2023 CSA Newsletter June 20 – Week 4

2023 CSA Newsletter June 20

This first four weeks, we’ve shared some new-to-some garden produce and a few store products. How are we doing? Asparagus is always a favorite – ours too! Kale – not always a favorite, but one of the world’s top super foods. Did anyone try the Kale Chocolate Cookies recipe? Send us a photo if you did. Swiss Chard was new to quite a few members. To be honest, we’ve never known what to do with it either. But we learned! Chopped and steamed was good, mixed in with stir fry, the leaves work for rice roll wraps and one shared they use the stems just like celery. Cool!

How about those first radishes? We had one bunch from Prairie Hollow Farm two weeks ago and this past week Dean pulled a surprise out of the gardens with our first French Breakfast Radishes. Garlic scapes are just starting – who has the best recipe for these? We have one on the website for Microgreen Pesto which uses both kale, microgreens and garlic – scapes would be a good add in in place of one of the cloves.

Speaking of what to do with … On our website there is a plethora of fun “Things to do with …” articles in the blog section. There are tips for using leek and garlic scapes, the leaves of many root veggies and even watermelon rinds and cantaloupe seeds. Click and check it out!

We’ve enjoyed sharing a few store products with you. Salad Girl dressings are always a big hit. They are locally made, all organic and a little bit goes a long way. Great on salads and grilling meats. Honestly Cranberry cranberries are the only dried fruit we’ve found that does not use sugars, sweeteners or other products. Just good, tart crans! The infused olive oils and vinegars are in our top five favorite store products. So delicious and clean!

Pop us a note or give us a call to let us know how we are doing so far! The best is definitely yet to come.

This is what to expect on June 22:

Wacky Salad
Green Onions

Garlic scapes
Crapola granola samples

This week’s Share Value: Full share: $31.50 ~ Small Share $21.25 ~ Mini Share $23.75
Strawberries from Miracle Strawberry Farm Dodge Center

Not sure what to do with your produce?

Antioxidant Parfait
Cool, creamy and refreshing

Talking about Antioxidants isn’t glamorous, but they are necessary to promote our wellness. Here is a simple, quick and delicious way to bump your fighting power. Try it for breakfast or afternoon snack.

1 cup milk or favorite milk alternative (vanilla unsweetened almond milk is delish)
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup berries your choice
1 handful The Greensted microgreens your choice
6 oz Ice Cubes

Put all ingredients except granola, into a blender or processor.
Blend until smooth and creamy
Pour in a glass and garnish with granola, a few berries and extra microgreens.

Around The Farm

Product Highlight

Brainstorm Bakery

Owned by Brian and Andrea Strom, located in Ely, MN, their weirdly named granolas are loved by many all over Minnesota and quite a few other states. We’re including a sample this week in your share. Here’s a little more of the Crapola Story.

Brian and Andrea were working as farm apprentices where they learned more than growing produce; they absorbed important life lessons. Mindfully and sustainably working the earth, taking care of the land, results in the land taking good care of us. There is an unmistakable synergy in the systems that are needed to grow foods. They were empowered to dream they would one day own their own piece of land.

In June of 2007, they were living their best life on an off-grid homestead in northern Minnesota. Brian said something like “wouldn’t it be funny if we made cranberry apple granola and called it Crapola?” In no time, a business was born, and Brian suggests, “Be careful what you say in front of your wife. It could change your life forever.”

With no experience, no funding, no business plan and no clue, they began walking the path to bring the idea to life. The first batches of Crapola were made on a wood-fired cook stove in a cabin where they were hosting a “granola tasting party” with friends.

And as is said, the rest of the story became a runaway freight train of success. They created a product, built a brand and 16 years and two location changes, they are still riding the wave. The Greensted Farm Store carries all four of the Brainstorm Bakery granolas. They are made with all gluten free products, in their own facility. Check out their website FAQ for more info. We hope you will give them a try! (Hint: try your sample in the parfait recipe above!)

Meet the Team

My name is Thomas “Tommy” Helfer. I attend ZM High School and just finished 9th grade. This is my second summer season working at The Greensted. 

I asked if I could do more than flat washing this summer. I was promoted to operating a power tool – a hand drill. I drilled more holes for plants than I could count. It’s hard work, but we have a good team. I enjoy baseball and other sports.

On the Farm

Many hands DO make light or at least bigger accomplishments in work. Dean and his “kids” have made huge progress this week. The first high tunnel is cleaned out, landscape fabric laid and cucumbers planted. Dill and basil will be going in along the sides.

The second high tunnel needs cleaning to become the “mater haus.” The salad greens, beans and peas are up and grabbing all the water they can find. The onions and garlic are looking good. Many peppers, broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale are going in the ground and everyone trying to keep up with weeds and watering – and keep out the deer (the fence has been repaired, for now) and bunnies — yes, they came back. Turns out they like baby melon plants and pretty much wiped out the beets – the battle rages. :<

The process of setting up a plot or bed is intentional and intensive. First, pull weeds, turn the soil a bit if it isn’t already, level it out and then lay landscape fabric. Burn holes with a hot pipe (Dean’s job), drill out the hole (Tommy’s job Tuesday), add recycled microgreen soil (great plant nutrition), then finally, plant the seed or transplant (three cheers for Keith and Casey!). Plan the watering strategy – drip tape or overhead sprinklers. Right now we’re using mostly sprinklers because the crew hasn’t afforded the time to lay tape. Finally, cover with wood chips to help with weed pressure and retain moisture. As we see fruits of this massive amount of labor start yielding from the gardens, we can be very grateful for this hardworking crew. It’s hot, exhausting work and everyone goes home with a little too much sun and lots of sore muscles. We are so grateful for the team! They work steady and well together. 

We will finish up the ‘maters and peppers this week and get the herbs, sweet potato slips and winter squash going. The potatoes need hilling too. Pray for rain, no hail, and may the team continue to be strong and courageous. See you Thursday.