Tomatillios and Corn stalks are new this week

We have bundles of corn stalks for sale for $5.00 per bunch. They are from our own non-GMO and un-sprayed corn. We have also finally started picking tomatillos! They make fantastic salsa verde with our purple jalapenos.

We also have tomatoes, green beans, okra, zucchini, sweet and hot peppers, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin for baking and decorative pumpkins. also, plenty of eggs from our AWA hens.

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Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

Our hens enjoying the day

You can see that our hens are living the “good life” and the fantastic eggs they produce are a result of that. They have free access to pasture and certified organic feed. We also supplement their feed with our own oats and lots of veggies. They particularly love the watermelon rinds and tomatoes. They are certified by Animal Welfare Approved and also by Certified Humane.

We have plenty of eggs in the cooler for $5.00 per dz. We also still have some small eggs for $3.00 per dz.IMG_4875

IMG_4880  We also have tomatoes, zucchini, various sweet and hot peppers, watermelon, potatoes, various pumpkins and decorative squash, butternut and spaghetti squash, beans and eggplant.IMG_4879

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Pumpkins and Squash

We have a variety of pumpkins and winter squash this year. Winter squash includes butternut, spaghetti and Kabocha. We have Valenciano and Autumn Crown pumpkins for baking (or decorating) and Bliss and Speckled Hound for decorating. Bliss can also be used for cooking and is recommended for curry dishes, but is not sweet.

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Cut-up watermelon and garlic for next year

I used the rainy morning to cut up some of our organic watermelon for those who don’t have the time or the space in their frig. It’s in the cooler in 16 oz. containers for $2.00

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The afternoon excitement was our awesome mailman bringing our box from the Garlic Store with our first delivery of seed garlic this season. We like to try new varieties every year, so we order from several sources.

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Melons this Week @ Creekside natural Farm

We didn’t plan to have enough cantaloupe to sell, but it has been a good year for all of our vine crops, and the cantaloupe are soo sweet that we’ve decided to sell some. They’re in the stand for $3.00 each.

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We also have sweet organic watermelon, Purple Viking and Fingerling potatoes, Spaghetti squash, Valenciano pumpkins (beautiful white pumpkins that are also great for baking), green beans, beets, various sweet and hot peppers, zucchini, garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, okra, fresh salsa and eggs from our Animal Welfare Approved hens.

Call 815-467-5259 or e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com to arrange for purchase of our organic pastured chicken or heirloom cornmeal

 

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Watermelon!

After a cool summer, the watermelon is finally ready and in the stand for $7.00 each. Like everything else we sell, it was grown here with no chemical sprays or fertilizers.

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We also have eggs from our pastured hens,spaghetti squash, hard neck garlic, heirloom tomatoes, various sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, lemon squash and we are making a fresh batch of Fresh Salsa.

We still have frozen chicken and heirloom corn meal available by calling 815-467-5259 or e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

 

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Spaghetti Squash and LOTS of tomatoes!

Spaghetti squash is in the stand – $3.00 for large & $2.00 for med/smallIMG_4825

We are finally picking LOTS of tomatoes and have some available in half-bushels. We are selling them for $1.00 per lb. A half-bushel is 26 lbs. these tomatoes are great for juice or canning.IMG_4823

We also have our heirloom Italian frying peppers available in a half-bushel for $20.00. They can be roasted and frozen, pickled or canned.20140819-212409-77049497.jpg

The okra is really happy about the recent hot weather and is very easy to freeze. I slice it, stir some of our cornmeal into it and put it in freezer bags. You can also pickle it. We’re selling it for $2.00 per pint.IMG_4826

 

We also have lots of beautiful heirloom eggplant, beets are back, heirloom potatoes, hard-neck garlic, bell peppers, poblano and purple Jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, lemon squash and a fresh batch of Fresh Salsa.

In addition to our regular eggs, we temporarily have small eggs from our young hens. They are $3.00 per dz. and will only be available until the hens start laying larger eggs as they mature.

We also have frozen chicken that was processed last week for $4.00 per lb. and Freshly stone ground heirloom cornmeal (non GMO). Both are available on prior request.

If you’re looking for half or full bushels of tomatoes or peppers, chicken or cornmeal, you can either call 815-467-5259 or e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

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Fresh chicken

Were on our way home from a LONG day in Aurthur, IL for chicken processing. We will have chicken available starting tomorrow. This is our last batch for the year and we won’t have more until next Spring. They were raised outside on pasture with a moveable shelter so they could be moved to clean grass every day. They were fed certified organic feed from Yorktown Organics. They’re available as a whole chicken or a cut up chicken for $4.00 per lb. The price for cutting is .70 per chicken.

I will be home all day Friday for pick-up. After Friday, you can make arrangements ahead of time by either calling 815-467-5259 or e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

chicken

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Little Bit of Sweet Corn and LOTS of other things

Bill picked enough sweet corn to put in the cooler this morning! It’s very sweet, but the ears are about half the size last years sweet corn. It’s non GMO and has never been sprayed or fertilized with chemicals. We have them in bags of 14 for $3.00.

We also have fresh salsa, cherry tomatoes, large heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, pickle cucumbers, heirloom potatoes, hard-neck garlic, poblano and purple jalapeno peppers, various heirloom sweet peppers, colored bell peppers, heirloom eggplant, lemon squash, green beans, multi-colored French Filet beans, fresh sunflowers and zinnias, various herbs and eggs. If I forgot anything, it will be a surprise when you get here!

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This week at Creekside Natural Farm

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Beautiful multi-colored French filet beans back in the cooler today for $4.00 per bag.

We also have lemon squash, fresh heirloom tomato salsa, red Italian frying peppers, heirloom eggplant, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, pickle cucumbers, sweet chocolate peppers, colored bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, fresh garlic, heirloom potatoes, eggs, sunflowers and zinnias.

We also have frozen chicken and heirloom stone ground cornmeal available. You can contact us ahead of coming out for those 2 items.

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“Homegrown” Tomatoes

What would life be without home grown tomatoes? Our heirloom tomatoes are grown here and picked ripe – just like if you grew them yourself!

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Beans by the half bushel

Bill picked some beautiful beans this morning and we will have a limited amount available by the half bushel. The purple, yellow and thin green beans are a French filet type or Haricot Vert. They are more tender and flavorful than the fatter beans and are great eaten fresh or frozen. They are also much more time consuming to pick and therefore a little more expensive. They will be bagged and on the cooler for $4.00 per lb. the regular green beans are $3.00 per lb. or $24.00 per half bushel (12 lbs.) and are great for canning. It’s so nice to have organic beans in the pantry or freezer in the middle of winter.

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Okra and potatoes-new this week

We have started digging potatoes and have Austrian Crescent and Redgold in the stand in 2 lb bags for $5.00 per bag. Austrian Crescent is a fingerling that’s great roasted with garlic and a little olive oil. Redgold is a red potato with yellow flesh and makes great mashed potatoes or potato salad. Both have a thin skin and don’t need to be peeled.
Also started picking okra and have it in the cooler for $2.00 per pint.
We also have heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, poblano, purple jalapeño, sweet Italian frying and bell peppers, slicing and pickling cucumbers (refrigerator pickle recipes on our Blog), green beans, beets, eggplant, hard neck garlic, eggs and some really stunning sunflowers and zinnias.

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3 French Hens Market today

On our way to Morris for the 3 French Hens Market with a full load of freshly picked local and organically grown produce. Heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, fingerling and red gold potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, pickle cucumbers, jalapeño and poblano peppers, lemon squash, Cyndrical beets and hard neck garlic.
Come see us from 8-2 in our usual spot along the front sidewalk.

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Thank You

IMG_4800 IMG_4798 IMG_4802 IMG_4804 IMG_4810 IMG_4808Thank you to everyone who came out for our Farm Day. We had a fantastic turn out (about 400 guests) and beautiful weather. We would also like to thank Alicia for sharing her knowledge of nutrition and Reiki, Kate for the free chair massages, Brenda with Melaluca and Kat from M2AFARM for sharing her alpaca knowledge and spinning fiber into yarn.

We would also like to thank Matt (who came from NYC) Pat, Judy and Jill who all helped to make the day a success!

 

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Farm Day Today! Come for a Visit

Come out and visit Creekside Natural Farm today from 9 – 3.

In addition to seeing our Suri alpacas, chickens and veggies, we will have Kat from M2AFaRM here with her spinning wheel and alpaca knowledge. We will also have Kristin and Alicia from Nurture the Journey here with info. on the studio and reiki. They will be bringing a massage chair and giving free massages!

We have veggies in the stand, frozen chickens, our heirloom stone ground cornmeal and Refrigerator Pickle Kits available for sale.

Weather permitting – Bill will do a field demonstration with our 1963 International combine. We have about an acre of oats left in the field and he plans to harvest it at around 12:00 if the sun is shining.  These oats will be used to feed our hens who live about 700 ft. away from the field and the straw will be used for bedding for the hens and alpacas. Can’t get much more local/sustainable than that!

 

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Creekside Natural Farm Day tomorrow!

Come out and visit Creekside Natural Farm tomorrow from 9 – 3. In addition to seeing our Suri alpacas, chickens and veggies growing, we will have Kat from M2AFaRM here with her spinning wheel and alpaca knowledge. We will also have Kristin and Alicia from Nurture the Journey here with info. on the studio and reiki. They will be bringing a massage chair and giving free massages!

In addition to our veggies in the stand, we will have frozen chickens, our heirloom stone ground cornmeal and Refrigerator Pickle Kits available for sale.

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Farm Day combine demonstration

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Weather permitting – Bill will do a field demonstration with our 1963 International combine. We have about an acre of oats left in the field and he plans to harvest it at around 12:00 if the sun is shining.
These oats will be used to feed our hens who live about 700 ft. away from the field and the straw will be used for bedding for the hens and alpacas. Can’t get much more local/sustainable than that!

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Beautiful “New” Summer Squash

We started picking 2 heirloom squash.
Zucchetta Rampicante is an Italian zucchini squash with a fantastic flavor and texture. It is also a favorite of squash bugs which are almost non-existent this year because of the hideous winter!
Lemon Squash is an heirloom yellow squash that we are growing for the first time this year.

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We also have Heirloom Tomatoes – both full size and cherry, Fresh garlic, Zucchini (small, medium and large), Slicing and pickling cucumbers, eggplant, beets, green beans, red and green cabbage, bell peppers, poblano peppers, purple jalapeño peppers, various herbs, zinnias, snapdragons and sunflowers and eggs.

We will be selling Pickle Kits at our Farm Day this Sunday. They will include the cucumbers, spices and recipe for either Dill or Bread and Butter refrigerator pickles.

We will also have stone ground cornmeal and frozen chicken available.

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Bread and butter Refrigerator Pickles

This is my Great Aunt OzaMae’s Recipe. She called them Ice Box Pickles

Makes 1 gallon
7-8 lbs sliced cucumbers
2 sliced onions
4 cups apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
1/2 cup pickling salt
1 1/3 tablespoons each of celery seed, turmeric and mustard seed
2-4 cloves garlic is optional

Put sliced cucumbers and onions in gallon jar
Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil to dissolve sugar
Add salt and cool completly
Add spices and garlic if using
Pour liquid and spices over cucumbers and onions to cover
Cover jar and let sit on counter for 3 days
Stir 1 or 2 times each day
After 3 days, either keep in gallon jar or transfer pickles and liquid to smaller jars and refrigerate for up to 3 months

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Dill Refrigerator Pickle Recipes

Dill Pickles
Makes 2 quarts
18 – 24 pickle cucumbers
3 1/2 cups filtered water
1 1/2 cup whiter vinegar
1 tbl. Kosher or pickling salt
2-4 cloves of garlic
2 dill seed heads or 2 tsp. dill seed
*optionally add up to 1 tsp. each of peppercorn or mustard seed

Boil water, vinegar and salt to dissolve salt and cool completely
Scrub cucumbers, cut ends off and slice lengthwise
Lay jar on side and add cucumbers, garlic and dill
Pour cooled liquid into jar to cover cucumbers
Cover with lid and set on counter at room temp. for 3-4 days then refrigerate for up to 3 months
Turn the jar upside down once or twice a day to mix ingredients for the first 3-4 days
They are ready to eat now, but will become more flavorful the longer they sit.

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Time to make some pickles!

We have cucumbers by the half-bushel for $25.00. We have both the pickle cucumbers for dills and the regular size cucumbers for bread and butter pickles.
Either e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com or call 815-467-5259

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Moving Day

Today was moving day for the chicks. They moved from their heated brooder to their version of the great outdoors. They have a moveable shelter that we “herd” them into at night to prevent our resident owl from getting chicken dinner. It looks like they were ready!

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Minooka Market Starts Today

We will be at the Minooka Market today from 9 till 1 with, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, eggplant, bell peppers, poblano peppers, fresh garlic and various herbs.

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Ready this week

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We picked lots of cherry tomatoes (Sungold, Black Cherry and Red Cherry) this morning. We’re also starting to pick full size tomatoes! In addition, we have fresh garlic, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, pickle cucumbers, green beans, red and green cabbage, bell peppers, poblano peppers, purple jalapeño peppers and various herbs. We also have some beautiful flowers, and eggs from our pasture raised (Animal Welfare Approved) hens.

Everything we sell is raised by us using organic methods, no GMO’s.

We also have frozen chicken and stone ground heirloom cornmeal available on request.
pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com
815-467-5259

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Vegetable Lasagna

veggi lasagna

Vegetable lasagna

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces, weight Lasagna Noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Medium Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 2 medium eggplant, Peeled and Chopped
  • 4 whole Squash (yellow Or Zucchini), Diced
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 30 ounces, weight Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 – 2 pounds Thinly Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • Extra Parmesan Cheese, For Sprinkling

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and lay flat on a sheet of aluminum foil. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for a minute. Add diced red peppers and saute for another minute or so. Add squash and eggplant and cook for a few minutes. Pour in wine, add salt, pepper  and stir. Pour in tomatoes. Use hands to squeeze/crush them. Stir to combine and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Stir in chopped parsley. In a separate bowl, combine  ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. To assemble, spread a little of the vegetable/tomato sauce in a lasagna pan. Layer four cooked noodles in the pan, slightly overlapping them if necessary. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Top the ricotta mixture with mozzarella slices. Spoon a little less than 1/3 of the veggie/sauce mixture over the mozzarella. Repeat the layering two more times, ending with a large helping of vegetable sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees, covered in foil, for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

*You can substitute other veggies that you happen to have on hand. I used roasted tomato and garlic sauce I made last summer. You could also use fresh tomatoes. I like lots of cheese, so I used 2 lbs.! I prefer sliced rather than grated cheese because there are additives in grated cheese. I also used bow-tie pasta because I didn’t have lasagna noodles.

 

 

 

 

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Flowers

Went out to cut some sunflowers for the stand and got side-tracked by bumble bees and butterflies on our prairie plants.

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Posted in 3. 2013 Harvest | Comments

Mason Jar Sauerkraut

How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar

Makes 1 to 1 1/2 quarts
What You Need
Ingredients
1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)

Equipment
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart widemouth canning jar (or two quart mason jars)
Canning funnel (optional)
Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar
Cloth for covering the jar
Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth

Instructions
Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You’ll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first, it may not seem like enough salt, but gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you’d like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.→ Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevent dust or insects from getting in the jar.
Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There’s no hard and fast rule for when the sauerkraut is “done” — go by how it tastes.While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container for longer storage.
Recipe Notes
Sauerkraut with Other Cabbages: Red cabbage, napa cabbage, and other cabbages all make great sauerkraut. Make individual batches or mix them up for a multi-colored sauerkraut!
Canning Sauerkraut: You can process sauerkraut for longer storage outside of refrigeration, but the canning process will kill the good bacterias produced by the fermentation process. See this tutorial from the National Center for Home Food Preservation for canning instructions.
Larger or Smaller Batches: To make larger or smaller batches of sauerkraut, keep same ratio of cabbage to salt and adjust the size of the container. Smaller batches will ferment more quickly and larger batches will take longer.
Hot and Cold Temperatures: Do everything you can to store sauerkraut at a cool room temperature. At high temperatures, the sauerkraut can sometimes become unappetizingly mushy or go bad. Low temperatures (above freezing) are fine, but fermentation will proceed more slowly.

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The cooler is full!

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This morning we picked the last of the cabbage. It’s in the cooler for $2.00 per head
We also have started picking cherry tomatoes – $3.00 per pint. There a few pints left today and we will pick more in the morning.

We also have Zucchini and Eggplant - $1.00 each or $3.00 per bag of small

Purple jalapeno peppers – $1.00 per bag

Golden beets and cyndrical beets – $3.00 per bunch

Bell peppers – $1.00 each

Cucumbers – $1.50 each

Pickle cucumbers – $1.50 per bag

Green beans – $4.00 per bag

Eggs – $5.00 per dz.

The following items are available by request. Either call 815-467-5259

e-mail pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

Our heirloom Cylindra beets are also available by the half-bushel for $20.00.

We have a limited amount of stone ground heirloom corn meal for $5.00 per 2 lb. bag

We have frozen organic and pasture raised chicken for $4.00 per lb

 

 

 

 

 

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Beets by the Half-bushel

Our heirloom Cylindra beets are one of the few veggies that are enjoying all the rain so we are offering them by the half-bushel for $20.00. That’s about half the price of buying them by the bunch! These beets are great for canning because you get more uniform slices than with round beets. Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds says “This tender and sweet variety is known as Butter Slicer because of its wonderful texture”.

Contact us by email at pam@creeksidenaturalfarm.com

or phone 815-467-5259

To place an order and we will have them all ready for you

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