When Farmer Reuben walked gingerly into the house and eased himself down on the couch, I knew something was wrong.

It was his back, of course.

As a farmer, his back gets a work out everyday but some days it says, “No More!”

Armed with new knowledge and remedies, I turned to my essential oil book and rubbed some Deep Blue cream on the affected area for him. I knew it would work because Deep Blue had helped with my pulled muscle after overnight babysitting my newborn grandson for several nights. 

The essential oils brought icy coolness and increased blood flow to the area for speedy relief and healing. These strains and pains are common but occasional occurrences for us. Luckily.

That wasn’t the case when I married, Reuben.  I remember the first year when I gave a lot of back massages and he took ibuprofen.

We didn’t have any other remedies and we certainly didn’t have money to go to a doctor.

I don’t know what finally made Reuben better in those early years. Maybe rest and love and a young body healing itself.

But I hear from farm members all the time who struggle with chronic pain, fatigue, and stiffness that affects their whole lifestyle. Pain and inflammation are not sustainable. Neither are the drugs and medications that are given as the only option – with so many side effects.

You are already working at getting your diet right by eliminating inflammatory foods from the grocery store.

I can help you take the next step toward healing and management while your diet changes begin to work.

Emergencies and acute pain are most often brought to Mom to handle.

My herbal and food based tool chest has grown over the years and I’ve shared what I’ve learned with many moms.

I feel confident, useful and prepared when the kids come screaming into the house.

My son’s swollen cheek reminds me that I treated his bee sting with lavender essential oil.

But the next day the toxins spread to his torso in the form of itchy hives.

I’ve tried many things on hives but this time I tried an essential oil blend that included frankinsence. As well as my standard remedy of organic vinegar and digestive enzymes.

It worked!

Enjoying fireworks, ice cream and playing with friends was the reward for that remedy, instead of staying home miserable and itchy.

I can’t wait to introduce you to my friend and farm member, Cathy, so I encourage you to reserve your spot at our next class, “EMPOWERING WELLNESS THROUGH ESSENTIAL OILS” on Saturday, July 20 at 11 am.


Medicine in Your Market Box

Food is medicine and there is medicine in your Market Box.

It’s so important to get this right by starting our kids’ health on the right path, correcting mistakes in our own diet, and maintaining health for a long happy life with those kids and grandkids. Returning to real, whole foods raised in nature is the first essential step.

Teaching  you to choose the right foods and how to use them for your better health is my first passion.

Step into my farm kitchen.

Stop making mistakes in how you think about real food.

I can help.

Welcome to My Farm Kitchen


To Help You use everything in your box this week, Use this Meal Planning Guide to keep track of what’s in the fridge, what needs to be used first, and what you have planned or prepped for each day.

Organic Veggies We Harvested This Week:

Every member’s customized Market Box is unique so we hope you will take advantage of more varieties of vegetables as you get comfortable with all the great organic produce we are offering.  Use our A to Z Vegetable Guide to help use and store your veggies.

Tessa’s Tips

Coming Soon:  If you want these the first time they are offered, make sure they are rated 5 in your preferences and there aren’t too many other competing 5s.

What to use first: basil, broccoli, cucumbers, dill, lettuce, snap peas, microgreens, blueberries, raspberries

What to use last: beets, cabbage, kohlrabi, scallions

Finished for the season: asparagus, garlic scapes

Done for now but will return: Many spring vegetables will return again in the fall.

Arugula – Place arugula in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Use within three days. Arugula is a slender, leafy green which has a spicy/nutty taste. Some prefer to eat it tossed with other fresh greens or lettuce so that the spicy taste is not as strong. Putting it on a sandwich is another delicious way to enjoy its flavor without being overpowered by it. It can also be sautéed or added to hot pasta. Here is a collection of recipes for any taste 19 Ways to Eat Arugula

Basil – store as with all herbs. Basil doesn’t like being in a bag in the fridge for very long. Green Basil is the classic Italian basil for Pesto Recipes.  Trim stems and place basil upright in a glass of water in the fridge or on your kitchen counter. Basil pairs well with summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and many others. If you cannot use the basil this week, preserve the herb by tying a string around the bunch and hanging it upside down in a well-ventilated and dry area. When it’s dry, crumble and store in an airtight container. One of my favorite salads is Basil, Cucumber and Lettuce

Green Beans –  Beans should be stored in a loosely sealed plastic bag for about a week in the crisper drawer. String beans are great with pesto and I love this recipe for Blistered Green BeansRoasting them is delicious too! Pair green beans with your tomatoes to make this Green Bean Salad with Red Onion and Tomato recipe.  See this post for Freezing Fresh Beans

green basket of green beans

Beets, Red – Store beet greens separately from the root, wrapped in a damp cloth or in a plastic bag in the fridge, using them quickly as they don’t keep long. Beet roots can be stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. To freeze beets, slice or chop them, spread them on a cookie sheet to flash freeze, then transfer them to freezer bags where they can be stored for up to a year. I love beets. My favorite summer salad is with beets, walnuts, and parmesan. Some people love beets. Others will try to hide them in other things. Try Beet Chips – even for those who don’t like beets.  Or hide them in baked treats: 11  Beet Recipes that Don’t Taste Like Dirt

Broccoli – Broccoli should be kept unwashed, trimming only the large leaves (save leaves for DIY veggie stock). Stored in a perforated, plastic bag in the refrigerator, it will keep fresh for several days. To prepare, first rinse the broccoli, if necessary, soak upside down in cold, salted water. Broccoli is best when quickly steamed or stir-fried. Overcooking enhances its strong flavor and aroma, dulls the color, and leaches out nutrients. It should be cooked a minimum amount of time until tender, but still crisp. Try this recipe for Broccoli with Beans and Almonds. Check out Stop Throwing Away Your Broccoli Stems for more ideas. 

Broccoli with leaves

Cauliflower – can be roasted steamed, sautéed, or even enjoyed raw in salads. Use as a low-carb substitute for rice or mashed potatoes, or an ingredient in soups, stir-fries, and as a pizza crust alternative. Store cauliflower in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. Whole heads can last up to a week, while cut or florets should be used within 2-3 days for optimal freshness. Ensure it is dry and not exposed to excess moisture to avoid spoilage. ROASTED cauliflower turned my family into cauliflower LOVERS, rather than haters. This is a favorite recipe: Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest. I even make this recipe without the pasta.

Chinese/Napa Cabbage – Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked any way you would use traditional cabbage. It tastes excellent in Asian-flavored dishes, especially stir-fry. Stir-fried Chinese Cabbage Recipe is quick and easy. Store the Napa cabbage wrapped in a damp towel or plastic bag in crisper drawer. The Napa cabbage will stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Collard Greens – To store, wrap the greens, unwashed, in damp paper towels until you are ready to use them. Keep the wrapped greens in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days. When you are ready to cook the greens, you’ll need to wash them. To freeze: Wash the leaves, cut off the woody stems, blanch in boiling water for three minutes, and chill in ice water. Dry the leaves, pack into freezer bags, and freeze.

Have you used your collard greens to make “lettuce” wraps yet? They hold together better so they are a great substitute.  Use them to make kale chips, hide them in kale brownies or add them to soups. You can even make green cubes to add them to soups and stews later. Try this slaw recipe with Collards, Cabbage and Basil with your holiday burgers.

Cucumbers, pickling – store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the fridge. This is your opportunity to make a Refrigerator pickle (also called a Quick Pickle) or a Fermented Pickle. Both are easy, though fermented pickles have more probiotic advantages. This blog post will help as well:  Ten Strategies For Dealing With An Abundance Of Cucumbers. You may still use pickling cucumbers as snacks or in salads.  They just work better for pickling than an English or slicing cucumber. 

Cucumbers, slicing – store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the fridge. Try this refreshing Japanese Cucumber Salad

slicing cucumbers

slicing cucumbers

Dill – like all herbs, will not last long once picked. Place upright in a glass of water in the fridge or on your kitchen counter. Dill pairs well with potatoes, cucumbers, and green beans. If you cannot use the dill this week, preserve the herb by tying a string around the bunch and hanging it upside down in a well-ventilated and dry area. When it’s dry, crumble and store in an airtight container. Making a dill dressing to use on salad, dip, grilled veggies or meats also preserves the dill longer.

Fennel – Fennel is a member of the carrot family and is known for its sweet, anise-like flavor. Fennel is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. The bulbs can be thinly sliced and added to salads, sautéed, roasted, or grilled. The stalks can be used in soups and stews, and the fronds can be used as an herb-like garnish. Store fennel bulbs in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they can keep fresh for up to a week. If the fronds are still attached, trim them and store separately wrapped in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag. For longer storage, fennel bulbs can be blanched and frozen.

Kale – Lacinato or Red Russian kale. Store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer for 7-10 days. Lacinato is dark green, with narrow bumpy leaves. Red Russian kale has red/purple stems and a more tender, flatter leaf. To freeze, wash and chop into small pieces and place in a freezer bag. This would be delicious used in the winter in a potato soup or vegetable stir fry.  I love it sauteed with garlic and olive oil until bright green and tender.

Have you tried Kale Chips yet? Kale is a superfood but if you aren’t super fond of it try DIY Kale Pesto or hide it in Kale Brownies.

About Your Organic Farm Food: Market Box CSA - July 1, 2024 5

Kohlrabi, Green – green or purple variety. Cut off leaves and store separately in a plastic bag – you can use them like kale!  Most likely you will receive purple kohlrabi which is more often used as a cooked vegetable. Green varieties are very suitable raw and may be cooked as well.  Store bulbs in a bag or wrap in a moist paper towel. Both parts should be stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.  This post has great info and suggestions for Kohlrabi.  Other CSA members have enjoyed their kohlrabi grilled, roasted, and spiralized into noodles. Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime is a refreshing side for your summer meals. SNACK IDEA: Cut in slices or sticks for snacking, sprinkle with salt or serve with a dip. Some people even swear that dipping in peanut butter is their favorite way to eat them.

Lettuce, Romaine Store your lettuce properly and enjoy summer salads with sliced vegetables from your box. Romaine holds up well in Mason Jar Salads. Lettuce Soup is always an option if you don’t feel like having another salad.  This could be frozen as well and substitute a bit of onion for leek. 

Microgreens – Transfer to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Store the container or bag in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer, where the microgreens can stay fresh for about 5 to 7 days.

Mushrooms, Oyster – can be sautéed, grilled, roasted, or added to soups, stews, and stir-fries. Use in pasta dishes, risotto, or as a topping for pizzas. Store in a paper bag in the refrigerator to maintain freshness for up to a week.

Mushroom, Portobello & Cremini – These two mushrooms are the same variety but are harvested at different sizes. Store in a paper bag and refrigerate in the main section of the fridge with a dry paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Alternatively, mushrooms can be briefly sautéed or blanched before freezing to extend their shelf life for up to 3 months.

Mushrooms, Shiitake – Add them to stir-fries, risottos, soups, or use them as a filling for tacos. They are also great for Asian-inspired noodle dishes or as a base for stuffed mushrooms. Enjoy their earthy flavor and meaty texture in these and other creative recipes. Store shiitake mushrooms in a paper bag or a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Scallions – Green onions, or scallions, can be wrapped in a damp towel or placed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Chop and use raw or cooked any way you would use a bulb onion. The whole of the green onion can be eaten, stalks and all.

Snap Peascan be enjoyed raw in salads or stir-fried for a crunchy texture. They are a versatile vegetable that pairs well with various dishes and cuisines. Store snow peas in a perforated plastic bag or breathable container in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer for up to 3-4 days to maintain their freshness and crispness.  Here is a Stir Fry Recipe to use your cabbage and peas. 

SNACK IDEA: serve with a dressing or yogurt dip on your next veggie platter.

About Your Organic Farm Food: Market Box CSA - July 1, 2024 6

Spearmint – Just like most herbs, mint should be stored on the kitchen counter in a jar or cup with a small amount of water in the bottom. Keep the mint fresh by snipping a half inch off the bottom of the stem and placing it in a glass of water on your kitchen counter, just like you would do to a bouquet of flowers. Change the water daily to keep the herb fresh all week. Here’s more to help you use fresh mint. Mint Resources

Summer Squash/Zucchini – green summer squash is often called zucchini but there are many varieties of various green and yellow that are interchangeable in recipes. Try a simple sautee or stir fry. Use green or yellow squash in this Simple Sauteed Zucchini Squash Recipe. Sausage Stuffed Zucchini is a great dinner option.

Check out my blog post for 10 Exit Strategies for Summer Squash Overload.

bins of zucchini, green and yellow summer squash

Swiss Chard – Chard is in the chenopod family which includes beets and spinach. The stems come in a variety of vibrant colors or simply a whitish green. Both the leaves and the stalks are edible. When cooked, swiss chard is a very good source of vitamins A, C, K, iron, and potassium. Serving Suggestions: When picked very young, chard can be part of a green salad. But full grown chard like in your box today has a very strong flavor and tough stems when eaten raw. Chard can be sliced and chopped and added to soups. After cooking for several minutes, it can also be added to rice and beans or omelets. Basically any way you would prepare spinach, you could substitute chard allowing for longer cook time for the stems. Store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the fridge for 3-5 days. Before using, wash well in cool water and separate the leaves from the stems.

Tomato, Red – Keep tomatoes on the counter at room temperature. Tomatoes should not be refrigerated. Enjoy fresh in salads.

Experiment with Pesto

Have you noticed that almost any leafy green can be used to make pesto?  While basil is the most popular herb, I’ve seen recipes for using kale, collards, and mustard greens.  Try Fennel Frond Pesto for a unique way to use every bit of your fennel.

Here is a handy guide to custom-blend your own pesto using the ingredients you have at hand. DIY Pesto Formula

Farm Food Highlights


Blueberriesare low-calorie berries packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and anthocyanins. They offer immune support, contribute to bone health, and provide antioxidant protection. Storage: Keep blueberries unwashed in a covered container or loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Avoid washing them until just before use to prevent moisture. Fresh blueberries can last up to a week when properly stored. Usage: Enjoy blueberries fresh as a snack or add them to cereals, yogurt, smoothies, salads, and desserts. They can be used in baking or incorporated into savory dishes. Frozen blueberries are a convenient option for year-round use. 

About Your Organic Farm Food: Market Box CSA - July 1, 2024 7Black raspberries – have a unique, intense flavor that is both sweet and tart. This makes them a great ingredient for sauces and syrups. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, as well as powerful antioxidants that contribute to their deep color and may provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Storage: Store in the refrigerator in a single layer on a paper towel-lined container for up to three days. For longer storage, freeze berries in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. Frozen black raspberries can be stored for several months and used in cooking and baking.

Red Raspberries – are delicious berries that belong to the rose family. They are low in calories and fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in vitamins C and K. Raspberries are also a good source of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which contribute to their vibrant color and may have protective effects against chronic diseases. Storage: To maximize the shelf life, remove any moldy or damaged berries before storing. Place the unwashed raspberries in a shallow container lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Store them in the refrigerator and consume within a few days for optimal freshness. It is best to wash raspberries just before eating to prevent them from becoming mushy.

This Vinegar Rinse is highly recommended for berries: mix one part vinegar with three parts water, then gently rinse the berries in the solution. Rinse them again with plain water and pat them dry before consuming or storing.


Yogurt Enjoy our own brand of delicious Greek Yogurt made with our fresh raw milk, organic fruit, organic sugar, and yogurt cultures. Choose from plain, peach, or mango varieties. Serve with granola for a healthy breakfast.

Scones Try honey walnut or maple pecan varieties made by Vince with our new stone ground flour. Add a blueberry yogurt smoothie from Flint Hill Farm for breakfast on the go.


Our brioche buns are a great item for your summer cookouts. Serve them with any grilled burger and your favorite toppings. Also great for sandwiches!


Any summer burger deserves a delicious raw milk cheese melted on top. Slice up some pepper jack, cheddar, Swiss, or your personal favorite.

If you didn’t get these in your farm share this week, look for them next time.


Grill up some burgers! Try salmon or turkey burgers for variety. Portobello mushroom caps make a great vegetarian “burger” option. Serve on our brioche buns with your favorite toppings straight from your market box! Lettuce, tomatoes, microgreens, and sauteed mushrooms are all delicious choices. Have you tried making your own homemade quick pickles? Those would also be amazing on or beside your favorite burger.

Serve Tessa’s Favorite Coleslaw with any grilled sausage, chicken, or steak recipe.

Pair crisp romaine lettuce with blueberries, crunchy nuts, and a tangy dressing. Feta or goat cheese and cucumbers would make great additions here, too. Try a version of this Basic Vinaigrette on your salad.

Yogurt Dill Dressing is another favorite that can be varied using other fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, or mint. Try this creamy, all-purpose dressing on your salads or as a dip for snap peas, kohlrabi sticks, or other raw veggies.

Veggie E-Books

Download these collections of tips and recipes for each veggie. You’ll use these as a reference throughout the season.

Beets E-Book
Cucumbers E-Book
Herbs E-Book
Peas E-Book
Summer Squash & Zucchini E-book
Tomatoes E-Book

Farm Events

Are you tired of joint pain? Tummy Aches? Brain Fog?

Sometimes changing your diet isn’t enough.

I’m excited to introduce you to my friend and farm member, Cathy, who has 20 years of experience using doTERRA essential oils – even for serious conditions.

Join our Free Class on Saturday, July 20th for tips and remedies for your family.

Essential OIls Class July 20 2024 11 am at Willow Haven Farm

As Always…

We support your desire to have a good, healthy way of life and food on your table that supports that goal.

We’ll keep farming for you!

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster
Willow Haven Farm

Reuben and Tessa in field

Coming up:

RESUMING NEXT FRIDAY: Brick Oven Pizza Night

Join us every Friday night from 5:00-9:00 P.M.

Relax and enjoy the farm-to-table flavors of Massimiliano’s Homestead’s hand-crafted pizza.

About Your Organic Farm Food: Market Box CSA - July 1, 2024 8