Abby Formanack and her husband Dustin own and operate Essence Homestead in Wilson, WI along with their three cute kiddos. About half of the produce for Local Choice CSA is grown at Essence Homestead. Still a young and growing farm, they are excited to expand on-farm sales this season with a farm stand.
Here is what Abby has to say about her farm:
“Hi Local Choicers! I am Abby, the main grower, weeder, child chaser and chicken wrangler of Essence Homestead. We may not look like a conventional CSA farm that you would see in Western Wisconsin, as currently we are growing on less than one acre. Here on our homestead, we homeschool our three young kids and are working towards living a more sustainable life! We are focusing on growing an array of nutritious, Non-GMO and No Spray Produce to share with Local Choice members and our community. We strongly believe in regenerating our soils and working with nature to create the best products that we possibly can. Soon, we hope to add meat goats and meat chickens to our system, to continue adding to our soils and help take care of some invasive weeds.
My husband, Dustin, has been hard at work making a self-serve farmstand that will be located at 2779 Cty Rd N Wilson, WI 54027. Farmstand visitors will be able to purchase plant starts in the spring time along with fresh produce, wildflower bouquets, perennial plants and more over the season. Follow us on social media to watch for grand opening announcement of the farmstand!”
This week marks the 6th CSA share of 2019 and the produce is finally starting to get a stronghold. I don’t know about anyone else, but my pea vines have never been so tall! It seems that something enjoyed that cool, wet spring. Beans, squash and melons are starting to finally thrive and tomato plants have set fruit. It won’t be long now!
This week’s “picks” for Local Choice CSA
|Valley Pasture Farm||Lamb Summer Sausage|
|Valley Pasture Farm||Smoked Pork Chops|
|Towering Heights||Itailian Sausage|
|Towering Heights||garlic scapes|
|Winnowburrow Farm||shelling peas|
|Essence Homestead||snap Peas|
|Mary Dirty Face Farm||raspberries|
|Mary Dirty Face Farm||red currants|
Digging deeper into nutrition, with Johnne Smalley
The season of fruit is finally arriving in Wisconsin, too! In this week’s share CSA members will find both currants and raspberries from Mary Dirty Face Farm in Downing. Check out the amazing health benefits of these lovely berries!
For a long time, blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) were called “the forbidden fruit” in the United States. Farmers thought that the tart berries, native to Europe and Asia, helped spread a fungus that killed pine trees. Due to the ban, many Americans have missed out on these nutritious berries.
In fact, blackcurrants carry four times the amount of vitamin C as oranges, and double the amount of antioxidants as blueberries. The benefits of vitamin C are many. The body uses vitamin C to metabolize protein and form collagen, which is essential for skin care and anti-aging.
A popular berry during summertime, deep purple black currants offer a wealth of nutrients not found anywhere else. In fact, blackcurrants carry four times the amount of vitamin C as oranges, and double the amount of antioxidants as blueberries. They also contain a high concentration of anthocyanins and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
The plump little black currant can be puckeringly sour however, so it’s one fruit that usually requires some type of added sweetness, such as honey or stevia, for eating as is or for baking. Black currant sauce can make a delicious savory sauce for serving with lamb or poultry.
If not used immediately, they can be refrigerated and will last up to a few weeks.
White and pink currents have the same nutritional benefits, although in lesser amounts, but they are sweeter.
Known as nature’s candy, wild raspberries have been gathered for consumption by humans for thousands of years. Raspberries can range in color from the popular red and black varieties to purple, yellow, or golden. Each color berry has a unique composition of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Raspberries are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Red Raspberries contain strong antioxidants such as Vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid that fight against cancer, heart and circulatory disease and age-related decline. They are high in ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
What is interesting to note is the superior efficacy of eating red raspberries as opposed to taking the individual phytochemicals in the form of dietary supplements. Though we do not yet fully comprehend why this is so, it is clear the nutraceutical whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Several animal studies have shown a positive correlation between intake of flavonoids in berries and memory improvement. They may also decrease the decline in cognitive ability related to aging. Be smart. Eat berries.
Week 6 meals plans are provided by Nick Rigger at Hexagon Projects & Farm
Omnivore Meal Plan: Pork Chops with Currant Sauce and Sauteed Peas with Garlic Scapes
Pork Chops with Currant Sauce:
1 Cup Red Currants
2-3 T Maple Syrup or Honey
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
- In a small saucepan combine the red currants, maple syrup, and two tablespoons balsamic vinegar and cook over a low to medium heat until thickened and slightly reduced, set aside.
- Season and prepare pork chops as preferred – either on the grill or stovetop and top with currant sauce.
Sauteed Peas with Garlic Scapes:
1 T Honey
1 T Soy Sauce
2 Garlic Scapes
Oil or Butter for Pan
Pinch of salt
- Mix together the soy sauce and honey, set aside.
- Finely chop the garlic scapes and add to a frying pan with oil and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the shelling peas (shelled, or, if preferred intact) and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and honey mixture and cook for another minute or two. Enjoy alongside the pork chops!
Herbivore Meal Plan: Grilled Summer Squash and Cabbage with Raspberry & Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Grilled Summer Squash and Cabbage:
2 Lemons or Limes
2 Garlic Scapes (finely diced)
¼ Cup Olive OIl
- In a small bowl combine the diced garlic scapes, juice from two lemons (or 3 limes), olive oil, generous pinch of salt, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside
- Slice summer squash lengthwise and cut the cabbage into 4-6 equal sized wedges. Sprinkle salt and pepper and lightly drizzle olive oil over each. Grill each side for about 5 minutes OR, if you don’t have a grill, you can also roast the cabbage and squash in the oven.
- Pour the dressing over cabbage wedges and squash.
Raspberry & Sugar Snap Pea Salad:
Sugar Snap Peas
- Combine the salad mix, raspberries, and sugar snap peas and top with your favorite dressing and enjoy with grilled summer squash and cabbage!
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check back next week for more local farm news, recipes and more!