Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Columbus Urban Farm Holds Information Sessions

Columbus Urban Farm will be available at Columbus Fitness, located at 1212 1/2 Park Ave, Columbus with information regarding Community Supported Agriculture.

Wednesday, March 23 from 5-7pm, and
Saturday, March 26th from 9-11am

Bring any questions you have on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Kathy will be available to answer them. For more information, contact us at  920-623-2285 or see the farm’s listing at

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who Says Gardeners Aren't Busy in January?

After the Christmas ornaments are put away, the tree needles are vaccuumed up, and the kids are sent back to school, we can dream about having some time for reflection. 

But seed orders need to be prepared, crop plans set, rotations reconfigured, expansions planned for, workshops to attend, marketing to really is busy right now.  And this will continue for awhile, with the addition of seed starting in February, irrigation units being built or bought, and whatever else comes along. 

I really enjoy the cycle of our growing year.  Everything fits in somewhere, with some hectic times in May and again in August.  The growing cycle is truly one thing that can be counted on, although sometimes it's early, sometimes late, sometimes rainy, sometimes dry....but it always comes.
The hoophouse was finally put up in late November

The hoophouse windows are frosted over, but it is nice and toasty inside

What's left of the carrots

Fresh cilantro all winter long

A place for basking in the winter sun

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This week’s share:
acorn squash
daikon radish
red onions
There really isn’t a downtime when running a CSA.  Right now we are planning what we’re going to grow from seed, how to rotate the crops, which areas need more compost, etc.
So, while today is the last CSA Pickup day of this season, we are not sad that it’s over, because it isn’t over, it is just cycling.  And every stage of this cycle has been completely awesome.  Some of it is stressful, sure, just like in any career.  But it has been the best job we’ve ever had! 
ABOUT THE SURVEY:  It is attached to the email accompanying this newsletter.  Thank you for taking the time to complete it.  We need to know your opinions so we can make improvements.  We appreciate your opinions!

Freezer Coleslaw
1 medium head cabbage
1/2 cup vinegar
1/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 small carrot grated
1/2 green pepper, grated
1/2 small onion, grated
Cut cabbage into wedges and sprinkle with salt; let stand for 1 hour.
Combine vinegar, cold water, sugar, celery seed, mustard seed, lemon pepper and seasoned salt; bring to a boil. Let cool.
Grate carrot, green pepper, onion, and cabbage. Mix with cooled vinegar mixture, mixing well. Freeze coleslaw in individual containers.

1 pound cabbage
1 pound potatoes
2 leeks
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground mace
1/2 cup butter
In a large saucepan, boil cabbage until tender; remove and chop or blend well. Set aside and keep warm. Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
Chop leeks, green parts as well as white, and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft.
Season and mash potatoes well. Stir in cooked leeks and milk. Blend in the kale or cabbage and heat until the whole is a pale green fluff. Make a well in the center and pour in the melted butter. Mix well.

Thank you for the opportunity to grow your food.   It has been a pleasure!
~ Kathy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This week’s share:
acorn squash
daikon radish
storage onions
sunflower head

This week we put up four more low tunnels (the special blanket that protects from cold).  The spinach, lettuce, and radishes are covered.  They won’t grow much, but they will stay just like they are until it warms up in the spring.  We feel badly that we haven’t had much lettuce to offer.
This past weekend we also put up a type of greenhouse that utilizes the sun’s energy to keep it warm.  It’s called a high tunnel and we hope this helps us offer certain vegetables earlier in the season.  Others who use high tunnels have told us that their tomatoes are phenomenal.  That’s good news, as we know we had a poor offering of tomatoes. 
ABOUT THE SURVEY:  It is still being completed…our apologies for the delay.  Thank you for taking the time to complete it.  We need to know what you liked and didn’t like so we can make improvements.  We appreciate your opinions!
Just a reminder, after today, there is one week left for our full-share CSA members. 
For some of you (the half-share folks) today is your last pickup.  Thank you for entrusting us to grow your food.    It has been a pleasure getting to know you!

Sunflower Seeds
Cover unshelled seeds with salted water, using 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt per two quarts of water. Soak seeds in the salt solution overnight. Drain off the water the next morning and pat the seeds dry to remove excess moisture. (You can also roast the seeds unsalted, by simply skipping the soaking process).
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the sunflower seeds evenly on a cookie sheet or shallow pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. The seeds will often develop a small crack down the center as they roast. Test after each stirring to see if the seeds are completely roasted by tasting. After roasting, remove seeds from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Then store the seeds in an airtight container for future snacking.
Variations call for mixing a teaspoon of melted butter with a cup of seeds while they are still warm from the oven; these are for immediate eating. Some also experiment with different seasonings, such as barbecue, Cajun, and taco.

Have a delicious week! ~ Kathy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This week’s share:
acorn squash
Brussels sprouts
daikon radish
green pepper
Florence long red onion
red cabbage
sunflower head

This weather – it’s incredible and we love working in it.  Some of the plants are confused.  Things are a little backwards - The lettuce and Brussels Sprouts are slowing down, and the eggplant and peppers are growing better than they did in August.   
The rutabaga and kohlrabi are on the large side, which means they could be woody.  Usually if you peel away enough of the outer layer, you will find the tender parts worth eating.  We didn’t want to compost them if they still had a good amount of tasty parts.
We put a special blanket over the eggplants and peppers when it got near freezing.  The blankets were left on during this heat wave, and we are so pleased that some of the eggplant blossoms turned into food for you. 
The watermelon is the last of what was taken from the field.  We ate one and it was delicious.  We hope you have the same experience.
SURVEY TIME.  The final touches are being put on the questions for the survey.  It will be emailed to you within the next few days.  Please return it next week when you pickup your produce, or before. We tried to make this as short and
simple as we could, because we know you’re busy and we value your time.  Thank you for taking the time to do this.  We appreciate it, and will let you know the results of the survey.
Just a reminder, after today, there are two weeks left for our CSA.  For some of you (the half-share folks) next week is your last week.

Cranberry Acorn Squash
½ cup raw fresh cranberries
1 small apple, cored, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup currants
½ cup orange juice or apple cider
1 ½ tbs honey or maple syrup
1 tbs melted butter
pinch salt
2 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cranberries, apples, currants, orange juice, honey, butter, and salt in a saucepan.  Heat until berries are just tender.  Place squash in ovenproof dish.  Fill cavities with fruit.  Cover dish and bake until squash is tender, about 35-45 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.

Brussels Sprouts with Grapes

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and scored
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
4 tablespoons butter

Place the Brussels sprouts, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes, or until sprouts are tender but firm.

Over medium low heat in a large saucepan, mix the olive oil, garlic and green onions. Slowly cook and stir 5 minutes, until the green onions are soft. Mix in the Brussels sprouts, grapes and butter. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Hope your week is awesome! ~ Kathy

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This week’s share:
acorn squash
blue or yellow potato
corn shocks
daikon radish
Florence long red onion
Yellow of Parma onion
red cabbage
sunflower head

We need a rating!
Tell everyone how we’ve been doing

This week we have been pulling plants out of the field, planting garlic, and spreading compost.
It’s hard to believe this season is winding down. There’s still plenty to do!

Today you have a new item in your bag. Introducing….Daikon Radish. This is the large white root in your bag. According to Wikipedia, it has been known as a Japanese radish, although it originated in Asia. It is typically much milder than a traditional radish. The roots can be stored for some weeks without the leaves if kept in a cool dry place. And good news! Daikon is high in Vitamin C!

Overnight Chinese Daikon Radish Pickles
1 1/2 cups chopped daikon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

In a mixing bowl, toss daikon with salt. Cover, and refrigerate until 1 to 2 tablespoons of water is released, about 30 minutes.
Drain and rinse daikon, removing as much salt as possible. Pat dry with a paper towel, and return to bowl. Stir in rice vinegar, black pepper and, if desired, sesame oil. Cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
Have a splendid week!  ~ Kathy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pickup Today on the
Be prepared to carry a pumpkin, a watermelon, and your bag of food!

This week’s share:
green pepper
Florence long red onion
Yellow of Parma onion
summer squash

We need a rating!
Can you help us out?
Tell everyone how we’ve been doing

Usually around this time of year we are getting the garden tucked in for winter. This year, we are planting new things that will hopefully grow into the winter. We’re using special fabric to cover some of the rows.
People claim you can grow lettuce into December, and I hope they’re right! We have been putting the row covers over the peppers and eggplants. We did this to make it nice and warm in there, so they produce. This week we did get a small amount of both.
New in your bags this week is celeriac. Celeriac will keep in the refrigerator up to one month, or store the root in a cold, moist place for 2 to 3 months. Leaves can be used as an herb in soups and stews.
The whole plant can be eaten. Slice off the stalks at the root, and soak the root in water to loosen dirt in the crevices. Then scrub thoroughly with a vegetable brush. If the exterior is too tough, peel it with a sharp knife.
Peeled celeriac will darken when exposed to air. Just toss it with lemon juice to stop the darkening.
There is a heavy load of herbs in your bag today. Whatever you can’t use now, you can either dry (except cilantro) or freeze for later use.
The watermelons have been spotty – I’ve had three sweet and juicy melons and one that wasn’t sweet at all. I’d like to know how yours were last week. There are more melons this week, too.
We asked another farmer how he manages to get the cilantro ripe when the tomatoes are ripe, and he just said he plants cilantro every two weeks in hopes he gets it right. We will be trying that next year.

You can then dry your sunflowers whereever you want to, as long as it is warm and dry with good ventilation to prevent molding. A small shed might be perfect, or even in your house. You may still want to cover the seed heads with paper bags, especially if drying in an outdoor shed.
The seeds are ready when you hold up the head and rub your hand over the seeds and they fall right out. From there you can eat the seeds, feed them to the birds, or save some to grow next year.
We are struggling to understand how a whole row of radishes, all planted at the same time, are not all ready to be picked at the same time. It is maddening, thinking we’ll have enough radishes for your shares the next week, but then they don’t all ripen. One of the mysteries of nature!

Garlic Parsley Pesto with Pasta

– Madison Herb Society Cookbook

1 cup low fat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta
 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup boiling water
½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley
½ cup fresh basil
2 large cloves of garlic
Salt and coarse pepper to taste
3 cups tender-cooked pasta

Have cheeses at room temperature. Blend with remaining ingredients (except pasta) until smooth in blender or food processor. Toss with pasta. This is also good on baked potatoes, cooked rice, or steamed vegetables.

What to do with Fennel:

- add to soups: pureed or chopped
- substitute for celery in most recipes
- bake it, steam it, or sauté it
- use in place of dill – excellent on fish!

What to do with Cilantro:

- chop into pasta or potato salads
- toss fresh leaves into a green salad
- add to soups, stews, and stir-fries

Tangy Celery Salad

1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbs lemon juice
¼ cup lowfat yogurt
1 large or 2 medium celery root
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 head of radicchio

In a medium bowl, combine mustard, lemon juice, and yogurt. Set aside. With a sharp knife, peel celery root and cut into julienne strips. Add to mustard mixture, mixing well to coat celery root. Cover and marinate overnight. Toss together with cut chives and parsley. Serve on radicchio leaves.

Have a splendid week! ~ Kathy