Soak up the Moments

Soak up the Moments

Life passes us by so quickly. So many times in the rush of life, we forget to sit back and tell ourselves to soak it all in. Remember this moment. There are so many times this summer where I have stepped back and did exactly that. Primarily, it has been after Sam has begged me to go fishing for yet another day.

There have been other moments like watching the boys play baseball to watching them have the fair in person and showing their pigs to watching the sunset. Even the moments working outside together like our 20 min power break weeding sessions with timer and music in hand or simply good conversation.

I encourage you to take time, soak in those precious moments with those around you, be present and take those snapshots in your mind to hold close to your heart.

“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

Garden Science

Learn more about squash bugs from the 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.

Spinach/Black Seeded Simpson Mix – The rain really helped with both the insect pressure and overall growth.

Green Beans – The first crop of green beans are nearing the end. I’d encourage you to consider freezing or canning some for this fall. Let us know if you need some dill to make green bean pickles.

Dragon Tongue Beans – The Dragon Tongue bean can be utilized at multiple stages of maturity. When harvested young the entire bean, shell and seeds are edible. When cooked, the bean will lose its variegated colors. If allowed to mature fully the stripes on the bean will turn to a deep red color and the internal seeds of the bean pod can be shelled and used as is or left in their pods to dry then used as a dried bean.

Carrots – The carrot crop is plentiful. It is so interesting to see how the root vegetables have been adapting to grow deeper to reach moisture. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

Eggplant – Boy is this a bountiful crop this year. Let us know if you like eggplant!

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. I peeled off the skin before cooking them this week and that worked well. Learn more about their nutrition here.

Cucumbers – The cucumbers have kicked production into high gear. Let us know if you would like to make pickles. We do have dill that you could use. Here’s an interesting link on their nutritional value.

Potatoes Red Norland potatoes are good as boiled or mashed potatoes.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and the cherry tomatoes are Napa grape and Sun Gold Hybrid.

Zucchini –So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Try this zucchini mock apple pie square recipe.

Summer Squash – I had completely forgot about Summer Squash soup…another great way to use this vegetable. Check out the recipe below.

Fresh cut arrangement – Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Yellow Summer Squash Soup

2 large sweet onions, chopped

1 medium leek (white portion only), chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

6 medium yellow summer squash, seeded and cubed (about 6 cups)

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and leek; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Add squash; cook and stir 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, thyme and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until squash is tender, 15-20 minutes.

2. Discard thyme sprigs. Cool slightly. In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to the pan. Stir in lemon juice and hot pepper sauce; heat through. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and lemon zest.

Source: Taste of Home

Another Zucchini?

Another Zucchini?

I was tossing and turning last night dreaming of digging myself out of a pile of zucchini and patty pan summer squash. You too may have very well found yourself in a similar situation or looked in your box and sighed at the sight of another zucchini and summer squash.

Maybe you were even thinking, hmmm, how can I use this to keep my teenagers in line? I’m here to tell you they work well to keep a teenager in line/throw them off guard. Hence, why the boys may hear me yell, “Hut, hut!” or “Go long.” “Heads up!” Yes, zucchini and summer squash can provide some good entertainment.

At this time of year, it gets to the point where some may feel like you can’t even give zucchini away! Perhaps you have thought about gifting the zucchini to a neighbor at night. It kind of reminds me of fruit cake at Christmas. I’m here to say, reconsider the zucchini.

One night, the subject of “What is the big deal about zucchini?” came up at the supper table. So we Googled it and found a few resources that speak to the nutritional value of zucchini including WebMD and LiveStrong. I particularly liked how this vegetable has a lot of vitamins, helps to protect my eyes, my skin, weight, heart, possible cancer reducing properties, aids in digestion and more.

So, I figured I needed to find more ways to use this. I feel like they could make some comedy video on my discussions with people about how they use zucchini and summer squash. I do like what I have found on the Taste of Home, Martha Stewart and more.

This week we tried a hotdish that was a success and dessert with zucchini fudge brownies. Yes, the hotdish recipe was a discussion I had while watching one of the boy’s baseball games.

So give it another try. Provide some additional healthy options for your family. Next time I see you, just be prepared if I yell, “go long” just because moms can have fun too.

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.

Spinach/Red Oak Lettuce/Black Seeded Simpson Mix – The dry weather has put pressure on the crops that were planted in mid-June and early July. We are grateful for the rain we received this week. You will notice that there has been insect pressure on the spinach eating small holes in some of the leaves.

Green Beans – The green beans are plentiful. I’d encourage you to consider freezing or canning some for this fall. Here are a few recipes from Martha Stewart.

Dragon Tongue Beans – The Dragon Tongue bean can be utilized at multiple stages of maturity. When harvested young the entire bean, shell and seeds are edible. When cooked, the bean will lose its variegated colors. If allowed to mature fully the stripes on the bean will turn to a deep red color and the internal seeds of the bean pod can be shelled and used as is or left in their pods to dry then used as a dried bean.

Carrots – The carrot crop is progressing. It is so interesting to see how the root vegetables have been adapting to grow deeper to reach moisture. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

Radishes – This crop has been long-lasting this year. Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads or put in hot dishes. Some enjoy dipping in salt. Some radish recipes from Martha Stewart.

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. I peeled off the skin before cooking them this week and that worked well. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Cucumbers – The cucumbers have kicked production into high gear. Let us know if you would like to make pickles. We do have dill that you could use.

Potatoes Red Norland potatoes are good as boiled or mashed potatoes. The brown-skinned potatoes are Kennebecs. Learn more about how potatoes are grown here.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and Sun Gold Hybrid cherry tomatoes this week.

Sunburst Hybrid Summer Squash – butter yellow scallop-type squash.

Zucchini –So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Try this pasta primavera recipe from Martha Stewart.

Fresh cut arrangement – Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Spanish Style Squash Hotdish

Source: Farm Journal and from the kitchen of Mary Jo Patzer mother of one of our shareholders Laura Eschen. Thank you for sharing!

1 pound ground beef

1/3 cup chopped onion

5 cups Zucchini sliced (I used summer squash and used the slicing/chipping option in my salad shooter)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1/16 teaspoon pepper

8-ounce tomato sauce

12 oz mexi-corn or corn and peppers diced

Top with mozzarella cheese

Saute ground beef and onion. Add squash and seasonings. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover. Simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Top with cheese. Serve after the cheese has melted. Serves six.