1746 Hwy 73 Cambridge, WI 53523 Google Map 608-469-2319
Banner
banner

News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 8/10/2011 10:19pm by Andy Watson.

Annual Farm Shin-dig

 

What: Farm Party Potluck and Tour

 

When: August 20th, drop in anytime from 12-3

 

Where: 1746 Hwy 73, Cambridge, WI 53523

 

Who: Open to all members &workshares, their family and friends of family

 

*Bring a dish to pass and copies of your recipe to share. We’ll provide drinks and a main dish. Leave with some extra veggies. We hope to see you there!

 

 

Posted 8/10/2011 10:16pm by Andy Watson.

August is traditionally one of our busiest times of the season and this year is no exception. In July we are consumed with weeding and August it is harvesting and replanting. Zucchini and cucumbers are crazy producers and it is always tough to keep up with them. We harvest about 200 pounds of them every 2 days. Forgetting to bring long sleeves and pants during this time of the year is a mistake you don’t make twice...these plants will scratch you up horribly when harvesting this much. Aside from these, tomato picking keeps us busy mostly because it is a bit time consuming. The heirlooms cannot be easily packed due to their irregular shapes and must be handled very gently so they don’t bruise. The stem tips must also be removed so they don’t poke other tomatoes en route to your kitchen table.  Many people refer to heirlooms as ‘ugly tomatoes’ but we wouldn’t think of not growing them. Their flavor is so good and it is nice to continue to keep these varieties around.

We finished up all of the garlic pulling this week (many thanks to those of you that came to the ‘pull-a-thon’), we planted some of the late summer crops and completed various other farm chores.  But the true highlight of the week was to host a tour of our farm and meet with the owners of High Mowing Seeds, an organic seed company out of Vermont. It gave us an opportunity to collaborate on growing strategies and pick up tips from their expertise. It was a great experience!

Second round of flowers have started. From our own bouquet at home last week of sunflowers, we noticed that they drooped much too early in the vase. We are trouble-shooting this and tried a few different things this week. Would be curious to know how they hold up for you this week if you get sunflowers. Enjoy the veggies!

In Your Box This Week:

Beets
Garlic
Lettuce
Cucumbers

Green peppers
Zucchini

Summer squash
Carrots

Tomatoes: cherry & heirloom

Celery                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                `                                                                                               
Flower Rotation

 

Veggie Tip

Cucumbers and zucchini do not like to be too cold.  They can shrivel up and lose their crunch.  Store them in plastic bags in the crisper or in the warmest part of your fridge. 

 

Beets should be stored in a plastic bag and can last for weeks in the crisper.  Just check on them to make sure they are not too wet. A paper towel every once in a while can help dry them up. But you shouldn’t wait weeks to eat them. Fresh is always best.

 

Kelly Bratt & Andy Watson, Sprouting Acres

Posted 8/5/2011 8:30pm by Andy Watson.

We will be at the Saturday Market tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

Posted 8/5/2011 8:14am by Andy Watson.

Flowers are included in the boxes this year. We rotate pick up sites due to the number of members we have--that way everyone gets flowers throughout the summer. All sites have now had bouquets once this summer and we starting our 2nd round. Hope you are enjoying them.

Posted 8/3/2011 10:53pm by Andy Watson.

Still time to register for Bike the Barns if you are interested! Check out the link to learn more:

http://www.csacoalition.org/our-work/bike-the-barns/

 

Posted 8/3/2011 10:21pm by Andy Watson.

 

            Happy Thursday Everyone! We hope you have had a good week so far.  It is hard to believe that it is August already but we are so excited for the mid-summer veggies. Kelly has been busy baking zucchini breads and muffins. Her plan is to freeze a bunch for winter but they are eaten up too quickly! Good thing there is no shortage of zucchini on the farm! Enjoy the first cherry tomatoes of the season! The big ones are starting to turn as well but the early ones will be at market as we wait for the big tomato explosion for the boxes.

            Bike the Barns is coming up quickly and we are very excited to be a route stop this year. There is still time to register if you are interested. Of the 550 spots, 419 have registered! It should be an amazing time. Check out our website for the link or go directly to www.macsac.org for more information. Ironically though, our farm’s barn was taken down a few years ago due to deterioration and safety. All that is left is the foundation and silo which doesn’t exactly make for a safe place for the little ones and it sure is an eye-sore when you pull in to the farm. This summer we are finally able to get them removed. We dream of being able to rebuild a large shed there someday to better wash, store and package. Although foundation demolition may not be too exciting, it marks the first step towards another long term goal for Sprouting Acres.

            If you weren’t already smiling ear to ear over the foundation removal, you’re sure to when you hear about the tractor! After 43 years, we finally had to replace the rear tires on the John Deere. Andy’s father bought the tractor used in the early 70’s and has needed little maintenance since. Wade is hoping we can keep it running until he is old enough to use it someday! Enjoy your veggies and have a great weekend.

In Your Box This Week:

 

Red cabbage
Garlic
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Zukes, summer squash
Eggplant
Cherry tomatoes
Onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Herb: Rosemary, Savory, Basil

 

Eggplant Tips

 

·         Place the eggplant in plastic bag, store in the refrigerator.

  • To freeze eggplant, blanch or steam first. It will keep for 6 to 8 months in the freezer. 
  • Eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge; dip in beaten egg and flour or crumbs when frying.
  • For added flavor, lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs before baking. 
Posted 7/27/2011 10:52pm by Andy Watson.

When it rains, it pours. Last night we caught up on the lack of water at the farm.  We have had a couple of small rains in the last week or two, but last night was a good soaking rain.  It is now time to get the garlic out of the ground before it gets too wet which can make the bulbs burst and end up splitting the paper wrappers leaving them impossible to store over winter.  If you are looking to get your hands dirty on the farm, come on out this Saturday for a member work day.  We will be pulling and bundling garlic, then taking it to the different sheds to cure.  It takes a few weeks to cure properly, then we will trim the stem down to the bulb and store them for boxes and market.  We hope that some of you can make it out. 

            The tomatoes are moving right along and the ones in the big hoophouse are just starting to turn color.  I am anticipating the cherries will be the first ones you see and I am hoping for next week. The eggplants, peppers, and cucumbers are looking good.  You got the first cucumbers in the boxes this week and next week there will be plenty more.  The zucchini are just revving up and we are harvesting every other day.  We picked over four hundred pounds in just 5 days.  You will be getting a nice mix this week and there will be extras if you are interested in more

            Based on our member surveys last year, we have been working hard to make our boxes more bountiful.  One addition is the sweet corn. We purchased it from Zander Family farm out of Columbus; it is certified organic and I am happy to inform you that it was harvested yesterday morning.  There may be a chance that a worm made its way to the tip near the silk.  Just check each one and cut an inch or two off of the tip before cooking.  We are looking at one more ½ dozen batch in a few weeks.  We hope you enjoy this summer treat.

 

In Your Box This Week:

 

Cippolini Onions

Celery

Sweet Corn

Head Lettuce

Green Beans

Zucchini

Cucumber

Fresh Garlic

Herb: Parsley

 

Cippolini Onions: Pronounced  chip-oh-LEE-nee this is a smaller, flat, pale onion. The flesh is a slight yellowish color and the skins are thin and papery. The color of the skin ranges from pale yellow to the light brown color of Spanish onions. These are sweeter onions, having more residual sugar than garden-variety white or yellow onions, but not as much as shallots. They are great peeled, then caramelized whole or roasted whole with a chicken, or marinated and grilled. 

Posted 7/22/2011 7:53pm by Andy Watson.

So if you were ever wondering if it was ‘worth it’ to belong to a CSA, I’m sure this week’s weather cleared that up! Who in their right mind would be out in this heat and humidity for hours each day, right? Well, the Sprouting Acres crew has been working early on in the day and late into the evenings, trying to escape the harsh mid-day heat. Farmer Andy has changed clothes so many times during each day that it feels like we run a Laundromat here…better than the stinky alternative.

            Now that the heat has been cranked up, some of the tomatoes are just starting to turn red and we have baby eggplants as well. It shouldn’t be much longer before they are in our boxes. Of course, we’ve had to water a lot so we are hoping that rain will be in the forecast soon.

            We have just returned to the Downtown Saturday Markets now that our box supply is strong. We usually offer similar produce to what you get in your box and a few different items.  We will keep the website updated weekly to let you know if we will be downtown. And you can always find us at the Eastside Market in Madison on Tuesdays. We still are planning on a “garlic pull-a-thon” but our garlic needs a bit longer in the ground and the weather needs to turn a corner. We will let you know when we decide a date!

 

            We hope everyone is keeping cool and enjoying the summer. Happy eating!

 

Posted 7/15/2011 10:12am by Andy Watson.

Aside from the storm that ripped through this Monday, we’ve had pretty amazing weather lately….your finger crossing and well wishes must be working! Keep it up. Our crops faired the storm pretty well, except some of the flowers. And we did have 2 work shares stuck en route to the farm on their bikes that day but our chauffeur service got them to the farm safely.

            The mosquitoes have arrived but so far they aren’t too terrible but the Japanese Beetles are a bit maddening. They love the flower bed, especially calla lilies and sunflowers. Andy has noticed they are all over the weeds by the crops but they haven’t really ventured over to the crops yet. There isn’t a great way to get rid of them except hand-picking them and dropping into soapy water so we hope they stay away from the crops. There are a variety of things we’ve done at the farm for pest control in recent years. Last year, we added bat houses and a kestrel house and we think we have inhabitants this year! Each year we buy and release thousands of ladybugs in the greenhouses to eat up the aphids. Occasionally we cover newly transplanted crops with row cover until the plants are mature enough to fend off pests. And of course, some years are just better than others…we are hoping that the pests don’t have a good year.

            You can store your cabbage in a bag in the crisper for quite a while if you are not ready to use it.  When it is time to use it, just peel off an out leaf or two and it will be as good as new.  Use the pac choi in a stir fry or slice in half, marinade in teriyaki or soy sauce, a little oil, and grill.  Just remember if you do grill them, when you slice them in half, keep the root on so the two halves don’t fall apart on the grill. Happy Eating!

 

In Your Box This Week:

 

Green Cabbage

Fresh Garlic

Zucchini

Spring Onions

Chard

Sugar Snap Peas (Last ones)

Baby Pac Choi

Herb: Basil

Flower rotation

Posted 7/7/2011 9:30pm by Andy Watson.

We hope everyone had a great and safe holiday weekend! We have been very happy with the continued warm weather and so are the crops. We’ve had to irrigate quite a bit lately which is never quite as good as rain but we are fortunate to have an irrigation system. Our irrigation system was inherited from Andy’s father, who originally bought to run a small tree farm in the 70s.  It does a great job and can currently reach almost all of our fields.

Sadly, it is the end of the strawberry season for us but we were very happy with their progress this year. This was only year #2 for them so we look forward to seeing how much they improve next year.  The raspberries, which are planted near the strawberry patch, are coming along nicely. You may be seeing raspberries at the farmer’s markets and such, but ours are fall bearing which means it will be late summer before they show up in the boxes. My mouth is watering already just thinking about them.

Farm chores this week have finally reached a reasonable pace with most of the transplants out in the fields, we’ve been able to keep up with weeding and harvesting. The flowers are amazing this year and another site will be getting bouquets this week. Please take one bouquet, snip the ends again when you get home and change the water often to keep them as fresh as possible. If you haven’t gotten flowers yet, don’t worry, you’re pick up site will be getting them soon.

Enjoy the box this week and keep your fingers crossed for more beautiful weather!

 

Garlic Dig-A-Thon

 

If you dream of stinking like garlic like we do, then don’t miss the Sprouting Acres

Garlic Dig-A-Thon.  Watch the newsletter next week for the specific date but it is coming up soon.  Activities will include pulling close to 10,000 heads of garlic, bunching it, tying it, then hopefully finding room in the outbuildings to hang it.  It will be a Sunday afternoon again as was our last member farm activity day.  Come help us out and go home with extra garlic!

Week 3 pic!June 21st, 2018

Here is week 3 pic!

Welcome to week 3 of your Sprouting Acres CSA ShareJune 20th, 2018

Hello, We hope it stops raining sometime soon so we can enjoy this summer! Here is this week's newsletter. Remember that this is an ODD box week with EOW shares only at these sites...Farm, Stough

Here is your week #2 Veggie Pic!June 14th, 2018

Also, I think I forgot to send you some recipes for kohlrabi! https://www.thekitchn.com/5-tasty-ways-to-prepare-kohlrabi-60321 Have a great weekend! Make something new!

Twitter
Instagram
Instagram