News and blog
Week 2 of the CSA program is upon us. There is so much goodness packed into the share this week, I am going to give you a few tips to get through it all once again. Sometimes we just have to stretch our thinking and comfort level of cooking so we can enjoy all the freshness that we receive each week.
This time of year can be a bit challenging as the hours worked are long and days off are non-existent. So last night, with little time or energy I grabbed the contents of this weeks share and decided stir-fry was the solution. In less than half an hour, I had a complete meal and very few dishes. I think I was more excited about the very few dishes. Here is what I did:
Slice 1 Head of Cabbage into thin strips (used as the base of stir-fry instead of rice)
Peel and slice 2 Kohlrabi (they act as water chestnuts)
Snip the ends off of the snow peas
Thin Sliced Onion and 2 Bell Peppers (not in the CSA, but happened to have on hand)
1 steak thinly sliced
If you own a wok, awesome, if not this works just fine in a frying pan as well...the bigger the pan, the better. I did not have a wok last night, so I threw the steak in a frying pan with a dash of sesame oil, olive oil, and teriyaki sauce. I cooked for a few minutes until steak was tender and removed meat from the pan.
In a second frying pan, I added all the vegetables except the cabbage. Again, I cooked them with a dash of sesame oil, olive oil, and teriyaki sauce. Sautee those until soft...usually about 12-14 minutes. In the frying pan I used to cook the meat, I sauteed the cabbage. It looks like a lot when you put it all in the pan, but cabbage cooks down quite a bit. This takes maybe 10 minutes.
Once all the veggies are to desired tenderness, throw the meat onto the veggies to warm it back up and serve! Now, I used the cabbage as a base for the stir fry...kind of like the normal use of rice. Don't get me wrong, I do love rice, but I don't eat it too often. This meal was a great way to use up 3 veggies from the share! You can add whatever other veggies you like as well!
Now, what to do with the rest of the box?
Asparagus: Roast it, Grill it, Steam it...enjoy it now because there is likely only a week left of homegrown asparagus season. Feeling adventurous? Try making an asparagus and pea risotto. Here is a great recipe I have used before: Asparagus and Pea Risotto. It calls for shelled peas, but you can easily use snow or snap peas as well. Give it a try!
Cabbage: If stir fry isn't your thing, try a homemade coleslaw.
Chub Cukes: Slice and eat...really, I bring these to work almost daily. They don't last too long around my house. Later in the season you will get enough to make a family recipe of refrigerator pickles....I made 7 batches yesterday for an event and can't wait to try them in a few hours!
Kohlrabi: With such a mellow flavor, you can really add this vegetable to anything. Roasted or in stir fry is my favorite way to eat it.
Baby Red Potatoes: Growing up, we ate these almost every night. I never thought anything of it until I was a real adult and started buying potatoes in the store. They are horrible, they have no flavor. I didn't really understand what my dad would talk about when I was younger....these potatoes are the best. Boiled is my favorite, but grilled is a close second. Try them for yourself and see what we are talking about!
Lettuce and Romaine: Salads, burger toppings, lettuce wraps (romaine)...so many uses for it. The lettuce season is so short here, we have to enjoy it while we can.
Radishes: Slice and keep in a bowl of ice water in your fridge. A great quick snack that is extra crunchy.
Snow Peas: Stir fry or sauteed is the best route to use these up. Truly tender and so much flavor.
Snap Peas: A great snack....sweet and crunchy.
Swiss Chard: Truly one of my favorite summertime veggies. My favorite way to eat the chard is to slice it up, stem and all and saute it in olive oil or....bacon grease. Yes, I know...not the healthiest, but sometimes a little treat is good. I like to cook about 4 pieces of bacon, make it crispy, then I remove the bacon and add the chard. Once the chard is cooked down and pretty wilty, I add the chopped up bacon back to the pan. A great treat!
Basil Plants: Alright, confession, I already killed my herbs from last week. I think the key to keeping plants alive is to be home to care for them. Considering I have barely been home in the last week, that might be the reason my herbs died. My basil plants need to survive though. Fresh basil with tomatoes is the best summertime treat. A little trick I like to do is pick the leaves as often as possible and either dry them or make batches of pesto to freeze and use throughout the winter. So many options with these fresh herbs!
There you have it....some ideas to help you through the box again this week. Have a great week and Happy 4th! It sounds so crazy to say that, but really, the 4th was a week from yesterday. Shares will be delivered on the 5th next week, so if you need to change a location please let us know ASAP. The What's in the Box email will still go out on Monday, so keep an eye out for that. Have a great week!
Today is the day. A day that we work year round for, the first delivery of the CSA shares. The morning begins at 3am under the moonlit sky. It is rather peaceful as we prepare to pack all of the shares. By 4:30am as I write this blog though, the birds have begun to chip and the skies are beginning to lighten. By 7am all CSA shares will be packed and on the road to their subscribers. What a whirlwind when you truly think about it. We are truly thankful for you as the CSA member, but also for our staff, the ones who truly make all of this possible.
Now, onto what to do with what's in your shares. If you are a CSA member, you received an email from Farmer Jerry on what is in the box. While that is helpful, you still may be wondering what to do with the contents. One of my favorite things about our CSA share is that for the most part, everything in the box is recognizable and fairly easy to cook. I'll do my best to give you tips and tricks each week to get through the box.
Since I have to be in the office by 3am on Tuesdays and I have an hour commute to work, I choose to stay at the farm/my parent's house on Monday nights. My parents think it is great because I end up cooking dinner each week. My rule is: I don't mind the cooking, but I am NOT doing the dishes. I hate doing dishes, it is the worst chore followed closely by folding laundry.
Alright, these are some recommendations for how to get through your shares this week:
- Asparagus: Roast, steam, grill...all fabulous ways to consume this awesome vegetable. Last evening we enjoy the asparagus wrapped in bacon. Seriously, so good and so easy! My mom thought I was super fancy, but really...not much work at all! Just take 2-3 spears and wrap with a thin piece of bacon. I like to throw mine on the grill until the bacon is crispy, but you can also broil or roast as well.
- Cauliflower: Roasting vegetables has been an obsession lately. This is one of my favorites. Slice it up, toss in a little bit of olive oil, throw on a cookie sheet and roast at 500 until it is at the desired tenderness. I'll be real with you all....I cook maybe 2x a week in the summer, but when I do, I cook a lot so that I have leftovers. This is one of my favorite leftovers!
- Herbs: I can not express enough how great fresh herbs are. I am quite excited to try out the lemongrass this season. Let's just hope I can keep them alive. Yes, I work for a farm and grew up on a farm, but to successfully raise plants such as herbs one must be home to care for it....being home is the part I struggle with. My goal this season though is to keep my herbs alive til fall. Let's see how it goes.
- Kohlrabi: The MOST underrated vegetable of all time. I had never had kohlrabi until we started the CSA. My parents had deprived me from this wonderful vegetable. Roasted kohlrabi with some chili powder and garlic salt is phenomenal. There wasn't a piece left last night! Just peel, slice into small wedges, coat in olive oil, a tablespoon of chili powder and a couple shakes of garlic salt. Roast at 500 degrees until browned on either side.
- Lettuce/Romaine: Truth....I buy lettuce from the grocery store in the winter, but can never make it through a bag or container because it tastes so bitter to me. This lettuce you are receiving today though is a different story. It has flavor! My summer staple is a fresh salad at most meals. Search Google or Pinterest for some fun new summer dressings to try as well!
- Radishes: Ok, not really a fan, but ill eat them to appease my father because they are his favorite. Im not a huge recipe follower because I am quite impatient when it comes to measuring things out. Here is a recipe I did use for the radishes last night and one that I will use again to get through my bunch ill take home today: Creamy Radish Salad
- English Peas: Too bad these have such a short growing season in MN. They are fabulous. I made my mother shuck them last night, so they tasted even better. These are great to throw on a salad or boil them and add a tad bit of butter and salt. Perfection.
- Zucchini: I already can hear some of you moaning saying "Not Zucchini." Let's try and be positive. I used to be the same way. Every summer we would have zucchini stir fry probably twice a week for dinner and I hated it. Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable. You can eat it raw on salads, turn it into bread, make zucchini stir fry, roast it or grill it. Cheese makes most things better in life, and that includes zucchini. Slice in 1/4 inch pieces, place on a cookie sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, top with Parmesan cheese and bam...you have a great side dish.
There you have it. A few ideas on how to make it through your share this week. I will do my best to update our Facebook page with tips, tricks and ideas to help you all. Many of you will ask how do I come up with these ideas? It is simple. Google is my best friend followed closely by Pinterest. Try it out, just search for something as simple as: Zucchini Recipes. Choose one and try it!
Until next week-
It is Opening Week for our Garden Center locations!
Here is how the week looks in terms of Opening Dates:
Tuesday, April 26: Downtown Buffalo and Minnetonka
Wednesday, April 27th: Waconia at Mackenthuns and St. Louis Park at Knollwood Mall (NEW LOCATION BEHIND KOHLS)
Thursday, April 28th: Buffalo at the Country Store and Maple Grove
Monday, May 2nd: Eden Prairie Center
We hope that you all stop by and say hello!
We've had some interesting comments and questions after many of you saw the Grow with Kare feature Bobby Jensen and Laura Betker did for Kare 11 on our tomato grafting program. If you missed it, you can check it out here. First of all, this grafting program is purely conventional and involves absolutely no GMO technologies whatsoever.
The program itself has been developed here at Untiedt's over the past six or seven years to increase fruit quality and to reduce, and or eliminate, our pesticide load due to healthier plants with root stocks that have a natural resistance to the root fungus complexes of fusarium and verticillium. The process uses our selected fruiting varieties which we believe are very superior in the qualities we desire such as real tomato flavor, sweetness, firmness, juice quality and color. To these, we select a root stock which adds the qualities we desire such as plant vigor, disease resistance, and size.
The grafting process is as follows:
We seed the scion or top part of the plant with extra seed to cover the "die off." This means we seed about 1.5 times the quantity we'll need as we can lose up to 1/3 of the plants after we cut them to match up to the root stocks. The procedure is the same with the root stock, only we may need more seed than the scion as many root stocks germinate very unevenly causing a larger percentage of loss.
When the seedlings reach a diameter of about 1-2mm, we cut them at a 45 degree angle and match the scion (top part) and the root stock and clip them together. They are then placed in a heating chamber (ie. Plant Hospital) for 1 week to grow together and then they are moved to the greenhouse for another 4 weeks when they will be ready to transplant into our gardens. All in all, we will have sown 3 seeds to get 1 plant. Quite an expense, but really worth it in the long run.
Next week, we'll be discussing other plants we are currently grafting. We think you'll be fascinated!
The calendar tells us that is it officially Spring, but the weather begs to differ some days. We love the days of sunshine and warm temperatures, but the days of cooler temps send us into a little bit of worry in the evenings.
The greenhouses are all up and running. Flowers are being planted each week to ensure we have a wide selection for you all to choose from throughout the planting season. The color is absolutely stunning, but we don't let the colorful blooms stick around too long before we cut the plants back in order to produce a healthier plant for you to purchase in the coming weeks. From geraniums to petunias, we will have a wide selection of bedding plants, patio pots, combination planters and hanging baskets for you to choose from come the right time!
Seeding is a daily occurrence at the farm right now. Onions, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kalettes, and jicama are a few of the items we have taking up greenhouse space right now. We seed these items and give them a head start in the greenhouse before we plant them in the high tunnels. That way, they have a little bit of a size advantage and will likely be ready in mid-June or shortly thereafter. For the brussels sprouts, kalettes, and jicama, we plant them so early because the maturity is sometimes upwards of nine months. With the Minnesota growing season, we need a head start to ensure we can get you, the customer, the produce when our CSA or retail locations are still operating. Shares for the 2016 season are still available, tell a friend or sign up today!
Our orchard crew has arrived for the season. Every spring we must prune the apple trees in order to keep them healthy and encourage strong production. It will take our crews roughly a month to complete all the pruning, but this is absolutely necessary so that we can provide you with the highest quality apples come the Fall.
Lastly, it wouldn't be Spring if we weren't preparing to open all of our Garden Centers for the season! We are excited to announce a brand new location at Eden Prairie Center this season. In addition to Eden Prairie, we will be back at Knollwood Mall, Maple Grove Crossings, Minnetonka (7 & 101), Buffalo, and Waconia. If you, or someone you know is looking for full or part time employment, we would love to hear from you! All applications can be found online.
We have been teased with Spring here and there for the last few weeks. With the chance of snow again tomorrow, we have to believe that Spring will stick around one of these days.
With Spring around the corner, we are excited to add to our teams of talented garden center associates. We are now hiring for our Buffalo and Waconia Garden Center locations. Both locations are looking for full and part time employees. Our remaining locations will begin hiring soon!
Interested in joining our team? Take a look at the description below, and if you think you are a good fit, fill out the application at the bottom of the page.
We are seeking both Garden Center and Vegetable Stand Associates who are focused on providing the best in customer service to all customers, knowledgeable about bedding plants and locally grown produce, and possess a willingness to learn and adapt to an ever-changing, exciting work environment.
- Greet customers in a friendly manner and assist them in any way needed.
- Assist customers in choosing plants or produce, answer questions, help carry and load items in their vehicles, etc.
- Be comfortable and competent in accurately processing cash, check, credit card, and gift card transactions on our POS system.
- Clean, sweep, and organize our sales space to provide a neat and safe shopping area for our customers.
- Water, fertilize, deadhead, trim and maintain plants to improve product quality.
- Assist in merchandising the garden center, including creating displays, consolidating or spacing out product, updating signage and pricing of products, and keeping displays full.
- Assist in unloading trucks from our farm in a safe manner.
- Consistently represent our company and farm in a professional and positive manner.
- Ability to lift 25lbs frequently and 50lbs occasionally.
- Ability to engage customers in a fun and positive manner.
- Strong work ethic.
- Ability to stand, walk, bend, and lift for entire shift.
- Available from late April through Halloween for Garden Center Associates, including evenings, weekends, and holidays OR available from mid-June through Labor Day for Vegetable Stand Associates.
- Experience working with plants in a retail environment.
- Strong communication skills and ability to easily build rapport with customers.
- Ability to work and complete tasks in a timely manner with minimal supervision.
How to Apply: Send completed application, available here, and resume to:
Attn: Hiring Manager
Untiedt’s Garden Market
4750 - 25th St SW
Waverly, MN 55390
We accept applications anytime, and will be conducting interviews in late March to early April.
Thank you for your interest in working with us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Who needs a main course when you can just have veggies for dinner?
As always, Monday night was spent preparing most of the CSA contents so that I can share ideas throughout the week.
Here is a glimpse of what was made and enjoyed!
Mediterranean Heirloom Salad
Thinly slice 3-4 heirloom tomatoes. Arrange on a platter; top with 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds and 2 tbsp each: toasted pine nuts and chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.
Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese
Drizzle with olive oil, massage into the kale. Bake at 450 until crispy. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Wash and peel beets. Dice into cubes. Place in aluminum foil with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on grill for 30-45 minutes or until soft.
We only ate about 1/4 of the beets for dinner. The rest will be used to top off salads or an afternoon snack with a little goat cheese.
Bring water to a boil. Place corn in boiling water. Once water has resumed boiling, keep corn in for 3 minutes then remove.
Green Beans with Shallots
A favorite at our house. Saute the shallots in 2-3 tbsp of butter, then place green beans in skillet. Saute until to your desired tenderness.
Veggies for Dinner!
Welcome to week 6 of the CSA! We are getting into some of the peak growing season, so make sure to enjoy some of the best harvests of the season.
Unsure of what to do with all of the produce in your box? Here are a few suggestions to help you use up all the fresh produce!
1. Kohlrabi Fries (cut like steak fries or spiralized)
I go through phases of using my spiralizer for everything, so I chose that route. If you choose the steak fries route, simply bake them longer. These are a great addition to any dinner.
I am not going to lie, I could eat kale chips everyday. They are definitely one of my favorite parts of summer. The kale is freshest and most flavorful! Simply chop the kale, mix with a little olive oil, and top of seasonings of your choosing. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes or until crispy.
Sautee some kale each morning with an egg or two. This is a great way to use up kale that is getting a bit wilty.
3. Roasted Beets
Personally, I like to roast all the beets at one time. I wrap each one individually in tinfoil and bake at 350 until soft- usually 75 minutes or so. Then, unwrap and let cool. Once cooled, the skins should peel right off.
What to do with them once they are cooked? Last night, we enjoyed beets on top of a bed of kale and mixed greens along with steak, tomatoes, goat cheese and balsamic reduction.
If you are looking for a quick snack, slice the beets after they have cooled and toss into a container. They store in the fridge cooked for up to a week. Simply grab and go! Topping with a little bit of honey goat cheese from Trader Joes is a great treat.
4. Chub Cukes
There are enough in the shares this week to make a batch of Grandma Punky's Refrigerator Pickles. These are quick to make and most everybody loves them! If you are in a hurry, a food processor that has a slicing blade can be used to slice the chubs!
Fun Fact: Myself and Megan will be making at least 25 batches of pickles for tours this coming weekend.
If you don't like pickles, slice up and mixed with the grape tomatoes for a quick, on-the-go snack.
BLT's anyone? Great for sandwiches or even just sliced as a snack. Or, try making bruschetta, it calls for plum tomatoes, but regular slicers work just as well.
6. Grape Tomatoes
One of the best snacks. These have so much flavor! If you aren't a huge tomato lover, slice the tomatoes in half, mix with some fresh mozzarella cheese, olive oil, and basil. You will have yourself a wonderful caprese salad.
7. English Peas
Grab a bowl and turn on your favorite tv show. Shell the peas, boil and enjoy. A bit of advice, always cook longer than you think. These take much longer than frozen peas to cook.
Boil, grill, sautee....all great ways to cook these summer specialties. Top with some fresh herbs for a special treat. Add a bit of onion for even more flavor!
Homegrown berries are NOTHING like berries you buy in the grocery store. The shelf life is much shorter, they are picked ripe, and often times are much softer than store bought berries. If these arrive dark, dark red- time is limited so use them as quickly as possible. Warning: DO NOT WASH and then place in fridge as they will not last. Simply rinse right before washing, but they really don't need to be washed as they have never touched the ground.
No chance to eat them within the first day or two? No worries, just place them on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen transfer to a freezer bag. These are great additions to smoothies, ice cream or compote.
Here are a few pictures from dinner last night:
Well, I hope this helps some of you who may be overwhelmed with what do with everything in your box! As always, if you have any questions let me know.
Well, week 5 of the CSA program has arrived. Hopefully you have enjoyed the wide variety of produce you have received thus far. As the season progresses we will be able to introduce more variety to encourage you to spice up your cooking game.
Since the packing of CSA boxes starts at 3am on Tuesday mornings, I spend the night at the farm every Monday night during the CSA season so I am around to make sure everything goes well throughout the packing process. A 2:30am wake-up call is never easy, but the 5 hours in the office before anyone else comes in have become some of my most cherished hours each week. This is the only time throughout the entire week I am able to work in complete silence with no interruptions! So, although every Tuesday has an early start, it really isn't all that bad!
Anyways, every Monday night I am in charge of making dinner for my mom and dad. A reverse role from growing up on the farm, but in all honesty my mom does very little cooking any more. Growing up she always made dinner for the family, but since there is no one left at home cooking has basically come to a halt. I like to give her a hard time about this. The goal every Monday night is to cook as many of the CSA contents as possible so I can share them with you throughout the week!
Here is what we had last night:
- Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Peanut Sauce
- Honey Glazed Carrots
- Roasted Beets
Now, you might say what are spiralized zucchini noodles? Well, there is this nifty tool called the inspiralizer and you can make noodles out of a myriad of fruits and vegetables! You can then use the vegetables to replace your regular pasta noodles. Interested in learning more about the spiralizer or spiralized meals? Check out this blog, one of my favorites that I follow-all devoted to spiralizing! Check out the photos below, and if you have questions let me know!
Have a great week,
Can you believe that the 4th of July is this weekend? We can't either. Summer season is in full swing at the farm and so far so good. Everyone is busy tending to crops, harvesting, and making sure the produce gets from point A to point B.
The CSA season is in its 3rd week, and so far everything is going well. Thank you to all of our customers for the kind feedback. There are so many great treats to look forward to the rest of the season. In the next few weeks you should start to see the following in the shares: strawberries, tomatoes, green beans, beets and so much more! As many customers say, "It is like Christmas every Tuesday when we pick up the box." Thank you all for making the CSA program a success this season.
Roadside vegetable stands are open! Stop by any one of the stands which are open 7 days a week to stock up on fresh produce. Although our watermelons are not ripe yet, we have some extraordinary Black Diamond Seedless watermelons at all locations. Never heard of a Black Diamond Watermelon? Well, you are missing out! Stop by and pick one up for the holiday weekend, you won't regret it. Besides melons, the stands have sweet corn, tomatoes, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peaches, blueberries, cantaloupe and more. Not sure of the closest location.....check out the listing here.
Farm tours dates have been set. Make sure to sign up today! We are offering six different dates this summer. Take time to come visit the farm and learn how your produce is grown. If you have any questions, please contact Jenna. The tour dates are as follows:
And that's a wrap....We hope that everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July!