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!

Summer CSA, Week 12

No need for witty banter or endless anecdotes about potato bugs. This week has been a whirlwind of excitement and organized chaos.

When Janaki starts out the day on Monday saying “It’s going to be a big week” you know we are in for a wild ride!

Thankfully our farm crew is loaded with young blood. We are the next generation of farmers, we are full of energy and excitement.

As the summer winds to an end the cultivating season does as well. We shined up the cabbage field. Pulling weeds, wheel hoeing and spot hoeing.

This week also saw lots of trailer loads of vegetables. The potato washer came out of storage after Patricia and I tucked it away so nicely. The pack shed is a professional game of Jenga now.

We loaded and unloaded carrots, potatoes and onions all week long. With lows getting into the high 40s dare I say it, we are all thinking about fall.

The Food Farm made an appearance at the State Fair! Janaki, Annie, Truman and Ellis along with many other cast members of the Food Farm crew made the pilgrimage down to the great Minnesota get together. Truman and Janaki made it on stage to talk about good food alongside Tom Hanson from the Duluth Grill.

Work around the farm went from zero to 100 real quick this week. We all know the further into the season we get the more work and the faster the pace. However I don’t think anyone was ready for it to happen this fast!

I personally love the fast paced energetic days. The go-go-go feeling keeps you on your toes. I love thinking about the people picking up their CSA boxes and smiling after seeing the beautiful vegetables waiting for them to enjoy.

As always from a fantastic farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA box: Beans, Broccoli, Basil, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Garlic, Lettuce Mix, Onions, Red and Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Parsley, Tomatoes, Zucchini

Perfect Potato Salad

  • 1 lb red potatoes
  • 1 fresh small onion
  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2-4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 2 spoon fulls of dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Cube potatoes and steam until fully cooked. This takes about 20 minutes but keep watch. Potatoes are easy to over cook. Also boil water to cook corn. Once water has come to boil place corn cobs in water for 4 minutes.

Chop onion, celery and parsley. Cut corn from cob. Rinse potatoes in cold water to cook them down. Place potatoes in large bowl for mixing. Combine onions, celery, corn and parsley to potatoes.

Add mayo and Dijon mustard to mixture. Add extra mayo as necessary and salt and pepper to taste.

Tomato Peach and Cucumber Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette

  • For vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios

    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    2 tbs white wine vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    Ground pepper

For the salad

  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/4 cup mixture of mint and basil

For vinaigrette roast pistachios for 5-10 minutes in oven at 350 degrees. Transfer all but two tbs of nuts to food processor (save 2 tbs for garnish!) combine olive oil, wine vinegar and 1/2 cup of water to food processor as well. Mix until smooth. Also add basil, salt and pepper to mixture until smooth.

For salad slice tomatoes into large slices of using large tomatoes. Peel cucumber and chop into slices. Peel peach and cut into 1/2 inch wedges. Layer tomatoes, cucumber and peaches onto plate. Drizzle with dressing and top with pistachios!

Summer CSA, Week 10

The smell of new babies and milk weed is in the air. Fresh cabbage, new potatoes and a delightful week of rain.

Above is a photo Janaki took harvesting kale in the pouring rain for Monday’s share box last week!

Janaki took a hiatus from the farm this week while the rest of us tried to fill his shoes. Also Karin greeted us with her baby boy!

We are entering the tomato season. Outside tomatoes are starting to ripen and the greenhouse tomatoes are taking off. If you are wondering what to do with all the tomatoes in your box…..you should try sun drying them!

I experimented with sun drying tomatoes in my car this weekend. It worked great. I would recommend using slicers because cherry tomatoes take twice as long as slicers do. Also place them on parchment paper. If you place them directly on tin foil them will likely stick.

The sun gold tomatoes were not completely dried after 12 hours in the car. The slicers and Juliet’s that I cut into 1/4s were!

To minimize strange looks and bugs avoid driving your car with tomatoes on the dash board.

With gratitude and grace we thank you for finding creative ways to eat tomatoes, greens mix and all the other delightful veggies we put in your box week after week.

From a smiling farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Green Beans, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Dill, Greens Mix, Lettuce, Onions, Snap Peas, Green Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper, NEW Potatoes, Tomatoes, Zucchini


Turmeric Roasted Potatoes with Green Beans

  • 4 cups potatoes chopped into small cubes
  • 1/2 lb green beans chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs finely chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbs turmeric (for some spice in life!)
  • Salt and pepper

Place oil in pan on medium heat. Once pan is hot place potatoes in pan. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and add green beans, herbs and spices. Cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately for maximum deliciousness.

Tomato Tart

  • Use your favorite pastry dough recipe or buy some ready to bake stuff at the co-op
  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced thin
  • Fresh chives to garnish
  • Salt and pepper

Prepare dough and place in refrigerator for later. Slice tomatoes into colander, sprinkle salt over them and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.

Roll dough out into a 14 inch round circle. Spread olive oil over it and the ricotta cheese. Add the garlic and place sliced tomatoes on top. Fold over the edges to keep everything in place.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes and enjoy!

Summer CSA, Week 9

Fort Minor sang it best:

This is 10% luck

20% skill

15% concentrated power of will

5% pleasure

50% pain

100% reason to remember the name

Leptinotarsa decemlineata…..aka the potato bug

I haven’t decided if we should be “remembering the name” of the potato bug or the name of the fantastic farmers who have fought bravely in the fight to protect the potatoes. Nevertheless, perhaps all names should be considered.

This summer our farm crew has been fighting the good fight. So that we all may enjoy potatoes, not just in a week or two but through the long cold winter months.

Some interesting facts brought to you by the University of Minnesota Extension Office:

  • Potato bugs feed off of leaves; if left alone they will likely completely defoliate a potato plant
  • They spend the winter 5-10 inches underground, plotting their mischievous plans for the spring
  • They prefer temperatures in the mid 80s, allowing the larva to complete metamorphosis in 10 short days

Potato bug removal is 10% luck-because sometimes they can be sneaky and hide in the leaves. It is also 20% skill because we are trained experts in our profession. It is 15% concentrated power of will because the good fight has been a never ending story. It is 5% pleasure because there is satisfaction in a 5 gallon bucket of bugs. There is also 50% pain because it’s difficult to be hunched over for many hours.

I believe I speak for everyone who works and volunteers on the Food Farm when I say we are happy to do whatever it takes to protect these veggies. You deserve the best produce in a CSA box.

Speaking of protecting veggies, the fencing is going up across the road! Janaki, Garrett and I started to unroll fencing on Friday. The season of bounty is upon up; plenty of vegetables, plenty to do, and plenty of irrigating.

From a beautiful busy farm crew-

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Basil – Green Cabbage – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumbers – Kale – Lettuce – Green Onion – Snap Peas – Green pepper – Hot pepper – Tomatoes – Zucchini


Garlic Parmesan Roasted Snap Peas

  • 3 cups sugar snap peas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss peas in olive oil to evenly coat. In separate bowl combine bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic. Add the panko bread crumb mixture to the peas and toss until evenly covered.

Arrange peas on greased baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cup grated zucchini

For the glaze!

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bread pan and set aside.

In large bowl whisk together dry ingredients; flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bow combine sugar and lemon zest. Add olive oil, lemon juice and eggs until smooth.

Combine dry ingredients to wet mixture. Fold in Zucchini last. Add mixture to bread pan. Bake 40-45 minutes.

Summer CSA, Week 8

The agate; a treasure to find for north shore residents. We scavenge gravel pits and construction sites looking for those glossy banded rocks. We look with bent necks along the shores of Superior. And each time we come across an agate it’s an exciting surprise.

Some believe agates should go back where they were found, perhaps for the next person to find the joy. Others hoard them in jars around their homes or in the cup holders of their cars.

Our radionics padawan Garret, refers to them as energy boosters. Walking around the farm it’s common to find them piled up waiting to put a smile on someone’s face.

The last two weeks have been a collective effort to weed the 3rd and 4th planting of carrots. With burnt knees and blistered knuckles we damn near completed all 39 beds worth. By the time you read this we might have finished the last seven rows.

Sam and Garrett enjoy tucking agates between carrots. Someone will find it along the way and put it in a row next to them for someone else. Little energy boosters.

Medieval folklore suggests farmers in Europe believed agates could protect their dairy cows.

To prevent milk from spoiling during lightening storms they would hang agates inside barns. This had the added benefit of keeping the witches away from riding their cows at night. A witch will not enter a building protected by an agate.

Agates were also fastened to equipment to ensure a healthy productive crop.

As much as I’d love to see a witch riding a cow, I’d rather have a glass of unspoiled milk.

From a witch weary farm crew,

Tiffany


In your CSA Box: Broccoli – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Dill – Napa Cabbage – Green Onion – Peas – Green Pepper – Jalapeño Pepper – Tomatoes – Zucchini


Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 1/2 large Napa Cabbage
  • 1/2 cup peanuts-roasted
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or some scapes if you have them from last week
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut or canola oil

Chop cucumber and Napa cabbage into thin elongated slices. Dress with cilantro roasted peanuts. Combine peanut oil, lime juice salt sugar and garlic powder to drizzle over slaw.