Cold, Wet Spring

uch of our focus this weekend was on rebuilding our chicken coop that burned down last fall prior to Thanksgiving. The kids love building! It is amazing the skills they learn with this type of hands on project.

Yesterday afternoon prior to harvest, I didn’t know what we would have left in the garden. Steve had called and said we had downpours, and he had driven through hail on his way home. I was relieved to find that it appeared that we were fortunate to have skirted the hail and that we had “captured” 2 inches of rain. I think it is rather difficult to really measure that type of downpour. The crop was still standing, and we were still able to have something to harvest.

The cold, wet spring is another story. It is amazing to me how slow many of the “cold” season crops are to grow like the varieties of lettuces and spinach. We really need some heat to provide some growing degree units for the plants. I know that many of us are hopeful that it will come sooner than later. In the meantime, we continue to plant between storms so that when the heat comes we have a variety of produce for everyone.

We also continue to check the crop and look for plant health, insects and weeds. It truly is amazing that even thought the spring is difficult for the plants we need to grow for food, it doesn’t seem to bother the insects nor the weeds.

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.

Both the boys help to harvest the rhubarb. Keith is preparing it to bag.

Both the boys help to harvest the rhubarb. Keith is preparing it to bag.

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. See the recipe of the week for a rhubarb torte recipe. Super easy and fast and great to do with the kids.

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! See how asparagus is harvested on America’s Heartland a PBS TV show about America’s farmers.

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. The link shows you how to freeze your herbs in ice-cube trays.

Fresh cut arrangement – Irises and Hosta leaves…Remember with the Hosta leaves they can last several weeks in a vase of water. After the irises die, take the Hosta leaves out, give them a fresh-cut, and place in fresh water so that they will last longer. The greenery in the house is a day brightener.

We had a few irises for your flowers this week. Next week, hopefully some peonies.

We had a few irises for your flowers this week. Next week, hopefully some peonies.

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.  

Recipe of the Week

We love this recipe for rhubarb torte which is from one of the many fantastic dairy farm families I had the privilege to work with in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. Fast and easy to make with your kids.  Get them involved in cooking now, it is a skill that will last a lifetime.

Rhubarb Torte

First wash the rhubarb, cut off both ends and cut out any damaged parts of the stalk.

First wash the rhubarb, cut off both ends and cut out any damaged parts of the stalk.

Next cut it into 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch pieces.

Next cut it into 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch pieces.

2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons milk 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 cup softened butter Cut together using a fork or a pastry knife.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup softened butter
Cut together using a fork or a pastry knife.

Pat into 9x13 pan. Top with rhubarb.

Pat into 9×13 pan. Top with rhubarb.

6 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch pieces - Put rhubarb over crust.

6 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch pieces – Put rhubarb over crust.

 6 oz package strawberry or raspberry Jello - sprinkle over rhubarb.


6 oz package strawberry or raspberry Jello – sprinkle over rhubarb.

2 cups sugar 1 cup flour 1/2 cup butter Mix and put on top of Jello. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
Mix and put on top of Jello. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

Gently spread topping over other ingredients.

Gently spread topping over other ingredients.

4-10-12 Making rhubarb tort (10)

Enjoy! Delicious right out of the oven with some ice cream. A great way to enjoy this spring crop and celebrate June Dairy Month.

Enjoy! Delicious right out of the oven with some ice cream. A great way to enjoy this spring crop and celebrate June Dairy Month.

Rhubarb Torte

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup softened butter

Cut together using a fork or a pastry knife.  Pat into 9×13 pan.

Topping:2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

Mix and put on top of Jello. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

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