Week Two - June 26

Three of our community members/garden helpers have been away this week and we've been utterly fortunate to have the helpful hands of many Great River School students who are coming to spend time on a farm they know and love and help out in the garden. Longtime friend of the farm, garden member and former community resident Debbie & her family also joined us for a week. They held down a joyful and strong base in the farmhouse for all of us.

Please put your boxes out for the driver to pick up each week. My suggestion for site pickup members is to bring bags to transfer your produce into when you pick up.

Temperatures at the farm generally run 4 degrees cooler than in the city, so you'll notice that urban gardens start to produce things before you see them in your Buttermilk share.

Wishing you delightful adventures in the kitchen.

Meat share members should have received a note from Jane Malenfant of Thistledown Farm with information on the bundle you'll receive this week.

Flowers are looking gorgeous! Flower share members will see the first of four bouquets soon.

And, maple shares are coming out this week.

In Tuesday’s box Basil Garlic scapes Leaf lettuce Baby kale Scallions Kohlrabi Strawberries Full shares also be on the look out for radishes and head lettuce.

Week 1 Thursday Shares Box Contents

Greetings, Home Delivery Members,

Our faithful intern, Eric, will be delivering to you tomorrow. He plans to depart the farm between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and as it's the first time for this route, we can't predict exactly when your box will arrive. There are innumerable variables such as traffic, construction and hunger!

Please refer to the Tuesday post for your general weekly update. Sometimes the boxes are the same both days, and sometimes they differ. This week you will receive: Strawberries Kohlrabi: Peel and eat fresh like jicama or bake like a scalloped potato. Try it! You'll love it. Radishes Scallions Head lettuce Leaf lettuce Baby kale Oregano bundle to dry or use fresh

Week 1 of the 2018 Regular Season CSA Shares!

To be stewards of this land bringing you fresh produce bearing the most vital of life forces; this is our highest aim. To do this, we humble ourselves before Nature, responding to her every whim with interest and care. This spring, as the landscape vacillated between snow-covered, rain drenched and sun beaten, we tended every seedling with care. Plowing under young transplants that cannot withstand the extremes requires an act of discernment on the part of the farmer. With the tractor’s blades, he mercifully blends plant life and soil, and we start anew.

The many hands that grow the produce we bring to you have ranged from a group of 18 high school students to those of a special needs senior citizen who has lived on site for over 20 years. These hands have seeded, weeded, watered and harvested, rinsed and packaged for you the best of what the land offers up. We trust you will savor the aromas, textures, and tastes contained in your box.

As a reminder, we rinse the produce and it will require a good rinsing. The variety and quantity will vary from week to week. I liken the arc of the season to the feeding of a child. If one were to examine just a single day in the diet of a child, it would be easy to become alarmed, but examine a month’s worth of meals and rest assured, that proper nutrition has been achieved. So, too, if your box feels sparse one week, it may be overflowing the next week.

In the box today: *Thursday’s boxes may be a bit different. I will post an update for Thursday shares.

  • Fresh oregano 

  • Baby kale

  • Leaf lettuce 

  • Head lettuce 

  • Scallions 

  • Rhubarb

  • Strawberries

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FINAL week

We come to you in this final week of the CSA regular season with our tired hands held humbly over hearts to say THANK YOU. The step you took to entrust us with the deed of growing a good portion of your vegetables this year has been noticed. It was impactful. It gave purpose to the land and the people who farm it. It gave the gift of therapeutic practical work to the children and adults with special needs who visited and helped. It gave new life to the byproducts of well-loved animals. It allowed for some sections of the garden to recover; and some to produce. And, it is our highest aim and hope that it also fed you, worked on you and enhanced the quality of your meals. If this is the case- and if you want to engage with this farm on an ongoing basis, we ask you to renew your membership. For those who renew before the end of 2017, we have some special offers that will be emailed to you next week. 

For those who took a vacation or hold week- we will be back to you next week and for those who took two- you have two weeks remaining. If you are complete and wish to forego the extra weeks, please let me know and we will redistribute those shares to the community. 

*Everyone please return your boxes to your site or leave out at home next week for pick up. 

Today, look for boxes containing:


lots of kale

sweet peppers

acorn and delicata squash with red kuri squash for full shares

We are, most humbly, your farm stewards- Christina, Carter, Lily, Medha, Sea, Monty, Walken, Eli, Madigan, Ruby, Ben 

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Week 17- October 10

In the box today:

  • Salad mix containing tatsoi, leaf lettuse, arugula, mustard greens, mizuna, and spinach
  • cilantro
  • baby leeks
  • zucchini - this may be the last week (thank goodness?!?)
  • sweet peppers
  • garlic
  • acorn squash
  • pie pumpkins
  • decorative gourds

What a delightful shift in the weather! We made a fire in the woodstove to welcome the interns in last night. Frost warnings last night. We have an active greenhouse garden now, so everything is safe. Carter had some concerns about the zucchini, but yes...we have all had a lot of that already anyway!

Next week marks the last regular season delivery. After that, there are one or two weeks for those who used vacation weeks.

Please let me know if you haven't already done so, if you are a flower or maple share member who is still owed bouquets or syrup. We'll be sure to fulfill those orders this month.

Blessings on your week!

Week 16 ~ October 3

Friend of the farm and astrologer Teri Parsley Starnes wrote this today, "Full Moon in Aries October 5, 2017 This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to walk through the autumn woods and fields of the beautiful Philadelphia Community Farm in Wisconsin, following a brilliant troupe of actors and musicians who were re-imagining Dante’s Purgatorio as a prescription for moving through the grief of the human destroyed-world to ascend into a world where the wild can claim us, but we can not claim the wild. (https://www.childrenofthewild.org/thewastelands) In a week that has been very challenging, this play represented for me a ray of hope, proof that another story is brewing. There is vision and passion to create a better relationship with the wild. Where there is grief, there can also be beauty."

We're keeping the performance flag up and a candle burning in the farmhouse while we host 45 sixth graders this week. It's a tall order to ease back into routine this week, and yet- held so strongly by the wild, we find beauty, solace and goodness in a perfect squash specimen, the squeal of a child encoutering Lola the cow, or the swirl of fallen leaves singing to us from outside.

May you, too, be nourished by the food we bring you this week. In the box today (and remember- Thursdays shares may vary somewhat):

  • salad mix (leaf lettuce, tat soy, spinach and mustard greens)
  • arugula
  • sweet bell peppers
  • hot peppers (either cayenne or jalepeno)
  • zucchini
  • butternut squash
  • delicata squash
  • Full shares also received a pie pumpkin

Week 15 ~ September 26

Greetings from the farm where we are hosting the cast and musicians who will perform The Wastelands here Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1. Sharing space, farm fresh meals, stories and work generates creative energy. As the wheel turns westward and we begin the process of expanding our inner landscapes, I am reflecting on the nourishment that comes from this land, both physical and spiritual. I hope you will be able to attend the performance. For more information, go to [www.childrenofthewild.org][1]

Thistledown Farm, Stillwater, MN still has ground beef and the September package available for any of you! You can visit the FaceBook Group to get acquainted with the farm. We will deliver with your box at no charge. Here is the new Beef, Chicken, Duck Special Fall Package for $85

Savory Chuck Roast (2-3 lbs.) Great in the crockpot with garden veggies - simmer all day and come home to great smells and dinner ready to eat. Top Round Steak (1.5 -2 lbs.) Steak Stroganoff over egg noodles or Stew never tasted so good! Lean Ground Beef (2 lbs.) Think Meatloaf with mashed potatoes with garden veggies ground in for extra nutrition. Young Whole Chicken (3.5 lbs.) Think Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Wild Rice Soup and so many more possibilities. Young Whole Muscovy Duck (3-5 lbs) Roasted stuff duck with Cornbread stuffing sounds delicious for a special Sunday dinner. Package Total - $85, $70 without Duck.

In the box today:

  • pie pumpkins (cut in half, scoop seed and cook fleshside down on a parchment covered baking sheet at 350 until soft. Then use the pumpkin for all your delicious recipes)
  • ornamental gourds (we are absolutely OVERRUN with them!)
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini (on a spiralizing kick over here!)
  • sweet yellow banana or Italian frying peppers
  • radishes
  • arugula

In the box!!

We've been fully immersed in farm life and regret not sending out garden notes. One silver lining was hearing from a couple of you who've missed them! It's so gratifying to know that they are useful.

Our latest additions to the farm include two momma cows with their bull calves. We acquired them from Khaiti at Living the Dream Farm of duck egg fame. A Highland and a Dexter, they are helping us round out the animal community toward becoming a Demeter certified biodynamic farm some day! More on this to come...

Great River School, a Montessori/IB charter in St. Paul came out with 100 9th and 10th graders for a week to start their school year. With all the extra hands we accomplished a lot together. The students engaged in stewardship, creative expression, physical expression and microeconomies. Quite the week! Following quickly on their heels was River's Edge Academy, another St. Paul charter school. And, the roster continues.

We will not be hosting a MIchaelmas Festival this year. Instead, we'd like to invite you to attend The Wastelands, an original traveling folk opera inspired by Dante's Purgatorio. Sung in Italian, guests will travel through the seven stages of grief set around the farm. The final scene will bring you to the White Barn for a reception and discussion. See http://www.childrenofthewild.org for more information.

Friday, Sept. 29 at 5:00 Saturday, Sept. 30 at 5:00 and Sunday, October 1 at 3 p.m.

Proceeds rain or shine. Free and open the public. Donations accepted after the show.

In the box today:

  • Salad mix containing lettuce, arugula, spinach, beet greens and baby kale
  • Leeks
  • Sweet peppers
  • zucchini
  • dill heads
  • delicata squash
  • acorn squash
  • Full shares also contain red kuri squash, a farm favorite.
  • To prepare your squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, place flesh side down on parchment covered baking sheet and bake at 350 until a fork or knife pokes through the skin (which is edible, too) easily. Can be used for pies, enchilada or pasta filling, stuffed with grains, greens and fruit, smothered in cinnamon, maple syrup and butter, or with salt and butter. Enjoy!

REMINDER: September Stock Up Meat Special from Thistledown is still available. Let Christina know if you'd like to order.

August 29- Week 11

First, the rough news. The tomatoes have late blight. Last year, we were one of the only farms in the area that didn't have to plow their tomato rows under. This year, we were not so lucky. Last week, we had warning signs that it was a possibility, and by Monday, Carter had given the diagnosis and prognosis for all the large tomatoes. This is always disappointing both for the farmers and interns and for you. It can feel like a lot of time, money and energy wasted. It's discouraging. And, it is the case. So we move on; tending the other crops with special care and admiration. Circumstances like these double our understanding of the utter fragility of nature, our dependency on nature and our connection to what we grow. We are sorry. And, it can't be helped. Luckily, the smaller tomatoes are fine right now. Savor them!

Today's haul: Cherry tomatoes (sun golds, red pearl and Matt's wild cherry varieties) Sweet peppers (yellow banana and Sullivan's frying varieties) Cucumbers zucchini leeks! Carrots Basil and Curly parsley Brocolli or cabbage in half shares this week

September Meat Offering from our friends Jane and Eric Malenfant at Thistledown Farm (with chicken from their neighbor farm) Meat offering for Buttermilk Falls CSA members only: A September Stock up Special from Thistledown Farm and other local farmers. We will deliver with your box next week.

Savory Chuck Roast 2-3 lbs. (great in the crock pot) Top-Round Steak - 1 - 1.5 lbs. (excellent cut for stew or stroganoff) 2 lbs. Lean Ground Beef (think magical meatloaf mixed in with some diced CSA veggies) 3 lbs. tender whole chicken 2-3 lbs. Whole Muscovy duck Package total $85 (Without Duck- $70) Send a message to Christina at farm@buttermilkcsa.com to order.

Today we welcome our daughter, Madigan, who will be helping out on the farm for the next two months between moves from Denver to Seattle. She's got a special golden touch to bring to the mix! Her honey is here on an artist residency in music. His band (At.Play) partner will arrive in a week. Ben will be weilding a chainsaw in preparation for the wood burning season. Welcome Madigan and Ben!

August 22; Week 10

Tomatoes like heat... and so do a bunch of other summer vegetables. Therefore, they're taking their time to ripen. We'll have to continue to settle for the cherry tomotoes until the bigger ones are ready to be picked. Same story for melon. Plenty out there, just not ripe yet.

The good news is that some of the equipment we weren't able to use has been repaired and that's making farming a whole lot more fun and efficient.

At the end of the week, we bid farewell to Sea who returns to Mt. Holyoke to continue studies. Sea's been an absolute dream member of the community this summer. We'll look forward to welcoming them back for The Wastelands performance at the end of September and with any luck at all, next summer, too.

What an absolute pleasure to host LuSa Organics' Mother-Child retreat last weekend. The whole farm smelled great as they conconcted products for health and well-being. Check out the website for some awesome locavore lovelies.

What Today's boxes: Basil, kale, carrots, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, onions , garlic. Full shares also get broccoli.

Week 9; August 15

Half Share members will see a recovery from last week- when the pickings were a bit slim. All boxes contain

  • basil curly parsley kale broccoli string beans cucumbers zucchini or summer squash Full shares also have patty pan summer squash

Thursday Flower shares will be delivered this week as well.

Last week's mystery herb on TH was fresh oregano! Hope it was put to good use.

5 or 10 lb Ground Beef from our friends at Thistledown Farm are still available. We will deliver with your share. Thanks to those who have already taken advantage of this special offer! Duck and Chicken will be available soon.

Chickens are on a laying break. We are only collecting less than half a dozen each day which are promptly put into use here at the farm.

Welcoming LuSa Organics Mother-Child retreat at Orchard House Folk School today. Can't wait to smell the goodness of their creations wafting over on the breezes.

Week 8; August 8

It's a wonder to create a meal on the farm. Like you, I never know what will be brought in as the medium for the alchemical process of preparing a meal. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of parsley. Remembering it as a garnish ONLY during my childhood, I was resistant to working with it. But today, there was no more room in the fridge, and I didn't think the chickens would want it any more than I did, so I took out my Vitamix and went to town. Two recipes to share: Gremolata: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-gremolata-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193008 and, chimichurri: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chimichurri/ I tried the chimichurri with a bit of fresh ham roast with lunch and can vouch for it heartily.

We're sharing the garden with critters. The deer and rabbits are getting more than their fair share. Still, so much more is coming your way as the season continues. We anticipate the tomatoes will start to ripen by next week and the onions will be big enough to harvest. Garlic has been curing for you and you'll see that in the box next week as well. For today's boxes:

  • basil
  • curly parsley
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • green or yellow zucchini or yellow crookneck squash
  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • sungolds (cherry tomatoes)
  • Full shares also contain: cabbage and peppers

Flower shares are going out today and for the two flower share members who were on vacation last Thursday (coming this Th).

Have a great week. Christina

Ground Beef offer

CSA MEMBERS~ Want meat? Thistledown Farm, a small family owned farm in Stillwater, MN is offering 10 lbs of 100% grass fed lean ground beef for $70 to our members. The Scottish Highland cattle they've been raising for 20 years has never received any additives, hormones or antibiotics. We'll deliver with your share. Send a message to Christina if interested.

Week 7: August 1

In the box today:

  • Kale
  • Italian parlsey, mixed basil
  • Italian fennel
  • string beans
  • cuumbers
  • green or yellow zucchini,
  • cherry tomato (sample size)- more to come!
  • And for full share boxes: kohlrabi, broccoli and peppers

We're delighted to have the capable and extra hands of a Great River School student this week- Henry has come for an artistic retreat and is helping out half days in the garden. He's pitched his tent and brought music and paints along.

We'd welcome anyone who wants to come help out in the garden for a morning to join in from 8-12 and stay for lunch. Email to arrange!

Flower & maple shares on Thursday this week and Tuesday next week.


Thursday shares Week 6

See This week's full post for a sense of what's going on at the farm. Lily is your driver this week and as it's her first time on the TH route, deliveries may be slightly delayed.

In the box: Flat parsley, basil and Italian fennel. Kale and collards. Cabbage and kohlrabi. Cucumbers, green or yellow zucchini or yellow crookneck squash. Full shares only contain string beans and peppers.

Week 6: July 25

Greetings from your farm! As astounding as it seems, this is the last week of July. We are in the throes of planning for Fall school groups and keeping up with the garden. This weeks delivery (#6), also marks the third way point of the season. The garden continues to give generously. The best way I know how to honor the abundance and goodness is to use as much of it as I can in our food at the farm. Your most interesting task this week will be how to incorporate the fennel. It can be braised or broiled very simply, chopped and added to slaws and salads or baked with pasta or eggplant dishes. Do post your discoveries.

Today's box contents:

  • Basil & Italian parsley
  • kale
  • collards
  • Italian fennel
  • green beans
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini
  • cabbage
  • kohlrabi
  • Full Shares contain sweet bell peppers

Of note in the Buttermilk Falls Folk School (sibling project to the CSA) realm are preparations for a Fall 2017 performance of The Wastelands at the farm. Currently in residence indefinitely, artistic director Walken Schweigert is working to bring his experimental folk opera together in the farm setting. It will be performed onsite on September 29, 30 and October 1. The Wastelands, inspired by Dante’s Purgatorio and Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison's The Architect's Brother, is first in Children of the Wild's "Rewilding Cycle."

Following Dante and Virgil through the seven stages of Purgatory, The Wastelands explores the seven stages of grief in a time of violent political and environmental unraveling. Guided by visual, musical, and kinesthetic poetry, The Wastelands travels through places in a process of rewilding: abandoned factories, overgrown shipyards, and sacrifice zones. By viscerally engaging with sites of particular ecological grief, The Wastelands unveils the many faces of our cultural grief: sexism, racism, homophobia, queer-phobia, colonization/colonialism, classism, ethnocentrism, and anthropocentrism.

We'd love to see you here for one of the performances. Times will be announced shortly. There is no cost to attend, and a hat will be passed after each show.

Week 5: July 18

Greetings on a sweltering afternoon from the farm. In the cool morning, our garden team of four harvested the following for your boxes:

  • basil
  • ruffled kale
  • collards
  • kohlrabi
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • young leeks
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers

Full share folks will also see (taste!) peppers

We'll be focusing on weeding this week as the forces of growth catapault everything green into high gear indiscriminately. Working to tame the weeds is a constant when you're gardening organically. There are no quick or foolproof solutions. We work with our hands and hand tools to liberate the plants from weeds that can rob them of the light and soil nutrients they require for optimal growth.

What a pleasure to share the garden with participants in the Art of Curiosity Romp & Retreat with Uncle Bear Klein. The Folk School hosted this residential weekend retreat that featured foods sourced from the garden and a curiosity practice that included gathering raw produce and cooking a meal together on Sunday. See more about from this engaging facilitator whom we are planning to welcome back periodically for more workshops. Visit Uncle Bear's Rodeo on You Tube for some inspiration.

130 people came through to visit the farm on the Co-op Farm Tour on Saturday! We welcome you all to make arrangements to come visit the garden (and pick a few weeds), animals and hiking trails replete with waterfall and spring!

Thank you for being with us for this year's CSA season. It's because of you that we do what we love tending the garden and stewarding this incredibly rich and generous piece of land.