News and blog

Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 9/5/2017 3:07am by Jenna Untiedt.

Im starting off my post a bit differently this week. After a few rough weeks, I felt the need to address the CSA concept a bit and what to do if you are unhappy. Sometimes I think we get so caught up with work and life that we forget there are people on the other side of a computer screen. We forget how fortunate we are to have access to fresh and local food. We forget what really goes into growing the food that sits on the table before us each night. By no means am I downplaying any other profession because I know we all have our challenges, but on more than one occasion this past week multiple people were unaware of the work that went into preparing for the CSA or how produce was harvested. I figured I would take a few extra minutes this week to just share some thoughts with you all.

Everyone always says farming isn’t for the faint of heart, but I don’t think it was until this season that I really understood what encompassed the entire saying. Farming operations work around the clock in every element of weather to get product to market on time. We can’t turn the switch on a Friday afternoon and say ‘see you later.’ Weekends are just another day of work and regular 9-5 hours are difficult to come by. And now, the State of Minnesota is making what we do even harder by limiting the number of hours our employees can work….more on that issue another week. We don’t say this to get attention, but maybe to bring awareness to what farmers really endure.

When we first created the CSA program, I actually was not involved. I was off doing my own thing, living in my own world because that is what I told myself I needed to do after college. I needed to experience industries outside of agriculture. Well, times change and there was an opportunity to rejoin the family business. Building this program has been my main job since 2012 and I work hard with our entire team day in and day out to ensure that you, our customer, is receiving a full share. We pride ourselves on never once sending out an empty box or cancelling a week of the program because we don’t have any produce. We are incredibly thankful for our teams that work day in and day out to make all of this possible. Every piece of produce that comes from our farm is hand harvested, meaning that it takes much longer than what a machine could do, but the quality is also higher than machine harvested produce. We are able to grow special varieties that are much more delicate because of the way we harvest. We see that as a value for all of our customers.

We work hard to provide the highest quality produce to all of our customers. Occasionally though, something may slip through the crack. Should this ever happen to you, please let us know in a constructive or courteous way and we would be more than happy to replace the item. Our goal is to keep you happy as a consumer. On a few occasions this season, I have received emails from unhappy customers who are extremely angry with how their produce was shipped. We make mistakes, we are only humans working in an imperfect world. I try to fix all issues as quickly as possible, but I want to remind everyone that at the end of the day, we are farm growing produce that is sometimes unpredictable. We take all issues seriously and strive to make you all happy.

Bad produce may happen, but we are here to fix it or make it right. We are here to provide you all with nourishing food and support our communities. Without you as customers, we would not be able to give back to all the communities in which we are a part of. Although growing vegetables is not my specialty, I get to see individuals who are passionate about it each day. They truly dedicate their lives to ensuring fresh produce gets into the hands of our consumers. Without people like that, the idea of fresh and local would be merely an idea and not a possibility. So, if you are still reading this, thank you. Thank you for taking a few moments to understand what we do and how much we truly care. As our customer, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to grow for you.

Let's move on to the share this week. With those rain showers yesterday afternoon, some real fall temperatures arrived. I couldn't believe how fast the temps fell! With some cooler weather though, the thought of cooking returns and the box this week can definitely help out with that.

Sweet Corn: Enjoy it while you can. If you didn't make it to the State Fair, here is your chance to enjoy some State Fair sweet corn. Even if you are a little burnt out from corn, just boil it, slice if off the cob and toss into the freezer. It is always nice to pull out a bag of fresh sweet corn during the winter months. Whether it is to eat plain or add to chili or another soup, its always a winter delight. 

Tomatoes: I had the best sliced tomato with a burger last night. So much flavor! Enjoy on burgers, diced into salads, or even plain. These truly are the taste of summer. Again, if you have a pile of tomatoes on your counter, just dice into chunks and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, put into a freezer bag and save for the cold, winter months. 

Grape Tomatoes: Tired of finger food snacks? Try slicing in half, add some fresh basil and mozzarella cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Enjoy these while you can as the cool temps will definitely start to slow production.

Golden Potatoes: Cooking at the parents house is always a gamble. I am never sure what kitchen tools my mother has, so sometimes I bring my own. I brought my mandolin this week to slice potatoes and knew she had an electric frying pan that was perfect for fried potatoes. They were delicious! I remember fried potatoes from my childhood, but it has been years since Ive had them. If fried potatoes aren't your thing, try boiling and mashing this type, they truly have exceptional flavor. 

Broccoli: There are so many ways to enjoy broccoli. My favorite though is to roast it and have it turn a little black and crispy. Otherwise, steamed broccoli is a great addition to many meals. 

Mini Bell Peppers: Aren't they cute? These are perfect for afternoon snacking. I used to hate eating peppers raw, but now they are one of my favorite snacks. If raw peppers aren't your favorite, try slicing them in half, scooping out the inside and filling with a bit ricotta cheese and baking until soft. Top with a small piece of bacon and you have a great addition to any meal. 

Jalapenos: These keep for a long time, so don't think you need to use them all this week. You can also dice and freeze so you can add to chili throughout the winter. With the temperatures this week though, chili kind of sounds like a wonderful idea right now!

Shallots: These are phenomenal with the Romano Beans. Sautee the shallots in some butter until soft and then add the Romano Beans. Cover the pan and let the beans steam until soft. These flavors together are so wonderful you could probably make an entire meal out of just beans and shallots. 

Romano Beans: See shallots? If mixing the beans with shallots doesn't appeal to you, you can definitely just steam these beans. When you get these home, please dry the beans off as they have a tendency to mold if they get too warm. Cooking them right away would be best, but if that isn't possible please store in the paper bag or in an air tight container with a paper towel inside to absorb the moisture that the beans give off. 

Onion: Do you have a build up of onions in your fridge or on your counter? Maybe it's time for a batch of French Onion Soup. Or, did you know you can freeze the onions as well? Just dice and lay on a cookie sheet. Freeze on the cookie sheet and once frozen toss into a freezer bag or tupperware container. Take out and add to soups or meals throughout the winter. 

Apples: Zestar! and Chestnut Crab (little apple). The Chestnuts are the perfect snack sized apple for the kids or for an afternoon snack at your desk. Enjoy the Zestars! one more time before we likely move onto a new variety next week. 

Canary Melon: Im going to first start off saying, if you get a bad melon, we did not mean to send one. Please let me know and we can replace it next week. I wish there was really an xray machine that would help us see inside 

There you have it, week number 12. If you are still reading this far, thank you. I know if got a bit lengthy this week, but I feel like sometimes we just have to address a few things. I hope you all have a fantastic week. I know these cool temps make me excited to get back into the kitchen and do a little cooking this week. Enjoy!

Posted 8/29/2017 3:27am by Jenna Untiedt.

For many of you this is the last week of summer with the kids at home. The thought of starting school next week is both a dreaded and welcomed thought. The calendar flipping to September later this week is almost like an automatic sign that fall is here. The State Fair is upon us, almost like an automatic gateway from summer to fall. Even with all these signs of fall, there is still plenty of summer offerings to be enjoy in the shares. 

The end of August and the month of September is truly one of the best times to be a CSA member. The convergence of seasons offers a wide variety of produce and usually cooler temperatures makes us want to cook a bit more. This is a great combination which should leave us all happy. 

Let's get down to what the share has to offer this week:

Sweet Corn: Here you have it, the same corn as we are sending to the Minnesota State Fair Corn Roast. Enjoy it boiled, grilled, or in chowder. Under the leek section, I am included a fantastic chowder recipe that includes sweet corn.....it was absolutely delicious and a breeze to make. 

Slicing Tomatoes: BLT's, toppings for burgers, or fresh pasta sauce...so many offerings. Even if you can't get to them all this week. Quickly freeze them by slicing in half, placing on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once frozen put into a ziploc bag, label, and enjoy is soups or stews this winter. 

Grape Tomatoes: The best finger food snack around. By leaving these on my counter, they have become a quick go to snack. Also, they make a great salad topping throughout the week. Enjoy them while you can. 

Onions: Don't be afraid to keep these for a while. No need to use them right away. Store in a cool, dark place. If you are ready to use them, they make great fried onions to top your burger. 

Potatoes: Last night I made a potato, corn, and leek chowder. Eat was easy and delicious. These potatoes make the perfect addition to the chowder, and the chowder will make great leftovers. Any meals I have prep in less than 30 minutes is a winner in my books. If chowder isn't your thing, try a potato salad for your Labor Day weekend gathering. 

Kale: Every time I make kale at my parents house, my mother just cringes. Me on the other hand, I could eat it every day. Toss with a bit of olive oil and bake. Eat it soft or let it get crispy. This truly has great flavor. 

Leek: Yes, there is only one right now, but it is huge. Here is the recipe for Corn, Potato, Leek chowder I have talked about. If you are new to leeks, they have the most subtle onion flavor. The best part about this recipe is you can use the white and green portion of the leek so you don't waste any of it. If chowder doesn't sound appealing to you, try just sauteing the leek and enjoying on top of burgers or another type of sandwich. 

Zucchini: With the cool weather, zucchini bread is in the plans for this week. I need to find an evening where im home before bedtime, but this will definitely take place. If you are having a hard time using up your zucchini you can always freeze it. Shred it and place into a storage bag. Label with the quantity so you know for future use. It is great to use in breads later or add to soup in the winter. 

Apples: Zestar! apples again. Soon we will be moving on to a new variety so enjoy these while you can. They make great afternoon snacks. If you are feeling ambitious, you can always try apple crisp, but I think ill save the crisp making until we are into some other varieties. 

Red Radishes: Im not a huge radish lover, but I don't mind them in stir fry. This is a great way to hide them from kids while ensuring they are getting some extra veggies in. Just slice thin and add to all the other vegetables you are using. The taste is extremely subtle, so most people won't even realize they are there. 

Black Radishes: These weren't my favorite at first, but they are growing on me. You can cook these like any other root vegetable. Roasting them is how I first tried them. Black Radish Chips is how I managed to be more open to them. The chips are thin and get a bit crunchy....they have a lot of flavor, and it is a flavor I think you will either love or hate. Give them a try, isn't that what a CSA is all about? 

There you have it, hopefully a few ideas to help you through the box this week. A couple new things to try and hopefully enjoy. As the month of August comes to a close, enjoy the last few days of summer. Most of you will have a long weekend coming up, enjoy it and use it to get outdoors. It's truly amazing how fast this summer has gone. To think we only have 6 weeks left of the CSA is kind of scary. I mean, I can't wait until I can spend Monday nights at my own house again and now wake up at 2:30am, but in all actuality the season has gone incredibly fast. I truly hope you are enjoying your experience with the CSA and it is expanding your tastes just a bit. Have a great week!

Posted 8/22/2017 3:30am by Jenna Untiedt.

Well, the State Fair starts this week which signals a change of season soon. The request for fall pricing sheets have begun and the talk of pumpkins and squash is now a daily occurrence. While everything else is pushing forwards, i just want to grab onto these last few weeks of summer and enjoy every last minute of them. Don't get be wrong, I absolutely love fall and everything it has to offer, but I am not ready for it quite yet. Let's get out and enjoy the last few weeks on the water, in the pool, and rooftop happy hours. Summer is too short not take full advantage of everything you can, and that includes the locally grown produce as well. 

I'll be real honest with you all, I have not been home much at all lately. 2017 has been the year of weddings for me so with everything that goes along with weddings, my weekends have been a bit busy, and many of them spent away from home. That makes it a little hard to get through the box, but I still have managed to make the most of it while I am at home. Here are some great tips to help you get the most out of your share if you are at a loss of what to do. 

Let's break down the share this week:

Sweet Corn: If you are going to keep it for a few days, please make sure it is stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag to keep it as fresh as possible. Sweet corn is truly a summer food, so enjoy corn on the cob whenever you can. Add it as a side to any meal, or make it your meal. If you can't get it it, just cook it, cut it off the cob and toss into a freezer bag. You can add it to any soup this winter. 

Heirloom Tomatoes: These are a soft tomato, so please use them as quickly as possible. I have been adding slices of heirloom tomato to salads. They add so much flavor, enjoy them. 

Grape Tomatoes: These have become a staple snack item. They are great to snack on while making dinner or for long drives. Keep them on the counter though, not in the fridge. Not in love with them plain? Just add a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese to make an easy salad.

Slicing Tomatoes: Sandwiches, salads, or pasta toppers. Pasta toppers you ask? Just dice, even mix with grape or heirloom tomatoes, add a dash of salt and pepper and top your warm pasta with fresh tomatoes. It is a great way to switch up a quick and easy dinner.

Watermelon: I made a simple salad last night with fresh mint and diced watermelon. It was refreshing and enjoyable. It doesn't get much easier.

Apples: Zestar! apples are here. I could tell you to make apple crisp or an apple pie, but that might be jumping the gun for fall. Enjoy these for an afternoon snack. They taste incredibly different than any apple you find in the store right now. My favorite afternoon snack is an apple with a dash of peanut butter....try it out.

Beets: I absolutely LOVE roasted beets. I like to roast mine individually wrapped in tinfoil with a bit of olive oil. Wrapping them individually in tin foil allows you to easily peel the skins off once cooked and cooled. I like to roast them all at once, dice, and add to salads throughout the week. They are great with some goat or feta cheese.

Potatoes: Potato salad, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, fries....the possibilities are endless. Personally, I like to make smashed potatoes. I like to dice into smaller pieces, boil, then smash on a cookie sheet with a bit of olive oil then bake at about 425 for 10 minutes or so until they are crispy. They make a great side dish!

Zucchini: These were the topic at the dinner table last night. There is something about fresh and local zucchini that just inhibits our ability to but it in the store during the winter. I used to think zucchini was a boring vegetable, but it tastes so good! I roasted the zucchini last night and added it to a beet salad. It was delicious. If eating it plain isnt your thing, zucchini bread is always a great backup plan.

Green Peppers: Add the peppers to your eggs, top your salad, add to a sandwich or stir fry...these have absolutely great flavor.

There you have it, week number 10. Creativity can get a bit tough right now as you are busy soaking in the last few weeks of summer, but don't let your share go to waste. Take a few minutes to prep some of the food and freeze it if you know you can't get to it in a timely manner. You will definitely thank yourself later. 

Last but not least, I want to mention an event we will be featured in at the MN State Fair. On Sunday, August 26th, we will be joining MN Farmers Union in Dan Patch Park for their Minnesota Cooks Series. We partnered with 6Smith to feature produce from our farm for a recipe. Stop by around 3pm to see Chef Angel Luna from 6Smith and Paul Nelson from Untiedt's. 

 

Posted 8/15/2017 3:57am by Jenna Untiedt.

Week 9 is here which brings us to the heart of summer. Salsa making, sweet corn freezing, and enjoying every last bit of summer we can before seasons start to change and we head into fall. I have been receiving many questions about canning tomatoes and ordering in bulk, please note that we will have canning tomatoes available in about another week. Due to the cooler temperatures, our tomatoes are also taking their sweet time to ripen.

Let's get down to the share this week, so many tomatoes, but so many things to do with them!

Grape Tomatoes: My favorite thing to do with the grape tomatoes has been to make a quick simple salad with some cilantro, some diced onion, a little feta cheese and sometimes some slices of avocado. If only avocados grew here....that would be so great. Anyways, this salad is a great snack or addition to any meal.

Slicing Tomatoes: Per the usual, BLTs are probably on the menu this week. Otherwise, you can make a quick no cook pasta sauce with tomatoes as well. Simply dice the tomatoes, add a few spices of your liking and add to the top of some warm or cold pasta. The tomatoes are so flavorful, they add flavor to anything you pair them with.

Heirloom Tomatoes: These are great for a salad, bruschetta, or eating alone. To make bruschetta, simply dice the tomatoes and add to the top of a baguette with a little basil and drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Truly a simple meal, but so great. 

Salsa Mix: Another week of salsa mix, but it is so easy to make salsa verde and enjoy it all week long. Simply roast all the contents and add to a blender. Have some extra sweet corn? Add some sweet corn to the salsa when you are ready to enjoy it. The salsa verde makes a great topping to shredded pork as well. Be a little adventurous and enjoy a new meal this week!

Sweet Corn: Farmer Jerry's absolute favorite variety is here. Don't be afraid of yellow corn, it truly has more flavor than many varieties of bicolor, but due to the popularity of bicolor sweet corn we can't produce yellow corn for the mainstream market as there is no demand. Give this a try and enjoy! If you need a break from corn on the cob, simply cut it off and add to salads or salsas. You can make a quick corn salsa by adding sweet corn, diced onions, black beans and some sliced grape tomatoes. It makes a great topping for tacos or dip for chips. 

Onion: Add to salsa, sandwiches, salads or store in your refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. These are not pungent at all, so enjoy before we are back to store bought onions this winter.

Cauliflower: I roasted a head of cauliflower last night and it was phenomenal. Don't be afraid if there is a little yellow color on the cauliflower, it is simply from warmer days, but completely edible. Roasted, mashed like potatoes or eaten raw, this makes a great side dish this week.

Yellow Zucchini: Last night I sliced the zucchini and tossed in a bit of truffle oil and roasted. When it was just about done I topped with a bit of parmesean cheese. So good! Enjoy these simple vegetables while they are fresh and local.

Kale: This love or hate vegetable is one of my favorites. I could eat it every day if I could. I also made kale for dinner last night....it is the one vegetable I don't really have to share at dinner time....it's all mine, which means there are leftovers to mix in with eggs in the morning. Sauteed or baked, there are so many uses for kale. If you really don't like it, make a simple soup and add the kale to it. Freeze the soup and enjoy in the winter months. You won't even taste the kale in the soup, but you will get great nutrients from the green leafy vegetable.

There you have it. Enjoy the freshness of all the produce as we are inching closer to a time of the year where it becomes much more difficult to grocery shop when we have to buy produce at the store as well. Have a great week! 

Posted 8/8/2017 3:19am by Jenna Untiedt.

It seems to be that time of year where everyone is busy, busy, busy. That includes everyone here at the the farm. In order to get orders out, many of our crews started at midnight. Sometimes it is an around the clock effort to get it all done. Everyone comes together though, pitches in, and it all seems to get done. This cool weather makes the long hours a bit easier on everyone, which is definitely appreciated by us all. 

This share has so much potential this week. There are so many different things that can be done with the produce. I tried to use as many items for dinner last night so that I could talk you through the share. Dinner last night was definitely one of my favorites of the summer. Let's get to the shares and give you some ideas of what to do.

Cabbage: Even though some of the cabbage heads are small, this vegetable goes a long way. Personally, I used this to make a slaw for shrimp tacos. Honestly, these tacos were super easy and have so much flavor. They key to a good slaw is to let it sit for probably close to a half hour after you make it. Let all the flavors mix, and you will definitely enjoy it! You can find the recipe here.

Beans: What a fun medley of color! I think it is best to sautee shallots followed by the beans. It is best to remove the shallots while sauteing the beans to ensure they do not burn. Once the beans are done, add back the shallots. Truly a great side dish to add to any meal. Or, sometimes I just eat the beans for dinner if I am really not feeling like cooking...they are that good!

Shallots: Add them to any side side you decide to make. Slice thinly and saute in a bit of butter, they add a great mild flavor to any dish. 

Salsa Pack: Do not be intimidated by this pack! Making green salsa can be super easy, but add so much flavor. I added green salsa to the shrimp tacos I made, and it was delicious. To make green salsa: husk and wash tomatillos, peel garlic, slice jalapenos in half and remove seeds (keep in for more heat), and add a diced onion if you wish. Drizzle the tomatillos, garlic, onion and jalapenos with olive oil. For reference, I used 2 jalapenos in my salsa and it was not too spicy....and I don't like spice. Wrap the garlic in tin foil. Broil for about 10 minutes, then turn everything over and broil for another 8-10 minutes. Once done, cool for a few minutes and then add to a food processor or blender to mix together. There you have it....a real simple salsa verde. The more jalapenos you add, the hotter it is. Enjoy!

Have extra jalapenos? A great way to use the remainder of your jalapenos is to make chicken breasts with cream cheese and jalapenos. Simply wrap about a tbsp of cream cheese with a slice of jalapeno in the chicken breast and grill or bake. The jalapeno adds great flavor while the cream cheese helps to cut the spice. 

Sweet Corn: A special variety for you all, white corn. This has an incredible bite and great flavor. Truly a great taste of summer. Boil this and enjoy it alongside the shrimp tacos or with those brats or hamburgers. A staple for MN summer dining. 

Grape Tomatoes: About half of these went into a salsa for the tacos I made. They are a great addition to any salad or make a great salsa for any type of meat. I added half the grape tomatoes, some thinly sliced onion, chopped cilantro and some mango to make a fun summer salsa. Great for tacos or as a salsa to serve along with the salsa verde. 

Kale: You can combine the kale and beets to make a great salad this week. If you aren't so keen on kale as the base of your salad a great way to make it a little softer is to add a bit of olive oil and massage it in. This will soften it a bit. Otherwise, kale chips are always a good idea. Not a fan of kale? Simply add a bit to a smoothie each day and you won't even know you are eating it, but you will benefit from the extra nutrients. 

Onion: Add it to a bit of salsa, top a burger, or save in the fridge for another week. So many options, but so much flavor. 

Chub Cukes: Great grab and go snack this week, or add to your water for a refreshing flavor. 

Beets: I will definitely be roasting some beets to add to a beet salad this week. I wrap each beat in tin foil and roast at about 450 until soft. I let cool in the foil then slowly peel the outer layer off with the foil, it should just slide off! So much easier than peeling a hot beet with a knife...yes, ive tried that too and I just don't like it. 

There you have it. Another box for another week. If any of you decide to make the shrimp tacos, which I highly recommend, think of doubling the recipe. The slaw is so easy to make and will hold up for a few days in the fridge. After the first round of tacos, you can make a salad with the left over slaw and top with shrimp, salsa verde, and a tropical summer salsa which can be made from the medley grape tomatoes and some diced mango. A hint for the salsa is to use frozen mango or pineapple if you would rather use that. This is a quick meal you can throw together, but has so much flavor...enjoy!

 

Posted 8/1/2017 3:37am by Jenna Untiedt.

Week 7 already and August 1st. Where has the summer gone? Every year it seems like June-August is just a whirlwind and this year is no exception.

Let's get down to business here and talk about what is in the box. To be honest, I am coming up with ideas as I write this blog this morning as well as adding my necessary ingredients to my shopping list so I can make a quick stop at the store on my way home...or order my groceries depending on what I need. This past weekend was a whirlwind as I attended 3 concerts in 3 nights.....it sounded like a fantastic idea back when each event was planned with friends, but as I headed back to work Monday morning my sleep deprived body told me otherwise. So, as I get back to a normal schedule this week I am going to keep my meals simple and this is the perfect box to do so. 

Here we go:

Romano Beans: Keep it simple. Rinse and trim the ends. Toss in with sauteed shallots and a splash of water to help steam them. Add to any meal this week for a great side. 

Shallots: Shallots are so good! Thinly slice and sautee with butter until a bit crispy. Remove from pan and place the Romano beans in the pan. Once the beans are almost done,  add back the shallots. 

Sweet Corn: Grilled or boiled....great side to any summer dinner. I enjoyed the corn last night with a burger. What great quick, summer dinner. 

Tomatoes: BLT's are likely on the menu this week. If BLT's aren't your favorite, then add tomatoes to your afternoon snack repertoire. So much flavor right now, so enjoy!

Medley Grape Tomatoes: A great snack or addition to any salad. Make sure to keep these out of the refrigerator. They stay sweetest sitting on the counter. 

Rainbow Carrots: Peel and slice raw, or dice and roast. Roasted carrots are great and they are even more fun with the variety of colors. 

Potatoes and Turnip: These will definitely be roasted at my house this week along with the onion. I love having some roasted vegetables in my fridge to grab as an easy side to lunch or an easy add on to any dinner throughout the week. 

Onion: Thinking of making burgers this week to enjoy with your sweet corn? Try grilling these onions. Just dab a bit of olive oil on either side and grill until soft. Enjoy as a great burger topping. 

Cabbage: Roasted or turn this beautiful head of cabbage into a great summertime slaw. I think I am going to attempt a slaw so I can have an easy addition to lunches this week. 

Watermelon Radishes: If you aren't a radish fan, simply peel and toss in with your potatoes and turnips as you roast them. These have a little bit different and more dense texture than regular spring radishes, but make for a great roasting vegetable. Otherwise, try pickling and adding to the side of your dinner. Let us know what you think!

There you have week number 7. As always, you don't have to be an expert in the kitchen to enjoy your share. Keep it simple and enjoy your share!

Posted 7/25/2017 3:47am by Jenna Untiedt.

Thank you to all of you who made it to the farm throughout the month of July. We had over 1000 visitors throughout the course of the month. Shout out to our entire staff who put in countless hours to make it all possible, they are truly the best. 

How is it the end of July already? It is crazy to think how fast it is going. I thought as a child the summers went quickly, but as an adult they go even faster! There were two big weekends I was looking forward to this summer and they happened to be back to back at the end of July. My weekends of fun are here and I was able to skip farm tours this past weekend and spend the weekend in Alexandria at one of my best friend's wedding. From spending time on the lake to the actual wedding, it was truly a great summer weekend. This coming weekend is a trifecta of concerts Friday, Saturday and Sunday night...I may be a bit much, but that is what summer is about! Hopefully you all are able to get out and enjoy the summer weather and summer activities as well. 

Because I was gone all weekend and sleep was definitely at a minimal, creating a plan for food this week was a quick one, but the nice thing about the shares is that it gives me some boundaries. I don't have to think of what to buy, but can center my meals around what comes in the box. If you do most of your meal planning on the weekends, my advice to you would be to plan your protein portion of the meals and add in your CSA veggies on the side. 

I despise grocery shopping, absolutely hate it. Yes, I use Instacart and order things on Amazon frequently because I simply hate going to the store. I even subscribe to a service called Butcher Box which delivers grass fed meet once a month or once every other month. It is simply the best. Some people think this is a little crazy to have most of my food delivered, but I look at it in the way it saves me a substantial amount of time and actually increases the quality of what I am eating. Between work and trying to have a small social life at this time of year, it makes eating fresh, healthy food achievable. No, none of these services are sponsored, I just like sharing what works for a busy individual. 

Alright, let's get to the share this week. There are really so many things you can do with your box. From bowls to stir fry the possibilities are endless. 

Chinese Cabbage: So, instead of stir fry I used the cabbage to make Summer Rolls with Chicken & Spice Peanut Sauce. Check out the recipe, it takes a bit of time, but is pretty simple to make. The best part is that you can incorporate some of the chub cukes and carrots into the recipe as well. If you are feeling adventurous, try making kimchi with it. I am going to attempt this as well as a coworker requested some....stay tuned to our Facebook page to see how this adventure goes. 

Sweet Corn: Simply bring a pot of water to a boil, put the corn in and once it returns to a boil keep the corn in for 3 minutes then remove. Truly a great taste of summer. Growing up, we ate sweet corn every night for dinner and by every night I am not exaggerating. All discussions around the dinner table centered around corn and what varieties we liked better. So being home on Monday nights brings back all the old memories. If you are making a bowl this week, you can simply cut the corn off the cob once cooked and add it to a bowl or stir fry!

Tomatoes: Who doesn't love a BLT? I feel like everyone has a little variation of their own, but a simply BLT is always a great and quick weeknight dinner option. Otherwise, these slicing tomatoes make great sandwich toppers or burger additions. 

Carrots: Roasted with a dab of honey is a great way to enjoy these fresh carrots. You can also add them to the Summer Roll up recipe listed under Chinese Cabbage. 

Chubs: A little overwhelmed with what to do with another week of chubs? A member emailed me and mentioned throwing a few slices in her water. The best part was the ones she used probably would have been tossed because they were put in the part of the refrigerator that gets a little too cold...what a great idea! These are a great snack to just grab and go too. 

Potatoes: Roasting the potatoes, onion, and turnips together make for a great combination. I did this last night and my dad didn't even know he ate turnips! These potatoes are also great for making a small batch of potato salad or fried potatoes. 

Turnips: Turnips are definitely an old fashioned vegetable, but are really great. You can treat them almost like a potato. Roast them or boil them. You can turn them into mashed turnips and trick the kids into eating them, or mix them with potatoes. Give them a shot, they are fun to experiment with. 

Zucchini: Simply sautee and add to the side of any meal this week. Or, broil with a dash of parmesean cheese on top. 

Swiss Chard: Personally, I like to cook mine in some bacon grease and then mix into some quinoa and top with a variety of other vegetables. The finer you slice the chard, the better it blends into whatever you choose to mix it with. You can also boil it if bacon grease isn't your thing. 

Kale: I love kale. It is probably my favorite vegetable. I didn't discover kale until I was an adult, but it is simply the best. I like to make kale chips or simply sautee it. If making chips, make sure you massage some olive oil into it and watch it closely in the oven so it doesn't burn. If kale isn't your jam, toss it into a smoothie with some fruit. You won't even taste it, but you will get all the benefits from it. 

There you have it. Honestly, I cooked most veggies last night at my parents house for dinner. Yes, I had 3 cookie sheets of roasted vegetables by the time I was done. Glad they will be enjoying leftovers for most of the week. I introduced my parents to quinoa or rice bowls last week, which they requested for dinner again last night. They now can eat them throughout the week with a variety of toppings, minus the leftover chicken from last night since the dog enjoyed an after dinner snack. 

Hopefully this sparks some creativity and you can work your way through the box this week. Enjoy!

Posted 7/18/2017 3:32am by Jenna Untiedt.

Here we are after another weekend of farm tours. It was great to see so many of you at the farm learning about how and why we do certain things. It is always fun to hear feedback from members. Remember, this coming weekend is the final weekend of tours this season. There are some spots available yet if you are available, always a great time and definitely an educational experience. 

On to Week 5 of the share. So many different things to do with your share this week. So many of the items can be cut up and eaten raw on the go, or you can add to a variety of meals throughout the week. Often times I think some people overthink what to do with their shares, but meals or snacks don't have to be glamorous. Per the usual, I made dinner for my parents last night so I could use some of the box in order to come up with ideas for you all. It was not fancy, but tasted great! Hopefully you will enjoy the contents this week as well.

Last night I roasted broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, onion, and carrots. I tossed the broccoli and cauliflower with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a convection oven for about 30 minutes at 425. I did the same with the carrots, beans and onion on a separate cookie sheet for about 40 minutes. The beans, carrots, and onion take a bit longer because the water content is higher. Roast until they are to your desired crispiness. Warning, my broccoli was pretty crispy and blackened, but that's my favorite. 

Im a big fan of bowls for dinner, but this was a new concept to the parents. So, in a large bowl I placed some quinoa and then topped it with the roasted veggies, some chicken, and then a bit of my bacon sauteed swiss chard (recipe at the bottom). The nice thing about these bowls is if you make enough quinoa, you can make more bowls throughout the week and switch up what you put in them. Simple, yet so delicious. 

Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Beans, Onion, Swiss Chard & Bacon, and Chicken. 

Here is a breakdown of the share this week:

Cauliflower: Roasted, raw or riced.....so many different options. If you know you don't have time to use your cauliflower this week, throw it in the food processor and rice it. The rice will last for up to a week in your fridge and makes a great side!

Broccoli: I'm not a huge fan of raw broccoli, but I absolutely love it roasted. Just toss with a bit of olive oil and roast until your desired softness. I prefer mine almost a little burnt. It has great flavor and the added crispiness makes it so good!

Onion: These onions are so sweet, you can do so many different things with them. Sautee and add to burgers, add to a batch of refrigerator pickles, or eat raw on a sandwich. 

Green Beans: Boil, sautee, or grilled they are probably the best beans I have ever had. I roasted them for the first time last night and they are great. Just add as a side to any dish this week and they will make your meal so much better!

Swiss Chard: I like to make mine with bacon, ill put a recipe at the bottom of this post. It is important to slice very thinly if you are going to sautee it. You can also boil it and add a bit of butter.

Carrots: Roasted or raw, you can't go wrong. These have so much more flavor than the carrots you buy in the store.

Beets: I prefer to roast beets one night and eat them cold the next day. It is super easy to wrap in tin foil with a dash of olive oil and roast until soft. Once they cool, you can use the foil to take the skin off. I like to add to a salad with some steak and goat cheese.

Grape Tomatoes: So many of you emailed me that these never made it home last week because you ate them along the way. These are great to leave on the kitchen counter and grab as a quick snack.

Slicing Tomatoes: BLTs, additions to other sandwiches, toppings to burgers...there are so many options. But there is nothing like a truly ripe MN grown tomato.

Chub Cukes: Another batch of refrigerator pickles or use as an afternoon snack. You can always add them to a cocktail as well, they go great with strawberries and gin. 

Basil: These will need to be replanted. Pick the leaves regularly and add the basil to your tomatoes. Those of you who have been to farm tours have enjoyed the basil with grape tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Raspberries: I don't think I need to give you many ideas for these as they go quickly! A topping to yogurt or ice cream, it is a definite treat to have MN berries.

Here is a quick recipe for Swiss chard:

1 bunch swiss chard, chopped thinly including the stems

5 pieces of bacon

Directions:

Cook bacon on stove top in a deep frying pan. Make sure not to cook at a super high temp as the grease will burn, which you will need for the remainder of the recipe. 

Once bacon is cooked to your desired crispiness, remove the bacon. Once cooled, cut into small pieces.

Remove pan from direct heat and let the bacon grease cool for about 5 minutes. Then add swiss chard to the pan and place on medium heat. Sautee until the chard is wilted and cooked all the way through. Add back the bacon pieces and there you have it. 

 

Posted 7/11/2017 3:58am by Jenna Untiedt.

What a week it has been! First it was the 4th of July which was a long weekend with some work intermixed and now it is farm tour season. Some how I forget each year that July goes by so incredibly fast that if you blink, it is over and done with. 

We all survived our first weekend of farm tours. We were blessed with probably the nicest weather we have ever had. But do not worry, it looks like typical tours are in store for this coming weekend with heat and humidity. If you are signed up to come, make sure you drink plenty of water and wear your sunscreen. If you have not signed up yet, there are still plenty of spots available for you to do so. Week night tours can be found here, and weekend tours here

I'll be honest for a minute here, farm tours are a lot of extra work for all of our staff. Everyone puts in extra time on top of their normal duties, but we all feel it is extremely important for everyone to understand how agriculture works. We wish it was just as easy as planting something in the ground and hoping for the best. But in reality a farm is kind of like a giant research facility. We are always trying new things to make crops perform better or more efficiently. There are always trials and errors, some yielding great results and others not so much. Farming isn't for the faint of heart and it is a lot of work. So many people venture to the grocery store, purchase the food they need and proceed to take it home and consume it. I challenge you to take a minute to think about how it all was grown. Although produce grows 24/7, it is important to remember that so much of what you are receiving now in your shares was started back in March. It takes a long time to grow certain crops and nothing is guaranteed. These are all reasons we invite our members out to the farm. We want you all to learn what goes into producing high quality crops along with some of the basics in agriculture. Most of us who work at the farm grew up with some sort of agriculture, but that is not the case anymore in today's society. So, take a few hours out of your schedules and visit us during one of the tours. It is a great look and lesson on what farming is evolving into. We would love to see you all. 

Alright, back to the share this week. I have grand plans for my box this week, but I think my schedules allows me one night at home this week before 8pm. So, that one night will be spent prepping for the rest of the week to ensure I can use my share to its fullest extent.

Chubs: Many of you had the opportunity to try the refrigerator pickles at the farm tours. If you haven't been to the tour yet, do not worry, these are a staple and you can enjoy them soon. Take the chubs and your onion and make a quick batch of refrigerator pickles. To make the pickles even faster.....use a food processor to slice the chubs. It's magical and cuts the prep time in half. Many of you will ask where to buy Tarragon Vinegar? Most grocery stores have it next to the regular vinegar. 

Onion: Add it to the refrigerator pickles. If the pickles arent your thing. Slice it in rings, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until soft. They are truly delicious. 

Broccoli: You can eat it raw as a snack or I prefer roasting mine. I toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at about 450 degrees until it is a bit crispy. It is great to have a container in the fridge so I can grab for a snack or add to a meal. 

Lettuce: Since we don't have slicing tomatoes this week, you can make a BLT salad instead of sandwich. This is a staple in my house. Take your lettuce, slice your tomatoes, add a piece or two of bacon and you have a great salad. You can then add any additional veggies or proteins to it. 

Herbs: So many uses. I would personally transplant them and use them all summer. I planted herbs back in May, but guess what...they died. I think you need to be home to care for them and that might be my problem :) 

Grape Tomatoes: Add them to the BLT salad, or just eat as a snack. Please do not refrigerate. Leave them on the counter. These don't last long in my house as I grab one or two each time I walk by them in the kitchen. 

Green Zucchini: Usually I just slice and eat raw or add to a quick stir fry. I am thinking I want some zucchini muffins this week though. My sister Megan who I work with is usually the baker though, so maybe if I am nice and give her the zucchini, muffins might magically appear on my desk one morning this week. I can dream, right?

Cabbage: I grew up eating a salad my mom used to make with cabbage and ramen noodles. While I haven't eaten ramen noodles since college, this salad was always so good. Here is a similar recipe that I plan to make this week. 

Cucumber: This is a pretty typical snack. Slice and enjoy. Or, add some spice to your water this weekend when it is supposed to be hot and humid.

Beans: These are my absolute favorite. There are so many things you can do with them. Because Im short on time this week, I will probably just steam the entire batch so I can grab and go for meals. Otherwise you can sautee with butter and garlic. 

Raspberries: We are hoping these make it to you intact, but if they are soft when they get to you, just add them to your ice cream or yogurt. If the berries have started to melt, they are actually sweeter so enjoy them as a topping instead of a finger food.

There you have it. A quick rundown of what to do with your share this week. Many of you have been sharing what you have been up to with your shares and we love it! Continue to share and inspire others with your creations. Have a great week and we will see many of you this week at farm tours. 

Posted 7/3/2017 3:56am by Jenna Untiedt.

How is it already 4th of July weekend? Kind of crazy to think of how fast the summer is going by. Anyways, I wish I had some really inspiring words to share with you this week regarding what to do with your share, but I was at the lake all weekend and am heading back after work today. The only reason I share that is because I want you all to do know that you don't have to cook elaborate meals to get through your shares. Here is what I plan on doing with most of my share this week:

Potatoes: These will definitely be used for dinner tonight on the grill. Dice potatoes and place in foil with a bit of olive oil or better. To make them better? Add the onion from this week as well. Toss them on the grill and enjoy with the rest of your dinner. 

Bok Choy: This veggie probably won't make its way to the lake with me, but ill definitely use it later in the week in stir fry. It's a great base for any stir fry and goes a long way....meaning ill get many leftovers which during a busy week like this week will be awesome. 

Cucumbers: Slice them up and add to a veggie tray. Whenever im at the lake we always take veggies on the boat with us for an easy afternoon snack. The kids and adults love them.

Zucchini: Try it raw! Slice it like a cucumber and add it to the veggie tray. Great way to eat a few extra veggies when the indulgences are probably pretty great over this holiday weekend. 

Kohlrabi: Ill keep this veggie home as well and add it to my stir fry later in the week. If you look back to last week's blog, I included a recipe for stir fry. I plan on making that again later in the week and will include whatever veggies I have on hand. Play around with it and see what you come up with!

Onion: There are so many uses, but I am definitely going to add it to my grilled potatoes later today. Otherwise, slice and top your burgers with this great tasting onion. It isn't strong and pungent like the store bought ones....you can really taste the difference.

Snow Peas: These will also be added to stir fry. As Jerry said in the newsletter, they may not look pretty, but they will taste great once cooked.

English Peas: As a kid, I remember sitting on the deck and shelling these peas. These will make a great addition to any dinner tonight. Ill probably bring them on the boat and have the little kids help shell them in between swim breaks. Just simply boil them for a few minutes and add a little bit of butter, salt and pepper. Simple, yet a great taste of summer. 

Radishes: Not my favorite, but ill eat them if they are in something. So, Ill definitely add them to my stir fry again. Many of you emailed me regarding putting them in your stir fry as well. Aren't they great? They add a little pop of flavor but are not overpowering at all. 

Spinach: This is so much better than anything you can buy in the store. The flavor is SO good. It's kind of unbelievable the difference between store bought spinach that was harvested over a week ago vs fresh, locally grown. Chop and toss with a little bit of balsamic vinegar, fresh strawberries, goat cheese and some nuts. A great quick and easy salad. 

Lettuces: After the way ive eaten this weekend, it will be great to add some fresh greens back into my meals. Salads with a few toppings are a great way to get through the lettuce this week. 

Strawberries: You can add these to the spinach salad, otherwise eat plain. Please remember that these do not have the shelf life of store bought berries. They are soft and only last a couple of days. 

There you have it, week 3 in a snapshot. I hope you all have an amazing 4th. Enjoy some fireworks and some time with friends and family.