Archive for October, 2013


IMG_1645A frosty morning greeted us on this final Summer food box day.  Seems appropriate on our last day…..as the frost marks the true transitional growing season end in the garden.  Several cold hardy crops remain out in the garden and will thrive in these early Autumn days and the new hoop house is packed with growing treats for the Winter Storage Boxes but the bulk of our crops are out of the ground or done with this cold and diminished day length.  It is a bittersweet feeling to know it is the end of summer and surprises us.  This has been a nine month whirlwind since the first seeds have been planted.

It has been a wonderful season and again we want to thank you for sharing the garden. I was chatting with a good friend that grows flowers in Portage last week and we were discussing the season.  He said it has been an easy year for growing and I had to agree, however I do believe anything would be easier than last year’s extreme heat and drought.  We have had some of our “best ever” this year-a bumper pea harvest, too many cucumbers, tons of  colorful peppers and an abundance of carrots, the never ending zucchini, and weeks of watermelon.  A few crops  have finally matured and we are able to offer them in the boxes.  The blueberry bushes were finally big enough to produce a supply for the  food shares after 7 years of growth, rhubarb plants are finally large enough after several years to put out over 100 pounds, the pear trees hung heavy with fruit and the HONEY!  a favorite treat that we were proud to offer.  A strong season for us and we are already looking forward and planning next summer.  BIG plans and lots of fun additions.

I always chuckle at this time of year as I have this huge sense of relief and am settling into a slower way of life around our house and pondering holiday crafts and cookies.  My big work is done but the opposite is true for Scott…..it is crunch time for him to get the garden all cleaned up, lots of choirs to tend to before it gets too cold,  lots of outside duties and “dirt” work.  Today the city of West Baraboo started hauling in leaves for us to compost for the garden.  We will stir these up in a compost pile for 2 years and then add to our gardens.  8-11 loads will be delivered.  Lots of hauling for Scott.  Hopefully he finishes before the snow flies.


A few fun facts about this season.  We keep track of all that we pack in the boxes.  This season there were 68 different items.  This total just reflects the actual item and not different varieties of each.  For example, cucumbers are counted as 1 even though we grow 8 different varieties of cucumbers.  If we included all the different varieties the number is over 220 different “items” were in your box.  Total box weight for the season was 236.78 pounds of food and this number does not include the weight of the watermelons, tomatoes, or any “extras”.  $24.75 a week for all that goodness.



All shares are packed in Kraft Grocery Bags today so there is no box to return.


It’s a jumbo one to finish the season!

Sweet Potatoes-Finally here after a late planting in cool Spring. Store on the counter not in the refrigerator.

Potatoes-Adorandack Reds.

Garlic-A bulb of the variety called Music or German Red.

Pie Pumpkin-A little cutie to decorate or roast to eat.  The perfect size for a pie or use the puree in soups, biscuits, or muffins.

Acorn Squash-A rich nutty variety.

Storage Onions-These are a bit strong then the sweet summer onions.

Brussels Sprouts-My favorite!  A combination bag of 3 different varieties.

Honey-We are so pleased that we were able to get a second harvest off the hives.  Delicious!  We were excited to note all the differences between the Spring and Fall harvest.  This harvest is much deeper in color and has a more robust flavor.

Asian Greens-A variety called Yukina Savoy. Delicious steamed or stir fried.  I love it raw.

Hot Pepper Mix-In a paper bag.  A combo of jalapeño, ancho, chili, and hungarian hot wax

Sweet Peppers- Another combination of bull horn or bells from the final harvest.

Leaf Lettuce-Harvested from the hoop house. A big bag for everyone and a fun mix.  We triple rinse the leaves after harvest and then Scott has a fancy way he “swing dries” the water off and then we spin it all in those lame little home kitchen salad spinners….it takes forever.



Celeriac Root-A variety called Brilliant. Will store up to 6 months in the refrigerator.  Wonderful celery flavor.

Jerusalem Artichoke/Sunchokes-Potato like tubers.  A unique sunflower nutty flavor.  Best oven roasted with root vegetables.  Long storage life in refrigerator.

The tall flowers in the background are the jerusalem artichokes before harvest.

The tall flowers in the background are the jerusalem artichokes before harvest.

Chinese Lanterns-For Autumn Decor in you home.  A little beauty to feed the soul.

Winter Storage Box Pick up-Monday November 18th and Monday December 9th.  An e-mail reminder will be sent out to all who signed up for a winter box.

We thank you for a GREAT season……

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It is hard for us to believe that we are near the end of this wonderful Summer CSA run.  The days zip by so quickly and then the weeks roll all together and it seems as if it was just yesterday when we turned the heat on in the greenhouse on a snowy February day to start the seeds.  A whirlwind of daily MUST DO lists and details to tend to before dark and somehow it all abruptly ends.  A big deep breath and WOW!-We made it….a good and happy calm.

Scott harvested all the sweet potatoes and they are curing in the greenhouse.  The slips went in a month later this year due to the cold cold Spring so these will appear in your last box of the season.

Sweet potatoes curing in the greenhouse.

Sweet potatoes curing in the greenhouse.

The new hoop house is all buttoned up to retain heat on cool evenings and we have planted a few last crops for the Winter Storage Box.


cool loving lettuces, Spinach and pac choi for the Winter Storage Boxes.

Cool loving lettuces, Spinach and Pac Choi for the Winter Storage Boxes.

We are busy with end of season harvest, tending the last of the crops for the Winter Box and garden clean up.

A cold hardy Broccoli called Arcadia that we hope will be in the Thanksgiving Box.

A cold hardy Broccoli called Arcadia that we hope will be in the Thanksgiving Box.

The growing compost pile.

The growing compost pile which will return to the garden in 2 years…..

A friend mentioned to me the other day that these last food boxes must be getting a little light this time of year because what is really “left in the garden”.  It was fun to tell of all the bounty to harvest and that this truly is my favorite time of year.  The boxes are FULL of amazing produce that we have waited all summer for as well as delicious quick cool season leafy greens and root crops.  One of our big goals was to “finish strong” this season and we are proud to say that we can check that of the list.

Next week is the last box of the Regular Summer CSA Season.  Please return ALL food boxes you have at home to your pick up site.

This weeks food box with our own Vanna White.

This weeks food box with our own Vanna White.


Average box weight is 12.50 pounds.  500 pounds of produce was carried out the door today.

WOW!  An amazing box this week and oh so pretty!  Enjoy.

Cherry Tomatoes-An heirloom mix.  The last cherries of the season.

Potatoes- 2 pounds of a variety called Superior.  A delicious versatile potato that is wonderful  baked, mashed, steamed or fried.

Leeks-Tasty thick stalks.  Potato leek soup is a favorite in our house.

Garlic-German Red or Music.

Purple Pac Choi-Beautiful rich purple leaves.  Wonderful in a stir fry.

Arugula-A big bag of this delicious spicy green.  Great on pizza, quickly  sautéed, or in a salad.

Pears-A few more we had to share.  What a crop this year after not having a single 1 last year.   I wanted to add these as there is nothing better than a pear, arugula blue cheese salad.

Carrots-Just dug beauties….another goal of ours this season was to have tons of wonderful carrots as last year’s harvest was low.  This is the 6th box this season of carrots.  Enjoy!

Squash-Another Butternut and a flavorful Carnival.

Spinach-2 varieties in the bag-Big, thick and juicy donkey ears and some baby “Space”.

Peppers-We picked the last of the peppers last night and everyone has an assortment of Sweets.

Zucchini-A few of the plants are still producing.

Rosemary-The perfect Autumn Flavor to add to Squash or Potatoes.

BEST GUESS FOR NEXT WEEK-Sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, garlic, squash, celeriac, sun chokes, chinese cabbage, + more!

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