It’s been a busy week! I created work for myself late last week by not watching where I was driving and took out a water hydrant! I needed to replace it to use water to wash vegetables in the packing shed so I rented a mini excavator and dug a hole next to the destroyed hydrant, put in a new hydrant and water runs again. Took a bit of time but it was actually kind of fun to run the Mini X as the rental guys call it. My wife didn’t think much of this unnecessary work or expense though!
The weather actually seems warm. Butternut squash seems to need a threat of cold to turn the right color, I’m still waiting, not a good thing because there’s 1000s laying there so with 4 market Saturdays left there is too many. This week we did harvest a nice kaboucha squash for you.
Here is the list, if anything is new to you please ask one of us about it.
- Carola potatoes
- scarlet turnip
- red cabbage
- kaboucha squash
- delicata squash
Janna will be in Sioux City, John will be in Sioux Center, and will have boxes in Orange City by 3, Spencer your boxes should also be at the salon by 3!
In the box:
- Salad Mix
- Salad turnip
- Peppers, those red ones are our daughters favorites, we call them lipsticks, people ask if they are hot, they are sweet.
- Sweet Potato
- Spaghetti Squash
Fall is on the calendar, it feels a little warm but that means you may have peppers, tomatoes and eggplant one more time. It also makes headlines as our society considers climate change. Weather has a big impact on local food production. In winter meetings conversations about varieties lead to what will warmer temperatures have on plant life, insect pressure, more rain or less rain are common.
Our new student employees are into a routine and its very helpful.
OC people your boxes are at the drop off spot.
Sioux City, Janna will be at the market tomorrow.
Spencer folks your boxes will at the Salon by 3 thanks to Ann.
Sioux Center John will be at the “Sioux Center” market 8:00 – 1:00.
In the box for September 9 we have pink radish, onion, colored and jalepeno peppers, Nicola and Yukon potatoes, cherry tomatoes, celeriac root, red cabbage, choi, broccoli, garlic, parsley, and acorn squash.
It’s likely that between seeding, weeding, feeding, harvesting and packing that about 12 to 14 different individuals had a part in putting this box together. Different students working for us during spring, summer and fall. We enjoy the changing of the seasons, grateful that it’s dark earlier so we tend stop earlier and go to bed on time. The challenge is lining up student help at the right time to get the work done during daylight hours.
Some people may have noticed we no longer leave tops on carrots. I have met a few people who eat carrot tops, but most don’t, and we found that tops left intact took longer to clean and pack for market. Sometimes we did tops on and tops off for a market day to see how people responded. We heard that tops on meant they were not washed and bagged, or that tops on were fresh and tops off were not fresh. We decided to purchase a barrel washer for root crops so it’s doubtful you will ever see a carrot top in your box. A student or two that worked here for fall harvests are probably joining our children in saying ” why did wait so long?” “Or it’s about time.” I’ll try to include a picture with the Facebook post.
If you haven’t already please like us or follow us on Facebook. We try to post pictures, recipes and good news several times a week. I’ll leave the bad news to the media.
Yes, the tomatoes are FINALLY ripening in numbers. They still have a long way to go after a late start from our cool spring, and we are hoping that the weather will continue to be good so that we get some decent production before any hard frosts hit. Enjoy the taste of summer!
We need our bags back! (and boxes) – PLEASE. Every week, it seems, we lose a few of one or the other. If you have a bag, or two or three, sitting at home we need you to return them! That little flat piece holding the bottom of the bag in place is missing in a few, also. Even if last week’s box is falling apart and could go in the recycling we really appreciate it if you would return those so that WE can throw them out and know exactly how many are still in use.
If you forget your bag or box this week could you please ask us to put your items in plastic bags to take home so we can keep the bag or box and have enough for next week. Thanks!
KMEG Channel 14 personality Erika Thomas does a program called Your Hometown Farmer on Thursday mornings on her news cast sometime between 5 and 7 am. She was here today with a camera man and interviewed us. She needs to shrink 3 hours of visiting into a 2 minute 45 second segment. She will let us know when it airs – likely in about 3 weeks.
Today John took out two rows of zucchini plants and began to remove cucumber plants. They certainly didn’t earn their keep this year. We’ll add some compost and begin a late season seeding of greens or radishes.
Janna is peeling bad (a.k.a. cracked) tomatoes this evening, there is a pot of something cooking on the stove. This is the bliss of wanting to eat well in winter, you need to stay up late in summer to get it all done.
This week in the bag you’ll find:
- Beans – whole shares will also have some little filet beans (very tender – don’t overcook them)
- Eggplant – try this sliced, breaded and fried or baked as an appetizer – YUM. It’s also nice as a layer in your lasagna to replace one of the noodle layers
- Onion – if you find your onions are getting a little ahead of you, chop them to the size you like and freeze them, then later when you are in a hurry, you can grab them out of the freezer ready to add to any dish you are cooking.
- Cherry Tomatoes
Eggplant Appetizer (I am trying to remember what the girls did, so I hope I remember it all)
1-2 beaten eggs
Flour, salt, pepper, a little Italian seasoning or other herbs/spices of your choice.
(you could also just use pre-seasoned bread crumbs instead of the above mix)
Slice the eggplant (we sliced them about 1/4″ thick) and pat the pieces dry, dip in beaten egg and then the dry mix. Fry in hot oil, or bake in the oven. Probably 375-400 until nice and golden brown. Be sure to flip them to brown both sides. If you fry them have several layers of paper towel ready to drain them on when they come out of the pan. I think these would also be good with a little parmesan cheese added to the breading. (try not to burn your mouth – we couldn’t wait for them to cool before eating them)
Have a great week!
This week we have been planting broccoli, lettuce and watering the beets and carrots that germinated last week. We have some issues with beans, zucchini, cucumbers not producing like they should. We think that they dropped flowers during the hot days in July so there is little fruit. The yield on beans has been very poor on the first two plantings. We have two more plantings up and growing.
The tomatoes are starting to turn, both in the tunnel and outdoors. The mid to late season potato plants are starting to show that they are done growing so we see some different varieties in the next month. The carrots that we seeded in early July never germinated so we will have a gap for a week or more on carrots. The ones seeded last wednesday are up already. This past week and for the next day or three we will be getting all the onions out for storage. The onion crop is much better than last years!
We really liked the weather today and would like more of the same. The students are thinking that school is around the corner. One went to Dordt to clean her room and move in some things, the high school students are taking time for fall sport practice. I don’t think I am ready for this.
Thank you to those that have sent in checks for the fall subscription.
In the bags this week we have:
- Red Thumb potatoes…ultimate oven fries
Whole shares should also find carrots and zucchini in their boxes.
Ok, so it was a little warm around noon today while I was picking cucumbers. I had salty sweat running into my eyes (it stings a little) and there were big fat bumble bees humming all around. Bumbling from bloom to bloom – you get the picture – and I think it was all making me a little goofy and so I started making corny rhymy poetry in my head while I looked forward to taking a break in the air conditioning over lunch. We are very proud of the work the girls have done this week with all the heat. They even volunteered to come early (6am) to avoid the hottest later part of the afternoon. Way to go!
Garlic harvest began Monday morning and will hopefully be done by the end of the week with all of it hung up to dry. Once we are done with the garlic it is usually time to start thinking about planting some fall crops. John also informs me that the tomatoes are starting to turn color-Yeah!
We are also thankful for safety granted last week at our Sioux Center farm stand. A car crashed into our van and farm stand. While we had damage to our property, none of our customers or anyone else was hurt.
This week in your share…..
Rio Colorado Potato – red with nice white flesh. We oven roasted some potatoes last night and served them with pesto – yum!
Onions – big sweet white ones (still waiting for the reds to size up)
Beans – green or yellow
Swiss Chard – if you have leftover potatoes, try wilting in the chard when you reheat them with some garlic and onion and seasonings of your choice.
Cucumbers – always refreshing on a hot day
Peppers – purple, pale yellow or lime green – wonderful in an omlet or salad
Parsley – not just a garnish – parsley has many health benefits and is high in vitamins A, C, and K – try the leaves mixed in with a salad.
This week the 1/2 share will also have zucchini, whole shares will have beets and basil.
Note on Basil: putting it in the fridge will cause it to turn brown more quickly. If your house is air-conditioned, you could just leave the bag on the counter until you use it. Better yet, take the longer stems out and trim the ends as you would fresh flowers and put them in a little jar of water on your counter and use as needed.
Pesto: this is a basic recipe, but you can easily adjust amounts to your taste.
3 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (you can also substitute pumpkin or sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, etc)
2 – 3 cloves of garlic chopped roughly
mix it all up in your food processor or blender and use with pasta, as a veggie dip, on potatoes, etc.
Simple Beet/Carrot/Parsley Salad
Grate equal amounts of beets and carrots, add some chopped parsley and dress it with your favorite oil and vinegar dressing.