Summer CSA, Week 18

Well folks this is it. Your final Summer CSA box of 2019. To wrap this season up and to prepare ourselves for the next I wanted give you all a little quiz.

The only rule – No looking back at old newsletter posts or scrolling to the bottom for the answer. Just give it a solid guess. We are all winners when we eat Food Farm produce.

Okay now on to the guessing game. Below is a list of the different vegetables that have appeared in your CSA box throughout the summer.

Which vegetables have appeared the most and how many times did they appear in your CSA box? Rate the top 5!

The answer will be below so you are only cheating yourself if you scroll to the bottom now before attempting to play the game.

  • Radishes – Beets – Head Lettuce – Broccoli – Turnips – Carrots – Swiss Chard – Napa Cabbage – Pac Choi – Greens Mix – Cilantro – Beans – Green Cabbage – Red Cabbage – Green Onion – Kale – Dill – Rutabaga – Zucchini – Potatoes – Lettuce Mix – Cauliflower – Tomatoes – Celery – Peppers – Garlic – Basil – Snap Peas – Rhubarb – Spinach – Cucumber – Onions – Thyme – Oregano – Winter Squash – Parsley – Leeks

Winter is coming and there is a hell of a lot of work left to do. Thankfully there is sunshine on the horizon this week. We could all you a good dose of vitamin D to boost our harvesting spirits.

Fun fact the month of September only saw 7 days with no rain for the twin ports region. Let’s hope October can at least get into the double digits.

So should I get on with it and just tell you the answer already? I did have to look back at the newsletter archives to obtain the stats. It was joyful to watch each box grow from week to week as more food becomes plentiful and ready to harvest.

Without further ado:

First place goes to the Food Farm mascot. The greatest vegetable on earth. The tastiest creature to come out of the ground: The Carrot

The carrot appeared a whopping 15 out of 18 times.

Second place goes to my favorite summer food. A cool refreshment after a scorching hot day. The Cucumber appeared in your CSA box 13 out of 18 times. You can thank Sam next time you see him for diligently caring for them all summer.

Third place belongs to an underdog. A sweet snappy snack to go with every meal. The Peppers, who I lumped together because it’s my quiz and I make the rules. Usually sweet but sometimes spicy, Peppers appeared 11 times this summer.

Fourth place you would have thought higher on the list, but they are late bloomers. Perfect sliced with mayo and bread. The Tomato appeared 10 times.

And last but certainly not least Fifth place goes to the leader in the winter months. The one with their own room in the root cellar. Eaten best as crispy hash browns, The Potato, appeared 9 times this summer.

Regardless of correct answers congratulations you’ve won! And we hope you continue to win for years to come! Thank you for supporting The Food Farm. Thank you for eating that giant list of vegetables. Thank you for finding creative things to do with greens mix.

From a farm crew off finding the joy,

Tiffany


In your box:

Brussels Sprouts, Northeaster Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Greens Mix, Onions, Oregano, Peppers, French Fingerling Potatoes, Rutabaga, Spinach, Delicata and Acorn Squash, Tomatoes


Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 3/4 lb brussels sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic-sliced very thin
  • Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place Brussel sprouts on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Scatter sliced garlic across pan. Grate Parmesan cheese over Brussel sprouts. Bake 20 minutes or until sprouts are golden brown and crispy at edges.

Harvest Moon Kale Ceaser Salad

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1 delicata squash
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 bunch kale (or greens mix!)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large apple
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325. Place pecans on baking sheet and roast for 7 minutes. Place nuts in bowl. Toss nuts with tamari, cinnamon and paprika. Set aside.

Increase heat to 400. Slice delicata into half moons. Place on parchment paper covered pan and bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile de-stem kale. Rip into bite sized pieces. Squeeze half lemon over kale and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pinch of salt. Massage kale in hands until kale is tender. About 2 minutes.

Slice apples and toss in with other half of lemon juice.

Combine everything into serving bowl, drizzle with mustard and maple syrup and eat!

Summer CSA, Week 17

Rain rain go away,

Come again another day,

Rain rain go away,

We’d like to harvest our vegetables someday

So after the CSA on Monday I think we are going to start building an ark. Two of every vegetable of course. Two Astro vans, thank goodness. Wouldn’t want those to die off.

After a summer of wishing it would rain Mother Nature has decided now would be a much better time to challenge us. The thing is it’s way more fun to get rained on when it’s 70 or 80 degrees as opposed to 40 or 50 degrees.

Endless showers, impeachment headlines and vegetables that need harvesting. If you can find the joy then that could be a recipe for success.

Most of the week was spent harvesting the second planting of carrots. We also picked the last of the outside tomatoes and stacked the squash to store for winter. We took the new potato harvester for a test run. Little tweaks and improvements were made to the design. And it works great!

A ray of baby sunshine came out to the farm on Friday. Bosen and Karin lent a hand and all seemed right with the world again.

From a farm crew out finding the joy,

Tiffany


In Your CSA box:

Northeastern Pole Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumber, Lettuce, Yellow Onion, Parsley, Red-ish Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Delicata and Sunshine Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips


Breakfast Huevos Rancheros

Lots of people have very different meanings for huevos rancheros. I like to keep it simple.

  • 2-4 medium potatoes (depending on number of people eating), shredded.
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Shredded cheese
  • Eggs and or meat of choice.

Shred potatoes and squeeze as much water out of them as possible. Heat skillet (cast iron is ideal) to medium high heat with olive oil. Test skillet with sample of potatoes or water to see if it sizzles.

Once skillet is hot place shredded potatoes evenly on skillet about 1-2 inches thick. Salt and pepper top. Drizzle olive oil over top as well.

Leave alone for 5 minutes. Check the bottom often to make sure it isn’t sticking to pan. Flip once golden brown. Salt and pepper other side. Wait another 5 minutes and turn off heat.

Fry eggs to desired consistency. I would recommend over medium-hard. Place shredded cheese on hash browns. Place cooked egg on top of cheese. Apply more cheese. Add a dollop of sour cream and salsa. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Add ground beef or shredded pork if you are into that for a different flavor.

Autumn Harvest Salad

  • Delicata Squash
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 cooked beets
  • 1 raw onion
  • 1 bunch of crunchy kale
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup farro- cooked
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Parsley for garnish

Set oven to 400 degrees. Cut delicata into slices. Dress with olive oil, salt pepper and chili powder. Roast for 15 minutes.

Cut beets into small cubes. Toss in olive oil place on baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Cook farro by directions and cool. Whisk together ingredients for dressing: apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add kale, squash, farro, beets and chopped raw onion. Add dressing and mix well. Top with goat cheese and a garnish of parsley.

Summer CSA, Week 16

Honey Boat is a new variety of squash we grew this year. With their dusty orange hue they look a little different then the bright yellow torpedo shaped Delicata.

Standing alone they appear rusty orange but among the old faithful variety the honey boat looks like pink lemonade. Claiming to be sweeter and more fun the honey boat added a bit of pizzazz to the trays of delicata. An intermingled splash of summer to be enjoyed in the coming winter.

We were slinging squash around all week. We harvested the Delicata in Wednesday. We brought in the Winter Sweet, Kabocha, Acorn and Sunshine on Thursday. And we brought in the pumpkins on Friday.

Also the process of tossing squash to someone on the hay wagon is delightful. We were a well oiled squash slinging machine.

As the daylight diminishes, as we continue to harvest veggies, I think about you all. I think about the people who will enjoy this food come the fall and winter months. I think about the enormous amount of food that is grown here. In one single root cellar we can store enough food to feed shareholders, send food to restaurants, and stock co-op shelves.

The world needs more root cellars and more Fisher-Merritts and more Food Farms.

From our rockstar farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Green Beans, Celery, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumber, Leeks, Yellow Onions, Sweet Red Peppers, Yellow Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Acorn squash!


Potato Leek Soup

  • 2 large leeks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 4 cups of potatoes-chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Fresh chopped onion for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop leeks and place in pan with butter, stir until coated in butter. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook leeks 8-10 minutes or until soft. Stir in broth, spices and potatoes.

Increase heat and bring to slight boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes. If you desire a creamy consistency add to blender.

Otherwise enjoy chunky.

Acorn Carrot soup

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups water

Prepare squash, carrots, celery and onion by chopping each.

Add olive oil and butter to stock pot and melt together. On medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook 5 minutes.

Add the veggie broth, water, squash and carrots. Bring soup to boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garlic powder.

Let soup cook for 15 minutes. Working in batches blend the soup in a blender. Re heat and serve!

Summer CSA, Week 15

There is a lot of beauty and wonder in watching a vegetable from start to finish.

I feel a lot of care and pride goes into each and every field out here. But for some reason the onion field keeps coming to mind as one that gets an extra level of hands on care and love.

Many of the other fields Janaki is able to cultivate with the tractor. But the onion field and the tomato and pepper field get straw mulch, plastic, trellis’ and such.

So let me break the dance of the onion down for you. In early March, with a frozen snowy landscape outside, Dave seeded the onions into 72 cell trays to grow big enough and develop enough root matter to make it in the cold of outdoors. In May we placed thin plastic over each bed and then transplanted the onions into the field.

I believe a day later it snowed. Those little transplants survived, though!

Throughout the summer our mantra has been “When in doubt pull weeds from the onion holes”. And so we weeded the onion holes, action-hoed the aisles, mulched the aisles and weeded more onion holes.

Side bar: when I say onion holes I mean the holes in the plastic which the onions are growing out of.

Then after all that, once the greens of the onions fall down we go out and pull them from the ground and let them sit in the sun for a while.

This past week was spent in the onion field. The weather was dreary. We got rained on often. But we got all the onions out of the field and into greenhouses to dry. The forecast mentioned mist and drizzle which turned into thunder and heavy rain.

And through it all you have to laugh because it was a hot dry summer and we had to get rained on eventually. Of course it would be while trying to pick up slimy dried up onion greens. The next step will be curing them in the greenhouse for a month or so before they move to their home in the root cellar. They’ll stay there all the way until the last winter share in April, at which point next year’s onions will already be over a month old!

I will leave you with a final note regarding Taylor Swift. I had a song of hers stuck in my head while harvesting onions all week. The song is titled London Boy, and she sings of falling for a boy from London. Well somewhere around the 30th bucket of onions I changed the lyrics to “Onion boy”.

You know I love an Onion boy…..

From a clean and dry farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Green Beans, Garlic, Broccoli, Carrots, Cucumbers, Dill, Yellow Onions, Purplette Onions, Parsley, Peppers, Russet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Greens Mix


French Onion Soup

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups sliced onions
  • 10.5 oz beef broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp dried sherry
  • 4 slices French bread
  • 1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/8 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Melt butter in with olive oil in a stock pot on medium heat. Add onions and stir until tender.

Add beef broth, thyme and sherry. Summer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven on high broil.

Place soup in four oven safe bowls. Place a slice of French bread on top of each bowl sprinkling three cheese blend over the top of all bowls.

Place bowls on a cookie sheet and into the oven. Cook until cheese bubbles and browns slightly. 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully.

Broccoli and Herb Salad

  • 4 cups Broccoli, chopped into pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • A handful of nuts (I prefer walnuts)

Cook quinoa and chickpeas. Chop broccoli and onions into small pieces. Finely chop herbs.

Combine chilled chickpeas and quinoa into large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over and mix well. Add broccoli, onion, herbs and lemon juice. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lastly mix in sunflower seeds and favorite nuts.

Summer CSA, Week 14

Much of this week was spent conversing around the carrot box. Filling an infinite amount of bags. Some for you, our trusted CSA members. Some for the co-ops and some for Harvest Fest.

I met many a wonderful faces at Harvest Fest this year. I was lucky enough to stand next to John Fisher-Merritt most of the afternoon. To my perception everyone knew John and those who didn’t found themselves buying peppers from him. After he sliced them a sample with his pocket knife of course.

This week I listened. Chose to speak less and absorb more. I gathered from my listening around the carrot box and reading this or that before bed that we are Earth.

Everyone that I talk to and experience daily knows this. Everyone that went to Harvest Fest knows this. Perhaps even those who disagree with us understand this as well.

We are Earth. Everything we created came from Earth. Everything we use today is derived from Earth.

This very broad statement can send you into a head spin. It can make you think of all the ways humans are ruining Earth and causing her pain. Or you can think of all the ways humans can be kind to the Earth and show our appreciation everyday.

Talking nice to the carrots as we put them in their bags. Telling the beans they are growing great and we are happy to be harvesting them in the rain. Listening to the coyotes and wolves roam in the distance. Choosing in any certain moment not to add your own two cents but rather to absorb what others have to say.

We are Earth. Our journey with Earth to grow and evolve has not always been beautiful. But I’m grateful.

I’m grateful someone invented a carrot harvester and that we used it this week. I’m grateful the mini-Food Farmers went back to school and are enjoying learning! I’m grateful the new laying hens are starting to lay little eggs.

But most of all I’m grateful I get to spend each day working with people who make me smile and laugh.

From an Earthly farm crew,

Tiffany

P.S. The Thyme would enjoy it if you hung it in a place in your kitchen with airflow. Maybe a window or such. It would enjoy making your kitchen smell lovely and not being in your refrigerator.


In your CSA Box:

Yellow Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers, Leeks, Onions, Green Pepper, Hot Wax Pepper, Potatoes, Thyme, Tomatoes, Zucchini


Zucchini Muffins

  • 2 Small zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop zucchini into small pieces and purée in food processor. Combine zucchini purée with sugar, eggs, vegetable oil. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine wet and dry mixtures together. Add chocolate chips for pazazzz.

Line a muffin pan with cute liners or grease. Place batter in pan and cook 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Roasted Carrot Soup

  • 1-1/2 pounds of carrots
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp minced basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin two cooking sheets. Enduring the veggies do not crowd each other roast carrots, onion and garlic for 25-30 minutes.

Working in two batches add half the veggies to a food processor. Add half the tomatoes and purée until smooth. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Add both batches into a large pot. Add basil and remaining salt. Bring to a simmer and let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Food Farm open house and art exhibition – September 21

The Food Farm is hosting an open house on Saturday, September 21st from 2-4pm. We’ll have tours of the farm and a hayride for anyone who wants to spend a couple hours relaxing in the country! Afterwards there will be an art exhibition in the Free Range Film barn from 4-8pm featuring the work of Catherine Meier and Kristina Estell. Farm fresh food will be available at the barn courtesy of the culinary talents of Paul Sapyta.

2-4pm Farm Tours at Food Farm: 2612 County Road 1, Wrenshall, MN

4-8pm “Field Trials: Catherine Meier and Kristina Estell”: 909 County Road 4, Wrenshall, MN

Questions?

Annie Dugan 218-310-4703 or annesdugan at gmail

Summer CSA, Week 13!

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This year was a late spring and what seems like an early fall. The actual start to fall isn’t for another couple weeks but with the crispness in the air why not start the festivities early?

The fall equinox is an important event for Pagans around the world. During the fall equinox the hours of daylight and and night are completely equal. There is no single tradition of celebration, more like themes to live by.

These themes coincide nicely with our work on the Food Farm. The themes to live by during this autumn time include:

Balance, think about what in your life is out of balance. Sleep, work, exercise? Perhaps you haven’t had enough candy corn yet this year?

Gratitude, for the bountiful harvest. We are beginning to harvest actual tons of food from our fields. Waves of gratitude wash over me when I imagine how many people will get to enjoy this harvest.

Letting go, because winter is coming. Autumn marks the turn towards the dark time of year. A time when we all look inward. Discard what will hold you back on the journey through the darkness….aka -30 degree winter days.

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Summer came and went in the blink of an eye. Now it’s time for long sleeves, long pants and rubber boots. It’s time for soup and baked potatoes and warm bonfires. It’s almost time for watching the leaves change and apple cider.

From our farm family to yours,

Tiffany

This is a gentle reminder the Food Farm will be at the Harvest Festival in Bayfront park this Saturday from 10-4!

Come talk to us and come get some veggies!


In your CSA box: Green Beans, Beets, Red Cabbage, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Dill, Red Russian Kale, Greens Mix, Sweet Onions, Green and Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Zucchini


Borscht Soup

Beef stock

  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 1 lb beef bones
  • 2.5 quarts of water
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp peppercorns

Soup

  • 3 medium beets
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 2 to 4 red potatoes
  • 8 oz baby Bella mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill

Preheat pot over medium high heat with a little bit of canola oil. Add beef and bones to pot and seat for a few minutes.

Add water to pot and bring to simmer. Add bay leaves, coriander and peppercorns and reduce heat to low.

Loosely cover with lid and let cook for 2-4 hours.

About half way through cooking the meat add whole unpeeled beets. Cook until done and set aside.

Strain off the stock and remove bones, coriander, bay leaves and peppercorns. Set meat and beets and stock aside.

Prepare the veggies! Slice thinly: onions, shrooms, cabbage. Grate carrots. Cube potatoes. Mince garlic.

Using same pot on medium high heat add a little canola oil. Add onion and carrot and sauté until soft. Add garlic and stir well.

Add potatoes and mushrooms stirring occasionally.

Add cabbage, stir until cabbage softens.

Add tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until tomato paste is evenly mixed.

Break apart beet and add to pot, now start adding stock! Add enough stock to completely cover veggies. Add more if you desire more broth.

Cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Taste, make sure there is enough pepper and salt. Stir in dill.

Peel beet and grate into soup.

Garnish with sour cream and more dill!

Dilly Vegetable Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sweet onion
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl. Best served with fresh Food Farm carrots or topped on Borscht Soup!