What's Growin' On at the Farm

Posted 7/17/2014 4:45pm by Minnesota Food Association.

This week's box has a lot of variety for all the veggie lovers out there!

 

Open House!

Everyone is invited to come out to the farm this weekend!  MFA is holding it's annual Open House on July 19th from 12:00 - 4:00 PM.  This year, the open house will be held in conjunction with the Co-op Eat Local Farm Tour. Events include field tours, hay rides, face painting and activities for the kids, refreshments, a raffle, a farmer's market product stand, shared recipes, and informational exhibit on the cultural traditions of Big River Farms Farmers and opportunities to learn about organic farming practices.  Hope to see you there!


We are looking for farmers for the 2015 season and have scheduled our first information session at the farm!  If you or anyone you know is interesting in participating in our program, stop by the farm on Tuesday, July 22nd at 5:30 - 7:30 PM.  Check out our Facebook page for more info!


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

In this week's box,
you'll find:
Brought to you by: 
 
 
 

 

1st Karen Farm

 
 
 23rd and Co.
 

 
 

 
 
  •  Basil 
  • (This basil is dirty again.  Rain!)
  • You can wash it right before you use it!
 
 
 

 

Posted 7/15/2014 12:21pm by Minnesota Food Association.

This week's box has a lot of variety for all the veggie lovers out there!

 

Open House!

Everyone is invited to come out to the farm this weekend!  MFA is holding it's annual Open House on July 19th from 12:00 - 4:00 PM.  This year, the open house will be held in conjunction with the Co-op Eat Local Farm Tour. Events include field tours, hay rides, face painting and activities for the kids, refreshments, a raffle, a farmer's market product stand, shared recipes, and informational exhibit on the cultural traditions of Big River Farms Farmers and opportunities to learn about organic farming practices.  Hope to see you there!


We are looking for farmers for the 2015 season and have scheduled our first information session at the farm!  If you or anyone you know is interesting in participating in our program, stop by the farm on Tuesday, July 22nd at 5:30 - 7:30 PM.  Check out our Facebook page for more info!


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

In this week's box,
you'll find:
Brought to you by: 
 
 
 

 

1st Karen Farm

 
 
 23rd and Co.
 

 
 

 
 
  •  Basil 
  • (This basil is dirty again.  Rain!)
  • You can wash it right before you use it!
 
 
 

 

Posted 7/8/2014 10:02am by Minnesota Food Association.

Harvesting produce is not as straight forward as it might seem.  There are some very important factors to harvesting, and to how you handle the produce after, to make sure that it lasts a long time in the refrigerator and that there are no food safety risks.  Every year, we have a Food Safety Class that is required for all farmers growing for the CSA to attend and one or two classes on Post-Harvest Handling.   

There are a lot of details to know, such as what produce should be dunked in water, what should not, what should be harvested early in the morning because it is sensitive to heat, what is so delicate you have to wear gloves to harvest, and what size a bunch should be.  

One thing we hear a lot from new farmers is that they had no idea how long it takes to harvest.  Some things might take long in the field, such as picking peas or beans, while others take longer to clean, such as green onion bunches or carrots.  It takes time to learn the skills and create efficiencies and in the meantime, some adjustments often must be made to allow enough time to get all the harvest done and do the cleaning and packing well.  

Our training program works because the farmers learn by doing.  There is preparation in the first year of training, when they are not growing for the CSA, and the amount of produce they grow for the CSA increases each year as they become more efficient in their production.  But there still is a lot of learning in the moment, not just in relation to harvest and post-harvest, but in all aspects of production.  This is the way we have found to be the most effective with learning, but it does create some uncertainties as to what each harvest day will bring.  When the boxes are light, we hope you understand that many issues are due to the weather and some are due to the fact that we are a training farm.  Luckily, we do have a great group of farmers here who are committed to learning as much as they can in order to harvest beautiful produce.  

 

Katie Kubovcik

Training Program Manager

Posted 7/8/2014 9:53am by Minnesota Food Association.

Here’s an idea…pickle them

Pickled spring onions are a delicious condiment for burgers or goat cheese toast.  You can also toss them into a salad for a tasty zip! 

Posted 7/3/2014 9:34am by Minnesota Food Association.

Here is another tasty and delicious box of vegetables for your week of eating!  This week's box is a bit light again as we try to get closer to the real start of abundance. 

 

I am very excited about the snap peas this week.  They are just coming on and we did not have enough to give you all the amount we would have liked but I hope you enjoy the ones you did get.  May Lee has a whole five rows of gorgeous pea plants just on the verge of producing their hearts out. 

What are those curly things in the box? They are Garlic Scapes!  These are the best most mellow spring flavored crop around.  Here is some more information about them if you are curious.

Check out Minnesota Food Association's Facebook Page for articles on how all the rain we've been getting is affecting our crops this summer, as well as pictures of the farmers hard at work!  

You can also go to our Blog.

Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

In this week's box,
you'll find:
Brought to you by: 
 
 
   
 
 

 
Gurung Family Farm
 
 
 
  • Basil 
  • It is a bit dirty because of the rain! 
 
 
 

 

Posted 7/1/2014 11:34am by Minnesota Food Association.

 May Lee and her "aunties" opening the soil back up

It is officially July today and the summer should be in full swing. Here at the farm we have much work to be done. Almost all of our crops are planted and the greenhouse has only a few late plantings of broccoli, lettuce, and spinach to put in the ground later this month. This is the time on the farm when everything starts happening at once.

Roman in her field

The farmers have vegetables to harvest, some plants left to seed, and lots of beds and rows of vegetables to weed. Each day is overflowing with the work of the world and the anticipation of the abundance of harvests to come. One thing that is not a worry for Big River Farmers right now is irrigating their crops. We have plenty of rain for that! Over the last 12 days we have received about 9 1/2 inches of rain here on the farm. Most of this has come down in very fast and very hard spurts which is the most damaging to our soils and our crops.

Moses using the Wheel Hoe to get those onions air!

We are doing ok even with the rain but it certainly presents a challenge in terms of getting everything done during the dry periods. Also, the heavy rain compacts our soils and makes them tighter. Plant roots need air as much as they need water and when it rains hard the space in the soil for air to get trapped becomes less. This causes the plants to grow slower. Farmers have been working hard to get back into their fields quickly and open the soil back up using many different types of hoes and various types of claws. It is a real joy to see a field that has been worked after the rains. The plants respond almost immediately!

Check out our Facebook Page for more photos!

Posted 6/26/2014 8:00am by Minnesota Food Association.

Greetings! Welcome to Big River Farms CSA.  We are excited to have you on board! We've got a great first box this season - read on below to find out what's inside. If you're curious about what's been going on around the farm, we invite you to check out our blog or visit our facebook page - and don't forget to "like" us! 

Check out this welcome letter from MFA's new Executive Director, Hilary Otey Wold, as well as her delicious recipe for Arugula Pesto

Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

In this week's box,
you'll find:
Brought to you by: 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Gurung Family Farm
 
 
 
  •  Spinach
    (half of sites will receive spinach)
 
 23rd & Co.
 
 

 

 

 

Posted 6/24/2014 10:46am by Minnesota Food Association.

Greetings! Welcome to Big River Farms CSA.  We are excited to have you on board! We've got a great first box this season - read on below to find out what's inside. If you're curious about what's been going on around the farm, we invite you to check out our blog or visit our facebook page - and don't forget to "like" us! 

Check out this welcome letter from MFA's new Executive Director, Hilary Otey Wold, as well as her delicious recipe for Arugula Pesto

Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

In this week's box,
you'll find:
Brought to you by: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gurung Family Farm
 
 
 
 
 23rd & Co.
 
 

 

 

 

Posted 6/19/2014 3:32pm by Minnesota Food Association.

 

Dear Big River Farms CSA Member,

Welcome to the 2014 season! If you're like me, you've been eagerly awaiting all the changes of a new season. There are many new and exciting things happening at Big River Farms this year and we look forward to sharing them with you throughout the season.

In May, I started as Executive Director of Minnesota Food Association, the nonprofit operator of Big River Farms. Since then, I have learned a great deal about the farm operations. I've been impressed by the staff knowledge, farmers' hard work and especially the commitment and dedication of volunteers and CSA members, like you. One of the perks of my new role is getting to sample some of the delicious fresh produce BRF farmers grow before anyone else. Lucky me! Yesterday I bought a bag of arugula from one of our first year farmers. It's beautiful, as you can see from your box. I love the spicy zip of fresh arugula. Arugula is great in salad and on pizza. Here's what I did with mine.

As a Big River Farms CSA member, you can feel good knowing that not only are you and your family getting high quality organic produce that was grown locally using sustainable practices, your support is helping to build a more sustainable food system based on social, economic and environmental justice!   Thank you for letting your values guide your decision making. Thank you for partnering with the 12 farmers growing food for you this year. Thank you for being a Big River Farms CSA member! 

Posted 5/30/2014 6:27am by Minnesota Food Association.

Hello wonderful CSA eaters and Big River Farm supporters!

The month of May has flown by and June is all of a sudden popping its head up around the corner.  I have been meaning to get you all out an e-mail with updates from the farm. 

Due to the cold and late start this season (certainly not as bad as last year), we are starting the CSA deliveries one week later.  CSA veggie shares will start the week of June 23rd! So if you are a Tuesday pick-up you will be picking up on June 24th and if you are a Thursday pick-up you will getting you first box on June 26th.

For all CSA Members:

Next week I will sending each of you a detailed dropsite sheet specific to your dropsite.  This will include directions, times for pick-up, the day of the week for your pick-up, as well as contact information for you sitehost. 

For Fruitshare:

I am waiting to hear back from our Fruitshare guy Everett Myer.  He is not sure when the blueberries will be coming this year for our first delivery of fruit.  If they are ready then we will be starting the Fruitshare on the same week as the veggies (June 23rd).  I will let you know as soon as I can, my intention is to know by Monday. 

For Every-other-week folks:

I will divide each of you into Week A or Week B pick-ups.  This allows us to pack the same number of boxes each week and then allows each of you to only pick-up your boxes every-other-week.  It is a good system but here is the catch: many of you every-other-week members are also Fruitshare members.  We want to make sure that you get to pick-up your veggie shares the same week that you pick up your Fruitshare.  So I have not divided up the Every-other-week shares into Week A or Week B because I do not know when the Fruitshare will start.  It all seems rather complicated when I try to explain it but hopefully it makes sense.  I will know by Monday when the Fruitshare will start and will send you out something ASAP.

Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any specific questions.  If you can wait until I send out the more detailed sheets next week that would be wonderful.  I am finding it difficult to keep up if e-mails right now.

Check us out on Facebook!