Science at its best

This weekend, the boys wanted to play school. So we took our magnifying glasses and headed out to the garden for science class. As you can see from the pictures this week, they really enjoyed doing this. Here they are observing the Big Max pumpkins that are starting to see some good growth.

Sam…”I spy with my little eye.”

We examined the baby boo pumpkins (above), spaghetti squash, butternut squash, gourds, watermelon and cantaloupe growing. It was a treasure hunt in the garden and a great opportunity to discuss difference in the plants.

Then we headed to the corn, looking at the ornamental corn (above), popcorn and broom corn. We have been having trouble keeping our dog out of the corn. He loves to eat it the ears of corn!  After our dog got lost a couple of year’s ago and found his way home, he eats corn. It is an interesting survival tactic that he learned while wondering across fields in the fall, but one we are willing to tolerate as we our glad he made it home!

Next we checked out the cabbage. We were trying to figure out what was eating it – a rabbit or bugs. At the time of the photo, it was the only one being eaten.

Next we looked at the lone kohlrabi. We have never grown it before and actually bought it by accident. This is the only one that survived the heavy June rains. I have tried planting it by seed, and thus far have not had any luck. But all of us involved in agriculture realize each year is trial and error. It is a continuous effort to always get better and to try and figure Mother Nature out.

For those of you that were wondering, the hail I spoke about in last week’s post did not last long. The bad news for many farmers in our area is that the winds were over 60 mph with that storm, and the bean stalks that were damaged by hail in June snapped off where the plant had been hit or damaged on the stalk during the previous storms. We were fortunate to not see any damage from the wind in our plants.

Editors Note: I need to thank Keith. Most of the blogs, if Keith isn’t in the photo that means he is behind the camera. I appreciate his willingness and interest in learning this new life long skill!

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 when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

Salad Blend includes: Simpson Elite Lettuce, Prizehead Lettuce, Red Oak Leaf Lettuce– Wash, cut off longer stems.

Cucumbers – We are picking every couple of days. Let us know if you are interested in extra for pickling. We shared some of the cucumbers earlier this week with the students at the Northfield Montessori.

Green Beans – We are nearing the end of this patch. We had replanted at the end of June, but they did not grow because of the crazy weather. We have replanted, and as you can see, we have germination.

Sam examining the germinated beans on Sunday.

Summer Squash – zucchini recipes

Onions – We can assure you a plentiful supply of onions this year. In your boxes this week were yellow onions. I always enjoy searching the Taste of Home website for recipes. Here are some options for onion rings.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes and Kennebec – great for baking. A different look at potato harvest in Colorado on America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – We are so excited to have some tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes. 

Peppers – Green peppers.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms – the Peterson families for this delicious vegetable! See my recipe below for Sweet Corn on the Grill.

Herbs – Peppermint, oregano, cilantro, parsley and lemon thyme Remember you can dry them or you can freeze in an ice-cube to use later.

Fresh Flowers – Zinnias or sunflowers this week. They will both keep longer if you change their water and give them a fresh-cut in two days.

Keith examining the Teddy Bear Sunflowers.

Recipe of the Week

Sweet Corn on the Grill

Once your grill is heated, I place the meat and my sweet corn on the grill at the same time. Below is how I prepare the sweet corn.

Sweet Corn

I cut off the longer leaves, loose leaves and the top of the ear of corn, called the silk. If there is still a long stalk at the end opposite the tassel, I will snap it off so the ear of corn doesn’t take up as much room on the grill. The reason I cut off all this “extra” is to prevent any fires from starting on the grill.

Once I have prepared all of the corn, taking off the extras I will lay it on the grill. And will turn it every 5-10 minutes for about 30 minutes. I love doing the sweet corn this way because my house doesn’t get so hot and steamy from the boiling water on the stove.

This is what the corn looks like on the grill when it is all done. I usually bring the garbage can outside so I can keep the mess outside. Then using paper towels on each of my hands as “gloves” I will peel the corn.

After peeling the corn, I will run it under look warm water to wash off the extra husks and tassels that I missed.

Then butter and add a little bit of salt, and you have one of my absolute favorites of summer. Looks like it is one of Keith’s favorites as well. Enjoy!

I also cooked a venison roast on the grill which I had marinated with soy sauce and liquid smoke. Then basted with some honey and topped with cilantro and thyme. This roast, which cooked for about an hour and 15 minutes, ended up almost seared on the outside which kept the inside tender and moist.
Serve with fresh fruit, slice of bread and a glass of milk, and you have a well-balanced summer meal.

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