New Perspective

New Perspective

Weeding is a continuous project. We found this velvet leaf plant in the corn.

Weeding is a continuous project. We found this velvet leaf plant in the corn.

This past week, we received a few nice rains. With the rain and humidity comes weeds. So you guessed it, we were weeding again this weekend as you can see from the picture some of them that have gotten past us are growing pretty tall.

But with that these weather conditions come plentiful harvests. Right now our green beans, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cucumbers and dill are growing like crazy, and the tomatoes are on the verge.

As we were out harvesting this week, the boys reminded me of a valuable lesson. I was in a hurry to get the job done, “focus on the job at hand.” But in their minds, it seems to always come down to exploration, whether it is the discovery of a new insect or the goofy faces you can make with a green bean (don’t worry these become compost). I think it is a good reminder to us all.

Slow down. Enjoy the beauty around you.

Don’t always be in a hurry.

Excitement is around the corner.

Laughter is among us – let it happen. We’ll all be happier after a good laugh.

Slow down. Enjoy the beauty around you. Don't always be in a hurry. Excitement is around the corner. Laughter is among us - let it happen. We'll all be happier after a good laugh.

*Slow down. Enjoy the beauty around you.
*Don’t always be in a hurry.
*Excitement is around the corner.
*Laughter is among us – let it happen. We’ll all be happier after a good laugh.

Garden Science

A few posts back, you may recall I discussed the importance of thinning the carrots. Well, we decided to not thin all of them so that you could see what happens when the carrots are planted to close together.

A few posts back, you may recall I discussed the importance of thinning the carrots. Well, we decided to not thin all of them so that you could see what happens when the carrots are planted to close together.

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.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – 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 wash your vegetables before eating.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Beautiful red lettuce leaf.

Beets are becoming plentiful.

Beets are becoming plentiful.

Beets

Onions

Zucchini and Summer Squash – Some insects may be getting the best of this crop. We are trying our best to figure out why some of these plants are dying off.

Cucumbers – We have two varieties planted – let us know if you would like any for canning.

Carrots – Learn more about carrots.

Sugar Snap Peas – This is the second crop of peas. Because of the heat and humidity this crop is rapidly maturing.

Harvesting green beans

Harvesting green beans

Green Beans – This crop is bountiful.  Let us know if you are interested in canning quantities.

Purple Beans – This crop is starting to come to an end.

Sam showed his grandparents how to harvest a kohlrabi. His grandparents have been farming for over 50 years and always enjoy learning about different types of agriculture.

Sam showed his grandparents how to harvest a kohlrabi. His grandparents have been farming for over 50 years and always enjoy learning about different types of agriculture.

Kohlrabi

Kale

Cilantro

Cilantro

CilantroEnjoy in salsas, fajitas, eggs and more. Learn more about cilantro here.

Flower varieties this week.

Flower varieties this week.

Fresh cut arrangement – A variety from sunflowers, Rudbeckia and zinnias.

Recipe of the Week

Chocolate Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins - a winner in this household.

Chocolate Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins – a winner in this household.

Chocolate Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

•3 cups all-purpose flour

•1 1/2 cup sugar

•2 teaspoon baking soda

•2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup cocoa

•1 teaspoon salt

•2 eggs, lightly beaten

•1 cup applesauce

•1/2 cup milk

•2 tablespoons lemon juice

•2 teaspoons vanilla extract

•2 cups shredded zucchini

•1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

•1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Garnish with a few miniature chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Recipe modified from Tasteofhome.com.

 

On his way to harvest, what a beautiful view.

On his way to harvest, what a beautiful view.

We spent a lot of time catching up to the growth in the garden: installing a fence to protect the sweet corn from raccoons, moving fence for peas to grow on and planting the final crops of lettuces, spinach, sugar snap peas and carrots. As well as, a lot of weed control and insect management.

The boys learned how to install electric fence this week around the sweet corn in order to protect the crop from raccoons. Thanks to my parents for upcycling this nice solar powered fencer!

The boys learned how to install electric fence this week around the sweet corn in order to protect the crop from raccoons. Thanks to my parents for upcycling this nice solar-powered fencer!

We also installed a fence for the third crop of sugar snap peas to climb up. This greatly assists in harvesting ease. A fourth and final crop was planted of sugar snap peas. We also planted another crop of lettuce, carrots and spinach.

We also installed a fence for the third crop of sugar snap peas to climb up. This greatly assists in harvesting ease. A fourth and final crop was planted of sugar snap peas. We also planted the third crop of lettuce, carrots and spinach.

We received 1.8 inches of rain on Thursday and Friday. We had driving rain on Friday night, and we’re fortunate that is all we received. Other areas of the state saw a cruel side of Mother Nature.

There are many Golden Nuggets from the opportunity to work with all of you. One of them for us is watching our kids confidently share their story of how they raise the crops, and the opportunities and challenges that they see in the field. In the end, we hope the boys understand that it is not what you reap (grow and harvest) but it’s what you sow (the seeds of knowledge and understanding) that is the true reward. Thanks again for the opportunity to work with all of you!

When we have an oversupply of vegetables, Harner Brothers CSA donates them to the local food shelf. It's important to us to teach the importance of caring for others and sharing when we can.

When we have an oversupply of vegetables, Harner Brothers CSA donates them to the local food shelf. It’s important to us to teach the importance of caring for others and sharing when we can.

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.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – 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 wash your vegetables before eating.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Beautiful red lettuce leaf.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make a wonderful meal!

Beets – A taste to start the season. We are thinning out the rows so that the beet plants remaining can grow larger.

Onions

Zucchini and Summer Squash – Some ideas for using your zucchini...

Harvesting cucumbers has begun. We have the cucumbers climb up the fence so that when the cucumbers grow that they hang down through the fence and help to keep the cucumbers clean. This is some "recycled" fence from my parent's farm. It works great!

Harvesting cucumbers has begun. We have the cucumbers climb up the fence so that when the cucumbers grow that they hang down through the fence and help to keep the cucumbers clean. This is some “recycled” fence from my parent’s farm. It works great!

Cucumbers – These are the first of the season. We have two varieties planted – look for more in the coming weeks.

Just a few carrots.

Just a few carrots.

Carrots – Learn more about carrots.

Sugar Snap Peas – This is the second crop of peas. We planted to fourth crop this week so that you can enjoy this vegetable throughout the season.

Come on out and harvest a few green beans. This is the view you will find.

Come on out and harvest a few green beans. This is the view you will find.

Green Beans – This crop is bountiful. We do have dill if you wish to pickle some.

Purple Beans

Purple Beans

Purple Beans – Enjoy the fun color.

Kohlrabi

Kale – Some Kale ideas from P. Allen Smith.

CilantroEnjoy in salsas, fajitas, eggs and more. Learn more about cilantro here.

Fresh cut arrangement – A variety from sunflowers, zinnias, bee balm, lilies and more.

Garden Science

Have you ever noticed that corn tassels (sweet corn vs. field corn vs ornamental corn vs popcorn) are different colors. Next time you drive by a field of corn notice the color of the tassel - field corn. This is an ornamental corn tassel - notice the purple in it.

Have you ever noticed that corn tassels (sweet corn vs. field corn vs ornamental corn vs popcorn) are different colors. Next time you drive by a field of corn notice the color of the tassel – field corn. This is an ornamental corn tassel – notice the purple in it.

The sweet corn tassel is a lighter yellow. Notice the differences - Mother Nature truly produces amazing colors.

The sweet corn tassel is a lighter yellow. Notice the differences – Mother Nature truly produces amazing colors.

Recipe of the Week

Short and sweet recipe.  When grilling pheasant, turkey and chicken, I like to baste with melted butter and honey and place any herb on top of it. Turn once. Grill to an internal temp of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Short and sweet recipe. When grilling pheasant, turkey and chicken, I like to baste with melted butter and honey and place any herb on top of it. Turn once. Grill to an internal temp of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat and Humidity

Heat and Humidity

Introducing some more farm cats - taming has commenced.

Introducing some more farm cats – taming has commenced.

This past week has been hot and humid! The plants are loving it!

On Saturday mid-morning some of the zucchini were about 2 inches long, and on Sunday evening they were about 9 inches long. It really is amazing to watch the growth.

Yes, the entire garden seemed to be growing as crazy as the zucchini, but unfortunately in the lead for growth were the weeds. Fortunately, we have been on top of the weeding so our crops are still thriving against the weed nemesis. We did get a fair amount of moisture on Sunday evening along with some wind. With this heat some more rain would be welcomed.

If Mother Nature continues to provide favorable conditions, we will be able to continue to have growing results in your boxes. Enjoy!

Garden Science

Carrot, onion, beet, purple kohlrabi ad green kohlrabi

Carrot, onion, beet, purple kohlrabi and green kohlrabi

Root or Tuber

All around the world, roots are basic sources of nutrition to people and many animals; a root’s nutrients are passed on to those who eat them. Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips and radishes are actually plant food-storage roots. The roots of the tropical plant cassava give us the tapioca we use in desserts, and cassava is a food staple in many tropical countries and in South Florida. Poi is a nutritious native Hawaiian food made from the root of the taro, which is cooked and ground to a paste then fermented. Carrots, ginger, jicama, parsnips, radishes, beets, rutabaga or Swedish turnip, and turnips are great-tasting, nutritious root foods .

Potatoes are tubers, not roots. What’s the difference? The roots mentioned previously are naturally modified root structures, whereas bulbs and tubers are modified stem structures. Bulbs and tubers are sometimes mistaken for roots because they also grow underground.

Roots and stems have different cell arrangements as seen under a microscope. That is how scientists determined that a potato is not a root, but actually a stem structure or tuber. Tubers are swollen, fleshy, usually oblong or rounded thickenings of underground stems, bearing tiny buds called eyes from which new plant shoots arise. Examples of tubers people eat are the potato, Jerusalem artichoke (not a true artichoke, but the tuber of a sunflower) and water chestnut. Bulbs are short, modified, underground stems. Examples of bulbs we eat are onions, scallions, leeks, garlic, kohlrabi and shallots.

Source: Project Food, Land and People

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.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – 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 wash your vegetables before eating.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Beautiful red lettuce leaf.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make a wonderful meal!

Beets – A taste to start the season. We are also thinning out the rows so that the beet plants remaining can grow larger.

Just a few onions.

Just a few onions.

Onions – Learn more about onions on America’s Heartland.

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Cucumbers – These are the first of the season. We have two varieties planted.

Carrots – While we have the pleasure to pull the carrots right out of the ground…See how baby carrots end up on our grocery shelf so we have the pleasure to eat them all year-long.

Sugar Snap Peas – A garden favorite. Eat the pod and all. Enjoy this delicious vegetable! A new crop will come in next week. **Fun Fact – Did you know Minnesota is the number one producer of peas for processing in the United States.

Green Beans – This crop is bountiful. Be prepared for future weeks. We do have dill if you wish to pickle some.

Purple Beans – A taste of a new crop. Enjoy the fun color.

KohlrabiHere are some ideas of how to use Kohlrabi.

Cilantro

Cilantro

CilantroEnjoy in salsas, fajitas, eggs and more. Learn more about cilantro here.

My flower picker tonight...Zinnias.

My flower picker tonight…Zinnias.

Fresh cut arrangement – A variety from sunflowers, zinnias, bee balm, lilies and more.

Recipe of the Week

Vegetables on the Grill

On double layered aluminum foil ( I cross the pieces so the vegetables are wrapped separately in two different pieces of aluminum foil) place: *Variety of vegetables of choice ( I used pea pods, carrots cut into the shape I knew my boys would eat, green and purple beans cut into 1 inch pieces and broccoli cut into bite size pieces) *Drizzle with olive oil *Sprinkle with Romano and Parmesan cheese *Flavor with herbs of choice

On double layered aluminum foil ( I cross the pieces so the vegetables are wrapped separately in two different pieces of aluminum foil) place:
*Variety of vegetables of choice ( I used pea pods, carrots cut into the shape I knew my boys would eat, green and purple beans cut into 1 inch pieces and broccoli cut into bite size pieces)
*Drizzle with olive oil
*Sprinkle with Romano and Parmesan cheese
*Flavor with herbs of choice

Place on grill for about 8 minutes flipping aluminum packet once which is filled with above vegetable mixture, olive oil, cheese and herbs. Unwrap and enjoy.

Place on grill for about 8 minutes flipping aluminum packet once which is filled with above vegetable mixture, olive oil, cheese and herbs. Unwrap and enjoy.

Vegetables on the Grill

On double layered aluminum foil ( I cross the pieces so the vegetables are wrapped separately in two different pieces of aluminum foil) place:

*Variety of vegetables of choice ( I used pea pods, carrots cut into the shape I knew my boys would eat, green and purple beans cut into 1 inch pieces and broccoli cut into bite size pieces)

*Drizzle with olive oil

*Sprinkle with Romano and Parmesan cheese

*Flavor with herbs of choice

Place on grill for about 8 minutes flipping aluminum packet once which is filled with above vegetable mixture, olive oil, cheese and herbs. Unwrap and enjoy.

Thankful

Thankful

The boys harvested a bounty of vegetables.

The boys harvested a bounty of vegetables.

Thankful is what comes to mind this week after we returned home from a quick trip over Independence Day weekend. As we traveled the Midwest, we saw areas – particularly Indiana that have had way to much moisture.

We feel blessed to have been getting what our plants need in a timely fashion. We pray that this continues, and we also pray for the farmers who are struggling with challenging conditions.

For those that are wondering, we received about 2.5 inches of rain on Monday.

Science of the Week

The saying is - corn knee high by the Fourth of July. Well, corn is not only knee high, but it is tasseling. Our sweet corn is tasseling. Some of the field corn is nearly six feet and tasseling. The science that goes into selecting good seed provides the opportunity for the corn to be productive in a variety of weather conditions.

The saying is – corn knee-high by the Fourth of July. Well, corn is not only knee-high, but it is tasseling. Our sweet corn is tasseling. Some of the field corn is nearly six feet and tasseling. The science that goes into selecting good seed provides the opportunity for the corn to be productive in a variety of weather conditions.

Question of the Week

Why do you thin the crops?

Thinning is done when crops are planted to close together. We try to space them evenly with the proper distance between each other, but with small seeds, this is sometimes difficult to do with our planter.

Thinning is the process of pulling out the extra plants so there is proper spacing between the plants so that they can grow to their optimum performance. We thin different crops such as the beets so that the root vegetable has more room to grow into a beautiful shape. If the vegetables are to close together you start to get the unique shapes or the vegetables that are wrapped together. We appreciate our shareholders that on occasion embrace the “ugly” vegetable and enjoy the still wonderful flavor!

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.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – 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 wash your vegetables before eating.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Beautiful red lettuce leaf.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal!

Comparing the size of the beets to the size of his head.

Comparing the size of the beets to the size of his head.

Beet Leaves – Great in your salads.

Beets – A taste to start the season.

Cherry Belle Radishes – Last ones for a while.

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Peas were bountiful this week.

Peas were bountiful this week.

Sugar Snap Peas – A garden favorite. Eat the pod and all. Enjoy this delicious vegetable!

Green Beans

Green Beans

Green Beans – This crop is becoming bountiful. Be prepared for future weeks. We do have dill if you wish to pickle some. Here are some recipes from Martha Stewart.

Purple Beans

Purple Beans

Purple Beans – A taste of a new crop. Enjoy the fun color.

Check out the size of this onion.

Check out the size of this onion.

Onions – Yellow to start the season

The boys were using a baseball as they "measured" the size of the kohlrabi for harvest.

The boys were using a baseball as they “measured” the size of the kohlrabi for harvest.

KohlrabiHere are some ideas of how to use Kohlrabi.

Kale – Let us know what you think!

Fresh cut arrangement 

Recipe of the Week

Lazy Tacos

This is a family favorite and a go to recipe in our house. Thank you to Steve’s Aunt Coleen for sharing this idea with us many years ago. This dish can take on many options depending on your family’s tastes.

Crush corn chips and layer taco favorites on top such as:

taco meat

onions

black olives,

tomatoes

lettuce

cheddar cheese

chilli beans

salsa

cottage cheese

salad dressing

Note: with all of the fresh produce I would also try a variety of vegetables.

Sharing the same values

Sharing the same values

A lot of activity occurred in the garden again this week. One of the activities included the boys putting up a fence for the cucumbers to climb on. This will help to keep the cucumbers cleaner.

A lot of activity occurred in the garden again this week. One of the activities included the boys putting up a fence for the cucumbers to climb on. This will help to keep the cucumbers cleaner.

“How can we live only two miles apart, but yet our lives can be so different.”

This statement came from a friend of ours who shares many of the same values that we do. But captures one of the reasons that we do what we do with the land and opportunities that we have.

This mom and I have kids that are growing up together and have been doing so since they were babies. We value a good education; a loving home; a strong belief in God; a variety of experiences outside of the classroom to build loving, caring, hard-working good kids, and I could go on.

So how does this tie together? Those of us who grew up on farms, and who continue to be involved with farming and production agriculture have a tremendous opportunity to share our passion and inborn fondness for growing food, caring for the world around us and opening our doors to the constant learning and excitement that we experience each and every day. Our entire family values the conversations and the questions that people ask about what we are doing at our CSA, and why we are doing it. Thank you for asking, and if we don’t know the answer to your question we can try to connect you with someone who does.

Question of the Week

This is what the lettuce looks like when you cut it. Then it grows back within a few days to look as beautiful as the lettuce in the back of the picture.

This is what the lettuce looks like when you cut it. Then it grows back within a few days to look as beautiful as the lettuce in the back of the picture.

Does the lettuce keep growing after you cut it?

We grow leaf lettuce, and yes it does. We will do this for a few weeks until it appears to have outgrown this stage, become flowering or bitter. Then we move into a new crop that we planted 3 to 4 weeks after the other planting. We stagger our plantings in about 3-4 week increments so we can enjoy them throughout the growing season.

Garden Science

Potato bugs eating the entire potato plant.

Potato bugs eating the entire potato plant.

Bugs, bugs everywhere. We have planted different plants to draw in beneficial insects to help decrease the potato bug population by eating the potato bugs.

We monitor our potato bugs (do regular crop scouting) and have spent a tot of “quality family time” picking the bugs off of the potato and tomato plants since they first appeared. But a few weeks ago, the potato bugs hit a population threshold where we knew we must do something different, or they would eat the potato and tomato crops. We researched different insecticides (a pesticide for insects) that would kill the insects, and two weeks ago sprayed an insecticide called Potato Beetle Beater It is labeled as an organic pesticide. The reason we selected it was because it killed the potato bugs in a different mode of action than previous insecticides. It is important to note that insects are very different than humans and that an insect’s body makeup is very different than humans. It appears that it worked! We will continue to monitor throughout the growing season.

We do not take the use of pesticide (encompassing term for pest control – herbicide – kills weeds; insecticide – kills insects) lightly. Our kids are out in and amongst the crops on a daily basis, and their health is of the utmost importance to us. We do not want to put their health in danger in any way. Nor do we want to put your kids health or your health in any danger.

We have taken a pesticide applicator license test and have our license. We know that in order to apply different pesticides that we must follow label directions and use in appropriate weather conditions so that the pesticide is only affecting the intended target and not other crops/plants etc. During college, I also worked in the weed science department at South Dakota State University researching different methods of weed control. Please let us know if you would prefer not to have any potatoes, or if you have any questions.

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.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – 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 wash your vegetables before eating.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – 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 Leaves – Great in your salads.

Cherry Belle Radishes

The first of the summer squash and zucchini are in your boxes.

The first of the summer squash and zucchini are in your boxes.

Zucchini and Summer Squash – The first of the crop is in your box. More to come.

Sugar Snap Peas – A garden favorite. Eat the pod and all. Enjoy this delicious vegetable!

KohlrabiHere are some ideas of how to use Kohlrabi.

Kale – Let us know what you think!

Broccoli We love to eat this fresh out of the garden in a salad. Just a taste in the box this week.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves with a variety of flowers.

Today's flowers

Today’s flowers

Recipe of the Week

Fruited Chicken Lettuce Salad

1-1/2 cups torn lettuce and spinach

1 package (6 ounces) ready-to-use grilled chicken breast strips

1/3 cup sliced fresh peach

1/3 cup fresh raspberries

1/3 cup fresh blueberries

Dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 teaspoons lime juice

1-1/2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Dash pepper

In a large bowl, combine the torn leaves of the lettuce and spinach, chicken and fruit. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. Pour over salad and toss to coat.

Source: Taste of Home