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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Garden Science

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Strength and Perseverance

Strength and Perseverance

As I was weeding the rows, I was reminded of how strong a plant needs to be to preservere through the challenges it faces. Consider the last few days, unbearable heat, humidity and strong winds as well as the dry weather. But yet, it keeps on keeping on striving to grow better and stronger each day. When it is showered with rain, God’s blessings help it to reach its potential.

Today, Steve and I celebrate 25 years of marriage. As I was working outside, I thought, boy marriage takes a lot of what these small plants need to survive…a lot of strength and perseverance, along with determination not to quit and a lot of God’s love to help us reach our potential as a couple. While we would all hope that marriage was filled with roses and sunflowers, it’s had its weeds, the prickles found on the cucumbers and the challenges like Mother Nature presents. But in the end, as the long-time married couples told us, it is worth it. Our marriage has the joy of digging potatoes, the wonderful excitement of harvesting pumpkins, and the beauty of Zinnias and Hydrangeas.

In addition, we are full of gratitude as we are able to share today with our shareholders and friends. Much like our wedding day…we so enjoyed the people and the opportunity to enjoy the value of what each of you brings to our lives.

Wishing you the strength and perseverance that the plants remind us of each day to keep on keeping on.

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 is 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.
Outrageous Red Lettuce and Black Seeded Simpson – New crops are coming on. A good rain would really help bring this to the finish line.

Broccoli

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

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 or from Real Simple.


Sunburst Patty Pan Summer quash/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 growing.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers The second crop of cucumbers is coming in.
Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors the Peterson’s for this week’s sweet corn. Last week was a variety grown by another neighbor the Bergman’s. Remember if you have extra or don’t eat all that you cook up. Simply cut it off the cob and place it in a freezer bag or container and use it at another time in a hot dish or soup.
Potatoes – The Kennebec are brown-skinned is a wonderful baking potato, and the red is Norlands which are great for cooking or roasting. See how potatoes are harvested in Idaho on America’s Heartland


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

Recipe of the Week

Zucchini Cobbler

8 cups chopped seeded peeled zucchini (about 3 pounds untrimmed)

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crust

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until zucchini is tender 15-20 minutes. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup into zucchini mixture. Press half of the remaining crust mixture into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top; crumble remaining crust mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Bake until golden and bubbly, 35-40 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Source: Taste of Home