9535 US Highway 51 N, Cobden, IL 62920 Google Map 618-308-0217

News and Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 8/12/2013 11:59am by Jill Rendleman.

A reminder if you are interested in Fall/Winter Shares....the discount ends on Sept 1st.....so enroll early and get a nice discount for the Fall/Winter Season! 

Fall/Winter is actually my favorite growing period and contains very popular veggies.....spinach is a staple of the fall/winter, as is lettuce of every different kind, arugula, kale, beets, onions, pac choi, fennel, celery, carrots, and more!  We do not try to grow warm season crops such as tomatoes, cucs, peppers, etc in the winter, but we do extend the season for these sometimes through November if the sun keeps warming the tunnels!  

If you refer a member, please let me know.....we like to say thank you with a 1/2 bushel of your fav veggies in season!    You can enroll online or give me a call!  jill  618 308 0217

Posted 8/1/2013 10:03pm by Jill Rendleman.

So its sweet corn time!  Just simmer with salt and (sorry Kathy) butter for a very very few minutes.  Many of us have been known to eat it raw!   Hope you enjoy.....its the only locally grown organic sweet corn in Southern Illinois!  It was ravaged by the rain and winds and actually flat on the ground for a few days, so while i was hoping there would be one crop i would not have to stoop over to pick.....well so much for that.  Corn is also great cooked and then chilled and mixed with diced green peppers, white onions, cooked and drained black beans, and, cant leave this out.....cilantro.   Chill for about 2 hours and serve.  

Also in your box are Russet Potatoes.  These are the standard potatoes for baked potatoes, so they are best wrapped in foil and put on the grill or in the oven until a knife goes through almost easily......then top with whatever you love on baked potatoes!  Over the next few weeks you will be sampling a variety of  potatoes.....it may be fun if you have children to keep a list of what you like and don't like about each potato type.  It's an exercise which will help children think and taste while eating, and recognizing differing tastes helps to appreciate the social as well as nutritional aspects of eating fresh organic foods.  Last weekend my grandson came to visit the Community Market at CCHS and he started eating a carrot right out of the bunch!  He said it smelled good!  For a child to notice that a market carrot has so much nutrition he can smell it is a revolution of thought for a child if you can compare the odorless tasteless 3 week old carrots at most grocery stores.  

I digress.....more zucchini....members are getting creative with their stuffed zuch ideas.  Another fun thing is to let children build their own stuffed zuch.....just as you would let them have the fun of build their own pizza!  The green beans in your box can be used fresh in salads, but they are actually very good when stir fried in olive oil, salt, and garlic until just blackened.  I have found over time that the real flavor of green beans comes out when grilled or stir fried versus boiled with ham grease like gramma did.  

The tomatoes in your box are heirloom Rebelski's originating near Russia and vining up like crazy in our high tunnels.  Enjoy Enjoy and have a great weekend.  

Posted 7/29/2013 7:27am by Jill Rendleman.

Eggplant have exceptional taste when grilled until blackened....the blackening being the key.  Add a little garlic salt towards end of grilling!  


Eggplant can be great on the grill. It can also be overcooked and flavorless or undercooked with a spongy texture. This easy recipe uses the power of salt water to guarantee great grilled eggplant—crispy brown on the outside, creamy sweet on the inside, and full of flavor—every time. Feel free to embellish with spices and other flavors, including serving with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or a dollop of pesto or romesco, and make this simple recipe your own.

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp. salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • About 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. In a large bowl dissolve 2 Tbsp. salt in 1 cup warm water. Add 3 quarts cold water. Set aside.
  2. Trim eggplant and cut into ¾-inch thick diagonal slices. Put slices in salt water, weigh down with an upside-down plate, and let sit 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat (you can hold your hand about an inch above the grill for 3 to 4 seconds).
  4. Drain eggplant and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Lay on a large baking sheet or tray. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay oiled-side-down on the grill. Close lid if using a gas grill and cook until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes.
  5. Brush top sides with oil and sprinkle with salt. Turn slices over, close lid on a gas grill and cook until grill marks appear on the other side and eggplant is very tender, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 6 to 8 servings Grilled Eggplant.

Posted 7/25/2013 5:04pm by Jill Rendleman.

The highway mowers cut through our internet cable so sorry this is a late communication.....we Just got back up after a day of splicing back wires along highway 51!  

New potatoes and green beans, Amish Paste tomatoes, yellow zucchini of a stuffing size, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and sweet summer carrots!   Remember that all of your produce is Certified Organic and we use no sprays or chemicals on plants or in the soils.....this means that all you do is wash off any dirt and prepare a great meal.  No need to take the skin off the carrots or potatoes or anything else.....just wash and eat.  The potatoes are going to be particularly dirt covered due to being a bit mud covered when we pulled them.  With potatoes it is good to allow a couple of days of curing out of the soil prior to washing away the dirt....since these were just dug...they have the original soil still attached. We had pepper jack stuffed zucchinni last nite....simple take a spone and remove the white interior of the zuc, then cut it up a bit with two knives, throw in crumbs from your favorite bread (toast and crumble) and add pepper jack cheese...or your fav cheese...put in oven at 350 for about 15 or 30 min or until the cheese is brown and crispy on top.  Adding garlic salt and your favorite herb make them even better.   Be sure to cook freshly dug potatoes on a low boil so that they cook evenly throughout!  These red potatoes have a particularly wonderful flavor....try them sliced and fried in oil with a little salt, boiled in olive oil and/or butter on a slow boil, or baked with a coating of oil, favorite herb, and wrapped in foil on grill or in oven. Keep testing them with a tooth pick to see when ready.....pull off heat when there is still some resistance with the tooth pick.....the potatoes will continue to cook a long while after you take them out!  

The rains have been great for the new rhubarb and asparagus, but drowned out a few other crops and basically flattened the sweet corn.  Some of it may be salvagable, we shall see.  I was so hoping to put some really sweet corn in your boxes soon, but that may not be possible!  

Thanks for the great return of boxes in the last week or two....we have them back from ALMOST everyone!  jill

Posted 7/16/2013 8:20am by Jill Rendleman.

Your CSA box this week will contain.....green beans, yes they are in,

tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, and zucchinni for sure!  Remember that tomatoes should be kept at room temp for best taste and maturity, not in the fridge!  All of the abundance in this week's box are candidates for simple slicing and freezing.  You cant believe how good things taste out of the freezer in January.  

Thank you goes a long way...if you are picking up your box at the Co op...please thank the person in produce for letting CSA members keep their boxes cool....This is a free service offered by the Co op to us all even tho it takes up their space and gives them more work to do!!  And if you can say thank you by buying other groceries at the Co op that would be even better!   Now.....off to kill weeds before it gets toooooo hot.  jill

Posted 7/12/2013 8:16pm by Jill Rendleman.

The best thing about being a grower is that you positively impact the lives of many people.  So I have many peoples asking about basil,.......what, when, how much.    I tell them, the beauty of basil is this, too much is not bad and too little is not bad either.      Oh my, we have to make a cultural decision here.  Scarey.  or not.  Fresh basil is one of the few herbs that you can go totaly overboard on and everyone will love yor for it.  There is not limit to basil....so just keep adding until you think....well this is enough i think.    I would not say this of thyme, majorem, oregano, or others,....but basil....its like love.  Its hard to explain, and you cant get enough of it.   So, basil has the feel to me of velvet and a taste that is realy dependent upon the other herbs combined with it......that again is the beauty and frustration of basil.  Common folk need to use it readily for good health, and 

look for more direction from within.  jill

Posted 7/11/2013 5:02pm by Jill Rendleman.

Eggplant and Zucchini are big items this week along with tomatoes, fresh basil, and oregano....consider the following recipes......they arent as hard as they look....very basic great food.  

July is herb month for CSA Members.....you can come to the farm and pick up to 10 bunches (a bunch is about a quarter size group of herb or flower stems)  of herbs or flowers of your choice at no additional cost.  Please just call ahead so we will know you are coming and we can detail what herbs and flowers are available.  Basil wont be on the list as we are just about out!  Sorry....more later on.  

Eggplant Parmesan....... from Cooks Illustrated....


We wanted our eggplant Parmesan recipe to be a fresher, lighter take on the classic Italian version—meaty slices of eggplant with a crisp and substantial (but not heavy) coating, napped with a simple tomato sauce, and well-flavored with Parmes...(more)


Use kosher salt when salting the eggplant. The coarse grains don't dissolve as readily as the fine grains of regular table salt, so any excess can be easily wiped away. To be time-efficient, use the 30 to 45 minutes during which the salted eggplant sits to prepare the breading, cheeses, and sauce.



  1. 1. FOR THE EGGPLANT: Toss half of eggplant slices and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant and kosher salt, placing second batch in colander on top of first. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.

  2. 2. While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor to fine, even crumbs, about fifteen 1-second pulses (you should have about 4 cups). Transfer crumbs to pie plate and stir in 1 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. Wipe out bowl (do not wash) and set aside.

  3. 3. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in large zipper-lock bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in second pie plate. Place 8 to 10 eggplant slices in bag with flour; seal bag and shake to coat eggplant. Remove eggplant slices, shaking off excess flour, dip in eggs, let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; set breaded slices on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.

  4. 4. Remove preheated baking sheets from oven; add 3 tablespoons oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer; bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping eggplant slices with wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn off oven.

  5. 5. FOR THE SAUCE: While eggplant bakes, process 2 cans diced tomatoes in food processor until almost smooth, about 5 seconds. Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and garlic is light golden, about 3 minutes; stir in processed and remaining can of diced tomatoes. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes (you should have about 4 cups). Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. 6. TO ASSEMBLE: Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer in half of eggplant slices, overlapping slices to fit; distribute 1 cup sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Layer in remaining eggplant and dot with 1 cup sauce, leaving majority of eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; scatter basil over top, and serve, passing remaining tomato sauce separately.

Stuffed Zucchini....use whatever cheese you like best!

Published July 1, 2000. 



As we developed our stuffed zucchini recipe, we took several steps to avoid a soggy and flavorless result: We scooped the seeds out of the zucchini to reduce moisture; roasted the zucchini cut-side down for a flavorful sear and a head start on...(more)


Buy firm zucchini with tiny prickly hairs around the stem end; the hairs are a sign of freshness.


  • 4medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), washed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4tablespoons olive oil
  • 3medium Red Bliss potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1medium onion, chopped fine
  • 5large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3medium tomatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), seeded and chopped
  • 1/3cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 6ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)


  1. 1. Adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position and second oven rack to lowest position, then place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack and heat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. 2. Meanwhile, halve each zucchini lengthwise. With small spoon, scoop out seeds and most of flesh so that walls of zucchini are 1/4 inch thick (see illustration below). Season cut sides of zucchini with salt and pepper, and brush with 2 tablespoons oil; set zucchini halves cut-side down on hot baking sheet on lower rack. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl and spread in single layer on hot baking sheet on upper rack. Roast zucchini until slightly softened and skins are wrinkled, about 10 minutes; roast potatoes until tender and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Using tongs, flip zucchini halves over on baking sheet and set aside.

  3. 3. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cooked potatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil, 1/2 cup cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

  4. 4. Divide filling evenly among squash halves on baking sheet, spooning about 1/2 cup into each, and pack lightly; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return baking sheet to oven, this time to upper rack, and bake zucchini until heated through and cheese is spotty brown, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately.



  • With a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and most of flesh so the walls of the zucchini are 1/4 inch thick. 

Grilled Eggplant......so fresh, I like the simplicity of this recipe! 


When dealing with eggplant, salting is usually the answer, but with our grilled eggplant recipe this step was unnecessary, since the high heat of the grill evaporated the liquid and allowed for excellent browning. The size of the slices also m...(more)


There’s no need to salt eggplant destined for the grill. The intense grill heat will vaporize excess moisture.


  • 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2medium cloves garlic, minced orpressed through a garlic press
  • 2teaspoons minced fresh thyme or oregano leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds


  1. 1. Combine the oil, garlic, herb, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Place the eggplant on a platter and brush both sides with the oil mixture.

  2. 2. Grill the eggplant over a medium-hot fire (you should be able to hold your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate for 3 to 4 seconds), turning once, until both sides are marked with dark stripes, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Posted 7/8/2013 8:39am by Jill Rendleman.

Greetings on a hot July morning......the dog days of summer have officially arrived.  Today we will be moving Trees high tunnel and planting our late tomato plants.  The sweet corn looks great and is just about to tassel....the early cucumbers have sucumbed to leaf blight but we have a second crop planted to come in a few weeks.  O yes and green beans are flowering....maybe another week or two and we will have some fresh green beans!

What to expect in your box this week........more tomatoes, green peppers, a few cucs, eggplant, and green or yellow zucchinni, and a few carrots.....herb is probably basil or oregano.....maybe both!  

I know it seems way early.....but you can now sign up for Fall/Winter Shares online or mail or come by farm.  Our winter veggies include late tomatoes, spinach, a wide variety of lettuces, arugula, chinese cabbage, winter squash, pumpkin, carrots, spicey greens mix, fennel, and much more....actually my favorite time to grow and eat fresh organic veggies.  

Remember to bring your box back to the Co-op or the farm in exchange for your new box!  Take care and give me a call if you have any questions!  jill  618 308 0217

Posted 7/4/2013 7:56am by Jill Rendleman.
Yes there is pickup today....Thursday July 4th!   If you cant pickup today.....not to worry, your veggies will be in a cool cooler on the farm or in a cool cooler at the Co-op.  We are packing only things that are good under those conditions this week!  So....look for tomatoes, green peppers, zucchinni, eggplants, and an herb or two.  Have a great Fourth of July, Celebrate Safely, and enjoy tasty organic delights.  jill  618 308 0217
Posted 6/28/2013 10:53am by Jill Rendleman.
A little late again....sorry.  So we are now into the "warm season" crops.....you will be seeing tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers and many other tasty things in your box.   This week you received a green and a yellow zucchinni.....we became noted for the yellow zuchinni last year when we trialed it....people loved the color and found the taste much more desireable than the yellow squash.  We agree completely so we no longer raise yellow squash!  Also there is eggplant.....a veggie some are new to.  In my opinion, it is best coated with a little olive oil and garlic salt and put on the grill or raised griddle indoors.  it is particularly good with this week's herb....fresh basil....just tear up a few leaves and sprinkle on top before eating or lightly toast the basil on the eggplant right before taking it off the grill.  Eggplant is also wonderful in lasagna, spaghetti, or other tomato based dishes!  Some like it lightly dusted with flour, and then put into a pan of hot olive oil to give it a crisp outside.....dont forget the garlic at the end....and dont leave eggplant while frying or cooking....it is done very quickly.  We dont use sprays or waxes or any other substances on our veggies....so you dont have to remove the skins of eggplant and cucs!  The cherry tomatoes are an heirloom vining cherry with a great taste!  More to come......Have a great week and tell all your friends and family to come to the Community Market at CCHS tomorrow!  jill

New recipe: Fennel SaladJuly 18th, 2019

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered (core trimmed but left intact) and very thinly sliced (preferably on a mandoline) 7 ounces sugar snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise 2 tbsp fresh tarragon 1 tbsp plus

New recipe: Grilled FennelJuly 18th, 2019

Grilled FennelThe Barbecue BibleServes 4Grilling brings out the natural sweetness of fennel and this vinegar marinade pushes that lovely flavor forward even more.Ingredients4 small or 2 large fennel b

New recipe: Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted AlmondsJuly 18th, 2019

Serves 4 juice from one orange, about 1/2 cup 1/3 cup black raisins 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cored and cut into about 16 slim wedges 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided 1/4

Organic Certifications

USDA Organic Logo      

Like Us on Facebook
Blog archives