What's Growin' On at the Farm

Posted 10/3/2013 10:41am by Amber Stenson.
headerOctober 02, 2013

What’s in your box?

Red Pepper - First Karen Farm
Onions
Savoy Cabbage (Some Sites Only) - Karen Family Farm
Red Tomatoes - Sebra Farm
Carrots - Sebra Farm
Beets - Karen Family Farm
Delicata Wintersquash- Chickenhead Farm
Salad Mix
Green Onions
Kale
 

Next week get ready for:


Brussel Sprouts
Winter Squash 
Salad Mix  
Etc....    
 

 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Borscht

Kale and Sausage Stuffed Delicata


Savoy Cabbage, Carrot, and Apple Salad

Roasted Winter Vegetables





  

   
 

 
Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

Notes from the Field




Hey Folks,

We have two weeks left of the CSA!  This means our last delivery will be on Thursday October 17th.  If you are an every-other-week box your last delivery will still be on October 17th.  

It is getting quiet around here.  Our farm staff has been cut in half and the farmers are only really coming out to harvest once or twice a week.  We have all of our potatoes, onions, pumpkins, parsnips, and winter squash harvested and out of the fields.  Our fall hoophouse production is off and running.  And about half of our covercrops are in and waiting for some soaking rain.


It is the time of year as a farmer that almost everything you do is the last time you will do it for the season.  We weeded our last salad mix yesterday and realized we most likely will not pick up a hoe again until late next April.  Our last mowing of the fields was last week.  Friday we will be cleaning all of our greenhouses and storing everything away for the winter.  In the next few weeks we will already start thinking and talking about 2014.     

This week's box seemed a little smaller than I was expecting when we planned it out.  However, I actually found myself appreciating all the crops this week.  the delicata were wonderful last night for dinner.  The salad mix is slightly bitter but held up well with a slightly sweeter salad dressing. 

Here is some great information as well on  the Delicata Squash in your box.     

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That!
  

 I hope you enjoy!    

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
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Posted 9/26/2013 10:30am by Amber Stenson.
headerSeptember 9, 2013

What’s in your box?

Red Pepper - First Karen Farm
Red Onions
Edamame- Karen Family Farm
Red Tomatoes - Sebra Farm
Sweet Corn
   
Carrots - First Karen Farm
Beets - Karen Family Farm
Chard - Karen Family Farm
Potatoes
Parsnips
Thyme
Acorn Squash - Karen Family Farm
 

Next week get ready for:


Brussel Sprouts
Winter Squash 
Salad Mix  
Etc....    
 

 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Fresh Corn Cakes

Edamame (soy beans)  

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Baked Winter Squash with Apples



  

   
 

 
Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

Notes from the Field




Hey Folks,

Ah! Sweetest time of the year!  It just simply cannot be beat; the sunny cool mornings, moonlight on the trees in the night, and the smell of autumn on the wind.  By far my favorite time of year.  I love the food this time of year as well.  Last night we had a tremendous potato leek soup, glorious roasted roots of parsnips, carrots, beets, onion, and potatoes, and a lovely elderberry cordial we make each year on our anniversary.  It was all the tastes of the earth brought to bare at our kitchen table.  

On a more logistical level, we have three weeks left of the CSA.  This means our last delivery will be on Thursday October 17th.  If you are an every-other-week box your last delivery will be on October 10th.  The boxes should be pretty lovely and full from here on out.         
 
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That!
  

 I hope you enjoy!    

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
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Privacy Policy.

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Posted 9/19/2013 10:53am by Amber Stenson.
headerSeptember 9, 2013

What’s in your box?
Green Pepper – Chickenhead
Red Pepper (some sites only) - First Karen Farm
Yellow and Red Onions
Edamame- Karen Family Farm
Arugula
Heirloom Tomatoes - Cala Farm
Red Tomatoes - Sebra Farm
Jalepenos - Sebra farm
Parsely - Chickenhead Farm   
Carrots - First Karen Farm
Beets - Karen Family Farm
Kale
Potatoes
Leeks    

Next week get ready for:


Brussel Sprouts
Potatoes
Winter Squash 
Etc....    
 

 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Potato and Leek Gratin

Edamame (soy beans)  

Irish Potato Soup

Baked Kale Chips



  

   
 

 
Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

Notes from the Field




Hey Folks,


Today's box is a perfect blend between the Fall and the Summer.  We recieved our first frost on Sunday night.  It zapped the basil but it didn't seem to do much to the peppers or the tomatoes yet.  I am always thankful when we escape too much damage from the full moon of September.  The full moon (besides being breathtakingly beautiful and bathing our fields in the most incredible light!) is always dangerous in September.  It always brings clear nights and clear nights are always colder.  Ussually if we miss a killing frost on or around the full moon we can ussually make it into October without a frost.  May it be so. 


We have four more weeks of deliveries this season and we have a lot of produce left in the field to give you all.  Things that will be coming up in abundance in the next few weeks are: broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsnips, leeks, potatoes, all types of Winter Squash, cabbage, and lettuce.  Our spinach is the only thing that seems to have failed us.  We had a few good plantings but when our well broke the spinach felt the pain.          
 
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That!
  

 I hope you enjoy!    

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
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Posted 9/12/2013 9:31am by Amber Stenson.
headerSeptember 9, 2013

What’s in your box?
Zucchini/summer squash – Chickenhead Farm and Karen Family Farm 
Red Pepper (some sites only) - Karen Family Farm
Onions
Long Beans - Karen Family Farm
Salad Mix
Heirloom Tomatoes - Cala Farm
Red Tomatoes - Sebra Farm
Jalepenos - Sebra farm
Thai Basil - First Karen Farm
Watermelon - Chickenhead Farm  
Cilantro
Carrots - First Karen Farm
Eggplant 
Melon
Edamame
Kohlrabi     
French Fingerling Potatoes    

Next week get ready for:


Heirloom Tomatoes
Potatoes
Etc....    
 

 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Basil Eggplant


Edamame (soy beans) 


Tangy Eggplant and Long Beans  

Five Quick Salsas



  

   
 

 
Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

Notes from the Field

Hey Folks,


Have you ever heard the old Blues song "You gonna miss your water when your well runs dry."? 

I have been singing that song recently because for the last week and a half our well pump for our vegetable cleaning stations and our field irrigation has been broken.  It died on us and we have been doing a lot of work getting it running again.  I believe we will have it up again by Thursday. 


Needless to say, it is not fun to have no water on a farm during a month of no rain.  Lucky, we were up on our irrigation when the well broke and so we have not been too hurt by not having water in the field.  However, our fall salad mix and lettuce are not as happy as they would be if we had been able to cool them off yesterday when it got to 90 degrees. 


The real issue has been not having any water to wash vegetables.  We have a tank over by the pack out but it has no pressure to actually spray off dirt.  So you veggies are alittle dirtier this week and we had to work twice as hard to get them as clean as we did. 


Our Potatoes today are beautiful but we were unable to wash them.  I am sorry about the dirt.  Next week your potatoes should be clean.  we are getting the new well pump today!  


The joys of farming! 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That!


There are a lot of new and exciting items in this week's box. 

Our Edamame harvest is going to be a great one this year.  These are my family's favorite snack and if you have small children this is a great way to feed them healthy food.  Check out how to prepare Edamame here.

We aslo have some amazing French Fingerling Potatoes.  These are great for frying and grilling!  Here is some more info regarding these little tubers.


Lastly, we are doing a Thai inspired box this week as well.  We have Thai Basil, Long Beans, and eggplant.  These three crops are some of our Karen and Hmong farmer's favorite crops to grow and we wanted to share them with you.  The long beans are absolutely beautiful and can be used like a normal green bean.   However, stirfrying them produces the best reults.  Check out the recipes for some ideas on how to use these three items.

I hope you enjoy!    

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
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Posted 9/5/2013 11:56am by Amber Stenson.
headerAugust 27th, 2013

What’s in your box?
Zucchini/summer squash – Chickenhead Farm and First Karen Farm 
Cucumbers – First Karen Farm
Green Pepper- Chickenhead Farm  
Green onions
Salad Mix
Heirloom Tomatoes - Cala Farm
Red Tomatoes - Sebra Farm
Melon (Some Sites Only)
Sweet corn - Sebra Farm
Jalepenos - Sebra farm
Watermelon (Some sites Only!)
Parsely - Chickenhead Farm  
Cilantro
Carrots - Chickenhead Farm
Dill Heads for Pickles!
   

  
       

Next week get ready for:


Heirloom Tomatoes
Sweet Corn
Potatoes
Salad Mix
Etc....    
 

 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Refridgerator Dill Pickles

Five Quick Salsas


Swet Corn, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad   
  

   
 

 
Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

Notes from the Field




First Karen Farm - Seenay and his family and crew have been working extremely hard this summer to bring you all of your cucumbers, basil, and various other yummies!


   


One of many fields of Buckwheat that we planted this summer as a covercrop and beneficial insect attractor.
      
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That!


It is the first day of school for most kids in Minnesota and the cold night last night reminded us all that it is September and Fall is indeed coming.  That said, this week's box is all summer.  The watermelons this week are called Sunshine and yes they are yellow inside (like sunshine!).  I love the mild sweetness of these melons and really enjoy the change from red to yellow.


A few weeks ago I wrote about how my family had been missing homemade salsa this summer.  This weekend we made our first salsa of the season and it was incredible!  Check out the recipes for some great simple salsa ideas!


I hope you enjoy!    

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
Unsubscribe from this email list.
Privacy Policy.

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Posted 8/29/2013 9:58am by Amber Stenson.
headerAugust 27th, 2013

What’s in your box?
Zucchini/summer squash – Chickenhead Farm and First Karen Farm 
Cucumbers – First Karen Farm
Green Pepper- Chickenhead Farm
Cherry Tomatoes - Big River Farm
Melon (Only Some Sites!)- First Karen Farm 
Green onions
Green Beans - First Karen Farm
Salad Mix
Heirloom Tomatoes - Cala Farm
Sweet corn - Sebra Farm
Jalepenos - Sebra farm
Basil - First Karen Farm
Watermelon at sites! - Sebra Farm
  
       

Next week get ready for:


Heirloom Tomatoes
Sweet Corn
Watermelon
Salad Mix
Etc....    
 

 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Summer Linguine

Zucchini Pancakes
  
Corn Pudding
   
 

 
Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

Notes from the Field




We have Sweet Corn and watermelons!  And here are the wonderful folks who brought you these wonderful treats.  Porfirio and his family love their corn.  They grow about 2 acres of corn here at Big River Farms.  Besides the sweet corn they grow a wonderful field corn that is huge and amazing which they use to make incredible homemade tamales and tortillas. 


My 6 year old daughter Adelaide has been adopted by this amazing group of folks.  Most evenings all summer Adelaide can be found hanging out with Porfirio and his partner Arjellia.  They are like her third set of grandparents and I could not ask for better folks to teach my daughter about the world. 


Last night this crew was out harvesting corn until 10:00 at night using the lights on their cars to guide them.  I hope you enjoy this treat!
       
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That!

 A few notes about this week's box. 

The Heirloom tomatoes are absolutely beautfiul this week but they had a little issue last night.  It is the kind of issue that highlights the reality that we are a training farm.  The farmer that picked the tomatoes put them in the cooler last night because he thought it was too hot to be leaving them outside.  Not a bad thought except that tomatoes really do not do so well in the cold.  They get mealy and lose their flavor.  So I apologize in advance about the tomatoes.  They might not be their best and by the time they I noticed them in the cooler it was too late to get anymore.  Normally I would suggest using these tomatoes fresh but perhaps this week cooking them would be best.


The Melon in your box is a Galia or tropical type melon.  These have thick lime-green flesh is smooth, sweet, and highly aromatic.  We do our best to make sure each Melon is ripe and ready when we harvest them.  However, melons can be quite difficult to predict when they are ripe.  Please feel free to give us feedback if the melon doesn't seem ripe or is over ripe.
 

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
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Privacy Policy.

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Posted 8/8/2013 10:31am by Amber Stenson.
headerJuly 16, 2013

What’s in your box?
Carrots - Sebra Farm
Zucchini/summer squash – Chickenhead Farm and First Karen Farm 
Cucumbers – First Karen Farm
Red onions
Chard - Chickenhead Farm
Beets- Chickenhead Farm
Cherry Tomatoes (Some sites only!)   
Broccoli  
Green onions
Green Beans
Eggplant (Some sites only!)
Green pepper  
Basil

Next week get ready for:


Perhaps a huge surprise! 


and more....

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Green Beans with Caramelized
Onions
  
Green Super-food Smoothie 


Grilled Broccoli with Lemon and Flaxseed 

Super Simple Pesto

 
Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

Notes from the Field




Porfirio, from Sebra Farm, preparing more ground for his fall crops. 

 

 


Aung Thin, Megan, and Kat working their magic with the wheel hoes!


Thank you to everyone who came out for our Saturday brunch on the farm!  We had beautiful weather and I loved getting to talk and share with all of you about our program and farm.  If you did not get a chance to come to one of our events there is always next year.  I would love to have all members get a chance to come out in small groups and talk with us and see the farm  It is a wonderful way to dig deeper into what we do here and where your food comes from. 

Sunday evening was just glorious for me.  I realized it was going to rain on Sunday night and I spent the entire evening on a tractor seeding our early season fall covercrops.  I sewed oats and peas on about 5 acres of open ground.  This ground will now be protected for the rest of the season, rested, and renewed by the covercrop and be ready to go as early season ground next year.  It is literaly my favorite thing to do as a farmer.
    

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That!

So the unseasonably cool weather persists in the great midwest.  This coolness is absolutely stunning to work in each day.  I could not ask for better weather.  Our broccoli is in love with life, our green onions are happy, all of our fall crops are off and running with joy.  However, our sad impatient little tomatoes, peppers, and corn are not enjoying themselves.  This is not August. 


I am very happy with the quality and quanity of this week's box but I do realize that we are starting to put the same things in the box each week.  This is almost entirely due to the weather.  We are lucky to still have such nice cool weather crops in the field.  At this point, if the weather doesn't turn, we may not get much of a tomato crop this season.  Lets hope that doesn't happen!
         

As always, we welcome your own creative recipes. If you have something to contribute, email me. Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
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Posted 7/10/2013 5:49am by Amber Stenson.

 

What’s in your box?
napa cabbage (Aung Thin)
green onions (First Karen Farm)
beets
dill (Aung Thin)
romaine lettuce
broccoli
mizuna (Aung Thin)
garlic scapes (Cala Farms)
chard (Chickenhead Farm)            

Next week get ready for:

green onions
salad mix
carrots
broccoli
cherry tomatoes 

and more... 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Romaine caesar salad

Roasted broccoli

Napa cabbage slaw with cilantro dressing


        

 


Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

 

Notes from the Field

This week's box packing was a real treat for me.  Our regular employee needed the day off so I was left getting our box packing line started by myself.  I had just started making boxes when the sky grew incredibly dark and the wind kicked up a few notches.  It was tremendous!  The sky opened up so quickly and and with such fury it was a beauty to behold.  I could not pack the boxes due to wind and the rain, so I just squatted down and watched it all progress.  Mohamed and Porfirio (two of our most experienced growers) came running in for shelter as well.

We proceeded to sit in our little shelter and watch the storm together.  We ended up sitting around with the storm all around us, talking about the Somali rainy season, storms that come off the pacific in Guatemala, and how big agriculture is buying up huge chunks of land in Africa right now.  It was wonderful and when it was all over, seeing how wet their fields were, Mohamed and Porfirio stayed and helped me pack the boxes.  My morning went from being alone to crazy worriesome rain storm to good friends helping make up for lost time.  Perfect!

On another note, I will be gone all next week on vacation.  It feels very strange to write that!  My family and I will be driving out to Idaho for a huge family reunion on my Wife's side.  It will literally be my first real summer vacation in over ten years of farming.  Crazy.  I am excited to see what it's like to be a true midwesterner again and pack the kids up and take them west for a week.  It is also a little nerve wracking to be leaving the farm.  However, we have an incredible staff here at Big River Farms and I have no doubt they will prove just how little I am needed here over the next week.  Joci Tilsen, our Assistant Director, will be in charge of the CSA logistics next week.  If you have any questions her e-mail is jtilsen@mnfoodassociation.org
I will see you on the other side of my vacation!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.

ablyth@mnfoodassociation.org or 651-433-3676 


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That

Today's box finally has a little heft to it!  I am extremely excited about the huge napa cabbage this week.  These are one of my favorite things to eat this time of year so don't be intimidated by their size.  Last night my wife, a close friend of ours, and I devoured the whole head at dinner in the form of Napa Cabbage Slaw. If you have any of last week's cilantro left this is a great way to use it.  

We also have the first broccoli of the season.  We planted three rounds of broccoli hoping to have six weeks of harvest.  With the wet and cold spring we had trouble with our first planting.  The second and third are looking good.  Our only concern is how hot it gets before they decide to head up.  We ussually try to have all of our spring broccoli harvested by mid-July.  This year we either will have broccoli all the way thru June or it will go bad due to heat (broccoli likes it cool).  Either way these little heads are a real treat.   

   
As always, we welcome your own creative recipes. If you have something to contribute, email me. Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
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Posted 7/3/2013 10:40am by Amber Stenson.

 

What’s in your box?
parsely(Chicken Head Farm)
green onions
spring turnips (Some Sites Only)
carrots
dill
2 cilantros (Porfirio)
spinach
mizuna
green lettuce
garlic scapes          

Next week get ready for:

green onions
romaine lettuce
beets
broccoli(?)
napa cabbage
cherry tomatoes(?)  

and more... 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Red, white, and blue cheese salad

Big stack burger

Cilantro Pesto


        

 


Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

 

Notes from the Field

It is the Fourth of July and summer is heating up.  The fields finally look like summer and, judging from the amount of sweat and dirt on us all at the end of the day, summer is here.  This week promises to be warm, sunny, and dry and we could not be happier here at Big River Farms.  These are the types of weeks that make farming the most enjoyable profession in the world.  Here is a story I wrote a few years back on the Fourth of July, I thought I would share it again because it speaks to me of what we experience here almost every week and why I think what you are helping to support matters so much.  Thanks for indulging me.

Yesterday was actually one of my favorite 4th of Julys I can remember and it, in a way, defines so clearly why it is good to celebrate the idea of America.  At its best America is an amazingly diverse and beautiful place.  And, at its best, it is a place that welcomes people from all over the world and does offer them a chance to start anew. 

On the farm yesterday morning I saw this side of America so clearly that I walked around with a smile on my face all day.  All the farmers in our program were out here yesterday and it was incredible.  Everyone was working in their fields, harvesting or cultivating, yet there was a real sense of relaxation and knowing it was a holiday.  Most of the folks brought their families out with them. Kids, aunts and uncles, and grandparents were everywhere.  We had Karen refugee’s grandchildren playing with Cambodian grandchildren.  We had Guatemalan folks sharing their homemade tamales with folks from Bhutan. 

 

We had a packing shed full of all of our CSA vegetables but also ethnic crops being cleaned for a feast.  People washing the African green called Spider plant, the Karen cleaning Pigweed and cilantro roots, and a few Hmong elders cutting up flowering cabbage and mustard greens.  At one point I stopped to listen to the chorus of languages being spoken and was amazed.  There was English, Spanish, Hmong, Cambodian, Bhutanese, and Karen all whirling through the air.  Everyone was not only working alongside each other but they were playing with each other.  They were telling stories and laughing. 

 

What we do here at Big River Farms is grow Organic vegetables and train folks from around the world how to grow Organically in Minnesota.  I believe we do this pretty well.  However, one of the best side benefits of our work here is the relationships that get woven across cultures.  America, so the pundits say, is struggling to figure out how we move forward together.  There seems to be a great question of what America will become in the next fifty years. 

I have no idea what we will become but I know we will only become stronger as a country and as a people if we can have more scenes like the one out here yesterday on the Fourth of July.  A scene where many people, from many places can come together to play and work.  A scene where they can let the things they share between them become a bond rather then let the things that make them different keep them apart.  It was great.  Although the fireworks were fun last night, I think I will remember yesterday’s vegetable harvest as my Fourth of July moment for 2011.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.

ablyth@mnfoodassociation.org or 651-433-3676 


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That

This week's box is full to the brim with a wide variety of herbs!  All of our various and asundry herbs that we planted on the farm decided to come on in the same week.  Strange weather has a way of making starnge boxes.  Anyway, this is your week to try out your skills and using up fresh herbs.  

The cilantro pesto recipe is a great way to use up your two bunches of cilantro and your garlic scapes.  We would ussually have potatoes for you on the the 4th of July but they are a few weeks out still.  However, dill and potatoes are a match made in heaven.  Check out this dill potato salad if you are looking for something to serve on the fourth.        
 
Lastly, if you are looking with that huge bag of baby spinach the constant go to in my house is Gado GadoIt is a super easy peanut sauce and fresh veggies served over rice and a bed of spinach.  This box is perfect for this.
  
As always, we welcome your own creative recipes. If you have something to contribute, email me. Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
Unsubscribe from this email list.
Privacy Policy.

Did you receive this newsletter from a friend? Subscribe MnFoodAssociation.org

 

 

Posted 6/25/2013 11:17am by Amber Stenson.

 

What’s in your box?
radishes (Chicken Head Farm)
green onions
spring turnips (Some Sites Only)
beets
garlic scapes
cilantro (Porfirio)
spinach
mustard greens       

Next week get ready for:

green onions
baby spinach
carrots
beets
romaine
and more... 

Get creative with your CSA box…try out our recipes!

Green Onion Corn Fritters

Spinach  Quiche with Lardon

Beet Greens and Young Garlic Pasta


        

 


Things to remember

1. When you arrive to pick up your box, remember to check your name off of the appropriate roster. There will be one each for Summer's Best & Fruitshare members. If you are picking up both, you will need to check your name off of both lists.

2. Please bring a bag or other container to transfer your veggies into & follow the instructions for breaking down your box found in the CSA bin.  The waxed cardboard boxes will need to stay at your site so that we may pick them up the following week for reuse.

3. In the spirit of community, please do not open or go through other boxes. Boxes are packed identically each week and there is no need to look for a better one.  If you are concerned with the contents of your box, or something is missing, please let me know as soon as you can & I'll do my darndest to remedy the situation.

4. Planning a vacation this summer? You've got some options. Invite a friend or neighbor to pick up in your stead while you're away. OR, you can contact me at least 24 hours in advance to donate your box to Minneapolis Market (a foodshelf with dignity).  All donations are tax deductible.  We are unable to prorate or credit you for canceled or forgotten boxes.

 

 

 

Notes from the Field

Wow!  We survived the rain and wind this weekend much better than I initially thought we would.  We were very lucky to miss the worst of the storm.  Looking at radars we were just on the Northern end of it.  However, we still ended up with over 4 inches of rain and soaking wet fields.  But we will take what we can get. 

This week's box is again a little light in the britches but it is getting better all the time.  For those of you who are beet lovers, I hope you enjoy these lovely beets from our hoophouse.  If you are on the fence about beets you have to try these.  Kids who have never had fresh beets ussualy love these things.  To me they are the perfection of the taste of soil (not sure if that inspires you or not). 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this week's box.

ablyth@mnfoodassociation.org or 651-433-3676 


Happy Eating!     

Aaron

This N That

 
This year we have two great recipe writers who will be providing you with great ways to prepare and eat your veggies.  We had Helena do last week's recipes.  This week is Emily's turn.

Emily Christenson is a wife, mother, local food entrepreneur and home chef, living, eating, and cooking in Minneapolis. She excels in making whole-foods, gluten-free meals and loves to bake.  When not happily creating delicious meals over a hot stove, or hanging out with her family, you might find Ms. Christenson at a farmer’s market or food co-op, immersed in local food, community and culture. Cooking has been an integral part of her life since she could properly handle a knife at age two, the first of many lessons with her father who was a professional chef and is now chief fishmonger at Coastal Seafoods.  You may find Ms. Christenson’s recipes, cookbook reviews and food musings on her blog at www.mplsrealfoodlover.com or www.facebook.com/minneapolisrealfoodlover .

 

Spotlight on Beets

Truth be told, I was, not so long ago, a beet hater.  Their sweet, earthy flavor profile was not for me, especially beet borscht, which my Eastern European grandmother loved to serve, and was the only dish she made that I didn’t love.  I worked on trying to like beets by attempting different preparations.  Juiced raw with carrot and apple was a good starting point, moving on to beets generously sprinkled with gorgonzola, old fashioned beet pickle with vinegar, and finally served simply, boiled, sliced, with salt to taste. Beets really grew on me when I began dating my husband, who loves beets and often ordered beet salads when we ate at restaurants.  The lesson here for me is to give unfamiliar vegetables a chance, it may take many tries but I think you’ll be glad you did.  Beets are lovely steamed, roasted, juiced, boiled or sautéed.  They are culinarily versatile and appreciated throughout the world for their health promoting qualities. 

Nutrition wise, beets pack a punch.  They are good sources of many essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and lutein, which is known to play an important role in vision health.  Beets contain a unique combination of antioxidants, one of which, betaine, is associated with decreased inflammatory markers in human health.

Both the beet root and its greens are edible and delicious.  In fact, the greens of beets were the only part eaten by early peoples, prior to cultivation.  Beet greens are similar to chard or spinach leaves both in taste and cooking preparations, benefitting from a light sauté or steaming.  Beets store well in root cellars or the fridge, and farmers appreciate how little beets need in terms of pest control and thriving in various types of soil. 

As always, we welcome your own creative recipes. If you have something to contribute, email me. Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

©2012 Minnesota Food Association, 14220 B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 

651-433-3676 ph.  651 433-5050 fax
Unsubscribe from this email list.
Privacy Policy.

Did you receive this newsletter from a friend? Subscribe MnFoodAssociation.org