Nature’s Challenges

Finding the treasures in the garden like the largest white pumpkin that we have found yet. It's so fun to see what is hiding under the large pumpkin leaves.

Checking out the garden and finding the largest white pumpkin – bonus – a fun way to end the day. It’s always a treasure hunt to see what is hiding under the large pumpkin leaves.

Often times in agriculture, we don’t always talk about the challenges that occur with the crops. Simply because we like to be upbeat and look at the positive. Speaking of positive, you should check out all of the pumpkins, squash and gourds growing – that harvest is just around the corner and the sizes of the pumpkins etc and the colors are fun to look at.

Garden Science

There are always challenges every crop year, and each year is unique unto itself.

  • Sugar Snap Peas - Some of you may be anxiously awaiting more sugar snap peas. And to be honest so are we. It has been a frustrating year with these. I have replanted the intended 3rd crop no less then four times. The previous three, I believe, may have had a germination issue with the seed. We have corrected it for this planting. We planted the seed in the ground this week with the hope that we will have at least one more crop before season's end. Especially since it is a favorite for all of us. With the heat and humidity, the second crop matured so rapidly that unfortunately much was lost because it literally would mature before we had time to harvest it:(

    Sugar Snap Peas – Some of you may be anxiously awaiting more sugar snap peas. And to be honest so are we. It has been a frustrating year with these. I have replanted the intended 3rd crop no less then four times (pictured is one of the meek outcomes of one of those plantings). The previous three, I believe, may have had a germination issue with the seed. We have corrected it for this planting. We planted the seed in the ground this week with the hope that we will have at least one more crop before season’s end. Especially since it is a favorite for all of us. With the heat and humidity, the second crop matured so rapidly that unfortunately much was lost because it literally would mature before we had time to harvest it:(

    Lettuce and Spinach - This crop as well has had actually 6 plantings. We have received 3 crops. The intent was have at least 2 more quality outcomes in new plantings but that was not what God intended. We are really happy to see two different varieties growing quite well and are hopeful for a new crop in a week or two.

    Lettuce and Spinach – This crop has had actually 6 plantings. We have received 3 crops. The intent was have at least 2 more quality outcomes in new plantings but that was not what God intended. We are really happy to see two different varieties growing quite well, pictured, and are hopeful for a new crop in a week or two.

     

    The potato bugs are again a challenge this year even though we plant flowers to bring in good insects to eat them and attempt to control them with other methods. They are eating potato plants, tomato plants and more. Learn more http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/colorado-potato-beetles/

    The potato bugs are again a challenge this year even though we plant flowers to bring in good insects who like to eat potato bugs and attempt to control them with other methods. They are eating potato plants, tomato plants and more. Learn more here.

  • Squash bugs are appearing in great numbers. We will be monitoring them and whether we will need to an insecticide to control them from damaging the pumpkins and squash. Learn morehttp://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-bugs/

    Squash bugs are appearing in great numbers. We will be monitoring them and whether we will need to an insecticide to control them from damaging the pumpkins and squash. Learn more here.

    Splitting of the carrot root s also occurring due in part to the excessive amounts of rain we have been receiving at one time over the last few weeks.

    Splitting of the carrot root is also occurring due in part to the excessive amounts of rain we have been receiving at one time over the last few weeks. The carrot simply receives a lot of moisture at once, grows fast, and splits.

    We are also having these black spots on some varieties of the tomatoes. Check out more information here.

    We are also having these black spots on some varieties of the tomatoes. Check out more information 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating.  Thank you for your support of our CSA. Enjoy the produce!

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I think God is trying to give you a break on lettuce. I have replanted this crop no less than 5 times. I see a variety is peeking through the ground.

Kale – I use the Kale in moderation in my salads. It adds some beautiful color and more nutrients to the dish.

Kohlrabi – Green kohlrabi in your box. Peel it and eat it like an apple.

Beets –  Detroit Dark Red Beets in your box. Boil on your stove top for about 1/2 hour – take them out of the water, using a paper towel gently rub the paper towel over the beet and the skins will come right off, slice into pieces and serve with butter.

Cherry Belle RadishesLast of this crop.

Carrots

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash –  Check out some squash soup recipes.

Zucchini – The zucchini is still producing. So since we had extra, we made you some zucchini brownies – enjoy.

TomatoesA variety abound. Enjoy some BLTs.

Peppers Green Bell Peppers

Garlic – Enjoy the fresh garlic. I use a hand held garlic press crush and peel my garlic. It is awesome and definitely the tool of the week! Here are some garlic recipes to check out.

Onions –  yellow onions.

Spaghetti Squash – I love using this squash instead of regular spaghetti. Learn how to cook this squash from Martha Stewart.

Red Norland Potatoes – Red Norland potatoes are versatile potatoes – great for boiling, potato salad and I have had success with them as French fries.

Kennebec Potatoes – Great baking potato.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to FarGaze Farms for sharing some extra sweet corn. Our sweet corn is between crops. Preserve the corn for winter eating simply by cooking it, cut it off the cob, place in Ziploc bag and place it in the freezer. 

Cilantro, Basil and Parsley – Plenty to share – take a snip or a plant home and freeze or dry the herb for use in stews, etc during the rest of the year.

Fresh cut arrangement – Zinnias and sunflowers

Recipe of the Week

Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash was in you box last week. Still wondering how to cook it? I have the best luck putting it in a large bowl of water and bowling it for about 1 hour or until I can easily stick a fork into it.

Spaghetti squash was in you box last week. Still wondering how to cook it? I have the best luck putting it in a large bowl of water and bowling it for about 1 hour or until I can easily stick a fork into it.

Take it out of the bowling water and cut open lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.

Take it out of the bowling water and cut open lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.

Take a fork and scrape it out so you get the noodle effect that is naturally occurring.

Take a fork and scrape it out so you get the noodle effect that is naturally occurring.

Serve it up like a regular meal of spaghetti.

Serve it up like a regular meal of spaghetti.

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