Archive for August, 2010

Week 12 8-26

What’s in the box?

Peppers

Onions

Potatoes

Baby Sweet Corn

carrots

Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Parsley   ( Not shown in picture)


This is not the best looking box. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best box ever  this box is  a 4 at best. This round of corn was pummeled by the rain and was planted in a field that didn’t receive enough compost this spring. We almost didn’t put it in the box, but the flavor was still very good even though the ears were small. This box was planning to have some great salad mix that was washed out by the 5 inch rain we had one day, and some great Spinach that rotted right as it was almost ready, both would have been ready to pick this week, had the rain stopped in time. The Grubs really started eating the potatoes. We had anticipated  about 20,000 lbs of potatoes from this years planting, but have now pulled all the potatoes out of the field and have estimated a total harvest of about 4500 lbs. It will get us through, but they aren’t pretty and won’t hold as long as they should. Oh and we planted about 3000lbs of Seed. So that’s a net gain of 1500 lbs of potatoes, sometimes it makes me want to cry. The carrots we had to pull out of the field about a week or so ago while we had a dry spot so they didn’t rot. We held them while we still had lots of things to put in the boxes.  They hold well, and don’t depreciate in quality while in storage. The little sprouts on top can be cut off and the carrots should be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Potato Harvest

The Cucumbers are done, Squash is done, Corn is done, Tomatoes are Done, The coming weeks we are going to see a lull in the bounty. But coming down the pike is some Broccoli that is really starting to perk up now that the weather has cooled and dried off, and the winter squash is on the small side, but there is a good number of fruits out there.  We are planting like crazy now that it’s finally dry enough to get out into the fields and should have more salad mix and spinach before the season is out.

Next week

Tender Sweet cabbage, Pie Pumpkins?, Potatoes, Leeks, Carrots, Greens, Garlic, Italian Red Peppers

lovely little porkers!

Recipes

Minestrone Soup

1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 14.5 oz cans whole tomatoes or similar amount of fresh tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 can corn, drained or 2 Cups of fresh corn
1 small carrot, sliced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/3 cup Fresh parsley
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
5 cups water
1 cup uncooked ziti or other pasta (I use wholegrain pasta.)
Oil for sautéing
Directions
Cut the onion and saute it over medium heat in a little oil in a large soup pot. Covering the pot with a lid helps the onion cook more quickly. While the onion is cooking, cut the bell pepper and garlic, add them to the pot and continue sauteing the vegetables. When the onion and bell pepper are soft, add the garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and pepper. Cook covered over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add 5 cups of water and turn the heat up to high. Add the sliced zucchini, potatoes and carrots, as well as the corn and beans. After the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for ten minutes. During this time, add the juice from the tomatoes to the soup pot and either slice the tomatoes on a plate or give them a few whirls in a food processor. Add the tomatoes, the parsley, and the uncooked pasta and cook until the pasta is ready and the potatoes are tender.
Some of you may be wondering, What am I suppose to do with this parsley?
Well, if you worked at Denny’s you would use it for a garnish on your Chicken Fried Steak and mashed potatoes. But Parsley is one of the most Vitamin C rich foods out there. and full of great micronutrients. It does well in a salad dressing, or an herb baste for grilling.

Just mix up some Salt, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Chopped Parsley and brush it on your Grilling food.

OR how about this great idea that I just read about, but never tried. Use those Potatoes to make some baked or Fried french fries and when you pull them out of the oven, toss the hot fries with a little chopped parsley to give it a lighter more citrus flavor.

You can also add it to your mashed potatoes.

This Parsley wet rub will provide a great garlic flavor that works well with any meat, poultry, or fish.

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon

Combine parsley, garlic, cayenne, lemon juice and zest in a food processor. Slowly add oil as you blend. Mix until smooth. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Or if your feeling fancy….

Piquant Parsley Paste
This is just lovely and can be used with a whole myriad of things: stuff a whole fish; spread on grilled aubergine slices, spread with soft goats cheese and roll up; spread on grilled ciabatta for a crostini-type nibble – or pop into the cavity left by the stalk of a large mushroom after grilling it.

Ingredients
200g jar pitted green olives, drained
3-4 tbsp capers
2-3 anchovy fillets, drained/rinsed
1 clove garlic
handful flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon

Throw the first five ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a paste. Taste and add black pepper and as much juice of the lemon as you like.
Keep in a jar in the fridge.

Potato Corn Chowder is the yummiest soup….

In some bacon grease, butter, or oil saute one chopped onion and some garlic.  Add to that your diced potatoes (with the icky spots cut off) and stir it up.  Dice up some green and/ or red bell pepper and add that to the pot.  Cut the kernels from a few ears of corn (older corn is fine to use for this recipe)  and add that.  When it starts to smell really wonderful and onions are translucent, add some broth and let it all simmer until the potatoes are tender.  Take the soup off the heat and add some milk and some fresh herbs (I like chopped sage, but basil or parsley would also be delicious.) Salt and pepper to taste.

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Week 11, August 19th

What’s in the box?

sweet corn (last week of it!?)

cukes

green (and maybe a red) peppers

slicer tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

sweet onions

garlic

eggplant OR summer squash

HOT peppers (Hungarian Hot Wax) light yellowish green in the front right of the picture

Basil

Recipes

Caponata… This was served by the Boatmans at the Robbinsdale BBQ and it was very yummy.  It freezes well, too.

2 medium eggplants

1/2 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup of chopped plum tomatoes

1/4 cup capers

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.  Heat oil in a large skillet.  Sauté garlic and eggplant until eggplant is lightly browned.  Remove eggplant from skillet.  Add celery and onions to skillet; sauté until tender.  Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.  Drain capers.  Add eggplant, capers, vinegar, sugar, salt and basil.  Simmer 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat.  Chill in refrigerator.  Serve with Italian bread. 8 servings.

Sweet Corn Pancakes from Smitten Kitchen These sound like a good weekend treat.  Abbie made corn fritters for lunch yesterday and they were great.  I’ll try to get the recipe on here soon.  You can also try adding corn kernels to your favorite cornbread recipe (along with your minced hot pepper?!).  Or the box has just about everything you need for a nice corn salsa (minus the Cilantro which got washed out).

Fresh Corn Salsa with Avocado and Tomato

  • Fresh Sweet Corn removed from cob (4 ears makes a big batch)
  • firm Avocado, Diced (it’s good without the avocado, too)
  • some Sweet Onion, Diced
  • a tomato or two diced or cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/4 to a whole hungarian hot wax pepper (depending on your taste for heat, leave ribs and seeds in for extra spicy, take them out for medium spicy)
  • lime juice from 1 lime
  • Plenty Of Chopped Cilantro (we’ve been eating cilantro-less salsa this season and it’s fine that way)
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar

Roasted Green Peppers Sounds good!  I think it would make a nice garnish for some Corn and Potato Chowder.

It’s really wet on the farm…..

Perhaps the spigot will turn off this week.  Here are some pictures to follow up with last weeks long list of weather complaints.  P.S.  The complaints continue as we keep getting dumped on.

The Beets are not happy with wet feet

This low spot in the field has been holding water for weeks now and the Broccoli continues to have root rot.  Peppers are starting to get it.  boooo.

The tomatoes are all but dead from the early blight. Brought on by the rain. Last year we didn’t hardly have any signs of this problem. In a normal year we would have 8 weeks of picking. This year we will be lucky to have 4, and 4 miserable yielding weeks.

Fall is near, as the pie pumpkins are turning orange and should be ready soon. But the rain hasn’t been nice to them either.

Celery is coming up, and is looking nice. But notice the yellow tips, that’s too much water. Hopefully we dry up some and they pull out of it. Fresh celery is the best.

This is what remains of the Potato vines. The Grubs have been horrible. Between the Grubs, Blight caused by rain and the Potato beetles, we are expecting about 70% loss of yield.

But the boxes are full this week!

Harvest Party is set here on the farm Oct  2nd.  More details to follow.  Directions are on the website.

Sept 11th meet your farmers BBQ /potluck in Stillwater. Email for address and directions. We are shooting Noon time to start.

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Week 10

What’s in the box?

Sweet Corn

Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet Ailsa Craig Onion

Red Potatoes

Cucumbers

Yellow Squash

Garlic

Basil

Green Bell Peppers

Storage tips

Peppers like to be held at about 50 degrees. This may sound kind of exact, but they refrigerate well but in a warmer part of your fridge.

Garlic on the counter.  Everything else we covered last week.

Now, some of you may be backing up on Potatoes, these guys store well out of the sun, and in a high moisture environment. We keep them in our basement. But I imagine a Pantry would work as well. They also will hold well in the fridge, in an open bag.

If your family isn’t like ours (we eat at least a dozen ears of sweet corn EVERY DAY during the time when it’s in season), then you would probably like to know that corn is super easy to freeze.  We just cut it off the cob and put it in freezer bags and freeze it.  We don’t even blanche it and it comes out great.  Just defrost and heat it up in a pan with a little butter when you are ready to eat it.  Or put it in soups or bake with it or…..  Just make sure to love the sweet corn while it’s here.  It will be over before you know it.

Recipes….

Another great one from 101cookbooks!  Spiced Tomato Gratin. It calls for Yukon Gold Potatoes, but the red ones work just fine.

And this one from lottie and doof (another favorite) for Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto!

If you feel like turning on your oven, make a from scratch pizza.  Make (or buy) your dough, spread on some olive oil and top with crushed garlic, fresh sliced tomato, onions, squash, bell peppers, and some parmesan cheese or fresh mozzarella if you like.  I’ve also heard about grilled pizza.  That sounds like a fine way to not get your kitchen too hot.

Or, if heating up the kitchen doesn’t sound great there’s always veggie sandwiches.  Nick who’s working on the farm made one tonight and I believe he said it was the best sandwich he’s ever eaten.  I think it had cream cheese, tomato, basil, onion, green peppers, and cucumbers on it.

Try having some sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with a fried egg and whole grain toast for breakfast.  It’s one of the few breakfasts that keeps me full until lunch.

On the farm….

Now we get to complain about the weather. Last night we got 4.5 inches of rain. On top of the 3 inches we got last week. So this morning we picked your sweet corn in ankle deep mud. And then hauled all 70- 50 lb bags of corn out  from the field on the only firm ground which was about 200 feet away. So I really hope you like this corn. Same with the peppers. There is standing water all over the fields. If we lived near a river bottom we would be flooded. Fortunately the only thing flooding is the Basement, which had about 4 inches of standing water in it this AM, but is slowly being pumped out.

So I’m going to make a list of things that all this rain has ruined for us and you.

The second succession of Cucumbers, not so bad. But cucumbers will be coming to an end shortly.

The melons are drowning and dying from wet feet. So, no melons.  Believe it or not, melons are a desert crop and require well drained soil and not much water to thrive.  Not this season….

The heavy rain last night and a few weeks ago washed out a planting of salad mix, and beets, spinach and darn near 40% of the carrots, and is currently drowning about 20% of the broccoli. Fortunately with the carrots and broccoli we over planted, so there should be plenty to go around still.

It has all but wiped out the tomatoes with Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot. We might have 3 more weeks of picking, and it will get thinner from here out.

It has prevented a lot of weeding, so weeds are everywhere. That’s nothing new, just worse that usual.

It give us purple spot in the onions, which didn’t allow them to size up all the way before we had to make a mad rush on Tues to pull them all out of the ground while it was dry enough. This probably set our yields back by about 30% or more. But you probably won’t feel a shortage of onions.

We had a crop of lettuce planted for harvest this week, but it was mostly rotten from not getting a chance to dry out properly.

It completely wiped out the Potato vines with Blight and leaf spot as well. Which set back yields by 30% or more.

Along with spreading blight from the tomato plants not being able to dry out, it causes many of the heirlooms to split.  It also made the ground so soft that all of our tomato staking and trelacing to keep them off the ground has proven to be in vain.  Almost all of the stakes are flopped over onto the ground leaving the tomatoes vulnerable to the munching of critters and worms.  We try to only get you the nice ones, but sometimes an ugly one may sneak in.  Sorry about that.  Cut the bad spot off and eat the rest right away!

Of course we can’t blame all of this on the rain, the high humidity and the heat help these diseases spread as well.

So the moral of the story here is. Despite our best efforts, the rain has thwarted lots of them for the fall plantings. It is cutting some of the greatest crops of summer (tomatoes and melons) down to almost nothing.  We will do our best to keep the veg rolling, but know that we tried if the boxes start to lighten up.

Oh… and it has made us get stuck with the tractor way more times than I care to mention.

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Week 9! August 5, 2010

What’s in the box?

sweet corn

cucumbers

summer squash

zucchini

beans

sweet onions

garlic

green top carrots

heirloom tomatoes

slicer tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

basil

A few notes about the box….

We want to thank everyone who commented last week on our cabbage question.  We learned that most everyone was begging for mercy when it came to cabbage and cukes are maybe backing up as well.  Because of this input we were able to make the decision to donate 3,550 lbs of cabbage and cukes to the foodshelf. That brings this years total to 7000 lbs of produce already to the foodshelf.   We still put some cukes in the box this week, but we lightened it up a bit.  This week marks the start of the sweet corn storm.  Get ready for sweetcorn in similar quantities for the next few weeks.  We  love the stuff and it is a big part of summertime.   We hope you enjoy the first round and look forward to the next ones which really just get better and better.

Storage Tips

Basil should be put in a vase of water. Not in the fridge, but like  a bouquet of flowers on the counter

Tomatoes should NEVER be put into the fridge. Store on the counter on their shoulders.

Corn should kept in the fridge

Garlic should be stored in a dry place not in the fridge

Carrots are best stored with the tops off and in the crisper in a plastic bag. they will hold for months this way. If you leave the tops on or don’t keep them moist (in a bag) they will turn rubbery.

What do they expect us to do with these carrot tops? They make a great veg stock if you have left over scraps of other vegetables, thow them together and boil it down. Then make a stew some cold day. (which doesn’t look like any time soon.)

Recipes

Squash, Swiss, Sage Potato Pie

I made this for lunch today and another that was Tomato, Basil, mozzarella Potato Pie.  Everyone liked them both, but agreed that the squash one was the best.

3 cups grated potatoes, rinsed and drained

1 grated sweet onion

Mix these and start them frying up in an oven proof skillet, stirring occasionally.  When they are nicely browned and cooked well, flatten them out and top with

several fresh sage leaves chopped

some grated swiss cheese

Beat 4-6 eggs (depending on the size of your skillet.  You don’t want the egg layer too thick)  with a little milk, some parmesan cheese, minced garlic, more grated onion, alt, and pepper.  Spread this on top of the sage and cheese.

Slice a squash or zucchini into coins and arrange them on top of the eggs.  Top with grated parmesan and pepper and put in the broiler until eggs are set and the top is browned.  YUM!

Summery Bean Salad

Snap the stems off your beans and cut them into bite size pieces.  Blanche the beans (but leave the dragon beans raw because they lose their color when cooked).    Add halved cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes, chopped sweet onion, and chopped cucumbers if you like.  Make a dressing with a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss it all together.  Make it extra fancy with some crumbled feta cheese and toasted almonds on top.

Sweet Corn

Bring some water to a boil.  Take the husks and silk off of the corn and put it in the water for about 2-3 min.  Roll in butter, sprinkle with salt.  Yum yum yum!

This is some very fresh corn, so there is no need to do any injustice by boiling it to death. All that is needed is to heat it up and ‘blanch’ it.

Jenna's corn picking outfit.

So yeah, this picture is no kidding we carry extra bags with us down the 400 ft bed to fill up when one gets full. We carry these extra bags in our pants and wear them like an Organic farmer ballerina tu-tu.

Comment to us about other things you like to put on your sweet corn.  I love Ume Plum Paste smeared on like butter (or with butter).  Garlic butter is good, too. just dice up some garlic, heat up some butter add them together and you have a spoonable liquid to put on that corn. Some hold the belief that corn is a just a vehicle for butter and salt. Some may be right. You might as well get some garlic in there too.

Abbie washing potatoes

Nick and the Potatoes

That's a lot of food to fit into those boxes.

watching the pigs enjoy the produce that isn't lovely enough for the members.

Those of you that ordered pork. We have the date set for Dec 7th. We will deliver that week and will be in touch before then.  These little porkers are growing fast and are well over 120 lbs already ( only 4 months old) As they should be being fed all this great veg, lots of sun and pasture and not to mention MILK! from our two new milk cows… yeah as if it wasn’t enough already.

if you want to order pork from us just send us an email and we will mark you down for a whole half or quarter. We will have another round ready in the spring.

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