap of a garlic scape unhinging itself from the plant, gawking at all of the beautiful bright yellow flowers that will soon bring potentially thousands of watermelon – Caledonia well water, sunshine, soil and seeds – to my Chicago deck.   Perhaps if Andrew were to share an important moment, he would include in the list walking at eye level through a forest of veggies.  

I am glad for the chance to capture some of this on paper and look forward to the next visit to your farm, the next veggie pick up, and the next trip to my crisper to ponder what I might do with yellow squash.  April, you turn out such lovely deliciousness; it gives me inspiration to dig into the cookbook for some ideas.

Thank you for all that you do to connect our family with the land.  Thank you especially for all of the hard work, planning for and hosting us this past Saturday.  We got so much out of it.

Be well, Joyce

(Note from Farmer John: Joyce sent this above after attending a farm hospitality day in early July. Perhaps in a future newsletter, I’ll include more of her enthusiastic letter. Joyce’s connection to our farm embodies the spirit of Community Supported Agriculture.) 

Upcoming Programs at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Farm DreamsOctober 16, Sunday. Have you ever dreamed of starting your own farm? In this interactive workshop, we’ll learn about types of sustainable farming careers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, take part in a series of self-assessments, and be better prepared to decide whether to pursue a farming business…

Cornbread from the Ground Up: A Family Workshop, Sat, October 22, 2011 2:00 pm – 4:30pm

Starting with ears of dried corn and eggs from our chickens, we’ll cook up a feast of tasty cornbread.  Family members of all ages are welcome to take turns as we shuck, shell, winnow and grind the corn. Learn about the long history of corn, and receive a recipe and tips about seeds to bring home.   

Food Day Celebration for Home Schoolers, Mon, Oct 24: Celebrate the first annual Food Day by going right to the source at Angelic Organics Learning Center.  We’ll prepare and share a healthy meal of soup, bread and veggies, using ingredients that you gather from the farm.  Help the farm crew care for the livestock while the food cooks.

Please register at least 1 week in advance at www.learngrowconnect.org or (815) 389-8455.

The following takes you to the Learning Center calendar, which has links to all of their programs:

Farmer John

Box Contents
Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Herbs -Parsley
Fruiting Crops – Sweet Dumpling squash, Butternut squash, maybe a green tomato
Brassicas – a small Cauliflower, Broccoli side shoots
Alliums – a Leek, Garlic
Cooking Greens – bagged Kale & bunched kale
Salad Greens –a head of Lettuce
Root Crops – Daikon, Celeriac, Carrots, Kohlrabi

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