Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LAST CSA BOX!!! WEEK 18 - October 23rd, 2013

This will be our last box of the season!  Just in time for the snow... Thanks so much for all of your support.  We hope you have enjoyed being a part of our farm.  It was an interesting season (to say the least!) but we feel great about this last year and hope you do too! 


Pie Pumpkin
Pea Shoots

We will be sending out an end of season letter to everyone in the next week or so.  Thanks again for contributing to a more sustainable agricultural system for our community! 

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Kate


Pumpkin Cookies:

 Pie Crust:

Pie Filling:

 Mashed Turnips with Turnip Greens:

Pea Shoot Recipes:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 17 - October 16th, 2013

A nice colorful fall box this week!  We are pulling the last of the root crops and prepping fields for next season.  It is a race against the clock for peas and beans!  We have a final succession of both in and they are starting to fruit but we'll see what happens with frost in the valley.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to harvest them in time for our last box!  We will have a round of pie pumpkins next week as well as turnips, leeks, apples, and cooking greens.  We are hoping to have honey done by then as well.  It all depends on the weather at this point! 


Pea Shoots

This week was the first week in the history of our CSA that we had everyone's box back!!  Thank you!!!  It was an exciting day today :). 

If anyone is still interested in putting up extra produce let us know.  We have a few crops we are done harvesting and you are welcome to come out grab what's left to put up for the winter.  Let us know and we'll arrange a time for you to come out! 

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WEEK 16 - October 9th, 2013

Lots of greens this week!  The cabbage will store FOREVER so if you don't get to it this week don't worry!  We will have 2 more weeks worth of produce for you this season.  This year really went by quick!  We will be including a sign-up form in the next box for those of you who will be joining us next year.  Thanks for all your support!!!


Pea Shoots
Apples (Golden Delicious, Prairie Spy, Firesides)
Swiss Chard

Mushroom Share holders, we will have another week of shiitake for you for sure.  After that it will really depend on the weather.  If the temperature continues to drop we may not get any more shiitake.  We will let everyone know how its looking after next week.

Your farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn


Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
We have cut this recipe in half and baked it in an 8x8 pan.  It turned out great!

Julia Child's Potato Leek soup


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WEEK 15 - October 2nd 2013 - Fall Goodness!!!

BOOM...  It's fall!  This week's box is full of fall goodness.  The field work is starting to wind down but now we are extremely busy prepping fields for cover crops, pulling old corps and trellis, getting ready to plant garlic, trying to finish building the shed, and setting up a new shiitake yard.  It feels like things should be slowing down but they aren't!  Sorry for the lack of pictures lately... it's just Kate and I right now so it hasn't been on my radar.  I'll try to get some up next week! 


Hot Peppers
Sweet Peppers
Egg Plant
Acorn Squash

Leeks are an allium and can be used just like an onion.  You will notice two kinds of apples in your box.  The small ones are Prairie Spy and are more tart.  These are great for cooking, but personally I like them raw as well.  The larger ones are Firesides and are less tart.  Probably the last week for tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.  The potatoes are from our friends at Whitewater gardens.  We didn't have room for potatoes this year but plan on giving it a go next season.

Coming up for the last few boxes we will have another round of squash/pumpkin, more leeks, scallions, kale and/or chard, radishes, carrots, beets, more apples, hopefully brussel sprouts, and possibly a few other surprises! 

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 14 - Sept 25th, 2013

We have radishes!  They are at a perfect stage right now.  Enjoy them raw with a little salt or experiment with cooking them.  Don't forget you can use the greens as well!  We have included an excellent radish greens soup recipe at the end of the blog for you to try out. 

Mushroom share folks... as promised we have a special treat for you this week!  In addition to your shiitake you will find a decent amount of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms.  These are a beautiful saprophytic polypore that we usually find on dead oak.  These can get a little tough if you get them when they are too mature but the ones in your box are at a great stage.  You can saute them with a little butter and add them to a cream sauce (or just eat them plain).  As with any wild mushroom we give you, make sure you cook them before eating them.  Enjoy!


Sweet Peppers
Hot Peppers
Romanesco Cauliflower

Isn't this cauliflower cool?!  You can use it as you would broccoli or any other type of cauliflower.  Or just keep it in your fridge and look at it every once in a while :). 

One last reminder that the Mushroom Workshop is this Sunday.  Let us know if you would like to sign up and we will give you the CSA Member Discount!

Your Farmer's

Bryan and Katelyn


Radish Raita

Spicy Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower and Tomatoes

Radish Leaf SoupForgotten Skills of Cooking

3 tablespoons butter
5 oz potatoes, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup onion, peeled and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups of water or stock of your choice
1 cup whole milk
5 oz radish leaves, chopped

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. 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 lost its fresh green color. Puree in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WEEK 13 - Sept 18th, 2013

Thanks to those of you who came out to our first annual Herbal Turtle CSA Potluck!!!  We had a blast and it was great to have the opportunity to talk with you one-on-one and discuss where and how we grow your food.  By the way... the band that played was called "Gravy Train".  Let us know if you would like to book them for anything and we'll get you their contact info! 

Don't forget... We are hosing a mushroom workshop Sunday Sept. 29th!  We are offering a discounted rate for CSA members so if you are interested please let us know!

It feels like fall! The rains finally came (we danced in them for a while) and the temps are dropping. The moisture is great news for the shiitake. Unfortunately the cooler night time temps slowed them down and we did not have enough ready to go around today. We have really been struggling with those shrooms this season!!! We will be including a special treat for those of you with mushroom shares to make up for missing a few weeks. Thanks for your patience.

Katelyn and I are running around like crazy lately! Jenn is back in school and Lynnette just left for Vermont to work for Americorps! We are super excited for her but now it's just Kate and I so if we are a few minutes late for delivery... it's not because we are lazy!

The cool weather crops are looking great. In the next few weeks you will start to see beets, radishes, turnips, carrots, winter squash, kale, peas, beans and cauliflower.

Green Beans
Sweet Peppers (bell and belcanto)
Hot Peppers (banana, hot chili, jalapeno)
Egg Plant

We are counting on 1 more week of tomatoes.  Not sure how many we will get now that the weather has cooled down that but hopefully you will have had your fill by then!  By October we will be done with the warm and into our cool weather crops.

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week 12 - Sept 11th, 2013 - Better make some salsa!!

Tomatoes!!!!  We have tomatoes coming out our ears.  We loaded you up this week and at the end of this newsletter we re-posted our fresh salsa recipe.  It is perfect for this box since you have an abundance of tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and onions.
The CSA potluck is THIS SUNDAY!  We are really excited to have you out and get to know you better.  We will also have some produce available for you to take home if you would like it.  Things like tomatoes for canning and large zucchini for baking.  Please feel free to bring the whole family!  We only ask that you don’t bring your dogs.  We love dogs but not everyone shares that feeling (including our chickens).  Also, it may become an issue with so much food around.  The last event we had this year, our own dog ate ALL the cookies while we were giving the farm tour.  I love cookies. 

Please let us know if you plan on attending so we can get a head count and give out directions!

Green Beans
Sweet and Hot Peppers
Swiss Chard

We will be having a mushroom inoculation workshop on Sunday, Sept 29th!  The cost is $75 ($60 for CSA members) and it will include a presentation, farm tour, lunch, hands-on inoculating experience and a shiitake log to take home.  Let us know if you are interested in attending!

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn


Molly Lynn’s Fresh Salsa
1 pound fresh tomatoes
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
small to medium size handful of cilantro
juice of 1 lime
Salt to flavor
Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WEEK 11 - September 4th, 2013

Not only does your edamame make a great snack, it has also been working hard to fix nitrogen back into our soil.  That's one busy little plant!  In the picture you will notice a bunch of tiny ball-looking things on the roots of the plant.  Those are actually nodules formed by a bacteria called rhizobium.  The rhizobium invades the root and multiplies with in the cells.  It is actually the bacteria that fixes the nitrogen but only with the help of a legume (soy, peas, alfalfa, etc.).  Fascinating relationships beneath the soil! 

You will notice an invitation/reminder card in your box regarding the CSA potluck on the 15th.  That's next Sunday!  We are very excited to have you out to the farm!!  Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect and so we can give you directions.


Green Beans
Red Norland Potatoes
Bell Peppers
Belcanto peppers

We are sorry to report that the shiitake did not do well this week.  In fact we pretty much went blank!  If you have a mushroom share with us we will try to double up in the next week or two.  Unfortunately this week we just don't have any shrooms...

The tomatoes are still coming strong but will begin to taper off over the next week or two so enjoy them while they last!   The next few weeks look like they will be full of peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans.  We also have more kale, beans, peas, radishes, cauliflower, beets, carrots, spinach, and head lettuce coming down the line! 

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn


Baba Ganouj
The New Moosewood Cookbook

a little oil for the baking sheet
1 medium (7 inch) eggplant
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sesame tahini
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper and cayenne, to taste
olive oil and freshly minced parsley for the top

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lighly oil the baking sheet
2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, and place face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until very tender. Cool until it's comfortable to handle.
3. Scoot out the eggplant pulp, and discard the skin. Place the pulp ina food processor or blender, and add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and salt. Puree until smooth.
4. Transfer to an attractive serving dish, cover tightly, and chill. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and parsley just before serving.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Week 10 - Hold Me Closer Tiny Carrot (August 28th, 2013)

We have all installed intravenous saline drips on our bodies to keep from getting dehydrated this week.  No we actually didn’t do that… But we have changed our working hours to the EARLY morning and have been paying extra attention to the amount of WATER we all drink.  It doesn’t take much to work up a good sweat in this heat.  The heat loving plants are not complaining though!  Eggplant, tomatoes and peppers are thriving and we will load you up with them while the getting is good. 

We will be having a CSA Potluck and Farm Tour on Sunday, September 15th from Noon-3pm!  We will be sending a reminder card in your next CSA box so be on the lookout.  Bring a dish to pass and a plate and utensils.  We’ll supply the refreshments and hopefully some entertainment! 

Hot Peppers
Sweet Peppers
Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet Corn
Edamame (soy beans)

Our sweet corn did great this year.  The coon fence worked like a charm and since we planted the corn right into the winter squash, it didn’t take up any additional space.  We will definitely plant our corn in a similar fashion next year.  ½ of the corn we started in flats and ½ we direct seeded.  The direct seeded corn didn’t germinate very well so we bought in some from our friends at Fairview Farms so that we could give everyone a decent amount.        

The cabbage worms have been prolific in the broccoli this year.  They are the little green caterpillar looking things in the picture.  We always hydro-cool the broccoli (meaning we pick it and immediately put it into a cooler full of cold water) to help it keep crisp and also to get rid of any bugs living inside the heads.  We also bang it out and this year have even gone through each head with tweezers and picked out any cabbage worms we could see.  It’s just part of organic farming.  We recommend that you make sure you cut the broccoli up before cooking it and if you want to be really sure you don’t get any bugs in your dinner you can soak the broccoli in some cold salt water before cooking. 

Caprese Salad
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh basil
Fresh mozzarella
Balsamic Reduction
Olive oil
Sea Salt

Reduce the balsamic vinegar by putting 4 times the amount of balsamic you want to end up with in a saucepan.  Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Shut off the heat when you get to ALMOST the thickness that you want as it will reduce more as it cools. 

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange them on a plate.  Chiffonade the basil and place it liberally on top of the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Drizzle on the balsamic reduction and olive oil and top with sea salt.  Devour.


Soak the edamame in salt water for about 15 minutes.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook beans for 5-6 minutes with the lid off.  Remove from water and sprinkle with coarse salt.  To eat pull the beans out of the shell with your teeth.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WEEK 9 - August 21st, 2013

We are extremely grateful for our Solar Camel this week!!!  We have been able to water no problem and our crops are definitely seeing the benefit of a cool drink on these hot days.  We also were able to get the roof on our shed last weekend thanks to the help of our good friend and CSA member Jimmy! 

As you can see from the picture, we had an unexpected friend in one of our tomato boxes this week.  It gave a few of our helpers a bit of a scare when they went to sort the tomatoes!

We will have plenty of tomatoes and peppers next week as well as some egg plant and another round of broccoli.  Sweet corn is also just about ready so you should see that in the next few weeks also.  We are well positioned to continue to have bountiful boxes for many weeks to come! 


Swiss Chard
Cherry Tomatoes
Moskvich Tomato
Zucchini/Patty Pan Squash
Red Swan Beans

Some of the onions are a bit small this year but the flavor is great!  We think it's because we were unable to get a hold of straw for mulch until very late in the season this year.  The extra weed pressure and possibly loss of moisture are likely causes. 

We recommend that you do NOT refrigerate your tomatoes.  If they are not fully ripened it will stop the ripening process.  Ripe tomatoes will likely become mealy after a few days in the fridge.  Some people also claim that they will lose some of their flavor.  Your tomatoes are picked fresh from the fields weekly, often a day or two before you receive them.  They will easily keep another 3-5 days on your counter before they start to deteriorate.   


Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Poppy seed Dressing

4-5 Beets, all but 1” of greens removed
Olive oil
1 log of Goat Cheese
1/3 C. toasted walnuts
Salad mix
Poppy seed dressing (recipe below)

Rinse any dirt or debris from the beets – some beets may need to be scrubbed clean. Put beets on a large piece of aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 375. Drizzle the beets with a bit of oil before roasting. For even roasting of the beets, fold the foil over them and crimp the sides closed. Roast beets until tender. The amount of time this will take can vary greatly depending on the size of the beets, how many there are, if other things are in the oven, and how fresh the beets are (fresher beets cook up faster). For smaller beets, start checking them for tenderness at about 25 minutes. Larger and older beets can take up to an hour. Remove beets from oven when tender. Let sit until cool enough to handle. When beets are cool enough to handle, slip their peels off. You can use a paring knife, if you like, but you can also marvel at how easily the peels come off with just a rub of your fingers.

For the Dressing:

1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
Place all ingredients in a jar; cover and shake until blended. Keeps several days in refrigerator.
(This salad is also great with balsamic vinaigrette!)

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

·         2-3 small zucchini, sliced into fry shapes

·         1/4 cup flour (I used chickpea flour to offer a gluten-free option, but I don’t see why regular flour shouldn’t also work.) (24g)

·         1/4 tsp salt

·         1/4 tsp garlic powder

·         1/2 cup milk of choice (120g)

·         1 cup breadcrumbs (I made my own by toasting Ezekiel bread and processing it in a food processor. If you’re gluten-free, use gf bread.) (40g)

Zucchini fries recipe: Preheat oven to 420F. Lightly grease a cooling rack, place it on a baking tray, and set aside. Set up an assembly line: flour and spices in one bowl, milk in another, and breadcrumbs in a third. Dip each zucchini stick in the flour, then the milk, then the breadcrumbs. Place on the cooling rack. Bake 18-19 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached. Makes 40-45 fries.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 8 - August 14th, 2013

We are about to have a produce explosion!  Be prepared for healthy quantities of broccoli, tomatoes and peppers in the next few weeks.  I think we managed to save our sweet corn from the wrath of the local raccoons as well… as long as I didn’t just jinx it by talking about it!  We put up a temporary electric fence around the corn and it seems to be doing its job. 

Yesterday we had a successful farm tour with Bluff Country Coop.  It went pretty smoothly other than the fact that the dog got to the cookies before any of us could!  Thanks to those of you who made it out.  If you didn’t have a chance to get out, or didn’t hear about it in time don’t worry.  We are also planning to have a CSA potluck.  This way members can meet us and each other, get a farm tour, share ideas and recipes, etc.  We are just working on setting the date.  We have talked about doing this in the past and it has not yet happened so we are definitely going to make it happen this year!!! 


Zucchini and Patty Pan Squash

Broccoli or Cabbage


Orange Tiger Cherry Tomatoes

Red Swan Beans

Chesnok Red Garlic

We planted a LARGE variety of peppers and tomatoes this season.  Each week you may receive a different variety or a mix of a few different ones.  Below is a list of all of the peppers we are currently growing.  We will list all of the tomato varieties in the next week or so as we start to harvest more of them. 


PURPLE BEAUTY-sweet bell

IKO IKO-sweet bell

king crimson-sweet bell


belcanto-sweet bell


early jalapeno-medium heat

New Mexico Joe E. Parker Anaheim-mild heat

Hungarian Hot Wax-medium heat


Ring o Fire Cayanne-very hot

Ancho Poblano-mild heat



Quick pickled zucchini:

Tzatziki Sauce:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week 7 - August 7th, 2013

The weed war is going well.  As you can see from the picture, the battles are gruesome and not for the faint of heart.  Luckily, this ain't our first time at the rodeo!!  Our crops are still looking great and although we did get some hail last night they don't seem any worse for the wear.  The rain was certainly welcomed!  It will be a help with mushroom production which has been down this season.  We should finally be able to get to the Winona and Rochester farmer's markets!     


Zucchini and/or Patty Pan Squash
Garlic (Music)
Copenhagen Cabbage or Broccoli
Swiss Chard
Genovese and Thai Basil
You will notice that we included a very large zucchini in your box this week... We have had requests from a few members for a round of larger zucchinis for baking breads, cookies, etc.  Let us know if you are interested in receiving more large zucchini and we will try to include some in your next box!  If you're not the baking type you can still cook the large zucchini like the smaller ones.  Just cut out the seeds and slice into smaller pieces prior to cooking. 

Tomatoes are starting to ripen!  We have been harvesting a few and hope to have enough cherries next week to include in your boxes.  We will also have another round of beans next week for sure! 

Also, for those of you who receive herb shares... This week it's Simon and Garfunkel: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme!


Zucchini Feta Pancakes

Moosewood Cookbook

4 eggs, separated
4 packed cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
½ cup finely minced scallions
1 tsp dried mint or 1 tbsp fresh minced mint
A little salt
Lots of black pepper
1/3 cup flour
Oil for frying
Sour cream or yogurt for topping

Beat the egg whites until stiff.   In a medium sized bowl, combine zucchini, egg yolks, feta, scallions, seasoning s and flour.  Mix well.  Fold the egg whites into the zucchini mixture.   Heat a little oil in a heavy skillet.  When it is very hot, add spoonfuls of batter, and fry on both sides until golden and crisp.  Serve immediately, topped with sour cream or yogurt.

Overnight Coleslaw
Savoring the Seasons

1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Dash of Tabasco
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, combine the bay leaf, vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and garlic and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Remove the bay leaf.  Whisk the toasted caraway seeds, mustard and vegetable oil into the vinegar mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Put the sliced cabbage and onion in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.  Adjust the seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Zucchini (or summer squash) Bread

Diane Foerster

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 beaten eggs
2 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oil
3 cups grated zucchini (not peeled)
1 cup nuts (optional)

Stir together the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Beat eggs. Add sugar, vanilla and oil and mix well. Stir in grated zucchini and dry ingredients. Blend well. Stir in nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Makes two 9 1/2 by 5 1/2 pans. Can also be used for making bars.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week 6 July 31st, 2013

We’re at war! With weeds… but that’s nothing new. Don’t worry, we’re pushing back the line. Except for the milkweed. This year we have been trying to keep as much milkweed in as possible to help out the Monarch population. They have had a tough year but we have been seeing a few Monarch butterflies lately! The Japanese beetles are also back but luckily their numbers are nowhere near what they were last year.

This week is like a weird warp zone between the early season and the summer crops and the dip in temperatures has slowed our eggplant, tomatoes and peppers just a bit. They are still looking great though and we are well positioned for some outstanding summer crops. Since we have a smaller box this week, Katelyn and I have been foraging in the forest for some special treats for you all!


Carrots or Beets

Zucchini or Patty Pan Squash


Fresh Garlic

Lobster or Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms

Normally all of our wild foraged mushrooms go straight to the chefs we work with but we thought this week we would treat our members as well! Here is some info regarding the lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactiflorum) and the Chicken of the Woods mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus) If you have any questions about either of these mushrooms please feel free to call me (Bryan) about it! Enjoy!

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn
Herbal Turtle Farms

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 5

The weather this week has been amazing and the plants are loving every minute of it.  It has been really enjoyable to be out harvesting all of the veggies this week and I have had a lot of great help from Lynette and Jenn while Bryan has been in the Boundary Waters.  Writing the blog post is usually Bryan's area of expertise so I'll just get right into what is in your box and a few ideas for what to do with it. 

What's in your box this week:

YaYa Carrots or Early Wonder Tall Top Beets
Summer Squash
Bronco Green Beans
Kale and Swiss Chard
Fresh Garlic

If you received carrots this week you will get beets next week and vice versa.  This will be our last week with the kohlrabi and Bronco green beans but our next succession of green beans is just starting to flower so they shouldn't be too far behind.  We pulled the first round of garlic and are going to pull everything else in the next week and start curing it all.  In the next few weeks we are expecting broccoli, cabbage, onions, peppers, carrots, etc.  If you feel like you are getting overwhelmed with veggies, now is a good time to start preserving some for the winter!  Cooking greens (chard, kale, kohlrabi greens) are one of the easiest things to put up-blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water, shock them in cold water, remove excess moisture and throw them in freezer bags. 
  When you are picking up your boxes please make sure to check that you are grabbing your box.  We have had a few people not receive their box because it was accidentally taken by someone else.  If you do happen to take a box that is not yours, please contact Bryan or I so that we can make sure everyone gets a box with the add-ons they are supposed to get.  Thanks!


Kohlrabi Hash Browns
Farmer John's Cookbook

4 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
plain yogurt or sour cream

Grate the kohlrabi and wrap it up in a dish towel.  Squeeze out excess moisture.
Combine eggs, onion, bread crumbs, salt, ginger, red pepper in a large mixing bowl.  Add the black pepper to taste. Stir until well blended.
Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy bottomed skillet.  Add the kohlrabi and press down firmly with a sturdy spatula.  Do not stir.  Let the kohlrabi cook until brown, 5-7 minutes.  Carefully flip the kohlrabi with the spatula, press down firmly and brown for another 5-7 minutes.  Serve with yogurt or sour cream.

Simplest Summer Soup
Minnesota's Bounty

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 sprigs thyme
1 small leek, white and green parts chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 medium summer squash or zucchini, diced
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable stock
8 ounces green beans, but into 1 inch peices

Heat the oil in a large soup pot.  Saute the onion, carrot, celery and thyme until the onion is transparent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the leek, tomato, squash, potato and stock.  Bring the stock to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart, about 15 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook until they are tender, about 5 more minutes.

You can also check out this website about how to use your carrot greens!

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Kate

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

WEEK 4 - JULY 17th 2013

Lots going on at the farm the last few weeks!!!  Our "shed" is coming along nicely.  We hope to have the roof on next week.  We finally got our straw bales!  It was quite an adventure but thanks to our good friend Taylor we were able to get it done.  Let the mulching begin!  Bryan left today for the Boundary Waters and will be gone until the 25th!  Uhmmm... maybe someone should remind him that REAL farmers don't take vacation until after October ;).  Thanks to some AMAZING volunteers this season he's able to sneak away for a little bit.  

Green Towers Romaine Lettuce
Rainbow Swiss Chard
Bronco Green Beans
Sugar Snap Peas
Summer Squash (zucchini or patty pan)

This will be last week of lettuce for a while.  We have some heat tolerant varieties in the ground right now and if the do what they are supposed to we may have some mid-summer lettuce as well.  This will also be the only peas until fall.  They don't like the heat very much and the germination was tricky since we had such a wet spring.  The summer squash is just starting to come on so this week will be a teaser but don't worry-there will be loads of it very soon.  Kohlrabi may not be familiar to all of you-it has been described as a cross between a mild radish and a turnip.  You can slice or shred the whole bulb-peeling shouldn't be necessary since our kohlrabi are fairly young.  You can also use the leaves as you would other cooking greens.  We like to grate the bulb and throw them on top of salads if we are in a hurry.  

We are hoping to include some baby carrots and fresh garlic next week!  Everything in the field is looking fantastic-the tomatoes started to set fruit, the broccoli is heading, peppers and cucumbers are blooming, onions are forming fat bulbs and the garlic is getting ready to move to the barn to start curing. 

Green Bean Salad

A Few Quick Ideas for Kohlrabi:
Minnesota's Bounty

Kohlrabi Slaw:  Shred several medium kohlrabi bulbs, and place them in a colander for several minutes to drain.  Shred a small carrot and 1 small onion into a bowl.  Add the shredded kohlrabi, and then toss with balsamic or red wine vinegar to taste.  Allow to marinate about 15 minutes before serving.

Smashed Kohlrabi Potatoes: Add 1 or 2 diced kohlrabi to a pot of peeled and cubed potatoes, and bring the water to a boil.  Cook until the kohlrabi and potatoes are very tender.  Drain the vegetables, and then mash them, adding butter and milk as you would for mashed potatoes.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WEEK 3, July 10th 2013

Looks like summer finally caught up with us!  July is hot and dry as expected.  This year we are ready for it!  Bryan's brother-in-law, Jeff, brought us a big surprise over the 4th of July.  They delivered the Herbal Turtle Solar Camel designed and built by Jeff's company Mid-America Solar (  It is an old military trailer with a 535 gallon water tank, a solar panel, LED lights, and a pump.  It is completely powered by the sun and works GREAT with our drip lines.  We should be well positioned to keep your produce lush even if we see drought conditions this year.  THANKS JEFF!!!


Garlic Scapes
Green Towers Romaine Lettuce
Lovelock Lettuce
Red Russian Kale
Pea Shoots

This week is full of power greens!  Enjoy those salads!  We should have more lettuce over the next 2 weeks and then we'll likely have a break from it until we see some cooler weather in the fall.  Snap peas, Kohlrabi, Green Beans and zucchini are EXTREMELY close.  We have been watering them and they will be ready next week.

We have a couple large farm projects coming up so if you are interested in helping out let us know!  Also, please remember to bring your boxes back each week.  They are very expensive and we have a limited supply.  As always, please feel free to call us with any questions.  Praise and back pats are also welcome! 

Your farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn 


Caesar Salad
A Girl and Her Pig

We had this for dinner last night and it was killer!

7 whole anchovies, rinsed, soaked and filleted
2 medium garlic cloves
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1
/4 cup champagne or rice wine vinegar
1 large egg 1 cup sunflower, peanut or grapeseed oil
a 1 oz chunk of Parmesan, very finely grated
Romaine lettuce
a chunk of Parmesan for grating
Sea salt

Place anchovy fillets and garlic in a small food processor and pulso to a rough paste. Add the mustard and vinegar, crack in the egg, and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. With the processor on, gradually drizzle in the oil in a steady stream. Finally, add the Parmesan and blend until it's all well combined. Scrape the dressing into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, then put it in the fridge to chill and thicken up. (It'll keep for up to 3 days.) Dress Romaine and top with croutons and shaved Parmesan.

Kale Chips

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Week 2 - July 2, 2013

What fantastic weather we have been having!  Your produce is looking amazing and it's shaping up to be a great and bountiful season.  This week our focus has been on weeding!  All that rain has given them a good start on us but that's nothing new.  We're hardened weeders.  Gonna bust a hoe on some weeds!  We will also be mulching our longer term crops in the next week or so.  We held off since it was such a wet spring and are happy in that decision since we did not lose any crops to rot.  We'll have a ton of great head lettuce for you over the next few weeks as well as snap peas, kohlrabi, zucchini, and green beans.

We have also been busy working on building our new garden shed... well shed is probably not the right word for it!  It is going to be amazing.  We have the base built and all of the walls up and are hoping to get the roof and siding on this weekend. Pics to follow soon! 


Lovelock Head Lettuce
Pea Vines
Garlic Scapes
Rainbow Swiss Chard

Some thoughts regarding your produce this week: The spinach is still beautiful but is getting big. It can be eaten raw or cooked but the larger leaves are probably more suitable as a cooking green. Garlic scapes are the tender, immature flower clusters that form on hardneck garlic plants. We need to break them off each plant so that the nutrients and energy is focused on bulb development rather than the flower. They are one of our favorite spring treats! The scapes can be used just like a clove of garlic in cooking, eaten raw in salads, sauteed or grilled. One of our favorite things to do with them is to baste with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for 2 min on each side. Don't fear the scape! Pea shoots can also be cooked or eaten raw. They are a great addition to salads or stir fries. Take a bite and decide where they might fit into your meal!


The Mrs' Swiss Chard and Feta Pie:
Mr. Wilkinson's Vegetables

1/3 cup olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard or spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoons of pine nuts
4 eggs, beaten
5 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
10 sheets of phyllo pastry
2 tsp sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, swiss chard and nutmeg.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes or until wilted.  You may have to do this process in two batches.  Remove from heat and strain to drain the moisture. 
Place the onion, feta and pine nuts in a large bowl and mix well.  Add the swiss chard and mix well to distribute the ingredient evenly.  Add the beaten egg and stir to combine. 
Take a 2 quart casserole dish and brush all over with melted butter.  Layer two sheets of phyllo lengthways in the pie dish and brush with the butter.  Then, layer another two sheets of phyllo along the width and brush with butter.  Repeat this process so you have four double layers and two sheets of phyllo remaining. 
Spoon the swiss chard mixture into the casserole dish and spread evenly.  Fold the overhanging phyllo over the filling to enclose, alternating between sides, brushing the top of the phyllo with butter.  Place the last two sheets on top, tucking in the corners for a smooth finish, brush with butter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.  Using a fork prick the top of the pie several times and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden.  Take out of the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Spring Salad with Asian Dressing
Minnesota's Bounty

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
6 cups of torn lettuce leaves
1 cup of  spinach

In a small bowl whisk together first 4 ingredients, then whisk in the oil.  Dress and toss the greens and serve them right away.

Radish Leaf Soup
Forgotten Skills of Cooking

3 tablespoons butter
5 oz potatoes, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup onion, peeled and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups of water or stock of your choice
1  cup whole milk
5 oz radish leaves, chopped

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  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 lost its fresh green color.  Puree in a blender.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Spring Saute
Savoring the Seasons

2 cups mixed spring vegetables (radish, peas, pea vines, spinach, kale, chard, arugula, scallions, etc)
2 tablespoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar or dry white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh chives for garnish

Rinse the vegetables and pat them dry and cut into uniform size, about 1 inch pieces.  Heat the butter or oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat and quickly saute the vegetables for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Squirt with lemon juice, vinegar or wine, cover and continue cooking for another 30 seconds-2 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.  Garnish with chives.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WEEK 1... well worth the wait!

Hey Herbal Turtle members!  It's been a cold, wet spring but the produce is looking great!  Fortunately we have well drained soil and have not lost any crops to root rot (knock on wood).  While we are about 2 weeks past our targeted start date, we are very happy with the quantity and quality of the produce and feel that it was well worth the wait! 

We have a lot of new developments on the farm this season.  Our new walk in cooler is up and operational.  We are building a garden "shed", more of a tiny barn really :), complete with composting toilets!  Don't worry... the compost from these toilets will NOT be going on the veggie fields.  We also have some new crops we are experimenting with including artichokes, celery, and sweet corn.


Arugula - cooked or raw (spicy green)
Red Russian Kale - cooked or raw
Valentine's Day Radishes - cooked or raw
Garlic Scapes -raw or cooked, use just like garlic
Spinach - cooked or raw
Herb Mix: Chives, Oregano, Mint

Everything in your box this week should be stored in the fridge.  The greens will keep best if they are left in the bag.  You may notice some tiny holes in the kale and arugula... we can thank our little flea beetle friends for that.  Since we don't use any chemicals on the farm, we sometimes have to accept minor blemishes on our produce.  We promise it will still taste great and your body will appreciate all the good nutrients!  We have had a lot of hard rain lately and although we have washed (and in some cases triple washed) the greens you should also give them a soak and a spin in a salad spinner when you are ready to use them.  If you don't have a salad spinner we highly recommend picking one up!  It will make washing greens a piece of cake. 

Also, we realize we used a lot of plastic in this box!  We are really trying to figure out ways to reduce our plastic bag use but your greens will keep much longer in a plastic bag.  As we get into some summer crops our plastic use will go down significantly.  We are open to ideas if anyone has a few! 

We ask our shareholders to take good care of their boxes and to please return them every week.  We will post a video on this blog detailing how to break down your box so that it doesn't get too torn up.  Each drop site will have an area for members to return boxes so please bring your broken down box with you and exchange it each time you pick up your new box.

The pick-up sites and times are:

Winona - Bluff Country Coop, Noon - 8pm

Trempealeau - You know what's up!

La Crosse - Riverside Wellness Center, 11am-4:30pm (boxes will be placed in the hallway after 4:30pm)

Rochester- People's Food Coop (formerly the good food store), 8am-9pm

Some of these sites have a very long pick-up window.  We've said it a few times now but please keep in mind that the longer your box sits at the pick-up site the more things will wilt.  There is no refrigeration at any of the sites.   

Thanks again for all of your support!  We are working on building a sustainable local food system and you are making it happen!  We're looking forward to an AWESOME season.

Your Farmer's,

Bryan Crigler and Katelyn Foerster
Herbal Turtle Farms


Open Faced Grilled Cheese with Arugula:
Minnesota's Bounty
1 baguette, split lengthwise and lightly toasted
8 oz thinly slice mild cheddar, Colby, or Manchego cheese
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
A few handfuls of arugula
salt and freshly ground pepper

Lay the cheese over the baguette and place it under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, oil, mustard and honey.  Toss the arugula with just enough dressing to lightly coat it, and season it with salt and pepper.
Top the grilled cheese with the dressed greens just before serving.

Kale Salad with Cherries and Pecans
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
1/2 cup pecans
8 oz kale
4 radishes
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 oz of soft goat cheese, chilled

3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toast pecans in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring once or twice to make sure they toast evenly.
Wash your kale and let it dry on towels.  Then, with a knife, remove ribs from each stalk, leaving long strips of kale leaves.  Stack the leaves in small batches, roll them tightly the long way, and cut the roll crosswise into thin ribbons. Add the kale ribbons to a large salad bowl. 
Thinly slice the radishes, and add them to the bowl.  Coarsely chop the pecans and cherries, and add them as well.  Crumble the goat cheese over the top.  Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small dish and pour over the salad.  Toss until evenly coated.  This salad is great to eat right away but even better after 20 minutes of tenderizing in the dressing.

Radish Salad
A Girl and Her Pig
1/2 pound of radishes, topped, tailed, cut into large bite sized pieces and chilled
A small handful of mint leaves
Sea Salt
1 1/2 oz chunk of Parmesan, cut into slices, some thick and some thin
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
a small handful of arugula

Just before you'd like to serve the salad, combine the radishes, mint, and 2 healthy pinches of salt in a bowl.  Grab a handful of the mixture at a time and smoosh the mint against the radishes for about 30 seconds.  Add the cheese and go at the radishes again until some of the cheese goes creamy, some is in little chunks and some is still in larger dime sized chunks. 
Add the lemon juice and olive oil and toss well.  Give it a taste, adjust salt if necessary.  Maybe some more lemon too, but keep in mind that although you want the salad to taste acidic and bright, the lemon shouldn't dominate.   Add the arugula and toss gently but thoroughly.

Herb and Honey Dressing
Forgotten Skills of Cooking
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp mixed herbs e.g parsley, mint, chives, oregano, thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper

Put all the dressing ingredients into a screw top jar, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Shake well to emulsify before use; otherwise, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender for a few seconds.  As a variation, you could use 4 tbsp fresh lemons juice or wine vinegar instead of the cider vinegar. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CSA update

Hello Herbal Turtle 2013 Shareholders!

Thank you so much for your support this season. As a society we are becoming less and less connected with our food. We have entrusted our agricultural system to larger corporations who place less emphasis on health and sustainability and more and more emphasis on profits. We don’t need GMOs to feed the world. We need to RE-teach the world to feed itself. Why should we trust companies driven only by profits with our food and our health? We believe that more small farms feeding the people in their communities are part of the solution. By choosing to support a small family farm you are helping to take our food system back! Thank you! We are honored to be growing your food this year.

As we’re sure you have noticed this spring has been a little hesitant to introduce us to summer! It has been a challenge and like everyone else, we are a little further behind than we would like to be at this time of year. The good news is that we have taken advantage of every window of good planting weather given to us and are pretty much caught up with our planting schedule. So far we have only suffered one casualty and would like to give honorable mention to the Bok Choy. They were good seedlings but got root-bound in the trays and as a result the majority have now bolted. They will be missed but we will have another succession later in the season. Everything else is looking great! While a cool, wet spring can pose a few challenges for planting, we would rather have the moisture in the soil going into a hot summer. This time last year we were way ahead planting but the warm, dry spring led us right into a summer drought. So while we may be a little behind, we’re still grateful for the rain! A realistic timeframe for our first box is the 3rd week of June.

We will continue to publish weekly newsletters which will include farm news, box contents, and recipes for you to try. In an effort to save paper we will post the newsletters on our blog at but not in a hardcopy form. The blog will be updated every Wednesday. If you don’t have internet access please let us know.

Winona members, your pick-up site will remain at Bluff Country Coop in the produce section. We will have boxes there by Noon on Wednesdays and you can pick them up anytime between Noon and Close (8pm). Please keep in mind that the sooner you can get your box the better as things may start to wilt if left out too long.

Rochester Members, your pick-up site will now be at the People’s Food Coop instead of the Farmer’s Market. The market was a great site but did pose a few challenges. The new site will give members a greater window of time to pick up boxes and will not be affected by poor weather. Boxes can be picked up on Saturdays any time between 8am and 9pm. Again, please keep in mind that the sooner you can pick up your box the better as things may start to wilt if left out too long.

La Crosse Members, pick-up will be at the Riverside Corporate Wellness Office (RSCII Building, 2nd Floor - above River Rocks) Thursdays between 10:30 am and 4:00 pm. After 4pm the boxes will be placed outside the office in the hallway. We do have an alternate drop site in La Crescent so if you know that you will consistently be later than 4:00 to pick up your box let us know and we can arrange to have you go to the other site.

Trempealeau Members, your drop site is still TBA. The Simota’s were hosting the site last year but Katie Simota moved to Madison :(. If anyone is interested in hosting a drop site please let us know and we can work something out. We will call all Trempealeau members and let you know where to pick up your first box.

Please remember to return your boxes each week! The wax boxes are expensive so we only order what we need each year. It can cause a lot of problems if we don’t get them back each week! Your name will be listed on your box along with a color coding system that lets us know which add-ons you are supposed to get so make sure you don’t peel off the colored stickers :).

If for some reason you are not able to pick up your box please let us know ahead of time and we can make other arrangements. Any boxes left over at the pick-up sites will most likely be taken and eaten by employees of the pick-up sites! We cannot guarantee that your box will be there if you forget to pick it up. Again, please call us if you will not be able to pick up your box for any reason and we will try to make other arrangements.

If there are any issues or you have any questions please contact us directly. The businesses that allow us to use their space for pick-up have no other involvement with our farm and will not be able to help you. We love hearing from our members so feel free to reach out!

Thanks again for choosing to be a part of our farm! If you would like to volunteer to help with a project on the farm or just come and see where your food is grown please let us know. We would love to have you out! Looking forward to a GREAT season! Our contact info is listed below for your records…

Your Farmers,

Bryan and Katelyn

Herbal Turtle Farms

Bryan Crigler


Katelyn Foerster