Fair Week Again

Yes, it is fair week again. This time it is the Minnesota State Fair. We hear a lot about the food at the state fair. While there, I encourage you to take time to get to know the people, the farmers, that grow and raise the food we enjoy. Did you know that over 60% of all Minnesotans have never met a farmer.


I encourage you to stop by the Minnesota Farm Bureau building located on Underwood Street, behind the big yellow slide and across from the food court. Take a short quiz and as part of the quiz one of the stops is to meet one of the farmers in the building. Trust me the quiz is short and the conversation will be valued. Plus you can earn a prize and enter some drawings. Also, stop by the Miracle of Birth Center, Moo Booth, Baa Booth, Oink Booth, Horse Booth, Little Farmhands and the Agriculture Horticulture Building – don’t forget to stop by and see the butterheads being carved. All are great learning experiences.



As a parent, the learning begins before, during and after the fair for our 4-Her. He has spent a lot of time in the three areas he is participating in this week. General Livestock Judging was held Wednesday. This contest includes judging a pen of four animals in the species area of pigs, beef cattle, sheep and goats, answering questions on the class following judging the class without looking at the animals and giving reasons to a judge as to why you placed a class a certain way. He and his team have been practicing regularly with the guidance of their coaches. This contest not only develops youth to feel more confident in their speaking and decision making, it also helps to develop confidence in selecting their own animals. Yes, at the state contest they also need to learn to dress up. The boys all had ties on during the contest that was an all day contest. The intermediate team placed 9th and the senior team placed 3rd. Proud of the kids and coaches and thankful for the families that allowed them to judge on their farms.


Then there is the swine (pig) project. Keith has spent countless hours walking, brushing and feeding/watering his market gilt (female pig that has not given birth) to prepare her for the show on Friday. As part of this project, youth conduct livestock interviews, participate in learning how to share their knowledge of agriculture with consumers and have an option to participate in a BBQ contest. Keith’s knowledge for this project and understanding of the animals he works with has grown immensely. The 4-H animals will be at the fair the first 4 days.

For many, seeing the animals is such a fun and exciting opportunity. Realizing there is so much to learn, it is hard to know what question to start a conversation with. I would encourage you the next time you are at your state fair or county fair to great the 4-Hers, FFA members or farmers with, “Hi, can you tell me about your project or animals?”
Open the door to the opportunity for a valuable conversation. I had a great conversation with a 4-Her about his pigeon project this week and learned so much.

I to am always amazed when I ask others about their projects and their farms. It is so fun to learn more from them. Seek to understand more about your food through valuable conversations in these venues.

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.

Lettuce/Spinach – You have some Red Oak Lettuce and Spinach in your box. This next crop has been a real challenge to get going.

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

Detroit Dark Red Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. They serve this beet soup at church, and I love it.

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


Dragon Tongue Beans

Dragon Tongue Beans – This heritage variety of beans can be used like green beans. Enjoy the different color.

Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – we will have cucumbers for a while. We hope you enjoy this healthy snack. Check out these refrigerator pickle recipes from Taste of Home.

Onion – You have one Yellow onion in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions from America’s Heartland.


Super Sugar Snap peas – see the pods…

Super Sugar Snap Peas – This is the last harvest from the second crop. The third and final crop is growing well.

Tomatoes – This crop is just taking off. A taste of a few cherry tomatoes and Fourth of July tomatoes this week. Here are a few recipe ideas from America’s Heartland.

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes great for baked potatoes. The red Norlands are great for cooking. Some of you may have some younger potatoes in your boxes (smaller). I find that the potatoes right out of the garden often times cook and bake faster than others. Yeah – faster meal preparation!

Green Bell Peppers – The peppers are just taking off.


Banana Pepper – I find this plant so funny. It defies gravity and the peppers grow up.

Banana Pepper – I cut these up and freeze extra peppers for later in the year.

Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Flower after flower will grow into a zucchini.

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

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors, the Peterson family, for contributing the sweet corn in this week’s box. Quick Tip: If you don’t eat all the sweet corn you have cooked, cut it off the cob and freeze it in a container. Reheat your frozen corn for your vegetable at another meal or use in a hot dish, salsa or a soup.



Yes, they all know how to make a flower bouquet and identify types of flowers.

Flowers of the Week – Zinnias, Hydrangeas and Teddy Bear Sunflowers




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