Week #17

Our season is quickly winding down!  Members will receive lots of fall veggies this week, which tend to have a longer storage period.  This week shares include:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Celery
  • Turnips
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Pears

A fall harvest moon          Image credit: Freeimages.com/ Thad Zajdowicz 




Thinking of ways to use your share this week?  Here’s a perfect fall meal, complete with dessert 🙂

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes (4 servings)

  • 1 small spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped


Toss olive oil, basil, oregano, and tomatoes together with spaghetti squash.  Top with parmesan.

Roasted Turnips & Radishes

  • 3-5 turnips, peeled, and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 bunches radishes, cleaned and halved
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper

Toss ingredients together.  Place on roasting pan and cook for 20-30 minutes, at 450, or until turnips are tender.


Pear Tart

  • 1 pie crust, premade
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cups sliced pears

Preheat oven to 375.  Line baking sheet with foil and roll out pastry into 13″ circle.  For filling, mix sugar, flour and ginger.  Toss with pears.  Mound into center of pastry, leaving 2″ uncovered around the edges.  Fold uncovered pastry up over filling. Brush sides of crust with milk and sprinkle crust with granulated sugar.  Bake 35-40 minutes.


Week #16 of CSA

Welcome to Week #16 members and friends!  Members this week can expect to receive the following:

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Beans

This week, we’ve been busy harvesting sweet potatoes.


Photo credit: Freeimages.com/ Troy Stoi


Once we dig up the potatoes though, there’s a lot more that needs to happen before they get to you.  First, we need to make sure that it’s not too sunny when we dig up the potatoes because too much sun could harm the tubers.  Then those potatoes need to lay in a warm, well ventilated area for 10 days.  This allows a new “skin” to form over the potatoes, healing any bruises or scratches and allowing the inside to become much sweeter.  If the potatoes aren’t cured, they won’t bake well and won’t be nearly as sweet.  After their time curing, they are put in dry storage, where they can last for up to 6 months.  Members can expect to see sweet potatoes in their share the last week of the season.

Getting back to the vegetables for this week, here’s a great meal you could make with your bounty:

Beet, Arugula, Radish Salad (recipe from Live Earth Farm)

  • 3 medium beets
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove green garlic, thinly sliced
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch arugula, washed and torn
  • ½ bunch radishes, sliced thinly

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in a baking dish with 1-inch water; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cover tightly with foil and bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove beets from oven and drain, and let them cool slightly, then peel and cut into eighths. While the beets are cooking, whisk together remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil, yogurt, vinegar, and garlic in a large bowl. Add 2-3 drops of warm water to smooth and emulsify. Season with salt and pepper. Add beets, arugula, and radishes to dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve.

Pasta with tomatoes and spinach (recipe from Green Valley Kitchen)

  • 8 oz of pasta
  • 2 cups of tomatoes, chopped
  • 10 oz of baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 12 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese
  • salt & black pepper
  1. Boil pasta.  While pasta is cooking, add 1 tbs of olive oil and garlic to a large sauté pan and cook for 30 seconds over medium high heat until briefly cooked – stirring the whole time so garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Add chopped spinach to the sauté pan a bit at a time. As it cooks down, continue to add spinach until all spinach has been added to the pan. Once spinach has wilted down, remove spinach to a large bowl. There shouldn’t be a lot of water in the bottom of the pan, but if there is then strain it off.
  3. Add 1 tbs olive oil to the sauté pan, add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook briefly (30 seconds). Add cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook for 3 minutes over medium high heat until tomatoes cook down and release their juices. Add cherry tomatoes to cooked spinach in the bowl.
  4. When pasta is done, strain and add to the bowl with cherry tomatoes and spinach. Add chopped olives and ⅔ of parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta and serve.

Pizza Farms

Wisconsin has lots to be proud of including our friendly people, our beautiful scenery, and the fact that we are on of the country’s leaders in providing food and dairy to the rest of the country’s population.  Have you ever seen any of the ads done by Wisconsin’s Bureau of Tourism?  Every time I do I become more and more proud to say I’m from Wisconsin.

The Bureau of Tourism recently wrote a blog post on another source of pride here in Wisconsin – pizza  farms.



Photo image: Freeimages.com/ Marcio Zapparoli


What are pizza farms you ask?  Just as you might imagine, it’s a farm that also serves pizza.  Often times buyers bring their own dining utensils, beverages, and even side dishes.  The farm may only provide pizza, or sometimes a little extra.  These farms are not regular restaurants – they may be open 1 time per week or even a few times per month to the public as a restaurant.

These farms highlight their vegetables by creating artisanal pizzas focusing on veggies harvested right there.  Talk about fresh!  Several of the farms have wood-fired stoves, giving even more of a rustic, unique taste to the pizza.  For example, check out just some of the pizzas offered at Stoney Acres:

  • Anniversary Pizza: Cheese pizza with beet and carrot confetti, roasted sweet peppers, kale and garlic.
  • Tony’s Pizza: Maple-herb sausage, roasted sweet peppers, and a mix of farm mushrooms
  • First Taste of Fall: Butternut squash sauce topped with ham, blue cheese, caramelized onions, and apples.

Unfortunately most of these pizza farms are on the western side of the state, so they require a bit of a road trip.  We’d love to do this on our own farm, but we’ll have to investigate licensing – which means it won’t  happen this year.  If you go to one of these pizza farms, we’d love to hear about it!

But if road trips are done for your family this year, maybe you could do your own backyard version.  Here’s some great pizza recipes that would be great on the grill in the backyard on a cool fall evening:

  • Brussel Sprouts, Pancetta, Garlic, and Mozzarella over Marinara sauce
  • Enchilada Sauce with Mexican shredded cheese, corn, black beans, BBQ pork, and cilantro
  • Ricotta and goat cheese, topped with corn, pancetta or ham, arugula, and parmesan
  • Alfredo sauce topped with red onions, mozzarella, blue cheese, and black pepper
  • Hummus topped with garlic and zucchini or squash
  • Mashed sweet potatoes, topped with mozzarella, caramelized onions, and oregano

Pizza on the grill you ask?  Yes, not so hard.  Start with a ball of dough – either homemade or store-bought.  Start the grill – you’ll want it pretty hot before you start cooking. Stretch or roll the dough to your desired thickness and size.  Then brush one side of the dough with olive oil.  Place the olive-oiled side down on the grill.  Then brush the top size of the dough with olive oil as well.  Cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on thickness and heat of grill, then use tongs to flip the dough.  At this point, you can add toppings.  Place the cover on the grill and cook 3-5 more minutes.

Week #15


Photo credit: Freeimages.com/ Sally Bradshaw


Dear Friends & Members,

Being a family-owned business, many of you know how important family is to us.  Today, on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, it does not seem “normal” to simply provide our typical post.  So today we want to take an opportunity to remember those impacted by this terrible tragedy – not only those who lost their lives, but their family members, as well as military personnel, and their families.  We’re hugging our family a little tighter tonight.

If you are a CSA member, or are planning to stop by the farm store this week, you can find the following bounty:

  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Spicy Greens
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Fennel

We look forward to seeing you at drop off, at the farm store, or at farmer’s market this week.

Locally yours,

Tom & Nancy

Week #14: The Prime of Summer


Photo credit: Freeimages.com/Acres_Wild

Happy Labor Day to our readers!  Another great, bountiful harvest this week.  Members can look forward to:

  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Ground Cherries
  • Kohlrabi
  • Bok Choy
  • Pears
  • Apples

This week we received some new goats.  And our turkeys are now big enough to be outside most of time (they come in at night for their safety).  So we’ll have some pasture-raised goat meat very soon and the turkeys will be ready for Thanksgiving.  Call Nancy to pre-order yours today!

Labor Day weekend signifies the unofficial end to summer and the start to fall.  While you may see pumpkins already at the store, no need to rush summer out the door yet.  Let’s celebrate this time of year, when the heart of summer bounty is upon us, with this delicious meal (which is also easy to prepare so you can have it on the table after a busy day of school and work!):

Flank Steak Tacos (modified from Cooking Light)

  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomato
  • 1 Tbsp red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, basil, or tarragon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pound flank steak
  • salt & pepper
  • Tortillas
  • 1 avocado, chopped (optional)

Make a salsa for the tacos by combining tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, herb, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Allow those flavors to marry.

Salt & pepper flank steak and grill 6 minutes (or until desired donennes) on each side.  Allow meat to rest for approximately 5 minutes before cutting across the grain.  Serve with salsa and avocados in a tortilla shell.

Kohlrabi Slaw (adapted from Cooking Light) (Best if made day before, but can be made same day

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds (or 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon)
  • 2 tsps. brown mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds kohlrabi, peeled
  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cut kohlrabi into thin slices (1/8″to 1/4″) and then cut each slice into matchstick-like pieces.  Combine remaining ingredients and toss with kohlrabi.  Best if refrigerated for 1 hour.

Pickling everything


Photo credit: Freeimages.com/ Karl Mooney

You have extra produce this season and can’t find a way to eat it all?  We’ve given you some ideas to sneak some more vegetables into your diet. But how about saving some of those vegetables during the off season?  You certainly can freeze vegetables or even can them, but what about pickling them?!?

How do you use pickled vegetables?

  • Bloody Mary bar!
  • Add a pop to a salad with pickled vegetables
  • Great on sandwiches
  • Try pickled onions on tacos
  • Italian cuisine uses giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, celery, peppers, and carrots)
  • Korean cuisine uses kimchi (pickled cabbage) as a common side dish

How do you pickle?

Cut the vegetables in the appropriate size.  Add in flavorings as you like (see recipe ideas below).  For sour brine (like dill pickles), use 3 cups vinegar; 3 cups sugar; 3 tbsp. salt; and 2 tbsp. sugar; and boil until sugar and salt dissolved.  (Use canning salt or sea salt without additives, otherwise the brine may cloud).  For sweet brine (like sweet pickles), use 3 cups vinegar; 3 cups water; 1 1/2 cups sugar; 1 1/2 tbsp. salt; and boil until sugar and salt dissolve.  Put vegetables in jar and fill brine up to 1/2″ from top.  You can refrigerate for up to a month (or can it and you can save 6 months or more).

What kind of flavoring can I add to the jar? (amounts listed are per pint jar)

1 Bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon Celery seed
1-3 small whole Dried Chile peppers
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon Dill seed
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon Pickling spice
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric

1 fresh Habanero or Jalapeño pepper
2-4 sprigs sliced or whole Dill
1/2-1 whole large clove, sliced Garlic
2 3-inch strips fresh (peeled) or 1/2 teaspoon prepared Horseradish
1 sprig fresh Oregano
1 tablespoon sliced Shallot

What are some flavor combos I should try?

Bread & Butter Zucchini Pickles

  • Sweet Brine
  • Zucchinis
  • Tumeric
  • Mustard Seed

Turnip Kimchi

  • Sour Brine
  • Turnips
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Serrano Chili
  • Ginger

Pickled Beets

  • Sweet Brine
  • Beets
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves

Cauliflower, Carrots, and Jalapeños

  •  Sour Brine
  • Cauliflower, Carrots, and Jalapeños
  • Oregano
  • Bay Leaf
  • Garlic

Fennel with Orange

  • Sour Brine
  • (Replace 1/2 of vinegar and sugar with orange juice)
  • Orange zest
  • Pink peppercorns

Dilly Beans

  • Sour Brine
  • Mustard Seed
  • Dill weed
  • Peppercorns



Week #13 for CSA members

As summer is starting to wind down, we are entering it to the massive harvest season and our members and customers are in for some real treats this year.  For example, members will expect to receive these goodies in Week #13:

  • Purple Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Tomatoes
  • Ground Cherries
  • Cucumbers (slicing)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Bok Choy
  • Pears

You’ll see purple beans this week, but our second crop of green beans are ready soon too.  And thanks to a new plow, which makes harvest much easier, we’ll have potatoes for the next few weeks.  Did you see our post last week?  Tomorrow is Eat More Herbs, Less Salt Day.  To celebrate, members are getting a few herbs and the blog post will give you some examples of how to use those herbs.


Ground Cherry

One of those treats members are getting this week is ground cherries.  Named because they fall from the plant before they are ripe, meaning they are harvested from the ground, these cherries are a little sweet, and slightly nutty.  They are excellent raw as a little snack and I’ve even seen people peel the husk, leaving the husk on, and use it to dip the cherry in some dark chocolate for a real treat!  We’ve got 2 other ideas for you this week:

Ground Cherry vinaigrette  (use for a spinach and raspberry salad with some grilled chicken)

  • 1 cup ground cherries, husks removed
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Put the first 7 ingredients in a food processor and blend.  Slowly add olive oil as you are blending to create a vinaigrette.  If you don’t have a food processor, chop the ground cherries finely and mix with other ingredients, adding olive oil last and whisking with a fork slowly as you add in the olive oil.

Ground Cherry salsa (use on grilled chicken or fish)

  • 3/4 cup ground cherries, husks removed
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

Either put ingredients in a food processor and pulse to salsa consistency.  Or chop cherries, onion, and cilantro to desired size and add in remaining ingredients.

Photo image: Freeimage.com/ Lize Rixt

More Herbs, Less Salt Day is August 29

Did you know Monday, August 29th, is National More Herbs, Less Salt Day?  The internet says this is true, so it must be so.


Image Credit: Freeimages.com/ Patrizia Schiozzi

So to celebrate, let’s do a little round up of some common herbs and how you can use them to replace salt on August 29 (or any day!)

  • Rosemary (Far left above) If you ever thought the leaves of rosemary looked like that of an evergreen tree, you weren’t far off.  Rosemary is from the same family as evergreens.  Easy to grow, it does well in cool climates, and is fine without water for long periods of time.  It is often used in Italian cuisine, either dried or fresh, as well as for flavoring roasted meats. Store the stems in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, but in the vegetable bin and they’ll last two weeks.  Try it tonight on grilled fish.


  • Sage (Second from left above)  Sage not only can be grown as a nice herb in a small garden plot, but it is often used as an ornamental plant too.  Sage is most often used in Southern European and Middle Eastern countries, but also commonly found in British cuisine.  It’s often roasted with meat (like chicken saltimbocca or in stuffing).  Wrap it in a damp towel and keep it in the fridge for up to 14 days.  When you’re feeling like fall, try it with some chicken.


  • Basil (Middle above)  With over 60 varieties, some species are stronger than others, but each type smells a little like anise.  Basil is commonly used in Italian and Southeast Asian cuisines.  Cooking basil destroys the flavor and causes the leaves to turn black, so it’s best to use fresh basil and throw it in after the dish is finished.  If you find yourself with an abundance of basil, puree it with some olive oil and nuts for pesto and freeze it.  This is a much better way to use basil when it is out of season, then using dried basil.  Keep the basil leaves in water, changing it when the water gets cloudy, with plastic wrap over it in the refrigerator and the leaves may last up to 5 days.  While there’s near-endless possibilities for basil, try it with some fresh tomatoes tonight.


  • Cilantro (also known as Chinese parsley!) This is a versatile plant; you can use all parts of it; the seeds are often dried and ground to create coriander for Indian and Southeastern Asian cuisine; the stems and leaves are used often in Mexican food.  Some people perceive cilantro as tasting soapy – it’s not that the plant has gone bad, but there are some genes that don’t taste cilantro as though the rest of us who enjoy it.  Best used fresh (since cooking it causes a loss of flavor and freezing or drying loses the aroma), you can store it a glass of water, upright, with plastic over it in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.  Make a southwest salad tonight with it.


  • Mint (Far right above)  If you need to fill up a garden or flower bed, plant a little mint and watch it take off (some varieties are actually considered invasive)!  Very unlike the mint flavoring you may think of in candy or gum, it has a mild sweet taste with a slight cool aftertaste.  It is most commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine and fresh is preferred to dried.  Store it similar to basil and cilantro and you can keep it in your fridge for 10 days.  Try some in a mojito or add it some fresh peas.


  • Parsley (not pictured)  Widely used in American, Middle Eastern, and European cuisine, you may recognize it as a garnish, but the flat-leaf variety is actually very good in recipes too.  You can store parsley wrapped in a damp towel and in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for a month or more.  Need a new side dish for summer cookouts?  Try parsley in tabbouleh.


  • Thyme (not pictured) Although fresh is superior to dried, getting the tiny leaves separated from the woody stem, which you do not want to eat, can be time consuming.  So dried can typically be substituted for fresh without much compromising.  You’ll find it mostly used in eastern Mediterranean cooking.  Store it up to 10 days in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp towel and in plastic.  Try it in a burger tonight.

How do you plan to celebrate More Herbs, Less Salt Day?  Leave us a picture on Facebook!

Welcome to Week #12

For those of you keeping score at home we’re up to week 12 already!  What goodies are in store for our members and customers?

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Cilantro
  • Hot Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Kohlrabi

Image credit: Freeimages.com/John Smith

Our members are receiving some heirloom tomato varieties this week.  What makes heirloom so special?  The seeds are open pollinated- meaning they don’t rely on human intervention to create new seeds.  Heirloom seeds are unaltered (no GMO here!) and as a result, tend to stay pretty consistent These seeds are the descendants of our descendants plants!  We have several different types of heirlooms at Kellner Back Acre, including peppers, lettuce, and pumpkins.  But for tomatoes, we are happy to offer our customers Cherokee Purple (also known as “ugly”); Amish Paste; and Red Zebra.

Our certified-organic raspberries are ready for picking. Contact Nancy to arrange a picking time.  We’re picking as fast as we can, so we’ll try to have some at markets and in the farm store too for those of you who would rather just pick some up.

For those of you starting to get overwhelmed by the tomatoes as we are in the midst of the season (and you aren’t ready to start canning), check out some recipes here: http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/fresh-tomato-recipes.  The recipe I’m most looking forward to trying – Cheese & Olive Stuffed Tomatoes!

Cheese & Olive Stuffed Tomatoes (4 servings)

  • 4 tomatoes (use the Purple Cherokees from your CSA share)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (or you could use goat cheese)
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata (or black) olives
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Cut off tops of tomatoes.  Scoop out flesh of tomato, creating a bowl.  Mix the seeds and flesh with cheese, olives, and herbs.  Then fill the tomato bowls with the mixture.  Put the tomatoes in baking pan and put under broiler for 2-3 minutes or until tomatoes start to blister and cheese melts and browns on top.

Great side dish for some Italian-seasoned chicken.  Or good as a light dinner with a side salad.  Enjoy!



The Dirt on Composting

EPATwo weeks ago, we told you about the problem of food waste and ways you can reduce that and how we are helping in this process.  When you can’t reduce the waste or reuse it, composting can make a big impact on reducing the waste in landfills (where it often creates greenhouse gases).  So we’re going to give you the real dirt on composting today.


So what’s the point of composting?  Not only does it reduce food waste in landfills, but it’ll eventually create rich, fertile dirt for your own garden or plants.  You can also use it as mulch, which may help reduce plant diseases.

What goes into composting?  There are four essential ingredients – oxygen, moisture, carbon, and nitrogen.  Oxygen will be provided by the air around us and moisture by rain.  Nitrogen can be provided by green things, such grass clippings.  Livestock manure also provides nitrogen.  Carbon  can be added by throwing brown materials, like twigs and dried leaves into the pile.  So not only can you put in all of your food waste, but all of your yard waste too!  Things you want to avoid – meat scraps that will attract animals; pet feces, which can carry disease; and diseased plants.

How long will this take?  If you plan on piling the materials in a corner of your lawn, it’ll likely take a year or so to create the rich dirt you’ll want to use.  If you are willing to put in some time every few days to tend to the pile, you could have fertile ground in just a few weeks.  USDA has more information on this method.

EPA also has some great resources to help you get started.