Monumental Tasks

Monumental Tasks

This week we had some larger tasks to accomplish. Quite frankly, when you stepped back to look at them, it was quite easy to feel like these were monumental tasks that would take way to long. With the right attitude, encouragement and grit, they were accomplished with smiles and satisfaction in the end.

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Yes our selfie wasn’t that great, but we still had smiles after harvesting 200 pounds of cucumbers. Great for canning if anyone is interested.

On Friday, we harvested over 200 pounds of cucumbers. Some of which were used at my work’s 100th Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation picnic. It felt good for us to give back to the farmers I have the privilege to work for and with.

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I work for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation which is a membership organization which mission is to be an advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and policies of its members. Sam and I were happy to share some of our cucumbers with our members during the organizations Centennial Picnic this weekend.

The next day when Sam and I walked down to tie up the tomatoes so that they would continue to grow on the fence and not in the mud, we noticed that the previous day’s weather had encouraged quite the weed growth. First, we accomplished the tomato project – we smelled like tomatoes and our hands and arms were green.

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Weeding is not a fun task. Weed control is necessary for a healthy crop.

We knew that the tomatoes would be healthier and cleaner from this task. Sorry – no picture evidence of this – hands were to dirty to touch a camera. Second, we accomplished some weeding so the crops were not choking from all of the extra “friends” growing next to them.

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Weeded yellow onions.

The last monumental appearing task was weeding the yellow onions. I will admit, this got out of hand about a month ago, and no one had the time to dive into it. Well, Keith took on this task yesterday, and boy was he covered in mud and tired from this activity. His grin said it all. It looked awesome.

Lesson learned: While tasks may seem overwhelming and may feel they cannot be accomplished, set your mind to it, don’t give up and keep plugging away. When you are done and look back, what you have accomplished will feel so great. Your hard work will pay off.

Garden Science

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Funny things happen in nature – these cucumbers grew together and the tomato grew a nose.

Animal Update

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.

Remember that 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.

Lettuce/Spinach – You have some Red Oak Lettuce and Spinach in your box. This next crop has been a real challenge to get going.

Carrots – This weather helped this root vegetable mature. Learn more about baby carrots from America’s Heartland.

Detroit Dark Red Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. Here are some ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use your beets.

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi. Peel it and slice like an apple. Here are more ideas.

Green Beans – This is the second round of green beans. If you want to pickle any, please let us know as we have dill that you can use.

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This is a unique flower on the peas. They are usually white. Once and a while, Mother Nature gives you something different. So we wanted to share it with you.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – We may get one more harvest from this crop. We do have a third crop growing.

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Believe it or not, cucumbers are a prickly crop to harvest. Yes, the stems and fresh cucumbers have little spikes on them that poke you.

Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – we will have cucumbers for a while. We hope you enjoy this healthy snack.

Onion – You have one Walla Walla and one Yellow onion in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions from America’s Heartland.

Green Bell Peppers – The peppers are just taking off.

Banana Pepper – I have been cutting up and freezing the peppers with the intent to use them for recipes throughout the season.

Tomatoes – This crop is just taking off. A taste of a few cherry tomatoes and Fourth of July tomatoes this week.

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes great for baked potatoes. Some of you may have some younger potatoes in your boxes (smaller). I find that the potatoes right out of the garden often times cook and bake faster than others. Yeah – faster meal preparation!

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Harvesting zucchini and summer squash.

Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Flower after flower will grow into a zucchini.

Summer Squash – Make these into noodles, sauté and more. Try making this or zucchini into noodles.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors, the Peterson family, for contributing the sweet corn in this week’s box. Quick Tip: If you don’t eat all the sweet corn you have cooked, cut it off the cob and freeze it in a container. Reheat your frozen corn for your vegetable at another meal or use in a hot dish, salsa or a soup.

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Teddy Bear Sunflowers

Flowers of the Week – Zinnias and Teddy Bear Sunflowers

Recipe of the Week

Freezer Salsa

8 cups diced seeded peeled tomatoes (about 10 large)
2 medium green peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3/4 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1/2 cup white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
4-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder (or try a couple cloves of fresh garlic – season to taste)
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper Directions

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring often.

Pour into small freezer containers. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Stir before serving. Yield: 10 cups.

Editor’s Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Source: Taste of Home

Elbow Grease Needed

Elbow Grease Needed

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We need to share some interesting news that we neglected to share from a few weeks ago. Do you see what we saw? A bald eagle sitting by the peppers in our garden. What a site to see!

Hear ye, Hear ye – Due Notice with all of the high humidity, rain and highest heat index we have seen in years, your CSA shares may be filled with weeds instead of vegetables next week. Don’t worry with enough elbow grease, we will keep digging and find the plants still growing.

In all seriousness, with last week’s weather and the crazy schedules between county fair, baseball and work, the weeds did go crazy. But the good news is the plants are still growing, and we are slowly regaining weed management.

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.

Remember that 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.

Outrageous Red Lettuce/Spinach/Beet Leaf/Kale Mix – This variety adds beautiful color to any sandwich or salad. Between the weather and the insects the salad varieties are a bit thin this week. The rain actually has delayed emergence in some of the varieties, while the weather has encouraged rapid weed growth choking out some of the crops, and the insects are loving the kale. I was thankful to see some of these crops emerging when we weeded last night.

Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. Here are some ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use your beets.

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Grand Duke Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi. Peel it and slice like an apple. Here are more ideas.

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Green Beans can drive us a bit crazy when we are harvesting them.

Green Beans – The first round of green beans have been harvested. If you want to pickle any, please let us know as we have dill that you can use.

Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – we will have cucumbers for a while. We hope you enjoy this healthy snack.

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Carrots are a root vegetable. They are growing well at this point.

Carrots – This weather helped this root vegetable mature. Learn more about carrots from America’s Heartland.

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The onion has such a neat braided stem.

Onion – Yellow onions are in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions from America’s Heartland.

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Zucchini growing on the plant. I spy two.

Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Flower after flower will grow into a zucchini. Check out this week’s recipe for a family favorite.

Summer Squash – Make these into noodles, sauté and more. Try making this or zucchini into noodles.

Flowers of the Week – Hostas, Zinnias, Hydrangeas and Tiger Lillies

Recipe of the Week

7-29-14 cinnamon zucchini bread 2

Cinnamon Zucchini Bread/Muffins

Cinnamon Zucchini Bread

We love this bread. Give it a try. I made a few modifications as I prefer to replace oil in my recipes with applesauce to decrease calories and to help my mommy guilt. Applesauce helps me to feel like the muffins are just a little healthier. Also, simply because of our crazy schedule it is easier and faster for us to bake muffins versus bread early in the morning.

3 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Applesauce
3 cups Flour (opt: substitute 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Cinnamon
2 cups Zucchini, shredded
1.Beat together the eggs, sugars and applesauce.
2. Stir together all the dry ingredients and add to the egg-sugar mixture. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
3. Coat loaf pans or muffin liners with cooking spray. Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture on the bottom. (I used a cinnamon/sugar mix to decrease on the sugar). Pour batter evenly in all four pans. Sprinkle tops with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
4. Bake bread at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes (muffins – 12 minutes), or until toothpick comes out clean.
Source: Sarah Durenberger

Project Driven

Project Driven

It was a busy 4th of July at our house. Yes, we worked outside. It was a project driven day that ended in a cookout and fireworks. There doesn’t seem to be many days where we can focus on accomplishing a lot around home, but that day we did. From weed control to harvesting the cover crop to addressing the white mold on some of our vines to installing a fence for the second round of peas, there was much to be done.

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Since we are out of our repurposed fencing, we found another way to make a pea fence. It is so much easier to harvest peas when they are growing upright.

Here’s a glimpse of what is growing on this week. Thanks again to Sam who took the majority of the photos in the blog.

Garden Science

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The first harvest of green beans. Notice all the white flowers. A green bean will grow from those flowers.

Pick-up and Delivery

• Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email.
• It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.
• Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

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

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – We have a new crop planted. This is the case for many of the salad type crops. In fact, we planted it about a month ago. It emerged even though the ground was pretty hard for the young plant to push through but it did have a poor stand. We have replanted again. Just not sure how quickly it will mature to harvest stage. Remember that 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.

Outrageous Red Lettuce – This variety adds beautiful color to any sandwich or salad.

Spinach/Kale mix – A little purple kale is mixed in with the spinach this week. There is an insect that is loving the kale this year. We are trying to trouble shoot control of this insect.

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Beets

Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. Here are some ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use your beets.

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi. Peel it and slice like an apple. Here are more ideas.

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Super Sugar Snap Peas are growing like crazy. Enjoy!

Super Sugar Snap Peas – Rat the pods and peas all together. Great snack.

Green Beans – The first round of green beans have been harvested. If you want to pickle any, please let us know as we have dill that you can use.

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Onion growing.

Onion – Walla Walla onions are in your boxes this week.

Zucchini/Summer Squash – make these into noodles, sauté and more. Check out this link for recipe ideas.

Cilantro – wash and enjoy. Freeze extra by placing in ice cube trays and running water over them and freeze. A good way to use later in soups and other dishes. Here’s a resource on Cilantro from Real Simple.

Flowers of the Week – Hostas, Zinnias, Hydrangeas and Tiger Lillys

Recipe of the Week

1 pound snap peas, trimmed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add snap peas and cook until tender but still vibrant green and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and toss with butter; season with salt.

Source: Martha Stewart

Weeds and What!

Weeds and What!

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Sam’s photo of the pullets, young hens, speaks volumes. The chickens are thinking “Weeds and What! We are taking a look at the outlook of this growing season. We have a few things to tell you from our perspective. The weeds grow like crazy with this heat and humidity, and insects…lots of insects. We love to eat all of it.”

When I saw this photo, it cracked me up. We are all so serious about the outlook including evidently the chickens.

There are several concerns right now: 1. weeds – growing like crazy; 2. insects – between potato bugs and a number of plant eating nuisances – there are a few areas to get under control; 3. replanting another round of crops – don’t like to mud the seeds into the ground, but Mother Nature isn’t giving us many options.

This sums up the week. The crops are growing and will have more of a chance once we get the competing factors under control: weeds and insects.

The majority of the photos in the blog were taken by Sam.

Garden Science

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Keith’s photo of the weather last Thursday speaks volumes with the stop sign saying it all. This weather has been a bit crazy for all of us. From what we can tell, the weeds and the bad insects are loving it. Frankly we need these extremes to stop.

Pick-up and Delivery

• Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email.

• It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.

• Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

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

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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 – Last Week of this one. 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.

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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.

 

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Outrageous Red Lettuce – This variety adds beautiful color to any sandwich or salad.

 

Spinach – Love this mixed in a salad with other greens or as a stand alone by itself.

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Beets – The entire plant is edible.

 

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Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi. Peel it and slice like an apple.

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The first harvest of Super Sugar Snap Peas.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – Rat the pods and peas all together. Great snack.

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Young Walla Walla Onion – notice the root system and also notice on the stalk how it appears to be braided.

Onion – Young Walla Walla onions are in your boxes this week.

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Cilantro will also grow back after you cut the stalks with the leaves. Wash and enjoy the flavorful leaves.

Cilantro – wash and enjoy. Freeze extra by placing in ice cube trays and running water over them and freeze. A good way to use later in soups and other dishes. Check out these ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use this herb.

Recipe of the Week

Lazy taco

Lazy taco…add a side of fruit and a glass of milk, and you have a well balanced, colorful and fun meal for the family.

Lazy Tacos

This is a family favorite and a go to recipe in our house. Thank you to Steve’s Aunt Coleen for sharing this idea with us many years ago. This dish can take on many options depending on your family’s tastes.
Crush corn chips and layer taco favorites on top such as:
taco meat
onions
black olives,
tomatoes
lettuce
cheddar cheese
chilli beans
salsa
cottage cheese
salad dressing
Note: with all of the fresh produce I would also try a variety of vegetables.

 

Hidden Surprises

Hidden Surprises

More often than not we get caught up in what is going on in our lives trying to accomplish what is expected and/or needed of us. It’s important that we stop and look around whether it is a pleasant surprise or a challenging surprise – how we view it often determines our end outcomes. Take a look at our hidden surprises this week with most of the photos through the view of our youngest photographer.

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These hot humid days have lead to weeds and more weeds. While it can seem overwhelming, spending time with this character one on one in the garden with some music playing, watching the sun set and the fire flies light up the fields…well it is priceless, and I wouldn’t change those moments.

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As we returned from a weekend full of baseball, we were in the process of getting chores done so we could move on to the next activity. As I headed to the garden and looked up, I was amazed to see this magnificent beauty and reminded of how privileged we are to live in the United States. Keith and I tried our best to get as close as we could to it, but it didn’t let us get to close.

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Well these challenging foes known as potato bugs are out in full force. This is an adult potato bug, and they love to eat the leaves of the potato plant. The problem is without leaves a plant cannot conduct photosynthesis and without photosynthesis the plant cannot create food to create potatoes. Trust me…they will eat the ENTIRE plant.

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Potato bug eggs are orange and as they hatch out, the young are a deep brownish/orange with a black head. They begin eating the plants shortly after they hatch. Oh how they are a nemesis.

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While these may appear somewhat similar to a potato bug…they are a beetle that will eat all vining plants and frankly whatever looks good to them. Checking for insect issues on a regular basis helps to keep us out their weeding and the plants growing.

Garden Science

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Some of the potato plants are starting to flower. That is a good sign that the plant is maturing and starting to grow potatoes. The potatoes do not grow out of the flowers. Potatoes are a tuber that will grow under ground.

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It’s a great sign that the peas are flowering as the pea flowers will grow into our pea pods.

Pick-up and Delivery

• Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email.
• It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.
• Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

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

7-20-13 rhubarb wash and cut ends off

Wash the rhubarb and cut off the white ends, any damaged areas and provide a fresh cut to the other side if it has become slightly dried out. Then cut your rhubarb into 1/14-1/2 inch pieces.

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.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. These farmers are friends of ours who we know from Farm Bureau and also the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. They had some extra they wanted to share with us, and the delivery time worked out well. They snap the asparagus vs. cutting so that you are getting all edible stalk and should have very minimal amount that you do not eat.

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Red Beets, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce and Outrageous red lettuce

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.

Outrageous Red Lettuce – This variety adds beautiful color to any sandwich or salad.

Spinach – Love this mixed into a salad with other greens or as a stand alone by itself.
Beet Leaves – The beets are growing on their own so I thought we should check them out.

Radishes– Cherry Belle and French Breakfast radishes. We are nearing the end of this crop for a little while.

Cilantro – wash and enjoy. Freeze extra by placing in ice cube trays and running water over them and freeze. A good way to use later in soups and other dishes. Check out these ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use this herb.

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Hosta Leaves

Hosta Leaves – I put 10-15 hosta leaves in a vase and it looks so gorgeous!

Recipe of the Week

 

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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

Weeds and More

Weeds and More

There is always something to do at our place. We replanted some crops and did quite a bit of weed control. We are also closely monitoring potato bugs and some other critters that are enjoying a few of the plants. We will let you know what we find out. Here’s some highlights from the week and a look at what to expect in your boxes. Enjoy and thank you!

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Sweet potatoes have been planted. They come in groups like this which are slips of plants that are alive and have a root on the bottom of each plant slip. We are grateful for our neighbors that order these from Tennessee for some good seed stock.

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The potatoes have been hilled to provide more soil for the potatoes to grow in, and it provides more soil over the potatoes as they grow so fewer newly grown potatoes have the greening of the tubers from the sun. We will probably hill them one more time this week.

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Weeding is a continuous process. Keith spent some time out with the vines this week making sure they didn’t have any competition around the plants to ensure good opportunity for pumpkins, squash and gourds. I think this plant is sure glad to not have any competition for the opportunity for good growth.

Pick-up and Delivery

• Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email.
• It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.
• Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

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

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. Here is a little history on rhubarb.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. These farmers are friends of ours who we know from Farm Bureau and also the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. They had some extra they wanted to share with us, and the delivery time worked out well. They snap the asparagus vs. cutting so that you are getting all edible stalk and should have very minimal amount that you do not eat. Enjoy! Check out these recipes from Martha Stewart.
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.
Outrageous Red Lettuce – This variety adds beautiful color to any sandwich or salad.

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Spinach leaves will grow back after you cut them. We can usually get a few harvests per plant.

Spinach and beet leaves – great for salads


Radishes – Cherry Belle and French Breakfast radishes. Read a little history on radishes.
Chives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces. I enjoy using them in potatoes on the grill.

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Cilantro will also grow back after you cut the stalks with the leaves. Wash and enjoy the flavorful leaves.

Cilantro – wash and enjoy. Freeze extra by placing in ice cube trays and running water over them and freeze. A good way to use later in soups and other dishes. Check out these ideas from Martha Stewart on how to use this herb.
Herb Pots – Pick your variety in a pot to bring home and keep throughout the season. Check out this resource on herbs.

Recipe of the Week

4-10-12 Making rhubarb tort (21)

Enjoy! Delicious right out of the oven with some ice cream. A great way to enjoy this spring crop and celebrate June Dairy Month.

Rhubarb Torte

Using a pie crust cutter. Mix the following.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup butter
Mix then pat into a 9 x 13 cake pan.

6 cups rhubarb cut into small 1/2 inch pieces
6 oz package of strawberry or raspberry jello.
Place cut rhubarb on top of the bottom layer. Rhubarb should be cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle jello powder over rhubarb.

Topping
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
Mix with pie cutter or fork and spread on top of Jello. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

Harvesting Begins

Harvesting Begins

If you haven’t heard, according to the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information it has been the wettest 12 months in U.S. history, and May 2019 was the second wettest month of all time. We are grateful for good soil drainage and that we were able to work between the storms to plant.

Our next challenge is pest control weeds and insects. Look for more information on that to come. We are excited to see growth and the joys from the garden that are forthcoming. Read below to see what we have been up to and details on what is in your boxes. A shout out to Sam for taking the majority of photos!

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Another round of crops were planted this week to help keep the vegetables growing throughout the season.

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These are pea seeds ready to plant. As you can see the planter has a white circle plate wheel that rotates around picking up one pea seed in each opening which is then dropped below into a furrow that the planter has created which the seed is dropped into and then covered. The seeds have a pink seed inoculant on them. Inoculation is the process of introducing commercially prepared rhizobia bacteria into the soil by placing this on the seed which encourages the seed and newly formed plant to format higher amount of nitrogen nodules on plant roots for richer soil nutrients resulting in bigger plants and better yields so hopefully more pea pods.

Garden Science

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Weed identification is an important part of this job. Hot, humid weather really made the weeds grow like crazy. Lambsquarters are the primary challenge in this area.

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Weed control is so important in keeping plants healthy and growing. These are the cucumbers after the weeds were pulled. This minimizes competition for soil nutrients, moisture and sunlight which helps tremendously in growing a healthy crop.

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Here we are towards the end of weeding. As you can tell there is a lot of enthusiasm for this task.

Pick-up and Delivery

  • Remember that pick-up and deliveries will be on the schedule you have arranged with Harner Brothers CSA – please note the exceptions to this which were in the email.
  • It is your responsibility to know that the pick-up or drop-off time will occur at the agreed upon time, and it is your responsibility as a shareholder to know this and be responsible for the produce at that time. If you are unable to utilize your share that week, it is still your responsibility: find someone else to pick it up or donate it to the food shelf.
  • Each box is labeled for each family. The same boxes will be used for your family throughout the season. Boxes and containers should be returned the following week. Bags will only be used once.

Boxes of Produce

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

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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.

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from the Chute’s Farm Fresh Gardens in Aitkin, Minnesota. These farmers are friends of ours who we know from Farm Bureau and also the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. They had some extra they wanted to share with us, and the delivery time worked out well. They snap the asparagus vs. cutting so that you are getting all edible stalk and should have very minimal amount that you do not eat. Enjoy! See how asparagus is harvested in California. Check out these recipes from Martha Stewart.

20190608_2041053082568277775850666.jpgBlack 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.

20190611_204438.jpgOutrageous Red Lettuce – This variety adds beautiful color to any sandwich or salad.

20190609_1055231317742016271566901.jpgSpinach and beet leaves – great for salads

20190611_205455.jpgHerbChives – wash then chop up chives into small pieces. I enjoy using them in potatoes on the grill.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta Leaves and peonies

 

5-6-12 Rhubarb jam (17)

Rhubarb Jam

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 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.

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.