Learn More about Land Grant Universities

Learn More about Land Grant Universities

This week, I had the opportunity to attend four different NDSU Extension Research Center Field Days in Hettinger, Dickinson and Williston, North Dakota and tour the agriculture experiment stations on the NDSU campus. NDSU is one of our nation’s Land Grant University’s. Their work on agriculture and our food system is very interesting. They are doing work to make a positive difference not only for the people of North Dakota but also for the world.

While attending this week’s tours, it was amazing to hear about:

-The different soil types in the region, and how long no-till has been a common practice by farmers in this region for many decades to conserve the soil.

-North Dakota is third in the nation in the variety of crops grown behind California and Florida.

-The excitement demonstrated by each researcher in the work that they do because of the desire they have to make a positive impact on the world around them.

I encourage you to learn more about the work being done by the land grant universities around us, and to have the same enthusiasm and passion to serve as I saw in these researchers that I met this week.

Garden Science

Cucumber beetles become active in late May or early June and feed on the blossoms of early flowering plants, such as dandelions, apples and hawthorn, until their host crops are available. Learn more from the University of Minnesota Extension.

Cucumber beetles – Learn more from the University of Minnesota Extension which is also a land grant university.

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.

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.

The last week of rhubarb. Enjoy!

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 Martha Stewart.

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.

For those of you that love cucumbers, see how the young cucumber emerges from the flower..

Cucumbers – The cucumbers are just starting to come in.

Turnips – Learn more about this root vegetable and how to use the leafy greens from the University of Minnesota.

Onions – Fresh Walla Walla Onions

French Breakfast Radish/Cherry Belle Radish – We are at the end of the radish crops for a little while.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – We were glad to see pea pods on the vines this week. It seems this growing season has a lot of hope with it.

Notice all the white flowers on the green bean plan. A green bean will grow from those flowers.

Green Beans – I am sure glad we are seeing some green beans on these plants. Enjoy fresh or cooked.

Hostas with variety of greens and flowers – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

Rhubarb Slush

3 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup apple juice

3/4 cup thawed pink lemonade concentrate

1 bottle (2 liters) 7-Up or Sprite

Directions

1. In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Cool for about 30 minutes.

2. In a food processor or blender, puree mixture, half at a time. Stir in apple juice and lemonade concentrate. Pour into a freezer container; cover and freeze until firm. Let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before serving.

3. For individual servings, scoop 1/3 cup into a glass and fill with soda. To serve a group, place all of mixture in a large pitcher or punch bowl; add pop and stir. Serve immediately.

Source: Taste of Home

Belief

Belief

God Bless America!

Each growing season presents unique challenges. Whether they are challenges from Mother Nature or simply schedule and life challenges. Each year is unique. Yet, we continue our strong belief in what we do and why we do it.

This year part of our balancing act is managing additional time pressures since I am in the University of Minnesota Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program. These courses serve as a valuable reminder to never underestimate the value of sharing your story. There are so many different steps in our food supply chain to get our food from farm to fork as well as steps to ensure the foods’ safety. The class has also been a good reminder to remember what our experiences and personalities bring to the table, and how to bring out the best outcomes in a situation.

One area that shed some light for me is the Clifton Strengths Finders analysis when we discussed the area of “Belief.” It helped me understand my passionate core value around agriculture.

So, in my effort to help explain this belief, I felt sharing the FFA Creed in tonight’s blog may be a step to helping others grow in the understanding of how many of us in agriculture feel about the work we do.

The FFA Creed

I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.

I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.

I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so–for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.

I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.

The creed was written by E.M. Tiffany and adopted at the Third National FFA Convention. It was revised at the 38th and 63rd Conventions.

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, Black Seeded Simpson, Spinach and Kale – This year’s weather presents many unique challenges, down to what will germinate in this environment setting and what won’t…this is one of the challenges with these and other crops this year. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

Turnips – Learn more about this root vegetable and how to use the leafy greens from the University of Minnesota.

French Breakfast Radish/Cherry Belle Radish – We are at the end of the radish crops for a little while.

Sugar snap peas were first developed in 1952 by cross-breeding snow pea with a mutant shell pea plant. Researchers hoped that the cross might counteract twisting and buckling seen in varieties at the time. With this cross, they developed a new class of snow pea. Snap peas, like all other peas, are pod fruits. An edible-podded pea is less fibrous, and edible when young. Pods of the edible-podded pea, including snap peas, do not have a membrane and do not open when ripe.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – We were glad to see pea pods on the vines this week. It seems this growing season has a lot of hope with it.

Jade Green Beans

Green Beans – I am sure glad we are seeing some green beans on these plants. Enjoy fresh or cooked.

Hostas with variety of greens and flowers – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

Do you still have rhubarb in your refrigerator or did you cut it up and freeze it? If so, give this recipe a try. This is a go to of mine for a quick dessert. Next week will be the last of the rhubarb for the season.

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.

Continual Learning

Continual Learning

Life is full of new surprises and trying new things. This week, the boys were station leaders as our county and a neighboring county hosted an 4-H Agricultural Adventures day camp. While the boys have lead agriculture in the classroom activities in a variety of settings, this was a new experience. They taught kids how to plant seeds, plant identification, what parts of the plant we eat and about poultry, laying hens and turkeys.

So often, we are so closely tied to what we do that we take our knowledge for granted. We don’t realize the positive impact that we can have with others if we simply share our knowledge. Shortly after the camp, one of the boys’ friend was at our place and was asking about what the different plants were in the garden. The curiosity to know where and how your food is grown is natural, and we are privileged to share what we know with others.

On the flip side, we are also continually learning. Steve grew turnips when he was growing up. I on the other hand, never experienced them. Shareholders requested turnips so we grew them. Great news, they grow well in dry conditions! The other great news…I love hearing from all of you how you plan to use them.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatama Gandhi

If you haven’t seen the kittens when you are out. Come early to snuggle with a few of these farm kittens. Interesting fact: when these kittens were meowing, Keith had them hug, and they stopped. The power of a hug!

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.

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.

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 these recipes at Martha Stewart.

Spinach and Beet Leaves– Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy. Try this salad.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

Detroit Dark Red Beets

Beets – Detroit Dark Red Beets – eat them raw in a salad or boil them. Learn more here from Spend with Pennies.

Carrots

Carrots – Believe it or not, I was enjoying a carrot for breakfast at about 6 a.m. Who knew they would ever be delicious at that time. Learn more about carrot harvest from America’s Heartland.

Turnips

Turnips – Learn how to use this root vegetable and its leaves here from Country Living.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. The dry weather is making this crop unpredictable. Check out these recipes from Martha Stewart.

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.

Hostas with variety of Tiger Lillies and Hydrangeas – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

A favorite memory of mine when I think of rhubarb sticky buns or rhubarb cinnamon rolls is of a friend and mentor Ruth Shepard. While I met Ruth through Farm Bureau, her skill sets of a 4-H leader/mentor and her farm upbringing rang true when you met her. She was a wonderful cook, genuine laugh and love for life and the people she met. While this is not her recipe, it is a recipe that reminds me of her. May this recipe warm your heart and soul like Ruth’s friendship did to all that new her.

Homemade Rhubarb Sticky Buns

1 package (16 ounces) hot roll mix

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 cup warm water (120° to 130°)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup butter, softened, divided

2 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. In a large bowl, combine the contents of roll mix and yeast packets with 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir in the water, egg and 2 tablespoons butter to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, brown sugar, corn syrup and remaining butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 13×9-in. baking dish.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 15×10-in. rectangle. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough.

4. Roll-up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place cut side down over rhubarb sauce. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

5. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm.

The Journey

The Journey

So often, we focus on the destination of where we are going. That we don’t stop to reflect on the journey of how we got there. When we are working outside towards a goal, I often reflect on this. For example, the weed and insect management/control journey is long, continuous and arduous…we just want to be done! Once the destination is achieved, we feel accomplished. Along that journey, we have conversations, experience sunrises and sunsets, see lightning bugs, baby birds and more. The journey can be memorable when we pause to notice what’s around us and reflect.

I feel the same as the boys go through their 4-H livestock journeys. One such journey is coming to a close this week, as Keith finalizes everything with raising meat birds. It has been an interesting and challenging journey raising a larger number of birds than what he was used to. The crop price increases caused feed prices to rise causing increased input costs, and weather temperature lows and extreme highs created learned moments of challenges and disappointment.

 As a parent, I saw him be an ingenuitive, resilient caretaker of his birds. With a goal of the birds having a healthy and good life and in the end providing healthy food for people he knows and cares about. While in the beginning, the end destination was earned income. The journey provided opportunities for personal growth beyond measure that will last him a lifetime.

“If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.” – Dan Rather

Garden Science

The National Drought Mitigation Center, U.S. Department of Agricultura (USDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have a joint effort to create the U.S. Drought Monitor. This map shows drought conditions across Minnesota using a five-category system. Our area is among the 55.7% of Minnesota is in D1-Moderate Drought. If you aren’t aware, you should be aware that many parts of the U.S. are in a severe drought. Watch for this to impact crops from those areas. Crops need water to grow.

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.

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.

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.

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 Martha Stewart. One more week most likely for this crop.

Spinach and Beet Leaves– Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy. Try this salad.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

Beets are a favorite of mine. Some like to peel and cut up and eat raw. I prefer mine cooked with a dab of butter.

Beets – A few Dark Red Detroit Beets for you to enjoy. Eat them raw cut up in your salads.

French Breakfast Radishes

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. The dry weather is making this crop unpredictable. Check out these recipes from Martha Stewart.

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.

Hostas with variety of greens and flowers – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb from about 15-16 ounces
  • 3- ounce box strawberry jello or any red jello
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 15.25-ounce box white or yellow cake mix*
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (salted butter is better here)
  • 2 cups cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange the rhubarb in an even layer in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the Jello over that, then top with the sugar.
  3. Sprinkle the yellow cake mix powder over all of that, then top with the melted butter and the cold water. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is lightly browned and the rhubarb is bubbling.
  4. It’s possible to serve the dump cake warm but it’s MUCH easier to serve if you chill it for a couple of hours, until it sets up a bit. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
  5. Uneaten cake can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days or frozen (tightly wrapped) for up to 2 months

Source: The Itsy Bitsy Kitchen

Evenings provide peace

Evenings provide peace

This hot weather has sped up weed growth. While we have been fortunate to catch a few spotty rains. The crops are struggling with the hot, dry weather. The good news…we are not as hot and dry as in 1988.

According to the University of Minnesota – Waseca crop and weather watch:  Dry weather continued this week, but we did get some relief from the extreme heat that we recorded last week. Temperature averaged 76.2 degrees which is 8.0 degrees warmer than normal. Growing degree units (GDUs) totaled 167, 31% more than normal. Since May 1, we have now accumulated 726 GDUs or 22% more than normal. Most involved in Minnesota crop production remember 1988 as the hot and dry season. For comparative purposes in 1988 we were 14% warmer and 0.6-inch drier than so far this year.

I remember how hot and dry 1988 was. Most specifically, I recall the big cracks in the fields. The cracks were so big you could easily lose a plier in them and not expect to see it resurface anytime soon. So, as we watch this year’s weather, we also pray for rain. Not just for us, but for so many that need it around our country. Our crops are dry, and watering has been part of the routine and needs to be even more so going forward. Even so, the beautiful summer evenings provide peace and beauty.

Even though it has been hot, the evenings cool off wonderfully and is such a peaceful and beautiful time to work outside.


Garden Science

Sam found a baby Killdeer in the garden this week. Farmers and ranchers provide wildlife habitats all over our country. We have the privilege to witness the best and worst of Mother Nature. This is an example of one of the joys.

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.

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.

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 these recipes at Taste of Home.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from Chute Family Farm near Aitkin. Check out America’s Heartland’s information on asparagus.

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

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.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. This crop is coming to an end.

Cherry Belle Radish

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.

Hostas with Weigela, Asparagus greens – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

I’m sharing two recipes this week. Because both of these crops are close to the end. First, one for asparagus that is new to us this year, and the second is a favorite of our for rhubarb. Enjoy!

This hot weather has sped up the weed growth. While we have been fortunate to catch a few spotty rains. The crops are struggling with the hot, dry weather.
Rhubarb Muffins

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup applesauce

1 egg

1/2 cup yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup finely sliced rhubarb

Topping:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Combine sugar, applesauce, egg, yogurt and vanilla in a bowl. Sift flour, soda, and salt together and stir into liquid mixture. Blend in nuts and rhubarb. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Topping: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and sprinkle over batter in muffin tins. Tip: I always spray the liners with a spritz of baking spray so the muffins don’t stick to the liners. Bake at 325 degrees  for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. This can also be baked in a greased loaf pan for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Look for the Gift

Look for the Gift

This morning on my morning walk, I noticed some animals on the road. As I got closer, I noticed it was two does and a fawn. I wondered if I was quiet enough, if could I close the gap and get a closer look at them. As luck would have it, the does noticed me and went into the field, but the fawn was hesitant to go into the taller grass in the ditch. So it ran along on the shoulder of the road. A car drove by, and the fawn went into the ditch to hide. As I got closer to where it was hiding, the doe bleated and stamped her feet trying to distract me and warn the fawn. Even so, I was able to capture this photo.

Fawn near our home this morning.

Isn’t it a joy when we are able to experience the beauty God has around us? When we take time to notice the gifts and are able to experience the many gifts in their natural habitat. We need to pause and take it in and appreciate the gift we have been given.

In some ways, life appears to be getting back to a glimpse of pre-covid normal. But what have we learned from what we have experienced? For us, it was a reminder to pause, take it in and appreciate the gifts that are around us.

We appreciate the opportunity to grow for you. It is a gift and a joy to work with all of you.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… James 1:17

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.

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 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 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.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

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.

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.

Hostas with Weigela, Peonies, Asparagus greens – These should brighten up your home.

Herb Pots – choose from cilantro, basil, purple basil, oregano, thyme and parsley

Recipe of the Week

This is a family favorite. Quite honestly, I make a variety of these jams to last us the entire year.

After cooling it down in the refrigerator and then place in freezer after a day or two days. Enjoy!

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 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 Jell-O (use Jell-O that is of the same flavor as the pie filling).

Mix well. Pour into containers. Refrigerate or freeze.

Growth in Sight

Growth in Sight

June is upon us, and like you, we are anxious to see plant growth and move to the next steps…harvesting and eating! The lack of moisture slowed plant growth. So, the rainfall at the end of May was such a blessing, and the sight of plants emerging and growing is such a joy. A lot has been “growing on” at our place the past few months. Here is a glimpse of the activity. 

The planting is complete. Tomatoes, peppers and more were planted this week after the frost warnings. We plant them in the mulch to prevent soil-borne diseases, and it keeps the tomatoes and peppers clean.
I love looking at the seed potato bags and seeing where they were grown in Minnesota.
We finished planting the majority of the garden on April 25. The lack of moisture in May slowed the crop growth. The moisture we were grateful to receive the past two weeks has been very helpful. Above, Steve prepares the seed potatoes for planting.
Good news the rhubarb will be ready for you to enjoy.
The green beans have emerged. I always love seeing how the plant splits open the seed to emerge and extend it’s leaves as it grows. Those are dandelion seeds on the leaves.
Sam’s turkeys are growing like crazy, and he is enjoying learning from this 4-H project. They will be full grown in the middle to end of July. Let Sam know if you would be interested in learning more.
Keith’s meat chickens, broilers, are also growing fast. The added use of hormones as growth promotants in poultry and pork production is illegal in the U.S. Broilers have been selected to be naturally muscular. They just love to eat and grow.
Thanksgiving Prep

Thanksgiving Prep

While we have had some measurable snow this past month, we are grateful that it has melted. This morning view was breathtaking with ice coating the fence lines, grass and weeds. Sometimes, you need to just stop and enjoy the view.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are so grateful for the beautiful weather to accomplish more tasks in nice weather. What have we been up to this past month? We have been helping with the harvest at my parents’ farm. It is valuable for all of us to experience different types of agriculture to grow our knowledge and experiences. We are grateful that the boys are able to experience this.

A thought for your week as things change around us: “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden

Recipe of the Week

I have also been busy preserving the harvest for us to use throughout the year. We still have a few of the Cinnamon Girl Pumpkins left if you have decided you wanted to make your pumpkin pie from scratch.

Cinnamon Girl Pumpkins – these are pumpkin pie pumpkins.
Wipe the pumpkin off with a disinfectant wipe and cut in half.
Scoop out the inside of the pumpkin. Save the seeds if you would like to roast them.
Place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper and turn cut side down. Cook for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take out of the oven, turn over and scoop out pumpkin flesh with spoon. It is stringy.
Puree pumpkin flesh in a food processor. Place in strainer with cheese cloth to drain out fluid. Squeeze out the extra moisture, and it’s ready to use.
After I finished cooking an oven full of pumpkins, the boys wanted me to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Something Fun

We have used some of our gourds for centerpieces for Thanksgiving by using a hand drill to burrow out a hole for a candle.

Steve used a drill bit to drill out a hole at the top of the gourds perfect for votive candles which will be great centerpieces for Thanksgiving.
“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” Maya Angelou

Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

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The last of the Zinnias before the frost.

With this beautiful weather, it is hard to believe it is October. But the changing colors all around us tell us that change is inevitable. Fall is here, and as any good Minnesotan knows, it is time to prepare for winter. Many thoughts come to mind as we wrap-up the season.

Gratitude. As we were harvesting, we couldn’t help but be grateful for the bounty that was present for us to share with all of you. After all, it is October. Last evening as we were cleaning up fences and mulch, we were so grateful for the amazing weather – take time to find those moments for attitude of gratitude.

Change. Change is unavoidable. We love seeing the changes that occur throughout the season. We all dread different parts of the hard work throughout, aka weeding and insects. But we love the look of a clean slate after all the field work has been completed, and it’s ready for new beginnings. It’s a lot like any part of life. Positive outlooks make for positive outcomes.

Appreciation. We were working on this year’s planting before the pandemic started. Many considerations needed to be in place before we could move forward this year – including a Minnesota Department of Agriculture on-farm COVID-19 plan. We have appreciated the fact we were able to proceed with the CSA, and the opportunities to have conversations, laughter and shared moments with all of you.

Tenacity. Throughout this year, we have watched the boys learn new things and take the lead on projects. Their determination to figure it out and see it to the end is a characteristic we all need during these interesting times. Believe that a positive outcome is out there and Carpe Diem.

9-14-2020 Harner Family

Thank you for a great season. We appreciate you and all of the great conversations this year.

Garden Science

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Largest radish harvested this year.

 

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Cover crop emerging. This is great news.

Boxes of Produce

Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

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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.

 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.

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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.

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Jade Green Beans

Green Beans – Wow this crop finished strong. Enjoy, freeze for this winter if it is to much to handle this week.

Onions 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.

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The cucumbers still have spikes on their skins even until the end.

Cucumbers A few to end 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.

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Spaghetti Squash

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.

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Kuri Squash

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

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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.

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Butternut Squash

Butternut SquashA favorite in our house. Cut in half, place cut side down, put about an inch of water in the cake pan, cover with aluminum foil and back for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out the seeds and peel away skin. Mix in ½ cup butter and ¾ cup brown sugar. Enjoy!

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

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Cherry Tomatoes

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.

Potatoes – Kennebec and Yukon Gold 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.

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Swan Gourds

Swan Gourds – These are such fun gourds. The color is so refreshing.

Recipe of the Week

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Our salsa recipe is simple. Mrs Wages Salsa mix with some onions and peppers to taste.  Here is a canning guide from the University of Minnesota Extension.

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Canned Salsa – Enjoy!

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.