CSA Week Nine: International Cuisine

Box 9

Hello CSA members,
This week has an International flare with cuisine from the Mediterranean, recipes with an Italian flair, and of course, all the ingredients you need to make salsa. So here is what you’ll find in your box this week:

Hummus – a special treat for you this week. This is made by my friends Jake and Rana Olson of Hometown Hummus here in Mora. Jake grew up in Mora, then moved to Turkey where he met is wife Rana. Just last year, the family has returned to Mora, and I am so grateful for that. Rana is an amazing cook and we have been fortunate to have her show us a few of her Turkish cooking techniques, especially using eggplant. But she also makes this absolutely delicious hummus and now I have the chance to share it with you all. See the flyer in your box for the details about how it is made and how you can get more. St. Cloud and North Branch peeps, I can coordinate this for you too, just let me know. This summer I’ve been enjoying raw veggies from our garden, sliced up dipped in hummus. Can’t beat it.

Sweet Onions – two, sweet onions either Walla Walla or Cortland varieties. I planted about 5,000 onions this year, so you will be seeing more in the future.
Shallot – one shallot. There may possibly be one more shallot in the future as well. Why just one? This is the first year I’ve grown them so I only grew a small quantity. But I like how they turned out, so I’ll definitely plant a much larger quantity next year. If you’re not familiar with shallots, they are often used interchangeably with onions.
Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes – a big bunch of them. They are ripening up nicely, and there are a lot of colorful varieties included this week, so you can make some gorgeous salsa…. or  or just munch on them straight out of the box. I also provided a couple of my own original recipes below.
Beans – You Packer fans have been waiting for this … the green beans are here, along with the yellow and the purple beans. Although, you probably already figure out, that when the purple beans are cooked, they turn green.
Cucumbers – Be sure to slice them up and dip them in your hummus.
Zucchinis – again, my favorite way to eat them is raw, sliced and covered in Hometown Hummus.
Peppers – a selection of sweet and hot. Slice them up into small pieces, along with the tomatoes and onions, add some garlic and salt and you have some pretty awesome salsa.
Basil – a handful of fresh basil. Take a slice of one of those big tomatoes, add a slice of fresh mozzarella, top it with fresh basil, a little salt and drizzle some olive oil on top and you have a terrific Caprese Salad. I’ve been eating this a lot lately too.
Dino kale – This is a nutrition-packed green that is so versatile. I have a lot of kale recipes on my website, so if you need some inspiration, you should find something there for you to try.
Lettuce – green and red varieties. I see BLT sandwiches in your future.
The pick-up schedule is as usual:
St. Cloud – delivered to your office on Tuesday morning
Made of Mora – ready by 11:00 a.m. on Thursday
Sapsucker Farms – ready after noon on Thursday or Friday
Cambridge City Market Co-op – by 10:00 Friday morning
I will never profess to be a good cook. In fact, I admit that I am kind of a bad cook. But with good ingredients, it’s hard for a bad cook like me to go wrong. Here are a couple of dishes I made this week that were SOOOO good. Sorry that the amounts and directions are a little weird and unspecific, but it’s just the way I work in the kitchen, so hopefully you’ll interpret what I’m doing. Here it goes:
Sapsucker Farms Super Simple Veggie Feast
Any or all Sapsucker Farms veggies
Hometown Hummus
Slice raw veggies, dip in Hometown hummus, and enjoy.
Sapsucker Farms Ragout
Olive oil
Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes – cut up into 1″ – 2″ chunks
Zucchini and/or yellow summer squash – cut up into 1 – 2″ chunks
One onion – chopped
Minced garlic
Cooked rice
In a medium fry pan over medium heat, add a few table spoons of olive. When olive oil is hot, add zucchini and let it sizzle for about 5 minutes, then add tomatoes and onions. Let the whole shebang cook a little while, maybe about 10 minutes, until the zukes are tender. Then add big shplatt of minced garlic. I have a big jar of minced garlic, so I just dump it on… add as much as you want. Salt to taste, then serve over cooked rice. YUMMO!
Sapsucker Farms Hot Dish
Olive oil
Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes – cut up into 1″ – 2″ chunks
One onion – chopped
Minced garlic
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil or other Italian-style herbs (optional)
Ground meat of your choice (optional)
about 4 cups of your our favorite “hot dish” pasta such as macaroni, rotini, penne, etc., cooked according to package instructions
Prepare pasta according to package instructions, and place cooked pasta in a large baking pan…whatever you use for your own hot dish recipes.
In a medium fry pan over medium heat, add a few table spoons of olive. When olive oil is hot, add  tomatoes and onions. Add basil if desired, or other Italian herbs you like. Cook about 10 to 15 minutes until tomatoes are tender, it’ll still be a little watery, but that’s ok. Add a huge amount of garlic, whatever your heart’s desire. Salt to taste.
Fry up your ground meat (I used ground moose) add some salt to the meat, and more garlic too if you like. Then blend the cooked meat with the cooked tomatoes, then pour it all over the cooked pasta in the pan (are you following me so far?). Pile on the mozzarella cheese, I used 1 1/2 packages… then bake for about 20 minutes at 350 until the cheese is lightly browned.
Of course, you can always browse through my website for additional recipes. I’m constantly adding more recipes each week so I hope you find something that inspires you. But most of all, if you have a recipe you’d like to share, I want to hear from you!
Meanwhile, you can follow all of the farm adventures on our Facebook page or follow on Twitter @SapsuckerFarms.

CSA Week Eight: A Bountiful Harvest

Week 8
Hi CSA Members
I’m happy to report that the crops are doing well. And once again, there is a bounty harvest this week, so in your box you will find:
Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes – More and more varieties are ripening up. One word: yummers.
Cabbage – a repeat from last week, and yes, there will be more again very soon too.
Broccoli – yup. I’m an awesome broccoli farmer. Oh yeah.
Radicchio – Ok, confession time… I admit that this is the first year I’ve grown this, and I also admit that the first time I ate it I didn’t’ like it. However, I tried this radicchio, goat cheese and raisin salad recipe (also included on my website) and this veggie was redeemed. It’s really good. Radicchio is naturally bitter, but make it into a dish that has a sweet-and-sour flavor and BOOM it’s delish. I have a few recipes on my website so give it a try.
Yellow and purple beans – Crunchy and sweet eaten raw, tender and savory when cooked.
Cucumbers – a couple of crunchy cucurbits for you to enjoy.
Zucchini – Also a cucurbit… I am impressed by how versatile it is. So far I’ve eaten it for breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks, supper, snacks, dessert, and snacks. Oh yes, and of course, out in the field as I’m harvesting them for breakfast, lunch, supper, dessert, or snacks.
Curly kale – Have I mentioned how much I love kale chips? Well I have now. I’ve made them baked and deep fried, and they’re both equally good.
Lettuce – making an encore appearance, three different varieties are included this week.
Peppers – sweet and hot varieties for you to enjoy.
Pick-up and delivery schedule this week:
St. Cloud – delivered Tuesday morning
Made of Mora – ready for pick-up by 11:00 on Thursday
Cambridge City Market Co-op – ready by 10:00 on Friday morning
Sapsucker Farms – after noon on Thursday or Friday
Enjoy the bounty,

CSA Week Seven: A Mega-Sized Harvest


Hi CSA members

This week is a mega-sized haul. In fact, it doesn’t all fit in the box so be sure to have extra room in your fridge too. Here’s what you’ll find:
Broccoli – We harvested nearly 200 lbs of broccoli this week, so you’ll be getting two large heads of this awesome brassica. I have to do a little bragging, this is the best broccoli I’ve ever grown. Good thing I like to eat it myself too!
Radicchio – a.k.a. Chicory. This is a beautiful burgundy-colored compact head that looks a lot like cabbage. It is often found in bags of salad mixes in the produce section of your local grocery store. Radicchio has a strong, bitter flavor so it is a great complement to dishes with sweet and sour flavors as well. You will find a handful of recipes on my website, but if you have additional recipes that you enjoy, please share.
Cabbage – you will find either Chinese (napa) cabbage or regular cabbage in your box this week. And you can plan on more cabbage again in the future.
Beans – Vikings fans will love the beans this week – purple and yellow snap beans, so you can mix them together and look forward to the NFL season in the fall. For you Packers fans, don’t worry, the green beans will be ready soon.
Heirloom tomatoes – vine-ripened, of course. Just a small handful this week, but you can be guaranteed that this is just the beginning of a bounty harvest ahead.
Kohlrabi – This is a versatile, crunchy, crispy brassica, much like a big radish. I like to slice it thin and add a little salt… yum. But some more adventurous recipe ideas can be found on my website.
Peppers – A handful of sweet and hot peppers for you to enjoy.
Bok Choy – I know… last week I said it was the last. But this week is finally the last of this mild, crunchy crop.
Cucumber – Yup… they just keep on coming.
Zucchini – Just like the cucumbers, they just keep on coming. You’ll find some combination of yellow, green, or striped varieties
As always, the delivery/pick-up schedule is:
St. Cloud – Delivered on Tuesday morning
Made of Mora – ready by 11:00 a.m. on Thursday morning
Sapsucker Farms – ready by noon on Thursday or Friday
City Center Market Co-op, Cambridge – Friday morning by 10:00 a.m.
And don’t forget to follow the farming adventures on our Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter @SapsuckerFarms
Enjoy the bounty,

New logo for MOSA

Small MOSA logo

Our Organic Certification agency, MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association) has updated their logo. I like it. It’s colorful, earthy, whimsical, and professional. Plus, I think it looks really good with our updated brand look too. Nice job, MOSA.

CSA Week Six: Bulging full of Nutrition

CSA 7-16

Hello CSA members,
This week’s box is bulging full of nutrition. You’ll recognize some items that you’ve seen already this year, but a few new items are making an appearance.
Broccoli – Wow, do I have a lot of broccoli now. I’m sure most of you already know what to do with this, so enjoy!
Kohlrabi – This is a member of the brassica family (along with broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.). I like to just slice it thin, add a little salt and pepper, then enjoy the crunch. But this veggie is a great ingredient for slaw, served braised, and even the leaves can be chopped up and added to pasta. I have a few recipes on my website, and will continue to add more in the future.
Kale – Red Russian kale is packed with vitamins and nutrients. This variety is especially good for making kale chips, but can be used in any kale recipe. Check out the collection of kale recipes I have so far on my website, I’m sure you’ll find something there that will be tempting to you.
Bok Choy – this is the very last of the bok choy for the season. I hope you’ve enjoyed it this year, as it will not make another appearance until 2014.
Cucumbers – I’ve planted six different varieties… some long, some dark, some skinny, some pudgy, some striped…. so you’ll be seeing different sizes, shapes, and colors throughout the season.
Zucchini – a couple of zukes, either bright yellow, dark green, pale yellow, or green and white striped. As you probably know, zucchini is a very prolific plant, so you can plan on seeing it frequently throughout the rest of the season. The good news is that it is also a very versatile veggie as well. It is delicious served raw, cooked, or even in dessert breads too. I have a few recipes on my website, and I’ll be adding more recipes as the season progresses.
Deliveries schedule is a usual:
St. Cloud – Delivered Tuesday morning
Made of Mora  – Thursday by 11:00
Cambridge Co-op Friday by 10:00

Farm Tour for Seniors

On Wednesday July 10, we welcomed a bus full of 21 seniors who came up from the cities to visit our farm. Sapsucker Farms was one of the stops on their “Day in the Country” tour of East Central Minnesota, organized by St. Paul Community Education.



About half of the individuals grew up on a farm, so they really appreciated what we are doing on our farm. Our small, diverse, and back-to-the-basics way of farming is very much like the small family farms they are familiar with. It was an enjoyable day for all.


CSA Week Five: Transitioning from spring to summer


Hello CSA members
This week you will see the last of the spring crops and the beginning of the summer crops. Yes, I dare say that summer is finally here. In addition to the veggies I have for you this week, the other, most prolific crop this week is the mosquitoes. No doubt you all have been sniffling, scratching, swatting, and swearing at those darn bugs all week as well. UGH. Anyhoooo….. here is what you’ll find in your box this week:

Broccoli – the broccoli crop is looking good. [SLAP – got one!] But one thing you need to know about broccoli, is that each plant has it’s own timing on when the head is ready.  Then in just a matter of days, the beautiful head of broccoli will turn into a beautiful head of flowers. It would be really convenient if all of the plants were ready at the same time, then stay that way for about a week. But that’s not the way it works. So, I’ll be cutting the broccoli heads as they are ready, so there will be small quantities coming your way as it is ready.

Peppers – the first of the peppers are ready. There is a combination of hot and sweet peppers for your enjoyment. [SNORT – dang, I just inhaled a mosquito] Remember, it’s the seeds that make the peppers hot, so if you don’t like hot peppers, be sure to remove the seeds before you eat them.
Zucchini – also known as summer squash. I have several varieties this year, [SWAT, OUCH, I missed] so you’ll see either dark green, bright yellow, pale yellow, striped, or light green in your boxes throughout the summer.
Cucumber – Always a favorite. [SCRATCH Oh how I hate mosquitoes]
Basil – I could sniff basil all day, so aromatic, and of course, the best base to use for making pesto.
Scallions – the last of the springtime green onion crop, but there will be more coming soon.
Radishes with greens  – a small handful, and don’t forget that the greens are also delish. [SMACK oh @#$% I missed grrrr]
Bok Choy – crunchy, tender, asian green that is so good in stir fries. [ZAP ha, gotcha!]
If you need recipes for any of these veggies, be sure to visit my website at Sapsuckerfarms.com.  I’m adding more recipes each week, so be sure to check it out often.
As usual, the pick-up and deliver schedule this week is:
St. Cloud – I’ll deliver your boxes on TUESDAY 7/9  morning.
Made of Mora – Your boxes will be ready on THURSDAY 7/11 by 11:00 a.m. and the store is open until 6:00 p.m. and you can return your box and cool packs there.
Cambridge City Center Co-op – your boxes will be ready FRIDAY 7/12 by 10:00 a.m. and the store is open until 8:00 p.m.
Sapsucker Farms pick-up, you can come and pick up after noon on Thursday or Friday

CSA Week Four: Something Red, Something White, Something (almost) Blue.

CSA 7-2-13

Hi CSA share members,

I hope you have super fun plans to celebrate the 4th of July this week. And since it is 4th of July, there is a slight change to the delivery schedule for the folks in Mora, so please take note below. Here’s the scoop:
St. Cloud – deliveries will be on Tuesday as usual
Made of Mora – this will will be on WEDNESDAY 7/3. Also, please note that their hours will be 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. I will have the boxes there by 9:00, so you will need to be sure to pick up your box before they close at 1:00. If you aren’t able to get there by then, please let me know and you can pick it up here at the farm. They will also be open on Thursday 7/4 in case you don’t get there in time.
Sapsucker Farms – your box will be prepared and ready on WEDNESDAY 7/3 and will be in the cooler waiting for you to pick it up.
Cambridge City Center Co-op – will be ready as usual, by 10:00 on Friday
So with all of the logistics covered, here is what you’ll find in your box this week:
Radishes – something red for you to crunch on
Chinese cabbage – represents the white veggie this week.
Broccoli – if you squint your eyes, you can imagine that it is a blue color (work with me here). This is Belstar broccoli which has a different color than what you are used to seeing in the grocery store. But no matter what color it is, it’s delicious and nutritious.
Scallions – if you use your imagination, you will see red, white and blue. Included are red scallions, white scallions, and purple pearl  (a shade of blue, right)  bunching onions.
Cucumber – no matter how you look at it, it will always be green
Lettuce – again… as green as it gets.
As always, you can find recipes on our website
Wishing you a happy, fun, and blessed 4th of July holiday.

CSA Week Three: Spicy bounty

CSA 6-25

Hi CSA members,
Sorry that this email is a little late this week, as the St. Cloud peeps have already received their boxes. Oops.
I am happy to report that the crops are FINALLY starting to grow. Despite all of the nasty, wicked weather this past week (no major crop damage, WHEW!), the one-week hiatus gave the outside crops a chance to catch up. It also gave your farmer a chance to catch some fish. Research shows that food grown by farmers who go fishing, tastes better than food grown by farmers who don’t go fishing. True.
As usual, the box pick-up schedule this week is:
St. Cloud – I’ll deliver your boxes on TUESDAY 6/25  morning. (done)
Made of Mora – Your boxes will be ready on THURSDAY 6/27 by 11:00 a.m. and the store is open until 6:00 p.m. and you can return your box and cool packs there.
Cambridge City Center Co-op – your boxes will be ready FRIDAY 6/28 by 10:00 a.m. and the store is open until 8:00 p.m.
Sapsucker Farms pick-up, you can come and pick up after noon on Thursday 6/27 or Friday 6/28
Here is what is in this week’s box:
Pac Choy/Bok Choy/Pak Choi – However you choose to spell it, it’s the same thing. Just as the famous line by William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet states “Bok Choi by any other name, would taste just as great.” Or something like that… anyhoo…. Bok Choy is a tender, mild, and versatile veggie, especially popular for stir-frys. Here are a few bok choy recipes for you to try.
Arugula – This peppery, spicy green is a member of the mustard family. It is often served in fancy dishes at snooty restaurants, as it adds zip to salads, and other entrees. It can also be used to make pesto or as a pizza topping. Here are a few arugula recipes to try out.
Scallions – also called bunching onions, this week includes three varieties: white, purple, and purple pearl.
Radishes and radish greens – No doubt you are familiar with this crunchy little bulb, but don’t throw out the greens. The greens are also versatile, and can be used as a spicy addition to many dishes. Here are some radish and radish greens recipes to try.
Lettuce – yup, I still have lots of lettuce. This week includes two heads, romaine and another fancy variety.
Enjoy the bounty,

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