Lida Farn CSA Journal: Week 8

One thing we really shoot for at our place is to make sure nothing goes to waste. Sometimes we feel like some 19th century pioneer family trying to get the most out of everything. Probably the best example at our farm is what we do with leftover produce. It’s pretty rare for us to sell absolutely everything we bring to the Saturday market in Detroit Lakes, so we will bring home a couple bushels or so of produce. So, Saturday afternoon, we usually get creative cooking whatever we have a lot of. It could be about 25 pounds of summer squash or 10 eggplant. But, still, there are limits to what we can eat too. In this case, it’s off to the goats! These creatures are great disposal units which like nearly everything from carrot peelings to whole canteloupe. We have about 12 goats on loan from our neighbors. They are short on pasture and we are pretty long, so it works out well.

Maree’s cousin was visiting this week and she was asking why we keep sheep and animals. Wool? Meat? “No.” I said, “It’s the manure. The meat and wool are just a bonus.” Produce takes a lot of fertility, and, growing organically, that means compost. It takes about two years to make good compost up behind our barn and it was be impossible without animals “doing what they do.” It’s a great example of how the farm naturally recycles nutrients. Instead of buying and transporting compost, we make it on site, saving a lot of time and money. In doing so, we also rid ourselves of some waste products like unused cabbage and feed a bunch of livestock at the same time, which can be used for both food and fiber.

Roma tomatoes
These are a variety called Juliet, which are really good as salad tomatoes.
A few Regular Tomatoes
Early girl and the beginnings of the big main crop tomatoes.
A couple Green Peppers
A few Jalapeno Peppers
Fresh Oregano
A Bunch of Carrots
A mix. The purple one are a variety called purple haze, just to change it up a bit.
Yellow Beans

Yukon Gold Potatoes
Dino Kale

Balsamic Glazed Carrots

Submitted by: Harry Wetzel
Rated: 4 out of 5 by 168 members

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Ready In: 15 Minutes
Yields: 4 servings

“Carrots are sauteed in olive oil, and then briefly tossed with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in this deceptively simple side dish.”


3 cups baby carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar



Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute carrots in oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, mix to coat and serve.


Printed from 8/9/2007

Cute! Spring Lambs.

For those of you not familiar with our flock, we bought two ewe lambs in fall 2004 to start things up after my fence-building period. We ended up going with “cafe names.” The mostly white ewe is named Latte, whereas the mostly brown ewe is named Mocha–when we had a black steer with a few white splotches, we named him Macchiato, but he is no longer with us. Although they got to know a ram in their ewe lamb days, no pregnancy took.

So, we were quite pleased when three lambs were born this spring after spending time with their “boyfriend” at our neighbor’s farm. Latte gave birth to twin ewe lambs and Mocha gave us this weather lamb (left). We’re a bit confused about his name right now. I call him blackie, my wife likes the Germanic Schwartz, although since he’s destined for a short life, Lambchop makes sense.

For those of you not familiar with terminology, a weather is a castrated male sheep, whereas a non-castrated sheep is a ram. Blackie, here, is a lamb in process. He’s been banded and will be offically a weather in a week or so.

Boo and Baa
Latte’s two ewe lambs are named Boo and Baa, after the two lamb characters in a Norweigan boardbook of Sylvie’s. The story is pretty stupid–these two lambs go boating together in the ocean–but we like the names, especially since they are a pair.

Boo and Baa came, oddly, at 4 in the afternoon in late April. From my experience (which is not great), most births come at night and early morning.

Paul and Chris Burkhouse of Foxtail Farm (Osceola, WI) have always kept of flock of 20-30 and showed me the ropes when I worked for them two seasons in 2000 and 2001. Because of this experience, I felt more familiar with sheep than other livestock, so it was only natural to start with sheep when we bought our farm. Also sheep are quite manageable and independant. Give them pasture and they’ll do just fine.


This picture illustrates the life of a sheep quite well. The ewe’s graze from dawn til dusk and the lambs abuse their mothers’ udders and nurse between romping around the countryside.

We have only one fenced pasture and it sits behind our barn. The area was previouly mowed, but this didn’t make sense to me. I figured we’d save the gas and time and let the sheep do the mowing.

The fence was the first project I did when we moved here in summer 2004. If you’re in the produce business, you need livestock of some sort. Manure doesn’t grow on trees (that’s a strange saying, isn’t it?) And places like the steep hill behind the barn should be pasture. You sure aren’t going to till the ground!