The Journey

The Journey

So often, we focus on the destination of where we are going. That we don’t stop to reflect on the journey of how we got there. When we are working outside towards a goal, I often reflect on this. For example, the weed and insect management/control journey is long, continuous and arduous…we just want to be done! Once the destination is achieved, we feel accomplished. Along that journey, we have conversations, experience sunrises and sunsets, see lightning bugs, baby birds and more. The journey can be memorable when we pause to notice what’s around us and reflect.

I feel the same as the boys go through their 4-H livestock journeys. One such journey is coming to a close this week, as Keith finalizes everything with raising meat birds. It has been an interesting and challenging journey raising a larger number of birds than what he was used to. The crop price increases caused feed prices to rise causing increased input costs, and weather temperature lows and extreme highs created learned moments of challenges and disappointment.

 As a parent, I saw him be an ingenuitive, resilient caretaker of his birds. With a goal of the birds having a healthy and good life and in the end providing healthy food for people he knows and cares about. While in the beginning, the end destination was earned income. The journey provided opportunities for personal growth beyond measure that will last him a lifetime.

“If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.” – Dan Rather

Garden Science

The National Drought Mitigation Center, U.S. Department of Agricultura (USDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have a joint effort to create the U.S. Drought Monitor. This map shows drought conditions across Minnesota using a five-category system. Our area is among the 55.7% of Minnesota is in D1-Moderate Drought. If you aren’t aware, you should be aware that many parts of the U.S. are in a severe drought. Watch for this to impact crops from those areas. Crops need water to grow.

Pick-Up and Delivery

Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in email.

It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.

Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

After washing your rhubarb. Cut off both ends and cut it into 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch pieces. Now you are ready to use it in a recipe or freeze it.

Rhubarb – One-pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2-inch pieces. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out these recipes at Martha Stewart. One more week most likely for this crop.

Spinach and Beet Leaves– Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy. Try this salad.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

Beets are a favorite of mine. Some like to peel and cut up and eat raw. I prefer mine cooked with a dab of butter.

Beets – A few Dark Red Detroit Beets for you to enjoy. Eat them raw cut up in your salads.

French Breakfast Radishes

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. The dry weather is making this crop unpredictable. Check out these recipes from Martha Stewart.

Cherry Belle Radish – Add great flavor and color to a salad. My mom loves a radish sandwich…sliced radishes between two slices of buttered bread.

Hostas with variety of greens and flowers – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb from about 15-16 ounces
  • 3- ounce box strawberry jello or any red jello
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 15.25-ounce box white or yellow cake mix*
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (salted butter is better here)
  • 2 cups cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange the rhubarb in an even layer in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the Jello over that, then top with the sugar.
  3. Sprinkle the yellow cake mix powder over all of that, then top with the melted butter and the cold water. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is lightly browned and the rhubarb is bubbling.
  4. It’s possible to serve the dump cake warm but it’s MUCH easier to serve if you chill it for a couple of hours, until it sets up a bit. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
  5. Uneaten cake can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days or frozen (tightly wrapped) for up to 2 months

Source: The Itsy Bitsy Kitchen

Evenings provide peace

Evenings provide peace

This hot weather has sped up weed growth. While we have been fortunate to catch a few spotty rains. The crops are struggling with the hot, dry weather. The good news…we are not as hot and dry as in 1988.

According to the University of Minnesota – Waseca crop and weather watch:  Dry weather continued this week, but we did get some relief from the extreme heat that we recorded last week. Temperature averaged 76.2 degrees which is 8.0 degrees warmer than normal. Growing degree units (GDUs) totaled 167, 31% more than normal. Since May 1, we have now accumulated 726 GDUs or 22% more than normal. Most involved in Minnesota crop production remember 1988 as the hot and dry season. For comparative purposes in 1988 we were 14% warmer and 0.6-inch drier than so far this year.

I remember how hot and dry 1988 was. Most specifically, I recall the big cracks in the fields. The cracks were so big you could easily lose a plier in them and not expect to see it resurface anytime soon. So, as we watch this year’s weather, we also pray for rain. Not just for us, but for so many that need it around our country. Our crops are dry, and watering has been part of the routine and needs to be even more so going forward. Even so, the beautiful summer evenings provide peace and beauty.

Even though it has been hot, the evenings cool off wonderfully and is such a peaceful and beautiful time to work outside.


Garden Science

Sam found a baby Killdeer in the garden this week. Farmers and ranchers provide wildlife habitats all over our country. We have the privilege to witness the best and worst of Mother Nature. This is an example of one of the joys.

Pick-Up and Delivery

Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in email.

It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.

Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

Rhubarb – One-pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2-inch pieces. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out these recipes at Taste of Home.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from Chute Family Farm near Aitkin. Check out America’s Heartland’s information on asparagus.

Spinach and Beet Leaves– Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy.

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce continues to produce for a few harvests. Cut the leaves and they will grow back for a few harvests. We do plant a few plantings of this throughout the summer.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. This crop is coming to an end.

Cherry Belle Radish

Cherry Belle Radish – Add great flavor and color to a salad. My mom loves a radish sandwich…sliced radishes between two slices of buttered bread.

Hostas with Weigela, Asparagus greens – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

I’m sharing two recipes this week. Because both of these crops are close to the end. First, one for asparagus that is new to us this year, and the second is a favorite of our for rhubarb. Enjoy!

This hot weather has sped up the weed growth. While we have been fortunate to catch a few spotty rains. The crops are struggling with the hot, dry weather.
Rhubarb Muffins

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup applesauce

1 egg

1/2 cup yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup finely sliced rhubarb

Topping:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Combine sugar, applesauce, egg, yogurt and vanilla in a bowl. Sift flour, soda, and salt together and stir into liquid mixture. Blend in nuts and rhubarb. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Topping: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and sprinkle over batter in muffin tins. Tip: I always spray the liners with a spritz of baking spray so the muffins don’t stick to the liners. Bake at 325 degrees  for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. This can also be baked in a greased loaf pan for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Look for the Gift

Look for the Gift

This morning on my morning walk, I noticed some animals on the road. As I got closer, I noticed it was two does and a fawn. I wondered if I was quiet enough, if could I close the gap and get a closer look at them. As luck would have it, the does noticed me and went into the field, but the fawn was hesitant to go into the taller grass in the ditch. So it ran along on the shoulder of the road. A car drove by, and the fawn went into the ditch to hide. As I got closer to where it was hiding, the doe bleated and stamped her feet trying to distract me and warn the fawn. Even so, I was able to capture this photo.

Fawn near our home this morning.

Isn’t it a joy when we are able to experience the beauty God has around us? When we take time to notice the gifts and are able to experience the many gifts in their natural habitat. We need to pause and take it in and appreciate the gift we have been given.

In some ways, life appears to be getting back to a glimpse of pre-covid normal. But what have we learned from what we have experienced? For us, it was a reminder to pause, take it in and appreciate the gifts that are around us.

We appreciate the opportunity to grow for you. It is a gift and a joy to work with all of you.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… James 1:17

Pick-Up and Delivery

Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in email.

It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.

Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

Rhubarb – One-pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2-inch pieces. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out these recipes at Taste of Home.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from Lorence’s Berry Farm near Northfield. Check out America’s Heartland’s information on asparagus.

Spinach can be harvested many times from the same crop. You cut the leaves off of the plant, and they grow back. So we get several harvests from one planting.

Spinach – Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

French Radish – I never get tired of the beautiful colors of this crop.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. This crop is coming to an end.

Cherry Belle Radish – Add great flavor and color to a salad. My mom loves a radish sandwich…sliced radishes between two slices of buttered bread.

Chives – Cut them up and use as you would onions. Add good flavor to a variety of dishes. Try the Pioneer Woman’s Cheddar Chive Biscuits.

Hostas with Weigela, Peonies, Asparagus greens – These should brighten up your home.

Herb Pots – choose from cilantro, basil, purple basil, oregano, thyme and parsley

Recipe of the Week

This is a family favorite. Quite honestly, I make a variety of these jams to last us the entire year.

After cooling it down in the refrigerator and then place in freezer after a day or two days. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Jam

Mix together and set aside until a juice forms:
6 cups rhubarb sliced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups sugar

Next:
Add one can of pie filling (cherry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry)
Cook these ingredients for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add 1 package of 3 oz Jell-O (use Jell-O that is of the same flavor as the pie filling).

Mix well. Pour into containers. Refrigerate or freeze.

Growth in Sight

Growth in Sight

June is upon us, and like you, we are anxious to see plant growth and move to the next steps…harvesting and eating! The lack of moisture slowed plant growth. So, the rainfall at the end of May was such a blessing, and the sight of plants emerging and growing is such a joy. A lot has been “growing on” at our place the past few months. Here is a glimpse of the activity. 

The planting is complete. Tomatoes, peppers and more were planted this week after the frost warnings. We plant them in the mulch to prevent soil-borne diseases, and it keeps the tomatoes and peppers clean.
I love looking at the seed potato bags and seeing where they were grown in Minnesota.
We finished planting the majority of the garden on April 25. The lack of moisture in May slowed the crop growth. The moisture we were grateful to receive the past two weeks has been very helpful. Above, Steve prepares the seed potatoes for planting.
Good news the rhubarb will be ready for you to enjoy.
The green beans have emerged. I always love seeing how the plant splits open the seed to emerge and extend it’s leaves as it grows. Those are dandelion seeds on the leaves.
Sam’s turkeys are growing like crazy, and he is enjoying learning from this 4-H project. They will be full grown in the middle to end of July. Let Sam know if you would be interested in learning more.
Keith’s meat chickens, broilers, are also growing fast. The added use of hormones as growth promotants in poultry and pork production is illegal in the U.S. Broilers have been selected to be naturally muscular. They just love to eat and grow.
Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the air. You can feel it in the warmer temperatures, the smell of the soil and the sound of the birds. There are a few other things that have us hopeful for 2021: seed catalogs, chicks and poults. While it may be easy to feel heavy laden with the pandemic still upon us, we are looking positively forward to the growing season. Here is a glimpse of what we have been up to.

“Spring – a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.” – author unknown

Spring is in the air. The joy that seed catalogs bring as we browse for new opportunities and crops. Looking forward with optimism is a great feeling.
Thanksgiving Prep

Thanksgiving Prep

While we have had some measurable snow this past month, we are grateful that it has melted. This morning view was breathtaking with ice coating the fence lines, grass and weeds. Sometimes, you need to just stop and enjoy the view.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are so grateful for the beautiful weather to accomplish more tasks in nice weather. What have we been up to this past month? We have been helping with the harvest at my parents’ farm. It is valuable for all of us to experience different types of agriculture to grow our knowledge and experiences. We are grateful that the boys are able to experience this.

A thought for your week as things change around us: “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden

Recipe of the Week

I have also been busy preserving the harvest for us to use throughout the year. We still have a few of the Cinnamon Girl Pumpkins left if you have decided you wanted to make your pumpkin pie from scratch.

Cinnamon Girl Pumpkins – these are pumpkin pie pumpkins.
Wipe the pumpkin off with a disinfectant wipe and cut in half.
Scoop out the inside of the pumpkin. Save the seeds if you would like to roast them.
Place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper and turn cut side down. Cook for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take out of the oven, turn over and scoop out pumpkin flesh with spoon. It is stringy.
Puree pumpkin flesh in a food processor. Place in strainer with cheese cloth to drain out fluid. Squeeze out the extra moisture, and it’s ready to use.
After I finished cooking an oven full of pumpkins, the boys wanted me to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Something Fun

We have used some of our gourds for centerpieces for Thanksgiving by using a hand drill to burrow out a hole for a candle.

Steve used a drill bit to drill out a hole at the top of the gourds perfect for votive candles which will be great centerpieces for Thanksgiving.
“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” Maya Angelou

Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

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The last of the Zinnias before the frost.

With this beautiful weather, it is hard to believe it is October. But the changing colors all around us tell us that change is inevitable. Fall is here, and as any good Minnesotan knows, it is time to prepare for winter. Many thoughts come to mind as we wrap-up the season.

Gratitude. As we were harvesting, we couldn’t help but be grateful for the bounty that was present for us to share with all of you. After all, it is October. Last evening as we were cleaning up fences and mulch, we were so grateful for the amazing weather – take time to find those moments for attitude of gratitude.

Change. Change is unavoidable. We love seeing the changes that occur throughout the season. We all dread different parts of the hard work throughout, aka weeding and insects. But we love the look of a clean slate after all the field work has been completed, and it’s ready for new beginnings. It’s a lot like any part of life. Positive outlooks make for positive outcomes.

Appreciation. We were working on this year’s planting before the pandemic started. Many considerations needed to be in place before we could move forward this year – including a Minnesota Department of Agriculture on-farm COVID-19 plan. We have appreciated the fact we were able to proceed with the CSA, and the opportunities to have conversations, laughter and shared moments with all of you.

Tenacity. Throughout this year, we have watched the boys learn new things and take the lead on projects. Their determination to figure it out and see it to the end is a characteristic we all need during these interesting times. Believe that a positive outcome is out there and Carpe Diem.

9-14-2020 Harner Family

Thank you for a great season. We appreciate you and all of the great conversations this year.

Garden Science

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Largest radish harvested this year.

 

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Cover crop emerging. This is great news.

Boxes of Produce

Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

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Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette, arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad.

 Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

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Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

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Jade Green Beans

Green Beans – Wow this crop finished strong. Enjoy, freeze for this winter if it is to much to handle this week.

Onions Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

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The cucumbers still have spikes on their skins even until the end.

Cucumbers A few to end the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe.

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Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

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Kuri Squash

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

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Carnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

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Butternut Squash

Butternut SquashA favorite in our house. Cut in half, place cut side down, put about an inch of water in the cake pan, cover with aluminum foil and back for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out the seeds and peel away skin. Mix in ½ cup butter and ¾ cup brown sugar. Enjoy!

Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about peppers at America’s Heartland.

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Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes – A few grape tomatoes to finish off the season. This is the strangest crop of tomatoes we have ever had. Looking forward to great varieties next year. Check out this blog from the Foodie Farmer on growing and harvesting tomatoes on their farm.

Potatoes – Kennebec and Yukon Gold this week. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland. Check out the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for more information.

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Swan Gourds

Swan Gourds – These are such fun gourds. The color is so refreshing.

Recipe of the Week

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Our salsa recipe is simple. Mrs Wages Salsa mix with some onions and peppers to taste.  Here is a canning guide from the University of Minnesota Extension.

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Canned Salsa – Enjoy!

Just Keep Growing

Just Keep Growing

wp-1600959035659.jpgWorking with the pumpkins and fall decorations is so much fun. The colors are stunning, bright and cheerful. The harvesting of these crops is an indication that the end of the growing season is near, and it’s a crop where you feel like you are reaping your rewards.

This year, we have noticed nicks/scars on the pumpkins, gourds and ornamental corn (look on the kernels some have odd designs we think is from the hail). Some may look at them and wish for the beautiful untarnished pumpkin/fall decoration. We look at them and say, “Boy we are sure glad they survived the hail-storm in August, and that they scarred over and kept growing instead of giving up and rotting in the field.”

Yes, those odd-looking bumps are scars from the hail. You see, to me it reminds me of this year. There are many things this year especially with the pandemic that may feel like scars, or times where we have felt like we got punched in the gut. Yet, they are part of who we are. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the journey. We simply need to continue to grow so that our bright and beautiful colors can shine through and brighten the day of others.

Isn’t it interesting that we have yet another reminder/message in nature for us. I had someone remind me that taking time to look at the world around us provides us the opportunity in the lessons that are ever present for us.

Wishing you a fall where you keep growing and letting your bright and beautiful colors show through.

Garden Science

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This week following harvested we mowed down the vines, followed by plowing. We have never plowed this ground and have been struggling to break up the deep soil pan which we think will help with plant growth.

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We then tilled it up to create a good soil bed.

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We planted a combination of rye grass, radish and clover for cover crops. Cover crops also provide protective vegetative cover for the soil which helps suppress winter annual weeds. The additional organic matter cover crops provide will improve soil tilth, porosity and infiltration by providing the natural ‘glues’ that hold soil particles together.

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It was then drug and rolled for seed to soil contact.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

Green Beans – Another crop of green beans…this cold weather has slowed the growth down. Hoping this finishes strong.

Onions Enjoy walla walla onions this week.  Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

Carnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

Butternut Squash – a favorite in our house.  Check out Martha Stewart’s recipes for this vegetable.

Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about peppers at America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – A few grape tomatoes to finish off the season. This is the strangest crop of tomatoes we have ever had. Looking forward to great varieties next year. Check out this blog from the Foodie Farmer on growing and harvesting tomatoes on their farm.

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Potato harvest completed.

Potatoes – Kennebec, Yukon Gold and Norland potatoes this week. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland. Check out the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for more information.

Sweet Potatoes – Thank you to our neighbors the Schwatkes for the sweet potato slips. Enjoy the Beauregard sweet potatoes. Outstanding color and high yields, this variety is a favorite for northern gardeners with its red-copper tubers with deep orange flesh. Check out these preparation options from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkins – a few more pumpkins to brighten your decorations.

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Ornamental Corn – Bundles of ornamental corn to brighten your fall decorations.

 

Recipe of the Week

Cook your Kuri, Butternut, Carnival Squash or the Jarrahdale (green) or Cinnamon Girl Pumpkin as you traditionally would. The following recipe is a favorite in our family compliments of my mom. She believes it was passed down from her Aunt Arlene. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup oil (or applesauce)

4 beaten eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups of pumpkin

Mix sugar, eggs and oil. Mix in dry ingredients. Mix in pumpkin. Bake in greased and floured pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz of cream cheese softened

6 Tablespoons soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup powdered sugar

Frost cooled bars.

Life is Like Digging Potatoes

Life is Like Digging Potatoes

9-23-14 Done with Potatoes

This is how the boys feel when we are done harvesting one of the crops: excited, proud and relieved. This may be an old photo but it certainly captures how we feel about potato harvest.

Digging potatoes is absolutely one of my favorite parts of the garden. I love seeing what the surprise is below, how big and how many potatoes can be harvested from one plant. In the end, I love seeing the rewards of our labor. Every once and awhile the ants or the mice have gotten into the potatoes (yes below ground), and it is such a disappointment. They have eaten the potatoes away or put disgusting holes in them. You see, I am Scandinavian so I LOVE potatoes and could literally eat them for every meal. It doesn’t matter how they are cooked – I LOVE them! But I do refrain from eating them that frequently. While we have been digging potatoes for a few weeks, this week is our big push to finish the harvest, and it is rewarding.

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Life is a lot like digging potatoes, you never quite know what life will bring you. Many things in life reap wonderful rewards for our efforts and pleasant surprises. But every once and awhile life brings you one of those bad ones. We need to keep our eyes focused on what we love about life, and the wonderful rewards it has in order to reap the full harvest. Our efforts are worth it.

Fall is also a time of apple harvest. While I was harvesting with the boys, I saw many similarities to life as well. Take a look – life is full of lessons if we pause long enough to reflect on it. Remember reflecting on your day and on your learned experiences gives you time to be grateful and look forward to what is to come with hope.

We hope your week ahead is filled with the joys of digging potatoes!

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Garden Science

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Often times when we select vegetables at the grocery store, we look for them to be “perfect” but in reality, life is beautifully “imperfect.” Take a look at this summer squash how it is not perfectly formed, and the stem is off centered. It doesn’t make it any less useful but wonderfully unique. Perhaps taking a step back this week will have you view some things as beautifully imperfect.

Pick-Up and Delivery

  • Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in email.
  • It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.
  • Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

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Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

 Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

 Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

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Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

Radishes – It is the last of radishes for this season to add to salads, eat raw or include in a hotdish.

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Green Beans – Another crop of green beans…this cold weather has slowed the growth down. Hoping this finishes strong.

Onions Enjoy purple onions this week.  Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

 Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

wp-15996767010006365719895918393545.jpgCarnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

 

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Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about growing peppers from America’s Heartland.

 Tomatoes – A few grape and large tomatoes for you. We simply had less tomatoes this year because our favorite varieties were difficult to get due to more people planting their own gardens. We are sad that the varieties we planted had disappointing yields.

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Potatoes – Red Norlands are great cooked as mashed potatoes or cooked potatoes. You could also make the left overs into potato patties. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland.

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It’s always fun to see how many sweet potatoes come out of the ground.

Sweet Potatoes – Thank you to our neighbors the Schwatkes and their love of sweet potatoes. We appreciate them sharing slips of this variety, Beauregard. Watch America’s Heartland to learn more about how Sweet Potatoes are raised in Arkansas.

8-15-12 Name carving in pumpkins

In early August, Steve took one of his Grandpa’s handmade wood carving tool and headed to the garden and carefully etched the last names into a pumpkin. We hope you enjoy this decoration this fall. It is one of our ways of saying Thank You for business!

Pumpkins – We hope you enjoyed the name pumpkins this week. It is such a fun project to do each year.

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Arrangement – A variety of flowers including zinnias, hydrangeas and Sedum.

 

Recipe of the Week

Cook your Kuri, Butternut, Carnival Squash or the Jarrahdale (green) or Cinnamon Girl Pumpkin as you traditionally would.

Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup cold water

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin (I use 1 cup cooked squash)

Combine flour, sugar, butter, soda, spices and salt in bowl. Add 1/3 cup cold water, eggs, and pumpkin (squash) mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack.

Source: Pat Kuznik – West Polk County: Blue Ribbon Favorites Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Fall brings change

Fall brings change

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This year has presented many changes, and Mother Nature is joining in. We were tubing on the lake Saturday and harvesting pumpkins on Sunday in long pants, hats and jackets. While there is a frost warning for tonight, I consider us lucky compared to our neighbors to the west in South Dakota where the weather has not been nearly as cooperative. It does remind us that it is fall and nearly the middle of September, and change is out of our control and inevitable.

For us this weekend, change came in the form of no Tracy Box Car Days a life-long family tradition and harvesting the majority of pumpkins, squash and gourds. More harvesting will occur this weekend, when it is projected to be warmer and dryer. It is hard to believe that there is only two weeks left in the CSA.

For all of us as we face change – whether it is change in seasons, change in routines, change in school, change in relationships, I encourage you to reflect on the following:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

Garden Science

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We have our gourds and cucumbers growing up on old fences. Once and a while we will see them grow into the fence. Check out this gourd’s results.

Pick-Up and Delivery

  • Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in email.
  • It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.
  • Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson, Kale and Spinach Mix Include in your diets for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

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Carrots – Carrots are back and a bit larger – may be better cooked. We love this recipe from Taste of Home

Radishes – French radishes to add to salads or eat raw.

Green Beans – Another crop of green beans is starting to come in.

Onions Enjoy Walla Wallas, Purple or Patterson this week. If you have to many, cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

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Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about how to cook this vegetable here.

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Kuri Squash – This beautiful dark orange squash has the appearance of a small pumpkin without the ridges. It belongs to the Hubbard squash family.

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Carnival Squash – This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

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Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. 

Tomatoes – A few grape and large tomatoes for you.

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Potatoes grow under the ground and are a tuber. So fun to see how they grow. It feels like you are digging for gold when you are harvesting them.

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes this week. Check out the recipe below. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors the Peterson’s for this week’s sweet corn. Remember if you have extra or don’t eat all that you cook up. Simply cut it off the cob and place in a freezer bag or container and use at another time in a hot dish or soup.

Pumpkins and Gourds – At least 15 varieties to choose from. So much fun color!

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Arrangement – A variety of flowers including zinnias, rudebeckia, hydrangeas and more.

Recipe of the Week

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Oven Baked Cheesy Potatoes

3 Potatoes chopped

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup mozzarella shredded

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking pan lightly with cooking spray.

-Chop the potatoes in 1/2″ to 3/4″ chunks. Use a paper towel to dry them slightly, then place the potatoes in a bowl.

-Mix the potatoes with oil and seasonings.

-Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet so the potatoes can cook evenly.

-Bake for 25 minutes, stirring one- or two-times during baking, until desired brownness is achieved. If you’d like potatoes crispy, place them under the broiler for 2-4 minutes.

-Cover potatoes with shredded cheese and place back into the hot oven for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Source: Tastes of LizzyT

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4 large zucchini or summer squash (I used 3 small ones and used half the recipe.)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-Preheat oven to 400°F.

-Slice squash into 1/4-inch rounds and add to a large bowl. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat.

-Arrange squash on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.

-Bake until just tender, 9-10 minutes. Turn broiler on high and broil until golden brown, 2-3 minutes.

Source: 12 Tomatoes – Recipe adapted from Made To Be a Momma.