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!

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