Friday, July 3, 2020

CSA Newsletter - July 4, 2020

Crew member Cale floating between two worlds
Cale with this week's share, ready for a picnic

Well folks, nothing says summer like opening up your share and seeing....

Former intern and zucchini elf Mary Kate
We're always happy when the zucchini/summer squash harvest begins because we like to cook and eat this generous and versatile vegetable. Perhaps we will all eventually weary of the cavalcade of zucchini, but we'll share some of our favorite ways to prepare throughout the season - and you share yours!

SCALLIONS - a spring/early summer treat so enjoy while you can!

GARLIC SCAPES - another seasonal treat

Martha Stewart approved! See recipes below

BROCCOLI - no comment, just a crescendo of cruciferae!

LETTUCE - Red Leaf

KALE - Tuscan

SUGAR SNAPS - new this week and another fleeting spring treat

See recipes below
BASIL - from one of our lunches this week - about to become bruschetta!

We cheated and got tomatoes from Carpenter's Greenhouse at the A2 Market - ours aren't ready yet!

Yes, Cilantro is here again for some of you, but can you have too much cilantro? If you answer Yes, try these ten suggestions and you'll be looking for more of this uniquely pungent herb.

That's it for the box this week - now what to do with the bounty:

STORAGE TIPS: Rinsed, drained and put in plastic or vegetable-keeper bag in fridgeEven basil, which is holding up okay for us this week in the cooler.  

RECIPES: For for your Basil, make pesto for "a mouthful of bright summer"! Also, this summer dressing, for salad, veggies or grains, uses Basil or Cilantro and Garlic Scapes and is extremely tasty!

Not sure about those Garlic Scapes? Martha has lots of ideas for using garlic scapes and says that "Cooking garlic scapes changes their character from unapologetically bold to appealingly sweet."   Lots of ideas in the article so take a look and enjoy them bold and fresh or steamed and sweet.

If Sugar Snaps are new to you, there is a good reason, as they have only been widely available  in the States since the 70's when they were developed by the Gallatin Valley Seed Co. in Twin Falls, Idaho. They quickly became a vegetable phenomenon, causing the Burpee Seed Co. to say in 1979, "Rarely does Burpee suggest so strongly that our customers try a new vegetable. But Sugar Snap is truly fantastic and deserves a place in your garden." (Of course they were selling the seed but they weren't too far off.)

This Washington Post article about Sugar Snaps gives some background and suggestions for use. At the farm we like to snack on them fresh (after "snapping" and removing the string) as well as add to stir-fried vegetable medleys. This recipe for Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas looks delicious and uses Sugar Snaps (snap peas) and scallions, along with a bunch of other ingredients. Probably too complicated to fit into a farm cooking routine, but if you try it, let us know!

Cale picks Kale

Cale hails from Adrian and fun fact: he is named after the famed American race car driver, Cale Yarborough rather than the nutritious vegetable we are now more familiar with. Another fun fact: Wikipedia describes Cale Yarborough as an American farmer, businessman and then goes on about NASCAR wins.  We don't know what the other Cale farmed but we're glad that this Cale's name set him on the vegetative rather than the automotive course!

The good-natured recipient of many comments on his name, Cale did happen to be picking Kale when we took photos, thus....

Cale loads a bale of kale!



Cale, along with his partner Ashleh, is back for his second year on the Frog Holler crew, but we have known Cale through our festival, Holler Fest, for several years. Cale carves beautiful wooden spoons and has given carving demos at the festival. (See one of Cale's spoons in the Basil photo above).

Spoons by Cale
More Cale spoons

Cale was also renowned for an epic session on the last day of an early festival when he cheerfully washed dishes for what seemed like forever! And Cale brings that same cheerful attitude to weeding crops for what seems like forever!

An advocate for justice in all aspects of society, Cale recommends and recently gifted the book, Farming While Black, to the farm.

In Cale's spare time from the farm, he and Ashleh tend an extensive home garden. After gardening season, Cale carves spoons, bakes bread, makes pies, and generally lives close to the earth.

And sometimes Cale makes pie in the summer - strawberry/rhubarb yum!

See more of Cale's spoons and Ashleh's jewelry on their Instagram page: caveandcanopy.

Haiku (and photo) from Cale

My name is my name
though not born in December
I am frost hardy

Although he may have been named for a race car driver, Cale has made his own track, tracing a rhythm in life based on the cycle of the seasons, the feel of the earth, and the connection with fellow travelers on the path. Thanks for joining us Cale!

Cale moving at the pace of the pond

Have a great week everyone - try to keep cool - in the pond, lake or pool!

Friday, June 26, 2020

CSA Newsletter, June 27, 2020

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
    - Margaret Atwood

Remember that sweet white doggie princess from last week's newsletter?

Greetings from the Farm Crew and Critters! It has been a good growing week on the farm, although a little more rain wouldn't hurt. See what y'all can do about that! (We got some on Friday - thanks!)

Green Bibb

LETTUCE X 2     You will get two heads from these varieties

Green Leaf

Red Leaf


Bright onion flavor for salads and stir-fries

GARLIC SCAPES -  garlic-flavored greens for stir-fry, salad and soup

Harvesting these garlic seed-sprouts helps make bigger cloves
Firm leaves for stir-fry, soups, kale chips!

Also called "dinosaur kale" 

CABBAGE - first tender cabbage harvest!

the lowly cabbage - so versatile and nutritious!

SNOW PEAS - edible pods popular in salads and Asian cuisine

A fleeting spring treat 

BULB FENNEL - unique anise-flavored flattened bulb

Popular in French and Italian cuisine

CILANTRO - an acquired taste or acquired addiction!


Everything will do best with a quick dunk, then drain, place in plastic or veggie-keeper bag, and store in fridge. 


This week we roasted the garlic scapes until almost charred and crispy - very tasty!

 We also enjoyed our first feast from neighbor Maan Abdul-Baki, who occasionally provides the crew with authentic Lebanese fare. You can find the recipe for Lebanese Lentil + Chard Soup on p. 60 of  the Frog Holler Recipe book and see the actual soup AND the soup-maker here:
Using cilantro, scallions and chard or kale!

I told him to smile! :-)

Bulb Fennel! Not familiar? Try this Shaved Fennel Citrus Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, and make a new friend!


Milan (pronounced like the city in Italy, not the town in Michigan!) Anderson is our only residential intern this year, joining us at an uncertain time in late April, but agreeably quarantining for her first two weeks so that she and we felt comfortable together.

Milan graduated from the University of Michigan, majoring in Applied Movement in the School of Kinesiology, with a Minor in Spanish.  She followed graduation with pre-med courses at Oakland University until taking a break and heading to some farms for a change of pace. After working at farms in the midwest, Milan taught science in two different Chicago schools. She continued her interest in growing and working with plants at an urban farming initiative in Chicago called Urban Canopy. After volunteering at farms in Puerto Rico this winter,  Milan returned to the area where she grew up (Detroit northern 'burbs) and looked for farm work relatively nearby. Enter Frog Holler!

Milan continues her interest in health and healing, but at present is exploring the healing aspects of  herbs and wild plants. At the farm she has been harvesting and preserving wild medicinal plants for eventual salves and tinctures. Milan's ongoing interest in herbalism has led to the launch this week of the Fresh-Picked Medicinal Herbs section of our Produce ordering web site! You can see it here: (scroll down) and learn more about the traditional uses of these humble "wild plants" that grow so generously and offer so much.

Milan harvesting elder flowers
Thanks Milan for sharing your skills and interests!

Nature's wild bounty

Nature's garden bounty

Have a great week everyone and thanks for returning your boxes!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

CSA Newsletter - June 20, 2020

Solstice greetings! What says summer like dogs and roses?

Cinder and Freya smelling the roses - and probably a lot of other things!


LETTUCE X 2 - you'll receive two heads from this beautiful patchwork quilt of lettuce


Milan, Keegen and Edwin harvesting in the kale patch


Keegen and Milan harvesting in the radish patch

We couldn't have photographers follow Keegen and Milan around all day :-) but, along with the rest of the crew, they also harvested:


In salad and stir-fry. Use some of the tender green part as well

GARLIC SCAPES - twisty, curly bonus harvest from the garlic plants. Use in salad and stir-fry. Tender with mild garlic flavor.

Harvesting these "scapes" gives the garlic more energy to make nice cloves!

BROCCOLI - high in Vitamins C and K.

Spring broccoli is so tender!
ARUGULA - NEW PATCH! We have to share early arugula with the flea beetles, who are mighty little jumpers as they nibble from leaf to leaf, but they don't bother the plants that much and definitely don't affect the classic, nutty/peppery arugula flavor!

Arugula, sometimes called "Rocket" or "Roquette"

SWEET BASIL - Genovese variety 

What tastes like summer more than basil?
And finally, those of you who are getting your first share  - Frog Holler Farm Recipe Book!

RECIPES: At Frog Holler, we grow what we eat; we eat what we cook; we cook what we grow. Our little recipe book is chock full of original ideas for creating delicious plant-based meals - recipes that have evolved over years of growing, cooking and eating at the farm!. We also believe that recipes are "jumping off points", so be inspired to add your own creativity to these plant-iful ideas!

Recipe Book suggestions for cool salads in a hot week: Massaged Kale Salad, p.28 - using kale, of course, with add-ons and dressing of your choice.

Sesame "Snoodle" Noodles, p. 63 - using broccoli, scallions/scapes

At the farm this week we had Roasted Rad-nips, p.72. We also had Original Arugula Rice, p. 51and a simple rice salad with chopped garlic scapes, chopped scallions, sliced radishes, and a bit of chopped basil. A vinaigrette dressing finished off a satisfying simple salad supper!

STORING YOUR PRODUCE: Most of your veggies keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge, with these exceptions: Radishes keep best with the greens removed, and then put in a plastic bag. What to do with the greens? Lots of possibilities (besides compost) and the greens, as in most root vegetables, are tons more nutritious than the roots themselves! Store the radish greens as you would other greens.

Basil does not like to be refrigerated; it shows that by the leaves turning brown or black. We pick basil Friday afternoon, then dip it, pack it in a box, and store covered wth a wet cloth overnight, out of the cooler. At home, try putting your bunch, stems down, in a glass of water out of the fridge. Bet you'll use it up before you have to think about long-term storage!


Keegan, Cale, Ashleh, Milan weeding in the onion patch

Some wag once said, "Plant a garden with your spouse, weed a garden by yourself." Well, our farm crew did not have to weed alone, and with good humor they took on a rather daunting task in the onion patch. You can see what they were facing in the foreground of the photo, and what they had accomplished behind them. 

We realize that ... a weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows! (Doug Larson) We do keep lots of land where the wild plants can grow unfettered and contribute to the ecosystem in their unique and varied ways, but onions like rows and those weeds must go! 

Onions do require a full season of growing before they yield those beautiful pungent storage globes, so truth be told, we just may be revisiting this task during the season. One author (Richard Powers) described a character in a story who was " eager and generous as weeds." We appreciate our "eager and generous" weeding crew who give us their time and energy to bring the harvest home. Watch for onions in your share boxes come September.

Have a great week everyone!