Week #2 Tuesday, July 14 – Friday, July 17, 2020

In Your Bag
Fennel, Beets
Kohlrabi,
Fresh garlic, Spring Onions
Zucchini – green and/or yellow
Broccoli, Lettuce – green & red
Beet Greens OR Swiss Chard
Cilantro, Basil

Note:
Most produce has been rinsed at the farm, and you’ll want to wash it at home. 

Spring Hill Bags
It’s important to us that you wash your bag (using unscented soap please) and return it each week. There’s a box at each pick-up site for returned bags. Tyler will be picking them up each week and we’ll be counting on getting them back to pack next week’s bag. Thanks again to those who sewed a flap into each bag.  We think it’s working to keep the veggies fresh!

Farm News
We’re adjusting to the new rhythms and systems on the farm.  It’s required lots of planning and thinking about how to creatively get our work done while following protocols we’ve set forth to do what we can to protect our co-workers, Spring Hill members and ourselves.  There’s the delivery system which most of you can imagine looks entirely different.  Rather than a group gathered around a wash tub sharing stories while cleaning and bunching green onions, we have two tubs separated by a good ten feet, one person at each one cleaning, washing, bunching.  Rather than a line full of people of all ages, each one stationed at a tub of vegetables, three of us, socially distanced, walk the line of vegetables each filling the bag start to finish. We set it down for Tyler, who tucks the flap in and carefully and efficiently packs the van. We’re getting it figured out, but it sure is different! In the fields too, we’re adjusting so that we can tend to tasks while physically distancing ourselves from each other. We find we do more tasks individually. Sometimes we have to remind each other of the need to distance. Sometimes Mike and I find ourselves distancing from each other! I think it’s fair to say we’re all doing our best to work with it. We fully understand that we are quite fortunate to live and work where we do and to have your support as we muddle through.

We continue to see the impact of the 7” rain of a few weeks back. Over the first couple of days, we could see which gardens were hit especially hard. We figured we had lost a newly seeded carrot bed. A couple of more days out and we came to understand that a couple of newly transplanted crops had to go.  They essentially drowned in too much water. Now we’re noticing a lack of nutrition in some of the older crops. That much rain can drive nutrients deep into the soil making them unavailable to the growing plant. Further exacerbating this issue, plant roots sitting in water can die off, again weakening the plant as it’s unable to access the nutrition it needs. Finally we’re concerned about disease. That much moisture, followed by heat and humidity is a set-up for plant disease. We’re seeing a little in the broccoli but hoping that cooler weather and less humidity will settle things down.

On the bright side, we started the garlic harvest yesterday and hope to finish later this week. It looks to be a lovely crop and we are always extra thankful for a good garlic harvest!!

On the mysterious side, our cucumbers are not producing at the moment.  They are beautiful, healthy plants with no mature fruits. We have several theories and will keep you posted.

Some adjustments to make, some good stuff, some hard stuff, a mystery to solve. That about sums it up!

Hoping you’re well!  Stay in touch.

Week #1 Tuesday, July 7 – Friday, July 10, 2020

In Your Bag
Napa cabbage
Spring Turnips
Radishes
Garlic Scapes
Fresh garlic
Spring Onions
Zucchini – green and/or yellow
Broccoli
Lettuce
Red Russian kale
Cilantro, Basil
Note: Most produce has been rinsed at the farm, you’ll want to wash it at home. 

Welcome to Tyler, Anna and Welcome Back To Erin!
First, we offer a big, huge, honkin’ welcome back to Erin Link!  Erin is back for her fourth year at Spring Hill and we are so, so grateful to have her here.  

Things are going to be different at the farm this season. There’s plenty to be sad about in that regard. We can’t even begin to tell you how much we will miss the opportunity to work with you on the farm. BUT, we are excited to welcome two new people on board. Actually, they’re not new TO the farm at all, but new in their roles WITH the farm. Tyler Mahony will be Spring Hill’s delivery driver. Tyler (son of Wendy Fassett & Kevin Mahony) has grown up on Spring Hill vegetables and will now be driving a van full of them to Minneapolis and St. Paul each Tuesday and Friday. We’re looking forward to working with him! Anna Kleven (daughter of Kari & Tom Kleven) will be joining us for a full day of work on Monday and Tuesday morning in July and August to help with vegetable harvest and packing. Anna’s been coming to the farm with her family since she was young and we’re thrilled that she’ll be joining us in the fields this summer.   

Thank you!
Thank you to Spring Hill’s Core Group! We relied heavily on this group as we tried to imagine what this season might look like. It was extremely helpful to have this thoughtful group gather several times (virtually) to consider all kinds of options from every which angle. Wendy Fassett, Joe Knaeble and Marilyn Johnson really dug in with us on figuring out the details of vegetable packing and delivery. Thanks so much! Spring Hill’s pick-up site hosts all offered thoughts and suggestions and we’re grateful to each of them for continuing to share their space with the farm membership. Thank you also to all the women who sewed flaps into our Spring Hill bags. The flaps provide a new way of keeping the vegetables fresh as they travel. Well done all and thank you!! Special thanks to Joelle who served as the transport service. We’re grateful to those of you who contributed to Spring Hill’s delivery fund. There’s been extra expense involved with Covid-19 and your contributions help a lot. Finally, many of you have volunteered to do all kinds of things;  help on the farm if needed, be a back-up driver, deliver vegetables to those who may need home delivery, host a Spring Hill Pop-up Market and on and on. As we all find new and different ways to feel the strength of human connection, this generosity of spirit has been truly overwhelming. Thank you all. 

Farm News
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. I’ll give you the good news first just in case you’ve had enough of bad news in which case you can read the first paragraph and forgo the second one. The good news is things have come together and, amidst all the challenges, we have a really nice first bag of vegetables for you! Actually, knock on wood, it looks like the first few bags will have a nice mix of veggies.

And now the bad news. About a week ago, we had 7+ inches of rain at the farm in just a few hours. That was A LOT of rain. Too much rain. A drive around the block the following morning saw our neighbors canoeing across their field, just the top inch or two of their fence line exposed. Even though we carefully mulch sections we feel are particularly vulnerable to erosion, farm on the contours and regularly cover crop, we were discouraged by what we saw in our fields. We take soil conservation seriously and it was heartbreaking to see the movement of soil in some of our garden sections. It’s hard to see the soil pounded like that.  We lost a carrot planting and some newly transplanted beets and cauliflower. We’re working to understand and address the issues, knowing that while 7” rains have been extremely rare, extreme events are becoming more common.  

Spring/Summer 2020

Dear Spring Hill Members,

As we move closer to the vegetable harvest and delivery season, we want to update you on how Covid-19 is impacting the farm.  Members of Spring Hill’s Core Group have met several times since March to discuss the pandemic and the farm’s response.  At the heart of these discussions has been the goal of doing our best to protect the health of Spring Hill members, farmers and those who work at the farm.  

To that end, we’ve made some difficult but necessary choices.

For the time-being, we are cancelling on-farm community activities, including Spring Hill’s beloved member-based harvest/delivery system.   Instead, for the 2020 season, only Patty, Mike and Erin (perhaps with some limited hired help) will be working on the farm.  They will pack the bags on delivery days using recommended safety protocols, and all the vegetables will be delivered to pick-up sites by one driver in a single van. 

Spring Hill will also be instituting a set of protocols for the pick-up sites once the harvest season begins.  You’ll get a note about this closer to the time when vegetable deliveries begin, but you can expect to be asked to use the provided hand sanitizer at the site, to wear a mask when you pick up your vegetables and to allow for social distancing at the pick-up site.  

On the fun side, we would like to try a “pop -up” market this spring to offer some additional fruits of the farm!  We will have rhubarb and would like to get it to you somehow!  The idea looks something like this:  we would take preorders for the rhubarb (no charge, quantity to be determined), deliver it to a central location or two, and offer you the opportunity to swing by for a contactless pick-up. If this works out, we can imagine continuing with this throughout the season, with things like garlic scapes, basil for pesto, etc.  

Some of you have asked, “If we can’t come to the farm, what can we do to contribute?” Community has always been at the heart of Spring Hill and we certainly do not want that to change.  As we support and care for each other during this time, here are a few things the farm needs:

1) We would like volunteer drivers (ideally 1-2 from each pick-up site) who could deliver a bag of vegetables from a pick-up site to a member’s home.  We are anticipating that there will be some members needing home delivery for the season or just for a week or two.

2) We will also need a roster of volunteer drivers available to serve as a back-up to our hired driver/van.  Depending on the situation, this could mean one person driving the farm van filled with vegetables to pick-up sites in the Twin Cities or perhaps a small fleet of drivers using their own vehicles to transport vegetables from the farm.  

3) You could host a Spring Hill “pop-up” market this season.  We would need space to set up our 10×10 tent in your yard or use of a garage for 2-3 hours.   This could be a fun way to socialize – from a safe distance – with farmers and other farm members.

4) If you are able, consider contributing financially to help cover the extra delivery costs, perhaps the amount you would have paid in gas for a trip to the farm.  It’s important for you to know that Spring Hill does have an Emergency Fund, established to cover unexpected, unpredictable situations (think tornado, farm accident – we weren’t imagining a pandemic!). With the change in vegetable delivery, this fund will be significantly depleted.    While the farm will be okay for this season, we also acknowledge that we will lose a significant portion of our emergency cushion in using these funds.  

This pandemic has brought to light so many issues in our country, including some glaring problems with our centralized food system.  It has made very clear the importance of a robust, broad and healthy local food system and just how significant it is to have the support of a community of people like Spring Hill members.   Thank you for everything you do.

We will miss connecting with you on harvest/delivery days.  It’s no substitute, but we are regularly posting on Spring Hill’s Facebook page as a way of sharing what’s happening on the farm.  We encourage you to post as well!  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch with Mike or Patty or any one of Spring Hill’s Core Group members.

Warmly,

Mike & Patty with Spring Hill’s Core Group,
Brenda Beyer, Jessica Fischer, Nancy Dilts, Cathy Dolan, Wendy Fassett,
Marilyn Johnson, Bill Karns, Joe Knaeble, Michelle Grabowski, Erica Perl,
Dan Philippon, Katy Podolinsky, Larry Schmidt, Albert Veeder

Winter/Spring 2020

spring

We are full for the 2020 growing season

Spring Hill Members,

It’s 2020, a new decade, and we are ready to farm!  The seeds are ordered, the potting soil has arrived, and our garden plans are in progress.  

Last year we made a number of changes in order to adjust to the physical reality of farming in our 60’s.  Those changes worked well, and we are eager to fine tune the system.  Again this year we plan to begin vegetable deliveries right after July 4th.  Weekly deliveries will continue through September, followed by two bi-weekly deliveries of fall vegetables in October.  In many ways we are hoping for a season much like last year when we had excellent yields and few crop failures, making for bountiful bags of vegetables. 

As we reflect on the nearly 30 years of farming at Spring Hill, one of the things that stands out is the impact of climate change.  Indeed, we see the impact almost daily.  The average annual temperature has gone up, as has the average rainfall.  The increase in rain comes mostly in the form of single-event large-precipitation storms.  (In fact, the incidence of 2”-plus rain events has gone up three-fold.)  We now see more plant diseases, and new pests are making themselves known.  All of this has an impact on what and how we grow.

Yet, thanks to your support, we’ve been able to implement agricultural practices that increase our resiliency and protect our valuable soil.  While adaptation is not easy or cheap, it is required.  We continue to study, to observe, and to try strategies that point us in the direction of long-term sustainability.  When you visit the farm, you will likely notice more cover crops than ever and lots of mulching in the gardens.  These are two important practices that help protect and build our soil even as big rains pound the soil.  Hoop houses also help mitigate some of the unpredictability that weather brings.  Last year we replaced our four smaller hoop houses with two larger ones, and we are eager to learn the management involved with the bigger growing space these hoop houses provide.  

Sadly, we said our final good-byes to Patty’s Dad, Bob, this winter.  Bob loved being part of the Spring Hill Community and wholeheartedly supported the farm.  He would be pleased to know that the land we began preparing last year will be seeded for monarch butterfly habitat this spring.  The seed mix we will be using contains over 30 different species that provide food and habitat to the monarch butterfly as well as many other native pollinators.  The mix contains such delightful names as Rattlesnake Master, Common Sneezeweed and False Boneset in addition to several critical milkweed varieties.  Bob would also be thrilled to know that a patch near the beehives is being planted with a honeybee mix providing his beloved bees with pollen and nectar throughout the spring, summer and fall.

As is true most years, we will likely have a few shares available after returning members have signed up for the season.  Please feel free to refer Spring Hill to your friends, family and coworkers.

We are looking forward to seeing you again this summer!

Warmly,

Mike & Patty

Week #14 Tuesday, October 22 – Friday, October 25 2019

 In Your Bag:
Cabbage
Winter Squash
(Butternut, Sugar Dumpling)
Celeriac
Yellow & Red onions
Garlic
Yellow Potatoes
Black Radishes
Brussels sprouts
Carrots
Kale
Cutting celery
(great for soups and stews!)

Spring Hill Members,

It’s the last week of vegetable deliveries this year. The weather this week affirms that it’s time to shift gears. Even so, there is much about the rhythm of the growing season that we will miss. The growing season provides us with an urgent sense of direction and purpose. The list of things to do is clear. It’s often too long, but it’s always clear and direct. Dig carrots, trellis tomatoes, plant radishes. As the days shorten and cooler temps and more darkness settle in, there’s more time for thinking and reflection. One of the things we’ve been thinking about of late is this notion of community and belonging, what that means and how it happens. The farm – the land, all of you, our work together to support it all – has been one of those important places where we feel a strong sense of community. Our shared work is laid out in the farm’s guiding principles: share in the work to create a farm that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable; share the risk and share the bounty; make decisions together; ensure that the size of the farm holds in balance considerations of land, community, and farm viability; work together to nurture a friendly and creative community. It’s a work in progress, surely, but we’re doing it. Together. Thanks to ALL of you for making Spring Hill possible, for signing up to share in the risk and bounty, for sharing in the work of harvesting and packing and vegetable delivery and for supporting us in this year of adjustments. 

A huge thank you from all of us to Spring Hill’s pick-up site hosts, Joe & Colleen Bartels, Jack McGrath &Erin Mohr, Robin Schow & Greg Bernstein, Anne Holzinger, Laura & Paul Morrill, Mary & Michael Vanderford, Beth Franzen, Heather & Brett Struwe, Wendy Fassett & Kevin Mahony & Karen Fassett-Carman, Susan Hoch & Jim Haefemeyer, Helen Torrens & Jeff Haberer. Your generous hospitality is so appreciated. Thank you also to those who plan the events that bring our community together to work and celebrate. Sandra Haff, Karen Melander, Sue Poore, Robin Schow, Helen Torrens, Greg Tromiczak, Polly Vollmar-Heywood, Barb Wright & Marian Wright have all generously given their time and talents to make these events possible. Spring Hill’s Core Group helped guide the farm through a period of transition this past year. Many thanks to the creative and thoughtful minds of Katy Podolinsky, Brenda Beyer, Nancy Dilts, Cathy Dolan, Larry Schmidt, Michelle Grabowski, Wendy Fassett, Jess Fischer, Marilyn Johnson, Bill Karns, Joe Knaeble, Erica Perl and Dan Philippon. Led by Brenda Beyer and guided by Bob Wright, Spring Hill’s bee team of Suzanne Dahl, Janet Peters, Cathy Dolan, Maria Merrigan, Maja Radovanjija tended to Spring Hill’s bees and were sweetly rewarded for their efforts. Once again, Michele Gersich successfully and gracefully handled Spring Hill’s Harvest/Delivery Calendar. Thank you so very much! Kristin Dyrhaug kept us all tastefully supplied with ideas and recipes for cooking up what’s in the bag each week. What a gift!

Many, many thanks to Erin Link who has worked on the farm for three years now. She is an integral part of the farm and we are so very grateful for her work. Thanks as well to Avery Hanson who joined us this season. What a treat! 

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the season on Saturday evening, November 2nd, 5:30-8pm at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Mineapolis, 1500 Franklin Avenue SE for a potluck dinner.

Warmly, Patty & Mike 

P.S. Look for a survey coming to you by e-mail soon. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the season. 

Week #13 Tuesday, October 8– Friday, October 11, 2019

 Farm News

This past week the World Dairy Expo was held in Madison Wisconsin. It’s been a really tough few years for dairy farmers for all the reasons you can imagine. If farmers were looking for hope from our Secretary of Agriculture, they surely left feeling more than disappointed. Many are expressing outrage. What they heard, what we all ultimately heard from Sonny Perdue was “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.” Farmers and farm groups are responding loud and clear. Johanna Rupprecht of Land Stewardship Project had this to say, “The most important thing to remember, of course, is that the message isn’t true. Nothing is inevitable about factory farm dairies. Nothing is inevitable about the current course of U.S. agriculture. We’ve gotten to the point we’re at because of deliberate choices that have not only allowed, but heavily subsidized and supported, the big to get bigger and push out the small.” And Danielle Endvick of WI Farmers Union wrote this: “I sense a fire growing in the belly of the family farmers I meet in my work with Farmers Union. Farmers are weary. But there’s a growing flicker that’s starting to feed a change in the narrative. No more will they be spoon-fed a top-down vision for rural America. Instead, I see a drive for a farmscape where fair prices, local food systems, clean water, and land conservation are at the heart of farm policy.” It’s going to take imagination and creativity and lots of hard work. It’s going to take organizing and pushing hard for a different set of priorities and policies. Farmers can’t do this alone, but working together, we can create change! 

 In Your Bag:

Winter squashbutternut
Yellow Potatoes
Yellow Onions
Carrots
Garlic
Beets
Celeriac
Kohlrabi
Peppers
poblanos (dark green) sweet red & yellow
Brussels sprouts
White Russian Kale
Ethiopian Kale
Celery leaf

Schedule for the End of the Season

NO DELIVERIES OCT. 15th & 18th
Final Bag: Tuesday, Oct. 22/Friday, Oct. 25 

Every other week shares, please check the schedule sent by e-mail: If you are getting a bag THIS week (Oct. 8/11), this is your last bag of the season. Thank you so much for your support this season! If you are NOT scheduled to get a bag this week, your final bag will be delivered on October 22/25. If you have questions, please ask!

Harvest Dinner Saturday, Nov. 2nd!

Mark your calendar now for Saturday evening, November 2nd, 5:30-8pm. We’ll gather and celebrate with a potluck dinner at Cabrini Church in Minneapolis, 1500 Franklin Avenue SE, 55414 

 Harvesters for October 22 and October 25

Tuesday, October 22 – Kathleen Sullivan/Mark Ambroe, Peggy Rader, Peggy Steif Abram Dan Barras and Candace Malisow, Heather & Brett Struwe, Mark Werley

Friday, October 25 – Lynn Cibuzar, Aurelia Wills, Pat Jones/Allen Gibas, David & Alice Musielewicz & Pam Morgan, Wendy Fassett 

Week #12 Tuesday, September 24– Friday, September 27, 2019

 Farm News

I think I’m still adjusting to the fact that fall has arrived. The leaves have started changing color, particularly the sumac and maples. Some have fallen to the ground. The honey has been harvested. Tomatoes have run their course and the squash harvest has begun. The calendar says it’s time to begin field work for garlic planting and we’ve even had some cool mornings, but it just doesn’t feel like fall quite yet. Steady rain throughout the season has kept everything amazingly green and lush. There’s no frost in site. Typically this is the week there would be a forecast of frost. We’d spend a frantic day or two of gathering in the last of the tender vegetables knowing the frost will bring an end to them. That same frost and cool weather would sweeten the carrots and Brussels sprouts. I’m not exactly hoping for one just yet. There are still beautiful peppers out there that we’ll hope to send in October. There are still raspberries coming for our harvest/delivery crews and I know those are a treat. It just feels a bit off. Since we didn’t get potatoes dug or squash harvested at our fall work day, we are putting our Tuesday and Friday crews to work on those tasks. We plan to work on the butternut squash harvest on Tuesday and maybe Friday as well. We continue to get cover crop in as vegetables come out focusing now on winter wheat and winter rye. Those beautiful green cover crops are bringing their own fall beauty to the farm.

 In Your Bag

Winter squashdelicata
Yellow Potatoes
Leeks
Yellow Onions
Savoy Cabbage
Carrots
Garlic
Peppers
shishito peppers (in the bag) & sweet red and yellow
Spicy Salad Mix
Ethiopian Kale
Sage 

 Schedule for the End of the Season

After this week there will be two more weeks of vegetable deliveries. The weeks are as follows:
NO DELIVERIES OCT. 1ST AND 4TH
Week#13: Tuesday, Oct. 8/Friday, Oct. 11
NO DELIVERIES OCT. 15th & 18th
Week#14: Tuesday, Oct. 22/Friday, Oct. 25 

Every other week shares, please note: If you are getting a bag THIS week (Sept 24/27), your next and final bag will be Oct. 22 or 25. If you were scheduled to pick-up a bag LAST week, (Sept 17/20) your next and final bag will be Oct. 8 or 11. If you have questions, please ask!

Spring Hill’s Harvest Dinner Saturday, Nov. 2nd!

Mark your calendar now for Saturday evening, November 2nd, 5:30-8pm. We’ll gather and celebrate the season at Cabrini Church in Minneapolis. 

 Harvesters for October 8 and October 11

Tuesday, October 8- Su Skog & Conrad Sowder, Jennie Baltutis, Nancy Kosciolek & Rob Nordin Kristin Dyrhaug, Chris Kozalka, NEED ONE!
Friday, October 11 – Helen Torrens, Karin & Reed McEwan, Karen Ansbaugh & Merilee Light Lee Pfannmuller and Gary Seim, Kimberly Laudert 

Week #11 Tuesday, September 17 – Friday, September 20, 2019

 Farm News

A big huge honkin’ THANK YOU to everyone who came to Spring Hill’s Fall Work Day and to everyone who worked to make it happen. It was an incredibly delightful day filled with good people, good conversation and good food. Cindy Hilmoe, Bob Wright, Kim Blue and Phoenix greeted folks as they arrived. The soup and salad crew, led by Sandra Haff and Kimberly Laudert served up a wonderful gazpacho and kale salad. George Socha, with Jessie Austin, turned out beautiful and tasty focaccia. Lou Ferreri, Kathleen Weflan, Carolyn Vandendolder, Michonne Bertrand and Augie took on the important task of pressing apples into cider – yum! Erin Link, with Bob’s help, brought Colores the goat to join her in her chat about goats. We were all charmed. Barry Vornbrock took the lead on a conversation about cooking with what’s in your bag each week. The word was, very informative! Anna Melander and family spread out a blanket and welcomed the younger set to make colorful noisemakers. Onions were trimmed and bagged to make room for winter squash, garlic was cleaned and lots of veggies gleaned from the field. Much appreciation to Jess Fischer, Sue Poore and Cindy Hilmoe for clean-up. Thank you all! 

 In Your Bag

Winter squashsugar dumpling
Yellow Potatoes
Leeks
Yellow Onions
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Garlic
Carrots
Roma Tomatoes
Peppers
green bell, sweet red & yellow, jalapenos
Amara/Egyptian Kale*
Sage/Thyme bunch
*See Kristin’s recipe for this fall green or stir it into a curry or soup dish or saute it like kale with olive oil & garlic!

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week’s squash variety will be delicata! We’ll have more leeks for you, a savoy cabbage (we think) and (we hope) one final batch of Roma tomatoes. Look for more colorful peppers along with some shishitos and maybe some Rainbow Chard. 

 Schedule for the End of the Season

After this week there are three more weeks of vegetable deliveries. The weeks are as follows:
Week #12: Tuesday, Sept. 24/Friday, Sept. 27
NO DELIVERIES THE NEXT WEEK
Week #13: Tuesday, Oct. 8/Friday, Oct. 11
NO DELIVERIES THE NEXT WEEK
Week #14: Tuesday, Oct. 22/Friday, Oct. 25
Every other week shares, please note: If you are getting a bag this week (Sept 17/20), your next and final bag will be Oct. 8 or 11. If you are scheduled to get a bag next week, (Sept 24/27) your next and final bag will be Oct. 22 or 25.
If you have questions, please ask! 

Spring Hill’s Harvest Dinner Saturday, Nov. 2nd!

Mark your calendar now for Saturday evening, November 2nd, 5:30-8pm. We’ll gather and celebrate the season at Cabrini Church in Minneapolis.

Memorial Service for Taylor Thron Mork

A memorial service for Taylor, son of Shelley Thron and brother to Gresham and Laya, will be held Saturday, September 28th at 11:00 am First Universalist Church. 3400 Dupont Ave S, Minneapolis, 55408 https://firstuniversalistchurch.org/ Some of you know “The Shelleys.” They sang at our fall dinner a couple of years ago. Whether you know them or not, please hold this family close.

Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday, September 24- Jane Mercier & Mark Taylor, Karen Abraham & Ray WiedmeyerGerri Barosso, Barb Wright & Paul Engstrom, Nance & Brian Longley
Friday, September 27 – Diane Clayton & Colleen Bell, Roger and Suzanne Dahl, Janice Kovala, Sophie Hunt & Matthew Nokleby, Jacki Betsworth & George Hunt

Week #10 Tuesday, September 10 – Friday, September 13, 2019

Spring Hill’s Fall Community Work Day Saturday, September 14, 12:30-4:30! 

We’ve got what looks to be a great day planned for Saturday’s Community Work Day on the farm. Work will depend on the weather. We know we’ll be able to clean up some garlic and we’ll be able to gather up tomatoes from the hoop houses. We’ll have to wait to see what the fields look like after the rain to make decisions about other work. In any case, there will be plenty of things going on around the farm. We’re pretty excited that Erin Link (who has worked here for the past three years) will be on hand from 1-1:30 to talk about the San Clemente goats she raises and milks. She’ll have her goat milk soap available for sale as well. Get here early to hear from Erin! We’re also planning what’s sure to be an informative and helpful discussion around cooking with what’s in your bag. Barry Vornbrock and Kate Kysar will lead a discussion that will be part presentation/part participation. Barry’s ready to share his basic cooking method that is both recipe free and recipe friendly! Come ready to learn and to share! That discussion will likely take place around 2pm. In addition Karen Melander is planning an activity for young ones.

As usual food will be at the center of our farm gathering. Soup making, bread baking and apple pressing will all be part of the day. We still need some volunteers to make it all happen. Look for an e-mail and sign-up for a slot if you’re able. Thanks!

 In Your Bag

Yellow Potatoes
Garlic
Yellow Onions
Cauliflower
Beets
Carrots
Zucchini
last of the season!
Poblano Peppers (in the bag)
Sweet Red and Yellow Peppers
Roma Tomatoes + Pint of Salad Tomatoes
Collard Greens
Thyme bunch

Veggie Notes

Savor the last of the zucchini! Make a loaf of zucchini bread to freeze and enjoy in January! Or try the zucchini/tomato gratin recipe in the newsletter. We’re not sure how the Romas will do this coming week with all the rain and cool weather in the forecast. We’re hoping for another couple of weeks. In any case, we’re sending in a bunch. This week marks the end of the salad tomatoes . What a treat they’ve been this year!

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week will bring the first of the winter squash and the first batch of leeks. I think we’ll be able to get another week of cauliflower and those red and yellow peppers are coming in strong.

Spring Hill’s Harvest Dinner Saturday, Nov. 2nd!

Mark your calendar now for Saturday evening, November 2nd. We’ll gather and celebrate the season at Cabrini Church in Minneapolis. 

 Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday, September 17 – Anna Logan/Margaret & Ralph Hart, Erin Mohr & Jack McGrath Barbara Mohr & Nancy Albrecht, David Musielewicz, Blue-Koszalkas, NEED ONE!

Friday, September 20 – Kim & Dale Lampe, Veena & Arundhati Deo, Jeanette Raymond, Jess Nelson & Joe Slag, Brian & Mary Green 

Week #9 Tuesday, September 3 – Friday, September 6, 2019

 Farm News

A recent conversation on our regional CSA listserv is what brings you the Brussels sprouts tops this week. A few years back Community Supported Farmers in a seven county region that includes our county of Barron joined together in a mostly informal way to get to know each other better, to support each other and to share information. It’s been good! We’ve gathered for workshops about farming topics of all kinds, gotten together for summer picnics and winter parties. And, we’ve shared lots of information via the listserv. A couple of weeks back, someone posed the question about whether to “top” Brussels sprouts or not. We typically top our Brussels sprouts around the first of September. We walk down the row of Brussels sprouts and cut off the top spurt of growth on each plant. The idea is that the plant will stop putting energy into top growth and more energy into growing the sprouts themselves. As we walk down the row cutting the tops, we have always tossed them to the ground. Back to the question on the listserv. Of course people came down on both sides. The non-toppers felt that you got a more continuous harvest by not cutting the top. Those that wanted to harvest in one fell swoop preferred topping. What caught our eye was not the yay or nay, but this comment: “Bonus to topping–you can give out the top greens to your CSA–they are like a tender collard greens and are quite tasty.” A little research was in order! After some recipe searching and sampling, we decided yes, indeed they were definitely worth sending. Like the garlic scape that we once considered a throw away and is now something to look forward to, it could be that the Brussels Sprouts tops (which need a new name – that’s a mouthful) become an anticipated fall crop. We’ll see!

 In Your Bag

Melons last of the season!
Yellow Potatoes
Garlic
Yellow Onions
Cucumbers
OR Beets OR Cauliflower
Broccoli
Carrots
Zucchini
Shishito Peppers (in the bag)
Bell Pepper and a Sweet Yellow OR Red Pepper
Roma Tomatoes + Pint of Salad Tomatoes
Brussels Sprout
Tops
Parsley/Thyme
bunch

Veggie Notes

Summer veggies are on their way out; fall veggies are on their way in. It’s sort of a mix this week and probably next week too. Brussels sprout tops are likely new to you – they are to us! Check out the recipe or look for others online.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

We expect cauliflower to be coming in strong next week. We’ll continue with Roma tomatoes and we’ll see about the salad tomatoes. They may be winding down. Everyone will probably get a beet bunch and I think poblano peppers will make a showing. Look for sweet red and yellow peppers! We’ll have a fall green for you too, collards or the Ethiopian kale, Amara.

Spring Hill’s Fall Community Work Day
Saturday, September 14, 12:30-4:30

Join us for a day of work and play, good food and good company! We’ll make soup and cider and bread. Weather permitting, we’ll dig potatoes, harvest squash and clean garlic and more!

 Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday, September 10 – Amy & Troy Sinykin, Kathy Steinberger & Jim Young, Cathy Dolan Angela Gustafson, Peter McAllister
Friday, September 13 – Claudine Arndt & Mike McCloskey, Mark & Pam Werley, Michael and Mary Vanderford, Sandy & Roger Clarke, NEED ONE!