Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thanks for a great season! Box 19 (and 20) Oct. 23rd 2012

Thanks for being a part of our farm this year! Your support is a crucial piece of our operation. We are in our 3rd year of CSA and this was our biggest membership yet. Making the jump from 25-40 members was a little nerve-racking at first, especially given the extreme weather conditions this summer! We definitely learned a lot this year and are excited to implement a few new changes for next season.

We were able to upgrade to a walk-in cooler this fall which will save a ton of time every day (though we’ve gotten pretty good at refrigerator tetris) and will also allow us to harvest storage crops all at once which will free up planting space for other crops sooner.

We will definitely be investing in a better irrigation system next spring. We had one of the worst droughts in a while this year and a lot of our crops suffered because of it. I don’t think we had a decent looking beet all year! The irrigation system will help immensely with our root crops such as onions, carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, etc. These are key crops for us as they store well and are generally things that our membership really enjoys. Having irrigation will also allow us to ensure that we are including a good variety of produce in the boxes each week. When we are faced with tough weather conditions and we end up losing crops it really affects the variety of vegetables that we are able to include in the CSA.

It was a challenging year on the farm but we learned some excellent lessons! Thanks for sticking with us through the good and the bad (hopefully there is more of an emphasis on the good). The CSA model is designed that way. That’s what makes a CSA different. It’s not a replacement for the grocery store or the farmer’s market. It’s a model that allows you to basically become part of a farm. You have an intimate relationship with your farmers. You are supporting a local farm. You are reestablishing a relationship with your food that many people have lost these days. You are able to enjoy the bounty of a great harvest… but you are also assuming a risk. The risk that a crop will fail, or hail will destroy the tomatoes, or a late frost will kill the apple blossoms, or a cow will break into the garden and eat all the kale! Many things can go wrong in the daily life of a farmer and many of these are beyond our control. But for us, the joys far outweigh the woes. We love growing your food but we also understand that the CSA model doesn’t work for everyone.

Thanks again for allowing us to be your farmers! We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with you…

Your Farmers,

Bryan Crigler and Katelyn Foerster
Herbal Turtle Farms


Herbal Turtle Horseradish Sauce
Shiitake Mushrooms
Pumpkin or Squash


Squash or Pumpkin
Bok Choy
Oyster Mushrooms
Watermelon Radish


Here are a few pumpkin recipes from one of our members... Thanks Lizzy Haywood!

I made these cookies and they are awesome:


And then I got inspired by this recipe:


....but I modified it thus:

2 c shredded apples (soft ones that aren't as good for munching)
2 ripe bananas
1 c pumpkin puree (cooked, but you could do raw if you want)
1 T real maple syrup
2 t. pumpkin pie spice from the co-op
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c craisins
1/2 c pecans

Make sure to coat your dehydrator or cookie sheet with an oil spray (like organic coconut or canola oil) otherwise these will stick like crazy.

flip the leather once while it is drying.

Frozen fruit leather is yummy, and also if you tear it into bits it makes a good topping for salads!

Braised White Cabbage with Thyme:

Shiitake Mushroom Pizza:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BOX 18 - Oct. 17th, 2012

Next week is our last CSA box!  Thanks so much for choosing to be a part of our farm this year.  Your decision to be more involved with one the MOST important things in your life... your food... is key in helping to build and maintain a sustainable, healthy food system that generations to follow will benefit from.  THANK YOU! 

In case you did not have a chance to read our previous blog post...  You are the reason we grow vegetables and raise chickens and have dirty fingernails for 6 months out of the year. Your feedback is very important to us and we base most of our farm decisions on member preferences. We have created an online survey that we hope you will take a few minutes to complete. Here is the link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZL632BX. Thanks for your input!


Pie Pumpkin
Watermelon Radishes
Shiitake Mushrooms

Please let us know by Monday if you would like the extra box we mentioned in our post last week!  You can email us at info@herbalturtlefarms.com or call 507.450.5877 (Bryan) or 507.313.5085 (Katelyn) and let us know.


Please check back later!

Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 CSA Survey

Our CSA membership is the lifeblood of our farm!  You are the reason we grow vegetables and raise chickens and have dirty fingernails for 6 months out of the year.  Your feedback is very important to us and we base most of our farm decisions on member preferences.  We have created an online survey that we hope you will take a few minutes to complete.  Here is the link:  www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZL632BX.  Thanks for your input!

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn
Herbal Turtle Farms  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Box 17 - Oct 10th, 2012

Things are winding down on Herbal Turtle Farms.  We have 2 boxes left this season!  There are LOTS of projects to finish before we settle down for the winter so let us know if you would like to help out with any.  We will continue to take out old crops and trellis, planting garlic and possibly some carrots for next spring, trimming an re-mulching herb beds, putting shiitake logs down to rest, replenishing winecap beds, and more!  We are really hoping to get a cover crop in but it has been so dry this fall that it may do more harm than good.  If we till up the soil and the seeds don't germinate we will be stuck with bare soil over the winter.  If we have a dry winter that could be very bad news.  We may opt to leave the weeds as a cover and try to get a cover crop in early next spring.  


Snow Peas
Pie Pumpkin
Onions or Leeks

Since we missed a box in July due to the excessive heat we are offering an extra box during the last week of the CSA.  This box will consist of mainly storage crops such as cabbage, beets, and winter squash, but may also include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, etc.  Whatever we have left we will throw into the box!  We realize that not everyone likes to process foods for the winter so we will be giving members the option of requesting the extra box rather than just giving it out to everyone.  If you would like us to include the bonus box with your final CSA pick-up please email or call us and let us know by Monday, Oct 22nd.  You can reach us at info@herbalturtlefarms.com or 507.450.5877 (Bryan) or 507.313.5085 (Katelyn).   

Your Farmers,

Bryan, Katelyn, and Ayden
Herbal Turtle Farms


Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Icing:
These are insane.  I made a double batch last time and we ate them in a few days.  If you only make one recipe that I gave out this year-let this be the one.

Swedish Cabbage Soup:
A really great fall soup!  One of my favorites!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BOX 16 - October 3rd, 2012

Just when you were preparing for storage crops and cooking greens... BAM!  We hit you with some snow peas.  And they are TASTY.  You may notice a few spots on them here and there which is a reaction to the first few frosts.  We should have more of these next week weather permitting.


Bok Choy
Snow Peas
Watermelon Radish

We are doing a big push this month to get everything winterized!  We will be planting garlic, pulling out old crops and trellis, tilling and planting cover crops and putting mushroom logs to rest for the winter.  It's going to be a busy couple of weeks...  If you are interested in helping out with any of these projects let us know.


Vegetable Stir-fry with Ginger Vinaigrette:

Coconut Curry Roasted Squash:

Broccoli Rosemary Cassarole: