Posts Tagged ‘organic produce’

 

It’s HOT out there! The plants love it but we humans are having a tough time. We’ve been slowly working today, lots of breaks, sunscreen, and drinking tons of water helps. So I’m taking a break right now, using this time to snap some pictures of what’s going on around the farm and how the crops are doing.

We've planted a pair of cherry trees out back

The eggplant and peppers are weeded and mulched and growing well

The potatoes are all in and starting to show above the hay mulch

The snap peas are starting to grow up the fencing and the hay mulch will keep their roots cool. Broccoli is in the foreground under the white fabric. It's about 5 inches tall already.

Our bees are busy at work on the locust trees. It smells wonderful under these trees and they are literally buzzing with life!

 

The garden is looking really good so far. All of our started seedlings have been transplanted and are thriving. The eggplants, peas and peppers are weeded and mulched, now all they need is time to produce their fruit.

Nearly everything that we seeded directly into the garden is up and growing. The first things we planted were hardy greens like Swiss chard, arugula, kale, and collard greens. They are now between 3-5 inches tall already. Those greens along with lettuce will be the first things we’ll harvest.

Although they’re not a big  part of traditional Minnesota cuisine, greens are so versatile and so nutritious it’s worth working into your weekly menu. Personally I don’t care for Swiss chard, while my mom loves it. On the other hand I adore tatsoi and kale. My favorite way to use them is wilted with sauteed vegetables and seasoned with a generous portion of Cajun seasoning. It’s so good! My recipe will be featured in one of our newsletter this summer.

I know it looks like things should be ready, but the night temperatures have only recently been above 50 and until that happens the plants don’t thrive. Because it’s like they spend half their time in a refrigerator. The forecast for the next 7 days looks very promising though and we’re still expecting  our first harvest to be either the last week in June or the first week in July.

I will send out an email when we know for sure, as well as posting it here, so stay tuned!

The heat of summer came so late and didn’t stay for long, as a result we have a ton of green tomatoes available. If you’ve never tried them before, you are in for a treat! Besides the southern favorite, fried green tomatoes, they’re also excellent in chutney, salsa, relish, pickled or even made into jam. Here’s one great recipe to get you started. Happy eating!


Ingredients
NOTE: This is one of those recipes that is so easy to adjust and adapt to personal preferences. Have fun with it! ~Recipe from eatdrinkbetter.com Check it out for the story behind this salsa!

3 – 4 Green Tomatoes (chopped finely)
2 – 3 Peppers (a variety of colors and ‘heats’ also depends on preference, chopped finely)
1/2 medium Red Onion (chopped finely)
2 – 3 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
1 T. Cilantro (chopped)
1 T. Parsley (chopped)
1 Lime (juice)
1/4 C. Ume Plum Vinegar
Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
Agave or Stevia to taste

If it is possible to mix all the ingredients and let it sit for at least a 1/2 hour before serving, all the wonderful flavors marinate and blend nicely.

It’s that time of year again! Winter squash has been showing up in the baskets for the last few weeks, and will be with us for several more weeks.

Left to right: butternut, acorn, carnival, and spaghetti squash

Winter squash got it’s name because, unlike summer squash, it can be stored for several months before it needs to be eaten. Unblemished squash with the stem still attached stores the longest.

We do our best to keep the stems attached but sometimes they become dislodged while we are handling them. If you get a squash without a stem, be sure to cook it up soon. You don’t need to eat it right away, you can put the cooked squash in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. It’ll be good for at least a year that way.

Butternut squash pie filling

Many of you already know that my favorite thing to do with butternut squash is to make pie. Substitute butternut squash for pumpkin in any pumpkin pie recipe. The result is the best pumpkin pie ever! It tastes like the smoothest sweetest pumpkin you’ve ever had, and it makes sense, they’re in the same family of vegetables. In Australia, butternut squash is known as butternut pumpkin.

Carnival Squash

Carnival squash is more than just a pretty face. It’s glorious autumn colors may have you thinking decoration, but do yourself a favor and try it baked with butter and a touch of brown sugar. I bet you’ll love it!

So what do you do with all that squash? I’d love to hear, email me with your favorite recipe and it might be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

Spinach

We have a variety of greens in the baskets again this week. Greens are absolutely packed with nutrients, remember popeye? He had it right!

Spinach~ With only 7 calories (1 fat calorie!) it has more than half your daily value of vitamin A. It’s also a great source of vitamins E, C and K. It’s so versatile it can be added to just about any meal. It’s excellent in pasta and lasagna, quiche, soup, or with bacon. I prefer spinach when it’s only slightly wilted. It’s more appetizing when you can eat individual leaves instead of being faced with a shapeless mound of green.

Mustard greens~Full of vitamin A & K they have a tangy horse radish flavor and are commonly mixed with milder greens in soul food. Simmer them with ham hocks or any other smoked pork, until tender, for an authentic southern meal. I love them with smoked turkey legs. YUM!

Tatsoi~ You can see our article on tatsoi here All I will say is, I am in love with this Asian green!

Whatever kind of greens you get be sure to clean them thoroughly when you get them home. The best way I’ve found is to fill the sink with cold water and salt it generously. Soak the greens for several minutes. Check for cleanness by rubbing the leaves with your finger and thumb, they’ll make a squeaking sound when they’re clean. Check them over again for bugs and dirt around the stem then throw them in the pot!

Archives
November 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

WordPress hosting by HostGator.com