What's Growin' On at the Farm

Posted 9/19/2013 10:53am by Minnesota Food Association.
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 Minnesota Food Association.
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 Minnesota Food Association.
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
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Posted 8/29/2013 9:58am by Minnesota Food Association.
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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Posted 8/8/2013 10:31am by Minnesota Food Association.
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
Unsubscribe from this email list.
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Posted 7/10/2013 5:49am by Minnesota Food Association.

 

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
Unsubscribe from this email list.
Privacy Policy.

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Posted 7/3/2013 10:40am by Minnesota Food Association.

 

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
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Posted 6/25/2013 11:17am by Minnesota Food Association.

 

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.
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Posted 6/18/2013 11:35am by Minnesota Food Association.

 

What’s in your box?
arugula (1st Karen Farm)

lettuce
green garlic (Cala Farm
pea shoots(Karen Family Farm)
radishes (Chickenhead Farm)
chard (Chickenhead Farm)

Next week get ready for:

green onions
arugula
turnips
radishes
beets
spinach
and more... 

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

Fresh Radish Chips

Arugula, Carrot, and Chickpea Salad  

Red Salad with Champagne Vinegrette 


Chow Mein Noodles with Pea Shoots  

 


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

Happy first box from all of us here at Big River Farms!

This spring has been a challenge to be sure.  We had snow in early May and a late frost on May 20th!  When it has not been cold, it has been grey and rainy way too often.  Well I guess that is life in Minnesota.  You never know what you are going to get.  

We provide you this first CSA box humbly and with grace.  In my five years of farming here at BRF it is by far our smallest box we have ever delivered.  So small that we decided to use a smaller box so that your veggies wouldn't roll around too much.  Our regular size boxes will be coming soon I promise. 

This really is an unprecedented year in terms of the slow start to summer.  We have struggled all spring to get into the ground and then to get things growing in the cold.  The good news is we have kept up on our planting schedule and things are beginning to grow.  My guess is the first two to three weeks will be a bit slimmer than what we have had in the past but looking forward beyond that we should be all set for a fantastic season!  The boxes will be overflowing soon and we will go as long into the fall as we can to make sure that you get your value from our veggies.      
 
Big River Farms (BRF) is more than just a vegetable farm.  Our main work is to train new immigrant and historically under-served farmers to grow organically.  One feature of our newsletters this year will be personal stories about some of the many farmers here at the farm.  Each week your CSA boxes are a mix of produce grown by BRF staff and by farmers in our training program. If you look at the "What's in the box?" column on the left you will see a list of all the crops that we have for you.  If there is a farm name next to the vegetable, then that vegetable was grown by a farmer in the training program. If the farm name is in purple then it will take you to our webpage where you can read the farms' story. 
In the next few weeks, we will share some of their stories in this newsletter so you can get to know your farmers better.

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.  This first week's recipes and information will be brought to you by Helena Pikus Li a long time CSA member.  Check out her great recipes!

Helena Pikus Li is a marketing consultant, foodie, and food scientist. She has championed some of the world’s most popular brands, and brought dozens of “packaged” food products to market. She has also been a barista, a food service manager, a chemist, and a national recipe contest judge.  You could call her a professional taste tester.  

Helena is pleased to be writing “What’s in the Box” recipes for the Big River Farms newsletter and website, helping you make the best use of each week’s lovely, fresh, organic ingredients.  As a CSA member for six years, she has persevered through the Cherry-Pa-Looza of 2010, Squashmania of 2011, and the Cherry Tomato and Scallion Storm of 2012.  She once forgot a stuffed animal bunny, “Spike,” in a row of green peppers at a Farmer’s Market stand. Helena understands the challenges and delights of seasonal eating, and the juggling act that is fueling an active, young child and a meat-and-potatoes husband.

Helena enjoys cooking with fresh ingredients, dining on regional and ethnic cuisine, and aspires toward a clean eating diet. Helena has an MBA in Marketing and Strategic Management and a BS in Food Science from the University of Minnesota.  She and her family live in Minneapolis.

All about radishes. My favorite way of eating these flavorful and nutrient-dense veggies is adding raw, thin slices to a fresh salad and drizzling them with olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Broadly speaking, radishes can be categorized into four main types (summer, fall, winter, and spring) and a variety of shapes lengths, colors, and sizes, such as red, pink, white, gray-black or yellow radishes, with round or elongated roots that can grow longer than a parsnip.  Red cherry radishes are a bright red-skinned round variety with a white interior, great for snacking, especially in the spring and summer when they are at their sweetest and best. Cooked radishes add a bright, earthy element to any spring dinner.  Radishes provide a good amount of Vitamin C, as well as folate, and potassium.  Vitamin C is an important nutrient involved in protein synthesis, immune function, and also has antioxidant activity.  Folate and potassium are important for DNA synthesis and cell function respectively. 

Peas are a quick and easy crop, but you have to plant a lot of peas to ensure a good size pea harvest once they’re shelled. One way to extend your pea-growing season is to harvest and eat some of the young pea shoots and tendrils.  Pea shoots and tendrils are tender enough to serve with little or no cooking. They are often tossed into salads or added on top of soups. You can always add a few curls as an edible garnish. Their delicate crunch and sweet flavor make a snappy addition to pretty much anything and they are packed with vitamins A and C.

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.

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Posted 5/14/2013 3:29pm by Minnesota Food Association.

I read, and delete, a lot of listserve items, but this one caught my attention this morning. Exemplifying the sense of community around farming, the sense of urgency and trust, and then the prompt help from three of our senior farmers in the region, this is great networking I love the reach out by Melissa and the three experienced quick answers. 

 Question:

 Hello everyone—

 I had some major damage to my transplanted brassicas due to Saturday night’s frost.  I’m wondering if anyone out there has extra cauliflower, cabbage or red cabbage seedlings that they could sell.  We’re relatively small, so I’m looking for 4 flats of cauliflower (72 size), 2 flats of red cabbage, and perhaps 2 flats of green cabbage, depending on how they recover.

 Which leads me to my second question:  If brassica seedlings get frosted, and then recover, will they still produce well, or should I just consider them a loss and replant everything?  Some of them look like they could spring back, and some of them don’t.  The broccoli look better than the other, but they had been planted a couple of days earlier and were a bit more established. 

 Thanks for your advice!

 Melissa

CSA Coordinator

Gale Woods Farm

 

Replies:

 

Hi Melissa,

 I think that your brassicas will come back. I don't do summer cauliflower, so I don't know about that one, but we have routinely set out broccoli, cabbage, and kale before last frost and they have been fine.

 Greg

 Greg Reynolds

Riverbend Farm

 

************************************************************

 Dear Melissa:  It is surprising how much nature can help plants recover.  However, with the extreme heat we have in the forecast for tomorrow, I am not sure what to say.  I would give them some time while you look for other plants and then evaluate.  (Are you aware that Gardens of Eagan is a source of bedding plants?)  We have had things recover just fine after frost.  If you decide to toss them, save a few in any case, so you can observe for yourself what happens as the season unfolds.

 In the Maria Thun BD calendar, she referred to "cold weather after April 17" as part of the April forecast.  For May, she suggests the constellations provide a warm influence for the first two weeks of May and that this might be followed by cooler weather and "frosts".  Personally, I have always taken these predictions with a healthy grain of salt.  However, it was amazing to see snow on the ground here for the first three days of May. (Osceola, WI)  I am holding some things still that I might normally want out by now, due to still being cautious about this season.

 Best of luck!

 Verna Kragnes

Philadelphia Community Farm

 

************************************************************

 Hi all, Some spring huh?  

I have found that broccoli that frosts badly does not make very nice heads. This is especially true if it gets hot soon afterwards.  You may want to buy some more plants for insurance.

 Kate

North Creek Community Farm

 

 

Glen Hill

MN Food Association

May 13, 2013