We’re Back !

Noel Farm’s website has been dormant for about a year as we have undergone some changes. But, we are back now. We took a hiatus from providing CSAs during the current (2014) summer because of plans to do some traveling and the need to do some farm repairs. But, we are still available to provide bulk vegetables and eggs on a first come, first serve basis. And, we have a batch of meat chickens that will be ready for pickup in early September 2014. So, if you are interested in placing an order for free-range chickens, contact us.

It has been a very cool summer, preceded by a very cold and wet spring. So, things are behind schedule. Tomatoes are just beginning to ripen and bulk tomatoes won’t be ready for canning for several weeks yet. The bulk of them will probably be available starting around Labor Day.

Ready now are cucumbers, assorted summer squash, kale, lettuce, eggplant, herbs (especially basil), green and purple snap beans, and acorn squash. Last winter’s very harsh conditions yielded a silver lining– it killed off many insects, including squash bugs. So, this Fall promises to provide plentiful amounts of butternut, buttercup, Delicata, and spaghetti winter squashes. The Brussel Sprouts also look good and should be ready in early October, along with white cabbages suitable for making kraut.

Contact us for prices and availability

Patrick and Deborah

Spring 2014 Noel Farms Barn Repairs

Spring 2014 Noel Farms Barn Repairs

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Meat Chickens Available

We have recently processed another small flock of meat chickens and have some birds left for sale. These are pastured, free range birds, raised in our orchard. They are professionally processed at Quality Cut Meats in Cascade and then frozen. The birds have received no hormones or antibiotics. Unlike most commercially prepared chickens, no brine, chicken broth or anything else is added during processing. They are 100% chicken.

Young chicken enjoying the sunshine

Young chicken enjoying the sunshine.

The variety we raise are called Rock Cornish Cross. They are a large, meaty bird, suitable for grilling, frying or roasting. The average bird weight is over 5 ½ pounds, making for a substantial chicken! One bird will generally provide two or more meals for a family of four, making them an excellent value.

The price for this batch of birds is $3.25/pound for CSA members ($3.35/pound regular price). Each bird is weighed and individually frozen. They take at least 24 hours to thaw so plan your cooking accordingly.

Meat chickens sitting in the shade

Meat chickens sitting in the shade

Please let us know if you are interested in purchasing one or more birds. We will also have another small flock of birds ready in mid-September. The September flock will be the last meat birds this year.

Three young chickens enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Three young chickens enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

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Rhubarb Crisp

One of the first vegetables to appear in the garden every spring is rhubarb.  Rhubarb is an easy to grow perennial plant that is mostly used for deserts.  Raw rhubarb is very sour but makes a tart snack for those who can handle the sharp taste.

My mother used to make a rhubarb desert that I liked very much when I was young.  I found her recipe for Rhubarb Crunch in a collection of ma’s recopies put together by my sister Kathy. I’m pretty sure we used to call it Rhubarb Crisp but Rhubarb Crunch was written on the recipe.

Fresh baked Rhubarb Crisp for desert!

Fresh baked Rhubarb Crisp for desert!

I don’t know where my mother got this recipe.  In the pre-Internet days recipes were found in cookbooks and magazines.  We used to get the Farm Journal and several women’s magazines that had recipes.  Rhubarb Crunch (Crisp) probably came from one of those magazines.

Rhubarb Crunch

1 cup flour
3/4 cup quick oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
4 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup water
1 – 1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and melted butter.
Press 3/4 of the mixture into an ungreased 9×13″ cake pan.
Cover the pressed in mixture with raw rhubarb.
In a sauce pan mix water, sugar corn starch and vanilla.
Cook until thick and pour over rhubarb.
Sprinkle the rest of the oatmeal mixture over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes until the filling is bubbling
and the top begins to brown.
Serve topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

Deborah made this for the first time today.  She declared it “bland” and is working on ideas for punching it up a bit.  However if you want to try a real 1950’s farm housewife dessert recipe, try this and see what you think.

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Morels!

We found some nice morels while walking in the woods this afternoon.

Morels found growing in the woods

Morels found growing in the woods.

Morels are common in Wisconsin.  They prefer the decomposed leaves and grass found near the base of old oak and ash trees.

Last year we didn’t find a single morel, probably due to the dry conditions.  The cool wet weather this year has favored the growth of many types of mushrooms.

Morels have a distinctive appearance, unlike any other mushroom.

Morels have a distinctive appearance, unlike any other mushroom.

Unlike the white button mushrooms found in the grocery store, morels have a pronounced earthy taste and aroma.

You can cook them as you would any other mushroom.  We are having some this evening, prepared this way:

Sauteed Morel Mushrooms

Mushrooms
Butter
Salt

Wash the mushrooms to remove any dirt.  Dry thoroughly.
Cut into bite size pieces.
Heat butter in a skillet.
When hot, add the mushrooms.  Sautee gently until tender.
Serve immediately.  Salt to taste.

 Thanks to our friend Anastasia for the delicious home made butter!

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Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern Wisconsin 2013

We are again listed in the Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern Wisconsin 2013, on page 19.  The Atlas is a good guide to small farms and locally owned business in southeastern Wisconsin.

You can look at the on line version here.

Atlas 2013

Savor Wisconsin is also a good place to find local sources of food.  You can check out our Savor Wisconsin listing here.

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