Life is Like Digging Potatoes

9-23-14 Done with Potatoes

This is how the boys feel when we are done harvesting one of the crops: excited, proud and relieved. This may be an old photo but it certainly captures how we feel about potato harvest.

Digging potatoes is absolutely one of my favorite parts of the garden. I love seeing what the surprise is below, how big and how many potatoes can be harvested from one plant. In the end, I love seeing the rewards of our labor. Every once and awhile the ants or the mice have gotten into the potatoes (yes below ground), and it is such a disappointment. They have eaten the potatoes away or put disgusting holes in them. You see, I am Scandinavian so I LOVE potatoes and could literally eat them for every meal. It doesn’t matter how they are cooked – I LOVE them! But I do refrain from eating them that frequently. While we have been digging potatoes for a few weeks, this week is our big push to finish the harvest, and it is rewarding.


Life is a lot like digging potatoes, you never quite know what life will bring you. Many things in life reap wonderful rewards for our efforts and pleasant surprises. But every once and awhile life brings you one of those bad ones. We need to keep our eyes focused on what we love about life, and the wonderful rewards it has in order to reap the full harvest. Our efforts are worth it.

Fall is also a time of apple harvest. While I was harvesting with the boys, I saw many similarities to life as well. Take a look – life is full of lessons if we pause long enough to reflect on it. Remember reflecting on your day and on your learned experiences gives you time to be grateful and look forward to what is to come with hope.

We hope your week ahead is filled with the joys of digging potatoes!


Garden Science


Often times when we select vegetables at the grocery store, we look for them to be “perfect” but in reality, life is beautifully “imperfect.” Take a look at this summer squash how it is not perfectly formed, and the stem is off centered. It doesn’t make it any less useful but wonderfully unique. Perhaps taking a step back this week will have you view some things as beautifully imperfect.

Pick-Up and Delivery

  • Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in email.
  • It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.
  • Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

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.


Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

 Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

 Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.


Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

Radishes – It is the last of radishes for this season to add to salads, eat raw or include in a hotdish.


Green Beans – Another crop of green beans…this cold weather has slowed the growth down. Hoping this finishes strong.

Onions Enjoy purple onions this week.  Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

 Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

wp-15996767010006365719895918393545.jpgCarnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.



Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about growing peppers from America’s Heartland.

 Tomatoes – A few grape and large tomatoes for you. We simply had less tomatoes this year because our favorite varieties were difficult to get due to more people planting their own gardens. We are sad that the varieties we planted had disappointing yields.

9-12-14 potatoes

Potatoes – Red Norlands are great cooked as mashed potatoes or cooked potatoes. You could also make the left overs into potato patties. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland.


It’s always fun to see how many sweet potatoes come out of the ground.

Sweet Potatoes – Thank you to our neighbors the Schwatkes and their love of sweet potatoes. We appreciate them sharing slips of this variety, Beauregard. Watch America’s Heartland to learn more about how Sweet Potatoes are raised in Arkansas.

8-15-12 Name carving in pumpkins

In early August, Steve took one of his Grandpa’s handmade wood carving tool and headed to the garden and carefully etched the last names into a pumpkin. We hope you enjoy this decoration this fall. It is one of our ways of saying Thank You for business!

Pumpkins – We hope you enjoyed the name pumpkins this week. It is such a fun project to do each year.


Arrangement – A variety of flowers including zinnias, hydrangeas and Sedum.


Recipe of the Week

Cook your Kuri, Butternut, Carnival Squash or the Jarrahdale (green) or Cinnamon Girl Pumpkin as you traditionally would.

Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup cold water

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin (I use 1 cup cooked squash)

Combine flour, sugar, butter, soda, spices and salt in bowl. Add 1/3 cup cold water, eggs, and pumpkin (squash) mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack.

Source: Pat Kuznik – West Polk County: Blue Ribbon Favorites Minnesota 4-H Foundation

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