Archive for June, 2010

Week 3 June 24

Praise the pig for they will make your produce look like it’s from the Jurassic period”  – Josh

This week…

Romaine Head lettuce 2-3 heads (depending on size)

about 1/2 lb. Garlic scapes

3 lbs Broccoli

2 large bunches Spinach

1-2 heads Cauliflower

Radishes or Strawberries

So the only bad news is that all of you didn’t get the Strawberries. At our previous farm we were always in a ‘rental’ frame of mind and never had the opportunity to plant Strawberries, so we finally did here and we tried a couple different varieties. One variety ‘winona’ was a complete bust. They could pan out a little later. But that was a little over half the planting. (roughly 1900 ft. row feet) So we sent out berries to the first half of you and will do the second half next week.  And! we are planting another big round of berries for NEXT year so we don’t have this problem again. We know you all LOVE these little fruits, and we do to! We know what variety works well on our farm and now it’s just a matter of fine tuning our planting to keep you all in Strawberries when they are around for the short time in WI. 

  So this Romaine head lettuce, whoa. Some of you may have nearly a 3 lb head of lettuce, and two of them. we weighed many of them and average size was two lbs. It tastes great too. We attribute this greatness to the pigs who lived on this ground last summer and consumed nearly 8 tons of feed. If you didn’t believe that having animals on a farm was ‘worth it’ before, this should change your mind. We can see a very distinct line in the field where the pigs spent more time (more manure) and where they didn’t. We call this pigville and outside pigville. 

This brings up a good point I’d like to make about Organic food and local food and knowing your farm and farmers. It’s not about what people AREN’T using. We frequently get the question ‘do you use chemicals?’  The answer is NO! but more importantly what we DO, DO is integrate livestock into our farm so we can minimize off farm inputs. making us more ‘sustainable’. Not relying on confinement animal manures (often full of antibiotics which are now showing up in the plants grown on that field where the manure is spread). Not to mention reducing the trucking and carbon emission and fossil fuel used in hauling said manure. It’s the oldest way to build up fertility in soils and more and more farms have had to move away from it because of large corporations deflating the price of meat with Confinement Feedlots. Putting the small diverse farmers out of business on the wholesale/commodities market.  We direct market to you all so we can have animals on the farm! So come on and buy some pork so we can raise some bigger vegetables and build our soil! 

Nick praising the pig for big lettuce


Rama loves berries!

Jenna,  a fellow farmer here, is also involved in some great work in helping communities in Africa!  I encourage everyone to make it out to this event if they can. We will be there and we hope to see you there! 

The Organic Health Response is a grass-roots community-based organization located on the island of Mfangano, Kenya in Lake Victoria.  It is the vision of two organic, subsistence farmers (uncle and nephew) who have brought together both local and international folk to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in a region where an estimated 30% are infected.

A second annual fundraiser will be held this Saturday, June 26, 2010, at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis and would love your support!  The event will be held from 7-11 p.m. and be filled withmusic (acoustical sets by local artists) and drinks (beer and wine).  There will also be a promise auction, seedling exchange, and raffle prizes!

One-hundred percent of the donations will be given to our efforts of Organic Health Response. OHR seeks to activate information technology, social solidarity and ecological sustainability to turn the tide against HIV/AIDS in the Suba district of Kenya by collaborating with Kenyan organic farmers, health workers, and teachers.  To learn more about us, go to:
Ceasar Salad 


  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups garlic croutons
  • 1 (2 ounce) can anchovy filets


  1. Clean lettuce thoroughly and wrap in paper towels to absorb moisture. Refrigerate until crisp, at least 1 hour or more.
  2. In a bowl or jar combine oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, garlic and lemon juice. Whisk until well blended.
  3. Coddle egg by heating 3 cups of water to boiling. Drop in egg (still in shell) and let stand for 1 minute. Remove egg from water and let cool. Once cooled crack open and whisk egg into dressing. Whisk until thoroughly blended.
  4. Mash desired amount of anchovies and whisk them into the dressing. If desired set aside a few for garnish.
  5. To assemble, place torn lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss lightly. Add the grated cheese, garlic croutons and freshly ground pepper, toss. Serve immediately!

Spinach Pesto ( you can use your garlic scapes in this one )

Spinach pesto sauce is made with fresh spinach, garlic, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.

  • 4 cups washed, torn spinach leaves, stems removed, well packed, 16 to 24 ounces
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved (Garlic Scapes to taste) 
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Place a few spinach leaves, garlic, pine nuts, basil and a little oil in blender or food processor container. Cover and puree until leaves begin to look crushed. Continue adding spinach leaves a few at a time with small amounts of oil to blender, using a rubber spatula to help to combine pureed mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and 1/8 tsp. salt. Cover and process until spinach pesto mixture is smooth.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower


  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic or scapes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.
  2. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Grilled Chicken Ceasar Salad

***Chicken marinade:***
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (available at health-food stores; can buy roasted seeds)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup cilantro (packed)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon white pepper
8 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
2 heads Romaine lettuce, for salad
Croutons, for salad
1/4 ounce fresh basil
1 cup Italian blend Parmesan cheese, divided
1/8 cup canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, or less, to taste
3 1/2 pasteurized eggs
1/2 ounce anchovy fillets
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 3/4 cup vegetable oil or slightly more, if dressing is too thick

Roast pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in a 300-degree oven until slightly brown. (If you buy roasted pumpkin seeds, roast sesame seeds only.) 

Puree all ingredients in blender. Put chicken in baking dish and pour marinade over. Cover and marinate at least one hour and up to six hours in the refrigerator. When you take the chicken out of the marinade for baking or grilling, the pieces will be thickly coated. Spoon off the excess marinade so that chicken is only lightly coated. Grill chicken until done, about 6 minutes on each side, or bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until done. Cut into 1/2-inch-long strips. 


Place all ingredients, except oil and 1/4 cup parmesan, in blender. Blend, slowly drizzling oil into mixture until it thickens. 

Generously toss dressing with romaine lettuce and chicken. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and croutons.

Next week…


Romaine Lettuce


PEAS!  The peas were this close to being ready this week.. I don’t know what the hold up is. but we have a good two to three weeks of them in the field

Green Onions


Summer Squash

Comments (4)

Week 2 June 17, 2010

What’s in the box?

Abbie and Josh harvesting spinach (not weeds!)


3 heads of lettuce 


green garlic 

garlic scapes, (curly thin,  like a green onion)

1 lb broccoli

1 bunch lacinato kale  (aka dinosaur kale, black kale, or Tuscan kale)

another herb pot

A few notes on the veggies….  Don’t be afraid to include the stems of the broccoli in your cooking!  They are nice and tender and full of flavor.  This is the “side shoots” of the broccoli.  After the main head is cut off, the plant sends out side shoots. More main heads are to come in the next few weeks.  The greens have been loving this cool, wet weather!  This is a great time to enjoy lettuce which turns bitter in the heat.   If you don’t get your lettuce into the fridge soon enough and it wilts, try filling your sink with cold water then letting it soak for several minutes.  Most lettuce and other greens can be revived quite nicely with this trick.  Store lettuce and other greens in an open plastic bag to help them retain their moisture in the fridge.  Also it is important that any loose leaf lettuce be able to drain or be dry when in a closed plastic bag.  Otherwise it will turn into a slimy mess is Be sure to wash your lettuce and spinach before you cook it!  We dunk everything in water before we send it to you, but they still need a thorough washing to be sure to get any grit off.  Nothing ruins a wonderful dish like crunching on dirt!  Lastly, what are those curled up green things in the box?  They are garlic scapes.  They can be used like green onion, but they will give a garlic flavor instead of an onion flavor.  Here’s a nice write up about them (it also includes a recipe for garlic scape pesto).

a young herb pot


we’ve had a few questions about the herb pot. the herbs in the pot are corresponding to picture above. Rosemary (far left) Oregano or marjoram (very similar in foreground). Thyme on far right and Sage barely visible in the back ground. I planned on taking a better picture for this, but digital cameras don’t like me. 

Farm report

We are saturated. the farm is basically a big mud pit. Everything with wheels is getting stuck, walking in the field feels like walking in a bowl of firm pudding. But Sunny weather is on its way. This poses difficulty in controlling weeds. we use a tractor to cultivate most things, but its hard to even hoe when its this wet. Hoes don’t work in the mud and weeds don’t die when they get rained back into the ground. But hey I’m not complaining, this weather has been great for the spring crops, now, lets see some sun. We have strawberries and little summer squash just sitting on the plants waiting to be ripened by the sun. 


Broccoli Honey Thyme (adapted from the MACSAC cookbook)

This is especially good if you are trying to convince picky eaters that veggies are good.  It’s got a sweetness to it that kids like.

Wash and cut up broccoli.  Saute in 2 Tbs. butter until crisp-tender.  Drizzle with about 1-2 Tbs of honey.  Add 1-2 Tbs minced fresh Thyme (from your herb pot!) and salt and pepper to taste.

White bean and Garlic Scape Dip  This one is on the NY Times website.  Quick and easy and fancy!

Spinach and Scape Frittata

3 Tbsp. olive oil
10 eggs
1 cup (1/2 lb.) chopped raw spinach
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley or basil or marjoram or sage
1/2 c. finely chopped garlic scapes and/or green garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except oil and scapes. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove. Add the scapes and saute until tender on medium heat for about five minutes. Pour egg mixture in skillet with garlic and cook over low for three minutes. Place in oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until top is set. Cut into wedges and serve.

for next week...


KALE Nachos or kale Crisps

Coarsely chop Kale and place on a baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil little balsamic vinegar. Add some salt  Bake at 350 until brown, leave in longer if you want crispier. in the last few minutes of baking sprinkle some cheese of choice on top.  Someone might actually like Kale after they try this. 

What’s growing on?

in the box next week….

Romaine Lettuce

Peas (finally!)

collard greens or curly kale

more garlic scapes


salad mix

maybe….. strawberries!  (They are just starting to blush.  We need some sunshine and warm weather!)

And finally, some lovely photos by Kate…


The New Man



Droplet on a tomato leaf in the green house


Inch Worm

Comments (3)

Week One June 10th 2010

Hey everyone! 

We hope everyone has gotten thier box and it’s contents

Red Oak Leaf Head Lettuce 2

one bu green garlic

1 bu radishes

1 bu swiss Chard

1/2 lb salad mix

.75 lbs Broccoli

and a lovely Herb Pot, with assorted herbs, most likely Sage, Rosemary, Tyme, Oregano, these in an ideal world should be transplanted out into a bigger pot to get the most herbage. If you find yourself not able to keep plants alive, We hope you give it a shot, or give it to a gardener near by. 

Josh, Swiss Chard, and rain.


Yeah, we got the rain. A whopping 1.5 inches on top of an inch that we got a few days earlier.  We are saturated, but it’s been great for the early greens and Broccoli

Your box was brought to you with the hard work of these lovely people. 



Jenna and Nick




and of course Rama


We’ve been planning and working hard since late Feburary when we were in the greenhouse for this very moment today when you all would get your first boxes. We hope you enjoy them and we welcome any feedback you have for us. Most everything is going well so far. No complaints, no excuses (which we aren’t keen on anyhow) just good food. We’d love to hear from you.  We are trying to cooridinate a series of meet your farmer potluck/BBQs this summer at each drop site. Robbinsdale will be June 26th from 4:30 pm- 6 at the park down the road from the Dropsite. 

Northeast will be July 31st , time yet to be determined,

loading the mulch


A Warm Broccoli Side Dish Recipe. from

This is a very simple and quick broccoli side dish. This is one that I adapted long ago and doesn’t require a lot of time to prepare. It serves only two to three people, but you can easily increase the quantities to serve a larger group.   

4 cups fresh broccoli, cut up
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated Swiss Cheese

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Steam broccoli for 5-10 minutes, until firm but tender. Place in bake dish.

In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and orange juice. Spread the mixture over broccoli, then top with cheeses.

Bake for 12 minutes, brown under the broiler for a couple of minutes, then serve.

Spinach and Green Garlic Soup, from  

The green garlic shoots I’ve been using are fairly small and slim, like scallions, and they’ve been wonderfully mild and sweet. If yours are larger, they might be a bit more pungent, but their flavor should mellow nicely with cooking. And if you can’t find green garlic, I’ll bet you could get a similar flavor with some regular garlic – much less, though – and some chopped leek.

Also, if you’re looking for a decent store-bought vegetable stock, you might try this one. I make my own stock when I can, but sometimes, you know,eh. So this is a handy thing to have in the pantry. Its ingredients are all natural and non-weird, and unlike a lot of other store-bought vegetable stocks, it doesn’t contain tomato, which can taste too strong for preparations like this.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ to ¾ lb. green garlic, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 qt. vegetable or mild chicken broth
8 to 10 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. crème fraîche

Warm the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the green garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is soft and translucent. Also, as the garlic cooks, you should notice that its scent changes from raw and sharp to sweeter and more mellow; that’s what you’re after. When the garlic is ready, add the stock, raise the heat a bit, and bring it to a boil. Then adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, and immediately turn off the stove. Let it sit for 5 minutes – not too long, or the spinach will lose its color – and then, working in batches, purée the mixture in a blender. (Remember never to fill the blender more than a quarter or a third full, because the hot liquid will expand when you turn on the motor.) The soup should be a rich shade of green and very smooth.

Return the soup to the pot, and place it over low heat to rewarm gently. Add 1 Tbsp. crème fraîche and another pinch or two of salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serve warm or hot, with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like.

Here is a recipe that I know we don’t have all the ingredients for in the box this early, but I hope it will inspire you. The dressing sounds great and sometimes if you aren’t in the mood for a bunch of heavy pasta or bread, this is the ticket. 
The Big Salad with Roast Chicken and a Homemade Dressing from



1 Head of Romaine Lettuce
2 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 Large Ripe Tomato
1 Can of Artichoke Hearts
1/2 Cup Sweet Chopped Onions
1 Avocado
1/2 Cup Chopped Carrots
1/4 Cup Pickled Jalapenos
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
1/4 Cup Fried Prosciutto
1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Cucumber


2 Split Chicken Breasts (that still have the bone and skin)
Salt and Pepper
Herbs De Provence
Greek Cavanders
Crushed Red Pepper


1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch Dried Oregano
Pinch Salt and Pepper
3 Leaves Fresh Basil
Pinch Old Bay
Small Cube of Brie Cheese
1 tsp mayo
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp minced Fresh Garlic

Forrest our sign painter a family man, and the van


Look for our van driving around your area!  say hello. 

Next week



Green Garlic

Turnip Greens

Head Lettuce


Herb Pot again


Comments (7)

the 2010 season BEGINS!


Hello folks!  We are anticipating the first delivery of the 2010 growing season!  It will be on JUNE 10 for our members signed up for Summer or Full shares.  Half share members picking up at B Natural, RiverMarket, Roseville, Graco, NorthEast, Robbinsdale, Ecopolitan, and MCAD will pick up their first box on JUNE 10.  Half Share members picking up at Cake Eater, Hiawatha, Butter Bakery, SunnySide Gardens, or Eden Prairie will pick up their first box on JUNE 17.  HALF SHARE MEMBERS… Please check your email for the delivery dates for this season!!  

Pick-up will go something like this….. You will receive an email letting you know that your box has arrived at the dropsite you signed up for.  The email will also have  a link to the farmblog which will have such pertinent information as what is in the box and what will be in the next weeks  box.  It will also include recipes, pictures, stories, and other farmy things. Newsletter will be all online.  Yay for less paper!

You will go to the dropsite and find the box with Turnip Rock Farm sticker on it. Your box will be labeled with your name (or if you are splitting a box, it might have your share partners name).


CSA box with Turnip Rock sticker and label with YOUR NAME



  All the boxes are packed with the same quantities of the same veggies, but we label them so that if someone hasn’t picked up their box, the host can easily see who it is and can contact that person.   After you find the box with your name on it, please unload the veggies into your own bags.  We re-use the boxes.  Here is how to open the box without ripping it:

step 1


it's open!


After you have unpacked your veggies, please unfold your box like so:




 flip it upside down   

Stack your boxes neatly as a favor to your host!  

Take your veggies home and store them properly.  Enjoy! If you are splitting a share with someone it is up to you to decide how you would like to do it.  Some people alternate weeks for picking up the box.  Some people get together and half things up.  Some people cook dinners for each other…  It’s your choice!  Please be in contact with your share partner and have fun with it! We are really excited about this season and look forward many happy harvests!

If you have any questions, please contact us. Also look out for any emails you might get from your dropsite host. Thanks!

Oh yeah….   What’s gonna be in that first box?!


green garlic

head lettuce

salad mix

swiss chard or kale

an herb pot for your window (another one the following week)

maybe spinach


Comments (1)