Farms & Gardens

How Can I Possibly Eat More Leeks?

Do you have any idea how hard it is to eat five huge leeks each week? Who do the people at Harmony Valley Farm think I am? How much soup can I possibly eat? Don't they want me to spend my time writing blog posts? For goodness sakes, people, I'm doing the best I can! We make a terrific leek feta salsa, and my wife grilled leeks just the other day, but sheesh!

Read more »

What's for Dinner? Soup!

 Kate SommersPhoto credit: Kate SommersThese days, I'm actually kind of grateful that the Minnesota Twins play in a dome. You see, I'm originally from New York, and the members of my family who have not (yet) moved here are going to get another look at our fair city this week during the American League Division Series (go Twins!).

Read more »

Harmony Valley Keeps it Fresh and Local

My family is nearly 6 months into our Harmony Valley farmshare, and it's astounding to think about how much has changed for us. We're making soup out of things like celeriac these days, and the other day I ate a fresh lunch consisting only of things I picked from the garden 5 minutes before. My family hardly recognizes me. We don't even keep beef jerky or gummy worms in the cupboard anymore. Crazy.

Here's another confession I'd like to make, just between you and me - when I got this week's farmshare bounty, I took a half dozen of the mini-sweet peppers, washed them off, and ate them raw while I was putting the other stuff away. I know - it sounds crazy, but it's true. Even more shocking? They were fantastic.

Read more »

Where in Minnesota is Your Great Pumpkin?

Last May, in my family's backyard garden, we planted five varieties of tomatoes, three varieties of lettuce, plus fennel, squash, cucumbers, beets and onions. Oh, and one pumpkin seed that our daughter found on the floor of her first-grade classroom.

The first thing to ripen, the lettuce, was fantastic. The cool weather was perfect for nurturing those tender leaves. But the tomatoes were a major disappointment; not enough heat and humidity for them. And neither the fennel, the squash, the cucumbers or the onions had a great year. The beets, the last I saw of them, were just one day away from being picked when some nighttime visitor – a raccoon? an opossum? – got to them first.

Read more »

Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

Today’s post starts off with a riddle:

What’s “juicy and sweet with hints of fall spices,” "a satisfying crunch,” and a name that sounds like a segment of  “Dancing with the Stars?”

If you guessed SweeTango, the newest apple cultivar created by the University of Minnesota, you are correct!
 Is it worth the trouble?SweeTango: Is it worth the trouble?

Since its Labor Day weekend debut, SweeTango has caused a buzz among apple eaters and growers. But it’s not just the taste that has people talking.

This apple comes with controversy because of the way the U of M has licensed it.

Read more »

This Week's Farmshare: More Local Organic Food Goodness

Is it possible to miss a bag of mixed salad greens? We've been getting them from our Harmony Valley Farmshare like clockwork, but this week, we're bag-o-mixed-salad free (fortunately, we've still got a bag of spinach). I'm totally okay with that, mostly because I've been eating tomatoes like a crazy person, thickly layered on my hummus sandwich nearly every day for lunch. I've also taking to grilling just about everything that comes, including cauliflower, which is fantastic with olive oil, black pepper, and sea salt. I haven't tried my celeriac yet, but I'm hoping to this week, especially now that I know I can grate it and fry it up like a potato pancake.

Read more »

Four Apples a Day (in the fall, anyway) Keep the Doctor Away -- A Guide to Minnesota's Apple Orchards

In ayurvedic medicine, good health begins by living in harmony with nature. That means eating seasonally appropriate foods (which, by the way, supports local farms) is an important building block to a healthy lifestyle. I notice my cravings change along with the seasons. One month ago, I couldn’t eat enough tomatoes; my garden couldn’t keep up with my appetite for those fragrant, juicy, sweet yet tangy spheres of bliss. But last night, those same tomatoes just didn’t taste as blissful. I can’t get excited over lemonade, lately, either, preferring hot tea to hydrate me. What’s more, I am considering investing in a slow cooker as the thought of stew has taken over the culinary chamber of my cranium.

Read more »

Shur Yang, the King of Spinach

Since I dug my feet into the dirt of the local food movement a number of years ago, I’ve wanted to learn more about the Hmong farmers that dominate many of the local farmers market stands. I recently had the privilege of meeting with Shur Yang, whose family operates a vegetable stand at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

Shur’s love for farming and local produce streams with properties of July sunshine. His positive demeanor is enough to intrigue anyone, and is wildly inspiring considering the farm is merely a “side job."

Read more »

Our Harmony Valley Farmshare Arrives Again!

The list of things in my life that happen according to schedule is a pretty short one. Haircuts? Maybe you get them every 6-8 weeks, but I haven't been to a barber - much less a hairdresser - in more than 10 years. I just shave my head when the spirit moves me (see my picture for evidence). Housework? I wish - in my house, we're more likely to clean like crazy people just before guests come over (or when there's something sticky on the floor) than we are to pick a weekly time.

Read more »

Our Harmony Valley Farmshare This Week

As you can see, this week's Harmony Valley farmshare box looks every bit as good as the one we've just eaten our way through. Of all last week's treasures, none went over quite as well as the broccoli romanesco, which my kids ate raw in a matter of minutes. In fact, we've been through 2 heads of the great green stuff this week (thanks, Seward Co-op!) - and a bit of tasty cheddar cauliflower as well. I made a batch of fresh salsa from last week's ingredients that was a hit, too - it's so easy when the tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, and onions come fresh, direct from the farm.

Read more »
Syndicate content