HighCross Farm – My CSA

This was originally a test post as I learned how to use WordPress.com and started building this blog from scratch – I needed something to look at while I was picking through all the templates. Don’t be shocked if it changes sometime down the road.

While technically this was my first post, it feels like my third as I’m going to re-write it after I wrote my second. Huh?!? …I’ve been pondering what I should write for the past few days, as I finished up processing last weekend’s wedding. Meh! Why not go with the obvious? Since my blog is about Local, Sustainable, Farm Fresh Food, and it’s a photographic journey, why not start with what inspired me to start this blog – my CSA.

After jumping into the CSA thingy last year, I’m officially a HUGE advocate of this organically grown and locally delivered gift. The food is incredibly fresh, therefore it’s also incredibly nutritious. Some of the food we had delivered last night was picked from the fields and hoop house that same morning. The rest was picked the day before. Does it get any more fresh than that? Well….yes. If you grow your own – which I do have a small garden. But there is no way I can get this kind of variety grown in my garden. The photo below (taken last summer) is a great example of the variety we get from our CSA, HighCross Farm. I think about the size of the garden it would take just to grow the produce that was delivered in the photo below. We’d need a garden at least five times our current size. It would likely have to be larger if we wanted it to produce weekly, for a family of four, from early June through the end of October – and maybe into early November.

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In the photo above there are Roma tomatoes, a giant heirloom tomato (no idea, I’ve never seen this kind of coloring before), cherry tomatoes, red norland potatoes, summer squash (patty pan, yellow and zucchini), eggplant (purple and rosa bianca), jalapeños, green peppers, yellow Hungarian peppers, red oak leaf lettuce, napa cabbage, some long green salsa chiles, purple pole beans, broccoli, fresh basil, and a few cukes. Holy cow, that’s a HAUL. If you read the post CSA Delivery: June 12, 2014, you’ll notice it’s much heavier than the first delivery of the year.
Those norland red potatoes are SO SO good. Cube ’em up, boil until tender, add butter and sprinkle of salt and black pepper. So simple. So good.

One of the big reasons we joined this particular CSA was the option to buy their Spring Share – two deliveries in May, and their winter share – three heavy deliveries from mid-November through late December. The fact they delivered 3 miles from our house as was fabulous perk.

We also liked their online store where you can buy farm fresh eggs right from their personal henhouse. The chickens are free roaming and get to bugs and organic veggies from the farm. The yolks are unbelievably creamy and colorful – such a bright deep orange. Not that sick pale yellow you get from grocery store. Even the cage-free organic eggs don’t compare to those plucked and delivered directly from an organic farm.

As the summer progresses, you can purchase extra farm items. I love spinach and kale, so all summer I loaded up. I was buying an extra 1-2 pounds of spinach and kale a week. I blended kale into Jonas’ (our little one year old) organic yogurt shake with a banana and strawberries. He sucked that stuff down like no one’s business. …Jeez, I even liked it. LOL

As fall hit, I started stocking up on winter squash – we had delicata and hearts of gold squash all the way into March. I can honestly say, I never got sick of it. …and I used to HATE winter squash when I was growing up. Not surprisingly, my Jonas isn’t a fan – yet.

A few other perks for why we chose HighCross Farm. They have host a family day twice a year, and invite their CSA members out to the farm to tour the farm, take a hayride, meet the animals, meet the staff, watch a cooking demonstration by their resident chef, and enjoy a potluck dinner to finish the night. Here’s a few pics from last year’s event. Please note, we never made it to the dinner. Jonas started getting a little cranky after a LONG warm afternoon.

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I can’t even begin to explain how difficult it is to capture the eyes of a chicken in perfect focus with a 35mm f/1.4 lens…@ f/1.4. I will be the first to admit this  capture had a LOT to do good luck. But, as Edna Mode suggests, “Luck fa-vuhs da’ pruhpared”. highcross_024

A hoop house full of seedlings getting ready to be transplanted into their fields. highcross_028

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Chef Bernie doing a cooking demonstration. Man, that grilled giant zucchini was incredible….highcross_039

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….as was this Caprese Salad snacketizer. Tomato slice, fresh mozza, a basil leaf, and a squeeze of balsamic vinegar reduction. highcross_054

So that’s a little photo tour of HighCross Farm during family day.

If you’re in the Milwaukee area, and you’re on the fence about joining a CSA, or even which one to try, I can’t recommend HighCross Farm enough. Check out their website, shoot them an email, ask them questions – and tell them Craig sent ya’.

Thanks for reading, and I welcome comments,

c

 

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