Feeling overwhelmed with garden produce?

Feeling overwhelmed with garden produce?

Wow! The boxes have been heavy the last few weeks. They will continue to be overflowing until the end of September if the weather cooperates. With school starting and schedules changing, this can be overwhelming. Yet, if you can make a little time every so often, these items can continue to feed your family for several weeks into the winter. So, I started thinking about how I would use the produce if I were a shareholder and what might be helpful to you.

  • Quite a bit of the produce we eat plain such as cucumbers, green beans, peas, beets and spinach/lettuce mix. Often times, I make a salad at noon and incorporate many of these vegetables.
  • Or for my noon lunch, I will make a lettuce, tomato and cucumber sandwich. I love bacon…I just don’t have time to make it.
  • I find myself eating kohlrabi and carrots with peanut butter for a snack.
  • I bake a variety of zucchini items, and they disappear fast around teenagers. I also found that I really enjoy Laura’s mom’s Zucchini hotdish.

We try to preserve many of these items for use throughout the year.

  • We can tomatoes for salsa or tomato juice. The juice is eventually made into tomato sauce for spaghetti or pizza.
  • I freeze tomatoes for vegetable soup or chili.
  • When I cook carrots to go with a meal, I will cook extra and then puree the extra in a blender, freeze in ice cube trays and then add a cube or two of carrots to my homemade tomato sauce when I make spaghetti or pizza.
  • I cut up my onions and peppers with my Pampered Chef chopper and freeze them to add quickly to a meal throughout the year.
  • We store potatoes in a cool, dark place and eat them throughout the winter. I also am a true Scandinavian and could eat potatoes with every meal.
  • When the winter squash arrives, I will load up my oven with winter squash. Cook about 9-12 at a time. After I have made them…I will freeze the squash in cupcake tins, pop the frozen squash out of the tins and store them in Ziploc bag in the freezer.
  • As for spaghetti squash, it ranks up there with the zucchini hotdish. Super healthy and light. We make it when we cook spaghetti and offer it as a choice for that meal.
  • Extra green beans are either frozen or canned.
  • When I have extra sweet corn leftover after a meal, I simply cut it off the cob, put it in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. Yes, that is all I do.

I know this may seem like a lot. I find if I carve out the needed time to preserve the produce, it helps me with meal preparation long-term. It is affordable, and it keeps us fed, healthy and happy. These outcomes make the extra effort worth it! For now, take a deep breath. See what works for you. If all else fails, I’m sure there is a neighbor that would greatly appreciate some fresh produce!

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.

Spinach/Black Seeded Simpson/Red Oak Leaf Mix – You will notice that there has been insect pressure on the spinach eating small holes in some of the leaves after we received the rain.

Green Beans – This is our final round of green beans. Think about ways to preserve them so your family can enjoy them this winter. Check out this green bean soup from Hearty Sol.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – I’m hoping for another week of peas. Enjoy!

Carrots –You may notice a few carrots where the potato fork may have broken them off in digging. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

Dark Red Beets – Learn more about the health benefits of eating beats from the Mayo Clinic. This is an interesting resource from NDSU Extension.

Cucumbers – These cucumbers renewed their production after the last few rains. Let us know if you would like to make pickles and would like dill. Here is a recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Potatoes – Red Norlands are great for mashed potatoes. Check out this week’s recipe below for potato bread.

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and Sun Gold Hybrid cherry tomatoes this week. Let us know if you would like some for canning.

Onion – Cut up and freeze your onion to add quickly to a meal that you are making.

Peppers – A variety from sweet to mild to hot! The variety of peppers this week primarily are yummy pepper, carnival blend and jungle pepper.

Purple Kohlrabi – love the color.

Kohlrabi – This vegetable can be peeled and cut finely and added to hot dishes or cut like an apple and eaten raw plain or with peanut butter.

Eggplant – Learn how to use this vegetable here.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms for this week’s delicious sweet corn.

Zucchini – So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Check out these interesting facts about this vegetable on LiveStrong. Try this pasta primavera recipe from Martha Stewart.

Summer Squash – Check out these recipes from Farm Flavor.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas and Zinnias.

Recipe of the Week

Potato Bread

1 package of active dry yeast

1/4 cup of war water

***

1/2 cup mashed potatoes

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk, scalded (link to how to scald milk)

1 egg

4 – 4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Soften yeast in warm water (to speed up the yeast add about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and stir in). Allow the yeast to begin to rise (fun science experiment with the kids). In a separate bowl combine hot potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and scalded milk. Cool to lukewarm

Add softened yeast and egg. Stir. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Stir in remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes). Here are two links one to show you how to knead by hand and the other with your stand mixer and dough hook.

Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides of your bread. Cover with Saran Wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double. About 1 hour. Punch the bread down. Shape in ball, Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into rolls, place on greased baking sheet. Let rise until double (about 1 hour). Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

Note: To Make herb bread add with dry ingredients: ¼ teaspoon of each of the following: marjoram, oregano, thyme and garlic powder and add 1 tablespoon of finely cut onion.

Surprising Abundance

Surprising Abundance

It is that time of year again. We are surprised by the abundance of produce, and the rate at which it is maturing. Once we remember that it is the end of August, it seems somewhat logical. Each growing season is different, and therefore creates outcomes that don’t always align with the previous year.

I know it can feel overwhelming. I encourage you to preserve this food. Freeze it, dry it or can it. This will not only help you with your pocketbook. It will also help make your meals simpler and faster during the craziness of the school year. Plus, it is always fun to pull out preserved garden produce for a hearty soup or hot dish in the cold of winter.

We are blessed to have this abundance and so if it is to much to consider the preservation. I bet it would make a neighbor or coworkers day to share it with them. Enjoy! The growing season will be over before we know it.

Garden Science

Learn more about pollinators here.

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/Red Oak Leaf Mix – You will notice that there has been insect pressure on the spinach eating small holes in some of the leaves after we received the rain.

Green Beans – The first crop of green beans are done. Another round will be upon us in a few weeks. Think about ways to preserve them so your family can enjoy them this winter. Check out these resources for freezing or canning.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – Our last round of peas are ready for harvest. Enjoy!

Carrots – The carrot crop is looking good. It is so interesting to see how the root vegetables have been adapting to grow deeper to reach moisture. You may notice a few carrots where the potato fork may have broken them off in digging. Learn how we get baby carrots in the grocery store on America’s Heartland.

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 and would like dill. Here is a recipe from Pioneer Woman.

It is that time of year again. We are surprised by the abundance of produce, and the rate at which it is maturing. Once we remember that it is the end of August, it seems somewhat logical. Each growing season is different, and therefore creates outcomes that don’t always align with the previous year.
Kennebec Potatoes

Potatoes – Kennebecs this week make great baked potatoes!

Sun Gold Hybrid

Tomatoes – Fourth of July and Sun Gold Hybrid cherry tomatoes this week. Let us know if you would like some for canning.

Peppers – A variety from sweet to mild to hot!

Eggplant – Learn how to use this vegetable here.

Purple Cabbage – Martha Stewart’s favorite recipes here.

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

Summer Squash – Check out these recipes from Farm Flavor.

Fresh cut arrangement – Sunflowers and Zinnias.

Recipe of the Week

Simple Coleslaw

6 cups shredded cabbage (from about 1/2 head), a mix of red and green, if desired

2 cups julienned carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)

2/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day.

Source: Martha Stewart

Grateful

Grateful

It’s that time of year when surprises appear in the garden. These surprises wouldn’t be possible if we hadn’t been blessed with some timely rains. We are extremely fortunate to have received them, and therefore, we feel grateful.

We are seeing watermelon, muskmelon, winter squash and pumpkins peaking through the canopy of leaves. In some ways, it has us excited for harvesting them, and in other ways, it has us feeling sad that it is a sign that summer is coming to a close sooner than we would like it too. Either way, we view all these things with a deep since of gratitude for all it takes to produce the bounty.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
—William Arthur Ward

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 – You will notice that there has been insect pressure on the spinach eating small holes in some of the leaves after we received the rain.

Green Beans – The first crop of green beans are done. Another round will be upon us in a few weeks. Think about ways to preserve them so your family can enjoy them this winter. Check out these resources for freezing or canning.

Carrots – The carrot crop is looking good. 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.

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 and would like dill. Here is a recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Purple onions – I always cut my onions up and freeze them so it speeds up meal preparation.

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.

Peppers – A variety from sweet to mild to hot!

Eggplant – Learn how to use this vegetable here.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors Far-Gaze Farms for this week’s sweet corn.

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

Summer Squash – Check out these recipes from Farm Flavor.

Fresh cut arrangement – Sunflowers and Zinnias.

Recipe of the Week

Yellow Summer Squash Soup

1 large sweet onions, chopped

1 small leek (white portion only), chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 medium yellow summer squash, seeded and cubed (about 3 cups)

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 fresh thyme sprigs

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

dash teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon 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.

Note: I cut this recipe in 1/2 for 4 servings. A size I thought is good to go with a sandwich or to try.

Source: Taste of Home

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

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

Why 4-H?

Why 4-H?

This week is fair week. If you have never shown at the fair or had family members that have shown, let me paint a picture for you. The house and laundry are chaos. Meals are served in the barn. Tension is very high, and sleep deprivation is present. Families learn to navigate and operate together under high stress situations. Many wonder, why do you do this?

Fair week is where 4-H projects outcomes become a realization. We watch children grow and achieve personal growth that they didn’t know was possible. 4-Hers learn, fail, succeed, face challenges and grow in a safe environment.

Our boys bring both general projects and livestock projects to the fair. On Monday, they bring in general projects from shop to foods to photography to gardening to safety to so much more! 4-H isn’t just for farm kids, it is for everyone.

I ask the boys to do general projects because general projects are life skills in action, developing new skillsets, exploring new areas and visiting with an adult judge explaining all they have learned. While the judging might appear nerve racking, the boys both enjoy visiting with the judge about their projects and sharing their knowledge.

Livestock projects develop different skill sets including growing their knowledge of agriculture and developing an understanding and passion for feeding people. Thinking of others, putting people first while being compassionate caretakers for animals. Not to many people can say that they enjoy working with a nearly 300 pound animal…their pig.

Why are 4-H projects judged? To Make the Best Better. Each 4-H project allows youth to reflect on new goals they can set, new ways to challenge themselves and to foster a growth mindset towards a positive perspective.

4-H provides an opportunity to network and learn from others, cultivate communication and leadership skills, and provides unique situations to develop lifelong skill sets.

The 4-H Pledge

I PLEDGE my HEAD to clearer thinking,
my HEART to greater loyalty,
my HANDS to larger service,
and my HEALTH to better living,
for my family, my club, my community, my country and my world.

I encourage you to support our youth and encourage them to be involved in 4-H. 4-H helps us to grow and develop our future leaders for our communities. We all know we need good leaders. Our youth our worth our time and investment.

Why do we stretch ourselves thin on fair week and with our involvement in 4-H? Our kids are our why. Our kids our worth our time and investment. The future of our communities and all areas that need leadership are worth it. Learn more at your county Extension office or search 4-H in your state.

Garden Science

Learn more at 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.

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.

Green Beans – Learn more about green bean production from America’s Heartland here.

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.

Carrots – First round of carrots. More to come!

Cucumbers – The first cucumbers of the season. Here is a simple cucumber salad recipe from Martha Stewart.

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes good for baked potatoes. Learn more here.

Zucchini – The first of the season. So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. I have posted

Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas, Sunflowers and Zinnia.

Recipe of the Week

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded zucchini

1-1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, sugar and oil; stir into dry ingredients until blended. Stir in walnuts and vanilla.

2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

3. In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in sugar and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook and stir 1 minute or until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in chips and marshmallows until melted and smooth; add vanilla. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.

Source: Taste of Home

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