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Week Three
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The first pepper has beens potted! The rest of the pepper plants are still flowering. They love hot hot weather. I prefer cooler weather, but I'll put up with hot weather so can get a good crop of these peppers.
The pepper field is on its way to becoming thistle free. It's been a thistle maasacre out there. The clover is doing swell

Week Three

A good week


Happy 4th of July! I hope this week's produce will help you celebrate the fourth with your friends and family. We have a few new crops to add to the box. It is fun to watch the more charismatic crops start coming in.

We spent a lot of time this week tackling the thistle! As we were pulling it out by hand, I realized just how good it is at growing, and that hating thistle is similar to hating the popular kids in school. Thistle is present in our soils because of past agricultural practices which compacted the soil. Thistles are a perennial plant, which have a very deep taproot, enabling it to break open that compaction layer deep in the soil. Thistles are actually a great tool for us to aerate our soil. But nonetheless, we don't want them competing for nutrients that our vegetables need. To get rid of it, it is not as simple as chopping thistle down with a hoe, however. If you do not pull out the deep tap root by hand, it will keep sending up another shoot, and another shoot, and another! So it is worth it to take the time to do it right the first time.  As we aerate our soil by encouraging soil microbial populations to thrive and by increasing our organic matte, among a host of other ways, we will see a significant decrease in our thistle population - hooray!

One thing I love about raising a variety of crops is that while you wait for one crop to grow, you are forced to be patient. There is just too much else to do that you can't baby every single crop. You turn your back for a second and when you return, the cucumbers are the size of your forearm. I think we would be bored if we only had two crops to obsess over. Farming teaches us the rewarding nature of patience. 

This week, I spotted the first cabbage looper. These loopers overwinter in the south and travel by wind all the way up to Minnesota, can you believe that? What a journey they have made to our farm to feast on our cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale! Though I respect their journey, we don't want them here. This week we released some parasitic wasps which will lay their eggs in the larvae of cabbage loopers. When they hatch out, the cabbage looper will cease to exist, hopefully. This is another way we can combat our pest problem without the use of harmful chemicals. 

The animals are doing great on the farm. The turkeys have doubled in size since their arrival to the farm. The pigs will get new rye to chomp on tomorrow and the chickens sound like an opera singer when they lay an egg. Life is good on the farm for the animals. 

All in all it's been a good week on the farm. Fabulous, cool weather, a little bit of rain, we can't complain!

Until next week

Becca and the crew

 

These wonderful farmers are responsible for the beautiful flower shares! Brad and Toni grow these beautiful bouquets and harvest them every other week. Not to mention, they are some of the most humble, gentle, and kind farmers I've met. Our 5 acres of veggies are right next to their flower plot, and we are thankful we get to bump into them and their dog Scarlett, every day. It makes for a fun community.

This week in your box, you will see...(keep in mind I write these newsletters before the harvest, therefore actual contents may vary)

Cucumbers - Finally they have arrived!! Enjoy them plain, in a salad, in a drink, just enjoy!

Herbs-Half of you will get Basil, the other half gets Cilantro

Braised Green Mix- Kale and Collard plants are finally big enough to suffer a harvest. These are great sauteed or fresh in a salad

Lettuce Mix-This is the first harvest of the lettuce mix. It's a combination of 5 carefully selected lettuce varieties. Let me know what you think of the mix

Onions-Don't forget you can use the greens

Kohlrabi or beets-Some will have kohlrabi this week, the others will have beets. Kohlrabi looks like a spaceship to me, but it's mild and sweet crunch is such a treat. I like to peel it and eat it like an apple. I also like to saute it, or cut it up for a salad.

Peas-Peas are bumping. Enjoy them while they're here.

Garlic Scape-this is an interesting thing. It's the garlicy smelling thing that is green and curly. The garlic plant has been in the ground since last fall, this spring it was one of the first plants up, and now the plant is thinking about reproducing. I can't blame it, that's the goal of a plant, to produce a seed. But we want the plant to spend its energy in the bulb-so we snap off the scape, or the stalk that is about to make a flower. Scapes are just like garlic, use them like you would use a garlic clove. Or make garlic scape pesto!

Boc Choi-Though the leaves have been munched on by the flea beetles, they're still just as tasty. Throw them in a stir fry and you won't regret it

Recipe: Garlic Scape Pesto

Throw in all of your garlic scapes from your box into a food processor, or blender. To it, add 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or whatever hard cheese you have on hand), salt and pepper to taste, and 1/4 cup of a nut, like pine nut, walnut, or sunflower seed. Mix it until it's a paste like in the photo, and enjoy as a dipping sauce for meat, over pasta, or on a piece of toasted bread.

Enjoy the big kick that it has!

If you want to tone it down a bit, you can throw in some radish, or swiss chard, or basil so there's a bit less garlic scape in every bite. Bottom line, any combination of scape, cheese, fat, and flavor will make a delicious combination.

Feel free to experiment!
A word on the boxes...

We're not seeing as many boxes return to us as we send out. Please consider bringing your own container to transfer the contents of your box at the pick up location so you can leave the flattened and clean box at the drop site. Consider taking the box home as a last resort if you've forgotten your own container, and please remember to bring it back!

Metro pick up locations: 

I've had many inquiries on the time shares are available. Shares are delivered Fridays by 10am. You are free to pick them up from 10am until your drop site location closes. If you cannot pick it up, please arrange for someone else to pick it up, or tell me on Wednesday before it is harvested so the veggies can be donated to the food shelf before they don't go bad. Boxes are not available to be kept overnight.


Please also make sure you are taking the right Seeds Farm Box and are crossing your name off the list!
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6903 115th St E
Northfield MN 55057
507-581-9453

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