This Week's Farmshare, August 8

For the second straight week, I've gone right for the small yellow tomatoes. They're super sweet and super delicious, and my family won't go near them. How lucky can a fella be? Cucumbers are a big hit in my house all around, so we're glad to see those coming too. And we've got almost enough tomatoes (and peppers) for salsa, but not quite.

Here's what's in the Harmony Valley CSA box this week, with words and pictures directly from Harmony Valley's e-newsletter:

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Heading to the Kingfield Farmers Market

Last Sunday, my family and I (and a few friends) took the opportunity to visit the Kingfield Farmers Market in South Minneapolis. It's been ages since I've been there, but pretty much everyone I know raves about it. It's easy to see why.

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My New Favorite Drink: The Boozy Garden

Just before embarking on my week-long stay at a cabin with my in-laws and friends, I posted to Twitter and Facebook, hoping to find a local cocktail that would impress the crowd. My friends chimed in helpfully, offering suggestions such as "gin and lake water" (thanks Graeme!) and "lemonade with Shaker vodka, muddled local raspberries or Door County cherries, and mint (thanks nearly everyene else?)."

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My Local Food All Star Team

As a kid, I spent countless hours, days, weeks, months - heck, even years - thinking of nothing but baseball. With 2 brothers and 3 step-brothers in my family hanging around each summer, it was easy to get a game going any time, and each night was spent in front of the TV, watching our beloved Yankees (I'm from New York) attempt to destroy the competition. My brothers and I developed special cheers for Don Mattingly, Ricky Henderson, Dave Righetti, and the rest of the team. When I moved to Minnesota, I helped my family adjust to the idea by telling them that Dave Winfield was born in St. Paul.

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Minnesota's Governor Tim Pawlenty Eats Local Food

I had the great pleasure to meet with Amanda Simpson, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Residence Manager, and Brian McClung, Governor Pawlenty’s Director of Communications, last week. Over the course of an hour, our far-reaching conversation centered on the role of local food at the Residence, also (briefly) touching on Minnesota food policy and what’s to come. (I even got a tour of the garden.) Amanda and Brian were refreshingly candid, and I was glad to meet them and see their work first-hand.

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Imperfectly Acceptable: The Lessons of a Wabi-Sabi Garden

 Maven MamaImage Credit: Maven Mama"According to Japanese legend, a young man named Sen no Rikyu sought to learn the elaborate set of customs known as the Way of Tea. He went to tea-master Takeeno Joo, who tested the younger man by asking him to tend the garden. Rikyu cleaned up debris and raked the ground until it was perfect, then scrutinized the immaculate garden. Before presenting his work to the master, he shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers to spill randomly onto the ground.

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Eating Local: A Trip to Riverbend Farm in Delano, MN

"Take these," Greg Reynolds says, handing me a handful of rubber bands and a clipper. 

"Ah, uh, mmm…," I stammer.

"They’re for the arugula," he offers. Pull 'em out and clip 'em just below the crown. Then rubber band 'em two times around." Maybe Greg doesn’t realize who he’s talking to, or maybe, more likely, he's having fun at my expense.

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Progress on Our Backyard Farm

I've written glowingly about the past about A Backyard Farm, a company started by Joan James and Coleen Gregor this summer to help people construct, start, and farm raised beds on their own yards (You can read my previous post on A Backyard Farm here), so I decided it's time to update you on our garden's progress, and our experience with Joan and Coleen. Here goes:

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