Thankful

Thankful

The boys harvested a bounty of vegetables.

The boys harvested a bounty of vegetables.

Thankful is what comes to mind this week after we returned home from a quick trip over Independence Day weekend. As we traveled the Midwest, we saw areas – particularly Indiana that have had way to much moisture.

We feel blessed to have been getting what our plants need in a timely fashion. We pray that this continues, and we also pray for the farmers who are struggling with challenging conditions.

For those that are wondering, we received about 2.5 inches of rain on Monday.

Science of the Week

The saying is - corn knee high by the Fourth of July. Well, corn is not only knee high, but it is tasseling. Our sweet corn is tasseling. Some of the field corn is nearly six feet and tasseling. The science that goes into selecting good seed provides the opportunity for the corn to be productive in a variety of weather conditions.

The saying is – corn knee-high by the Fourth of July. Well, corn is not only knee-high, but it is tasseling. Our sweet corn is tasseling. Some of the field corn is nearly six feet and tasseling. The science that goes into selecting good seed provides the opportunity for the corn to be productive in a variety of weather conditions.

Question of the Week

Why do you thin the crops?

Thinning is done when crops are planted to close together. We try to space them evenly with the proper distance between each other, but with small seeds, this is sometimes difficult to do with our planter.

Thinning is the process of pulling out the extra plants so there is proper spacing between the plants so that they can grow to their optimum performance. We thin different crops such as the beets so that the root vegetable has more room to grow into a beautiful shape. If the vegetables are to close together you start to get the unique shapes or the vegetables that are wrapped together. We appreciate our shareholders that on occasion embrace the “ugly” vegetable and enjoy the still wonderful flavor!

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.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – 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.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Beautiful red lettuce leaf.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal!

Comparing the size of the beets to the size of his head.

Comparing the size of the beets to the size of his head.

Beet Leaves – Great in your salads.

Beets – A taste to start the season.

Cherry Belle Radishes – Last ones for a while.

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Peas were bountiful this week.

Peas were bountiful this week.

Sugar Snap Peas – A garden favorite. Eat the pod and all. Enjoy this delicious vegetable!

Green Beans

Green Beans

Green Beans – This crop is becoming bountiful. Be prepared for future weeks. We do have dill if you wish to pickle some. Here are some recipes from Martha Stewart.

Purple Beans

Purple Beans

Purple Beans – A taste of a new crop. Enjoy the fun color.

Check out the size of this onion.

Check out the size of this onion.

Onions – Yellow to start the season

The boys were using a baseball as they "measured" the size of the kohlrabi for harvest.

The boys were using a baseball as they “measured” the size of the kohlrabi for harvest.

KohlrabiHere are some ideas of how to use Kohlrabi.

Kale – Let us know what you think!

Fresh cut arrangement 

Recipe of the Week

Lazy Tacos

This is a family favorite and a go to recipe in our house. Thank you to Steve’s Aunt Coleen for sharing this idea with us many years ago. This dish can take on many options depending on your family’s tastes.

Crush corn chips and layer taco favorites on top such as:

taco meat

onions

black olives,

tomatoes

lettuce

cheddar cheese

chilli beans

salsa

cottage cheese

salad dressing

Note: with all of the fresh produce I would also try a variety of vegetables.

Gardening after the growing season

Gardening after the growing season

While the harvest is complete, projects are still ongoing. Here is what we have been up to.

Popcorn Update

Well, we shelled some of the strawberry, blue and white popcorn. Every variety needed to dry some more especially the blue and the white. There was simply to much moisture in the kernels. They wouldn't even pop. You could tell they were planted later than the strawberry variety. So we have a fan blowing on the ears trying to dry down the kernels.

Well, we shelled some of the strawberry, blue and white popcorn. Every variety needed to dry some more especially the blue and the white. There was simply too much moisture in the kernels. They wouldn’t even pop. You could tell they were planted later than the strawberry variety. So we have a fan blowing on the ears trying to dry down the kernels.

Garden Science

Look at what happened to the tomatoes that Sam and I put in the garden. We had a lot of luck with them this year. 3/4 of them ripened. And we were able to use many of them to make tomato sauce.

Look at what happened to the tomatoes that Sam and I put in the garden. We had a lot of luck with them this year. 3/4 of them ripened. And we were able to use many of them to make tomato sauce.

Recipe of the Week

We took some of the green tomatoes that we ripened in the basement along with some we had frozen, and we put them through our juicer to make tomato juice. The best part of the day was listening to the boys ask their dad about where the canning supplies came from, and Steve telling them all about his memories gardening and canning with his Grandpa and Grandma Gifford.

We took some of the green tomatoes that we ripened in the basement along with some we had frozen, and we put them through our juicer to make tomato juice. The best part of the day was listening to the boys ask their dad about where the canning supplies came from, and Steve telling them all about his memories gardening and canning with his Grandpa and Grandma Gifford.

The boys were so proud that they could operate the juicer all by themselves. They even commented on what great teamwork they were doing. So fun to see how proud they were of what they were accomplishing.

The boys were so proud that they could operate the juicer all by themselves. They even commented on what great teamwork they were doing. So fun to see how proud they were of what they were accomplishing.

After juicing the tomatoes, they are put on the stove and brought to a simmer. Next we added a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice.

After juicing the tomatoes, they are put on the stove and brought to a simmer. Next we added a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar that had been sanitized.

 

Next Keith helped to fill the jars leaving about an inch of head space between the juice and the lid.

Next Keith helped to fill the jars leaving about an inch of head space between the juice and the lid.

We wipe the top of the juice filled jars with a clean cloth. Then after boiling the lids for about 3 minutes, we use a magnet to place them on the jars. Next we screw on the jar rings and place in a pressure canner. We were fortunate to have all of the jars seal so that we have them to make pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce and simply tomato sauce for the upcoming year.

We wipe the top of the juice filled jars with a clean cloth. Then after boiling the lids for about 3 minutes, we use a magnet to place them on the jars. Next we screw on the jar rings and place in a pressure canner. We were fortunate to have all of the jars seal so that we have them to make pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce and simply tomato sauce for the upcoming year.

Family Project

Now that Halloween is over don’t through your gourds out. I love Thanksgiving and the option to keep the garden items around for another few weeks. We painted the gourds with chalk paint. this would be a cute idea to paint them with chalk paint and use as name cards for your Thanksgiving table. Place chalk by each place setting, it may provide for some interesting entertainment during the holiday meal.

The boys and I decided to paint a few of the larger gourds with chalkboard paint. Keith helped open the can and mix it.

The boys and I decided to paint a few of the larger gourds with chalkboard paint. Keith helped open the can and mix it.

Keith and I painted on one layer of paint and let it dry.

Keith and I painted on one layer of paint and let it dry.

Sam and I painted on a second layer. Sam also had the idea that we should paint a green tomato with chalkboard paint...so we did.

Sam and I painted on a second layer. Sam also had the idea that we should paint a green tomato with chalkboard paint…so we did.

The boys had fun coloring the gourds and the tomatoes painted with chalk paint.

The boys had fun coloring the gourds and the tomatoes painted with chalk paint.