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.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Update: Week 2 Box

Hi all,

This is a quick follow up to our Week 2 Newsletter.

Our celery did not fare as well as we expected with these cold temperatures. So this week, you boxes will have a larger quantity of broccoli instead.

Here’s a DELICIOUS soup recipe we made last year with our fall broccoli – this soup freezes well, too – enjoy!

The Miller Family

Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Cheese Bon Appétit | February 2001

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream.
Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes.Yield: Makes 6 servings

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week 2: Fall Veggie & Egg Shares

Fall on the Farm

Our crew has been finished for a couple weeks now so I am back to doing all the farm work (it's like our first season of farming again!). Not having people around to help out has taken a little adjustment. In some ways this means I can be more flexible -- I only have my own day to plan, plan my own errands and I don't need to continually think three steps ahead to make sure everyone is prepared for the next project. In other ways, it is a little tricky I am now doing all the harvesting, washing and packing along with getting the fields ready for winter and caring for the livestock. All in all, I enjoy working on my own, even though some things take a little longer than I expect and its nice to have some time to slow down and think after a very busy summer season.

This week is also brought the first of many big things to be happening on the farm this fall/winter. 350 day-old chicks are coming to increase the size of our flock of layers. We are partnering with The Learning Farm to brood the chicks (half are theirs). We will be sharing space as well as the chores. Last year, we brooded our first batch of chicken in early February in little more than a tent within a tent and heat lamps. There was more than a foot of snow on the ground and it was brutally cold outside. Baby chicks need the temperature to be 95 degrees for the first week of their life dropping the temperature by about 5 deg each week until they are fully feathered. This was very difficult to maintain with the setup we had last year, however, we learned a lot and a much better prepared this year. The Learning Farm has a space much better suited to raising baby chicks for all of us, which is much larger and better insulated. Plus working as a team will provide us all more eyes and hands to help out....which is helpful since we're out numbered with about 115 to 1 person!

In your veggie CSA box, you’ll find:

  • Arugula - Your bunch of arugula can be stored like any other salad green -- in plastic or veggie storage bag in crisper. Cut off the roots and put into salad, or our favorite -- saute with olive oil and garlic very lightly and use as a bed for your favorite hearty fish.
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi - The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet.
  • Spigariello Lisca (aka Leaf Broccoli) - With a taste between broccoli and kale, we find this delicious green great to cook with (one of my favorite greens). Cook similar to kale, lighty braised with olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes with a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice at the end.
  • Beets - With wonderful texture and an earthy, nutty flavor. They're nutritious and filling. They can be juiced, boiled, pickled, cooked in soups, mashed, sliced in salads, or roasted. Although they have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, they are very low in calories
  • Hakurei Turnips - Sweet, tender and delicous raw in salads, veggie platters, as a snack or in stirfry. I just heard someone call them the, "Hello Kitty of turnips". No need to peel.
  • Brussels Sprouts (on the stalk) - Keep them on the stalk until you're ready to use them, which will keep them for longer. Simply cut off the sprout, peel off exterior layer and prepare as you like!
  • Celery - This celery is tasty but a little tough (this is common for locally grown celery). It is best used as more as a flavoring in soups.
  • Red Bok Choi - "White cabbage" or Chinese cabbage, put this delicious vegetable into stirfry, soups or saute with a splash of soy sauce at the end.
  • Onions
  • Garlic
Golden Beets and Brussels Sprouts - Roasted beets and parboiled Brussels sprouts are quickly sauteed in a pan with roasted almonds, shallots, and thyme.

Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts

1 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts, tough ends sliced off and outer leaves removed
1/2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/8 to 1/4 cup apple cider
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Cut an X in the bottom of each sprout. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add sprouts and return to a boil. Cook, covered, 20 minutes until sprouts are tender but still firm. Drain. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring, until garlic is soft and fragrant and sprouts are coated with oil. Add cider and turn heat to high, stirring constantly, until cider is reduced in volume by half, making a sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Serves 3.

Sweet Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad
1 small to medium bunch uncooked broccoli, cut into florets
1 or 2 small kohlrabi, peeled, cut into mitchsticks
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/2 cup cashews (or other nuts)
1/3 cup raisins (or other dried or fresh fruit, such as cranberries or apricots)
1/4 cup chopped red onion (or scallions)

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Mix the broccoli, kohlrabi, bacon, nuts, raisins and onions together in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat dressing ingredients together gently until smooth. About 10 minutes before serving, toss the salad with teh dressing to allow the flavors to blend.

Cream of Celery Soup with Bacon

Braised Hakurei Turnips

Easy Hakurei Turnip Gratin with Thyme

2 teaspoons butter
4 Hakurei turnips, greens removed, turnips sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a medium non-stick skillet. Layer the sliced turnips in the pan. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, then pour the cream and stock over the top. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. The turnips will be completely cooked, but there will be liquid left in the pan. Remove the cover and cook to reduce the liquid. When most of the liquid has reduced, and the sauce is thickened, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve hot.

Serves 2.

Have a great week!
The Miller Family

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 1: Fall Veggie & Egg Shares

This week is the first week for fall CSA share and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind -- and it’s not just the windy weather!

Fall on the Farm

It has been a rough week to work out side, I find being out in the strong wind as exhausting as the long hot days of summer(plus I had to run around and make sure everything was buttoned down so it wouldn't blow away). Luckily we didn't have any serious damage and it seems like most of the wind has past.

Fall is definitely a time of adjustment. We’ve just completed our summer CSA (thank you to member who have stayed with us this fall!), completed our summer markets (thank you to those joining us from the markets!) and we’re starting a new adventure (thank you to YOU for joining us for our inaugural fall share!).

The fall veggie share came to us last fall when we had a lot food left in the field in late October/November. Many of our crops enjoy the cooler weather and actually, taste much better because of those deep frosts. We wanted to offer these veggies to our customers and continue to farm as long as we could.

It’s our goal to eventually farm year-round. Unlike farms in warmer climates, this takes a good deal of planning and creative thinking. One way we’re doing this is that we’ve built a hoop house structure this year to extend our egg season. The chickens don't mind the cold, but aren't wild about the snow and will produce more eggs if they don't need to put all their energy doesn't go towards keeping them warm….so they’ll be spending their fall/winter months in a hoop house, which is essentially a green-house built on soil (rather than a gravel/fabric flooring). The chickens tend to slow in their egg production with less sunlight, but we’re still expecting an egg every other day from our 150 chickens. We’re also increasing the size of our flock by 175 next week. They’ll be kept in a separate structure and you’ll likely see eggs from them next year.

We’ll continue to share more about the happenings during the fall at the farm in weeks to come…until then, enjoy your fall-sweetened veggies and eggs this week!

In your veggie CSA box, you’ll find:

  • Baby Salad Mix - Sweet and tender
  • Mesclun Mix - A mix with some spicy mustards and sweet asian greens
  • Parsnips - While parsnips can be eaten raw, they are more commonly served cooked. Parsnips can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles. Larger parsnips may have a tough core which should be removed.
  • Turnips - Cook like a potato, roasted boiled, mashed etc. Smaller one don't need to be peeled whereas you will probably want to peel the larger ones.
  • Rutabaga - Sometimes called swedes or yellow turnips. Rutabagas can be cooked just like a turnip or potato.
  • Russet Potatoes - These are little guys but are delicious roasted.
  • Butternut Squash
  • Broccoli (see photo above) - I love broccoli this time of year, it is a joy to grow and has the best flavor. As I harvested broccoli this morning I was amazed at how big and beautiful it had gotten in this cool weather.
  • French Breakfast Radishes - French Breakfast radishes have a more mild flavor than regular radishes and after a couple frosts their sweetness really comes through.
  • Mustard Greens - With a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor mustards are delicious sauteed, in stir fries and in soups.
  • Cipolini Onions - A rich flavored onion of Italian origin, cipolinis are perfect for roasting which really brings out their sweetness and flavor.
  • Garlic
Cider-Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables This would be delicious with the parsnips, cipolinis, turnips, rutabagas and potatoes. Regular apple cider would be fine. Also, keep an eye on them the cooking time in the recipe might be a little long.

Mustard Greens with Chipotle and Bacon

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

Silky Butternut Squash Soup

If you don’t own a folding steamer basket, a pasta pot with a removable pasta insert works well. Some nice garnishes for the soup are freshly grated nutmeg, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of paprika, or Buttered Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons (see related recipe).


Silky Butternut Squash Soup
4tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2medium shallots , minced (about 4 tablespoons)
3pounds butternut squash (about 1 large), unpeeled, squash halved lengthwise, seeds and stringy fibers scraped with spoon and reserved (about 1/4 cup), and each half cut into quarters
6cups water 6

1/2cup heavy cream
1teaspoon dark brown sugar
Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons
4slices white sandwich bread , cut into 1/2-inch cubes with crusts removed
2tablespoons melted butter
4teaspoons sugar
1teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. For the Soup
    1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until foaming; add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add squash scrapings and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, place squash cut-side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot. Cover and steam until squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes. Off heat, use tongs to transfer squash to rimmed baking sheet; reserve steaming liquid. When cool enough to handle, use large spoon to scrape flesh from skin into medium bowl; discard skin.

  2. 2. Pour reserved steaming liquid through mesh strainer into second bowl; discard solids in strainer. Rinse and dry Dutch oven.

  3. 3. In blender, puree squash and reserved liquid in batches, pulsing on low until smooth. Transfer puree to Dutch oven; stir in cream and brown sugar and heat over medium-low heat until hot. Add salt to taste; serve immediately.

  4. For the Croutons
    1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with melted butter in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the bread cubes and toss to combine.

  5. 2. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes (The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for several days.) Sprinkle over soup just before serving.

Let us know if you have any questions,
Jeff, Jen, Owen & Gavin

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thank you to all Full Shares & Lake Bluff/MKE Half Share Members!

Thank YOU for your membership this year!

Jeff has oftentimes said that our CSA is a motivating reason for us to farm. Each year, we enjoy farming the basic and new crops, sharing the freshest produce we have with our CSA members and then hearing all of the different culinary uses. We hope you've enjoyed the journey of the season and we also hope you'll join us again next year.

Until then, we'll be in touch to gather your thoughts/feedback and share the happenings on the farm. Finally, if you are inclined, we encourage you to share your comments about the program, our farm, the food, more on We've found this to be a great source to those interested in CSA and we believe potential customers would like to hear directly from our current CSA members about your experience. Thank you!

Best and see you soon!
Jeff, Jen, Owen & Gavin Miller

Update from the farm & this week's box

(more of these little gals coming soon!)

This past week was a very busy one around the farm! The pigs went to market, Jeff took a field trip to nearby trout farm, mushroom farm & lamb processing facility, and our crew had their last day with us today. Like spring, fall time is a season of slowing down, business planning, education and planting garlic for the 2011 season.

The next few weeks, Jeff will lead manager and worker on our fall CSA. He'll also be actively preparing the animals' shelter for winter and getting new chicks to increase our chicken population. Join us on Facebook to continue to watch the structures come to life and the farm continue through the winter.

In the meantime, we'll have eggs available throughout the winter in the long, white barn at the farm (please let us know if you need more information) as well as for sale at this week's CSA pick ups. (in Grayslake, please ask at the farm stand if you're interested)

Finally in this week's box, you'll find a variety of sweet greens (our greens love all of these frosts we've received) and items that we started as transplants early this season (e.g., celeriac). Enjoy your share this week!

Best, J&J



Stir Fry Mix - A popular addition to a stir fry (add as one of the last additions), this mix includes items such as Hon Tsai Tai, Komatsuna, Red Russian kale, Southern Giant and Red Giant mustards, and Tatsoi for great flavor and color.

Haruki Turnips (sweet salad turnips)- A favorite at our markets this year, try these raw, chopped in a salad or lightly sautéed in butter.

Red & Green Bibb Lettuce

Mixed Beet Bunch - In this mixed beet bunch, you'll likely find a mixture of red, bull's blood (deep red) and chioggia (pink) beets.. Don't throw away their tops/greens! They are delicious (bull's blood beets are known for their delicious tops). Here's a recipe for preparing them -- then, we always throw the beets on top for a great beet side dish.

Beet Greens

While this recipe calls for discarding the stems, if you want you can use them too if they aren't too woody. Just cut them into 1-inch segments and add them to the onions after the onions have been cooking for a minute.


  • 1 pound beet greens
  • 1 strip of thick cut bacon, chopped (or a tablespoon of bacon fat)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/6 cup of cider vinegar


1 Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and wash a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

2 In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occassionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.

3 Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)

Serves 4. (

Cabbage - Even though we're not Irish, we still love our Corned Beef and Cabbage. Here's a classic recipe that is perfect for a lazy, fall Sunday.

Celeriac (celery root) - Here's a great article about this "unsung frog prince" of winter veggies. We love it as an addition to our smashed potatoes, which is nicely paired with pulled pork braised in apple cider. This was a menu we put together for a farm benefit we threw last year to raise money for a friend, and the combination was as memorable as the event!

Celery - A note from last week's newsletter and a few storage tips: To store celery, place it in a sealed container or wrap it in a plastic bag or damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator. If you are storing cut or peeled celery, ensure that it is dry and free from water residue, as this can drain some of its nutrients. Freezing will make celery wilt and should be avoided unless you will be using it in a future cooked recipe.


Week 20: Your CSA Box

Hi there,

This is what we anticipate will be in your CSA box this week:

Stir Fry Mix
Haruki Turnips (sweet salad turnips)
Red & Green Bibb Lettuce
Mixed Beet Bunch
Celeriac (celery root)

More info/ideas to come this evening!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thank you Grayslake, Lake Bluff Bi-Weekly Shares!

Thank you to those of you who end your season with us this week (Grayslake & Lake Bluff Bi-Weekly Shares)!

We'll be reaching out to you again to get your feedback & let you know what we're up to this fall, winter, spring....but we hope we can personally say sometime in the coming days, "Thank you, stay in touch this winter & hope you'll join us in the spring!"

We'll bid the Full Shares and Deerfield, Milwaukee bi-weeklys adieu next week (we'll send a reminder of locations & times).

Jeff, Jen, Owen & Gavin Miller

This week in your box (week 19)

Hi there,

With the crisp, cool weather back, we're cooking more warm, cozy foods. In your box this week, we hope you'll enjoy the ingredients to make comfy autumn meals with a few recipes from below. Please share any other great uses you find for your produce in the comments section!

Romaine Lettuce

Salad Mix

Green Curly Kale - Rumor has it, this recipe comes from a certain Italian chain restaurant. Not sure if that is true, but it sinful & delicious. I strayed from the recipe a bit -- substituting chicken stock for bouillon and water. Also, I added a whole bunch of kale (because we love it) and went easy on the heavy cream. Still kid approved!

Makes: 6-8 servings


  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale
  1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve.
Celery - Our celery tends to be very flavorful, and is better when used for cooking. Throw it into your favorite soup or your mirepoix (mixture of onion, celery, carrots) as a base for any dish. The celery stalks with leaves are especially good for making vegetable stock. I tend to throw them into mixture of whatever is left in the fridge for a great base for minestrone.

Rutabaga - In case you still have some butternut squash, here's a recipe where you can use it, too!

Butternut Squash and Rutabaga Purée Bon Appétit | December 1998

Yield: Serves 10

4 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
3 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange butternut squash in single layer in 13 x9 x2-inch glass baking dish. Add 1 cup broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until squash is very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain squash. Transfer squash to processor.

Meanwhile, cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Add to squash in processor. Process until mixture is smooth, adding more broth if necessary.

Transfer squash and rutabaga pureée to heavy large saucepan. Add butter. Stir over low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer purée to bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and chill. Rewarm over low heat.)

Parsnips - We've (literally) been waiting all season for one of our favorite crops, the parsnip. It's so unassuming, yet sweet and delicious. This season's crop seemed to fair well with the warm summer and consistent irrigation.

Parsnip and Pear Latkes

Bon Appétit | December 2006

Serve with chopped celery leaves and horseradish mixed into sour cream. Look for panko at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of supermarkets.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 6- to 7-ounce underripe Bosc pear, quartered, cored
1 7- to 8-ounce parsnip, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons drained white horseradish
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Using coarse grating blade, shred pear in processor. Transfer to paper towels; squeeze very dry. Transfer to large bowl. Shred parsnip in processor; add to pear. Mix in next 4 ingredients, then panko and a sprinkle of black pepper. Coat bottom of large skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Drop batter by packed 1/4 cupfuls into skillet; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Sauté until brown and cooked, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.


Bok Choi - See last week's newsletter for a description & ideas for these two Asian greens.

Tokyo Bekana - Last night, we mixed in our Tokyo Bekana (in place of spinich) with our butternut squash curry - it was a nice sweetness added to the curry (recipe in our Week 14 post).