CSA Week Seven: A Mega-Sized Harvest


Hi CSA members

This week is a mega-sized haul. In fact, it doesn’t all fit in the box so be sure to have extra room in your fridge too. Here’s what you’ll find:
Broccoli – We harvested nearly 200 lbs of broccoli this week, so you’ll be getting two large heads of this awesome brassica. I have to do a little bragging, this is the best broccoli I’ve ever grown. Good thing I like to eat it myself too!
Radicchio – a.k.a. Chicory. This is a beautiful burgundy-colored compact head that looks a lot like cabbage. It is often found in bags of salad mixes in the produce section of your local grocery store. Radicchio has a strong, bitter flavor so it is a great complement to dishes with sweet and sour flavors as well. You will find a handful of recipes on my website, but if you have additional recipes that you enjoy, please share.
Cabbage – you will find either Chinese (napa) cabbage or regular cabbage in your box this week. And you can plan on more cabbage again in the future.
Beans – Vikings fans will love the beans this week – purple and yellow snap beans, so you can mix them together and look forward to the NFL season in the fall. For you Packers fans, don’t worry, the green beans will be ready soon.
Heirloom tomatoes – vine-ripened, of course. Just a small handful this week, but you can be guaranteed that this is just the beginning of a bounty harvest ahead.
Kohlrabi – This is a versatile, crunchy, crispy brassica, much like a big radish. I like to slice it thin and add a little salt… yum. But some more adventurous recipe ideas can be found on my website.
Peppers – A handful of sweet and hot peppers for you to enjoy.
Bok Choy – I know… last week I said it was the last. But this week is finally the last of this mild, crunchy crop.
Cucumber – Yup… they just keep on coming.
Zucchini – Just like the cucumbers, they just keep on coming. You’ll find some combination of yellow, green, or striped varieties
As always, the delivery/pick-up schedule is:
St. Cloud – Delivered on Tuesday morning
Made of Mora – ready by 11:00 a.m. on Thursday morning
Sapsucker Farms – ready by noon on Thursday or Friday
City Center Market Co-op, Cambridge – Friday morning by 10:00 a.m.
And don’t forget to follow the farming adventures on our Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter @SapsuckerFarms
Enjoy the bounty,

New logo for MOSA

Small MOSA logo

Our Organic Certification agency, MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association) has updated their logo. I like it. It’s colorful, earthy, whimsical, and professional. Plus, I think it looks really good with our updated brand look too. Nice job, MOSA.

CSA Week Six: Bulging full of Nutrition

CSA 7-16

Hello CSA members,
This week’s box is bulging full of nutrition. You’ll recognize some items that you’ve seen already this year, but a few new items are making an appearance.
Broccoli – Wow, do I have a lot of broccoli now. I’m sure most of you already know what to do with this, so enjoy!
Kohlrabi – This is a member of the brassica family (along with broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.). I like to just slice it thin, add a little salt and pepper, then enjoy the crunch. But this veggie is a great ingredient for slaw, served braised, and even the leaves can be chopped up and added to pasta. I have a few recipes on my website, and will continue to add more in the future.
Kale – Red Russian kale is packed with vitamins and nutrients. This variety is especially good for making kale chips, but can be used in any kale recipe. Check out the collection of kale recipes I have so far on my website, I’m sure you’ll find something there that will be tempting to you.
Bok Choy – this is the very last of the bok choy for the season. I hope you’ve enjoyed it this year, as it will not make another appearance until 2014.
Cucumbers – I’ve planted six different varieties… some long, some dark, some skinny, some pudgy, some striped…. so you’ll be seeing different sizes, shapes, and colors throughout the season.
Zucchini – a couple of zukes, either bright yellow, dark green, pale yellow, or green and white striped. As you probably know, zucchini is a very prolific plant, so you can plan on seeing it frequently throughout the rest of the season. The good news is that it is also a very versatile veggie as well. It is delicious served raw, cooked, or even in dessert breads too. I have a few recipes on my website, and I’ll be adding more recipes as the season progresses.
Deliveries schedule is a usual:
St. Cloud – Delivered Tuesday morning
Made of Mora  – Thursday by 11:00
Cambridge Co-op Friday by 10:00

Farm Tour for Seniors

On Wednesday July 10, we welcomed a bus full of 21 seniors who came up from the cities to visit our farm. Sapsucker Farms was one of the stops on their “Day in the Country” tour of East Central Minnesota, organized by St. Paul Community Education.



About half of the individuals grew up on a farm, so they really appreciated what we are doing on our farm. Our small, diverse, and back-to-the-basics way of farming is very much like the small family farms they are familiar with. It was an enjoyable day for all.


CSA Week Five: Transitioning from spring to summer


Hello CSA members
This week you will see the last of the spring crops and the beginning of the summer crops. Yes, I dare say that summer is finally here. In addition to the veggies I have for you this week, the other, most prolific crop this week is the mosquitoes. No doubt you all have been sniffling, scratching, swatting, and swearing at those darn bugs all week as well. UGH. Anyhoooo….. here is what you’ll find in your box this week:

Broccoli – the broccoli crop is looking good. [SLAP – got one!] But one thing you need to know about broccoli, is that each plant has it’s own timing on when the head is ready.  Then in just a matter of days, the beautiful head of broccoli will turn into a beautiful head of flowers. It would be really convenient if all of the plants were ready at the same time, then stay that way for about a week. But that’s not the way it works. So, I’ll be cutting the broccoli heads as they are ready, so there will be small quantities coming your way as it is ready.

Peppers – the first of the peppers are ready. There is a combination of hot and sweet peppers for your enjoyment. [SNORT – dang, I just inhaled a mosquito] Remember, it’s the seeds that make the peppers hot, so if you don’t like hot peppers, be sure to remove the seeds before you eat them.
Zucchini – also known as summer squash. I have several varieties this year, [SWAT, OUCH, I missed] so you’ll see either dark green, bright yellow, pale yellow, striped, or light green in your boxes throughout the summer.
Cucumber – Always a favorite. [SCRATCH Oh how I hate mosquitoes]
Basil – I could sniff basil all day, so aromatic, and of course, the best base to use for making pesto.
Scallions – the last of the springtime green onion crop, but there will be more coming soon.
Radishes with greens  – a small handful, and don’t forget that the greens are also delish. [SMACK oh @#$% I missed grrrr]
Bok Choy – crunchy, tender, asian green that is so good in stir fries. [ZAP ha, gotcha!]
If you need recipes for any of these veggies, be sure to visit my website at Sapsuckerfarms.com.  I’m adding more recipes each week, so be sure to check it out often.
As usual, the pick-up and deliver schedule this week is:
St. Cloud – I’ll deliver your boxes on TUESDAY 7/9  morning.
Made of Mora – Your boxes will be ready on THURSDAY 7/11 by 11:00 a.m. and the store is open until 6:00 p.m. and you can return your box and cool packs there.
Cambridge City Center Co-op – your boxes will be ready FRIDAY 7/12 by 10:00 a.m. and the store is open until 8:00 p.m.
Sapsucker Farms pick-up, you can come and pick up after noon on Thursday or Friday

CSA Week Four: Something Red, Something White, Something (almost) Blue.

CSA 7-2-13

Hi CSA share members,

I hope you have super fun plans to celebrate the 4th of July this week. And since it is 4th of July, there is a slight change to the delivery schedule for the folks in Mora, so please take note below. Here’s the scoop:
St. Cloud – deliveries will be on Tuesday as usual
Made of Mora – this will will be on WEDNESDAY 7/3. Also, please note that their hours will be 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. I will have the boxes there by 9:00, so you will need to be sure to pick up your box before they close at 1:00. If you aren’t able to get there by then, please let me know and you can pick it up here at the farm. They will also be open on Thursday 7/4 in case you don’t get there in time.
Sapsucker Farms – your box will be prepared and ready on WEDNESDAY 7/3 and will be in the cooler waiting for you to pick it up.
Cambridge City Center Co-op – will be ready as usual, by 10:00 on Friday
So with all of the logistics covered, here is what you’ll find in your box this week:
Radishes – something red for you to crunch on
Chinese cabbage – represents the white veggie this week.
Broccoli – if you squint your eyes, you can imagine that it is a blue color (work with me here). This is Belstar broccoli which has a different color than what you are used to seeing in the grocery store. But no matter what color it is, it’s delicious and nutritious.
Scallions – if you use your imagination, you will see red, white and blue. Included are red scallions, white scallions, and purple pearl  (a shade of blue, right)  bunching onions.
Cucumber – no matter how you look at it, it will always be green
Lettuce – again… as green as it gets.
As always, you can find recipes on our website
Wishing you a happy, fun, and blessed 4th of July holiday.

CSA Week Three: Spicy bounty

CSA 6-25

Hi CSA members,
Sorry that this email is a little late this week, as the St. Cloud peeps have already received their boxes. Oops.
I am happy to report that the crops are FINALLY starting to grow. Despite all of the nasty, wicked weather this past week (no major crop damage, WHEW!), the one-week hiatus gave the outside crops a chance to catch up. It also gave your farmer a chance to catch some fish. Research shows that food grown by farmers who go fishing, tastes better than food grown by farmers who don’t go fishing. True.
As usual, the box pick-up schedule this week is:
St. Cloud – I’ll deliver your boxes on TUESDAY 6/25  morning. (done)
Made of Mora – Your boxes will be ready on THURSDAY 6/27 by 11:00 a.m. and the store is open until 6:00 p.m. and you can return your box and cool packs there.
Cambridge City Center Co-op – your boxes will be ready FRIDAY 6/28 by 10:00 a.m. and the store is open until 8:00 p.m.
Sapsucker Farms pick-up, you can come and pick up after noon on Thursday 6/27 or Friday 6/28
Here is what is in this week’s box:
Pac Choy/Bok Choy/Pak Choi – However you choose to spell it, it’s the same thing. Just as the famous line by William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet states “Bok Choi by any other name, would taste just as great.” Or something like that… anyhoo…. Bok Choy is a tender, mild, and versatile veggie, especially popular for stir-frys. Here are a few bok choy recipes for you to try.
Arugula – This peppery, spicy green is a member of the mustard family. It is often served in fancy dishes at snooty restaurants, as it adds zip to salads, and other entrees. It can also be used to make pesto or as a pizza topping. Here are a few arugula recipes to try out.
Scallions – also called bunching onions, this week includes three varieties: white, purple, and purple pearl.
Radishes and radish greens – No doubt you are familiar with this crunchy little bulb, but don’t throw out the greens. The greens are also versatile, and can be used as a spicy addition to many dishes. Here are some radish and radish greens recipes to try.
Lettuce – yup, I still have lots of lettuce. This week includes two heads, romaine and another fancy variety.
Enjoy the bounty,

CSA Hiatus: Farmer Goes Fishing


Due to the late start of the growing season, some of the crops need a little extra time to grow. So it’s a good time for the farmer to take a break from the farm as well.

We spent five days visiting our good friends up in Alaska, and got in on some combat fishing for salmon. The freezer if full of 60 lbs of fresh salmon, and we are refreshed and ready to get back to the business of farming.


CSA Week Two: Salads and Stir-Frys

CSA 6-11-13

Hello CSA members,

Since the full-share members got their first box last week, they are now familiar with the delivery/pick-up procedures. For Half-share members, this will be your first box, so first, a few logistics.
Please save the produce boxes and cooler packs that your veggies are provided to you, and return them to me for refill.
St. Cloud – I’ll deliver your boxes on TUESDAY morning.
Made of Mora – Your boxes will be ready on THURSDAY by 11:00 a.m. and the store is open until 6:00 p.m. and you can return your box and cool packs there.
Cambridge City Center Co-op – your boxes will be ready FRIDAY by 10:00 a.m. and the store is open until 8:00 p.m. I already sent you a separate email about how they want us to manage the boxes, so please let me know if you didn’t get that message from me.
Sapsucker Farms pick-up, you can come and pick up after noon on Thursday or Friday, but please let me know which day works best for you so I can have your box ready.
So… this week is full of goodies for making fresh salads and stir-fries
Chinese cabbage (a.k.a “napa cabbage”) – this looks like a giant bok choy, it is wonderful cooked in stir-frys or raw in salads, can be used in place of either regular cabbage or bok choy. I have a handful of recipes on my website as well.
Lettuce – heirloom buttercrunch and romaine, red and green varieties, so enjoy fresh salads this week
Rhubarb – be sure to try the rhubarb custard pie recipe on my website. I’ve already made two of them, and eaten it for dessert and breakfast
Spinach – also great for both salads and stir frys
In case you’re wondering how the crops are doing during this crappy, cold spring, here is what’s happening:
Happy crops: all of the crops inside the hoop house are really happy, including: tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, Chinese Cabbage, and a few misc thingies that I’m trying out. The brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower) are really enjoying this cold weather, and haven’t complained to much so far. The onions are growing slowly, but growing nonetheless, so I’ll include them in the happy crop category.
Unhappy crops: beans and corn are refusing to germinate. The soil temperature have been too cold for these warm-footed plants, so I am now in the process of sprouting them in the greenhouse and will transplant them out into the field. The eggplant and zucchini are pouting… they’re healthy, but they’re protesting the cold and won’t grow any more until we get some heat.
On life support: the melons and squash are hanging on by their last tiny roots. They are desperately in need of warmth. Despite all of the encouragement, tender words, and pleading I’ve given them, they aren’t responding.
For this reason, [attention full-share members] there will be no CSA box next week… as I need to give the unhappy crops some time to grow.

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