With this beautiful weather, it is hard to believe it is October. But the changing colors all around us tell us that change is inevitable. Fall is here, and as any good Minnesotan knows, it is time to prepare for winter. Many thoughts come to mind as we wrap-up the season.
Gratitude. As we were harvesting, we couldn’t help but be grateful for the bounty that was present for us to share with all of you. After all, it is October. Last evening as we were cleaning up fences and mulch, we were so grateful for the amazing weather – take time to find those moments for attitude of gratitude.
Change. Change is unavoidable. We love seeing the changes that occur throughout the season. We all dread different parts of the hard work throughout, aka weeding and insects. But we love the look of a clean slate after all the field work has been completed, and it’s ready for new beginnings. It’s a lot like any part of life. Positive outlooks make for positive outcomes.
Appreciation. We were working on this year’s planting before the pandemic started. Many considerations needed to be in place before we could move forward this year – including a Minnesota Department of Agriculture on-farm COVID-19 plan. We have appreciated the fact we were able to proceed with the CSA, and the opportunities to have conversations, laughter and shared moments with all of you.
Tenacity. Throughout this year, we have watched the boys learn new things and take the lead on projects. Their determination to figure it out and see it to the end is a characteristic we all need during these interesting times. Believe that a positive outcome is out there and Carpe Diem.
Boxes of Produce
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.
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.
Green Beans – Wow this crop finished strong. Enjoy, freeze for this winter if it is to much to handle this week.
Onions –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 – A few to end 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.
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 Squash – Baby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.
Carnival 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.
Butternut Squash – A favorite in our house. Cut in half, place cut side down, put about an inch of water in the cake pan, cover with aluminum foil and back for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out the seeds and peel away skin. Mix in ½ cup butter and ¾ cup brown sugar. Enjoy!
Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about peppers at America’s Heartland.
Tomatoes – A few grape tomatoes to finish off the season. This is the strangest crop of tomatoes we have ever had. Looking forward to great varieties next year. Check out this blog from the Foodie Farmer on growing and harvesting tomatoes on their farm.
Potatoes – Kennebec and Yukon Gold this week. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland. Check out the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for more information.
Swan Gourds – These are such fun gourds. The color is so refreshing.
Recipe of the Week
Our salsa recipe is simple. Mrs Wages Salsa mix with some onions and peppers to taste. Here is a canning guide from the University of Minnesota Extension.