This past week has been one filled with plentiful moisture – over 3.5 inches at our place. It is interesting how we go from drought conditions to a spring filled with moisture that has presented many challenges for farmers. This past week, the President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation stated, “April was the second coldest (1975), the second wettest (1999) and the second snowiest (1983) on record. If you’re someone still trying to get the crops in, I don’t have to tell you it has rained (or snowed!) 56 out of the last 85 days. ”
Last Friday, I saw many farmers posting on Facebook that they were still trying to finish their first planting. In addition, it means we have less available feed to feed farm animals in Minnesota. There is a serious shortage. It is important to remember that Friday was the first day of summer – the longest day of the year. So our opportunities for good growing days for crops are declining. They are not just getting shorter in day light but also closer to the days when the snow will fly. Follow this discussion and more on the Minnesota Farmers CARE Facebook page.
So what does this mean to the consumer? This affects our CSA crops and when fresh produce will be available because we simply have not had the heat, and the growing degree days to produce the crops. Although this may affect the crops, it certainly does not slow the weeds down. This is not an excuse. Rather this is the simple science of food production and acceptance of what Mother Nature presents us that is simply out of our control. I believe this is a reason so many farmers have a strong faith in God. Sometimes, all you can do is pray.
Your Boxes of Produce
Please read as this is updated about with specific information on each crop. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your before eating.
Rhubarb – This looks like a delicious rhubarb sauce recipe from a friend and North Dakota farm wife. Highly recommend giving this a try.
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. Some of the crops are ran under cold well water to take the field heat off of them so they last longer in your refrigerators. They are not washed – just cooled. Wash your vegetables before eating. Some fun facts about lettuce. If you are having trouble with getting your kids to try this…well one of my favorites as a child was a leaf of this sprinkled with sugar. LOVE IT!!
Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Some young leaves – remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal!
Beet/Beet Leaves – Many times I have seen in high-end restaurants beet leaves in my salads. Well here is your opportunity. These are young plants that we are thinning out of the rows. It will add color and nutrition to your salads.
- Radishes – Cherry Belle, French Breakfast and purple radishes – yum!! Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads.
Herbs – chives, cilantro, golden oregano and thyme (bags are labeled with the first initial) wash then chop up chives into small pieces. The link shows you how to freeze your herbs in ice-cube trays. This will work great for when you want to make fresh salsa later in this summer.
Fresh cut arrangement –A variety of hosta leaves should last you a few weeks in your house. Lovely greenery to brighten your day.
Pick-up and Delivery
Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA with harvest on Wednesday evenings. 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.