Just Keep Growing

Just Keep Growing

wp-1600959035659.jpgWorking with the pumpkins and fall decorations is so much fun. The colors are stunning, bright and cheerful. The harvesting of these crops is an indication that the end of the growing season is near, and it’s a crop where you feel like you are reaping your rewards.

This year, we have noticed nicks/scars on the pumpkins, gourds and ornamental corn (look on the kernels some have odd designs we think is from the hail). Some may look at them and wish for the beautiful untarnished pumpkin/fall decoration. We look at them and say, “Boy we are sure glad they survived the hail-storm in August, and that they scarred over and kept growing instead of giving up and rotting in the field.”

Yes, those odd-looking bumps are scars from the hail. You see, to me it reminds me of this year. There are many things this year especially with the pandemic that may feel like scars, or times where we have felt like we got punched in the gut. Yet, they are part of who we are. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the journey. We simply need to continue to grow so that our bright and beautiful colors can shine through and brighten the day of others.

Isn’t it interesting that we have yet another reminder/message in nature for us. I had someone remind me that taking time to look at the world around us provides us the opportunity in the lessons that are ever present for us.

Wishing you a fall where you keep growing and letting your bright and beautiful colors show through.

Garden Science

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This week following harvested we mowed down the vines, followed by plowing. We have never plowed this ground and have been struggling to break up the deep soil pan which we think will help with plant growth.

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We then tilled it up to create a good soil bed.

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We planted a combination of rye grass, radish and clover for cover crops. Cover crops also provide protective vegetative cover for the soil which helps suppress winter annual weeds. The additional organic matter cover crops provide will improve soil tilth, porosity and infiltration by providing the natural ‘glues’ that hold soil particles together.

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It was then drug and rolled for seed to soil contact.

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.

Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

Green Beans – Another crop of green beans…this cold weather has slowed the growth down. Hoping this finishes strong.

Onions Enjoy walla walla onions this week.  Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

Carnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

Butternut Squash – a favorite in our house.  Check out Martha Stewart’s recipes for this vegetable.

Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about peppers at America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – A few grape tomatoes to finish off the season. This is the strangest crop of tomatoes we have ever had. Looking forward to great varieties next year. Check out this blog from the Foodie Farmer on growing and harvesting tomatoes on their farm.

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Potato harvest completed.

Potatoes – Kennebec, Yukon Gold and Norland potatoes this week. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland. Check out the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for more information.

Sweet Potatoes – Thank you to our neighbors the Schwatkes for the sweet potato slips. Enjoy the Beauregard sweet potatoes. Outstanding color and high yields, this variety is a favorite for northern gardeners with its red-copper tubers with deep orange flesh. Check out these preparation options from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkins – a few more pumpkins to brighten your decorations.

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Ornamental Corn – Bundles of ornamental corn to brighten your fall decorations.

 

Recipe of the Week

Cook your Kuri, Butternut, Carnival Squash or the Jarrahdale (green) or Cinnamon Girl Pumpkin as you traditionally would. The following recipe is a favorite in our family compliments of my mom. She believes it was passed down from her Aunt Arlene. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup oil (or applesauce)

4 beaten eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups of pumpkin

Mix sugar, eggs and oil. Mix in dry ingredients. Mix in pumpkin. Bake in greased and floured pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz of cream cheese softened

6 Tablespoons soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup powdered sugar

Frost cooled bars.

Finding Calm

Finding Calm

It’s important to find things that calm us. Especially during these times when we find ourselves doing things we normally would not do. We need to seek calm situations out and allow ourselves to live in the moment.

I have always loved flowers and found a different level of calm when working with them. But it is hard in the craziness of being a mom to actually take time to enjoy them. I remember one year when I decided to take outdoor flower gardening for a 4-H project. I was to bring five matching cut flowers to the county fair. Well the night before the fair, it decided to rain, and I mean rain! Of course, I had not decided which flowers I thought would make a good match. So in the rain and in the mud, I cut several varieties of flowers. So the best place out of the rain to prepare this project was in the house. The mud and the water came with me into the kitchen. If your cringing at the thought, I guarantee you my mom was to. I don’t know if we have a photo of this mess, but I guarantee my mom and I have the picture etched in our minds. I did bring the flowers to the fair, and I do believe I received a blue ribbon. But the most important thing I gained from the experience was an appreciation for flowers and a memory like no other.

Now fast forward to preparing the boxes each week. Our last step is cutting flowers. I know several men who own and operate greenhouses so for me it’s fun to see that all of the boys know how to work with these plants. What I have noticed on all of us, is that I am not the only one in our house that finds calm in finding the beautiful colors.

God paints beautiful pictures using stunning colors around us throughout our day. We need to take time to appreciate them. Find our calm and take time to etch those pictures into our minds. We don’t always need to capture the pictures on camera. It’s far more important to live in the moment and find our calm and happy place.

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 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.

wp-1594181892672.jpgOutrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads.

Carrots – A few to enjoy raw, in a salad or in a fresh cooked veggie dish. When they are fresh out of the garden like this, I don’t worry about peeling. I simply wash and eat raw or slice and add to a salad. Do you ever wonder how baby carrots get on the grocery shelf…watch America’s Heartland here.

Kohlrabi – Two varieties this week: purple and giant duke. Cut off the bottom and the top, peel them and cut up like an apple. I love to eat them dipped in peanut butter. Here are some other way’s to use them.

Onions Enjoy the Patterson, purple or Walla Walla onions in your boxes.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – Second planting of this crop – Eat the pods and peas all together. Eat raw or sautee. Great snack.

Beets
Detroit Dark Red Beets  – Cooked beets: -Cut the top and the bottom off -Place in boiling water -Boil until you can stick a fork through it -Take out of boiling water -Using a paper towel, gently rub the skin off -Slice and enjoy with a dab of butter. – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. 

Green Beans – The first crop struggled to get out of the ground. We have a few subsequent crops that are coming into their own.

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Cucumbers – I don’t know about you, but I love the smell of cucumbers. We had a request about canning pickles. Perhaps you want to give a refrigerator pickle a try first. Here is a link to a recipe on Taste of Home and another from Martha Stewart.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash – Sunburst is a beautiful butter yellow scallop-type squash. Each fruit is accented with a small dark green ring. The mild, white flesh remains tender and firm. Best used when harvested and eaten at around 3″ across. Here are some ways from Martha Stewart to use and prepare this vegetable.

Zucchini – Wash the zucchini and eat with or without the skin on. Here are a few ways to use it.

Potatoes – The Dark Red Norland variety is often served boiled or in potato salads. The variety, Norland, was released by the North Dakota Agricultural College in 1957. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland.

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Some of you have taken these plants home and rooted them into a pot. Some are taking them home and making pesto. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Basil – An herb I enjoy using when grilling or making tomato sauce. Learn from Martha Stewart some tips and tricks.

Arrangement – A variety of flowers including zinnias, rudebeckia, hostas, sunflowers and more.

Recipe of the Week

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Zucchini Crust Pizza

2 cups shredded zucchini or yellow summer squash (1 to 1-1/2 medium), squeezed dry

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 small tomatoes sliced

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup julienned bell pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Chopped fresh basil, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 450° Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients; stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a 12-in. pizza pan coated generously with cooking spray or on parchment paper; spread to an 11-in. circle.
  2. Bake until golden brown, 13-16 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 400° Fahrenheit. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese; top with tomatoes, onion, pepper, herbs and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, if desired.

Source: Taste of Home

Joyful Surprises Within

Joyful Surprises Within

Our weekend was spent weeding and getting the garden “under control.” We also planted the final round of crops for the season. While working in each area, we were pleased to see different pumpkins, squash and gourds growing. It truly is fun to see natures beauty unveiled from egg plant to peppers to cucumbers and potatoes. There are a lot of joyful surprises within. Sometimes you just need to look a little harder.

This week, we hope you to find joyful surprises within. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

Garden Science

This week was fair week for the boys…virtual fair week that is. It did not deter Keith from entering a vegetable box consisting of peas, green beans, beets, kohlrabi, carrots and summer squash. Honestly, pulling together a uniform box of vegetables is a time consuming process. We are proud of him for making this effort.

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.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads.

Carrots – A few to enjoy raw, in a salad or in a fresh cooked veggie dish. When they are fresh out of the garden like this, I don’t worry about peeling. I simply wash and eat raw or slice and add to a salad.

Purple Kohlrabi – love the color.

Kohlrabi – Two varieties this week: purple and giant duke. Cut off the bottom and the top, peel them and cut up like an apple. I love to eat them dipped in peanut butter.

OnionsEnjoy the Patterson, purple or Walla Walla onions in your boxes.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – Second planting of this crop – Eat the pods and peas all together. Eat raw or sautee. Great snack.

Detroit Dark Red Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. Here are some ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use your beets.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers – I don’t know about you, but I love the smell of cucumbers. This joyous vegetable is coming into its own. Enjoy with or without the skin on.

Green Beans – The first crop struggled to get out of the ground. We have a few subsequent crops that are coming into their own.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash – Sunburst is a beautiful butter yellow scallop-type squash. Each fruit is accented with a small dark green ring. The mild, white flesh remains tender and firm. Best used when harvested and eaten at around 3″ across. Here are some ways from Martha Stewart to use and prepare this vegetable.

Zucchini – Wash the zucchini and eat with or without the skin on. Here are a few ways to use it.

Potatoes – Yukon Gold’s buttery flavor ads wonderful color to any meal whether you bake or cook it. Check out this week’s recipe below.

Some of you have taken these plants home and rooted them into a pot. Some are taking them home and making pesto. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Basil – An herb I enjoy using when grilling or making tomato sauce. Learn from Martha Stewart some tips and tricks.

Cilantro – Wash and enjoy. Freeze extra by placing in ice cube trays and running water over them and freeze. A good way to use later in soups and other dishes. Check out these ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use this herb.

A beautiful array of colors this week to chose from. We hope they brighten your dat.

Arrangement – A variety of flowers including lilies and zinnias.

Recipe of the Week

Sliced Potatoes

  • 4-6 large potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cover the grate of the grill with aluminum foil.
  2. Turn the grill on to preheat. 
  3. Cut potatoes into ⅓’ or ½’ wedges.
  4. Brush potato slices with olive oil and sprinkle with dried thyme and dried oregano.
  5. Lay potato wedges over aluminum foil on the grill.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Grill wedges to desired tenderness, turning occasionally.

 

Provide Attention

Provide Attention

We took a bit of a break this weekend to attend a family high school graduation. The break was needed and appreciated. But upon our return, the weeds had grown, and we need to give attention to the garden to ensure the crops continue to thrive. I would compare this part of the plant’s life to toddler stage. The plants are young need the attention, fun to see thrive, give them the attention they need now, and life will be good to them.

So as we look at things that challenge us, I am reminded of Romans 5:3-5. “But we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Hoping you have a week where your efforts produce hope.

Garden Science – Potato Bugs

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Check out what the insects were doing to all of the vine plants this week.

Striped cucumber beetles are eating the vine plants. As you can see, they will eat the entire leaf. We did use an insecticide to kill them. We always plant flowers that will provide a positive atmosphere for beneficial insects that will feed on these and other negative insects. Learn more from the University of Minnesota here.

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.

4-10-12 Making rhubarb tort (3)

When rhubarb is harvested it is pulled from the ground. The white ends are what was pulled out of the ground (cut these off), and the leaves are cut off of the other side. After washing your rhubarb. Cut off both ends and cut it into 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch pieces. Now you are ready to use it in a recipe or freeze it.

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.

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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.

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I just love the braided look on the stem of the onion.

Onion – Enjoy a fresh onion in a dish this week. Eat it raw or use it in a dish.

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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.

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The aroma of cilantro is amazing. Their leaves or so fun to look at as well.

Cilantro – Wash and enjoy. Freeze extra by placing in ice cube trays and running water over them and freeze. A good way to use later in soups and other dishes. Check out these ideas from Taste of Home on how to use this herb.

Hostas with Weigela or Spirea – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

I love rhubarb and have many favorite recipes. This particular one takes more time so I just don’t make it as frequently. But it is worth the effort! Don’t let the meringue scare you. Give it a try.

Rhubarb Torte

Crust – 1st step

1 cup flour

½ cup butter

Dash salt

2 Tablespoons sugar

Mix like a pie crust until crumbly. Push down in your pan and bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Middle – 2nd step

1 ½ cups sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1/3 cup cream

3 egg yolks beaten

3-4 cups chopped rhubarb about ½ inch pieces

While crust is baking. Cook the middle mixture in the microwave, stirring frequently until mixture is thick. Pour over baked crust. Place this all in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

Top – 3rd step

3 egg whites – mix with hand mixer until the whites are stiff when you lift out the mixer

Add

¼ teaspoon cream of tarter

1/3 cup powdered sugar

A dash of vanilla

A dash of salt

Beat all of this together. Spread on top of the middle mixture. Place in oven for about 5 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Tips for making meringue.

Enjoy! It is worth the effort.

Weeding Through It

Weeding Through It

With heat, humidity and rain this week, you can be assured of one thing…a lot of weeds, and time spent managing the weeds so they don’t overtake the crops. Some weeks, I loathe the time weeding, and sometimes I find solitude in the accomplished task and how much better the crop looks once completed. Some days, I find that it is a task done well as a family, and some days it is a task done well alone.

This week, was a combination of all of the above. Sometimes life can feel that way to. Before you know it, the path appears to be cluttered with weeds. Don’t let the weeds get in the way to your brighter outcomes. Find a way either alone or with others to reach and accomplish the task.

Garden Science – Potato Bugs

Potato bugs are a real menace and staying in front of insect management is essential for any crop. One photo is the adult and on the leaf you see the yellow eggs.

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.

When rhubarb is harvested it is pulled from the ground. The white ends are what was pulled out of the ground (cut these off), and the leaves are cut off of the other side.

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

French Breakfast Radish Love the variegated look of this vegetable.

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.

Cilantro – Wash and enjoy. Freeze extra by placing in ice cube trays and running water over them and freeze. A good way to use later in soups and other dishes. Check out these ideas from Taste of Home on how to use this herb.

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.

Peonies are one of my favorite flowers.

Peonies and Hostas – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

Enjoy with ice cream or whipped topping.

Rhubarb Torte

Using a pie crust cutter. Mix the following.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup butter

Mix then pat into a 9 x 13 cake pan.
6 cups rhubarb
6 oz package of strawberry or raspberry Jello.
Place cut rhubarb on top of the bottom layer. Rhubarb should be cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle Jello powder over rhubarb.
 
Topping:
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
Mix with pie cutter or fork and spread on top of Jello.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
Hope on the Horizon

Hope on the Horizon

There are so many COVID-19 challenges in everyone’s lives. I like to focus on the hope in our future. That is one of the reasons I love planting season. There so much hope in what is to come in what we put in the ground. So much hope in the warmer weather and the longer days of summer.

One of my favorite Bible verses has a message of Hope.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a Future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

I know for many this verse holds much confusion in the current situations, and the future is difficult to grasp now. I encourage you to focus on what this season brings – Hope. Sending you all Peace and Hope.

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The potatoes were planted last Thursday. Thus far, we have Yukon Gold, Kennebec and Dark Red Norlands planted. I love seeing the names of the families who grew the seed potatoes that we are planting. For those of you noticing where they were grown…Sabin, MN is in Clay County.

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We installed the cucumber fence so that the cucumbers will grow on top of the fence and hang down through the fence for easier harvesting and vegetables that should be cleaner.

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The different varieties of onion sets planted were Ailssa Craig, Walla Walla, Patterson and Redwing onions.

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All that could safely be planted during this time of year was planted. We take into consideration that the threat of frost is still upon us. The boys were happy to till the fields before planting to provide for a nice seed bed.

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Again, the seed differences are fascinating. It is simply amazing what they grow in to. Such a variety were planted this past weekend. With the gentle rain and weather warming up, there is hope on the horizon with all of the challenges we face.

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A few home improvements have kept the learning going including siding the shop.

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There is a lot of uncertainty as to whether there will be fairs this summer. But, we decided as a family that we would still get 4-H pigs. Because there is more to a 4-H project than just an investment. It is the day to day learning of working on the project and caring for the animal. As I look at the boys with the pigs and all the uncertainty and challenges that are facing our pig farmers, to me it is also a representation of hope in our future. We also decided to make some changes to their pig pen this year. The last two years have been SO wet and such a mud hole for the pigs. We feel it will be much healthier to have them on a cement floor. The boys look forward to walking them in the yard after they have gotten used to their surroundings.

 

 

Warmer weather on the Horizon

Warmer weather on the Horizon

We are ready for some sunshine and no snow and are hopeful that the weather forecast of warmer days to come are upon us. Here is a glimpse of our activity last week.

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Keith and I planted some of our seeds last week such as cauliflower, tomatoes, watermelon and more.

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It is fun to see all of the different sizes and shapes of the seeds and then to see what they grow into. A miracle combined with science and Mother Nature – always fun to witness.

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We were grateful for a beautiful day. The boys all had a hard time believing me that we were in a winter storm warning for the following day.

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Sure enough, the snow came, and the boys made the most of it. Grateful that one week later the snow is gone.

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Keith with one of the Isa Brown hens that is quickly growing and maturing at little over 7 weeks old.

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After a hard days work, it was fun to see the boys sit down and just enjoy these young chickens. This is one of the male rooster Isa Browns at just over 7 weeks of age.

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling Blessed

Feeling Blessed

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Thank you for being along for this growing season journey.

It is hard to believe we are at the end of our season. As you can imagine, we will not miss harvesting in the rain and the cold freezing hands that come with it. We will miss the valued conversations with all of you, and the shared ideas of how to eat and use the produce. It is indeed fun to hear how all of you use it, and what produce excites you and generates fun memories of your family.

Tonight’s conversation at confirmation around creation and our responsibilities to appreciating and taking care of what God created stimulated some good season ending thoughts.

One of the versus discussed was from Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We see a lot of this when we work with plants and animals as these grow and produce and die and return to the soil providing nutrients to grow something anew. Now is really the time of year we see many things come full circle.

We spent this past week, cleaning up the garden and preparing for the soil for the next growing season. Recognizing that plant material will break down into soil and/or we use it as feed for the chickens which then produce manure used for fertilizing some of the crops. Areas which will grow pumpkins and corn, we incorporated manure into the soil and will plant cover crops as soon as the rain stops and allows us to do this. All of which feeds the soil to grow bountiful crops to share with all of you.

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Five of the six fields are cleaned off and ready for cover crop. We will clean out the last field this week.

Another reflective point at confirmation tonight was a reminder of our responsibility to care for all of God’s creation. From the work I do and the privilege I have with working with farmers all over the state, I do believe there is no other group of people that have such a unique bond and love for the land and all of God’s creation. They are in tune with what makes the land be the best it can be and their animals thrive. Many wonder what farmers are doing to protect our environment. Here are two recent pieces of information that you may appreciate seeing. One is from Farmers for a Sustainable Future and the other is 30 Harvests from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

In closing, one of the parting thoughts from confirmation was never underestimating the power of what God has in store and that one can make a positive change. We feel blessed to have been part of your lives this growing season. Please know that you made our lives brighter because you were part of it. Thank you!

Garden Science

Giant Vegetables – Take a look at these giant vegetables. The kohlrabi were as big as the boys’ heads weighing in at 3 pounds, 3.25 pounds, 3.5 pounds and 3.75 pounds.

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The beets weighted in at 1 pounds, 1.5 pounds, 1.75 and 3 pounds.

 

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The giant zucchini weighted in at 12. 5 pounds and was 24.5 inches long.

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.

Remember that some of the crops are ran under cold well water to take the field heat off them so they last longer in your refrigerators. They are not washed – just cooled. So, remember to wash your vegetables before eating. It’s week 16.

Lettuce/Spinach – You have some Red Oak Lettuce and Spinach in your box. This next crop has been a real challenge to get going, but it looks like this cold weather and rain has encouraged it. Looks promising for next week.

Arugula – Arugula is a peppery, distinctive-tasting green that originated in the Mediterranean region. If you like this crop, let us know and we will put more in your box next week.

Carrots – This weather helped this root vegetable mature. Learn more about baby carrots from America’s Heartland.

Detroit Dark Red Beets – The entire plant is edible.

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi – just a few left.

Dragon Tongue Beans and Purple Beans – This heritage variety of beans can be used like green beans. Enjoy the different color.

Sugar Snap Peas – The final crop …enjoy. Check out pea harvest in Minnesota near Blooming Prairie. Did you know Minnesota generally will rank as number one in the nation for peas produced for processing (canning or freezing).

Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – the third crop is being harvested

Onion – Walla Walla and yellow onions in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions and how they are grown and distributed to our grocery store from America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – This crop is exploding…enjoy a few extra to freeze for salsa or soups later this year. Check out how tomatoes get from the farm to the grocery store at America’s Heartland.

Potatoes – Norlands are in your box. Great for cooking. Learn more about this variety here. 

Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Check out it’s nutritional benefits.

Carnival/Kuri and Butternut Squash – Love the versatility of these winter squash and the potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, they offer. Interesting health information from Harvard on this vegetable.

Purple Cauliflower – a taste for you this week.

Purple Cabbage – A few small ones are left if this fits your lifestyle better.

Flowers of the Week – Hydrangeas and Sedums

Pumpkins and gourds – enjoy the variety – this crop suffered from the growing season and the area where they were growing was compacted down from all of the tornado clean-up last year. We are looking forward to a better crop next year.

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Recipe of the Week

Salsa

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Steve made hot salsa and mild salsa this week. We hope you enjoy the taste. We also hope you to have been trying different salsa recipes. Please share your favorite recipes so we can share them with the shareholders. Check out Taste of Homes top 10 salsa recipes.

 

Stark Reminders

Stark Reminders

Harner Family 9-19

This is the last official week of the CSA. Next week will be bonus boxes as we work to clean-up the harvest. Thank you to everyone for your support. We enjoy working with and for all of you.

Last night as we were harvesting gourds and pumpkins, the skies grew dark and the humidity in the air sat still. The weather service had been warning us for days to be alert and aware of the weather on Tuesday late afternoon and evening. So, when I picked up the boys and laid out our goals and schedule before nightfall and told them of the urgency of time because of the weather forecast, they thought I was crazy because the skies were clear.

So, as we all sauntered out to harvest at our own paces, I looked up after about 20 minutes outside, and the skies were black. So, we quickly shifted gears and continued working, through quite a bit of it. The storms were split around us, and the lightning shows were all around with the green to the south and the tall thunderheads to our north. To say it was eerie is an understatement. We were all glad when the wind picked up vs the heavy stillness and the green clouds to the south. We prayed the two systems would not build off each other. Our true concern of a repeat of last year was real. In the end, the storms split us, and we had some rainfall, barely enough to make the ground wet.

As we closed out our day, I said that I enjoyed being out watching the weather, and the rush of working hard together. The boys enjoyed the tasks at hand, but said that the eeriness was way to familiar and were so thankful that Mother Nature did not show us any more than she did. It was just another stark reminder of how little is in our control.

A special request from us this fall: As farmers  across our great state are starting harvest season, please do us a favor – Mother Nature has been challenging this year. I am asking you to consider how you may lift the spirits of the farmers you may know – say thank you, slow down for them on the road, think of a kind gesture you can do for them (maybe it’s bringing them coffee or a sandwich or simply waving). After all, they are just trying their best to raise food for all of us. Thank you!

Garden Science

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These beautiful butterflies are loving the Zinnias.

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.

Remember that some of the crops are ran under cold well water to take the field heat off them so they last longer in your refrigerators. They are not washed – just cooled. So, remember to wash your vegetables before eating. It’s week 16.

Lettuce/Spinach – You have some Red Oak Lettuce and Spinach in your box. This next crop has been a real challenge to get going, but it looks like this cold weather and rain has encouraged it. Looks promising for next week.

ArugulaArugula is a peppery, distinctive-tasting green that originated in the Mediterranean region. If you like this crop, let us know and we will put more in your box next week.

Carrots – This weather helped this root vegetable mature. Learn more about baby carrots from America’s Heartland.

Detroit Dark Red Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. They serve this beet soup at church, and I love it.

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi – just a few left.

Dragon Tongue Beans and Purple Beans– This heritage variety of beans can be used like green beans. Enjoy the different color.

20190821_180928.jpgSugar Snap PeasThe final crop is just coming in…so you have a taste.

Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – the third crop is being harvested

Onion – Walla Walla onions in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions from America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – This crop is exploding…enjoy a few extra to freeze for salsa or soups later this year. Here are a few recipe ideas from America’s Heartland.

Potatoes – Yukon Golds or Kennebecs are in your box. Great for baking. I find that the potatoes right out of the garden often cook and bake faster than others. Yeah – faster meal preparation!

Green Bell Peppers – Great for freezing for meals later this year.

Banana Pepper – I cut these up and freeze extra peppers for later in the year.

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The largest zucchini has been harvested.

Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Flower after flower will grow into a zucchini.

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A variety of egg plants this year.

Eggplants – The egg plant crop has been flourishing this year.

Butternut Winter Squash – This is our family favorite of squashes. It is hourglass in shape. Here are a few recipes for Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart.

carnival-squash

Carnival Squash

Carnival Squash – Carnival squash has variegated patterns of orange and green colors and is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. When cooked its texture is soft and melting with a fragrant aroma and its flavor; slightly nutty, buttery, and sweet with nuances of maple syrup, similar to that of butternut squash. This squash has contains potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as, some calcium, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Broccoli A taste for you this week.

Purple Cauliflower – A taste for you this week.

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Red Kuri Squash

Red Kuri Winter Squash I fix it just like I do Butternut Squash. Cut it in half, place cut side down in cake pan, place about an inch of water in the pan, cover with aluminum foil, place in preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for one hour. Take out of oven, peel the skin off, scoop out the seeds and enjoy. I mix with a ½ cup of butter and ¾ cup of brown sugar. Freeze extra in cupcake tins to use later on. Learn more here.

20190916_1810381480787013334266606.jpgPurple CabbageWe hope you enjoy this garden delight. Here are some ways to use this vegetable.

Pumpkins and gourds enjoy the variety – this crop suffered from the growing season and the area where they were growing was compacted down from all of the tornado clean-up last year. We are looking forward to a better crop next year.

Flowers of the Week – ornamental corn and corn stalks

Recipe of the Week

Tomato and Onion Quiche

Serves 6

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Preparation Time: 10-20 minutes

Cook/Bake Time: 1 hour

 

1/2 of a 15-ounce package (1 crust) rolled, refrigerated pie crust

12 ounces assorted tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 large eggs

3/4 cup half-and-half

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded Swiss, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and/or Havarti cheese (4 ounces)

Paprika

Preheat oven to 425°Fahrenheit.

-Let pie crust stand at room temperature according to package directions. Unroll pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edge as desired. Line un-pricked pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 425° oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes more or until pastry is set and dry. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.

-Place tomato slices on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

-In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, flour, basil, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.

-To assemble quiche: Sprinkle cheese onto bottom of the hot, baked pastry shell. Spoon onion mixture over cheese. Arrange a single layer of tomato slices over cheese, overlapping slightly. Slowly pour egg mixture over tomatoes. Sprinkle some paprika over the mixture.

-Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until egg mixture is set in center. If necessary, cover edge of pie with foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Minnesota Chicken and Egg

Priceless Moments

Priceless Moments

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Harvesting Tomatoes

As we were harvesting and beginning to pack boxes this week, you could tell there was a sense of contentment with all of us. It was a beautiful evening with enough of a breeze that the bugs were not bad. Conversations were flowing about our days, about strange insects we were seeing in the garden, what produce was ready and what produce was seeing the end of its production.

We then divided into teams. A team to harvest sweet corn, and another team to pack produce into boxes. To be honest, I love the one on one time with each of the boys. I know which produce the boys like to pack, and honestly it is fun to watch them build a skill and see them do a nice job with it. Watching them pack produce is a lot like watching someone bag your groceries at the grocery store – it is a true skill set.

As we wrapped up, and we moved onto the next part of our evenings. I remember walking away thinking how much I valued and cherished these moments of time spent together. I realized last night when we were reflecting on our favorite parts of our days and thanking God for our three favorite things that I was not the only one. Both boys, specifically said harvesting sweet corn and packing boxes were among there favorite things.

The moral of the story: don’t ever under value what appears to be work or mundane tasks with your loved ones. These truly might be some of the most valued parts of your day and most cherished memories together because of the true sense of calm over these comfortable tasks completed together. These are the moments when valued conversations happens and bonds are strengthen.

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.

Remember that some of the crops are ran under cold well water to take the field heat off them so they last longer in your refrigerators. They are not washed – just cooled. So, remember to wash your vegetables before eating.

Lettuce/Spinach – You have some Red Oak Lettuce and Spinach in your box. This next crop has been a real challenge to get going, but it looks like this cold weather and rain has encouraged it. Looks promising for next week.

ArugulaArugula is a peppery, distinctive-tasting green that originated in the Mediterranean region. If you like this crop, let us know and we will put more in your box next week.

Carrots – This weather helped this root vegetable mature. Learn more about baby carrots from America’s Heartland.

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Sorry to say, but the radish crop has come to an end.

Radishes – These Cherry Belle Radishes are loving this colder weather.

Detroit Dark Red Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. They serve this beet soup at church, and I love it.

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi. Peel it and slice like an apple. Here are more ideas.

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The flower of the dragon tongue bean which eventually produces the bean.

Dragon Tongue Beans – This heritage variety of beans can be used like green beans. Enjoy the different color.

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For those of you that love cucumbers, our third and final crop of cucumbers are ready.

Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – we will have cucumbers for a while. We hope you enjoy this healthy snack. Check out these refrigerator pickle recipes from Taste of Home.

Onion – Walla Walla onions in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions from America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – A taste of a few cherry tomatoes and Fourth of July tomatoes this week. Here are a few recipe ideas from America’s Heartland.

9-12-14 potatoes

Red Norland

Potatoes – The Red Norlands are great for cooking. Some of you may have some younger potatoes in your boxes (smaller). I find that the potatoes right out of the garden often cook and bake faster than others. Yeah – faster meal preparation!

Green Bell Peppers – The peppers are just taking off.

Banana Pepper – I cut these up and freeze extra peppers for later in the year.

Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Flower after flower will grow into a zucchini.

Butternut Winter Squash – This is our family favorite of squashes. It is hourglass in shape. Here are a few recipes for Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart.

carnival-squash

Carnival Squash

Carnival Squash – Carnival squash has variegated patterns of orange and green colors and is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. When cooked its texture is soft and melting with a fragrant aroma and its flavor; slightly nutty, buttery, and sweet with nuances of maple syrup, similar to that of butternut squash. This squash has contains potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as, some calcium, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Broccoli a taste for you this week.

Purple Cauliflower – a taste for you this week.

Purple CabbageWe hope you enjoy this garden delight. Here are some ways to use this vegetable.

cropped-gourds.jpgGourds – We have just started harvesting. Enjoy the beautiful colors.

 

Recipe of the Week

Pumpkin Bread is a favorite. I use butternut squash that I have cooked and frozen as my “pumpkin” in this recipe. It works great!

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Place batter in muffin liners that have been sprayed with cooking spray. This batter makes good muffins or good bread. Bake muffins for about 12 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup cold water

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin (I use 1 cup cooked squash)

Combine flour, sugar, butter, soda, spices and salt in bowl. Add 1/3 cup cold water, eggs, and pumpkin (squash) mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack.

Source: Pat Kuznik – West Polk County: Blue Ribbon Favorites Minnesota 4-H Foundation

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Pumpkin Bread is a favorite. I use butternut squash that I have cooked and frozen as my “pumpkin” in this recipe. It works great!