Although we have a huge blanket of snow from last week’s blizzard, we are ramping up to begin the growing season anew in just a few more weeks. We have less than 10 CSA spots available for pick up at the farm. The Metro sites sold out earlier this month. If you are in the Hutchinson area, now is a great time to sign up or let your friends know that would like to reserve a share. We expect to have more demand than shares, especially once the weather starts to moderate and people start to think SPRING!
You can sign up on-line now and either pay on-line through Dwolla (similar to PayPal) or you can sign up and choose to mail us a regular check. Sign up is HERE
We are looking forward to Spring, and another great season of fresh, organic vegetables. Thanks to all that have joined up so far, and we look forward to meeting a few new members this year as well!
Laura, Adam, & Eli
Carrot Cinnamon Waffles
Adapted from Boston Magazine. It was passed along to us from our friends at Prairie Drifter Farm in Litchfield, MN. It’s a delicious flavor with the cinnamon and cloves, especially topped with butter or yogurt and maple syrup. You could also substitute beets for a bright color.
1-1/2 C flour (we used all whole wheat flour with good results)
3-4 Tbsp. sugar (white and/or brown)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cloves
1-1/4 cup milk or non-dairy alternative
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter/margarine, melted
1-1/2 c. grated carrots
Preheat a waffle iron to medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray if needed. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars,
baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and
butter. Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Stir in carrots. Cook
according to your waffle iron’s directions.
Photos of each week’s 2013 CSA boxes below starting with Week One:
Week 1 CSA: Baby bok choi, Hakurei Salad turnips, radishes, oregano bunch, dried black beans, baby spinach, salad mix, baby arugula, scallions, basil plant
Week 2 CSA: Cilantro, purple kohlrabi, hakurei salad turnips, scallions, salad mix or spinach, strawberries, broccoli, kale, baby bok choi, garlic scapes, red butter lettuce
Week 3 CSA: Garlic Scapes, Cilantro, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Kohlrabi, Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash, Yellow Summer Squash, Strawberries, Broccoli, Red Romaine Lettuce, Salad Mix, Sugar snap peas, baby bok choi
Week 4 CSA: Broccoli, Fennel, Garlic Scapes, Zucchini and Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Strawberries, Napa Cabbage, Basil, Dill, Head Lettuce
Week 5 CSA: Summercrisp Head Lettuce, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, parsley bunch, scallions, green top beets, cucumbers, Dino Kale, green top carrots, zucchini and summer squash, and green beans
We had a fabulous turn out for our CSA strawberry pick on June 29th. There are two more events yet this season for our members, so we hope you can make it out to the farm!
CSA 2013 Farm Events
Baby Spud Harvest, Saturday, July 20 : 1-3:00 p.m.Our first crop of baby new potatoes will just be coming in—help us bring in the harvest for our CSA! Digging up the baby spuds is a great event for all-ages and we’ll send you home with a few pounds of your own freshly dug potatoes. Stop by the Riversong Music Festival in Hutchinson after the dig! No dogs please.
Fall Harvest Festival, Sunday, September 22rd: 1-3:00 p.m.We will search for all the little pie pumpkins (and a few big ones too) in our CSA pumpkin patch and send you home with pumpkins to eat, carve or set on the front stoop. There will be a wagon ride around the farm, apple cider, and more. Come celebrate the beginnings of fall and pumpkin season on the farm! Sorry, no pooches please. Friends and family welcome.
Hope you all have had an enjoyable and cozy winter, and are getting excited for fresh vegetables! We had a good winter and spent a lot of time planning for this season, attending farming conferences, and playing in the snow with our 1 year old Eli. Between Adam and I, we gave nine workshops in the past two months at regional farming conferences and for farm training programs. That’s a lot of powerpoints! We talked about everything from csa farm financials to electric tractor conversions to growing good broccoli. We relish our time at these conferences to re-connect with our fellow farmers, learn new things (always new things to learn!), and help educate beginning farmers.
One of things we are most excited about this season is adding 7,500 Honeybees to our farm! Laura just took a U of MN beginning beekeeping course and we will add one hive to our farm this year. The bees are crucial for helping us to pollinate many of our crops, and we hope to provide a good home with good habitat for them. In a hive’s first year, a beekeeper typically leaves all of the honey for the bees to get through the winter. By year two though, we should garner 75-150 pounds of honey that we can harvest. We hope to offer an add-on honey share to our members next season! And if you make a visit out to the farm this year, we’d love to show you the hives and talk more about these amazing creatures.
Although it may look and feel like winter still, the first veggie seeds hit the soil in the greenhouse this week. Our goal is to get those first onions, leeks, lettuces, and broccoli family seedlings transplanted out in the ground by late April. This snow will be nice to add to our soil moisture this Spring, but I’m ready for it to start melting. Bring on the sunshine and warmth!
I think the skies have shut off for at least a couple of days. In the past week, we have received over 6 inches of rain. We actually stopped keeping track after we reached the 5 inch total on Monday night, but rain continued on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fields are obviously saturated and we have done our best to stay out of them except when we need to get in and harvest. Wind and sun now are much appreciated to help dry things out. When it comes to weather, there is usually always someone worse off than you. Friends in the Northfield Area and Duluth Area are definitely in our thoughts as they battle floods and several month’s worth of rainfall falling within a few days. There is a lot we can do about drought, pests, weeds, but when it rains buckets and buckets for days on end, there is little that we can do to help protect our crops. Plant’s roots need oxygen in the soil and standing water and super saturated conditions forces that oxygen out, causing plants to stop growing and sometimes dying. The intense rainfall also leaches nutrients and compacts the soil–also a big detriment to plant’s continued growth. Let’s hope that the weather pattern is shifting a bit now and we are out of the June-soon! Keep the flooded out farmers and residents in your thoughts and prayers. Climate change and its impacts on our food system should be a national conversation. It’s time to get the ball rolling on this issue. We can’t afford to wait any longer.
A few photos from the last week on the farm. We are getting an amazing amount of work done since our 3 employees joined us last Monday. Adam and co. will begin the hoop house construction tomorrow, drilling over 80 holes with an auger for the hoop house posts. In the late afternoon, we will try to slip in some transplants, if the soil has dried out enough. And Friday is the first harvest for market. Saturday, Laura makes the trek into Minneapolis for the first Mill City Farmers Market! And it is all a blur from here on out until we get through the first CSA delivery in mid-June and heave a sigh of relief. The intense sunny, bright energy of early Spring and summer, the 15+ hours of photosynthesis happening all around us and getting to taste the pleasures of those green greens all help us to keep on keeping on despite myriads of projects and juggling an 8-month old before Grandma is here to help in June. It is such a thrill to be on the cusp of summer though and we remind ourselves to savor it as we work outside on these glorious days.
And a few photos…Hay wagons filled with seedlings waiting to be transplanted after the rainclouds pass.
Garlic growing up and up and up!
Edible Flower Packs up-potted for our farmers market. Contains nasturtium, gem marigold, pansy and viola. Cute!!
Just an update on 2012 shares. All the Twin Cities pick-up locations are sold out and there are about EIGHT spots available yet for pick-up at the farm in Hutchinson. We expect to fill these within the next month or couple weeks, so do contact us if you’d like to sign up. Thanks to all of our returning and new members for signing up with us this year! We’re looking forward to fresh vegetables soon!!!
Our new hoophouse (144 feet long and 32 feet wide) will be delivered this week and we will immediately start work on getting that up. I just up-potted the tomatoes in the greenhouse that will be transplanted into our new tunnel. Adam has gotten into most all of our fields to work out the first batch of weeds, plant oat and pea cover crops, and spread all our compost. Record earliness for us! We will do some seeding in the next few days in hopes of catching a passing rain shower. The high winds have really dried out the soil so rain would be excellent! We’re not jazzed about having to set up irrigation in early April, but we have the means to do it if necessary. For that we are grateful. Hard to tell at this point in the game, but it feels like this summer could continue on with the drought pattern started last fall.
Countless times a day I am reminding myself that it is only March 18th, although it feels and sounds like the first week of June outdoors. VERY strange. The warmth has been wonderful for getting outside projects done and is cutting down on the greenhouse heating bills, but we wonder daily what will come after this. It appears like it will just be an early Spring and snow is unlikely from here on out, but frost will definitely nip again before summer so we are sticking to our scheduled planting dates more or less.
The red-winged blackbirds came back on Monday, March 12th, along with robins, ducks, swans, and more. The frogs started in with their peeping yesterday and that is what is really crazy to me. The frogs calls mean late spring/early summer to me…and again, reminding myself that it is March 18th.
Since all things weather dictate our life and our livelihood, we are concerned about farming in the midst of some serious climate change. Metro Mag just covered this great topic and we sound-off about the whole deal here.
Before what little snow we had melted again, we took little Eli out for his first farm sled ride. Pretty darn nice weather for late January! It doesn’t yet feel like winter has come yet though–except for that brief below zero weather in mid-January. It feels like March might be a bear of a month. More snow wouldn’t be bad. We sure do need the moisture in the soil.
We are slowly plowing through our winter farm work, spreadsheets, taxes, updating 2011 records, formulating our 2012 farm plan, ordering seeds, hiring employees, registering members, yada yada. The greenhouse work will begin in just over a month. Yikes! That puts things into perspective a bit here. The winter vacation is quickly coming to an end…and we still have a lot to get ready. CSA shares in the Metro are nearly sold out and we’ve got about 15 local spots left for farm pick-up. After last summer’s extreme weather, the very dry fall, and this unseasonably warm and dry winter, I am wary for what this season’s weather might bring, and we are preparing as best we can for the whole spectrum of weather conditions. A farm irrigation well is planned for this Spring. A very large hoop house is also on the agenda. Regardless of what the weather does here, we will sled ahead, on and on, into the longer days towards summer.