Winter is here.
Gone are the days of fresh green beans and sweet corn.
You may be thinking…
“I want to eat local, but what is there to eat in the winter?”
“Ok, you have root veggies but they look kind of odd.”
What do you do with them? What do they taste like?”
I was thinking the same thing a few years ago.
When we were first married I bought a cauliflower from the grocery store. My farmer husband showed me what disease it had and how old it was.
After the cauliflower incident he told me that even in the winter, we don’t need to buy veggies at the grocery store.
The next day he brought home a bag of root veggies.
I thought to myself… I can do potatoes and carrots, but what in the world do you do with a beet or that odd looking celery root.
It took a while, but I figured out what to do with everything and now we don’t have to buy any veggies at the grocery store.
Are you ready to give the root veggies a try?
First, let start out with what they all are:
What do they taste like? Here is my description of them:
Beets: We grow 3 kinds – Golden, Candy & Red. Golden beets are the most mild beet that we grow. They do not have a strong earthy flavor and are great for a person who does not like red beets or have not tried them before. Candy beets are a really pretty pink & white stripped on the inside. They are not quite as sweet as the golden, but not as strong as the red beets. Red beets are your traditional beet flavor.
Rutabaga: Rutabaga is a golden color on the bottom with a purple top. They are more milder in taste than a turnip, often substituted for potato when mashing.
Turnips: Turnips are very white on the bottom with a purple top. They taste like a cabbage/radish cross.
Parsnip: They look like a white carrot, but have a thicker skin. They are sweeter than a carrot when cooked.
Radish: These come in lots of colors & varieties. They have a spicy, peppery flavor.
Celery Root: This odd looking veggie does get the attention it deserves! It tastes just like celery. Great to be eaten raw, added to salads, roasted or for soups.
Carrot: Carrots come in all colors. Our carrots are super sweet and delicious raw or cooked.
How to I store them?
We recommended that you leave your root veggies in a bag or container where they won’t be in the air. They also need to be kept in the fridge. If you leave them out of the bag or on the counter they will get soft.
What do I do with them?
The first thing I always recommend to do is roast them. Roasted veggies can bring out completely different flavors, often making the sweeter. Here is how we recommend to roast them.
Need more ideas? Check out the recipe section of the website for tons more recipes. The recipes are organized by the crop along the right hand side. Find the veggie you are looking for and click on it for more ideas.
I hope that this helps you give them a try! Trust me, they really are delicious and it is possible to eat only local food in the winter months.
Along with the root veggies we also have greens, brussel sprouts, potatoes, fall squash, onions, apples, eggs, meats and more available so you definitely won’t be going hungry this winter.
What is your favorite root veggie? Let us know below!
Several years ago we had a dream.
We wanted to farm year-round.
There was not enough income to support all of the families during the winter months. And so, other employment need to be found. The economy was not great and finding a place to work for just a few months out of the year was difficult.
They would also plow snow for extra income. This lead to many 18 hour days with out much time for rest or family. After a busy summer this was exhausting and not what we had wanted for our family.
So we set out with a goal… find a way to sell product year round.
We started with a few restaurants that would order our root crops in the winter. It was just Saturday deliveries with a small pick up.
Then a winter market opened.
Then we started a winter CSA.
We expanded our offerings, added some greenhouses and finally, after several years, we did it. Enough restaurants jumped on board. More winter markets had opened, and the winter CSA grew. Our dream became a reality. We were able to farm year round. No more early morning snow plowing, no more long days of never seeing each other.
This is our fourth winter now and not only are able to keep our three farmers busy but also EIGHT employees. Eight employees! How amazing is that!?!
Do you know why this has been possible?
It is because of YOU!
You choose to shop at the local farmers markets even in the cold winter months.
You choose to enjoy meals at restaurants that support local farmers.
You choose to join our winter CSA.
YOU CHOOSE TO SUPPORT A LOCAL FARM!
When this time of year comes around I remember that dream. Remember how far we have come and are so grateful.
Thank you for supporting our farm. Thank you for supporting our family. We truly could not do this with all of you.
Wishing you many blessings this Thanksgiving season,
– The Visser Family & CCA Crew
Earlier this week my daughter Ellie made this pie for us. It is simple and DELICIOUS!
2 1/2 cup cranberries in the bottom of a buttered deep pie dish.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the berries.
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Pour butter, sugar flour, eggs and vanilla over cranberries and bake for 30 – 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
We are selling Thanksgiving Boxes this year and cranberries will be included. This recipe will also be included in the box!
Did you know cranberries are grown in Michigan?
We had no idea until we moved. There are cranberry bogs just down the road from our house and we thought our customers would enjoy them just as much as we did. They are a fun treat this time of year.
What is your favorite cranberry recipe?
Do you want to bring the best tasting food to your family Thanksgiving this year?
Our Thanksgiving box will supply you with all of the veggie staples that you need to make an amazing meal. It will also include a couple of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Step 1 – Choose a box
|Box A ($35):||Box B ($45):|
|5lb potatoes||5lb potatoes|
|3lb sweet carrots||3lb sweet carrots|
|1 butternut squash||1 butternut squash|
|4 med yellow onions||4 med yellow onions|
|4lb fuji apples||4lb fuji apples|
|3lb brussel sprouts||3lb brussel sprouts|
|2lb cranberries||2lb cranberries|
|4lb red beets|
|1 celery root|
Step 2: Order
Order by November 10, 2018. Choose your pick-up location and pay online.
Step 3: Pick Up and Enjoy
Pick up your box at the Muskegon Farmers Market, Kalamazoo Farmers Market or our Farm Store on Saturday, November 17. Have a great time cooking and enjoy a delicious meal with your family!
We often get asked at market about the fall squash. Everyone knows what the butternut and acorn is, but the others? What do they taste like? Can you cook them the same?
This fall squash guide will make you feel confident enough to try them all and enjoy everything this fall favorite has to offer.
WHAT KIND OF SQUASH IS THAT?
Butternut Squash – This customer favorite features a bright orange flesh with a sweet taste. It stores well.
Acorn Squash – This squash features a sweet, nutty, mild flavored squash. Acorn squash stores well.
Buttercup Squash – Buttercup squash has a nutty earthy flavor with a touch of sweetness. Buttercup squash stores well.
Ambercup Squash – This sweet, smooth squash is a family favorite! It can be used interchangeably with pie pumpkin. It stores well.
Sweet Dumpling Squash – This squash makes a perfect bowl for cooking your meal in. It is a sweet squash also comparable to a sweet potato. It stores well.
Spaghetti Squash – By scraping the flesh of this squash you will get strings comparable to noodles. This is a great pasta alternative!
HOW TO STORE WINTER SQUASH – Most fall squashes can keep well into the winter. Lay them out in a cool dark spot. Check them occasionally for soft spots, using those first.
HOW TO COOK WINTER SQUASH –
Bake – Cut smaller squash (like acorn squash) in half; scoop out the seeds. Place 2 teaspoons honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup and 1 tablespoon butter into their centers. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for about 30 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.
Microwave Method – Cut the squash in half and discard seeds. Microwave on high for seven minutes per pound.
Roast – Cut in half and seed squash. Place the squash halves, cut-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub the flesh with softened butter or oil, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with brown sugar, maple syrup, or orange juice. Flip the squash over and roast them for 40 to 45 minutes in a preheated 400 degrees Oven. Roast the squash until the skin is blistered, browned, and the flesh is tender. Insert a fork or knife under the skin to test that the flesh is tender. When the squash has cooled the skin should peel off easily.
Boil – Cut the squash in half and discard the seeds. Peel and cut the squash into chunks. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the squash is tender. Let the chunks cool, then purée the flesh in a food processor or mash. To use the purée in pies, pass it through a strainer or sieve to remove any fibers or chunks.
Side Note: Make sure to save the squash seeds! You can cook them just like pumpkin seeds for a delicious healthy snack!
HOW TO FREEZE WINTER SQUASH – Fall squash is very easy to freeze! We typically cook a whole oven full at one time. Cut the squash in half and scoop the seeds out. Place in a pan with water in the bottom. Cover. Bake until soft and scoop out the squash. Mash until you have the consistency you like. Place in freezer containers or freezer bags.
What kind of squash is your favorite?
YES! I know, Michigan winter can be crazy. But the farmers markets are open all winter!
With the help of our greenhouses and large cold storage we are able to have produce available year round.
Lettuce, chard, cherry tomatoes, sweet carrots, beets, potatoes, parsnips, beef, pork, eggs and more will be available at the markets.
Here is where you can find us:
- Muskegon Farmers Market – Tuesday & Thursday until Thanksgiving. Every Saturday | 8am – 1pm.
- Kalamazoo Farmers Market – Saturday | 8am – 1pm
- Crisp Country Acres Farm Store: Monday – Friday | 8am – 6pm. Saturday | 8am – 5pm.
THANK YOU so much for supporting your local farmers.
Included in the CSA boxes this coming week will be: lettuce, microgreens, fruit, carrots, yellow onions & fingerling mix.
Reminder there is no GENTEX pick up this week. The deliveries will start again with the spring program on April 18.
Hope you all are enjoying the sunshine today! It was nice and warm in the greenhouse. Included in the CSA boxes this coming week will be: lettuce, swiss chard, white potatoes, golden delicious apples, onions, radishes and carrots.
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) encourages you to get to know your farmer and know where your food is coming from.Our members experience locally grown produce, eggs and meat in a new way and learn to eat with the seasons. Customers become members of the farm by buying shares before the season begins. In turn, the farm provides shareholders every week during the season with a variety of farm goods to enjoy.Shareholders support a local family farm, the local community and receive local produce each week. Shareholders are also exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking. After trying new veggies, shareholders often find that they really enjoy vegetables that they would have never purchased or tried before.
Farm Stand Style CSA
Our Farm Stand style CSA members purchase credit for the summer or winter season. Members come to the farm store or any of our farmers markets locations to pick-up produce during the season. Your credit can be used for anything we have available! There are many things to choose from including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, honey and more! Farm stand style CSA members are able to choose their own share and have the flexibility to come when and where works for them. HERE is more information on the Farmstand CSA.
Traditional CSA Boxes
These presorted boxes will have a variety of veggies and fruit for you and your family to enjoy each week. Our traditional CSA boxes encourage you to enjoy Michigan’s best variety of produce when it is in season and incorporate a wide variety of produce into your diet. You also are able to try out new produce and recipes that you may not have otherwise tried. The boxes are prepackaged for quick and convenient pick up. HERE is more information on our Traditional CSA Boxes.
Sign up today & support your local farmers!
Included in the CSA boxes this coming week will be: lettuce, gala apples, kale, rutabagas, celery root, carrots & navy beans.