Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Anticipated harvest for September 1st


This is the actual peak of the season.

Sweet Corn is awesome right now.

Heirloom tomatoes are at their peak. Try one of each! There are plenty of red tomatoes too. Enough to take a whole box for canning or freezing.

Flowers are incredible, including lots of sunflowers.

This is the best lettuce mix of the year so far. Likewise for beets.

There is a new crop of carrots coming in - very sweet.

Watermelon!!!! And Cantaloupe!!! If yours wasn't ripe last week, try this week's free. They are Very Very Very Very good right now.

The Cucumbers and Zucchini continue to produce a lot. TAKE A WHOLE BOX OF CUKES. really.

Herbs are abundant. Basil, Dill, Cilantro, Parsley, plus various random herbs. Plenty of basil for pesto. Do you need a whole garbage bag of basil to make enough pesto for the whole year???? email or call Andy and we can meet your basil needs.

Garlic, Green Onions, and Onions. The onions are a short timer, because we lost the majority of our crop to rot this summer.

Green and Wax Beans. The green beans this week are french filet beans. Primo!!!

Potatoes. We will pick a lot of potatoes of various kinds. Red and yellow, first yellows of the year.

Eggplant. Fried. On the grill. Roasted. In Baba Ganoug. One of our favorite veggies.

Napa Cabbage and Bok Choy. There are plenty of these. Jen just started a mega batch of Kim Chi.

Kale and Swiss Chard - yum. There may be some Broccoli too.

Radishes. First time this year.

Hot Peppers. Yes. And may be some Sweet Bell Peppers and Frying Peppers. 

What else? Okay. There may be some pears, plums and little apples. This depends on how the harvest goes. They are really good right now.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tour de Land School Photos

This weekend our rural campus was the site of the third annual Tour de Land School. Thanks to Martha for the Great Photos!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Treehouse Hike Photos

Pippa doing what she does best.

Looking up at the tree.

What are all those little black bugs?

Gall on the goldenrod.

Photos from Dining al Fresco Great Gathering

Thanks to Julie for these photos:

Aaron and Laura
Beth and Kevin

Wow! What a table!

Singing around the campfire.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garden Photos

Pumpkins are right where they should be by now.
Pumpkin patch. Soon the Great Pumpkin will be here.

Copra onions. Ready to harvest and cure.

Apples in the orchard.

Double row of fall carrots next to the popcorn.

Roma tomatoes are starting to get ripe!

Anticipated Harvest for August 18th

PEARS! Don't ask us what variety, but they are good and sweet! One time only.

Mucho tomato! We are doing a "salsa pack." It has red and green tomatoes, onions, cilantro and hot peppers along with a recipe for fresh salsa. All you have to do is chop and serve!

Lots of cucumbers and zucchini and sumer squash. Plenty of cut flowers, including lots of sunflowers.

The last of the kohlrabi.

There will be lettuce mix and green beans. I don't know how much yet.

Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Scallions, Garlic, Herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, other herbs).

More eggplant. 

Kale, Chard, Beets, Bok Choy. 

More sweet corn. This time bigger ears!

Chicken of the Woods

This past weekend there was a great gathering here at the Land School. They prepared a feast of fresh gourmet food using produce from the Land School. One treat was a appetizer using a wild mushroom. Chicken of the Woods. I did not get to try any, but I heard it was fabulous.

Check out the Chicken of the Woods next to Dale Chihuly's glass sculpture.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Apprentices Thank You

Thank you to Sam, Alex, Nathanael, Jack and Charlie! We had a bunch of big projects to get to this week and a lot of produce to harvest and we sure needed the help.

Monday we removed weeds from half the garden. In the afternoon we cared for the orchard and then went swimming at Clear Lake.

Tuesday morning we harvested cucumbers and zucchini and then worked some more on the orchard. Then the students worked with Donna doing various facilities projects including cleaning out the shed, improving the bunk beds, cleaning out the white van, and fixing the clothesline. Tuesday evening we all went the Pizza farm and enjoyed the best pizza of the summer.

Wednesday morning the boys harvested green beans, carrots and potatoes. In the afternoon they worked with Donna again and had their movie night.

Thursday is our harvest day and we had a big harvest! All is well.

the bees thank you

Thanks to Steven H. for his donation of two pairs of snowshoes and a bunch of beekeeping equipment. We really appreciate you thinking about the Land School. The snowshoes just happen to be the exact same brand and style as our current collection. Ideal!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tomato Success!

Dear Andrew and Donna,
We are a southwest Minneapolis family. We planted our first tomato harvest in early June from 15 roma tomato seedlings that I ordered from the LCS plant sale. It has been amazing to see how interested my 3 year old son, Hollis has been in caring for the plants and watching them grow. If it wasn't for his persistence I might  have left them very thirsty a couple of times. We have also become quite a popular rest stop in the neighborhood for dog walkers, families and runners since our 6x4 raised garden is in our front yard and our plants have grown to be 7 feet tall! Everyone has been interested in seeing them grow and produce! Thank you for the little bit of land school experience in our urban garden. I've attached a picture of my son and his pride and joy.
Best regards,
The Rausch Family


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Harvest Thank Yous

Today was a lovely harvest day. Thank you to everyone who helped!

On Wednesday afternoon Bryan, Isaiah and Rena came and helped pick potatoes and onions. They stayed the night and were joined in the morning by Mary and Will, who had decided on Wednesday to spontaneously show up and help. Great idea! Then we had a near neighbor, Sam, show up to help and check out the place. Sam had been doing Americorps in Barron and heard about the place through Nadine. Intrigued, he had to check it out, and we naturally put him right to work - picking sunflowers and sweet corn.

It was a big harvest, the biggest so far. We harvested right up until after one pm and barely had time for lunch and a quick shower before I needed to head out to Lake Country for the market.

Big Great Gathering coming this weekend! We are all excited.

Recipe: Basil Pesto

Basil PestoGourmet  | September 1996

Yield: Makes about 1 1/4 cups
Prep TIme: 45 minutes or less

• 4 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed well
• 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden, cooled, and chopped fine
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Optional: add 1/8 tsp or so freshly grated nutmeg and 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest

Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a saucepan of boiling salted water blanch basil, a handful at a time, 2 seconds, transferring with a slotted spoon to bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain basil in a sieve and pat dry.

In a food processor purée basil with remaining ingredients until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pesto may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap.



main ingredients: 
Parmesan,  Basil,  Pine Nut,  Garlic


dietary considerations: 

Thank you Nicki M. for this recipe.

Recipe: Sweet and Hot Curried Zucchini Pickles

Sweet & Hot Curried Zucchini Pickles

Yield: 2-4 quarts

Prep TIme: 25 minutes

Try this with your abundance of summer squash! Adapted from Quick Pickles: Easy Recipes for Bold Flavors, by John Willoughby, Chris Schlesinger, and Dan George

• 3 lbs zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into very thin rounds  (about 1/8-inch thick)
• 2 large red onions, peeled and cut into thin slices
• 3 red chili peppers, cut into thin rounds (or mixed colors-you may use bell peppers if you like less heat)
• 1/4 cup coarse salt
• 1 cup raisins* (optional)
• 2 3/4 cups distilled white vinegar
• 3/4 cup sherry wine
• 1 1/2 cups orange juice
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 tablespoons curry powder
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon allspice berry
• 1 teaspoon whole cloves
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
• 1 piece gingerroot, about 1-inch long peeled and sliced into very thin coins

* original recipe from Quick Pickles: Easy Recipes for Bold Flavors calls for 1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved (or substitute golden raisins)

• In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the zucchini, onions, chiles, and salt, and let them stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse twice to remove the salt, then add the raisins and set aside.

• In a medium nonreactive saucepan, bring all the remaining ingredients, except the ginger, to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the squash mixture; the squash should be totally covered. Add the ginger to the squash mixture, allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.

• These pickles will develop a wonderful flavor within a couple hours of being refrigerated and will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for 3 to 4 weeks. 



main ingredients:
zucchini, red onion, chili peppers, vinegar

dietary considerations: 
vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free

Thank you Nicki M. for this recipe!

Recipe: Tuscan Kale Ceasar Slaw

Tuscan Kale Caesar SlawTuscan Kale Caesar Slaw

Bon Appétit  | July 2011   by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

The crisp-tender texture and robust flavor of thinly sliced Tuscan kale stands up to the tart, Caesar-like dressing of this hearty slaw. Serve as a first course or as a side with grilled chicken, beef, or lamb.

• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
• 1 garlic clove
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled
• 14 ounces Tuscan kale or other kale, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender; purée until smooth. With machine running, slowly add oil, drop by drop, to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Separate egg white from yolk. Place egg white in a coarse-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Press egg white through strainer with the back of a spoon; scrape egg white from bottom of strainer. Repeat with egg yolk, using a clean strainer and bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover bowls separately and chill.

Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and sieved eggs.



main ingredients: 
Parmesan,  Egg,  Anchovy,  Kale



Thank you to Nicki M. for this recipe.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anticipated Harvest for August 11th

Our first sweet corn of the year is coming on Thursday. Both varieties that are ripe are early, small-ear varieties. But they still taste awesome.

We'll still have plenty of cucumbers, flowers, zucchini, green beans, basil, parsley, garlic, onions, scallions, potatoes, carrots, and kohlrabi.

We are going to try to pick the salad mix today and see how much we get. There will be a a limited supply.

We'll see how the beets are doing with those funny black spots, and the eggplant should be starting to produce more and more. Cilantro and dill are better this week. kale and chard should be good too.

Tomatoes are coming on strong for now, but the early blight is threatening to cut our harvests short. We are spraying with a safe organic copper-based remedy. We have washed the tomatoes in order to remove any residue.

Update: cabbage and jalapenos were added to the harvest.

Mid-Summer Phenology Photos

Ripe Gooseberries

Monarch caterpillar with frass

Coral Mushroom. Edible, I think.

Big mushroom on the Winding Ridge trail.

Joe-Pye Weed near Strawberry Hill.

Goldenrod by the Tree of Life

Prickly Ash berries.

Flowering dogwood berries. I think.


Wild grapes

Wild Black Cherry, almost ripe.

Some sort of stink bug on the black cherry leaves.

Prairie grass. Switchgrass?

Yellow Coneflower in the prairie.

Orchid on the Homestead/Farmstead trail.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Roofers are here!

The farmhouse roof was showing wear and tear, and then this winter when the ice dams arrived, there was water in the house. This week's weather looks to be a little cooler for the roofers to take off the old shingles, assess the damage, and then put on fresh waterproof flashing and shingles. Right now they are pounding away on the roof mere feet from my head as I sit here in the farmhouse office.
The old roof

Hey! Stop taking our picture! Can't you see we are working here?

We're glad to see the tough guard stuff go on.

our very own roll-off dumpster!
That bottom layer is to protect against ice dams
Loading the shingles.
There's the truck from the previous photo.

Finishing up on the porch.

The new shingles. The board protects the workers from falling off the steep roof.