Taproot Farm & Fruit

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A family CSA farm and community orchard in the Driftless region of southwest Wisconsin. 

Share # 2 - Mid August

Hello members of the Taproot CSA! 

Farm News: We were excited to get word from our certifier a couple weeks back that we received our organic certification! We went through the mandatory 3-year transition period, following all organic guidelines during that time, and finally had our inspection earlier this summer. We are proud to be able to provide you all with certified organic produce for your families.

Out in the fields, the season continues! We harvested all of the garlic out of the fields last week- right now it is curing in the hoop house. You'll get some of it fresh in this share, and then after a few weeks of curing, the outer wrapping will be dry and papery and then the garlic will store for months. We are also coming into the peak of our tomato season. You will get several tomatoes in your share this week, but we will also have extra tomatoes available by the pound for canning or freezing projects.

Bulk prices for additional produce are as follows:

  • Paste tomatoes: $2 / lb, $17 / 10 lb
  • Slicer tomatoes: $2.5 / lb, $21 / 10 lb
  • Heirloom tomatoes: $3 / lb, $25 / 10 lb
  • Cucumbers: $2 / lb, $17 / 10 lb
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini: $1.5 / lb, $12 / 10 lb

Respond to this email with the quantity and type (more details on the types of tomatoes we grow is below, and we only grow one type of cucumber) desired and your timeline; we will get back to you as soon as we can to confirm your order and work out pickup.

In this share:

  • Returning from the last share: Eggplant, basil, kale (a different color, but it acts the same!), zucchini, cucumbers, summer squash, new potatoes, onions
  • Tomatoes: We grow several kinds of tomatoes, and you will get a selection of varieties and degrees of ripeness in your share. The different varieties are best for different uses, and we try to prolong your eating with some that are ready to eat right away and others that will do best after they have had a chance to ripen on your counter a bit. You might not get every single type of tomato in every share, but you will definitely get a chance to try them all over the course of the season! The bright red and round tomatoes are great slicing tomatoes, and store very well. The bright red tomatoes with a pointed end are Amish paste tomatoes. These are the most fleshy tomatoes that we grow, making them good for thick sauces. The other tomatoes are all various types of heirlooms. Heirloom tomatoes are our tastiest tomatoes, but they don't store quite as well as the other varieties we grow. Their excellent flavor makes them great to just slice and eat with some salt and/or balsamic vinegar, or in sandwiches. Store tomatoes out on your counter top. Sometimes tomatoes can attract fruit flies as they ripen; covering them with a cloth will cut down on this problem significantly.
  • Cabbage: great shredded in your favorite coleslaw recipe or cooked (sauteed, boiled, or roasted). Additionally, cabbages can be used as a wrap for sandwiches, or just in salads because of its tender texture. These cabbages will store for several weeks in plastic or a drawer of the refrigerator.
  • Fresh Garlic: Use this like you would regular cured garlic. It will store on the counter for a few weeks.

Recipes: 

 Eggplant, Zucchini, or Summer Squash Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan is a well known classic, but zucchini and summer squash are great substitutions. It works well to prepare and freeze lots of the breaded and fried eggplant/ zucchini/ or summer squash. Then for an easy meal, take some of the slices out of the freezer, (no need to thaw them) cover with tomato sauce and cheese, and bake it all until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

 Chinese Cucumbers

Cool and refreshing! These store well for a week or two in the refrigerator. They may or may not actually be Chinese. (Probably not...)

 Vegan Chocolate Cake

Technically, this recipe doesn't call for anything in this share. Its included here for a couple of reasons. First of all, our family's motto is "life is short, eat desert first," and this particular desert recipe is fast, made with ingredients we usually have around, and incredibly consistent, thereby facilitating our sweet teeth. Also, the fact that this cake is vegan is coincidental; none of us are vegan, and we all love this cake. Second, you can modify it! We add shredded zucchini or beets to the cake when we have them- details on how to do this are included in the recipe.

CSA Community News: Bike the Barns is filling up! Bike the Barns is a bike ride sponsored by the Fairshare CSA coalition. It is a celebration of CSA, Wisconsin, and great food. This year, the bike ride starts and ends in Fort Atkinson, WI, and includes stops at several CSA farms in that area. Each stop will include that is sourced from Fairshare CSA farms and prepared by local food businesses. Amy, Eric and I have participated in this ride for many years, and every year it has been a highlight of the late summer! More information and signup is at this website

As always, thanks so much for being a part of our CSA family! Thanks to all those of you who have been touch via email- its great to hear from you! Keep the questions/ comments/ concerns coming!

Sincerely,

Eric, Amy, Frank, Wayde and Leah

PS, Here's a photo of Frank, with our largest eggplant for scale. In case you were wondering, he is home as of last Monday, and is doing very well. Thanks everyone for their support and kind words. And thanks especially to Leah and Wayde for taking care of the farm while we were gone; you guys are the best.