Patchwork Green is a hillside and ridgetop farm overlooking the beautiful Canoe Creek Valley several miles north of Decorah, Iowa. Our family grows five acres of vegetables on a farm near Decorah, Iowa. We grow a wide variety of high quality, chemical-free vegetables using sustainable techniques.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Last big garden harvest - get ready for Thanksgiving

Here comes the cold weather and probably a decent amount of snow!  Are you as excited as all the 10-year-olds I talked to today?  I felt kind of old as I complained about all the unfinished fall projects and the too-cold weekend temperatures, but I'll try to get in the mood by Saturday.

We did the last big garden harvest on Wednesday.  It was wet and windy, but it was above freezing,
and we pulled in a lot of produce.  The late fall broccoli is amazing, and there are a lot of nice kales, cabbages and Brussels sprouts as well.  We picked lettuce heads and some Salanova mix, and pulled some great radishes, baby beets and turnips.  The kohlrabi sized up during the last warm spell, and we found a bit of parsley and cilantro to season your holiday dishes with.  Of course, we still have lots of garlic, onions, shallots and potatoes in storage to go with the fresh greens.  The weather for the past 6 weeks could not have been much better for the late-maturing greens and cabbage family crops - a few light freezes, some gentle, soaking rains and plenty of sunny days in the 50's.  Those conditions make for some of the tastiest crops imaginable.

Just in time for your Thanksgiving table, we'll be offering up these morsels at the second indoor farmers market on Saturday, 11/21.  We'll be at the Danan Lansing Building at the Fairgrounds from 8:30-11:30, no matter how much snow we get Friday night!

Friday, November 6, 2015

First Indoor Market of Fall


After a Wednesday off, the Winneshiek Farmers Market has its first indoor event of the season this .  We'll be set up at the Danan Lansing Building at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds in Decorah from 8:30 to 11:30 on Saturday, 11/7.  The next three markets are on Saturdays:
  • November 21 
  • December 5
  • December 19 
You'll find many of your favorite vendors, selling veggies, crafts, baked goods, apples, wine and other goods.  Live music as well!

With the warm week, our greens grew!  The broccoli is amazing, and the lettuces are great for November.  We also have lots of Brussels sprouts, some spinach, kohlrabi, kale, chard, cabbage, rutabaga, scallions and leeks.  We still have a good supply of potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots and a few varieties of winter squash as well.  We hope to see you down at the Fairgrounds.  Market Share CSA members are welcome to use their remaining balance at these indoor markets.

I always find good vegetable recipes in the 'Eating Well' magazine each month.  Sometimes, they are variations on dishes we already make, and sometimes there are totally new ideas or combinations of ingredients that are intriguing.  Here are a couple from the November issue that feature vegetables that we are selling this week:

  • 2# Sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 small lemon, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese  
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 425.  Toss sprouts, lemon, garlic, oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Divide between 2 large rimmed baking sheets and spread in an even layer.  Roast without stirring for 10 minutes.  Switch the pans top to bottom and continue roasting, without stirring, until lightly browned and tender, 8-10 minutes or more.  Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with Parmesan and pine nuts.

This makes about 12 1/4-cup servings, so feel free to cut down the quantities!  Feel free to ask me for small onions for this recipe - I think they would work best.

  • 2# cipollini onions
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 12-oz bottle wheat ale, lager or hard cider
  • 2 T packed light brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add onions and cook for one minute.  Drain.  Peel and trim the root end, if necessary, but leave the onions whole.  Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter is melted.  Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until browned in spots, 5-7 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir in beer or cider, brown sugar and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Uncover and gently stir the onions.  Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a gentle boil, spooning the sauce over the onions frequently, until the sauce has thickened to a light syrup, 8-10 minutes.  Remove thyme sprigs before serving.