Soil Sisters at Raleigh’s Hillside Farm + RECIPE: Snap Pea Salad with Chard Pistachio Pesto

It’s hard to believe August is only a couple short weeks away. For me this is bringing mixed emotions. It means our tomato season is so close I can actually taste it (!!!!!!). But it also means some of our other favorite vegetables (like peas) are already finished for the season. It means the farm only becomes more manageable week by week, but it also means the transplanting season is almost finished. It means our annual camping trip for Kyle’s birthday is on the horizon, but it also means the season is almost halfway over and some of the major projects we were hoping to get done this year (hello pack shed, driveway and well) are likely going to be sidelined a bit longer.

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Thinking about August gets me feeling all kinds of things, but more than anything else, it gets me excited for the first weekend of the month when we open our farm to new friends, old friends, family and folks from all across the country who want to see what we’re doing on our little patch of ground.

Yes, it’s almost Soil Sisters weekend and if you remember from last year, it’s a whole heck of a lot of fun!

Photo cred: Natalie Hinahara
Photo cred: Natalie Hinahara
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Photo cred: Natalie Hinahara

Soil Sisters is a three-day culinary event celebrating women in agriculture and rural life in the New Glarus, Blanchardville, Monroe, Brooklyn and Brodhead areas on August 4th, 5th and 6th. Our farm is situated between Brooklyn and Brodhead so we’ll be a part of the fun for the second year in a row!

This sweeping event that crosses into four counties has a little bit of everything. There are farm tours and food stands, a fundraising dinner, a pizza night on farm, and loads of farm products for sale on Sunday. There is an intensive, full day workshop for folks interested in starting a farm of their own as well as a “Taste of Place” event at Cow & Quince where folks can mingle with Soil Sisters and sample menu items made with goodies from their farms.


And then there are the Green Acres workshops- sixteen creative, women-taught workshops featuring everything from painting your own barn wood signs to learning how to ferment fizzy beverages to making your own body care products. It’s a bit of a whirlwind but it’s an incredibly exciting opportunity to share our farms and our passions with the outside world.

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The schedule on our farm is busy (would I have it any other way?!) packed full of creative collaborative workshops, a fundraising food stand (courtesy of my mama), a produce stand and a full day of individual farm tours. So if you want to hang with me August 4, 5 and 6, here’s where I’ll be:

Friday, August 4th:

1:00- 3:00 p.m. Sipping cocktails made with our herbs and vegetables out in our fields with Chad Vogel from The Barmadillo. I think that you’ll also learn how to craft a great summer cocktail but I’ll mainly be focused on the sipping. Tickets available here

6:00- 8:00 p.m. Mingling with my favorite Soil Sister women over delicious food at Cow & Quince that will of course feature goods grown by us lady farmers. Tickets available here

Saturday, August 5th:

9:00- 11:00 a.m. Sampling pestos made with herbs, greens and other veggies from our farm. Then heading down to the fields to harvest what we all need to create creative pestos of our own in a super fun, interactive workshop. Ending the session with some of my favorite dishes that feature pesto (like this snap pea salad with rainbow chard pesto ⇓). Tickets available here.

1:00- 3:00 p.m. Hanging with two of my favorite food bloggers Sarah & Vicki and a whole crew of aspiring food bloggers (or folks just excited about food photography). We’ll be whipping up a whole bunch of grilled pizzas and snapping photos the whole time. We’ll be babbling about composition, food styling, plating, lighting, and editing. Tickets available here. 

5:00- 9:00 p.m. Slinging pizza and hanging with friends at Inn Serendipity for a picnic-style fundraising event packed full of veggies (and root beer floats!). Tickets available here.

Sunday, August 6th: 

11:00- 6:00 p.m. Leading farm tours, selling produce, selling artwork made by some of the fabulous artists working on our farm this year, serving up food stand snacks made by my mama (proceeds go to Soil Sisters!) and hanging with anyone who is interested in checking out our lovely piece of land.

See you in a couple weeks! For now, just get busy diving into this yummy salad!

All my lady love,

P.S. Want to learn lots more about Soil Sisters events happening all over South Central Wisconsin? Head to the Soil Sisters website! Feel free to also check out our awesome write up in Midwest Living with a couple lovely photos of yours truly ❤



Takes 15 minutes
Serves 2-4 as a side + lots of leftover pesto for your fridge

4 cups snap peas or snow peas, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons Chard & Pistachio Pesto (see below)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Nasturtium, borage or other pretty edible flowers, optional

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanche peas for two minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Add peas to a small bowl with remaining ingredients and toss to coat evenly. Enjoy warm or cold (I like it best some hours later once it’s been chilled.

Chard & Pisatchio Pesto
1 bunch rainbow chard (5-6 leaves)
1/2 cup shelled and toasted pistachios
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1-3 teaspoons lemon juice

  1. Prepare rainbow chard. Remove stems and roughly chop. Set aside. Tear leaves into small pieces.
  2. In a food processor, chop pistachios until finely ground. Add garlic, salt and chard stems. Process until consistent in size and then add leaves. Continue to puree until leaves are all finely chopped, you may have to scrape down the sides occassionally.
  3. Turn the food processor on and run it while you drizzle in the olive oil. Process until smooth. Add lemon juice to taste.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Great pictures of your produce, and the chard and pistachio pesto sounds really interesting.


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