This Week’s Harvest


Braising Mix

Red Round Radishes

Watermelon Radishes

Salad Mix


Oakleaf Lettuce



Basil Plant


Welcome to week one of our 2020 harvest!

We’ve approached the time when all aspects of the farm operation are in full swing- aka Go Time. We’ve got weekly seeding in the greenhouse, planting in the field, weeding in the beds, a seemingly never ending list of tractor work and now we are adding harvest and delivery into the mix. Hooray! That’s the best part- the culmination of all this hard work. We hope this food satisfies your taste buds, gets creative juices flowing in the kitchen, and maybe even gives you peace of mind.

Between the busy farm season, kids suddenly at home all the time, COVID concerns, and protests across the country it is a very physically and mentally taxing time. The history of farming certainly has a role to play in the current unrest. I will link to a Reveal podcast, Losing Ground, that we found important and eye-opening that investigates systemic discrimination within the USDA.

Losing Ground from Reveal

So if you happen to have an interest and an hour, give it a listen. Stay safe and be well!


Pasta with brown butter and wilted greens (Your share is full of greens this would work for-arugula, braising mix, spinach. Try a mix!)

Provencal Soup with Greens (Your share is full of greens this would work for-arugula, braising mix, spinach. Try a mix!)

Roasted Radishes with Green Goddess Dressing (use both types of radish. half the red round radishes and cut the watermelon radish in 4ths or 8ths)

Coming Up Next Week (our best guess…..) spinach, dill, braising greens, red butter lettuce, carrots, watermelon radish, salad mix, parsley

Year in Review



Well, technically, presenting just 18 of our 28 deliveries. Oops, I missed photographing 10 whole weeks of deliveries! That tells me we were very busy last season. Seeding weekly from mid-February through July, planting weekly from mid-April though August, harvesting almost daily from late May through November, delivering four days a week June through November, and staffing 35 weeks of farmer’s market can do that to you! Oh, and did I mention daily washing, packing, weeding, fixing and communicating? So, no hammock time  but that’s ok!

Our goal is to grow the most delicious and nutritious food we can for our customers, and to grow our customer base so the farm can provide a viable income for both Ben and me and provide our staff a good wage. We also hope that there’s money left to invest in the farm and to purchase equipment to improve our efficiency,  which in turn leads to better quality of life – whether more reasonable hours for us or wage increases for our employees. Thanks to an experienced, caring and hard-working crew we’ve been able to grow the most flavorful and wholesome food we can. And thanks to increases in both CSA membership and wholesale sales over the past three years, we’ve been able to reinvest in the farm.

The 2019 season brought planned improvements to our packing facility. We concreted the entire floor of the packing barn, installed lighting, bought a rinse conveyer for washing efficiency and added a 60-foot insulated shipping container for more vegetable storage space.

After many improvements in 2019, our pack barn really came together. Here we are washing sweet potatoes for a wholesale account.


The 2019 season also brought unexpected expenses. For 10 years, our 1950 Allis Chalmers G cultivating tractor was reliable to complete all of the cultivating work. This year, though, we seemed to push it a bit too hard. Our expanded production area, together with the naturally heavy soil, meant we ran G in a higher gear then we think it maybe likes. In short, it expired.  Being without a cultivating tractor during peak cultivating season meant we had no time to spare to get another cultivating tractor. Ultimately, we ended up going through two more G engines, which would require a whole other blog post to explain. Fortunately we had enough in the business bank account to meet these unexpected expenses, and now we know we need to look for a cultivating tractor upgrade for 2020! Also fortunately, there are lots of options for cultivating tractors with larger engines and more capabilities. Ben has been surfing the tractor classifieds and has a few tractors in mind that he will check out next week.

We think we have out grown our G. We will probably keep it to complete more specialized tasks but we need a main cultivating tractor with more power


We’re enthusiastic about building on our 2019 improvements both in terms of equipment upgrades and production knowledge. In 2020 we hope to continue to serve our market customers incomparably delicious veggies, grow our 260-member CSA a little bit, and refine our wholesale accounts in a way that allows us to maximize efficiency. I’d also like to grow some quality of life improvements in 2020: being more present with the kids, more on top of laundry, maybe a little less stressed. I think it can happen! And if I manage to take a picture of EVERY SINGLE CSA share this coming season, you’ll be the first to know. By the way, 2020 CSA info found here and online sign up happens here! Very excited to bring the 2020 season on!

Salad greens on a crisp fall morning


Happy Valentine’s Day

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to go down memory lane and revisit the life you’ve steadily been building with your partner? From our days as newlyweds at a Hawaii goat dairy farm to the start of Mile Creek Farm to bringing kids into the fold, enjoy these pictures of the last 13 years!

Ben on the goat dairy

Emily on the goat dairy

Mile Creek Farm purchased! This combine was sold at an auction and ended up in a Demolition Derby. Good- bye conventional grain, hello organic produce

Our first market

Farmer’s Ben and Emily

Hanging diapers, must have welcomed a kid

Halloween market with kid #1

Riding along always a hit

not impressed with the crop walk

white barn, one greenhouse, expanding beyond 2 acres and starting to build the farm

helping with the garlic planting

helping with the turnip harvest

Kid #2!

Gathering potatoes

Washing squash

Daikon toys!

Our first OEFFA Presentation on Scaling Up

Spring on the farm

in the kale

on the tractor

Working on a major irrigation project on our anniversary

Exploring larger fall root harvests

the back 40

growing more, growing better

More fall roots

Trying to keep the fields clean

Brassica magic

Trying to be cover crop pros. Red barn, more hoophouses

Kids getting older

Even learning to drive the tractors!


I’m really looking forward to the next 13 years and excited to experience all that they have in store for Mile Creek Farm and my family! Happy Valentine’s Day!

CSA Extended Season – Week 4

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Sweet Potatoes

Nicola Potatoes

Red and Golden Beets

Red and Yellow Onions


Rainbow Carrots


Daikon Radish

Beauty Heart Radish

Red Cabbage

Green Cabbage

Farm News

While this delivery concludes our 2019 CSA season, it does not mean we are out of vegetables! We will be setting up a winter market table at 2nd Street Market every other Saturday throughout January and February! So, mark you calendars because we will be at market on 1/4, 1/18, 2/1 and 2/15. We still have ample supply of everything (minus the garlic) in this week’s box, plus butternut squash, turnips, and purple daikon. We are so grateful that our CSA and market customers have fully welcomed “seasonal eating” into their diets and find value in a box of vegetables that is heavy on storage roots!


On the other hand the coop through which we sell some of our produce was recently told by a grocery store that their local food program had come to an end for the year and they would not be purchasing from us again until next summer!?! Interesting, considering we still have thousands of pounds of food grown right here on our local farm! This is really just a minor inconvenience because there are many other outlets for our produce that understand the seasonality of local food.  And, while we do run into some hiccups like this when growing and marketing produce through our coop, the upside to growing larger quantities of food are many.

In fact we have found that increasing our production has allowed us better serve our market and CSA customers. Since we’ve been growing and selling more produce through our coop the last three years we also think our market stand and CSA have been stronger in regards to quality, quantity and variety! Really when you get right down to it, we are so grateful to ALL of our customers for supporting us through yet another year! Our CSA and market customers have been and continue to be there for us throughout the entire season, while we’ve also been given an opportunity to grow the farm through our involvement with Great River Organics (our coop). All of this to say, that as we look back on the year we want to thank everyone who has supported our farm and let you all know that we are very much looking forward to charging ahead and growing lots more produce in 2020!

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and we hope to serve you soon in the New Year!


Rutabaga and Potato Gratin

Sweet Potato Pie

Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots

Sweet And Sour Red Cabbage



Extended CSA Season Week 3

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Sweet Potatoes



Beauty Heart Radish

Purple Top Turnips

Rainbow Carrots

Butternut Squash




Farm News

When I walk around the farm these days, the scene that greets me is field upon field covered in a blanket of cover crop. I love seeing the all green against the gray winter sky and feel proud that our fields have been put to rest for the winter in a way that will build the soil, hold moisture, prevent erosion, and increase organic matter. I’ve mentioned covering cropping several times before as it one of the main farming practices we implement in our organic system, but what I have new to report is that more and more farms are covering off season fields in cover crop!

winter-kill oats interplanted with clover

close-up winter-kill oats interplanted with clover and fetch

According to the NCR-SARE (Program, cover crop acreage increased 49.7% between 2012 and 2017.  While the total crop land in cover crop is still only at 4%, state initiatives are proving to be effective means to encourage farmers to cover crop. Take Maryland, for example, where the crop land now in cover crop is a whopping 43%! This is because of a decades long effort to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and watershed which ultimately led to “a mandate to manage nutrient runoff on farms with money to compensate farmers for adopting certain practices such as growing cover crops — a practice that dramatically cuts down on nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.” More about the national movement towards adopting “climate-smart” agriculture practices can be found in an article published this week in Politico and linked  here. Coming off the heels of yet another impactful weather year (20 million acres of crop land did not get planted due to excessive rain) it is good news that everyone, including bigger players like the American Farm Bureau Federation, seem to be on the same page about climate change and solutions.

If this topic is of interest to you, climate change happens to be the theme of  OEFFA’s Annual Sustainable Farming Conference coming up here in Dayton in February! Special early bird pricing for the event ends Dec. 12 by the way!



Kohlrabi Carrot Fritters

Butternut and Chickpea Stew

Grilled Cheese with Shredded Veggies

Sweet Potato Scones

Turnip and Carrot Soup

Extended Season Week 2

This Week’s Harvest86E14676-3B41-4B61-940F-3305EB5737CC



Butternut Squash

Pie Pumpkin


Sweet Potatoes



Brussels Sprouts


Farm News

We really enjoy providing food for families for their Thanksgiving table! We’ve not always been able to do so. Understandably, the few first years of our farm featured shorter seasons while we were still learning how to farm on our own.  The CSA started as an 18 week season and we stopped going to market around October. Since 2011 we’ve been going to market at least up to the Saturday before Thanksgiving. And since 2016 we’ve been able to offer the extended fall season on top of a 24 week regular season. This year we’ve grown the most food yet! We are so very thankful for our family, community, employees and customers to be able to continue to grow our business and nourish more people than ever! We hope you have a restful and reflective Thanksgiving holiday full of delicious food! Your farmers will!

Washing sweet potatoes for CSA, market and our co-op

We increased our fall carrot crop this year and fortunately they grew beautifully

Half of our butternut squash harvest before being moved into the storage barn

Rutabaga for Thanksgiving and beyond!



Apple Fennel Stuffing

Slow-Cooker Glazed Root Vegetables (use any root veggie combo you’d like)

Scalloped Potato and Kale Casserole

Rutabaga Pie







Extended Season Week 1

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Brussels Sprouts


Red and Yellow Onions


Hakurei Salad Turnips

Braising Greens

Farm News

Winter came early this year! Fortunately we got all our storage crops out before the cold. This year we barely managed to get things harvested in the knick of time. We finished our sweet potatoes before the first night under 40 degrees, we pulled all the carrots before rain settled in and with it muddy conditions that would have hindered an efficient harvest, we picked the exposed crops like cabbage before 20 degree nights, and this Monday we wrapped it all up finishing with rutabaga and turnip harvest.  Currently all three coolers are pretty full of vegetables!

harvesting carrots with the under-cutter which rides under the carrot and lifts them up for easy pulling


We did have some crop loss. In a different, milder fall we could have arugula, kale, Brussels sprouts, chard, spinach, and even lettuce up to Thanksgiving.  And even cold hardy brassicas like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower could still be growing in the field. Our entire final planting of broccoli died with the cold temperatures before we got to cut a single stalk. Jury is still out on Brussel Sprouts, spinach and Kale but I’m not holding my breath.  Last year we also got hit with nights in the teens early on. I’m hoping next year we get spared unseasonable cold weather! But I’m also grateful for all the storage crops we do have and all the help we had to bring them in. It was a successful fall harvest season! And staying inside all day this past Tuesday was certainly a welcome break from the nonstop hustle of the year!

thousands of pounds of various root vegetables made their way from the field to the cooler

Harvesting purple top turnips in the sun

Bulk bin rutabaga harvest



Chimichurri (make this! we tossed it with roasted veggies and couscous and also put dollops on pizza)

Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

Carrot and Turnip Hash with fresh herbs and fried eggs




CSA Week 24

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Sweet Potatoes

Butternut Squash


Swiss Chard

Head Lettuce


Golden Beets

Red Onions

Beauty Heart Radishes



Brussels Sprouts

Apple Share

Fuji and Gold Rush

Farm News


Phew, we can put another CSA season in books! We continue to learn and grow (in multiple ways– veggies, the business, our pool of knowledge!) making the CSA a great way for folks to get their veggies. This year we were able to invest in the farm with several pack shed upgrades. A new cooler housed all of summer squash in the summer and is now nearly at capacity with potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage, and onions. The rinse conveyer has sped up the washing process and saved us hundreds of hours (which, by the way, somehow get filled elsewhere on the farm) Even the simple fact of adding lights to the barn (which was still complicated enough that it took over 10 years to install!) has been an enormous improvement to the space and process.

We continue to struggle with equipment, which isn’t all that surprising when you are dealing with old equipment. Here are just a few of the things that broke this season: the well pump, the harvest truck’s brake lines, the undercutter while in the middle of a onion bed, the market truck’s catalytic converter AND fuel pump, one G’s transmission and another G’s clutch, the key switch on the Farmall, and the water pump on the John Deere. Don’t think that covers it all but you get the picture!

At this point equipment malfunctions come with the territory, just like variable weather. We have come to realize that there are unknowns to every season and we are often at the mercy of things out of our control. So we focus on the things we can control–crop planning, soil health, irrigation, cultivation. We and the crew work hard at these things! Despite the hiccups, the hard work pays off. For me this year’s highlight was the sweet corn! After a rough start with birds coming in and feasting on the tips of the 1st planting, the 2nd and 3rd plantings were perfect! I also liked all the new pepper varieties we tried. Remember the scallions from the start of the season? Those were the prettiest we’ve ever grown!

We hope you, too,  have enjoyed the literal fruits of our labor! Thank you for your season long support!619EB045-97F0-463C-80A4-F12500EA5458


Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss chard

Roasted Sweet Potato and Picked Beet Sandwich

Ginger Curry with Rutabaga and Brussels Sprouts

Coming up 1st week of extended season (our best guess)……Carrots, Purple Potatoes, Kale, Onions, Red Cabbage, Braising Greens, Brussels sprouts, Gold Ball Turnips, Spinach, Parsley





CSA Week 23

This Week’s HarvestB6C25A95-007A-4655-B151-E44EDD3F7098


sweet potatoes


acorn squash


radish (daikon or red round)


purple cauliflower OR romanesco

red onion

salad turnips

braising greens

Apple Share

Gold Rush and Fuji

Farm News

First day of planting 2019

We can’t do what we do without our crew! This year we enjoyed the return of Audrey, Dan, Courtney, Kelly and Sophia to the farm and welcomed Nate full time. Nate first learned of our farm 10 years ago when his parents participated in the first years of our CSA program! We also had several part-time workers throughout the summer, welcoming a college student, aspiring farmer, and massage therapist. At the height of the season, on the busiest days of the week, we’d have 7 staff in addition to ourselves. Most people on the farm have to be well versed in all aspects of the farm, but we do have staff specialize in certain tasks. Dan focuses on tractor work and can do anything we throw at him. This year was Audrey’s second one on the tractor and she added additional tractor tasks to her repertoire, such as mowing and bed shaping. She can also handle anything we throw at her! Nate and Courtney hold down the fort in the packing shed and pack CSA boxes, wash veggies and do the wholesale pack.

Dan cultivates beets with the finger weeders

Audrey drives on potato planting day

Nate and Audrey plant summer squash

Recently we’ve called on Mile Creek alum, Brittany,  to help us see the season through. We are grateful that Brittany — who last helped us make beautiful market bouquets back when we grew flowers– is able to help us a couple days a week to bring in the fall harvest! And just today we found ourselves unexpectedly short 2 crew members with a jam packed day and had to call on a friend (think harvesting, washing, and bagging for CSA, washing 950 lbs of radishes for wholesale, and picking 300 lbs of kohlrabi also for wholesale).  Taking advantage of the fact that I know our fellow market gardener and neighbor, Stephen Cook, typically takes Mondays off, I frantically texted him this morning. Fortunately he is a saint (he would down play and just say “good friend” ), and left his own to-do list to come help us harvest.`

Stephen Cook, of Cook’s Garden, helps us out in a pinch!

Needless to say we are grateful to everyone who has had a hand in helping our farm hum along, some days more conventionally than other days. And we are grateful to our customers! For those of you whose biweekly season comes to an end this week, thank you and we hope you enjoyed it! One more week for our weekly and other set of biweekly members left before our regular season comes to an end and our extended season begins.


Turnip and Potato Soup

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Garlicky Beans and Greens (Use braising greens, turnip greens, and/or spinach in place of collards)

Roasted Roots with Tumeric-Tahini Sauce (good choices for roasting this week are carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, turnips, daikon or regular radish, cabbage, and acorn squash)

Hippie Bowls with Secret Sauce (substitute green cabbage for red. Substitute cauliflower for broccoli)

Coming up next week (our best guess…..) Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Rutabaga, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Broccoli, Beets, Potatoes, Purple Top Turnips

CSA Week 22


This Week’s Harvest

Bok Choi

Daikon Radish



Sweet Onions

Honeynut Squash



Tomatoes (last of the year!)

Purple Cauliflower

Salad Mix OR Head Lettuce

Apple Share

Winesap and Gold Rush

Farm News

In addition to our CSA and 2nd Street Market stand we have a third outlet for our produce- wholesale through our Co-Op, Great River Organics. I’ve mentioned our Co-op here before but now I’ll talk about our main contribution to the Co-op. Each of the farms that makes up the Co-op has agreed to grow certain crops so individual farms can grow a lot of just a few vegetables but as a collective we can pull all the different vegetables we grow together and send a nice lengthy list of available produce to grocery stores, restaurants, institutions, etc. Our main crop for the co-op was summer squash. We grew over 20,000 lbs of it for the Co-op!

Planting the first round of summer squash before a rain storm

Third round of squash was very productive

Harvesting the third round in foreground while planting the 4th round in the background

To do this we planted 4 rounds of around 2,500 plants each and picked daily from the end of June to end of September!

Harvesting squash while the sun begins to set


Lots of squash to pick!


weeding the plastic edges with the cultivating tractor

Looking at the fields today you wouldn’t know they produced thousands upon thousands of pounds of squash. We were diligent about mowing the old plants as soon as we were done harvesting to help keep the cucumber beetle and squash bug populations down. We also managed to stay on top of lifting the plastic out.  On Friday we chisel plowed the fields and on Sunday Ben spent all day seeding cover crop and discing to cover the seed, finishing just in time for Monday’s light rain!

Audrey mows the old zucchini and hopefully kills 1 billion cucumber beetles in the process

After seeding the fields in cover crop, we run the discs through to smooth the fields and  incorporate the seed



Garlic Parsley Potatoes

Cantonese Chicken and Bok Choi Fried Rice

Butternut Squash Waffles

Coming Up Next Week (Our Best Guess….) cabbage, sweet potatoes, carrots, acorn squash, potatoes, black Spanish radish, rutabaga, spinach, purple cauliflower and more!