The Gentleman Farmer

News and Blog

Posted 7/2/2014 5:10pm by Jessica and Dominic Green.



Hello CSA members!  

Spirits are up as we anticipate the 4th of July holiday celebrations! A friendly reminder that we are holding CSA pick up on Thursday July 3rd at the Barrington Farmer's Market in lieu of our Friday Farm pick up. The Farm will be closed on Friday! All other pick ups remain the same. Please see below for hours for the Barrington Farmer's Market as well as directions and location information.

Dom's been three weeks behind in the crop growth up until this week. We are finally able to harvest our own crops and have the majority of the produce in your CSA boxes come from our fields. This week radishes, kohlrabi, pac choi, lacinato (also known as dinosaur) kale and rainbow chard are coming from our fields. In order to round out your boxes we are including fennel and cucumbers from Radical Root Organic Farm.

Pulling weeds

 

The rains! I must admit I am enjoying the storms, however Dominic holds his breath and keeps his eye on the weather apps in anticipation of some consecutive dry days. The weeds have burst with the rain, and the soil is still very difficult to work in order to prep more beds for direct seeding. In the photo our hardworking farmhands Daniel and Scott are busy trying to keep up with the sudden growth of weeds!

Our nightshades such as eggplant, tomatoes and okra are in the ground and trellised. Usually night shades, like vineyards, can handle and do well with a little bit of stress in the form of dry soil and heat. While all this moisture is not great for these crops, we are using black plastic mulch to warm the ground where they are planted as well as control the irrigation and keep the weeds down. We really do need some consecutive dry days, but are hoping for the best with these practices in order to keep some of these variables at bay.

deer fence

The Hill N Dale farm team has assisted us in completing the deer fence around our new field (seen in the photo above). In the first few weeks, Dominic has found some of the tops of his fennel nibbled among other crops. We have always wanted to implement a deer fence to keep our crops free of the threat of going to the deer -- finally we have one!

A thank you to Jenny Powell for an introduction to the Cuba Township Food Pantry. We have begun donating our excess veggies and unpicked up CSA boxes there. The Food Pantry accepts donations of non perishable items too. If you would like to donate or are interested in volunteering your time to the food pantry click on the link above for more information.

We post all of our newsletters as they are distributed on our blog, so if you would like to read up on what the alternate pick ups are receiving or check out their recipes please use it as your reference. 

Also, I am excited to share with you that I will be contributing bi-weekly to 365Barrington with a blog called "Get Growing!." My latest post addresses the local food movement as a natural vehicle for healthy food equality and accessibility and also discusses our work share program. To follow "Get Growing!" click here.

We wish all of you a wonderful 4th of July weekend and look forward to seeing you at next pick up!

Any questions or concerns please contact Nicole@gentleman-farmer.com

 

Thank you as always for your support!

Your Farmers,

Jessica and Dominic Green


 Pick Up Info:

Barrington Farmer's Market Thursday July 3rd 2:00-7:00pm In lieu of Farm pick up on Friday we are holding pick up at the market. If possible, please try to pick up earlier rather than later as we do not have a cooler at the market.

The Barrington Farmer's Market is held in the drive just to the North of McGonagals Irish Pub and just to the south of the train tracks. Look for The Gentleman Farmer banner.

 773 450-8898 Dom's cell

Norton's USA Saturday July 5th 10:30-4pm (Norton's Closes at 5pm) Please note the earlier you pick up, the fresher your produce will be. Norton's does not have a cooler.

400 Lageschulte St Barrington, IL 60010

 847-382-8872 Norton's USA phone

Logan Square Farmer's Market Sunday July 6th 10am-3pm (market closes at 3pm) Please note the earlier you pick up, the fresher your harvest will be!

Logan Blvd and Milwaukee Ave -- On the green in our usual spot!

 773-450-8898 Dom's cell -- parking is along the BLVD or in the neighborhood. Flashing hazard lights may work, but be quick! ; )


In this week's box:

Swiss chard – the colors of this rainbow chard are striking. If you have always wondered how to prepare Swiss chard, it's simple. Just sauté the stalks a little longer than the leaves and add garlic and oil. Makes a great side dish. There is a delicious Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta recipe below!

Kohlrabi - this alien looking "cabbage turnip" plant has edible fruit as well as edible leaves. The bulbous part of the plant is actually the root. You can eat it raw for something that tastes a little bit like an apple crossed with a broccoli stem. Using a mandolin you can slice it thinly and add to salads. It can also be cooked.  I have included a Kohlrabi Slaw recipe!

white kohlrabi 

kohlrabi pictured above

Radishes – mixed "Easter Egg" radishes will be in your box. I love radishes thinly sliced, placed on buttered toast with a little bit of sea salt sprinkled on top. Radishes make a beautiful addition to the top of any salad, add a little bite to any sandwich, or crunch to your bagged lunch in place of carrots. 

Head Lettuce - Use in a salad, sandwich, or make turkey taco lettuce wraps.  Recipe below!  

Kale - curly or lacinato kale will be in your boxes this week. The curly kale is excellent for baking, tossing lightly in olive oil and then baking on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400F for 10-12 mins. Lacinato is a flatter leaf with wonderfully textured, raised bubbles. It does well in salads and I've included one below. Don't care for kale? Toss it in a smoothie with lots of berries (blueberries or strawberries) and some juice, blend well and you'll trick yourself into enjoying it :)    

Pac Choi – I love pac choi not only because it is a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and a good source of fiber, protein, thiamin (B1), niacin (B3) and phosphorus, but also because its delicious and very easy to cook with. Since all of pac choi is edible, I just cut off and discard the very bottom of the stems. The leaves can be eaten raw in salad or are quick to wilt by steaming, sauteing or stir frying. I have included a honey chicken with pac choi recipe below.

 bok choi

Pac Choi pictured above  

Fennel (sourced from Radical Root) - A simple recipe to try might involve slicing or chopping the white fennel bulb into "matchsticks" or cubes as an addition to savory vegetable salads; steam, roast, or sauté the bulb and add to soup or casseroles, or combine the leaves with rice or pasta along with olive oil, over baked fish.

Cucumber (sourced from Radical Root) - crunchy, cool cucumbers are amazingly versatile.  Add cucumbers to sandwiches, salads, and more. 

 


Recipes!

Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts  serves 4-6  

Ingredients:  

Vinaigrette

·       1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

·       1/4 cup olive oil

·       1 tablespoon stoneground mustard

·       1/4 teaspoon sea salt

·       1/4 teaspoon black pepper  

Salad

·       2 cups of purple kohlrabi, cleaned, peeled and cut into matchsticks 

·       1/4 head of savoy cabbage, sliced as thinly as possible, about 1 cup

·       1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced

·       2 garlic scapes, very thinly sliced (you could also use green onions)

·       1/3 cup dried cranberries

·       1/3 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped

·       Salt and black pepper to taste  

Instructions:

In a small bowl, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients with a whisk until well combined. Set aside.   In a large serving bowl, add all of the salad ingredients except the cranberries and walnuts. Toss gently to combine, the pour over some of the vinaigrette, you may not need it all, go conservative to start, you can always add more. Toss well to coat the entire salad with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle the cranberries and walnuts on top, salt and pepper to taste and serve.   

Honey Chicken with Pac Choi  Serves 4  

Ingredients:  

·      1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil / coconut oil

·      1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced lengthways

·      1 garlic clove, crushed

·      3 large chicken breast fillets, coarsely chopped

·      2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

·      1/4 cup tamari *if unavailable use soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

·      2 tablespoons oyster sauce *if unavailable you can try hoisin sauce

·      1 1/2 tablespoons honey

·      1 tablespoon sesame oil

·      3 bunches baby pac choi, quartered lengthways

·      Rice - cook as package directs      

Instructions:  

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute.  

Add the tamari, oyster sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Season with pepper and salt. Stir-fry for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  

Meanwhile, heat the rice following packet directions.  

Place the pac choi in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Drain.  

Divide rice, pac choi and chicken among serving dishes.

Serve.  

Recipe adapted from Australian Good Taste    

 

Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta  Serves 4  

Ingredients:  

·      3 cups raw Swiss chard, sliced (including the stems) *

·      2 handfuls dried spaghetti noodles

·      2 strips bacon, cut into 1/4" slices

·      1/2 large shallot, minced

·      olive oil as needed

·      1/3 cup ricotta cheese

·      2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

·      zest from 1/2 lemon

·      1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste

·      Pinch dried red pepper flakes  

Instructions:

Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the Swiss chard for 5 minutes. Scoop out the chard, and drain well, squeezing out as much of the water as possible. Chop again and set aside.

Keep the pot of water boiling, and add the spaghetti noodles. Follow the directions on the packet for making the spaghetti. Drain and set aside, retaining about 1 cup of liquid from cooking the noodles.

Fry bacon until just crispy. Add the shallot and saute until soft, adding olive oil if needed.

Add the Swiss chard and toss well to break up the chard clumps.

Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl, and add the lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add to the Swiss chard mixture in the saute pan and mix well.

Add cooked spaghetti, and some of the pasta water as needed.

Serve warm.  

*This is an easy, last minute dinner since you might have many of the ingredients on hand. If you don't have any swiss chard, kale, spinach and arugula also work great. If you use kale, I recommend removing the tough central stem. If you use either arugula or baby spinach leaves, you don't need to precook them at all; just toss them in at the end. The warmth of the pasta will sufficiently wilt them.  

Recipe adapted from The Wimpy Vegetarian

 

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps   Serves 4  

Ingredients:  

·      1.3 pounds lean ground turkey *you can use ground chicken

·      1 tsp garlic powder

·      1 tsp cumin

·      1 tsp salt

·      1 tsp chili powder

·      1 tsp paprika

·      1/2 tsp oregano

·      1/2 small onion, minced

·      2 tbsp bell pepper, minced

·      3/4 cup water

·      4 oz can tomato sauce

·      8 large lettuce leaves from lettuce

·      shredded cheddar cheese  

Instructions:  

Brown turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasonings and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  

Wash and dry the lettuce. Divide the meat equally between the 8 leaves and place in the center of each leaf and top with your favorite taco fixins!

Recipe from Gina Homolka.   

 


 

Last Week's Recipes From June 27th 

  Roasted Summer Squash Recipe with Lemon and Mint Serves 4  

Ingredients:  

·      3-5 yellow summer squash or zucchini, depending on size

·      ¼ cup olive oil

·      ¼ cup lemon juice

·      ½ cup very finely chopped mint (measure after chopping) ·     

      salt to taste (I used about ½ tsp.)  

Instructions:  

Preheat oven to 475 F, and put oven rack as high as it will go.  

Wash squash and cut off stem and flower ends. Cut each squash into quarters lengthwise, then cut into pieces about 2 inches long.  

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and salt in plastic bowl and toss squash with the mixture. Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil. Arrange squash on roasting pan, in a single layer as much as possible.  

Roast squash, turning every 15-20 minutes, until well done and slightly browned. I turned my squash twice, with a total cooking time of 45 minutes.  

This can be served hot or at room temperature.

I have made this and have eaten the leftovers the next day tossed with a bit of feta cheese and it was wonderful.  

Recipe adapted from Vegetable Love cookbook  

Garlic Scape Carbonara Serves 4  

This pasta is fantastic as a meal served with a big garden salad and some crusty bread. If desired, add a half-cup of fresh, lightly cooked peas to the mix for a little added nutrition (and sweetness).  

Ingredients:

½ lb campanella pasta, or shape of your choosing

4 slices bacon (about 3 ¼ ounces),

chopped ½¨ ¼ cup garlic scapes, cut into ¼ inch coins

2 large eggs 

¼ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese  

Instructions:

Set a pot of water to boiling on the stove and cook the campanella pasta (or desired shape).    While it’s cooking, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and add the garlic scapes.  Cook until soft (2-3 minutes). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. (Drain both the bacon and the garlic scapes on a paper towel).   Whisk together the eggs, salt and red pepper flakes.  

When the pasta is done, quickly remove it from the stove and set a different burner to low heat. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot, on the burner set to low. Stir in the garlic scapes and bacon. Add the egg mixture and stir feverishly for 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and creamy. Don’t let it overcook or it will be gloppy.

Sprinkle the romano cheese in, a little at a time, and stir to combine. Don’t add it all at once or it won’t mix through out the pasta as well (since it will clump).   Serve immediately  

Recipe adapted from Sarah’s Cucina Bella  

Kale Salads – 3 Easy Recipes!  

I’m trying to get you to eat kale.  Can you tell? It’s so good for you. And with these simple vinaigrettes, these salads will become your most favorite salads ever.  

Ingredients:   1 bunch of kale Vinaigrette of choice (recipes follow)  

Instructions:   For each of these recipes-   In a large salad bowl, make the vinaigrette of choice.  Pull the kale leaves from the tough stems; discard the stems. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups) and put into a salad spinner.  Wash, spin dry, and add to the bowl with your vinaigrette. Using tongs, toss for a good 60 seconds to coat well.  

Toasted Sesame Seed Vinaigrette Ingredients:  

·      2 T. sesame seeds

·      2 T. toasted sesame oil

·      2 tsp. soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

·      ¼ tsp. kosher salt  

Instructions:

Place a small skillet on the stove and add sesame seeds.  Turn the heat to medium.  Stir or shake the seeds often (so they cook evenly) until lightly toasted and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat.   In your large salad bowl, measure and whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt.  Add the toasted sesame seeds.  

Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette Ingredients:  

·      1 shallot

·      3 T. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

·      2 T. extra virgin olive oil

·      1 T. honey

·      ½ tsp. kosher salt

·      ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper  

Instructions:  

Chop the shallot and place in a large salad bowl.   Add the lemon juice, oil, honey, salt, and pepper (about 12 turns on a pepper mill) and whisk together.  

Caesar Vinaigrette Ingredients:  

·      2 small cloves of garlic

·      2 anchovies in oil, drained

·      3 T. extra virgin olive oil

·      2 T. lemon juice

·      1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard

·      ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

·      Dash (3 or 4 drops) hot sauce, such as Tabasco

·      2 T. grated Parmesan

·      1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper  

Instructions: Chop the garlic and chop the anchovies.  Then, on the cutting board, mash them together with the back of a fork to form a sort of paste. Add to a large salad bowl.   Add oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, Parmesan, and pepper (about 6 turns on a pepper mill). Whisk together.  

Recipes adapted from Jessica Seinfeld  

Rosemary Roasted Radishes serves 4  

A crispy roasted radish side dish that will have you fooled into thinking they're potatoes.  

Ingredients:

·      2 cups Radishes, Cleaned And Trimmed, Large Ones Halved

·      1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

·      1 pinch Kosher Salt

·      1 pinch Black Pepper

·      1 tsp. Minced Rosemary

·      1 T. Honey (optional)

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:

·      ¼ cups Plain Greek Yogurt

·      1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

·      1 T. Honey Mustard

·      1 tsp.  Lemon Juice  

Instructions:   Preheat oven to 425ºF. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss radishes with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary in a medium bowl to coat. Spread the radishes on the baking sheet in an even single layer. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally so they cook evenly and don’t burn. Remove from oven when wrinkled and soft. Drizzle with optional honey and more salt directly out of oven, serve warm. Combine all ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl and stir together until mixed. Serve with the roasted radishes.  

Recipe from Tasty Kitchen

 

 

Posted 6/28/2014 7:42am by Jessica and Dominic Green.

Hello CSA members!

We welcome our full shares back to CSA pick up this week and welcome our half shares (group B) to their first pick up of the season!

This week the weather has been almost sub tropical with the humidity, foggy mists and rain. The weeds and plants that are already in the ground are thriving from the moisture, however the rain has made working the soil in order to prepare it (to continue direct seeding) more difficult.

That said our worker shares that help us on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays have added immense assistance to the labor force and have successfully transplanted melons, cucumbers and zucchini over the last couple of weeks. As this is our first season implementing the worker share program we didn’t know what to expect. Thus far the energy, enthusiasm and interest from our workers has been contagious and motivating. In exchange for their time and labor they go home with a CSA box at the end of the week. We are grateful to our worker shares and will be introducing them to you individually throughout the season through our newsletter.

As our full shares already know, we have had an extremely late start to our season and so we are supplementing some of the box with veggies from our organic, small farming colleagues around Northern Illinois until we are able to completely fill the box with TGF produce.

This week we have Radishes, Garlic Scapes and Kale from The Gentleman Farmer and Broccoli, Endive, Mint and Summer Squash from our friends at Tempel Farms Organics and Radical Root Organic Farm both out of the Grayslake and Libertyville areas. Dried heirloom black turtle beans will go to our half shares this week from the father and daughter team at Breslin Farms in Ottawa, IL and our full shares will be receiving heirloom wheat berries also from Breslin Farms. We personally know these farmers and can vouch for their farming methods and practices. Should you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us or connect with the farmers themselves at your convenience. We appreciate your patience as we wait for our crops to catch up to speed!

You will find your pick up information posted below as well as a wonderful selection of recipes that Nicole has assembled to compliment your harvest this week.

One change this year, is that we will now be sending you home with your CSA box (rather than have you transfer your goodies to a bag). Please be sure to bring that box back with you when you return each week, we will exchange it for your next harvest.

Lastly, if you haven't already, please click here for a link to our Produce Storage Guide on our website so you can best store and enjoy your produce throughout the season! And for last week's recipes scroll down to the very bottom -- we have re-posted them there. Thank you as always for your support!

Your Farmers,

Dominic and Jessica Green


 

 

Pick Up Info:

FARM Friday June 27th 2:30-6:00pm PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY! 10MPH And park off to the side in order to allow turnaround room for others. Thank you! 65 Spring Creek Rd Barrington, IL 60010 (the entrance is one driveway west of 65 Spring Creek; look for the TGF sign. Please follow the arrows along the drive. Pick up is at the end of the gravel road by the greenhouse.

773 450-8898 Dom's cell; 773 386 1326 Jess' cell

Norton's USA Saturday June 28th 10:30-4pm (Norton's closes at 5pm) Please note the earlier you pick up, the fresher your produce will be. Norton's does not have a cooler.

400 Lageschulte St Barrington, IL 60010

847-382-8872 Norton's USA phone

Logan Square Farmer's Market Sunday June 29th 10am-3pm (market closes at 3pm) Please note the earlier you pick up, the fresher your harvest will be! Logan Blvd and Milwaukee Ave -- On the green in our usual spot!

773-450-8898 Dom's cell -- parking is along the BLVD or in the neighborhood. Flashing hazard lights may work, but be quick! ; )


 

In this week's box:

Mixed red and green kale – Jess likes to joke that kale is a farmer's best crop as it grows just about anywhere! Kale is an amazing source of calcium, Vit A, Vit C and Vit K -- all of which are antioxidants. It also includes fiber, zinc and iron. Did you know that eating Kale along with dairy is not advised? Kale can get in the way of calcium absorption so its best eaten without. We have included 3 easy kale salad recipes below.

Radishes – Crisp, peppery radishes add instant zing to any dish, whether sliced raw as a garnish, added to salads, or served as a side. We have included a roasted radish recipe below.

Garlic Scapes – Garlic scapes are the flower stalk of the garlic. The entire stalk and flower are edible. With mild garlic flavor and aroma they are wonderful additions to stews, roasts, marinade, salads, sandwiches, sauces, bread, pasta, pesto, stir-fry, roasted, or even steamed and eaten as a vegetable. If you are a bit of a foodie and eat out in the city often, the restaurants which cook seasonally can't get enough of scape dishes! The possibilities are endless! We have included a delicious and simple Garlic Scape Carbonara below.

Head lettuce (sourced from Radical Root) - Use in a salad or sandwich.

Escarole (sourced Tempel Farms) – High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked. Try tossing a few escarole leaves into a mild salad, serving some quickly wilted with lemon juice, or stir chopped escarole into soup.

Mint bunches (sourced Tempel Farms) – Mint is more than a garnish. It adds a bright note to salads and other savory dishes. Try our Summer Squash with lemon and mint recipe below!

Broccoli (sourced Radical Root) – Need a simple broccoli side dish recipe? Wash and cut the broccoli into edible bites. Lightly toss in olive oil, lightly salt and put on baking tray so that the flat side of the slice is down, and place the tray in oven for 15 mins on 400F or 425F checking on it. You can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or parmesan for an added flavor.

Summer squash (sourced Radical Root) - These yummy vining crops are great thinly sliced and sauteed with butter or olive oil. Use them as a side to add to any meal or top them on your veggie pizzas.

*Heirloom Wheatberries (sourced from Breslin Farms) – Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They look like thick, short grains similar to brown rice. Industrious folks grind them into whole wheat flour for baking; you may not have the time to regularly grind your own flour, but it’s a fun thing to try at least once. When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.

**Heirloom Turtle Beans (sourced from Breslin Farms) – these beans have a dense, meaty texture which makes them great for vegetarian recipes. See last week's recipes for a dip suggestion, but adding these to chilli is also a wonderful way of incorporating them.

**Potted herb plant - this is a surprise plant! Of the herbs we currently have all of them will do best if transplanted outdoors, put in the sun and watered daily.

* denotes item is for full share members

** denotes item is for half share members


 

Recipes! chosen for you by TGF Office Manager Nicole Pommer Brown

Roasted Summer Squash Recipe with Lemon and Mint Serves 4 Ingredients:

· 3-5 yellow summer squash or zucchini, depending on size

· ¼ cup olive oil · ¼ cup lemon juice

· ½ cup very finely chopped mint (measure after chopping)

· salt to taste (I used about ½ tsp.)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 475 F, and put oven rack as high as it will go. Wash squash and cut off stem and flower ends. Cut each squash into quarters lengthwise, then cut into pieces about 2 inches long. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and salt in plastic bowl and toss squash with the mixture. Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil. Arrange squash on roasting pan, in a single layer as much as possible. Roast squash, turning every 15-20 minutes, until well done and slightly browned. I turned my squash twice, with a total cooking time of 45 minutes. This can be served hot or at room temperature. I have made this and have eaten the leftovers the next day tossed with a bit of feta cheese and it was wonderful.

-Recipe adapted from Vegetable Love cookbook

Garlic Scape Carbonara Serves 4

This pasta is fantastic as a meal served with a big garden salad and some crusty bread. If desired, add a half-cup of fresh, lightly cooked peas to the mix for a little added nutrition (and sweetness).

Ingredients:

½ lb campanella pasta, or shape of your choosing

4 slices bacon (about 3 ¼ ounces), chopped

¼ cup garlic scapes, cut into ¼ inch coins¨

2 large eggs

½¨ ¼ tsp kosher salt

½¨ ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½¨ ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Instructions: Set a pot of water to boiling on the stove and cook the campanella pasta (or desired shape). While it’s cooking, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and add the garlic scapes. Cook until soft (2-3 minutes). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. (Drain both the bacon and the garlic scapes on a paper towel). Whisk together the eggs, salt and red pepper flakes. When the pasta is done, quickly remove it from the stove and set a different burner to low heat. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot, on the burner set to low. Stir in the garlic scapes and bacon. Add the egg mixture and stir feverishly for 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and creamy. Don’t let it overcook or it will be gloppy. Sprinkle the romano cheese in, a little at a time, and stir to combine. Don’t add it all at once or it won’t mix through out the pasta as well (since it will clump). Serve immediately

Recipe adapted from Sarah’s Cucina Bella

Kale Salads – 3 Easy Recipes!

I’m trying to get you to eat kale. Can you tell? It’s so good for you. And with these simple vinaigrettes, these salads will become your most favorite salads ever.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale Vinaigrette of choice (recipes follow)

Instructions: For each of these recipes- In a large salad bowl, make the vinaigrette of choice. Pull the kale leaves from the tough stems; discard the stems. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups) and put into a salad spinner. Wash, spin dry, and add to the bowl with your vinaigrette. Using tongs, toss for a good 60 seconds to coat well.

Toasted Sesame Seed Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

· 2 T. sesame seeds

· 2 T. toasted sesame oil

· 2 tsp. soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

· ¼ tsp. kosher salt

Instructions:

Place a small skillet on the stove and add sesame seeds. Turn the heat to medium. Stir or shake the seeds often (so they cook evenly) until lightly toasted and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. In your large salad bowl, measure and whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt. Add the toasted sesame seeds.

Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette Ingredients:

· 1 shallot

· 3 T. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

· 2 T. extra virgin olive oil

· 1 T. honey

· ½ tsp. kosher salt

· ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Chop the shallot and place in a large salad bowl. Add the lemon juice, oil, honey, salt, and pepper (about 12 turns on a pepper mill) and whisk together.

Caesar Vinaigrette Ingredients:

· 2 small cloves of garlic

· 2 anchovies in oil, drained

· 3 T. extra virgin olive oil

· 2 T. lemon juice

· 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard

· ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

· Dash (3 or 4 drops) hot sauce, such as Tabasco

· 2 T. grated Parmesan

· 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Chop the garlic and chop the anchovies. Then, on the cutting board, mash them together with the back of a fork to form a sort of paste. Add to a large salad bowl. Add oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, Parmesan, and pepper (about 6 turns on a pepper mill). Whisk together.

Recipes adapted from Jessica Seinfeld

Rosemary Roasted Radishes serves 4

A crispy roasted radish side dish that will have you fooled into thinking they're potatoes.

Ingredients:

· 2 cups Radishes, Cleaned And Trimmed, Large Ones Halved

· 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

· 1 pinch Kosher Salt

· 1 pinch Black Pepper

· 1 tsp. Minced Rosemary

· 1 T. Honey (optional)

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:

· ¼ cups Plain Greek Yogurt

· 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

· 1 T. Honey Mustard

· 1 tsp.

Lemon Juice

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss radishes with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary in a medium bowl to coat. Spread the radishes on the baking sheet in an even single layer. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally so they cook evenly and don’t burn. Remove from oven when wrinkled and soft. Drizzle with optional honey and more salt directly out of oven, serve warm.

Combine all ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl and stir together until mixed. Serve with the roasted radishes.

Recipe from Tasty Kitchen Recipes

 

Posted 6/23/2014 6:08pm by Jessica and Dominic Green.

Dear CSA Members,

Welcome to your first Gentleman Farmer pick up! Full disclosure - its been a tough beginning for us this season. Due to the very long winter weather and some setback with our tractor, we are behind in our first harvest this year. Though we are beginning our CSA this week we have had to lean on some of our fellow farmers to fill your boxes in an effort to maintain a timely schedule.

Dominic has faith that we will be harvesting some of our own crops in the next coming weeks. Until we are able to bring you a complete harvest from The Gentleman Farmer's field we will continue to supplement from a variety of local, organic farms. In an effort to be transparent, we always share with you from where we source our supplemental harvest and we know these farmers personally, value their like-minded missions and hold them in high regard. Please don't hesitate to contact us, or the farms themselves with any questions regarding their farming process.

This week we have veggies from Montalbano Farms in Sandwich, IL as well as Radical Root Farm in Libertyville, IL, fresh strawberries from Earth First Farms in Michigan, dried black beans from our friends at Breslin Farms in Ottawa and potted herbs from us at The Gentleman Farmer. All of these farms practice organically.

Nicole has taken the time to post some wonderful recipes that will compliment your boxes this week and also be we have posted your harvest contents, and pick up locations information including hours and addresses.

One change this year, is that we will now be sending you home with your CSA box (rather than have you transfer it to a bag). Please be sure to bring that box back with you when you return each week, we will exchange it for your next harvest.

We greatly appreciate your support and understanding as we experience a slow start out of the gate this season.

Your Farmers, Dominic and Jessica Green


 

Pick Up Info:

FARM FRIDAY 2:30-6:00pm PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY! 10MPH

65 Spring Creek Rd Barrington, IL (one driveway west of 65 Spring Creek; look for the TGF sign. Please follow the arrows along the drive. Pick up is at the end of the gravel road by the greenhouse.

773 450-8898 Dom's cell; 773 386 1326 Jess' cell

Norton's USA Saturday 10:30-4pm (Norton's closes at 5pm)

400 Lageschulte St Barrington, IL 60010

847 382 8872 Norton's USA phone

Logan Square Farmer's Market Sunday 10am-3pm (market closes at 3pm)

Logan Blvd and Milwaukee Ave On the green in our usual spot!

773-450-8898 Dom's cell -- parking is along the BLVD or in the neighborhood. Flashing hazard lights may work, but be quick! ; )


 

In this week's box:

Dried black beans (sourced from Breslin Farms) – If you have never cooked dried black beans before you’re in for a treat! The recipe below is so simple to make. I promise you’ll never go back to canned black beans again.

Kale (sourced from Radical Root) – is one of the most nutritious greens you can find. Kale comes in many different varieties, this one from Rad Root is green curly. Kale can be juiced, chopped and sauteed, baked as chips or thrown into salads, it can also be added to veggie lasagnes. We have included a Kale Pizza Recipe for you to try!

Rainbow chard (sourced from Montalbano Farms) - chard is earthy in flavor, not unlike spinach. Its beautiful big green leaves and colorful stalks are completely edible. Sautee until just barely wilted and use as a side dish, or roughly chop and add to other greens to make a colorful salad.

Spinach (sourced from Montalbano Farms) - Sautee or steam to just wilted and add to other greens and use as a side dish, or keep raw and add to salads, smoothies or sandwiches.

Lettuce mix (sourced from Montalbano Farms) – Best when tossed with other greens as a compliment to your main course. Head lettuce (sourced from Radical Root) - these are fresh little gems right from the ground. Use in a salad or sandwich.

Potted herb plant - Quelle Surprise! Of the herbs we currently have, all of them will do best if transplanted outdoors, put in the sun and watered daily.

Strawberries – (sourced from Earth First Farms in Michigan) Did you know that strawberries rank among the top 10 fruits and vegetables in antioxidant capacity? These have been harvested for you just over the border in Michigan and are organic. Make ice cream with them, pop them in smoothies, use them to dress a summer cake or pudding, or best yet, eat them right from the quart! 

Recipes!

Warm Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese

Serves: 4

This is a nice lunch salad or side dish.  What sets it apart is the warm vinaigrette poured over the spinach.  The onions give it crunch and the blue cheese a savory tang.

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach

  • 1 small red onion

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 T. honey

  • 2 T. Dijon mustard

  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

  • 4 oz. blue cheese (about 1 cup crumbled)

 

Directions:

Tear off and discard the tough stems from the spinach.  Put the leaves in a salad spinner, wash, spin dry, and place in a large salad bowl.  If you don’t have a salad spinner, you’ll just need to wash and dry the spinach very well.

Slice the onion into this half-moons and set aside.

For the vinaigrette:  Place a medium skillet on the stove.  Add the oil, honey, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper (about 12 turns on a pepper mill) and whisk together.  Turn the heat to medium.  Add the sliced onion and cook, turning with tongs, until the onion is softened but still a little crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the warm vinaigrette and onion over the salad and toss well with tongs.  Crumble the blue cheese over the top and serve immediately.

 

Recipe from Jessica Seinfeld



Black Bean Recipe

Serves: 6

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bag black beans, rinsed and picked over

  • 1 T. olive or coconut oil

  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tsp. salt

  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced (optional)  

  • Water

 

Directions:

Soak the beans overnight in a large pot. In the morning, drain the water and set beans aside.

 

In a large dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for about six minutes, until soft and translucent. Add two cloves of the garlic and continue cooking for another thirty seconds.

 

Add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and enough water to cover everything by an inch. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open), reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

 

After an hour, stir the beans and add the remaining two garlic cloves and minced cilantro. Return to a simmer and cook another hour and a half or until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking.

 

Once cooked, add salt and additional spices as desired. Serve with corn tortillas, and/or rice, and salsa or, like I did, make a burrito bowl with shredded chicken, black beans, lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado slices, hot sauce, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.   

Time:

2.5 hours, not including overnight soak time

 

**beans freeze wonderfully!

 

Recipe adapted from Jenna Weber

 

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 pound baby spinach

  • 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

 

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together shallot and vinegar. While whisking constantly, drizzle in oil to make a vinaigrette. Add spinach, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Whole Foods Market  

 

White Pizza with Kale

 

For the crust:

I bought a ball of dough from Whole Foods.  Most grocery stores carry pizza dough and already made pizza crusts.  If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making your own crust from scratch*.

For the topping:

  • 4 T. olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bunch kale

  • 1 T. water

  • 6-8 oz.  fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼” slices

  • 4 oz. Goat cheese, crumbled

  • parmesan, grated

 

1) Preheat oven to 500°F or as hot as it will go without being set to broil. Roll out pizza dough, sprinkle baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal (if you have it, if not a little flour should work) and transfer dough to prepared pan.  Mix 2 T. olive oil with 1 clove minced garlic and set aside.  

2) To strip the kale from the white ribs fold the leaf in half lengthwise, grip the stem end in one hand, and run your other hand down the length of the leaf.  Chop the leaves into small pieces and discard the stems.  Heat the remaining 2 T. olive oil and remaining minced garlic clove in a large sauté pan over medium heat until fragrant (less than a minute).  Add the chopped kale and water; toss to combine.  Cover and steam for about two minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the greens to a paper-towel-lined plate and let rest.

3) Brush the garlic oil mixture over the pizza dough.  Top with mozzarella, then scatter the kale over the cheese.  Crumble goat cheese over the kale, then top with grated parmesan.  

4) Bake in preheated oven 8-12 minutes, or until crust is crisp and cheese is bubbly.  Cut into wedges and serve.

 

* Whole-wheat pizza dough recipe from Cooking Light

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100° to 110°)

  • 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • Cooking spray



Directions:

 

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, oil, and salt to yeast mixture, stirring until well-blended. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Top and bake according to recipe directions.

Note: This dough may be frozen. Follow directions for kneading dough, and shape dough into 2 balls. Coat balls with cooking spray and place into a ziptop plastic freezer bag. Thaw overnight in a refrigerator. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85'), free from drafts' 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If Indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Shape as instructed.

Posted 6/1/2014 9:38pm by Jessica and Dominic Green.



Hello CSA Members!

As we near the start of the season Dominic and I would like to update you on our current news both in the field and behind the scenes:

 

CSA Start Date

Due to some new tractor fits and starts we continued to catch the rainy and wet end of the month of May and are behind a week with transplanting. While we have seedlings to sell at the market, our CSA start date has been pushed back one week. Full shares and Group A Half Shares will begin the weekend of June 22nd; Group B Half Shares will begin the following weekend of June 27th. Next week we will be sending out your CSA start dates and pick up schedules. Half Share members will be notified of whether they are Group A or B in these e-mails. At that time, should you need to switch your group; please contact Jessica@gentleman-farmer.com or nicole@gentleman-farmer.com and we will work with you.

In the field we have two new team members Scott Speer and Herminio Ballinas. With our new and expanded acreage we are needing to increase our field hands and so both are working alongside Dominic to seed, weed, sow and harvest your crops. 

In the office, we would like to welcome Nicole Pommer. Starting June 11th, Nicole will be your new point of contact regarding your CSA memberships and any questions or concerns regarding scheduling and pick ups as we start the CSA season. While transitioning Nicole into this role of Office Manager, I will continue to work alongside her, so please feel free to contact me on any current correspondence. I am also still available by phone 773 386 1326 and I plan to continue to be present at the Farm pick up and at the Barrington Farmer's Market as well as at the other CSA pick up locations occasionally throughout the season. This move will help me to step back from administrative duties and focus on our next phase of our Gentleman Farmer vision. Nicole can be reached at nicole@gentleman-farmer.com and I can continue to be reached at jessica@gentleman-farmer.com

Please join me in welcoming these new farm team members!

Farmer's Markets

Dominic has begun his season at the Logan Square Farmer's Market selling multiple varieties of seedlings from heirloom tomatoes to eggplants and herbs. The Barrington Farmer's Market begins mid-June. Market hours in Chicago are Sundays from 10am-3pm; and begining mid-June in Barrington will be 2pm-7pm on Thursdays.

Worker Shares 

We have had a great response to our Worker Share program! We will depend on these folks to help with weeding, seeding, harvesting and packing one morning shift a week from Wed- Friday in order to get your boxes to you each pick up. At this time our worker share spaces are filled. Anyone interested in being placed on a wait list for worker shares can contact either myself or Nicole. 

Finally, we are thrilled to share with you this piece on www.365Barrington.com written by CSA member Renee Blue. We eagerly anticipate putting our roots down in Barrington more permanently this year and look forward to being able to grow the farm and serve the Barrington and surrounding communities (as well as Chicagoans) while doing so. A huge thank you to CSA member Cory Flahaven for her insight on what its like to be a CSA member too!

We hope you are enjoying the beginning of June as we finally experience the weather for which we've waited patiently!

Pick up schedules to hit your inboxes next week,

Your Farmers,

Jessica and Dominic Green

Posted 5/28/2014 1:00pm by Jessica and Dominic Green.

We're so excited to be given the spotlight at 365Barrington thanks to our CSA member and 365Barrington contributor Renee Blue. Read more on The Gentleman Farmer now!

 

 

Posted 5/21/2014 1:15pm by Jessica and Dominic Green.

In starting The Gentleman Farmer, we made a commitment to making sustainability a part of our lives, and while that comes with its own challenges we continue to be encouraged by those who are working toward similar goals. With the UN's recent climate report coming in with rather sobering data, we're excited by the organization happening on the ground. The students at Stanford calling for divestment in coal and people rallying across the country on May 9th in support of the "Monsanto Plunge" are perhaps indications that working toward a more sustainable planet is permeating a collective consciousness.

Even so, this can sometimes seem so overwhelming that it's hard to believe that any small changes an individual or family makes can have any impact at all. The small farming and CSA model offers the perfect place for community members to act, contribute and support these movements, even when they have very little time to do it. Its just one of many ways to participate, and yes, your participation does have an impact! There is no denying that the long winter has had an effect on all of us, particularly those of us here in the midwest. The tolerance for the prolonged cold had just about disappeared when last week brought warmer temperatures, pushing the buds on the trees into beautiful floral blooms. Our children continue to comment on the magnolia tree in our alley, the red buds at their school's playscape and the willow's weeping branches at the farm.

Dominic has been familiarizing himself with the tractor-- which has yet to be named-- and enjoying the improved self sufficiency. With 4 different implements: loading, spreading, lifting and tilling its' versatility is wonderful.

Tractor Dom

The greenhouse is bursting with seedlings! We're a few weeks behind because of the weather, but these seedlings will be going into the field this week, after Dom's final application of soil amendments. All the table-top and floor space in the greenhouse is occupied due to our greenhouse seedlingsincreased CSA capacity and also this year's increased variety. At market this year we plan to sell more potted seedlings including six different heirloom tomatoes and eight different herbs.

And we've added two new members to our farm team! Nicole Pommer who is taking on the roll of Office Manager will be transitioning over the month of May. She will be interfacing with our CSA members, and getting our administrative side into ship-shape. Nicole and her fiancé Tim have an interest in organic farming and have taken multiple classes at Angelic Organics Learning Center. Nicole and Tim will be tying the knot the first week of June and we look forward to her return just as the season begins!

We've also hired a new farm-hand, Scott Speer, who is the brother of one of our CSA members! He will be replacing Rafael who has moved on to do landscape work. We are grateful to Raf for all of his hard work and look forward to working with Scott this season.

Out with the old and in with the ... Dominic has sold his "trusty" Market Truck (which was formerly a Meals on Wheels refrigerated truck). It has served us well over the last 4 seasons acting as our first storage cooler before we built a permanent one last year. It also helped keep our freshly harvested produce cool and crisp on their way to market. We're sorry to see her go, but we have well and truly outgrown her and must upscale. Dominic has three weeks to find a bigger replacement in time for market season which is just weeks away!

Lastly.... Our tentative CSA start date is the 2nd weekend of June. This however may change determined only by the weather. We will be sending out a CSA newsletter in the next couple of weeks with more concrete information.

We are still looking for interested people to take on a Worker Share position. All enthusiastic parties please read below for more information on what a worker share entails.

Save the Date for Angelic Organics Learning Center's Harvest Dinner Fundraiser July 26th in Calendonia, IL!

 

Get Involved! "Reap The Rewards... literally..!"

This season The Gentleman Farmer is offering 6 members the opportunity to "Work For Your Food - Reap The Rewards..!" The position is called a "Worker Share", and it works like this:

In exchange for one morning or afternoon's work at the farm each week of the season, you will receive 1 full Vegetable CSA Share, worth $595! But signing up for a Worker Share is so much more. For one season, you will become an honorary member of The Gentleman Farmer family, you will be able to watch and learn just how a sustainable, organic farm operates, you will spend active time outdoors, and you will literallyreap the rewards of your labor..!

While a Worker Share is not as formal as employment, neither is it as informal as volunteering - you will be an important part of the farm team and the commitment should be taken seriously. We expect the following of our Worker Shares:

- A commitment to work one shift every week for the 21 week duration of the delivery season (Mid-June through end October. A shift is one morning (7am till 12 noon) of a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday)

- Preferably, it will be the same shift on the same day every week (although this is flexible)

- To know the work will include everything from seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting, washing and packing etc.

- An understanding that while the shifts are short, the work can be hard, especially when the weather is hot. You need to be up to the task!

- To be a "Team Player", be organized, to arrive on time and stay through the end of the shift.

- To be able to follow instructions well, and behave in a professional manner.

- To relish working outside on an organic farm, to enjoy, and to have fun! All worker shares will begin with a trial period to make sure the fit is right for all!

Please let us know if you are interested by emailing Jessica@gentleman-farmer.com or nicole@gentleman-farmer.com with "Worker Share" in the title. 

Posted 4/10/2014 9:45pm by Jessica and Dominic Green.

 

Read this Crain's article on a new Farm to market food hub expected to launch in Bucktown!

 

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140409/BLOGS09/140409741/farm-to-market-food-hub-expanding-opening-retail-outlet#

Posted 4/9/2014 9:31am by Jessica and Dominic Green.

Despite how cold the earth must still be, we are seeing signs of Spring: garlic that we planted last fall has pushed green shoots up through the slowly thawing, dark, caked soil. The birdsong has returned along with sightings of beautiful red cardinals at our feeders and today's rain showers will hopefully bring those May flowers.  seeding trays in greenhouse

In the greenhouse 350 + seed trays have been sown with 25,000 seeds in the moist warmth of the tunnel -- a shelter, whose thin plastic linings are just enough to catch the sun's heat and create an entirely different climate perfect for starting seeds. Currently growing are your broccoli, herbs, onions, leeks, cabbages, celery and celeriac to name a few.

After much research and due diligence, Dominic has decided on the Kabota MX5100 HST-50 horse power tractor as our next and much needed investment. Having our own tractor will help Dominic and his team be more efficient and self-reliant which will help us in our production and operations this season -- this is essential with our newly expanded acreage and growth capacity. The Kabota will go straight to work upon its arrival spreading organic soil amendments and phosphorus-fortified compost to increase the soil's health for the season.

Speaking of capacity... we have CSA shares available! Our veggie share options provide up to a 3/4 bushel weekly of freshly harvested, and locally grown, seasonal veggies! Prices are $325 and $595 for Half and Full Shares respectively. CSA pick up begins mid-June and goes through October, and we offer three pick up destinations throughout Barrington and Chicago! Sign up for your CSA share here!

Dominic in the City --

At Chicago's Good Food Festival and Conference this March, Dominic with Angelic Organics Learning Center's Executive Director Tom Spaulding, presented the Beginning Farmer of the Year Award which went to Tim Huth of LOTFOTL Farm in Wisconsin and Chris and Marcy Prchal of Trogg's Hollow Farm in Elgin. We love beginning farmers! (no, we're not biased...) The Gentleman Farmer will also be attending the CSA Fair at the Thompson Center (street level atrium at 100 Randolph St) next Monday April 7th between 10am and 2pm. If you work in the loop, grab some colleagues and come sign up for a CSA share with The Gentleman Farmer! 

Get involved with The Gentleman Farmer! "Reap The Rewards... literally..!"

This season The Gentleman Farmer is offering 6 members the opportunity to "Work For Your Food - Reap The Rewards..!" The position is called a "Worker Share", and it works like this - In exchange for one morning or afternoon's work at the farm each week of the season, you will receive 1 full Vegetable CSA Share, worth $595!

But signing up for a Worker Share is so much more. For one season, you will become an honorary member of The Gentleman Farmer family, you will be able to watch and learn just how a sustainable, organic farm operates, you will spend active time outdoors, and you will literallyreap the rewards of your labor..!

While a Worker Share is not as formal as employment, neither is it as informal as volunteering - you will be an important part of the farm team and the commitment should be taken seriously. We expect the following of our Worker Shares: -

A commitment to work one shift every week for the 21 week duration of the delivery season (Mid-June through end October. A shift is one morning (7am till 12 noon) of a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday) -

Preferably, it will be the same shift on the same day every week (although this is flexible) - To know the work will include everything from seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting, washing and packing etc. -

An understanding that while the shifts are short, the work can be hard, especially when the weather is hot. You need to be up to the task! -

To be a "Team Player", be organized, to arrive on time and stay through the end of the shift. - To be able to follow instructions well, and behave in a professional manner. -

To relish working outside on an organic farm, to enjoy, and to have fun!

Please let us know if you are interested by emailing Jessica with "Worker Share" in the title.

We're hiring! The Gentleman Farmer is looking for an Office Manager as well as 2 part-time Farmhand positions. Click here for job descriptions. With warm thoughts from the greenhouse, Jessica and Dominic Green www.gentleman-farmer.com

Posted 4/9/2014 9:24am by Jessica and Dominic Green.

Its a new year, new field, new crops and new home! We are more excited than ever this year as we enter our 4th farming season. Having started our business in my mother's back yard on a 1/3rd of an acre, we have since seen incremental growth every year from our fields and yields to our CSA. When we began this farming journey our initial intention was to make farming a lifestyle, not just for Dominic but for our entire family. This year that plan will be realized culminating in the form of a move to Barrington for the Greens. We'll exchange waking to the sound of the traffic helicopter hovering over our home at 5am to the rooster crowing at any 'ole hour.

Since 2010 Dominic has been commuting almost 4 hours a day during his farming season which, as you can imagine, hasn't been the most ideal situation for farming. Finally, living within minutes of our fields will not only increase our efficiency in our work, but also set our farm onto the next stage of growth which we have intended from the beginning. While we will miss the city dearly(!!!), we look forward to staying connected to our friends and loyal customers throughout the season at The Logan Square Farmer's Market where we have been welcomed as a small farm vendor since 2010. market photo cherry toms 

On the farm this year we have added a new 5.5 acre location on the same Barrington Hills farm, which brings us to 7.5 acres total under The Gentleman Farmer. The plan is to rotate cultivation within the 7.5 acres, 2/3rds at a time, using each of the fields for different purposes. Every third year we plan to allow 2.5 acres to lie "fallow". This practice is an ancient and natural method allowing the land to "rest" by planting cover crops or green manures.

The benefits to this practice are many, including but not limited to:

  • protecting the soil from erosion and leaching of nutrients
  • adding organic materials and increasing humus to the soil
  • adding fertility to the soil (by planting legumes which actually "fix" nitrogen from the air and adds it back into the soil through nodules on the legumes' root systems, while other plants with deep roots pull nutrients to the surface from deep down)
  • improving soil tilth and structure (by breaking up the hard pan, suppressing weeds through dense cover and alleopathy)
  • attracting beneficial insects while repelling harmful ones increasing water infiltration while decreasing run off.

This rotation structure does take away valuable land from the profit cycle, but the long-term benefits of a healthy soil far out way any short term loss. Needless to say, with this expansion it is time to purchase a tractor. Yes, we've been farming thus far with a "walking tractor" and now its time to join the big leagues! In terms of how this effects our CSA -- we are aiming to reach 100 members this year. Quite a leap from our previous 40 member capacity. This year we are offering a limited number of worker shares*. We are also hoping to add in a second market, in addition to our beloved Logan Square Farmer's Market in Chicago. And Dom is planning to increase his variety this year from 100 different varieties to 138 including peas, pole beans, honeydew melon, romanesco cauliflower, celeriac, collards, rutabega and sweet potato to name a few.

In addition to the season's preparations we are continuing with our farming education. This week Dominic and I will participate in the MOSES (Midwest Organic, and Sustainable Education Services) Conference taking courses on everything from soil fertility to growing flowers for your CSA. And when he is not farming, Dominic continues to serve on the board of Angelic Organics Learning Center which is the mid-west sponsor and facilitator for CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training). AOLC also serves as a midwestern organic farming hub offering other amazing programs from bee-keeping classes, to inner city urban farming initiatives.

As we embark on this final phase of our initial "start-up" plan we continue to be so grateful to everyone who has supported us from the beginning. We want to thank our CSA members -- from our first year customers to today's customers; our market customers and The Logan Square Farmer's Market; our farming team members; fellow farmer's and farming mentors; the communities of Barrington and Chicago and their surrounding neighbors; our family, our coaches, and our friends. Thank you for helping us work toward realizing a dream and keeping it (and us) real.

"The moment one definitely commits oneself; then providence moves too." -- Goethe

With Gratitude, Jessica and Dominic Green

Be a part of this journey! JOIN OUR CSA TODAY!!

*For more information on Worker Shares please contact dominic@gentleman-farmer.com

Posted 4/8/2014 1:35pm by Jessica and Dominic Green.

Dear 2014 CSA Members, Happy Spring!

With the early snow fall yesterday, it felt as though Old Man Winter was having his last laugh. As of noon yesterday, we have officially entered Spring and aren't we glad for her arrival!

Since the beginning of March, Dominic and Rafael have been busy in the greenhouse. Weeds had grown over the winter, encouraged by the constant warmth and shelter of the greenhouse. In order to keep the greenhouse clean and free of disease and bugs, all of the weeds had to be cleared out and the surfaces thoroughly cleaned before we could begin seeding. Now trays of parsley, leeks and celery among others have already been seeded. We will be working diligently to seed as much as we can in order to have it all ready for transplanting as soon as the seed trays in the greenhouselast frost date.  

In the meantime, we have had 32 cubic yards of organic compost arrive from Purple Cow in Madison, and it is patiently sitting under cover until the snow has completely melted off our new field to spread it. Organic soil amendments from Midwestern BioAg, also from Wisconsin, will be spread in order to balance minerals in the soil.

With our expanded field, we have increased our CSA capacity. Please let your friends and neighbors know about our 2014 Veggie CSA and invite them to join our farm family!

 

The arrival of Spring also marks the time for us to kindly request the payment of your remaining balance (should you have one). I will be emailing Status Updates which will show your remaining balance should you need a reminder. Please look for the Status Update e-mail in your inbox in the coming days. All payments can be sent by check to: The Gentleman Farmer c/o Dominic and Jessica Green 2041 W. Dickens Ave Chicago, IL 60647 Should you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us by email at Jessica@gentleman-farmer.com.

Pick ups begin Mid-June, as does the Barrington Farmer's market of which we will be new vendors! Logan Square Farmer's Market begins in late May. We'll continue to keep you abreast of details as needed via the CSA newsletters as well as our seasonal monthly newsletter. We are so excited to feel and see the signs of Spring. Let the official countdown begin!

Your Farmers,

Jessica and Dominic Green

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