First Delivery of the Season

Look what is growing...sugar snap peas.

Look what is growing…sugar snap peas. A lot of germination took place in the garden this past week. But the lack of warm weather is really challenging plant growth and plant health. We are sure hoping that the weather forecast next week is correct with normal to warmer temperatures.

Welcome!

Welcome to all of our shareholders. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you and for you through out the growing season. We work hard to earn your trust and respect in the food that we grow for your families and ours!

While our boxes weren’t quite as full as we had hoped, the great news is that delivery has started, and as the season progresses, you will continue to see your culinary options grow. The garden planting schedule and growth have been challenging and slow due to the cold spring, and the plants are not getting the necessary growing degree days to reach maturity. On the upside our drought has subsided, and this is a blessing. Check out this interactive drought monitor map to see how the drought has changed over the last few months.

We are excited to see the daily changes and growth in the garden. Look for weekly blog posts for guidance through the season.

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.  

Sam helped Steve re-till part of the garden to finish planting some broom corn as well as another planting of sugar snap peas and green beans.

Sam helped Steve re-till part of the garden to finish planting some broom corn as well as another planting of sugar snap peas and green beans.

But what is Sam's end goal when we are in the garden...finding worms for his worm farm.

But what is Sam’s end goal when we are in the garden…finding worms for his worm farm.

Your 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 before eating.

Rhubarb – one pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind or hail, chop into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces. 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 earlier posts on rhubarb for recipe ideas.

Asparagus – wash and run a knife gently over the darker arrow pieces on the stem. Cut into 1 inch pieces and place in microwave for a few minutes. Follow your microwave directions. Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese – the boys absolutely love it this way!

Radishes – wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt.

Herbs – chives, lemon thyme, golden oregano and thyme (bags are labeled with the first initial) wash then chop up chives into small pieces.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves…these last forever in a vase of water. After a week, give them a fresh cut, and they will last longer. The greenery in the house is a day brightener.

Keith planted the peas. We are hopeful this will improve soil health in this area of the garden. Peas are a legume which is a plant that has nodules on its roots which naturally put nitrogen back into the soil. Other plants that are also legumes include alfalfa and soybeans.

Keith planted the peas. We are hopeful this will improve soil health in this area of the garden. Peas are a legume which is a plant that has nodules on its roots which naturally put nitrogen back into the soil. Other plants that are also legumes include alfalfa and soybeans.

Keith helped plant the vines in our mulch this week. This included transplanting plants we started earlier this spring, as well as, starting some by seed.

Keith helped plant the vines in our mulch this week. This included transplanting plants we started earlier this spring, as well as, starting some by seed.

Recipe of the Week

Our family loves this recipe – this is the jam in our refrigerator. I make a variety (blueberry, cherry, strawberry, raspberry) and place in the freezer. When we need another jar of jam, I simply thaw it out in the refrigerator. If we are running low on our supply of jam, I go to the freezer and take out some rhubarb that I have already chopped up and frozen in a Ziploc bag, premeasured with the bag labeled 6 cups rhubarb and stock up on our supply.

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 ounce Jello (use Jello that is of the same flavor as the pie filling). Mix well. Pour into containers. Refrigerate or freeze.

Wash you rhubarb under cold running water. Cut off each end and cut out any bad spots. Cut it into 1/4 inch pieces. I believe in engaging the kids in the process. Everything does take a tad longer now but should empower them to do more in the end.

Wash you rhubarb under cold running water. Cut off each end and cut out any bad spots. Cut it into 1/4 inch pieces. I believe in engaging the kids in the process and teaching them safety along the way. Everything does take a tad longer now but should empower them to do more in the end.

A view of what the rhubarb will look like after cutting it up.

A view of what the rhubarb will look like after cutting it up.

Measure out your sugar. Take a knife in run it over the top of your measuring cup. Did you know that Minnesota is the number one producer of sugarbeets in the nation. Sugarbeets are used to make granular, powder and brown sugars and molasses.

Measure out your sugar. Take a knife and run it over the top of your measuring cup. Did you know that Minnesota is the number one producer of sugarbeets in the nation? Sugarbeets are used to make granular, powder and brown sugars and molasses.

Check out sugarbeet harvest in Minnesota’s Red River Valley. So proud to be able to work with the featured farmer!

Mix together 6 cups of sliced rhubarb with 3 cups of sugar.

Mix together 6 cups of sliced rhubarb with 3 cups of sugar.

Mix in the sugar coating the rhubarb. Let it sit until it makes its own juice and most of the granular sugar has changed into sugar juice. This takes about an hour or so. I go back and mix it every so often.

Mix in the sugar, coating the rhubarb. Let it sit until it makes its own juice and most of the granular sugar has changed into sugar juice. This takes about an hour or so. I go back and mix it every so often.

Once the juice has formed, place on the stove over medium heat and add 1 can of cherry, blueberry, raspberry or strawberry pie filling. Cook for 20 minutes.

Once the juice has formed, place on the stove over medium heat and add 1 can of cherry, blueberry, raspberry or strawberry pie filling. Cook for 20 minutes.

Cook for 20 minutes once the pie filling is mixed in. Stir constantly and bring to a boil.

Stir constantly and bring to a boil.

The rhubarb will begin a gentle boil. Turn the heat down so it is not in a rapid boil but rather a simmering boil.

The rhubarb will begin a gentle boil. Turn the heat down so it is not in a rapid boil but rather a simmering boil.

Take off the stove and stir in 1 (3 oz) package of Jello. So for raspberry pie filling, I use raspberry Jello. Stir until dissolved. I have not noticed a difference in the end result if I use the regular or the sugar free. Both turn out delicious.

Take off the stove and stir in 1 (3 oz) package of Jello. So for raspberry pie filling, I use raspberry Jello. Stir until dissolved. I have not noticed a difference in the end result if I use the regular or the sugar free. Both turn out delicious.

The boys are both great help in the kitchen. Here they are gently stirring in a 3 oz package of Jello until dissolved.

The boys are both great help in the kitchen. Here they are gently stirring in a 3 oz package of Jello until dissolved.

Using a ladel and a canning funnel, gently pour the hot mixture into your jars.

Using a ladle and a canning funnel, gently pour the hot mixture into your jars.

We are grateful that we received Steve's Grandpa and Grandma Gifford's canning and gardening gadgets and tools. They make these projects easier and more fun. What boy doesn't love an interesting gadget or tool. In this photo, you guessed it - the gadget from the Gifford's was the funnel.

We are grateful that we received Steve’s Grandpa and Grandma Gifford’s canning and gardening gadgets and tools. They make these projects easier and more fun. What boy doesn’t love an interesting gadget. In this photo, you guessed it – the gadget from the Gifford’s was the funnel.

After the jar is full, use a clean wet wash cloth and wipe off the top of the jar and wipe off any spills on the jar. Tighten up the lid and label your jar. Place in refrigerator to cool the jam down. Place in freezer after a day or two days. Enjoy!

After the jar is full, use a clean wet wash cloth and wipe off the top of the jar and wipe off any spills on the jar. Tighten up the lid and label your jar. Place in refrigerator to cool the jam down. Place in freezer after a day or two days. Enjoy!

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