News and blog

Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 7/9/2019 8:35am by Colleen Quiram.

Good Morning!

First off, I am very excited to meet many of you in the coming weeks at our farm tours! The tours are filling up quickly, but there is still a little room if you want to come out to visit! Jerry, Paul, Megan and myself will be here to visit with you all, and hopefully the skies clear and weather cooperates for a few beautiful days this weekend!

With the hectic preparations here on the farm, I am keeping the meals simple this week. I have a few recipes to share that look delicious though, the vegetables that we have in this week’s box pair so well together so there are plenty of ideas for you to try!  

Tuesday Dinner – Grilled steak, roasted beets, and green beans. Green beans are one of my son’s favorite vegetables, and by favorite, I mean it’s one I hear the least complaints about! We prefer our beans with a little crunch to them, simply trimmed, rinsed, and tossed in a hot lightly buttered pan while still dripping the excess water off. Cover with a lid for about 5 minutes, stir and sprinkle with garlic and kosher salt (or other herb blend, we really like this one from Penzey’s), cover and let steam for another 3-4 minute, serve while still a bit crisp!  

Wednesday Dinner – Ginger Lime Chicken Lettuce Wraps. This is a busy evening for us, so I am excited to try this recipe and let the chicken cook all day. It should use up the Romaine lettuce and a few carrots.  

Thursday Dinner – Parmesan Zucchini Pasta. The zucchini plants here are REALLY producing, and I am excited to try zoodles this week! I should be able to use 2 of the smaller zucchini in this recipe, plus use our tomato (if it’s ripe!) Joey will sometimes eat zucchini, but I am thinking I will make his half spaghetti/half zucchini, just in case. My basil plant is growing quite well, so I should be able to harvest some of the leaves for this recipe also!  

Friday Dinner – Friday will be jam packed with tour prep, so I think tonight will be a simple fresh coleslaw with sautéed shrimp.  

That leaves strawberries, which Joey will gobble up! Radishes – Shane wants to try pickled radishes, and he loves everything spicy so this recipe is perfect for him! And lastly the mint, which I will plant in a pot and allow to grow this summer, while enjoying a Mojito here and there on the hot summer days! Mostly I will save it to add to pesto later this summer, which I will make and freeze AFTER we move into the new house!  

If you are a zucchini fan, our plants are loving this weather and we have a lot of zucchini here on the farm! Such a versatile vegetable, it freezes well shredded and measured into small containers or baggies ready to use in your favorite recipes. Easily add shredded zucchini to eggs, soups, stews, or make the always popular zucchini bread! Feel free to contact us if you would like to place a bulk order. We can have the zucchini delivered to any of our retail locations for you to pick up!  

I hope I have provided you with a few ideas for this week, and I look forward to meeting many of you this weekend! Shane and Joey will be there as well, so be sure to say hi!

Colleen

Posted 7/2/2019 8:18am by Colleen Quiram.

Happy 4th of July! I am super excited about this week’s share, some of my favorite produce items are in here and I know it will be a breeze for us to get through it all! I would love to say I will make some involved, creative recipes this week, but I know that won’t happen with the 4th of July holiday! However, I do have some good grilling ideas, and I love hearing how you all are using your shares! Make sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for some CSA Member submitted recipes.

My weekly meal plan:

I am pretty sure the strawberries won’t make it to dinnertime, Joey and Shane will devour them as soon as I bring them home. I was lucky enough to get a flat of strawberries over the weekend, cleaned and froze them all for some jam making this winter when things slow down. (Here’s the recipe I use!) If your berries arrive a little bruised, I encourage you to rinse and freeze them for use this winter in smoothies, jams, or sauces. Winter strawberries just can’t compare to fresh local berries!

I will be snacking on the smaller kohlrabi at my desk today, just peel it with a knife and slice it up! One of my girlfriends sprinkles them with salt and eats them like an apple which at first I thought was weird but now I understand and do the same. The larger kohlrabi can be a little tougher, and I will use the last two with our broccoli, cut into slices, sautéed with some butter, garlic, and kosher salt. They also add some great crunch diced into salads.

The beets will be on the grill tonight and brought for lunch tomorrow! The smaller bunch I received in my box is just enough for Shane and I to share for one snack. I know beets are not a favorite of many, but I encourage you to give them another try! I trim, peel, and cut the beets into quarters, place in a bowl with just a drizzle of olive or avocado oil, a small sprinkle of kosher salt, and some dried thyme. Wrap them loosely in tinfoil for the grill, or place in a covered glass dish in the over for about 25-30 minutes until tender. Here is another method of roasting beets also!

Wednesday Dinner - I absolutely love these thin-skinned new potatoes! I’m sure many of you have roasted them before, this time we will use diced garlic scapes, dried rosemary, kosher salt, all tossed with melted butter and olive oil (about 1/2tbsp each) and wrapped in foil on the grill. There is probably too much for one meal, but I will make them all and save the rest for a quick side later this week. For Wednesday they will go perfectly with garlic cauliflower. Shane found this recipe on pinterest a few years back, and it’s now one of our favorites for an easy weeknight meal. Just rinse the cauliflower and lightly shake excess water off, place on a large sheet of tinfoil, rub with butter and sprinkle generously with garlic powder (not garlic salt!), wrap loosely with the foil and place on the grill on indirect heat for about 30-45 min.

Thursday – dinner out with friends for 4th of July, stay safe with those fireworks!

Friday – We still have a lot of lettuce to work through from last week, so I am hoping this week’s lettuce will keep next Monday or Tuesday, and we will use the last of week 2 lettuce tonight for some home made taco salad bowls – black beans, pulled pork, salsa, cheese, and maybe some avocado!

Saturday dinner – I’ll pull out those leftover rosemary potatoes and warm them in a fry pan on the stove top. Enjoy them with some steak on the grill and sautéed broccoli with kohlrabi, bacon, and onion for a quick dinner before heading to Delano for the fireworks!

The thyme will be planted in my large pot with the basil from a few weeks back. I’m hoping we get some tomatoes in next week’s box so I can share my grilled caprese pizza method with you and use the basil from week 1! I don’t use fresh thyme nearly as much as I use dried, plant it near the edge of a pot as it will grow and cascade over the side about 6-8 inches by the end of the season.

A quick note on the garlic scapes – these are the top part of the hardnecked garlic we planted last fall. In order to get the garlic to bulb out well, we need to remove the seed head, or the scape, in the early summer. If you put these in your fridge they will last for weeks but will slowly get drier in the stems. If you open the top part of the scape, you will see the tiny little garlic clove flower which would have bloomed this summer. You can use these fresh or cooked as you would green onions, I like to use them in tuna or chicken salads for added flavor and crunch.

I hope you are able to use your entire share this week! And as Jerry stated in his blog post, we still have room in our CSA and are continuing to receive registrations. Let your friends, family, and curious coworkers know they can get in on these amazing boxes by registering online or by giving me a call in the office! I would be happy to tell them more about us, our farm, produce, and our CSA!  

Member Submitted Recipes: in case you still have some items from last week in your fridge!

Chard & Bacon Linguini

Napa & Bok Choy Salad

Rigatoni with Swiss Chard and Sausage  

Posted 6/25/2019 7:10am by Colleen Quiram.

Well, I almost made it through last week’s share! How did you all do? I still have some kale left, I’ll use the last of it in another egg bake tonight, and my rhubarb is still in the fridge. I had a great plan to use it in Rhubarb Muffins, but we are moving soon and when I went to grab my muffin pan I realized they had already been packed! Oh well, I will freeze the rhubarb, chopped, and make them later this summer once we are settled. I have one lone zucchini left, and with more in this week’s share I will just shred and freeze the one I didn’t use, it will be tossed into pasta sauce, soup, or zucchini bread this winter.

This week’s share has quite a few greens and is very full! We had hoped to get some of this lettuce in the first week’s share, but they just weren’t ready yet. The lettuce is very tender, and the leaves will fall off easily, handle it gently. Please make sure you take it out of the plastic bag and rinse it well, use a salad spinner if you have it, and get it in the fridge asap. We packed it in ice after harvest yesterday, which is why everything is a little on the damp side today.

Here is my meal plan for the week, hopefully we can stick to it amidst packing for the move!

Tuesday Dinner: Fish Tacos with fresh lettuce, and a small batch of this Cilantro Lime Slaw using some of the Napa cabbage. I love to top fish tacos with the Peach Salsa we sell at our retail stands also, adds a hint of sweetness!

The rest of the lettuce will be for my lunches, fish taco bowls. The cabbage will be made into Egg Roll in a bowl for Shane’s lunches this week. This is a common recipe in our house.

Wednesday Dinner: Grilled Bok Choy with Salmon, this one is new for me, usually I just toss diced bok choy in at the end of a stir fry or Pad Thai, but this recipe sounded delicious. Even better, it will be getting warm this week, grilled meals keep the heat out of the house!

Thursday Dinner: Zucchini Boats, this one I don’t really have a recipe for, but I found something similar on Pinterest! Larger zucchini work best, cut in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out, creating a zucchini canoe. I will brown some sausage, mix with diced onion, garlic, a small handful of diced grape tomatoes, and some diced bell peppers, stuff in the middle of the zucchini and top with cheese. You can then bake or grill the zucchini boats, follow the cooking times in the linked recipe.

Friday: I have to be honest, I am not a fan of radishes! But, I am going to make this creamy radish and cucumber salad recipe for the weekend and give it a try.  

Sunday Dinner: Sauteed Swiss Chard, I have only tried Swiss chard once, but it is something I absolutely love having in the garden! The bright red, yellow, and orange stems are so beautiful as they grow. It’s a small, tender bunch this week, I’m sure this recipe will use it all up. I’ll toss in the last zucchini, sliced, with this recipe as well.

As an extra treat, we have included some fresh Georgia Peaches for you to try. No, we are not quite able to grow peaches in Minnesota, so these are not a true CSA item, but we love working with Lane Peach Orchard in Georgia, and we thought you might enjoy a sweet treat from down south! These couldn’t have come at a better time for us, we will be camping this weekend and plan to use the peaches to make Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler at the campfire, a family favorite! Here is a similar recipe you can do in the oven as well. Once you get your share home, please take the peaches out of the bag and leave on the counter for a day or so to ripen. Once the skin starts to feel ‘loose’ as you rub your thumb across it, that’s when they are ready to eat. Don’t wait for them to get super soft, they will be over-ripe!

I had a few questions last week on how to best store our shares in the fridge so they last as long as possible. Each item is slightly different and needs different humidity and temperatures for best storage. I am absolutely in love with my Fridge Smarts from Tupperware for keeping fresh produce the longest! They have venting on the lids and you adjust based on which item you are storing. I also love how nicely they stack together, and the different sizes available. There are many similar products out there, give one a try until you find a favorite. For lettuces and fresh cilantro, I love my OXO Salad Spinner, rinse, spin dry, and store all in the same container!

If you are trying to use your entire share, I suggest using the greens first as they will not last as long in the fridge. Cucumbers and zucchini use next, and the radishes will last the longest (a week or more) if kept cool. Peaches placed in the fridge after ripening on the counter should last through the weekend.

I hope you are all able to work through your box this week! Keep the recipes coming, share them with us via Facebook or Email!

Colleen

Posted 6/18/2019 6:56am by Colleen Quiram.

Well, Good Morning! It is about 4am on our first CSA delivery day of the season. So much planning and preparing has gone into this very first box, I am excited to see it sent out! This morning I was up at 2am to get out here early enough to help with packing the CSA shares, something I have never had the opportunity to participate in before. Yes, I am new to this side of the operation, managing the CSA and our social media, however I have been a part of this farm and business for 10 years managing our Maple Grove Garden Center, and I already know many of you!

I am excited to share my ideas and experiences with you, working my way through a half share each week, figuring out how to make something my whole family will eat. My family is small, just me, my husband Shane, our 12 year old son Joey, and Miss Lucy, our black lab. I include her only because she loves veggies and will probably end up snitching some cucumbers somewhere down the line!

My husband and I have always been big food preservers, canning, freezing, and smoking meats. And this year will be no different! I am out of salsa, peaches and applesauce were all used in winter lunches, the last of the frozen sweet corn was used over the weekend, and the berries that I froze last summer have all been made into Strazzberry Jam already (Strawberry/Raspberry, Joey’s favorite) As I begin my preserving, I have a few canning and freezing recipes I plan to share with you as the season progresses. Sometimes it will be tough to get through the half share, freezing a few items to enjoy in the winter months will be better than composting! We do a lot of meal prepping and planning for the week, packing lunches for all of us on Sunday or Monday to make the week run smoothly. Sometimes we eat on plan, sometimes we don’t if the evenings get too busy!

But here is my plan for the week:

I was lucky enough to take my box home Monday night. I used some of the spinach to make an egg-bake that I portioned up into 8 servings. A quick, easy to microwave, hot breakfast on the go for all of us! I have included the original recipe, but feel free to tweak it as needed. I added 1 1/2 cup of chopped spinach last night, but you could also use some of your kale instead.

Tonight’s dinner we will use some of the spinach and kale on our burgers. This kale is so tender, I prefer to use it fresh rather than baking in the oven. If kale isn’t your favorite but you don’t mind adding it to recipes, just rinse, pat dry, chop well, and loosely pack into a gallon sized bag. Keep the kale in the freezer and pull out a handful at a time to add to soups, stews, smoothies, egg bake, etc. That’s what I will be doing with any leftover after tonight!

Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies when I can get it home grown! Much more tender, sweet, and flavorful than the tough spears at the store. Unfortunately, it is not so popular with Joey, so I will do what my grandma used to do with green beans, cook it with bacon! I will use about a third of it tonight with the burgers, sautéed with some diced home smoked bacon and sliced onion. Start by rinsing the asparagus well and cut into 2-3” pieces. Heat a skillet on medium heat, add the bacon and onion and sauté until the onion is almost translucent and bacon is nearly cooked. Add the asparagus to the skillet and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes until the asparagus is tender but not soft. (Similar to this recipe)

The zucchini will be grilled Benihana style (soy sauce, teriyaki, sesame seeds) with some shrimp and steak kabobs for dinner Wednesday evening. That should use up at least two of them!

Cucumbers will be a quick snack; I’ll slice them lengthwise into spears and get them into containers ready to grab and go on our way to soccer practice and games.

I don’t think the jam will last for more than 2 PB&J sandwiches, Joey tells me that Sue’s jam is better than mine, and I must agree! This old-fashioned wax seal raspberry jam is truly one of the best I have ever tasted.

This weekend I will use up the rest of the asparagus by roasting it in the oven. Rinse and cut asparagus into 3” pieces, preheat oven to 350°, toss the asparagus in about 1 tbsp each melted butter and olive oil, place on a tinfoil lined pan, sprinkle with kosher salt and garlic powder, and roast in the oven for about 5-8 minutes depending on spear thickness. Easy to make and easy to clean up!

I’ll let Joey decide what we should make with the rhubarb, but I would like to try this Rhubarb Muffin recipe, maybe use honey as the sweetener instead of sugar. What is your favorite Rhubarb recipe? Post it on our Facebook page and I will give a few a try!

The basil I’ll re-pot into a larger container and allow to grow on my deck until those first tomatoes arrive. Caprese Salad is a staple at our house in the summer!

I hope you enjoy your box this week! Let me know what recipes you use and send pics if you can! I am always on the hunt for new meal ideas. You can email me at Colleen@UntiedtsWeGrowForYou.com or post to our Facebook page!

Posted 5/24/2019 2:44pm by Colleen Quiram.

As I draft this short blog I am sitting in our kitchen watching it rain again and again. This morning, it seems the weather has stimulated the local bird population and driven them to the collection of feeders just outside of our kitchen windows. The weather has forced us to slow down and take time to watch and enjoy the Orioles, Brown Thrashers, Cardinals, Red Wing Blackbirds, Grosbeaks, Goldfinches, Grackles, Mourning Doves and many more. In fact, just the other morning we had a Scarlet Tanager, which for us is very rare.

The wonders of our natural world provide us with wonderful entertainment and allow us to take our minds off of the terribly challenging weather. This just goes to show that life goes on even if our normal farming lifestyles have been interrupted by uncontrollable natural events. We can, and do, continue to enjoy this lifestyle we have chosen as evidenced here by the wonderful and beautiful songbirds as well as the backdrop of still beautiful tulips in full bloom in the cool and damp weather.

Now getting back to Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm. The spring weather that we all so much enjoy has been very slow, and the rainfall frequency and amounts have been quite a bit in excess of normal. Our fields are very wet with saturated soils making planting a challenge and most difficult for us as well as most Minnesota farmers. Some examples of this are the apple bloom which is a strong two weeks later than normal, the sweetcorn crop again two weeks behind, and in general most other crops are in the same boat.

Thank heavens due to our large area of high tunnels we have been able to continue working, although it’s all hand labor and slow going.

We will certainly be enjoying the bounties of this type of agriculture much earlier than from our crops in the open fields. For example, our tomatoes are already fruiting and the zucchini have blossoms and small fruit on the plants. So, we want you all to be comfortable with your investment in the Untiedt's CSA knowing your shares will soon be arriving with the freshest, most flavorful MN grown products available.

An important fact that we need to share with you all is that our share sales are somewhat behind past seasons. We believe the reason for this is the large number of rainy, cold, and wet days we are currently experiencing. People are just a little depressed and do not think of flowers and gardening and fresh fruits and vegetables when it is cold and uncomfortable outdoors. Thus, we would appeal to you all that perhaps you could reach out to friends, neighbors, and business associates letting them know about our CSA. We believe these little nudges, along with some sunny days, will bring us back to numbers similar to previous seasons.  

Our very best to you all, and many thanks for letting us Grow For You

Jerry and the Untiedt Crew

Posted 4/11/2019 12:03pm by Colleen Quiram.

The snow is falling…wait, no, the sleet is falling…wait, no, the sleet is pelleting the windows here in the office! Well, either way we are having quite the weather roller-coaster today! We have been getting a lot of questions these past few days about our CSA program, and how this storm might affect not only our produce but also our annual flowers and structures. I am happy to say that as of right now all is well on the farm!

We began planting our tomato plants on Monday of this week in the tunnels, where it is a comfortable 55°. We have many more tomatoes to plant, but they will wait patiently until this storm is over, enjoying their warm space as well. We have generators on standby, as power outages are likely with the amount of wind and ice in the forecast. Our crews are working tirelessly checking heaters, propane, plastic coverings, and power even through the night. Keep them in your thoughts as we all are lucky enough to stay home and out of the weather! 

The annual flowers are also nice and warm, unaware of the weather outside. While we could use some more sun to help them grow thick and lush, they will be beautiful in time for our stands to open in May! This snow and ice should melt quickly, and we are looking forward to getting our retail locations set up in just 2 weeks.

While this storm is packing a punch, we did experience something similar last April. Almost 2-feet of snow over 2 days, and that was almost a week later into the season than this storm. We stayed the course and had produce and plants ready as planned last year, at this time we should not see any delays this year either. We still expect to begin CSA deliveries on June 18th. Although, If Minnesota keeps this up, that may yet change.

Thanks for checking in on us, this is just Mother Natures way of making us thankful for the heat I’m sure she will deliver this summer, right? =)

Colleen  

Posted 3/22/2019 10:15am by Colleen Quiram.

Another beautiful morning has dawned at 33°F without a cloud in the sky and nary a cold breeze to impede the thaw. What a difference a week can make in March. The Canadian Geese arrived last Monday and already the females are laying claim to the best nesting locations on our farm’s wetlands. The male Red Wing Blackbirds have arrived, along with Killdeer, Robins, Mallards and Pintail ducks. Yesterday we saw our first Bluebirds! It’s just a wonderful time of the year as our farm awakens after a long winter’s nap!

Our struggles continue with our very much needed workforce who are still in their native countries due to the delays in the governments visa issuing procedures. Our transplanting and high tunnel preparations are at a standstill. As we reach out to our Senators and Representatives in DC for help, we are basically met with “there’s not much we can do”. This situation is critical, and on both the state and national level, no help for the farming community seems to be the norm.

On the growing front, the snow is rapidly receding with bare fields appearing starting the spring ‘drying out’ season. Thankfully the nights have been dropping below 32°F, allowing the melt to continue in a manner that is slowing the flood potential on our North Fork of the Crow River. The river is flowing at the top of its banks, so a slower addition of runoff water is most advantageous.

We hope you all have seen the incredible Super Worm Moon these last few nights! We encourage you all to get outside this weekend. Open your ears to the beautiful music generated by our returning songbirds, watch the color changing of the tree buds as they swell with new life, and breathe in the smells of spring. We hope you can all enjoy this most precious time of the season!

Our best to you all!

Jerry & Crew

Posted 3/14/2019 7:49pm by Colleen Quiram.

It’s closing in on the middle of March and Mother Nature keeps throwing her troops at us – one after another! We’ve laid our ground and we will not surrender!

Normally we have the first Robins, Red Wing Blackbirds, Killdeers, geese and ducks here by now. This year none of that, the lakes are still covered by 24-30” of ice with two feet of snow on top. Our local White Tail Deer herd has grown to nearly 100 animals, all foraging on last fall’s left-over pumpkins and squashes. The fox squirrels are making a 200-yard dash across an open field to scrounge squash seeds, while exposing themselves to hovering eagles and hawks in the sky above them. Certainly a risky proposition, but one needing to be taken to sustain survival near the end of a brutal winter.

As far as the farm, we’ve completed grafting the first planting of tomatoes, and are trying to slow their grown rate down by keeping our temperatures low and the plants very dry. Our high-tunnels are so snow and ice laden that entry is nearly impossible. As I write, the rain keeps falling which will help melt some ice slowly, but creates an awfully large amount of runoff water contributing to flooding.

Our onion, leek and shallot transplants are doing well, having been in the soil since the 6th of February. Our goal is to transplant them around April 10th, but who knows! Our other seedlings, such as Jicama and Peppers, are gathering heat in the soil, hoping to emerge in the next two weeks or so.

Flower seeding and plant plug transplanting are part of our daily duties now, and will continue until early May. The snow banks have made heating a bit easier as they’ve sealed the greenhouses from cold drafts and helped slow down our propane gas usage.

I do my best to keep you all updated on our growing program and must certainly say Thank You to all that have enrolled in this years CSA Program. Please tell your friends and neighbors that registration is open, which will allow us to keep the program growing.

Many thanks and until next week, we are yours sincerely,

Jerry & Crew

Posted 3/11/2019 9:57am by Colleen Quiram.

Only 8 more days till Spring arrives!  Even with all this fresh, heavy snow, that sun is feeling stronger and warmer, the daytime temps are above freezing, it is already beginning to feel like spring to us! We hope the spring melt is a slower one, only to avoid any flooding of lakes and rivers. Although with 1-2” of rain in the forecast, we may not get what we wish for.

The sun now is just as strong as it is at the end of September, and we are nearing 12 hours of light per day which is wonderful for our seedlings sprouting in the greenhouses. Not much has been started yet besides onions and tomatoes, but in the coming weeks we will be starting peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and so many others. Already we have begun close to 40,000 onions, a mix of varieties from our Epicurean sweet whites to Spanish onions to large reds.

Flowers for the greenhouses are beginning to arrive, and Paul is hard at work with his crew putting together those first hanging baskets and combo pots for Mother’s Day Weekend. Hard to believe, but in just 6 short weeks we will be building our greenhouses across the west metro and getting ready to open our gates! Soon we will have pansies on our front steps, we will trade our snow shovels for gardening tools, and be enjoying tulips, hyacinth, and daffodil bulbs blooming in our gardens.

Our plans for the CSA program continue to move forward as we are out visiting many of our corporate drop sites during the week. Be sure to stop by and say hi when you see us at your office! If you haven’t signed up for your 2019 Share yet, you can register here. This month we have added two more new drop sites:

Plymouth Park Nicollet – Open to the Public (only 12 shares available)

Meridian Crossings at 494 & 35W – Open to tenants only

 

Not sure if we deliver to your building? Check out our full listing of private corporate sites here!

What part of Spring are you most looking forward to? Cheerful Pansies, fresh Asparagus, or not having to wear a coat? I think I am most looking forward to not having to wear a coat!

~Colleen

Posted 2/17/2019 10:20am by Colleen Quiram.

The job never ends when you work on a farm. There are a few short weeks around the holidays when we can all take a deep breath and relax, but come January the work starts right up again. Not that we mind, it’s nice to have some time in the winter to repair machinery, make changes to structures (weather permitting of course!), evaluate the previous season and make some improvements before diving into the new year. And at least the work days aren’t quite as long!

This slower season has really been a time of change for all of us on the farm. For example, we have been attending seminars and training, and learning more about the new FSMA Law (Food Safety and Modernization Act). We are proud to say we have the most employees for any farm in Minnesota trained in FSMA standards! And we are busy making many changes in our processes to keep your food clean and safe in a world where food safety is a major concern.

Another major change this winter is that Jenna Untiedt, whom many of you have come to know through her work at our Minneapolis Farmers Market as a barista, and as our CSA Coordinator for the previous 8 years, has decided to move on and expand her horizons! She has been indispensable to the farm, growing the CSA program, working with many of our farmers markets, and managing our Wright County stands. We are so grateful for all the work she has done, and the amount of time and energy she has invested in our farm, we wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors! Of course, being one of Jerry’s daughters, she will always be around and willing to help out if needed. So, you never know, you may still see her at one of our summer CSA Farm Tours!

This is where I come in. With Jenna’s departure, I was asked to take over some of her role and become the new CSA Coordinator. And I was thrilled with the opportunity! I am not new to the Untiedt’s organization, and I already know many of you from my many years managing our Maple Grove Garden Center. The locally grown produce and sustainable farm practices is what got me hooked on this farm in the beginning, so to have the chance to share my passion for cooking with fresh ingredients, knowing how your food is grown, and encouraging people to spend more time around the table with friends and family, I couldn’t say no! I am looking forward to getting to know many more of you in this new role.

January was spent learning about our CSA Dropsites, both public and private corporate locations, and getting to know our systems and processes on the farm. It is exciting to not only see all the plans that are coming in our future, but to also be a part of the planning! For example, I am happy to announce that we are expanding our CSA program to include more dropsites this year!

Hy-Vee in Cottage Grove is open to the public

Children’s Business Center in Minnetonka (Private Corporate site)

Prime Therapeutics Boulder Lakes in Eagan (Private Corporate site)

VanWagenen in Eden Prairie (Private Corporate site)

Fairview Oxborough Clinic in Bloomington (Private Corporate site)  

We are also planning a few new products for our CSA shares, including Okra, Broccolini, maybe celery, and some more onion varieties. Of course, these crops are all weather dependent! I’m curious, what produce items would you like us to look into growing for 2019? Send me an email! Colleen@UntiedtsWeGrowForYou.com

Of course, as I move on from Maple Grove, there is a new management position open in our growing company. If you or someone you know may be interested in managing a thriving garden center, who is focused on customer service, locally grown products, and loves being outside, please send them our way! We are already in preparations for the next gardening season, and managers of all our retail locations are meeting soon to discuss the 2019 season.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page this week, CSA Day is Friday, February 22nd, and we are doing some fun giveaways to all CSA members registered by Friday! If you haven’t signed up for your share yet, now is a perfect time to do so, you can register here on our website, or give us a call at the farm during business hours to register with our payment plan.

I’m curious, how many of you have saved your summer CSA produce by freezing or canning it, and are you using it this winter? What is your favorite winter recipe? Send me an email!

~Colleen