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week two newsletter
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Week TWO

The season is just beginning

Welcome to week two. I hope last week’s pick-ups went smoothly, please let me know if I can do anything to make it go any better.
 
This week on the farm has been busy as always. It took a couple of days for our fields to dry out after the big rains. We had over 5 inches of rain in 4 days! This June is the wettest June we’ve had since people have been recording in Minnesota. What does that mean for the farm? Things have been MUDDY. It took a while for the fields to dry out enough for us to go out and cultivate, but thankfully we’ve had a string of sunny days that finally dried the fields enough for us to bring our tractors through.
   
Many crops thrived in this rain-the broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages drank it up! They've been growing fast, and it won't be long until we have our first broccoli head. The melons did not far so well in the torrential rain. We’ve had to replant many of them, meaning melons will be coming later in the season for us. That’s the beauty of diversity – if one crop does poorly, another crop is bound to do well.
 
I saw my first baby cucumber on the vine today, signaling that cucumbers will soon be growing out of our ears!
 
As new crops become ready to harvest, they do so slowly at first. You’ll notice that I’ll write that half of the boxes will have one crop, and the other half will have another. I keep a record to do my best that next week you’ll have the ‘other’ crop to keep it fair.  For example, half of last week’s boxes had radishes, half had peas. This week it will be the opposite!

Enjoy the pictures below
 

This rain has been wonderful for the clover we planted in the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. You can see it just germinating in peppers (above). We grow clover in the bed to act as a living mulch. Many people will mulch their tomatoes with straw, but we opted for clover. Our living mulch will help us keep the soil cool and moist, weed free, safe from erosion, and because clover is a legume, will help supply nitrogen to our crops.
 
We have a number of tractors that help us with our culitivating (weeding). I’m absolutely sure we wouldn’t be able to keep up with the weeds without them. My favorite tractor is our 1940’s Farmall A. It was made during World War II when hydraulic fluid was rationed, which means it runs on an exhaust system (archaic!). Most people that have this tractor have it on display as an antique, but it is still very useful! We had a small problem with the carborator this week, but thankfully we were able to fix it and it’s back in action. Our best weeders, however, our the crew. This week we’ve been wrecking havoc on the winter squash, pumpkins, onions, herbs, swiss chard, and thistles.
 
Have a guess what this is? A COLORADO POTATO BEETLE. It is also mating, making even more Colorado Potato Beetles that will devour our potatoes and eggplants. They also eat tomatoes and peppers. Don't worry, we won't spray it with harmful pesticides that will leave toxic residues on your food. The best way we can deal with these folks are to know their life cycle. These beautiful insects overwinter in the soil and emerge in the spring when temperatures warm up. Their first mission is to reproduce and lay eggs. It's the next generagion we worry about-few adult beetles can mean millions of baby beetles, and these are the tikes that devour the leaves. So to make sure our crops aren't ruined, we go through and harvest all the adult beetles before they have a chance to lay eggs and feed them to the chickens. They love them!

THIS WEEKS BOX

Keep in mind I write this newsletter the day before the harest. This is my best guess at what the harvest will be.


Radish-this will be the last week of radishes until the fall. They thrive in the cool weather and don’t do so well in the heat of the summer.
Arugula-The flea beetles had a field day feasting on our arugula, taking out much of the crop. Unfortunatley we don’t have much arugula to share this spring, but it will be back in the fall
Spinach-for some
Peas (Oregon Giant and Sugar Snap)-What a fun treat to have in the field to nibble on as a snack! Enjoy these by themselves, in a stirfry, in a salad, or my personal favorite, steamed and smothered in good butter!
Lettuce Head-Lettuce doesn’t get fresher than this, unless you grow it in your own backyard
Jar of Tomato-As we wait for this year’s crop of tomatoes to ripen up, enjoy these tomatoes from last season. These are a blend of Valencia and Big Beef Tomato varieties
Swiss Chard- Looks like rhubarb! This variety is called bright lights, and I think it’s one of the more beautiful things grown at Seeds Farm. Enjoy it raw or sautéed. I like to make an egg scramble with cut up swiss chard and cheese in the morning.
Basil-We had fun weeding the basil this week-our hands smelt delicious afterwards!
Onions-Don’t forget you can use the tiny bulb and the green stalk of the onion! The tough flowering stalk might not be the best, however. Edible though!
Beets-some of you will see a bunch of beets. Try them grated in a salad or roasted to bring out their sweet flavor
Microgreens-packed full of nutrients. When we eat broccoli, we only eat the 'flower,' not the leaves and stems. When we eat Microgreens, we eat the WHOLE PLANT! Full of health!

On the cusp for next week (depending on rain/sun): Kohlrabi, cucumbers, more beets.
 
RECIPE
Sunshine Sauce:

When you open your jar of tomatoes, please take a big whiff and smell the sunshine!
 
1.     Chop your onions and throw them in a pan to sautee in some olive oil (or butter, lard, tallow, etc) until they are carmelized, about 10 minutes.
2.     Pour in the jar or tomatoes and turn down to medium/low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce(or 2 tsp salt). You will simmer this mixture for a solid 30 minutes. You will know it is done simmering when most of the liquid has evaporated/reduced and it’s the consistency of a tomato sauce
3.     Mince the basil and add right at the end. This will keep the basil tasting fresh and not stewed. Feel free to add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic at this stage as well!
 
I like to make this with 1 lb of ground Italian sausage that I brown before step 2 and eat it over whole grain pasta. Feel free to add any vegetables or herbs to this sauce.
 
Enjoy!
 

NEWS

You may or may not have noticed that I gave the wrong instructions for the dismantling of the boxes-they changed ‘em this year. I hope you were able to figure it out! Please remember to bring your flattened boxes back to the dropsite when you come pick up your new box-we rely on getting them back to fill them up again for you. You’ll find the number on the “D” in SEEDS that you can record when you drop it off. Thank you for helping us keep the boxes in use.
 
Next week is the Fourth of July already, and we will keep our schedule the same. If you cannot pick up your box, please let us know ahead of time if you can’t find a friend to use it, and we’ll donate it to the foodshelf while it’s still fresh.
 
Please e-mail me if you'd like to be removed from this list, or if you'd like me to add a friend or family member

 

Seeds Farm
seedsfarm@gmail.com
seedsfarmproject.com
507 581 9453
6903 115th St E
Northfield MN 55057