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Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 8/18/2020 6:51am by Colleen Quiram.

I am so glad the timing worked out to feature so many of our Italian favorites in one share! Romano beans, Italian Peppers, Cipollini Onions, and San Marzano Roma Tomatoes all originate in Italy. We are hoping to include Roma tomatoes in the Mini’s next week, so do not fret if you missed them this week.

These Romano beans are my favorite. Thick, juicy, and full of flavor. We will be sautéing them for dinner with some of my husband’s home smoked bacon and the white Cippolini onion in our share. Pretty sure we make this almost weekly in our house.

I am a bit intimidated by the okra in our shares, even though it is a smaller portion. My coworker Claudia loves okra and has given me some tips on how to fry it. So, I will give it a try and see what my family thinks. I will be using this recipe for Classic Cornmeal Fried Okra. 

Roma tomatoes are my favorite to use for sauce and canning. I will be making a small batch of tomato sauce to use later this weekend on our grilled pizzas. If you haven’t tried homemade pizzas on the grill, they are amazing! We use Naan bread or tortillas. I have found that Extreme Wellness brand tortillas work very well as pizza crusts. Have your toppings ready to go, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, diced peppers, etc. Brush one side of the tortilla or naan with olive oil and place on the grill, medium direct heat. Once the bottom is lightly toasted, brush the top with olive oil and flip your crust. Top with whatever toppings you prefer – this is where each kid can have their own pizza toppings – and close the grill. Cook on medium or low until the cheese is melted and crust is toasted. Here is a similar guide to grilled pizza with photos.

The honeydew melon was harvested just this past Sunday afternoon, and their ripeness is notoriously hard to determine! Please leave this melon on your counter for a few days to ripen until the rind just barely yields to pressure. Honeydew should be soft and sweet on the inside, not crunchy.

In true CSA models, when the farm has an abundance of crops, our CSA members receive an abundance of that crop. The same goes for crop shortages, if we have an under-performing or failed crop, our members will not receive that item or receive very little of that item. As we look ahead, we have a plethora of peppers on the horizon; green bells, poblanos, shishito, and jalapeno, along with sweet onions. Our apple crop should be coming in soon, and we are already looking ahead to the squash and fall vegetable harvest. You may be receiving peppers consistently in the next few weeks as we harvest, plan your recipes or make room in your freezer!

Have a wonderful week,

~Colleen

Posted 8/10/2020 4:28pm by Colleen Quiram.

 This week’s box is filled with items that are common in our kitchen! My son is again calling dibs on the melon. If you have yet to try a Canary or Tuscan melon, do not be turned off by their softer texture. The Canary melon reminds me of a sweeter honey dew melon, and the Tuscan with its stronger cantaloupe flavor is just perfect for the entire family. Unfortunately, we do not have quite enough for all shares to receive one of each of these melons at this time, so what you receive will be a surprise! Either way, I hope you truly enjoy these melons as the flavor is unbelievable.

 I am most excited for the garlic and heirloom tomato in this week’s share. I plan to use both items along with my shallots to make a small fresh tomato sauce. Similar to this recipe, however, I do not remove the skins and add a splash of red wine. Some stuffed mushrooms topped with this sauce and mozzarella cheese sounds perfect for Tuesday night.

 These filet beans cook so quickly! We really enjoyed the last batch we received, and there’s just enough here to have as a grilled side dish. Wrapped in foil with some butter and salt, give them a try.

 Oneida Gold Potatoes – If you are a fan of Yukon Gold potatoes, then you will love these. Buttery and full of flavor, we will be making the smashed potato recipe featured in the newsletter. They do keep quite well if stored in a cool, dark space. Jerry just used the last of his potatoes from last fall!

Kale – I finally caved and made Megan’s kale chips a few weeks ago and proceeded to devour the entire pan. I’m sure the kale was good for me, maybe not the oil and salt! I will be making chips again with this bunch, a new favorite snack of mine.

Cauliflower and Broccoli – Growing up, my family was a heavy user of Velveeta Cheese. I don’t think I had broccoli or cauliflower without it until I was into my 20’s. I plan to make this cheese sauce using almond milk (my family is lactose sensitive, thankfully not intolerant) and pour it over steamed veggies.

Sweet Corn – after freezing last week’s portion, I am ready for some fresh grilled corn on the cob. 4 ears is just right for us without any leftovers.

Keep those recipes coming! I really enjoy seeing what everyone makes with their shares. Some of you are very ambitious cooks. Seeing what you are making is encouraging me to break out of my ‘veggie comfort zone’ a bit! 

Enjoy a beautiful week,

~Colleen    

Posted 8/4/2020 7:16am by Colleen Quiram.

It’s a Pepper-palooza week! And of course, it’s the week that my spicy-pepper-loving husband is out of town. I will be using just a few items out of the share during the week, saving the rest for the weekend when we are all back together again. The peppers will keep well in the crisper drawer until the weekend, and I will get my carrots in ice water in the fridge right away to keep them crunchy until the weekend.

Jalapeno – Jerry’s Jalapenos have a big kick this year, and we love having them as Jalapeno Poppers on the grill. Cut in half lengthwise, stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder and garlic powder, wrapped with bacon and grilled until slightly charred.

Shishito Peppers – These were a new addition to the CSA last year, and they quickly became a favorite of ours on the grill. Skewered with shrimp, pineapple chunks, and brushed with a spicy chili glaze, they are delicious! 

Tomatillos – I was intrigued by the member submitted recipe for Tomatillo Pie. We are having an employee appreciation corn roast on Friday, so I think I will try this out and bring it in for the CSA Packing Crew!

Sweet Corn – This is one item I will not be able to use all on my own this week. I plan to make a small batch of freezer corn to save for winter. The recipe I use is a short-term storage recipe, you should try to use the corn within 6 months of freezing. 

Fennel & Carrots – Last year was my first attempt with Fennel. I am not a fan of the black licorice flavor, but the fennel was much more mild than I anticipated. I really enjoyed this roasted pork loin with fennel and carrots recipe. Give it a try!

Heirloom Tomato – This one is all for me! Caprese Salad grilled chicken breast for dinner, with caprese salad on the side as well.

Melon – I think I might keep this one all to myself this week for breakfast. I bought two from the farm last week and my son ate them both by himself! I guess he loves melon as much as I do.

Poblanos – Poblanos are just about the right level of heat for me. However, I was talking with Paul and he stated these have a bit more kick than normal, so be cautious! I will make this Stuffed Grilled Poblano recipe on Saturday, substituting some taco seasoned ground turkey for the chorizo in my sons poblano. He does not like the spiciness as much as we do.

It’s a short list for me this week, hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas of what to do with the peppers in your shares.

Enjoy the cooler weather this week,

~Colleen

 

Posted 7/27/2020 5:29pm by Colleen Quiram.

Quite the variety of produce items in our shares this week! Most of it should be familiar to you, but if your family is like mine, eggplant is still unfamiliar and maybe more difficult to use. I included some other recipes in both the newsletter and below in my meal plan, I hope you find them useful in your kitchen.

Here is how I plan to use all my CSA items this week:

Tuesday – Eggplant Marinara using the white eggplant. Mine seems to be very ripe and I don’t think it will keep long. My guys enjoyed this recipe from the newsletter a few weeks ago, so I will make it again tonight.

Wednesday – Sautéed Sesame Broccoli and Kohlrabi (similar to this recipe), with Grilled Salmon. I plan to use what is left of my tomato jam as a glaze for the grilled salmon. I will probably cook all the broccoli and kohlrabi, saving some of it for lunch the next day. *Storage tip* If your broccoli has begun to wilt from being out of the fridge, cut it into florets and submerge in ice cold water. Once they are again crisp, place into a container in the fridge and use in a day or two.

Thursday – Baingan Bharta with Jasmine Rice and Cilantro Lime Chicken. I saw this traditional Indian dish on a CSA Facebook Group I am in, and it sounds intriguing! I have no idea if my family will eat it or not, but we will give it a try. *Storage Tip* Eggplant does not keep long, try to use within 4-5 days. Store in the crisper drawer until then.

Side note - I made a few crockpots full of this Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe in the past to freeze, and I think the flavor of the chicken should work with the eggplant dish. It may not be a vegetable recipe but having this frozen in small containers has saved many a weeknight meals. Use it for nachos, taco night, quick thrown in with leftover veggies for lunch, wraps, and whatever else you can think of. It does use a jalapeno, so maybe that will qualify as a vegetable recipe?

Friday – Sweet Corn and homemade Philly Cheesesteaks. Our friends make these camping all the time and they are so good! Thinly sliced skirt steak, sautéed onion and green pepper, piled in a bun and topped with provolone cheese. Sweet corn on the side and we are set.

Saturday – Roasted potatoes with shallots, burgers, and grilled sweet corn. We always clean our corn, wrap in tinfoil with butter and then grill. I’m curious, what is your favorite way to cook sweet corn?

Beets – These are easiest for me to use for lunch. Roast the beets, cool and cut into quarters for a mid-afternoon snack.

Celery – This will keep for a bit in the fridge, I will clean up the stalks, saving the greens in freezer bags for use this fall in turkey and chicken soups. The stalks will go right into one of my Tupperware containers until Sunday. I’ll make a batch of tuna salad to have with crackers for an afternoon snack next week. My stalk is on the small side, so I should be able to use the whole thing at once. *Storage Tip* If your celery is a bit limp, use the same process as the broccoli above to revive! You can also store celery submerged in cold water in the fridge, but I find that my celery splits easily if I do this method.  

That should use up my share for the week. We always hope to feature tomatoes every week during the summer months, but we had a bit of a snafu early in the growing season that caused a dip in tomato production. We plan to provide you with more tomatoes, tomatillos, and hopefully melons soon!

~Colleen

Posted 7/20/2020 3:11pm by Colleen Quiram.

This week’s box is full of produce that is in my kitchen regularly, and I am very excited about the beans! I thought as the items are a bit more common, I might write a bit more about storing your items at home.

I use the FridgeSmart system from Tupperware for all my produce. I have found that my items keep much longer in these containers, and I like them so much that I have 2 full sets! Rubbermaid I believe, has a similar system where you can adjust the humidity by produce item. Even here on the farm we use the same storage techniques on a larger scale. Certain items like to be colder, around 36°, such as apples, carrots, green beans, beets, kohlrabi, cabbage, and cauliflower. Others such as zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, and peppers prefer it a bit warmer around 40°. The humidity in your refrigerator will affect produce as well, which is why I like the keeper systems where each container can have a different humidity level. Check your refrigerator temp as they can sometimes be around 45°, not nearly cold enough to keep items at their best.

Carrots – Our carrots will store best in the refrigerator, cold and in a little ice water. This will help them keep their crunch for a week or more. Do not clean carrots until you are ready to use them, cleaning them will make them deteriorate faster.

Sweet Corn – Stored best in the refrigerator but keep them damp! Once the husks start to dry, the corn kernels will also dehydrate and lose their sweetness as the sugars convert to starch. Keep them wrapped in a damp paper towel in the fridge, use within a few days.

Potatoes – New potatoes such as these will do best in the refrigerator as well. Keep them in the coldest part of your fridge in a plastic container. Do not keep them in a plastic bag.

French Green Beans – These will keep well in a plastic bag, but only for a few days. Try to use them earlier in your week as they do not have a long shelf life.

Onion – as our onions have a higher sugar content, they do not ‘cure’ well for storage. Keep them in the fridge near your potatoes. They will last for a month or more un-cut. Once cut, they will dry out quickly. Use within a few days.

Cucumber – Cold and crisp! Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of a plastic container and keep in the fridge. Do not wash until you are ready to use.

Tomatillos – These can be stored on your counter in the husk until ready to use. They will keep for a week or so as the husks start to dry. Make sure to take them out of the plastic bag. Jalapeno – Fridge is best, but not too cold.

Broccoli – Best used within a few days, but you can keep it in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your fridge if needed. Don’t forget to use the stems! Cut off the woodiest part of the broccoli stem, reserving the top portion. Peel the thick outside layer off and cut into disks.

Tomatoes – these should never be kept below 50°, it affects the flavor of the tomatoes and will cause them to deteriorate faster. Leave them on your counter, top side down, until ready to use.

Here is a sneak peek of other items we hope to feature in your shares in the coming weeks. As you all are aware, crops can fail, we sometimes just don’t have enough for everyone, and weather happens! Start gathering your favorite recipes for some of these items we hope to send you soon.

Green Peppers

Sweet Italian Peppers

San Marzano Roma tomatoes (paste tomatoes)

Heirloom tomatoes

Mini Italian Peppers

Okra

Garlic

Melons

and Apples in late August!  

~Colleen      

Posted 7/13/2020 4:53pm by Colleen Quiram.

We are beginning to get into the season where we have such a variety of product that it is hard to decide what to put into the shares. We also face the issue of having a wide variety, but not always the quantity needed to put items in both size shares. You may notice in the coming weeks that the Family and Mini shares will be receiving different items week to week, for example this week the family shares are receiving chub cucumbers while the mini shares have a slicing cucumber. We hope to flip this next week so everyone can experience our chubs, but our plants are just not up to producing enough to supply both share sizes at once.

Kale – A larger bunch is in the share this week. I struggle to use this quantity fresh and will need to chop and freeze some of it for use later this year. Fresh or frozen, it goes great in my egg bake. I will use what I can in a large egg bake, cutting into 10 or 12 pieces for easy breakfasts this week. Egg Bakes are a great way to use up any vegetables you have extra in your fridge. Shredded Zucchini, peppers, onions, chard, kale, mushrooms, even sweet potato. Here is my ‘recipe’, feel free to change it up based on what you have available.

Chub Cucumbers – We love summer refrigerator pickles! These are destined for the mandolin, there should be enough here to make about 2 pints of pickles for burgers later.

Eggplant – This is not a common vegetable for us. In fact, I have only found one way to make it that my family will enjoy, doused in marinara and cheese. So that’s what I will be doing this week, using the recipe included in the newsletter. Since the eggplant is on the small side, I will make this dish with both eggplant and 1 of the green zucchinis in my share.

Zucchini – Easy on the grill, sliced into ½” rounds, skewered sideways (through the skin), and brushed with a sweet chili sauce until crisp tender. I think I will make this with some grilled shrimp later this week when it is too hot to cook inside.

Red and Green Cabbage, Carrots & Onion – This is a favorite meal of ours when camping. Easily done in packets on the grill. Or, if you have a steamer pot at home, you can do this inside as well. We add carrots and sweet corn, cut in half, I will snag a few more potatoes at one of our vegetable stands around the metro to make this dish, they are just so good.

Kohlrabi – Ok, I was a bit skeptical about a Kohlrabi Slaw, but I made this one from the Week 2 newsletter this past week, and it was amazing. So light and fresh tasting. I will make another batch this week to have with my lunches. I just sauté chicken breast in a spicy taco seasoning and serve on top. The spiciness of the chicken goes well with the cool, light flavor of the slaw.

Onion & Tomato – If you have not had one of our sweet Epicurean onions before, this is a highlight of our summer! They have a higher sugar content, making them terrible storage onions. Please use these within the next few weeks. Ours is destined for the refrigerator pickles recipe and burgers with the tomato.

This week’s box is packed full of vegetables that can be used together in meals, which makes it even easier to use the share. The cabbage heads are again a nice small size, useable in a meal or two without being overwhelming. I hope you are enjoying your shares so far, the best is yet to come!

~Colleen

Posted 7/6/2020 3:48pm by Colleen Quiram.

Last week we tried the Dutch Oven Strawberry/Rhubarb Crumble recipe. As with most new recipes, there are a few tweaks I would make before doing this again, it turned out delicious, but a bit goopy!  Since the berries were a little soft last week, we cleaned and froze them right away. This released a lot of the juices and I probably should have used less water in the sugar/cornstarch mixture. We ate it anyways while watching fireworks around Upper Red Lake hiding in our vehicle away from the mosquitoes.

This week’s share is filled with some vegetables that are common in my home, and easy for us to use in dinners.                                   

 

Potatoes – If you have yet to enjoy freshly dug potatoes, you will be surprised at the flavor! There is quite a difference between storage potatoes and freshly harvested new potatoes. The skin is very thin or even absent on these, so be careful when you clean them. Just a gentle wash with a wet towel under running water will do. Without any skin, these also will not store well. Use them within the week, or they will brown. We will use them in this Roasted Garlic & Rosemary recipe on Friday, and might even have a few leftovers for breakfast potatoes.

Green Beans – It is going to be HOT this week! The more outdoor cooking we can do, the better in order to keep the heat out of the house. Green beans are easy to do in a foil packet on the grill, just trim the ends, rinse, top with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. I always leave some of the water from rinsing inside the packet to help steam the green beans more evenly.

Beets – I know these are not a favorite for everyone, but there are so many ways to enjoy them. I hope you give them a second chance! The golden beets are especially delicious, I think. Not quite as sweet as the reds, but they take on the flavor of the thyme. I prefer to peel and quarter my beets prior to cooking so they can take in more flavor. A light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt, some fresh thyme wrapped tightly in foil and grill on indirect heat for about 30min.

Since we included the beet greens with the share, I will also be making beet green pesto. It’s one of those recipes I’ve had on my Pinterest board for a few years, and have yet to make. This is the year! I think it will go well on grilled chicken sandwiches – chicken breast, melted provolone, sautéed onion and pepper with beet pesto.

Bok Choy – This vegetable is a recent addition to our regular rotation. Most often used in Asian cooking, it has a light, peppery flavor, and retains its crunch when cooked. I will be making this Sesame Ginger Bok Choi recipe, adding sliced chicken breast, for dinner tonight.

Tomato – Two tomatoes in the share means I have enough for my chicken sandwiches, a small side of caprese salad with the basil from week 1, and a small batch of Pico de Gallo for our fish tacos.  If at any point you begin to feel overwhelmed with tomatoes, don’t toss them! Just clean the core out, chop and freeze even with the skin on. Use in the coming winter for stew or sauce.

Cucumber – Sliced for wraps and snacks, even if they are a bit crooked or have a few scars, they still eat well.

Cabbage – There is a variation in size of the cabbage this week. Some of you received single medium heads, while some received 2 nice small heads. It just shows that while everything ripened at the same time, forming nice tight heads, they did not all grow as large as others. My husband will make this Lime Cilantro Slaw for fish tacos this week, it's a favorite of mine! It’s also really good on pulled pork sandwiches and burgers, or alone as a side dish.

I think that uses everything in our share except the Maple Syrup. If you don’t make pancakes often, you can use it as a sweetener in many baking recipes, drizzle on carrots or save it to drizzle on squash this fall.

~Colleen  

Posted 6/30/2020 7:00am by Colleen Quiram.

Happy 4th of July week! I hope you are all planning a safe holiday weekend, whether you are staying in town, heading to a cabin, or to one of our beautiful Minnesota State Parks as I am. Some of my plan this week is to take part of my CSA camping with us, however you can do any of these recipes at home in the oven as well.

Zucchini - Zucchini Boats are on the menu Tuesday night as I have leftover Italian sausage to use up in the fridge. A coworker from my first years at Untiedt’s made these all the time. They are a fabulous way to use up vegetables in the fridge. You can use any diced cooked meat – steak, pork, bacon, chicken, or sausage in the filling. Or omit the meat, replace with black beans and keep it vegetarian.

Slice a zucchini lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and brush with butter. Bake the zucchini at 350 degrees for 10-15 min, until they just start to soften. While the zucchini is baking, chop any remaining vegetables – onion, garlic, pepper, green beans, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc. into small pieces. Pull the zucchini from the oven, stuff the ‘boat’ with vegetable mixture and meat, top with shredded cheese, return to oven for 10min or until top is melted and filling is warm. Serve hot.

Tomato – Finally, the time of fresh BLT’s, caprese salad, and Bruschetta is here! We love Chicken and Cheese BLT’s in our house. Leftover grilled chicken, sliced, on top of toasted bread with melted mozzarella, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and sometimes avocado. Not really a BLT at this point, but it makes for a very filling sandwich. 

Radish – Week 2 of radishes, and as I had said earlier, they just aren’t a favorite of ours raw, but the whole purpose of joining a CSA is to try new things, right? A CSA member had sent me this suggestion last week, I plan to try it Wednesday night with our BLT’s:

6 Radishes, washed and quartered

2 carrots, cut into ½ thick slices

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp Sage

½ Tbsp Salt

Pepper to taste

Toss vegetables in honey & spices, lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in oven at 400 degrees for 20min or until fork tender.  I’ll let you know what my family thinks!

Lettuce/Kohlrabi/Kale – I am so excited to try out this recipe this week when we arrive at the campground – Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I plan to substitute 1 or 2 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced for the water chestnuts. Along with 1-2 leaves of kale minced, and some of the romaine lettuce for the wraps in this meal. I will mix up the sauce before we leave and chop the chicken at home. There should be enough for the three of us Thursday night along with some leftovers for cold wrap lunches while camping.

Remaining Kohlrabi – I love fresh kohlrabi, crunchy and mild I usually just cut it into thick matchsticks and dip in peanut butter or veggie dip. If you have young children, they might really like these ‘veggie fries’! They make a great on-the-go snack when hiking as well.

Remaining Kale – When kale is young and tender like this, I will use it along with lettuce on burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. When the stalks are a little more mature, I prefer to rinse, chop, and freeze it to add to soups and stews in the winter. We have both wraps and burgers on the menu for the weekend, so it will all be used.

Strawberries & Rhubarb – Nothing says 4th of July in Minnesota quite like a Strawberry/Rhubarb dessert. We will be making Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp in the cast iron dutch oven over coals, again prepping a bit at home to make it easier. The topping will be mixed, but we will add the butter at the campground. I will also pre-measure and combine the sugar and cornstarch. If you are at home this weekend, there are instructions at the bottom to bake in your home oven. *Edited to add - with the heavy rain Tuesday morning these berries may not last until we go camping. I encourage you to use them soon and do not let the softness deter you! The flavor is amazing, and they will make a fantastic topping for cakes and ice cream.

I hope you are finding new ways to incorporate your CSA into meals. If you have a favorite recipe, send it my way! I will add it to my CSA Collection. Enjoy!

~Colleen

Posted 6/23/2020 6:42am by Colleen Quiram.

Welcome to our CSA program! I am excited to share recipes and meal ideas with you and get to know many of you through email over the next 17 weeks. I hope to help you use your CSA share each week by sharing my family’s meal plan and what we will be doing with our Family share. I’ll be honest, I am not a fancy cook, and oftentimes I will eat all of the grape tomatoes before they ever make it home for use in a recipe! You will not often find recipes that involve a lot of prep, work, or time here. Instead, I will provide you with dinners that my 13 year old son and husband will eat, that can be made after a busy work day, or ways to freeze and preserve what we receive to use this winter.  

With that being said, here is my plan for each item this week:

Broccoli – This is first on the list in a Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry recipe Tuesday night. I prefer my broccoli crisp and not soggy, so I often cook it quick in a wide skillet so any liquid can steam out. Thinly sliced flank steak, sautéed with garlic, ginger, toasted sesame oil, and then add in the broccoli trimmed and rinsed. Continue to mix and sauté until broccoli is cooked to your liking, add some soy sauce (I prefer lite Tamari sauce) and sesame seeds, serve with brown rice.

Cucumber, Romaine & Bibb Lettuce – First, let me explain that I had no idea how much flavor lettuce could have until I had fresh cut, home grown lettuce! I don’t want to cover this light, flavorful, crisp lettuce with a bunch of dressing and toppings. Instead, I will use it in fresh salads with dinner, topped with the sliced cucumber and a light balsamic vinegar dressing. I think we will have salad Wednesday with grilled salmon, and again on Friday with some grilled sandwiches.

Radishes – Not a household favorite to eat raw, but my husband plans to make this Radish Pickles recipe Tuesday night so that we can enjoy on burgers later this month.

Garlic Scapes – If you are not familiar with the flavor of garlic scapes you are in for a treat! These are the seeds of bulb-garlic growing in our fields. Similar to how chives send our flowers and re-seed, garlic will do the same thing. Once we cut the garlic scape off the bulb, the garlic begins to send more energy into forming a nice, large garlic bulb instead of a seed. Dice up the entire stem and use in stir-fry, tuna salads, or even make pesto. I will use it with my zucchini below.

Zucchini – Three zucchini will make about two meals for my family. Thursday - Sliced into ½ inch discs, heat a pan on the stove and melt butter in the pan, add the zucchini in a single layer, sprinkle with garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Flip them over once they brown on the bottom a bit, add more garlic powder and the garlic scapes. Once the second side browns, they’re done! Higher heat will help them crisp up rather than get soggy. We will have the rest on the grill Saturday, again sliced into ½ inch thick discs, and brushed with a sweet Thai Chile sauce.

Strawberries – Let’s be real, IF these make it home, they won’t make it past the 13yr old boy. I likely won’t have a chance to make any fun recipes. But, if there are a few left, I will mash them up to mix with my Greek yogurts for breakfast. Don’t be afraid to use them even if they look a little darker than store bought! They can be rinsed and frozen for use in smoothies, yogurts, or as ice cream toppings later.

Cauliflower – This should keep until Sunday evening in the crisper. Cut the head of cauliflower into bite sized pieces, also cut a sweet potato into ½” cubes. Melt ½ Tbsp butter in a bowl, add ½ Tbsp olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt and black pepper. Toss both the cauliflower and sweet potato in the butter mixture, pour onto a shallow baking sheet and roast at 350⁰ for 35min or until slightly browned on the edges. If your cauliflower softens a bit before you are ready to use it, cut the main stem off and place in a bowl of icy cold water, just enough to cover the stem. It should firm up quickly.

Herbs – Basil and Cilantro – I will plant both of these for use later this summer. Cilantro tends to bolt as the weather warms, keep it cool in only a half day of sun and use the leaves as you need to. Basil will provide all season long if you pinch the growing tips back as you use the leaves. Don’t just pull the leaves off the side of the plant.

I hope these ideas help you to us your entire box this week. Please comment and share with us via email or on Facebook what you are doing with your share!

~Colleen

Posted 6/16/2020 10:19am by Jenna Untiedt.

The start of the 2020 growing season has been significantly different than the past few years. The temperatures have been warmer earlier in the season and a bit more consistent as well. There hasn't been any excessive precipitation to date this season, unlike the past few years. The farm is extremely dry, but we aren't alone. Most of west central Minnesota is extremely dry and could benefit from a nice, gentle rainfall. 

Since we can't program Mother Nature, the next best thing we can do is irrigate. We are fortunate to have irrigation on a large amount of our farmland. These systems are currently running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even on the windy days, we just keep watering as the ground is so dry. 

Overall, the crops look exceptional this year! We have started harvesting cucumbers, chub cukes, slicing tomatoes, grape tomatoes, zucchini and even a few strawberries. Our vegetable stands open on Friday, June 19th and the CSA season kicks off on Tuesday, June 23rd. 

As we prepare to open the vegetable stands this Friday, we want you all to understand that sweet corn is hard to come by at this point in time. Just like any other season, we typically start with shipped-in sweet corn from our friends in Georgia and then work our way north until Minnesota corn is ready in mid-July. Sweet corn in addition to watermelons are extremely limited throughout the country this year. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. The first reason has a bit to do with COVID. Back in March, many growers in Florida had to destroy their crops as they had nowhere to take their products. This produced some uncertainty for future demands. The second reason is purely related to economic conditions. Agriculture across the country is in dire straits. Many farms could not secure financing from their lenders this year, therefore were not able to plant their typical crops. We will do our best to bring in the highest quality produce for you all to enjoy until our own Minnesota corn and melons are ready, but we just want to give you a heads up that there may be days without the corn we are known for. 

We have always had a strong commitment to giving back and supporting our communities. This season we have partnered with Wright County Community Action to give them excess produce or produce that is considered a number 2 and unable to be sold in the traditional distribution channels. So far, we have been providing them with zucchini, but as more produce is available and harvested, we will add to the assortment. It is a great partnership as they are able to take a large quantity and distribute to local food shelves throughout Wright County and help those in need. 

Overall, the season is off to a great start! We can't wait to get our products out to you on a regular basis. We truly enjoy growing for you.