Giving Thanks

Every day we go out to the garden to see what has grown and changed. We found a lot was "growing" on.

Every day we go out to the garden to see what has grown and changed. We found a lot “growing” on.

As we said our prayers tonight, both of the boys gave thanks for all of you, our CSA members. While this surprised me a bit, it also gave me great satisfaction. Satisfaction in the fact that the boys are learning some of the qualities that we want them to learn from the CSA. What qualities you may ask?

  • First, we want them to learn hard work, common sense, practical hands on knowledge and farm family togetherness. They need to understand how important our commitment is to growing quality food and upholding our commitments to all of your families. These, I believe are in-born qualities that we are simply allowing to grow and develop in our children. So thank you for helping us to do so.
  • Second, it is our rule that when our member families come for the CSA pick-up, before they play, THEY MUST take their friends out in the garden and TEACH them something about what is growing, show them insects, teach them weed identification…something about what has happened out there this week. As part of the CSA, it is a priority that Keith and Sam learn how to effectively communicate and teach others about how their food is grown.
  • Third, but certainly not last we want them to learn what it means to give to others. It is giving through growing food for your families, sharing additional produce with families in need and learning how to use the money they have earned…donating to worthy causes (they have selected the American Red Cross and Gillette’s Children’s Hospital), saving and/or learning responsible money management.

On another note, the weather has been a “perfect storm” of sorts: a drought last year, minimal snow cover over the winter which provides a protective insulation to perennial crops and a wet spring. These conditions are making for challenging growing conditions. So your patience is appreciated. It doesn’t seem to matter when we planted, God is teaching us patience…that all will come in its own time.

Sam wanted to take a look at a corn root. He was surprised to find the roots coming out of the seed that he had planted, but understood that is where the plant's life begins.

Sam wanted to take a look at a corn root. He was surprised to find the roots coming out of the seed that he had planted, but understood that is where the plant’s life begins.

Learn more about corn development and what Sam is examining from Purdue University.

As Sam examined the potato's he found some potato bugs. He was picking them off and squashing them. As he did this I heard him say, "Stop eating my potato plants you crazy bugs!" We have planted some marigolds and dill to help generate beneficial insects to eat the potato bugs this year.

As Sam examined the potato’s he found some potato bugs. He was picking them off and squashing them. As he did this I heard him say, “Stop eating my potato plants you crazy bugs!” We have planted some marigolds and dill to help generate beneficial insects to eat the potato bugs this year.

 

I always find it interesting to see what Keith takes a photo of. Stepping back to see the world through someone else's view is refreshing! Tonight, one of his photos was of the blue popcorn peeking out of the soil. The exciting news is that while the blue popcorn was on back order, it has come in and has been planted. Now let's pray that the end result will be our ability this fall to provide our shareholders with red, white and blue popcorn:)

I always find it interesting to see what Keith takes a photo of. Stepping back to see the world through someone else’s view is refreshing! Tonight, one of his photos was of the blue popcorn peeking out of the soil. The exciting news is that while the blue popcorn was on back order, it has come in and has been planted. Now let’s pray that the end result will be our ability this fall to provide our shareholders with red, white and blue popcorn:)

 

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 – I wanted to update you about the rhubarb. We anticipate this back in your box next week and for a few weeks following. We hope you appreciate the break this week. The several reasons why there is no rhubarb. Some of you may know that in addition to the CSA the boys also sell the rhubarb for $3 per pound with $1 of every pound donated to Gillette’s Children’s Hospital and the American Red Cross. Both charities they selected. Well, this week we had a request for 40#.

We knew that the patch needed a good harvest and in doing so would open the patch up for the opportunity for good regrowth if given cooperative growing conditions which means a longer growing season and better quality rhubarb and in the end more rhubarb for our CSA members. Some of you had asked how long will this crop last? Doesn’t it get bitter and/or not as tasty later on in the season? Well this should help the rhubarb to taste like it does earlier on in the season.

So after much discussion, we all agreed that a good harvest would benefit a lot more people. Thank you for your understanding and look for it in the box for the next few weeks.

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. So remember to wash your vegetables before eating. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

Spinach – remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal! Check out some of Martha Stewart’s spinach recipes.

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 – eat the whole plant. It will add color and nutrition to your salads. Learn more here.

Keith was excited to find three different types of radishes: French, Cherry Belle and Purple.

Keith was excited to find three different types of radishes: French, Cherry Belle and Purple.

Radishes – Cherry Belle, French Breakfast and purple radishes – yum!! Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Here are some additional ideas and information on this crop.

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. I heard some of you were excited about the cilantro and using it in your tacos and taco salads. What a great idea that we will have to try!

Fresh cut arrangement –Peonies, I hope they make your house smell fabulous. Truly one of my favorite flowers.

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.  

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