Thankful for what Mother Nature Provides

It is amazing that throughout the growing season we are always hopeful for specifics from Mother Nature. Right now, we are in need of rain. I know this is ironic given the amount we received a few weeks ago, but the 11 1/2 inches of rain came so quickly that the amount that actually soaked in was minimal in comparison to what fell.

As we traveled across the Midwest last week to be with relatives in southern Ohio, we saw crops in dire need of moisture, and we fully recognize that we are in better shape than many in regards to moisture.

A nice rain this week and next would help start the seeds that I planted two weeks ago. I have started watering them so hopefully we will see some germination this weekend.

Sam excited to show us the Zinnias had bloomed.

Keith investigating the first sunflower.

Sam searching for sunflower seeds.

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.

Look for new links on recipes etc. Also remember food safety when preparing, always wash your before eating. http://bit.ly/MBhskn

Rhubarb – Our last harvest for the season of this delicious treat! See the Almond Rhubarb Cake recipe at the bottom of the post shared by one of our members Sharon VandeWiele.

Simpson Elite Lettuce – Wash, cut off longer stems. Should grow better in warmer weather with better flavor.

Prizehead Lettuce – Wash, cut off longer stems.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Wash, cut off longer stems.

The lettuce growing in the pallet gardens are doing well with minimal weeding needed.

Beets –  We are thinning out the rows so the bulbs have more room to grow, so enjoy these small beautiful red bulbs.

Peas – The pods are edible so enjoy eating them out of the pod or the pod and all.

Green Beans – This is our first harvest out of the garden this year. We will see how long they last in this heat and humidity.

Summer Squash

I use a serrated knife when cutting tomatoes. No smashing the tomato which results in beautiful slices.


Green Tomatoes – some of you mentioned an interest in doing some recipes with green tomatoes. So we have included a few for you to try some recipes. http://www.marthastewart.com/search/apachesolr_search/Green%20tomatoes

Cucumbers – The cucumbers are beginning to grow like crazy! So look forward to more of these delicious veggies.

We have taught Keith how to use the peeler, and he loves helping peel vegetables. Our theory – engaging kids in meal preparation will increase their interest in trying new foods. Above, he is peeling one of the first cucumbers of the season that he found in his garden hunt.

Herbs – Chives, Red  Rubin basil, mint, parsley and golden oregano. Remember you can dry them or you can freeze in an ice-cube to use later.

Last night, I grilled turkey which I drizzled honey over and topped with a few sprigs of orange thyme. When I turned it over, I drizzled it again with honey. After the internal temperature reached 170 degrees Fahrenheit, I served it to my family. Yes, I do use a meat thermometer. It is key in successfully cooking tender, delicious meat.

Fresh cut arrangement – The Zinnias and sunflowers are beginning to flower but only a few. I did include a small arrangement of Zinnias and hosta leaves. I am including some Cattails in your boxes this week for a dried arrangement. I have sprayed with hairspray to prevent them from seeding out. You may also want to spray them to make sure. Once sprayed they will last a long time in your house. If not sprayed, they will seed out quickly and become a mess.

As you look at the south part of the garden there are from left to right, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, more potatoes, salad crops, flowers and strawberry popcorn.

We have used some fences for the vines to grow up. For example as the cucumbers grow up the fence they will hang through the fence. We also put mulch in to help minimize disease, improve vegetable quality and retain moisture for the plants.
The tepees in the far corner Steve built a few years ago for the kids to have a fun place to play as the vines grow around them it makes a fun hide out. On the left is the broom corn and on the right is the ornamental corn.

Almond Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Servings: 24

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9 inch round pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla together until smooth. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth. Stir in rhubarb and 1/2 cup almonds. Pour into prepared pans.
3. In a small bowl, combine white sugar and butter or margarine. Stir in 1/4 cup almonds. Sprinkle topping over batter.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake tests done.

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