Final Stretch

We hope you enjoyed your family's pumpkins this week. Next week we will have more fall decorations.

We hope you enjoyed your family’s pumpkins this week. Next week, we will have more fall decorations.

Today, as I flew into Washington, D.C. my prayers were often as I thought of all those who died on this day 12 years ago. My spirit was lifted as we flew into D.C., and I saw huge USA flags draping down on several large buildings. I was reminded, while our country continues to go through many challenges…the constant is our blessings of our Freedoms.

God Bless America and God Bless all who have fought and died to protect them and God bless their families. Our gratitude seems so small compared to their sacrifices. We salute all of you.

We are on our final stretch for the 2013 CSA year. We hope you are enjoying your boxes!

The weather is proving challenging as we are seeing the cucumbers, green beans and sugar snap peas struggle to produce something if anything.

This week, as I mentioned I am in Washington, D.C., and I ran into a farmer from Texas. I asked him how the growing season was going. He was almost brought to tears as he answered me with, “I just spoke to my wife, and we received an inch last night. This is the first rain we have had since May. We are supposed average 48 inches of rain per year. We are simply drying up.”

This conversation serves as a good reminder. We are truly blessed with the harvest we have been receiving. Please let us know if you have any questions about the weather and how it is affecting the crops, or If you want to see how the drought has been stressing the plants out in the garden. We would be happy to show you.

Understanding how your food is grown and how Mother Nature determines the outcomes that are out of our control, really does provide an amazing insight and appreciation for our food.

“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” – Chinese Proverb

Science in the Garden

The first science project that we concluded this weekend was harvesting the large zucchini that the boys wanted to grow. This one topped out at 18 1/2 inches.

We harvested the giant zucchini that the boys wanted to grow. This one topped out at 18 1/2 inches.

I also wanted to tell you more of the story behind your personalized pumpkins. This project started in August when we all went into the garden and randomly selected pumpkins for each of your families. We are never quite sure how large they will get in the end and if they will be healthy pumpkins when harvested.

I also wanted to tell you more of the story behind your personalized pumpkins. This project started in August when we all went into the garden and randomly selected pumpkins for each of your families. We are never quite sure how large they will get in the end, and if they will be healthy pumpkins when harvested.

Steve uses some wood carving tools hand tooled by his great-grandpa to accomplish this special task.

Steve uses some wood carving tools hand tooled by his great-grandpa to accomplish this special task. This was not an easy task on a hot and humid weekend day.

After Steve is done etching the name out, this is what a completed pumpkin looks like. Then we simply wait until they are ready to be harvested.

After Steve is done etching the name out, this is what a completed pumpkin looks like. Then we simply wait until they are ready to be harvested.

Boxes of Produce

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

Black Seeded Simpson Elite Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – reddish lettuce

Prizehead – is the spear like green leaf.

Beet leaves – Some fun facts about beets.

Picking tomatoes can get a bit tiring and lead to crazy boys.

Picking tomatoes can get a bit tiring and lead to crazy boys.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July (medium size red), Yellow Girls, Romas (long, narrow), Black Krim, Big Boy and super sweet cherry tomatoes 100 . Watch how to can tomatoes from Ball canning (video) and from Colorado Extension and the University of Minnesota Extension.

There are plenty of peppers this week. I preserve them for the winter by cutting them up and freezing them.

There are plenty of peppers this week. I preserve them for the winter by cutting them up and freezing them.

Peppers – Red Beauty, Golden Summer, Orange Blaze and California Wonder peppers. Wondering about freezing your peppers for later? University of Nebraska has information.

Onions – A few fresh onions to put in a recipe here or there.

Green Beans – This type of green beans are Providers. The green beans and sugar snap peas have really ben

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes – great for baking and Norland potatoes – great for mashed potatoes.

Cucumbers – Varieties include Fancipak and Straight Eights . The heat gotten the best of this crop. This may be the last of the cucumbers.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms – the Peterson families for this delicious vegetable!

Butternut Squash – Our family loves this vegetable! Here is how we prepare our squash.

Herbs – Cilantro and parsley

Fresh cut arrangement – Sedum, Hosta leaves and Hydrangeas – Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week

Homemade French Fries

I think I will also try this method this Fall as well.

We cut up both a Norland and a Kennebec potato into 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick slices.

We cut up both a Norland and a Kennebec potato into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick slices.

Then placed them in the deep fat fryer for a few minutes and removed when golden brown. I was quite excited when Sam said he wanted to eat these French fries not the store bought.

Then placed them in the deep fat fryer for a few minutes and removed when golden brown. I was quite excited when Sam said he wanted to eat these French fries not the store bought. I would say this was a success, but I also recognize that Sam loves potatoes as much as I do:)

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