Farm Newsletter August 6, 2019

Farm Newsletter August 6, 2019

Farm News        Crop Forecast

U-Pick       Recipes       Nuts and Bolts


Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here.  Please use this to notify us of changes in your pick-up schedule.  Thanks!

Bulk Produce Now Available! See Nuts and Bolts for more info. 


FYI we custom ordered this weather, and it worked!!!!   :)))))


We started irrigating last week after about ten days without rain, and it’s been so good for everything to dry out.  Dry leaves, dry roots, such a relief.  Erin pointed out this is perhaps our longest dry spell during the growing season in the last 3-4 years; about 14 days.   The plants are loving it.  Growing, healthy, and lush.  In those years we’ve had several inches of rain again at the end of July, and it’s sent the crops tumbling into bacteria and fungal infections — anything can happen, but across the fields things are looking good.

Of course as we write there’s a severe thunderstorm watch!!  It looks wet and windy and maybe more north of the cities, and coming south. Anything can happen.  Thanks for your support by buying a share of the harvest, whatever the fields, weather, bugs,  etc give us.  It sure is nice knowing you’ll still like us, and we still make some money, even if the fields get flattened.  (2 hours later it poured, but mostly sun in the forecast now again — fields are wet and a little windblown, but no hail etc.  Rain was harder than “necessary”, but not too far “out of line.”)

We got the fall kale planted across the street in a field rented from our neighbor Inez Malecha and family.   It’s our first planting over there, and it’s off to a great start.  It’s fun to see veggies in a new place.  Cheer them on as you go by, and every field while you’re at it.  And check out the absurd number of yellow cantaloupe flowers to the west of the driveway — many of those late flowers won’t make a fruit, but they’re a sign of strong healthy plants, and we’re excited to start uncovering how many fruits are hiding under the sea of vines.

We picked the first watermelons today!  Cantaloupes hopefully next week.  A few more tomatoes this week, the first peppers too.  Yum yum yum.

We also harvested some wheat this weekend, and will hopefully finish this week.  We use an old combine we traded for veggies, which works well enough for our meager needs.  We’ll eat a little bit of the wheat, but mostly it’s for re-planting as cover crops, for feeding and protecting the soil.  It saves a little money to grow it ourselves, and we get to select for the seed that works well in our growing system, but mostly it’s a hobby.   It’s just so fun to see all the belts and chains spinning, the stems and heads feeding in, and the grain come flowing out.

Until it breaks.

Butcha know, it’s still fun.

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Crop Forecast

Watermelon!!! After looking behind their usual schedule since day one,  with very slow growth in the cool June, they have gone bonkers — the vines filled up the field and the fruit are a good size.  It’s such a treat to have them again.  There should be two for each share this week.  Cantaloupes are often a little later, and might start coming in next week.  Watermelons keep best in the fridge, including for several days once cut up into chunks.  Cantaloupe we usually pick ready to eat, but if they’re a little green they can be left to further ripen on the counter (just keep an eye and a nose on them!) or can be kept stable in the fridge, whole or cut up.

Tomatoes are picking up.  A few more this week, and lots next week / week after.  Boxes of seconds will be for sale next week or the week after.  We will send a separate email when we begin.

Sweet Onions, Summer squash and zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, beets, cabbage and/or napa cabbage, greens and lettuce, kale, chard.  The kale and chard are barely making enough to go around, but if we plant more then we end up with way too much.  We might have to plant more, we’ll see.  You may have noticed the lettuce has had some disease in it; it’s one of the few crops to be problematic so far this year.  We’ve been picking around and through bad leaves; hopefully the new growth from the dry weather will be cleaner.   Globe eggplants will start soon too, but there won’t be many of them — we’re still trying to figure out why they didn’t make many flowers.  That’s one we used to have way way to much of, so cut back on how much we planted, then added some back in, but now in a mediocre eggplant year….we’re short again.  Tricky balance.

Broccoli may gap, but it keeps surprising us with good harvests.

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What’s for U-Pick?

We Still Need U-Pick Containers!!!  If you have any hanging around, please bring them in.

Cheery Tomatoes! — Trickled in with the heat, and slowed down with the mellower temperatures.  They should be steadier , and more abundant , from now on.

Beans — We’ve been watering them to try to get more out of the plants are out there, but we still will be having a limit, possibly all season.

It’s Pesto Time!!!  Get it while you can!  Healthiest biggest basil we’ve had in years.

All Herbs are Unlimited, and looking beautiful.  For info about the You-Pick Medicinal Herb Garden, see below.

Flowers! — Wow!! The more you pick the more flowers they make.  They look happy.

Please always check the U-pick board when you’re here to see what’s available and picking amounts.

U-Pick Help:  If at any point in the season you are not physically able to  U-pick due to an injury or any other reason, please let us know.  If you’re interested in being on the volunteer list to pick for other people, please let us know too!

Please bring your own scissors for herbs and flowers.  Many shareholders just leave a pair in their car so they always have them.  If you happen to forget, we have a few “kid” scissors that we are happy to lend out.   

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Nuts and Bolts

New Medicinal Herbal Garden —

On your way to pick peas or beans over the past weeks, you may have noticed a new garden area, recently signed with “You-Pick Medicinal Herbs Garden”.  We’ve worked together with LuAnn Raadt, an amazinglocal herbalist with a passion for growing a wide variety of medicinal plants, to plan and plant the garden. Feel free to wander through and be impressed with all that plants have to offer us.  However, please stay on the paths as many plants are still small and easily injured. Also, if you wish to harvest any of the plants, please check with LuAnn first as she is working hard to get everything established well. You can find more information on LuAnn’s website:

Luann will be at the garden to answer any questions next week, both Tuesday and Thursday.
There is a small amount of mint and lemon balm in the new garden that we will open this week.  There will be our normal wooden signs at these crops, please only pick from those sections.  There will be a limit for the mint and lemon balm.

Remember your reusable bags and also to sign in when you pick up your share. 

Share Pickup Hours Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 – 6:30pm. You can U-Pick any time (when U-pick crops are in season.)

Bulk Produce for You — Check here each newsletter for what we have available for extra purchase.

You might know that while a lot of the produce we grow goes to you, some of what we grow is sold to wholesale accounts.  Once we get going, we deliver 2-3 times a week to Just Food Co-op, St. Olaf College, Carleton College;  a little to the Northfield Public Schools and a lot to the Minneapolis Public Schools.  Plus a handful of other places that we’re developing relationships with, mostly for cantaloupe, and fall and winter carrots and other roots, kale and cabbage.  That includes a couple small distributors who work with other local school districts, institutions and restaurants.

We like to offer you the same produce beyond what you get in your share, at or very near our wholesale prices, to use for parties, special events, serving guests, or just filling your family’s bellies each week.

To place a bulk order, simply call or email us at least 2 days ahead of the day you’d like to pick it up.  Orders can be picked up at the farm during our regular pickup hours, but it doesn’t have to be your share pickup day.

This week’s selection is : Carrots, Beets, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Sweet Onions for $1 / lb.

TOMATO BOXES of SECONDS — We will send a separate email in a week or two when boxes of seconds tomatoes are ready to roll.

Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here.

Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.

On the note of children, please know where yours are at all times.

Thank you for making this such a great place to be! Thank you so much for your support!!

Your farmers,

Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alissa, Amelia, Danny, Ed, Emily and Sahara


Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze

by Fred Thompson, from Bon Appétit Magazine
1 5-ounce package baby arugula (about 1/4 clear/cotton bag)
8 cups 3/4-inch cubes seeded watermelon
1 7-ounce package feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze
Arrange arugula over large platter. Scatter watermelon, then feta over. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle
with pepper.

Balsamic vinegar glaze can be found in the vinegar section at many supermarkets. If unavailable, boil 3/4 cup bal-
samic vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 6 to 7 minutes.

Beet and Carrot Burgers

From Farmer John’s Cookbook
Butter for greasing the baking sheet
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups grated carrots and beets
1/2 cup minced onions
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
3 Tbsp flour
2Tbsp Soy sauce or tamari
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the baking sheet with butter. Toast sesame seeds on a warm, heavy skil-
let for 3-5 minutes. Toast sunflower seeds in the same way. Combine beets, carrots, onions in a large bowl. Stir

in toasted sunflower and sesame seeds, eggs, rice, cheese, oil, flour, parsley, soy sauce, and garlic. (Hands work
best). Add cayenne and mix until thoroughly combined. Using hands, shape mixture in 12 patties and arrange
them in rows on baking sheet. Bake until patties are brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Unless they are
very thick, it should not be necessary to turn them. Serve alone or with mayo, tomato, and toasted wheat bread.

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