Nearing the End

We started the great potato dig this weekend. It is always fun to find the large treasurers hidden under the ground.

We started the great potato dig this weekend. It is always fun to find the large treasurers hidden under the ground.

The season is nearing the end, and Mother Nature reminded us of that today. The boys said that the only way they would warm up is if I put them in the clothes dryer! Now the thought of that made me chuckle! Yes indeed it went from the 70s yesterday to feeling like 40 degrees tonight. We received 4/10 of an inch of rain today. Thankful it wasn’t snow!

Look for fall decorative items next week. It will be a busy weekend of harvesting them, but it is always fun to see what is unveiled!

Boxes of Produce

Reminder – there will be two more weeks of the CSA boxes. This is longer than your contract stated due to the interesting growing season!

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. 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.

Salad Mix – A break this week due to the dry weather we had in early August, this crop did not grow when I planted it. But good news, the next round of lettuce and spinach did grow, and we should have some back in your boxes next week.

Beets – Taking a break from this vegetable to allow them to grow more. Don’t worry, we will empty the garden out before the last box.

Carrots – A few carrots this week. We hope that the remainder of the crop grows well before the end of the growing season.

Green Beans  – This is our last crop of beans – hope you have been freezing or canning them if you haven’t been able to use them.

Broccoli I think I need to give this recipe a try from Pioneer Woman.

Cucumbers – This very likely may be your last cucumbers of the season.

Kohlrabi – Here are some ideas from Martha Stewart.

Peppers – Jalapeno peppers and Bell Peppers

Tomatoes Baby Boomer cherry tomatoes, Big Mamma, Sunny Boy (yellow), Honey Delight (small yellow) and Fourth of July  (medium red) and cherry tomatoes – Let us know if you need some tomatoes for canning. We ask for canning amounts that you give a free will donation.

Onions – Walla Walla, Snow White, yellow Candy and Giant Red Hamburger (purple) – We pulled this crop this weekend and are drying the remaining onions.

PotatoesRed Pontiac  – the link is to more potato basics and recipe ideas. Kennebec potatoes – great for baked potatoes. Masquarde Potatoes –  A tasty potato that everyone in our house is excited to eat.

Your choice of Butternut and Spaghetti Squash.

Your choice of Butternut and Spaghetti Squash.

Butternut SquashChoice of squash – For those of you that chose this squash, it is one of my favorites. Here is a recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

Spaghetti Squash – Choice of squash – here are different ways to cook it: by boiling or by roasting. Here is a recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

Sweet CornThe last crop of sweet corn is being harvested. Thank you to FarGaze Farms for this partnership in growing the sweet corn. Enjoy!

Enjoy your eggs from the chickens our boys are beyond excited to care for.

Enjoy your eggs from the chickens our boys are beyond excited to care for.  The boys enjoy sharing eggs with their grandparents. My parents both grew up collecting eggs on their home farms.

Eggs – Enjoy some eggs from the Harner Brothers’ chickens.

Fresh Arrangement – Zinnia, Rudbeckia or Sunflowers – Here are a few tips to try to keep your fresh-cut flowers fresh longer. Please provide me feedback if you transfer them to a vase or keep them on your counter in the container you bring them home in.

 

Garden Science

An update on the pumpkins. The Big Moon pumpkins appear to be slowing down in growth. The large one measured 41" and the smaller ones 35" from side to side. We plant to provide more manure and fertilizer to next year's big pumpkin patch.

An update on the pumpkins. The Big Moon pumpkins appear to be slowing down in growth. The large one measured 41″ and the smaller ones 35″ from side to side. We plan to incorporate more manure to fertilizer next year’s big pumpkin patch.

Recipe of the Week

Many of you wonder what we do with all of these tomatoes. Well, we do quite a bit of canning. We were fortunate to receive Steve’s Grandpa and Grandma’s canning supplies when they decided to hang up that past time. Steve grew up canning many vegetables with his family. I on the other hand loathed canning but enjoyed baking!! Now, canning has become quality time with the family and satisfaction of tasty vegetables throughout the year. We highly recommend that you use the University of Minnesota Extension Services’ directions for canning tomatoes. At the end of the season from our tomatoes, we will have about 70 quarts of tomato juice and about 50 pints of salsa. In addition, I will have some tomatoes in the freezer for chilli and soups this winter.

Tomato Sauce

We wash the tomatoes and cut out the core and any bad spots. Then cut them into quarters.

The first thing to do is sanitize your jars and rings. Next, wash the tomatoes and cut out the core and any bad spots. Then cut them into quarters. We use all varieties of tomatoes and feel that the variety enhances the flavor.

 

Next they go into the juicer and are pushed through separating out the skin and seeds from the juice.

Next they go into the juicer and are pushed through separating out the skin and seeds from the juice.

This machine came from Steve's grandparents. Whenever we take it out and brings a smile to our face, and we know that they are smiling down on this whole process.

This machine came from Steve’s grandparents. Whenever we take it out and brings a smile to our faces. We know that they are smiling down on this whole process and getting a chuckle out of the boys’ curiosity.

The juice is then brought to a slow boil in this awesome huge pot that we received for a wedding gift.

The juice is then brought to a slow boil in this awesome huge pot that we received for a wedding gift.

Using sanitized canning jars, we place 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and fill the jars up to the neck of the jar with the juice. Then we wipe the top of the jar off with a clean cloth. After boiling the lids for 3 minutes, we use a magnetic stick to take them out of the water and place on top of the jar.

Using sanitized canning jars, we place 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into each quart jar and fill the jars to right below the neck of the jar with the juice. Then we wipe the top of the jar off with a clean cloth. After boiling the lids for 3 minutes, we use a magnetic stick to take them out of the water and place on top of the jar.

Sanitize your canning jar rings. Then place on top of the lid and tighten.

Sanitize your canning jar rings. Then place on top of the lid and tighten.

Steve is in charge of the pressure cooker and finalizing the canning process. Please see the link above to the Extension Services directions to canning tomatoes. This is what we follow. Steve also makes a call to his Mom every year for a refresher course.

Steve is in charge of the pressure cooker and finalizing the canning process. On the left is the awesome pot I mentioned that we use to bring the tomato juice to a boil. On the right is the pressure cooker. Please see the link above to the Extension Services’ directions to canning tomatoes. This is what we follow. Steve also makes a call to his Mom every year for a refresher course and a good visit.

After the tomatoes come out of the canner, you begin to hear the lids "pop" or seal. It is music to our ears. We then use this tomato juice as our base for spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce. My dad enjoys drinking the tomato juice as well.

After the jars of tomato juice come out of the canner, they are placed on kitchen towels leaving about an inch or so of cooling space around them. You should begin to hear the lids “pop” or seal. It is music to our ears. After a day, I label the top of the lid with the date, and what is in the jar. We then use this tomato juice throughout the year as our base for spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce. For the sauces, we combine the juice, tomato paste, onions, garlic and herbs to taste. You may also enjoy it just as tomato juice – it is one of my Dad’s garden favorites.

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