CSA Season is coming up

Have you signed up for your CSA share?  Need more reasons to do so?  Here’s 10…

10 reason to join a csa

 

Wondering what you’ll get each week?  Check out our posts from last season as a good preview of what you’ll get this season.

The start of the season

Week 2 CSA Update

Week #3

Week #4 in full swing

Week #5 & Garlic Scapes

Week #6

Week 7 is here and we have weeds to our ear!

Week #8 is looking great!

Week #9 – Halfway point!

Week #11

Welcome to Week #12

Week #13 for CSA members

Week #14: The Prime of Summer

Week #15

Week #16 of CSA

Week #17

Week #18 CSA

CSA Day is Friday, February 24th

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What is CSA Day?  It’s the most popular day nationwide that individuals sign up for a CSA.  To celebrate, we’re going to be at Oneida Market on Friday at a CSA expo.  They’ll have samples of chicken soup featuring Kellner Back Acre Garden’s organic chickens.  Meet your farmer, Nancy Kellner, ask questions, and sign up for our CSA!  We’ll have prizes for those that sign up and we’re doing a drawing for a free egg share for all those who sign up and pay in February.

Unclear what a CSA is or why you should join? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a personal relationship between a farmer and eater. You join the farm as a member and you get a box of food from the farm throughout the growing season. The CSA charter describes this relationship well.

As our culture and economy becomes more homogenized and centralized, CSA is the opposite. It is about a personal relationship between a farmer and the CSA members. It is an intimate connection between local farmland and your dinner table.

You get the freshest possible ingredients from a farmer that you know and the farm gets advance knowledge of demand so he or she can focus on growing healthy food and getting the food to you.

In world of intractable problems – take your pick: political and economic instability, nuclear weapons, global warming, and on and on – joining a CSA is a positive act that you can take today that has profound impacts on your health, your local economy, and the environment.

CSA farmers spend money with other local businesses which circulates money in our local economies. CSA farmers take care of their land. CSA farmers treat their employees well. You know all this because you can go visit your CSA farmer and see for yourself. CSA keeps small scale, local farms in business so they can continue producing food for you.

To be frank, joining a CSA is not the easiest path to eating healthy. You can continue to shop at the grocery store and maybe visit the farmers market a few times throughout the season. However, joining a CSA puts you in partnership with a local farmer. A CSA membership enriches your life with high quality food as you spend your food dollars in a way that you will feel good about.

The investment you make in your CSA farm is modest. Our CSA is $22.22/week (as compared to the average at $25/week).  That’s probably less than your cable bill and less than your cell phone bill — for food grown with care in local soil and delivered directly to your neighborhood! There is some up-front investment, though we offer the option to pay 1/2 now and the remaining 1/2 right before the season begins.

Thank you for supporting local farms and making the commitment to a CSA share. Your support makes all the difference and keeps our farm running.

 

 

 

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but our greenhouses are delightful…

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New seedling

Our greenhouses are a balmy 70 degrees in fact, even though average temperature is in the high 20s outside. The first full week of February means we begin planting this week! Can you believe that tiny seeds like those above will become mature, ready to eat vegetables, in just a matter of months?

 

We try to recycle as much as we can from year to year. So that means around this time each year, Tom goes our storage area and hauls back all our black seedling trays. We look them over and those that are still (mostly) intact, we wash and sanitize those. Then to get ready for planting, we pack them with dirt rich in organic matter so the new seedlings will have plenty of food until the weather breaks and we are able to get them in the ground outside.

First up this week – onions seeds. These hardy seeds will one of the first in the ground and the seeds we plant this week will be ready for early summer harvest.

As you can see, we already have significant investment in our seeds at this point and the next few weeks will bring some intensive work, which will get busier come spring time.  Our CSA customers help us to be able to finance this upfront cost and some of the labor until our season starts.  We really appreciate our customers, especially our CSA members!

Ramping up for our season

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Even though we are merely days away from February, we are already hard at work into our season. While spring through fall are very busy for us, people don’t realize our work continues through the winter as well. So we’re “pulling back the curtain” in the next few blog posts.

Back in December, our organic certifier was on site for six hours examining the fields and our practices to ensure we are appropriately following their guidelines to remain organic. And since then we’ve spent many hours working our re-certification paperwork, which must be completed and submitted annually.

This week, we’re getting our greenhouses ready. That means checking out the furnaces and running those for a few nights in a row. Not only does this help us ensure they are working (and won’t stop suddenly once we get our new seedlings in), but also helps us start to get the greenhouse to a comfortable temperature. Next week we’ll be spending a lot of time in there planting our new seeds and officially kicking off our 2017 season!

Want to learn more? Come visit us! Or check us out at a “Meet Your Farmer” – see Facebook for details.

Photo credit: Freeimages.com/ Amy Burton

CSA Sign Up – Why Do We Sign Up NOW?

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Kellner Back Acre Garden started CSA sign up for the 2017 season back in November. Why on earth do we start signing people in November for food that won’t be delivered until June, at the earliest? Hopefully you are familiar with the CSA model – you sign up early in the season because this is an investment into the farm where you are a buying a share of the produce come harvest time. The farmer uses this investment as the starting capital each year to bring you weekly harvests later.

Here at Kellner Back Acre we have been busy the entire winter. (There’s no “off-season” for a farmer!) This past month we have been busy evaluating our harvest from last year, what grew well, what did not, and what customers/members have requested. We also take into account different varieties, whether organic seed is available (and never choosing genetically modified), cost, and the appropriate growing season for each variety of seed. We use this information to carefully select seeds for the coming year, which is a huge up front cost for us. Our seed orders have started to come in and it’s a little bit like Christmas for us!!

Want to learn more about why CSAs ask members to sign up early? Or what it is we do on the “off-season”? Follow us on Facebook. Each week we’ll be bringing updates (and maybe a surprise special offer) until February 24, 2017, which is National CSA Day.

 

Resolutions? We can help

Studies routinely show up to 40% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions.  However, a recent University of Scranton study found only 8% of us meet those resolutions.  So let’s examine some of the more common resolutions and how we may be able to help you:

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Lose weight. 

The weight loss industry is a $64 billion dollar business, so there’s no shortage in methods to help one lose weight.  But most experts agree that the key to losing weight is 80% based on what you eat.  Try our CSA with fresh veggies delivered every week or if you can’t wait until this summer, stop by our winter farmer market for one of our dinner baskets.  You’ll get fresh produce, organic meat, and a healthy recipe to get dinner on the table next week.

Better health.

Pesticides.  Antibiotics.  GMOs.  It seems there are plenty of reasons to fear what we’re eating and putting in our bodies.  But Kellner Back Acre has organic eggs, organic chickens, and chemical-free produce to help you feel better about what you’re eating.  Plus, our weekly CSA shares are likely much fresher than the produce at the store, which loses nutrients as it sits.

Better financial decisions.

Groceries can be a big part of a family’s weekly budget. US Department of Agriculture indicates a moderate food bill for a family of 4 is $239/week.  Our CSA share is an up-front cost, but typically members receive $25 worth of goods each week, but pay just $19/week for those goods.  And our organic eggs are available to members at $3.50/dozen, where you may pay upwards of $5/dozen for similar eggs in the grocery store.

Do more exciting things.

Maybe you don’t think a CSA membership is exciting.  But each week you get a bounty of fresh vegetables, some familiar and some not-so-familiar.  Let’s be honest – you may not be likely to make kale pesto, but when you get kale for the second week in a row, you learn to step out your comfort zone.  We’ll help with weekly meal boxes, recipes, and tips to store and use that produce.

Learn something new.

Maybe you have already learned something new in this blog!  To help you with this goal, we’ll be posting to social media, providing our weekly newsletter, and regular blog posts to keep you up to date on our sustainable, organic farming practices; how to use those chemical-free vegetables; and information on our organic meat, including how we raise it and the benefits to you.

Interested in learning more?  Call us. Or visit us.

2017 CSA

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We excitedly unveiled our CSA shares for 2017 via a Facebook video on Small Business Saturday last week.  Did you miss it?  Follow us on Facebook today!

What’s New?

We’ve been surveying our customers and friends for several years now and we know variety and convenience are your number one priorities.  So we’re going to offer our traditional produce CSA again this year, but with some tweaks.  First, we’ll be adding to our variety as we do every year.  Second, we’re going to take a few weeks off throughout the season – so it’s still an 18-week season, but spread out over 21 weeks, so the season spans over a little longer period, allowing for us to provide more variety.  And third, we’ve increased our drop off locations this year, adding two more geographical locations since last year.  You can sign up now here.

What’s your egg share?

So many of our members are ordering our organic farm-fresh eggs this week, we thought we’d make it a little easier, allowing you to sign up for a egg CSA share.  You can choose from 1 or 2 dozen shares, which are delivered to our same drop off sites each week.  Our eggs are normally sold for $4.00/dozen and members pay $3.50/dozen.  Ordering a share ensures that eggs will be available for you each week and you receive a small discount. You can sign up now here.

A meat share? What’s that?

By working with two other local farmers, we’re excited to bring you a meat share this year.  We’ll be providing 10 pounds of either organic or chemical free meat each month to shareholders.  Our meat is pasture-raised and often raised much more humanly than commercial products. Meat in each share will include organic chickens (whole or half roasters, stewing), grass-fed beef (ground or roast), organically-fed pork (brats, breakfast sausage, or ground), and organic goat (chops, roast, or ground). Members can choose from a six-month share or twelve-month share. You can sign up now here.

I heard Nancy reference dinner boxes in the video.  Can you tell me more?

New for 2017, we’ll be offering dinner boxes on a weekly basis. Each week during our season we’ll bring you a new recipe, as well as the meat and the produce to make the recipe, which will feed a family of 4. Orders will be placed by email each week for pick up in the following week (no ongoing commitment).  Prices will vary slightly each week, but will be approximately $30 for the box.   Pick up will be at Kellner Back Acre Garden’s farm only. We’ll be posting more about this on our website in spring.  But if you’re interested in gift certificates for those busy families in your life now, call Nancy or visit us at the New Leaf Winter Market at the KI Center in Green Bay starting December 10th.

Here’s a sample that we made up and we’ll have available this weekend at the market

Excited for 2017?  We are!

 

Season 10 recap

Another season is in the books for us.  We certainly enjoy the first few weeks after the season ends, just to have a little time to put our feet up!  This week actually signifies our last week of summer farmer’s markets as well (though this winter you can find us a the New Leaf winter farmer market in Green Bay).

First, we want to thank all of our customers and members helping us make Season 10 our best yet.  Because we value your opinions, please consider taking our survey here to help us improve and tell us what you like or what we could improve.

Take our survey

Did you get to come to our Harvest Party celebration on October 16th?  It’s our annual party to thank our members and introduce others to our farm.  We were lucky enough to have some great photographers on hand – below is just a few highlights from the day.  Thanks again for your support this year!

Week #18 CSA

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Image credit: Freeimages.com/ Nathan Ford

The final week of our CSA share season is upon us!  For this final week, members will receive:

  • Sweet dumpling squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Spicy Greens
  • Cabbages
  • Apples
  • Kale
  • Turnips

Although our CSA share season is coming to a close this week, you will still find us at our farm store and Manitowoc Farmer’s Market for a few more weeks.  Plus, you can always find Nancy somewhere near the farm!  Thanksgiving is around the corner, and we’ll have FRESH, organic turkeys for a sale one week prior (but reserve yours now by calling Nancy).  And all winter long, we’re happy to share our organic eggs and chickens through purchase at the farm or at some of our retail partners, like Oneida Market and Larry’s Piggly Wiggly.

Did you catch our Facebook Live video on Friday?  Our annual harvest party will be on Sunday, October 16 from 9 am – 3 pm.  We’re thrilled to feature Chef Ben cooking at the farm using our local ingredients.  This party is intended to thank our members and friends for their business through the last season, as well as introduce new friends to the farm and look forward to next season.  So to be sure to watch your email or Facebook for more details in the next week.  And invite your friends to come out to the farm for a (fingers crossed) sunny Sunday brunch!

This week members are getting a sweet dumpling squash – it’s a very small (about 1 lb), sweet squash that can be used similar to acorn or butternut squash.  The beauty of these little things is the peel can be eaten – so no peeling!  Their petite size and edible peel make them perfect for stuffing.

Stuffed Dumpling Squash

  • 4 sweet dumpling squash
  • 1 cup quinoa (or rice), cooked
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; pierce squash with a fork and cook 40-50 minutes or until soft.  Allow to cool, cut off top, and scoop out seeds.

Sauté onion, zucchini, and green pepper for 5-10 minutes until soft.  Add seasonings and cooked quinoa.  Stir in crumbled bacon.  Stuff squash with filling, topping with cheese.

Place squash in casserole dish and bake for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Kale & Apple Salad

  • 1 bunch kale, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 bunch radishes, cleaned
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place pecans on baking tray and bake 5-10 minutes to toast them.

Remove kale from stems and chop into bite size pieces.  Place into bowl and massage kale for a minute or more until the leaves turn a bit darker.  Chop the apple and slice the radishes, as well as the nuts and dried fruit to the bowl.  Top with goat cheese.

In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Pour over salad if serving immediately (or in the next 30 minutes – tastes better if it marinates for a bit).  But if anticipating leftovers, only pour dressing over the greens you’ll use immediately.

So how do you plan to use your veggies this week? 

 

CSA means Caring and Sharing

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Image credit: freeimages.com/ B S K

 

Earlier this week, we asked members to come out and assist in cleaning up the farm.  But we also indicated that non-members that came to help, could keep a pail of tomatoes if they picked enough to also donate a pail to the local food pantry.  So I wanted to take an opportunity to expand upon the work we do for our local community, as well as CSAs everywhere.

As you may recall, CSA stands for community-supported agriculture.  We realize our business would not be here, if it was not for the backing of our community.  And so we recognize and welcome our duty to give back to our community.  One of the ways we do this is by donations to our local food pantry.  In weeks where we have excess harvest, we have donated to the pantry.  In addition, we have received an award in the past from Land O Lakes for the eggs we routinely donated to Denmark’s food pantry.

But we’re not alone – many CSAs share in giving back to their community as well.  For example, in nearby Appleton, Riverview Gardens converted an old country club into a CSA.  The intent is to employ individuals that have barriers to stable employment, providing an immediate source of revenue, but also to act as a job-training program.

A little further away, in urban Milwaukee, sits Growing Power.  Run by Will Allen, whose supporters include Michelle Obama, the focus is on safe, affordable, sustainable food sources for the local community.  Mr. Allen has locations throughout Wisconsin, as well as Chicago, and satellite offices throughout the country, in an effort to teach how to replicate their successful growing methods in other urban locations.

So in addition to all the personal benefits you might receive from joining a CSA, there also community benefits.  Win-Win!  Talk to us about signing up for a CSA share next year. Or look for details about our harvest party on Facebook, including a special live video tomorrow, with a special announcement.