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Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 7/21/2015 4:09am by Jenna Untiedt.

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. 

2. Kale 

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. 

 

5. Tomatoes

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. 

8. Potatoes

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!

9. Raspberries

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:

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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. 

 

Posted 7/14/2015 4:23am by Jenna Untiedt.

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:

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, 

Jenna

 

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Posted 6/30/2015 4:36am by Jenna Untiedt.

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!

 

Posted 6/22/2015 3:52pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Tis the season for roadside vegetable stands to open. Calls to the office are daily, and the voice on the opposite end is so excited when told that opening day for all vegetable stands is June 26th. This marks the beginning of summer for some people, but for everyone on the farm, it marks the ability to get our wonderful customers fresh and local produce on a daily basis!  

This year you will be able to find Untiedt’s stands at an expanded capacity throughout the Twin Cities Metro area. During the off season, we were approached by the Sever Peterson operation to buy their vegetable stand business. Over the years, we have worked closely with the team at Sever’s to provide their business with a wide variety of produce they sold at their stands. So, if you have purchased from Sever’s in the past, you have likely purchased some produce grown by Untiedt’s as well.  

Sever’s has been a fine competitor of ours for many years, one that everyone at Untiedt’s respected with the utmost respect. The time had come for Sever’s to allocate their resources in the most practical manor, which meant the divestiture of their roadside stand business. Because we have worked with the Sever operation for many years, our company was a natural fit as the buyer of the roadside stand business. We have worked hard throughout the off-season to make this possible and hope to continue to serve Sever’s customers with the highest quality, locally grown produce.  

The acquisition of roadside stands added a significant number of locations to operate for the 2015 season. With much thought, our team decided to only operate a portion of the Sever stands this season with the hopes of expansion for the 2016 season. You can find a list of all our roadside vegetable stands here.  

Everyone is excited for this new endeavor and the opportunity to serve more of our customers on a daily basis. For the former Sever’s customers, we hope you give Untiedt’s the opportunity to grow farm fresh produce for you!

Posted 6/16/2015 3:27am by Jenna Untiedt.

The widely anticipated day is here, the start of the CSA program. At Untiedt's we opened registration for the 2015 season last October and spent much of our winter season planning what crops to grow, ordering seeds, planting seeds, and visiting with customers at a variety of events. Many people think we take the winter off, but in truth, our winter is just as busy as we prepare for the upcoming season. Today, June 16th marks the start of our 5th CSA season, and we could not be more excited. 

A typical CSA morning starts at 2:30am. Our crew of 12-14 people start packing the shares and then load the trucks for delivery. We carefully pack each box with fresh produce that was harvested and prepared for the shares on Mondays. As soon as the shares are packed, the trucks are off for delivery! We have six delivery routes to ensure that all of our member receive their shares in a timely manner. The logistics of delivery is perhaps the most stressful part of the program, but over five years we have learned many tips and tricks to make the process go as smoothly as possible. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that each and every one of our 1000+ shareholders receive their share each week.

Once the shares are out for delivery, we move onto planning for the following week. Farmer Jerry is constantly checking crops, evaluating what will potentially be ready, and making and remaking plans for the next box. It is a never ending guessing game of what will be ready when!

As Farmer Jerry scouts crops for the shares, Megan and Jenna make sure that all of the members are taken care of. They develop the routes, correct any issues, find recipes, and interact with the customers on a weekly basis. There are countless other employees on the farm who truly make the program happen. From the harvesters to the packers to all of the delivery drivers, we could not make this program happen without them.

So, there it is. A glimpse of how our CSA program works. Thank you to all of our shareholders. We are truly looking forward to a successful season and cannot wait to hear what you have to say! As you are cooking your share each week, please feel free to tag us in your photos with #Untiedts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We would love to see how you all use your produce each week.

Contents of Week 1 CSA Box:

Asparagus

Swiss Chard

Zucchini

Romaine

Leaf Lettuce

Raspberry Jam

Maple Syrup

Honey

Turnips

Radishes

Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Chives

 

Posted 5/29/2015 12:37pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Although the CSA season has not started quite yet, we wanted to share with you the progress of our crops. Jenna was able to get out and snap some pictures at a few of our fields to show how things are looking so far. Take a few minutes and enjoy!

 

Posted 5/29/2015 9:36am by Jerry Untiedt.

After an unusually early start with warmer and dryer conditions than normal, the weather has reversed itself to a wetter and cooler pattern tracking the 2014 season. 

Our field crops such as rye, wheat, field corn, and soybeans were all planted earlier than normal and in general seem to be faring ok. Of course, the rye and wheat look the best since they love the cool and damp. 

Our other outside crops are growing slower than normal, but will certainly mature faster as we receive warmer temperatures. Inside the tunnels, the crops have never looked better. Tomatoes are 2-3 inches in diameter, the cucumbers and melons are blossoming, zucchini (green and yellow) now have small fruits and all are continuing to grow and will soon be ready for our first and second CSA shares. 

We have had many calls with regards to the apple orchard after the massive hailstorm we encountered last September 3rd. Our trees were damaged there is no doubt, but even after removing a large number of broken and damaged limbs, our bloom was substantial this spring. 

It is our feeling that we will be able to supply all of you with many beautiful apples of several varieties if we can only avoid the hail storms that we have experienced the last couple of years. 

I will continue to update you all weekly from now on as our season matures. 

As always, we sincerely appreciate your support with our CSA program, at the Farmer's Market, through our vegetable stands and by your support of the retailers who handle the Untiedt's products. 

 

Sincerely, 

Farmer Jerry

 

 

Posted 2/20/2015 3:59pm by Jerry Untiedt.

Back to winter for a while. It's a greeting I received from one of the guys moving a little snow we received last night. I thought to myself, winter in a way-but spring in another. We now have over 10 hours of daylight. The heaters rarely run during the daytime in the greenhouses on sunny days. More and more early migrating birds are arriving including more red tail hawks, sparrow hawks, horned larks, and bald eagles. I can't convey the amusement of watching the eagles flying over the mostly frozen Crow River executing their mating flights. Tumbling, falling, and grasping each other all in the name of eagle romance. 

In the greenhouses, the earthy smell of fresh earth permeates the air. Newly emerging plants and plugs are showing new leaves daily and the black earth surfaces of our pots and flats are yielding to the color green as our plants continue to grow. 

On the heated germination benches our onion, leeks, and shallots are delivering fine hairlike leaves which soon will become sturdy plants ready for a chance to continue growth in the high tunnels. Tomato plants have undergone the grafting process and healing of the "graft union" is taking place. On and on we go- faster and faster that transition from deep winter to shallow spring, all part of the growth cycle. 

I encourage you all to spend a few minutes outside each day-the changes may be subtle, but adding a few days together yields large change. Enjoy them all!

Best Regards, 

Farmer Jerry

Posted 2/12/2015 8:55am by Jerry Untiedt.

2-11-15

8pm

Our supper was delightful, consisting of a couple of hard shell tacos filled with a spicy ground turkey mix, black olives, black beans, and less than appealing California iceberg lettuce. From the table to my chair in front of a cheerful fire in the fireplace was only a few feet. The fire warmed and comforted me so well with the crackling sounds and heavy heat generated by the white oak logs that it seemed a chore to get up after 15 minutes and begin my daily evening walk. 

Slipping on my less than loose fitting parka, checking for my warm mitts and my balaclava for face protection, I ventured outside. Carefully stepping and testing the footing on the nearly 1 1/2 inches of new icy precipitation that fell yesterday, I headed first to the barn to check the cattle. Often times, I can silently walk across the yard and surprise them, but this evening the crunch, crunch, crunch of my boots on the snow gave me away. The cattle all focused on me as I approached, but refused to come to the gate and greet me. I guess the fluffed straw bedding offered them more comfort than a few of my kind words would. The steam was rising off of their warm bodies and the sweet smell of the still green summer cut hay permeated the barn. Their water troughs were open with no ice on them do to embedded heating coils in the water tanks. They had no worries and so I had none either. 

Walking southward across the farm yard before turning West, I could feel the strong Northwest wind delivering the windchill of about 18 below. I silently asked myself, do I need the balaclava tonight? I decided to try walking straight West with the wind in my face for a mile. Stinging and numbing were great adjectives to describe the feeling across my forehead. The crunching sounds of my size 12's on the icy road were nearly drowned out by the howl of the winds. I thought for a moment- no hooting of great horned owls now sitting on eggs, in their nest, in the tall Hackberry trees to the South, no coyotes howling on the river bluffs to my North, and no dashing whitetail deer that I usually surprise as they feed on last falls corn stubble and cauliflower remains. In lieu of my coveted sounds, I had to settle for one roaring sound, nearly the same as the roaring surf we've enjoyed while visiting an angry Lake Superior. 

Certainly not bored, as I had the stinging pain of the cold wind and I was engaged by the February sky. A sky clear, cold and possessing about a million stars to view. No moon tonight, just the stars and me. As I turned around at the mile marker, I put the wind to my back, let my face thaw a bit and walked East. There to my left was the Big Dipper and following the two stars on the outer edge I could locate the North Star. Up in the heavens to my right was Orion, those three bright starts of his belt glowing as I always remembered in the February sky. Further to the East, was the glow of lights from Minneapolis, where you all were taking shelter for the evening. 

As I neared home and the shelter of the yard I could not help but wonder if I had just passed the most beautiful hour of the day. Smells of the sweet hay and warm cattle to sooth my sense of smell, crunching and crackling ice and snow to soothe my hearing, and of course the feel of the biting wind on my face and body to test my sense of feeling. 

Yes, it's winter and we are in Minnesota so we need to truly live it and enjoy!

Regards, 

Farmer Jerry

Posted 2/5/2015 9:23am by Jerry Untiedt.

Here it is already the first week of February and it really feels like February with the winds and below zero cold. Gratefully, the winter seems to be totally different than last years prolonged sub-zero episodes and of course, we are gaining 1-2 minutes of daylight each and every day. In the greenhouses it is not uncommon to experience 50-60 degrees on a sunny afternoon solely based on the sunshine. In other houses, we have fired up the heaters as we are currently seeding our onions, shallots and leeks. 

Outside we are preparing our pruning program for the orchard, which is going to be extensive this spring due to the hail damage which fractured many limbs during the storm last September 3rd. We are also marking rows for a new "block" of Honeycrisp apple trees which we will be planting in April while removing a "block" of trees of another variety. 

Outside, the chickadees are singing their Phoebe Phoebe songs, the male cardinals vocalizing more and more, a few bald eagles are beginning to return southerly areas and the sparrow and red-tail hawks are again hunting our fields in search of moles, voles, and field mice.

Yes, it's cold outside, but the Spring she is a coming.....