Growth in View

Growth in View

It’s been a busy few weeks. Some of the cold rainy weather has given way to heat and the plants and weeds are enjoying it. Some of the vining plants have really bolted.

Our young plants we transplanted like our cabbages, eggplants, tomatoes and more that our neighbor Blake started for us are trying to find their way through these interesting weather changes. The cabbage below is one of the young plants we transplanted over Memorial Day weekend prior to some heavy rain. Here is a quick look at our activity. Stay tuned the activity is about to pick up as we dive into June.

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Purple cabbages were planted. Check out the root system.

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Dark Detroit red beets growing.

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Super Sweet Sugar Ann Peas…a favorite!!

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Cucumbers growing… the young plants smell like a freshly cut cucumber at the this stage.

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Green beans… note that the green bean seed shell is still on the plant.

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Installing drip line irrigation under the mulch. It’s all fun and games until work needs to be done and mom get’s out the camera.

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Installing the mulch for the tomatoes.

This is exhausting work. Maybe if I lay here long enough they will think I am asleep.

We also did an agriculture in the classroom in Sam’s classroom about seeds. Here we were doing a seed sorting activity. The students had a great time examining and looking at the difference between the seeds.

Springing in to Action

Springing in to Action

We had quite a swing in weather this May. We are so grateful for some days to plant and some days in the low 80s to dry things up and help with some germination. It appears that the frost we received maybe singed some of the leaves but doesn’t appear to be hindering the plants. We are now waiting for the rain to stop, sun to shine and wind to blow to finish planting. Here’s a look at some of our activity.

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The herb pots have been planted.

 

Tornado Clean-up…

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We burned the giant brush fire from the debris we had from this fall’s tornado. Thank you to everyone who assisted with the brush clean-up. This allowed for us to open another field and plant it.

chicken pen

We have been busy cleaning up from the tornado damage from last fall. That includes rebuilding chicken pens. We finished a pen for the pullets, young female chickens.

 

In the Garden…

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More ground was worked for the vining plants like squash and pumpkins.

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Young radishes peeking out of the ground.

 

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Lettuce growing.

Green beans shooting out of the ground and breaking open the seed pod.

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Super sugar snap peas … a favorite.

 

In Other News…

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The hens like to keep it interesting this was a very wavy hard shelled egg. It could also be described as wrinkly.

 

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An interesting work trip took Kristin to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to visit with the communications team to learn how they communicate with America’s farmers. Here she is in the USDA TV studio.

5-21-19 seed sorting in 3rd grade

We led an agriculture in the classroom activity in Sam’s class about seeds. Here the students are doing a seed sorting activity. They learned many fascinating things about seeds from how different they look to how important it is to have good seed genetics so the seed and plant can grow in challenging conditions.

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As part of the activity, we planted seeds in Sam’s class garden.

Spring has Sprung

Spring has Sprung

It is hard to believe that 3 1/2 week’s ago we were in a winter storm warning, 2 week’s ago we had five inches of rain, and this week actually feels like spring. Don’t let that fool you, the winter survival kits are still in our vehicles.

We have been busy with this beautiful weather. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Growing rhubarb is a good sign of spring.

We planted four varieties of potatoes in eight rows thus far with 74 per row. We will plant one more variety plus sweet potatoes in this area.

We plant marigolds to help bring in beneficial insects to eat bad insects. At the end if the growing season, we collect last year’s dried Marigold flower heads which are full of seeds, and that is what we plant in the spring.

We also enjoy doing agriculture in the classroom presentations in Sam’s school. The most recent one was on pigs.

 

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The seed planter that we use for some of the crops has different seed plates (the white circular piece) for different kinds of seeds. For example a carrot seed is much smaller than a green bean seed. In addition the spacing between seeds vary depending on the type of crop. The seed plate spacing them out accordingly.

The 4-H pigs arrived this weekend, and everyone is happy about this. The pigs were born in January weighing about 2-3 pounds and will be full grown in July when shown at the county fair when they will weight approximately 240-280 pounds.

Planting Walla Walla onions… hoping this year the birds won’t pluck them all out after they are planted. In total nearly 1,000 onions were planted.

The boys till the ground and drag the fields ahead of us planting in order to prepare a conducive seed bed.

Dry Stretch Provides Opportunity

Dry Stretch Provides Opportunity

Last week we were able to accomplish a good deal of clean-up. The last few weeks have provided quite a variety of different weather conditions to work outside. We are grateful to have accomplished what we have.

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Yes, we did receive a few inches of snow on October 14. Way to early!

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Once the snow had melted and the fields looked dry enough, a variety of steps were taken to close out the fields. First, we harvested the seeds from the flowers that help to bring in good insects to eat the bad insects. First up were the Marigolds. The cool thing about Marigolds – I love harvesting their seeds from the dried up flower heads that are filled with a ton of long skinny seeds. Place in dry paper bag in a dry place and next year plant the seeds.

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4 O’clock plants flowers dry up and produce a seed not a group of seeds like Marigolds. But you can still harvest the small black seeds and store in a dry place until next year.

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After all the seeds were harvested, we mulched the plants with the mower.

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Tilled the gardens.

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The ground was wet from the snow and the rain over previous weeks which caused the tiller to plug with mud. So getting it unplugged employed a variety of techniques.

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Once tilling was completed, we seeded the fields with rye grass for a cover crop. Thank you to our neighbors for the use of the seeder to speed up this job! See he’s going so fast my pic is blurry:) Yes, we do work past sunset at times and have been blessed with beautiful evenings.

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We rolled the ground to get good seed to soil contact. The plants will begin to grow and will start re-growing just like your lawn in the spring.

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We also worked on the popcorn harvest.

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The boys used their Great, Great Grandpa’s corn sheller to harvest the popcorn seeds. The next step is shaking out the extra corn silks and corn “wings” to have seed that is free of natural corn “debris.”

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In addition to all the garden work, we also have to work on rebuilding chicken pens, gates etc. Building skills together one job at a time.

Clean-up Continues

Clean-up Continues

The clean-up continues this week. The weather we have had has kept life interesting. Between rain, snow and freeze warnings, we have been able to keep pumpkins available for sale, cover up the carrots and beets that are still growing, winterize our chicken pens and keep some of the flowers I overwinter from freezing.

Here is a quick view of our week. Please keep farmers and their families and all who work in production agriculture in your prayers. This is a tough year to be farming for many reasons, one of the joys of farming is the harvest, but Mother Nature is not being kind. Thank you in advance.

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The boys have put a lot of work into their pumpkin, gourd and squash stand. In addition to selling the pumpkins individually, they have a $25 and $50 package that would look nice on your front doorstep. Thank you for your support.

 

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Yes, this did take all of Saturday afternoon to set-up. Pink pumpkins are being sold to support breast cancer research.

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The boys also had fun bringing some fall cheer around the neighborhood. We all love the different colors and shapes of the pumpkins and gourds. We hope that they bring smiles to others.

 

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This week’s freeze warning brought about some quick actions to provide the opportunity for carrots and beets to continue growing. This row cover provides frost protection, 75% light transmission. It is porous to water and self ventilating.

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When it wasn’t raining we were trying to clean it all up. Pulling up the mulch and putting away the dripline irrigation system.

 

Clean-up Continues

Clean-up Continues

 

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Many trees have been cleared in this area and a new fence built. We may be tired, but we find comfort and strength that we are not alone and are so grateful for our neighbors and friends.

Well, the weather forecasters were right this week, and we are grateful that they provided us ample warning. While we recognize how absolutely fortunate we are compared to so very many, we also have an obligation to communicate with you, our shareholders, what occurred so you know what to expect as we finish out the CSA year.

 

We did see the green clouds coming from the south-west, and while we live out-of-town, we are fortunate that we can hear the tornado sirens at our place. We did lose power from Thursday night – Saturday evening and are so grateful for those who worked so hard to restore it. The boys said it felt like camping only with the amenity of the comfort of your beds.

We so greatly appreciate everyone who has helped us with cleanup from Thursday night’s storm. Please know that we are beyond thankful to each and every person that has stopped by, helped clean up, brought food and beverages, sent messages, borrowed us equipment and prayed for us.

While there is still clean-up of dangling branches, a few down trees to accomplish, it is all in a manageable state. We did have a chicken coop flip over, no chickens were lost, and some of the pens have been rebuilt.

In regards to the garden, we are absolutely amazed that all of the pumpkins sat there and did not appear to be moved. Only one pumpkin had a stick through it. The popcorn stalks are all broken over and need to be harvested ASAP before the ears get moldy because of the pelting rain into the ears of corn with the husks on them. The ornamental corn and broom corn were also blown over and may be salvageable yet for corn shocks.

No extra end of the year push on harvesting occurred this weekend due to the needed focus on storm clean-up. We will push for that this weekend and then return to clean-up after harvesting is completed.

We ask that you keep those that lost barns, grain storage, houses etc in this storm and other storms this year in your prayers. It is a tough situation to be in and our hearts go out to them.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillippians 4:13

Garden Science

Boxes of Produce

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

Black Seeded Simpson, Spinach and Kale This took a bit of a beating from the rain.

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Checking for quality cauliflower. Enjoy the beautiful color.

Cauliflower A few more for the season.

Sweet Savour Hybrid Peppers – They may be small, but they pack quite the taste. The beautiful and tasty tricolor fruit looks like hot peppers but eats like sweet peppers.

Pepper, Hot, Serrano Tampiqueno – Heat-lovers, here’s another Mexican favorite used in a variety of dishes, from salsas to soups. Heat scale is about 3,00-0 Scovilles.

Carrots – Esperanza carrots – enjoy these summer delights. This new crop is out of the garden versus the raised bed.

Kohlrabi – So glad that the insects didn’t win this time on this crop. Peel and cut like an apple eat raw, in salads or dip the slices in peanut butter. Enjoy!

 

Onions – If you are feeling overloaded on onions, cut them up and spread them out and freeze on a cookie sheet or pan. Once frozen place in a container or a Ziploc bag for use throughout the year. I do this and am just coming to my end of frozen onions. This helps speed up my meal preparation. See how onions are grown in Washington.

Potatoes –Norlands (red) great for mashed or cooked potatoes, and Masquerade (purple and tan) potatoes are very versatile with a light buttery flavor.

Sweet PotatoesSweet potato has a rich history and interesting origin. It is one of the oldest vegetables known to mankind. Scientists believe that sweet potato was domesticated thousands of years ago in Central America. Learn more about sweet potatoes here.

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Harvesting Detroit Dark Red Beets

Detroit Dark Red Beets – It is perhaps the last beets of the season. Enjoy!

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – This crop is slowly coming on with either Golden Egg Hybrid great to wash and slice to eat on a veggie tray, use on a kabob or try it sautéed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Peter Pan Squash – No need to peel, simply wash and cut up this squash and use like the others. Check out these recipes.

ZucchiniThis crop has been a bit slow due to our insect challenges this year. But it is coming on. So like the cauliflower and kohlrabi we are alternating it around the shareholders. Enjoy – here are some recipes from Country Living.

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A colorful collection of summer squash and egg-plant.

Egg Plant – Please let us know if you like egg-plant. I believe this is the last of the season.

WatermelonsSangria are smaller 8-12 pound fruit and Micky Lee some of them weigh over 20 pounds. Leftovers can be frozen and used in a fruit smoothie.

 

winter squashButternut Squash– This is our family favorite of squashes. It is hourglass in shape. Here are a few recipes for Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart.

Carnival Squash – Carnival squash has variegated patterns of orange and green colors and is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. When cooked its texture is soft and melting with a fragrant aroma and its flavor; slightly nutty, buttery, and sweet with nuances of maple syrup, similar to that of butternut squash. This squash has contains potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as, some calcium, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Delicata – Sweet Delicata squash is ideal for a quick vegetable side — it doesn’t need to be peeled and roasts in just 15 minutes. Here is a recipe. https://www.marthastewart.com/1521108/roasted-delicata-squash-garden-herbsHere is a good breakdown of the different varieties with suggestions of how to use them. https://www.thespruceeats.com/winter-squash-and-pumpkins-2217736

Sweet Dumpling – Dumpling squash is best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, sautéing, baking, and steaming and it can be used in both sweet and savory preparations. Its lumpy exterior and small size make it difficult to peel and are most often cooked with their skin on. Similar to a potato and acorn squash, the skin of the Dumpling squash is edible once cooked, though often it is just discarded. Dumpling squash can be halved, cooked, and served as an ideal size for stuffing with meats, cheeses, grains, or other vegetables and it can be roasted and served as a stand-alone side dish.

Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash – This is a popular squash that has attractive orange-red skin. Yellow and creamy flesh is very sweet and nutty. It is a Hubbard type squash and sometimes also referred to as a baby red Hubbard type since its appearance is like that of a petite Hubbard. The word “kuri” translates to mean chestnut in Japanese, the main flavor profile found in the Red Kuri squash. It is a squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C as well as potassium and iron. Hard-skinned Red Kuri squash can be difficult to peel and are most easily cooked in their skin. Split squash in half, scoop out seeds, and roast cut-side down until tender. Red Kuri can also be cut into wedges or cubes and roasted. The skin of Red Kuri once cooked is tender enough to consume so need not be removed prior to eating.

Pumpkins – We hope you enjoy this fall ornament

Gourds – Look for more to come – a lot of harvesting to be done.

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Quite a few varieties of pumpkins to choose from.

Recipe of the Week

Sweet Potato Fries

 6 whole Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cut Into Thin Sticks
 1 stick Salted Butter
 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt (or Plain Salt)
 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
 2 Tablespoons Ketchup OR Sriracha (more To Taste!)
 Salt For Sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Melt the butter and skim off the foam. Add garlic, seasoned salt, chili powder, and black pepper. Stir with a fork.

In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes in the butter/seasoning mixture. Arrange on two baking sheets and bake in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, shaking the pans halfway through, until the fries are sizzling (watch so that the edges don’t burn). Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the pan for 5 minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt!

Mix the mayonnaise with the ketchup (or Sriracha). Serve fries with the dipping sauce!

Note: Sweet potatoes will not be overly crisp, but they should be firm.

Source: Pioneer Woman

 

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

 

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Harvesting together a variety of beautiful produce.

As the growing season is starting to wrap up, you may be wondering why you received some produce items in your box, and why not others. Every growing season is different. While you can plan for some obstacles, some you cannot. So here is a synopsis of some of the crops. We hope this provides answers to some of your questions.

Throughout the growing season we plant different crops multiple times – planting every 2-3 weeks to ensure a continuous supply. You may have noticed that some of them have not been continuous and some have.

  • The following had different plantings that did not grow during a dry spell. In other words the seeds never germinated – they simply didn’t grow. We just kept planting until they did grow: lettuce varieties, spinach, carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers and beets.
  • Some were eaten by a new particular insect (Japanese Beetles) that found interest in our crops this year – both varieties of kohlrabi, radishes, rutabaga.
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    We found this little fella enjoying the tomatoes. We believe it may be a cutworm.

  • Tomatoes – The cut worms usually found in corn seemed to LOVE the tomatoes this year. Simply sad to see so many destroyed.
  • Garlic – we planted a fall crop that did not grow and planted twice this spring – no luck. We are trying a different supplier of bulbs to plant this fall.
  • Sweet Corn – We usually plant a crop and also work with our neighbors. Due to the unusual spring, this delayed the planting for our neighbors, and the raccoons found their crop very tasty. Due to Steve’s fall earlier this spring, we simply ran out of time. We are hopeful that you may still receive one bag yet this September.
  • Ornamental Corn – This may be a bit delayed, but we are hopeful that this crop will come to fruition. We had some germination and weed challenges that we believe we have under control for next year.
  • Pumpkins, squash and gourds – All I can say is oh my, do we have these crops. While germination was a challenge out of the gate, it sure didn’t seem to be at the end. A nice surprise to its beginnings. We were disappointed to not have more spaghetti and acorn squash grow.
  • Corn Stalks – Also to note, the weather on Monday did break some of the stalks – so we will know this weekend if we will have cornstalk bundles for you next week. But honestly if that is all we had from this week’s weather we are grateful. We did receive pea size hail on Tuesday night, but it did not appear to harm the pumpkins.

Garden Science

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Double pumpkin… looks like two that grew together.

What weights more – is there any relationship to its stem? From our observation, there isn’t but check out the varieties, weights and stem sizes. It is worth noticing. Thank you to everyone who has been out to help harvest. We hope you enjoy the surprises as much as we do.

Boxes of Produce

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Packing boxes can be a bonding experience. It actually builds a lot of different good skill sets.

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

Black Seeded Simpson, Spinach and Kale – The spinach loved the weather. The Black Seeded Simpson took a beating in the hard rain on Monday, but it does seem to be thriving now after the heat and rain.

Basil If you are in need of some fresh basil or some to dry or freeze, we have some.

Green BeansSuch a delicious vegetable cooked, eaten raw or in salads. The funny thing with this crop is that it is the same planting that continues to give.

Sweet Savour Hybrid Peppers – They may be small, but they pack quite the taste. The beautiful and tasty tricolor fruit looks like hot peppers but eats like sweet peppers.

Mama Mia Giallo HybridTapered 7–9″ fruits are smooth-skinned and uniform in shape. Prized as one of the earliest sweet peppers of its size—fruit ripens just 80 days after transplanting. Excellent fresh, roasted, or grilled.

Green Bell Peppers – Sweet Carnival Mix which are all classic bell hybrids.

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Serrano Tampiqueno Pepper – excellent for drying pickling, salsas, and stews.

Pepper, Hot, Serrano Tampiqueno – Heat-lovers, here’s another Mexican favorite used in a variety of dishes, from salsas to soups.

Carrots – Esperanza carrots – enjoy these summer delights. This new crop is out of the garden versus the raised bed.

Kohlrabi So glad that the insects didn’t win this time on this crop. Peel and cut like an apple eat raw, in salads or dip the slices in peanut butter. Enjoy!

Onions –Yellow and Purple If you are feeling overloaded on onions, cut them up and spread them out and freeze on a cookie sheet or pan. Once frozen place in a container or a Ziploc bag for use throughout the year. I do this and am just coming to my end of frozen onions. This helps speed up my meal preparation. See how onions are grown in Washington.

Potatoes – Kennebec (great for baking) and Norlands (good for cooked or mashed) potatoes are in your boxes this week.

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Did you know that sweet potatoes are in the morning-glory family?

Sweet PotatoesDusky red-skinned Beauregard is the most widely grown commercial cultivar. This versatile variety lends itself to baking, boiling, mashing, or frying. Once you have harvested all your sweet potatoes, it is time to cure them. Store your sweet potatoes in a dry and cool environment (such as a garage or basement). Letting them cure for two months is said to enhance their flavor, but it can be hard to wait that amount of time especially if you love sweet potatoes.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – This crop is slowly coming on with either Golden Egg Hybrid great to wash and slice to eat on a veggie tray, use on a kabob or try it sautéed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Peter Pan Squash – No need to peel, simply wash and cut up this squash and use like the others. Too much of this squash or not ready to use it yet? Use it as fall decoration in the meantime. Check out these recipes.

ZucchiniThis crop has been a bit slow due to our insect challenges this year. But it is coming on. So like the cauliflower and kohlrabi we are alternating it around the shareholders. Enjoy – here are some recipes from Country Living.

Tomatoes – Let us know if you would like extra to freeze, make into salsa, or can. Included this week are some of the 4th of July, Mama Mia, SunGold Cherry tomatoes and a few more varieties sprinkled in. Learn more about tomatoes on America’s Heartland. Learn how to freeze your tomatoes here.

Purple Cauliflower– love the color – check out this week’s recipe.

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Watermelon

WatermelonsSangria are smaller 8-12 pound fruit and Micky Lee some of them weigh over 20 pounds. Leftovers can be frozen and used in a fruit smoothie.

Butternut Squash– This is our family favorite of squashes. It is hourglass in shape. Here are a few recipes for Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart.

carnival-squash

Carnival Squash

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

Delicata – Sweet delicata squash is ideal for a quick vegetable side — it doesn’t need to be peeled and roasts in just 15 minutes. Here is a recipe. https://www.marthastewart.com/1521108/roasted-delicata-squash-garden-herbsHere is a good breakdown of the different varieties with suggestions of how to use them. https://www.thespruceeats.com/winter-squash-and-pumpkins-2217736

Sweet Dumpling – Dumpling squash is best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, sautéing, baking, and steaming and it can be used in both sweet and savory preparations. Its lumpy exterior and small size make it difficult to peel and are most often cooked with their skin on. Similar to a potato and acorn squash, the skin of the Dumpling squash is edible once cooked, though often it is just discarded. Dumpling squash can be halved, cooked, and served as an ideal size for stuffing with meats, cheeses, grains, or other vegetables and it can be roasted and served as a stand-alone side dish.

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Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash

Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash – This is a popular squash that has attractive orange-red skin. Yellow and creamy flesh is very sweet and nutty. It is a Hubbard type squash and sometimes also referred to as a baby red Hubbard type since its appearance is like that of a petite hubbard. The word “kuri” translates to mean chestnut in Japanese, the main flavor profile found in the Red Kuri squash. It is a squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C as well as potassium and iron. Hard-skinned Red Kuri squash can be difficult to peel and are most easily cooked in their skin. Split squash in half, scoop out seeds, and roast cut-side down until tender. Red Kuri can also be cut into wedges or cubes and roasted. The skin of Red Kuri once cooked is tender enough to consume so need not be removed prior to eating.

Gourds – Look for more to come – a lot of harvesting to be done.

Pumpkins – We hope you enjoy this fall ornament

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Quite a few varieties of pumpkins to choose from.

Recipe of the Week

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Purple cauliflower – Purple cauliflower’s color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.

Cauliflower on the Grill

½ head of cauliflower

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Lemon pepper (as desired)

Wash and break up cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Place on aluminum foil. Add butter and lemon pepper. Wrap up in foil. Place on medium low heat on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes (until tender) turning once. Sprinkle cheese on it and let it set for a few minutes so it melts.

Source: Willow Lake Church cookbook

 

Full of Surprises

Full of Surprises

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Harvesting a few gourds and pumpkins to start the season. Enjoy!

We decided it was time to start harvesting pumpkins, winter squashes and gourds. Boy have we been surprised at all of the treasurers we are finding. We are always amazed at what we find once the leaves start to die and reveal what they have been helping to grow.

We hope that you to will be constantly surprised each week as we start bringing out more of the harvest at these beautiful delights to brighten your homes and doorsteps. May they bring smiles to your faces as much as they bring smiles to ours.

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.

Lettuces Should return next week especially with this weather.

Basil and Cilantro If you are in need of some fresh basil, Cilantro or Dill to dry or freeze, we have some.

Purple and Green BeansSuch a delicious vegetable cooked, eaten raw or in salads.

Sweet Savour Hybrid Peppers – They may be small, but they pack quite the taste. The beautiful and tasty tricolor fruit looks like hot peppers but eats like sweet peppers.

Mama Mia Giallo HybridTapered 7–9″ fruits are smooth-skinned and uniform in shape. Prized as one of the earliest sweet peppers of its size—fruit ripens just 80 days after transplanting. Excellent fresh, roasted, or grilled.

Purple and Green Bell Peppers – Sweet Carnival Mix which are all classic bell hybrids.

Pepper, Hot, Serrano Tampiqueno – Heat-lovers, here’s another Mexican favorite used in a variety of dishes, from salsas to soups. Heat scale is about 3,00-0 Scovilles.

Carrots – Esperanza carrots – enjoy these summer delights. This new crop is out of the garden versus the raised bed.

Kohlrabi So glad that the insects didn’t win this time on this crop. Peel and cut like an apple eat raw, in salads or dip the slices in peanut butter. Enjoy!

Onions –If you are feeling overloaded on onions, cut them up and spread them out and freeze on a cookie sheet or pan. Once frozen place in a container or a Ziploc bag for use throughout the year. I do this and am just coming to my end of frozen onions. This helps speed up my meal preparation. See how onions are grown in Washington.

Potatoes – Kennebec and Blue potatoes are in your boxes this week.

Sweet PotatoesSweet potato has a rich history and interesting origin. It is one of the oldest vegetables known to mankind. Scientists believe that sweet potato was domesticated thousands of years ago in Central America. Learn more about sweet potatoes here.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – This crop is slowly coming on with either Golden Egg Hybrid great to wash and slice to eat on a veggie tray, use on a kabob or try it sautéed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Peter Pan Squash – No need to peel, simply wash and cut up this squash and use like the others. Check out these recipes.

ZucchiniThis crop has been a bit slow due to our insect challenges this year. But it is coming on. So like the cauliflower and kohlrabi we are alternating it around the shareholders. Enjoy – here are some recipes from Country Living.

Tomatoes – Let us know if you would like extra to freeze, make into salsa, or can. Included this week are some of the 4th of July, Super Sweet 100 Hybrid, SunGold Cherry tomatoes and a few more varieties sprinkled in. Learn more about tomatoes on America’s Heartland. Learn how to freeze your tomatoes here.

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Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash– This is our family favorite of squashes. It is hourglass in shape. Here are a few recipes for Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart.

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Carnival Squash

Carnival Squash – Carnival squash has variegated patterns of orange and green colors and is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. When cooked its texture is soft and melting with a fragrant aroma and its flavor; slightly nutty, buttery, and sweet with nuances of maple syrup, similar to that of butternut squash. This squash has contains potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as, some calcium, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

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Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash

Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash – This is a popular squash that has attractive orange-red skin. Yellow and creamy flesh is very sweet and nutty. It is a Hubbard type squash and sometimes also referred to as a baby red hubbard type since its appearance is like that of a petite hubbard. The word “kuri” translates to mean chestnut in Japanese, the main flavor profile found in the Red Kuri squash. It is a squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C as well as potassium and iron. Hard-skinned Red Kuri squash can be difficult to peel and are most easily cooked in their skin. Split squash in half, scoop out seeds, and roast cut-side down until tender. Red Kuri can also be cut into wedges or cubes and roasted. The skin of Red Kuri once cooked is tender enough to consume so need not be removed prior to eating.

Name Pumpkins – We hope you enjoy this fall ornament

Gourds – Look for more to come – a lot of harvesting to be done.

Recipe of the Week

A favorite in our house thank you to my friend Sarah Durenberger at From the Farm Table.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Brown Sugar

cup Vegetable Oil (I use apple sauce instead of the oil.)

4 Eggs

2 teaspoon Vanilla

2 cups Flour

1 cup Baking Cocoa

1 teaspoon Salt

1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

3 cups Shredded Zucchini

  1. Beat sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla together. Mix dry ingredients. Stir into mixture. Add chocolate chips and shredded zucchini.
  2. Pour batter into 4-5 mini loaf pans (or 2 large loaf pans), coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool.

 

 

Sharing Experiences

It has been another week filled with unique opportunities. First, we worked at the Farm Bureau building at the Minnesota State Fair. While some may shy away from the experience, we encourage you to give the Great Minnesota Get Together a try. Whether you are a consumer seeking to visit with farmers and see some animals, or you are a Farm Bureau member and are available to volunteer to connect with consumers – give it a try.

The boys enjoyed sharing their farm knowledge with fairgoers and answering questions that the consumers had about how their food is grown. Good conversations of answering questions of the food to farm journey with questions coming from honest places of just wanting to better understand how food is grown and dispelling the confusion around food labels.

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Sharing experiences together and learning from them help us all to grow.

In other news, the weather has opened up its skies and dumped nearly 5 inches at our place over the last few days. Since we knew there wasn’t going to be a break in the rain yesterday, we harvested through it last night. I didn’t capture any photos because we were to wet and would have ruined the camera.

We were thankful there was no lightning so this was possible. Nothing binds a family together like working through adverse conditions.

Each growing season is unique, please keep farmers across our nation facing these torrential rains and weather conditions in your prayers as they work hard to bring in crops to feed, fuel and clothe us.

Boxes of Produce

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

Black Seeded Simpson/Red Oak Leaf Lettuce/Spinach/Kale – These crops taste good on a sandwich or salad. New crops will be ready next week.

Basil If you are in need of some fresh basil or some to dry or freeze, we have some.

Purple and Green Beans – Such a delicious vegetable cooked, eaten raw or in salads.

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I miss labeled these as Banana Peppers. They are actually Sweet Savour Hybrid Peppers. Please provide feedback on the variety of peppers this year.

Sweet Savour Hybrid Peppers – They may be small, but they pack quite the taste. The beautiful and tasty tricolor fruit looks like hot peppers but eats like sweet peppers.

Mama Mia Giallo Hybrid – Tapered 7–9″ fruits are smooth-skinned and uniform in shape. Prized as one of the earliest sweet peppers of its size—fruit ripens just 80 days after transplanting. Excellent fresh, roasted, or grilled.

Purple and Green Bell Peppers – Sweet Carnival Mix which are all classic bell hybrids.

Pepper, Hot, Serrano Tampiqueno – Heat-lovers, here’s another Mexican favorite used in a variety of dishes, from salsas to soups. Heat scale is about 3,00-0 Scovilles.

Beets

Detroit Dark Red Beets Cooked beets: -Cut the top and the bottom off -Place in boiling water -Boil until you can stick a fork through it -Take out of boiling water -Using a paper towel, gently rub the skin off -Slice and enjoy with a dab of butter.

Beets – An old garden favorite of mine. Learn how to use them here.

Carrots – Esperanza carrots – enjoy these summer delights. This new crop is out of the garden versus the raised bed.

Kohlrabi So glad that the insects didn’t win this time on this crop. Peel and cut like an apple eat raw, in salads or dip the slices in peanut butter. Enjoy!

Onions –If you are feeling overloaded on onions, cut them up and spread them out and freeze on a cookie sheet or pan. Once frozen place in a container or a Ziploc bag for use throughout the year. I do this and am just coming to my end of frozen onions. This helps speed up my meal preparation. See how onions are grown in Washington.

Potatoes – Yukon and Masquerade potatoes are in your boxes this week.

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes -The smooth, thin, and gold to light brown skin is relatively eye free creating a uniform texture and shape. The skin is also speckled with many small, brown spots. The flesh is yellow to gold, firm, moist, and waxy. When cooked, Yukon Gold potatoes take on a creamy and tender consistency with a rich, buttery, and earthy flavor. Yukon Gold potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, grilling, frying, mashing, sautéing, and boiling.
9-23-14 Masquerade Potatoes

Potatoes grow under the ground and are a tuber. Sometimes when you pull up the dead plant the potatoes come out attached to the plant like you see here. These are Masquerade Potatoes.

  • Masquerade Potatoes – The bicolored, thin skin has a golden-yellow base and is covered in dominant spots of purple and violet. The flesh is pale yellow to light gold and is firm, dense, and moist. When cooked, Masquerade potatoes offer a creamy and buttery flavor. Masquerade potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, baking, boiling, mashing, steaming, frying, or sautéing.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – This crop is slowly coming on with either Golden Egg Hybrid great to wash and slice to eat on a veggie tray, use on a kabob or try it sautéed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Peter Pan Squash – No need to peel, simply wash and cut up this squash and use like the others. Check out these recipes.

ZucchiniThis crop has been a bit slow due to our insect challenges this year. But it is coming on. So like the cauliflower and kohlrabi we are alternating it around the shareholders. Enjoy – here are some recipes from Country Living.

Tomatoes – Let us know if you would like extra to freeze, make into salsa, or can. Included this week are some of the 4th of July, Super Sweet 100 Hybrid, SunGold Cherry tomatoes and a few more varieties sprinkled in. Learn more about tomatoes on America’s Heartland. Learn how to freeze your tomatoes here.

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Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash- This is our family favorite of squashes. It is hourglass in shape. Here are a few recipes for Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart.

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Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash – This oblong light yellow squash is a tasty substitute for spaghetti. Check out this link on how to cook spaghetti squash from Real Simple.

Uchiki Kuri Winter Squash – This is a popular squash that has attractive orange-red skin. Yellow and creamy flesh is very sweet and nutty. It is a hubbard type squash and sometimes also referred to as a baby red hubbard type since its appearance is like that of a petite hubbard. The word “kuri” translates to mean chestnut in Japanese, the main flavor profile found in the Red Kuri squash. It is a squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C as well as potassium and iron. Hard-skinned Red Kuri squash can be difficult to peel and are most easily cooked in their skin. Split squash in half, scoop out seeds, and roast cut-side down until tender. Red Kuri can also be cut into wedges or cubes and roasted. The skin of Red Kuri once cooked is tender enough to consume so need not be removed prior to eating.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta Leaves, Hydrangeas, zinnias and more

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Fresh cut arrangements to brighten your day.

 

Recipe of the Week

Butternut Squash

My family loves this recipe, and the boys eat it like crazy. I also use the prepared squash in place of pumpkin in many recipes.

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

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

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

Add:

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

Using a mixer, blend together until smooth. Serve.

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

 

Keeping Watch

Keeping Watch

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Sam captured this unique photo of one of our chickens. Very interesting detail which speaks to the idea of keeping a watchful eye on things.

Sam captured some neat photos the other night. This one spoke to our efforts – we are keeping an eye on things. Whether it is the weather, weeds and insects; maturing crops ready to harvest or caring for our livestock. Sit back and enjoy some of our views, and Sam’s photography.

Garden Science

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We found this little fella enjoying the tomatoes. We believe it may be a cutworm. Early in the season cutworms may cause stand loss by cutting off seedling or recently transplanted tomato plants at the soil line. Later in the season these pests can also injure tomatoes by eating irregular holes in the surface of fruits; tomato fruit touching the ground are generally the most seriously injured.

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A neat photo of the grasshopper near the hydrangea. Among vegetable crops certain plants are favored, such as lettuce, carrots, beans, sweet corn, and onions. Squash, peas, and tomatoes (leaves, not fruit) are among the plants that tend to be avoided. Grasshoppers less commonly feed on leaves of trees and shrubs.

Boxes of Produce

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

Black Seeded Simpson/Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Both of these crops taste good on a sandwich or salad.

Spinach/Kale – Great for salads.

Banana Peppers – They may be small, but they pack quite the taste.

Purple Peppers – A variety of peppers are starting to grow. The boys were in charge of packing so each of you will have a surprise of what is in the box.

Beets – An old garden favorite of mine. Learn how to use them here.

Carrots – Esperanza carrots – enjoy these summer delights. This new crop is out of the garden versus the raised bed.

Kohlrabi – So glad that the insects didn’t win this time on this crop. Peel and cut like an apple eat raw, in salads or dip the slices in peanut butter. Enjoy!

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Purple cauliflower and egg plant – Purple cauliflower’s color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine. Purple cauliflower also goes by the variety names Sicilian Violet, Violet Queen and Grafitti cauliflower. Nutritional Value Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C with a half cup of florets providing nearly half of ones daily requirement for vitamin C. It also provides a fair amount of fiber, vitamin A, folate, calcium and potassium as well as selenium, which works with Vitamin C to boost the immune system.

Purple Cauliflower and Egg Plant– These crops are slowly maturing. So we will be alternating our way through everyone as they mature. Look for these surprises in the boxes.

Onions –If you are feeling overloaded on onions, cut them up and spread them out and freeze on a cookie sheet or pan. Once frozen place in a container or a Ziploc bag for use throughout the year. I do this and am just coming to my end of frozen onions. This helps speed up my meal preparation. See how onions are grown in Washington.

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Potato plant flowers

Potatoes – It is awesome how quickly freshly dug potatoes quick. I boiled potatoes to make into mashed potatoes this week, and they were ready in less than 20 minutes.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – This crop is slowly coming on with either Golden Egg Hybrid great to wash and slice to eat on a veggie tray, use on a kabob or try it sautéed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Peter Pan Squash – No need to peel, simply wash and cut up this squash and use like the others. Check out these recipes.

ZucchiniThis crop has been a bit slow due to our insect challenges this year. But it is coming on. So like the cauliflower and kohlrabi we are alternating it around the shareholders. Enjoy – here are some recipes from Country Living.

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Big Mama tomatoes – Plum-shaped and enormous, Big Mama Hybrid tomatoes grow up to 5 in. (13-cm) long and 3 in. (8 cm) across. In the kitchen, this variety is easy to peel and core. One of the best paste tomatoes, Big Mama is excellent in sauces. These tomatoes need at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water per week and prefer six hours or more of direct sun each day.

Tomatoes – Let us know if you would like extra to freeze, make into salsa, or can. Included this week are some of the 4th of July, Super Sweet 100 Hybrid, SunGold Cherry tomatoes and a few more varieties sprinkled in. Learn more about tomatoes on America’s Heartland. Learn how to freeze your tomatoes here.

Eggs These eggs can be used just like any of the eggs you have used previously. They are different colors because they come from breeds that lay different colored egg shells then the ones you buy at the store. Just sit back enjoy the beautiful colors and the time spent cooking up some of your favorite egg dishes.

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A beautiful look down the zinnia row.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta Leaves, sunflowers, zinnias and more

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Onion – Give it a try on the grill.

Recipe of the Week

Onions on the Grill

Suggestion from one of our shareholders – keeping it simple.

Cut up your onion

Place on aluminum foil

Drizzle with olive oil

Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper about a ¼ teaspoon of each.

Grill until tender. Enjoy!