Feeling overwhelmed with garden produce?

Wow! The boxes have been heavy the last few weeks. They will continue to be overflowing until the end of September if the weather cooperates. With school starting and schedules changing, this can be overwhelming. Yet, if you can make a little time every so often, these items can continue to feed your family for several weeks into the winter. So, I started thinking about how I would use the produce if I were a shareholder and what might be helpful to you.

  • Quite a bit of the produce we eat plain such as cucumbers, green beans, peas, beets and spinach/lettuce mix. Often times, I make a salad at noon and incorporate many of these vegetables.
  • Or for my noon lunch, I will make a lettuce, tomato and cucumber sandwich. I love bacon…I just don’t have time to make it.
  • I find myself eating kohlrabi and carrots with peanut butter for a snack.
  • I bake a variety of zucchini items, and they disappear fast around teenagers. I also found that I really enjoy Laura’s mom’s Zucchini hotdish.

We try to preserve many of these items for use throughout the year.

  • We can tomatoes for salsa or tomato juice. The juice is eventually made into tomato sauce for spaghetti or pizza.
  • I freeze tomatoes for vegetable soup or chili.
  • When I cook carrots to go with a meal, I will cook extra and then puree the extra in a blender, freeze in ice cube trays and then add a cube or two of carrots to my homemade tomato sauce when I make spaghetti or pizza.
  • I cut up my onions and peppers with my Pampered Chef chopper and freeze them to add quickly to a meal throughout the year.
  • We store potatoes in a cool, dark place and eat them throughout the winter. I also am a true Scandinavian and could eat potatoes with every meal.
  • When the winter squash arrives, I will load up my oven with winter squash. Cook about 9-12 at a time. After I have made them…I will freeze the squash in cupcake tins, pop the frozen squash out of the tins and store them in Ziploc bag in the freezer.
  • As for spaghetti squash, it ranks up there with the zucchini hotdish. Super healthy and light. We make it when we cook spaghetti and offer it as a choice for that meal.
  • Extra green beans are either frozen or canned.
  • When I have extra sweet corn leftover after a meal, I simply cut it off the cob, put it in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. Yes, that is all I do.

I know this may seem like a lot. I find if I carve out the needed time to preserve the produce, it helps me with meal preparation long-term. It is affordable, and it keeps us fed, healthy and happy. These outcomes make the extra effort worth it! For now, take a deep breath. See what works for you. If all else fails, I’m sure there is a neighbor that would greatly appreciate some fresh produce!

Garden Science

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/Red Oak Leaf Mix – You will notice that there has been insect pressure on the spinach eating small holes in some of the leaves after we received the rain.

Green Beans – This is our final round of green beans. Think about ways to preserve them so your family can enjoy them this winter. Check out this green bean soup from Hearty Sol.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – I’m hoping for another week of peas. Enjoy!

Carrots –You may notice a few carrots where the potato fork may have broken them off in digging. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

Dark Red Beets – Learn more about the health benefits of eating beats from the Mayo Clinic. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Cucumbers – These cucumbers renewed their production after the last few rains. Let us know if you would like to make pickles and would like dill. Here is a recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Potatoes – Red Norlands are great for mashed potatoes. Check out this week’s recipe below for potato bread.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and Sun Gold Hybrid cherry tomatoes this week. Let us know if you would like some for canning.

Onion – Cut up and freeze your onion to add quickly to a meal that you are making.

Peppers – A variety from sweet to mild to hot! The variety of peppers this week primarily are yummy pepper, carnival blend and jungle pepper.

Purple Kohlrabi – love the color.

Kohlrabi – This vegetable can be peeled and cut finely and added to hot dishes or cut like an apple and eaten raw plain or with peanut butter.

Eggplant – Learn how to use this vegetable here.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms for this week’s delicious sweet corn.

Zucchini – So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Check out these interesting facts about this vegetable on LiveStrong. Try this pasta primavera recipe from Martha Stewart.

Summer Squash – Check out these recipes from Farm Flavor.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas and Zinnias.

Recipe of the Week

Potato Bread

1 package of active dry yeast

1/4 cup of war water


1/2 cup mashed potatoes

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk, scalded (link to how to scald milk)

1 egg

4 – 4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Soften yeast in warm water (to speed up the yeast add about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and stir in). Allow the yeast to begin to rise (fun science experiment with the kids). In a separate bowl combine hot potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and scalded milk. Cool to lukewarm

Add softened yeast and egg. Stir. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Stir in remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes). Here are two links one to show you how to knead by hand and the other with your stand mixer and dough hook.

Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides of your bread. Cover with Saran Wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double. About 1 hour. Punch the bread down. Shape in ball, Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into rolls, place on greased baking sheet. Let rise until double (about 1 hour). Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

Note: To Make herb bread add with dry ingredients: ¼ teaspoon of each of the following: marjoram, oregano, thyme and garlic powder and add 1 tablespoon of finely cut onion.

Leave a Reply