Tractor Time

What did we find amongst all of our tillage and rock picking? Just a huge rock that we needed a skid loader to lift. Thank you Peterson family for the needed

What did we find amongst all of our tillage and rock picking? Just a huge rock that we needed a skid loader to lift. Thank you Peterson family for the needed “lift.”

What a busy weekend of harvesting and preparing for the end of the season. With last night’s frost and freeze warnings across the state, our efforts were right on schedule and truly a relief for us to have the crop harvested.

Funny story…as I was preparing this blog, I asked the boys, “what should the title be to this chapter in the CSA blog? They asked me what I was writing about, and what pictures I had used. They said the title should be “Tractor Time” because we used so many tractors and implements this week to get the job done. Read below to see what they meant.

We are thankful for good neighbors. Loren Fossum for tilling the CSA using his dad's Ford tractor. Read more about their family history. Truly amazing agriculture history in our area - it's like an onion we keep peeling back interesting history all the time!

We are thankful for good neighbors…Loren Fossum for tilling the CSA using his dad’s Ford tractor. Read more about their family history. Truly amazing agriculture history in our area – it’s like an onion we keep peeling back interesting history all the time!

Rye and Rapeseed were used for our cover crop.

Rye and rapeseed were used for our cover crop. We planted the cover crops with the hope that they will provide “green” manure to the soil and improve the amount of nutrients that will be available to the crops next year.

Thank you to FarGaze Farms/Peterson Family for the gator and seed spreader. It made it much quicker and uniform to spread the cover crop seed. Thanks to Jeff Beckman for your help with the cover crop!

Thank you to FarGaze Farms/Peterson Family for the gator and seed spreader. It made it much quicker and uniform to spread the cover crop seed. Thanks to Jeff Beckman for your help with the cover crop decisions!

After seeding the cover crop, we used a drag to cover the seed.

After seeding the cover crop, we used a drag to cover the seed.

One last crop to get to you…the red, white and blue popcorn. We tried popping some, and the moisture content is to high in the kernels so the kernels will not pop. So we are drying the corn down, and once the moisture content is low enough, we will shell the kernels from the cob and package it up for you. Look for it later this fall/early winter.

As the season comes to a close, we want to thank you for allowing our family to grow food for your family and sharing the joys of the garden produce. Just a reminder to send us your year-end survey because we truly appreciate the feed back. We have enjoyed working with all of you, and hope all of you have a fantastic fall!

Garden Science

We collected seed from a variety of our flowers to save and use next year to help generate beneficial insects in the garden next year. Pictured here is dried up Marigold seeds. Open up the bunches, and they are full of seeds.

We collected seed from a variety of our flowers to save and use next year to help generate beneficial insects in the garden. Pictured here is dried up Marigold seeds. Open up the bunches, and they are full of seeds.

Garden Math

Last week, many of you guessed how many popcorn seeds were in the jar. The boys counted and the answer is 457. The closest guess went to Kenny Vesledahl! Congrats...they went home with another pick from the pumpkins tonight!

Last week, many of you guessed how many popcorn seeds were in the jar. The boys counted and the answer is 457. The closest guess went to Kenny Vesledahl! Congrats…they went home with another pick from the pumpkins tonight!

So these were a few kohlrabi that got out of control and when we found them were to large. So the boys wanted to see how big they would get. They were measured tonight with the largest at 16 inches. It was interested to see a few of them getting "baby" kohlrabi growing on them as well.

So these were a few kohlrabi that got out of control and when we found them were to large. So the boys wanted to see how big they would get. They were measured tonight with the largest at 16 inches. It was interested to see a few of them getting “baby” kohlrabi growing on them as well.

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 – Enjoy this mix on some BLTs or salads.

Carrots – Enjoy – they are plentiful. May be enough for some carrot soup.

Green Beans – A new crop of green beans.

Green Cabbage – Soak the cabbage in salt water so hopefully you should not have any insects in these heads.

Yellow Onions

Habeneros anyone?

Habeneros anyone?

Peppers – Habanero peppers.

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. The tomato crop is quickly slowing down.

Potatoes – All of the varieties are in your boxes today: Yukon Golds, Blue, Masquerade, Red Viking, Kennebec, Midnight Moons and blues in your box this week.

Choice of Butternut or Carnival Squash Carnival squash is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. The color variance in the rind of the Carnival squash is the result of seasonal temperature variations. Warmer temperatures produce Carnival squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. The squash’s flavor is nutty and sweet. Try this yummy bread using your cooked squash vs pumpkin.

Harvesting the broom corn.

Harvesting the broom corn.

How long was that broom corn? The length of these three.

How long was that broom corn? The length of these three.

Corn Stalk Bundle – .Decorating for the fall. Choice of a bundle of blue corn stalks or broom corn.

The last of the Zinnias and Strawflowers were picked before the ground was worked. I think we are wrapping everything up at the right time with frost and freeze warnings out this week.

The last of the Zinnias and Strawflowers were picked before the ground was worked. I think we are wrapping everything up at the right time with frost and freeze warnings out this week.

Recipe of the Week

Potato Bread

This is one of my favorite bread recipes and was discovered after a summer of trying different recipes to bring to the fair for one of my 4-H projects which eventually earned a purple ribbon several year ago:)

I discovered that I could freeze the mashed potatoes in 1 cup quantities for a double batch. I also freeze the bread prior to baking as buns or cinnamon rolls. After forming the bread into buns or cinnamon rolls, I let them rise the second time and then I freeze them. When I want to bake them, I simply place the frozen rolls in the oven, turn the oven on to preheat, and once the oven is preheated allow them to cook for the alloted time. Steve and the boys have commented several times that he is so glad I figured this out.

Potato Bread

1 package of active dry yeast

1/4 cup of war water

***

1/2 cup mashed potatoes

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk, scalded (link to how to scald milk)

1 egg

4 – 4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Soften yeast in warm water (to speed up the yeast add about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and stir in). Allow the yeast to begin to rise (fun science experiment with the kids). In a separate bowl combine hot potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and scalded milk. Cool to luke warm.

Add softened yeast and egg. Stir. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Stir in remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes). Here are two links one to show you how to knead by hand and the other with your stand mixer and dough hook.

Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides of your bread. Cover with Saran Wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double. About 1 hour. Punch the bread down. Shape in ball, Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into rolls, place on greased baking sheet. Let rise until double (about 1 hour). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

In a bowl combine hot potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and scalded milk. Cool to luke warm.

Add softened yeast and egg. Stir.

Stir. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Stir in remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes).

Knead until you have a nice ball of dough.

Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides of your bread. Cover with Saran Wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double. About 1 hour. After an hour of rising, punch the rising bread down. Shape in ball. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Shape into rolls, place on greased baking sheet. Let rise until double (about 1 hour).

This is what they look like when they are rising.

Divide dough in half and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up. Cut into 12 pieces and place cut side down in greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Homemade cinnamon rolls! The boys have always helped me cut the dough. It is a great way to teach fractions.

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons milk

Mix powdered sugar and butter. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.

2 thoughts on “Tractor Time

  1. So enjoy your blog! Where you find time to write this, I don’t know. 🙂 I need to try that potato bread recipe. That would smell wonderful throughout the house (and the oven would warm it up) during these cooling days of fall. I like the cinnamon roll option, too. Thanks!

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