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Monday, June 21, 2010

Strawberry Days 2010!

Every summer, we attend Harmony Valley Farm's (HVF) Strawberry Days. As always, this year Strawberry Days fell on Father's Day, June 20.  HVF is right outside of Viroqua, a small Midwest city with a personality that coincides well with my and Andy's interests. So, we usually spend a night or two in Viroqua leading up to the festivities. This year was no different. We dined at two favorite Viroqua locations on Saturday: the Driftless Cafe for lunch and Chilito Lindo for dinner.

On Sunday, we made our way out to Harmony Valley Farm. As we pulled in, we heard Richard (our farmer) over the loudspeaker introducing the field workers. Simultaneously, people listened to the introductions and went through the potluck line. It is always a delight to contribute to and partake in the potlucks at our CSA parties. Like-minded people bring all sorts of local, organic, and in-season food. Plus, there are always vegetarian options. At this year's party, there was a magnificent veggie "meatloaf" for which I am desperately seeking the recipe.

After brunching, members and guests loaded onto three wagons to see our farm's progress this year. We stopped in the zucchini fields first.

Next were the pea fields. The kids were really excited for this stop! We drove around the tomato fields and pepper fields. We were happy to see that our home garden's vegetables were at about the same height as HVF's. That's always a good sign!

Finally, we made it to the strawberry fields.

Understandably, because of the early spring, strawberries were not as plentiful for picking as they were last year.

So, while we didn't pick enough for Strawberry-Ginger Jam, we did scrounge up four pounds, which we juiced once we got home. We used part of the juice for a tasty Strawberry Vinaigrette (recipe courtesy of Harmony Valley Farm). Excellent over a leafy green salad!

Strawberry Vinaigrette
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 Tbs of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup strawberries (we've done this..which makes for a thicker, creamier dressing. Today, we're using strawberry juice because that's what we have!)
1 Tbs minced onion

Mix all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate.

We will probably use the rest of the juice for Strawberry-Ade! In Andy's words, "Wow! This tastes like Strawberry Kool-aid!" He's right ~ the cool part of that statement/thought is that while it tastes like a childhood favorite, Strawberry-Ade contains absolutely zero artificial sweeteners and all of the ingredients we used are traceable.

2 cups of strawberry juice
6 cups of water
1/2 cup of sugar or other sweetener

Juice strawberries using a juicer. Or, if you don't have a juicer, blend strawberries in a food processor and then strain out the seeds using a colander or cheese cloth. Add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add water. Serve cold.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Darcy & Andy - Thanks for coming to the party! It's always busy for us, so I didn't get a chance to say Hi then, so Hi now. Hope to see you again this summer!