The Good, Bad, and Ugly of 2008

As we approach the end of the season, we start playing the good/bad crop game. When you’re cleaning up a bed of one crop at the end of the year, you can’t help but judge how the year went. So, kind of like the Oscars for vegetables, we have the good, the bad, and the ugly for the year.

The Good:
• Peppers: Hey I was just in the entryway where we have a few bushels of peppers and I can still smell them…great. Now that a number are turning colors, these clearly go into the good category. Not only did we have a lot, but they were a good size too…last year the Italias looked like big jalapelos or something.
• Salad mix: I’m finally getting the hand of growing this stuff well. We should have had a second planting for mid-season, but the stuff we put in the box looked great.
• Spring brassicas: this is the cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, and cauliflower at the beginning of the season. The cool wet spring worked well for these crops. What was most impressive is how long the spring bassica season lasted…you probably got sick of broccoli or cabbage at some point there!
• Tomatoes: a surprise here. Although it has taken forever for them to ripen, the plants set a lot of fruit and they look in good shape.

The Bad:
• Garlic: A real disappointment because I just go crazy for a good garlic crop. These plants do not grow well in a mud puddle like they had to this season.
• Green onions: This is in the bad category because it was the crop that never happened…do you ever remember getting green onions? They got planted first thing in the spring but that entire patch got overrun with weeds and I never got another succession planted—you can also put cilantro in this camp too.
• Head lettuce: After last season when we had a bumper crop, the lettuce was worthless. The window of lettuce was short and a lot bolted before it came of size.

The Ugly:
• Melons: There’s been a whole lot of ugliness here. The main factor is all of those cucumber beetles, who attack the plants and kill them off mid-season and then chew up the fruit if it starts to grow. Ugly.
• Second set of cucumbers: in part due to those pesky cucumber beetles and the new ground, this second planting put on nothing but deformed cukes. The timing was right to take over when the first planting pettered out, but they were too ugly to use.

All told, I can’t complain too much about the season. The weather was funny, but things still got produced and I know we improved on last year overall even if some crops did worse. Since you have to be optimistic in this line of work, what we do is ask ourselves how we can improve for next year.

Lida Farm Journal: Week 12

Summer is giving way to fall. This brings me quite a bit of relief, but a little sadness too. I just love bringing the season to an end, mowing down those plants which look like heck at this time of year. Most organic gardens look like an overgrown weedpatch this time of year—ours included—and it’s just stressful to look at. And I’m looking forward to having a little more time to just play with the kids and take some vacation time. I do worn out this time of year.

Still, it’s sad to see the season start to wind down too. I planted the last couple of crops just last night, trying to squeeze in a little salad mix and spinach into the boxes before the end of the season. I’m glad I finally got it done, but it’s tough when you know that you won’t be planting anything new again until next spring. All the abundance of summer won’t be seen again for some time, but for everything there’s a season.

We haven’t heard from anybody about the harvest party on September 16. We need to know if you’re coming, so give us a call or an e-mail. Just know this is nothing big, just an opportunity to visit the farm and mingle a bit with others. Come for afternoon or just stop by for a bit—it’s your call.

Harvest Party Details: The harvest party will be on Sunday, September 16 from 1-4pm at our farm. It’ll be a real informal pot-luck thing, which will be a good opportunity to see where all this food comes from and mingle with other members. We will supply pork and beef BBQ sandwiches and beverages. As a pot-luck, we would request you bring a salad, side, or dessert to pass. All members and your families are welcome to attend. Please RSVP at our home number (218-342-2619) or my e-mail ( so we get some numbers of attendees. Our farm is about half-way between Vergas and Pelican Rapids right off County Highway 4 at 44593 275th Avenue.

P.S. I am still posting newsletters online at I also put a number of pictures there too, so you can “see” the farm.



A Couple Red Onions

Fresh Sage

A Couple Green Peppers

A Couple Italia Peppers

A few Sweet Colored Peppers

Another Baby Watermelon

A Baby Cateloupe

White Kennebec Potatoes


Summer Squash





Edamame aka Edible Soybeans
Just boil the beans in the pod in salted water, shell, and eat. They are good with beer.


Printed from COOKS.COM

1 sm. eggplant
3/4 c. fine fresh bread crumbs
1/4 c. water
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour for dredging

Cut eggplant in 1/2 inch thick slices; set aside. Combine bread crumbs and cheese. Mix egg, water, salt, and pepper. Dip eggplant in flour; remove excess. Dip in egg mixture. Remove excess; dip in cheese-bread crumb mixture. Pat slices firmly so they are evenly coated. Fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.