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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.

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