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Winter CSA Newsletter Week #7, Dec 10 - 17, 2023 “A” week

Newsletter Table of Contents:

  1. This Week’s Shares with Guides & Recipes- VEG, MES, EGG, APPLE

  2. Recipes - Stir Fried Purple Top Turnips, Mashed Peppery Turnips, Purple Top Turnip Mash, Citrus-Glazed Turnips, Parmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips, Onion-Dijon Pork Chops

  3. Field News & Photos from the Week - Laying Hens Molt & NEW Hen Gear


VEG SHARES (see FULL and HALF list for which share has what, how much, along with info, guides, recipes)


PEA SHOOTS (3 oz.) - Pea Shoots are microgreens, or baby pea seedlings, that smell & taste like peas. They are versatile and can be used like fresh salad greens (they pair well with parmesan cheese & lemon!), stir fried lightly, used in sandwiches, on pizza, or as a garnish.  Store in a plastic bag or wrapped in a slightly damp towel for about a up to two weeks.  Guide and Recipes (2 different PDF’s)

CARROTS (1 lb, roots) - Store the roots dry and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Guide & Recipes

GERMAN BUTTERBALL POTATOES (2 lbs)  With a brown peel and flesh that's a vibrant yellow to gold and is firm, waxy, and dense. German Butterball Potatoes are most commonly used as baking potatoes but can also be fried or roasted. When cooked, they're creamy with a smooth consistency and offer a rich, buttery flavor. from Mythic Farm Guide & Recipes

RED ONION (1 lb) - Colorful and spicy-to-mild flavor. Because of their bright color and crispy texture, they're great for salads, salsas, and other fresh recipes. They're also excellent sliced for sandwiches. With cooking, the color fades, but they're still delicious cooked.  Store on your counter or in your pantry out of direct sunlight. Onion peels can be put into a freezer bag with other vegetable scraps to make soup stock later, as they are full of antioxidants. To freeze: Cut or slice onions to desired size and place in Ziplock bag. Remove all the air and seal. It helps to freeze them in 2-3 cup increments.

TURNIPS (1 lb) - Store the roots dry and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Guide & Recipes

(for salad turnips but helpful for purple tops also!)

CILANTRO - For a low-maintenance way to store cilantro, give your leaves a wash and thorough dry, then chop them up to freeze in ice cube trays with a little water or oil. Once frozen solid, transfer them to freezer bags and add to sauces, soups and marinades as needed. Or use now in salads, salsas, tacos, slaws, rice, stir fry (sprinkle on as you remove from heat), and pesto.


GARLIC (1 bulb) - Ready to be used now or later, this is “cured”, or dried garlic, and as such should be stored on your counter out of direct sunlight.


WINTER SQUASH - one of the following Sunshine Kabocha, North Georgia Candy Roaster, Tetsukabuto

HALF SHARE: (see Full VEG Shares above⬆ for info on each item)

PEA SHOOTS (3 oz.) 

CARROTS (1 lb)


RED ONION (1/2 lb) 

GARLIC (1 bulb)



This week is at Mazo, Dianne Dr, Olin Dr, Jacobs Way, SGFM, Muscoda. (Next week is Big Sky)

FULL : 1 chicken, 1 ground beef, 2 doz eggs, 1 vanilla, 1 honey

HALF: 1 chicken, 1 ground beef, 1 doz, 1 vanilla, 1 honey


EGG SHARE Weekly Shares = 1 Dozen Biweekly Shares = 1 Dozen



Click the link to go to a printable pdf of the recipe.


Field News & Photos:

Laying Hens Molt & NEW Hen Gear

In case you missed the info about our EGG Situation​ in the share plan, here's the short version . . .

We're really low on eggs right now, and it seems to be mainly due to a larger number of our laying hens experiencing their normal "molt" at the same time instead of in a more staggered fashion as in past years. Because of this only farm share members are getting eggs right now.

Wonder what molting means?

Well, the first thing you need to know is that it's a natural process that laying hens go through when they're around 15 - 18 months old, and it usually happens in the fall.

Their worn-put, broken, and dull plummage falls out to be replaced with shiny new, tight-fitting feathers that will better insulate them against the elements of winter.

Stress can also bring on a molt as can raising a brood of chicks. (Go figure!)

This process can take anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks. Growing new feathers requires quite a bit of protein hence the drop in egg production as making an egg also takes quite a lot of protein.

Here's what we're doing to support our girls and get back on track with eggs:

  • What didn't work ➡ when we first got an inkling of what was coming, we tried to prevent a shortage by adding more hens to the laying flock. BUT it seems that the stress of the move caused them to also start their molt! (Have I said UGH! recently?)

  • What should help soon ➡ we're trying again by getting some young laying pullets, that won't molt until next fall.

  • What has already, but slowly, started to help ➡ we've increased both their protein and daylight hours. (Laying also drops back when daylight hours lessen.)

  • And lastly ➡ we've invested in some new nesting boxes to protect every egg laid from being broken or frozen! It was a substantial investment we hadn't planned on, but we never want to have this experience again!

We figure this is opportunity to look at all facets of our production to see how we can improve.

Here are photos of a couple of our molting hens so you can see what it looks like.

They sure look pitiful, don't they!

It's hard not to feel sorry for them even though this is a normal and necessary process for them.

And that they'll be better off when they're on the other side of it.

Interesting fact - in the photo on the left, it looks like the chicken has dandruff, but she doesn't. The little white flakes are from the waxy coating or sheath that's shed as the new feathers come in!

Below is the back of a "freshly minted" hen.

Not really freshly minted, I just thought that an apt description for one that's completed her molt and is sporting tight fitting glossy feathers.

They say the hens that go through molting the quickest are your best egg layers. It makes sense because they're the ones using the protein most efficiently.

Here are Bill and Aidan assembling the new rollaway nest boxes. They're called "rollaway" because the eggs are laid on a slight incline so they'll roll away from the hen, under a short curtain, and into a tray that keeps them safe (and can be heated) until collection time.

It was a little challenging figuring out where all the pieces went, but they figured it out with minimal swearing. ;)

And the second one went together quite quickly.

We hung them in the coop in the late afternoon after egg laying was done for the day.

That way the hens would have a few hours to get used to the new digs before peak laying time the next morning.

The curtains help provide some darkness in the nest box which appeals to the chicken's instinct to seek shady out-of-the-way places for laying.

And the curtains and roosting bar are red, because it's been found that chickens have a natural affinity for the color red. So having these red touches is felt to motivate them to go in to lay their eggs.

Our old nest boxes didn't have this feature so we're very interested to see if we notice a difference.

Plus the red color makes the coop much more festive and that must be as important to the chickens as it is to me - right?

Here's a photo of this morning - their first one with the new nest boxes.

And even though we found a couple eggs on the ground, they seem to be taking to it!!!

Whoo Hoo!!!

Freshly washed eggs on the drying rack.

While this lack of eggs has been frustrating - none of us want to be short or behind on getting food to our members and customers - it's feeling like we're going to come out the other side of our "learning molt" to be chicken farmers with new and helpful information that will benefit our hens, us farmers, and you - our egg consumers.

A win - win - win for us all!

~ ~ ~


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