Hope

Hope

Hope has been top of mind this week. Hope is defined as a noun as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or a feeling of trust, or as a verb as wanting something to happen or be the case. Scripture defines hope as a strong and confident expectation.

Weather

As we have watched the spotty storms come across the state, we hoped that rain would come with no storm damage. We hoped the seeds that we had patiently waited to grow…would grow once it rained. It seems nothing is as good as rain from Mother Nature.

We have been lucky, and our hope was met this past week. We hope and pray for those that were not as fortunate.

Efforts

We hope that our efforts will be fruitful and not in vain. We hope that our children will learn life lessons and that our efforts to accomplish farm tasks before and after baseball games will teach time management, follow through, commitment, hard work and a sense of self-accomplishment.

So while we recognize that the end outcomes are truly out of our control. We hope that the weather and the efforts will result in sharing the joys of the garden with many this growing season.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Garden Science

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Potato beetle monitoring continues. These are potato beetle eggs on the underside of the potato plant. They will hatch into potato beetles.

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This is a young potato beetle.

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An adult potato beetle. We continue to monitor for all stages of this insect to prevent an overpopulation that can devastate the potato crop, and as we have seen before, than move to devastating the tomato crop. Learn more about the Colorado Potato Beetles from the University of Minnesota.

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. Check out earlier posts on rhubarb for recipe ideas.

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 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.

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Black Seeded Simpson 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.

Red Salad Bowl Lettuce – Adds beautiful color to your salad. This is a crop that has struggled this spring. We did plant another round of crops this week of all varieties including the lettuces.

Kale – Mix it in your salads for a variety of texture and color. Learn about the nutritional value of Kale here and check out the recipe ideas from Martha Stewart.

Spinach – The new crop of spinach has struggled this season. So glad to be able to harvest it this week.

Radish – Cherry Belle radishes – check out these recipes.

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

Cilantro – Fresh cilantro has such a wonderful aroma.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta Leaves

Recipe of the Week

With the onset of lettuce, kale and spinach in your boxes this week. Give this family favorite a try.

strawberry spinach salad (2)

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad – Super easy and delicious!

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

 

Accepting the Unknowns

Accepting the Unknowns

This week as we observed activities in the garden, it would have been easy to be overwhelmed by what was growing and not growing. One can be overwhelmed by the frustration of the challenges or can choose to look at the opportunity to overcome the obstacles. So we chose the opportunity.

We spent our time managing pests: weeds, potato bugs or seeds that simply didn’t grow. As I was visiting with my dad who has farmed for over 50 years, he told me that he too has seen seeds that simply didn’t grow or seeds that started to germinate and did not continue to grow.

Sometimes you just don’t understand why. Learning to accept things you cannot change and learning how to make lemonade out of lemons is an important life lesson.

Check out the state climatologists blog to learn more about June’s crazy weather.

Garden Science

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The 20 to 40 mile per hour winds along with the extreme heat of over 90 degrees on Saturday really beat on the plants. The rhubarb looked beautiful before Saturday’s weather.

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We staked the tomatoes to provide support for the plants as they grow. We are trying a few of the tomatoes in cages and the remainder with stakes only. This will be one of our science experiments this year to see which production method produces the healthiest looking plants and the most bountiful harvest in our production method.

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

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on our family farm and transplanted to this location. This was a photo taken in April when this crop started growing for the season.

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

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.

lettuce

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – love eating this in salads and on sandwiches.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – One of my favorite garden crops. Some of the crops are ran under cold well water to take the field heat off of them so they last longer in your refrigerators. They are not washed – just cooled. So remember to wash your vegetables before eating. See how lettuce is grown throughout the year so it is available in our grocery stores even on our cold Minnesota days.

Radish – Cherry Belle radishes – check out these recipes.

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

Herbs pots – includes three of one of the following: thyme, rosemary, sweet basil, parsley, sage and a few surprises. Enjoy them in your kitchen.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta Leaves and Spirea

hostas

Hostas, spirea and herbs to start out the year.

 

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.

rhubarb jam

Rhubarb jam – I make strawberry rhubarb, blueberry rhubarb, cherry rhubarb and raspberry rhubarb. Enjoy, it is a delicious treat!

 

Planting progress

Planting progress

It has been a busy few weeks of planting. There always seems to be a rush to beat Mother Nature knowing that unpredictable changes will come. This past week, we received several inches of rain with some hail. We are not complaining. Rather, we are thankful that we did not receive downpours of rain, tornadoes and many weather challenges others experienced.

Keith tilling

We were able to get into the field on May 4. This included a variety of field work including tilling in the cover crop to provide nutrients into the soil and preparing the seed bed for planting.

Sam dragging

After tilling, we drag the fields to make sure we have a nice seed bed to plant in.

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Before planting potatoes, Steve used an attachment on the tiller to provide trenches for the potatoes to be planted in.

Planting potatoes

Several varieties, which include over 300 potatoes, were planted. A few more varieties will be planted once the ground has dried out.

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Between May 5 and May 12, the majority of our crops were planted. It is a good thing, as several inches of rain and cold weather occurred this past week.

5-10-17 mulch and irrigation

Before planting our tomatoes, we installed drip irrigation under our mulch. The intent is to provide consistent watering and moisture at the right amount at the right time for the tomatoes to grow properly.

dirty hands (2)

We transplanted nearly 140 plants including tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. While the evening got tiring, the ability to find something fun about the job at hand did not waver. The photo isn’t the best because it was taken as the sun was setting and as you can see part of the fun involved mud.

hail

Last week’s storms included hail. Some of it was larger than a nickel. We were thankful that the crop was not larger, and that the hail lasted for a short period of time with minimal wind in the storm.

A glimpse in time

A glimpse in time

It has been a busy last few months preparing for the growing season and for 4-H projects at the county fair. Spring is in full swing. Below is a glimpse of some of the activity.

 

At the beginning of March, the chicks that the boys will show at the fair arrived in the mail from the hatchery. They are now about 2 1/2 months old and at the growth stage they boys’ refer to as “high schoolers.” They will be full grown at about 5 months of age when they will be shown at the county fair.

 

Recently, the hens are laying eggs of all sizes. The chicks that Sam’s class hatched this fall are starting to lay eggs. Hens are about 4-5 months old when they are full grown and ready to naturally start laying an egg about every 24-26 hours. The small size that the young hens are laying is a pee-wee egg. The larger eggs pictured are from our older hens that are about 1 1/2 yearss old.

 

At the end of April, the boys bought 3 pigs which they plan to show at the county fair this summer when the pigs have reached their market weight. Pigs are full grown in about 5-6 months when they will weigh approximately 260-280 pounds. After the boys pigs arrived, the local veterinarian visited to check on pig health and discuss the pig’s healthcare with the boys. Farmers work hand in hand with their local veterinarians to provide the best quality care for their animals.

We collected soil samples from each of our field areas. Steve made a soil probe collector which would dig down a couple of inches into the field to collect a sample of the soil. We collected 5-6 soil samples from different areas of each field. Labeled the bag and brought the soil samples to our local farm co-op to be tested to evaluate soil health and help us to know what nutrients we should apply to the soil to help grow healthier plants.

The rhubarb is growing like crazy. Our rhubarb was transplanted from the farm my dad grew up on. The Harner Brothers 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.

Last fall, we planted rye grass as a cover crop to provide “green manure” and “feed” our soil with good nutrients. As soon as it warmed up the rye grass began to grow again – just like grass in many lawns. The cover crop has grown well. We are interested in how it will improve soil health and in turn, once tilled into the fields it is currently growing in – how it will help improve soil health which will grow healthy plants and vegetables.

During the boys’ spring break, we spent a day doing agriculture in the classroom visits with students in St. Paul. It was a great day, and we are grateful for coworkers and the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom for their help.

Mad Dash

Mad Dash

Last night, sure was a mad dash around the storms. At least now that we are dry and warm, we can look back and chuckle at how dripping wet we all were. In the end, the rain gauge read 4.8 inches early this morning.

The end of the year harvest has also been a mad dash, and judging by the forecast, we will continue to have a mad dash to get the crops out around the weather.

We are thankful that the vines and corn crops were harvested and those areas mulched. We still have to wait for those areas to dry out before we can complete our fall field work, but we are thankful for what has been accomplished.

We are thankful that this weekend the vines and corn crops were harvested and mulched. We still have to wait for those areas to dry out before we can complete our fall field work of tilling and planting a cover crop. But we are thankful for what has been accomplished.

Next week will be the final CSA for the year. Look for your share of red, white and blue popcorn to come later this fall after the kernels have dried down. We have to dry the kernels down so that the moisture content is not to high. If there is too much moisture in the kernels, the kernels will not pop, and they will also not store well. Look for your popcorn share to be delivered later this fall.

Garden Science

Potatoes are a tuber that grow under ground. Once harvested they do not grow back. They are an annual that produces one crop.

Potatoes are a tuber that grow under ground. Once harvested, they do not grow back. They are an annual that produces one crop.

Garden Math

Some of these pumpkins grew to be pretty heavy. Any guesses? The heaviest did weigh in at 68.7. And we did have several over 30 pounds.

Some of these pumpkins grew to be pretty heavy. Any guesses? The heaviest did weigh in at 68.7, and we did have several over 30 pounds.

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. 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. 

Thank you for your support of our CSA. Enjoy the produce!

Lettuce mix - a new crop of spinach along with Red Oak Leaf, Black Seeded Simpson and curly leaf kale.

Lettuce mix – a new crop of spinach along with Red Oak Leaf, Black Seeded Simpson and curly leaf kale.

Black Seeded Simpson and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – I just love to have fresh lettuce and spinach from the garden this time of year. While I love the fall colors, this crop is a joy to bring in my lunch to work.

Kale – Brings beautiful color and more nutrients to the dish.

Green Beans – Jade green beans amaze us with their taste. I personally have never liked green beans, but I do enjoy eating this variety raw right out of the garden.

Beets –  Detroit Dark Red Beets in your box. Boil on your stove top for about 1/2 hour – take them out of the water, using a paper towel gently rub the paper towel over the beet and the skins will come right off, slice into pieces and serve with butter. Slice them and freeze for an easy accompaniment to a meal this winter or cut into chunks and place in Ziploc bag to use in homemade soup this winter. 

Carrots – Nantes carrots – Do you cook the carrots and the family doesn’t eat them all? I will place the left overs in the blender and then freeze that mixture in ice cube trays. Once frozen, store in a bag in the freezer. I will then use one or two “cubes” of frozen carrots in my spaghetti sauce.

Watermelon

Peppers

Peppers – sweet cherry stuffer, sweet thunderbolt, green and hot dragon cayenne peppers.

Peppers The peppers are really starting to come in. You have sweet cherry stuffer hybrid pepper, sweet thunderbolt hybrid and green peppers in your box. You also have the option of some hot dragon cayenne peppers. Cut up the extra peppers and place in a bag then place in freezer for use throughout the year.

Fresh garlic was pulled and then hung to dry. We hope you have enjoyed the fresh garlic this year.

Fresh garlic was pulled mid-summer and then hung to dry. We hope you have enjoyed the fresh garlic this year.

Garlic – Enjoy the fresh garlic. I use a hand-held garlic press to crush and peel my garlic. It is awesome and definitely the tool of the week! Here are some garlic recipes to check out.

Onions –  Walla Walla Onions

Acorn Squash – This small green squash can be cooked fast and easy in the microwave.

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash – My favorite squash. Check out the recipes from Martha Stewart. Refer back to last week’s blog on my how to cook in the oven and freeze for use throughout the year.

Carnival Squash

Carnival Squash

Carnival Squash

Red Norland Potatoes – Red Norland potatoes are versatile potatoes – great for boiling, potato salad, and I have had success with them as French fries.

Blue Potatoes check this link out to learn more about different potato varieties.

Masquerade Potatoes – We love the taste of this variety. The outside color makes this a fun and beautiful variety to have in the kitchen.

Kennebec Potatoes – Great baking potato. Check out harvesting potatoes in Idaho.

Cilantro, Basil and Parsley – Plenty to share – take a snip or a plant home and freeze or dry the herb for use in stews, etc during the rest of the year. Here are some more ideas on how to preserve herbs.

We were happy to have a beautiful night on Monday to harvest the corn stalks for the corn shocks.

We were happy to have a beautiful night on Monday to harvest the corn stalks for the corn shocks.

Corn Shock

These boys worked hard all morning harvesting gourds, pumpkins and potatoes.

These boys worked hard on Saturday morning harvesting gourds, pumpkins and potatoes. They were excited to see the amount of produce they harvested.

Pumpkins

Gourds

Gourds – an assortment again this week.

Gourds

Ornamental Corn – The ornamental corn crop was a disappointment. Just not the quantity and quality that we hope to have. This was due in part to the overgrowth of trees in the tree line. We plan to trim those trees back this winter so that they don’t shade out the crops to decrease yields next year like they did this year.

Recipe of the Week

Lazy Tacos

Crush corn chips and layer taco favorites on top such as:

taco meat, onions, black olives, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese, chilli beans, cucumbers, salsa, cottage cheese or salad dressing

Chop onion. I love my Pampered Chef chopper. Great tool for the kitchen!!

When browning my hamburger, I add a little bit of onion finely chopped so the kids don’t notice it.

While the hamburger is cooking, I wash my lettuce and place in my salad spinner. Again, the salad spinner is a must have tool. By spinning the moisture off my washed lettuce I find that it keeps longer in my refrigerator.

When slicing tomatoes, I have found that using a serrated knife works great. No more smashed tomatoes. I have a designated cutting board in my kitchen for all vegetables and fruits and a totally separate cutting board set aside for only meats. Just an extra safety precaution in our kitchen. Keeping foods separate to avoid cross contamination.

Homemade salsa from last year is a delicious addition to this meal.

Lazy Tacos

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

 

 

Joy Unveiled

Joy Unveiled

We are starting to harvest the “fun stuff.” As Sam said, he starts to feel like a kid in a candy store and doesn’t want to stop harvesting the pumpkins gourds, popcorn and ornamental corn once we start. It is so much fun to see the surprises in the garden. There is simply a lot of joy unveiled. We are excited to share that with all of you.

We were able to harvest some of these crops this past weekend and will plan to finish those crops this coming week. Look for a lot of Fall decorating items next week.

This week marks the official end of the contracted weeks, but we will have a few bonus boxes as we finish harvesting it all. Look for additional communication via email as we begin to wrap up the 2016 growing season. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of growing for you and with you.

Garden Science

On one of our rainy days, the boys were out etching each family name in a pumpkin so it grew as part of the pumpkin and appeared as a scar on the skin. Unfortunately not all of them worked this year - as Steve said some of you will get a pumpkin with 'invisible ink" because yours was rotting in the field. Don't worry we will have more pumpkins for you next week.

On one of our rainy days, the boys were out etching each family name in a pumpkin so it grew as part of the pumpkin and appeared as a scar on the skin. Unfortunately not all of them worked this year – as Steve said some of you will get a pumpkin with ‘invisible ink” because those pumpkins did not make it, and we are terribly sad that happened. Don’t worry we will have more pumpkins for you next week.

Sam with his name pumpkin.

Sam with his name pumpkin. The names were etched using wood carving tools had made by Steve’s great grandpa.

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. 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.  Thank you for your support of our CSA. Enjoy the produce!

Black Seeded Simpson, Prizehead and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – The new crop is in. The ran sure went hard on it the last few days.

Kale – I use the Kale in moderation in my salads. It adds some beautiful color and more nutrients to the dish.

Green Beans – Jade green beans. Are you tired of green beans but you would like to preserve them to use this winter? Check out how to blanch them here.

These were some large beets! Larger than the boys' hands.

These were some large beets! Larger than the boys’ hands.

Beets –  Detroit Dark Red Beets in your box. Boil on your stove top for about 1/2 hour – take them out of the water, using a paper towel gently rub the paper towel over the beet and the skins will come right off, slice into pieces and serve with butter. Slice them and freeze for an easy accompaniment to a meal this winter or cut into chunks and place in Ziploc bag to use in homemade soup this winter. 

Carrots – Nantes carrots or purple carrots  – Do you cook the carrots and the family doesn’t eat them all? I will place the left overs in the blender and then freeze that mixture in ice cube trays. Once frozen, store in a bag in the freezer. I will then use one or two “cubes” of frozen carrots in my spaghetti sauce or in

TomatoesA variety of 4th of July Hybrid, Sweet Tangerine Hybrid, Roma and Sun Gold Hybrid tomatoes.

Peppers A variety of peppers in our boxes today. You have sweet cherry stuffer hybrid pepper, sweet thunderbolt hybrid pepper and green peppers in your box. You also have the option of some hot dragon cayenne peppers.

Garlic – Enjoy the fresh garlic. I use a hand-held garlic press to crush and peel my garlic. It is awesome and definitely the tool of the week! Here are some garlic recipes to check out.

Onions –  Walla Walla onions and Mars/Mercury red onion

Butternut Squash – My favorite squash. Check out the recipes from Martha Stewart.

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash It was suggested that we try cooking the squash in the microwave and that worked slick. We tried this recipe from Taste of Home and liked it.

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.

Spaghetti Squash – I love using this squash instead of regular spaghetti. Better Homes and Gardens shared ways to cook and prepare this squash. This  week we are going to try either Rachel Ray’s recipe or toss with butter and Parmesan.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash –  Check out squash soup recipes.

Red Norland Potatoes – Red Norland potatoes are versatile potatoes – great for boiling, potato salad, and I have had success with them as French fries.

Kennebec Potatoes – Great baking potato.

Cilantro, Basil and Parsley – Plenty to share – take a snip or a plant home and freeze or dry the herb for use in stews, etc during the rest of the year. Here are some more ideas on how to preserve herbs.

Pumpkin – Name pumpkins

Flower of the Week – gourds

The first round of gourds have been harvested. A lot of fun differences.

The first round of gourds have been harvested. A lot of fun differences.

Recipe of the Week

This is a family favorite – super easy and moist. If I don’t have a lot of time I will make them as muffins instead of the bread.

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

State Fair Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 cup flour

1 ½ cup sugar

1/3 cup butter softened

1 teaspoon soda

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cloves

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup cold water

1 cup canned pumpkin (I use my prepared butternut squash which has been mixed with butter and brown sugar.

 

Combine flour, sugar, butter, soda, spices and salt in bowl. Add 1/3 cup cold water, eggs and pumpkin; mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack.

 Source: Minnesota 4-H Blue Ribbon Favorites Cookbook – Pat Kuznik recipe

Preserving your Produce

Preserving your Produce

The boys were busy teaching friends how to dig potatoes. A skill both boys take for granted.

The boys were busy teaching friends how to dig potatoes. A skill both boys take for granted.

We are “digging” into the harvest literally. Many potatoes, pumpkins and more will come out this weekend. We love the colors and seeing the fruits of our labor. Throughout the season, we want to provide you our shareholders with the opportunity to learn something more. As noted above, the boys have been teaching others how to harvest vegetables this season. A skill that we take for granted.

Also, I know it takes an effort to figure out how to preserve the vegetables that we are giving you. We are sharing a few ideas below. Don’t be afraid to email or text if you have a question when you are in the kitchen or trying to figure out how to prepare one of the vegetables. I enjoy visiting with all of you as each of you share different ways you are utilizing the produce. I take the experience and knowledge you share with me so that I can then reshare help the other shareholders.

Many thanks for the opportunity to grow for you. We all enjoy seeing youGood luck with preserving the produce to use in your kitchen throughout the year.

Garden Science

4 O'clocks were planted in our garden to help draw in beneficial insects to eat the bad insects. The great thing about these flowers is they self seed. Look closely by the flower and you will see the black dot which is the seed that forms after the flower dies. The seeds will fall out onto the ground and many end up lodged in the soil and then begin to grow next spring.

4 o’clock were planted in our garden to help draw in beneficial insects to eat the bad insects. The great thing about these flowers is that they self seed. Look closely by the pink flower, and you will see the black dot which is the seed that forms after the flower dies. The seeds will fall out onto the ground and many end up lodged in the soil, and then begin to grow next spring.

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. 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.  Thank you for your support of our CSA. Enjoy the produce!

Black Seeded Simpson, Prizehead and Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – The new crop is in. The ran sure went hard on it the last few days.

Kale – I use the Kale in moderation in my salads. It adds some beautiful color and more nutrients to the dish.

Green Beans – Jade green beans. Are you tired of green beans but you would like to preserve them to use this winter? Check out how to blanch them here.

Beets –  Detroit Dark Red Beets in your box. Boil on your stove top for about 1/2 hour – take them out of the water, using a paper towel gently rub the paper towel over the beet and the skins will come right off, slice into pieces and serve with butter. Slice them and freeze for an easy accompaniment to a meal this winter or cut into chunks and place in Ziploc bag to use in homemade soup this winter. 

Carrots – Nantes carrots – Do you cook the carrots and the family doesn’t eat them all? I will place the left overs in the blender and then freeze that mixture in ice cube trays. Once frozen, store in a bag in the freezer. I will then use one or two “cubes” of frozen carrots in my spaghetti sauce or in

TomatoesA variety of 4th of July Hybrid, Sweet Tangerine Hybrid and Sun Gold Hybrid tomatoes.

Hot Dragon Cayenne Peppers

Hot Dragon Cayenne Peppers on the verge of turning red.

Peppers The peppers are really starting to come in. You have sweet cherry stuffer hybrid pepper and green peppers in your box. You also have the option of some hot dragon cayenne peppers.

Garlic – Enjoy the fresh garlic. I use a hand-held garlic press to crush and peel my garlic. It is awesome and definitely the tool of the week! Here are some garlic recipes to check out.

Onions –  yellow candy onions – last of the first crop – look for the second crop next week.

Butternut Squash – My favorite squash. Check out the recipes from Martha Stewart.

Spaghetti Squash – I love using this squash instead of regular spaghetti. Better Homes and Gardens shared ways to cook and prepare this squash. This  week we are going to try either Rachel Ray’s recipe or toss with butter and Parmesan.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash –  Check out some squash soup recipes.

Zucchini – The zucchini is at the end of its season. Uff da what a season that was!

Red Norland Potatoes – Red Norland potatoes are versatile potatoes – great for boiling, potato salad, and I have had success with them as French fries.

Kennebec Potatoes – Great baking potato.

Cilantro, Basil and Parsley – Plenty to share – take a snip or a plant home and freeze or dry the herb for use in stews, etc during the rest of the year. Here are some more ideas on how to preserve herbs.

Hydrangeas and Sedums are tonight's arrangement.

Hydrangeas and Sedums are tonight’s arrangement.

Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas and Sedums

Recipe of the Week

Summer Squash Soup

5 small yellow summer squash, seeded and cubed

2 green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1. In a large saucepan, saute squash and onions in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Cool slightly. Process in batches in a blender; return all to the pan. Stir in cream and heat through.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash - I always wipe them down with a Chlorox wipe before I cut them.

Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – I always wipe them down with a Clorox wipe before I cut them.

Take your Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash, cut down the middle and peel the outside - I used both a knife and a peeler.

Take your Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash, cut down the middle and peel the outside – I used both a knife and a peeler.

Inside of the summer squash before removing the seeds.

Inside of the summer squash before removing the seeds.

Using a spoon, I then removed the seeds.

Using a spoon, I then removed the seeds by scooping them out.

Cut into cubes about 1/2 - 1 inch in size.

Cut into cubes about 1/2 – 1 inch in size.

Place in pan with chicken broth, butter, onion and garlic.

In a large saucepan, saute squash and onions in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.

 

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Puree the mixture.

Cool slightly. Process in batches in a blender; return all to the pan. Stir in cream and heat through.

Place back in your pan, add cream, salt and pepper and warm the soup up. Serve with crackers if desired. We enjoyed this soup with Townhouse Crackers.

Serve with crackers if desired. We enjoyed this soup with Townhouse Crackers.

 

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. Butternut squash is in your boxes this week.

Butternut Squash - Before cooking I take a Chlorox wipe and wipe off the outside. I then cut the squash lengthwise down the center and place the cut side down in the pan. I do NOT peel nor remove the seeds.

Butternut Squash – Before cooking I take a Clorox wipe and wipe off the outside. I then cut the squash lengthwise down the center and place the cut side down in the pan. I do NOT peel nor remove the seeds.

*Cut squash in 1/2 (do NOT remove skin or seeds). Place cut side down in cake pan.

Note: I will do several squash at one time so I only have this mess once, and I have squash to last the rest of the year.

*Add about 1 inch depth of water.

*Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour. I will often times leave my squash in the oven for 2 hours.

*Take out of oven.

*Take a knife and gently peel back the skin.

* Flip the squash over and scoop out seeds. The seeds can be kept and roasted.

*Place squash in another bowl.

I have doubled the recipe in this picture:
Add:
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar

 

Using a mixer, blend together until smooth. Serve or freeze.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the squash into cupcake tins. Freeze squash in cupcake pans.

Once frozen. Pop out of your cupcake pan and place in Ziploc bags. I use this squash as my “pumpkin” in pumpkin recipes such as pumpkin breads etc.