Archive for September, 2010

Week 17, September 30, 2010

Only 2 weeks left!  Please fill out the survey to let us know what you think!  Also there are directions to the farm for the harvest party at the end of this week’s blog entry.

What’s in the box?

Delicata Winter Squash (yellow with green stripes)

Acorn Squash (dark green and acorn shaped)


bell peppers

sweet red peppers

red onions

China Rose Radishes


collards (flat, round leaves) OR Lacinato kale (dark green textured leaves)

Liberty Apples from White Pine Orchard

Some notes on the box….

We really would like to be putting a lot more Winter Squash in the boxes, but our crop was very poor this season as explained in past blog entries.  We tried to make up for it by putting in some Apples. White Pine Orchard in River Falls is a very beautiful place.  Please check it out if you are in the area.  If you can’t make it to the harvest party this weekend, this is a great day trip that’s a little closer to the twin cities.  There’s no corn maze or pumpkin patch, but there’s also no chemicals.  And there are lots of beautiful apples!  Keith, the owner, has been growing apples with organic practices for over 40 years.  This variety is much more tart than those honey crisp that everyone is so crazy about, but we really love it.  It’s got an amazing crunch and nice appley flavor.  We hope you love it, too! Winter squash should be kept out of the fridge.  On the counter is fine.  To cook it we cut it in half, take out the seeds, place cut side down in a lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 350 till a fork pokes easily into the squash.  Serve with butter!  The radishes are a new variety for us.  They look kinda funny, but are quite tasty.   We were thinking that a salad with diced radishes, apples, and carrots would be very yummy.  Another reminder, to make radishes and carrots last longer, take the tops off.  We’ve heard that radish tops are excellent in scrambled eggs.  Give it a shot!  The broccoli for many of you will be the smaller side shoots.  These grow from the plant after the main head has been removed.  Store it in a plastic bag in the fridge and use it as you would regular broccoli.   The collards and kale are super tasty because of the cooler weather.  Chop them up and sautee them with a lot of garlic in oil or butter.  Yum yum yum!


Sorry about just putting links to recipes this week…..

Spicy Carrot Lentil Soup

Radish Apple Onion Salad w. Dill Dressing

Still have those turnips?  Now you have apples, too.  You should really try this.  You could use your collards or kale for additional braising greens.

Here is a link to cookthink where you can type in any ingredient and get a nice handful of good recipes.  It’s pretty handy if you are at a less than inspired to get into the kitchen.

Our trip to White Pine Orchard….

Keith Kozub of White Pine Orchard, River Falls, WI

Abbie checking out the Liberty Trees.

Back at the farm…..And then Wednesday two of the sows had piglets!  Betty had 7 and Lilac had 15!  Come see them at the….

Harvest Party this Saturday October 2.  We will have a potluck dinner, pumpkin hunting, hay ride/ farm tour, and a bonfire at night.  Camping is welcome (though it will be chilly).

Directions to the farm….

The favorite and most beautiful drive option:  Take Hwy 36 East out of the Twin Cities through Stillwater.  Take the lift bridge across the St. Croix and follow Hwy 64 East for close to 70 miles.  At County Hwy SS, turn Left (north).  Stay on SS for 2 miles.  Turn Right on 83rd Street and follow for about 2 more miles.  At County Highway AA, turn Right.  Turnip Rock Farm will be about a half mile down the road on your left.  8628 County Highway AA, New Auburn, WI.

If you want to avoid Stillwater traffic, you can take I-94 East to Highway 25 North (Menomonie, WI exit) to 64 East and follow the rest of the directions above.  Either way the trip takes around 2 hours (more if traffic is backed up in Stillwater).  The colors are changing and both Hwy 64 and I-94 are beautiful drives right now.  We hope to see you at the farm!  Please call or email if you have any questions.

Don’t forget to fill out the survey, please!

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Week 16, September 23, 2010

Harvest Party Oct 2nd! at Turnip Rock Farm,  8628 County Hwy AA New Auburn WI 54757

Pot Luck style we will have meat (lamb and pork) from our farm.

Please RSVP by next Thursday please. email works best

Camping is welcome, we will have a farm tour, and bonfire.  BYOB

What’s in the box?green top beets

green top turnips, probably the last time we’ll see these this year, mashed or sautéed in butter. they are a delight to some, and unfamiliar to most.

celery, last of it. we have found that this celery takes peanut butter and celery snacks to a whole, ‘notha level!

broccoli, more to come but smaller side shoots

red sweet peppers, every day past Sept 15 without frost is a gift. the pepper’s days are numbered and they aren’t growing much, what is on the plant is what we’ve got.

green bell peppers

hungarian hot wax peppers. this is it for hot peppers, we have more, so if you want some let us know we’ll work something out. who knows perhaps you’re like us and chow on pepper jelly

jalapeno peppers

purple onions, these little guys would be great whole or halved and roast with some roots. and some cloves of garlic. or in a stew

pie pumpkin!

What’s HOT and what’s NOT in the box…

HOT! (hungarian hot wax and jalapeno peppers.

NOT hot (Jimmy nardello sweet peppers)

A few notes about the box….

If you have too many bell peppers and you have a surplus, dice them, put them in a freezer bag and freeze them for later in the year when local peppers are a distant memory.  Add them to chili or curry when you need to warm up.  Store celery in a plastic bag in the crisper in the fridge.  Pie Pumpkins are quite a nice squash.  Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds (you can clean them off and toast them in the oven for a high protein snack) lightly oil a baking dish and place your pumpkin cut sides down.  Bake at 400 for about a half hour or until a fork easily sticks into the squash.  Turnips can be enjoyed mashed with butter (and potatoes if you want to cut the flavor a bit) or fry them in butter.  Turnip Greens can be added to scrambled eggs or sautéed on their own.  Don’t forget that you can eat the Beet Tops! Greens are so good for you…Eat them!


Baked Beet and Carrot Burgers… from Farmer John’s cookbook.  Abbie makes these and we all LOVE them.

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with butter.  Place a heavy skillet over medium heat and toast 1/2 cup sesame seeds til lightly browned and fragrant.  Remove from heat and transfer to a dish to cool.  Next toast 1 cup of sunflower seeds in the skillet til lightly browned and fragrant.  Put them in the dish with the sesame seeds.  In a large bowl, combine 1 or 2 medium beets, grated with about 4 grated carrots and about 1/2 cup minced onion.  Stir in the toasted sunflower and sesame seeds, 2 lightly beaten eggs, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup vegetable oil. 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (optional), 3 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 clove minced garlic, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.  Mix it all up until thoroughly combined.  Shape the mixture into 12 patties and arrange them in rows on the baking sheet.  Bake the patties until brown around the edges (about 20 minutes).  Unless they are large and thick, you shouldn’t have to turn  them.  They are great on their own (served with greens!) or on a whole wheat bun with mayo.

Braised Turnip Greens With Turnips and Apples from Epicurious.  If you have any kale, add that to the turnip greens and you can add the beet greens also.

On the farm….

Nick, Kate, and Abbie washin the beets

Kate and Jenna and Broccoli and a beautiful morning

Jenna and Broccoli

cranes and leaves turning

Sand Hill Cranes

It’s CSA boxes like this that separate the beginner CSA members from the veterans. It really wasn’t our intention, but just how the weather has molded the boxes. Honestly I think the box looks and sounds more like an Iron Chef challenge than a cohesive menu. We would love to hear what some of you come up with, what your favorite recipes are for the more unfamiliar items.

We watch anxiously as our salad mix that we planted soon after the hard rains washed out our first planting just crawls along ever so slowly in the shorter days. Maybe next week we will have some salad, soon after that we could have Spinach.  But it’s a race to the finish line as we only have three weeks left in the summer season.

What’s to come






Celeriac (celery root)

Greens (colllards, Chard Kale)


Salad mix


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Week 15

Another rainy Wednesday.

Late night packing, we are tired but satisfied.

Whats in the box?



Curly Kale

Green and Red Peppers

Green top carrots



Some of you got Eggplant. We tried to give it to those who didn’t get it last time.

A few notes about the box….

Celery! It’s our first time growing celery and we like it!  Though the stalks are smaller, the flavor is SO MUCH better than the stuff in the store.  We have enjoyed eating it fresh, but cut up and added to salads.  It is also excellent for cooking and it adds a lot of flavor to soups and stews.  With all these carrot tops, celery leaves, kale stems, and leek tops it’s really time to consider making vegetable broth. Just save all the scraps from cooking with these beauties and then simmer them together in some water until your kitchen smells amazing.  Strain everything through a fine strainer.  You can add salt now or later.  From this point you can use the stock right away, put it in the fridge for a week, or reduce it and freeze it in ice cube trays.  It’s not that much work and you will have the best tasting base for your soups and stews made by you and getting all the flavor and nutrition out of your veggies.  A reminder, to make these carrots store longer, remove the tops.


Since we have most of what is known in creole cooking as THE OTHER holy trinity (celery, onions, and green peppers), we thought we’d share some recipes for Louisiana comfort food.

Sausage and Eggplant Jambalaya

adapted from La Bouche Creole by Leon Soniat

In a heavy pot, fry 1 lb. good sausage that has been sliced into 1/4″ thick rounds.  Stir frequently, and when lightly browned remove the sausage and set aside.  Pour off all but 1/4 cup fat and add 1 large onion, finely chopped, 1 bell pepper, finely chopped, and 3/4 cup celery finely chopped. Cook until veggies are soft.  Add 1 1/2 cup uncooked rice and mix well.  Add 3 cups stock or water, 4 minced cloves of garlic, some hot sauce, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp chili powder, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.  Add the sausage back in and cubed eggplant and lower the heat.  Cover and cook on low for 45 min.  Add more liquid if it gets too dry.  When almost cooked, stir in 6 green onions chopped and mix well.  Serve hot.

Vegetarian Jambalaya

Melt 1/2 stick butter or some olive oil in a pan.  Add 1 chopped green pepper, 1 chopped onion, and 3/4 cup chopped celery. Cook till veggies are tender.  Add 2 cups diced tempeh or tofu (optional), 1 cup of your favorite vegetable (broccoli, kale, mushrooms, etc) and 1/2 cup shredded carrot and cook a few more minutes.  Stir in 3 cups cooked rice, 1/2 cup tomato paste, and 1 cup veggie stock. Mix it all up and season it with hot sauce, salt and pepper.

Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes from 101 cookbooks

Please post your favorite Broccoli, Kale, or other recipe in the comments!

On the farm……

What is left of the summer crops could very well be coming to a serious end. With predicted highs only in the low 60’s there isn’t much going to to be growing.  If we skirt another week without a frost we will have Peppers again. And we will start dipping into our modest crop of Winter Squash. Starting with pie pumpkins. Salad mix and Spinach are slowly coming in, and should show up in the last few boxes if not next week. Turnips, Radishes, more Celery and Beets, are also waiting in the wings, along side Collard Greens, and Lacinato Kale. Carrots will be around some more as well.

So this marks just one more month of deliveries left. Our final delivery date will be Oct 14th. for the summer share.

As the fall starts to really kick into gear, we start looking ahead already to 2011 growing season. We got a really great deal on a couple of greenhouses which we will be in the process of taking down and then putting back up in the next month.  We hope this will allow us a couple of things. Earlier and later summer crops and earlier and later Cool season crops. We are really seeing a good response to the winter shares, and hope to keep offering more next year, between growing more crops for storage, like potatoes, onions, garlic, beets, Leeks, that we will pack out through the winter, and more Greens such as Spinach that we could harvest through winter (as spinach tolerates freezing and thawing very well) to round out those boxes.  SO, look for that next season.

And we are kicking around offering a Pork Sampler package that would include all the cuts, including bacon, chops, roasts but in a size that is manageable for a small freezer. We have had so much good feed back on the quality of the pork, we can’t help but think that if you eat pork you should eat our pork!  We are also gearing up to offer an egg share next season as well, because as you all know pasture raised eggs are far superior than any cage free egg you get in the store. We will call these two endeavors Turnip Rock; Green Eggs and Ham division. Corporate headquarters will be in New Auburn.

We will also be putting out a survey here in the next week or so. It will be through email. So, please take the time to fill it out. We DO read every last one of them and take everything into consideration.  We want your input to shape the boxes and we want to know if you feel like you’re getting what you expected and how we can get better at it. We hope all of you keep supporting our farm, but we also know it doesn’t fit into everyone’s lifestyle. We just want to get sense of what you all like about it, and do more of that, and what you don’t and do less of that.

Abbie Folds boxes

Josh is tired of the rain, but shouldn't poke his eye out over it.

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Week 14… Sept 9, 2010

What’s in the box?

tender sweet cabbage





green top beets

bell peppers

sweet red peppers (Italia and Jimmy Nardello – these are NOT hot)

swiss chard (the bunched greens)


a few notes on the box….

We are pleased to welcome broccoli back onto the scene.  It should be around for several weeks and it is quite tasty (and some of it is quite giant).  Don’t be afraid to chop the stem and eat that, too.  You can cook the tops of the beets and the chard together if you like.  They can be treated similar to spinach.  You can chop and eat the stalks of these, also.  Just start them cooking a few minutes before the leaves to insure that they get tender.  Store the beet greens and chard in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Onions, garlic, and basil should not be stored in the fridge, but everything else can.  Put basil in a glass of water like you would cut flowers and enjoy the smell in your kitchen before you eat it!


Chard Miso Peanut Soup – Rama’s Favorite Soup

As soon as the weather cools down this soup finds its way onto the table…

4 cups water or broth

1/4- 1/2 cup tamari or say sauce

2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

some rice noodles or soba noodles

1/4 – 1/2 pound fresh tofu or other protein (chicken?) (optional)

a bunch of chard, beet greens, turnip greens, or other greens or a mix.

2 Tbsp. miso (red or white)

Bring water, soy sauce, and peanut butter to a boil.  Make sure Peanut butter is dissolved and mixed in.  Put in the noodles and optional protein.  Cook for a few minutes then add the chopped chard, stems and all.  Remove the soup from heat.  Take out some of the broth and disolve the miso in it, then add it back into the pot and mix it all together.  That’s it.  Super quick and really nourishing and good.  You can play with this recipe a lot.  Sometimes we cook the noodles seperate or use rice.  Then we use less water to make a thicker sauce and add other veggies like chopped carrots and broccoli and serve it over the noodles….

Broccoli with Peppers and Cashews adapted from Heaven’s Banquet Cookbook

Heat 2 Tbsp. butter, ghee, or olive oil in a skillet.  Add 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried thyme.  Saute over low heat for 30 seconds.  Add some red sweet pepper cut into strips, chopped broccoli florets, and if you have parsley, add some chopped parsley.  Sprinkle with salt to taste and stir, cover, and saute, stirring occasionally until veggies are tender (but not mushy).  Stir in 1/4 cup toasted cashew pieces (or or other nuts or seeds) and 2 Tbsp. fresh minced basil.  Add 1 tsp lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

5 minute beets adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Grate beets (and some carrots if you like) to equal 1 lb.  of course shreds.  Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet.  add beets and toss them with salt and pepper to taste.  Add 1/4 cup water or broth then cover the pan and cook over medium heat until beets are tender.  Remove lid and raise heat to boil off any excess water.  Salt to taste and season with some lemon juice, balsamic, or red wine vinegar.  Toss with some chopped fresh herb of your choosing (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.) You can serve these with their greens chopped and sauted in butter or serve them with some crumbled goat cheese or yogurt or sour cream (if you don’t mind the pink color that everything will become).

Here’s a telling story… Yesterday we went to an auction to bid on a couple of greenhouses from a plant nursery that was closing down.  When we were paying for our “wins” at the end of the auction we told the lady helping us that our items were for farm use so we had tax ememption.  She looked at us with a very skeptical expression and asked “What kind of a FARM uses GREENHOUSES?!?”  We explained that at our farm we grow FOOD!  “OH! A food farm!  Okay…”  It’s quite amazing to me that it would be such a surprise that a farm would grow actual food that people can actually eat….

Things are winding down around here, pick and packing boxes consumes most of our weeks, other than that, it’s field clean up and planting cover crops between the really wet spells. We might actually be down to 50 hours per week now.

We have a resident flock of Sandhill Cranes that have found the mowed corn. We saw 4 in the flock on Monday and 7 on Tuesday then 9 on Wednesday. It feels good to see wildlife eating what we leave behind and knowing it is nutritious and not genetically modified, and chemical free. A rare treat these days for a migrant bird.

We have a lot of people asking about winter shares. We are full for the winter already. BUT if you would like to reserve a spot for 2011 at 2010 prices just send us an email and ask us for a 2011 form and send it in with a minimum deposit of  50$ (We are not certain we will need to raise prices yet. And if so, it won’t be much.)

Also, and this is the most important part, we are NOT expanding and plan on NOT advertising very much more. We are becoming, in a way, a closed shop. So we really hope that those of you that are happy with the quality and value you are getting from us here at Turnip Rock, 1.) stay with us and 2.) Tell your friends!  We need a steady core membership to keep this ship sailing (which I truly believe we have), and for now we are honored and thrilled to look back at our records and note that some of you have been with us ever since we were managing the May farm for MFA over 5 years ago. That kind of steady commitment has been what has made this little farm come alive out here. You all have contributed a huge breath of life into a small patch of land that was once a dead farm. I wish you all could see it, and I wish I could shake every last one of your hands and say how much it means to us. But as you all know it takes years and generations to build a farm, and it doesn’t start and end with the farmers. Not this time, not here. It takes a community to run a farm, and I hope you all stick with us and become a part of our community. !

The van loaded to the max and ready to roll.

Enjoy the goods!

Good morning beautiful farm!

Sunflowers and our cows in the morning.

giant sunflower

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Week 13

What’s in the box?

Turnip Greens


Roma and Heirloom Tomatoes

Red sweet Italia Peppers and/or green bell peppers







eggplant (or more peppers and tomaotes)
Amazing what a week of dry weather can accomplish. We got so much weeding and harvesting done and were able to scrape up another nice dose of tomatoes out there. That really is the last of them this time.  We are considering buying some from our good friends and farmers, the Keppers for next week if we need to round out the box.  The cukes for this week came from their farm.  Thanks Keppers!  They are quite tasty.

So, really this is what I would consider our ‘second string’ our ‘pinch hitters’ our ‘bench warmers’ Not things we would have put in the box if we would of had some of the other crops we had planned:  Spinach, Salad mix etc.

Storage Tips:

turnip greens and radish tops should be kept in an open plastic bag in the crisper.  Radishes hold for a REALLY long time if you take the tops off and put them in a plastic bag.  Who knows how old the ones in the bags at the grocery store are?   Leeks, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, peppers, should all be kept in the fridge.  Tomaotes should not go in the fridge unless you plan on cooking them or they are getting too soft or attracting fruit flies.  Remeber to eat the more ripe ones first and let the less ripe ones ripen on your counter.  Don’t put the basil in the fridge!  It turns brown.  Put it in a vase or jar of water and keep it on your counter.  It smells really nice.

What do you do with Turnip Greens?


Turnip Rock Turnip Greens

We discovered this yummy way to enjoy turnip greens when we were sampling them ourselves for dinner…

Wash and chop your bunch of turnip greens (you can eat the stems and you can add your radish tops as well).  Dice an onion and sautee in a little bit of olive oil until it’s just browned.  Add a diced tomaoto to the pan.  Throw in your turnip greens and sautee till wilted and stems are tender and tomato is warmed.  Salt to taste and add about a 1/2 tablespoon of mayonaise and a touch of deli style or spicy mustard.  Mix it all up and enjoy!

Radish or Turnip Greens with Miso Sauce

This is from the Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables

1 bunch radish or turnip greens (or both)

1 Tablespoon  miso paste

1 Tablespoon peanut oil


1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 cups hot cooked rice

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot.  Add the greens and boil for 1 minute.  Drain the greens in a colander and run cool water over them to stop the cooking.  Let drain again, then gently squeeze out any excess water with your hands.  Transfer the greens to a cutting board.  Chop finely and set aside.  Put the miso paste in a small bowl.  Stir in 2 Tablespoons water; then add a little more water so that the miso is thinned just enough to stir into the other ingredients.  Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped greens; cook, stirring, until they are heated through.  Add the thinned miso paste.  Add sugar to taste; stir the ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Remove from heat; stir in the toasted sesame oil.  Serve over rice.

Radishes sliced thin and enjoyed on some good bread with butter and salt.

Try it if you haven’t already.  It’s a wonderful snack.

Farmer Josh’s Potato Leek soup, serves 6

Dig out a Medium sized soup pot, Add these things to it.

bones from a roast, any meat will do

5 cups Chopped Potatoes

Boil for 40 min. in 1 quart of water or stock until potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile chop 3 Leek stalks , add a half  stick of butter to skillet, melt and saute the leeks until dark in color Medium Heat, in the last few minutes add a few cloves or garlic minced and some fresh Sage chopped, stir, turn off the heat.

Now, Mash dem taters. take out the bones first. I use a tater masher just right in the pot.

Then, Add your leek saute and milk for desired consistancy

Salt and pepper to taste, let simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors mingle. Add more milk if it’s too thick.

This will work with onions too instead of leeks.

Nick tells a tall tale while everyone else is harvesting peppers.    😉

Next week…





Broccoli !



some other surprises

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