Evenings provide peace

Evenings provide peace

This hot weather has sped up weed growth. While we have been fortunate to catch a few spotty rains. The crops are struggling with the hot, dry weather. The good news…we are not as hot and dry as in 1988.

According to the University of Minnesota – Waseca crop and weather watch:  Dry weather continued this week, but we did get some relief from the extreme heat that we recorded last week. Temperature averaged 76.2 degrees which is 8.0 degrees warmer than normal. Growing degree units (GDUs) totaled 167, 31% more than normal. Since May 1, we have now accumulated 726 GDUs or 22% more than normal. Most involved in Minnesota crop production remember 1988 as the hot and dry season. For comparative purposes in 1988 we were 14% warmer and 0.6-inch drier than so far this year.

I remember how hot and dry 1988 was. Most specifically, I recall the big cracks in the fields. The cracks were so big you could easily lose a plier in them and not expect to see it resurface anytime soon. So, as we watch this year’s weather, we also pray for rain. Not just for us, but for so many that need it around our country. Our crops are dry, and watering has been part of the routine and needs to be even more so going forward. Even so, the beautiful summer evenings provide peace and beauty.

Even though it has been hot, the evenings cool off wonderfully and is such a peaceful and beautiful time to work outside.


Garden Science

Sam found a baby Killdeer in the garden this week. Farmers and ranchers provide wildlife habitats all over our country. We have the privilege to witness the best and worst of Mother Nature. This is an example of one of the joys.

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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

Rhubarb – One-pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2-inch pieces. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out these recipes at Taste of Home.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from Chute Family Farm near Aitkin. Check out America’s Heartland’s information on asparagus.

Spinach and Beet Leaves– Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy.

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce continues to produce for a few harvests. Cut the leaves and they will grow back for a few harvests. We do plant a few plantings of this throughout the summer.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. This crop is coming to an end.

Cherry Belle Radish

Cherry Belle Radish – Add great flavor and color to a salad. My mom loves a radish sandwich…sliced radishes between two slices of buttered bread.

Hostas with Weigela, Asparagus greens – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

I’m sharing two recipes this week. Because both of these crops are close to the end. First, one for asparagus that is new to us this year, and the second is a favorite of our for rhubarb. Enjoy!

This hot weather has sped up the weed growth. While we have been fortunate to catch a few spotty rains. The crops are struggling with the hot, dry weather.
Rhubarb Muffins

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup applesauce

1 egg

1/2 cup yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup finely sliced rhubarb

Topping:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Combine sugar, applesauce, egg, yogurt and vanilla in a bowl. Sift flour, soda, and salt together and stir into liquid mixture. Blend in nuts and rhubarb. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Topping: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and sprinkle over batter in muffin tins. Tip: I always spray the liners with a spritz of baking spray so the muffins don’t stick to the liners. Bake at 325 degrees  for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. This can also be baked in a greased loaf pan for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Look for the Gift

Look for the Gift

This morning on my morning walk, I noticed some animals on the road. As I got closer, I noticed it was two does and a fawn. I wondered if I was quiet enough, if could I close the gap and get a closer look at them. As luck would have it, the does noticed me and went into the field, but the fawn was hesitant to go into the taller grass in the ditch. So it ran along on the shoulder of the road. A car drove by, and the fawn went into the ditch to hide. As I got closer to where it was hiding, the doe bleated and stamped her feet trying to distract me and warn the fawn. Even so, I was able to capture this photo.

Fawn near our home this morning.

Isn’t it a joy when we are able to experience the beauty God has around us? When we take time to notice the gifts and are able to experience the many gifts in their natural habitat. We need to pause and take it in and appreciate the gift we have been given.

In some ways, life appears to be getting back to a glimpse of pre-covid normal. But what have we learned from what we have experienced? For us, it was a reminder to pause, take it in and appreciate the gifts that are around us.

We appreciate the opportunity to grow for you. It is a gift and a joy to work with all of you.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… James 1:17

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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

Rhubarb – One-pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, chop into 1/4 – 1/2-inch pieces. No need to peel. You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, breads, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte. Check out these recipes at Taste of Home.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from Lorence’s Berry Farm near Northfield. Check out America’s Heartland’s information on asparagus.

Spinach can be harvested many times from the same crop. You cut the leaves off of the plant, and they grow back. So we get several harvests from one planting.

Spinach – Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

French Radish – I never get tired of the beautiful colors of this crop.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. This crop is coming to an end.

Cherry Belle Radish – Add great flavor and color to a salad. My mom loves a radish sandwich…sliced radishes between two slices of buttered bread.

Chives – Cut them up and use as you would onions. Add good flavor to a variety of dishes. Try the Pioneer Woman’s Cheddar Chive Biscuits.

Hostas with Weigela, Peonies, Asparagus greens – These should brighten up your home.

Herb Pots – choose from cilantro, basil, purple basil, oregano, thyme and parsley

Recipe of the Week

This is a family favorite. Quite honestly, I make a variety of these jams to last us the entire year.

After cooling it down in the refrigerator and then place in freezer after a day or two days. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Jam

Mix together and set aside until a juice forms:
6 cups rhubarb sliced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups sugar

Next:
Add one can of pie filling (cherry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry)
Cook these ingredients for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add 1 package of 3 oz Jell-O (use Jell-O that is of the same flavor as the pie filling).

Mix well. Pour into containers. Refrigerate or freeze.

Growth in Sight

Growth in Sight

June is upon us, and like you, we are anxious to see plant growth and move to the next steps…harvesting and eating! The lack of moisture slowed plant growth. So, the rainfall at the end of May was such a blessing, and the sight of plants emerging and growing is such a joy. A lot has been “growing on” at our place the past few months. Here is a glimpse of the activity. 

The planting is complete. Tomatoes, peppers and more were planted this week after the frost warnings. We plant them in the mulch to prevent soil-borne diseases, and it keeps the tomatoes and peppers clean.
I love looking at the seed potato bags and seeing where they were grown in Minnesota.
We finished planting the majority of the garden on April 25. The lack of moisture in May slowed the crop growth. The moisture we were grateful to receive the past two weeks has been very helpful. Above, Steve prepares the seed potatoes for planting.
Good news the rhubarb will be ready for you to enjoy.
The green beans have emerged. I always love seeing how the plant splits open the seed to emerge and extend it’s leaves as it grows. Those are dandelion seeds on the leaves.
Sam’s turkeys are growing like crazy, and he is enjoying learning from this 4-H project. They will be full grown in the middle to end of July. Let Sam know if you would be interested in learning more.
Keith’s meat chickens, broilers, are also growing fast. The added use of hormones as growth promotants in poultry and pork production is illegal in the U.S. Broilers have been selected to be naturally muscular. They just love to eat and grow.