What's New at the Farm

September 17, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

Please see the Fall Potluck detailed information after the list of vegetables.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Garlic
Green beans
Kale
Leeks
Onions
Peppers
Potatoes, yellow
Squash, butternut

POSSIBILITIES

Cabbage, purple 
Eggplant
Parsley

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

Fall Potluck Information

What:     Common Harvest Fall Festival

When:     Sunday, September 23, 2018

Time:     Visiting and informal farm tours beginning at 2 p.m.

              Potluck starting at 4 p.m.

What to Bring:

1.    A dish that serves 12 to share - with a serving utensil if that’s required,

2.    Plates and eating utensils for your group, and

3.    Something to sit on if you so desire. 

Parking:  You may park in the Standing Cedars Nature Center parking lot across the road from Dan and Margaret’s driveway if there is room.  Otherwise, look for some direction as you arrive in the driveway or park along the road’s edge as there is room.

KINDLY NOTE:  PLEASE NO DOGS.

AND Common Harvest will not be recycling plastic plates or utensils so plan to take any plastics home with you for disposal.  A huge THANK YOU to those who took any plastics home with them in past years– it makes clean up after the Festival so much easier!

DIRECTIONS TO COMMON HARVEST via Interstate 35

1.    Take either 35E or 35W north as if you were headed from the Twin Cities to Duluth.

2.    Take exit 129, which is MN Hwy 97.

3.    Go east on Hwy 97 to MN Hwy 95.

4.    Turn north, left, on Hwy 95 and go to Osceola Rd which is MN Hwy 243.

5.    Turn right on Hwy 243 and cross the river at Osceola.

6.    At the stop sign in Osceola, turn right, south, on to WI Hwy 35.

7.    Go approximately 4 miles on Hwy 35 to East Farmington.

8.    In East Farmington, turn right on to 30th Ave, which is between 2 businesses and sometimes hard to see.  The businesses are Sue’s Place and Ken’s Keyboard.  Watch for them.

9.    Stay on 30th Ave. until it comes to a T with 280th.

10.  Turn left, south, on 280th.

11.  Common Harvest is on the left about 3 / 4 mile down 280th.  The big red barn and all the cars will be your signal to stop and park!

DIRECTIONS TO COMMON HARVEST via Hwy 36 through Stillwater (slightly shorter)

  1. From the Twin Cities, take Hwy 36 east to Stillwater
  2. Cross the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge into Wisconsin and follow WI Hwy 64.
  3. Take the Somerset business exit (Business 64) at County Rd VV.
  4. Follow Business 64 through downtown Somerset, across the bridge over the Apple River to a stop light where Business 64 intersects with Hwy 35.
  5. Turn north (left) at the Dairy Queen onto WI Hwy 35
  6. Drive north on Hwy 35 to East Farmington

7.    In East Farmington, turn left on to 30th Ave, which is between 2 businesses and sometimes hard to see.  The businesses are Sue’s Place and Ken’s Keyboard.  Watch for them.

8.    Stay on 30th Ave. until it comes to a T with 280th Ave.

9.    Turn left, south, on 280th.

10.  Common Harvest is on the left about 3 / 4 mile down 280th.  The big red barn and all the cars will be your signal to stop and park!

 

This week's recipes

The recipes this week are ones that Margaret found.  First, Pasta with Broccoli, Bacon and Chickpeas, from Cooking Light.  This recipe was taste tested at Common Harvest last week.  Nice mix of pasta and beans with some vegetables.  Additional vegetables were used and it was tasty.

The second recipe, Warm Kale Salad with Bacon and Hard Cooked Eggs, reminds me of wilted lettuce my mother made to add variety to the greens.  The addition of bacon and eggs gives it main dish possibilities.  Margaret found the recipe in Fine Cooking but it is adapted from Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking and is an Appalachian style salad that comes together quickly.

Bacon, of course, makes everything better J so use your frying pan to test these recipes.

Regards,

Susan

 

September 10, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

Just a reminder to make your plans for a fall trip to the stunning St. Croix River bluffs in western Wisconsin AND to the Fall Potluck at Common Harvest Farm on Sunday, September 23rd.  Self-guided farm tours and visiting start at 2 p.m.  Potluck at 4 p.m.  Details about what to bring, etc. will be in next week’s letter.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Beets
Broccoli
Garlic
Kale
Leeks
Onions, bulb and green
Peppers
Squash, butternut

POSSIBILITIES

Cabbage
Eggplant

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 

This week's recipes

The recipes this week both come from long time Common Harvest members and, as it happens, drop site coordinators.  The first, Curry Chicken in Baked Acorn Squash, comes from Julie Mohlis.  Sounds like a yummy fall recipe.  The second, Kale, Tomato, Lemon Magic One Pot Spaghetti, is from Keren Price.  She adapted the recipe just a bit, see her notes at the bottom of the recipe, but said it was good and easy.  The pan is important to this receipt so see the Chef’s Notes.   Easy, one pot, uses good veggies, tastes good – all my requirements for a favorite recipe!   THANKS Julie and Keren!

Regards,

Susan

September 3, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

There are several notes from the farm this week.

First, a SAVE THE DATE reminder about the Fall Potluck on Sunday, September 23rd.  Gathering and informal tours will start at 2 p.m.  Potluck will begin at 4 p.m.  More details to follow in the next few weeks.

Then, thanks to those of you who have helped with spreading the word about our LABOR NEEDS  We are putting some labor puzzle pieces in place, but are still in need of some help. If you have a free day or know of someone who might enjoy a day or two of creative farm labor, please let us know. We'd love to have you.

SQUASH  We have a bumper crop of Acorn and Butternut squash so you will begin seeing these signs of Autumn in your boxes beginning this week.  Enjoy!

PLANT DISEASE UPDATE  All of the heat and humidity this summer have resulted in an unusual amount of plant diseases. One of our biggest disappointments of the season has been bacterial leaf spot in our peppers. This causes the pepper plants to lose their leaves. The plants continue to set fruit but without the leaves to protect them, the peppers get sun scald and bacteria sets in. We estimate that the pepper crop is about 20% of normal. We will miss all of those beautiful red peppers in the fall. Many of the peppers we have delivered have not met our standards, but we wanted to give you a few, even with the blemishes

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Broccoli
Cabbage, green
Garlic
Green beans
Onions, bulb and bunching
Squash, acorn
Tomatoes, cherry
Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Cucumbers
Eggplant
CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

This week's recipes

The first recipe this week, Tomato Cucumber Salad with Whipped Ricotta, comes from Cooking Light as a way to celebrate late summer garden veggies.

The next two recipes, Quick Pickled Red Onion and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, from Fine Cooking were a part of the topping ideas for hosting an artisan toast bar.  Yum!  Also a way to use box veggies as they ripen before you can eat them all or just a different way to enjoy the veggie goodness.

Regards,

Susan


August 27, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

Dan and Margaret wish, “a Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone and good luck to all who are starting a new school year.”

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Beets
Cucumbers
Garlic
Kale
Onions
Parsley
Peppers
Potatoes
Tomatoes, cherry and slicers
Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Broccoli
Eggplant
Green beans

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 This week's recipes

The first recipe this week, Smashed Red Potatoes with Cabbage, is from the New York Times cooking web site.  It may be a little too warm for today but cooler temps are coming mid-week and this is a scrumptious way to use up two of the good keepers in the boxes, cabbage and potatoes, as fall is just around the corner.

The second recipe, Moroccan Eggplant Zaalouk, comes from the Minneapolis Star and Tribune’s August 23, 2018, edition.  It uses that yummy eggplant/tomato combination with some mid-eastern seasonings to create several options for serving (See NOTES).

 

August 20, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

There are a couple of messages from the farm this week.

First, a very important message about the boxes from Dan and Margaret:


You will notice that this week’s box will be considerably lighter than what you might expect for this time of the season. Hopefully a lighter box will give you a chance to get caught up with produce from previous weeks.

The reason(s) the boxes are so light is mainly a function of the warmer than normal temperatures throughout the growing season. In some cases our carefully planned succession plantings have matured earlier than expected. In addition, we have experienced more plant diseases this season than in previous years. Peppers, eggplant, Swiss chard, carrots, and tomatoes have all been adversely affected.

Having said this, we are anticipating the fall gardens to start producing within the coming weeks. We have a bumper crop of winter squash and we hope to have an abundance of broccoli, cauliflower and other cool season crops. We will undoubtedly have some good eating from the garden as we move into the fall.

Thanks for being patient and understanding over the next few weeks as we experience a lull in both the variety and abundance that we normally see in our boxes. Thanks as always for your support.

Dan and Margaret


Then, there are no more tomatoes for canning.

Last, Jenny Larson, a long time farm member, updates the Common Harvest web site each week by posting the recipes on a recipe page each week.  She notes, “It's an easy way to find all the recipes in one place!” Here’s the link for recipes. http://commonharvestfarm.com/new_at_the_farm/recipes.html 

General updates are located at http://commonharvestfarm.com/new_at_the_farm.html  THANKS, Jenny!

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Garlic

Onions, bunching and bulb

Peppers

Potatoes

Tomatoes, cherry and slicers

Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Basil

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Green beans

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 

This week's recipes

Both recipes this week are from Helen Stefan and contributed as a way to use the bounty of both peaches and tomatoes.  The first, Pasta and Fresh Tomato Sauce with Chile Pepper and Basil, is a quick, easy and scrumptious avenue to pasta with tomatoes, a keeper for sure.  The second, Peach and Tomato Salad, mixes two summer taste treats into a salad.  Both recipes are from America’s Test Kitchen.  THANKS, Helen!

Regards,

Susan

August 13, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

There are some important notes from the farm this week.

Swiss chard  Each week we try to put a green in the box. We mix it up a bit by alternating Lacinato kale, regular kale and Swiss chard. You may have noticed the absence of the chard. It has not done well in the high heat and high humidity and was getting to the point where we needed to mow it down. The good news is that it will regrow and we should be able to put it in the boxes in a couple of weeks.

Help with labor  As our college and high school workers begin to leave, we are looking for some extra help in the fall. If you know of anyone who might be interested in joining us for the fall, please have them contact us for details at commonharvestfarm@gmail.com

Canning tomatoes  We will have a limited number of canning tomatoes available in the next couple of weeks. We will fill orders as best as we can. Email us commonharvestfarm@gmail.com with the date that works best for you, August 16, 23, or 30th, and tell us your drop site. Let us know your ideal number of boxes. We will start with just one box each and let you know if there are enough tomatoes for you to have more than one box.  The boxes are 3 / 4 of a bushel (~30 lbs.) and the price is $30 per box.  Mail your payment to Common Harvest Farm, 212  280th Street. Osceola, WI 54020.

Dan and Margaret

Facts/Uses for Produce

Purple Majesty Potatoes

Purple Majesty is the variety of purple potatoes in this week’s boxes.  As its color would suggest, this is one of the more nutritious potatoes with very high antioxidant levels. The oblong tubers have purple skin and flesh that remains firm and moist after cooking.  For chips, salads, roasting, and even microwaving, Purple Majesty can't be beat!

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Carrots
Cucumbers
Garlic
Kale, lacinato
Onions
Peppers
Potatoes, purple a NEW item
Tomatoes, cherry and slicers
Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Eggplant

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 

This week's recipes

The first recipe, Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes, is one Margaret found that shows off purple potatoes (new in the box this week) if you look at the link.  It’s from Susan Voisin, a vegan food blogger and harkens back to a regular ‘ole recipe from her southern growing up years that even includes “mopping” instructions with cornbread.  As Margaret says, “Such a simple recipe”.

The second recipe, Ratatouille Zucchini Bruschetta, comes from Cooking Light. and requires a little more “fussing” than the first recipe.  See how you can make a larger batch of the ratatouille portion of the recipe for other uses – perhaps making it worth the “fussing”. 

Regards,

Susan

 

August 6, 2018

August 6, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

This is a fruit delivery week.  For those of you who purchased a fruit share, look for the box of peaches with your name on it and take the box and all home with you.  Please take only the box with your name on it to avoid confusion at your drop site.  You’ll get a separate message later about the peaches.

Then, an opportunity to hear a panel of experts discuss Soil, Food and Climate – What’s the Connection this Wednesday, August 8th, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis.  Members Mindy Ahler and Paul Thompson provided the attached flyer for your information.  For more information and to register, see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/soil-food-climate-whats-the-connection-tickets-47717484280

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Beets
Cabbage
Cucumbers
Garlic
Kale
Onions
Peppers
Potatoes, yellow
Tomatoes, cherry and slicers
Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Basil

Eggplant

Green beans

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 

This week's recipes

The first recipe this week, Zucchini and Tomatoes ala Nasreen, is one of those make this fit your tastes and number of eaters cooking methods that are so user friendly and easy to make – not needing a recipe, really, after you prepare it a few times.

The second recipe, Cabbage Jambalaya, is from AllRecipes.com and adds some healthy cabbage to a traditional meat and rice dish.  If you like the spicy in Jambalaya, feel free to add some of the traditional heat producers to your pot.

Regards,

Susan

July 30, 2018

Common Harvest Members,

A glimpse into farm workings with a picture and note about carrots.

The picture is of Sam Bents and Sean Rogers, high school workers, rolling up the covers for the carrots. When we plant carrots, one way to do some weed control, is to cover the area where the carrots are planted with these large row covers. Carrots take longer to germinate than most of our weeds so we are preventing that first flush of weed seedlings. But as soon as we see that the carrots are starting to germinate, we remove the covers by rolling them up to be used again next season. The idea is that the carrots get a head start. When they are big enough (about 2 inches high) we hand weed the carrots. And if all goes as planned, we have fewer weeds to pull and good carrots to eat! :)

Dan and Margaret

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Basil
Carrots
Cucumbers
Garlic
Green beans
Kale
Onions, bulb and bunching (scallions)
Parsley
Peppers
Potatoes, yellow
Tomatoes, slicers and cheery
Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Eggplant

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

This week's recipes

The first recipe this week is for Cold Basil Soup from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, a book that Margaret looks to for yummy soup recipes.  It’s a nice cool soup for hot summer days as well as a different way to use the bounty.

The second recipe, Mustard Beet Salad, is from Julie Mohlis,  a long time Common Harvest member and drop site coordinator.  It’s certain this is a much tested recipe.  I’m anxious to try the mustard/beet combination, a new one for me.

Regards,

Susan