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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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Week of June 4th: Begin Summer Shares

Tentative CSA Menu:

Red Leaf Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Mixed Greens
Strawberries (Full Share)

Welcome aboard and Happy 1st CSA delivery to our Summer Share and June Sampler members!

Mark your calendar for our 2 Open Farm Days: Saturday July 21st and August 25th

New members: please leave your share box on-site each week for us to collect and recycle into our deliveries. The plastic bag inside the box pulls right out for you to take your produce home safely. The bag is 100% biodegradable and cannot be reused on the farm to ensure proper food safety adherence. Thanks for your help to reduce unnecessary waste.

Holy rhubarb! This marks our third week of harvesting from the same patch and what a year it has been; by far our biggest yield on record. Getting overloaded with rhubarb or not sure how to use it all up right now? Simply slice it into 1-inch segments and freeze in a zip-lock bag. No blanching or prep needed for them to safely store in the freezer for later. If this is your first experience using rhubarb at home, here are the basics: always discard any remaining leaves on the stalks since they are inedible and poisonous. Rhubarb is very sour and most often used in desserts, drinks, and jams to enhance the flavor. Both green and red rhubarb stalks are equally ripe and useable. You can expect rhubarb to store in your fridge up to 3 weeks, just in-time for our strawberry season. Check out the back for our family's classic Rhubarb Crisp recipe. In 1978 when my parents bought the farm (at the ripe age of 22), they started their first rhubarb patch. After waiting 2-3 years for it to establish, which is the typical amount of time for this perennial to begin yielding, they were finally able to reap the sowed roots in some well-deserved strawberry rhubarb pies. After that, they were hooked and began testing new recipes each year. A rhubarb patch can last for 20 years and does best when planted in a field that borders the woods since the local deer herds are known to come out and nibble on our crops and they do not like rhubarb. Our current patch is over 3 years old and we are aiming to keep it thriving for another 10-12 years. Why was this year our biggest yield? Weeding. Extra thorough care in taking the time to weed late in the fall last year. This allowed the plants to thrive and grow without competing or sharing rain, soil, and nutrients with invasive weeds. Enjoy – this is definitely the last week of this springtime treasure. Coming soon: zucchini and peas.

Khaya's Korner: Hi everyone! Today I am going to tell you what it's like to live on the farm. First, I get to go out and explore nature every day. There is such an expanse of land, I can go out and walk, or ride the four-wheeler, pretty much whenever I want. Also, I can usually have a job in the fields or the packing house. I help with many different things once school is out for the summer. Another cool thing about living on the farm is that we (my mom and I) can prepare our own fruits and vegetables for dinner. It is a very amazing (and different) experience!
~ Khaya Brownback Age 12, third generation on the farm

Rhubarb Crisp Makes one 9x9" dessert~ double recipe to make in a 9" x 13 "pan
Cook in saucepan over medium heat until it becomes a "mush" about 15 minutes :
2 C chopped Rhubarb (not any of the leaves)
¾ to 1 C raw sugar
¼ C water
Stir in and simmer 1 minute:
1 T cornstarch or arrowroot powder blended with 1 T water-this thicken the mush for pies or crisp recipes
Pour Rhubarb Mush into buttered 9" x 9 "pan. Top with the "Crisp" and Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly
The Crisp: mix by hand, by rubbing ingredients together until crumbly
½ C butter
½ C flour
1 C quick or rolled oats
1 t cinnamon
½ C sugar
Serve with vanilla ice cream, a dollop of fresh cream, or whipped fresh cream
*To Make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp: add 1 C chopped fresh or frozen strawberries

Deirdre's Loaded Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
Sweet potatoes- 6 C sliced very thin, skins on
Spring Onions -1/2 C sliced thin, bulbs and green tops (may substitute sweet onions)- set aside 2 T
Kale or Swiss Chard -4 C chopped
Salt- 1 t and black pepper ¼ t
4 T flour
Half and Half – 2 C blended with 1 C plain Greek yogurt or 1 C sour cream
Cheddar Cheese-—4 C shredded
Butter a 9x13 glass dish. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. or see crockpot version below.
Prep all of the above in separate bowls or plates
Build layers in your 9 x 13 pan; sweet potatoes (single layer), then ½ spring onions, ½ kale, ½ the salt and pepper, then 1/3 the cheese. Sprinkle the layer with 2 T flour. Repeat for another layer. Slowly and evenly, pour your half and half blend over your layers. Make about 2 layers, ending with sweet potatoes. Top with cheddar cheese and 2 T chopped spring onions
Bake uncovered for one hour and 20 minutes.

Rhubarb Custard Pie "Not too sweet with a tart rhubarb flavor and a crunchy delicious topping"
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups rhubarb chopped into small pieces
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄2 cup butter
1 pinch salt
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
Stir together the dry ingredients for the filling. Stir in the beaten eggs, then add the chopped rhubarb and mix all together.
Pour into unbaked pie shell.
Topping: Mix together the sugar and flour in a small bowl. Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes "crumbly". Sprinkle topping mixture over the rhubarb filling.
Bake for one hour at 350 degrees F.

Rhubarb Lemonade
2 cups chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/2 cup lemon juice, (approx. 3 lemons)
2 cups ice cubes
10 lemon slices
In large saucepan, stir together rhubarb, sugar, 3/4 cup water and lemon rind; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and rhubarb breaks up, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing out liquid. Let syrup cool. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 1 week.)
In serving pitcher, mix syrup with 5 cups water; stir in ice to chill. Garnish with lemon slices.

Rhubarb Soda with Mint
Soda water
Rhubarb syrup
Fresh mint leaves, washed
Rhubarb Syrup ~~ makes approximately 2 cups
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 cups rhubarb stems, chopped into rough 3-cm chunks
Put sugar and water on to boil over high heat in a large pot (the rhubarb will foam, so you need room).
Once boiling, add your chopped rhubarb and boil for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool completely.
Decant into a clean jar, store in the fridge.
Add ice to a highball glass. Tear several mint leaves into small pieces and sprinkle over ice.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the rhubarb syrup, and top up glass with soda water, adjust sweetness to taste by adding more syrup.
Slice strawberry in half and tuck down in the glass just below surface of the liquid. Sprinkle a few more pieces of mint, or a few whole leaves. Enjoy!


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