And So It Begins

Welcome to all of our shareholders. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you and for you through out the growing season. We work hard to earn your trust and respect in the food that we grow for your families and ours! All of you should have received an email with more details of dates and specifics with the CSA. We are excited to see the daily changes and growth in the garden. Look for weekly blog posts for guidance throughout the season which will provide you with updates, ideas for your box of produce and recipes.

Did you know - that the young cucumber plants when they are cotyledons smell like a cucumber? We found that out as we were thinning the row. So we had a better plant population (plants properly spaced for optimal growth and production).

Did you know – that the young cucumber plants when they are cotyledons smell like a cucumber? We found that out as we were thinning the row. We thin the row so we have a plants properly spaced for optimal growth and production.

The potatoes have enjoyed the weather and were already in need of being hilled. Hilling helps the potato growth to occur under ground vs. above ground. We feel we have a more plentiful harvest when this is done. You will see the boys busy fertilizing the peas in the foreground.

The potatoes have enjoyed the weather and were already in need of being hilled. Hilling helps the potato growth to occur under ground vs. above ground (thus the greening of the potato). We feel we have a more plentiful harvest when this is done. You will see the boys busy fertilizing the peas in the foreground.

Pick-up and Delivery

Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA with harvest on Wednesday evenings – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email.

It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.

Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.  

Garden Science

Potato bugs have reappeared. So we are again spending family bonding time picking the bugs and the eggs off of the potatoes and tomato plants.

Potato bugs have reappeared. So we are again spending family bonding time picking the bugs and the eggs off of the potatoes and tomato plants.

A lot has been done in the garden this past week including weeding, insect control and planting another crop of snap peas, green beans, beets, lettuces and spinach. Our biggest challenge this week are potato bugs!

We have done a lot of research over the last few years and will keep you posted as we work through this. This year we have again planted dill and marigolds around the potatoes with the hope that these plants would draw in beneficial insects to eat the potato bugs and the potato bug larvae. In addition, we have planted some 4’oclocks and wildflowers to also help bring in beneficial insects.

To say we were disappointed that the potato bugs found their way to the new field and have started eating tomato plants in addition to the potato plants is a gross understatement. Every night, we are out there picking potato bugs and their eggs off of the potato plants. What is even more frustrating is how they eat the potato plants as they emerge from the ground, and before the potato plants emerged, the potato bugs were eating the tomato plants.

 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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on our family farm and transplanted to this location.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on our family farm and transplanted to this location.

Rhubarb – One pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces. 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 earlier posts on rhubarb for recipe ideas.

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.  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. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

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! Check out some of Martha Stewart’s spinach recipes.

Beet/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 the rows – eat the whole plant. It will add color and nutrition to your salads. Learn more here.

Now that's a radish. Our French Radish and Cherry Belle radishes are plentiful. This one was as big as Sam's hand.

Now that’s a radish. Our French Radish and Cherry Belle radishes are plentiful. This one was as big as Sam’s hand.

Radishes – wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt.

Herb chives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces. I enjoy using them in

Fresh cut arrangement – herbs pots – includes three of one of the following: silver thyme, rosemary, sweet basil, parsley and/or purple basil.

Recipe of the Week

Rhubarb Juice

Rhubarb Juice

Rhubarb Juice

Thank you to my friends at Feltis Farms CSA for sharing this delicious recipe.

8 lbs. diced rhubarb
2 gallons water
2 12 oz. cans frozen orange juice concentrate
2 46 oz. cans pineapple juice
2 3 oz. boxes strawberry gelatin
4 cups sugar

In LARGE pot combine water and rhubarb. Cook down until rhubarb is soft. Drain. Discard rhubarb. Add sugar. Stir until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients.

Enjoy immediately.

Or cook in for 10 minutes at 5 lbs. pressure in canner to enjoy this winter.

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