Elbow Grease at Work

Elbow Grease went to work out in the garden this weekend pulling over 10 tractor bucket loads of weed. The plants are happy. The animals are happy, and we are exhausted. In the process, we found some neat things growing, from watermelon and sweet potato plants, to small pumpkins and squash. There is a lot to look forward to as these crops mature.

Thank you to Keith for being our photographer for most of the photos this week.


Weeding is not a favorite family bonding activity. The bonus is the opportunity to visit, physically seeing positive process at the end of the job, and animals that were very excited about eating the weeds and the insects.

Garden Science


Green beans are a legume plant. See the little balls fixated to the root – this is a root nodule. Root nodules are found on the roots of plants, primarily legumes, that form a symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.[1] Under nitrogen-limiting conditions, capable plants form a symbiotic relationship with a host-specific strain of bacteria known as rhizobia.[2] This process has evolved multiple times within the legumes, as well as in other species found within the Rosid clade.[3] Legume crops include beans, peas, and soybeans.

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.

Remember that 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.

Carrots – This weather helped this root vegetable mature. Learn more about carrots from America’s Heartland.

Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. Here are some ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use your beets.


Giant Duke Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi. Peel it and slice like an apple. Here are more ideas.

Green Beans – The first round of green beans have been harvested. If you want to pickle any, please let us know as we have dill that you can use.


FanciPak Cucumbers – great for canning into pickles. We have them growing up an angled fence so they grow down and are easier to harvest and cleaner at harvest time with less chance of a soil borne plant disease.

Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – we will have cucumbers for a while. We hope you enjoy this healthy snack. Check out the history behind Minnesota’s pickle company Gedney Pickles.

Onion – Yellow onions are in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions from America’s Heartland.

Potatoes – Red Pontiac potatoes great for mashed or cooked potatoes. Since they are a crop that is still growing – the potatoes will get more plentiful and larger

Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Flower after flower will grow into a zucchini. Check out this week’s recipe for a family favorite.

Summer Squash – Make these into noodles, sauté and more. Try making this or zucchini into noodles.

20190731_192158.jpgFlowers of the Week – Hostas, Zinnias, Hydrangeas, Rudebekia, sunflowers and Tiger Lillies

Recipe of the Week

A favorite in our house. Thank you to Sarah Durenberger for this recipe.


Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Vegetable Oil (I use apple sauce instead of the oil.)
4 Eggs
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 cup Baking Cocoa
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
3 cups Shredded Zucchini

1. Beat sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla together. Mix dry ingredients. Stir into mixture. Add chocolate chips and shredded zucchini.
2. Pour batter into 4-5 mini loaf pans (or 2 large loaf pans), coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool.


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