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Posted 6/14/2011 7:46am by Mark Boen.

Kohlrabi leaves are amazing stir fried or steamed.  Chop them up and mix them with bok choi or spinach.

The kohlrabi bulb can be peeled, sliced and eated raw.  Each slice can also serve as the chip for a dip.  Most people eat kohlrabi raw.

However, it can also be diced, put on a flat pan and baked in the oven.  Season as desired and mist with your favorite cooking oil.

Posted 6/11/2011 4:50pm by Mark Boen.

Chinese Cabbage Stir Fry

1 large head Chinese cabbage

1 large head bok choy

2 c. celery, sliced on the diagonal

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced

Oil for stir frying

Wash Chinese cabbage and bok choy, and cut off root end.  Chop stems into bite size pieces, and rough cut the leaves.  Heat the oil in a wok or very large pan.  Stir fry the cabbage and bok choy stems, followed by the celery, for about 2-3 minutes each, and transfer to a large bowl.  Stir fry the peppers for 2 minutes, and add the other vegetables  back to the wok.

Can be served as a side or as a vegetarian entree.  Good sprinkled with a little freshly ground sea salt or soy sauce.  May also be served over noodles or rice.






Posted 6/11/2011 3:43pm by Mark Boen.

Layered Lettuce Salad

1 large head romaine lettuce

1/2 medium head bok choy

1/2 medium head Chinese cabbage

2 C. pea shoots, cut in 1 in. pieces

1 small kohlrabi, peeled and cut in matchsick pieces

10 - 12 radishes, thinly sliced

Wash all ingredients and cut root end off the lettuce, bok choy, and Chinese cabbage. If you have a salad spinner, use it to dry the greens, including the pea shoots. Chop the lettuce into bite size pieces, and the bok choy into slightly smaller strips, especially the stems, which need to be a slightly smaller size.  Layer in a large bowl and serve with dressings on the side.  Shredded cheese and crumbled bacon or pepperoni pieces are optional, but very good on top.

Ranch Dressing

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 c. plain yogurt

1/2 c. chive sour cream

1/2 c. buttermilk

1/4 c. chopped parsley

2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill - or 1 tbsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp white vinegar - or you can use dill pickle juice!

1/2 tsp pepper

Sprinkle the salt over the garlic and mash it together until it becomes a paste.  Add all dressing ingredients to  bowl, mix thoroughly, and chill for 3 hours to let the flavors blend.  Thin with milk or half & half  if needed.




Posted 6/11/2011 3:41pm by Mark Boen.

This radish dip is so  good, it's hard to stop eating it!


1/4 C. chive sour cream

1/4 C plain yogurt

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

12 - 18 radises, finely chopped

Combine ingredients and serve with your favorite crackers.  It's especially good with rye crackers or bagel chips.  Triscuit - Rye with Caraway Seeds, and New York Style brand Bagel Crisps with sea salt are the current favorites at our house.                    

This dip is great in place of mayo on a sandwich, too

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

Spread two slices of good organic bread with the radish dip - as much or as little as you like. 

Layer on the following vegetabes - two thin layers of each:

fresh romaine, cucumbers and pea shoots.  You may add another layer of radishes, if you wish!

The bread from Falls Baking Company is the best!  That is what we use for this.  They have many varieties - our favorites are French Boule and Parmesan Garlic.

(Our little pomeranian, Maddie, loves their bread.  If we give her store-bought bread, she spits it out.  I guess that makes her a bread snob, right?)

Here's another way to eat your radishes -

Stir Fried Bok Choy with Radishes

1 head bok choy

2 tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil

12 - 18 radishes, thinly sliced

1 small green topped onion,sliced - green top included

1/2 tsp sea salt

Trim root end from bok choy, leaving stalks with leaves.  Cut green leaves from stalks.  Chop leaves into 1-in. pieces and set aside.  Chop stalks into 1-in. pieces.  Slice the radishes and onion , including the green top. 

In large skillet or wok, heat oil and add the bok choy stalks.  Stir fry for about 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Add radishes, onion, salt and bok choy leaves, and stir fry for another 3 minutes or until heated through.

YIELD: 8 servings

For something different, try this -

Oven Roasted Radishes

2 bunches radishes - trimmed and quartered

3 tbsp. olive oil or sunflower oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients. Transfer to 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring once.

YIELD: 5 servings


Posted 7/16/2010 1:07pm by Mark Boen.
Dear CSA members,

When I saw the tremendous response of people wanting pickling cucumbers, I was worried that we might not have enough.  Each harvest event hinges on what the farm has available.

However the first person picked their bushel today (which is two five gallon pails) and got just a short distance!!  Whew!!  It looks like there will be more than enough for all.

I could spend the whole afternoon going through emails and trying to line up people for picking cucumbers.  The easiest way, would be if you called me if you could come today.  It looks like we have room for four or five to get their bushels.  We will see how long it takes for the patch to regenerate and be ready for the next picking.  Then the next batch of picking can begin.  This is unlike the pea pick where everyone could come at once.  Don't come unless you have lined it up with me.

Rules for picking:

~Every plant's goal is to make seeds.  Once it has made seeds, it stops producing.  So, if you see an old and fat cucumber on the vine, pick it off and throw it away.  Of left on, that plant will stop producing.

~Be gentle on the plants.  Our whole membership wanting cucumbers needs that.  Never hold a vine up to pick.  Lean over and swish the leaves to find the cukes.   Watch where you step.  Most were very careful.  However, some were like steamrollers.  It didn't matter in the peas but it really does on the cukes.  They need to keep producing.

So... if you can come today or tomorrow, call me at 218-205-4739.  They need to get picked off.

I can't wait to think all winter that so many are eating Bluebird Gardens pickles...just as a bonus for being part of our CSA!!  If you are really into pickles, you can use all your harvest events for cucumbers.


Posted 7/8/2010 5:35am by Mark Boen.

Dear CSA members,

The first harvest event is here!!  The pea pick will be this weekend.  We are guessing the bulk of the members will come on Saturday.  If you need to come outside of Saturday, just give me a call at 218-205-4739 as you are arriving so we can help you.  This letter will include directions for the pea pick, things you can do on the farm and other harvest events so you can plan for the ones you want to attend.

If you are coming from The FM area, here are driving directions:

Take the first exit to Fergus on Old Highway 88.  Turn left at the ramp and head toward Fergus.  When you see the old State Hospital on the left and a Stop and Go on the right, there is a y in the road.  Take the left part of the y which is straight east on Fir Avenue.  You will head east until Fir ends.  Turn left on Co. Hwy 1, which is by the YMCA and go 4 1/2 mile on 1.  Then turn right (east) on Co Hwy 18 for 3 1/2 miles.  You will see our wind turbine on the right.  We are the driveway to the right immediately after the turbine.  When you get in the yard, you will see two huge oak trees where there is a y in the road.  Take the right of the y, which is straight and go to our house.   From DL, follow 59 south and use the same directions when you get to Old 88.
If you are coming from Perham, look for 35.  At the Tingvold Church, turn left on 38 and after four miles or so, look for 18.  Turn right on 18 for 3 1/2 miles and look for the peas signs after the wind turbine on the left.

We will have peas signs at the two approaches where you can enter the field.  Please walk down the approaches and not down the steep ditches.  I do not want any broken ankles.  Our insurance would end these harvest events if we are not careful.  Flags will mark where we shall walk.

There will be three kinds of peas for you to pick.  The regular shelling peas will be the most prolific.  They are green arrow.  We will have orange flags that you will leave where you finish.  We will progress south through the field.  Sugar snaps will be the next productive.  They are the ones you eat the whole pod.  The pea pods are more filled out and slightly past their prime but you will still find more slender ones.

To pick peas, you have to hold the plant up with one hand to find all the pods on both sides.  To pick the peas, you have to hold the plant with one hand and pick the peas with the other.  If you just pull at the peas without holding the plant, the plant will be ripped apart.  We will be using this same patch next week, so we ask everyone to walk carefully and pick carefully.

This is the most prolific harvest event.  We don't have limits for this one.  You can bring friends but the the actual harvest is for CSA members only.  They can help you pick.  Make sure you spend time just eating the peas right from the patch!!

When you arrive, we will ask you to sign in by drop off location.  If you can't come yourself, but are sending someone, just have them give your name.

Other things to do on the farm:

~At the end of our driveway, which is just east of the wind turbine, if you follow the blue flags in the ditch along the highway to the east, you will find the magic woods on the hill.  It is out of this world and will offer the most perfect getaway for you and your family to have a picnic.  You are welcome to use this any time this season.

~You can come up in our yard and check out the high tunnels.  At the very east end of the yard are our newest chickens.  They are a red chicken and are considered better for free range meat chickens.  They are considered gourmet in the fancy restaurants of Europe.  You will have those and cornish rock chickens to choose from this summer.  You will note that we don't have the most manicured yard.  Somehow managing 150 acres of vegetables is overwhelming enough!!

OTHER HARVEST EVENTS: We have added many new ones.  Our goal is to bring CSA to a new level!!  Half share members can choose three and full share can choose seven.  Drop off hosts get a harvest event for every five boxes they host.

HERB-  If you choose the herb pick, you can actually take part in this this same weekend.  The basil is ready.  Just make sure you prune leaves and leave the plant still growing.  There is also some parsley and cilantro.  The other herbs you can gather at another thyme.

TOMATO-  We have nursed the tomatoes through an early blight and potato bug infestation.  But they are looking better and our hopes are many members can harvest their bushel later this season.  We will let members know as soon as the tomatoes run away from us.

GREEN BEAN -   Beans always get away from us so we will let you know when you can join us in picking those.

SWEET CORN-  There are many days when we have corn left at the stands, so if you want the ten dozen sweet corn, give us your number and we will call you when we have the surplus left at the end of a stand day.  Or we may have a portion of a patch we can't get to, and we will call you out.

FALL HARVEST-  This is where you fill a fifty pound mesh bag with a smorgasboard of fall items such as potatoes, squash, etc.

PICKLING CUCUMBERS-  They are looking great and are nearing being ready.  Get on a list by emailing us, some have already, and we will call you to come and pick your bushel.  Our dill didn't turn out, so be looking for dill.  You can freeze it.

PUMPKIN PICK-  Bring your family out and gather eight pumpkins of your choice from our field!

FALL DECORATING PICK-  Gather gourds and small pumpkins for your home or office.

POTATO PICK-  If we have rows left, join us late in the season to harvest and leave with your fifty pound bag of potatoes.

KALE PICK-  Some of you make great chips from the kale.  At the end of the season, harvest a brown grocery bag of kale for chips all winter!

BEET PICK-  Gather a five gallon pail for beet pickles.

CARROT PICK -  If we have carrots left in the fall, gather a five gallon pail for winter.

Posted 7/6/2010 5:44am by Mark Boen.
Dear CSA Members,

As we barrel through the summer, here we are with another week's delivery!!

We have three kinds of peas in this week's box.  They will all be part of the pea pick this weekend.  I will send a separate letter soon regarding the pea pick.  I will also let you know all the other picks that are available so you can choose.  The pea pick is the most unlimited and most prolific so you won't want to miss this one.

~The long and slender pea in the box is Green Arrow.  It is a regular shelling pea.  The regular pea we had in last week's box was supposed to be Olympia which is an outstanding early pea.  This year, however, there must have been a mix up in the seed as it was not Olympia and was instead rugged picking and poor quality.  So you will love the switch to Green Arrow this week.  Green Arrow will be prolific in the pea pick this weekend.   It is great raw or cooked.

~Sugar Snap-  Sugar snap is the shortest fat pea in the box.  It is amazing raw or cooked.  It is awesome dipped in dips.

~Pea pod-  These are a little fatter than last week but this adds to the sweetness.  They are wonderful in stir fry but amazing dipped in dips.

~New potatoes-  I don't know where you can buy potatoes that have calcium and all the elements added to the soil, or where they have no herbicide or pesticide, but here they are from Bluebird Gardens!  Enjoy their royal goodness!!

~Onions-  We are still on our onion sets.  Use them from top to bottom.  The big Walla Wallas are coming soon, maybe a couple of weeks!!

~Cucumbers-  When all the elements are added to the soil, enjoy the real sweetness of how a cucumber should really taste.  One of our awesome members said she will never get a store cucumber again.  By the way, our entire staff savors the comments in all the emails you send.  We really are energized by your comments!!

Full share boxes-  We will try to get broccoli in the Tuesday deliveries and cabbage in the Wed.  Next week will flip flop.  Full share will also get basil.  Full share will also get kohlrabi.  Enjoy it raw or cooked.

~Chickens-  Oh my gosh!!  The last of the royal plumbing inspectors should darken our wonderful doorway this week so chicken processing can begin.  You would never believe the red tape in MN.  Our leaders sit in baffled bewilderment as to why the economy is sluggish in MN.  However, under their stiffling leadership, they have effectively shut it down!!

Have a great week.  Enjoy the box!!

Posted 5/27/2010 7:04am by Mark Boen.

It is the glorious time of year for greens!!  Please share what you do to make your spinach, lettuce and radishes come alive!!  When you share your recipes and stories, they will stay here but also be transferred to the recipe section of our website.  You can remain anonymous or preferably use your name and get the credit for your gourment talents!!

Posted 5/11/2010 10:56pm by Mark Boen.

Dear CSA members,
We could not believe the amazing turnout to come to get the lettuce and bok choy!!  It was great to hear how you enjoyed the first round!!  It was an amazing treat to meet you all.  What a beautiful group of people you are.  I am so energized for the fun season we will have.  We have more lettuce and bok choy available so you are  welcome to come again. We also have spinach in high tunnel two, while it lasts.  This is the one item you will get to harvest yourself. (Notice the word "get".  You can tell I was an elementary teacher for 34 years!!)   It was amazing how you banded together already and had people pick up for many families.  I would like to find a way for you to connect with other CSA members to allow this to occur even more.  I know it is tricky with new privacy issues.  So, once again, you are invited to come and get more lettuce, bok choi and spinach Wednesday through Saturday.  (Our son, Dillon's confirmation is Sunday.)  If you want to call to say you are coming, we could be more ready for you.  My phone is 218-205-4739.
Pretty soon, WE will be bringing the produce to YOU!!  Today I got the new CSA trailer and ordered the CSA boxes.  The packing shed is ready to be built if it ever quits raining!! 

We have really hustled to get many jobs done in the beautiful April weather.  Those crops are doing awesome!  Following are some of those jobs:
~The ten thousand pounds of Norland and Yukon Gold potatoes are coming up.  They look so robust and healthy.  The early shoots froze this weekend but they will send more from below.  No problem!
~Before yesterday's rain, we planted the fifth stage of radishes, lettuce, bunching onions, and spinach.  The patches of these crops look amazing for this time of year!  We have planted enough for the CSA and stands.
~The first two patches of sweet corn are planted and are germinating very well.  They should be up soon.  As soon as it dries, the next patches will be planted.  I plant sweet corn stages until about the 8th of July.  We are usually the last ones in the state to have sweet corn.  Some lucky years, it is til the middle of October!
~The 36,000 onion plants, which include Walla Walla, Ailsa Craig, Big Daddy and two red varieties look awesome and weren't hurt by the frost.  The 160 pounds of onion sets are doing great as well.  It is not on the list, but we planted a lot of garlic, which is doing awesome.  That will be in your fall box as well.
~The ten acres of the first peas and beans look spectacular.  I have never seen them come up so well.  They include two early varieties of shelling peas, many Green Arrow peas, which will be a big part of the pea pick, sugar snap peas and pea pods, also part of the farm harvest pea pick, and green beans.  The beans have germinated well but luckily aren't up yet with May's ugly weather.
~We planted thousands of cabbage, broccoli, kale and bok choi.  They love the cool and wet weather.  It's good somebody does!!
We really need the weather to clear so we can continue planting the crops in stages.  Planting tomatoes, cucumbrs, melons and peppers on plastic with trickle irrigation covered by low tunnel plastic and cloth is our next urgent job.  We had wanted to do this in early May and all it does is rain.  Luckily, Stuart and Bill are joining us soon so we will have the troops to do this quickly.  We also need to resume weeding of all the crops such as onions, spinach, carrots-which look better than ever- We planted Bolero, a sweet and tender carrot.  We are also planting 3,000 asparagus, 10,000 strawberries and plum, apple and pear fruit trees.  Can you imagine the fun stuff we will have in our CSA boxes of the future??  And the harvest events we can add??

I plan to email you soon about more drop off locations.  We have great new locations in Fergus, and the FM area.  We even have a drop off in North Fargo now.  If you find a better drop off location on the new list, you can change.   I can't begin to relay our gratitude to you as members for making this all work.  Our members have found the drop off locations and volunteered to be hosts.  You are the most beautiful, excited people we have seen.  What a season it will be!!  We are still taking signups, and most signups now say they heard of us by word of mouth.  That is all of you!!  What a crew!!

Posted 4/14/2010 4:49am by Mark Boen.

Many people are signing up to be part of our Summer CSA.  Thanks to all of you for trusting us in this adventure.  It will be an amazing food celebration and revolution!!  It is totally fun to watch the amazing ownership and involvment of CSA members already, to find drop off locations and spread the news to friends!!  Almost half of all sign ups now are from word of mouth.  THANKS  to all who are a part of this.

I can't wait for the box deliveries to start and for the farm harvest events to occur.  I love to read your response, which is part of the CSA check out.  It tells what brought you to us.  Your emails are awesome!  But the real connection lies ahead of us.  The box deliveries each week, the sharing of recipes and the farm harvest events will become the glue that brings us all together!!

I am most willing to come and talk about the CSA opportunity to any work site, neighborhood, senior living center, etc.  Just email me through this website or call me at 218-205-4739 and I will find the time to come!!


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