Farm Newsletter October 15, 2019

IMG-3426FullSizeRenderFarm Newsletter October 15, 2019

Farm News        Crop Forecast

U-Pick       Recipes       Nuts and Bolts


Final share pickups of 2019 are this week —

 October 15 and 17.

Join us again next year with a farm share!

And Sign Up for the Storage Share — Pre-set or Custom Order, or Both —

The links for signing up are in the email you received this weekend, and/or last weekend.

                                        Storage Share Pick-Up is Thursday, Nov. 21st, the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

Winter Store Dates are Second Tuesdays of the month —

Dec 10, January 14, Feb 11.  We will send email reminders the day before.



Seems like we snuck through that storm system , which is just fine with us!  We love snow, but we just have enough to pick that we’d rather it wait a while.  Even the temperatures took it easy on us — peppers and flowers are still alive so far, and maybe even the stragglers in the green beans.

We’re busy this week picking and washing for the double-sized share pickups, putting away a few more bins full of crops for winter storage, and washing for sales to schools and distributors in the twin cities.  This week , with the modest mud we’ve got again, big harvests might be limited to cabbage and celeriac.  We’ve got all the beets and radishes in for the winter; carrots and parsnips are the big remaining ones.  We hope for warm, dry weather to dry the soil a bit so they pop up out of the ground easy!

There’s a small chance — if we haven’t got carrots all picked and temps are headed for 15 or 10 degrees — that we’ll put out a call for help picking in the mud.  After we left a lot of carrots in the ground a couple years ago, when we ran out of time before a strong cold front, many of you kindly told us we should have asked for more help.  We know you’re busy but if it comes to that we’ll give a holler.  For now, the forecast looks ok.

Thanks again for joining us for another trip around the sun!  Every year is certainly different, in life and on a farm. It was a wet year, for sure, and cool.  We’ve seen wetter, and other locations have seen colder, but like the corn and soybeans all around us, our crops were definitely ripening later due to the lack of heat units throughout the summer.  But they have pulled it off, and most with pretty good yields.  While it often rained every 3-5 days, we were fortunate to mostly get 1/2-2″, instead of the routine 3-4″ we’ve seen other years, and other places had this year.  And a couple warm weeks worked wonders to push things along.

It’s been a blast to work alongside our happy and farm-loving crew — Alissa, Danny, Emily and Ed continue to give it their all, with grace and humor.

Thanks again for helping keep this farm going, for enjoying it so much in your lives.  See you around in the months ahead, and hopefully around here in 2020!

Storage Share 2019

Sign up this week please!  It’s easy!  We can take sign-ups later but it’s much easier if we know now so we can plan and prepare ahead.

The storage share is separate from the regular season share, a one-time pickup the Thursday before Thanksgiving — Nov. 21st from 10am-6pm.   With the hopefully easy-to-use google form, and no need for extra passwords or anything, you can request the “original” or “pre-set” storage share, and/or pre-order just what you want from the wide selection of fall veggies we grow.  Prices are by the pound or by the piece.

This is the last week of the CSA! 

Split shares —  please plan on BOTH OF YOUR FAMILIES/HOUSEHOLDS coming this week.  This week is a “double share,” ie two weeks worth of share veggies.      It is a Double share, so full share folks multiply the sign amounts x 2, and split share folks take the amount that is on the sign.   Note that since we just passed through a mini-winter, the share size is down a little, to 1/2 bag of greens/lettuce and 1/2 bag of “durables.”  So for a full share, the double share is 1 full bag of each.  For a half share, it’s 1/2 bag of each.

You can still come U-pick after this week, for kale, spinach, and herbs and/or whatever else is u-pickable (see below).

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Crop Forecast

Fall veggies — sweet, hearty and warm.  Add in some greens, spinach or kale — Zoom!!!  Propel you through the grey months!!!

For Winter Squash, the butternut will keep the longest, some of them 3 months. or more.  Ambercup,  acorn, carnival, spaghetti and buttercup should be eaten in the next 2-3 weeks.  They might last longer but not reliably.   We’ll put some of the smaller ones on the mix-and-match table too.  We’re sorry about the super muddy outside pumpkins and squash a couple weeks ago — we didn’t catch on how messy they were until near the end of the wet day!

Leeks!  Mild and elegant onion flavor.   Leeks are great in lots of dishes, but our favorite is in quiche.

We should have spinach, lettuce and greens – assuming they all made it through the weekend ok.  It seems like they did, but once we get up close and personal to harvest them they might look different.

Sweet Potatoes!  They’re so good.  We’ll have some dirty ones out too (they last longer when not washed, in case you want to save a few longer than a couple weeks.)  They can be frozen after being roasted or boiled, but are usually better fresh.  And warm out of the oven.

We have lots of peppers still!  But just ones that are mixed colors, 1/2 green and 1/2 red, ones that haven’t quite fully ripened.

Brussels sprouts — there will be 1 stalk per regular share, so full shares will take 2.  Despite all the rain and disease pressure they’re good quality, and are so yummy!

Plus celeriac this week, parsnips, watermelon radishes and purple daikon radishes.  Lovely fall food!!!!  All these will keep for weeks in the fridge.  The radishes are super sliced on a platter or salad or in a sandwich, or grated too.  The colors really shine when they’re sliced.  They shine almost as much as this sun, but not quite!

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What’s for U-Pick?

Some of the Flowers are still alive in the driveway planting, and zinnias seemed to survive near the sunflowers.  It’s been impressive what we’ve seen walk out of there in the last couple weeks.  It takes some determination and picking around the ones-gone-by, but there are gems in there.

Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Anise Hyssop (great for use in tea).  

Spinach, we will open for u-pick next week!  We may have some lettuce out there too.  Walk towards Hwy 3 and look for a flag.

After this week : Spinach, Kale, and Parsley, Oregano and Thyme, and maybe Lettuce, will all be open for at least a few weeks.  For Kale, please stick to the small planting closer to the driveway   We’ll try to keep these open until the ground nearly freezes, we’ll see.

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Nuts and Bolts

2 Great Herbal Classes — see below!

CPA needed—our farm is looking for a new tax accountant. We thought we would start by checking with our talented members to see if there is a member who is a CPA that might be interested in working with us, or your recommendation.

BITTERSWEET — That Orange Berry Viney Stuff!  Mary Ellen Frame, the previous owner of our house and farm, picks bittersweet from around the edges each year.  We’ve always sold it in our booth at the Sogn Valley Craft Fair, but since we didn’t have a booth this year (weekends off are kinda neat), we decided to sell it in the barn.  It’s hanging up on the walls — look around and buy some for bright winter color!  It can be hung on walls, put in vases, laid on a table, wherever — the color lasts a year or two when it’s out of the sunlight.  Keep the berries out of reach of children and curious foraging adults — they are mildly poisonous.  As the color suggests.

WINTER STORE — Once a month on a day we’re in the barn washing veggies, we open a corner of the barn for an informal “store” day.  We lay out what we still have around, and you can buy as much or as little as you want.   This is open to anyone, so tell your friends to swing in, or pick something up for them.  In December we have roots plus kale, cabbage, and maybe squash, onions or sweet potatoes.  January and February probably just roots.   We send out reminders the day before, and a Facebook post too.

WINTER STORE DATES — 2nd TUESDAYS from 10am-4pm.  Dec 10, Jan 14, Feb 11.  

Tips for Winter Health Class at Open Hands Farm

Saturday, October 19

1:30-3:30 PM

Fall is here – winter isn’t far behind!  Did you know that many local herbs, many commonly known as ”weeds” are useful for boosting your immune system and helping you deal with the challenges of a Minnesota winter?  Join LuAnn Raadt, herbalist and caretaker of the medicinal herb garden, for tips on enhancing winter health and mood with herbs. You will not only learn about the variety of herbal remedies growing here at Open Hands Farm, but also learn how to craft several of your own at home.

Please RSVP, so we know how many chairs to gather. This class is free.

Make & Take Fire Cider Class at Prema Yoga Studio

Wednesday, October 23
12 – 1:30 pm (leave early if you need to with your cider)
~Prema provides the veggies, container, and all you need to do is show up 🙂
Organic in-season veggies sponsored by Open Hands Farm
Get ready to stay healthy this winter
fire cider. It’s an immune-boosting health tonic that’s been used for decades to naturally protect against cold and flu and ease sinus congestion. There are a few brands on the market, but fire cider is really easy to make at home.
LuAnn Raadt with Cannon Valley Herbals

Ward off illness (and make a scrumptious salad dressing) with a health tonic you can make together.   Fire cider supports the immune system, aids digestion, and boosts energy.
A hands-on demonstration will follow a brief introduction and instruction about the basic ingredients, as well as herbal add-ins to make your own self-crafted tonic. Participants will leave with a 16 ounce jar of fire cider.
LuAnn will bring plenty of samples: salad, chutney and homemade bread. Yum!

Bulk Produce for You —   This week’s selection is : Winter Squash for 85 cents/ lb.  Carrots, Beets, $1 / lb. Cabbage for 60 cents /lb (approx $1-1.50 / head).   Garlic $1 / head.  Red/Green peppers for $2/lb.

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

Share Pickup Hours TUESDAY and THURSDAY 1:30-6:30 pm.

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, Danny, Ed, and Emily


Oven Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

from Together as Family


  • 1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts (trimmed & halved)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Very lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, combine brussel sprouts (that have been halved and ends trimmed) with the remaining ingredients. Toss together to coat all the brussel sprouts.

  3. Spread onto the cookie sheet making sure they are not touching.
  4. Cook for 16-18 minutes. Serve immediately.


Perfectly Roasted Parsnips

from Delish

2 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spread parsnips on 2 large baking sheets, being sure to not overcrowd. Drizzle with olive oil and season with oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss to evenly coat.
  2. Roast until golden and easily pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.



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