Sharing our Story

This past weekend, I had the joy and pleasure of teaching a young girl how to pick flowers. Picking flowers is a skill that I have taught my boys and my husband, and something we all take for granted. Much like the boys teaching other kids how to harvest carrots.

As I reflect on these experiences, I am reminded of why we encourage our boys to teach something each week in the garden. You see each week during our growing season, we encourage the boys to share something that is new or different that is “growing” on in the garden from insects to soil types to seeds to harvesting vegetables to eat on the way home etc. We encourage our children to continue to share the farm story wherever an opportunity is available, and they continue to amaze me.

Farm Fact: Over half of all Minnesotans have never met a farmer.

Keith working at the state fair sharing how farmers care for the animals, environment and producing food for families in our neighborhoods and around the world.

Keith working at the state fair sharing how farmers care for the animals, the environment and producing food for families in our neighborhoods and around the world.

This week, Keith joined me at the Minnesota State Fair at the Minnesota Farm Bureau booth answering consumer questions  and providing an opportunity for consumers to meet a farmer. He also worked at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation’s Ag Cab Lab in the CHS Miracle of Birth Center helping families to better understand ethanol, and what it is like to drive a tractor. He had a great opportunity to help share what Minnesota Farm Bureau is doing at this year’s Minnesota State Fair on WCCO TV.

Sam sharing how the chicks have grown that they hatched at the Montessori, and how to tell the difference between roosters and hens.

Sam shared how the chicks that were hatched at the Montessori have grown, and taught the children how to tell the difference between roosters and hens.

This past school year, we hatched chicks in both of the boys’ classrooms. This summer, we brought the grown chickens into school to share with the children and show them how quickly poultry and animals change – a great science lesson! Sam did a great job leading this sharing time and describing the differences between roosters and hens.

While there are many different types of farms across Minnesota and the United States, we are happy to share our story with those who are interested and to help answer questions that you may have or connect you with farmers that would be able to answer them. You see the reason we enjoy sharing our story is because we like to see the joy in the faces when people connect and better understand. Much like the joy in a young girls face when she better understands how to harvest and pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or the smile on boys’ faces with their mouths outlined in dirt after eating freshly harvested carrots.

Science in the Garden

We spend quite a bit of time trying to identify insects. A cool one we found this week was the hummingbird moth. Learn more here.

We spend quite a bit of time trying to identify insects. A cool one we found this week was the hummingbird moth. Learn more here.

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 – New crop looks delicious. We hope this will last us until the end of September.

Carrots – Interested to hear what you think. These carrots came out of a different soil type then the ones earlier this summer. Your feedback is appreciated.

Green Beans – A little taste – a new crop of green beans and sugar snap peas in the coming weeks to finish out the year. Check out this segment on America’s Heartland on green beans.

Broccoli

Kohlrabi is also starting to thin out.

Kohlrabi is also starting to thin out.

Kohlrabi – We may get one more week of this.

Beets – The beets will be coming to an end in a week or two.

Yellow Onions

Cucumbers are starting to come to an end, but we still filled a wagon full.

Cucumbers are starting to come to an end, but we still filled a wagon full.

Cucumbers – This crop will also be ending shortly.

Peppers on the other hand are producing. There are a few varieties to choose from.

Peppers on the other hand are producing. There are a few varieties to choose from.

Peppers – A variety – enjoy! Watch out a few of the small Habanero peppers. They are mighty.

We picked just a few tomatoes. If you would like to can or freeze extra to enjoy later. Please let us know.

We picked just a few tomatoes. If you would like to can or freeze extra to enjoy later. Please let us know.

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.

Potatoes – Kennebec, Viking and Blue potatoes for your Labor Day holiday for Red, White and Blue potato salad.

Sweet Corn – Will return in a week or two.

Basil – A little for your potato salad.

Red or Green Cabbage – Here is a coleslaw to give a try at your weekend picnic.

Melons – Choice of watermelon or cantaloupe. Enjoy!

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

Recipe of the Week

Check out the links above for some tasty recipes. I was thinking, “What did I make from the garden this week?” I was reminded of this trusty favorite.

Tater Tot Hotdish

This is a family favorite and an easy way to use many of your fresh or frozen vegetables.

Brown:

1 pound of hamburger

1 Tablespoon onion

In a casserole dish mix in:

1 can of Cream of Mushroom/Cream of Chicken Soup

Frozen corn, peas and/or green beans

Top with tater tots (I was curious to see how some potatoes cut into French fries would work, but I have not tried that yet.)

Cook in 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1/2 hour or until edges are bubbling. Enjoy!

Enjoy! Sometimes the boys like to eat it with ketchup on it.

Enjoy! Sometimes the boys like to eat it with ketchup on it.

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