Surprises Within

Surprises Within

Every evening and on the weekend mornings, we are excited to get out to the garden to see what garden surprises we will find. It sometimes feels like Christmas, and the boys have even equated it to an Easter egg hunt. It is simply a lot of fun. But these are surprises I anticipate that I am hoping we will find, and I would say that I even expect to find.

In life, I think the surprises that we don’t anticipate but rather you allow yourself to be surprised by are the ones that are the most wonderful. This week, I believe we were blessed to experience one of these surprises. I was in the Fargo-Moorhead region for a few days for work. Prior to my departure, we had discussed what was going on during the week and what needed to be accomplished for the CSA.

Well, it was Tuesday night and Steve was not feeling the best. Pretty soon, Steve awoke to the loud scream from Sam in the entryway saying he needed help. Steve hurried out to the entryway fearing what he might find. To his pleasant surprise, there stood two boys who had been out harvesting cucumbers and their arms were overflowing. Why? Because they new it had to be done, and Dad wasn’t feeling well.

What a wonderful surprise from within. The boys had listened and remembered the conversation from Sunday night. They knew what to do and what sizes of cucumbers to pick. They knew the importance of it, and they did this without being reminded or asked. What a wonderful surprise from within.

Look around you this week to see what surprises from within you can find that will brighten your day. Often times they are right in front of us, and they can be the smallest treasure.

This weekend was a cold one. The morning temperatures were in the mid to high 40s when the average is the mid-60s.

This weekend was a cold one. The morning temperatures were in the mid to high 40s when the average is the mid-60s. Although, it was a gorgeous morning in the garden. It wasn’t the ideal temperatures for the produce. At least we did not have the frost warning that some areas of northern Minnesota had.

Sam loved pulling these beets. He thought they were huge!

Sam loved pulling these beets. He thought they were huge!

Garden Experiments

I thought you may find our variety of trellis systems interesting. We wanted to see how to best maximize our space so we decided to try a variety of systems.

First is our cucumber trellis which are gates at an angle so that as the cucumbers grow that they will hang down through the slats. The gates are a contribution from my parents to the CSA. They are the old fences we used to use when we were raising hogs on the farm.

First is our cucumber trellis which are gates at an angle so that as the cucumbers grow that they will hang down through the slats. The gates are a contribution from my parents to the CSA. They are the old fences we used to use when we were raising hogs on the farm.

Keith and Steve installed irrigation lines for the tomatoes, peppers and vines. The water is collected off of the roof of the shop into a large water tank and pressured through a gravity flow system.

This is a picture of the upright trellis’ behind Keith and Steve.

This is the picture about a month later. The treillis' we are using are old wooden pallets that the lumber yard was giving away and old hog fence gates from my parents. These are upright, but only about 3-4 feet high.

This is the picture about a month later. The trellis’ we are using are old wooden pallets that the lumber yard was giving away and old hog fence gates from my parents. These are upright, but only about 3-4 feet high.

Next we have the hog panels which were 16 foot gates cut in half, pushed and staked into the ground and tied at the top. I am anxious to see how these work out and whether or not we need to make "hammocks" for the pumpkins and squash.

Next, we have the hog panels which were 16 foot gates cut in half, pushed and staked into the ground and tied at the top. I am anxious to see how these work out and whether or not we need to make “hammocks” for the pumpkins and squash.

Keith and I installed this trellis this weekend. We found an old dog gate for free on a garage sale and we had some lathe leftover from a construction project. We installed this on one side of the peas for them to grow up on. Also behind Keith and to the left you will see a smaller teepee system that we made several years ago for the kids to play in.

Keith and I installed these trellis’ this weekend. We found an old dog gate for free on a garage sale, and we had some lathe leftover from a construction project. We installed this on one side of the peas for them to grow up on. Also behind Keith and to the left, you will see a smaller teepee system that we made several years ago for the kids to play in. These tepees have cucumbers and gourds growing on them.

The jury is still out on which system we like. We are anxious to see how the remainder of the growing season goes with the different types of trellis’.

Boxes of Produce

Please remember to return any cups or plastic containers in your box each week. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your before eating.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. These crops have taken a hit with the lack of rain.Prizehead – is the spear like green leaf. Broccoli – A new addition to your boxes this year. Let us know what you think of this variety of broccoli. Enjoy it fresh or cooked on the grill. Learn more about broccoli here. Onions – A few fresh onions to put in a recipe here or there.

The boys were all picking peas this weekend for my parents who are also CSA members. Since they live a few hours away, we get the produce to them when we can and when someone is heading that way. Thank you Tracy Modory for helping us on that delivery!

The boys were all picking peas this weekend for my parents who are also CSA members. Since they live a few hours away, we get the produce to them when we can and when someone is heading that way. Thank you Tracy Modory for helping us on that delivery!

Sugar Snap Peas – This is a favorite. Wash, eat the whole pod. Learn more about this healthy vegetable.

Digging potatoes can be like digging for gold. But they are second behind the M&Ms jar that I have had stashed in the wheelbarrows this summer for helping in the garden.

Digging potatoes can be like digging for gold. But they are second behind the M&Ms jar that I have had stashed in the wheelbarrows this summer for helping in the garden.

Potatoes – a few fresh Norland red potatoes for you. We were so excited to dig up the first plants last night. We scrubbed them with a scrub brush, leaving the skins on, boiled for about 20 minutes and made some beautiful mashed potatoes.

Cucumbers – The harvest is beginning. Enjoy!

Boy are the summer squash and zuchinni growing like crazy!

Boy are the summer squash and zucchini growing like crazy!

Summer Squash Medley and Zucchini – If your kids want to measure a zucchini/summer squash and watch it grow for a week, let me know. It really is amazing how fast they grow.

Herbs – Golden Oregano, Red Rubin Basil, dill and cilantro (bags are labeled with the first initial). Some good information on dill from the University of Minnesota and Wikipedia.

Fresh cut arrangement – A variety went out in your boxes as I had enough variety but not enough of one type for each of you. So the varieties included: Sunflowers or Zinnias with Hosta leaves.

Recipe of the Week

While trying a few new summer squash and zucchini recipes out this past week, the discussion turned to, “I bet they would taste better with chocolate.” My response was, “Let’s try zucchini brownies.” To which I heard some exuberant cheers. So while I would have liked to have baked them this past weekend. My baking was focused on birthday cake. We will try them this week. Here is the recipe from Taste of Home that we will try.

Zucchini Brownies

 
Ingredients
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1/3 cup baking cocoa
•1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
•1 teaspoon salt
•2 cups shredded zucchini
•1-1/2 cups sugar
•3/4 cup vegetable oil (I will substitute with applesauce.)
•1/2 cup chopped walnuts
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
 
Frosting
•1/4 cup butter, cubed
•1 cup sugar
•1/4 cup milk
•1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
•1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional 
 
•In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, sugar and oil; stir into dry ingredients until blended. Stir in walnuts and vanilla.•Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° F. for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
 
•In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in sugar and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook and stir 1 minute or until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in chips and marshmallows until melted and smooth; add vanilla. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired. Yield: 2 dozen.
Garden Treasurers

Garden Treasurers

The boys often times ride their bikes down to the garden so excited to see what is "growing" on. Here they just discovered several pumpkins growing, and they are pretty big. These are the plants they started from seed at the end of March.

The boys often times ride their bikes down to the garden so excited to see what is “growing” on. Here they just discovered several pumpkins growing, and they are pretty big. These are the plants they started from seed at the end of March.

One of the most enjoyable parts of growing the garden is the daily, joyful discoveries. There is always something new to find and something that is changing and growing.

Our first potatoes of the season. It's like digging for gold!

Our first potatoes of the season. It’s like digging for gold!

Garden Experiments

I have told many of you that we have a lot of experiments and science projects going on in the garden. One of my friends who grew and sold vegetables with his kids from the time they were young through high school told me that there was a reason his kids were majoring in science in college. It was because there were new science experiments every year in the garden.

One of the goals this year was to maximize our space so we wanted to try to interplant between a few rows. We have planted onions between the tomato and pepper rows. So far this is going well.

One of the goals this year was to maximize our space so we wanted to try to inter-plant between a few rows. We have planted onions between the tomato and pepper rows. So far this is going well. And we have planted green beans between some of the vine rows. The green beans are flowering so we are hopeful for next week.

Here is a look at the onions between the tomato rows.

Here is a look at the onions between the tomato rows. The jury is still out but so far so good. Sam is busy looking for red tomatoes.

Boxes of Produce

Please remember to return any cups or plastic containers in your box each week. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your before eating.

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.

Prizehead – is the spear like green leaf.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – a beautiful addition to your salads or sandwiches.

Don't worry, trying new things is common place here as well. Taste testing and other coaxing does occur. The good news every time Sam has said, "I really do like it!"

Don’t worry, trying new things is common place here as well. Taste testing and other coaxing does occur. The good news, every time Sam has said, “I really do like it!”

Broccoli – A new addition to your boxes this year. Let us know what you think of this variety of broccoli. Enjoy it fresh or cooked on the grill. Learn more about broccoli here.

Onions – A few fresh onions to put in a recipe here or there. Enjoy on a brat this weekend!

Carrots – The carrots seem to like the soil in our pallet garden the best. Believe it or not these were planted April 20. They are a good demonstration of the unusual growing season.

I need to give a shout out to Steve. The day of harvest he spends between 1-2 hours picking peas. He is usually up at 5 a.m. to start the process. Thanks Steve!!

I need to give a shout out to Steve. The day of harvest he spends between 1-2 hours picking peas. He is usually up at 5 a.m. to start the process. Thanks Steve!!

Sugar Snap Peas – This is a favorite. Wash, eat the whole pod. Learn more about this healthy vegetable.

The first red potato of the season was discovered this week as we were pulling weeds. A potato plant accidently was pulled and what a fun discovery we found! Let the potato harvest begin!

The first red potato of the season was discovered this week as we were pulling weeds. A potato plant accidentally was pulled and what a fun discovery we found! Let the potato harvest begin!

Potatoes – a few fresh Norland red potatoes for you. We were so excited to dig up the first plants last night. We scrubbed them with a scrub brush, leaving the skins on, boiled for about 20 minutes and made some beautiful mashed potatoes.

Summer Squash Medley and Zucchini – Check out variety of ideas for how to use this delicious summer treat. Here are a few basics that you might find helpful. Try these Top 10 Taste of Home zucchini recipes. Remember if your kids want to measure a zucchini/summer squash and see how much it grows in a week, let me know. Last week, Claire measured a summer squash at 2 3/4 inches. This week at harvest it was 9 inches.

Rhubarb – One last taste of this garden favorite. See the pie recipe below.

Herbs – Golden Oregano, Red Rubin Basil, Curly Leaf Parsley and cilantro (bags are labeled with the first initial). Wash then freeze in small portions in ice-cube trays.

Zinnias are in full bloom. Another round is growing.

Zinnias are in full bloom. Another round is growing. Picture by Keith.

Fresh cut arrangement – A variety went out in your boxes as I had enough variety but not enough of one type for each of you. So the varieties included: Sunflowers or Zinnias with Hosta leaves.

Recipe of the Week

This past week was our county fair. For any 4-Her, the fair brings back many memories. One of my fondest memories of the fair was my many baking projects.

Throughout the summer, I would bake different recipes of the project that I was going to bring to the fair. My mom, dad and brothers along with my Grandpa Hollie provided me honest feedback on each and every recipe until at last, the final selection was made. This was a fun and a brave project for all involved (since you never knew quite how the recipe would turn out). In the end, I always learned something, my family was generally well fed, and the majority of my projects fared well ending usually in a blue, reserve or champion. This particular pie crust recipe was a champion recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does.

Pie Crust

2 cups flour

1 cup Crisco

2 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup milk

Cut together flour, Crisco, sugar and salt. Then mix together milk and egg yolk. Mix into flour mixture. Divide dough into two balls of dough.  May be stored unbaked for several days in the refrigerator.

Rhubarb Pie

4 cups rhubarb cut into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

In large mixing bowl stir together above ingredients. Pour into pie pan layered with pie crust (one ball of dough rolled out and then put into pie pan).  Top rhubarb mixture with about 2 Tablespoons of stick butter cut into smaller pieces. Top with other pie crust. Roll edges under to make the pie crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Cut vent holes (I usually etch my initials in the top for the vent holes). Cover outside edges of crust with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. Bake at 375 degrees F for 50 minutes – 1 hour or until you stick a fork in through the vent holes and the rhubarb is tender, and the top is golden brown.

Rhubarb Pie Tutorial

When rhubarb is harvested it is pulled from the ground. The white ends are what was pulled out of the ground and the leaves are cut off of the other side.

When rhubarb is harvested it is pulled from the ground. The white ends are what was pulled out of the ground, and the leaves are cut off of the other side.

Wash the rhubarb and cut off the white ends, any damaged areas and provide a fresh cut to the other side if it has become slightly dried out.

Before washing, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the rhubarb and cut off the white ends, any damaged areas and provide a fresh-cut to the other side if it has become slightly dried out.

Cut into 1/4 -1/2 inch pieces.

Cut into 1/4 -1/2 inch pieces.

To the 4 cups of cut rhubarb add 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of flour.

To the 4 cups of cut rhubarb add 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of flour.

Mix and set aside.

Mix and set aside.

Using a pie cutter mix together 2 cups flour, 1 cup Crisco, 2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Using a pie cutter mix together 2 cups flour, 1 cup Crisco,        2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix together 1/3 cup of milk and 1 egg yolk. Add to pie crust flour mixture. Mix. Then split dough into two portions and roll into large softball like balls.

Mix together 1/3 cup of milk and 1 egg yolk. Add to pie crust flour mixture. Mix. Then split dough into two portions and roll into large softball like balls. Set aside and prepare area to roll out the dough.

Spread out your flour on your pastry cloth.

Spread out your flour on your pastry cloth.

Roll your rolling pin with your pastry sock in the flour and push all extra flour onto one side in a pile.

Roll your rolling-pin with your pastry sock in the flour and push all extra flour to the far top edge of your pastry cloth in a line so that you can roll your rolling-pin on the pile of flour to coat the pastry sock with flour before rolling out your top crust.

Place your ball of dough on your pastry cloth. Proceed to flatten by "chopping" your hand gently three times across the dough both ways.  Then roll out into a circle that is slightly larger then your pie pan.

Place your ball of dough on your pastry cloth. Proceed to flatten by “chopping” your hand gently three times across the dough both ways. This will begin your process of forming a circle. Then roll out into a circle that is slightly larger than your pie pan.

Roll your rolling pin over your crust gently rolling the crust onto the rolling pan so that you can pick it up and gently roll it back out over your pie pan. Once the bottom crust is in, pour out your rhubarb mixture and spread out evenly in your pie plate. Top with about 2 Tablespoons of butter that has been cut into dabs to place all over the top of the pie filling. Then roll your dough over your rolling pin and proceed to roll it back out over the top of the pie.

Roll your rolling-pin over your crust gently rolling the crust onto the rolling pan so that you can pick it up and gently roll it back out over your pie pan. Once the bottom crust is in, place your rhubarb mixture over the bottom crust and spread out evenly in your pie plate. Top with about 2 Tablespoons of butter that has been cut into dabs to place all over the top of the pie filling. Then roll your dough over your rolling-pin and proceed to roll it back out over the top of the pie. Picture by Sam.
Rolling the dough on the edges under taking off any access. Brush top of crust with milk. Extra dough can be rolled out again brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar mixture, rolled up again in small pieces and baked for about 6 minutes. Great snack!

To form your crust around the edge. Roll the dough on the edges under taking off any access. Brush top of crust with milk. Extra dough can be rolled out again brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar mixture, rolled up again in small pieces and baked for about 6 minutes. Great snack!

Cut vent holes in the top using a steak knife. I usually cut out my initials. Cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Cut vent holes in the top using a steak knife. I usually cut out my initials. Cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes. Somebody was very excited to help make this pie!

Rhubarb pie complete! Yummy!

Rhubarb pie complete! Yummy!

Enjoy the fresh rhubarb pie (the last of the season) with your ice cream. What a delicious treat! Enjoy!

Enjoy the fresh rhubarb pie (the last of the season) with your ice cream. What a delicious treat! Enjoy!

Heat and Humidity Abound

Keith weeded and weeded some more. Sam, weeded some but then decided he needed to be the one to transport the weeds from the garden into a pile. It all worked, and in the end the kids were rewarded with some homemade M&M cookies.

Keith weeded and weeded some more. Sam, weeded some but then decided he needed to be the one to transport the weeds from the garden into a pile. It all worked, and in the end the kids were rewarded with some homemade M&M cookies and a few life lessons.

The heat and humidity are great for plant growth. Unfortunately, that also means weeds and lots of them! We visited Steve’s family over the 4th of July and upon our return we quickly noticed how the weeds had decided to overtake everything. So before we left to see my family this past weekend, I said, “We are not leaving until we have weeded for at least one hour.”

This brought many sighs since everyone wanted to get on the road. But we were able to accomplish a lot. In the end, I hope they learned:

1. Hard work is important.

2. It is more fun when done as a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More).

3. It feels good to see what you have accomplished.

4. Let’s make it fun – play some music, be a little goofy and reward yourself for your hard work (pizza and homemade cookies:).

And yes, upon our return, we did spend some more time out in the garden weeding. But you could definitely see where we had weeded before we left, and how much the crops had appreciated it.

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.

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.

Spinach – Happy to have this back – seems to be a challenging year to get this to grow.

Prizehead – is the spear like green leaf.

The broccoli is growing like crazy.

The broccoli is growing like crazy.

Broccoli – A new addition to your boxes this year. Let us know what you think of this variety of broccoli. Enjoy it fresh or cooked on the grill. Learn more about broccoli on America’s Heartland.

Beets – I love beets. Truly one of my favorites out of the garden. Steve on the other hand says they taste like dirt. Remember you can cut off the leaves and eat them in your salad. Eat the stems like a swiss chard and eat the root.
 
Cooking beets in the microwave – When preparing the root to eat, scrub them like a potato. Then cut the stem about an inch or so above the root bulb. Place in a large bowl with about an inch of water in it and cover with saran wrap. Place in your microwave and cook until tender – when you can smell them cooking stop and test to see if you can stick a fork in it. Set aside for about 5 minutes and peel. I use a paper towel to help me rub the skin right off of the beet. Then I slice the beet so that they are round as if you were slicing a carrot into circles and/or into chunks. Put butter over the beet and enjoy!
 
Onions – Are growing better this week. I thought you may be like our family. A fresh onion to put in a recipe here or there – say brats fresh of the grill – may be a real treat. More to come throughout the season.
 
Carrots – just a small taste. They certainly do not appear to like our growing season. But we will keep trying:)
 
Sugar Snap Peas – This is a favorite. Wash, eat the whole pod. Check out the variety of recipes. Also, did you know that Minnesota is the largest grower of peas for processing in the United States. I just saw some harvesting occurring this past week. It is a neat crop to see harvested.

Summer Squash Medley – Check out variety of ideas for how to use this delicious summer treat. Here are a few basics that you might find helpful.

Herbs – Thyme, Curly Leaf Parsley and cilantro (bags are labeled with the first initial). Wash then freeze in small portions in ice-cube trays.
Sam was excited to see the Zinnia's blooming. I find it very funny that he is so gently holding the flower while his shirt says, "I like to crush stuff."

Sam was excited to see the Zinnia’s blooming. I find it very funny that he is so gently holding the flower while his shirt says, “I like to crush stuff.”

Fresh cut arrangement –  A variety went out in your boxes as I had enough variety but not enough of one type for each of you. So the varieties included: Hydrangea or Tiger Lily or Zinnias with Hosta leaves. Enjoy the colors were wonderful!

Recipe of the Week

Broccoli on the Grill

1/2 head of broccoli

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Lemon Pepper or other seasoning as desired

Wash and break up broccoli into bite-size pieces. Place on aluminum foil that has been sprayed with a cooking spray. Add butter and lemon pepper. Wrap up in foil. Place on medium low heat on the grill for 10-15 minutes (until tender). Turn once. Sprinkle cheese on it and let it set for a few minutes to it melts. Enjoy!

Wash and break apart your broccoli. Here I also used some kohlrabi. Place them on a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. I double wrap in the aluminum foil so that it doesn't bubble out on the grill. Season to taste.

Wash and break apart your broccoli. Here I also used some kohlrabi. Place them on a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. I double wrap in the aluminum foil so that it doesn’t bubble out on the grill. Season to taste.

Wrap up the vegetables, butter and seasoning. Place on the grill for about 15 minutes turning half way through - say at 8 minutes.

Wrap up the vegetables, butter and seasoning. Place on the grill for about 15 minutes turning half way through – say at 8 minutes.

After you have taken the vegetables off the grill, open up the aluminum foil and cover with your cheddar cheese. Close it back up and let it sit for a few minutes so that it melts and serve.

After you have taken the vegetables off the grill, open up the aluminum foil and cover with your cheddar cheese. Close it back up and let it sit for a few minutes so that it melts and serve.

Measurable Growth

Checking out new things in the garden is always a treasure hunt with lots of smiles and excitement.

Checking out new things in the garden is always a treasure hunt with l.ots of smiles and excitement. There are a variety of items growing like crazy these hot, humid days and nights really do provide great growing days for the plants.

This past weekend we went to Ohio to visit the Harner’s. As I mentioned last week, we had done a lot of staking and putting up trellis’, it is a good thing we did because upon our return we saw significant growth in the vines as well as the other crops and of course the weeds! But with this we saw a great opportunity to see how much the different crops might grow during the week. So Keith and I did some measuring, which I noted below in the pictures. I would love to have each of the families, if they are interested, measure a crop, tag it as their own and see how much that particular squash etc might grow during the week. Let me know if you are interested, and we will get that started next week at pick up.

While we were in Ohio, a lot of growing occurred. Keith and I measured some of the summer squash to see how much they grow this week.

While we were in Ohio, a lot of growing occurred. Keith and I measured some of the summer squash to see how much they will grow this week. We measured on Monday morning and on Wednesday at harvest time some of them had grown around 2 more inches.

The potatoes are in full bloom with a variety of colors. Each variety of potato has a different color bloom. Looking forward to fresh potatoes in the near future.

The potatoes are in full bloom with a variety of colors. Each variety of potato has a different color bloom. Looking forward to fresh potatoes in the near future.

The ornamental corn really grew. The storms on Tuesday caused a bit of havoc with the corn blowing much of it over so that it is leaning. Thankfully it was not flattened.

The ornamental corn really grew. The storms on Tuesday caused a bit of havoc with the corn – blowing much of it over so that it is leaning. Thankfully it was not flattened.

Sugar snap peas a CSA favorite.

Sugar snap peas a CSA favorite.

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.

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.

Red Ruby Lettuce – Remember this crop is ran under cold well water to take the field heat off. They are not washed – just cooled. So remember to wash your vegetables before eating. Adds great color to your salads.

Spinach – So happy to have this back in your boxes this week. Enjoy!

Prizehead – is the spear like green leaf.

The remaining kohlrabi was harvested this week. I have planted another round that I hope will be ready this fall.

The remaining kohlrabi was harvested this week. I have planted another round that I hope will be ready this fall.

Kohlrabi – We had a lot of requests for this crop last year. In German, this crop means cabbage turnip. Basically it describes the texture and the taste – truly a pleasant surprise that can be eaten raw or cooked. The purple are Purple Vienna and the green are Early White Vienna. You can eat both the bulbs and the leaves. Check out this information to get the how to instructions. This link discusses eating the leaves.

I loved this picture that Keith took of the sugar snap peas with the rain drops.

I loved this picture that Keith took of the sugar snap peas with the rain drops.

Sugar Snap Peas – This is a favorite. Wash, eat the whole pod. Enjoy! More to come in the upcoming weeks.

Summer Squash Medley – Check out Taste of Home’s variety of ideas for how to use this delicious summer treat.

Cilantro

Cilantro

Herbs – cilantro, golden oregano and lemon thyme (bags are labeled with the first initial). Wash then freeze in small portions in ice cube trays.

Fresh cut arrangement –  Double Play Big Bang Spirea flowers and Hosta leaves 

When we are working in the garden, the boys also find a lot of time to tame kittens. In fact, it is very amazing to watch boys go from rough and tough to very gentle and kind with the kittens.

When we are working in the garden, the boys also find a lot of time to tame kittens. In fact, it is very amazing to watch boys go from rough and tough to very gentle and kind with the kittens.

Busy Weekend – Much Accomplished

A lot of excitement about new things growing every day. The boys were so excited to finally be able to pull carrots and eat them right out of the garden.

A lot of excitement about new things growing every day. The boys were so excited to finally be able to pull carrots and eat them right out of the garden.

Next they found peppers growing.

Next, they found peppers growing.

A variety of peppers. Sam pointed out that they looked a little different then the other ones and he is right. We have a couple varieties planted.

A variety of peppers. Sam pointed out that they looked a little different then the other ones, and he is right. We have a couple of varieties planted.

Summer squash really loved this weather this past week and grew like crazy.

Summer squash really loved this weather this past week and grew like crazy.

This weekend everyone worked really hard. First, we put up a variety of trellisis for the vines to grow on using old hog fences from my mom and dad's farm and also some large wooden pallets from the lumber yard.

This weekend, everyone worked really hard. First, we put up a variety of trellis’ for the vines to grow on using old hog fences from my mom and dad’s farm and also some large wooden pallets from the lumber yard.

The cucumber trellis is at an angle so that as the cucumber grow they will drop down through the openings and stay clean and grow straight.

The cucumber trellis is at an angle so that as the cucumbers grow they will drop down through the openings and stay clean and grow straight.

We also have some teepee systems that Steve built when the boys were little. We try to make the trellis systems both practical, a good use of space and fun for the kids if at all possible.

We also have some teepee systems that Steve built when the boys were little. We try to make the trellis systems both practical, a good use of space and fun for the kids if at all possible.

Sam also had fun assisting Steve as he put up giant tepee styled trellis' over a few rows. We are anxious to see how these hold up in the wind and how the vines grow on them.

Sam also had fun assisting Steve as he put up giant tepee styled trellis’ over a few rows. We are anxious to see how these hold up in the wind, and how the vines grow on them.

We planted more varieties of lettuce, spinach, flowers, herbs carrots, green beans and sugar snap peas.

We planted more varieties of lettuce, spinach, flowers, herbs, carrots, green beans and sugar snap peas.

Keith and Steve installed irrigation lines for the tomatoes, peppers and vines. The water is collected off of the roof of the shop into a large water tank and pressured through a gravity flow system.

Keith and Steve installed irrigation lines for the tomatoes, peppers and vines. The water is collected off of the roof of the shop into a large water tank and pressured through a gravity flow system.

We also staked up the tomatoes. What we didn't capture is all the weeding that was accomplished.

We also staked up the tomatoes and were excited to find a lot of tomatoes growing. What we didn’t capture is all the weeding that was accomplished.

At the end of all of this, we were exhausted. But the boys had fun helping, looking for insects, learning the differences between the weeds, dancing to the music and some water fun. At the end of all of it, celebrating with some good food, a thank you and a hug for the job well done...well and as the boys would say some chocolate and ice cream help to:)

At the end of all of this, we were exhausted. But the boys had fun helping, looking for insects, learning the differences between the weeds, dancing to the music and some water fun. At the end of all of it, celebrating with some good food, a thank you and a hug for the job well done…well and as the boys would say some chocolate and ice cream help to:)

Your Boxes of Produce

I see choices for a cook out – with lettuces to top your hamburger, herbs to flavor your favorite cut of meat, cabbage and kohlrabi for a delicious coleslaw, summer squash to put on your grill and flowers to decorate your table. Enjoy your 4th of July celebrations with family and friends as we remember all the wonderful freedoms and opportunities our great USA offers. Don’t forget to say a prayer for all those who work every day to protect our freedoms. Enjoy!

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.

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.

Red Ruby Lettuce – Remember this crop is ran under cold well water to take the field heat off. They are not washed – just cooled. So remember to wash your vegetables before eating. Adds great color to your salads.

Kohlrabi – We had a lot of requests for this crop last year. In German, this crop means cabbage turnip. Basically it describes the texture and the taste – truly a pleasant surprise that can be eaten raw or cooked. The purple are Purple Vienna and the green are Early White Vienna. You can eat both the bulbs and the leaves. Check out this information to get the how to instructions. This link discusses eating the leaves.

Green Cabbage – See how they grow big cabbages in Alaska. Check out the recipes.

Summer Squash Medley – Check out Martha Stewart’s variety of ideas for how to use this delicious summer treat.

Herbs – 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 – Double Play Big Bang Spirea flowers. In a vase by themselves or with your hosta leaves, they will brighten up your house.

Pick-up and Delivery

1. 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 or someone in need.

2. Each box is labeled for each family.  The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season.

3. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Recipe of the Week

Grilled Turkey with Herbs

A lot of grilling will be happening across our great nation this weekend. Use your herbs.

A lot of grilling will be happening across our great nation this weekend. Happy 4th of July!! Use your herbs.

Simply drizzle honey over your turkey and place any combination of herbs. I chose golden oregano and cilantro. Grill until the internal temperature of the meat is at 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy!