Science Abounds

Science Abounds

Science abounds in agriculture that is why science experiments are a constant in agriculture and on our farm. We are always trying to learn and grow from what we are doing. Constantly trying to improve on what has been done before. Two experiments this year are cover crops and strip cropping.

Garden Science

Photo shows the area where we have planted the vines between the strips of rye grass/rapeseed.

Photo shows the area where we have planted the vines between the strips of rye grass/rapeseed.

What is a Cover Crop? Cover crops are plants sown to form a living mulch and are planted to provide seasonal soil cover on cropland when the soil would otherwise be bare—i.e., before the crop emerges in spring or after fall harvest.

Cover crops help reduce soil erosion and keep weeds in check. When cover crops are turned into the soil to provide organic matter and nutrients, they’re called “green manures.”

Common cover crops in Minnesota include rye and other small grains, buckwheat and hairy vetch. They are best suited to areas of the state with plenty of water available in the soil for both the cover crop and the main crop. Using cover crops in Minnesota can be difficult because of the small window of opportunity to establish them to grow. Minnesota farmers have nonetheless found creative ways to utilize cover crops.

What is Strip Cropping? Strip cropping is a method of farming which involves cultivating a field partitioned into long, narrow strips which are alternated in a crop rotation system. It is used when a slope is too steep or when there is no alternative method of preventing soil erosion.

We decided to leave some strips of our cover crops in the field through the growing season as a method of weed control between our rows of vines. It has been interesting to observe both the effects of the strip cropping and the cover crops.

The strip cropping of rye grass and rapeseed began as a cover crop last fall. We tilled the cover crop up this spring which then went into our soil as “green manure” to help provide nutrients for this year’s crops.

We left strips of the cover crop in the field area where we were planting vines. We then planted our vining crops, such as pumpkins, squash, watermelon etc, in the tilled areas.

Observations

1.The rye grass and rapeseed do appear to help control the weed growth and have also seemed to help suppress some of the insect pressure on the vining crops.

2. There was a section because of a later harvest of a crop where we did not plant a cover crop. The weed growth and weed pressure in this area is heavy.

3.We have harvested the rye grass for feed and bedding for our chickens and pigs. This has been a benefit to those animals.

Learn more from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and from the University of Minnesota Extension.

The Harner Brothers have been raising broilers (meat) chickens (white feathers). The chicken is naturally muscular because of the type of breed. NO hormones were given to the chickens. It is illegal in the U.S. to use growth hormones or steroids in any poultry production. It is interesting to observe how differently the chickens of different breeds grow. The brown feathered chicken is the same age just an egg laying breed so its energy will go into making eggs in a few months vs. into making muscle.

Also related to animal science…The Harner Brothers have been raising broilers (meat) chickens (white feathers). The chicken is naturally muscular because of the type of breed. NO hormones were given to the chickens. It is illegal in the U.S. to use growth hormones or steroids in any poultry production. It is interesting to observe how differently the chickens of different breeds grow. The brown feathered chicken is the same age just an egg laying breed so its energy will go into making eggs in a few months vs. into making muscle.

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 – With a lot of lettuce in your boxes, check out Martha Stewart’s lettuce salad recipes. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. 

Prizeleaf and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love these beautiful lettuces – Prizeleaf is green with reddish tips and Red Oak Leaf is a red lettuce leaf. They add such a wonderful color to salads and sandwiches.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating.

Detroit Dark Red Beets

Detroit Dark Red Beets

Beet –  Dark Detroit Red Beets – Look here to find ways to cook beets and recipes.

Sugar Snap Peas – A healthy harvest for you – eat the pod and the peas. These are a shareholder favorite. You may have noticed peabine’s or pea harvesters in the fields around Northfield. They are harvesting peas for processing – this is a different variety of pea. Fact: Minnesota is the second largest state for growing green peas for processing (meaning the peas will be frozen or canned peas like we buy in the store)

Radishes – French Breakfast radishes – radish recipes.

The carrots are growing well in our raised bed.

The carrots are growing well in our raised bed.

Carrots – Enjoy some fresh carrots. Check out this video on how baby carrots become baby carrots that we buy in the store.

Golden Egg Hybrid - new summer squash variety we are trying this year.

Golden Egg Hybrid – new summer squash variety we are trying this year.

Summer Squash and zucchini – I’m hoping this new variety of golden egg hybrid  will show some more size as the season progresses. Thought that between the zucchini and the golden egg you could have a nice vegetable mixture on your grill over the 4th of July weekend.

White onion - love the braid pattern on their stems.

White onion – love the braid pattern on their stems.

Onions – We had some white and purple onions ready. Enjoy on brats, burgers or in a vegetable dish this weekend. Check out onion harvest in Idaho.

Fresh cut arrangement – hosta leaves, lilies and sweet peas.

Recipe of the Week

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seeds

1 pound sugar snap peas

Dark sesame oil

Black sesame seeds

Kosher salt

Toss sugar snap peas in a bowl with sesame oil, sesame seeds, and kosher salt, to taste. Serve.

 

Controlling Pests

Controlling Pests

Pest control has consumed our time this week. From weeds to insects, they have been a challenge. Why do we work so hard to control weeds and non-beneficial insects in the garden? It is because they can overtake the crops.

The past few weeks with warmer temperatures, rain and high temperatures created ideal conditions for plants - especially weeds to thrive.

The past few weeks with warmer temperatures, rain and humidity created ideal conditions for plants, especially weeds, to thrive. A lot of time has been spent weeding to ensure there was a crop to harvest. In the forefront, you see the “after weeding” and in the background, is before weeding. Before weeding you could hardly see the crop.

Potato bugs are a nemesis and will completely eat the potato plant down to the stem which in the end will kill the plant. No plant - no potatoes. We did spray the insects this week so they did not decimate the crop. We have our pesticide applicator license. In order to receive this from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture you have to take a test and a class so that you understand how to use these crop tools according to government safety regulations. The insecticides are targeted to the insects. We would not use the insectides if we did not need to. We use them and know based on the research that has been conducted on the insecticides that the food produced by the plants will be safe for our kids to eat.

Potato bugs are a nemesis and will completely eat the potato plant down to the stem which in the end will kill the plant. No plant – no potatoes. The potato bugs shown are younger potato bugs.

We did spray the insects this week so they did not decimate the crop. We have our Minnesota Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator license. In order to receive this, you have to take a test and a class so that you understand how to use these crop protection tools according to government safety regulations. The insecticides are targeted to the insects, and insects are different biologically then humans.

We would not use the insecticides if we did not need to control the insect population. We know, based on the research conducted on the insecticides by government agencies and private industry, that the food produced by the plants will be safe for our kids to eat.

This is what the cucumber beetles have been doing to our vine crops. We have also put insecticide on these plants to protect them from this pest.

This is what the cucumber beetles have been doing to our vine crops. We have also put insecticide on these plants to protect them from this pest.

Something Fun

Continual learning is part of farming. This past week, we went on our yearly 4-H club's farm tour. During the tours, the kids share with attendees of the club and the club members' parents information about their project and what they have learned. In addition to the kids learning from kids, adults learn from the 4-H members and from each other. Keith was fortunate at one of our stops to hold a kid, baby goat.

Continual learning is part of farming. This past week, we went on our yearly 4-H club’s farm tour. During the tours, the kids share with attendees of the club and the club members’ parents information about their project, and what they have learned. In addition to the kids learning from kids, adults learn from the 4-H members and from each other. Keith was fortunate at one of our stops to hold a kid, baby goat. While this isn’t what we have on our farm, seeking first to understand other 4-H projects and farm production methods is part of continuous improvement for ones self and for our farm.

Garden Science

This week is National Pollinator Week. We try very hard to have beneficial insects in the garden to eat the nemesis insects so that we can have active pollinators on our crops. We plant flowers such as 4 o’clock, marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias and pollinator seed packs to bring in pollinators as well as beneficial insects.

Did you know? Many crops such as strawberries, cucumbers, pumpkins and more depend on pollination. Pollinators include honey bees, butterflies birds and more.

Learn more about National Pollinator Week and activities that you can do with your kids from American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.

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.

Asparagus – This will be the last of the fresh-cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. Check out this resource by the Michigan Asparagus. Did you know Michigan is one of the top producing states of asparagus?

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating.

Prizeleaf Lettuce

Prizeleaf Lettuce

Prizeleaf and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love these beautiful lettuces – Prizeleaf is green with reddish tips and Red Oak Leaf is a red lettuce leaf. They add such a wonderful color to salads and sandwiches.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating.

Detroit Dark Red Beets

Detroit Dark Red Beets

Beet The beets are Dark Detroit Red Beets.

Beet Leaves – The beet leaves are Bull’s Blood Beets which are young plants that we are thinning out of the rows – eat the whole plant in a salad – delicious. It will add color and nutrition to your salads.  Note: In the bag with the spinach.

The pea pod grows from the flower. Notice the white flower at the tip of the pod.

The pea pod grows from the flower. Notice the white flower at the tip of the pod.

Sugar Snap Peas – The first of the sugar snap peas are in. You can eat the pod and the peas. These are a shareholder favorite. You may have noticed peabine’s or pea harvesters in the fields around Northfield this past week. They are harvesting peas for processing – this is a different variety of pea. Fact: Minnesota is the second largest state for growing green peas for processing (meaning the peas will be frozen or canned peas like we buy in the store)

Radishes – French Breakfast radishes this week – a taste for your salads or a radish sandwich.

The carrots are growing well in our raised bed.

The carrots are growing well in our raised bed.

Carrots – Enjoy some fresh carrots.

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Fresh cut arrangement – hosta leaves

Recipe of the Week

Lazy Tacos

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

taco meat, onions, black olives, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese, chilli beans, miscellaneous vegetables, salsa, cottage cheese or salad dressing

Chop onion. I love my Pampered Chef chopper. Great tool for the kitchen!!

When browning my hamburger, I add a little bit of onion finely chopped so the kids don’t notice it.

While the hamburger is cooking, I wash my lettuce and place in my salad spinner. Again, the salad spinner is a must have tool. By spinning the moisture off my washed lettuce I find that it keeps longer in my refrigerator.

When slicing tomatoes, I have found that using a serrated knife works great. No more smashed tomatoes. I have a designated cutting board in my kitchen for all vegetables and fruits and a totally separate cutting board set aside for only meats. Just an extra safety precaution in our kitchen. Keeping foods separate to avoid cross contamination.

Homemade salsa from last year is a delicious addition to this meal.

Lazy taco – enjoy with your favorite dressing. Add a side of fruit and a glass of milk, and you have a well-balanced, colorful and fun meal for the family.

 

Blessings

Blessings

 

The crops are loving this rain, heat and humidity. They are growing like crazy. Good news for our shareholders. The peas are blooming and from these flower blossoms will grow our sugar snap peas!

The crops are loving this rain, heat and humidity. They are growing like crazy. Good news for our shareholders. The peas are blooming and from these flower blossoms will grow our sugar snap peas!

Blessings come in many ways.  This past week, we have had nearly 3 inches of rain with heat and humidity that encourages plant growth. The storms that came through blew down a few large branches,  but thankfully didn’t damage the crops.

We were also blessed this weekend to go through the Living with the Land ride at Walt Disney World’s Epcot (sorry for my blurry photos…this was a boat ride with camera operator in tired mom mode). It was an interesting display on innovations in agriculture growing food using resources wisely while integrating new technologies to produce food sustainably to feed the growing world population. The farmers I know seek first to understand these technologies while striving for continuous improvement to pass family farms on to future generations.

For me, it was fun to see our kids interested in all that was shared on this ride. They were figuring out how we to could use what was learned to apply to Harner Brothers CSA.

Garden Science

Potato bugs have reappeared. So we are again spending family bonding time picking the bugs and the eggs off of the potatoes and tomato plants.

Potato bugs have reappeared. So we are again spending family bonding time picking the bugs and the eggs off of the potatoes and tomato plants.

The potato bugs evidently appreciated the rain,  humidity and heat. Their activity level increased dramatically. This week, we did need to spray an insecticide targeted to kill the potato bugs. Please know that we use this to protect the crop to grow the food.

We feel safe using the insecticide knowing the stringent testing and approval process insecticides go through in order to be approved to be used according to U.S. Government regulations. For example a wasp spray is an insecticide. We also have to be certified and go through testing and have a pesticide applicator license in order to apply the insecticide according to government regulations.

Our family will be out searching for the adult bugs that may have survived because of their hard outer shell which protects the adults like a coat of armor protecting than them from insecticides. We will pick them off the plants to protect the plant from completely being eaten by these insects that can devastate a crop.

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.

 

Asparagus from Chute's Farm - delicious!

Asparagus from Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens – delicious!

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. These farmers are friends of ours who we know from Farm Bureau and also the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. We are nearing the end of this crop. Enjoy! Learn the history of asparagus on America’s Heartland.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

Prizeleaf Lettuce

Prizeleaf Lettuce

Prizeleaf and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love these beautiful lettuces – Prizeleaf is green with reddish tips and Red Oak Leaf is a red lettuce leaf. They add such a wonderful color to salads and sandwiches.

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach – remember to wash before eating.

Beet The beets are Dark Detroit Red Beets.

Beet Leaves – The beet  eaves are Bull’s Blood Beets which are young plants that we are thinning out of the rows – eat the whole plant in a salad – delicious. It will add color and nutrition to your salads.  Note: In the bag with the spinach.

Radishes – French Breakfast radishes this week – a taste for your salads.

Herb – cilantro – While we realize some of you have cilantro in your herb pots, we recognize some of you don’t and some of you simply love cilantro.

Fresh cut arrangement – Spirea flowers and hosta leaves

Recipe of the Week

Omelet

2 eggs

2 tbsp. milk

1/8 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

1 tsp. butter

Fillings: meat, cheese, garden veggies

Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper in small bowl until blended.

Melt butter in 6 to 8-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium heat until hot. TILT pan to coat bottom. Pour in egg mixture. Mixture should set immediately at edges.

Gently push cooked portions from edges toward the center with inverted turner so that uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface. Continue cooking, tilting pan and gently moving cooked portions as needed.

When top surface of eggs is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, place filling on one side of the omelet. Cover the omelet for about 30 seconds until cheese is melted then fold omelet in half with turner as you flip it onto your plate. Garnish with parsley and cheese. Enjoy!

 

Digging in to Share Science in Agriculture

Digging in to Share Science in Agriculture

 

Weeding is continuous. Not one of our favorite jobs, but it is a necessary one.

Weeding is continuous. Not one of our favorite jobs, but it is a necessary one. Weeds inhibit the crops to reach their full growing and production potential.

As the boys wrap-up their school year, we also wrapped up some of the agriculture in the classroom projects in their classrooms. They suggested that we share our Kindergarten potato experiment results. The experiments were pretty interesting. Agriculture in the classroom activities provide a great opportunity to share science in the classroom.

Don’t let the learning stop just because summer is here. Check out the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom , My American Farm and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture websites for resources.

We did an experiment in Sam's kindergarten growing potatoes inside during the colder months in Minnesota to find out where the plant put it's energy and why. This plant put it's energy into growing more leaves above ground and less energy producing potatoes below ground. The plant was 8 foot 3 inches tall and produced 78 pebble sized potatoes.

We did an experiment in Sam’s kindergarten growing potatoes inside during the colder months in Minnesota to find out where the plant put it’s energy and why. This plant put it’s energy into growing more leaves above ground and less energy producing potatoes below ground. The plant was 8 foot 3 inches tall and produced 78 pebble sized potatoes.

Sam next to the potatoes in our garden that have been hilled twice this season. These potatoes will be about 2 feet high by end of season and will produce potatoes the size you find in the grocery store. Potato plants outside during the growing season in Minnesota put their energy into making potatoes below ground versus trying or reach for as much sunlight and warmth as possible like we saw in the kindergarten experiment.

Sam is next to the potatoes in our garden that have been hilled twice this season. These potatoes will be about 2 feet high by end of season and will produce potatoes the size you find in the grocery store. Potato plants outside during the growing season in Minnesota put their energy into making potatoes below ground versus trying to reach for as much sunlight and warmth as possible like we saw in the kindergarten experiment.

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.

Rhubarb – One pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out Taste of Home rhubarb recipe ideas.

Asparagus from Chute's Farm - delicious!

Asparagus from Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens – delicious!

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. These farmers are friends of ours who we know from Farm Bureau and also the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. They had some extra they wanted to share with us, and the delivery time worked out well. They snap the asparagus vs. cutting so that you are getting all edible stalk and should have very minimal amount that you do not eat.  Enjoy! Learn the history of asparagus on America’s Heartland.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

Prizeleaf Lettuce

Prizeleaf Lettuce

Prizeleaf and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love these beautiful lettuces – Prizeleaf is green with reddish tips and Red Oak Leaf is a red lettuce leaf. They add such a wonderful color to salads and sandwiches.

 

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach – remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal! Check out some Cooking Light’s spinach recipes.

Beet/Beet Leaves – These are young plants that we are thinning out of the rows – eat the whole plant in a salad – delicious. It will add color and nutrition to your salads. Learn more here.

Radishes – French Breakfast radishes this week – a taste for your salads. There should be more next week, but with the projected heat for the weekend, I knew these would grow and split if not harvested for today’s boxes.

Herb – chives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces. I enjoy using them in potatoes on the grill.

Fresh cut arrangement – peonies and hosta leaves

Recipe of the Week

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad – Super easy and delicious!

Strawberry Dressing

3 Tablespoons apple juice

2 Tablespoons strawberry spreadable fruit

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salad

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

8 cups bite-size pieces spinach

1 cup strawberries, stems removed and strawberries cut in half

1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (1 oz)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
  1. In small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients until blended; set aside.
  2. Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in skillet 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F). Remove chicken to cutting board.
  3. Add dressing to skillet; stir to loosen any pan drippings.
  4. Cut chicken into slices. Among 4 plates, divide spinach. Top with chicken, strawberries and cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Source: Taste of Home

The Season Begins

The Season Begins

I was reminded this morning why we do what we do. The boys were both up early as the sun was rising with smiles on their faces, eager to help and knowing what to do. We hope that the values learned with the CSA of teamwork, hard work, seeing ones hard work come to fruition and working together to get a job done will be characteristics that will last a lifetime.

Welcome

Welcome to all of our shareholders. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you and for you throughout the growing season. We work hard to earn your trust and respect in the food that we grow for your families and ours!

All of you should have received an email with more details of dates and specifics with the CSA. We are excited to see the daily changes and growth in the garden. Look for weekly blog posts for guidance throughout the season which will provide you with updates, ideas for your box of produce and recipes.

A lot has been done in the garden this past week including weeding, pest control and planting another crop of sugar snap peas, green beans, beets, carrots, radishes, lettuces and spinach. Sometimes a little stress relief is needed after all of this activity.

A lot has been done in the garden this past week including weeding, pest control and planting another crop of sugar snap peas, green beans, beets, carrots, radishes, lettuces and spinach. Sometimes a little stress relief is needed after all of this activity.

Steve was busy hilling the potatoes this weekend. The potatoes have enjoyed the weather and were already in need of being hilled. Hilling helps the potato growth to occur under ground vs. above ground (thus the greening of the potato). We feel we have a more plentiful harvest when this is done.

Steve hilled the potatoes this weekend. The potatoes have enjoyed the weather and were already in need of being hilled. Hilling helps the potato growth to occur under ground vs. above ground (thus the greening of the potato). We feel we have a more plentiful harvest when this is done.

Garden Science

Did you know that cucumber plants when they emerge from the ground smell just like fresh cut cumbers!

Did you know that cucumber plants when they emerge from the ground smell just like fresh cut cucumbers!

Pick-up and Delivery

Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email.

It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.

Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on our family farm and transplanted to this location.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on our family farm and transplanted to this location.

Rhubarb – One pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out earlier posts on rhubarb for recipe ideas.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. These farmers are friends of ours who we know from Farm Bureau and also the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. They had some extra they wanted to share with us, and the delivery time worked out well. They snap the asparagus vs. cutting so that you are getting all edible stalk and should have very minimal amount that you do not eat.  Enjoy! See how asparagus is harvested in California.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce - love eating this in salads and on sandwiches.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – love eating this in salads and on sandwiches.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

Prizeleaf and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love these beautiful lettuces – Prizeleaf is green with reddish tips and Red Oak Leaf is a red lettuce leaf. They add such a wonderful color to salads and sandwiches.

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 -good in your salad greens. Beets will be forthcoming later in June.

Beet leaves – good in your salad greens. Beets will be forthcoming later in June.

Beet/Beet Leaves – These are young plants that we are thinning out of the rows – eat the whole plant in a salad – delicious. It will add color and nutrition to your salads. Learn more here.

Herb – chives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces. I enjoy using them in potatoes on the grill.

Herbs, Peonies and Iris

Herbs, Peonies and Iris

Herbs pots – includes three of one of the following: thyme, rosemary, sweet basil, parsley, cilantro, arugula or sage.

Fresh cut arrangement – peonies and iris’

 

Recipe of the Week

Rhubarb Jam

Mix together and set aside until a juice forms

6 cups rhubarb sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces

3 cups sugar

Next:

Add one can of pie filling (cherry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry)

Cook these ingredients for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 package of 3 oz jello (use Jello that is of the same flavor as the pie filling). Mix well. Pour into containers. Refrigerate or freeze.

Rhubarb jam - I make strawberry rhubarb, blueberry rhubarb, cherry rhubarb and raspberry rhubarb. Enjoy, it is a delicious treat!

Rhubarb jam – I make strawberry rhubarb, blueberry rhubarb, cherry rhubarb and raspberry rhubarb. Enjoy, it is a delicious treat!