Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If a tree falls in the forest...

Disaster was narrowly avoided last week when a box elder tree fell in our mushroom yard. Fortunately the tree was bowed, and so although it fell over our shiitake logs, none were crushed by the fallen tree.

Bryan is handy with a chainsaw!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CSA Week 3: Scapes! Scapes! Scapes!

Hola amigos,

Happy Summer Solstice Herbal Turtlers! These long summer days sure are helpful out on the farm. We’re very excited for this week’s box. The garlic scapes are a sure sign that summer is on. This may be one of the most elegant crops on the farm. The bud of the garlic flower emerges and loops into a graceful curl at the top of the garlic plant. And we have to pick it, not only for its beauty and flavor, but also because growing a flower makes the eventual garlic bulbs smaller. (It's also really fun to pick because you can break the stem off quickly with a satisfying snap). Cook them anywhere you'd normally use garlic. We've made really good garlic bread using garlic scapes sauteed in olive oil.

We also included shiitake mushrooms in your box this week. This past Saturday at the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market, Chef Mike Arends of ZZest Restaurant featured our mushrooms in a cooking demonstration for the Healthy Living Fair. We’ve included his recipe for you to try out.

Back at the news desk, Kate and Bryan were interviewed for an article about vendors at the Rochester Farmers Market in this month’s Radish magazine. You can check out the article on our Facebook page. Not our friends on Facebook? Like us!

What’s in your box this week:

- Easter Egg Radishes

- Da Cheong Chae Bok Choi

- Red Russian Kale

- Garlic Scapes

- Baby Spinach

- Chives

- Shiitake Mushrooms!

Here are a few recipes we thought you'd enjoy:

Miso Soup Recipe (www.101cookbooks.com)

Miso Choice: This time around I used an organic white miso, but I'd encourage you to experiment with a range of misos.

3 ounces dried soba noodles

2 - 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)

2 - 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes

a handful of bok choi and/ or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed

small bunch of chives, chopped finely

a small handful of cilantro

a pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste - so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.

Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some greens, chives, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

Serves 2 - 3.

Chef Mike Arends’ Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad

1 Cup Quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock

4 oz skinless chicken breast

4 shiitake mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil

1 stalk of garlic scapes

2 small radishes

5 spinach leaves

1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 2 cups of vegetable stock to boil, add quinoa. Reduce stock to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes. After removing from heat, allow quinoa to sit 5 minutes uncovered. Then fluff quinoa. Cut radishes into match size sticks. Season raw chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on high heat for 2 minutes in sauté pan, and then add chicken breast. Cook both sides, until internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove chicken from pan, and let rest for 3 minutes before cutting into. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on high for 2 minutes in a sauté pan and then add mushrooms. Season mushrooms with a small amount of salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes and then add spinach leaves. Let spinach leaves wilt for 45 seconds, remove mushrooms and spinach. Assemble ingredients together and finish with juice from the lemon and a garlic scape garnish.

We hope you enjoy the box this week!

Love your farmers,

Bryan Crigler, Kate Foerster, Michael Crigler, Lauren Kohan Crigler

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CSA Week 2: All Hale Kale!

Dear Herbal Turtlers,

This week was turtle-tastic! Despite a fall down the stairs and a blown knee by two of your humble farmers, this bale is still in tip-top turtle shape to bring you the terrific contents of this Week 2 CSA box. Also, Lauren saw her first hummingbird. What a coincidence!

We would like to thank you all for helping to make our first week a great success. We hope you enjoyed the sample of coffee from Fortunata’s. Please let us know if you are interested in purchasing a coffee and/or bread share.

We love Wednesdays because we get to harvest your veggies instead of waging war on wicked weeds. Speaking of wicked weeds, if you are interested in coming out to the farm for a tour or just to get your hands dirty and see where your food is coming from give us a call.

What’s in your box this week:

Easter Egg Radishes

Baby Spinach

Pea vines

Chives (for real this time)

And the hippest brassica in all the land: Red Russian Kale

Here are a few recipes we thought you'd enjoy:

Radish Leaf Soup (Forgotten Skills of Cooking)


3 tbs. butter

5 oz potatoes, peeled and chopped

¾ C. onion, peeled and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups of water or chicken stock

1 cup of whole milk

5 oz radish leaves, chopped


Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes and onions, and toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well, cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes. When the vegetables are almost soft but not colored, add the stock and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and onions are fully cooked. Add the radish leaves and boil with the lid off for 4-5 minutes, until the radish leaves are cooked. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh green color. Puree in a blender. Taste, and adjust seasoning.

Also, try the radishes dipped in butter with sea salt!

Recipe #2

Stir-fried Kale (Forgotten Skills of Cooking)


1 tablespoons olive oil

1 slice of fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 small onion chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 bunch of kale - washed, dried, and shredded (Turtle tip-don’t forget to destalk your kale!)


Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir until soft.

We hope you enjoy your box this week. Please check out the Herbal Turtle Farms Facebook page for a special newscast made just for our members! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Herbal-Turtle-Farms/357905039061

Love your farmers,

Bryan Crigler, Kate Foerster, Michael Crigler, Lauren Kohan Crigler

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Eats

Turtle Tasties: Penne with kale, pea vines and sun-dried tomatoes and tofu in a garlic butter sauce and fresh baked bread. Yumbo!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A group of turtles is called a bale…and this bale worked our turtle tails
off to bring you the humble contents of this first box of the 2011 CSA
season. We hope you enjoy it.

We have two boxes for each CSA member this year, labeled with your
name on it. Unfortunately, these boxes are not recyclable as they are
wax-coated. Due to environmental and economic concerns, we ask that
you please treat your boxes gingerly. Please break down your box and
return it to your pick up site when you pick up next week’s box. Thanks!

You may be wondering: “Why do I have this delicious smelling ½ lb.
of Fortunata’s Coffee in my box?!” Well friends, as some of you may be
aware, Herbal Turtle Farms has partnered with Fortunata’s Coffee in
Fountain City, WI and Renaissance Breads in Galesville, WI.

Fortunata’s Coffee is 100% Organic and Fair Trade coffee sourced from
around the world and roasted in small batches by the famous Coffee Joe
Libera in Fountain City, WI. It’s delicious.
Prices for Coffee Share:
Weekly ½ lb. share: $105 // Weekly 1 lb. share: $210

Renaissance Bread is the rebirth of fresh baked breads and fine pastries
made with quality ingredients. Their bread is made by hand
in small batches by two young sisters devoted to providing the community
with local, quality, organic baked goods. All breads are made from
100% organic flour and grains without preservatives.
The bakery is locally owned and operated by Sally Reimer and Harmony
Bork in downtown Galesville, WI. Their products are featured at local
co-ops, food stores, cafes, and farmers markets in the surrounding area.
They also take orders for special occasions.
- 7-Grain Bread 1lb. 8oz. sliced loaf. Organic whole wheat flour, grains
(millet, wheat, rye, barley, flax, steel-cut oats, corn), canola oil, honey,
apple cider vinegar, yeast, and sea salt.
- Wisconsin Sourdough Bread 1lb. 8oz. sliced loaf. Organic white flour,
yeast, and sea salt.
- Wheat Wisconsin Sourdough Bread 1lb. 8oz. sliced loaf. Organic white
flour, organic whole wheat flour, yeast, and sea salt.
Prices for Bread Share:
- 7-Grain Bread Share (1 1lb. 8oz. loaf/week): $95
- WI Sourdough Bread Share (1 1lb. 8oz. loaf/week): $90
- Wheat WI Sourdough Bread Share (1 1lb. 8oz. loaf/week): $90

If you are interested in signing up or finding out more information about
either the coffee or bread share, let us know!

Thanks for the support! We are excited to be sharing the season with
you and welcome any feedback (praise or constructive criticism) that you
may have for us. You can also find this newsletter and updates on our
website www.herbalturtlefarms.com. Until next week!

Your farmers,

Bryan Crigler, Kate Foerster, Michael Crigler, Lauren Kohan Crigler

Here are a few recipies we thought you might enjoy:

Refreshing Radish Spread/Dip
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups (8 ounces) halved or quartered radishes
1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
(purple spring onions are nice, too)
½ cup (or more to taste) packed chopped fresh
8 ounces (or more) cream cheese, softened
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt (start with less if you're including
the feta)
Several grinds of fresh pepper
Cottage cheese (optional)
Whiz the radishes, scallions, and parsley in a
food processor until finely chopped. Add the
cream cheese, feta cheese (if using—or you can
always stir it into part or all of the batch later),
lemon juice, salt, and pepper and process until
smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor
bowl as necessary. Add more cream cheese
if you'd like a thicker sandwich spread, or stir in
(or process in) some cottage cheese if desired.

Farmgirl Susan's Arugula Pesto
1/3 cup (or more) of your favorite olive oil
1/2 to 1 ounce garlic (about 3 to 6 smallish
cloves), peeled and sliced
6 ounces dry arugula (about 3 cups), preferably
very young leaves
3 ounces freshly grated pecorino romano or
other hard cheese (about 1 cup)
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and
rinsed (about 5-1/2 ounces)
If desired, first cook the garlic:
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium
heat. Add the sliced garlic to the hot oil and cook
for 1 to 3 minutes until barely golden, turning the
slices once.
Combine the arugula, pecorino romano,
garbanzo beans, and garlic (spoon it out of the
olive oil if you cooked it) in the bowl of a food
processor (I love my 12-cup KitchenAid food
processor, which comes with a handy mini bowl
that fits inside) and process until smooth.
Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream with
the motor running. This will help the pesto
emulsify. Add salt to taste and more olive oil if

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 Herbal Turtle CSA!!

Our first box of the 2011 season will be delivered this Wednesday (June 8th)!

The Trempealeau drop site will be located at Don Hellrung’s office downtown (across the street from the Trempealeau Hotel). Pick up will be between 3 and 6pm. The Winona drop site is at Bluff Country Coop on the corner of 2nd and Johnson St. Boxes will be in the produce section and can be picked up between Noon and 8pm. Please keep in mind that if you pick your box up at the end of the day, your produce will not look near as nice as it did when we first packed it!

In addition to all of the amazing mushroom, egg, and herb add-ons we currently offer, this year we are also giving you the opportunity to buy a bread share from Renaissance Breads in Galesville, WI, and/or a coffee share from Fortunata’s Coffee in Fountain City, WI. You will find information for both of these shares in your first box along with a free coffee sample!

We will include a printed newsletter in each box. Newsletters will include an explanation of the contents of the boxes that week, recipes, farm news and stories, and upcoming events. We will also post the information on our blog/website: www.herbalturtlefarms.com so check it often. As an added tool for those of you who enjoy hiking in the woods, we have built a page on our website called “The Adventures of Fungiboy”. This page is dedicated to discussing and identifying mushrooms that are commonly found in our area. We are also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin so be sure to find us on any of these sites if you are on them!

From time to time Herbal Turtle Farms will host different workshops and as a CSA member you will receive a 50% discount if you would like to attend any.

If you are ever interested in getting your hands dirty in the gardens or would just like to visit the farm, please give us a call and we will set up some time for you to come out! Please feel free to contact us anytime at:

Bryan’s Cell: 507.450.5877
Email: info@herbalturtlefarms.com

We’re looking forward to being your farmers!

Bryan Crigler
Kate Foerster
Michael Crigler
Lauren Kohan-Crigler