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

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