Category Archives: CSA

the Week 12 CSA Newsletter

Creature Report:

Otis saw a blue jay. Sandhill cranes are being heard. Krisin saw a couple of day-walking deer looking at her from the edge of the woods. The 12 baby chickens look a lot like adults, and rays of sunshine on metallic-greening  tailfeathers are an ongoing gender reveal party  There are always more roosters than you dare let yourself hope. 

It seems the grasshoppers never got that bad this year, despite The Dry, and wonder if it’s because of all the blister beetles we’ve been seeing about the place – what with their grasshopper-egg-munching habit.

Garden Report:

It’s still happening. Pumpkins are emerging into the open. The last sweet corn was brought in to be canned as corn relish and vacuum-sealed and frozen.

Sehr Report:

We’re trying to preserve more stuff. It’s that time. We could be only a month out from the first freeze, they say. This week we brought home wild grapes, mostly Chokecherry season is on. So are the lobster and chicken mushrooms, and our apples.

The bugs have been barely noticable even down by the creeks and rivers, which really makes foraging so much easier to enjoy. (In related news, this is the week I finally got into some poison ivy.)

Jasper is wanting to know “why?” a lot for a one year old.

Inside Box 12

  • Edamame – boil them in salted water for 4-5 minutes, pop the pods out with your teeth and snack! Or hand shell and use in a stir fry or something.
  • Bok Choi
  • Eggplant – we’ve been smoking ours and making awesome baba ganoush
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes – the tomatoes are ON! This week was likely peak mater time.
  • Summer squash/zucchini
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Microgreen Mix – (sunflower, radish, broccoli, amaranth, kale, red cabbage)
  • Shallots
  • Potatoes (mix of red, white, and purples)

Week 11 CSA newsletter

It was the week in which we prepared for another round of baking heatwave while simultaneously beginning to ponder the cutting of firewood, as the season teeter-tottered atop the tipping point. Warm-blooded creatures of all types consider scouting for winter havens.

In the garden, “we are just mowing shit down, at this point,” Farmer Kristin reports, referring to utilizing Farmhand Gabe atop a riding blade machine, turning rows of towering weed forests into a finely-minced green mulch.

The weight of the dinosaurian tomato and pepper plants in the high tunnel has made us realize we will need to up our trellising game, if we’re going to keep spoiling our plants with amenities like consistent soil moisture and Munch Bunch goat manure. Which is to say; they’;re falling over and exploding a little bit, because they’re humongous. (Another one for the list of good problems to have.)

WWOOFer Laura has returned for another couple weeks in paradise, on her arc back toward Northern California, blackberries are still out there and wild grapes aren’t quite ripe but we still get them for crazytart juice. Lobster mushrooms emerge, grasshoppers are rather rude, sanhill cranes bugle and we assume they too are thinking about the coming of winter, a bit.

But it’s still early and hey it’s a bona-fried heat wave this week. But we probably do need to pick a date for the end of the year party. Think that it’ll be a potluck this time around, a few weekends into October ….

Inside box 11

Getting everything to fit into the box gets increasingly comedic this time of the season. Only the big 3/4 bushel boxes had a chance of closing. The clouds and cool 83 degree air held for the whole harvest – we got it done just as the sun broke through to turn up the broiler.

  • Russ Hanson Plums – eat soon, they’re ripe and ready!
  • Bree Broccoli 
  • Red or Green Cabbage
  • Shallots – the return of the fancy onions
  • Italian Eggplant of one kind or another
  • Thai basil – hopefully using it as packing material didn’t bruise it too badly.
  • Cucumbers – the plants report that they aren’t dead yet
  • Zucchini
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Tomatoes – we water them twice a day and it shows
  • Radish microgreens – zippy dish elevator

Week 10 CSA: the Newsletter

We had rain. Like a bunch of times. It’s weird but we’re getting used to it, again.

stormy sky inbound

The melons split some, and the field tomatoes.

But overall … hallelujah. Those April-transplanted baby trees that survived are reveling in it, and the wild mushrooms have sprung into action.

RAIN ALSO was perfectly timed for the future salad row.

fall salad green row

Of course the weeds are also rejoicing. We have had to remember the arts of mower and weed whacker, in holding our own along the weed battlefronts at each point of the compass. The lambs quarter leaps to offer its bounty, an abundance of lambsquarter microgreens for years beyond reckoning. There are weeds far more noxious than these.

This is probably the last week for melons, and corn, and cucumbers. But there are fall crops coming that are looking good: broccoli, cabbage, and kale oh my.

The winter squash is mostly looking good too – other than the Cinderella pumpkins grown for jack o lanterning. It has taken the assault of the vine borers and gave up its life, valiantly, so that the butters and the Tetasuko might live. Thanks, Jack!

The garden pathways are softly green, no longer pokey brown crispies.

Otis news report:

Sarah and Darren were nice when they let him have a rice krispie bar, “And it was nice of them last time they were at our place that they let me have a juice box.”

And so, one might surmise, despite intentions a pure as granulated sugar, the love/ addiction K and I share has blessed another generation in our lineage.

Que sera, sera – there are many vices less sweet.

Speaking of sweet – the melons have been perfect this week, and there’s one

Inside Box 10

  • Ussurian Pears – eat these soon, as they can ripen quickly and then go soft (although they are still tasty even when mushy and the inside starts to brown!). We make pear butter and pear juice – and then have a bunch out in broad bowls (so we can see them all) and pick out the most yellow-colored ones each day to devour – the kids love them. This is the first year our pear tree really produced prolifically so we could share!
  • Cucumbers 
  • Zucchini 
  • Melon
  • Sweet corn – the sooner you eat it the sweeter it will be! Picked this morning, you won’t get it fresher anywhere but straight from a field.
  • Tomatoes 
  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Broccoli Microgreens
markey day

Week 9 CSA Newsletter

It was my birthday this week, and I got to spend a day in our magic waterfall and a day beneath downtown Saint Paul with Otis in my old stomping grounds.

The ripe chokecherries are on in the barrens, but scarce, and the blackberries are putting out the plumpest fruits I’ve seen yet this year (likely the echo of that one 2.5″ soaking we had).

San Fran George & Jude wanted to find and eat Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms their entire stay here, but with the drought nothing ever came up. But on their last day, Otis spotted a beautiful specimen growing right behind our bedroom – so they got to have it with their last dinner here on the farm, serendipity do-dah

Kristin Reports on the Box Contents Thusly:

  • Cucumbers 
  • Zucchini/Summer Squash 
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes – have you ever heard of panzanella? I haven’t actually made it but someone described it to me at the farmers market and I am excited to try it. 
  • Sweet corn 
  • Melons – cantaloupes most likely 
  • Tomatillos here’s a recipe to work from for making salsa verde. Sometimes I cook the veggies in a cast iron pan on the stove top instead of oven roasting.
  • Hot peppers – Serrano and jalapeño for salsa making 
  • Red onions
  • Basil – it loves growing in the high tunnel! Great for pesto, or pair with tomatoes.
  • Arugula micro greens 


1. **Cucumber Melon Salsa:**

   Dice cucumbers, cantaloupe, and cherry tomatoes. Mix with finely chopped hot peppers and a squeeze of lime juice for a unique salsa that pairs well with grilled proteins or tortilla chips.

2. **Tomatillo Chicken Tacos:**

   Use tomatillos to create a tangy salsa verde to drizzle over shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, and sliced hot peppers inside soft tortillas. Garnish with arugula microgreens for added freshness.

3. **Grilled Veggie Skewers:**

   Thread zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and chunks of sweet corn onto skewers. Grill until vegetables are tender and slightly charred. Serve over a bed of arugula microgreens for a delightful presentation.

These recipes offer a combination of fresh flavors and creative pairings that are likely to be both delicious and satisfying. Enjoy trying them out!

From and for humans

Earlier this week Neighbor Marcia dropped this off at our place, and I’m going to share it with you:

Week 8 CSA Words

Today Kristin saw a honey bee attack a native bee and take its flower at the holy basil, and the wasps in the greenhouse are doing something weird. There might be zombie wasps? We will have to investigate and report next week.

In other news, IT RAINED.

It rained twice on Thursday, and we got more than we’d had all year – 2.65″. This felt like a miracle was unfolding before our very eyes, and that is a hell of a drug. I imagine the plants felt similarly ecstatically surprised.

The miracle did come at a cost, as they tend to do (Kristin may or may not have made a deal with a genie or a devil at a crossroads I can’t say). I’d battened down the greenhouses just before it hit and Otis and I enjoyed the storm from inside our safe, sturdy plastic bubble – but some of our corn was blown over, a pear tree busted up a bit, and some field fruits were hail punched.

Worth it.

We haven’t had to irrigate the baby trees or the field ever since, which has been a pleasant respite – but this time I’m trying not to let myself believe that getting one rainfall means the drought has ended. (But I can secretly hope I reckon.)

The local fungal colonies are similarly guarded, it seems, and have not thrust their spore spreaders out from their lairs. So, no wild mushrooms from our woods yet. That isn’t the worst, really; time can feel so limited and there is so much delicious fruit to wild-scavenge. The first choke cherries are plump and ripe in their abundant, weighty clusters, and the standard black berries are out in good numbers, if rather drought-dwarfed in size. I get a strangely compelling pleasure from simply opening the freezer and beholding the many hefty, vibrant bricks of vacuum packed fresh-frozen fruits.

The trips out to the berry patches with The Boys feel like living a golden memory, live.

This is a good life, and we’re so profoundly lucky to live it.

Inside the Box

Otis waits to close the boxes, while Marty & the California Boys George & Jude pack them
  • Tomatoes – an assortment of cherry tomatoes and couple bigger ones of various types. We gave out some that are ripe and others which you can let sit on the counter to ripen for a few days.
  • Italian Eggplant – Slice/Bread/Fry or chunk and cook as part of ratatouille , or mashed and smoked into babaganoush (spelled exactly as it sounds, that’s nice)
  • Green Peppers
  • Zukes- some yellow summer squash, golden zucchini, green standards & patty pans,
  • Cukes – both picklers and slicers (picklers are great for eating too, but the slicers can’t be pickled). Don’t confuse the slender English varieties for zucchinis!
  • Basil (both Italian & Holy Basil (aka Tulsi) – we wonder what Holy Basil honey would be like. That’s the stuff with the flowers that smells like heaven probably would -tuck a leaf in your lapel and a flower in your door frame to catch those heavenly whiffs.Can be dried for tea, chopped up and sprinkled on cubed melon … you can get weird if ya wanna. The other leaves in there are your familiar foodstuff.
  • a Melon – probably a cantaloupe but somebody got a more crisp and elongated Asian melon. If you get a cantaloupe which is both sweet and tart, you got the Melonade variety. They’re all ripe and ready to go; I wouldn’t let mine go bad on the warm countertop, forgotten and oozing from the wounds of abandonment, but you do you.
  • Beans – mostly greens with a smatter of purple and yellow.
  • Sunflower Microgreens– Fun facts: can be chopped up if you’re adverse to biting food apart with your face, and microgreens instantly elevate any dish.

The Recipe A.I.deas for this week included:

  1. Summer Garden Salad:
    Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and Italian basil in a refreshing salad. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette for a burst of flavor.
  2. Zucchini and Eggplant Stir-Fry:
    Sautee zucchini and eggplant with green beans, using a soy sauce and garlic glaze for a savory and healthy stir-fry.
  3. Caprese Skewers:
    Create tasty appetizers by skewering cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for a delightful touch.
  4. Ratatouille Casserole:
    Layer sliced zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes in a baking dish. Season with herbs like Italian basil, then bake until tender for a mouthwatering dish.
  5. Cucumber, Green Bean, and Tomato Salad:
    Toss cucumbers, green beans, and cherry tomatoes in a light dressing with a touch of lemon and fresh basil for a vibrant and crunchy salad. (It’s got a different dressing and green beans instead of green peppers, see.