Soak up the Moments

Soak up the Moments

Life passes us by so quickly. So many times in the rush of life, we forget to sit back and tell ourselves to soak it all in. Remember this moment. There are so many times this summer where I have stepped back and did exactly that. Primarily, it has been after Sam has begged me to go fishing for yet another day.

There have been other moments like watching the boys play baseball to watching them have the fair in person and showing their pigs to watching the sunset. Even the moments working outside together like our 20 min power break weeding sessions with timer and music in hand or simply good conversation.

I encourage you to take time, soak in those precious moments with those around you, be present and take those snapshots in your mind to hold close to your heart.

“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

Garden Science

Learn more about squash bugs from the University of Minnesota Extension.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

Spinach/Black Seeded Simpson Mix – The rain really helped with both the insect pressure and overall growth.

Green Beans – The first crop of green beans are nearing the end. I’d encourage you to consider freezing or canning some for this fall. Let us know if you need some dill to make green bean pickles.

Dragon Tongue Beans – The Dragon Tongue bean can be utilized at multiple stages of maturity. When harvested young the entire bean, shell and seeds are edible. When cooked, the bean will lose its variegated colors. If allowed to mature fully the stripes on the bean will turn to a deep red color and the internal seeds of the bean pod can be shelled and used as is or left in their pods to dry then used as a dried bean.

Carrots – The carrot crop is plentiful. It is so interesting to see how the root vegetables have been adapting to grow deeper to reach moisture. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

Eggplant – Boy is this a bountiful crop this year. Let us know if you like eggplant!

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. I peeled off the skin before cooking them this week and that worked well. Learn more about their nutrition here.

Cucumbers – The cucumbers have kicked production into high gear. Let us know if you would like to make pickles. We do have dill that you could use. Here’s an interesting link on their nutritional value.

Potatoes Red Norland potatoes are good as boiled or mashed potatoes.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and the cherry tomatoes are Napa grape and Sun Gold Hybrid.

Zucchini –So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Try this zucchini mock apple pie square recipe.

Summer Squash – I had completely forgot about Summer Squash soup…another great way to use this vegetable. Check out the recipe below.

Fresh cut arrangement – Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Yellow Summer Squash Soup

2 large sweet onions, chopped

1 medium leek (white portion only), chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

6 medium yellow summer squash, seeded and cubed (about 6 cups)

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and leek; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Add squash; cook and stir 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, thyme and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until squash is tender, 15-20 minutes.

2. Discard thyme sprigs. Cool slightly. In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to the pan. Stir in lemon juice and hot pepper sauce; heat through. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and lemon zest.

Source: Taste of Home

Another Zucchini?

Another Zucchini?

I was tossing and turning last night dreaming of digging myself out of a pile of zucchini and patty pan summer squash. You too may have very well found yourself in a similar situation or looked in your box and sighed at the sight of another zucchini and summer squash.

Maybe you were even thinking, hmmm, how can I use this to keep my teenagers in line? I’m here to tell you they work well to keep a teenager in line/throw them off guard. Hence, why the boys may hear me yell, “Hut, hut!” or “Go long.” “Heads up!” Yes, zucchini and summer squash can provide some good entertainment.

At this time of year, it gets to the point where some may feel like you can’t even give zucchini away! Perhaps you have thought about gifting the zucchini to a neighbor at night. It kind of reminds me of fruit cake at Christmas. I’m here to say, reconsider the zucchini.

One night, the subject of “What is the big deal about zucchini?” came up at the supper table. So we Googled it and found a few resources that speak to the nutritional value of zucchini including WebMD and LiveStrong. I particularly liked how this vegetable has a lot of vitamins, helps to protect my eyes, my skin, weight, heart, possible cancer reducing properties, aids in digestion and more.

So, I figured I needed to find more ways to use this. I feel like they could make some comedy video on my discussions with people about how they use zucchini and summer squash. I do like what I have found on the Taste of Home, Martha Stewart and more.

This week we tried a hotdish that was a success and dessert with zucchini fudge brownies. Yes, the hotdish recipe was a discussion I had while watching one of the boy’s baseball games.

So give it another try. Provide some additional healthy options for your family. Next time I see you, just be prepared if I yell, “go long” just because moms can have fun too.

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

Spinach/Red Oak Lettuce/Black Seeded Simpson Mix – The dry weather has put pressure on the crops that were planted in mid-June and early July. We are grateful for the rain we received this week. You will notice that there has been insect pressure on the spinach eating small holes in some of the leaves.

Green Beans – The green beans are plentiful. I’d encourage you to consider freezing or canning some for this fall. Here are a few recipes from Martha Stewart.

Dragon Tongue Beans – The Dragon Tongue bean can be utilized at multiple stages of maturity. When harvested young the entire bean, shell and seeds are edible. When cooked, the bean will lose its variegated colors. If allowed to mature fully the stripes on the bean will turn to a deep red color and the internal seeds of the bean pod can be shelled and used as is or left in their pods to dry then used as a dried bean.

Carrots – The carrot crop is progressing. It is so interesting to see how the root vegetables have been adapting to grow deeper to reach moisture. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

Radishes – This crop has been long-lasting this year. Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads or put in hot dishes. Some enjoy dipping in salt. Some radish recipes from Martha Stewart.

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. I peeled off the skin before cooking them this week and that worked well. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Cucumbers – The cucumbers have kicked production into high gear. Let us know if you would like to make pickles. We do have dill that you could use.

Potatoes Red Norland potatoes are good as boiled or mashed potatoes. The brown-skinned potatoes are Kennebecs. Learn more about how potatoes are grown here.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and Sun Gold Hybrid cherry tomatoes this week.

Sunburst Hybrid Summer Squash – butter yellow scallop-type squash.

Zucchini –So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Try this pasta primavera recipe from Martha Stewart.

Fresh cut arrangement – Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Spanish Style Squash Hotdish

Source: Farm Journal and from the kitchen of Mary Jo Patzer mother of one of our shareholders Laura Eschen. Thank you for sharing!

1 pound ground beef

1/3 cup chopped onion

5 cups Zucchini sliced (I used summer squash and used the slicing/chipping option in my salad shooter)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1/16 teaspoon pepper

8-ounce tomato sauce

12 oz mexi-corn or corn and peppers diced

Top with mozzarella cheese

Saute ground beef and onion. Add squash and seasonings. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover. Simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Top with cheese. Serve after the cheese has melted. Serves six.

Harvest Contests

Harvest Contests

I always enjoy harvesting vegetables because it feels like a treasure hunt. Who doesn’t enjoy a good treasure hunt full of surprises and unexpected rewards? Yet, harvesting vegetables when you have a few other projects to complete, or you simply want to rest can be a challenging chore.

Sam and Steve have found a fun way to accomplish this task by having different types of contests. This week, it was seeing who could find the longest green bean. I believe this heated contest ended in a tie with both harvesting eight-inch-long green beans. We also find ourselves making a game out of harvesting zucchini and cucumbers…resembling catch and quick hands.

Finding Joy in the small, simple items in life can bring peace to the craziness that life presents.

See the world through the eyes of your inner child. The eyes that sparkle in awe and amazement as they see love, magic and mystery in the most ordinary things. – Henna Sohail

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

Spinach/Red Oak Lettuce/Black Seeded Simpson Mix – The dry weather has put pressure on the crops that were planted mid-June. We are grateful for the rain we received last night. You will notice that there has been insect pressure on the spinach eating small holes in some of the leaves.

Green Beans – The green beans are plentiful. I’d encourage you to consider freezing or canning some for this fall. Learn more about green bean production from America’s Heartland here.

Carrots – The carrot crop is progressing. It is so interesting to see how the root vegetables have been adapting to grow deeper to reach moisture. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

Radishes – This crop has been long lasting this year. Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads or put in hot dishes. Some enjoy dipping in salt. Some radish recipes from Taste of Home.

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. I enjoy cooking them, peeling off the skin and putting a little bit of butter on them. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Cucumbers – The cucumbers have kicked production into high gear. Let us know if you would like to make pickles. We do have dill that you could use.

Potatoes Red Norland potatoes are good as boiled or mashed potatoes. Learn more about how potatoes are grown here.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and Sun Gold Hybrid cherry tomatoes this week.

Onions – yellow onions

Zucchini –So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Try this pasta primavera recipe from Martha Stewart.

Fresh cut arrangement – Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Zucchini Cobbler

8 cups chopped seeded peeled zucchini (about 3 pounds untrimmed)

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

CRUST:

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until zucchini is tender, 15-20 minutes. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup into zucchini mixture. Press half the remaining crust mixture into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top; crumble remaining crust mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

3. Bake until golden and bubbly, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Source: Taste of Home

Positively impacting the world

Positively impacting the world

This week, I have had the opportunity to listen to many researchers share their knowledge with farmers and ranchers at some of NDSU Research Extension Center’s field days. These field days are open to the public to learn more and to see how they can apply what they learn to improve their farm or ranch.

It is absolutely fascinating to hear what the researchers are working on, and their passion and desire to improve our food supply chain exudes them. It is so fun to watch people do what they love and know that what they do will positively impact the world.

I’ve had the great opportunity to work with researchers and Extension personnel in four states: Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. I can say without a doubt that I wish the general public new how much work goes into each and every step of the food supply chain. The true passion and desire to make the best better and to feed the world is real and grounded at the very beginning of each of our food supply processes.

Garden Science

Boxes of Produce

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. With all the lettuce, I thought you’d appreciate these resources with recipes from NDSU Extension.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love this beautiful red lettuce leaf. It adds such a wonderful color to your salads.

Did you know that when we harvest cucumbers that they have small spikes on them? Cucumbers may have become spiny for the same reason that some animals are camouflaged or have horns…to protect themselves from predators.

Cucumbers – The first cucumbers of the season.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – This garden favorite is producing like crazy. It is hard to keep up The second crop of peas was planted mid-June. Due to the dry weather, it has been slower growing. While I love to just eat these peas fresh. Here are a few ideas from Taste of Home for additional ways to use them.

Radishes – Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt. Some radish recipes from Taste of Home.

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Zucchini – The first of the season.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas, Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seeds

1 pound sugar snap peas

Dark sesame oil

Sesame seeds

Kosher salt

Toss sugar snap peas in a bowl with sesame oil, sesame seeds, and kosher salt, to taste. Serve.

What’s Growing On?

What’s Growing On?

There is a lot growing on in the garden. The much-needed shot of rain last week did help give the crops a boost. Last night’s rain did not amount to much. While that was good for the boys’ baseball games it was not so good for the plants. Here’s a glimpse of a few of the crops.

Garden Science

The heart-shaped leaves are soft and velvety. Velvetleaf is usually considered to be an annual. It can grow up to 8 feet tall in a single season but is usually 2-4 feet tall. It has been grown in China since around 2000 B.C. for its strong, jute-like fiber in the erect stem for making cords, nets, woven bags, rugs and other coarse textiles. The Chinese also used the plant for medicinal purposes to treat fever, dysentery, stomach aches and other problems. Source: University of Wisconsin Extension

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.

Rhubarb – This is the last week of 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. One or two more weeks of rhubarb. Make the most of it! Make the most of your rhubarb. Make it into jam and freeze it for your year ahead. Check out the recipe below.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. With all the lettuce, I thought you’d appreciate these resources with recipes from NDSU Extension.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love this beautiful red lettuce leaf. It adds such a wonderful color to your salads.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal! Check out Taste of Home’s spinach recipes

.Super Sugar Snap Peas – This garden favorite is on the verge of a lot of production. Enjoy! The second crop of peas was planted three weeks ago, but just started to emerge. It is quite a bit behind due to the hot conditions and lack of moisture from Mother Nature. No amount of watering seems to be able to replace what Mother Nature provides.

Radishes – Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt.

Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders like to cut these up and eat these raw in their salads. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves, Hydrangeas, Spirea and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Rhubarb Jam

Mix together and set aside until a juice forms:

6 cups rhubarb sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces

3 cups granulated sugar

Next:

Add one can of pie filling (cherry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry)

Cook these ingredients for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 package of 3 oz Jello (use Jello that is of the same flavor as the pie filling). Mix well. Pour into containers. Refrigerate or freeze.

Proactive Solutions

Proactive Solutions

It is so easy to look at the problems that lie in front of us and feel so overwhelmed that it is paralyzing. So, paralyzing that you can’t think of proactive solutions to address it. For me, I literally need to talk myself into how great I know I will feel after addressing a solution in this case weeding. Yet, I don’t even want to start weeding. Because once you start weeding, part of it looks wonderful, and the un-weeded looks like a bad hair day…pretty obviously AWFUL. At least when it is all weedy, it looks consistent. You hope that anyone that drives by just doesn’t notice it.

Weeds in our flower and vegetable gardens can feel so overwhelming. I’d much rather stay in bed than face those weeds. Yet, I forced myself on the only free Saturday in June to roll over so that I literally had no choice but to fall out of bed and land on my feet.

While I despise the weeds, I truly admire them. Let’s face it, we all need to be more like weeds and grow and flourish no matter what the weather conditions. Stand tall and proud wherever the seed lands.

I encourage you to find proactive solutions to attack today’s challenges.

After I got over the paralyzing feeling and started in with my proactive solutions, I just started weeding, I took it by sections so that I was able to proudly reflect back on the accomplishments.

By the end of the weekend, the gardens were no longer looking like a bad hair day, rather they appeared to have just come from seeing the hair dresser. The good plants were standing tall and proud and ready to grow in such a manner to shade out the weeds and negativity that hold them back from being productive.

I encourage you to push yourself to find the proactive solutions to what is holding you back. You too will stand tall and proud once you have achieved the dreaded task and implemented proactive solutions.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

It is so easy to look at the problems that lie in front of us and feel so overwhelmed that it is paralyzing. So, paralyzing that you can’t think of proactive solutions to address it. For me, I literally need to talk myself into how great I know I will feel after addressing a solution in this case weeding.
In addition to weeding, we tied up the tomato plants so as they grow they climb up the fence. This will help the tomatoes to stay clean.

Garden Science

Striped Cucumber Beetle

The Striped Cucumber Beetle feeds primarily on cucumbers, squash, melons, and pumpkins. Active from May through August. May kill or retard growth of seedlings, if numbers are severe. Vector of bacterial wilt in curcurbits and of cucumber mosaic virus. Source: University of Minnesota Extension

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.

The rhubarb stalks are so long this year. You harvest rhubarb by pulling the stalk out of the ground. This process does not include pulling the root out of the ground. Then you cut the leaf off of the top of the stalk and cut off the part of the stalk that was attached to the base of the plant.

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. One or two more weeks of rhubarb. Make the most of it! Check out this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Cheese Bars.

Black Seeded Simpson can be harvested for several weeks.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. Learn more about lettuce from America’s Heartland.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love this beautiful red lettuce leaf. It adds such a wonderful color to your salads.

Spinach with Beet Greens – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal! Check out Taste of Home’s spinach recipes.

Radishes – Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt.

Herb Pots – We have a variety of herbs in a pots for you to put on your deck, patio or kitchen. Basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano. Shareholders will receive a mix of three of these in a pot. Enjoy!

Hosta

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves, peonies, irises and asparagus ferns.

This week’s CSA share.

Recipe of the Week

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Dressing

3 Tablespoons apple juice

2 Tablespoons strawberry spreadable fruit

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salad

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

8 cups bite-size pieces spinach

1 cup strawberries, stems removed and strawberries cut in half

1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (1 oz)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. In small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients until blended; set aside.
2. Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in skillet 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F). Remove chicken to cutting board.
3. Add dressing to skillet; stir to loosen any pan drippings.
4. Cut chicken into slices. Among 4 plates, divide spinach. Top with chicken, strawberries and cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Source: Taste of Home

Learn by Doing

Learn by Doing

This past weekend, we had the privilege of being one of the stops on our 4-H club’s summer tour. These opportunities are another example of 4-H’s slogan “Learn by Doing” in action.

It was a hot, windy day. Yet, it was still fun to watch Keith lead the 4-Hers around our place and share about what we do, why we do it, and how it works as a 4-H project.

Big Giants 4-H Club Tour

Even when I was a Shetek Royal Harvester 4-Her, these summer tours were a favorite. It is fun to learn from each other, share ideas, and then take what you learn and see how those ideas can be applied to our own lives.

Keith shared about vegetable, potatoes and pumpkin gardens (vegetable project); broiler chickens and laying hens (poultry project); welding project (shop project) and the pigs (swine project). Throughout the tour, the 4-Hers and the parents asked questions. It was nothing short of a joy to watch Keith share his knowledge with others while growing his leadership skills.

Many will say they don’t have time for 4-H. We can’t possibly squeeze one more thing in. Trust me, we know. We have these conversations at our house. Yet, thankfully our entire family knows that when we show up for 4-H activities, like this one, we all come away fulfilled and rejuvenated.

Why be part of 4-H when you have a full plate?

  1. Sharing 4-H projects with others, both youth and adults, help youth to feel valued.
  2. 4-Hers find meaning and purpose in their life by developing skills that last a lifetime.
  3. Making connections outside of normal circles helps with personal growth.

I encourage you to learn more about 4-H projects here and join 4-H to Learn by Doing.

Enjoying the 4-H Summer Tour

Garden Science

The extremely hot, dry and windy weather is drying the ground out. Let’s pray for some rain to get some of these crops to the next stage, and we’ll have an abundance of produce.

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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

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 this week’s recipe.

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce continues to produce for a few harvests. Cut the leaves and they will grow back for a few harvests. We do plant a few plantings of this throughout the summer.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love this beautiful red lettuce leaf. It adds such a wonderful color to your salads.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal! Check out some of Martha Stewart’s spinach recipes.

Cherry Belle Radish

Radishes – Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt or a radish sandwich. I also cut them up and use like carrots or green beans in a hot dish.

Herbchives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces or freeze them to use later.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves, Spirea, asparagus ferns.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves, Spirea, asparagus ferns.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

Recipe of the Week

Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

3/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

5 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and drained

3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained

Icing

1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

5 to 6 teaspoons 2% milk

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Whisk 3/4 cup milk and egg yolk; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.

2. Divide dough in 2 portions so that 1 is slightly larger than the other; cover each and refrigerate 1 hour or until easy to handle.

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3. Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out larger portion of dough between 2 large sheets of lightly floured waxed paper into an 18×13-in. rectangle. Transfer to an ungreased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Press onto the bottom and up sides of pan; trim crust to edges of pan.

4. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add raspberries and rhubarb; toss to coat. Spoon into crust.

5. Roll out remaining dough; place over filling. Fold bottom crust over edge of top crust; seal with a fork. Prick top with a fork.

6. Bake until golden brown, 45-55 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

7. For icing, combine confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency; drizzle over pie. Cut pie into squares.

Source: Taste of Home

It’s All About Weeds

It’s All About Weeds

Weeds, weeds, weeds that’s what it’s all about, we don’t love each other, lambsquarters, nightshade, quack grass, pigweed, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about weeds, weeds, weeds. It’ about weeds, weeds, weeds. This is my weed version spin-off of the song “It’s all about Love.”

Yes, weeds are top of mind with the heat, and this time of year. Controlling the weed competition to provide the optimal growing conditions for a plant to be healthy is important for productive plant growth outcomes. I always feel this is the most challenging time for weeds as there is no natural “canopy” from the garden crops formed over the weeds to shade out their growth.

What keeps us motivated to finish the weeding? Well, the radio always helps, along with, good conversation and a few games of “would you rather.” But to be honest, the feeling of looking back on your work and being able to say to yourself, “job well done” and also knowing that the plants will be healthier and more productive throughout the growing season, makes it all worth it.

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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great-grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

Rhubarb – One pound equals about 3 cups. Wash, cut the ends off, cut off any bad parts damaged by wind, and chop into 1/4 – 1/2-inch pieces. No need to peel You can freeze it in a Ziploc bag (no blanching) and use it for months to come. Our family loves it in muffins, bread, jam, pie, crisp, sauce and torte.

Black Seeded Simpson can be harvested for several weeks.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. Some of the crops are run 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 remember to wash your vegetables before eating. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I love this beautiful red lettuce leaf. It adds such a wonderful color to your salads.

The spinach has been growing like crazy.

Spinach with Beet Greens – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make such a wonderful meal! Check out some of Martha Stewart’s spinach recipes.

Cherry Belle Radish

Radishes – Wash, cut off the tops and also the bottoms, slice and enjoy in salads. Some enjoy dipping in salt.

Chives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces. I enjoy using them in

You all received a small pot with cilantro. If you don’t use it for a while, give it a trim, and it should stay productive for you.

Cilantro – Keep this plant all year long. Put it on your window sill and keep cutting it back.

Peonies, Irises, Asparagus Ferns and Hostas

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta leaves, peonies, irises and asparagus ferns.

Recipe of the Week

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction

3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats

Filling

2 and 1/2 cups chopped strawberries

2 and 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb (1/2 inch pieces)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.

Make the crumble mixture for the crust and topping: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor, cut in the butter until all the flour is coated and resembles pea-sized crumbles. This takes at least 5 minutes of cutting in with a pastry cutter.

Whisk the egg, milk, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour over the flour/butter mixture and gently mix together until the mixture resembles moist crumbly sand. Use your hands if needed– the mixture comes together easier with your hands than with a spoon.

You will have about 6 cups of the crust/crumble mixture. Set 2 cups aside. Pour the remaining into the prepared pan and flatten down with your hands or a flat spatula to form an even crust. It will be a little crumbly– that’s ok. Set aside. (Oats will be used in the topping in the next step.)

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling: Gently mix all of the filling ingredients together. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture all over the filling. Sprinkle the oats on over top. With the back of a large spoon or flat spatula, lightly press the topping down so it’s a bit snug on the strawberry rhubarb layer.

Bake for about 42-50 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out *mostly* clean (with a few jam strawberry/rhubarb specks!). Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

Lift the cooled bars out using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Cut into squares. Cover and store leftover strawberry rhubarb bars at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freezes well.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
In a blink of an eye

In a blink of an eye

When I was young, adults around me would comment on how quickly time passed. I, on the other hand, thought that the days seemed enormously long, especially the long days out in the field rock picking and bean walking. Now days, it seems that everything can change in a blink of an eye.

In April, our shop burned down due to an undetermined source. While the process of navigating this challenge is time-consuming, we remain eternally grateful for the angels that were present that night providing protection and walking with us as we take one step at a time to rebuild the shop.

Meanwhile, the time I used to think moved slowly has been moving quickly. I feel that I must have blinked and missed May.

Thankfully, we did not lose all of our field and gardening equipment in the fire. Planting did occur at the beginning of May and has continued as the weather cooperated. Crops are peaking out of the ground, and of course, the rhubarb is flourishing.

The first CSA should be right around the corner. Our shareholders should see an email with more information in the foreseeable future, but not this week. I’m sure all of us have plenty on our plate with the end of the school year upon us. Plus, the crops could use just a little bit more time.

Meanwhile, take time to soak in the time spent with your family and friends. In a blink of an eye, it will be but a memory.

Tilling the ground to prepare for planting.
When the weather finally cooperated in May, it made for a long day of planting.
Installing the fence for cucumbers
Some things never change…the work can be exhausting and a nap is warranted.
This past weekend, we were busy with weed control and insect monitoring. The potatoes have really grown!
Tomatoes, cabbage, eggplant and peppers were planted on Memorial Day on a very windy afternoon. Sure enough, as soon as we were done the strong wind subsided.
End of the Season

End of the Season

It is hard to believe it is the end of September. The amount of produce in this week’s box felt overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. Look below for some ideas and ways to preserve your produce for the upcoming winter. We hope that your freezer and shelves are full of produce to use throughout the winter.As we were working on the final harvest, we were all pleasantly surprised be the amount of produce that decided to “show up” after the last few weeks of weather. It is amazing what rain does for all of us. This was definitely needed after our dry growing season.

Perhaps this is a good lesson to reflect on. Rain is a lot like love, care, kindness, patience and grace all wrapped together. When we shower others with this, they too grow into more than they ever thought was possible. As we all scramble to find the new balance in this year’s school year, this is worth reflecting on.

In closing, we wish you rain that fills your box up with enough abundance to share with others and plenty to nourish your well-being. Thank you for another great year!

Thank you for a great season!

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 leafy green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads.

Beets – Enjoy beets by peeling and cutting into wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or boil with the skin on for approximately 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. Eat with a dab of butter or in a salad. Check out the NDSU Pocket Guide to Preparing Fruits and Vegetables.

Brussel Sprouts – This was our first year growing brussel sprouts. It was fun to see who liked them.

CabbageThis looks like a yummy way to use up your cabbage.

Carrots are a wonderful root vegetable. Place in your refrigerator and eat raw or cooked.

Carrots – The carrot crop in general did not liked the drought this year. We were so happy for the end harvest! Enjoy fresh or cooked. Try these brown sugar glazed carrots from Martha Stewart. Cut off the tops, rinse and air-dry them for storage in an air-tight plastic bag in the refrigerator to maintain proper humidity. Carrots will maintain their freshness longer at or around 32 degrees F.

Cauliflower – Here are a few ideas of how to use this vegetable from Taste of Home.

Cucumbers – Here are a few cucumber ideas from Martha Stewart.

Peppers – Learn more about peppers from America’s Heartland. I like to cut my peppers up and freeze them to pull out to use later.

Potatoes – Red Norland, Yukon Gold and Kennebec potatoes. Great for baking, cooking on the grill, boiling or mashed. Learn more about how potatoes are harvested from America’s Heartland.

Pumpkins and Gourds – Enjoy some Fall decorations. Check out this information on gourds.

Onions – White Onions – cut and freeze for easy use in your recipes.

Salsa – Are you trying to figure out how to store and use your tomatoes. Check out this resource from NDSU.

Summer Squash – The last of the zucchini and summer squash. I’m making mine into bread and brownies. Shred this and freeze in two cup quantities for quick use in your recipes.

Tomatoes – A few Fourth of July, yellow, cherry Sungold tomatoes. I love the size of the Fourth of July for a quick lunch, and the Sungolds. Let us know if you are interested in canning or freezing extra quantities. We do still have plenty. Let us know if you are interested in more.

Watermelon – Check out these options and consider freezing your watermelon so you don’t loose out on the goodness.

Winter Squash Butternut, Kuri, Spaghetti and Carnival squash this week. Sorry to inundate you all at once. Remember that Butternut, Kuri and Carnival squash can be cooked and then frozen for use throughout the winter.

Yes, we harvested by the light of the full moon. What beautiful fall evenings we have been blessed with!

Recipe of the Week

Borscht (Beet and Vegetable Soup)

2-3 large beets, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
6 c. water or vegetable broth
2 large potatoes, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
½ medium cabbage, cut into strips 
1 bay leaf 
¼ c. lemon juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. dill
½ c. fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional)  

Add vegetable oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot and heat on medium. Add onions and sauté until soft, then add garlic and sauté briefly. Add broth and/or water and heat until simmering. Add carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add bay leaf, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Simmer until all vegetables are tender (20 to 30 minutes). 

Add chopped herbs and adjust seasonings if needed. Top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired. 

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 130 calories, 0 g fat, 4 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 160 mg sodium.

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., is a North Dakota State University Extension food and nutrition specialist and professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.