Farm Newsletter August 3, 2021
You know you’re having fun when you’ve been weeding beets all day, and at 4:40 you ask, “what are we doing the rest of the day?” That was Emily , thinking it was maybe 2:00 still!!
Oh, we are lucky to love what we do. It’s not often that we spend most of the day weeding one thing, but we had a 1955 cultivating tractor have an electrical meltdown recently, so have missed some key cultivations. We have backup options for most operations on the farm, but that particular cultivator we just built and have been fine tuning, so haven’t got to make a backup yet. That will get done soon!! Because as much as we love weeding, it is expensive and we’ve got plenty of other things to get to on any given day.
Including that we’re still planting, believe it or not. The first fall spinach is up, and the fall kale and kohlrabi go in this week. The final lettuce and greens and spinach get seeded in the next couple weeks, and by then we’ll hopefully be going almost full time on harvest and washing, as more crops come in for the CSA , and we start supplying select crops to a couple distributors and then various schools as they start up in late August and early September.
But while stressful to stare down a field of weeds we didn’t get to cultivate at the right time, the gift of a day weeding is not taken for granted around here!
In general this week will look similar — Tomato harvests continue to get larger, and the coming weeks harvest look like they’ll be big, that alone is news to be excited about! Next week we’ll add in garlic too!!
We have melons this week, though a disease really took off in there this past week. Most of the melon plants are only half alive — so the flavor of many of the melons picked this week will be more like grocery store melons. The plants just didn’t have enough leaves left to make them sweet, or carry them all to full ripeness. So some might be ready but a little greener than usual; some are ripe but simply blander than our usual. That said — keep them cold in the fridge, go get hot and sweaty, and maybe they’ll knock your socks off!!! After this week, we’ll have some melons, but probably not as much as usual.
We are right on the edge of major summer bounty — peppers should start in the next couple weeks, and tomatoes should ramp up soon. We still have the staples that we’ve had — plenty of summer squash and zucchini and cucumbers (TONS!!!) , and broccoli, greens and lettuce, sweet onions, fennel, salad turnips, kale, swiss chard.
What’s for U-Pick?
Cherry Tomatoes! are starting, and limits will go up as more come in.
New herbs: Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Anise Hyssop — All are in the cilantro/basil area, in a bed in the middle, with white signs.
Cilantro and Dill are cruising along. Lots of Basil !!! It’s a good time for pesto! We planted extra for later, on a whim, but with the disease that’s come through in recent years , it’s a good idea to get at least some basil lovin in now.
Beans are abundant! There are now additional beans almost ready south of the first plantings; the flags will be in both places once they’re ready.
Nuts and Bolts
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 — moderate amounts to distributors who sell to schools, restaurants and stores, a soup maker and a kim chi maker. Mostly for peppers, fall kale and cabbage, carrots beets and other roots all winter. We don’t do it much in the summer, but really get rocking with bigger harvests in mid-August.
We like to offer you the same produce beyond what you get in your share, at or just above 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 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, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, for $1.25 / lb, Sweet Onions and Broccoli for $1.50 / lb.
Push Pin Sign-In When you come to pick up your share, please “sign in” with the push pin by your name, inside the barn door. This helps us know how many people came each day, so we can be sure to pick/have more than enough for everybody.
For split shares — instead of leaving notes on the sign in sheet, you can email or text your share partner to communicate “Who gets what this time”.
Share Pickup Hours TUESDAY and THURSDAY 1:30-6:30 pm.
Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here. Please fill out this form instead of emailing us. Thanks! If you need to come during a different time slot on your same pickup day, that is ok, no need to email us or fill out the form.
Where is the farm? 4151 320th Street West, Northfield.
Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.
If You Send Someone Else to Pick Up Your Share — Please forward them the basic pickup videos that we sent you a few weeks ago. Then just tell them to introduce themselves to us in the barn, just so we know.
We love having all of you come to the farm! Thank you for making it such a great place to be!
Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alexandra, Alissa, Amelia, Emily, Erika
Quick Cucumber Kimchi
from Food and Wine
|2 pounds||Cucumbers (halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick)|
|¼ cup||Untoasted Sesame Oil|
|½||Small Onion (thinly sliced)|
|2 tablespoons||Sweet Basil (or finely chopped Thai)|
|2 tablespoons||Gochugaru (Korean coarse red pepper powder; see Note)|
|1 tablespoon||Garlic (minced)|
|1 tablespoon||Fresh Ginger (minced peeled)|
|1 teaspoon||Lime Zest (finely grated)|
|½ teaspoon||Asian Fish Sauce|
Step 1In a colander, toss the sliced cucumbers with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers and drain well.
Step 2In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers with all of the remaining ingredients and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Season the kimchi with salt and serve.
Tomato and Basil Risotto
- 7 cups well seasoned vegetable stock, garlic stock (see recipe) or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup minced onion
- Salt to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound tomatoes, grated
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup dry white or rosé wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
- ½ pound additional sweet ripe tomatoes, finely diced (about ¾ cup)
- ¼ cup slivered fresh basil
- ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 to 2 ounces)
- Put your stock or broth into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat, with a ladle nearby or in the pot. Make sure that it is well seasoned.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle. Stir in the grated tomatoes, sugar, thyme, and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and coat the rice, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated and been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often and when you do, stir vigorously. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy (al dente), in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning.
- Add another ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the additional finely diced tomatoes, basil and Parmesan and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.