Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What do I do with all the veggies?!?! One pot meal

Many people ask me what I do with all the veggie-especially after a long day working and you want something quick and simple. Well, here's my idea of a quick, easy, and absolutely scrumptious meal-all in one pot!
After heading out to the farm, I come back with the bounty (above). Kale, eggs, corn, beets, zucchini, summer squash, potatoes, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs.

I chop up those that take longest to cook and throw them in the pot first with some olive oil-potatoes and squash. Then I'll throw in the onions and kale as I finish chopping them.

I carefully chop the rest of the produce, taking care to avoid the cabbage loopers! An easy way to get htese out of the broccoli is to soak your head in cold, salty water. They'll float to the top in minutes

Can't forget the herbs! I chop up rosemary, oregany, thyme, sage, and basil (not all pictured...)

When the veggis are done, I move them to a side and throw the eggs on the other. Once they're done being scrambled, I'll mix it all together

Okay, I liked, one pot and one pan. I chop up the beets, cauliflower and broccoli to be roasted together. It just takes 5-7 minutes under the broiler. I like my roasted veggies sprinkled with goat cheese from our goats!

Can't forget the corn on the cob.
Eating this feast with a good friend...life can't get much better.

And dishes are a breeze!

Root cellar progress

Today the footings were poured! Below are pictures.
Right as we took the last transit reading, the cement truck rolled in. We got it done just in time...

The step footings proved difficult, but with the vertical column we were able to overcome the frost line under the exposed door!

And here comes the cement. We were able to direct the cement chute to the majority of the area, though had to shovel a lot of cement into the places the chute would not reach.

We will be ready for the class on Saturday when we will build the walls.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Building the footings

The footings will be poured tomorrow. Today we worked on building the frames for the footings.

Step footer

Happy farmers!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pictures as promised

The big hole...it looks bigger in person, I promise

We had a visitor today-neighbor down the road

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Friday, August 12, 2011

And the root cellar begins...

The hole was dug today by Kluzak Excavating for the root cellar! The hole is 12x18x9 with a walkout section/door. While we were standing on the ground before the hole was dug looking at the dimensions, it felt small. But standing in the hole...holy cow does it seem big! We are excited to continue construction. Next up, footings!

We will post pictures soon.
The root cellar construction is part of the following class:

Build a Root Cellar with the SEEDS Farm August 20th 10am-5pm

Interested in learning about root cellars? How about building your own root cellar? Join the SEEDS (Social Entrepreneurship, Environmental Design and Stewardship) Team in building a root cellar on their farm site! Learn about the benefits of root cellars, such as saving energy and extending the shelf life of local produce, while participating in the step-by-step building process. Work alongside local farmers and community members. The cellar will help to supply Northfield and the Food Shelf with local produce throughout the winter and has the potential to change the way our foodshed operates.

For more information and to register, call 507-581-9453. Lunch and snacks provided by SEEDS Farm. This class is not a Co-op event, but is sponsored solely by the SEEDS Farm.

Directions: Take Hwy 246 (Division St.) south. Just past the intersection of County Rd 1, take a right on Falk Trail (County 22).  Turn left on 115th St. and the Training Farm is on the right. The address is 6903 115th St. E.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Harvest and Greenhouse!

Here are some pictures of the most recent ongoings on the farm


Washing Vegetables

Brocoli, romanesco, and cauliflower


White miniature cucumbers, my favorite to eat like an apple!



Summer squash

Aika, Kara, Becca

Constructing the greenhouse

What a team!

It started to pour

Lots more work to do
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Farm Visit

This last weekend has been a good weekend for farmers-well, socially that is. Friday there was an independent film festival called Free Range Film Festival at the Food Farm in Wrenshal, just south of Duluth, MN. Scores of films ranging from seconds to hours, serious to hilarious, were shown in their hayloft in the beautiful country. Saturday morning was a fantastic farm tour of the Food Farm (pictures below), and Saturday night was the  Young Farmers Mixer at the Spring Wind Farm, just a mile up the dirt road from our farm. It was put on by the Greenhorns, a national non-profit that supports and promotes young farmers. We feasted on delicious local produce, got to meet a lot of inspiring local, young farmers, and danced the night away square dance style in their barn. And Sunday of course was the mid-summer potluck at the SEEDS Farm! Phew, what a weekend!

Though the real reason I (Becca) went to Wrenshal was to see their root cellar. The picture below is surprisingly the only picture I got of their 28x32 root cellar. It is of their squash room. The picture looks bare now, but at the end of fall, is full of tons of squash- literally. Click here for a picture of the squash room in the fall! The squash like it dry and warm, so this insulated squash dedicated room hangs out apart from the rest of the cellar, which is cold and dry. The potatoes hang out there in bins, washed and ready for the market/CSA share throughout the winter. Carrots, beets, parshnips, rutabaga, and cabbage like humid and cold conditions, so they are tucked away in plastic bags in bins in order to keep moisture in.

The squash need a lot of ventilation-which these shelves provide!

The root cellar at the Food Farm was incredible. The limiting factor for most root cellars is getting it cool enough in the fall. To deal with this, the FF blows in cold night air once the temperature is cooler outside than inside. After the cellar is cooled, it relies on the thermal heat to keep it from freezing. The ground will stay a steady 42 degrees. Cheapest refridgeration I can think of!

.....though some crops like it cooler than 42. And some like it warmer... By blowing cold air from outside in and heating the squash room with a baseboard heater, their cellar is able to keep each room perfect for each crop. They only spend $200/year on electricity for this!

The SEEDS Farm is planning on building our own root cellar this summer, and we are realizing there is much more to building one than we thought! We're plugging away at the research, and are excited to start construction soon. The cellar will go into the hill by where the goats and chickens are now. Exact dimension are still to be determined. The construction will be part of a class we are teaching on August 20th. Our hope is to encourage a network of root cellars to be built, each dedicating a portion of their cellar to the food shelf. Our cellar will serve as a prototype, and hopefully with the accompanying business plan and detailed savings throughout the season (through extension of season), Northfield will be sprouting more root cellars soon!

Below are some pictures of the Food Farm. It is so helpful and inspiring to see how other farms work!

This tunnel was full of the most beautiful tomatoes I've laid eyes on. Each plant climbs up a string hung from the ceiling.

The tomato plants were taller than Emily! The tunnel smelt delicious-filled with tomato pollen and basil

The garlic turning. Close to ahrvest time!

Carrots growing for storage in the root cellar.

I wish our crops were this weed free!

I also wish I had one of these to help keep it weed free...


Beets! Also growing for storage in the root cellar.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Recent Farm Photos!

1. Genovese basil-makes wonderful pesto!
2. String beans are in!
3. Tomato blight...we're getting it under control.
4. Cauliflower and broccoli are ready to be harvested
5. View of farm from south plot
6. Ornamental kale
7. Marigolds-a nice insect repelling plant (especially for cucumber beetles)
8. The SEEDS Farmers
9. Pigs enjoying slop
10. SEEDS Farmers presenting at the Rotary Club
11. Summer squash
12. Swiss chard
13. Morning dew!