Belief

Belief

This week has been “fair recovery week” in our house. We were blessed to have our county fair in person providing the boys the opportunity to have their 4-H projects judged in person and to display their projects at the county fair.

Every year leading up to and during the county fair, there are parental peaks and valleys. It would be so much easier as a parent to decide that our family just didn’t have time for 4-H and the county fair.

As parents and 4-H volunteers, Steve and I have a strong belief in the positive outcomes we see our kids experience because of the opportunities they have through 4-H. At the end of the fair, we as a family reflect upon what experiences we were grateful for during our county fair 4-H experience.

It never ceases to amaze me how much personal growth comes from these experiences. To us it is not about the purple ribbon, it is about growing purple ribbon kids. Two key take aways from this year:

“These are some of my favorite days of the summer and favorite parts of 4-H: General project interviews and showing my animals and talking to the judges.”

“I really enjoyed getting to know the other 4-Hers and their families.”

If you have wondered if 4-H is for you…you should quite wondering and join. Participate in ways that work for your family. It is not just for farm kids. There is opportunity for everyone. It is a safe place for kids to learn and explore their interests through project experiences and learning experiences.

The 4-H Pledge

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

Garden Science

The Japanese Beatles have been doing quite a bit of damage this year. Isn’t amazing to see how they eat the leaves of the plants and destroy the plants’ opportunity to survive.

Japanese Beetles are making their presence known and a detriment to a variety of crops. Learn more from the University of Wisconsin Extension.

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. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures.

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.

FanciPak Cucumbers – great for canning into pickles. We have them growing up an angled fence so they grow down and are easier to harvest and cleaner at harvest time with less chance of a soil borne plant disease.

Cucumbers – The cucumbers are just starting to come in. Check out Pioneer Woman’s cucumber sandwich recipe.

Onions – Fresh Walla Walla Onions

French Breakfast Radish/Cherry Belle Radish – We are at the end of the radish crops for a little while.

Super Sugar Snap Peas – This will be the end of the first crop of peas. We hope to have the second crop available next week.

Green Beans growing from the flowers of the plant.

Green Beans – I am sure glad we are seeing some green beans on these plants. Enjoy fresh or cooked.

Carrots – The drought is having an effect on the growth of a variety of crops especially carrots.

Sunburst Summer Squash

Summer Squash – Zucchini, Peter Pan and Sunburst varieties. TIP: use your summer squash like your zucchini. None of these need to be peeled when using them.

Sunflowers, Zinnias and Hydrangeas – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded zucchini

1-1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

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

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

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

Source: Taste of Home

Continual Learning

Continual Learning

Life is full of new surprises and trying new things. This week, the boys were station leaders as our county and a neighboring county hosted an 4-H Agricultural Adventures day camp. While the boys have lead agriculture in the classroom activities in a variety of settings, this was a new experience. They taught kids how to plant seeds, plant identification, what parts of the plant we eat and about poultry, laying hens and turkeys.

So often, we are so closely tied to what we do that we take our knowledge for granted. We don’t realize the positive impact that we can have with others if we simply share our knowledge. Shortly after the camp, one of the boys’ friend was at our place and was asking about what the different plants were in the garden. The curiosity to know where and how your food is grown is natural, and we are privileged to share what we know with others.

On the flip side, we are also continually learning. Steve grew turnips when he was growing up. I on the other hand, never experienced them. Shareholders requested turnips so we grew them. Great news, they grow well in dry conditions! The other great news…I love hearing from all of you how you plan to use them.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatama Gandhi

If you haven’t seen the kittens when you are out. Come early to snuggle with a few of these farm kittens. Interesting fact: when these kittens were meowing, Keith had them hug, and they stopped. The power of a hug!

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. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in 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.

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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

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

Spinach and Beet Leaves– Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy. Try this salad.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

Detroit Dark Red Beets

Beets – Detroit Dark Red Beets – eat them raw in a salad or boil them. Learn more here from Spend with Pennies.

Carrots

Carrots – Believe it or not, I was enjoying a carrot for breakfast at about 6 a.m. Who knew they would ever be delicious at that time. Learn more about carrot harvest from America’s Heartland.

Turnips

Turnips – Learn how to use this root vegetable and its leaves here from Country Living.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. The dry weather is making this crop unpredictable. Check out these recipes from Martha Stewart.

Cherry Belle Radish – Add great flavor and color to a salad. My mom loves a radish sandwich…sliced radishes between two slices of buttered bread.

Hostas with variety of Tiger Lillies and Hydrangeas – These should brighten up your home.

Recipe of the Week

A favorite memory of mine when I think of rhubarb sticky buns or rhubarb cinnamon rolls is of a friend and mentor Ruth Shepard. While I met Ruth through Farm Bureau, her skill sets of a 4-H leader/mentor and her farm upbringing rang true when you met her. She was a wonderful cook, genuine laugh and love for life and the people she met. While this is not her recipe, it is a recipe that reminds me of her. May this recipe warm your heart and soul like Ruth’s friendship did to all that new her.

Homemade Rhubarb Sticky Buns

1 package (16 ounces) hot roll mix

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 cup warm water (120° to 130°)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup butter, softened, divided

2 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. In a large bowl, combine the contents of roll mix and yeast packets with 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir in the water, egg and 2 tablespoons butter to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, brown sugar, corn syrup and remaining butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 13×9-in. baking dish.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 15×10-in. rectangle. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough.

4. Roll-up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place cut side down over rhubarb sauce. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

5. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm.

Look for the Gift

Look for the Gift

This morning on my morning walk, I noticed some animals on the road. As I got closer, I noticed it was two does and a fawn. I wondered if I was quiet enough, if could I close the gap and get a closer look at them. As luck would have it, the does noticed me and went into the field, but the fawn was hesitant to go into the taller grass in the ditch. So it ran along on the shoulder of the road. A car drove by, and the fawn went into the ditch to hide. As I got closer to where it was hiding, the doe bleated and stamped her feet trying to distract me and warn the fawn. Even so, I was able to capture this photo.

Fawn near our home this morning.

Isn’t it a joy when we are able to experience the beauty God has around us? When we take time to notice the gifts and are able to experience the many gifts in their natural habitat. We need to pause and take it in and appreciate the gift we have been given.

In some ways, life appears to be getting back to a glimpse of pre-covid normal. But what have we learned from what we have experienced? For us, it was a reminder to pause, take it in and appreciate the gifts that are around us.

We appreciate the opportunity to grow for you. It is a gift and a joy to work with all of you.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… James 1:17

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. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in 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.

The Harner Bros are the 5th generation to raise this rhubarb originally planted on the family farm near Tracy by their great-great grandparents after immigrating from Norway and transplanted to our home near Northfield.

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

Asparagus – Fresh cut asparagus from Lorence’s Berry Farm near Northfield. Check out America’s Heartland’s information on asparagus.

Spinach can be harvested many times from the same crop. You cut the leaves off of the plant, and they grow back. So we get several harvests from one planting.

Spinach – Love this in a salad by itself or in sandwiches. Wash it and enjoy.

Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – So grateful this crop seems to thrive on dry weather. Lovely color for sandwiches and salads. This crop was cooled with well water to take the field heat off. It was not washed.

French Radish – I never get tired of the beautiful colors of this crop.

French Breakfast Radish – Love the variegated look of this vegetable. This crop is coming to an end.

Cherry Belle Radish – Add great flavor and color to a salad. My mom loves a radish sandwich…sliced radishes between two slices of buttered bread.

Chives – Cut them up and use as you would onions. Add good flavor to a variety of dishes. Try the Pioneer Woman’s Cheddar Chive Biscuits.

Hostas with Weigela, Peonies, Asparagus greens – These should brighten up your home.

Herb Pots – choose from cilantro, basil, purple basil, oregano, thyme and parsley

Recipe of the Week

This is a family favorite. Quite honestly, I make a variety of these jams to last us the entire year.

After cooling it down in the refrigerator and then place in freezer after a day or two days. Enjoy!

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 Jell-O (use Jell-O that is of the same flavor as the pie filling).

Mix well. Pour into containers. Refrigerate or freeze.

Growth in Sight

Growth in Sight

June is upon us, and like you, we are anxious to see plant growth and move to the next steps…harvesting and eating! The lack of moisture slowed plant growth. So, the rainfall at the end of May was such a blessing, and the sight of plants emerging and growing is such a joy. A lot has been “growing on” at our place the past few months. Here is a glimpse of the activity. 

The planting is complete. Tomatoes, peppers and more were planted this week after the frost warnings. We plant them in the mulch to prevent soil-borne diseases, and it keeps the tomatoes and peppers clean.
I love looking at the seed potato bags and seeing where they were grown in Minnesota.
We finished planting the majority of the garden on April 25. The lack of moisture in May slowed the crop growth. The moisture we were grateful to receive the past two weeks has been very helpful. Above, Steve prepares the seed potatoes for planting.
Good news the rhubarb will be ready for you to enjoy.
The green beans have emerged. I always love seeing how the plant splits open the seed to emerge and extend it’s leaves as it grows. Those are dandelion seeds on the leaves.
Sam’s turkeys are growing like crazy, and he is enjoying learning from this 4-H project. They will be full grown in the middle to end of July. Let Sam know if you would be interested in learning more.
Keith’s meat chickens, broilers, are also growing fast. The added use of hormones as growth promotants in poultry and pork production is illegal in the U.S. Broilers have been selected to be naturally muscular. They just love to eat and grow.
Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the air. You can feel it in the warmer temperatures, the smell of the soil and the sound of the birds. There are a few other things that have us hopeful for 2021: seed catalogs, chicks and poults. While it may be easy to feel heavy laden with the pandemic still upon us, we are looking positively forward to the growing season. Here is a glimpse of what we have been up to.

“Spring – a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.” – author unknown

Spring is in the air. The joy that seed catalogs bring as we browse for new opportunities and crops. Looking forward with optimism is a great feeling.
Thanksgiving Prep

Thanksgiving Prep

While we have had some measurable snow this past month, we are grateful that it has melted. This morning view was breathtaking with ice coating the fence lines, grass and weeds. Sometimes, you need to just stop and enjoy the view.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are so grateful for the beautiful weather to accomplish more tasks in nice weather. What have we been up to this past month? We have been helping with the harvest at my parents’ farm. It is valuable for all of us to experience different types of agriculture to grow our knowledge and experiences. We are grateful that the boys are able to experience this.

A thought for your week as things change around us: “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden

Recipe of the Week

I have also been busy preserving the harvest for us to use throughout the year. We still have a few of the Cinnamon Girl Pumpkins left if you have decided you wanted to make your pumpkin pie from scratch.

Cinnamon Girl Pumpkins – these are pumpkin pie pumpkins.
Wipe the pumpkin off with a disinfectant wipe and cut in half.
Scoop out the inside of the pumpkin. Save the seeds if you would like to roast them.
Place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper and turn cut side down. Cook for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take out of the oven, turn over and scoop out pumpkin flesh with spoon. It is stringy.
Puree pumpkin flesh in a food processor. Place in strainer with cheese cloth to drain out fluid. Squeeze out the extra moisture, and it’s ready to use.
After I finished cooking an oven full of pumpkins, the boys wanted me to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Something Fun

We have used some of our gourds for centerpieces for Thanksgiving by using a hand drill to burrow out a hole for a candle.

Steve used a drill bit to drill out a hole at the top of the gourds perfect for votive candles which will be great centerpieces for Thanksgiving.
“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” Maya Angelou

Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

wp-16020823364527597129120804553613.jpg

The last of the Zinnias before the frost.

With this beautiful weather, it is hard to believe it is October. But the changing colors all around us tell us that change is inevitable. Fall is here, and as any good Minnesotan knows, it is time to prepare for winter. Many thoughts come to mind as we wrap-up the season.

Gratitude. As we were harvesting, we couldn’t help but be grateful for the bounty that was present for us to share with all of you. After all, it is October. Last evening as we were cleaning up fences and mulch, we were so grateful for the amazing weather – take time to find those moments for attitude of gratitude.

Change. Change is unavoidable. We love seeing the changes that occur throughout the season. We all dread different parts of the hard work throughout, aka weeding and insects. But we love the look of a clean slate after all the field work has been completed, and it’s ready for new beginnings. It’s a lot like any part of life. Positive outlooks make for positive outcomes.

Appreciation. We were working on this year’s planting before the pandemic started. Many considerations needed to be in place before we could move forward this year – including a Minnesota Department of Agriculture on-farm COVID-19 plan. We have appreciated the fact we were able to proceed with the CSA, and the opportunities to have conversations, laughter and shared moments with all of you.

Tenacity. Throughout this year, we have watched the boys learn new things and take the lead on projects. Their determination to figure it out and see it to the end is a characteristic we all need during these interesting times. Believe that a positive outcome is out there and Carpe Diem.

9-14-2020 Harner Family

Thank you for a great season. We appreciate you and all of the great conversations this year.

Garden Science

wp-1602082336433.jpg

Largest radish harvested this year.

 

wp-1602082336990.jpg

Cover crop emerging. This is great news.

Boxes of Produce

Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.

wp-1600272214829.jpg

Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette, arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad.

 Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

wp-1600272214874.jpg

Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

20180801_112232-12131394375834981966.jpg

Jade Green Beans

Green Beans – Wow this crop finished strong. Enjoy, freeze for this winter if it is to much to handle this week.

Onions Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

wp-1602082336392.jpg

The cucumbers still have spikes on their skins even until the end.

Cucumbers A few to end the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe.

wp-1599073517267.jpg

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

wp-1599073517368.jpg

Kuri Squash

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

wp-15996767010006365719895918393545.jpg

Carnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

20180909_1839222505913818132336532.jpg

Butternut Squash

Butternut SquashA favorite in our house. Cut in half, place cut side down, put about an inch of water in the cake pan, cover with aluminum foil and back for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out the seeds and peel away skin. Mix in ½ cup butter and ¾ cup brown sugar. Enjoy!

Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about peppers at America’s Heartland.

wp-1602082336409.jpg

Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes – A few grape tomatoes to finish off the season. This is the strangest crop of tomatoes we have ever had. Looking forward to great varieties next year. Check out this blog from the Foodie Farmer on growing and harvesting tomatoes on their farm.

Potatoes – Kennebec and Yukon Gold this week. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland. Check out the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for more information.

wp-1602104958717.jpg

Swan Gourds

Swan Gourds – These are such fun gourds. The color is so refreshing.

Recipe of the Week

wp-1602082404398.jpg

Our salsa recipe is simple. Mrs Wages Salsa mix with some onions and peppers to taste.  Here is a canning guide from the University of Minnesota Extension.

wp-1602104873263.jpg

Canned Salsa – Enjoy!

Just Keep Growing

Just Keep Growing

wp-1600959035659.jpgWorking with the pumpkins and fall decorations is so much fun. The colors are stunning, bright and cheerful. The harvesting of these crops is an indication that the end of the growing season is near, and it’s a crop where you feel like you are reaping your rewards.

This year, we have noticed nicks/scars on the pumpkins, gourds and ornamental corn (look on the kernels some have odd designs we think is from the hail). Some may look at them and wish for the beautiful untarnished pumpkin/fall decoration. We look at them and say, “Boy we are sure glad they survived the hail-storm in August, and that they scarred over and kept growing instead of giving up and rotting in the field.”

Yes, those odd-looking bumps are scars from the hail. You see, to me it reminds me of this year. There are many things this year especially with the pandemic that may feel like scars, or times where we have felt like we got punched in the gut. Yet, they are part of who we are. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the journey. We simply need to continue to grow so that our bright and beautiful colors can shine through and brighten the day of others.

Isn’t it interesting that we have yet another reminder/message in nature for us. I had someone remind me that taking time to look at the world around us provides us the opportunity in the lessons that are ever present for us.

Wishing you a fall where you keep growing and letting your bright and beautiful colors show through.

Garden Science

wp-1600951238328.jpg

This week following harvested we mowed down the vines, followed by plowing. We have never plowed this ground and have been struggling to break up the deep soil pan which we think will help with plant growth.

wp-1600951183965.jpg

We then tilled it up to create a good soil bed.

wp-1600951120917.jpg

We planted a combination of rye grass, radish and clover for cover crops. Cover crops also provide protective vegetative cover for the soil which helps suppress winter annual weeds. The additional organic matter cover crops provide will improve soil tilth, porosity and infiltration by providing the natural ‘glues’ that hold soil particles together.

wp-1600951082190.jpg

It was then drug and rolled for seed to soil contact.

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.

Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

Green Beans – Another crop of green beans…this cold weather has slowed the growth down. Hoping this finishes strong.

Onions Enjoy walla walla onions this week.  Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

Carnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

Butternut Squash – a favorite in our house.  Check out Martha Stewart’s recipes for this vegetable.

Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about peppers at America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – A few grape tomatoes to finish off the season. This is the strangest crop of tomatoes we have ever had. Looking forward to great varieties next year. Check out this blog from the Foodie Farmer on growing and harvesting tomatoes on their farm.

wp-1600951361908.jpg

Potato harvest completed.

Potatoes – Kennebec, Yukon Gold and Norland potatoes this week. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland. Check out the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for more information.

Sweet Potatoes – Thank you to our neighbors the Schwatkes for the sweet potato slips. Enjoy the Beauregard sweet potatoes. Outstanding color and high yields, this variety is a favorite for northern gardeners with its red-copper tubers with deep orange flesh. Check out these preparation options from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkins – a few more pumpkins to brighten your decorations.

wp-1600951051245.jpg

Ornamental Corn – Bundles of ornamental corn to brighten your fall decorations.

 

Recipe of the Week

Cook your Kuri, Butternut, Carnival Squash or the Jarrahdale (green) or Cinnamon Girl Pumpkin as you traditionally would. The following recipe is a favorite in our family compliments of my mom. She believes it was passed down from her Aunt Arlene. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup oil (or applesauce)

4 beaten eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups of pumpkin

Mix sugar, eggs and oil. Mix in dry ingredients. Mix in pumpkin. Bake in greased and floured pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz of cream cheese softened

6 Tablespoons soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup powdered sugar

Frost cooled bars.

Life is Like Digging Potatoes

Life is Like Digging Potatoes

9-23-14 Done with Potatoes

This is how the boys feel when we are done harvesting one of the crops: excited, proud and relieved. This may be an old photo but it certainly captures how we feel about potato harvest.

Digging potatoes is absolutely one of my favorite parts of the garden. I love seeing what the surprise is below, how big and how many potatoes can be harvested from one plant. In the end, I love seeing the rewards of our labor. Every once and awhile the ants or the mice have gotten into the potatoes (yes below ground), and it is such a disappointment. They have eaten the potatoes away or put disgusting holes in them. You see, I am Scandinavian so I LOVE potatoes and could literally eat them for every meal. It doesn’t matter how they are cooked – I LOVE them! But I do refrain from eating them that frequently. While we have been digging potatoes for a few weeks, this week is our big push to finish the harvest, and it is rewarding.

wp-1600272214706.jpg

Life is a lot like digging potatoes, you never quite know what life will bring you. Many things in life reap wonderful rewards for our efforts and pleasant surprises. But every once and awhile life brings you one of those bad ones. We need to keep our eyes focused on what we love about life, and the wonderful rewards it has in order to reap the full harvest. Our efforts are worth it.

Fall is also a time of apple harvest. While I was harvesting with the boys, I saw many similarities to life as well. Take a look – life is full of lessons if we pause long enough to reflect on it. Remember reflecting on your day and on your learned experiences gives you time to be grateful and look forward to what is to come with hope.

We hope your week ahead is filled with the joys of digging potatoes!

wp-1600387763093.jpg

Garden Science

wp-1600272215082.jpg

Often times when we select vegetables at the grocery store, we look for them to be “perfect” but in reality, life is beautifully “imperfect.” Take a look at this summer squash how it is not perfectly formed, and the stem is off centered. It doesn’t make it any less useful but wonderfully unique. Perhaps taking a step back this week will have you view some things as beautifully imperfect.

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. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in 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.

wp-1600272214829.jpg

Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

 Spinach, Kale, Beets, Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson Mix – Include in your to go meals for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

 Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

wp-1600272214874.jpg

Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

Radishes – It is the last of radishes for this season to add to salads, eat raw or include in a hotdish.

 wp-1600272214807.jpg

Green Beans – Another crop of green beans…this cold weather has slowed the growth down. Hoping this finishes strong.

Onions Enjoy purple onions this week.  Remember to cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

 Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about this vegetable from Martha Stewart.

Kuri SquashBaby red Hubbard with appealing color and shape. Flesh is smooth in texture and great for pies and purées.

wp-15996767010006365719895918393545.jpgCarnival Squash This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

 

wp-1599073469833.jpg

Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. Learn more about growing peppers from America’s Heartland.

 Tomatoes – A few grape and large tomatoes for you. We simply had less tomatoes this year because our favorite varieties were difficult to get due to more people planting their own gardens. We are sad that the varieties we planted had disappointing yields.

9-12-14 potatoes

Potatoes – Red Norlands are great cooked as mashed potatoes or cooked potatoes. You could also make the left overs into potato patties. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland.

wp-1600285650780.jpg

It’s always fun to see how many sweet potatoes come out of the ground.

Sweet Potatoes – Thank you to our neighbors the Schwatkes and their love of sweet potatoes. We appreciate them sharing slips of this variety, Beauregard. Watch America’s Heartland to learn more about how Sweet Potatoes are raised in Arkansas.

8-15-12 Name carving in pumpkins

In early August, Steve took one of his Grandpa’s handmade wood carving tool and headed to the garden and carefully etched the last names into a pumpkin. We hope you enjoy this decoration this fall. It is one of our ways of saying Thank You for business!

Pumpkins – We hope you enjoyed the name pumpkins this week. It is such a fun project to do each year.

wp-1598474600340.jpg

Arrangement – A variety of flowers including zinnias, hydrangeas and Sedum.

 

Recipe of the Week

Cook your Kuri, Butternut, Carnival Squash or the Jarrahdale (green) or Cinnamon Girl Pumpkin as you traditionally would.

Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup cold water

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin (I use 1 cup cooked squash)

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

Source: Pat Kuznik – West Polk County: Blue Ribbon Favorites Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Fall brings change

Fall brings change

wp-1599681292657.jpg

This year has presented many changes, and Mother Nature is joining in. We were tubing on the lake Saturday and harvesting pumpkins on Sunday in long pants, hats and jackets. While there is a frost warning for tonight, I consider us lucky compared to our neighbors to the west in South Dakota where the weather has not been nearly as cooperative. It does remind us that it is fall and nearly the middle of September, and change is out of our control and inevitable.

For us this weekend, change came in the form of no Tracy Box Car Days a life-long family tradition and harvesting the majority of pumpkins, squash and gourds. More harvesting will occur this weekend, when it is projected to be warmer and dryer. It is hard to believe that there is only two weeks left in the CSA.

For all of us as we face change – whether it is change in seasons, change in routines, change in school, change in relationships, I encourage you to reflect on the following:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

Garden Science

wp-1599679396120.jpg

We have our gourds and cucumbers growing up on old fences. Once and a while we will see them grow into the fence. Check out this gourd’s results.

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. Please follow the CDC and MDH guidelines and COVID-19 procedures in 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.

Arugula – Also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” arugula is a fast-growing, cool-season salad green that adds a tangy, mustard-like flavor to salads. Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and from Food and Wine.

Outrageous Red Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson, Kale and Spinach Mix Include in your diets for a quick salad to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times.

Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is closely related to beets and spinach. Like beets and spinach, the leaves are edible, taste great raw as baby greens, and grow up to be a hearty green that can be sautéed into a tasty side dish. Swiss chard leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The stalks are thicker than the leaves so they take longer to cook. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Sauté, steam or cook the stalks in a pan with water (1/2 cup per bunch) first, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.

Cilantro – Use the cilantro to make Pico de Gallo this Labor Day weekend. Try this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Broccoli – I would eat this vegetable as is, but it would also be a wonderful addition to a salad or soup.

wp-1593556856854.jpg

Carrots – Carrots are back and a bit larger – may be better cooked. We love this recipe from Taste of Home

Radishes – French radishes to add to salads or eat raw.

Green Beans – Another crop of green beans is starting to come in.

Onions Enjoy Walla Wallas, Purple or Patterson this week. If you have to many, cut them all up and place them in a bag or container in the freezer to make meal prep much faster throughout the year.

Cucumbers The crop is slow but sure and should take us until the end of the season.

Sunburst Patty Pan Summer Squash/Zucchini These two crops crossed but since they are both in the summer squash family it can work to your advantage. Use them in any zucchini recipe. A new crop of zucchini is also available.

wp-1599073517267.jpg

Spaghetti Squash – I love this squash and this option to make a spaghetti meal using this for the spaghetti. Learn more about how to cook this vegetable here.

wp-1599073517368.jpg

Kuri Squash – This beautiful dark orange squash has the appearance of a small pumpkin without the ridges. It belongs to the Hubbard squash family.

wp-15996767010006365719895918393545.jpg

Carnival Squash – This winter squash is a favorite of ours. The color is beautiful and will last as a decoration until you are ready to use it. Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. Carnival squash is most popularly used as decoration, but it can also be consumed in a wide variety of culinary applications and is used as a substitute for butternut or acorn squash in recipes.

wp-1599073469833.jpg

Peppers – Choose from green or hot tomatoes. Cut and freeze for use all year long. 

Tomatoes – A few grape and large tomatoes for you.

20180710_2028111904668806495602001.jpg

Potatoes grow under the ground and are a tuber. So fun to see how they grow. It feels like you are digging for gold when you are harvesting them.

Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes this week. Check out the recipe below. Great for baking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors the Peterson’s for this week’s sweet corn. Remember if you have extra or don’t eat all that you cook up. Simply cut it off the cob and place in a freezer bag or container and use at another time in a hot dish or soup.

Pumpkins and Gourds – At least 15 varieties to choose from. So much fun color!

wp-1599676698440.jpg

Arrangement – A variety of flowers including zinnias, rudebeckia, hydrangeas and more.

Recipe of the Week

wp-15996766987403862355415449424718.jpg
Oven Baked Cheesy Potatoes

3 Potatoes chopped

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup mozzarella shredded

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking pan lightly with cooking spray.

-Chop the potatoes in 1/2″ to 3/4″ chunks. Use a paper towel to dry them slightly, then place the potatoes in a bowl.

-Mix the potatoes with oil and seasonings.

-Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet so the potatoes can cook evenly.

-Bake for 25 minutes, stirring one- or two-times during baking, until desired brownness is achieved. If you’d like potatoes crispy, place them under the broiler for 2-4 minutes.

-Cover potatoes with shredded cheese and place back into the hot oven for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Source: Tastes of LizzyT

wp-1599676698710.jpg

4 large zucchini or summer squash (I used 3 small ones and used half the recipe.)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-Preheat oven to 400°F.

-Slice squash into 1/4-inch rounds and add to a large bowl. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat.

-Arrange squash on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.

-Bake until just tender, 9-10 minutes. Turn broiler on high and broil until golden brown, 2-3 minutes.

Source: 12 Tomatoes – Recipe adapted from Made To Be a Momma.