As we harvested last night, I watched as the local college cross country team used the top of our hill and our driveway as a finish line. One after the other, teammates and coaches encouraged each one to finish strong as they headed up the hill to the finish line.
I found it an interesting sign from God during harvest season. Especially with the recent heavy rains that are making harvest more challenging across the region, and the efforts to finish the harvest race more challenging. We must never lose sight of the finish line and our short-term and long-term goals. In agriculture our goals may look something like:
- Short-term: Finish this season strong – complete the harvest sharing with those around us the best quality products our efforts can offer.
- Long-term: Share our inborn fondness with others with what we have in common, food and our love of our family, while constantly striving to do better than what we did before and leave the world better than what we found it.
Sometimes harvesting and life can be exhuasting. Never lose sight of the bigger picture. Always encourage each other to finish strong no matter what the task or the hill you need to climb.
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 – The last crop of lettuce is coming in. It should love this cold weather. 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. A new crop should be in next week.
Red Salad Bowl Lettuce – Beautiful color for sandwiches and salads.
Spinach – Mix together with the above lettuces for a beautiful colored salad.
Green Beans – Let us know if you are interested in more for canning or freezing.
Purple Vienna Kohlrabi – Try these ideas from Martha Stewart.
Detroit Dark Red Beets – Try cooking them in boiling water, rub their skins off, slice them and freeze for use this winter.
Cilantro – Learn how to preserve your herbs for use later in the year from Martha Stewart.
Green Bell Peppers – Learn how to make stuffed peppers here.
Banana Pepper – I have been cutting up and freezing the peppers with the intent to use them for recipes throughout the season.
Cherry Stuffer Hybrid sweet peppers – These are the small, round red peppers.
Cucumbers – A crop of a smaller variety of cucumbers. Maybe you want to can some or are interested in refrigerator pickles.
Carrots – See how carrots are grown in Georgia on America’s Heartland.
Radishes – It is a cool season crop which is just starting to produce. Look for more next week.
Peter Pan, Scallop Squash – This squash is a circular scalloped summer squash. Distinctive, delicious, and sweet flavor. It is not necessary to peel this squash before eating it. Cut it up like you would zucchini to grill it.
Summer Squash, Golden Egg Hybrid – Are you wondering how to use this summer squash – see how to cut it up here. Golden Egg’s a picture-perfect gourmet sensation-with succulent flavor and texture.
Butternut Squash – My favorite. I am disappointed that we didn’t have the bounty of this vegetable this year but it is still a good keeper. It will last awhile before spoiling.
Viking potatoes – Great for mashed potatoes.
Kennebec potatoes – Excellent for baked potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes – Dusky red-skinned Beauregard is the most widely grown commercial cultivar. Thank you to our neighbors, the Schwakes, who shared sweet potato slips and their knowledge of raising sweet potatoes to provide this wonderful addition to the boxes.
Pumpkins – While this crop was disappointing and challenging this year, we hope you are able to enjoy this fun fall decoration and Halloween tradition at your home.
Flowers – Name pumpkins
Recipe of the Week
This has become a family favorite. When Steve and I were first married we tried so many recipes for homemade pizza, and this is definitely our favorite. We usually make it on Friday nights. The crust recipe comes from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation’s Blue Ribbon Favorites recipe book by Jeannie Stangler of Waseca.
Pizza Parlor Crust
1 teaspoon yeast
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk, scalded, cooled
In a bowl, combine yeast, oil, sugar and 1/4 cup very war water. Let the yeast become active. Scald milk (this means you warm it up so that it forms has a slight skin on the top – I heat mine up for slightly more time then I do hot chocolate in the microwave). After yeast mixture has become “active,” add flour, salt and scalded milk. Mix well. Knead slightly (I do this in the bowl. I spray my hands with cooking spray and add a little more flour on the dough when kneading so that it is not super sticky and forms a nice ball of dough. The boys love to do this as well.) Lift up your ball of dough, spray with cooking spray, place dough back into bowl, spray the top of the dough, cover with a wet towel and let rise for 15 minutes to an hour. We bake ours on a clay pan. Sprinkle the pan with corn meal (or spray the pan with cooking spray).
Bake at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the crust just starts to turn a little brown. Take out and put your toppings on. Bake for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!!
- Homemade tomato sauce – here are a few links Ball Canning and U of M Extension. If you want to learn how to do this and feel overwhelmed, I understand. Steve actually taught me. Let me know and we can plan a day to have you come out for a lesson:)
- Chop up onions and peppers.
- I freeze leftover hamburgers. Before freezing, I crumble up the hamburger. Before placing on the pizza, I thaw it out. Super easy!
- Top with mozzarella cheese and any of your favorites.
- Place pepperoni on top (I love crispy pepperoni).
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Garnish with parsley.