Farm Newsletter

Online forum to share cooking ideas?

Let’s brainstorm.  Many of you have expressed interest in how other Tipi CSA members use their CSA produce.  (This has come up in the end-of-season survey for several years.)  Members often devise recipe or cooking ideas that never occurred to me when planning the CSA box!  Let’s share that creativity through an online forum where you can exchange ideas.

Help me choose the best platform to use on a weekly basis.  I’ll post the box contents list (and maybe a photo), then you share your cooking plans or successes.  Honestly, this needs to be community-based without too much input from me.  I get so busy during the farming season.

What’s the best approach?  A Facebook group (public? closed?)?  Instagram?  Something else I don’t know about?  Is the comments section of our farm newsletter too out-of-the-way?  We should choose a platform that people are already visiting.  Posts to our Facebook page (i.e. not to a Facebook group) won’t work because of new algorithm changes at Facebook.

Send me an email if you have ideas or advice, or share in the comments section below.  Thank you in advance.  Beth

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Storage Share, Nov. 16/17, 2017

Cabbage in flight, on its way to you.

We are tantalizingly close to the end of our season.  The cold spell last week hurried us along.  13 degrees!  That will do some damage.  With that deadline, we pulled in all but the hardiest crops.  Cabbage, celeriac, even leeks can get damaged at 13o.  We are still harvesting carrots.  Protected in warm-enough soil, they survived the brief cold night without trouble.

Instead, trouble came as broken machinery.  Our complex carrot harvester broke down unexpectedly.  This is the machine we imported from Europe a few years ago.  It’s a terrific harvester but largely unknown in the USA.  We had to get a replacement part flown in from Germany, routed through the North American dealer in Canada.  It took over a week to travel here and clear customs.  Oh, this has been a tense week.  As our kids say “The intensity intensifies!”

We pulled out our trusty older carrot harvester but it’s slower and requires a much bigger crew for harvest.  Plus it’s more demanding physically for all of us.  The replacement part arrived this morning and we got the big harvester back in the field by midmorning.  If the weather holds through Friday, we will finish every field, leaving our coolers stuffed to the gills.  Wish us luck.  

We are ready to wrap up this season.  Then we’ll enjoy the winter, with lots of cooking and ice skating and maybe even a vacation before we start plotting next year.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Beth & Steve

Storage Share this week

DSCF8942-2 storage 2 boxes
Take one box labelled “A” and one box labelled “B”.

Things you need to know about your winter share

* Your delivery will consist of two different boxes, labeled “A” and “B”.  Take one “A” box and one “B” box.  The boxes contain different vegetables.
* Please pick up your boxes on the day of delivery, during the normal hours for your site.
* Outpost members, please get your boxes on Friday.  This is the busiest weekend of the year for the Outpost staff, so we cannot ask them to hold boxes past Friday.
* Members at outdoor sites, please carefully put the blankets back on the boxes.  That keeps everyone’s produce in good shape.
* The boxes are heavy!  It’s OK to take home the packed boxes, then return the empty boxes to your pickup site within two weeks.  We’ll swing back and pick them up.

Veggie List and Storage Info (Storage share, Nov. 16/17, 2017)

We hope you enjoy this shipment of veggies.  Strategize to use them well, as some will last longer than others. 
* These are the most perishable vegetables: green cauliflower, fennel, Romanesco.
* These are the next-most perishable: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks and onions.  Keep an eye on your butternut, potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The last two are susceptible to drying out.  Expect the largest butternuts to last the longest.
* These will last the longest: Beauty Heart radish, beets, carrots, celeriac, garlic, parsnips, shallots.

Box “A”
Refrigerate everything in this box.

Beauty Heart winter radishes, 1 or 2
Brussels sprouts, on stalk(s)
Carrots, 6 lb total
….. orange ~4.5 lb
….. yellow ~1.5 lb
Celeriac, 1
Fennel, 1 fat bulb
Green cabbage
Green cauliflower, 1 very small
Leeks, ~3 lb
Parsnips, 3 lb
Romanesco cauliflower, ~2

Box “B”
The beets need refrigeration.  Everything else in this box can be stored cool or at room temperature.  See notes below for more detail.

Beets, 3 lb
Butternut squash, ~4
Potatoes, russet, 5 lb
Potatoes, Satina, 5 lb
Sweet potatoes, ~10 lb
Onions, 5 lb total
….. ~1 lb red
….. ~4 lb yellow
Shallots, 3
Garlic, 3

Beauty Heart radishes (round, white with pale green shoulders and bright pink interior) – Refrigerate.  The interior color is lovely.  Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads.  We enjoy grated carrot and Beauty Heart salads all winter.
Beets – Refrigerate in a bag or container.  Beets will store for two months or longer.
Brussels sprouts – Pluck from stalks and refrigerate in a bag or container.  Do this the day you pick up your CSA boxes.  Eat within 2 to 3 weeks.
Butternut winter squash –  You will receive up to four butternuts, depending on size.  Store your butternut in a cool, dry place.  50 F is ideal.  Do not put in a plastic bag.  Expect the largest butternuts to store the longest.  Inspect your squash frequently and cook promptly if you see any soft spots developing.  You can cook, mash and freeze the squash for future use.  I find that you can refrigerate cut raw squash for up to one week.  This runs counter to the accepted way to store squash, but is useful if you want to cook just half a squash.  Try microwaving your squash for one to two minutes before cutting or peeling.  This softens the squash and makes a large butternut easier to handle.
Cabbage – Refrigerate.  Cut off chunks as needed.
Cauliflower, green – Refrigerate in a bag or container.
Carrots, orange.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Will keep for several weeks.
Carrots, yellow.  This variety is pretty AND they taste good.
Celeriac – Will store for months in your fridge.  Cut off chunks as needed.  Peel before using.  I find it easiest to cut the celeriac into flat slices, then peel.
Garlic.  Can be stored at room temperature.
Leeks.  Refrigerate and eat within three weeks.  Leeks are not a long-storage crop.  You may need to strip off one or two outer leaves to freshen the leeks before you cook them.  Your leeks will probably need washing.  We finished preparing them after dark and didn’t realize how much soil was still on them.
Onions: Refrigerate or store in a cool, dark spot and protect from light.  Exposure to light stimulates sprouting.
Parsnips (These look like large white carrots.) – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Parsnips will store for two months but will darken in color.  That is a harmless change.
Potatoes, Russets and Satinas – Can be stored at room temperature or in a cool spot, but must be kept in the dark so they do not turn green.  A cloth or loose plastic bag draped over the paper bag will help avoid moisture loss, but do not close the plastic bag.  Both types will store longer if kept cool.  Around 40 – 50 F is ideal.  The potatoes were grown by the Igl family near Antigo.
Russets– We got the big ‘baking’ grade so you have nice bakers for Thanksgiving.  Excellent for mashed potatoes.
Satinas– These are good all-purpose potatoes, everything from roasted to potato salad.  I really like this variety of yellow potato because they oven-roast so well and because they are less sweet than other yellow varieties like Yukon Golds.
Shallots – These look like small red onions, often with internal divisions into several bulbs.  They can be round or oblong.  Store at room temperature.  This is the first time we’ve grown shallots!  They seemed like a fun thing to try and have turned out nicely.  Honestly, I am a novice with shallots but from what I’ve read (and eaten at restaurants) they are good in salad dressing, and caramelized and used to top dishes or sandwiches.  We split some in half and roasted them with other veggies in a hot oven.  They turned out mild and sweet, very nice.
Sweet potatoes – These are a mix of the  Covington and Beauregard varieties.  Both types have developed excellent flavor and sweetness.  Some tubers have dark skins, the result of soil staining during wet weather.  It’s unsightly but superficial and harmless.  Store at room temperature, no lower than 55 F.  Keep them on your kitchen counter where it’s easy to keep an eye on them.  I like to keep ours in a paper bag so they don’t dehydrate.  Cook promptly if they start to soften.  The roots come in a wide ranges of sizes and all are good.

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving?

We are creatures of habit when it comes to Thanksgiving.  Here are our plans so far: brined roast heritage turkey from our friends Jen and Bryce Riemer (Beth), Brussels sprouts with garlic-mustard vinaigrette (Steve), roasted sweet potatoes with garlicky yogurt dip (Sophie), glazed butternut squash (Beth), crunchy carrot-Beauty Heart salad with sesame-seed dressing (Steve), pickled onions (Beth & Ari), pickles (Beth & Ari), homemade applesauce (Ari), and apple pie (Sophie).  I’ll probably make stuffing with lots of celeriac and onions but that might be overkill.  We love celebrating Thanksgiving and the end of harvest season!

Menu Ideas

There are many terrific Thanksgiving menus and recipes online right now.  Search any of the sites below if you are stumped about what to do with your storage share.  Check out the online Thanksgiving collections soon; they get taken down quickly after the holiday.
♦ I like the lively site.  It’s a curated community site so judge a recipe’s rating and read the comments.  Start at their Thanksgiving page and settle in.  I want to read and cook everything on this site!  Here’s a tiny subset of their current articles and recipes.
….. Thanksgiving Menu Maker
….. Freezer-Friendly Thanksgiving Dishes For the Ultra-Prepared
….. Make room for Spicy Raspberry Relish
….. The Genius Fix for Broken Gravy
….. 22 Pack-and-Go Thanksgiving Recipes
….. etc, etc.
♦ Smitten Kitchen is our go-to site for dessert recipes but has excellent veggie recipes too.  Plus blogger Deb Perelman is funny.  She has not posted a Thanksgiving menu yet but her recipes from last year are still accessible.
….. Thanksgiving recipe list
….. Last year, she was all about Team Casserole.
♦ 101cookbooks.  Always has good vegetarian and whole-grain recipes.
♦ The New York Times has changed access to their Cooking app.  They now require a paid subscription, although there appears to be occasional free access.  This year, they’ve posted how to cook an entire Thanksgiving feast in a 400 degree oven, a very thorough Thanksgiving Menu Planner and many holiday-themed recipe collections, such as “Our 21 Most Popular Thanksgiving Pies“, “What to Bring to a Thanksgiving Potluck“, “Thanksgiving Casseroles” and more.  If you can access it, start at their Thanksgiving 2017 page.  In my opinion, Melissa Clark is the best NYT food writer.  She’s practical and her dishes are always flavorful.  David Tanis is my second-favorite.  Recipes from Mark Bittman and Martha Rose Shulman are always worth a look.
♦ Finally, remember that we can use Local Thyme recipes all winter.  Check them out for Thanksgiving ideas.  Send me an email is you need the registration information.

Do you have favorite menu sites for fall and winter recipes?

If so, please share in a comment!


Recipe adapted from Food 52
I love the ease of this recipe. It uses one baking sheet and and a couple large bowls and comes together effortlessly while you do the dishes or tidy up. Honestly, the hardest part will be slicing the cabbage and fennel! If you feel like getting a second sheet pan dirty, throw some extra roast veggies on there and stock up on roasted veggies for the whole week! Carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, celeriac, potatoes and/or butternut squash would all go well with this tasty meal.  Lauren.
Serves 6-8
Takes 1 hour

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil + more for drizzling
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sriracha, optional
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 pieces chicken, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (or a mix)
1/2 head cabbage
1 head garlic, separated and peeled
1 large fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1-inch wedges
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut int 1-inch thick slices

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine oils, soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha. Place chicken in a second large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the oil mixture over the chicken and let is marinade while the oven preheats.
  3. Cut the cabbage in half through it’s core. Set half aside for later use. Cut half you are using through to core again and keep slicing until you wind up with many wedges (all no thicker than 1-inch). Add cabbage to first large bowl (with remaining sauce not chicken) along with peeled garlic cloves, fennel, and leeks. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle baking sheet with olive oil and add chicken. Spread it out evenly so not crowded and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and nestle chicken with vegetables– tucking it under if necessary. It will feel like a lot. That’s fine! Roast for 25 minutes longer. Remove pan from oven and transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Also remove garlic if it seems to be beginning to brown at all (will depend on the size of your cloves). Continue roasting veggies for 10-15 minutes until juices have reduced and edges of veggies have caramelized ever so slightly.
  5. Serve veggies and chicken together with any residual sauce. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
There is a chance that some people won’t get as excited about vegetable pancakes as me, but I swear I could eat them every single dang day. They are the perfect combination of crunchy, hearty, healthy, fresh and fried. They can be a side of a meal or a whole meal and despite all the chopping that goes into them, come together rather quickly. If you have a mandolin, this is a great time to use it.
And again, the recipe is pretty flexible. Feel free to swap in any other root veggies (in similar quantities) for the sweet potato, carrots and parsnip. Lauren.
Takes 45 minutes
Serves 4-6 (more if it’s a side dish)

1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and very thinly sliced (you will want about 4 cups sliced sprouts)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and julienned (about 4 cups)
2-3 carrots, peeled and julienned (about 3 cups)
1 parsnip, peeled and julienned (about 1 cup)
1 shallot, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2/3 cup flour
4 large eggs
Vegetable oil

  1. In a large bowl combine Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, carrots, parsnip and shallots. Sprinkle with salt followed by flour and stir until flour coats vegetables. Stir in the eggs until mostly smooth.
  2. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Coat the bottom with oil and warm until hot but not smoking. Drop 1/4 cup spoonfuls into the pan (about 4-5) so they do not crowd. Gently press the pancake down until almost flat. Cook until the edges begin to brown, about 3 minutes and then flip. Cook for 1-2 minutes until other side browns. Remove to paper towel to drain grease.
  3. Add more oil in between batches and continue cooking until no more batter remains. Feel free to keep the first ones warm and crisp in a 250-degree oven while you cook the rest.
  4. Serve warm with tangy ketchup (below), spicy mayo or other favorite Asian dipping sauce.

Tangy Ketchup
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until smooth and thick, about 3-5 minutes.

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Extension share; Nov 2, 2017

Carrot Team

We are hurrying our storage crops from the fields to the coolers.  This week, we brought in the final parsnips and daikon, plus carrots and cabbage. We hope to finish the carrot and cabbage harvests next week but the work could continue into the following week.

It takes a team to bring in the carrot harvests.

Steve drives the root harvester.  We imported this implement from Sweden two years ago.  Steve appreciates what this machine can do, and continues to tinker and improve it.

Maggie controls the harvester from the back platform.  With the controls at her left hand, she distributes the carrots into a bin.  Once the bin is full, she’ll send it down a ramp to the ground.

Charlotte and Kristen pick up carrots dropped by the harvester.  They are too valuable to leave behind.

Matt picks up filled bins with the front end loader and places them on a wagon for transport back to the farmstead.

A wagon o’ carrots, plus parsnips at the front.

We cover the bins and tuck them in our cooler.  We’ll wash the carrots and other roots all winter long, providing food for our customers and work for our longterm employees.  

Extension Share, 1 delivery, Nov 2/3, 2017)

Beth’s box logic:  
(i) You can roast almost everything in this box.  See Lauren’s recipe for roasting and sauce ideas.  We routinely roast carrots, parsnips, and onions together.  They cook at the same rate.  Sweet potatoes get sliced, oiled, and roasted on their own sheet, because they cook more quickly.  Even Brussels sprouts and Romanesco can be pan-roasted in the oven.  We bought a convection oven a few years ago, and find the convection speeds roasting and evens the results.
(ii) We send the Beauty Heart radishes in combination with carrots because they make lovely, mixed salads, like Lauren’s Beauty Heart Radish, Carrot & Avocado Salad from last year.

Sweet potatoes, ~2 lb
Butternut squash
Brussels sprouts, ~1 lb
Romanesco, 1 head
Broccoli, 1 head
Carrots, 2 lb
Parsnips, 1.5 lb
Beauty Heart radish, 1 or 2
Yellow onion
Leek, 1 large
Jalapeno chile

Beauty Heart radishes (round, white with pale green shoulders and bright pink interior) – Refrigerate. The interior color is lovely. Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads. 

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes.  Look for Brussels sprout recipes in the past two weeks (Oct 19, Oct 26)


Comforting Classics
Squash Chickpea Curry with Parsnips and Romanesco
Vegan Miso Soup with Winter Squash
Mashed Carrots, Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Posole with Black Beans

Outside the Box Recipes
Steamed Romanesco with Mustard Butter
Roasted Vegetables with Goat Cheese Crostini and Pumpkinseed Oil
Black Pepper Tagliatelle with Parsnips and Pancetta
Elbows with Sweet Potato, Capers and Parsley

Quick and Easy Meal
Hazelnut Butter Sandwich with Beauty Heart Radish


Adapted from Dishing Up The Dirt
Something about fall abundance just has me cooking in huge batches to prepare for the cold days ahead. I love roasting up tray after tray of veggie on Sundays, sticking them in my fridge and using them as a base all week long. These veggies are great on their own or you can turn them into a meal with some baked fish, grilled steak or a pile of wild rice.  Lauren
Beth’s note:  I love the sound of this tahini sauce.  We roast vegetables every week through the winter. As Lauren points out, they make versatile leftovers. Our go-to sauces are sriracho mixed with mayo, or yogurt seasoned with salt, garlic, smoked paprika, and good olive oil.

Takes 1 hour
Serves 8

4 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato
2 cups peeled and chopped parsnips
2 cups chopped carrots
1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
1 head broccoli or romanesco, cut into bite-size florets
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced

Turmeric Tahini Sauce
1 cup tahini
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tablespoons peeled and freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons dried turmeric (unless you can get your hands on some fresh stuff– then use 2 tablespoons freshly grated)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 cup water, plus more if needed

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a huge bowl, combine sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts, and broccoli or romanesco with oil, salt, thyme, pepper and cayenne. Stir until everything is evenly coated with oil and spices. Pour out onto three baking sheets or roasting pans. (If you don’t have a huge bowl, just combine all ingredients on baking sheets as evenly as you can.)
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until veggies are tender and beginning to brown in places. Halfway through roasting, make sure to turn veggies and rotate pans for more even cooking.
  4. While the veggies roast, prepare your sauce by combining all ingredients in a food processor and pulsing to combine. If you don’t have a food processor, you can absolutely just whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl (it’s just easier to break up the tahini with a food processor). If the mixture looks too thick, add more water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more tahini. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. More syrup for sweetness. More vinegar to brighten it up. More soy sauce if you think it needs more salt.
  5. Serve veggies warm with a generous amount of sauce drizzled over them. Garnish with radish slices.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker
This soup just feels like fall. I love it on a cold night buried in blankets on the couch. Soup is always warming, but the creamy coconut milk and soothing curry and cinnamon spices really boost the coziness factor. Add the garnishes if you’re feeling fancy but don’t worry if you’d rather skip them. The soup very much stands up well on its own.  Lauren

Serves 4-6
Takes 40 minutes

2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil if vegan)
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons favorite curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups water.
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk (I always use full-fat but you can also use low-fat)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Greek yogurt, optional
Sriracha, optional
Toasted pepitas, optional

  1. In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, leek and jalapeno. Saute for about 10 minutes until veggies are very tender and fragrant.
  2. Add squash and spices. Stir to combine well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, just add a cup of water early.
  3. Add remaining water, broth, coconut milk and maple syrup. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until squash is tender.
  4. Let soup cool for a few minutes then puree with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water.
  5. Serve warm with optional garnishes of yogurt, sriracha and pepitas.


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Good bye!; Oct 26 2017

This is the last delivery for our May-October CSA shares.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for being members of our farm. We truly appreciate your commitment to our CSA.  We could not farm without you.  We hope you enjoyed the adventure.

Many of you registered for continued deliveries with our Extension and Storage shares.  We will be in touch with more information as those deliveries approach.

We will open registration for our 2018 season by early December.  Watch for emails from us.  In the meantime, you can continue eating our produce through the winter.  Our stored cabbage, carrots and other roots will be on the shelves at these stores: Willy Street Coop (Madison, Middleton), Outpost Natural Foods (Mequon and Milwaukee area), Basics Coop (Janesville), Whole Foods (Madison only, with deliveries beginning soon), Good Harvest Market (Pewaukee), and Health Hut (Brookfield).

Beth and Steve

Best year ever (maybe).  Highs and lows

This is a good moment to evaluate the season.  I think the title above says it all.  2017 was a terrific season for us.  With a few exceptions, the crops were abundant.  Even the weather wasn’t too bad.  The ‘maybe’ in the title simply indicates that our work is not finished yet.  Our big storage harvests stretch over the next few weeks.  We have a lot of good-looking crops in the field and hope to have our coolers stuffed full by Thanksgiving.  Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather.

We sat down with the crew to brainstorm the highs and lows of this season.

HIGH – Best crew ever.  Most of our 22 farmhands and managers were returning employees, and our three new hires brought a combined 50+ years experience in growing vegetables.  Wow.  Together, this crew has deep, deep knowledge of vegetables.  Having so much experience on the farm took the pressure off Steve and me, allowing us to relax a bit and enjoy our work in a new way.
HIGH – Steve was healthy, pain-free and energetic this year.  He spent the 2016 season in pain from a bicycle mishap, and limited in the energy he could muster for farming.  He began working with a new physical therapist this past winter with amazing results.  She showed him new techniques like “nerve flossing” that sped his recovery.  He feels like a new man.
HIGH – I love our new experimental prairie planting.  It was a fascinating new hobby and I did not even realize how much I need a hobby.  Nevermind that it involves plants and field prep and transplanting, it still counts as a hobby.
HIGH – As mentioned above, most of our crops grew very well this year.  The moderate weather helped.  Even during the mid-summer rainy spell, most of the rain came at night, making work easier and more pleasant for all of us.  A dry start to the summer plus dry fall weather kept crop diseases in check.  Usually a whole bunch of different crop diseases explode in fall.  Not this year.  As a result, our fall brassica crops have been amazing!  We’ve never had this much broccoli and cauliflower to share in the CSA boxes.
LOW – Unfortunately, a troubling new disease appeared during that mid-summer rainy spell.  For years I’ve told Steve “If we can get through our farming careers without Phytophthora capsici (Pcap) showing up, I’ll be happy.”  Well, Pcap showed up this year, wiping out entire melon fields and eliminating all the late melons we planted for you.  That was painful.  I have photographs of those fields but I am not going to share them with you.  This is a family-friendly newsletter and the photos are like a snuff film.
LOW – Pcap also damaged about a third of our peppers.  Our pepper crew wore uncomfortable plastic booties over their shoes for months to confine Pcap to the infected fields.  That was a low for all involved.
HIGH/LOW – Daily use of the word “bootie” inspired one crew member to endless baudy jokes.
HIGH – There was a shining moment when six of our farm pickup trucks were working.  That’s extraordinary.  Of course, it only lasted one day before one of them broke.  We use a combination of tractors and wagons plus pickup trucks for our harvests, giving each field team something for transport.  The number of operating pickups directly affects our collective quality of life.  Life is good when the pickups are running.
LOW – There was a dispiriting day when only one pickup was operating.
LOW – One day, a door suddenly fell off one of the pickups!  The crew managed to realign it and lock it in place.  We haven’t opened that door again.  Fixing it is a winter project.
HIGH – The 2nd staked tomato field and the 3rd kale plantings were genuine high points.  Those two fields just kept on giving.
HIGH – A garter snake took up permanent residence in one of the zucchini fields, appearing reliably during each zucchini harvest.
LOW – The garter snake always showed up in the row worked by the crew member who is terrified of snakes.
HIGH/LOW – One time, the crew found a garter snake with a toad in its mouth.  The toad was still alive, feebly gasping and waving its arms.  That’s the stuff of legends or nightmares or at least persistent farm memories.
HIGH – Poblano chiles.  Wow, they were abundant this year.  That’s why we could pack them in the boxes two times.
HIGH – Best farm lunches ever!  A woman in Madison cooks lunch for our crew two days per week.  She has cooked for us for years but was on a roll this year, with creative, abundant dishes.  Thank you Gen!
HIGH – Finger weeders!  Steve set up finger weeders, a new type of cultivating tool that does an amazing job.  We weeded quite a few fields just by tractor, with no follow-up hand weeding, saving so much effort.
HIGH – Due to the finger weeders, we had beautiful, weed-free cabbage fields situated near the buildings where we could look at them every day.  Ah, so nice.
LOW – Lake Tipi.  Somehow, we ended up with an enormous, truck-devouring pothole.  We have got to fix that.

That’s all I’m going to share.  The crew had many more ideas but their highs and lows were getting pretty obscure (“Remember the time Billy caught a corndog in his mouth when you threw it from the porch?”, etc., etc.)  You don’t need to hear these things!  Thank you again for being Tipi-people this year.  Beth.

Fractally beautiful Romanesco at harvest.  That’s Charlotte in the background.

It’s likely to frost tonight, so we stripped the pepper field of the last peppers.  Above, Raul and Jory bring in the harvest.  Look at Jory’s feet – you can just see his boot covers behind the basket.  The valiant pepper crew wore boot covers for months to avoid spreading a new disease beyond the infected fields.  A big thanks to Simone, Jim, Raul and Jory for making the effort.  We know it was uncomfortable.

We’re preparing for our big, big carrot harvests.  The wooden bins are repaired and ready to go.  Steve’s worked over the carrot harvester.  We have someone coming tomorrow to do preventative maintenance on our storage coolers.  Carrot and root harvests start this week and extend into mid-November.  We can’t afford any downtime during these critical weeks.  Wish us luck!  We should have enough cabbage, carrots and other roots to supply our store customers through the winter.

The cover crops are so vibrant right now.  They protect against erosion during the winter, then revive and grow again in spring to nourish the soil.  If you review the four photos above, the color green pops out.  The farm glows on sunny days.  It’s not too shabby on cloudy days either.

(Oct. 26/27, 2017; week #24, purple EOW)

Sweet potatoes, 2 – 2.5 lb
Butternut squash
Red cabbage
Brussels sprouts, 1 lb
Purple daikon radish
Green bell peppers, ~2
Yellow onion
Shallots, 1 – 3
Baby ginger, 1 knob

This is the final box of our regular CSA season.

Romanesco (pale green conical head, possible tinged with purple) – This is the prettiest vegetable we grow.  Look at it closely to appreciate its branched beauty and repeating spiral pattern.  It is closely related to cauliflower which it resembles in flavor and texture.
Preparation: Like broccoli and cauliflower, it is fine eaten raw or cooked.  It requires cooking times intermediate between the two.  Don’t overcook it.  I usually steam it, then dress it simply with a butter-lemon-garlic-mustard sauce.

Celeriac (knobby, round, bizarre-looking vegetable which smells like celery) – Flavorful celeriac is good raw or cooked.  It is excellent in mixed roasted veggies or in soup.  It’s especially good in cream soups, alone or mixed with potatoes.  Grated raw celeriac is a great starting point for winter salads.  Celeriac will store in your refrigerator for months.  Cut off chunks as you need them.  Peel before using.

Shallots – These look like small red onions.  They can be round or oblong.  Store at room temperature.  This is the first time we’ve grown these!  They seemed like a fun thing to try and have turned out nicely.  Honestly, I am a novice with shallots but from what I’ve read (and eaten at restaurants) they are good in salad dressing, and caramelized and used to top dishes or sandwiches.  Have fun!

Baby ginger – This is baby ginger, bright white and pink because it hasn’t grown a brown epidermis yet.  The ginger in stores is grown for a long season in warm places like Hawaii.  Baby ginger is special because it has the full ginger flavor and spiciness but almost no fibers.  That’s why it’s used to make the pickled ginger served with sushi.  I asked the crew to wash it lightly to avoid bruising.  Expect to do a final wash before using it.
Storage:  Eat soon; baby ginger is perishable.  Wrap in a damp cloth or paper towel, and keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  You can also freeze your ginger, then grate as much as you need from the frozen knob.

Baby ginger


Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes.


Comforting Classics

Romanesco Gratin
Chicken or Tofu and Brussels Sprout Stir Fry with Ginger
Rice Bowl with Romanesco, Bell Pepper, Cabbage and Fried Egg
Celeriac Ribbon Remoulade

Outside the Box Recipes

Romanesco Polonaise
Brussels Sprouts Braised in Nutmeg Cream
Red Cabbage and Apple Soup
Celeriac, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto Salad 

Quick and Easy Meal

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Miso Vinaigrette


If there is anything I love more than taking every vegetable I have and throwing it into one mess of a beautiful deep-dish pizza, I don’t know what it would be. This recipe is simple, insanely versatile and (as usual) fit for a crowd. It only makes one pizza so you won’t think it’s a lot of food, but trust me, this baby is dense. If you aren’t vegetarian, I totally recommend throwing some bacon on there. Enjoy! Lauren.

Serves 6-8
Takes 1 hour, 15 minutes

4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
2 cups water
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
2 cups halved and quartered brussels sprouts
1 head romenesco, cut into bite-size florets
1 green pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups favorite pizza cheese (I used a blend of havarti, munster and Parmesan but mozzarella is also great on its own)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. If making pizza dough from scratch, begin the dough now (see below). If not, skip to the next step.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, combine winter squash, water and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes until squash is very soft. Drain and return to pan.
  4. Drizzle two tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet. Add brussels sprouts, romanesco, green pepper, pepper and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once for even cooking.
  5. While the winter squash simmers and veggies roast, melt a tablespoon of butter in a large cast-iron skillet. Add shallots along with remaining 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Cook for 5-10 minutes until beginning to char in places. Add to drained winter squash along with maple syrup and red pepper flakes. Mash with a potato masher (or fork) until mostly smooth.
  6. Remove veggies from oven and bump temperature up 500 degrees.
  7. Drizzle cast-iron skillet with a bit of oil and then press pizza dough into pan and up the sides. It will stretch and sink but just keep pushing it up the sides until it stays about 2/3 of the way up. Let rest for a couple minutes while you shred the cheese.
  8. Add half the cheese to your pizza crust. Top with mashed winter squash and spread into an even layer. Add roasted veggies followed by remaining cheese.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling. Serve warm.

Pizza dough:
1 cup warm (but not hot) water
1 packet instant yeast (or 2-1/2 teaspoons)
Pinch sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Combine water, yeast and sugar together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Let sit for 5 minutes so the yeast proofs and becomes all yeasty.
  2. Add salt and olive oil to the yeast mixture.
  3. Pour flour into a large bowl (preferably your mixing bowl if you have one). Slowly stir in yeast liquid and stir until clumpy dough forms.
  4. Turn out dough onto counter and knead until smooth, and shape into a ball.
  5. Grease bowl you used to make dough and place dough ball in it. Cover with plastic and set in a warm place (like the warm oven that’s roasting your veggies) until ready to use. For me, this was 40 minutes and it was perfectly doubled in size.


Takes 45 minutes
Serves 4-6

2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 yellow onion, cut in chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup lentils
1-1/2 cup water
1/2 red cabbage, shredded
1 purple daikon, quartered and very thinly sliced
2 avocados, sliced
Sesame seeds, optional

Cashew Lime Dressing:
1/3 cup cashew (or almond or peanut) butter
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drizzle baking sheet with olive oil and add sweet potatoes, onion, black pepper and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once for even cooking.
  3. Rinse quinoa and add to a medium saucepan along with lentils and remaining 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Toast over medium heat about 5 minutes, until little to no moisture remains. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, but leave lid on and continue steaming for 5 minutes.
  4. Prepare dressing by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Add water if it’s too thick.
  5. Build bowls by placing about 1/2 cup of quinoa and lentil mixture in each bowl. Top with a quarter of the sweet potatoes and onions, a generous amount of cabbage and daikon, and half an avocado. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle sesame seeds on top (if using).


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Week #23, final purple EOW box

Box Countdown

October 19/20 (this week) = final box for purple EOW members
October 26/27 (next week) = final box for weekly members & for green EOW
Extension & Storage Shares in November – Just for members registered for these extra shares.

Jory, Kerry, and Karen in the broccoli field.   The warm weather is OK for vegetables and wonderful for people.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
(Oct. 19/20, 2017, week #23, purple EOW)

Beth’s box logic:  
– Cauliflower.  This has been an incredible year for broccoli and cauliflower.  Some seasons, cauliflower is so rare that we only have enough for one CSA delivery.  Not this year.  We realize we have delivered cauliflower in your boxes at least three of the last four weeks.  Let’s enjoy this bounty while it’s here.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can freeze your cauliflower to use in winter soups.  Here are Pat from Local Thyme’s instructions to freeze cauliflower:  To freeze, wash and separate cauliflower florets, blanch for 3 minutes and submerge in ice bath. Drain well. Flash freeze by spreading the cauliflower out on a baking pan and putting them in the freezer to harden up. Once hard, pack the cauliflower in a plastic freezer bag and return to the freezer to store.
– Garnishes.  We’ve sent multiple items to enliven your cooking this week (poblanos, scallions, parsley and garlic).  Both Pat and Lauren have folded these ingredients into their recipes this week.  If you’re not sure what to do with the poblano chiles, roast them, slice into ribbons and use to top anything you cook this week.  These are the last scallions (sob) so I’ve hidden away a few bunches for our favorite ways to use scallions; use to garnish any soup but especially chicken soup; scallion-kimchi pancakes like this recipe (a favorite) or this recipe (which I want to try).  I plan to try Lauren’s Smoky Butternut & Poblano Chile (see below) this weekend, and I know it will be great with scallions.

Butternut squash
Brussels sprouts, ~1 lb
Satina potatoes, ~3.5 lb
Leeks, 1 or 2
Carrots, 2 lb
Bell pepper, 1
Poblano chiles, 3 – 4
Scallions, 1 bunch
Parsley, 1 bunch

Next week’s box will probably contain butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, purple daikon radish, ginger, celeriac and more.

Butternut winter squash – Everyone gets one medium or two small butternuts.  These early-maturing varieties are all on the small side.
Brussels sprouts – If you are a new CSA member, please approach Brussels sprouts with an open mind.  Many of us grew up eating awful, overcooked Brussels sprouts.  These Brussels sprouts are completely different.  We usually delay B-sprout harvest until after they are sweetened by the first frost.  We can’t wait any longer!
Here is our method to cook Brussels sprouts: Wash the sprouts and trim the cut ends. Cut an X in the stem end of large sprouts.  Cut a single slit in small or medium sprouts.  This does two things. It helps the Brussels sprouts cook evenly, plus it allows them to soak up any marinade or dressing.  Place sprouts in a pot with one inch of water in the bottom and steam until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.  If the sprouts are uneven in size, then set aside the smallest ones and add to the pot after the larger ones have cooked for a few minutes.  Don’t overcook them!  You can also oven-roast Brussels sprouts.  Here are a few dressing ideas for cooked sprouts:
– Sherry vinegar/olive oil/Dijon mustard/garlic/white wine/salt and pepper.  This is our favorite, especially when you combine the Brussels sprouts with slivered peppers and thinly sliced onions.  Delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature.
– Balsamic vinegar/olive oil/garlic/salt and pepper
– Lemon juice and zest/melted brown butter/poppy seeds/white wine/garlic/salt
Satina potatoes – These pale yellow potatoes are from Igl Farms.  Satinas are an all-purpose potato with thin skin and smooth flesh.  We oven-roasted a batch and they browned perfectly.
Cauliflower – See Beth’s notes above.


Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes.


Comforting Classics
Aloo Gobi
Cock-A-Leekie Soup
Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Butternut and Poblano Quesadillas

Outside the Box Recipes
Sweet and Savory Cauliflower Toast Melts
Mexican Pinto Bean Green Rice Skillet Supper
Whole Grain Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts
Winter Squash Hummus

Quick and Easy Meal
Quick Broccoli and Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes


A recipe from last year: MASHED POTATO & LEEK FRITTERS

Adapted ever so slightly from the lovely Love & Lemons. 
Takes 1 hour
Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch scallions, sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 carrots, diced
3 cups cubed butternut squash
1 bell pepper (any color), stem and seeds removed, and diced
2 poblano peppers, stem and seeds removed, and diced

1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juices

15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can canellini or Navy beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
4 cups water or vegetable broth (or enough to cover)

1/2 bunch scallions, sliced
Shredded cheddar
Sour cream
Sliced avocado
Extra limes

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the scallion, salt and pepper and cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the carrots, butternut squash, bell pepper, and poblano. Cook until the vegetables just start to become tender and the scallions are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary.
  2. Add the sugar, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the beans, lime juice and then add 4 cups of water or vegetable broth (or enough to cover everything). Simmer until the butternut squash and carrots are tender, 20 to 30 minutes, adding more broth, as needed.
  3. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and spices to your liking. If your chili is too spicy, stir in a small splash of apple cider vinegar. If it’s too thick, add another cup of water or broth.
  4. Serve with scallions, cheddar, sour cream, avocado and extra limes.

Adapted from Joy the Baker. 
Serves 8-10 as a side
Takes 1 hour

1 pound brussels sprouts
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I made my own by cutting into crouton-sized pieces and baking for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then pulsing in a food processor)
2-3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded Gouda, divided

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. While waiting for the water to come to a boil, prepare the Brussels Sprouts. You’ll want to leave the smallest ones whole (but still trim the ends), halve the medium ones and quarter the largest ones.
  3. Toss the prepped brussels sprouts into the water once its boiling and cook for two minutes. After two minutes, add the broccoli and cauliflower and blanch for two minutes longer. Strain in a colander, rinse with cold water and then place ice cubes on top to stop the cooking process.
  4. In a large cast-iron skillet or other oven-proof skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown throughout (about 5 minutes). Remove to a paper towel to drain extra grease. Scrape the pan with a spatula to make sure you get all the crumbs.
  5. Add remaining butter to skillet and cook over medium heat until melted. Add leeks, salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add ground mustard, thyme and cayenne pepper. Continue cooking for 5 minutes and then add flour. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes until flour is very lightly browned.
  6. Add milk to roux (mixture of butter, leeks and flour) and turn up heat to medium high. When milk just begins to simmer, remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheese until melted. Remove ice cubes from blanched veggies and add vegetables into cheese mixture.
  7. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese over the veggies and bake for 30 minutes until top is golden and bubbly. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top when ready to serve.


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