News and blog

Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 2/20/2015 3:59pm by Jerry Untiedt.

Back to winter for a while. It's a greeting I received from one of the guys moving a little snow we received last night. I thought to myself, winter in a way-but spring in another. We now have over 10 hours of daylight. The heaters rarely run during the daytime in the greenhouses on sunny days. More and more early migrating birds are arriving including more red tail hawks, sparrow hawks, horned larks, and bald eagles. I can't convey the amusement of watching the eagles flying over the mostly frozen Crow River executing their mating flights. Tumbling, falling, and grasping each other all in the name of eagle romance. 

In the greenhouses, the earthy smell of fresh earth permeates the air. Newly emerging plants and plugs are showing new leaves daily and the black earth surfaces of our pots and flats are yielding to the color green as our plants continue to grow. 

On the heated germination benches our onion, leeks, and shallots are delivering fine hairlike leaves which soon will become sturdy plants ready for a chance to continue growth in the high tunnels. Tomato plants have undergone the grafting process and healing of the "graft union" is taking place. On and on we go- faster and faster that transition from deep winter to shallow spring, all part of the growth cycle. 

I encourage you all to spend a few minutes outside each day-the changes may be subtle, but adding a few days together yields large change. Enjoy them all!

Best Regards, 

Farmer Jerry

Posted 2/12/2015 8:55am by Jerry Untiedt.

2-11-15

8pm

Our supper was delightful, consisting of a couple of hard shell tacos filled with a spicy ground turkey mix, black olives, black beans, and less than appealing California iceberg lettuce. From the table to my chair in front of a cheerful fire in the fireplace was only a few feet. The fire warmed and comforted me so well with the crackling sounds and heavy heat generated by the white oak logs that it seemed a chore to get up after 15 minutes and begin my daily evening walk. 

Slipping on my less than loose fitting parka, checking for my warm mitts and my balaclava for face protection, I ventured outside. Carefully stepping and testing the footing on the nearly 1 1/2 inches of new icy precipitation that fell yesterday, I headed first to the barn to check the cattle. Often times, I can silently walk across the yard and surprise them, but this evening the crunch, crunch, crunch of my boots on the snow gave me away. The cattle all focused on me as I approached, but refused to come to the gate and greet me. I guess the fluffed straw bedding offered them more comfort than a few of my kind words would. The steam was rising off of their warm bodies and the sweet smell of the still green summer cut hay permeated the barn. Their water troughs were open with no ice on them do to embedded heating coils in the water tanks. They had no worries and so I had none either. 

Walking southward across the farm yard before turning West, I could feel the strong Northwest wind delivering the windchill of about 18 below. I silently asked myself, do I need the balaclava tonight? I decided to try walking straight West with the wind in my face for a mile. Stinging and numbing were great adjectives to describe the feeling across my forehead. The crunching sounds of my size 12's on the icy road were nearly drowned out by the howl of the winds. I thought for a moment- no hooting of great horned owls now sitting on eggs, in their nest, in the tall Hackberry trees to the South, no coyotes howling on the river bluffs to my North, and no dashing whitetail deer that I usually surprise as they feed on last falls corn stubble and cauliflower remains. In lieu of my coveted sounds, I had to settle for one roaring sound, nearly the same as the roaring surf we've enjoyed while visiting an angry Lake Superior. 

Certainly not bored, as I had the stinging pain of the cold wind and I was engaged by the February sky. A sky clear, cold and possessing about a million stars to view. No moon tonight, just the stars and me. As I turned around at the mile marker, I put the wind to my back, let my face thaw a bit and walked East. There to my left was the Big Dipper and following the two stars on the outer edge I could locate the North Star. Up in the heavens to my right was Orion, those three bright starts of his belt glowing as I always remembered in the February sky. Further to the East, was the glow of lights from Minneapolis, where you all were taking shelter for the evening. 

As I neared home and the shelter of the yard I could not help but wonder if I had just passed the most beautiful hour of the day. Smells of the sweet hay and warm cattle to sooth my sense of smell, crunching and crackling ice and snow to soothe my hearing, and of course the feel of the biting wind on my face and body to test my sense of feeling. 

Yes, it's winter and we are in Minnesota so we need to truly live it and enjoy!

Regards, 

Farmer Jerry

Posted 2/5/2015 9:23am by Jerry Untiedt.

Here it is already the first week of February and it really feels like February with the winds and below zero cold. Gratefully, the winter seems to be totally different than last years prolonged sub-zero episodes and of course, we are gaining 1-2 minutes of daylight each and every day. In the greenhouses it is not uncommon to experience 50-60 degrees on a sunny afternoon solely based on the sunshine. In other houses, we have fired up the heaters as we are currently seeding our onions, shallots and leeks. 

Outside we are preparing our pruning program for the orchard, which is going to be extensive this spring due to the hail damage which fractured many limbs during the storm last September 3rd. We are also marking rows for a new "block" of Honeycrisp apple trees which we will be planting in April while removing a "block" of trees of another variety. 

Outside, the chickadees are singing their Phoebe Phoebe songs, the male cardinals vocalizing more and more, a few bald eagles are beginning to return southerly areas and the sparrow and red-tail hawks are again hunting our fields in search of moles, voles, and field mice.

Yes, it's cold outside, but the Spring she is a coming..... 

 

Posted 1/28/2015 1:39pm by Jerry Untiedt.

It seems that everywhere we go this time of year we need to respond to the questions, "What do you guys do all winter? and Do you go to someplace warm with all of that time off?"

Now for the 'real truth,' we no longer have much time off due to the fact that there are so many things that need to be done. For instance, we are now and have been for the last two weeks, engaged in recovering acres and acres of plastic greenhouse coverings that were all destroyed during the infamous September 3rd hailstorm that so cruelly punished our crops and structures. Hopefully, we'll have this project wrapped up in the next 10 days or so. 

Additionally in our maintenance shop we are extremely busy repairing and servicing the long list of tractors, planters, soil working equipment, and more, as well as configuring new equipment types that we so often invent for special projects on the farm- be the planting, harvesting, training or sorting. 

In another area, our office staff spends substantial time checking on seed availability, new government regulations and permits, updating CSA materials, and attending educational courses as they appear. 

Finally, if there is a finality, which there very seldom is, we are beginning seeding- especially tomatoes where we will need thousands of seedlings shortly to begin the grafting process which has helped our farm produce those wonderfully red and sweet tomatoes which would taste so good right now!

On this same note, so many of you have asked for us to again put a regular blog formatted as an information tool on our site. We plan to implement this "News Blog" weekly and would delight in addressing any subjects you have a particular interest in. 

Good Winter Resting to you All, 

Farmer Jerry

Posted 9/30/2014 7:18pm by Jenna Untiedt.
September 30, 2014
A Weekly Update from Farmer Jerry: 
 
As I write this short note Tuesday morning, the weather change is in the air. Brisk winds have moved to the SE, signaling rain, and the temperatures have fallen away from those of our summer like weekend. The coming winter continues to battle the end of summer with fall like conditions. We all know just how this battle will end, just as it has for eons of time. Soft green carpets of grass give way to soft white blankets of sparkling white sow. Our challenge is to enjoy all of these conditions- the great weather transition from summer to winter.
 
On the farm, we are still harvesting remnants of summer in the form of beans, zucchinis, and chub cucumbers. In our spare moments we excavate our raised beds of soil which hold some of our summers late treasures in the form of sweet potatoes. Often times, I am amazed at our abilities to bring forth yields of crops so foreign to Minnesota soils. You'll all have a chance to sample these "nutritionally perfect" treasures in this and next weeks share. We also continue our harvests of many squash varieties, beets, and carrots. Pumpkins will be the next and last before the Great Fall Cleanup begins. All of this harvest is being thankfully received after enduring the most challenging season of 2014. We as a group are so thankful for all of your support.  
The shares this week include:
Lettuce Mix:
Salanova lettuce with Romaine lettuce offers a nice change with sweetness returning to the leaves. 

 

Beans:
Again, a sampling of yellow wax beans. Steamed, creamed, or boiled we all enjoy them. 
 
Leeks:
Just in time for those fall soups, which leeks lend themselves to. In fact, last evening I immensely enjoy fresh leek and potato soup courtesy of my daughter Jenna. I have to say it was just plain wonderful!
 
Onions:
Epicurean again and still as sweet or sweeter than when we harvested and began the curing process. Keep in a cool dry place to save for later use. 
 
Zucchini:
A strange harvest indeed when we have the pleasure of 'cutting' summer squashes in the fall. Please enjoy them. 
 
Chub Cukes:
A few for you all to garnish those salads and just for a small snack. They really detest cool weather so this may be the end for 2014. 
 
Sweet Potatoes:
It isn't every season that we can successfully grow this crop on our farm. For some reason, this year they look and taste wonderful and we'll try to send them again next week!
 
Salsa Mix:
A little "heat" might be in the recipe for our fall salsa mix. Caution is advised as the pepper, either Habanero or Ghost, are very spicy- so be careful as you might only need 1/4 of a pepper. Let the San Marzano Roma tomatoes ripen a day or two on your counter before using. 
 
Carnival Squash:
A sweeter and certainly prettier variety of acorn squash. Bake them in the oven and serve with butter, salt and pepper or perhaps a little brown cane sugar. 
 
Buttercup Squash:
Mild, sweet, moist and tender this variety is one of the favorites. Just like pumpkins, the seeds can be saved and roasted. 
Hopefully, the share for this week will provide you all with a source of hearty and healthy sustenance for the coming week. 

As you all know, next week is scheduled to be the last week of the CSA season from Untiedt's. After scouting the remaining crops on the farm and sharing the disappointment of losing most of the apple season due to a hailstorm, we would like to add one more week, Tuesday, October 14 to your share dates. We so much enjoy your support in the form of emails, letters, visits, and calls that we feel this is the least we can do for our SUPERB shareholders. Please accept and enjoy a week #18 at no charge on us.  

So many things to be thankful for-  

Farmer Jerry and Crew
Seasonal Recipes
Seasonal Salsa Recipe
Use all ingredients from the salsa mix bag
Use Caution as the pepper is EXTREMELY HOT!
 
Ingredients:
  • Tomatillos, husked and quartered

  • Onions

  • Hot Pepper (Caution: EXTREMELY HOT!)

  • 3-4 Roma Tomatoes

  • Minced Garlic Optional

  • Dash of Salt

Directions:
 
Boil or roast tomatillos, onions, tomatoes and pepper.
 
Once soft, place everything in the blender with a dash of water. Blend together.
Posted 7/29/2014 10:19am by Jenna Untiedt.

 

July 29, 2014
A Weekly Update from Farmer Jerry: 
 
It's almost August 1st and it feels like early June. This is the most wonderful weather for people, but a little hard on plants. Normally, we'd be experiencing an August heat wave, but tis season its been cool and much wetter than normal. These conditions seem more like the Maritime Climate of England than the Midwest of the USA. Consequently, a crop maturation is lagging, tomatoes ripening slowly and our raspberries have gone on stroke refusing to ripen at a normal pace. The sweet corn is almost 3 weeks later than normal as are many other of our crops. Thankfully our tunnels are providing some additional "passive solar" heat to keep some crops moving along and our shares remain full. 
 
On behalf of our team, I would like to thank all of you who took time from your busy lifestyles to visit us during our tour season. It was so inspiring to listen to you, to learn from you, to share farm experiences with your children, and present to you our farming operation. Many, many thanks to you all. 
The shares this week include:
Sweet Corn:
Yes, we got it done. It's ripe, sweet, and our favorite variety-a sweet yellow old fashioned corn that offers wonders to your palate. Please enjoy. 

 

Raspberries:
Our plan was to use the cool weather to offer a high quality harvest for your share. Unfortunately, Mother Nature intervened and the berries stayed unripe, causing a shortage which we have filled with grape tomatoes. Great flavor in either case- just not our plan. Some shares will have raspberries, which the others will have grape tomatoes, please understand. 
 
Onions:
Yes, the Epicureans continue- flavor, texture, sweetness and memories. Yes, memories of you all on the tour pulling and harvesting these tasty treats from the tunnels. 
 
Beans:
Freshly harvested Green Beans are again here for your liking. They are young, tender, and the peak of the seasons harvest. 
 
Tomatillos:
Green salsa here we come. Offered to open new consumption horizons, these are young, sweet, and ready to experiment with. Truly, give them a try and enjoy!
 
Chub Cukes:
Your response has been overwhelmingly favorable with these baby cukes. Enjoy them raw as our plants are getting tired and the new crop is 40 days away. 
 
Tomatoes:
Slicers are included again. They are a little orange colored due to 50 degree nights. Place them on your counter for a couple of days until they are deep, dark red.  
 
Jalapeno Peppers:
Just a few for that green salsa or to spice up your eating lives a bit. The first of the season with the ability to add a little heat to a cool season. 
 
Green Bell Pepper:
Mild, sweet, crispy and crunchy- everything that store bought peppers are not. Eat them raw, place them in salads or cook with them. 
 
Zucchini:
Our most versatile vegetable is still here. In two colors it offers so many consumption options. 
 
Cabbage:
Tierra is the variety. Really a spring cabbage, but who knows, maybe it's still spring. Remove the outer leaves, wash the sand and grit off and use in slaws, sandwiches, or shred for burgers. 
 
Eggplant:
Japanese eggplant, a different but delightful entree. We'll be into regular teardrop shaped eggplant in a week or two, but this variety will get you going. 
 
Hopefully the above summarizes adequately the share breakdown for the week. It really fills the box and was so satisfying for us to produce. We hope you do enjoy this share and we will strive to continue "growing for you."

Best Regards, 
Farmers Jerry and Crew
Seasonal Recipes
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
 
Ingredients:
1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
2 cups water
 
Directions: 
  1. Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeno into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.
Posted 7/29/2014 10:18am by Jenna Untiedt.
July 22, 2014
A Weekly Update from Farmer Jerry: 
 
For a day for two perhaps summer has arrived. Monday we managed to squeak out a 92 degree reading which really helped the crops move along. We will need many more of these days if we hope to salvage the growing season on the Untiedt Farm. 
 
The CSA Share Box this week contains 11 different items to fill your plates and challenge your meal prep skills. The shares breakdown as follows:
The shares this week include:
Raspberries:
Yes, they are included but to be honest, its too hot to send them. Blame me and no one else for sending them and realize there will be more weeks with cooler days to deliver them later on this season. Should they look a little weak, remember they will be just fine for a yogurt topping, a cereal compliment or with a little half and half or on ice cream. They were ripe and ready and I just can't waste them. 
 
Onions:
Yes, another Epicurean- top those burgers, sate them into eggs, or put them into salads. 
 
Peas:
We have included a mixture of sugar snap and snow peas. The snow peas are the flat pod and are excellent in stir-fries or in salads. The sugar snaps actually have the peas within the pods- pull the string off and shell, put in stir fry, steam, boil, or eat raw! 
 
Beans:
Another mixture with a few yellow wax beans and more green beans. The first offering of beans for the season will hopefully be followed with many more, but these first ones always have the best flavor. 
 
Zucchini:
Perfect for the grill and perfect for our diet in this heat. Low calories and plenty of vitamins. 
 
Chub Cukes:
Perfect for hot weather eating in salads, sliced in vinegar, juiced, or served just about anyway!
 
Tomatoes:
Red and ripe, our plants have been struggling to ripen their fruit with this cool summer. Hopefully today we have an extra or two in the share box. 
 
Kale:
We have lost so much of our kale crop to the high water, but have managed to salvage a little. Fall looks better as we have much more kale coming in our replanted fields.  
 
Herb of the week: Chives:
The herb of the week is chives. Don't be afraid to clip off what you need to add to your potatoes or salads this week. It grows very rapidly and is a perennial should you desire to overwinter these plants in your garden. 
 
Potatoes:
Freshly dug yesterday, these "spuds" are sweet and tasty- not so starchy like those winter storage potatoes. Baked, boiled or grilled, they offer many possibilities. 
 
Turnips:
These roots along with their green tops are very enjoyable. The latter part of this week again looks cooler and should provide some wonderful kitchen time for turnips and turnip greens. 
 
This summarizes the share for this week. We hope you enjoy the contents and the variety. Looking forwards, the Day Neutral Strawberries will soon be back, the cantaloupe and honeydews continue to size up, and watermelon will happen even with this cool summer. The apple crop looks favorable with no hail in the orchard so far this season. We will keep growing for you and sincerely appreciate your support. 

Best Regards, 

Farmer Jerry and Crew
Seasonal Recipes
Jenna's Favorite Green Beans with Thai Peanut Sauce
 
Ingredients:
1 bunch of fresh beans
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon coconut oil, sesame oil, or olive oil
2 tablespoons Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos
 
Directions: 
Saute beans in pan with your choice of oil and garlic, topped with a little salt. I enjoy my beans a bit on the crunchy side, so I saute them for about 5-7 minutes before adding the mixture of nut butter and soy sauce or aminos. Mix in the liquids, cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve hot with a dash of salt. Enjoy!
Posted 7/15/2014 8:26am by Jenna Untiedt.

July 15, 2014
A Weekly Update from Farmer Jerry: 
 
A good day to you all as we are preparing share #5 for delivery this morning. As I write, the breeze or wind,  is straight out of the North with a temperature of 56 degrees. It feels like the end of September, but as long as it stays on the dry side we should be ok. I should mention, that we did receive another 3-4 inches of rain this past weekend adding to the wetness issues we are facing on the farm this season. 
 
Before I move on to the share description, I must add a sincere thank you to all of you who attended our tours this past week. It was a so heartwarming to visit with you, receive your support, and most of all share our farm experience with you and your families. 

The shares this week include:

Baby Red Potatoes:
Freshly dug yesterday morning and ready for the grill, the oven or boiled- there is just nothing like these potatoes for a healthy addition to your meals. 
 
Lettuce:
Please wash and rinse carefully as the driving rain storms of the past weekend drove some sand into the leaves adding undesirable crunch if we are not careful. 

 

Chub Cucumbers:
These are ready and waiting to be included in the cuke salad recipe Jenna is including today. So many of you on the tour this weekend ask for this we just had to do it. Do enjoy!
 
Slicing Tomatoes:
Red and nearly ready to eat, these prizes of our garden are included for your enjoyment. Let them set on your counter for a couple of days to become fully ripe before serving.  
 
Turnips:
Just in time for a cold spell. I hope you'll enjoy these first of the season root veggies served like mashed potatoes they should harmonize with our cool weather. 
 
Grape Tomatoes:
Included again and almost ready to snack on or include in your salads. Please give them a couple of days on your counter to fully ripen. I must add that this cooler weather has slowed ripening in our tomato crop to a near "standstill"- but this will change as summer advances. 
 
Zucchini:
The special extra fancy size lends itself to just about all styles of cooking. from salads to broiling to frying to steaming- the healthy eating is endless. 
 
Slicing Cuke:
We've added a slicing cuke from our trellised cruke crop. They are long and dark in color and have never touched the ground. Great for salads, sliced in vinegar, or whatever a recipe demands. 
 
Onions:
The first of the season from our "Epicurean Delight" onion selection. These onions are selected for their texture and flavor, and are in my opinion one of the best fresh onions available in Minnesota. These a re just the first of what we believe will be a fine onion harvest. 
 
Sugar Snap Peas:
These sweet sugar snaps are meant to be eaten shell and all. Just remove the stem and string along the shell and then stir-fry, steam, or boil and enjoy!

Please enjoy the share this week, already number 5. There is lots more to come in the way of share contents and we only need some nice weather to make them happen. Your continued support is so much appreciated and many thanks for letting us grow for you. 

Good growing and great eating,

Farmer Jerry and Crew
Posted 5/9/2014 2:29pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Rain, rain go away! Spring is here, which also means spring showers! While we have had lots of rain these past two weeks, we have managed to get into the fields a little bit. Tomatoes are being planted, sweet corn is in the ground, and more crops are being sewn each day. Some sunshine and warm days would be of great assistance in these coming days and weeks. 

In the meantime, all of our Garden Centers are OPEN! Buffalo, Knollwood, Maple Grove, and Minnetonka are all open. They are full of beautiful bedding plants, perennials, hanging baskets and patio pots. We are also at the Minneapolis Farmers Market seven days a week, weather dependent! Make sure to stop by this weekend and pick up something for Mom! With so many great options to choose from, you will have a hard time deciding on the perfect plants!

The first of the asparagus is being cut tomorrow morning! There won't be a lot, but what we have available will be for sale at the Minneapolis Farmers Market! Make sure to get there early to grab your first batch of locally grown asparagus. So yummy on the grill or sauteed on the stove...so many options! 

Make sure to get outside and enjoy the little bit of dry weather we are supposed to have Saturday morning! Pick up your plants, dig in the dirt and welcome spring to your home with beautiful, bright flowers!

 

Posted 4/25/2014 2:31pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Tomorrow, April 26th, marks our first weekend at the Minneapolis Farmers Market! It is always an exciting time of year. The time of year when we get to connect with our customers on a regular basis once again, as well as our part time seasonal employees! Our employees are the greatest, putting in long hours every weekend for the duration of the season. We truly appreciate our customers as well as our employees! We always hope this time of year that Mother Nature decides to shower us with sunshine, but even when that doesn't happen, we venture to market and do our best to set up in the rain. This weekend marks the first of 27 weekends at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and the Minneapolis Farmers Market Annex. 

We begin the season with beautiful bedding plants. Pansies, petunias, geraniums and so much more! The colors are so vibrant, and after the LONG winter, we all need some bright colors in our life again! All of our staff is eager to help you pick out the right plants for your yards! We have gorgeous patio pots that are perfect for the front step! Hanging baskets galore to add color anywhere!

As the season progresses, we will add locally grown fruits and vegetables. Visiting the market on a regular basis gives our visitors the opportunity to eat their way through what Minnesota has to offer! So many great fruits and vegetables to choose from throughout the season. Asparagus to sweet corn, and apples to zucchini, so many choices!

In addition to the local produce and flowers, Untiedt's runs the concession as well. Stop on by for a hot cup of coffee and warm cinnamon roll as you begin your stroll through the market, or finish your day with a brat and fresh squeezed lemonade. Other food offerings include: roasted sweet corn, mini donuts, fish tacos, fresh squeezed orange juice, espresso drinks, pastries, brats, polish sausages, footlong hot dogs, italian sausages, corn dogs, and french fries. You are sure to find something for everyone! 

We hope you all have a chance to stop by and visit us this season! No matter what the weekend, there is always fun to be had at the Minneapolis Farmers Market!