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.

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