Friday, August 3, 2018

Apples :: Pristine

Pristine apple.


Early • Tart

Ripens
Late July

Characteristics
Wonderfully tart, crisp, juicy and firm, with flavor and sweetness under the tartness. Medium-sized lemony-yellow hued skin with a pink blush, and white to cream flesh. Great flavor, and keeping, for an early apple.

History
Introduced in 1994.

ParentageCo Op 10 x Camuzat.

Storage
1-2 weeks.

Notes
Has a biennial tendency. 2018 was or first crop and we are delighted with the flavor and crispness for such an early apple! We are excited to add this to our long list of apple varieties.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fruits of our Labor

Shout out to The Land Magazine for featuring our farm in their current issue! What a nice article. Follow the link for a read of their July 2018 issue.

https://issuu.com/theland/docs/2018-0727


Sunday, July 8, 2018

2018 Fall Apple Shares

**Fall Apple Shares are now sold out** You may purchase apples from us beginning in mid-August, by contacting us directly, or shopping at the New Ulm Farmers' Market (Saturdays) and the Mankato Farmers' Market (Tuesdays/Saturdays). Also, watch for our apples at Co-ops in the region! Don't forget to let us know if you are interested in an Fall Apple Share for next season!


Fall Apple Shares Now Available!

Please holler at us with any and all questions!

Fall Apple Share
$54.00 :: 24 lbs/4 lb Bag x 6 weeks Sept 5/8 - Oct. 9/13 


That's $2.25/lb, regularly $2.50/lb! Filled with standard and heirloom varieties, which change week to week - the best of what's in season. This year we will be harvesting around 25 varieties, in a few years that will jump to over 50! Featuring organic & transitional organic apples hand-picked by your local apple farmers, John and Brooke. Weekly reminders will be sent out, along with nerdy apple information and recipes! Winter Apple Shares (new!), Applesauce and Apple Butter Shares will be available later in the season.


Delivery: *Please pick an option that works for all 6 weeks.*
     (1) Saturday - New Ulm Farmers' Market, 9:00-12:00 am, Cash Wise lot, 9/8-10/13
     (2) Saturday - Mankato Farmers' Market, 8:00-12:00, Best Buy lot, 9/8-10/13
     (3) Wednesday - In-town New Ulm, 5:45-6:45 pm, 1221 Settler Trail, New Ulm, 9/5-10/9
     (4) Wednesday - At the Farm, 5:45-6:45, 11197 130th St., Madelia, 9/5-10/9

Reservation: Email info@alternativerootsfarm.com to reserve your share and confirm your delivery choice, or holler at us with any questions.

Payment: Due at the time of reservation, cash or check please.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Field to Table :: Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes - those wild looking curly-qs - are a delightful late spring-early summer treat. Many are completely unawares of this veg, while others know to look for it during this brief season. As seen below, scapes are the flower stalk of the garlic plant - we remove them at this time of year (when they reach full curl), so that the garlic plants may focus on making bulbs instead. (Scroll down for recipe links.)
Garlic scapes growing.
What do they taste like?  Garlic scapes have a mild garlic flavor, the white, swollen flower part of the scape has a bit more kick. You can use the entire stalk; to use test the base end to remove any tough parts (especially if they are real large) just like asparagus, by bending and snapping the stalk where it breaks easy, you may also want to trim the tip. Because the flavor is milder, some folks who have a hard time eating garlic find that they can enjoy scapes.


How to use Scapes  Scapes are delicious raw or cooked! Another bonus is that they have a really long shelf life. I chop up my scapes and add them to eggs, fresh salads, pastas, soups, stir frys. They are fantastic cooked on the grill - leave them whole, add a little olive oil and pepper, and toss in the grill wok. Really they are so versatile, you can add them wherever you would use onions or garlic. Make a scape chimichurri or pesto, hummus, or try pickling them. Scroll down for recipe links. If you want to tame their flavor go ahead a blanch them for 30 seconds, cool, then proceed with your recipe.

Storing Scapes  Store scapes in a closed container - a plastic bag or tupperware - and they will keep for a month or more (I have literally lost some in the back of the fridge and they were still good three months later). Make sure to remove any rubber bands.


Preserving Garlic Scapes  We preserve our garlic scapes two ways here on the farm, and both are easy peasy. First, we simply chop and freeze! In the photo below you can see trimmed scape sections, these are prepped, then chopped and frozen on a cookie sheet; once frozen they are transferred to a freezer container, then we can easily grab a tablespoon or a handful and toss into meals all winter long! They hold really well this way, surprisingly good enough to even throw on raw salads.


The other way we preserve scapes is by making a pesto. We blend up the pesto and freeze in pint jars (experiment with what size jar is right for you). We used to freeze it in vacuum seal bags, with the oil it is easy to open a bag, break off a hunk and reseal; we move to jars to use less plastic.

Some of our favorite ways to use the pesto include in grilled cheese sandwiches, with crackers/sardines/cheese (a favorite quick lunch), in scrambled eggs, with sautéed greens, of course it good with pasta and you can mix with yogurt for a dipping sauce.

**Warning - consumption of garlic scapes may result in extreme pleasure and may result in additive behavior, heightened awareness of the brief fresh garlic scape season, shaking your scape bunches like maracas in the kitchen.**


A Handful of Recipes to Get You Going

Garlic Scape Pesto (We use walnuts instead of pinenuts.)
Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce (Omit the jalapeno, if you aren't feeling it.)
Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Pasta with Garlic Scape Pesto, Sugar Snap Peas and Ricotta 
Garlic Scapes Hummus


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Seasonal Items for Sale 6/24



What's In Season?
Contact us to make an order - pick up at the farm, or delivery by arrangement. Cash/check only please.
Lettuce $2.50-3.00/head - red and green
Radishes $2.00/bunch or 2/$3.50 *Limited time!
Kale $3/bunch or 2/$5
Swiss chard $3/bunch or 2/$5
Garlic Scapes $3/bunch or 2/$5 *Limited time!
Herbs $1.75/bunch – sage, parsley
Green shallots $1.50/bunch *Limited time!
Rhubarb $2.25/lb or 3/$6
Contact us by email info@alternativerootsfarm.com
In Gratitude,
Brooke & John

Friday, June 22, 2018

Photo Update June 22

So, this will be an update for all of June, apparently! As of today we have had 9.67" of rain, the field is more like a bog, but it is what it is. Cruise through the month of June so far in these pics...
Maybe I should grow cranberries in my bog?
Did you catch that worm video on facebook? The mud has provided some fun. ;)


The raspberry patch got an overhaul - well weeded and trellis posts put in. We will wait to string up wire until next year (for one thing it is just too wet right now).

Raspberries are beginning to blush!

For two weeks we did our Spring CSA pick up at the farm, here's what it looked like - a market style pick up where folks select their own goods.

Lettuce, rhubarb, radishes, strawberries, kale, parsley, sage, green shallots and garlic scapes are farm fresh in June!!

Green and red heads of summercrisp lettuce.
Heirloom rhubarb.
Beautiful radishes.
Delicious and nutritious kale.
Parsley and sage.
Strawberries.
We started on our big project for the year! We will be renovating the quonset hut to meet our changing needs at the farm. The inside is all graded, supplies are being delivered and we are getting ready to get the concrete poured.



Tomato plants are blooming and little green fruits can be spotted (same with cukes).


A little evidence of the rain - carrots look okay at the top of this planting, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to replant the back half. The rains are really setting back weed control, as well as some seeding.



Potato blooms grace the field! We have lost some potato plants, due to the water, hopefully these sunny days will help things bounce back.

I just harvested our first pound of basil on the 21st! I love the smell of basil!


Harvesting for Spring CSA and local orders has been a little mucky! Today looks dry all day - quite a blessing!!


I added two new items to our wellness line, two items we use around here regularly, our Cool It and Herbal Bug Spray. Cool It is a blend of essential oils that I use on hot days - spritzing on my pulse points, back of my neck and on my chest to cool off a little. The bug spray is a blend of yarrow and catnip to cleanly and naturally deter bugs; spray every hour, or as needed. Studies show catnip to be as effective as deet!


It's been a real pleasure harvesting fresh food for my community again this spring. The open house we had in May, the Spring CSA and Mini Market at the Farm brought old and new faces - it means so much to connect with all of you.



 Apples are growing! The crop looks really great this year. Info on Apple Shares coming soon!!


Until next time!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Photo Update May 24

In this post...News from the Farm...&...What's in Season...

Fresh from the Farm

The trees have moved past full bloom into petal fall, we can see successful pollination and little pear, plum and apricot fruitlets in the trees. 


We are busy seeding and transplanting crops into the veggie field, for August/Fall/Winter markets, Fall/Winter CSA. We have delivered loads of organic transplants to Shellee's Greenhouse in Madelia - it's so fun to work with other local women business owners!

Brooke and Shellee, of Shellee's Greenhouse with organic
basil and cucumber transplants.
The strawberries have hit full bloom and will ripen to be enjoyed by our Spring CSA members - just a few weeks away!


There's always plenty to do, but learning is important. I was happy to spend a field day out learning from another farm's systems and experience. Below you can see a moveable tunnel system used for extending the season - a fascinating system.


T-shirt order is still underway - see more details, or head over to the order form - until June 22!

What's in Season

Rhubarb, asparagus, nettles, chives, wild edibles like ramps and mushrooms.

I have been busy harvesting rhubarb for customers and the New Ulm Community Market (Thursday markets 2:00-7:00pm), as well as for freezing to make into strawberry-rhubarb jam later on. Try these Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars.

Rhubarb chopped and headed to the freezer.
I have also been harvesting stinging nettle to dry for tea/infusions, make into tinctures and infused oil for herbal salves. If you are interested in nettle tincture, to use for your seasonal allergies, contact me and I'll make sure you get some out of this year's batches!

Stinging nettle in the dehydrator. Once dried I use it for teas and infusions.
On our woodsy forays we have harvested wild ramps, gray morel mushrooms, pheasant back mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. Not near enough morels yet though!!


Asparagus is ready for harvest every other day. While we eat a lot fresh, the seasonal abundance is getting put up in the pantry too. This year I am canning all of the fresh asparagus. In the past I have always frozen it, it keeps well that way, but I like canning, as it is energy independent in storage and freezer space is always at a premium.



Like I said, we are always working hard... ;)