Greetings from under a tree. It’s too hot to be outside, but too cold for my overheated body in the AC; the shade will have to do.
This week brings sweltering temperatures, but we’re prepared. Dad sets the start time to 6 a.m. instead of 7, and we get everything finished in safe(r) temperatures before we hibernate through the afternoon heat. Dad doesn’t stop, because he’s the full-time farmer and business owner, and also building a new house on the farm. He’s doing a stellar job with basement tiling and helping mom with whatever she asks.
Even though I’m 22 I still get to say I kind of miss my mom. I hardly see her with everything she’s doing on the new house. After painting, she’s now staining and varnishing all of the woodwork and also starting to pack and move things from one building to the next. They are both very excited, and I am proud to be their daughter and be able to see them accomplish this.
In other farm news, we tackled the weeds in the onion patch, and now they’re a breeze to find. Previous years had us searching through weeds because the rain kept it too muddy to work. The tomatoes and cucumbers are coming along nicely and will be ready soon! Anna and I had a few cherry tomatoes yesterday while picking zucchini. They were delicious, and I’m afraid there were just enough for the two of us so far :). The herbs are doing well too! If you love herbs and would like more, I can make requested items available at market. We have about five types of basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme and a few others.
Today for lunch I mixed thyme leaves into sour cream and loaded it onto a hot baked potato. It was refreshing. You can do this with almost any of the herbs, actually. I’ve also tried red basil, chives, and parsley this way. (Idea credit goes to Rikki Heldt, quick meal mastermind.) Sunday we had German potato salad — yum. I made a double batch, and it was perfect for six people with leftovers. Use our bacon of course! Call dad to order 712-490-8218. 🙂
That’s all for now. After tying up the rest of the tomatoes with Anna this afternoon, I might have to scrounge around for an old sprinkler to run through.
After last week, a windy, cool and damp stretch for 7 or 8 days, today really seemed like spring! We didn’t get a lot of rain last week, about a half inch. After a sunny weekend, the soil worked up very nicely on Monday, so we hope to plant plants and seed many seeds today (Tuesday).
If you’re looking for a nice way to use your greens, which are always plentiful early on, we’ll be compiling recipes throughout the season. Here’s a salad with baby greens that you might try (bonus: bacon). Do you have a recipe to share? Please let us know.
We will be at the Sioux City farmers market (http://farmersmarketsiouxcity.com/) Wednesday for the first market day of the season; please see us there between 7:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. We should be at CNOS by 6:45 a.m.
Sioux Center, Rock Valley, and Orange City participants can expect us to be at the South East corner of the Centre Mall parking lot from 9 a.m. until noon.
Let’s hope for very pleasant weather as we begin the “outside” growing season!
I hope you’re enjoying your summer, which has already been starting to feel like more like fall on some recent days!
We’re very busy on the farm today so I’ll keep it short — Jessica is away for a week, and cover crops need to be seeded, dirt turned, fall carrots weeded and watered, fall squash watered, peppers watered, leeks need to be hilled, and more… you may be sensing a pattern in our need for water.
We also have to butcher chickens. It was scheduled for this morning but postponed until Wednesday, which is market day, so we will be juggling loading the vans with catching the chickens and bringing them away. Let us know if you need any chickens; you can see more information at the bottom of the newsletter.
We have lots of eggplant this week, in your shares and at the market. Try Eggplant Parmigiana Baba Ganouj.
Believe it or not, the last day of summer subscriptions is just four weeks away on Wednesday, September 4, and the first day for fall subscritions, delivered every other week, is September 11. Last fall delivery is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
See you at the market!
This week we have been weeding, seeding for fall, watering, and harvesting. We’ve had some great meals with carrots, beans, greens, and beets. And finally, we poured the floor for a new greenhouse as well.
We hope to have the greenhouse finished by October, and we plan to use it for spring transplants, which we currently grow in our garage and in a lean-to I build onto the garage each spring — a situation that needed to change because of the volume and the work involved.
For those who still have some produce on hand from last week’s share and would like a few recipes to try, we have one from Dorinda (sauteed beet greens) and one from Cora (below). Thanks for sharing!
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 c uncooked rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn or 1 bag frozen corn or fresh corn off the cob
1/4 c olive oil
3-5 Tbsp lime juice (fresh is best)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Fresh chopped cilantro to taste (about 1/2 cup at least!)
Cook rice according to directions; add beans and corn. Combine oil, lime juice, cumin, and salt. Mix well. Stir into rice mixture. Add cilantro, folding gently into rice. Tastes great as a side dish or mixed into burritos, tacos, etc. Can also substitute quinoa for the rice if desired.
Until next week,
Thanks for reading, and for your support! We’ve been busy in the last week. With the heat and rain, the weeds have come out full force, along with bugs like earwigs. We saw a lot of them today. We tried to make sure none of them stuck around as we rinsed and packed your food, but I’m sure we missed a few. Keep your eyes open for such visitors. You might want to check your box carefully before bringing it inside.
The rains also splattered the dirt, so the lettuce growing outside got dirtier than usual. You’ll want to give them a second or third rinse (we already gave them one) before eating. The green chard was also beaten hard by the rains and appears a little rough.
Please let us know if you come across any good new recipes you’d like us to share. Here’s one sent to us last week for Peppery Couscous and Arugula Salad, including green onions and cucumbers. And here’s a nice simple carrot slaw for you to try with this week’s fresh carrots.
We hope that all of your basements are dry. We are more concerned with too much water, too fast, in our gardens. We know that some rows of seedlings are buried by soil that got hammered by the heavy rains. Some plants look pretty beat up, and we will not be able to do more seeding or planting or weeding for a while. It looks like the middle of next week we will see more consistent sunshine. No sun, no growth, is what we are looking at for now. April was dark, May has been wet, and we hope for better conditions in June. We will keep you informed about what we can put together for the next several weeks. Look to our Facebook page for more pictures, soon, as well.
Our first group of chickens is ready to be processed. We have an appointment for Thursday, May 30, but we have a concern about our processor being open. The federal inspection service of the USDA is giving them a more difficult time this year getting permission to reopen for business. We have written our senators and congressmen to help them. We have been happy with their service over the years. Many small processors have been closed in recent years across Iowa. To us it seems to be more about the number processed in a day than about food safety. Many chicken and turkey growers for many parts of Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota are concerned.
Thanks to those who have sent in some of their favorite recipes to share; we received one this week that we’ll hold onto until there’s arugula in your box again.
— John Wesselius