Weather Extremes

Inspecting the water tank which holds our rain water captured from one of our buildings. This water is used for irrigating our crops through a gravity flow, drip irrigation system.

The boys inspected the water tank which holds our rain water captured from one of our buildings. This water is used for irrigating our crops through a gravity flow, drip irrigation system.

This past week has provided weather extremes from hot and humid last week in the mid 90’s and so humid you were drenched in sweat standing there. Yet at the same time our crops were dry, and we needed to irrigate some of the vines and tomatoes.

Inspecting the drip irrigation line to make sure the plants were receiving water.

Inspecting the drip irrigation line to make sure the plants were receiving water.

To today, which is wet and cold with the highs in the mid to low 60s feeling like early October. Over the last few days beginning late Sunday until today, we have received around 1 and 8/10 inches of rain. We are very thankful for the nice moisture that was received, and the irrigation has been put to rest again.

These extremes do put stress on our crops. The most noticeable is our tomatoes. Even though we mulch them to help maintain even moisture levels. We have noticed that there is excessive splitting due to the extremes of humidity and moisture. It is a good reminder to us that Mother Nature is always in control. Don’t worry, there are still a lot of tomatoes for your enjoyment, and if you are in need of some for canning, let us know.

Garden Science

Well, this milk pumpkin experiment has been interesting. The week we started it a critter decided to dig both milk containers out of the ground. At first site, we thought it was a raccoon. After further evidence was uncovered in our yard, we believe it was our dog. So we started it again, covering it with rocks, far to heavy for either a raccoon or a dog to move.

Well, this milk pumpkin experiment has been interesting. The week we started it, a critter decided to dig both milk containers out of the ground. At first sight, we thought it was a raccoon. After further evidence was uncovered in our yard, we believe it was our dog. So we started it again, covering it with rocks, far to heavy for either a raccoon or a dog to move.

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.

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.

Lettuce and Spinach – A break from this crop this week. We should have a new crop in next week. The weather should lend itself to good growing conditions for it.

Kale

This is the last of the first crop of carrots. Math and measurements always seem to be part of our harvest. It measured in at about 8.25 inches.

This is the last of the first crop of carrots. Math and measurements always seem to be part of our harvest. It measured in at about 8.25 inches.

Carrots – Here is a good link to carrot recipes.

Picking peas is more laborious then one realizes. These recycled fences from my parent's farm work great for the peas to grow on and help tremendously with the harvest.

Picking peas is more laborious than one realizes. These recycled fences from my parent’s farm work great for the peas to grow on and help tremendously with the harvest.

Sugar Snap Peas – Our third crop of peas. The heat, humidity and rain is speeding this crop along. Enjoy!

Broccoli – Have you been searching for new things to do with this vegetable. Here are a few ideas.

Kohlrabi – Here are some ideas for using your Kohlrabi.

This beet weighed in at 2.5 pounds!

This beet weighed in at 2.5 pounds!

Beets – Larger beets are finally here.

I love how my kids notice things that I don't. This is one of them. The natural braid that occurs on the stem of an onion. Too cool and beautifully amazing!

I love how my kids notice things that I don’t. This is one of them. The natural braid that occurs on the stem of our yellow onions…too cool and beautifully amazing!

Yellow Onions – See how onions are raised by farmers in Idaho.

Cucumbers – Plenty of cucumbers. Think about trying the sweet refrigerator pickle recipes below or try a refrigerator dill pickle recipe from Taste of Home or canned dill pickle recipe.

Peppers – A variety abound – enjoy!

Tomatoes – Tomato varieties included in your boxes: Yellow Girls, Honey Delights, Big Boys, Roma, Fourth of July, Big Mammas, Honey Delights, Amish Paste and cherry tomatoes.

Keith looks like he is jumping on a pogo stick, but it is indeed a potato fork.

Keith looks like he is jumping on a pogo stick, but it is indeed a potato fork.

Potatoes – Yukon Gold and All Blue Potato – We made French Fries out of the blue potatoes – lots of fun with the kids.

Sweet Corn – One of my favorites. I usually simply throw it on the grill with my meat, and they are done at about the same time. Here’s how I grill sweet corn.

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

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

Recipe of the Week

Sweet Pickles

In an effort to use up the bountiful harvest of cucumbers, I went out of my comfort zone and made sweet refrigerator pickles. Below are the two that we tried. Steve thought they were both delicious recipes.

To make both recipes we pulled out this handy tooled to slice up the cucumbers. This was given to us from Steve's side of the family and something his great-grandpa had made and used with their garden produce. The boys felt very grown-up using this.

To make both recipes, we pulled out this handy tooled to slice up the cucumbers. This was given to us from Steve’s side of the family and something his great-grandpa had made and used with their garden produce. The boys felt very grown-up using this.

Many people I know use an ice cream pail with a lid for their refrigerator pickles. We decided to use jars, so that we could give them away as gifts and store them more easily in our refrigerator. When filling the jars, we used a knife to help encourage the cucumbers into the jars.

Many people I know use an ice cream pail with a lid for their refrigerator pickles. We decided to use jars, so that we could give them away as gifts and store them more easily in our refrigerator. When filling the jars, we used a knife to help encourage the cucumbers into the jars.

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles 6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers 2 cups thinly sliced onions 1-1/2 cups sugar 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed 1/2 teaspoon celery seed 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Yield: 6 cups. Source: Taste of Home

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Yield: 6 cups.
Source: Taste of Home

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles Recipe adapted from Jane Reslock Feist 2 pounds cucumbers, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal (about 8 cups) 1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced 1 inch thick 2 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal Coarse salt 2 cups sugar 1 cup cider vinegar 1 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon mustard seed In a colander set over a medium bowl, toss cucumbers, onion, and celery stalks with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Set aside to drain, 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. In a small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, and mustard seed; stir until sugar is dissolved. Divide cucumber mixture among clean jars or airtight containers, and pour vinegar mixture over. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (or up to 2 weeks). Source: Martha Stewart

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
Recipe adapted from Jane Reslock Feist
2 pounds cucumbers, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal (about 8 cups)
1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced 1 inch thick
2 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal
Coarse salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
In a colander set over a medium bowl, toss cucumbers, onion, and celery stalks with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Set aside to drain, 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. In a small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, and mustard seed; stir until sugar is dissolved. Divide cucumber mixture among clean jars or airtight containers, and pour vinegar mixture over. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (or up to 2 weeks).
Source: Martha Stewart

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