Hi Everyone. Sorry I’ve been absent for the past few weeks – July ended up being ridiculously busy, and it completely got away from me. How is it possible an entire month can escape you?
But alas, the wait for the next post was worth it. Yesterday I had a chance to visit with Sandy and David at Pinehold Gardens – a little organic CSA farm located 15 minutes south of Downtown Milwaukee. While I’m not an official CSA member with their farm, I have been purchasing their produce over the past four – years. I started visiting their South Shore Farmer’s market stand a few years ago, then last year started visiting their road-side farmers stand located at….their farm. How convenient. It’s actually a 5 minute drive to their farm vs. the 20 minute rigamaroo drive to the South Shore Farmers Market. You have no idea how big of deal that is. Last weekend I ran to their farm stand at 9 am, stopped at the house to bag and store the produce, and was on the road at 9:30 am to photograph a wedding starting at 10 am. There’s no way I could do that if I had to run to South Shore.
So… with that, I’ve been eating their “Juicy Garlic” for the past few years. …and actually, David coined the term “Juicy Garlic” last July when I asked him if I should hang the garlic and let it cure. He said, “Nope.It’s perfect right now – I like my garlic juicy”. He wasn’t kidding. And they have baskets upon baskets of garlic in their storage shed. I have four heads hanging in my pot rack, and will be buying more this weekend.
With their fabulous garlic comes the best garlicscapes you’ve ever eaten. I have three pounds of garlicscape pesto in the freezer so I can have all winter long. I plan on adding to that batch next week, as one of my summer lunch staples is garlicscape pesto crostini topped with sliced cherry tomatoes and shaved caesar blend cheese. It’s so simple and SO good. …Hmmmm. Recipe to come. <<<
Wait! Did someone say “Tomatoes”? OH! Pinehold tomatoes. They are sweet juicy heavenly delights. You can’t find tomatoes like this anywhere else. Last year I started buying their Sungold cherry tomatoes, and my 18 month old got hooked on them. Now he LOVES tomatoes, and that makes a parent VERY happy. The problem with Sungold tomatoes is, the split easily. Which is why you won’t find these kinds of tomatoes in the grocery store. You either need to grow your own, which I’m trying this year. Or find a farmer who grows them, and buy directly from them. …Remember, get to know your farmers and learn where your food comes from.
This year I bought PHG’s larger red cherry tomatoes for the first time, and they’re equally delicious. I have 4 quarts on order for pick-up this Saturday. I can’t wait to make a fresh simple pasta sauce with these sweet tomatoes and their fresh garlic. It’s going to be fabulous.
My wife and I also became PHG winter squash junkies. We ate their Carnival, Delicata, Acorn, Buttercup, Fairy, and Butternut squash on a weekly basis well into March. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a week in December and January. Baked squash + butter + brown sugar is winter eating nirvana. It just warms the soul.
And did you know they have REAL free range chickens delivering the delicious multicolored eggs to their CSA members? No. You can’t eggs like this at the supermarket. Cagefree chickens just don’t have it this good. This little flock actually gets to eat organic produce all year round – and that translates to ridiculously rich delicious eggs. Another little kiddo favorite.
One of the best things I love about Pinehold Gardens is their commitment to sustainability. They harness the power of the sun with their solar panels, they don’t spray their produce with chemical pesticides, and they don’t spread chemical fertilizers on the ground. And that’s why Pinehold continually produces some of the best freshest produce you can find anywhere, and the Milwaukee area is so lucky to have David and Sandy.
Better yet – yes it gets even better – you can find their produce at local restaurants. And the one Sandy and David have built a wonderful Farmer to Chef relationship with is La Merenda. And ironically, that’s easily one my favorite restaurants in all of Wisconsin.
If you’re on the fence about joining Pinehold Gardens CSA, you can always drive up and purchase their produce at their Saturday morning farm stand – what a great way to trial their wonderful product before you dive in. And even if you prefer to be a farmers market kinda buyer, I can’t recommend Pinehold Garden’s Saturday morning roadside stand enough.
Please visit their website for more info: Pinehold Gardens
…I’ll see you there on Saturday.
Much love, happy eats, and I welcome comments,