Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

  (Hinckley, Illinois)
Locally Grown - Quality Farm Produce at Affordable Prices
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Seeding!!!

Another day was spent seeding at the Bountiful Blessings Farm. I worked on onions and lettuce today. This is a very exciting time of the year. I love seeing the little seedlings start popping through the soil. Once the seeding was done today, I cleaned up the tool room, cleaned tools and put things away from weekend work around the farm. I want to make it a goal to keep things picked up and put away where they belong. In the busy season, things do not always get back to where they belong. We try real hard, but the busyness sometimes wins. I am hoping to encourage everyone helping us at the farm to put things back - and put them back clean. In the long run it will be more efficient. Moving all of my tools from the office building to the tool room should be a big help. We do most of our spring work in the main produce building, so having the tools over there should save time. 

Tomorrow we are supposed to get hit with up to 12 inches of snow. This is good for the moisture levels in the ground, but it will slow the process of building the seedling greenhouse. I was planning to work on that this week, but will most likely have to shift to something else. There is plenty to do in preparation for this season, so I am not worried about not having anything to do.

I filled out the paperwork today for two farmer's markets and got them in the mail. More information on that to follow. Now, for supper! Blessings!

 
 

Don and Eileen's Borscht

I love beets, however, I love them pickled! Nonetheless, after trying them in our friend's Don and Eileen Albinger's Borscht recipe, I love beets cooked this way as well. This is a wonderful winter soup. We try to enjoy it several times over the winter.

Don and Eileen’s Borscht

8 cups beef broth

1 pound ground beef (cooked)

1 large onion, peeled, quartered

4 large beets, peeled, chopped (boil in advance)

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups thinly sliced cabbage

¼  cup chopped fresh dill

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Brown ground beef in skillet, drain and allow to cool. In a large sauce pan bring 4 cups of the beef broth, ground beef and onion to boil in large pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spoon fat from top of chilled broth and discard. Add remaining 4 cups broth, beets, carrots, and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in cabbage and 1/8 cup dill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining 1/8 cup dill. The flavors may be enhanced by refrigerating overnight and reheating the next day.

 

Serves 6.

 
 

Cabbage

Today has been a long day. First we harvested snap bean samples for a customer; then we weeded. This afternoon was spent planting cabbage. Andy, Peter and I put in about 900 today. I was just out and weeded some more. It is very dry and the rain we thought we were going to get does not look like it will make it. I guess that is why we have irrigation. 

Some of the things to remember about planting cabbage came to mind today as I was planting.  One of the basic things when planting cabbage is not to plant it where you planted it the year before. If you do, the results may not be all that satisfactory, as the plants will often be much more susceptible to disease. It's best to plant them elsewhere in the garden. In fact, you should not plant cabbage where any other members of the Crucifer family have been planted. We rotate our crops to avoid this issue.

Like most vegetables, cabbage is a sun loving plant and will usually not do well if planted in a shady area. Being a cool season plant, it will benefit somewhat from partial shade, especially in the afternoon, in areas where the summer temperatures are quite high. The warmer weather we are experiencing is causing some issues with our crucifer crops.

The rewards from giving the plant sufficient water will soon be evident. The right combination of fertilizer and water can result in some giant-sized heads, if that is what you want, although heads of 9 or 10 inches in diameter will sell better at the market. I think tomorrow I will start irrigating my cabbage!!! Have a great evening! God bless!

 
 
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