Monthly Archives: September 2015

Last chance for storage share + Willy Street parade

DSCF8942-2 storage 2 boxes
Storage share = two large boxes in November.

We still have a few storage shares available for hungry members who want to extend their CSA season.  Our storage share consists of one delivery of two large boxes.  Delivery date will be November 19/20, 2015 (Thurs/Fri sites).  This is the last chance to sign up – we need to place our potato order soon.

To register for a winter share, go to and follow the instructions.
Cost: The cost is $105.
Payment: Register online, then send a check for $105 to Tipi Produce, 14706 W. Ahara Road, Evansville, WI 53536
– The deadline to register is September 30, or when the shares sell out.
– To hold your reserved storage share, we need your payment in hand one week after you register, and no later than Oct. 6.

The produce: This delivery is much larger than deliveries during the CSA season, about 3 times the size of our typical CSA box, packed into two large boxes.  The contents will depend on the weather, and what is available and good quality. Expected contents include potatoes, carrots and onions, plus stored crops such as winter squash, leeks, garlic, cabbage, beets, celeriac, parsnips, rutabagas and winter radishes.  We will probably include something fresh from the garden, eg. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli or greens. Some veggies will need to be refrigerated.  Others can be stored at room temperature. Click to see what we delivered in the 2014 storage share.

Not sure if you already ordered a winter share? Send yourself an email with your membership info at  Once the email arrives, look under Membership Details/ Member Type 1 to view whether you have already signed up for a winter share.

Willy Street Fair

Our crew gathered to march in the Willy Street Fair parade again this year, powered by Maggie and Jon’s energy.  Actually, everyone was pretty enthusiastic.  This year’s innovation?  Maggie screen-printed sixty “Water On” Tipi t-shirts to give away.  This is the special shirt she designed for our farm crew.  That woman has so much energy.  Jon constructed a catapult from a giant rubber band and a u-boat, a type of cart.  That meant we didn’t just toss the t-shirts into the crowd, we launched them.  Orange Orano peppers, grape tomatoes and flowers were our other offerings.  Our friend Rob Summerbell of Jolly Giants Entertainment followed us in the parade, steering his enormous Wacky Wheeler.  “Look at that,” he thought, “everyone is eating orange popsicles.”  Nope, those were our orange peppers.  Some people take them, some people don’t.  I guess peppers and tomatoes are unexpected parade treats.

We were positioned just behind the bubble mobile, a pearlescent place to be.  Check out the boys’ outfits.  They planned them for weeks.  We were glad to hear many shouts of “Hey! That’s my CSA.”

IMG_2542 parade group photo
Maggie made the banner last year. The handles are rims for canning jars!

IMG_2655 parade crew
From back, Lizzy (with kale), Kelcie, Jory, Madeleine with Pickles in pouch.

IMG_2492 willy parade bubble man
The bubble-mobile.  We were honored to trail the parade’s biggest celebrity.

IMG_2509 melon man
IMG_2657 parade boys
IMG_2479 willy parade ari chance
Melon Man and Brassica Boy, armed with kale sabers.  They made their capes from cauliflower leaves, the sturdiest leaves on the farm right now. See the noisemakers trailing Maggie’s rickshaw? More canning jar rims.

IMG_2483 willy parade uboat jeremy
Jon (carrying kale), Steve and Jeremy bring a u-boat loaded with peppers and tomatoes.  The thick rubber band nearest the top is our t-shirt catapult.

IMG_2501 stilt lady grape tomato
Our tallest fan enjoys a grape tomato.

IMG_2517 maggie rickshaw
Maggie with her rickshaw.  Someday soon, I will write about the crew’s efforts preserving produce for winter.  They are heroic.

IMG_2534 giant pumpkins
We feel like such amateurs.  Maybe for next year’s CSA boxes?

Extra produce sales

Hey folks, I’d like to explain our extra produce sales, for the benefit of new members this year.  You’ve probably noticed our emails offering extra tomatoes or peppers for sale.  We offer these sales at peak season when we have more than enough for the CSA boxes.  It’s a chance to preserve some tasty produce for winter.  At this point, tomato sales are done for this season.  We might offer red peppers again, but maybe not.  Later this fall, we’ll offer boxes of green kale.  Basil is unlikely this year due to a disease problem.

The turn-around time to place an order is often short, sometimes just a few hours.  We realize this can be difficult for members, but we cannot open sales until we’re confident we have what’s needed for the CSA boxes.  That often means a short window to place your order.  FYI, I usually make the announcements on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes

Red potatoes, 3.5 lb
Italian beans, 1.75 lb
Broccoli, 1 – 3 heads depending on size
Leeks, about 1.5 lb
Slicing tomatoes, about 2 lb
Red bell peppers, 2
Zavory “not-hot” habanero chiles, small handful
Cilantro, 1 bunch

A few sites will get one heirloom tomato per box.

Next week’s box will probably contain carrots, beets, winter squash, edamame soybeans, peppers, onions and more.

Red potatoes – Finally, we have potatoes for you.  There has not been room in the CSA boxes until now!  Chad Malek of Specialty Potatoes and Produce in Rosholt grew these organic potatoes for us.
Italian beans – This is Steve’s favorite type of bean.  Broad and sturdy, they can be lightly cooked or braised for a longer time.  New York Times writer Melissa Clark’s article “Beans in Their Own Sweet Time” is a revelation about how to braise beans.  She writes “The beans I grew up on were barely blanched until green as grass, retaining a fresh, chlorophyll taste and a firm al dente texture that seemed to make sense with their spaghetti-thin girth…. But when the Italian mother of my college roommate offered a plate of tender beans, I found them addictive from the first melting bite. With a droopy texture I would have considered overcooked as a know-it-all kid, these gorgeous legumes were a revelation. Gently simmered in a rich garlic-flecked tomato sauce until soft and velvety but not the least bit mushy, I had seconds, then thirds, which tickled the cook to no end.”  Basically, instead of a quick steaming, you braise the beans in a flavorful sauce until they are very tender and have taken up the sauce’s flavors.  Melissa’s recipe calls for green beans, but I like braising Italian beans best.
Leeks (look like big scallions) – These alliums have a milder flavor than onions.  Nonetheless, they can be used in recipes that call for onions.  To wash, split the leek lengthwise, from the green tops about halfway to the base, leaving the base intact.  Rinse well under running water, separating the layers to flush.  If necessary, split the leek further if soil has penetrated more than halfway down the leek.  Shake dry.  Leeks are generally eaten cooked.  They can be sauteed, steamed or roasted.  Intact leeks will store 2 to 3 weeks if covered loosely and refrigerated.  The outer leaves will yellow.  Just peel them off and discard.  The inner leek layers will be fine.
Slicing tomatoes (mixed colors) – We’re happy to still have tomatoes but recognize these will not store long.  It’s best to refrigerate them.  Better yet, eat them quickly!
‘Zavory’ habaneros (small, orange or red) – These habaneros are NOT HOT.  Almost all the spice has been bred out of them, leaving mild heat in the seeds.  Now we can all learn what habaneros actually taste like.  The blazing heat always got in the way, as normal habaneros are about 200,000 Scoville units.  Lo-and-behold, these Zavory chiles have great, fruity flavor, really interesting.  You should still approach them with caution.  We’ve found rare off-types mixed in, but very infrequently, and not with the full heat of a normal habanero.  As always, remove the seeds if you want to reduce the risk of spiciness.


Comforting Classics

Roasted Romano Beans
Bean and Tomato Sauté
Roasted Tomato Thyme Vinaigrette
Beef, Leek and Potato All Day Stew
Broccoli Cashew Stir Fry
Balsamic Roasted Potato

Outside the Box Recipes

Indian Spiced Romano Beans
Leek and Bean Barlotto
Yucatan Tomato Habañero Salsa
Saffron Rice with Frizzled Leeks
Smashed Potatoes with Broccoli
Lemon Dijon Dill Potato and Broccoli Salad

Kitchen Sink Recipe

Mitsitam’s Tortilla Soup

Quick and Easy Meal Recipe

Pepper Steak

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Farm news from Steve

Even with this week’s summer-like temperatures, autumn is creeping into our farm lives.

We’re dismantling fields that we so carefully constructed and tended during the past few months.  Acres of worn-out zucchini, cucumber, melon plants are mowed.  Thousands of linear feet of plastic mulch are undercut with a simple implement, then pulled up and out of the fields by our crew – a dusty job!  The drip irrigation lines that kept these crops growing so well through our dry summer are mechanically wound into compact balls, ready to be recycled.  The used plastic mulch is too dirty for recycling, and is destined for our landfill in Janesville.

After these fields are cleared off, a single pass with our strongest tractor and a heavy disc levels the ground, mixing in crop and weed residues, adequate preparation for us to seed a cover crop.

Each week now we’re planting several acres of winter rye (the rye in your rye bread) mixed with hairy vetch. This mixture makes 6-8 inches of growth this fall, enough to cover the ground, minimizing erosion and moderating soil temperatures through the winter. At the first hint of spring, the rye will green up and resume growing, capturing a large amount of carbon from the air. The vetch restarts a bit later, and, as a legume, fixes atmospheric nitrogen into a form that soil microbes, and then our crop plants, can use for growth.

These cover crops, planted this week, are a foundation for our farm’s success next year. We keep the cycle going.  Steve

IMG_3162 plastic mulch
Pulling up plastic mulch on a beautiful fall day.

IMG_2024 fall crops
The fall crops are growing well.  There’s lots yet to harvest.

IMG_2430 cover crops
Cover crops are up! The rye seedlings look fragile but will form a dense mat before winter arrives.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes (Sept. 17/18, 2015, week #18, green EOW)

Updated 9/17/15
Here is our best guess of what will be in the box.  Do not be surprised if your box does not contain everything on the list.  There are many large vegetables this week, and we will fit as many as we can in each box.

Green cabbage, 1
Lacinato kale, 1 bunch
Slicing tomatoes, 4 lb
Colored bell pepper, 1
Orano peppers, about 2
Poblano chiles, 2
Yellow onions, about 2
Thai basil, 1 bunch
Broccoli, 1 large or 2 small heads
Sweet dumpling OR delicata squash, 1 or 2

Everyone will receive two+ items from this list:
Celery OR eggplant OR extra broccoli OR an heirloom tomato

Next week’s box will probably contain potatoes, broccoli, Italian beans, leeks, tomatoes, peppers of some sort, garlic and more.

Slicing tomatoes – Keep a close watch on your tomatoes this week.  They look and taste good but might not store for long.  It’s that time of year.  Eat them promptly, or refrigerate once ripe.

Celery – Our celery is strongly flavored and more fibrous than typical grocery store celery.  Check the middle of the head – it may need trimming.  We continue to tinker with our one annual celery planting, attempting to find the right fall harvest window.  We planted it late enough to mature in fall, and be more tender than celery harvested during the summer.  It sort of worked.  This celery is more tender than in other years.  However, planting later created more opportunity for insect attack.  Look it over, taste it raw, and decide how you want to use it.

Poblano chiles (dark green, shiny, triangular) – These chiles have low-to-medium heat and great flavor.  Most I’ve cooked so far this year are milder than usual, but a few were corkers.

Sweet Dumpling winter squash (round, speckled green and white or yellow) – This is one of our most flavorful winter squashes and a personal favorite.  Sweet Dumpling are one of the first winter squash types ready to eat in fall.  These will not store for long so eat them soon.
Storage:  Store all winter squash at room temperature.
Preparation: These squash have a central cavity that can be stuffed if you wish.  Cut squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds.  To cook, I place the cut squash face-down on a cookie sheet, then put some water in the pan, and roast at 400 oF until easily pierced with a fork.  The water in the pan is optional.  The flavor is best if you allow the pan to dry during the cooking, so the squash has a chance to caramelize.

Thai basil – This is the same Thai variety we sent a few weeks ago, chosen for how well it holds up to a late summer disease.  We like this basil!  The flavor is excellent.  There’s a mild hint of anise, without bitterness.  This is a strong basil so try using half the amount you would add when using Italian basil.  Taste and add more if you wish.


Comforting Classics

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo or Red Bean Gumbo
Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion
Sage Rubbed Roasted Sweet Dumpling Squash with Onions and Craisins
Fish Taco with Shredded Poblano and Cabbage in Chipotle Crema
Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar (Vegetarians and non-bacon eaters — click through for award winning variation with no bacon!)
Yogurt Eggplant Spread

Outside the Box Recipes

Bloody Mary Salad
Baked Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes with Almonds
Curried Chickpea and Quinoa Stuffed Squash
Indian Coleslaw
Grilled Lacinato Kale
Burnt Eggplant and Israeli Couscous Soup

Kitchen Sink Recipe

Vegetable Bonanza Chili

Quick and Easy Meal Idea

Scrambled Eggs with Poblano Tomato Sauce

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September 10/11, 2015

IMG_2001 jon simone peppers1Red peppers make everyone happy. Jon and Simone with a pepper haul.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes (September 10/11, 2015, week #17, purple EOW)

Tomatoes, 4 lb, mixed slicing & plum
Edamame soybeans, 1 bundle
Golden beets with greens, 1 bunch
Broccoli, 1 or 2 nice heads
Delicata winter squash, 2
Oranos peppers, 4 – 5
Colored bell pepper, 1
Yellow onions, about 2
Basil, 1 husky sprig

Each site will get 1 heirloom tomato per box OR an additional pepper.

Edamame soybeans (bundle of green stems with pods attached ) – These edible soybeans are a treat.  Pull the pods from the stem and wash well.  It helps to submerge the pods and rub them together.  Boil in water until the pods have split and the beans are quite tender.  Season with salt and pop the beans out of the pods into your mouth.  This Japanese specialty is becoming more and more popular in the USA.
Storage:  Remove the pods from the stems promptly and refrigerate.

Broccoli – Don’t try to store this broccoli for long.  It matured in hot weather, and that is likely to shorten its storage life.

Delicata winter squash – These are flavorful, thin-walled winter squash.  You can even eat the skin.  Delicatas do not store well, so eat them soon.
Storage:  Store all winter squash at room temperature.
Preparation: These squash have a central cavity that can be stuffed if you wish.  Cut squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds.  To cook, I place the cut squash face-down on a cookie sheet, with a small amount of water in the pan, and roast at 400 oF until easily pierced with a fork.  The water in the pan is optional.  Allow the pan to dry during cooking, so the squash has a chance to caramelize.

Heirloom tomatoes (large tomato that’s not in the paper bag with the other tomatoes) – We will rotate heirloom tomatoes among the sites as they ripen.  Heirloom tomatoes are full-flavored but delicate.  If you receive one this week, please handle it very gently, as these fragile beauties bruise easily.  Some are delivered ripe, some need to ripen at room temperature for a day or two.  Plan to eat your heirloom as soon as it is ripe.

Golden beets with greens – These beet greens are delicious. They are similar to Swiss chard in flavor, texture & cooking time (the two crops are very closely related.) You can remove the thickest midribs before cooking if you wish, but it is not essential.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate. The beet roots will last for weeks.  Beet greens are perishable and should be eaten soon. Separate the tops and roots if you don’t plan to eat the greens immediately, to preserve freshness in the roots.

IMG_0970 golden beets


Comforting Classics

Roasted Salt and Pepper Edamame
Beet, Beet Greens, Caramelized Onions and Feta
Tuna and Beet Salad with Coddled Eggs
Chunky Tomato Bruschetta
Broccoli Sautéed with Pine Nuts, Basil and Parmesan
Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples

Outside the Box Recipes

Tasty Summer Stew
Beet Green Strata
Shredded Sautéed Beets with Poppy Seeds
Tunisian Broiled Tomato and Pepper Salad
Broccoli with Quinoa Salad and Basil Vinaigrette
Roasted Squash Breakfast Bowl

Kitchen Sink Recipe

Squash Posole

Quick and Easy Dinner

Fresh Tomato Soup Spiked with Chipotle Cream

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September 3, 2015

I don’t know about you folks but it feels like a major accomplishment to get our kids back to school.  However, it’s not just children who return to school.  We’ve lost five valuable crew members back to the academic life or other ventures.  Steve and I like to thank Joel, Gage, Dana, Osha and Sophie for their hard work this summer.  Dana and Joel are off to teaching positions, Gage and Sophie back to school.  Osha begins an AmeriCorps position on the west coast.

New employees begin work this week and next week.  It is a challenge to join our field crew this time of year.  The experienced folks are seasoned and accustomed to working outdoors.  Everyone is knowledgeable about farming details, even the employees who began their first year with us this May.  Fortunately, we are a welcoming bunch.  We will share our gallons of sunscreen and show them where to put their lunch so the barn cats won’t find it.  Beth

IMG_0830 gage
Gage finishes a particularly messy mowing job.

IMG_2142 crew joel osha
Osha and Joel harvest spinach this spring.

IMG_1782 crew dana
Dana weeds carrots.

IMG_1862 crew sophie
Sophie bunches kale.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes (Sept 3/4, 2015, week #16, green EOW)

This is such a nice summer box.  It typifies the abundance this time of year.  Steve chose the best red watermelons for you this week, thinking many of you will celebrate Labor Day with barbecues or picnics.

Sweet corn, 5 ears
Mixed green & yellow wax beans, 2 lb
Tomatoes, 4 lb, mixed slicing and plum
Red watermelon
Broccoli, 1 medium head
Orano peppers, about 3
Colored bell pepper, 1
Walla Walla onions, 1 or 2 or 3
Basil, 1 husky branch
We have some treats to share.  Most sites will get …
… globe or Japanese eggplant OR an extra bell pepper OR an extra corn OR an heirloom tomato.

Next week’s box will probably contain beans, tomatoes, edamame soybeans, broccoli, basil, onions, peppers, and more.

Sweet corn – This is the last delivery of corn.  A minority of ears have bugs at the tip and will need to be trimmed.  It’s that time of year; corn pests are more problematic in the later plantings.
Basil – This is a new Italian basil variety for us, chosen because it’s resistant to a disease that often shows up this time of year.  We like the variety; it’s a bit more prone to flower but the flavor is good.


Comforting Classics

Basil Aioli
Eggplant Involtini
Four Bean Salad
Tomato, Green Bean, Basil Pasta Salad
Seared Green Beans
Stewed Tomatoes with Onions and Herbs

Outside the Box Recipes

Greek Olive Pesto
Yellow Wax Bean Refrigerator Pickles
Kung Pao Stir Fry with Tofu or Chicken, Eggplant, Peppers, and Broccoli
Broccoli with Basil Gremolata
Tomato Salad with Parmesan and Olives

Kitchen Sink Recipe

Labor Day Composed Salad

Quick and Easy Dinner Idea

Grilled Burgers or Veggie Burgers with Simple Sauteed Corn

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