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Farm Newsletter ** Week 5

Greetings All! I can't believe we're already rolling into week 5 together. Spoiler alert- You do NOT want to miss this week's CSA!!!

Here is our house right before the storm the other night! We thought the clouds were really pretty. We were at the baseball field Tuesday night (you'd never guess, haha) and we got our game cancelled because there was lightning and just a touch of rain. (They'll always cancel for lightning though). So we got home and settled in for the night, hopeful for a nice rain to come along with the lightning!

Ben & I were standing outside in the rain together just chatting it up; most people would think we're totally nuts. I think we need to be watered just as much as the plants ;P Honestly, it's just been so long since we've gotten any rain again! We were just happy to be getting wet standing in the rain. Ben & I were talking about it and this past rain was the first time some of our piglets have seen rain! All the bigger pigs were up walking around too, enjoying the sprinkles and jumping around. They really do play like dogs, running, chasing, jumping, etc. They're quite comical, especially when it rains! They LOVE the rain and love to get wet! Did you know, pigs don't have sweat glands? So if you're wondering why a "pig wallow" is a thing, it's because they need to be able to get wet and if they don't, they'll overheat and die. (Literally).


So we were standing in the rain and it started to clear up and Ben was so upset! "See, I told you!! This always happens!!" What he means (and it's been true), the radar will show weather coming for us and then it'll turn or lighten up before it gets to us. We got less than a tenth of an inch. So it's barely even worth mentioning! It really made Ben mad, which I totally get! Then we got this text message from our employee-

We didn't get hail at the farm guys!


Grace and her family got totally hammered in town in Big Lake where we used to live too. Just 20 minutes south of us and this could have literally been the end of our season.


It's absolutely terrifying. This is our livelihood and it's your investment.


We DO know several farmers south of us who were totally wiped out. The plants can't come back from this at this time of season, they don't have time to rebound. Not to mention they'd be so damaged the disease and pest problems would be rampant.


I'll finish my story:

We didn't get any rain worth talking about; but we didn't get any hail and that sure as heck is worth talking about.


Here is a close up of the potatoes Ben dug last week! He pulled one plant of the red and one of the yukon golds to see where we were at. From the picture you can see here- there are plenty of little potatoes with a handful of bigger ones mixed in. Some yukons are really good sized actually! Ben pulls the test plants from the center of the rows to get the best estimate because digging where the irrigation goes into the field or on the opposite edge, wouldn't be an accurate check. Too much water or too little water can cause some variables.


All this to say- we're hoping week 6 we will have potatoes for you!


THIS WEEK IN YOUR CSA YOU CAN EXPECT:

Jumbo & Family Shares: SWEET CORN! Green top Beets, Green Beans, Broccoli, Zucchini & Pickles.


Single Shares: SWEET CORN! Green top Beets, Green Beans, Zucchini & Slicing Cucumbers.

SWEET CORN! It's finally that time of year and we're so happy to be able to share the flavors of the season with all of you! As you can imagine, corn means something special to us because it's one of the most riveted varieties, right next to the tomatoes. When people ask us about how the season is going no one ever says "I wonder how your radishes are coming along?" for example. Everyone who reaches out to me is only in my inbox to ask about the CORN! And of course tomatoes too- but that's definitely our biggest draw to our farmstand in Zimmerman.


Fun fact!

Sweet corn is best enjoyed in the first few days because right after you remove it from the plant, the sugars are going to start a chemical process to turn into starches. It's apart of the natural progression of the plant, thinking it's going to seed, but for us it means that it tastes the best if eaten within a couple days.


If you haven't had sweet corn that's fresh out of the field, boy, do we have a treat for you this week!!!


BEETS

They are coming with their greens attached, so we call them green top beets. In a few months here they won't come with tops, they'll be cut off so you'll just get the bulb.


We don't spray them, so the greens might not look as nice as we hoped but it's different every season. If your greens look good, I'd definitely recommend using them (there are a million recipes for these!). If they don't I'd suggest cutting them off and focusing on the bulb.


We are harvesting the first patch this week so you'll see a variety of sizes of beets. There are always a handful of huge ones, and always a handful of smaller ones. We try to make nice bunches that are similar in size.


Broccoli We don’t use pesticides if we don’t absolutely have to. Broccoli really only has one prominent pest, the broccoli worm. We soak them in water so that the worms will come out to the top, but some might linger behind. I hope that our members can agree, we would rather see a bug or two than be applying some sort of pesticide to treat your produce.


To store: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. It keeps for over a week but is firmest and tastiest if used within a few days.


Handling: Broccoli in particular seems to attract small green worms hiding in its depths. We soak the broccoli to remove the worms, but suggest that you do it too. Soak your broccoli in a sink with mostly water and a splash of vinegar (or a hefty pinch of salt) to make sure there are no hitch hikers.


Broccoli is best used within a few days, store in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer to keep for up to 5 days. For long term storage, broccoli does freeze very well. Cut the florets from the stem and add them to a boiling pot of water for 3 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and then simply bag and put in the freezer. This method of preservation is called “blanching” and can be applied to many other crops, like green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, etc.


Closing Time


Just wanted to give you an update about the ducklings!

Momma duck and her chicken friend are doing well and raising the babies! They've doubled in size now so now they kinda split up so they can sit under either of their moms, haha! If you go into the barn when it's quiet, you won't even know there are ducklings because they snuggle under moms! Gosh they sure are cute though! Little fluffys!

The momma duck is not cute though, she is ferocious.


You may be questioning my choice of words because it may seem odd, but I assure you, I have not encountered any other more protective "moms" at our farm. No other species has ever chased me out of their run! & I was just getting them water! She's bit me more than once.


Word to the wise, don't cross this duck momma!



Eat Good & Be Well

~The Farmer's Wife

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