Earth Day 2017 - Small Farms & Stewardship
Crunch into some sweet and delicious JenEhr Family Farm carrots!
Celebrating the return of market season was a breeze this past Saturday as we let the sunshine brighten our faces with a hearty dose of spring warmth.
It was a perfect day to load up on spring flowers from de Block Nursery, bags of tasty curds from Murphy Farms and fresh grown mushrooms from Herb n' Oyster.
We hope for another wonderful market day this weekend, as we celebrate Earth Day 2017. While we're thinking about the tastiest veggies to put on the table and the best flowers for our gardens, it's good to know that shopping locally at the market is itself an act of environmental stewardship.
Buying direct at the market reduces our carbon footprint by decreasing the food miles our produce travels. Just think of the difference between carrots grown in California and shipped here, to those grown just down the road in Sun Prairie by JenEhr Family Farm.
Beyond our own shopping efforts, purchasing from small market farms helps supports on-farm efforts to advance environmental stewardship. Small farms do much to further the cause, with varying efforts seen across our membership.
At Crossroads Community Farm, the Noltnerwyss family has almost 80 solar panels, offsetting 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. For Blue Moon Community Farm, organic production means appropriate use of crop-rotation practices, decreasing soil erosion and rejuvenating their soil without the use of chemical fertilizers.
As we enjoy the market this Saturday, take a moment to ask in what ways can we be better stewards. Let's help ensure generations of farmers and market shoppers to come that Wisconsin continues to be a leader in sustainable practices.
"We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough? " - Wendell Berry
Absences - April 22nd, 2017
- Chris & Lori's Bakehouse - Creme de la Coulee Artisan Cheese Daily Vendors - April 22nd, 2017 - Bruno Botanicals will join us this Saturday with elder plants, nettles and salad mix. Ask about the herbal CSA with monthly shares of fresh wild foods, medicinal herbs and herb preparations.
Our favorite green thumb gurus return to the market Saturday, May 6th. Stop by with your garden inquiries and an open ear for garden advice. More information on Master Gardeners in Wisconsin can be found here.
The start of market season has us hankering for that fresh spring growth. Pea shoots are one of the first to make an appearance and the following recipe does them right.
Pasta with Pea Shoots
(From Florence Fabricant & NY Times Cooking) Ingredients: - 2 ounces fresh pea shoots (3 cups) - 1 large clove garlic - Salt to taste - 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, or a mixture - ½ pound bow-tie pasta - 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced - 1 ounce prosciutto, chopped - 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional cheese for the table Freshly ground black pepper Directions: 1. If the pea shoots have long stems, cut them into pieces. Set aside. 2. Mash the garlic with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Mix with the butter or oil. 3. Heat a large pot of salted water for the pasta. 4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter or oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the mushrooms, and saute over medium heat for a few minutes, until the mushrooms have wilted. Stir in the prosciutto, cook another few seconds, then remove from the heat. 5. When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and cook about 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Return the skillet to the heat. 6. Add the pea shoots to the skillet along with the remaining garlic butter or oil, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for a minute or two, until the pea shoots have just wilted and the ingredients are well mixed. Add the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and serve at once, offering more cheese at the table.
Another market treasure in early spring are the crates of root vegetables, full of flavor and ready to bring a little heartiness to the table.
Spice-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
(From Woman's Day Kitchen) Ingredients: - 2 lb. carrots - 1½ lb. parsnips - 2 tbsp. olive oil - 1½ tsp. ground cumin - 1 tsp. kosher salt - ½ tsp. Freshly ground black pepper Directions: 1. Heat oven to 450ºF. 2. Cut carrots and parsnips into 3-in. sticks. Divide vegetables between 2 rimmed baking sheets. 3. Toss each pan of vegetables with 1 Tbsp oil, 3⁄4 tsp ground cumin, 1⁄2 tsp salt and 1⁄4 tsp pepper. Spread evenly in pan. 4. Roast, tossing once, until vegetables are tender and browned, about 30 minutes. 5. Refrigerate the roasted vegetables for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 375ºF oven until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.