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Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 6/20/2017 4:13am by Jenna Untiedt.

CSA season is back. It is amazing how things fall right back into place. Shares are being assembled as I write this blog and soon trucks will be on the road. None of this would be possible without our entire staff. We truly have some of the best people around. 

What does a typical CSA morning look like? Well, I started off in the office at 2:45am to make sure I had all the paperwork ready for delivery routes. Crews begin arriving at 3am and we start setting up all the produce for packing. By 3:30am our packing crew is in the warehouse and hard at work filling all of the boxes. Each week is a little different depending what is in the shares, but we like to have all delivery trucks on the road between 6:30am-7am. It is truly a team effort to ensure that all the shares are packed correctly and delivered to the right location. 

Most of the produce is harvested on Mondays to ensure peak freshness. We cool everything overnight to ensure freshness, but also to help insulate your share boxes to keep the produce extremely fresh. Several crews make all of this possible, and we cannot thank them enough for all of their hard work.

Now that you have a little better understanding of what goes into CSA prep work, let's jump into your first share of the season. I will do my best each week to provide some simple tips and tricks to make it through your shares. I'll be honest upfront. A common saying in my household is "Meals don't have to be glamorous to be great," so often times recipes will be quick and easy to allow you all to enjoy the contents of your box! 

It is easy to get overwhelmed with a box of fresh produce, but it is extremely important to just break it down one item at a time. So here we go:

Asparagus: So many great uses for this awesome vegetable. Grill it, sautee it, steam it or eat it raw. Another great option is asparagus risotto. I made this recipe last night and while it does take a little bit of time to make, it was pretty simple. It was a great addition to the fresh salad we had for dinner. 

Lettuce: If you don't have a salad spinner, I highly suggest investing in one. Locally grown lettuce has such a longer shelf life than store bought. I prefer to slice the lettuce, put it in the salad spinner to wash it and store in the fridge. Use throughout the week for dinner salads, a salad for lunch, or toppings on your sandwich.

Grape Tomatoes: As Farmer Jerry wrote in the Newsletter, please let sit on your counter if they are not entirely red. Never, never, never place your tomatoes in the refrigerator. They should always sit on the counter to keep the best flavor. Toss a few on your salads throughout the week or take as a mid-day snack. So much flavor!

Zucchini: Personally, I slice these and eat them raw for a mid-day snack. If raw zucchini isn't your thing you can make zucchini chips in the oven, sautee in some olive oil, or grill. Zucchini also make a great substitute for noodles if you want a lighter type of pasta. Not a fan of any of those? Try zucchini muffins or bread....it's a great way to trick kids into eating their veggies. 

Rhubarb: I try to like rhubarb every year. Every year it gets a tad bit better, but it still isn't my favorite. One way I do enjoy it is a sauce. Try out this Rhubarb Sauce. It is a great topping on ice cream! 

Herbs: I encourage all of you to try growing the herbs this season. They don't need a lot of room to grow, but they add so much flavor to meals. Need growing instructions? Just google....so many great tips out there. 

Enjoy the Maple Syrup, Honey, and Raspberry Jam. These are truly a great addition to the CSA and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

A few things to note:

  • Please feel free to tag us in any of your CSA pictures by using the #Untiedts. 
  • Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see updates from the farm throughout the week. 
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

There you have it, CSA Week 1 in a nutshell. Enjoy!

Posted 5/11/2017 1:42pm by Jenna Untiedt.

What a difference a week makes. Just over a week ago we had snow and cold temperatures. This weekend they are forecasting temperatures near 80 degrees! What a great weekend to visit us at one of our many locations!

Many of you have historically visited us at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and the Minneapolis Farmers Market Annex this coming weekend as a Mother's Day tradition. Please remember that we are only located on the Minneapolis Farmers Market side of the market this season. Confused on where to find us? Check out this great depiction below. You can find us in stalls 208, 210, and 212. We will have a wonderful variety of hanging baskets, patio pots, and bedding plants.

Don't have time to visit the Minneapolis Farmers Market? Visit us at one of our 7 Garden Centers. All locations are bursting at the seams with a wonderful selection of bedding plants, hanging baskets, patio pots, vegetable plants and more! Let our knowledgeable staff help you pick out the perfect plant or plan the perfect garden. 

You can find us at the following locations:

Buffalo-Downtown (15 1st Ave. South) Buffalo, MN

Buffalo-Country Store ( 101 8th St. NE) Buffalo, MN

Eden Prairie Center-Parking lot of JCP (8251 Flying Cloud Dr.) Eden Prairie, MN

Maple Grove-near Barnes & Noble (8040 Wedgewood Lane North) Maple Grove, MN 

Minnetonka-Westwind Plaza (4717 County Road 101), Minnetonka, MN

Montrose- (601 Nelson Blvd.) Montrose, MN 

Waconia-Mackenthun's (851 Marketplace Dr.) Waconia, MN 

Just a few weeks until the 2017 CSA season begins. Registration is still open, so sign up today! You won't want to miss out on what we have to offer this season. For more information, check out: http://untiedtswegrowforyou.com/store/csa-shares

Whether it be at the market or at a garden center, we hope to see you all this weekend! Get outside and enjoy this wonderful weather. 

From all of us at Untiedt's, Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there. 

Posted 5/2/2017 8:55am by Jenna Untiedt.

The time has come, it is opening week for the garden centers! While Mother Nature has not been the most cooperative, we are going to brave the elements and start opening on Tuesday, May 2nd in Waconia and Buffalo. Wednesday, May 3rd will be the first day for Maple Grove, followed by Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Montrose on Thursday, May 4th.   

 

Now you may see a location missing. We announced a few weeks back that we would be opening a new location at Southdale Mall in Edina. Through a series of complicated events, this new location has been postponed until 2018. We will continuously work throughout the season to ensure we can secure the location with all proper governing bodies.

Another great location to find us will be the Minneapolis Farmers Market. We are located in stalls 208, 210, and 212. You may remember seeing us on the corner across from the roasted sweet corn, but we now can be found just across the street. If you have trouble finding us, just stop by the office (cream building with a green stripe around the top) and ask where Untiedt’s is set up, they will point you our way.

To our longtime customers in St. Louis Park, we hope you make the short drive to our Minnetonka location. We will have the same great product and wonderful staff to assist you with all of your gardening needs for the 2017 season. Stop in and say hello!

After a quick stroll through the greenhouses this morning, I can assure you that the plants are absolutely gorgeous right now. I hope you stop by and see us this weekend so that you can add a nice splash of color to your front yard!

As a quick refresher, these are all of the locations you can find our wide selection of bedding plants starting this week. Thank you for allowing us to grow for you!

 

 Downtown Buffalo                                                                              Buffalo-Country Store 15 1st Ave S.                                                                                                 101 8th St. NE Buffalo, MN 55313                                                                                      Buffalo, MN 55313

Eden Prairie Center (parking lot of JCP)                      Maple Grove (near Barnes & Noble) 8251 Flying Cloud Dr.                                                             8040 Wedgewood Lane North   Eden Prairie, MN 55344                                                         Maple Grove, MN 55369  

Minnetonka-Westwind Plaza                                                         Montrose                                  4717 County Road 101                                                            601 Nelson Blvd.      Minnetonka, MN 55345                                                          Montrose, MN 55363  

Waconia-Mackenthun’s Fine Foods          Minneapolis Farmers Market-Stalls 208,210, 212 851 Marketplace Dr.                                                 312 East Lyndale Ave. N                  Waconia, MN 55387                                                    Minneapolis, MN 55405

Posted 4/11/2017 2:15pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Planting season is well underway at the farm. Onions, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli and more have all been seeded and are waiting for temperatures to rise just a bit so they can go in the ground in the high tunnels. The first round of tomatoes have been planted in the high tunnels and we cross our fingers each day that the snow will stay away and temperatures will remain above freezing. The sun is quite powerful right now, therefore keeping the tunnels warm enough for the tomato plants over night.  

We are gearing up to set up all of our garden centers over the next few weeks. Be on the lookout as we hope to open the last week of April and into the first week of May. Keep updated on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Mother Nature will be the determining factor, so we hope she is on our side.  

We hope you saw our announcement regarding our newest garden center location at Southdale Center in Edina. We are excited to add a new location this season. While we add a new location, we are sad to say see you later to Knollwood in St. Louis Park. With the updates to Knollwood Mall and upcoming construction in the parking lot, we no longer have a space to set up. We are working hard to find a location for a vegetable stand and will keep everyone posted. If you are signed up for a CSA at Knollwood, we are diligently working to find a drop site nearby. If you have an idea, please feel free to reach out.  

The CSA program is scheduled to start on Tuesday, June 20th. We are extremely excited about our 7th season and hope that if you have not signed up that you would consider joining. We still have shares available and need you to spread to the word! CSA programs are a great way to support local farmers while receiving fresh, locally grown produce each week. Have questions? Just email Jenna to find out more.  

The days are getting longer and the growing season has begun. Everyone at the farm is busy preparing and we can’t wait to see all of our customers in the coming weeks! Thank you for allowing us to grow for you.  

Posted 4/10/2017 2:02pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Happy Spring! Before you know it, the greenhouses will be popping up in parking lots across the metro. The greenhouses at the farm are full of beautiful plants that will be ready to be shipped out in a few short weeks. Our staff is busy hiring for locations and training new employees for another season. The weather has been on our side so far this spring and we can’t wait to get all of our locations up and ready for the 2017 season. With that being said, we do have a pretty big announcement regarding the closing of one location and the opening of a new location.  

With all the development at Knollwood Mall in St. Louis Park over the past few years, we have lost our location. After over 25 years of serving the St. Louis Park community, we have had to find a new location. We worked hard to find a solution to remain at Knollwood Mall, but at this time we are unable to find a feasible option. We are sad to leave as we have developed so many relationships with customers and organizations over the past 25 years. Many of our customers have been with us since the beginning and we thank you all for your patronage over the years. It is hard for us to say goodbye, but hopefully it is more like a see you soon situation. While we continue to search for a feasible location in St. Louis Park, we do have a new location to announce!

Our newest location for the 2017 season will be Southdale Mall in Edina. Our staff from Knollwood will be moving to the new location and we hope you stop by to visit them all! We will be located off of West 66th St. in the parking lot outside of Macys.  

While it has been a pleasure serving our customers in St. Louis Park, we hope that you will make the short drive to Edina to find all of the great products in Edina. Depending on weather, we have a plan to open the last week of April. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep to up to date with current happenings at all of our locations.  

If you are a CSA member who picks up at Knollwood, we are working on securing a location to drop shares. We will be in communication with you all shortly regarding any changes.  

Again, thank you for your patronage over the years and we hope to see you at our newest location or any of our other locations in just a few short weeks.  

Visit us at the following locations starting the last week of April:  

Buffalo: 15 1st Ave S. or 101 8th St. NE

Eden Prairie Center: 8201 Flying Cloud Dr.

Minnetonka: 4717 County Road 101

Maple Grove: 8040 Wedgewood Lane North

Southdale: 10 Southdale Center, Edina

Waconia: 851 Marketplace Dr.  

 

Facebook: @Untiedtsvegetablefarm

Twitter: @Untiedts

Instagram: Untiedtswegrowforyou

Posted 2/20/2017 7:05pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Every CSA or community supported agriculture farm is unique in its own way. As a consumer it is important to outline what you are truly looking for when deciding what program is best for you. At Untiedt’s, we truly value the connection we have with our CSA members. We not only grow produce and deliver weekly shares, but hope we can educate members each week about growing practices and what it takes to grow food.  

In today’s society, there is a big disconnect from how and where food is produced. With the influx of grocery stores in Minnesota, consumers have multiple choices on where to purchase their foods. No longer are grocery stores their only options. Farmer’s markets are prevalent during the summer months, and to top it all off, food delivery services such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron are common household options as well. With so many choices on where to get your food, the thought of how it was grown or where it came from sometimes escapes our mind, let alone how long ago the actual produce was harvested.  

When we have so many options it is extremely easy to forget where our food comes from and how much work it takes to produce the food. With a CSA program, you can regain some of that connection. You can directly connect with a farmer and understand what it takes to grow that head of lettuce you enjoy in your salads or that special type of tomato you wait for in those hot summer months. To me, understanding how something is made or produced makes me appreciate it a little more.  

Why else are CSA programs important? Personally, I think it is important to try new things. By no means do I always like the new things I try, but I can at least say I gave it a shot. Why not try new vegetables? It is easy to go to the grocery store or farmer’s market and buy fresh produce, but do you ever grab something that might force you to look up a new recipe? Likely no, but if you already do that, awesome. For those of you who buy the same produce weekly, yes, I am also one of those people during the winter months, a CSA is a fantastic way to force yourself out of your comfort zone. Our CSA has fairly common vegetables, but we throw some new and fun things into the shares as well. We will never leave you hanging though, there will always be recipes and ideas of what to do with your produce each week. And if you still don’t know what to do with a certain vegetable, just ask us!  

Lastly, by supporting a local farmer you are also supporting the local community. When you buy a share, we are able to give back, not only to our community, but to communities across the state. Food shelves, churches, youth organizations, land stewardship projects are all things we try and support when able. You support us and in turn, we would like to support you all too.  

So, why not give a CSA share a try? It is a fun way to try new fruits and vegetables, eat fresh and locally, and gain a better understanding of what agriculture is all about these days. Look at it as another way to help you complete that New Year’s resolution of living a healthier lifestyle. 

Interested in our CSA Program? Check it out here: http://untiedtswegrowforyou.com/store/csa-shares

Posted 2/1/2017 3:08pm by Jenna Untiedt.

The only thing in life that is certain is change. 2017 will definitely be a year of change for Untiedt’s. After 20+ years at the Minneapolis Farmers Market Annex, we have decided that it is our time to move on from this location. Unfortunately, this means no more fresh squeezed orange juice or lemonade, cinnamon rolls, brats, or roasted sweet corn. This decision was not an easy one. It has been hard to come to terms with, but with ever-changing regulations, it was a decision we needed to make. Our customers have meant the world to us. Thank you will never be enough. Every one of our staff members have stories of wonderful people they have met at the market over the years, and will definitely miss. From our entire team, thank you to all of you who made visiting us part of your weekend plans.

Don’t worry, you will still be able to find our bedding plants and fresh produce on the Minneapolis Farmers Market side! We will be located in stalls 206, 208, and 210. Make sure to visit us from the end of April through October, 7 days a week. We will continue to operate our Garden Centers and roadside vegetable stands throughout the metro, along with our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

We could not continue to do what we do without supportive customers such as yourself. We hope that you continue to visit us at our many locations throughout the metro area. Although we may not have that cup of coffee and cinnamon roll you look forward to, or that fresh squeezed lemonade and brat at our retail locations, we have friendly employees who are looking forward to serving you this upcoming season.  Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making the last 20+ years so enjoyable.

Posted 10/11/2016 4:20am by Jenna Untiedt.

Wow, week 17 is here! It is kind of hard to believe that we are wrapping up the final week of the season. So many fun things in the final share though, sure to keep you busy for the next week or two! My last entry for the season on suggestions for your share contents, but be sure to check our blog throughout the winter months to see what we are up to on the farm. 

Apples: Great sliced and eaten with some peanut butter. I am a bit behind on my apple consumption as I have been out of town a bit, so hopefully a batch of apple crisp is in my near future. 

Cauliflower: Great sliced and steamed. I love to steam the entire head of cauliflower and eat for leftovers throughout the week. So much flavor that tends to be missing from the store bought kind. Enjoy!

Brussels Sprouts: I know not all of you are fans, but a warm sprout salad is a fall favorite. Roast with some bacon, add a few toasted almonds and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and you are set. A great fall treat!

Acorn Squash: Eat now, or save for a few weeks. Squash will last quite a while if kept in a cool place. Be adventurous and try a new recipe with this acorn squash. Try stuffing with wild rice or making into a soup. So many options with squash, enjoy it a new way this fall.

Onions: Store in your fridge and use this fall. Great to add to the last fall burger, or throw in a stir fry. So much flavor but not overpowering. 

Leeks: Great for soup! Tis the season for wonderful fall soups and stews. Potato leek is my favorite, but im also a fan of starting a soup with some chicken stock and just throwing a bunch of veggies in. It turns out different every time and it is wonderful. 

Radishes: The last of the season. Wash and throw in a bowl of water in the fridge. Grab one as a snack here and there. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato: Peel, dice and roast. Enjoy as a sweet potato hash with some onions mixed in and topped with an egg or two. Otherwise, just bake and enjoy like mashed potatoes. 

Lettuce: I had a lettuce salad last night for dinner...so sweet and crispy. Nothing beats this fall lettuce. Enjoy before it is back to the grocery store for the winter months. 

Popcorn: Truly a CSA member favorite. Store for a few months before using. A fun family activity on a cold January night. Shuck the corn and cook over the stove!

Maple Syrup: Always a crowd favorite. Enjoy as a topping on pancakes and waffles this winter. 

Honey: Another favorite, enjoy on toast or used as a natural sweetener on so many different things. So many benefits to raw honey. If it becomes solid, do not worry, soak in warm water to return the honey to a liquid state. 

There you have it, the final share of 2016. I truly hope you have enjoy the shares this season. We are so thankful for such supportive customers such as yourselves. Enjoy your winter and we look forward to next year!

Posted 10/10/2016 12:56pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Each Tuesday you receive a box of fresh produce either at your workplace or a convenient place near your home. An assortment of farm fresh, locally grown produce is at your fingertips for the week. How does it all go together though? Let me give you a snapshot of the CSA program as a whole and how everyone at Untiedt's works together to make the shares possible each week. 

1. We have over 60 drop off/pick up locations associated with the CSA program. Before the season even begins we must work to coordinate all logistics to ensure successful delivery for 17 weeks. 

2. Promotion and Registration: Our team works all winter to visit drop sites and inform potential customers about the program and our farming practices. This process is truly never ending and we appreciate any opportunity we have to connect with our customers. 

3. During the winter months, planting schedules are developed, crops and varieties selected and seeds/plants are ordered. 

4. Sundays during the CSA season are spent evaluating what crops will be ready for the CSA share each week. Much time goes into this process to ensure that we have enough to harvest in order to fill all shares. Although we may plant what we think is more than enough to fill shares, things such as weather events or loss to insects may change our plan. We have to learn to be pretty flexible. 

5. Harvest begins Monday mornings for CSA contents. Crops are harvested, cleaned, and are packed into size appropriate packages. Often times we have 2-3 crews of 8-10 people harvesting and preparing the produce to be put into shares Tuesday mornings. 

6. Tuesday mornings begin at 3am. A crew of 15 work together to pack all CSA shares. This is a process that can be very complex, but our staff is dedicated to ensuring that each box is packed with high quality produce. Yes, occasionally there is a mixup, but we do our best to always correct the problem.

7. By 8am, 7 delivery drivers leave the farm to deliver their shares. These individuals are responsible for getting your shares to the correct location and labeling the boxes. Lists are prepared for each drop site and these drivers ensure all shares are where they need to go. 

8. Now what hasn't been touched upon is the work that goes into growing the crops. We have a phenomenal staff of individuals that return year after year to work with us. Through the use of an H2A agricultural visa program, we have employees from all over the world joining our team. These individuals are responsible for tending to the crops. With guidance from experienced crew leaders, Farmer Jerry, Craig, and Paul, these are the people who really make the CSA work. Farming is a 24 hour a day job, we can't stop at 4pm on a Friday and call it quits for the weekend. We work around the clock from May-October to ensure that our customers are receiving the highest quality produce available. 

By no means does this cover everything that goes into farming, but hopefully helps you to understand what it takes to run the CSA program and the farm in general. We could not do what we do without the dedication of each one of our employees. Our entire staff puts in a lot of hours each summer and we are happy to do so in order to provide locally grown produce to so many people. Thank you all for your support during the 2016 season and we are already looking for the 2017 season. 

Posted 10/4/2016 3:21am by Jenna Untiedt.

The end is near. One week remaining of the CSA season. The season is definitely changing and fall is showing its true colors more and more each day. The share contents this week definitely show more signs of fall, but we are still clinging to summer with a bit of sweet corn!

Here are a few tips to help you through the box this week:

Sweet Corn: the finale. The end. Enjoy it with burgers for one last summer meal, or roast it and cut it off the cob for a great topping to a salad. Both ways are phenomenal, but truly enjoy it because it will be July before you get another chance for MN grown sweet corn!

Spaghetti Squash: There are so many things to do with spaghetti squash. I usually recommend cutting all squash in half to bake, but this kind I would recommend poking like a potato and letting it bake a while before trying to slice it as it is a bit more difficult. Once cooked all the way, scrape out the flesh which is noodle like. Use as you would most noodles! Or, you can go against what I just recommended and cut in half and stuff with various things like cheese and meat for a lasagna like dinner. Anything you choose will be phenomenal!

Carrots: Yum! I have a fairly crazy week with a bit of personal travel with friends, so I will likely just be slicing these and throwing them in a bag for a quick snack on the go. If you have a bit more time though, grilled carrots are a wonderful fall treat! Top them with a bit of honey or maple syrup and they are divine. 

Kale: Remove the stems and chop. Place in a frying pan and drizzle with olive oil. Warm the kale by letting it get a bit wilted, add some slivered almonds to the pan, keep stirring the kale and almonds so they do not burn. Cook for about 8 minutes, the kale will be wilted but not crispy. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese....there you have it, a great warm fall salad. 

Haralson Apples: Perfect for an apple pie or apple crisp. These do store for a while in the refrigerator, so do not feel like you need to go home and make a pie this evening. I will be placing mine in the fridge and making apple crisp in the coming days. 

Sweet Potatoes: I'm not sure if there is anything better than sweet potatoes. These are perfect for mashed potatoes. Simply poke with a fork and bake until soft. Some of the potatoes are so large it may be best to cut in half and bake. Once done, mash with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper....perfect side dish to any dinner. Or if you are like me, sometimes the sweet potato is my dinner. 

Brussels Sprouts: A wonderful fall treat still on the stalk. I enjoy taking the balls off the stalk, slicing them thinly and roasting the shaved sprouts. You can add them to any salad or eat them plain. Keep the stalks in the fridge for best storage. 

Mini Pumpkins: A few fun, fall pumpkins for your table. If you are feeling crafty, the scoop the middles out and use for a fun soup bowl! If not, let them be a little reminder of fall on your kitchen table or desk!

There you have it, week 16. Next week will be the final CSA share of the season and we are working hard to make sure it is the best. Plans will be announced next week for the 2017 season. But before jumping to next year, we want to thank you all for a great 2016 year! The weather has brought many challenges, but overall we feel we have worked hard to ensure that you are getting the best all season long. Have a great week!