Thursday, November 2, 2017

Deep Winter Greenhouse Kick Off!

Well our deep winter greenhouse (DWG) is up and growing! We had a fantastic turnout for our open house on October 29 and the first seeds were planted by DWG pioneer Carol Ford, Garden Goddess Greenhouse. Thank you so much to all our partners, supporters, contractors and members! This is thrilling and so important to our farm. We are full of gratitude.

Here is the open house and latest from the greenhouse in a photo update!

The greenhouse pre-landscaping around the exterior.

At the open house engineer Dan speaks about how the passive solar structure works. 

Here's a view of the air outtake at the front of the building, the circulation fan is in the middle, the intake (for hot air) is at the peak (black tiling).

We talk about how the DWG fits into our farm goals and what we plan to grow in it. Winter CSA here we come! Fresh greens during the winter - YuM!

Farmers John and Brooke.
Farmers John and Brooke, Greg from UMN RSDP.
Ribbon cutting time! Farmer John, bro-in-law Andy (construction helper, plus representing Carroll Distributing), Larry (construction helper supreme), farmer Brooke and CSA members Yvonne & Lee.

Thank you to the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership for making this program possible and helping us move into the future of our farm!

Thank you to our CSA members who have supported us on our journey! We were thrilled to have members Yvonne & Lee sharing the excitement of the day and cutting the ribbon with us!

Brooke, Yvonne and Lee.
Time to talk about planting and sow the first seeds! DWG pioneer/veteran Carol Ford, Garden Goddess Greenhouse, talked about how she plants in her greenhouse, the soil mix she uses and a little bit about growing. Then she planted the first planter with arugula seed! Video on facebook.

Thanks to all who shopped our mini market, came to enjoy the festivities and learn and celebrate with us! The event was very energizing and exciting. Live music was enjoyed by all, courtesy of Dick Kimmel and Stacey Watje. Live entertainment provided by farm cat Loki.

The first planting of arugula is up and off the germination mats! Seeding will occur about every other day until the greenhouse is filled up. Right now there are baby greens and microgreens growing, as we finish setting up the growing space in the greenhouse.

Gutter planters and plastic trays on the germination mats. We are working on setting up the inside structures, farm dog Odin likes to help (in comfort, of course).

The back room will be for storage and soil mixing, etc.

Below you can see some of the gutter planters underneath the germination/planting table.

Thanks go out to event organizers:
UMN Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and the Sustainable Farming Association.

Shout out to our local contractors:
Cedar Hill Homes (Glenn Hauser, general construction); Darin Portner Trucking (excavation/grading work); Nosbush Glass Co. (plexiglass install); NU Current Electric; Pat Faerber Masonry (block work); Searles Well Drilling (water work, directional boring); Heiderscheidt Digging (tiling suppies for air circulation system); Carroll Distributing (construction supplies); Larry Knisley - what would we do without your construction help! Thank to Frandsen Bank for financing the project!

None of the big wigs came, but we got this nice letter from Senator Amy Klobuchar! :)

Cheers! We'll keep sending out updates on facebook and here, as we grow!

Where can you find us next?

Mankato Winter Farmers' Market
Saturday, November 11th 10:00-12:00am, at Drummers Garden Center

Monday, October 23, 2017

Market @ the Farm

Market @ the Farm ~ Wednesday, October 25th 4-7:00pm
Come out to the farm and shop our Fall Market!

Shop from farm fresh items, storage items for your pantry, canned goods and health and wellness items, as well as local honey.

What's @ the Farm?
Apple Butter • Applesauce • Greens

Garlic & Shallots  • Herbs - dried & fresh
Butternut and Acorn Winter Squash • Broccoli

Watermelon Radishes • Parsnips
Herbal wellness items • Eggs • Onions • And more! 

Plus: Moody Bees Farm Honey products!

Bring your reusable shopping bags!

A sampling of available items! Plus, fresh produce!

Directions to the Farm: 11197 130th St, Madelia, 56062
From New Ulm: go 12 miles South on Hwy 15, turn left on 130th St., go 1.5 miles down the gravel.
From Madelia: go 8 miles North on Hwy 15, turn right on 130th St., go 1.5 miles down the gravel.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fall Shares Available!

Fall Shares & Market @ the Farm ~ October 25th 4-7:00pm

Full $80  (8 available) ~ Mini $30 (only 1 left!)
Available first-come, first served.

Pick up will be at the farm from 4:00-7:00 pm, Wed., October 25th and will be market style. Bring your own containers.

Full Fall Shares: ~1lb garlic, 3-5lbs onions, 4lbs potatoes, shallots, tomato-basil soup, apple butter, butternut & acorn squash, greens, varied bulk quantities of roots (parsnips, carrots, beets), cabbage, leeks. $80

Mini Fall Share: garlic, onions, apple butter, squash, leeks, greens. $30

Amounts are approximate, amounts & items may change, based on availability. 

An on-farm market will be available during this time also, for purchase of items ala carte.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CSA Week 14

Week 14 boxes were delivered Wednesday, September 13. New for week 14 were acorn squash and baby leeks!

In the Box: baby leeks, German Red garlic, celery, summercrisp lettuce, 2lbs Kennebec potatoes, pint cherry/grape tomatoes, four Prairie Spy apples, red onions, Ronde de Nice summer squash OR zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, Thelma Sanders heirloom acorn squash, mix snap/wax beand, rosemary sprigs, pint ground cherries (half shares).

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Dozen Wonderful Ways to Use Your Apple Butter

Alternative Roots Farm apple butter is made with love, local and organic ingredients. We use only our organic apples, organic spices and it is now made with local honey from Moody Bees Farm (the only honey you should buy from now on ;). But what should you do with it besides putting it on toast?!

1. Top your oatmeal or pancakes! This is a great way to add some clean-eating sweetness to your breakfast routine.

2. Add it into baked goods. This is a great way to add some subtle apple pie flavor and make a great moist, delicious baked good. Think muffins, pancakes, bread and more!

3. Freeze into ice cubes. Toss the frozen ice cubes into your smoothie for a delicious apple pie flavor! Try it with bananas, almond milk and vanilla protein powder. This is also a great tip for using up apple butter that you aren't going to use up.

4. Spread on sweet potatoes. Dip sweet potato fries! Again, a great clean-eating option.

5. Yogurt topping. Drop a blob of apple butter in your yogurt, maybe add a squirt of Moody Bees Honey and enjoy a bowl of delicious yogurt of breakfast, a snack or healthy dessert! You can always add another dash of cinnamon or cardamom to add flavor and health benefits.

6. Muffin spread. Choose apple butter, instead of regular butter, for your next muffin indulgence. In summer it’s a great way to add flavor to those zucchini muffins. ;)

7. Add to your pork! Drop a dollop on your pork chop or loin.

8. PB & AB. Make a simple sandwich with apple and peanut butter - a double-butter sandwich. I think the kids will like this one!

9. Cottage cheese swirl. Drop a dollop in and swirl it into your cottage cheese.

10. Just eat it. Grab a spoonful of apple butter and enjoy the apple pie flavor. No guilt, just pure joy.

11. Add to roasted nuts. Drizzle over nuts that have been warmed in the oven and enjoy.

12. Top that ice cream! Add some natural goodness to your bowl of ice cream. Feel free to warm it up.

BBQ Bonus tip from a customer! Put a jar of apple butter, a jar of BBQ sauce and an ARF pork roast in the slow cooker, HEAVEN!!!

Made with Organic apples, local honey and organic spices. Apple butter is a clean eating treat!

Friday, September 8, 2017

CSA Week 13

We're back! Missed a couple weeks in's all good. My phone has been fussy with taking photos (and who even uses a real camera these days). Here are a couple photos of the week 13 boxes and a link to the latest newsletter, which features some tomato recipes. We are looking forward to enjoying the last third of the season - five weeks to go!

Week 13 CSA Newsletter ~ featuring: farm news, musings on preserving; tomato recipes, list of previous recipes.

In the Box: Jalapenos, Georgian Fire garlic, zucchini or zucchini & summer squash, head lettuce (half shares), Swiss chard (full shares), 1.5lbs mixed heirloom beans, carrots, mixed heirloom slicer tomatoes, pint of cherry/grape tomatoes, 2lbs Kennebec potatoes, trio of 'Prairie Spy' apples.

Some Tomato Shares members received 10lb boxes of mixed heirloom tomatoes; the rest of the these shares will be delivered over the next two weeks.

Herb Boosters continued with Basil, Rosemary and Sage this week.

The first of our Applesauce Shares were delivered. There is still time to grab an Applesauce Share! Stock your pantry with a case of farm fresh, clean-eating applesauce. Made with organic apples, local honey and love. A case of 12 is $65.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Apples :: Cortland

Mid - Late Season • Sweet-tart • Heirloom

Cortland apples.

Late September to Early October

A rich sweet-tart flavor that is aromatic and vinous. The bright white flesh has a nice coarse texture. The medium-large apple has a deep burgundy stripes over green-yellow skin. Cortland is a great all-purpose apple that makes a nice textured puree; it is great for fresh eating, cooking, as well as salads, because it is slow to brown.

Developed at Cornell University, Geneva, New York, 1915.

Parentage: McIntosh x Ben Davis.

Keeps for 3 months.

One of the first successful varieties developed from the popular McIntosh, the parent that it gets it's white flesh from. It is a very hardy tree, tolerating winters down to -40°, making it great for Minnesota!