Archive for August, 2009

Week 12…Harvest party Sept. 26th 3 p.m.-?

what is in this heavy box?

canning tomatoes are available!

canning tomatoes are available!




Sweet Corn


Pesto Basil

Yellow Squash




Green Peppers


Alright, its here, the end of the Yellow squash, and the Cucumbers could be coming to an end as well. The lows out here are still in the upper 40’s and the dew is heavy in the morning. Those cucurbits don’t like the cool damp weather. We should hold on to at least  another week of Zuchinni. Otherwise, it’s time to shift gears again to fall. We should be heading into Broccoli,Cauliflower, Salad Mixes, Carrots, Storage Onions ( the more pungent type) plus many other late summer/early fall treats. Tomatoes should continue until frost. The peppers are really creeping along. Just barely starting to turn red. Which is a shame. I hope we see some red peppers. We have some of the nicest red roasting Italian peppers and some peppers that are on the slow food’s Arc of Taste, a heritage breed being saved because of their flavor. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for some warm weather to riped those up. Egg Plants are still making the rounds. They are still coming on slowly, but starting to kick into gear. Yeah just in time for fall. But nonethless We are looking forward to the great tasting Delicata winter squash, Pie Pumpkins and Leeks. 

We had a 13 hour day yesterday as we were rained out half the day on Tuesday. But we pulled it off with a little help from a friend Carol and some stick to-it. Here is a photo journal of the magical wednesday Morning.


Two Way Street Beets (asparagus to zuchinni cookbook)

1 bu beets

juice of one orange or lemon

1 Tablespoon of butter softened


1 teaspoon peanut oil

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1 teaspoon hot chili oil

1-2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Cut beets off stems and gently scrub them. Wash greens. Cut stems into 3 in pieces and coarsely chop the greens; set asid in seperate piles. Steam beets until tender (20-30 min) Cool briefly, slip off skins, and cut into wedges. Toss with orange juice, butter, and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat heavy skillet over medium flame. Add oils. Add stems; sautee 2-3 min. Add greens; cook, tossing often, until limp. Toss in soy sauce and pepper to taste. Arrange beets over greens on platter. 

Borsch (Beet Soup)   (internet) 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
1 pound boneless beef bottom round, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
4 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium boiling potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 2/3 cups double-strength beef broth, canned or homemade (double-strengh bouillon is ok)
1 can (15 oz size) peeled Italian tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Sour cream, for garnish

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, turning often, until browned on all sides. 

Transfer the beef to a plate and season with the salt and pepper. Add more oil to the skillet, if necessary, and heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and bell pepper. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the water and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. 

Transfer to crockpot and add the beets and potatoes. Then add the beef, beef broth, tomatoes with their juice, the tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, thyme and caraway seeds. Break up the tomatoes with the side of a spoon, then cover and slow-cook until the meat is tender, 6 to 7 hours on low. 

Spoon the soup into individual bowls, and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.


Enjoy ya’ll 

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Week 11: the tomatoes are here! finally!

What’s in the box?

sweet onions (that’s the last of them)


yellow squash



one hot pepper (Hungarian hot wax)

green peppers

slicer tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes 

roma tomatoes

the beginning of the asian eggplants (they will be making the rounds  EauClaire, RiverMarket, and some of Roseville get them this week)


Many thanks to member Mary for this Gazpacho recipe.  We made it the other night when the stove was being replaced and I must say, it is THE BEST GAZPACHO that I have ever eaten.  I puereed it in two batches to make sure there was some bits to chew:

2 lbs of quite ripe tomatoes (I lge can of whole tomatoes without any seasoning)
1 lge cuke
1 lge pepper (green or red)
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 to 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 TBSP red vinegar
Salt to taste. 
Run veggies through food processor to desired consistency 
Start adding olive oil and then vinegar.
Add salt to taste.
You may have tomato, cucumber, pepper, and french bread very finely chopped to add as a garnish.

and how about some bruchetta to go with that? 

Cucumber Salad (this salad has been featured at just about every lunch since we have been harvesting cukes.  we eat the #2 veggies.  they are the ones that are too big or too small or have bad spots or are too chewed on by bugs or whatever is out there chewing on things.  We give the best for you. 

cut up some cucumbers and some sweet onions and put them in a bowl with some balsamic vinegar a little oil and a little sugar or honey.  mix it all up.  you can keep adding cukes to the left over vinegar.  so easy and so good. 

Cucumber Dill Yogurt Salad  

the title doubles as the recipe

Hoisin bbq sauce for kabobs: 

Heat 2 tsp veg oil in a small sauce pan.  Cook 2 cloves minced garlic over low heat for a couple of minutes.  Add 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, 1 Tbs. soy sauce, 3 Tbs. sake or dry sherry, 1 Tbs. ketchup, 1 Tbs. rice vinegar  and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat and add a little drizzle of sesame oil.  Make kabobs with cubed zucchini, summer squash, green peppers, maybe even tomatoes, and some meat or fish or tofu or anything.  Grill it up and brush this stuff on.  It’s summertime!  Cook outside!

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

Rinse the green beans and parboil until just tender.  Drain and cool them.  Dice up some tomatoes.  Mince some sweet onion and mix it with some red wine vinegar and olive oil and salt and pepper.  Chop up some fresh basil.  Mix it all up.  That’s it!  Serve with some toasted nuts or cheese. 


one of the many toads found in the field

one of the many toads found in the field



The sweet onions store best in the refrigerator. they should keep for a couple of weeks. 

We will be moving on to the red onions which are a medium length storage and should hold until the end of Dec. at room temp, with low humidity. 

Cukes and Zukes are still going strong, but slowing back down due to cooler temps, but I feel some relief to know the yellow squash is coming to an end. We held back with quantity so as not overwhelm any more than you already are. 

We had grand plans to put Potatoes in the box this week. It was Wed. afternoon (yesterday) and the skies opened up and it hasn’t stopped raining  even as I write this Thurs AM. So we figured, instead of toiling in the mud for hours, we would get you more potatoes next week. 

Our sweet corn supplier has a  gap in their sweet corn this week and we weren’t able to get corn for you. 

Our sweet corn is finally putting on tiny ears, we might actually get a crop if the sun comes out and the ear worms don’t attack. 

your heirloom Tomatoes are the Purple ones Cherokee Purple, or Orange, Moon Glow or A unique colored  roma, called Speckled Roman. We should be coming into other varieties a little later. They may have some blemishes and soft skin. DONT PUT TOMATOES IN THE REFRIGERATOR. They store best at about 50-55 degrees, but room temp on the counter not touching is fine. If you can’t get through them before the next week’s box which will contain more, then just cut them up and pack them into a freezer bag, put them in the freezer, then in Jan, you will have a nice summer surprise. Some of the old storage books will say they don’t freeze well, but they are wrong.they don’t hold together, but they are fine in stews or sauces. DSC01222

cucumber pickers

cucumber pickers

If anyone is interested in Canning tomatoes please send us an email or give a call. 

you can get a 15 lb box for 20$ freeze em or can em. 


I really wanted to share with you some positive feed back we have been getting… 

here is  a letter from our first CSA customer to sign up with us.

Hi Josh,

I just wanted to write you a short note of appreciation.  Even though the weather has been unseasonably dry, you guys have really stocked the boxes with enough tasty/useful veggies to satisfy my family (my CSA last year had much less variety and much better weather than you, ironically).  Your blog is just too generous, as well.  Count me in for another share next year (and possibly a winter share…we’ll see… 🙂

Take care,


and another 

Turnip Rock,

I’ve got some of the potatoes, summer squash, and onions we got today on the grill, cooking w some olive oil and salt, basil and pinenuts. Oh, boy! To hear my 4yr old tell her dad that something smells good n what’s mum cooking makes the rain worth staying indoors! 🙂
Thx for all your hard work and for having the passion to do what you do!! You are a huge part of our teaching our little one about respect for the earth, where food comes (n should come) from, and we’re even grateful for your making our 2010 soil better through what we are adding to our compost! To think that our little one gets to expierence this from our little lot in flipping suburbia makes me thankful!! Keep up the great work and let me know if u want an  recipe for authentic spanish gazpacho when the peppers n tomatoes start coming! Can’t wait!
Thanks again!


We love to hear it of course, and we get it from both sides. Good and Bad. 

We really try to stock the boxes with staples and in good quantity and variety. It has been a light year as we build soil and move forward. Im hopeful we will end on a high note and the winter boxes will be good as well. Most of you that are signed up for the summer and don’t do the winter will miss out on this great crop of winter squash we are having. but we will try to squeeze you in some Delicata squash, and a pie pumpkin.  

   Most importantly what we want to show you is the profound effect you can have on our food supply by supporting LOCAL farms, organic or not. (one of the largest Organic producers are Conagra, and many processed Organic products are sourced GLOBALLY. i.e. one box of  process cereal typically has used 85% more calories to make the PACKAGING than the calories it supplies us as food, not to mention the shipping of evaporated cane juice from south america. Ive been reading Deep Economy by Bill Mc Kibbin)  When you buy from us we get to spend 100% of our dollars right here in our region. You are a part of rebuilding rural farm economies, adding diversity, stability, a sense of community. Your not just buying vegetables. You do that at Walmart, and then 6 cents of every dollar goes to the farmer. If you buy that 2.50 $ lettuce from a big box store your farmer in California only gets. 10 cents. With us, we get 100% of it. Not much money leaves the state. And to think many people travel all the way to Italy and France to taste the LOCAL food, maybe one day the Europeans come to Minnesota and Wisconsin and say hey, you’ve got some good food… ‘Just Sayin’ 

Im not trying to get on a soap box, but I do want to stress how much we couldn’t do this without you. Our Farm Service Agency loan officer (whom we got the loan through to buy the farm) keeps asking me  if there are more farmers like us that can use ‘loan assistance’. The reason they want more farmers like us is because the dairy farms are going under because of deflated milk prices and that is the majority of the farmers they lend to, and they can’t repay anything. Here we are first year, and making our payments on time. They see potential in this, not that I would encourage everyone farming to go take out the biggest loan possible. But it is encouraging to see the mainstream people whom 5 years ago never considered farmers like this as legitimate, as something to take stake in. And it’s mostly because of you who have seen the importance of supporting local growers. So besides looking at the dollar amount of what your box is worth at say, the coop or market, look at the social aspect of what you are supporting, the community you are a part of and the value of all the those things combined. 

okay im done. thanks for reading.

pie pumpkin ripening in the sun

pie pumpkin ripening in the sun





Next week.






Salad Mix?


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week 10…hope your biceps are working










yep, i wanted to be an artist, see calculator.

yep, i wanted to be an artist, see calculator.



Whats in the box.

Red Potatoes

Sweet Onions


Yellow squash/Zuchinni

Green Beans

Gardens of Egan Sweet Corn…



Starting to feel a bit like the peak season hu? finally. 

we are expecting highs in the upper 80’s for the rest of the week, which should kick the tomato crop into high gear. We are pulling just a few lbs. of red tomatoes, but not quite enough to go in all the boxes yet.

tomatoes blushing

tomatoes blushing

The fields got some more rain. and we have successfully seeded down some of the ground for next year in a clover/buckwheat/oats mix. we chose that cover crop because it was what we had in the garage. but it looks like a great stand and should add some good organic matter and Spring nitrogen to the soil. Needless to say, in the new ground there is still no shortage of rocks. But seemingly less than the field we are in now. 

Green peppers should be on their way next week as well. and then all the sweet roasting peppers and bannana peppers will follow. We might give you 1 week of hot peppers, we know how much most of you don’t use them.  


Tooya, guardian of peppers.

Tooya, guardian of peppers.








Things are humming along here on the farm no major break downs, just a flat tire, and plenty of going to bed tired.   the last couple weeks we managed to get our hay up for the winter. Here are some photos of that . 


Mr. Patterson Contemplates all that is good

Mr. Patterson Contemplates all that is good



Jeanette did all the stacking with her persuasive good looks.

Jeanette did all the stacking with her persuasive good looks.






hay wagon

terrrist hay wagon











Rama said, "higher! "

Rama said, "higher! "

view from the wagon

view from the wagon

As I rambled on about before… Fall crops are looking good. See for yourself. 



carrots and corn...

carrots and corn...

Fall Brassica's, oats in back

Fall Brassica's, oats in back

Next week



some beans 

Some tomatoes




until then…

Comments (1)

Week 9… It’s warming up!

What’s in the box?



Washing beets.  Photo by Ryan Fedder

Washing beets. Photo by Ryan Fedder



red potatoes

summer squash


green top beets


sweet onions


Here are some wonderful pictures taken by a member, and photographer, Ryan Fedder.

Thanks Ryan we loved having you be a fly on the wall for a couple days. 




Adam and Jeanette bringin in the beets. Photo by Ryan Fedder

Adam and Jeanette bringin in the beets. Photo by Ryan Fedder






Getting ready to pack the boxes photo by Ryan Fedder

Getting ready to pack the boxes photo by Ryan Fedder

packing boxes!  Photo by Ryan Fedder

packing boxes! Photo by Ryan Fedder

We finally got the much needed half inch plus rain this week. And what a difference it made. Last week we harvested 288 lbs of potatoes out of a single bed of potatoes this week after the rain, out of the same kind of potato bed we harvested 430 lbs. Thats a 150 lb. rain! 

It has indeed warmed up a little, or enough that the squash has kicked it into high gear. On that same note as the potatoes, we harvested a total of 136lbs of squash last week, and this week a total of 442lbs. ! So we figured you haven’t been hit really hard yet with squash, so here is a home run, hopefully it lays to rest any worry you had that you weren’t going to have enough squash this summer to bake that squash bread, and cake that you like so much. sorry for baseball annalogy, I dont even watch baseball. 

goats/sheep in the spring

goats/sheep in the spring

We’ve come a long way from the spring and I can already feel the end of the summer sneaking up on us. 

Tomatoes will be ripe in small quantity next week. and increasing dramatically in the next three weeks. We have a wide array of tomatoes out there all sitting beautiful and green on the vine. Pending no major hail storms or heavy rain fall we should have a good crop in store for everyone. We have 6 different heirloom varieties, romas,  and the staple red slicin tomato. keep in mind we can deliver canning tomatoes to your site if you ask for them. 

Green peppers will be ready shortly as well. but a few weeks out yet on Red Bell peppers. 

Sweet corn next week, unfortunately it won’t be our corn. But we will be buying in from Gardens of Eagan. So, its Certified Organic which is hard to find in quantity. We don’t like doing it, but we feel it is worth it, and we don’t plan on making a practice of it.  So, first corn of the season next week. 

Hope everyone can enjoy the warm weather while we still have it around. 

We are planning on a fall harvest party. Sept 26th right when the leaves will be peaking and the air is cool but not cold ( we hope) Just after a first frost and out door activities are winding down. There will be fire, potluck, pig roast, music, and a chance to meet the farmers and everyone else who decides to show up. You can find a map of our farm on our website, under contact us at and of course if we still have winter shares at that time, you can sign up with us then too. And it’s never too early to sign up for 2010 summer season as well. 




Buttermilk Summer Squash Soup Recipe


Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil or butter in large thick-bottomed pan over medium heat. Stir in some chopped onions, 1/2 tsp. salt, some red pepper flakes, and a little rosemary (fresh or dried). Saute until onions are tender – a couple minutes. Stir in the 1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash (cubed) and 3/4 pounds potatoes (unpeeled and cut into 1/4 inch thin slices), and cook until the squash starts to get a bit tender – a few minutes. Stir in the 3 chopped cloves of garlic, and then add 3 cups stock (or water) to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Puree with a hand blender. Slowly whisk in the 2/3 cup buttermilk or half and half, taste, and adjust the seasoning – adding more salt if needed. Good topped with a bit of crumbled feta, some toasted almonds, a drizzle of olive oil, and a small pinch of red pepper or as is.  


    Sweet Onions!

    These onions are a variety called WallaWalla.  They are a really nice summertime treat.  We shared a whole one while we were harvesting them.  They are so nice and mild that they can be enjoyed like an apple if you really like onions.  They are great diced on salads or on burgers or other sandwiches.  They are also wonderful for caramelizing because of their sweetness.  Caramelized onions are great added to biscuits, rolls, omelets, mashed potatoes, or as a garnish on top of meats.  To caramelize the onions, slice them thin and cook them in some olive oil over medium heat until they are really brown and smell really good.  


Next week

Sweet corn


Yellow Squash

Sweet Walla Walla Onions


Some Beans.

Green Peppers?



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