Seasonal Transition Stress

Mar and I relaxed last fall after the craziness of summer

This time of year on the farm really gets to be a blur where Maree and I head towards total exhaustion.  Harvesting produce has started, so we are harvesting Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, Thursday night, all day Friday, plus Saturday morning.  Between the harvesting times we both spend about 3 hours delivering boxes on Fridays and invest about 5 hours every Saturday in the Lakes Area Farmers Market in
Detroit Lakes.  As you can see simply harvesting and driving around produce takes a fair amount of time, but, over and above all this, we have this time-crunch where we still need to weed, trellis tomatoes, feed and tend animals, and also plant for the fall.  How do we keep track of all this, especially since I have a full-time job on top of all this?  I have no idea.  Thinking about it, I’m kind of surprised we make it though each year, although I don’t reflect when doing the work.

Speaking of planting…it’s hard to believe, but we did start planting seeds for fall this week.  I planted all our our fall brassicas like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.  At lot of times people only think of these crops as products of spring, but, in actuality, brassicas and other cool-season crops like spinach and lettuce do much better in the fall where the days get shorter and we have consistently cool temps.  Since it’s the summer, one trick we employ is laying burlap and row covers over the planted ground to get plants started in this hot and dry conditions.  I just checked under the burlap this morning, and those fall brassicas are popping up out of the ground like crazy.  It’s a long way to October it seems, but the plants are off to a great start.

In the box:
A bit more Broccoli
Green Cabbage
Kale: A majority received Lacinato (Dino) Kale which is dark green and bumpy in texture.  Others received Red Russian Kale which is kind of frilly but red-green in color with purple stems.  You use either type the same way (See recipe below).
Green Garlic: This is fresh garlic before it has been dried down or cured.  You can use the garlic fresh or simply leave in a dry location like your kitchen counter to dry and use later. Green garlic is a bit stronger in flavor than cured garlic and you’ll have to peel a bit more to find the clove.
Snap Peas: Snap peas are an edible-pod variety, so please don’t shell them…it would be quite a waste.  Just eat them.
A couple Zucchini
A Sprig of Basil
Romaine Lettuce: I know people are probably tired of lettuce…I promise to lay off as we move into summer crops.

I know kale chips seem to be all the rage lately, but Maree and I just got into them last fall and they really area great!

by Barbara Scott-Goodman & Liz Trovato

1 bunch kale, stemmed, rinsed and thoroughly dried
2 to 3 T. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Tear the kale into 3 inch pieces and put them in a large bowl.  Toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, making sure the leaves are well coated with the oil.  Arrange the leaves in a single layer on 2 baking sheets.

3. Bake until crisp, tossing once or twice, for 30 to 35 minutes.  Serve at once.

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