Wrapping up the Season

Wrapping up the Season

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The pumpkins will be available next week.

It’s hard to believe with the heat we’ve had in September that some areas of the country are receiving snow. Mother Nature once again reminds us that it is time to wrap up the growing season.

Last weekend, we spent a good share of time harvesting which included using lights from tractors and flashlights to finish jobs. Farm size doesn’t matter…Mother Nature holds us all accountable. When it’s time to wrap up, you do what you can to get the job done.

As we work to wrap-up the harvest, it’s also a time of reflection on the growing season, and its ups and downs. For example, the pumpkins and squash growing seasons were tough. We replanted those crops at least three times. Even though the seeds, growing conditions and weather were cooperative, they didn’t all perform for some reason or another.

As I visited with my dad who has farmed for over 55 years, he reassured me that sometimes the seeds didn’t perform for him either for one reason or another and sometimes you just don’t know. You can’t control everything. There are a lot of unknowns in agriculture. You can rest assured that end outcomes in life are in God’s hands and not ours.

So another paralleled life lesson for our kids. You need to reflect, learn from the situations, regroup and come back to do better the next time. Always striving to do better.

Garden Science

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As we were harvesting the ornamental corn, we found this immature ear (the female flower of the plant). This shows how each silk (female tube/transport system) of an ear of corn is attached to a kernel (the ovule or potential kernels). The silk must be pollinated by the tassel (male part located at the top of the plant) of the corn, the pollen falls and attaches to the silk which carries the male genetics to fertilize and create the baby kernel on the cob. Source: Agronomy Library Channel Seed

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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Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – The last crop of lettuce is coming in. It should love this cold weather. 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. A new crop should be in next week.

Red Salad Bowl Lettuce – New crop – Beautiful color.

Spinach – New crop – Mix together with the above lettuces for a beautiful colored salad.

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Green Beans growing on the plant.

Green Beans – If you are looking for canning quantities, we have plenty. Did you know that green beans are more nutritious for you eaten raw?

Purple Vienna Kohlrabi – Try these ideas from Martha Stewart.

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Dark Red Detroit Beets

Detroit Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders enjoy eating them raw in their salads.

Green Bell Peppers – Learn how to make stuffed peppers here.

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

Cherry Stuffer Hybrid sweet peppers – These are the small, round red peppers.

Onion – Wondering what to do with all of your onions? I cut mine up using my Pampered Chef chopper, place in Ziploc bags and place in the freezer. That way, my onions are always handy for recipes throughout the year.

Tomatoes – This is the end of the tomatoes this season. We hope you were able to take advantage of the bounty.

Cilantro – Learn how to preserve your herbs for use later in the year from Martha Stewart.

Cucumbers – Enjoy the end of the season cucumber. We will have more next week.

Radishes – It is a cool season crop which is just starting to produce. Look for more next week.

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Rutabaga

Rutabaga – A shareholder requested we try these. Check out these different ways to prepare them from Martha Stewart.

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Carrots

Carrots – See how carrots are grown in Georgia on America’s Heartland.

Spaghetti Squash – The first bush spaghetti squash. Fruits may be stored for early winter use. This video shows how to cook this squash.

wp-image-563977452Red Kuri Squash – This squash commands your attention with the fruits’ color and succulent flesh. Red Kuri’s bright scarlet tear-drop-shaped fruits are packed with dense flesh that’s good roasted or in soups.

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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.

Peter Pan, Scallop Squash – This squash is a circular scalloped summer squash. Distinctive, delicious, and sweet flavor. It is not necessary to peel this squash before eating it. Cut it up like you would zucchini to grill it. Or use the larger ones as decoration for the fall season.

Summer Squash, Golden Egg Hybrid – Wash it cut up, no need to peel, use on the grill or eat raw. This squash has truly had staying power this growing season.

Zucchini – This crop is coming to an end.

Purple potatoes – The skin and flesh of this potato is purple. Great fun for french fries, potato salads and mixed vegetable dishes. Anthocyanin is a pigment that creates the purple color in the potatoes and also acts as an antioxidant.

Kennebec potatoes – Excellent for baked potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes – Dusky red-skinned Beauregard is the most widely grown commercial cultivar. I know that my friends in North Carolina are far more experienced than I in preparing sweet potatoes. So check out this resource.

Flower of the Week – Corn shocks, ornamental corn and gourds

Recipe of the Week

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Pumpkin Bread is a favorite. I use butternut squash that I have cooked and frozen as my “pumpkin” in this recipe. It works great!

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 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

Look Beyond

Look Beyond

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Huge tomatoes

Do you ever find yourself rushing through life trying to live it to the fullest while finding a way to be present in the moment? Unfortunately, so many of us are guilty of that. Thank goodness our kids have a way of reminding us to slow down and take a look around us.

Last night as we harvested tomatoes, we were working quickly to complete this project before sunset. Sam was taking his time and having fun along the way finding unique and interesting tomato shapes. He would insist that we stop what we were doing and really look and see the interesting tomato that he had found.

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Double delicious tomatoes

Some of the tomatoes that he found were obviously unique while others did cause you to pause and to genuinely see it through his eyes. It is times like this when I am so extremely grateful for many things, but I am most thankful that God sent us sons to have us stop, pause and genuinely slow down to take a look at the unique surprises that God has in store for us.

As you rush into your week, don’t forget to pause and genuinely look beyond what you see and look for the unique finds that are right in front of you.

Garden Science

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Sam opened up a tomato and saw that it was starting to turn color on the inside first before turning red on the outside.

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 – 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. A new crop should be in next week.

Red Salad Bowl Lettuce – Beautiful color.

Spinach and Beet Greens – Mix together with the above lettuces for a beautiful colored salad.

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Purple beans are in your box this week. They grow from these pretty purple flowers.

Green and Purple Beans – Check out this recipe, and how green beans are raised in other areas of the U.S.on America’s Heartland. A few of you have some purple beans mixed in with the green beans.

Purple Vienna Kohlrabi – Peel it like an apple and eat it and enjoy dipping it into peanut butter.

Detroit Dark Red Beets -Some of our shareholders enjoy eating them raw in their salads.

Green Bell Peppers Here is a general background article about peppers. The most common colors of bell peppers are green, yellow, orange and red. More rarely, brown, white, lavender, and dark purple peppers can be seen, depending on the variety. Red bell peppers are simply ripened green peppers. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest fruits are allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage is less sweet.

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

peppers

Peppers

Cherry Stuffer Hybrid sweet peppers – These are the small, round red peppers.

Onion – Wondering what to do with all of your onions? I cut mine up using my Pampered Chef chopper, place in Ziploc bags and place in the freezer. That way, my onions are always handy for recipes throughout the year.

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Just a few tomatoes this week. Canning quantities are available. We picked 209 pounds of tomatoes plus the cherry tomatoes that were not included in the final tally. Math at work…approximately how much did each box of tomatoes weight?

Tomatoes – Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, Brandywine, Romas, Big Boys and Fourth of July (medium-sized) tomatoes. Enjoy the flavor. If you are considering canning quantities or wanting to freeze some for this winter, let us know.

Cucumbers – Did you know? Cucumbers are one of the earliest domesticated vegetables. It was adopted around 4 thousand years ago and was used not only for eating but also in medicine. Cucumbers are the 4th most cultivated vegetable in the world.

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Carrots

Carrots – Did you know…The carrot is usually orange in color although purple, red, white, and yellow varieties also exist. The domesticated carrot that we know today originated from the wild carrot called Daucus carota which was native to Europe and south western Asia.

Peter Pan, Scallop Squash – This squash is a circular scalloped summer squash. Distinctive, delicious, and sweet flavor.  It is not necessary to peel this squash before eating it. Cut it up like you would zucchini to grill it.

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Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash growing on the plant.

Summer Squash, Golden Egg Hybrid – Are you wondering how to use this summer squash – see how to cut it up here. Golden Egg’s a picture-perfect gourmet sensation-with succulent flavor and texture.

Zucchini – Try this zucchini boat recipe from Taste of Home or these recipes from Martha Stewart. 

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors, the Peterson family, for contributing the sweet corn in this week’s box. Did you know that Minnesota ranks number one in the production of sweet corn for processing. Sweet corn is different from field corn.

Viking RedThe Viking are the red skinned potatoes and work well as boiled or mashed potatoes.

20170816_170258_1502927389639 (2)Flowers – Hydrangeas, Rudbeckia, Sunflowers, Zinnias and Coreopsis

 

Recipe of the Week

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Basil Butter sample was part of your share this week. If you did not get yours, please let us know. You can pick it up next week.

Basil Butter

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a small bowl, combine butter and fresh basil; season generously with coarse salt and ground pepper. Stir until combined.

Transfer to an 11-by-10-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a cylinder, about 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter; twist ends to seal. Refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours. To serve, unwrap and slice crosswise.

Try this sweet-and-peppery butter on broiled or grilled white fish, on grilled steak or chicken, on corn on the cob or boiled potatoes, or with boiled green beans or peas.

Source: Martha Stewart

Attitude Determines Outcomes

Attitude Determines Outcomes

20170730_130824 (2)Our attitude often determines are outcomes. Do you ever wish you were doing a different job or task than what you have been asked to do? I think this happens to all of us.

Last night this happened when Steve and Sam both wished they were playing baseball instead of harvesting. But what happened was a pleasant surprise for all of us.

During our evening meal, we started a tradition we learned from a friend. We usually ask each other three questions: 1) What was your best part of your day? 2) Your worst part of the day? and 3) What can you improve on?

Often times, we find out more about each other during those discussions then some other conversations that we have. So, when these questions came up both Sam and Steve answered that their favorite part of the day was harvesting together that evening. They also said that it was the part that they really didn’t want to do.

They both decided to make the most of it and went to work to accomplish the task. They really enjoyed each other’s company, and the evening that was around them.

So, let your days not be crowded with cloudiness, but rather look for the opportunity and the sunshine that surrounds it.

Garden Science

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Did you know that of the 1,400 crops grown 80% depend upon pollinators? Source: USDA

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 – 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. A new crop should be in next week.

Red Salad Bowl Lettuce – Beautiful color.

Spinach and Kale – Mix together with the above lettuces for a beautiful colored salad.

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Purple green beans will soon be starting to grow from these pretty purple flowers.

Green BeansCheck out this recipe, and how green beans are raised in other areas of the U.S.on America’s Heartland. A few of you have some purple beans mixed in with the green beans.

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Purple Vienna Kohlrabi ready for harvest

Purple Vienna Kohlrabi – Peel it like an apple and eat it and enjoy dipping it into peanut butter.

Detroit Dark Red Beets -Some of our shareholders enjoy eating them raw in their salads.

Green Bell Peppers Here is a general background article about peppers. The most common colors of bell peppers are green, yellow, orange and red. More rarely, brown, white, lavender, and dark purple peppers can be seen, depending on the variety. Red bell peppers are simply ripened green peppers. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest fruits are allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage is less sweet.

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

Cherry Stuffer Hybrid sweet peppers – These are the small, round red peppers.

Onion – Wondering what to do with all of your onions? I cut mine up using my Pampered Chef chopper, place in Ziploc bags and place in the freezer. That way, my onions are always handy for recipes throughout the year.

Tomatoes – Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, Brandywine, Romas, Big Boys and Fourth of July (medium-sized) tomatoes. Enjoy the flavor. If you are considering canning quantities or wanting to freeze some for this winter, let us know.

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A new cucumber forming between the stem and the flower.

Cucumbers – Did you know? Cucumbers are one of the earliest domesticated vegetables. It was adopted around 4 thousand years ago and was used not only for eating but also in medicine. Cucumbers are the 4th most cultivated vegetable in the world.

 

Carrots – Did you know…The carrot is usually orange in color although purple, red, white, and yellow varieties also exist. The domesticated carrot that we know today originated from the wild carrot called Daucus carota which was native to Europe and south western Asia.

 

Broccoli – It appears some of these had a bit to much sun. Simply run the knife gently across the top, and you should be good to go. Did you know? Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable.

Peter Pan, Scallop Squash – This squash is a circular scalloped summer squash with light green 1-3″ fruits that’s meatier than most patty pans. Distinctive, delicious, and sweet flavor.  It is not necessary to peel this squash before eating it. Cut it up like you would zucchini to grill it.

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Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash growing on the plant.

Summer Squash, Golden Egg Hybrid Are you wondering how to use this summer squash – see how to cut it up here. Golden Egg’s a picture-perfect gourmet sensation-with succulent flavor and texture. As exquisite as a Faberge egg but so much tastier. Spherical, golden-yellow egg-shaped zucchini measures up to 5″ across, boasting delicious creamy flesh with hints of chartreuse. Try this variety in the soup recipe below.

Summer Squash Pic-n-Pic hybrid – Not in your box this week. But I was remiss in thanking the Pagel family for sharing this with us. Get to know the Pagels.

Zucchini – Try this zucchini boat recipe from Taste of Home or these recipes from Martha Stewart. 

Viking Red and/or Yukon Potatoes – The Viking are the red skinned potatoes and work well as boiled or mashed potatoes. Yukon (brown-skinned) are known for their versatility. I prefer them as baked potatoes or French fries.

Cilantro – Freeze and use in your salsa recipes later this year.

cropped-20170816_170258_1502927389639-2.jpgFresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas, Rudbeckia, Sunflowers, Zinnias and Coreopsis

 

Recipe of the Week

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Summer Squash Soup – a delicious option for this vegetable. I also will place extra in muffin tins and freeze. Once frozen, I will remove from the tin and place in a labeled container to use for a quick meal.

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. Yield: 6 servings.

Source: Taste of Home

 

Angels in the Garden

Angels in the Garden

As we returned home from our travels around the 4th of July and over the weekend, the weeds had found a new foothold and had once again felt like they were “taking over.” This is quite frustrating when you try to manage the pests appropriately so the crops can thrive.

But while I was weeding, the story of the “The Parable of the Weeds” from Mathew 13:24-43 came to mind. The story basically boils down to my comparative…the weeds are from the devil, and the crops are angels sent to earth to do good will – nourishing others. I recognize that this is an interpretation into a larger lesson. But what I can tell you, it is like seeing angels when you see the crop with no weeds in it.

The good news…we are seeing new vegetables on the verge of harvest such as green tomatoes, a variety of peppers, green beans, cucumbers and summer squash. So here’s hoping to seeing more angels in the garden.

Garden Science

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Did you know that one-third of our food production requires pollinators. A loss of beneficial insects means losing important agricultural services such as crop pollination and pest control. Look closely and see the pollinators at work in the garden. Yes, Sam spotted this and captured the photo.

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 – A taste this week of the new crop. 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.

Spinach – A new crop will be available next week.

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Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale – Mix it in your salads for a variety of texture and color. Learn about the nutritional value of Kale here and check out some ways to use kale.

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Grand Duke Kohlrabi

Grand Duke Kohlrabi – We are excited to start harvesting kohlrabi. It has taken a while for this crop to become popular in our house and now we love it peeled like an apple and eaten raw and even dipped in peanut butter. Here are some more ideas on how to use it.

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Purple Kohlrabi

Purple Kohlrabi – This crop is just coming in. Enjoy in your salad or cut them up like an apple and dip into peanut butter.

peas (2)

Sugar Snap Pea flower that will grow into a pea pod.

Sugar Snap Peas – This crop has been a bit stubborn this year. Glad that we have a taste for you this week. Good thing we love the taste of this crop, so we are persistent with having positive results.

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Dark Red Detroit Beets

Detroit Dark Red Beets – The beets are starting to grow well. Learn how to cook these vegetables in the microwave.

Banana Pepper –  Look for more pepper varieties soon. Cut these up and Try these in your salad or in scrambled eggs.

Onion – The onions are looking great. Enjoy! Check out how onions are grown and harvested for the grocery store.

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Swiss Chard

 

Swiss Chard – A new vegetable that we grew for you this year. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts. Here is some more information on swiss chard.

Cilantro – Fresh cilantro has such a wonderful aroma. Try a cilantro dressing on your salad this week.

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Zinnias

Fresh cut arrangement – Lilly’s, Sweat Peas, Zinnias and Coreopsis

Recipe of the Week

Swiss Chard is a new adventure for our family. Below is the recipe we tried this week. Please feel free to share your favorite recipes. We’d love to share them with others.

1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, sliced

Pinch of dried crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds (optional)

-Prep the chard stalks and leaves: Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Either tear or cut away the thick stalks from the leaves.

-Cut the stalk pieces into 1-inch pieces. Chop the leaves into inch-wide strips. Keep the stalks and leaves separate.

-Sauté garlic and crushed red pepper flakes: Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add garlic slices, crushed red pepper, and coriander seeds (if using), and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.

3 Add Swiss chard stalks: Add the chopped Swiss chard stalks. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

swiss chard cooked

Swiss Chard cooked

 

 

 

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!

 

Weather Extremes

Weather Extremes

Inspecting the water tank which holds our rain water captured from one of our buildings. This water is used for irrigating our crops through a gravity flow, drip irrigation system.

The boys inspected the water tank which holds our rain water captured from one of our buildings. This water is used for irrigating our crops through a gravity flow, drip irrigation system.

This past week has provided weather extremes from hot and humid last week in the mid 90’s and so humid you were drenched in sweat standing there. Yet at the same time our crops were dry, and we needed to irrigate some of the vines and tomatoes.

Inspecting the drip irrigation line to make sure the plants were receiving water.

Inspecting the drip irrigation line to make sure the plants were receiving water.

To today, which is wet and cold with the highs in the mid to low 60s feeling like early October. Over the last few days beginning late Sunday until today, we have received around 1 and 8/10 inches of rain. We are very thankful for the nice moisture that was received, and the irrigation has been put to rest again.

These extremes do put stress on our crops. The most noticeable is our tomatoes. Even though we mulch them to help maintain even moisture levels. We have noticed that there is excessive splitting due to the extremes of humidity and moisture. It is a good reminder to us that Mother Nature is always in control. Don’t worry, there are still a lot of tomatoes for your enjoyment, and if you are in need of some for canning, let us know.

Garden Science

Well, this milk pumpkin experiment has been interesting. The week we started it a critter decided to dig both milk containers out of the ground. At first site, we thought it was a raccoon. After further evidence was uncovered in our yard, we believe it was our dog. So we started it again, covering it with rocks, far to heavy for either a raccoon or a dog to move.

Well, this milk pumpkin experiment has been interesting. The week we started it, a critter decided to dig both milk containers out of the ground. At first sight, we thought it was a raccoon. After further evidence was uncovered in our yard, we believe it was our dog. So we started it again, covering it with rocks, far to heavy for either a raccoon or a dog to move.

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 wash your vegetables before eating.

Lettuce and Spinach – A break from this crop this week. We should have a new crop in next week. The weather should lend itself to good growing conditions for it.

Kale

This is the last of the first crop of carrots. Math and measurements always seem to be part of our harvest. It measured in at about 8.25 inches.

This is the last of the first crop of carrots. Math and measurements always seem to be part of our harvest. It measured in at about 8.25 inches.

Carrots – Here is a good link to carrot recipes.

Picking peas is more laborious then one realizes. These recycled fences from my parent's farm work great for the peas to grow on and help tremendously with the harvest.

Picking peas is more laborious than one realizes. These recycled fences from my parent’s farm work great for the peas to grow on and help tremendously with the harvest.

Sugar Snap Peas – Our third crop of peas. The heat, humidity and rain is speeding this crop along. Enjoy!

Broccoli – Have you been searching for new things to do with this vegetable. Here are a few ideas.

Kohlrabi – Here are some ideas for using your Kohlrabi.

This beet weighed in at 2.5 pounds!

This beet weighed in at 2.5 pounds!

Beets – Larger beets are finally here.

I love how my kids notice things that I don't. This is one of them. The natural braid that occurs on the stem of an onion. Too cool and beautifully amazing!

I love how my kids notice things that I don’t. This is one of them. The natural braid that occurs on the stem of our yellow onions…too cool and beautifully amazing!

Yellow Onions – See how onions are raised by farmers in Idaho.

Cucumbers – Plenty of cucumbers. Think about trying the sweet refrigerator pickle recipes below or try a refrigerator dill pickle recipe from Taste of Home or canned dill pickle recipe.

Peppers – A variety abound – enjoy!

Tomatoes – Tomato varieties included in your boxes: Yellow Girls, Honey Delights, Big Boys, Roma, Fourth of July, Big Mammas, Honey Delights, Amish Paste and cherry tomatoes.

Keith looks like he is jumping on a pogo stick, but it is indeed a potato fork.

Keith looks like he is jumping on a pogo stick, but it is indeed a potato fork.

Potatoes – Yukon Gold and All Blue Potato – We made French Fries out of the blue potatoes – lots of fun with the kids.

Sweet Corn – One of my favorites. I usually simply throw it on the grill with my meat, and they are done at about the same time. Here’s how I grill sweet corn.

CilantroEnjoy in salsas, fajitas, eggs and more. Learn more about cilantro here.

Fresh cut arrangement – A variety from sunflowers, Rudbeckia, straw flowers, marigolds and zinnias.

Recipe of the Week

Sweet Pickles

In an effort to use up the bountiful harvest of cucumbers, I went out of my comfort zone and made sweet refrigerator pickles. Below are the two that we tried. Steve thought they were both delicious recipes.

To make both recipes we pulled out this handy tooled to slice up the cucumbers. This was given to us from Steve's side of the family and something his great-grandpa had made and used with their garden produce. The boys felt very grown-up using this.

To make both recipes, we pulled out this handy tooled to slice up the cucumbers. This was given to us from Steve’s side of the family and something his great-grandpa had made and used with their garden produce. The boys felt very grown-up using this.

Many people I know use an ice cream pail with a lid for their refrigerator pickles. We decided to use jars, so that we could give them away as gifts and store them more easily in our refrigerator. When filling the jars, we used a knife to help encourage the cucumbers into the jars.

Many people I know use an ice cream pail with a lid for their refrigerator pickles. We decided to use jars, so that we could give them away as gifts and store them more easily in our refrigerator. When filling the jars, we used a knife to help encourage the cucumbers into the jars.

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles 6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers 2 cups thinly sliced onions 1-1/2 cups sugar 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed 1/2 teaspoon celery seed 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Yield: 6 cups. Source: Taste of Home

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Yield: 6 cups.
Source: Taste of Home

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles Recipe adapted from Jane Reslock Feist 2 pounds cucumbers, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal (about 8 cups) 1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced 1 inch thick 2 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal Coarse salt 2 cups sugar 1 cup cider vinegar 1 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon mustard seed In a colander set over a medium bowl, toss cucumbers, onion, and celery stalks with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Set aside to drain, 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. In a small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, and mustard seed; stir until sugar is dissolved. Divide cucumber mixture among clean jars or airtight containers, and pour vinegar mixture over. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (or up to 2 weeks). Source: Martha Stewart

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
Recipe adapted from Jane Reslock Feist
2 pounds cucumbers, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal (about 8 cups)
1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced 1 inch thick
2 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal
Coarse salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
In a colander set over a medium bowl, toss cucumbers, onion, and celery stalks with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Set aside to drain, 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. In a small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, and mustard seed; stir until sugar is dissolved. Divide cucumber mixture among clean jars or airtight containers, and pour vinegar mixture over. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (or up to 2 weeks).
Source: Martha Stewart

On his way to harvest, what a beautiful view.

On his way to harvest, what a beautiful view.

We spent a lot of time catching up to the growth in the garden: installing a fence to protect the sweet corn from raccoons, moving fence for peas to grow on and planting the final crops of lettuces, spinach, sugar snap peas and carrots. As well as, a lot of weed control and insect management.

The boys learned how to install electric fence this week around the sweet corn in order to protect the crop from raccoons. Thanks to my parents for upcycling this nice solar powered fencer!

The boys learned how to install electric fence this week around the sweet corn in order to protect the crop from raccoons. Thanks to my parents for upcycling this nice solar-powered fencer!

We also installed a fence for the third crop of sugar snap peas to climb up. This greatly assists in harvesting ease. A fourth and final crop was planted of sugar snap peas. We also planted another crop of lettuce, carrots and spinach.

We also installed a fence for the third crop of sugar snap peas to climb up. This greatly assists in harvesting ease. A fourth and final crop was planted of sugar snap peas. We also planted the third crop of lettuce, carrots and spinach.

We received 1.8 inches of rain on Thursday and Friday. We had driving rain on Friday night, and we’re fortunate that is all we received. Other areas of the state saw a cruel side of Mother Nature.

There are many Golden Nuggets from the opportunity to work with all of you. One of them for us is watching our kids confidently share their story of how they raise the crops, and the opportunities and challenges that they see in the field. In the end, we hope the boys understand that it is not what you reap (grow and harvest) but it’s what you sow (the seeds of knowledge and understanding) that is the true reward. Thanks again for the opportunity to work with all of you!

When we have an oversupply of vegetables, Harner Brothers CSA donates them to the local food shelf. It's important to us to teach the importance of caring for others and sharing when we can.

When we have an oversupply of vegetables, Harner Brothers CSA donates them to the local food shelf. It’s important to us to teach the importance of caring for others and sharing when we can.

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 – 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 wash your vegetables before eating.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Beautiful red lettuce leaf.

Spinach – Remember to wash before eating. A combination of these vegetables will make a wonderful meal!

Beets – A taste to start the season. We are thinning out the rows so that the beet plants remaining can grow larger.

Onions

Zucchini and Summer Squash – Some ideas for using your zucchini...

Harvesting cucumbers has begun. We have the cucumbers climb up the fence so that when the cucumbers grow that they hang down through the fence and help to keep the cucumbers clean. This is some "recycled" fence from my parent's farm. It works great!

Harvesting cucumbers has begun. We have the cucumbers climb up the fence so that when the cucumbers grow that they hang down through the fence and help to keep the cucumbers clean. This is some “recycled” fence from my parent’s farm. It works great!

Cucumbers – These are the first of the season. We have two varieties planted – look for more in the coming weeks.

Just a few carrots.

Just a few carrots.

Carrots – Learn more about carrots.

Sugar Snap Peas – This is the second crop of peas. We planted to fourth crop this week so that you can enjoy this vegetable throughout the season.

Come on out and harvest a few green beans. This is the view you will find.

Come on out and harvest a few green beans. This is the view you will find.

Green Beans – This crop is bountiful. We do have dill if you wish to pickle some.

Purple Beans

Purple Beans

Purple Beans – Enjoy the fun color.

Kohlrabi

Kale – Some Kale ideas from P. Allen Smith.

CilantroEnjoy in salsas, fajitas, eggs and more. Learn more about cilantro here.

Fresh cut arrangement – A variety from sunflowers, zinnias, bee balm, lilies and more.

Garden Science

Have you ever noticed that corn tassels (sweet corn vs. field corn vs ornamental corn vs popcorn) are different colors. Next time you drive by a field of corn notice the color of the tassel - field corn. This is an ornamental corn tassel - notice the purple in it.

Have you ever noticed that corn tassels (sweet corn vs. field corn vs ornamental corn vs popcorn) are different colors. Next time you drive by a field of corn notice the color of the tassel – field corn. This is an ornamental corn tassel – notice the purple in it.

The sweet corn tassel is a lighter yellow. Notice the differences - Mother Nature truly produces amazing colors.

The sweet corn tassel is a lighter yellow. Notice the differences – Mother Nature truly produces amazing colors.

Recipe of the Week

Short and sweet recipe.  When grilling pheasant, turkey and chicken, I like to baste with melted butter and honey and place any herb on top of it. Turn once. Grill to an internal temp of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Short and sweet recipe. When grilling pheasant, turkey and chicken, I like to baste with melted butter and honey and place any herb on top of it. Turn once. Grill to an internal temp of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.