Thursday, September 15, 2016

Harvest Party 2016: An Official Invitation from Your Farmers

By Farmer Richard & Andrea

     Our Harvest Party is coming up in just a little over a week! We hope you’ll join us for the festivities on Sunday, September’s going to be a lot of fun! In our late summer newsletters we’ve been talking about forming a connection with nature and learning more about the source of your food. Well…now is your chance to visit your farm and see for yourself! The festivities will start at noon and will wrap up by 5 pm...leaving enough time to journey home and tuck the kiddos in for a good night’s rest before school the next day (trust us…they’ll sleep well after an afternoon at the farm). If you’d like to make a full weekend out of it, we’d love to share our campground with you! Spend a night under the stars in our valley. Listen to the flow of the river, the croaking bullfrogs, the owls talking in the distance and maybe even a little chatter from the coyotes.
     So what’s on the agenda? Pumpkins, of course! Our field tour will end in the pumpkin patch where you will find more than enough pumpkins for everyone. We have an assortment of pumpkins including warty knuckle-heads, Jack-O-Lanterns with nice handles, and even some pie pumpkins. But before we get to the pumpkins we have a few other stops. The Harvest Party is never complete without a stop in the sweet potato field. We have been checking them and they look pretty good…but still a little small. I’m anxious to see what we find after another week of growing. We’ll have to strip the vines and dig down to find them, so be ready to get your hands dirty! We’ll make a stop in the pepper and eggplant field as well. Here you’ll have the opportunity to pick the final fruits of the season. Make sure you bring a bag to carry away your vegetable treasures! In between the peppers and pumpkins we have a beautiful field of fall carrots. If you’ve never eaten a carrot just pulled out of the ground, then you are in for a treat. You might even find some yellow and purple ones!
     We always enjoy spending time with our CSA members as we tour the fields. Over the years we’ve engaged in some very interesting conversations about farming, eating local foods, etc. This is your time to pick our brains, ask questions about the things you are seeing in the fields or anything else that’s on your mind. Several weeks ago Bobbie wrote an article about our area, referred to as The Driftless Region. We encourage you to read that article before you come to the farm and pay attention to the landscape as you approach. It truly is a unique region with beautiful landscape and some real treasures, such as the effigy mounds we found last fall on our own land!
Photo Courtesy of Sonic Love Child's Facebook Page
     We’ll have plenty of activities for you to take part in and enjoy. Sonic Love Child, a group of musicians from the Twin Cities will share their talents as they play a variety of music including American folk, classic country, vintage pop and some originals. Sandy Syburg will be here from Purple Cow Organics with his SoilMobile. We introduced you to Sandy in last week’s newsletter. We encourage you to visit him and his SoilMobile to learn more about just how important soil is to our well-being. He’ll have veggie tattoos for the kids and you can even take a selfie with his Purple Cow mascot!
     Of course we’ll have plenty of delicious food to enjoy. We’ll have some light snacks before we head to the field including our favorite Caramelized Poblano Chile & Onion Dip. We have a special batch of Watermelon Kombucha to share with you, courtesy of NessAlla. Back by popular demand, we’ll be mixing up a batch of Iced Maple Latte featuring Kickapoo Coffee, milk from Castle Rock Organic Dairy and maple syrup from Alvin Miller. After we work up an appetite in the fields, we’ll return to the home farm for a potluck! It’s always fun to see our vegetables come back to the farm in the form of delicious salads, casseroles and such prepared by our members. We’ll also be serving HVF pulled pork and a big pot of vegetarian black beans featuring some of our late summer peppers and onions.
     Over the years we’ve heard a lot of positive comments from members who’ve visited the farm. Their day at the farm has left them with fond memories of playing in the fields, interacting with the animals and enjoying picking and eating vegetables right out of the fields. Children have changed their eating habits after they have had the opportunity to form a connection with “THEIR” farm. The experience of digging in the dirt, harvesting their own food and sitting on the tractor with their farmer are formative experiences that have a lasting impact. If nothing else…Farmer Richard has 7 new ducks including 2 setting hens who have eggs that should hatch around September 20. Richard’s pretty proud of his ducks and is hoping to have some ducklings to show you at the party!

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