Tractor Time

Tractor Time

What did we find amongst all of our tillage and rock picking? Just a huge rock that we needed a skid loader to lift. Thank you Peterson family for the needed

What did we find amongst all of our tillage and rock picking? Just a huge rock that we needed a skid loader to lift. Thank you Peterson family for the needed “lift.”

What a busy weekend of harvesting and preparing for the end of the season. With last night’s frost and freeze warnings across the state, our efforts were right on schedule and truly a relief for us to have the crop harvested.

Funny story…as I was preparing this blog, I asked the boys, “what should the title be to this chapter in the CSA blog? They asked me what I was writing about, and what pictures I had used. They said the title should be “Tractor Time” because we used so many tractors and implements this week to get the job done. Read below to see what they meant.

We are thankful for good neighbors. Loren Fossum for tilling the CSA using his dad's Ford tractor. Read more about their family history. Truly amazing agriculture history in our area - it's like an onion we keep peeling back interesting history all the time!

We are thankful for good neighbors…Loren Fossum for tilling the CSA using his dad’s Ford tractor. Read more about their family history. Truly amazing agriculture history in our area – it’s like an onion we keep peeling back interesting history all the time!

Rye and Rapeseed were used for our cover crop.

Rye and rapeseed were used for our cover crop. We planted the cover crops with the hope that they will provide “green” manure to the soil and improve the amount of nutrients that will be available to the crops next year.

Thank you to FarGaze Farms/Peterson Family for the gator and seed spreader. It made it much quicker and uniform to spread the cover crop seed. Thanks to Jeff Beckman for your help with the cover crop!

Thank you to FarGaze Farms/Peterson Family for the gator and seed spreader. It made it much quicker and uniform to spread the cover crop seed. Thanks to Jeff Beckman for your help with the cover crop decisions!

After seeding the cover crop, we used a drag to cover the seed.

After seeding the cover crop, we used a drag to cover the seed.

One last crop to get to you…the red, white and blue popcorn. We tried popping some, and the moisture content is to high in the kernels so the kernels will not pop. So we are drying the corn down, and once the moisture content is low enough, we will shell the kernels from the cob and package it up for you. Look for it later this fall/early winter.

As the season comes to a close, we want to thank you for allowing our family to grow food for your family and sharing the joys of the garden produce. Just a reminder to send us your year-end survey because we truly appreciate the feed back. We have enjoyed working with all of you, and hope all of you have a fantastic fall!

Garden Science

We collected seed from a variety of our flowers to save and use next year to help generate beneficial insects in the garden next year. Pictured here is dried up Marigold seeds. Open up the bunches, and they are full of seeds.

We collected seed from a variety of our flowers to save and use next year to help generate beneficial insects in the garden. Pictured here is dried up Marigold seeds. Open up the bunches, and they are full of seeds.

Garden Math

Last week, many of you guessed how many popcorn seeds were in the jar. The boys counted and the answer is 457. The closest guess went to Kenny Vesledahl! Congrats...they went home with another pick from the pumpkins tonight!

Last week, many of you guessed how many popcorn seeds were in the jar. The boys counted and the answer is 457. The closest guess went to Kenny Vesledahl! Congrats…they went home with another pick from the pumpkins tonight!

So these were a few kohlrabi that got out of control and when we found them were to large. So the boys wanted to see how big they would get. They were measured tonight with the largest at 16 inches. It was interested to see a few of them getting "baby" kohlrabi growing on them as well.

So these were a few kohlrabi that got out of control and when we found them were to large. So the boys wanted to see how big they would get. They were measured tonight with the largest at 16 inches. It was interested to see a few of them getting “baby” kohlrabi growing on them as well.

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.

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

Lettuce and Spinach – Enjoy this mix on some BLTs or salads.

Carrots – Enjoy – they are plentiful. May be enough for some carrot soup.

Green Beans – A new crop of green beans.

Green Cabbage – Soak the cabbage in salt water so hopefully you should not have any insects in these heads.

Yellow Onions

Habeneros anyone?

Habeneros anyone?

Peppers – Habanero peppers.

Tomatoes – Tomato varieties included in your boxes: Yellow Girls, Honey Delights, Big Boys, Roma, Fourth of July, Big Mammas, Honey Delights, Amish Paste and cherry tomatoes. The tomato crop is quickly slowing down.

Potatoes – All of the varieties are in your boxes today: Yukon Golds, Blue, Masquerade, Red Viking, Kennebec, Midnight Moons and blues in your box this week.

Choice of Butternut or Carnival Squash Carnival squash is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. The color variance in the rind of the Carnival squash is the result of seasonal temperature variations. Warmer temperatures produce Carnival squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. The squash’s flavor is nutty and sweet. Try this yummy bread using your cooked squash vs pumpkin.

Harvesting the broom corn.

Harvesting the broom corn.

How long was that broom corn? The length of these three.

How long was that broom corn? The length of these three.

Corn Stalk Bundle – .Decorating for the fall. Choice of a bundle of blue corn stalks or broom corn.

The last of the Zinnias and Strawflowers were picked before the ground was worked. I think we are wrapping everything up at the right time with frost and freeze warnings out this week.

The last of the Zinnias and Strawflowers were picked before the ground was worked. I think we are wrapping everything up at the right time with frost and freeze warnings out this week.

Recipe of the Week

Potato Bread

This is one of my favorite bread recipes and was discovered after a summer of trying different recipes to bring to the fair for one of my 4-H projects which eventually earned a purple ribbon several year ago:)

I discovered that I could freeze the mashed potatoes in 1 cup quantities for a double batch. I also freeze the bread prior to baking as buns or cinnamon rolls. After forming the bread into buns or cinnamon rolls, I let them rise the second time and then I freeze them. When I want to bake them, I simply place the frozen rolls in the oven, turn the oven on to preheat, and once the oven is preheated allow them to cook for the alloted time. Steve and the boys have commented several times that he is so glad I figured this out.

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 luke warm.

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 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

In a bowl combine hot potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and scalded milk. Cool to luke warm.

Add softened yeast and egg. Stir.

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).

Knead until you have a nice ball of dough.

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. After an hour of rising, punch the rising 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).

This is what they look like when they are rising.

Divide dough in half and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up. Cut into 12 pieces and place cut side down in greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Homemade cinnamon rolls! The boys have always helped me cut the dough. It is a great way to teach fractions.

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons milk

Mix powdered sugar and butter. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.

Rain makes for Muddy Harvest

Rain makes for Muddy Harvest

We harvested the pumpkins last Friday and it was quite muddy out there. But the boys didn't seem to mind at all.

We harvested the pumpkins last Friday, and it was quite muddy out there. But the boys didn’t seem to mind at all.

Another growing season is quickly coming to an end. We are happy that a nice weekend is predicted so that we can get a lot of clean-up done in the field. We have received a couple of inches of rain the last few weeks which makes for some muddy harvesting conditions. The boys don’t mind as long as hot chocolate follows.

***

Many of you asked how my trip to Washington D.C. went. Every trip is different and full of meaningful conversations of farmers sharing with our elected officials and leaders in D.C. how legislation and regulations are personally affecting them on their farms. These conversations do have meaning and do matter. Just think about it…what affects a farmer in southern Minnesota will be different from northern Minnesota and will be different from farmers in South Carolina and Oregon. That is why it is so important to share our stories. That is also why our children have also shared comments when regulations will affect their opportunity to farm when they grow up.

This is all quite funny when I look back upon my childhood conversations about politics. They were the dreaded holiday conversations between my two grandpas – one Democrat and the other Republican. Most of the time during these heated political discussions, I sat more amused that the conversation didn’t come to blows, but rather ended with them departing in a congenial manner. Even thought I know they walked out the door thinking that the other one was absolutely wrong!

So the thought that politics has become a regular part of my job, part of our family discussions and part of something we need to monitor for our CSA is interesting. In fact, it is essential that farmers are actively involved so in the future, farmers have the ability to provide food, fiber and renewable fuel for consumers. If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.

As I reflect on the past week, there are three things that stick out which I think the picture below captures: God, Country, Farmer. Farmers are for the most part optimists with their reliance on God to be with them. Farmers are very proud to be an American and proud to raise food, fiber and renewable fuel for consumers. The pride in our country and the pride in our duty as farmers is an inborn fondness that runs deep in many cases – many generations deep on farms across America with a priority to be sustainable in order for future generations to continue the traditions.

The boys learned flag etiquette from their Grandpa - a farmer and past member of the National Guard while raising the flag at our country church. God, Country, Farmer

The boys learned flag etiquette from their Grandpa – a farmer and past member of the National Guard while raising the flag at our country church. God, Country, Farmer

Garden Science

We weighted the milk fed pumpkin and it was one of the heaviest if not the heaviest weighting in at 58#. The other big ones were 30-40#. We want to tweak this experiment next year and see where we end up.

We weighted the milk-fed pumpkin, and it was one of the heaviest if not the heaviest weighting in at 58#. The other big ones were 30-40#. We want to tweak this experiment next year and see where we end up.

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.

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

Lettuce and Spinach – Enjoy this mix on some BLTs or salads.

Carrots – We are having a healthy crop. Hope you are enjoying them.

Beets – This is the last of the beets for the year.

Look closely and you will see young green beans growing where the flower once was. The flower is still wrapped around the young green bean which is attached to the stem.

Look closely and you will see young green beans growing where the flower once was. The flower is still wrapped around the young green bean which is attached to the stem.

Green Beans – A new crop of green beans.

Broccoli – Last of the broccoli

Kohlrabi – Last of the kohlrabi

Given this cabbage a try in the field. The boys said it was mighty tasty. The heads are smaller due to the insect pressure which caused the plant not to produce a head earlier. But it's a good size to make a family portion for a meal.

Giving this cabbage a try in the field. The boys said it was mighty tasty. The heads are smaller due to the insect pressure which caused the plant not to produce a head earlier. But it’s a good size the refrigerator and a meal.

Purple Cabbage – I soaked the cabbage in salt water so hopefully you should not have any insects in these heads. They are a nice size for a meal. Here are some ideas from Taste of Home.

Yellow Onions

Garlic – We planted garlic last fall and harvested it mid summer and let it dry for a while. We are planning to plant some more this fall with the hopes that the harvest is more bountiful in 2016.

Peppers – A few green peppers with the small Habanero peppers. Choose a few tonight. Fun facts about peppers.

Tomatoes – Tomato varieties included in your boxes: Yellow Girls, Honey Delights, Big Boys, Roma, Fourth of July, Big Mammas, Honey Delights, Amish Paste and cherry tomatoes. The tomato crop is quickly slowing down.

Do you ever wonder if we stab any potatoes when digging? We sure do. We take them in the house and wash them up to be used ASAP in a variety of our favorite potato dishes.

Do you ever wonder if we stab any potatoes when digging? We sure do. We take them in the house and wash them up to be used ASAP in a variety of our favorite potato dishes.

Potatoes – Reds are Viking and Pontiac, brown-skinned  – Kennebec and blues in your box this week. Since the potatoes are plentiful here are some recipe ideas.

Carnival Squash Carnival squash is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. The color variance in the rind of the Carnival squash is the result of seasonal temperature variations. Warmer temperatures produce Carnival squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. The squash’s flavor is nutty and sweet.

Pumpkins put a smile on everyone's face.

Pumpkins put a smile on everyone’s face.

Pumpkins – One large pumpkin and smaller ones for the kids. Happy carving later this fall!

Gourds – A few more for you this week.

Hydrangeas, Sedums and Zinnias this week.

Hydrangeas, Sedums and Zinnias this week.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas, Zinnias and Sedum tonight. The Hydrangeas and Sedum will make dry arrangements and last through the fall. Next week you will receive shocks of corn for your fall decorating so be prepared.

Recipe of the Week

Cleaning and Using Fresh Tomatoes

This weekend we donated our extra tomatoes to my sister-in-laws’ Food and Consumer Sciences (FACS) classroom. We knew she was planning to teach the high schoolers how to make salsa. Garden fresh tomatoes will provide a number of good learning experiences for these students: always remember to wash your produce – even when you buy it at the grocery store, even thought a tomato may not be perfect it can still be used by simply cutting the blemish away (if it is moldy it should be thrown in your compost pile), and how do you even slice the tomato without squishing it (use a serrated knife, a bread knife, it works slick!). I thought some of you may also appreciate a few of these tips, which I have outlined below.

Tomatoes are not always perfect. But did you know that even those with cracks like this or brown blemishes can be used?

Tomatoes are not always perfect. But did you know that even those with cracks like this or brown blemishes can be used?

First, wash the tomato.

First, wash the tomato.

Using a serrated knife, cut off the bad part.

Using a serrated knife, cut off the bad part.

Use what is remaining. It's still delicious and perfectly healthy for you. If the tomato has ruptured, is moldy or smushy - throw it out or throw it in your compost pile. But this one, I am enjoying at my next meal.

Use what is remaining. It’s still delicious and perfectly healthy for you. If the tomato has ruptured, is moldy or smushy – throw it out or throw it in your compost pile. But this one, I am enjoying at my next meal.

Joy of Learning

Joy of Learning

Here is a good reminder of the strange growing season and why CSA members will be receiving a bonus box. This picture was taken at the end of July. Not only was it a wet spring which delayed planting, but it was also a very strange summer, not only dry, but we also had some unusual cold spells, followed by the crazy heat at the end of August. We have been blessed with some rains that finally kicked some of the plants into growing and producing.

Here is a good reminder of the strange growing season and why CSA members will be receiving a bonus box. This picture was taken at the end of July. Not only was it a wet spring which delayed planting, but it was also a very strange summer, not only dry, but we also had some unusual cold spells, followed by the crazy heat at the end of August. We have been blessed with some rains that finally kicked some of the plants into growing and producing.

The joy of learning is contagious. It is so fun for us as parents to see our kids learning in the garden, but even more fun to watch the learning that continues with all of the CSA families.

One of our greatest joys this year has been watching all of the kids learn where and how food grows. It is so fun to see the excitement as potatoes are dug, carrots and radishes pulled out of the ground and eaten on the spot, exploring the different types of corn growing and seeing the enthusiasm and anticipation of red, white and blue popcorn. We truly hope this food journey has been fun for all of you. Providing the joys of the garden for you to enjoy is rewarding for all of us. Thank you for allowing us this privilege!

Next week, we will provide a final bonus box of produce. This odd growing season is allowing us to do so. We have a few items that love this type of growing weather so we want to make sure you are able to enjoy them. Thank you for “weathering” this crazy growing season with us. We truly do appreciate it!

Garden Science

Keith and I thinned out the North row earlier this summer. That row did have thicker stalks and fuller heads of broom corn.

Keith and I thinned out the North row earlier this summer. That row did have thicker stalks and fuller heads of broom corn.

Cutting down the broom corn was a family activity. Perhaps Sam was the best prepared for the falling stalks.

Cutting down the broom corn was a family activity. Perhaps Sam was the best prepared for the falling stalks.

The broom corn measured over 14 feet tall.

The broom corn measured over 14 feet tall. We cut it down to 8 feet to make it more manageable for everyone.

Boxes of Produce

Nothing beats the smiles on your faces when you receive your boxes. It is a great reward for us to see them.

Nothing beats the smiles on your faces when you receive your boxes. It is a great reward for us to see them.

Reminder to return any cups or plastic containers in your box each week. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your produce before eating. Look for an end of the year survey in your email this week.

Black Seeded Simpson Elite Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – reddish lettuce

Prizehead – is the spear like green leaf.

Beet leaves – Some young beets will be available next week.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July (medium size red),  Sunchoola,  Black Krim, Big Boy, Brandywine and super sweet cherry tomatoes 100. Hope you are able to freeze or can for soups or chilli later this winter.

Peppers – They are plentiful this year. We will finish the harvest off next week.

Onions – A few fresh onions to put in a recipe here or there.

Green Beans – Enjoy the Providers.

This week's box contains Yukon Gold, blue potatoes and Norlands (red potato).

This week’s box contains Yukon Gold, blue potatoes and Norlands (red potato).

Potatoes – Yukon Golds, Kennebec potatoes – great for baking; Norland potatoes – great for mashed potatoes; Blue potatoes – try French fries or mashed potatoes – lots of fun!

Butternut or Carnival Squash – Butternut is a favorite for many. Carnival is a decorative, gourd like squash with a nutty flavor. It is a hybrid of Sweet Dumpling and an Acorn squash and has a shelf-life of up to three to four months. Here’s a yummy recipe Pumpkin Donut Holes that I plan to make this weekend.

Herbs – Cilantro, parsley and lemon thyme. Don’t forget to wash and freeze these in ice-cube trays – great for soups later this winter.

Fresh cut arrangement –

  • Broom corn – Here are some ideas I found on Pinterest
  • Ornamental corn – Steve has already put a loop in the string. Simply hang it on a hook or nail. There is some additional left if you would like them for decoration. Check the extras next week.
  • Pumpkins – Enjoy carving one as a family!
We hope you have enjoyed your pumpkins. We certainly had fun growing a variety for all of you this year.

We hope you have enjoyed your pumpkins. We certainly had fun growing a variety for all of you this year.

Recipe of the Week

Homemade Pizza

This has become a family favorite. When Steve and I were first married we tried so many recipes for homemade pizza, and this is definitely our favorite. We usually make it on Friday nights. The crust recipe comes from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation’s Blue Ribbon Favorites recipe book by Jeannie Stangler of Waseca.

Pizza Parlor Crust

1 teaspoon yeast

2 Tablespoons oil

1 Tablespoons sugar

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk, scalded, cooled

In a bowl, combine yeast, oil, sugar and 1/4 cup very war water. Let the yeast become active. Scald milk (this means you warm it up so that it forms has a slight skin on the top – I heat mine up for slightly more time then I do hot chocolate in the microwave). After yeast mixture has become “active,” add flour, salt and scalded milk. Mix well. Knead slightly (I do this in the bowl. I spray my hands with cooking spray and add a little more flour on the dough when kneading so that it is not super sticky and forms a nice ball of dough. The boys love to do this as well.) Lift up your ball of dough, spray with cooking spray, place dough back into bowl, spray the top of the dough, cover with a wet towel and let rise for 15 minutes to an hour. We bake ours on a clay pan. Sprinkle the pan with corn meal (or spray the pan with cooking spray). Bake at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the crust just starts to turn a little brown. Take out and put your toppings on. Bake for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!!

Toppings:

  • Homemade tomato sauce – here are a few links Ball Canning and U of M Extension. If you want to learn how to do this and feel overwhelmed, I understand. Steve actually taught me. Let me know and we can plan a day to have you come out for a lesson:)
  • Chop up onions and peppers.
  • I freeze leftover hamburgers. Before freezing, I crumble up the hamburger. Before placing on the pizza, I thaw it out. Super easy!
  • Top with mozzarella cheese and any of your favorites.
  • Place pepperoni on top (I love crispy pepperoni).
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • Garnish with parsley.
Our homemade tomato sauce begins with washing, cutting out the stems and bad parts and putting them through Steve's Grandparent's juicer. Then canning it. We can only tomato juice and then modify it to whatever we need. I then pull it off the shelf add a can of tomato paste, onions, herbs, garlic if I have some and frozen purred carrots (which have been frozen in an ice cube tray - learned this when making baby food).

Our homemade tomato sauce begins with washing, cutting out the stems and bad parts and putting them through Steve’s Grandparent’s juicer. Then canning it. We can only tomato juice and then modify it to whatever we need. I then pull it off the shelf add a can of tomato paste, onions, herbs, garlic if I have some and frozen purred carrots (which have been frozen in an ice-cube tray – learned this when making baby food).

After I have cooked the crust until it barely starts to show a golden tint, I take it out and put on the toppings.

After I have cooked the crust until it barely starts to show a golden tint, I take it out and put on the toppings.

Toppings include: homemade sauce, hamburger (I freeze extra hamburgers that do not get eaten and pull out for pizza or spaghetti), onions, peppers, mozzarella cheese, sometimes pepperoni, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley. Yes, I do make one cheese only pizza as well.

Toppings include: homemade sauce, hamburger (I freeze extra hamburgers that do not get eaten and pull out for pizza or spaghetti), onions, peppers, mozzarella cheese, sometimes pepperoni, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley. Yes, I do make one cheese only pizza as well.

The kids love making their own individual pizzas. I let them have a piece of dough to shape into their own. Lots of fun!

The kids enjoy making their own individual pizzas. I let them have a piece of dough to shape into their own. Lots of fun!

Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is cooked to liking.

Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is cooked to liking.

Countdown

Countdown

Although they did seem to enjoy the treasurer hunt harvesting the pumpkins and gourds. I think they were ready to be done.

Although they did seem to enjoy the treasurer hunt harvesting the pumpkins and gourds. I think they were ready to finish and move on to more important things like the worms and toads that they had found while in the garden.

We are on the final countdown of the season. Next week will be week 17 which is an additional week due to the challenging growing season. With the beautiful 1 1/10 inch of rain that we received this past week, some of the crops have been reinvigorated. The lettuces and spinach are growing amazingly, and the sugar snap peas and green beans also are producing – finally! With this said, we want to see what the next 7 days do. There may be a bonus box the first week of October.

We spent a lot of time in the garden harvesting the gourds, squash and pumpkins.

We spent a lot of time in the garden harvesting the gourds, squash and pumpkins.

Sam harvesting gourds.

Sam harvesting gourds.

A beautiful deep reddish orange - Rouge Vif d'Etampes. Unfortunately the bugs beat us to the harvest, otherwise we would have had more for everyone! Picture taken by Sam.

A beautiful deep reddish-orange – Rouge Vif d’Etampes. Unfortunately the bugs beat us to the harvest, otherwise we would have had more for everyone! Picture taken by Sam.

Warty pumpkins are one of the boys favorites. Very fun to grow! Picture taken by Sam.

Warty pumpkins are one of the boys favorites. Very fun to grow! Picture taken by Sam.

Man did these white pumpkins ever grow this year. The heaviest one weighted in at 60#. We also had a white and green blended pumpkin weight 50#.

Man did these white pumpkins ever grow this year. The heaviest one weighted in at 60#. We also had a white and green blended pumpkin weight 50#.

Garden Science

Keith enjoyed climbing up the panels to harvest everything.

Keith enjoyed climbing up the panels to harvest everything.

These are the swan gourds that grew on the fences. Funny how they grew straight (a great example of gravity) vs the ones that grew on the ground curled up.  The two the boys are holding were 20" and 19".

These are the swan gourds that grew on the fences. Funny how they grew straight (a great example of gravity) vs the ones that grew on the ground curled up. The two the boys are holding were 20″ and 19″. One of them that grew on the ground weighted in at 17#.

Boxes of Produce

Reminder to return any cups or plastic containers in your box each week. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

Black Seeded Simpson Elite Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – reddish lettuce

Prizehead – is the spear like green leaf.

Beet leaves – Some young beets will be available next week.

Broccoli – This will be the last few bites of broccoli this year. Enjoy in some fresh salad this week!

Tomatoes – Fourth of July (medium size red), Yellow Girls, Romas (long, narrow), Black Krim, Big Boy and super sweet cherry tomatoes 100. Hope you are able to freeze or can for soups or chilli later this winter.

Peppers – Try some stuffed peppers this week.

Onions – A few fresh onions to put in a recipe here or there.

Green Beans – This type of green beans are Providers.

Keith used a French fry cutter to make homemade French fries this weekend. We used a variety of potatoes.

Keith used a French fry cutter to make homemade French fries this weekend. We used a variety of potatoes.

Their favorite variety to use for French fries and for mashed potatoes are the blue potatoes.

Their favorite variety to use for French fries and for mashed potatoes are the blue potatoes.

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes – great for baking; Norland potatoes – great for mashed potatoes; Blue potatoes – we made French fries and also mashed potatoes – the boys love the blue potatoes!

Cucumbers – Varieties include Fancipak and Straight Eights. Last of the cucumbers this week. If only we had received this beautiful rain a few weeks earlier, this crop harvest would have been extended.

Carnival Squash – This is a decorative, fun looking squash with a nutty flavor. It is a hybrid of Sweet Dumpling and an Acorn squash and has a shelf-life of up to three to four months. More information here. I make it like I do Butternut Squash – see recipe below.

Herbs – Cilantro, golden oregano, red basil and thyme. Don’t forget to wash and freeze these in ice-cube trays – great for soups later this winter.

Fresh cut arrangement

  • Ornamental corn – Steve has already put a loop in the string. Simply hang it on a hook or nail. There is some additional left if you would like them for decoration. Check the extras next week.
  • Gourds – Great for arrangements or fun fall painting projects with the kids.
  • Pumpkins – Enjoy the variety!
  • Swan Gourds Here is the information to make them into bird houses later this winter.
  • Ornamental corn - this was the best harvest year for this. What a variety and some beautiful ears of corn. Enjoy your bunches and notice there is already a looped tied on the back so you just need to hang them up.

    Ornamental corn – this was the best harvest year for this crop. What a variety and some beautiful ears of corn. Enjoy your bunches and notice there is already a looped tied on the back so you just need to hang them up.

Recipe of the Week

Butternut Squash/Carnival Squash

Our family loves this recipe, and the boys eat it like crazy. I also use the prepared squash in place of pumpkin in many recipes. Butternut squash was in your boxes last week and this recipe also works well on the Carnival Squash in your boxes this week.

The boys were beyond excited that we were making and freezing squash. They both do a great job with the hand mixer for this recipe.

The boys were beyond excited that we were making and freezing squash. They both do a great job with the hand mixer for this recipe.

*Cut squash in 1/2 add enough water to cover pan (about 1/2 inch up on the side of the pan). Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour.

*Take out of oven. Scoop out seeds. The seeds can be kept and roasted.

*Using a large knife cut off skin and place in another bowl.

Add:

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

Using a mixer, blend together until smooth. Serve.

Sam couldn't wait to eat the squash. In fact he ate two bowls as soon as he was finished mixing it up. We used ice cream scoops to fill the muffin tins as we prepared them for freezing.

Sam couldn’t wait to eat the squash. In fact he ate two bowls as soon as he was finished mixing it up. We used ice cream scoops to fill the muffin tins as we prepared them for freezing.

To save the extra, place in a cupcake tin and freeze. Place frozen portions in storage containers to be stored in your freezer. Enjoy!

I make the squash and freeze in muffin tins. Once frozen, I store them in a container or Ziploc bag. And simply thaw out a few when I need them for a meal. Works great!

I make the squash and freeze in muffin tins. Once frozen, I remove them from the tin and store them in a container or Ziploc bag. Simply thaw out a few when you need them for a meal. This works great!