As we were working in the garden, the kids asked me some good questions that I thought some of you may like to know as well. So below are a few clarifying terms that I hope are helpful.
Annual – A plant that grows for one growing season. Most of our crops our annuals and are replanted every spring.
Perennials – Plants that grow back on their own for more than two years. A perennial crop produces year after year. Crops that are examples of perennials would be rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries and blueberries.
Germinate – When a seed that you have planted begins to grow.
Replant – When a seed does not sprout. We had to replant some seeds because they rotted in the soil. The soil was to wet over an extended period of time because of all the rain we received. Once the soil dried enough, we replanted it in the soil. Now we are hoping that it will germinate or begin to grow.
Pests – We deal with a variety of pests in our garden. A pest is a destructive insect or other animal that attacks crops, food or livestock. Pests we deal with our weeds, insects (ex. potato bugs, squash bugs) and wildlife (rabbits and deer).
What’s Growing On
Boxes of Produce
This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.
Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.
Rhubarb – one pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out our recipe ideas below.
Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. These farmers are friends of ours who we know from Farm Bureau and also the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. They had some extra they wanted to share with us, and the delivery time worked out well. Enjoy! See how asparagus is harvested in California.
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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.
Prizeleaf Lettuce – what a beautiful colored lettuce to add to the salads. Add some fresh strawberries or dried fruit to your salads and Enjoy!
Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love this beautiful red lettuce leaf. It adds such a wonderful color to your salads.
Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal! Some spinach salad ideas from P. Allen Smith.
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 th rows – eat the whole plant. It will add color and nutrition to your salads. Learn more here.
Eggs – Enjoy some fresh eggs from our chickens. The varied sizes and colors come from a variety of breeds of chickens as well as different ages of chickens. Please feel free to ask the boys about the different sizes. They will be happy to identify the hen that laid it.
Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves…these last forever in a vase of water. After a week, give them a fresh-cut, and they will last longer. The greenery in the house is a day brightener.
Recipe of the Week
This is Keith’s favorite – Rhubarb Torte. It is one of my favorites as well! We were so excited to have some tonight that we ate two pieces for “supper” before you all picked up your boxes tonight!
Mix together until crumbly
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- Dash of salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/3 cup cream
- 3 egg yolks beaten
- 3-4 cups rhubarb
Cook until thickened. Pour over crust after it has baked. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
- 3 egg whites (whipped until stiff)
Then add and beat into the egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Dash of vanilla
- Dash of salt
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
Spread over middle rhubarb section. Bake at 325 degrees for 5 minutes to brown slightly the meringue.
Thank you to one of our shareholders Tracy Modory for sharing this easy jam recipe that was a success in her house. Looks delicious!
Strawberry-Rhubarb Refrigerator Jam
1 1/3 cup strawberries
2/3 cup rhubarb
2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
2 T chia seeds
Process all ingredients in a blender, transfer to jars and refrigerate overnight. The chia seeds will gel, thickening the fruit puree. No need to cook the fruit. This can also be frozen after refrigerated overnight and thawed when ready to use.