From the Garden to your Home

Hi there!

What a beautiful, summer day we are having here in West Michigan. The humidity finally broke and it is absolutely gorgeous out! Hope you’ve all been able to enjoy a little time outside. As you have noticed… your boxes were a little heavy this week, which is a good thing, I hope!?

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So the slogan I have been using with The Farmers Wife CSA is “Bringing the Garden to your Home,” and I have been so impressed with how many of you have really been using your produce in the kitchen! I have talked with a few of you about this, but for me, I am so insistent on using the produce up each week from the garden….but when I shop at the grocery store, it is no surprise when I have to dump some of my produce each week. I understand that being part of the CSA is an investment, but I am loving that you guys are taking that to heart and really finding ways to use up all of this produce:)

If some of you are running stuck, I thought I would find a few recipes to share with you. I am not going to lie, I have not been super creative in the kitchen lately as our kitchen in our new house isn’t even unpacked yet. We don’t have doors or shelves on our kitchen cabinets, so you can imagine how hesitant I am to unpack all of my food basics and utensils with 3 almost 2 year olds running around the house! So maybe some of you can be the critics of these recipes and try them at home.

Summer Squash Gratin

Summer Squash Gratin

Zucchini and Summer Squash Fritters

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie recipe from TastesBetterFromScratch.com

Yum….I think I need to try them all:) Ok so next week will be looking quite similar as we are in the middle of the harvest season for tomatoes, peppers, etc….. I will have an updated list during the weekend. Here are some pictures of how things are looking today:)

Sweet corn should be ready in 2 weeks!? And I can’t believe we have Pie Pumpkins turning ORANGE already!?!

IMG_4505                         IMG_4506             I would love to hear all about the things you are making this week with your produce, so please share!!! Have a great weekend everyone….Hard to believe AUGUST is here….sigh:/

Full Swing at the Farm

And just like that….we are nearing the end of July!! Yikes. August means the thought of school starting again; say it isn’t so!?

Well….the end of July also means the beginning of heavy harvest time in Michigan. No thanks to cooler early summer weather, things have seemed a little behind. On the plus side, pests and disease have been controllable….until now. With the heat and humidity comes both of those things….and weeds. Growing organically, its just a given that you will win some, and lose some when going into battle with these things. Thankfully, a majority of our garden is still going strong:)

Enter in some of the more “normal” garden vegetables.

Here is some of our “would have been” cauliflower. Looking mighty delicious this week…I harvested them, only to see that they were all infested with worms:/ Ugh! IMG_4013

The sweet corn, eggplant, tomatillos, lettuce and watermelon are coming along nice!

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                                                        Oh hey, Sugar Baby:)                                                                     IMG_4332

Next week, here’s what I’m thinking will be in your box:

Basil, green peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, green beans, radishes, tomatoes   (a couple of varieties), lettuce, zucchini, summer squash, tomatillos & eggplant.

Just to aid in your fresh salsa efforts, I’m hoping to be able to throw in a few onions as well. Watermelon is a MAYBE….but it sure it getting close.

I have to give my good pals Amando and Esmeralda credit for the tomatillos. They have an abundance and would love to share. Here’s what Esmeralda likes to do with them…Salsa Verde Recipe

Have a great weekend everyone and I’ll see you next week!

A Week Off…..

Hi Everyone!

I know I have spoken with a lot of the Thursday crew about this….but after working in the garden yesterday, I am really feeling the need to hold off on harvest and pick ups for next week. While there will be a few things ready, I don’t think there will be enough to make your week worth it to pick up:/ I feel like the cooler weather the past few weeks really slowed things down…so praise God for more ¨normal¨ summer temps the past 2 days and that are forecast for next week! There are a ton of vegetables in bloom, I just think we need a little time to let them grow and I really don’t want to push anything:/

I am definitely learning a lot as the season goes on, but also realizing that I do not have control over all situations. From the really wet spring and the cool early summer nights, to our little gopher and deer friends for example. Even with these minor issues, however,  I am so thankful for the way things are looking, especially our insect situation with the use of only all natural insecticides.

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I sincerely apologize if this really throws any of you into a rut….If for some reason you really really really want some produce this week…get a hold of me and I can arrange to get you  some zucchini, basil, cucumbers or beans.

ALSO….for those of you who are familiar with cucumbers…they grow just as fast as zucchini does….which is super fast, and very plentiful. The cucumbers from this week will not go to waste, as I plan to whip up a batch of Bread and Butter Pickles for each of you to have with your share next week.

Here’s what I am forecasting for the week of July 19: Basil, Cilantro, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Green Pepper, Kale, Cabbage, Radishes, Eggplant, Jalapeno and Banana Peppers, Cucumbers and Green Beans. possibly: beets and lettuce

Collard Greens and Snap Peas have come to an end….but I just planted another round of peas for the fall:)

Check out the Eggplant and Cauliflower that are starting to show!!!

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Please Please Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns…thanks so much! Enjoy the day and week ahead:)

Quick and Easy Recipe…Just the way I like ‘Em!

Good Morning!

Looks like the rain is already moving away….hooray! Looking forward to another cooler, summer day. I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

It’s zucchini/squash season at the farm and that means long work days for the farmer. I actually will make dinner early in the morning to send with him for whenever he is able to warm it up during the day. Weird I know, but it works for us. Well, here is a quick dinner idea (made this morning)  that I thought I would share with you.

Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Chicken

In a hot pan, I start searing chicken breasts with a little oil in the pan

Then, it’s time to make your noodles. Here is a picture of the ¨noodl-er” I use…it ordered it from Amazon for less thank $10….nothing fancy. IMG_3986IMG_3985

While your chicken is still cooking, I start another pan on medium heat with a little more oil and some pesto I had left from last week. (you will have both basil and zucchini next week!) The pesto I make is very simple and versatile as well. I don’t use cheese in it since I’ve got a little guy that it doesn’t sit well with, and since I didn’t have pine nuts in the house, I used sunflower seeds. A basic pesto consists of basil, olive oil, a nut or seed and salt and pepper to taste. Blend it up and you’re good to go!

Once the oil and pesto are spread about the pan, I toss in my noodles .

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Sautee for just a couple of minutes until desired noodle consistency. For crunchier noodles, cook LESS time. (Like 3 minutes)

Lay your noodles on a plate, top with some chicken, add a little parmesan cheese, and there you have it!

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And what’s a blog post without some pictures from the farm?? This cooler weather has really been slowing the growth of some things down, but everything is definitely looking lush for July!!                                                                                                                       IMG_3937        IMG_3938                                       IMG_3942          IMG_3946                               IMG_3947        IMG_3957                                                         IMG_3962

Have a fabulous Thursday!!!

Some New Produce on the Horizon

Good Evening!

Thanks again for another great week of share ¨pick ups¨ at the farm! I have really enjoyed getting to know some of you and getting to chat with other adults throughout the week;) I apologize in advance if the words ¨Potty¨, ¨Ouwie¨ or ¨Time Out¨ accidentally slip out of my mouth mid-conversation with you.

So, my husband and I  might eat dinner later than 9:30 pm more that I’d like to admit….but I was pretty excited about tonight’s salad that I just finished eating. The before picture was a plate of fresh veggies straight from the farm, while the finalized salad picture was topped with blueberries, strawberries and avocado. Yum! It is my goal to have an established garden that can host some perennial strawberries, but for now, these berries from DeLanges Redberry Farm will do. Blueberry season is coming soon here in Michigan too, I cannot wait!

IMG_3669            IMG_3670Something really cool I found out this week on a trip to Meijer, was that Starbucks gives out their used coffee grounds for FREE to put in your garden!! Besides smelling lovely, there are some amazing perks to adding coffee grounds to your garden. Here’s a link to learn more…especially for those of you who still enjoy having a little garden of your own.  (PS…I’m obviously out of the loop…this article was written in 2010!)       Free Coffee Grounds at Starbucks

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Well I suppose that you are all interested in what you can plan on for next week? Like the title suggests…there is some new, fun produce on the horizon after of couple of weeks with an abundance of greens. Here’s what you can (most likely)  plan on for next week….

zucchini, cilantro, green beans, cucumbers, a few snap peas, MORE COLLARDS, broccoli, jalapeno peppers,  and an onion or two

Your box will be pretty GREEN, but its fun to have some new options to play around with.  Tuesday folks were able to get a few beets this week, so I am hoping another batch is ready for next week so that the Thursday folks can get some as well.

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Ok, I know, this is a long post….but I wanted to share a few fun recipes I stumbled upon that might come in handy next week. The first one is for those of you who have had a hard time convincing your family that this produce is actually amazing and can taste good if you give it a try:)

Zucchini Brownies

Cilantro Jalapeno Dip

Zucchini Noodles with Cilantro

Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

Wishing you all a blessed 4th of July holiday weekend with family and friends….. God Bless America!