Farm Diary


I am Lisa Hill…

We are blessed to have a number of customers stick with us year after year  – and the new customers we add each year add to our blessings.  Occasionally we have a new member who finds the weekly bags overwhelming, too time consuming, or were expecting a larger variety of produce each week.  I have a desire to share ideas of what we do with the abundance of greens, how I prep, a new recipe, why we can’t grow all vegetables every season, and more recently – my journey to eat ‘seasonal’.

For years I have talked about doing videos of ‘unboxing’ my weekly bag and showing how we prep it for optimal storage, how we preserve when we have an abundance of tomatoes, peppers, greens, etc., sharing recipes, and how to eat seasonal.  I want to show others what I do because I am not a trained chef – or that super organized person that seems to have everything in perfect order.  I am a sub-par house keeper, I tend to be cluttered and messy, I take on too many things at once, causing piles to stack up all over the house, but I keep trying to do better because I know one day I will be able to have an unexpected guest come in the house without the endless stream of excuses of why my house still looks like I have two toddlers at home!  I want to share with our customers how I cook dinners with the produce we get in our bag that week, how I make jelly, dry peppers, etc. in hopes I can give them ideas so they can continue to enjoy the fruits of our labor!  And I hope those reading my blog or watching my videos will share new ideas with me because there are times I get stuck in a rut and need some fresh ideas!

So this was a long-winded introduction of saying I am going to start sharing my experiences of what I do with my weekly CSA bag in a blog – perhaps not every week, but bi-weekly for sure!  Welcome and I look forward to this new endeavor!

Phocas is the patron saint of farming.  We remember his life of farming and generosity and try to order our priorities likewise.


Rosemary Garlic Asparagus

This recipe can hold the Rosemary, but I suggest trying it.  I couldn’t stop eating every bite of it every time I make it.


3/4 lb. asparagus

2 cloves crushed or finely minced garlic

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp salt

1 sprig rosemary or 1 tsp powdered rosemary


Trim the bottoms of the asparagus if it feels stiff.  Rinse and pat dry.  Strip the leaves from the sprig and crush/cut it to pieces (or measure out 1 tsp dry powder).  Heat up a skillet with the coconut oil.  Test heat with a little garlic and rosemary.  Add asparagus and salt.  Cover with lid, and stir every so often to prevent burning.  After two minutes add rest of Rosemary and garlic.  Cook till folk pierces easily and outside is browned.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is another favorite at Phocas Farms.  Did you know that this yummy orange fleshed squash will keep for several months if stored in a cool dry place throughout the winter months?  It’s packed full of vitamins and nutrients which help promote good heart health. For more information on butternut squash’s nutrients and cooking methods, check out the Whole Living website.

Try The Simple Veganista’s recipe for Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili.  It’s a hearty fall, feel-good soup.  Enjoy!


Rosemary as sweet as its name.  It is primarily a savory herb used in a variety of ways.  Some of my favorite uses are crushed fresh rosemary added to Rosemary Garlic Asparagus or in Estella’s Leek and Potato Soup.  It is excellent added to poultry or potatoes, as well.

Drying rosemary is simple.  Hang upside down a cool, dry, dark room.  When it is crisp as paper remove from stalks by firmly running your hand opposite the direction of the leaves and then collecting what drops from this motion.  You may crush it in a food processor or store it whole.  Keep it in a airtight container out of direct sunlight.


“Chives belong to the same family as onion, leeks and garlic.”

“Leaves are used fresh and can be dried but will discolor and quickly absorb moisture.  Chives can also be frozen for later use.


Leaves can be used to flavor salads, dips, soups, stews, vinegars, cheese dishes sour cream and butter.  Flavor is much milder and more subtle than other members of the onion family.”

Taken from the University of Illinois Extention