Behind the Scenes



Harvesting together a variety of beautiful produce.

As the growing season is starting to wrap up, you may be wondering why you received some produce items in your box, and why not others. Every growing season is different. While you can plan for some obstacles, some you cannot. So here is a synopsis of some of the crops. We hope this provides answers to some of your questions.

Throughout the growing season we plant different crops multiple times – planting every 2-3 weeks to ensure a continuous supply. You may have noticed that some of them have not been continuous and some have.

  • The following had different plantings that did not grow during a dry spell. In other words the seeds never germinated – they simply didn’t grow. We just kept planting until they did grow: lettuce varieties, spinach, carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers and beets.
  • Some were eaten by a new particular insect (Japanese Beetles) that found interest in our crops this year – both varieties of kohlrabi, radishes, rutabaga.
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    We found this little fella enjoying the tomatoes. We believe it may be a cutworm.

  • Tomatoes – The cut worms usually found in corn seemed to LOVE the tomatoes this year. Simply sad to see so many destroyed.
  • Garlic – we planted a fall crop that did not grow and planted twice this spring – no luck. We are trying a different supplier of bulbs to plant this fall.
  • Sweet Corn – We usually plant a crop and also work with our neighbors. Due to the unusual spring, this delayed the planting for our neighbors, and the raccoons found their crop very tasty. Due to Steve’s fall earlier this spring, we simply ran out of time. We are hopeful that you may still receive one bag yet this September.
  • Ornamental Corn – This may be a bit delayed, but we are hopeful that this crop will come to fruition. We had some germination and weed challenges that we believe we have under control for next year.
  • Pumpkins, squash and gourds – All I can say is oh my, do we have these crops. While germination was a challenge out of the gate, it sure didn’t seem to be at the end. A nice surprise to its beginnings. We were disappointed to not have more spaghetti and acorn squash grow.
  • Corn Stalks – Also to note, the weather on Monday did break some of the stalks – so we will know this weekend if we will have cornstalk bundles for you next week. But honestly if that is all we had from this week’s weather we are grateful. We did receive pea size hail on Tuesday night, but it did not appear to harm the pumpkins.

Garden Science


Double pumpkin… looks like two that grew together.

What weights more – is there any relationship to its stem? From our observation, there isn’t but check out the varieties, weights and stem sizes. It is worth noticing. Thank you to everyone who has been out to help harvest. We hope you enjoy the surprises as much as we do.

Boxes of Produce


Packing boxes can be a bonding experience. It actually builds a lot of different good skill sets.

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, Spinach and Kale – The spinach loved the weather. The Black Seeded Simpson took a beating in the hard rain on Monday, but it does seem to be thriving now after the heat and rain.

Basil If you are in need of some fresh basil or some to dry or freeze, we have some.

Green BeansSuch a delicious vegetable cooked, eaten raw or in salads. The funny thing with this crop is that it is the same planting that continues to give.

Sweet Savour Hybrid Peppers – They may be small, but they pack quite the taste. The beautiful and tasty tricolor fruit looks like hot peppers but eats like sweet peppers.

Mama Mia Giallo HybridTapered 7–9″ fruits are smooth-skinned and uniform in shape. Prized as one of the earliest sweet peppers of its size—fruit ripens just 80 days after transplanting. Excellent fresh, roasted, or grilled.

Green Bell Peppers – Sweet Carnival Mix which are all classic bell hybrids.


Serrano Tampiqueno Pepper – excellent for drying pickling, salsas, and stews.

Pepper, Hot, Serrano Tampiqueno – Heat-lovers, here’s another Mexican favorite used in a variety of dishes, from salsas to soups.

Carrots – Esperanza carrots – enjoy these summer delights. This new crop is out of the garden versus the raised bed.

Kohlrabi So glad that the insects didn’t win this time on this crop. Peel and cut like an apple eat raw, in salads or dip the slices in peanut butter. Enjoy!

Onions –Yellow and Purple If you are feeling overloaded on onions, cut them up and spread them out and freeze on a cookie sheet or pan. Once frozen place in a container or a Ziploc bag for use throughout the year. I do this and am just coming to my end of frozen onions. This helps speed up my meal preparation. See how onions are grown in Washington.

Potatoes – Kennebec (great for baking) and Norlands (good for cooked or mashed) potatoes are in your boxes this week.


Did you know that sweet potatoes are in the morning-glory family?

Sweet PotatoesDusky red-skinned Beauregard is the most widely grown commercial cultivar. This versatile variety lends itself to baking, boiling, mashing, or frying. Once you have harvested all your sweet potatoes, it is time to cure them. Store your sweet potatoes in a dry and cool environment (such as a garage or basement). Letting them cure for two months is said to enhance their flavor, but it can be hard to wait that amount of time especially if you love sweet potatoes.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – This crop is slowly coming on with either Golden Egg Hybrid great to wash and slice to eat on a veggie tray, use on a kabob or try it sautéed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Peter Pan Squash – No need to peel, simply wash and cut up this squash and use like the others. Too much of this squash or not ready to use it yet? Use it as fall decoration in the meantime. Check out these recipes.

ZucchiniThis crop has been a bit slow due to our insect challenges this year. But it is coming on. So like the cauliflower and kohlrabi we are alternating it around the shareholders. Enjoy – here are some recipes from Country Living.

Tomatoes – Let us know if you would like extra to freeze, make into salsa, or can. Included this week are some of the 4th of July, Mama Mia, SunGold Cherry tomatoes and a few more varieties sprinkled in. Learn more about tomatoes on America’s Heartland. Learn how to freeze your tomatoes here.

Purple Cauliflower– love the color – check out this week’s recipe.



WatermelonsSangria are smaller 8-12 pound fruit and Micky Lee some of them weigh over 20 pounds. Leftovers can be frozen and used in a fruit smoothie.

Butternut Squash– This is our family favorite of squashes. It is hourglass in shape. Here are a few recipes for Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart.


Carnival Squash

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.

Delicata – Sweet delicata squash is ideal for a quick vegetable side — it doesn’t need to be peeled and roasts in just 15 minutes. Here is a recipe. is a good breakdown of the different varieties with suggestions of how to use them.

Sweet Dumpling – Dumpling squash is best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, sautéing, baking, and steaming and it can be used in both sweet and savory preparations. Its lumpy exterior and small size make it difficult to peel and are most often cooked with their skin on. Similar to a potato and acorn squash, the skin of the Dumpling squash is edible once cooked, though often it is just discarded. Dumpling squash can be halved, cooked, and served as an ideal size for stuffing with meats, cheeses, grains, or other vegetables and it can be roasted and served as a stand-alone side dish.


Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash

Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash – This is a popular squash that has attractive orange-red skin. Yellow and creamy flesh is very sweet and nutty. It is a Hubbard type squash and sometimes also referred to as a baby red Hubbard type since its appearance is like that of a petite hubbard. The word “kuri” translates to mean chestnut in Japanese, the main flavor profile found in the Red Kuri squash. It is a squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C as well as potassium and iron. Hard-skinned Red Kuri squash can be difficult to peel and are most easily cooked in their skin. Split squash in half, scoop out seeds, and roast cut-side down until tender. Red Kuri can also be cut into wedges or cubes and roasted. The skin of Red Kuri once cooked is tender enough to consume so need not be removed prior to eating.

Gourds – Look for more to come – a lot of harvesting to be done.

Pumpkins – We hope you enjoy this fall ornament


Quite a few varieties of pumpkins to choose from.

Recipe of the Week


Purple cauliflower – Purple cauliflower’s color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.

Cauliflower on the Grill

½ head of cauliflower

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Lemon pepper (as desired)

Wash and break up cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Place on aluminum foil. Add butter and lemon pepper. Wrap up in foil. Place on medium low heat on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes (until tender) turning once. Sprinkle cheese on it and let it set for a few minutes so it melts.

Source: Willow Lake Church cookbook


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