Hope has been top of mind this week. Hope is defined as a noun as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or a feeling of trust, or as a verb as wanting something to happen or be the case. Scripture defines hope as a strong and confident expectation.
As we have watched the spotty storms come across the state, we hoped that rain would come with no storm damage. We hoped the seeds that we had patiently waited to grow…would grow once it rained. It seems nothing is as good as rain from Mother Nature.
We have been lucky, and our hope was met this past week. We hope and pray for those that were not as fortunate.
We hope that our efforts will be fruitful and not in vain. We hope that our children will learn life lessons and that our efforts to accomplish farm tasks before and after baseball games will teach time management, follow through, commitment, hard work and a sense of self-accomplishment.
So while we recognize that the end outcomes are truly out of our control. We hope that the weather and the efforts will result in sharing the joys of the garden with many this growing season.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11
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 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 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! Check out these recipes.
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.
Red Salad Bowl Lettuce – Adds beautiful color to your salad. This is a crop that has struggled this spring. We did plant another round of crops this week of all varieties including the lettuces.
Spinach – The new crop of spinach has struggled this season. So glad to be able to harvest it this week.
Radish – Cherry Belle radishes – check out these recipes.
Chives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces. I enjoy using them in potatoes on the grill.
Cilantro – Fresh cilantro has such a wonderful aroma.
Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta Leaves
Recipe of the Week
With the onset of lettuce, kale and spinach in your boxes this week. Give this family favorite a try.
3 Tablespoons apple juice
2 Tablespoons strawberry spreadable fruit
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
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
- In small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients until blended; set aside.
- 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.
- Add dressing to skillet; stir to loosen any pan drippings.
- Cut chicken into slices. Among 4 plates, divide spinach. Top with chicken, strawberries and cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts.