Each growing season presents its unique challenges. This year is no different. The primarily dry last few months have created some interesting growth outcomes by the different crops. See the link to the drought monitor for an update. This also creates an interesting treasure hunt every time we are in the garden.
The cucumber production stalled out and then after each subsequent shot of moisture produced a substantial amount of cucumber growth. The peas have followed a similar pattern to cucumbers. Potato production is low. Seed germination has been challenging. Yet, boy have the turnips loved this weather, and likewise the watermelon and cantaloupe appear to be on the verge of greatness. The pumpkins are acting like the end of the growing season is here and are really close to harvest which is always a wonderful time of year!
This unpredictability reminds me a lot of life. As much as we plan and prepare for consistent or manageable outcomes, there are so many factors that impact our lives. Sometimes we just need to keep searching, looking for the treasures that do appear. Sometimes those treasures are right in front of us. Yet, many times it takes some work, persistence or steadfastness to find the treasures.
I encourage you to keep the faith. Keep searching for the treasures. God does remind us of the goodness that is right in front of us. It just might not be the way we are used to finding it.
Here is a look at Minnesota on the U.S. Drought Monitor. While the occasional, spotty showers have helped. You can see by the looks of the map that Minnesota is still quite dry.
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.
Green Beans – Like the lettuce, this crop really took a jump in reaching maturity after a drink of water from Mother Nature. We have more if you are interested in freezing or canning some. Let us know if you need some dill to make green bean pickles.
Dragon Tongue Beans – This beautiful and unique crop ads variety to any dish whether you eat them raw or cooked. Learn more here.
Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. Try them raw, peeled and dip them in peanut butter. `Learn more about their nutrition here.
Black Seeded Simpson Mix – The rain we had really helped give this crop a boost.
Cucumbers – The cucumbers are having a wacky growing cycle with our drought. They loved the rain, and we have a flush of new cucumbers. Plenty for canning. Here’s an interesting link on their nutritional value.
Kohlrabi – I simply eat these peeled and cut up like an apple with some peanut butter. Here are some recipe ideas and additional information on this vegetable from Taste of Home.
Peppers – Holy Sweet Peppers. We have many! Let us know if you need more next week for making stuffed peppers or other dishes. Here are some pepper recipe ideas from Martha Stewart.
Potatoes – Red Norlands are in your box this week. Watch potato harvest here on America’s Heartland.
Radishes – This is the end of this radish crop watch out for holy hotness. Watch for another crop in a few weeks. Here are some radish recipes from Martha Stewart.
Summer Squash – I bet your trying to figure out how to use this squash. Here are some ideas from Pioneer Woman. Also check out the hotdish recipe below.
Super Sugar Snap Peas – Yum! Eat these raw in the pods, dip in Ranch dressing or use in stir fry. One of our favorite summer vegetables is in your boxes this week. A new crop is nearly ready.
Tomatoes –In your boxes this week are Napa Valley cherry tomatoes, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and 4th of July tomatoes. Watch for a flush of them for canning and freezing.
Turnips – Are you wondering what to do with the large white bulb like vegetable. This crazy root vegetable is thriving in this dry weather. Like you, I too am trying to find ways to use turnips. Remember, you can also use the leaves of this vegetable. Learn more about the nutrition here. Here are a few turnip recipe ideas from Taste of Home.
Fresh cut arrangement –Hydrangeas
Recipe of the Week
Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (I spray with Baker’s Joy or a similar product).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars with a mixer until fluffy.
- Add eggs, vanilla, and milk to the butter mixture and mix till combined.
- Stir in dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Source: The Skinny Chick Can Bake