CSA June 17

This is the point in the CSA where the spring and early summer greens are ending but the mid-summer crop has not yet come in full force. So the pick up was not as much this week and we did get an apology from the farmers. I still thought it was a good amount of veggies, though.

And here is what we got:

Cherry tomatoes


2 mini zucchinis & 2 mini yellow squash

2 onions

2 green peppers

1 cucumber

1 head of lettuce

The cherry tomatoes were eaten right out of the bowl and were gone by the end of the day.


What are tomatillos you may be wondering; The tomatillo, or husk tomato, is a relative of the common tomato native to Latin America, where it is popular in cuisine. Tomatillos are sometimes difficult to find in conventional markets, but they are usually available in Hispanic grocery stores.

Tomatillos have a refreshing, crisp flavor that is an excellent complement to salsas and other Mexican dishes. They can either be eaten raw or briefly blanched in a pan until their skins burst, creating a smooth sauce to work with. The tomatillo is also rich in vitamin C. Chilies complement the cool flavor of tomatillo very well and can be mixed with a tomatillo sauce and fresh coriander for a simple salsa.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with the tomatillos. I had this same problem last year, the only thing I came up with was making up a bunch of hot sauces to freeze (still have lots in the freezer) so I need to find something different to do with them this year. I might try this White Bean Chicken Chili or Potato and Bean Enchiladas.


I tried grilling some of these mini-squashes in my new grill basket, last night for dinner. But the slats are too big on the basket so the veggies kept falling out and my grill wasn’t working so we ended up with warm, raw veggies. I still thought they were OK, but they would have been much better if they would have been grilled for real and not just pretend. I also sliced one of the squash real thin and put it in the salad but turns out my family doesn’t like raw squash in their salads.

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The peppers were used in a salad along with some of the onions and the lettuce.


This cucumber is still in my fridge along with several from my garden and some of the ones that I got from the produce co-op. I’ve made Cucumbers with sour cream and dill salad this week along with sour pickles that are fermenting on my counter top right now. I also want to try making Tzatziki Sauce but since we’re now gluten free, I’m waiting until I can pick up some GF pitas.

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And here’s the group photo:


For more information about this CSA you can contact:

Ben and Lisa Sippel

Sippel Family Farm



All produce on the Sippel Family Farm is grown using
sustainable principles and without synthetic chemicals.
Everything that we sell at market and offer in our CSA
program is grown by US on OUR farm. We NEVER buy
wholesale products from auctions or other farms. We
encourage you to ask other producers at the market if they
do the same.

CSA June 10

I love when I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something. This past Sat. Dan and I did our regular stroll through the farmers market and came home with our bounty. So I cleared out all the veggies from last week in the refrigerator and made them into a big salad. Then i used all the scrap veggie parts to cook up some veggie broth for the week. It smelled so good, while it was cooking. I’m going to try and stay on top of all the veggies by doing this same routine each week.

And here is what we got this week:

Fennel (2 bulbs)

Garlic (2 heads)

2 zucchini & 2 pattypan squash


a bunch of kale

green leaf lettuce


Dan tried lightly grilling the fennel last week and that just didn’t work out, it was too tough to eat. It really needs to be cooked a bit longer. And no matter what that article said it does still taste like black licorice to me. This week I’m going to try a recipe that was sent by Lisa (one of the owners of the farm.)

Squash and Fennel Sauté:

Slice 1 or 2 bulbs of fennel ( the white part)

Slice 4 small or 2 large summer squash (any will be fine, zucchini, yellow, or patty pan)

mince 2 cloves garlic

In a pan heat 2 TBS oil, add fennel and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the squash to the pan, cook an additional 2 minutes. Add ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground coriander, and the minced garlic. Continue cooking until you can smell the garlic, remove from the heat and serve.

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These are the PattyPan squash, Ben the other owner of the farm said these are similar to yellow squash but they don’t turn to mush when cooked. They can also be stuffed and baked.


More cabbage… Here’s another recipe that Lisa sent out this week maybe I’ll give it a try. I had a veggie soup epiphany, so this cabbage is destined for that soup!

Thai Peanut Slaw:

In a large bowl add 1 head cabbage; shredded

2 large carrots; grated

1 cup snap peas; sliced thin.

In another bowl, mix together

1 cup Asian sesame salad dressing (Newman’s Own is my favorite)

1/4 cup peanut butter (I like chunky)

1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)

mix with vegetables and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Note: you can also make your own dressing if you would like: 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1 TBS grated fresh ginger ( or 1/2 teaspoon dry), 1 minced clove of garlic, and 1 TBS toasted sesame seeds or 1 tsp toasted sesame oil.


This Kale will probably be added to a salad, I’ve been picking fresh Kale daily for our morning smoothies. I love having fresh kale in the garden!


Green Leaf Lettuce


Okra, not sure what I’m going to do with this. Maybe a pot of veggie soup?? That would also be a good use for the kale. I think the kids would enjoy a veggie soup more than another salad. OK definitely going to mix up a pot of soup this week.

This recipe from About.com caught my eye:

Cajun or Creole seasoning adds spice to this flavorful okra soup.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 green onions, with most of green, sliced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I’ll use that veggie broth I made Sat)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (still have some that we canned from last years garden)
  • 8 to 10 ounces okra, about 3 to 4 cups sliced, fresh or frozen, thawed (I won’t have nearly that much okra to add, but I’ll be adding other veggies, too)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen thawed) (we just happen to have some left over corn on the cob from the market so I’ll cut it off the cob and add it to the soup)
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • dash freshly ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and celery; sauté, stirring, until celery is tender. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, sliced okra, corn kernels, Cajun seasoning, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until okra is tender. Add salt to taste.
Serves 4.

Looks like I’ll be making this soup today but I’ll also be adding cabbage and kale.


And here it is all together:


For more information about this CSA you can contact:

Ben and Lisa Sippel

Sippel Family Farm



All produce on the Sippel Family Farm is grown using
sustainable principles and without synthetic chemicals.
Everything that we sell at market and offer in our CSA
program is grown by
US on OUR farm. We NEVER buy
wholesale products from auctions or other farms. We
encourage you to ask other producers at the market if they
do the same.

CSA for July 3

This weekend was hard to squeeze in the farmers market between staying up late for the Red, White & Boom party Friday night and driving to Toledo for the day on Sat. But we managed to get up early Sat morning and get to the market for the 9am pick up.

And this is what we got this week:

Frisée (1 head)


Fennel (2 bulbs)

2 zucchini & 2 yellow squash

Garlic (2 heads)

Sprig of Basil

What is frisée you may be wondering (well at least I was,)

according the The Worldwide Gourmet it is an edible plant with long, wide leaves in shades of green or sometimes red, or simply edged with red.

As its name suggests, frisée is a curly lettuce whose long tender leaves are joined to a short whitish stem which somewhat resembles the base of the fennel plant.

OK it’s a lettuce (a spicy lettuce) so I can just add it to a salad, no problem I can do that.


Last weeks cabbage became coleslaw, I’m not sure what this weeks cabbage will become. I could sauté it with some of the fennel, maybe?


And here’s the fennel, I’ve never cooked fennel and I’m not real sure what to do with it. I did find this very simple recipe on-line:

Roasted Fennel Recipe


  • 2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 Rub just enough olive oil over the fennel to coat. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat. Lay out piece of fennel and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the fennel is cooked through and beginning to caramelize.

I’ve been loving roasting zucchini and squash on the grill so I’m thinking that maybe I can throw them all together with some mushrooms and see how that turns out.

And here’s some more info about fennel from NPR (follow the link to read the whole story)

If you’ve never cooked with fennel, you’re not alone. For years, I avoided the bulbous green and white vegetable labeled “sweet anise” because I associated it with black licorice. Who in their right mind would want to taste black licorice at the dinner table?

But then I learned anise and “sweet anise” are two very different things. Anise is a pungent pint-sized herb, while “sweet anise” — or fennel — is a hearty vegetable with a thick, bulbous base and celery-like stems that grow upward to 5 feet tall. It has a sweeter, more delicate flavor than anise.

That is exactly why I have avoided fennel, I hate black licorice. Well now I’m much more excited to use this veggie!


Here’s the squash and zucchini that are destined to be roasted.


Hmm garlic, Dan just harvested our garlic also so we have about 100 heads of garlic hanging on the back porch drying out. Good thing we like garlic! I’ve also noticed that we have not had any problems with vampires, coincidence? I think not!


And here’s everything including the tiny sprig of basil. Since we have several basil plants in the garden I’m not too excited about that little sprig. But it is making me think that its time to make some pesto.


For more information about this CSA you can contact:

Ben and Lisa Sippel

Sippel Family Farm



All produce on the Sippel Family Farm is grown using
sustainable principles and without synthetic chemicals.
Everything that we sell at market and offer in our CSA
program is grown by
US on OUR farm. We NEVER buy
wholesale products from auctions or other farms. We
encourage you to ask other producers at the market if they
do the same.

CSA for June 26

While we were on vacation we missed one of our CSA pick ups, so I don’t know what was in the June 19 delivery. But this was waiting for us when we got home thanks to a good friend who picked it up for us Sat. morning.

What we got this week:

Lacinato Kale


Swiss Chard

2 zucchini & 2 yellow squash

Garlic Scapes

Sugar snap peas

Here is the kale, it is being used daily in green smoothies:


I have plans to turn this cabbage into a slaw for our red, white and boom party.


I think the swiss chard will be added to a quinoa dish, similar to the one I made on vacation. It was good that I’ve been craving it.


Dan has already grilled the zucchini and squash for a yummy dinner he made Monday night. I’ve started back to a art class on Monday evenings so he’s in charge of the kids and dinner.


The garlic scapes will be chopped up and used as seasoning in different dishes. I’m sure I’ll use some in my slaw.


The sugar snap peas were eaten right out of the bowl. Half of them were gone before I even had a chance to wash them.


For more information about this CSA you can contact:

Ben and Lisa Sippel

Sippel Family Farm



All produce on the Sippel Family Farm is grown using
sustainable principles and without synthetic chemicals.
Everything that we sell at market and offer in our CSA
program is grown by
US on OUR farm. We NEVER buy
wholesale products from auctions or other farms. We
encourage you to ask other producers at the market if they
do the same.

CSA, June 12

What we got this week:

Kohlrabi, it is in the cabbage family. You peel the root and can use it fresh in salad, grated in coleslaw, or cooked like a potato, it tastes like a combination of cabbage and apples! The leaves can be used like Kale. (which is a good thing since we, sadly, didn’t get any kale this week)

Swiss Chard, can be used like spinach or kale but has a stronger taste. I don’t care for it in my fruit smoothies but i do have a good risotto recipe that calls for Swiss chard.

Garlic Scapes, these are the flower stem from the garlic plant. They are super garlicky and you can use them as you would use a clove of garlic, the entire thing is edible, just chop it up. I chopped some up and put them in a salad yesterday. We have a ton coming from our garden also, last fall Dan planted a pretty big garlic patch, so if anyone wants to try the scapes let me know.

Sugar snap peas

and of course, Lettuce

here’s the kohlrabi


this is everything


sugar snap peas





Mixed greens salad
  • thinly slice the kohlrabi leaves (roll them to a cigar shape, then chop cross-wise to get thin ribbons, then, if you like, chop once again cross-wise to the first chop, to make shorter pieces) Place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add other thinkly sliced greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach – whatever you have handy)
  • Add finely chopped onion, chopped kalamata olives, seasonings (chili powder, or curry powder are good)
  • Add 1 T olive oil and 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • Massage the mixture with your hand to thoroughly combine and draw the liquid from the leaves.
  • OPTIONAL: Add chopped tomatoes, and/or chopped avocado, and toss.
  • Allow to marinate for 30 mins. to 8 hrs. (or more)

Will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

For more information about this CSA you can contact:

Ben and Lisa Sippel

Sippel Family Farm



CSA, June 6

Saturday’s CSA pick up included a bag of spinach, bag of spring mix lettuces, bunch of green lettuce, bunch of kale and a bunch of escarole. Lots of greens! This is going to be a week of salads!

We also bought 4 pints of strawberries, a bone for Ann, beef sticks and sausage and several herbs to plant in the garden.

I think the escarole and strawberries will make a nice salad. The kale will go into smoothies. The green lettuce and spring mix will make even more salads. And I may have Dan cook the spinach with some onions and garlic, the kids think he makes the best wilted spinach ever!

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Ann enjoying her bone, it is way too big for her mouth!


For more information about this CSA go to:

Ben and Lisa Sippel


This week’s CSA and market purchases

This week we got spinach, kale, bok choy, green onions, lettuce and more mint. So what are my plans for these veggies. Well Dan never put together his kimchee from last week so I’ll probably get that started and add this weeks bok choy along with last weeks (and the daikon radishes we bought from the market.)

We’re going to a memorial day party and I was asked to bring Caesar salad, instead of going and buying Romaine lettuce, I’ll use the green lettuce mixed with some of the other lettuces I have in the fridge. Here’s a link to my Caesar Salad dressing recipe.

The mint replaced what was left of last weeks mint in the vase in my kitchen window. I did add some to a strawberry/ lemon smoothie last week and it was very yummy, so I’ll do that again.

And last but not least, my favorite, the kale will be added to daily smoothies.


We also bought 4 pints of organic strawberries, so juicy and sweet!


And Dan wanted to try some bison so we bought bison hotdogs (no nitrates or MSG’s added) and bison burgers. Dan made the bison burgers last night and very much enjoyed them.

We also usually buy cheese; this week we got baby Swiss and habenero cheese.


Plus I bought 3 white creeping thyme plants to plant in between my stones in the walkway going to my neighbors house. That plant is supposed to survive being walked on, if it works it will make the walkway much prettier.

My plan for this year is to take $40 with me to the market and not spend any more. Yesterday we spent $10 on strawberries, $10 on cheese, $10 on my 3 plants, and about $9 on the meat.

For more information about this CSA please contact:

Ben and Lisa Sippel

Sippel Family Farm



weekly CSA

I had written a past post about how I grocery shop, one of the big contributors to our summer shopping is going to the local farmers market and picking up our weekly CSA (community supported agriculture.) We belong to the Sippel Family Farm CSA, it costs us $620, that we pay through the winter months, for a full share and that gives us about 26 weeks of produce.

This year I plan on sharing our weekly bounty so others can see what exactly we get from our CSA and also so I know what I don’t need to plant in the garden next year.

This past Sat was our first CSA pick up, it usually starts out and finishes off with smaller deliveries but it really grows in the midst of summer.

This week we got a head of red leaf lettuce, some Kale (flat leaf with purple stems,) Bok Choy, and a few sprigs of Mint:


How I grocery shop

I often have friends or family say they can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods regularly or they think that we make quite a bit more money than they do because of the foods I buy. Well we definitely don’t make much money and a big chunk of it does go to our food purchases. But I think it’s important to buy quality, local and organic food whenever possible. I don’t buy everything organic, I do follow the shoppers guide to pesticides and if a food is near the top of the list than I do stick with only organics.

One of the ways we cut our food bill is by participating in a food co-op. Basically everything, minus produce, that is shipped to Whole Foods can be purchased through the co-op. Sometimes at a significant savings and sometimes for an equal cost. We also purchase a share in a local CSA (community supported agriculture) Sippel Family Farms. Which means for 6 months out of the year we get a weekly shipment of veggies from a local farm. If the farm has a great season we get lots of veggies, if they have a bad season we don’t get as much. We’re willing to take that gamble because we believe in supporting local farmers. We pay $100 a month through the winter months for our share, totaling $600. Also during the 6 months that we get our CSA delivery we also make a weekly visit to the local farmers market, where we supplement any other fruits or veggies that we need for the week. We also buy our milk, eggs, cheese, sausage and bacon from local farmers that sell at the market. For the rest of our meat Dan buys ½ a cow from one of his clients that slaughter 1 or 2 cows a year. We’ve been doing this for several years, and while the initial payout of $500-$600 is a lot, we don’t buy beef again until the following year. Then there’s our garden that gives us an abundance of vegetables and lots of extras that we either can, freeze, or dehydrate to help get us through the winter. 1 year we canned 90 quarts of tomatoes.

From May through Oct. we’re really set, there’s very little I need to buy at the grocery store. But for about 6 months out of the year I do have to go shopping. I mostly shop at Whole Foods, then Giant Eagle and lastly Sam’s Club. I also order from the food co-op all year long. My monthly food co-op bill is about $200. Also for any of my supplements and some of our bathroom stuff I buy online at Vitacost. They are much less expensive than Whole Foods and sometimes even less than the co-op.

This is what I bought at the store today:

First I went to Giant Eagle, this was an unusual trip because I was mostly buying coupon items, besides the broccoli & cucumber every item I purchased I had a coupon for:

Sunchips (for party on Sat)    2.50

Potato chips (for party on Sat)        3.00

Frozen veggie stir fry (only veggies no sauces added)    2.00

ACT fluoride rinse    2.99

2 jars salsa (normally I buy organic salsa from the co-op)    5.00

Choc. Ovaltine (one of the few items I haven’t eliminated)    3.49

100% recycled aluminum foil    2.50

Organic romaine lettuce        2.99

Frozen brussel sprouts (just veggies no sauce)    2.00

2 bunches broccoli    2.50

1 organic cucumber    .55

Strawberry cream cheese    1.79

Total 21.63 (I saved $13.61 in coupons & store savings)

Then I went to Sam’s Club:

3 fresh pineapples    2.83 each

Box of 6 cans of pineapple (for Dan’s pina coladas)    6.76

3# lemons    4.87

Big tub Organic spring mix salad    4.37

Big tub Organic spinach    3.98

2 big bunches bananas    1.32

Total 31.11

And finally I finished at Whole Foods:

1# wild caught salmon    10.66

Free range chicken breasts    8.08

Organic Beef pastrami    3.84 (Wed. you get $3 off a pound on deli meats so I splurged)

Organic Roasted turkey breast    6.92

Snowville Creamery ½ gallon milk 3.19 (this is the only milk we buy, it is from a local small dairy farm)

Kombucha beverage    3.29

Organic sour cream    2.99 (to make dip for the party)

Habanera cheddar cheese    4.47 (for the party)

Tomatoes    4.40 (to make fresh salsa, for my salads)

Total $50.38

So my weekly shopping total was: $103.17

My meal ideas for the rest of the week

Tonight: chicken stir fry with broccoli and the frozen stir fry veggies

Thurs: Caesar salad, roast (that’s marinating now) brussel sprouts and asparagus

Fri: I’m going out w/ a friend, Dan will probably order pizza

Sat: Lunch sausage, Dinner: party foods: chips, cheese & crackers, sangria

I’m not sure what I’ll cook at this point; I’ll have to see what jumps out at me.

I shouldn’t have to go shopping again until next wed, but I may walk to Giant Eagle for 1 or 2 things through the week.)