FARM NEWSLETTER // WEEK 11

Greetings All!

Just like that, folks, and we went from a really, really bad drought to just a really bad drought ;P That's not to say we aren't thankful for the few inches of rain we did get though!! That rain did save a few varieties we have out there, literally. I mentioned this before but our irrigation has been on for about a month now... it just never turns off. We just alternate the lines that it's watering from patch to patch. Yesterday was the first time we turned off the irrigation in over a month!!!


Many of you are aware that there was a really serious storm that came over the top of us yesterday. We actually got the automatic messages sent to our phones that there was a tornado warning (that's different than tornado watch). The sky was green! I feel like I held my breath the entire time we were in the basement. I'm not afraid of the storms, but the damage of a single bad storm has put a halt to our farming season in the past.. There were some terrible winds but we were lucky enough to not have any of the hail or straight line winds that our neighbors to the north did.


Many of you have social media but many of you don't. To make sure we're on the same page I'd like to share my post from Saturday with you:

"I was debating sharing this because it's really not that pretty. But hey, it's farming for yah!


We had a quick pass over from that really bad storm. We didn't get hail guys!!! REPEAT WE DID NOT GET HAIL. But we did get terrible winds and a LOT of rain.


The top of the pig feeder literally blew off. Exposing about a hundred pounds of food and getting it so wet it isn't able to fall through the feeder.

(Above) It's a metal topper. Its dangerous for the unknowing pigs just looking for food. So I wrestled this piece out of mud and pig crap (on the inside of their fencing).. I would sugar coat it for you, but there is no way to sugar coat that smell!! :P


This storm did a lot worse to a lot more people. I'm waiting for Ben to walk the fields, but from what I can see there is nothing that requires our immediate attention (from the veggie side). So we don't have down trees to pick up, but sheesh I had my hands full!!


So then onto a whole bunch of really big pigs, some are already 275#, and they get HANGRY just like the rest of us..


To feed them I got creative. I can't pour food into their feeder!! So I put a piece of spare plywood down in their run and poured buckets of feed along the fence line. There was some wrestling at first but I just keep putting in more piles and will do so until everyone is uninterested. I'll assume that signals content.

Classic mom photo- "Don't you want a hug?!" with our skeptical little Kelsi. For a good reason, too haha!


To get the plywood down I had the kids grab some melons and cut them up, to lure them to the other side because the pigs were very interested in me and I couldn't get the plywood down without our kids! Thank goodness they're helpers!


I had to pound a lot more t-posts along the one side of the pig run because of how sloppy it got, it's reinforced now!!


We just got internet back at the house here. It was out for 2 whole days!! My sister in law helped me get a hotspot but it wasn't strong enough to get a solid connection. To our CSA Members, you all will be seeing my blog post as soon as I catch a breather and take (another) shower.


Tomatoes got all wet so I had to dump them out of their sorting flats onto tables with burlap. Got the barn fan going in there, hopefully that'll do the trick!


Long story long, I wanted to share today's adventures.


Happy Saturday!! The Farmer's Wife

#farmlife #mnfamily #brownfamilyfarm #mnCSA #MNgrown #freshveggies #mnpork #raisingpigs #Ineedabeer


***One thing I forgot to add to my FB post is that this whole story ends with my kids being able to "rinse me off" with a hose. I can assure you, they thoroughly enjoyed this part ;P


ADD-ON SHARES: DEADLINES We offer add-on shares of honey, apples and special fall shares specifically for stocking up for the winter. We have some deadlines approaching-

Honey Share deadline: Sunday Sept 5th!

Apple Share & Fall Share deadline: Sunday Sept 12th!


For those of you who have already signed up for either the second round of honey shares or the apple & fall shares, we've got you down!! I will be sending out emails to your group specifically when it's closer but just a tentative guide to deliveries:

---Honey Shares are planned to go home with you the week of September 13th.

---Apple Shares are planned to go home with you the week of Sept 20th.

---Fall Shares (2 part delivery) are planned to go home with you the last two weeks of the season; the week of Sept 27th & October 4th!


**Don't worry about this being a surprise at all, like I mentioned above, you'll get an email from me reminding you when your extra Add-on goodies will be going home with you!!


To sign up for any of the add-on shares go to our website under the become a member tab (link below), click on the products and "add to cart" then check out through the website.

Become a CSA Member - Brown Family Farm (brownfamilyproduce.com)


LABOR DAY: I wanted to remind you that we WILL be delivering your CSA during Labor Day week. We don't deliver any CSA Shares on Monday (Labor Day) But will push the Monday sites back and add them on top of our normal CSA Harvest and delivery for the week. So if you pick up on Mondays, your CSA will be delivered either Tues, Weds, or Thurs. I will be posting specifics next week on the blog right at the top!


PICKY EATERS:

Our favorite Registered Dietician Kristen has another fun blog post for us to share!! I will add her blog into it's own link --

This post really hit home with our kids. It's all about getting new foods in front of them, the science behind trying new recipes or ways to prepare the veggies, and how we can continue to get veggies in front of our little ones!!


THIS WEEK IN YOUR CSA SHARES: The Jumbo & Family Shares will get: Red Seedless Watermelons! Muskmelon, Carnival Squash, Zucchini, Slicers or Pickles, Gypsy Peppers and Tomatoes!! The Singe Shares will get: Red Seedless Watermelons! Muskmelon, Carnival Squash, Zucchini, Eggplant, Gypsy Peppers and Tomatoes!!


That's right folks, we're back to watermelons! I want to take a minute to let you know that during our watermelon weeks I drive the normal delivery route but also need another driver to accompany me because the melons are too big to fit into the CSA boxes. So we deliver them alongside your CSA box. You'll see a little sign about taking a melon as well as your box too! Next week Ben said we should have enough ripe yellow watermelons that we can add those to the CSAs and those are actually fairly small, which I think will be able to fit into the CSA Share boxes. (Next week).


Last week I mentioned that we'll be trading off with the watermelons and muskmelons, but every one got a muskmelon last week instead of the watermelons. That's because we need to respond to when they're ripening. Muskmelons go fast- from not being ripe at all, to being ripe and perfectly sweet!, to being a little overripe and then to being mushy. That all takes just a couple of days because of how much sugar there is in these melons! While that's good for us because the flavor is spectacular, it's not good for us in that if we don't really jump on it, we'll miss it. CSA tip- if you don't plan to eat your melon for a day or two, still cut it up and put it in the fridge (this will stop the ripening process, and also keep it more firm).

Can you believe it? These young ladies and I brought in hundreds of melons today!!!!


Carnival Squash! The acorn varieties are usually the first to be harvested, right after the spaghetti squash. Have you ever eaten a squash? I can assure you, there are plenty of our CSA Members who haven't! Cut it in half and take out the seeds, then put a little salt and pepper (some people prefer butter and cinnamon) on the open face and then place the squash halves face down on a baking sheet with some olive oil. It's baked for about a half hour or so depending on the size of the squash. It's supposed to be fork tender kind of like a potato.


I have an awesome stuffed squash recipe that I've had on my computer since March- I have been waiting patiently for this day!!! <3 This will be one of our recipes for this week, spoiler alert- the cheese got my attention!!


We grow many kinds of winter squash and you'll be getting some every week until the season is over. If you don't use them often or need time to look up more recipes, you will be happy to know that these varieties of squash can last for months, literally.


Unless you're like me, and eat them all. lol! My favorite way to enjoy acorn varieties (carnival included!) is by cutting it in half and baking it, and when it comes out of the oven and it's still warm, put a big scoop of vanilla ice cream in there!! Voila!! Add some candied walnuts or pecans, maybe even dried cranberries as a topping. The world is your... squash.


Sorry about the bad farmer jokes, I'll try to hold off next time.


The Gypsy peppers are starting to turn colors! There are some brilliant reds and oranges out there in the field! I love cooking with these. They're super sweet and also add aesthetics to every meal!!


If you have storage questions about any of the produce that you are getting this week, please feel free to jump over to the "Farm to Table Storage Guide" that I sent to you at the beginning of the season. That's a comprehensive guide to every variety we grow. It's basically an encyclopedia for veggies grown at Brown Family Farm!


Good news for Labor Day week- we will have corn for you again!! The ears are sizable and looking great! We also planned the yellow watermelons for next week too so- Labor Day is a busy but fun (and hopefully SWEET) week!!


Stay well friends! ~The Farmer's Wife


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