As farm members, we wanted to keep you abreast of things on the farm. This morning you will find two emails in your inbox, the CSA week #1 newsletter, and this update. We wake up this morning with heavy hearts. What I didn’t mention in the blog post last night was that yesterday while working in the High Tunnel, our apprentice Joe received a call telling him that his father had suffered a massive stroke. It was both sad and a bit eerie, as his father was just here last week visiting with us. The day was spent waiting on news and hoping for the best. Last night, after I posted the blog, Joe came in and updated us that things were not going well. He and Melissa had booked tickets to fly home immediately, and they are gone for the week. So, as we arise in the pre-dawn hours to begin packing shares, we are still processing things. In a way, it’s very grounding to know that we are setting out to do positive work that promotes good health. At the same time, if we seem a bit unhinged at CSA pickup today, we hope you can understand why. We’ll be keeping Joe, Melissa, and their family in our thoughts as we head to the fields.
This weeks shares contain: salad mix, spinach, radishes, baby bok choi, and a bunch of herbs (possibly chives or oregano)
Hello CSA members,
The first harvest day of the 2013 season is in the books, and I’m as tired as I remember being last year! Takes a little time to work the old kinks out, but it’s good to be back in business. Our third apprentice, Sandra, showed up this evening as we were finishing harvest and packing the cooler…hopefully she won’t be scarred by the experience The sun and warm have been great, but we’ve really been lacking in the moisture department, so the rain this afternoon was a welcome change. Even with all the weather extremes this spring, things are looking good on the farm. I am always amazed at what some of our plants can withstand weather-wise. Much of our kale, bok-choi and broccoli has experienced multiple nights of 8+ hours of subfreezing temps with lows of 15 degrees with nothing more than a row cover over them, and they currently are looking great. Here is a shot of the the high tunnel full of spinach and salad mix prior to harvest this morning.
So, for those of you who are new members, WELCOME, and here’s a bit of the scoop. The first couple of weeks of the CSA season, the shares will tend to be smaller because only the hardiest of crops can survive the Montana spring for a mid-May harvest (and these crops tend to be green). As things warm up and growing conditions improve, the shares will begin to increase in size and diversity and color. The CSA journey should be fun, because you will get a real-time look into what can be grown in Montana over the course of our short growing season. By the end, we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised. For those of you who are uncertain to do with some of the items, we highly recommend using the internet for help. We have recipes listed on our website (tenlakesfarm.com), and there are many great cooking sites out there that can give you new ideas or twists on old favorites. Or, ask other share members when you see them.
I’ll keep it short and sweet for week #1. We look forward to seeing all of you tomorrow (or Wednesday if you’re in Eureka).
Hello CSA members! It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for !!!! Well, at least that’s what we like to think The Ten Lakes Farm CSA will begin this week… Tuesday, May 14th for Glacier and Whitefish and Wednesday, May 15th for Eureka! It’s been a crazy spring of weather extremes, but the crops have done what they are supposed to do, and we are ready to go.
All Whitefish pickups will take place on Central Ave in Depot park (at the Downtown Whitefish farmers market location next to O’Shaunessy Center)from 4:30-6:00pm. There will not be a farmers market (it doesn’t start until May 28th) but we will be there. We will be set up in the park along the sidewalk on Central with a pile of white boxes, so we should be easy to find. All shares are pre- boxed for safe transport to the pickup location, but you do not get to take the fancy box home with you. Therefore, you will need to bring your own re-useable bags or boxes to transfer you share into at the time of pickup.
Glacier pickup will be located at the Mckeon’s house in Hewitt Homesites in West Glacier after 5:00 pm. If you are unsure where that is, please contact us by Monday night. All Glacier shares are pre-bagged and will be labelled with your name to avoid any confusion. All half shares are in small cardboard boxes pre-bagged ( please leave the boxes folded up in the garage).
Eureka pick-up will be Wednesday at the Riverside Park farmers market from 4:30 until 6:30pm. You will see our tent set up with chalkboard sign out front. All shares are pre- boxed and ready to go. We will hand you your box so that you can empty the produce into your grocery bag. Please bring your own bag or box. Those of you who chose to pick up at the farm will have boxes at the farm in our wooden pole barnwith your names on them. Please empty the contents from the box into your grocery bag. Directions to the farm can be found on our website, tenlakesfarm.com
CSA pickup protocol:
1. Always let us know your name (or name of your share partner) and if you have a half or full share. We deal with over 200 people during CSA pickup, so trying to remember everyone by face takes a little time ( but we really try!)
2. If you are going out of town, have a friend pick up your share or call us and let us know that you will not be coming. Please tell your friends about pick up protocol.
3. If you forget to pick up your share call us ASAP at 406-370-2890. We may still be in town and would love to get you your share. Otherwise call us and you can come to the farm to get it.
4. All splitting of shares must be handled by share members. Shares are packaged for single household use, so bring extra bags so you can divide things up. We will provide a table for you to work on.
Every Monday night, starting May 13th, you will receive your newsletter with a farm update, recipes and what veggies are in your box for that week. There will be no email list this year, so you (or your partners) must subscribe to our blog in order to receive these newsletters. Sometimes the newsletters get finished late so do not worry if it is 8pm and you have not gotten an update. We often do not get in from the field until 9pm or so. Please let us know if you have any questions at all about the details.
Thanks for choosing us to be your farmers!
Rebecca & Todd and the Ten Lakes Farm Crew
Hello CSA Members and farm blog followers!
We wanted to take a moment to say hello and let everyone know we have not forgotten about you. We have been hard at work growing tasty vegetables for the upcoming season. Weather depending, we are aiming at a CSA start date of May 14th. The weather the next few weeks will really determine if our small seedlings mature to harvest size in that time frame, so we will keep you updated. April has been a very finicky month with lots of cold nights and lots of wind, but so far things are hanging in there. Should we suffer any setbacks, it might delay things a bit, but I am being optimistic for original start date. (Do you like how calmly I wrote that….See how much our stress management has improved in 6 short years) :)
On another note, we have noticed a trend this year of multiple people (more than 2) splitting half shares. Although this is totally fine with us we just want to make sure you are getting adequate vegetables. Imagine if you are four people splitting 16 dollars of vegetables a week. That is about 4 dollars per week per person, split among 5 or 6 different vegetable types. That means less than 1 dollar of each type of vegetable for the week. Again, you are free to split shares how ever you desire, but we want to make sure you understand what it means from a quantity standpoint and that you are making an informed decision. If you have questions or want to reconsider the size share, let us know ASAP before we hit our CSA limit.
We’d also like to introduce you to the first 2 of our 4 apprentices this season, Joe and Melissa Kreidel, who have been hard at work all week planting peas, kale, lettuce, and chinese cabbage in the fields. Joe and Melissa come to us from Florida (not sure how they feel about snow in April) and are off to a great start.
We’re excited to have another growing season under way, and we’re looking forward to seeing/meeting you all at the first CSA pickup. We will be making all communication with CSA members through this blog, so if anyone you know, including share partners, has not subscribed to the blog, please give them the word that they can do so on our website….tenlakesfarm.com. Also, if you have not signed up we are almost full so send in those forms soon!
Hi Folks! Just a quick reminder that today is the last day for the early bird special. You can still send checks in today to get the discounted price. You can also pay via paypal online. There is a fee to pay through paypal. We do not make any money from these transactions. The fee is the true fee for paypal! THanks so much to everyone who has signed up so far!
You are awesome! Rebecca & Todd
It is amazing how much snow melted off of our fields today at the Farm. The warm sun this weekend paired with daylight savings has us in total farm mode. Watch out, 2013 growing season is here! That said, I wanted to remind everyone that the early bird special ends this Friday March 15th so get your CSA membership forms in if you have not all ready. Partial payments are also included in the special.
For the past month, Todd and I have been enjoying our last bits of free time while also preparing for the season. A few weeks ago,I was able to return home to the family farm to help out for my last vacation. Most vacations do not require that you shovel llama and goat poop but mine does and I was happy to do it! I saw it as a little pre -growing season warm up. I also ate lots of fresh greens , which is always welcome after eating cabbage all winter.
It is amazing to play in the soils of different bioregions. The soil at my family farm is as red as a brick and full of clay. My Dad and his partner Pam have been working diligently to improve their soils and grow more and more vegetables. Another highlight of the family trip was to meet the 10 lambs that were born the week before. I think that brings the tally up to around 20 sheep, 15 goats, 2 llamas, 2 donkeys and three horses. The farm produces vegetables, homespun yarn, goats milk soap, and amazing wool rugs. I also got to help my Dad finish their high tunnel. They will use it to grow greens in Winter and start seedlings.
This past week, I started a good majority of our seedlings for the season. Some new varieties we are trying this year are : purple broccolini, daikon radishes, watermelon radishes, new varieties of head lettuce, and iko iko peppers. Another exciting innovation that we are trying out is grafted tomatoes. Basically, you seed a strong organic rootstock and an organic hierloom seed variety at the same date. At a certain stage you graft the heirloom variety on top of the organic rootstock. This helps the heirloom have more vigor while still retaining the fabulous flavor of a heirloom. We are hoping this will help us boost our tomato production ( if they do not all die in the grafting process!). HA! NOTE: this is perfectly acceptable under organic standards and in no way resembles genetic modification!
We also will continue to re- mineralize our soils this year. A food cannot contain a healthy mineral if the mineral doesn’t exist in the soil it is grown in. That’s why organic agriculture puts so much emphasis on building and maintaining healthy soils. We think this is why our veggies taste so good. This year, we have the privilege of working with Algae Aquaculture Technology (AACT) in Columbia Falls ( http://algaeaqua.com/AACT/Welcome.html ) to test their new soil amendments. The more we can find local sources of minerals and nutrients, the more resilient and sustainable our farm becomes.
Well, That is it for now! I hope you all are enjoying the slight change of the seasons. We hope to have some pictures of our own farm progress soon! Thanks again for your continued support. Rebecca & Todd
Greetings! Hope ya’ll are enjoying this springlike weather! Just a reminder that the early bird special ends in one month on March 15th. We are looking forward to having tender salad greens, spinach, green onions, and radishes. The first delivery usually starts around mid -May. Thanks again for your continued support. Please let us know if you have any questions at all.
Hello CSA members,
I hope this blog post finds you all enjoying winter, whether you’re out skiing, sitting by the wood stove, or having escaped to warmer climes. It’s been a while since we’ve seen you all, so we wanted to check in and update you on things. The seeds for 2013 have all been ordered, the apprentices are hired, and farm planning is in full swing. Unfortunately, there is still plenty of paperwork (taxes, organic certification, etc) still in the queue. We’ve uploaded the new 2013 CSA form to our website (tenlakesfarm.com). This year, you can either print it out and mail it in (per usual), or sign-up and pay online using PayPal. There is an early-bird special if you sign up between now and March 15th!!
The other day I was getting a haircut (finally!), and the barber, who is also a CSA member, was giving me a bunch of feedback regarding last year’s CSA. The discussion set me to thinking a lot about what a CSA is, and should be. And I thought now is a good time, as you all ponder 2013, to talk about some of the finer points without regurgitating all the fluffy stuff you hear all the time. Some issues I had good explanations for (why she didn’t get a salmon river squash, or why the last share was smaller than she expected), and other issues I agreed were indeed issues (lack of flexibility, long lines at farmers market). We talked a lot about how, for some people, just going to the farmer’s market was better for them than committing to a CSA. And I agree. From the customer’s standpoint, this may be easier…..BUT, there are deeper issues at play in that decision. First, as a CSA member, you are investing in the farm and ensuring it’s sustained existence in your community by committing to buy a set amount of food from the farm for the entire season. The real benefit of the CSA is not that you are getting the best and freshest food available, but that you are investing in a production and sales framework that allows small farmers to succeed. Second, as a CSA member, you are getting top priority regarding the type and quality of the vegetables you receive. There are many crops that are grown in smaller quantities that make your CSA basket that never show up on the market stand to be available to market shoppers. In a sense, that is your dividend payment on your investment. You get the best food we grow, and you get it before anyone else has access to it.
Back to the issue of allowing small farms to succeed, here’s a little example. It takes a lot of time to grow food. In many cases, its 60-90 days between planting the seed and harvesting the food. What the CSA system allows us to do is to determine how many people we are feeding, and how much we need to feed them, before we ever plant our first seed. We can therefore ensure that we have planted enough to provide everyone the food they need for each of the 21 weeks of the season. An added benefit is that by paying up front, you allow us to buy that seed, and other supplies needed to grow them, with your money, rather than having to go to a bank for a loan or line-of-credit like many large agricultural operations do each year. Now, imagine if we didn’t have a CSA, and we decided to sell all of our food at Farmer’s Markets. How much would we plant? Are all our customers going to show up each week, and how much will they buy each week? Is it going to rain the first 5 weeks of market (like it did in 2012)? If I pick too much and don’t sell it all, what do I do with it? If I don’t pick enough, am I missing out on important cash flow for my farm. My point is, that would be a very stressful and unpredictable world to work in. The CSA model allows us to inject a certain level of predictability and security into the already high-risk, unpredictable world of agriculture. It allows us to stay sane enough to farm for the long-term rather than burning out…which benefits both us and you. And to avoid offending anyone who misinterprets this post, I love farmer’s markets and I think they are a great way to sell/buy food. It’s just that from the standpoint of a farmer, I wouldn’t want to be restricted to that single type of outlet because it is way more unpredictable.
So, as we enter 2013 and you begin to ponder a CSA for this year, I wanted you to understand better the role that you are playing. Many of you often rave of the benefits of the food you receive, but it’s important that you also recognize the benefits that you are delivering to the farmer. It’s call Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for a reason. Enjoy your winter….spring is right around the corner!!!
P.S Rebecca is updating the recipe index on our website and did not realize that it was sending subscribers the updates, so please disregard.
Hello everyone! Just a reminder about the indoor farmers market happening at downtown Whitefish Montana Coffee Traders from 4-6pm on the Tuesday the 6th. We will be there with red leaf lettuce, kale, broccoli, beets, and garlic. We are currently all sold out of our premium sweet carrots. We will have carrots that look great but were grown in an area that flooded this spring. We are finding that these carrots just are not as sweet as our “Ten Lakes Farm carrots”. We are selling them for a reduced rate of 1.00 lb. We do have sweet second grade carrots available ( broken, hairy, or blemished) for 75 cents a lb.We will have them all for taste testing at market. We will also have our new gift certificates for sale as well 2013 CSA brochures. We hope to see you there!
Rebecca & Todd
Just a reminder to folks with special orders ( or those who want veggies!) that the harvest market is today from 4-6 at our usual location. Hope to see you there! Rebecca & Todd
Hello Everyone! Just a quick email to remind you about the harvest market next Tuesday in Whitefish. The harvest market is an outdoor market at the normal Downtown Whitefish Farmer’s Market location on October 16th, from 4pm to 6:30pm. We will be in our usual location. We are taking bulk ( 5+ pounds) orders for carrots( $1.50 lb), beets ($1.50 lb), red onion ($1.25lb ), music hardneck garlic for seed or table ( $12.00 lb) , winter squash: Delicata (1.75lb) and Spaghetti (1.25lb) and Macintosh apples -(tart, sweet and crunchy) or fireside (sweet and crunchy with a little thicker skin) both ($18.00 for a 20# box) . Any smaller quantities (i.e. less than 5 pounds of an item) don’t need to be special ordered, as we should have plenty on hand at the market. We will also have kale, cabbage, salad mix and perhaps broccoli at the market as well first come first serve. If you would like a bulk order let us know by Sunday the 14th at the very latest. Thanks again! Hope you are enjoying the wonderful Fall weather!
Full Share: Carrots, Beets, winter squash, onions, potatoes, broccoli and brussel sprouts
Half Shares: Carrots, Beets, winter squash, onions, potatoes, broccoli, and cabbage
Farming and weather are inextricably linked, and so it comes as no surprise that the end of the this year’s CSA coincides with the end of our warm weather and the ushering in of snow in the high country. But everything has it’s time, and we know that fresh vegetables and warm days will return in due course. We’ve run the gamut of weather events this season, including spring flooding, 70mph high tunnel destroying wind, two months with no rain, and an early killing freeze. But in light of all those obstacles, the crops did their thing and never really missed a beat. It still amazes me that an annual plant can manage to not only survive, but thrive, in the growing climate of Western Montana.
Once again, we thank you for supporting our farm and choosing to eat local, organic food. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the journey through the growing season and seeing what it’l like to eat a seasonal diet here in Montana. It’s been a pleasure seeing all of you every week and getting to know you, and hopefully you’ll all consider joining again in 2013. Our apprentices, Candace and Joe, are hitting the road immediately after the CSA delivery, so if you get a chance tell them goodbye and thanks. We coulnd’t have done it all without them. And. although the CSA is over, there are still a few opportunities this fall to buy fresh produce. The first one is the Harvest Market on Oct. 16th between 4 and 6pm at Depot Park in Whitefish. We will send you all out a reminder as the time approaches. To help entice you to show, we wanted you to know that we will be harvesting the much sought after apples to sell at this market. We will also take special orders and deliver them at this market.
To close out the season, your share consists of very fall-like selection of storage crops. There are carrots, beets, red onions, and potatoes. You will recieve at least two squash from the choices of Salmon River, Delicata, Spaghetti, and Butternut. Full shares will also be receiving the last of the brussel sprouts, while half shares will receive a green storage cabbage. And for a last taste of fresh green, there is a pound of broccoli in all of the shares. One more time for good luck, Eureka folks will need to pick up on the farm any time after 2pm on Tuesday (yes, a day early, but Wednesday is fine as well), Whitefish is Tuesday between 4:30 and 6pm at Depot Park, and Glacier is any time most likely after 4pm on Tuesday at Lisa’s house. We hope you have a safe and fun winter, and if we don’t see you on the slopes, we’ll see you in the spring. Stay tunes to tenlakesfarm.com for information regarding 2013 CSA sign up.
Hi folks : here is an amazing beet tart recipe to help you eat some of those beets. If you have a backlog of veggies or simply want to keep them for a while, here are a few tips. The beets and carrots need to stay cold and moist in a plastic bag in your fridge. The potatoes dry and dark and above freezing. The winter squash prefers to reside in warm and dry environment. Also, the brussel sprouts (off stalk) and cabbage will keep for a long time as well if sealed up and put in the fridge.
taken from : http://www.laurieconstantino.com/beets-and-garlic-a-classic-pairing/
Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart; serves 4 -6
Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart pairs classic Greek flavors in an easy recipe that works as an appetizer or main course. The tart can be made successfully with any variety of beet. No matter the variety, I always roast beets to concentrate and enhance their flavor. Using a little butter in the crust (filo) isn’t traditional (nor is this tart), but it adds good flavor and flakiness. Olive oil can fully replace the butter, and the crust will be tasty, but slightly tougher. Add more water to make the crust if butter is left out. The dough may also be made by hand. If mixing by hand, make sure the olive oil is evenly distributed in the flour and use a fork or pastry cutter to add the butter.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small chunks
3 – 5 Tbsp. ice water
2 cups diced onions, 1/4” dice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. dried thyme, crushed, plus 1/4 tsp. for sprinkling on tart
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup feta, crumbled, plus 1 Tbsp. for sprinkling on top
2 Tbsp. minced fresh mint
3 – 4 roasted and sliced beets (see NOTE below)
Make crust: In food processor, mix flour, salt, and olive oil until olive oil is thoroughly incorporated into flour. Add butter and pulse three or four times to break up and distribute butter; when you’re done, the butter pieces should be the size of small lentils. Add 3 Tbsp. ice water and pulse to mix. Pinch together some of dough to see if it holds together. If it doesn’t, add small amounts of water, pulsing to mix, until dough holds together when pinched. Dump dough onto piece of plastic wrap and knead lightly until dough holds together. Shape dough into flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Roll out dough on well-floured pastry cloth until it forms 10-1/2 inch circle. Use rolling pin to lift dough and place it over 9” tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough firmly into sides and bottom of tart pan. Trim dough’s edges so there is just enough to fold over and cover sides of pan with double layer of dough. Prick tiny holes all over bottom crust with fork.Press double layer of aluminum foil into dough (this will prevent it from bubbling up when it bakes). Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 minutes or until crust is set and lightly golden. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Reduce oven heat to 350°F.
Make filling: Sauté onion, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, in olive oil until onion softens and turns golden. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Spread onion, garlic, and thyme mixture over bottom of baked tart crust.
Stir together eggs, sour cream, half and half, feta, mint, and freshly ground black pepper until they’re thoroughly mixed. Pour egg mixture evenly over cooked onions. Arrange sliced, roasted beets on top of egg mixture. Sprinkle tart with 1 Tbsp. crumbled feta and 1/4 tsp. of crushed dried thyme.
Bake the tart at 350°F for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Remove tart from pan and serve hot or at room temperature.
NOTE on Roasting Beets: Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash beets, cut off greens leaving an inch of stem (don’t cut into beet itself), rub beets with olive oil, and wrap tightly in foil packet (or place in tightly covered baking dish). Bake for 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on size of beets and how fresh they are. Beets are done if they’re tender when poked with a knife or skewer. Let beets cool, and slip off their skins (wear gloves to protect your hands from staining). Roasted beets can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for about a week.