Why 4-H?

This week is fair week. If you have never shown at the fair or had family members that have shown, let me paint a picture for you. The house and laundry are chaos. Meals are served in the barn. Tension is very high, and sleep deprivation is present. Families learn to navigate and operate together under high stress situations. Many wonder, why do you do this?

Fair week is where 4-H projects outcomes become a realization. We watch children grow and achieve personal growth that they didn’t know was possible. 4-Hers learn, fail, succeed, face challenges and grow in a safe environment.

Our boys bring both general projects and livestock projects to the fair. On Monday, they bring in general projects from shop to foods to photography to gardening to safety to so much more! 4-H isn’t just for farm kids, it is for everyone.

I ask the boys to do general projects because general projects are life skills in action, developing new skillsets, exploring new areas and visiting with an adult judge explaining all they have learned. While the judging might appear nerve racking, the boys both enjoy visiting with the judge about their projects and sharing their knowledge.

Livestock projects develop different skill sets including growing their knowledge of agriculture and developing an understanding and passion for feeding people. Thinking of others, putting people first while being compassionate caretakers for animals. Not to many people can say that they enjoy working with a nearly 300 pound animal…their pig.

Why are 4-H projects judged? To Make the Best Better. Each 4-H project allows youth to reflect on new goals they can set, new ways to challenge themselves and to foster a growth mindset towards a positive perspective.

4-H provides an opportunity to network and learn from others, cultivate communication and leadership skills, and provides unique situations to develop lifelong skill sets.

The 4-H Pledge

I PLEDGE my HEAD to clearer thinking,
my HEART to greater loyalty,
my HANDS to larger service,
and my HEALTH to better living,
for my family, my club, my community, my country and my world.

I encourage you to support our youth and encourage them to be involved in 4-H. 4-H helps us to grow and develop our future leaders for our communities. We all know we need good leaders. Our youth our worth our time and investment.

Why do we stretch ourselves thin on fair week and with our involvement in 4-H? Our kids are our why. Our kids our worth our time and investment. The future of our communities and all areas that need leadership are worth it. Learn more at your county Extension office or search 4-H in your state.

Garden Science

Learn more at University of Minnesota Extension.

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.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – This garden favorite is producing like crazy. It is hard to keep up. The second crop of peas was planted mid-June. Due to the dry weather, it has been slower growing. While I love to just eat these peas fresh. Here are a few ideas from Taste of Home for additional ways to use them.

Green Beans – Learn more about green bean production from America’s Heartland here.

Radishes – Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt. Some radish recipes from Taste of Home.

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Carrots – First round of carrots. More to come!

Cucumbers – The first cucumbers of the season. Here is a simple cucumber salad recipe from Martha Stewart.

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes good for baked potatoes. Learn more here.

Zucchini – The first of the season. So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. I have posted

Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas, Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded zucchini

1-1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, sugar and oil; stir into dry ingredients until blended. Stir in walnuts and vanilla.

2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

3. In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in sugar and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook and stir 1 minute or until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in chips and marshmallows until melted and smooth; add vanilla. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.

Source: Taste of Home

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