Harvest Joys

Sam and Keith take a break after working hard harvesting the broom corn. They also were great help harvesting popcorn and cutting down corn stalks to clean up the garden this weekend.

I have always enjoyed the fall harvest season. To me, the season reminds me of hard work, satisfaction of a job well done and excitement to see how your efforts have been rewarded. This weekend was all of that.

All four of us worked hard harvesting tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers on Saturday before the frost. On Sunday, we headed back out and spent the afternoon cleaning out all of the vines and corn varieties.

Can you believe that this week is our last week. All ready week 18! I find it quite interesting that both boys have on different occasions and more than once indicated an interest to continue to do this and explained what they liked most about the CSA.

As you can see, hard work reaped a lot of tomatoes that are being distributed at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Sibley Elementary, Northfield Montessori and the local food shelf. As you can see the boys were both exhausted and a bit goofy from their efforts. Thankfully, the frost did not kill the tomato plants, so we still have plenty to harvest. If you are interested, free will donations are excepted with part of the proceeds going to Gillette Children’s Hospital and the American Red Cross.

Saturday night, we did get a frost. So to protect the plants from the cold, we covered the lettuces, spinach, green beans, Dragon Tongue beans and peas on Saturday afternoon. The late plantings are an experiment to see how late we can plant, and how well these varieties perform during this time of the year. If they produce, we will offer the shareholders a bonus box. You will be notified to see if you are interested.

Sam loved the white pumpkins – both the color and their smooth skin.

Keith’s favorite was this warty pumpkin. Odd how only one grew. But still quite an interesting pumpkin!

Note: If you are interested in being included in next year’s CSA. Please let us know. Some shareholders have indicated an interest, and we have also started a waiting list for additional shareholders. This year’s shareholders do have priority. We would appreciate notice of your interest by January 1.

Look for a year-end survey to come in your email box this month. Your input is greatly appreciated.


Thank you to all who provide us feedback as to what you enjoy, and how you are using it. It does provide us with renewed energy and motivation.

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.

Lettuce Blend – Blend includes Prizehead, Red Oak Leaf, spinach and Simpson Elite.

Cucumbers – The stragglers.

Carrots – This crop was a challenge this year. The heavy rains and then the dry weather caused this crop to under perform. We were excited to get some nice carrots out of our pallet gardens thought. We thought you would enjoy a small taste.

Peppers – Green peppers

Butternut Squash – One of our families favorite vegetables. Check last week’s post for how I prepare this vegetable or on Martha Stewart for more ideas.

Winter Carnival Squash– This is a new vegetable for us to try as well. But since the boys love squash, I can’t wait to try it. Here are some links for cooking it and some recipes from Taste of Home.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes, Yukon Golds – great for baking or cooked and Kennebec – great for baking and blue potatoes – try them mashed or as french fries – very colorful and fun.

We have A LOT of tomatoes. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the tomatoes will be given to Gillette Children’s Hospital and American Red Cross. Free will donations accepted. Those not purchased will be donated to the food shelf.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes. Ideas for tomatoes in case you want to purchase an additional for freezing or for canning – fun ideas With the cooler weather, some of you had asked for tomato soup recipes.


Herbs – Parsley, orange thyme, lemon thyme, cilantro and peppermint. Remember you can dry them or you can freeze.

Both boys were troopers. This pumpkin was heavier than it looked! Our Big Max pumpkins grew but not overly large this year. We need some fertilizer in that area of the garden! This white one is a beauty!

Pumpkin – The shareholder’s kids each received a pumpkin for carving or painting for this fall season. Note: if you were looking for something specific let us know, and we can let you know if we have it. Some of these crops were sporadic and/or quantities limited.

As we were harvesting popcorn and discussing how to use it, Steve said that this corn sheller was bought by his Grandpa Gifford for that very process – shelling popcorn. He remembers shelling popcorn when he was a kid…and so the tradition continues. We will pop some of the popcorn by leaving it on the ears, and we will shell some to store in the freezer to use throughout the winter.

Strawberry Popcorn – A surprise in your box this week is Strawberry Popcorn. You can either use it for decoration or to eat! We popped some this weekend for our movie night, and the boys really enjoyed it. We followed these directions. Super easy, and we microwaved it for about as long as we would a bag of microwave popcorn.

So how tall was the broom corn. Taller than Steve, Keith and Sam combined! Some was over 14 feet tall!

Fresh Flowers – Broom corn and gourds.
Recipe of the Week
Pumpkin Chip Muffins
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 – 16 oz can pumpkin or squash (I use squash I have frozen.)
1 – 1/2 cups applesauce
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups miniature chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin/squash and applesauce until smooth. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in miniature chocolate chips. Fill greased  or lined muffin cups 3/4 cups full. Garnish with a few miniature chocolate chips. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 16-20 minutes until they test done. (When you press your finger on the top of the muffin and it pops back up.) Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to cool on wire rack.

We sincerely thank all of you for trusting us and taking the leap of faith on our inaugural year. We greatly appreciate each and every one of you. Your feedback and input have been greatly appreciated. We enjoyed the privilege of working with all of you!


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