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Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 7/10/2018 4:52am by Jenna Untiedt.

Week 4 is here Summer is in full swing. I hope you all had a great Fourth of July week and weekend. Now it is back to reality and hopefully you are all enjoying what summer has to offer. I know that even with the heat, it has been great to get outdoors and enjoy the lakes, baseball games, and the evening chats on the driveway with the neighbors. Alrighty, let’s get down to business….what can you do with the CSA share this week? So many options! Here are just a few ideas to help you through the box this week.  

Cabbage: Coleslaw, salads, sandwich wraps….the options are endless. If you make coleslaw with a bagged cabbage mix, try this fresh cabbage instead! It is sweet and crispy. I threw together a quick slaw last night that had half a cup of mayo and half a cup of Greek yogurt with a splash of white vinegar and mustard. Mix it all together with a few sunflower seeds and you have yourself a really great side dish to any dinner.

Lettuce: Enjoy this last batch of spring lettuce, as there won’t be any until fall and the temperatures start to cool down. I have been a huge fan of using this for a giant dinner salad topped with salad contents from the box. Or, you can add it to a BLT…the tomatoes are perfect for BLTs this week!

Tomatoes: Speaking of tomatoes, I think BLTS might be on my menu several times this week as farm we prep for farm tours and time at home is extremely limited. Another great idea is to chop up the tomatoes and add some fresh basil, they make a great salad!

Kale: Salads, soups, or turned into kale chips….so many uses. My absolute favorite way to cook kale is to remove it from the step, tear into smaller pieces, drizzle with olive oil and massage it into the leaves, sprinkle with some garlic salt and place on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 400 degrees. Stir frequently so you don’t burn the leaves, but this makes for awesome sautéed kale, or you can cook until crispy for kale chips.

Radishes: Some of you might feel like you are overwhelmed with radishes and you don’t know what to do with them all. Honestly, they will keep for weeks if stored in your fridge in a container of ice water or in a plastic bag. Add them to all your stir-frys or roasted vegetables. These have such a mild flavor that they make a great addition to any mixed vegetable offering.

Beets: Red and Golden! Roasted or boiled are great options. You can make a salad out of the tops, or simply use the beets…the choice is yours. I am a big fan of roasting the beets and having them as a quick snack in the fridge. In fact yesterday, my lunch ended up being some roasted beets, avocado and goat cheese mixed together as I was heading out the door to visit some vegetable stands. They are full of flavor and really great to eat alone or mixed with salads.

Onion: Truly a great tasting onion. Add it to your BLTs or burgers this week and taste the difference of fresh MN onions compared to store bought onions. These are also great to add to your refrigerator pickles if you are making a batch of those this week!

Chub cucumbers: The perfect afternoon snack with some hummus or plain. They also make a great salad topper or an addition to a refreshing cocktail.

Broccoli: Raw or cooked, you can’t go wrong. There is so much flavor and this broccoli is so crisp. Try making a broccoli salad with the florets and adding the stem as well. The stem is completely edible and can easily be turned into vegetable noodles. Try spiralizing the stem and adding to some spaghetti to see if anyone notices!  

There you have it, week 4. If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for Farm Tours. The dates listed are the only dates that we will be offering tours this summer as our calendars are quite full. We hope that you take time to come out and visit the farm and learn more about how your food is grown and what it takes to get local produce to the marketplace. Have a great week!

Posted 7/3/2018 4:43am by Jenna Untiedt.

The share this week is spectacular! Whether picking it up and heading to the cabin or sticking close to home, there are so many things that can be done with the contents. The holiday week or weekend, however you are treating it, is a great way to share your CSA with friends and family. Share your joy of MN Grown produce and help spread the word of buying locally.  

The options this week are truly endless. All are great additions to any gathering that may occur over the next few days. Here are a few ideas hopefully can help you through the share this week.  

Beets: Make sure to save the greens! They make a fantastic salad addition. Here are some quick and easy tips to store the greens and beets. Detach the beets from the greens, wash and store in the fridge. With the beet greens, make sure to wash them as they have a bit of sand on them from recent rains. Trim the greens so you rid them of the red stem. Dry the leaves and store in a plastic bag, but make sure to dry them first! From there, the opportunities are endless. I personally made the salad below last night for dinner and it was phenomenal. You can easily add steak on the side or add more things to the salad such as hard boiled eggs or avocado. It is an awesome summer salad that will definitely be added to my limited rotation of meals.  

Beet Green Salad: Warning: This makes an extremely large portion. A suggestion, prep it all, but only put together as much as you want to eat at one time so you don’t waste it!  

Salad Ingredients:

  • Beets-roasted and diced
  • Beet greens- just the green leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, or you can just dice a regular tomato.
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Feta cheese to sprinkle
  • Make sure everything is cold when mixing together. Toss all ingredients and then mix in dressing.  

Green Dressing: 

  • 3 garlic scapes cut into small pieces
  • 1/2  cup Greek Yogurt 
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • Dash of Salt. 
  • Mix all ingredients together in a blender and then toss the salad in dressing.  

Cauliflower: There are brown spots on the cauliflower due to the heat, this does not make it bad or inedible. Simply cut the spots off, or just roast it and you won’t even know they are there! Another great option is to turn the cauliflower into hummus. Bring the hummus on the boat with you along with some freshly sliced chub cukes and radishes!  

Lettuce: Now is the time for a perfect BLT or BLT salad. I love to prep all the lettuce as soon as I get it home so I can grab and go when needed. Add some fresh lettuce to your BLTs or make a quick salad. If the lettuce is a little wilted, it is due to the extreme heat. Rinse, dry, and add to a Ziploc bag with a moist paper towel to crisp it back up.  

Kohlrabi: Did you know you can foil pack kohlrabi like you do potatoes? Add the kohlrabi to your potato foil packs that may be happening for the 4th and no one will know they are getting a little extra dose of veggies in their meal.  

Garlic Scapes: Pesto, Garlic Butter, Salad Dressings, the opportunities are really endless. I added some scapes to the green dressing I put together. I also added some chopped scapes to some butter in a frying pan on low heat and sautéed some beef in it for an excellent garlic flavored steak that went along with the Beet Green salad. So many options for this unique veggie!  

Radishes: Chop up and add to any roasted vegetable medley you throw together this week. Otherwise, a great addition to the 4th would be little crostinis with shredded radishes mixed together with softened butter. I am pretty sure your guests will love them and not even realize they are eating radishes.  

Chub Cucumbers: I think it is truly summer once chubs have arrived and the first batch of Grandma Punky’s Refrigerator Pickles are made. It is truly a simply recipe that everyone loves! Bring them to the picnic this week, or keep them for yourself! I won’t judge, I don’t like to share mine once they are made.  

Tomatoes: Finally, tomatoes with flavor! A true sign of summer is a tomato sandwich. I was traveling over the weekend and didn’t return home until late Sunday night, followed by leaving my house again early Monday morning. The great thing about working across the street from your parent’s house is when you have no food for lunch, you can raid their house. It’s easily a 20 minute drive to the closest place to grab lunch, so Mom’s house is often it. So, now is the time of year I often eat tomato sandwiches for lunch. Sometimes I get fancy and add bacon, but really fresh tomato on toast is a great option!  

Strawberries: Please remember that the berries may not look perfect in the shares. The heat is REALLY hard on them, making it extremely hard for us to send them in shares, but we are trying our absolute best. Even if they are soft and a little smooshed when you receive them, you can still use them! Add them to a smoothie or smash together for topping on ice cream. We often eat with our eyes, but there are so many great things that taste awesome, even if they look bad.  

Peaches: Obviously, not MN grown, but a tradition we started many years ago. Let them ripen a bit on your counter before enjoying alone, with cottage cheese, ice cream, or on top of cereal. Truly a summer treat!   There you have it! Week 3 is here and you have some work cut out for you. So many great veggies this week and hopefully you can all make it through the box. Remember to check out our Instagram or Facebook for more ideas throughout the week. We love seeing what you all are up to.  

Remember to register for Farm Tours. Space is limited, but we added several tours to accommodate as many CSA members as possible. Farm Tour Registration!   

Posted 6/26/2018 6:42am by Jenna Untiedt.

It is already Week 2 of the CSA! Well, let’s just be thankful that all the strawberries were picked late last night for this week’s share because when I was walking into the office at 2:30 this morning, we had an extremely heavy rainfall that lasted for a few hours. Although as I write this at 6am, it has stopped raining, the fields are definitely going to be a muddy mess for the next few days.  

This share is a great mix of cook now or use later. What I mean is that you can definitely use some of the produce immediately, or you can save it for the upcoming weekend. A friendly reminder to store your produce as soon as you can, this will definitely help it keep its freshness.  

Lettuce Mixes: There are two types of lettuce this week: Romaine and Salanova Mix. Max sure to give these a good rinse. Although they are grown in the high tunnels, the pounding rains we have had over the past week still manage to splash us sand and dirt, making it a bit gritty at times. We do our best to shake it out when cutting, but it is always a good idea to give it a good rinse. These are fantastic mixes for salads. The box this week is full of goodies that can top the salads.  

Swiss Chard: A BEAUTIFUL dark red color and the flavor is outstanding. I personally like to sauté about 4 pieces of bacon in a large frying pan. I slice the chard nice and thin, including the stems and add to the bacon grease once the bacon is done along with some minced garlic. Add the bacon back in small pieces once the chard is cooked. For another nice flavor, add in about ½-1tbsp of red wine vinegar. This is great as a side dish with dinner, or a nice compliment with your morning eggs.  

Kohlrabi: There are so many uses for kohlrabi. Make sure to peel the outside of the kohlrabi to remove the tough skin. Dicing the kohlrabi, radishes, and zucchini makes for a great blend of roasted vegetables. Otherwise, there are countless kohlrabi slaw recipes or you can roast them like a potato and turn them into home style fries.  

Zucchini: A great size to make some zoodles if you are having a pasta craving. Otherwise, dice up and add to a stir fry. If you are feeling extra creative, make some zucchini bread! If you feel like you are ever swimming in zucchini, you can always freeze it. Whether you shred it and toss it in a freezer bag, or freeze on a cookie sheet in small pieces, it is great to add to soups in the winter or even bake with.  

Radishes: First off, I can’t wait to made another shredded radish toast appetizer. Simply use a nice style of bread and toast, shred some radishes and mix with a bit of soft butter. Spread on the toast and enjoy. I know I shared this last week as well, but it is a quick and easy spread that has received great reviews! I also like to add a few radishes to my stir fry or roasted vegetable plan. These are so mild and crunchy that they blend right into other roasted veggies.  

Cucumbers: Nice and crispy, a great treat for the upcoming hot spell which is being forecasted. A great snack to take to the lake or pool. Or, add a few to your daily salad. Anyway you eat them, they will definitely be a treat. Asparagus: Absolutely beautiful asparagus for this time of year! Whether you steam it, grill it, or add to a stir fry, definitely enjoy it! If you have time before the temperatures heat up this week, try adding asparagus to risotto, a great treat. Need a quick appetizer? Try wrapping a few spears in bacon and roasting.  

Broccoli: I love broccoli, especially burnt broccoli. Burnt broccoli you may ask? Toss your chopped broccoli in some olive oil and put on a cookie sheet. Roast at 425 for about 30ish minutes, stirring occasionally. It gets a bit crispy and is delicious! Otherwise, it is a great steamed or raw! Another great addition to your salads for the week.  

Strawberries: Please remember these are homegrown strawberries and will be very different than anything you buy in a grocery store. Our berries are picked red and ripe, meaning they may be a bit soft when you receive them. Soft does not mean bad, but means they are ready to eat right away. These will not keep for days on end, so I recommend eating right away. Do not rinse until you are absolutely ready to eat.  

There you have it, the second week of the CSA program. Just a friendly reminder that we will be delivering shares next Tuesday, July 3rd as our crops do not stop growing. If you need to make arrangements, please email me so we can get those changes accommodated.   Happy cooking!

Posted 6/19/2018 4:44am by Jenna Untiedt.

And so it begins, welcome to the 2018 CSA season! My goal with these short little posts is to help you through your share as easily as possible. I try to be realistic in knowing that everyone is busy, on the go, and looking for a way to add locally grown produce to their dinner plates each week.  

For those of you that are new to our CSA program, welcome! To those of you who are returning for a second, third, fourth, or have been with us for all 8 seasons, welcome back and thank you for the continued support! We are excited for another season and look forward to sharing our labor with you all. 

This week’s post is a bit longer because I like all members to understand what it takes to get fresh produce to you! I wish we could do it with the snap of our fingers, but a lot of hard work and long hours go into what we do. Did you know we hand harvest all of our produce? This is so we can send you the highest quality produce. We start harvesting produce for Tuesday delivery on Monday morning. After harvested, we cool with ice and place in our coolers until Tuesday morning. This process allows us to send you produce that is extremely fresh!  

Our CSA packing crew starts at 3am on Tuesday mornings. We diligently pack each share. If we miss a box, it is never on purpose. Simply let me know and we will make it right! The same goes for produce that might not meet our standards. If something slips through the cracks, just send me and email and we will always replace it. We do our absolute best to grade out any subpar produce, but because we are all human and no machines help with packing, sometimes we miss something. Please know, it is never on purpose and we will stand behind our promise to give you our best quality. If there are any issues, please reach out to me and they will be addressed.  

Alright, now onto the shares for this week. For those of you new to the program, I have the opportunity to stay at my parent’s house each Monday night so that I can sleep until 2:30am instead of my normal hour commute. I cooked most of the box last night and let me tell you- it was awesome! Each week I try to cook as many things as possible from the shares so I can share posts with you all throughout the week. Make sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay inspired all summer long.  

Radishes: I’ll be honest, I am not a huge fan of radishes. But, I loved these last night. I simply grated the radishes and mixed in some butter and spread on pumpernickel toast. It was a quick, easy addition to dinner! These are great to sneak into a stir-fry, add to a salad or each alone as a snack. To ensure you get through them this week, I suggest you wash and prep them as soon as you get home. Cut the tops of, wash, slice the bottom off and store in a bowl with water in the fridge. This will keep them fresh all week long and you can grab them as you need them.  

Lettuce Mix: This was phenomenal. Minnesota lettuce is probably one of my favorite things. I am notorious for buying lettuce at the grocery store and letting it go to waste because I actually dislike the flavor that much. This though, is so fresh! It will also last for weeks! I suggest investing in a salad spinner. Slice the lettuce, spin it, and just grab as you need from the fridge! Salads, substitute for buns on burgers, or an addition to a sandwich are all great options. Enjoy!

Kale: I think kale is my favorite vegetable of all time. I could eat it every day. It was quite funny as I cooked it last night I was told I didn’t need to make the whole bunch, but surprisingly there wasn’t any left after dinner. My mother, who is definitely not a fan even ate some! My favorite way to cook kale is to tear from the stems, tear into smaller pieces, massage a bit of olive or avocado oil onto it and bake in the oven until wilted or crispy depending on my mood. You can always mix kale into your eggs, add it to a smoothie, or add to a soup.  

Cucumbers: Finally, cucumbers that aren’t bitter AND are firm. The worst thing about buying cucumbers in the grocery store during the winter is first of all having them be covered in wax and secondly having them be soft. Yes, I realize I sound very high maintenance, but when raised on a farm your expectations change. These are great to add to salads or just each plain. I love to slice them up and add to my lunch.  

Zucchini: Green and yellow are included for your enjoyment. If you are a parent with young children who don’t like their veggies, zucchini is great to ‘sneak’ into things like banana bread or even spaghetti sauce. Simply shred and add! I personally like to roast the zucchini with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Last night I enjoyed it mixed with wilted kale. Give it a try!   Maple Syrup: The best of the best! Save it for the weekend and make a decadent breakfast of waffles. Just remember, if you run you, this is available at our vegetable stands throughout the summer.  

Raspberry Jam: It is here. The most requested item each season. My gracious mother makes over 3,000 jars a year so that you can enjoy it twice each CSA season. Savor this little jar, because it truly is special. Enjoy on toast or top your vanilla ice cream with a spoonful. It truly is the best. Please note that it is sealed with paraffin wax, so the seal will not be solid on the jar…this is normal. It truly is and old fashioned jam!  

Honey: This honey is spectacular on toast or even for baking. Add to a cup of hot tea for a great natural sweetener. If you are an allergy sufferer, this is a local honey, and local honey can help suppress your seasonal allergies.  

Herbs: Peppermint and Stevia. Which is which? Take a taste of the leaves. The one that tastes sweet will be the stevia, and the mint flavored leaf will be peppermint. You can use these herbs once or add to your garden. These will last a couple weeks max in their current container, so I highly suggest replanting them if you would like to keep them going all summer. There are countless uses for these herbs. I highly suggest a simple google search to find what you might enjoy using these for!  

There you have it, week 1 of the 2018 CSA season. I hope you enjoy this share as much as we do! Spread the word to your friends, neighbors and family that we still have shares available. Shares purchased going forward are prorated according to what week we are on. If you have questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to reach out at anytime!  

Cheers!

-Jenna

Posted 3/12/2018 3:20pm by Jenna Untiedt.

While we all might not be happy about the hour we lost this weekend, it is a sign of what’s to come. Days are getting longer. The forecast has 50 degrees in the near future. The snow is rapidly melting and soon enough, Spring will be here! With Spring arriving soon, our staff is well into planning for the upcoming season. Plants are being planted, seeds are being seeded, and soon enough you will see our greenhouses going up in parking lots near you.  

With the thought of Spring arriving, the thought of staffing our garden centers comes to mind. It is that time of year where we are ready to begin adding to our talented teams. Do you enjoy working outside? Do you like to get your hands dirty and take care of plants? Do you enjoy being part of a fast-paced environment? Well, consider joining our team for the 2018 season. 

Part-time, Full-time, evenings, weekends, we are looking for individuals to fill our teams. We have several positions available and would love to talk to you if you are interested. In addition to our garden center staff positions, we are also hiring for vegetable stand positions. More information can be found here: http://untiedtswegrowforyou.com/employment

Here are a few positions that are available for the upcoming season:  

Buffalo Garden Center: Full-Time, Part-Time  

Eden Prairie Garden Center: Full-Time, Part-Time  

Maple Grove Garden Center: Full-Time, Part-Time  

Minnetonka Garden Center: Full-Time, Part-Time  

Montrose Garden Center: Full-Time, Part-Time. This location is open from the beginning of May through mid-June.  

Waconia Garden Center: Full-Time, Part-Time. This location is open from the beginning of May through mid-June.  

Vegetable Stand Locations: Maple Lake, Plymouth, Wayzata, Minneapolis, Mound, Eagan, Richfield  

We are looking forward to meeting with interested applicants in the coming weeks. Spread the word and we hope to have you on our team this coming Spring/Summer! 

Posted 10/24/2017 11:14am by Jenna Untiedt.

With the blustery weather outside, we can definitely feel fall in the air. The trees are losing leaves faster than we can rake them and our eyes are all glued to the forecast for the upcoming weekend. We aren't ready for the first snowflakes quite yet. Lots of work to be done as we continue to wrap up our season, and snow only makes it that much harder. 

As we near our last weekend of retail operations at all of our garden centers, we want to encourage all of you to stop in and stock up on pie pumpkins, squash and apples for the winter! Grab a jar or two of honey and maple syrup so you can have those summer tastes when you think you can't handle Mother Nature and her brutal temperatures this winter. 

Are you new to storing squash? Here are some helpful hints. We are big fans of taking an afternoon or two and freezing a few varieties of squash to enjoy all winter long. Squash adds great variety to your winter vegetable options. Throughout the winter we like to pull out bags of frozen squash and use as a side dish to dinner. Another great option is squash soup. It is easy to make and is always so flavorful, give it a try. Here is one of our favorite recipes

Pie pumpkins can be used all winter as well! You can make your own pumpkin puree for Thanksgiving pies as well as pumpkin bars. Here is our favorite pumpkin bar recipe for you to try.

Thinking of stocking up on apples? Honeycrisps will keep for quite a while. Haralsons will keep even longer! Haralsons make great apple pies and apple crisp. Snowsweets, Keepsakes, and Firesides all add great flavor to apple sauce. Homemade applesauce is definitely a treat, try some out and let us know what you think.

As Halloween approaches, share your pictures of carved pumpkins! We love to see everyone's creations. Use the #untiedts or tag us in any of your social media posts, we can't wait to see what you all come up with! 

Enjoy the last few days of October and make sure to visit our garden centers before we wrap up our season. Thanks to all of you who have visited us on a regular basis. We couldn't do what we do without the wonderful support of our great customers. Happy Fall! 

Posted 10/10/2017 7:39am by Jenna Untiedt.

As the 2017 CSA season comes to an end, id like to take a little bit of time to recap the season. This is my 5th season running our CSA program and our 7th CSA season in total. By far, this was the most challenging season for me. As I try to figure out how to improve the program, I think it is important to look back at the season and see what took place.

In all honesty, I think the state of the world has put pressure on each and every one of us. There are so many extremes taking place in the world, that I truly believe it is having an affect on all of us. I have worked with customers my entire life, and I can honestly say that 2017 was the most challenging I have ever had. By no means am I calling anyone out on this, because I am probably just as guilty as a consumer, but I truly think we can do better. In a world that has a lot of complex issues going on at the same time, I think it is a time to come together as communities and build each other up instead of tear each other down. 

As a business, we are facing extreme labor shortages that have caused us to close down over 25% of our retail locations this season. We left more crops in the field this year than any other season because we simply can not afford to harvest everything. As a grower, we are working at the state level to combat some of the labor issues, but we are entering year 3 at the legislature and in all honesty we are tired and these are costly battles we continue to fight. We will not give up as we are working with a group of about 25 growers who are also experiencing the same issues. Minnesota lost two large fresh produce producers last season and we are on the verge of losing many more if the state won't listen. We believe there is a need and want for locally grown produce, but some farmers are beginning to think otherwise. If we continue to lose growers, soon we will become totally dependent on produce coming from other states or even over seas. We will keep you updated throughout the winter on our progress. 

Farming is still very unpredictable. We build out many different variations of what each CSA box will look like based on our planting schedules, but at the end of the day we truly have no control. This is still a lesson we are teaching many consumers. In addition to this, we never try to send bad produce. Occasionally, something may slip through when packing the shares, but we never purposefully send bad produce. This was a common theme this season. If members were unhappy, very few communicated until it had escalated to the point of anger. We have always asked members to let us know if something is not up to their standard and we would replace it no questions asked. Please remember we guarantee everything, we just need to know about it in order to fix it. We can't operate without happy customers, so we do our very best to fix any issues we have. 

Have you watched the news lately where they talk about the trend of 'Ugly Produce?' I am still trying to understand this as a grower because if our produce isn't perfect, it is often rejected. As we try to feed the population with locally grown produce, not everything is going to be photo shoot perfection, but it still has great flavor. As Americans, we have access to the most food, but yet we waste the most food too. While I wish everything was 100% perfect all the time, I encourage everyone to try using all their produce. What I mean by that is if something has a spot on it, you can still use it! Tomatoes are a prime example.....if the tomato develops a black spot which is very common at this time of year, it is still edible. Simply cut around the spot and eat the rest of the tomato. If you let something sit too long in the fridge such as zucchini, I encourage you to slice it up and throw it into soup. As someone who grew up on a farm, we very rarely ate the #1 produce that we send to customers or our stores. Rather, we ate the #2s which often end up in the compost piles. Everything still has great flavor, but just might not be as pretty. At the end of the day, it costs the exact same to produce a #1 product as it does a #2. 

Farm tours continue to be very popular. We added several dates this season to accommodate as many people as possible. Throughout the month of July we saw over 1000 people at the farm. While the tours happen at our busiest time of the season, we truly believe they are important. So many individuals are so far removed from where their food comes from that we feel the need to educate as many people as possible. Farming is very much a science that is continually changing. We are continuously changing how we grow crops each season in order to grow the highest quality produce we can for all of our customers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to come visit the farm during the tour weekends. 

We are truly thankful for each and every one of you. Without you, we would not be able to do what we do. Our entire team has great pride in everything we do and we give it 100% all the time. With that being said, we have launched our 2018 CSA program. By signing up early, you allow us to continue to expand our high tunnels, work to combat our labor issues, and plan for next season. Thank you all for letting us grow for you! 

Posted 10/10/2017 6:46am by Jenna Untiedt.

This day is always a little bittersweet. On one hand, I am extremely happy that I can go to my own house on Monday nights instead of staying at the farm and starting at 2:30 on Tuesday mornings. On the other hand, the end of the CSA season means that within a couple weeks, most of our employees will be going home until next spring and our office becomes quite quiet. Plans are already being made for next season and we begin working towards them even before there is a complete wrap of this season. Never a dull moment here on the farm!

Anyways, let's get down to what to do with ALL the produce in your shares this week. 

Squash: Buttercup and Acorn squash are great for freezing. Simply bake, let cool and then scoop into freezer containers. These are great to pull our in the cold winter months. I encourage you all to maybe try freezing a couple other varieties as well so you can enjoy squash all winter long!

Spaghetti Squash: Instead of ending up in the emergency room needing stitches, bake your spaghetti squash whole. Once soft, then cut it in half to remove the seeds. You can use this squash in replace of spaghetti noodles and it adds great texture and flavor. If you are feeling adventurous, try making the spaghetti squash into a hotdish!

Brussels Sprouts: I ate these for dinner last night and they were amazing! I like to shred into smaller pieces and saute with a bit of bacon and olive oil and top with a bit of parmesan cheese. They are also great boiled or roasted. Try adding in some sliced shallots for a nice added flavor. 

Fingerling Potatoes: Yum! So, last night I sliced these potatoes and tossed in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. I roasted at 400 degrees until they were crispy. They were delicious! If you like crispy potatoes, give these a try! If crispy potatoes aren't your thing, try boiling or baking.

Carrots: These are great to roast on a cool evening like today! Drizzle with a bit of honey and you have a great treat to go along with any meal. 

Beets: The final batch of roasting beets are here. Roast and set aside for salads throughout the week. Remember, these can store for quite a while in the fridge, just make sure to put them in a container so they don't get too dehydrated. 

Apples: Maybe it is time for apple crisp! Or, apple sauce. Or, just continue eating them as a snack. Enjoy the Minnesota Grown Honeycrisp and make sure to look for Minnesota Grown apples in the stores as they have much more flavor than the others grown in Washington or other parts of the country....in my humble opinion at least. 

Fennel: With the cool temps, it is a great time to get back in the kitchen. Try adding diced up fennel with a pork tenderloin to get extra great flavor. Otherwise, add to some diced up potatoes. 

Swiss Chard: One last dose of summer! Enjoy the greens while you can. If chard isn't your favorite, add a bit of bacon to it to reduce the green flavor. 

Napa Cabbage: Definitely enough here to make one last summer stir fry in addition to some great cabbage rolls. While the cool temps set in, try to be a bit creative in the kitchen and enjoy these last remembrances of summer. 

Tomatoes: Please note that these will not last long. If they start to get spots, just cut around them. Enjoy in salads or sandwiches! Savor the taste of Minnesota tomatoes, because this is the end until next summer. 

Grape Tomatoes: Snack time favorites are back again. The shelf life is getting a bit shorter on these, so enjoy within the first few days of receiving them. 

Honey/Syrup/Jam: Our tradition continues....enjoy these tasty treats all winter long! If you need to stock up, you can find the honey and syrup at all of our garden centers until Halloween. Enjoy!

There you have it, the final share of 2017. We thank you all for being loyal CSA members. The shares are extra full today, so be careful as you bring them to your cars. Also, make sure to unpack them as soon as you get home. Lastly, as a CSA member I would like to ask you to take our annual survey. This really helps us to prepare for next season! There will be a follow up to this blog with my thoughts on the entire season, so stay tuned later today. 

We hope to see you back next season!

Posted 10/3/2017 3:49am by Jenna Untiedt.

As I right this shortly before 4am this morning, I am sitting in the office listening to the down pours of rain and giant claps of thunder. It has truly been months if not longer since I have heard rain like this. The rain definitely doesn't help us at this point, in fact, it makes it much sloppier as we try to get pumpkins and other produce out of the field. The rain also makes me think of the two bedroom windows I left open at my own house yesterday morning before I left.....whoops! 

Alright, let's break down the share this week. The temperatures are cool again so the thought of cooking is actually appealing once again. I love fall so much because there is so much you can do with everything in the share this week. Let's begin. 

Lettuce: Perfect for salads. Tuesday nights are always salad nights at my house if there is lettuce in the CSA. They are easy and delicious. Have you noticed how much longer fresh lettuce lasts? If you store it properly, you should get close to 3 weeks out of it, that is, if you don't eat it all right away. My other favorite thing to do with the lettuce right now is to make some egg salad and put it on top of a giant bed of lettuce. Technically, it is probably still a salad, but it definitely isn't as salad-y (is that even a word?). 

Cauliflower: I really just enjoy roasted cauliflower. I will roast the enter head with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. But, I think im going to try something new this week. Everyone I know is talking about Buffalo Cauliflower. I included a link in the newsletter, but here is another one. These look amazing and will definitely be on the menu one night this week. 

Grape Tomatoes: These go great on top of that salad you might have or just as an afternoon snack. Enjoy them while you can!

Kohlrabi: Yes, kohlrabi! Because there isn't a lot of it in the share this week, I would recommend roasting it with your potatoes. It makes the potatoes go longer, and if you have kids who tell you they won't eat it, they likely won't know the difference. If you want to enjoy it on it's own, you can make a quick kohlrabi slaw for a quick side dish or afternoon snack. 

Chub Cukes: These will definitely be added to my salad tonight as well. I try to ration them out though, so ill eat one tonight and the rest will be divided up into two sandwich bags so I can grab them for snacks. I am going to miss the days when I have to buy them at the store again....the flavor just isn't the same. 

Apples: Honeycrisp this week! Im not really sure I need to give you ideas on what to do with these, but they can store in your fridge for a while if you know you can't get to them all this week. If you are thinking you'd like to have a warm breakfast, try mixing a couple apples into some overnight crockpot oats

Green Peppers: I've definitely learned to love peppers on my salads. Otherwise, you can dice the peppers and add them to eggs, stir fry, or use them in a great hash with the sweet potato. 

Sweet Potatoes: Baked, boiled, roasted, or made into a hash, these are wonderful. Sweet potato hash is one of my favorite foods ever. I like to roast the potatoes with olive oil then add them with some sauteed onions, peppers, and anything else in my fridge that needs to be used up like mushrooms or kale. Then you can add a protein of choice and top with an egg......this is a perfect Saturday morning breakfast. 

Butternut Squash: The squash this week are huge! Don't let the size intimidate you though, these are so easy to bake and then enjoy leftovers for a few days or you can freeze the leftovers. Freezing squash is easy and makes for some great side dishes for the late fall or throughout the winter. 

Leeks: Maybe a batch of potato leek soup is in the future? Otherwise, add these to any dish that calls for onions. These also make great toppings for burgers or steaks. 

Potatoes: With the cooler temps, mashed potatoes sound like a great option. Otherwise, diced and roasted these potatoes are wonderful. 

There you have it, week 16s share. Hopefully you find some helpful hints here and can make it through the share this week. Remember, if you can't get to it all, squash will store for up to 2 months, the apples will last a while in the refrigerator, potatoes will store too. Just make sure you properly store your veggies and you can be enjoying this share for weeks to come. Have a great week everyone and remember to be kind to one another. 

Posted 9/26/2017 3:23am by Jenna Untiedt.

From one extreme to another here in the great state of Minnesota. 95 degrees over the weekend to highs in the low 60s if we are lucky. While we are getting our last taste of summer, it is nice to have a few days of cooler temps again to recover from the heat. It is funny to think that I ran my air conditioner more during the month of September than I did August. Weather is a funny thing. 

Many of you have emailed asking when the final share of the season is. We have two weeks remaining after the delivery today, which puts us at October 10th. We have many things to enjoy over these next few boxes, and with the weather cooperating, it will be a great time to be in the kitchen to cook. 

Let's take a look at the shares this week:

Sweet Corn: White and Yellow varieties again this week. Enjoy them now because they are the finale of both varieties. One last summer meal is a great idea to use up this corn. Hamburgers on the grill, slices of tomatoes, and sweet corn. If you can't make it through the corn this week, simply boil and then slice off the cob. Throw in a freezer bag and use in soups and chili this winter. Don't let it go to waste as we all know the quality of sweet corn in the stores goes way down after the Minnesota season is over. 

Tomatoes: The theme of the last few shares is: Enjoy them while you can! The same thing goes for the tomatoes. Enjoy slices on a burger or sandwich or dice into a salad. The flavor is still phenomenal and you won't want to let them go to waste. 

SweeTango Apples: A full bag of apples for you to enjoy. If you have a build up in your fridge you could make crisp, otherwise keep taking them for your afternoon snack. They are a wonderful, healthy treat. 

Cauliflower: It's purple! Roasted is my favorite way to consume cauliflower and this is no different. Toss in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt, roast at 425 for about 25 minutes and you have a great side to any meal. This variety will remain purple when you cook it which is pretty awesome. Lastly, because we had the surge in temperatures last weekend, there may be a few small brown spots on the cauliflower heads, but it is still completely edible-the heat more or less affects the appearance and not the taste. 

Acorn Squash: Squash season is here! If you aren't quite ready for squash season, these will definitely store. You can keep them on your counter for a few weeks without worrying they will go bad. Enjoy baked or roasted, the taste will definitely make you feel like fall is here to stay. 

Chub Cukes: It is kind of crazy to think we are at the end of September and still have chub cukes left to harvest. A great snack or salad topper this week. Enjoy them while you can because the end is near and then we return to store bought baby cucumbers which definitely have a different taste than these. 

Sugar Cube Melon: Finally! If you could only hear the discussions in the office on the crop failure of the first few plantings, you would understand why we are so excited this planting worked out. We win some and we lose some, these were definitely a challenge this season. Store in your refrigerator. Eat plain, or my favorite breakfast treat is to cut in half and fill the middle with cottage cheese. Some people even eat them with ice cream, all are great options!

Mini Bell Peppers: A handful for you to all enjoy this week. Whether it is in stir fry, raw as an afternoon snack, or mixed in with your morning eggs, they may be little, but they add a lot of flavor! 

There you have it, week number 15. A variety of seasons all coming together in one share. Hopefully everyone can enjoy some time in the kitchen this week. These last few shares have had some items that were ok to let rest such as potatoes, so maybe now is the time to make some potato chowder or another type of soup. Have a great week and enjoy the cooler temps!