Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our blog has moved!

For the most recent updates on our farm, please see our new blog here:

Thanks for staying connected!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Resolving to get connected in 2011?

As we rang in the new year, we were struck by the number of people talking and thinking about how they'll be eating in 2011. We watched New Years Eve celebrations around the world where people resolved to eat locally and organically. Obama is signing the Food Safety law today. NPR reminds me daily about how focused the world is the importance of growing local economies and generating jobs for our communities. We're glad to know that no matter how much frost, we're all thinking about where our food.

As a lover of lists, I found an interesting listing of the Top Ten Reasons to Eat Local. As farmers, we feel it's important to provide the connection for our customers to our farm, as mentioned in this excerpt, "By eating local, people are able to reconnect with local farmers, and through local farmers, reconnect with the earth. Many people first begin to understand the critical need for this lost sense of connectedness when they develop personal relationships with their farmers and actually visit the farms where their food is produced. We cannot build a sustainable food system until people develop a deep understanding of their dependency upon each other and upon the earth."

It's this connectedness that caused us to develop our CSA program. We hope you'll join us for our 2011 CSA season of connectedness with your food and your farmer!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dea Dia in the News

A student from the Medill News Service recently interviewed the Farm Business Development Center and our farm for a story about farming in our current economy.

While not everything is completely accurate in the story (especially the sales numbers and only mentioning Jeff being responsible for one of our kids :)), it is an interesting piece & video. Check out!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weekend Away...At Home

Our kids are off visiting Santa with Grandma & Grandpa and snow is falling a farming family, this is the perfect weekend "away" to think about our 2011 CSA.

Next year, our new CSA programs are challenging us to create three excellent, seasonal experiences -- a spring share, summer share and fall share -- that our 2010 CSA members helped to shape. This year's CSA members overwhelming told us "less greens please!" and as we put together our seed orders for 2011, we're keeping this mind. We're ordering more potatoes, more tomatoes, more cukes. We're thinking in terms of more successions of the things our customer like best. That said, we won't lose the our delicious greens all together (if you didn't try our fall spinach, it's a must-have ;)). Also in 2011, we'll be extending our growing season with hoop structures to get a jump start on a few crops and *hopefully* trying out new drop off locations, too. We're getting giddy with excitement and can't wait to see our friends/customers again in the spring time.

In the meantime, we had an excellent risotto with some leftover celeraic (celery root) from our fall share. Here's the recipe, give it a try! (note: we followed other reviewers ideas and added half white wine, half chicken stock).

Happy shoveling!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chick Check!

Each day, we do a 'chick check'. Jeff checks in on our 350 chicks we're keeping with the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm. His job is to ensure that they are warm, have enough food and have access non-frozen water (which is not as easy as you may think!) every day. They continue to be adorable. Owen and Gavin continue to learn how to do chick checks, too ;)

Watch & read about our collective chicks that will be spending with winter with us all at their Prairie Hens blog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Week 4: Last Fall CSA Share

Giving Thanks

It's that time of year when we reflect and think about the things we're thankful for. The wonderful family and friends that surround us and supports our decision to farm. Mother Nature who is our guide through the rhythms of the season, challenges us continuously and allow us to grow. Our CSA members who give us ideas, support and your ongoing trust to provide healthy food.

As we close out our vegetable farming season with your last box, we now hope to move to a season of rest and family time. We'll spend December & January ordering seeds, planning our fields, educating new farmers, reading, learning and of course, tending to our animals at the farm. We hope to post a note or two to our blog to keep you posted on what we're thinking ;)

In the meantime, thank you for joining our inaugural fall share! Since this was our first go at a fall share, we'll be curious to hear your feedback (we'll send you a quick survey). We hope that you'll enjoy some of your storage veggies at your Thanksgiving table!

Have a wonderful winter & we look forward to seeing you again this spring!

The Miller Family

This week in your box:

  • Baby Salad Mix
  • Spinach
  • Turnips - These are still young so they shouldn't need to be peeled. Also don't forget to use the greens, they are delicious cooked!
  • Rutabaga - Peel and cook like a potato, we love them mixed in with mashed potatoes.
  • Parsnips
  • Baby Beets
  • Red and Green Bok Choy
  • Kohlrabi
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Top 5 Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi
oot Vegetable Gratin with Blue Cheese (you could use the turnips in this too!)

Soba Noodles with Wilted Bok Choy

Baby Beet & Turnip Salad

1/2 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed

2 pounds baby beets
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed with skin on
2 cups mixed baby greens
1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
1 pound baby turnips, sliced thin
1/4 pound blue cheese

Mix: In a clean coffee grinder, blend ingredients to desired texture.

Salad: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To prepare the beets, cut leaves and stems off, leaving an inch of stem. Clean beets well with a vegetable scrubber and cut off the root tip. Layer a sheet of foil, then a sheet of parchment paper. Place beets on the parchment paper and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, olive oil, garlic and Z mix. Seal beets by closing parchment and foil like an envelope. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Let the beets cool to room temperature. Toss greens with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add them to a large serving platter. Slice the beets thinly and lay them slightly overlapping each other on top of mixed greens. Lay sliced onions and turnips on top of the beets and greens. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the entire plate and sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 3: Fall Share

Fall -- Our Busy Season?

This fall on the farm has been dramatically different than past years. In the past at this time of the year, I would be just about finished with the field work and farm chores would be slowing down dramatically. My work would be moving inside analyzing how things went, closing out our books and getting into planning for next year. This year I am still trying to do all of that but we also still have a lot going on at the farm. There are still veggies growing in the field under, sometimes under cover cloth and sometimes (days like today) in the open. I just finished building a winter hoophouse for our hens and moved them in yesterday. We are caring for our new baby chicks and watching them grow bigger every day. Later this week I will begin retro-fitting part of a barn to house our two gilts (a fancy farmer term for an un-bred female pig) to begin our pig breeding program. Although it has been challenging from a stamina perspective, I am enjoying having such a diverse range of projects. It has also been very rewarding to see big projects completed and to see how well our crops can continue to grow into the fall. We feel all these new ventures are important to our long term success and sustainability of our farm. So, just wait....there's many more adventures to come this spring!

We hope you have a great week and enjoy your eggs and veggies!

In your veggie CSA box this week you'll find...

  • Stir Fry Mix - A delicous mix of baby kale, mustards, and asian greens. These greens are still young and tender and we rarely cook them for more than a couple minutes. They are also delicious on sandwiches and burgers.
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Parsnips
  • Celeriac - Also called celery root, it's a staple in European kitchens. Why is this? Because of its diversity and because of its nutritional benefits. A 1/2 cup of celeriac, which is approximately 112 grams, contains only 30 calories. Additionally, celeriac contains no cholesterol or fat and provides an excellent source of dietary fiber. Because of its taste and consistency, it is also a flavorful additional to meals that require lower calories or certain dietary restrictions.
  • Hakurei Turnips - One of our CSA members reminded us to use the delicious greens from these turnips. They are packed with nutrients and make a great addition to soup or stirfry!
  • Buttnernut Squash
  • Red & Green Cabbage
  • Shallots - Taste between an onion and garlic. If you don't use them all shallots keep very well lasting well into winter.
This week's recipes:
  • Three Ways to Cook Greens in Under 10 Minutes - Hot Wilted Greens, Greens with Warm Pecan Dressing, Pasta with Dark Greens
  • Quick Celery Root Salad with Capers and Lemon

  • Southeast Asian Squash Curry - You can adjust the amount of curry depending on how you like it.


    Serves 4. Published May 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

    If you don’t have a microwave-safe bowl large enough to accommodate the entire amount of spinach, cook it in a smaller bowl in 2 batches. Reduce the water to 2 tablespoons per batch and cook the spinach for about 1 1/2 minutes.


    3 (6-ounce) bags baby spinach (about 16 cups)
    1/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , plus 2 teaspoons for drizzling
    3 large shallots , sliced thin crosswise (about 1 cup)
    Table salt
    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    1/3 cup chopped pecans , toasted
    1 1/2 ounces feta cheese , crumbled (about 1/4 cup)


    1. 1. Place spinach and water in large microwave-safe bowl. Cover bowl with large microwave-safe dinner plate (plate should completely cover bowl and not rest on spinach). Microwave on high power until spinach is wilted and decreased in volume by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Using potholders, remove bowl from microwave and keep covered for 1 minute. Carefully remove plate and transfer spinach to colander set in sink. Using back of rubber spatula, gently press spinach against colander to release excess liquid. Transfer spinach to cutting board and roughly chop. Return to colander and press a second time.

    2. 2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and shallots in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until shallots are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach to skillet, using tongs to stir and coat with oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue stirring with tongs until spinach is uniformly wilted and glossy green, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with vinegar and pecans; stir to combine. Drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with feta. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.


      Serves 4. Published September 1, 1994.

      Since the vegetables are steamed, the flavor of this puree is sweet and intense. The puree can be refrigerated for up to three days. It can also be frozen in an airtight container.


      1 1/2 pounds parsnips , peeled, cut into 2 1/2-inch lengths, and halved (or quartered and cored, if necessary)
      1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened


      1. 1. Place parsnips in steamer basket in large saucepan with 1 inch of water. Bring to boil; cover and steam over high heat until parsnips can be easily pierced with a thin-bladed knife, about 10 minutes. Reserve cooking liquid.

      2. 2. Transfer mixture to food processor fitted with steel blade or to a food mill. Puree, adding reserved cooking liquid (about 1/4 cup) to achieve desired consistency. Return puree to skilled and reheat, stirring in butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.