Dehydrating Tomatoes

Just when we thought we’d have a small tomato harvest...they rallied! We’ve canned, frozen and fermented. Now we’re dehydrating them for use in soups, stews and tomato basil bread. Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and dehydrate at 135 to 145 degrees for about 24 hours or until dried. For long-term storage place dehydrated tomatoes in freezer safe bags or containers and store them in the freezer.


Container Grown Sweet Potatoes

We save valuable real estate in the vegetable garden by growing some of our vining crops such as sweet potatoes in containers. This year’s harvest is over 11 lbs. from two containers. We’ll save the smaller tubers for starting next year’s crop. In January, we’ll bury those tubers halfway in a flat of soil insuring the ends are covered. In time they will sprout and provide us the slips we need for next season’s harvest!


Freezing Tomatoes For Instant Pot Recipes

It’s the day after our Fall Open House and I have two card tables filled with very ripe tomatoes in need of attention. I use this fast and easy method to get them into the freezer for future Instant Pot meals such as ‘Sue’s From The Garden Instant Pot Chili’ and ‘Sue’s Instant Pot Bean And Bacon Soup’! Simply wash, core and cut the tomatoes into pieces and place them in a gallon sized freezer bag. It’s a good idea to place the bags in a baking dish until frozen and when thawing to contain any liquid that may come from an accidental tear in the freezer bag. When you are ready to use the tomatoes in a recipe just thaw and crush them!


Hoping For A Fall Garden?

Hoping for a fall garden? Get a head start with these ‘KK Cross’ cabbage and ‘Snow Crown’ cauliflower plants...only $1.00 each. Fall Open House September 6th through 9th. Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4. Locally grown pumpkins, gourds, squash and other farmer’s market goodies from one of our favorite farm families...The Fitzkes! Local raw honey, freeze dried florals, furniture, garden art, vintage treasures, lots of succulents and beautiful fall-blooming mums grown right here on the flower farm! Bring your camera! We have some great places to get fall photos of the kiddos and the hummingbirds are having a blast out here!


Honey Fermented Garlic Cloves

It’s time to prepare for the upcoming cold and flu season! Honey Fermented Garlic Cloves help lessen the effect of colds and viruses....even keeping them at bay! It takes about a month for this ferment to be ready so now is a great time to get started. Use caution if purchasing heads of garlic. American grown garlic will still have it’s roots attached. Garlic imported from China and other countries will have had it’s roots removed. Peeling garlic cloves can be a tedious job but we personally avoid pre-peeled cloves since we’re not sure what they have been rinsed in to inhibit mold growth. Fremont’s Hy-Vee carries beautiful heads of garlic with large cloves that are easy to peel. Their produce manager assures me this is the only variety they sell. We have local, raw honey coming to the shop sometime next week. If you need some before our open house please send me a message and we’ll arrange a pick up time for you!


Yukon Gold Potatoes

Our first hill of potatoes weighed in at 5.3 pounds! That means there should be over 200 pounds of home-grown garden goodness under all these vines! Garden tip: We use a vintage wire egg basket to harvest our root crops then wash the produce outside with a garden hose. Less of a mess in the kitchen!


Eggplant Parmesan

First eggplant of the season and my version of Eggplant Parmesan! Dip thick slices of eggplant in a beaten egg thinned with milk. Coat slices in breadcrumbs. Season with salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil. Place slices in an oiled baking dish. Spritz with olive oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes until crispy and browned. Remove from oven, top with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with dried oregano and basil. Return baking dish to oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Most of the ingredients in this dish came from our garden or were locally sourced. Breadcrumbs from our homemade tomato basil bread, eggs and raw milk from local and organic farms. Amazing flavor from fresh, quality foods!


Autumn Boutique

Join us for our Autumn Boutique September 6, 7, 8 and 9! Thursday through Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4. Custom designed and freeze-dried wreaths and arrangements! Furniture, garden art, original prints and vintage treasures! Pumpkins, gourds, fall bloomers and Farmer’s Market goodies! Lunch and refreshments served Thursday through Saturday to benefit Trinity Lutheran Church’s Comfort Dog Program. Come meet Katie Comfort Dog!


Today’s Incredible Harvest!

An incredible harvest from the veggie garden today. Ken picked while I processed:

14 quarts of green beans pressure canned

4 quarts of green beans frozen for Instant Pot recipes

6 quarts of cauliflower frozen

1 quart of ‘Fooled You’ peppers diced and frozen

The tomatoes are finally beginning to ripen. They’re not pretty but they are absolutely delicious! This gorgeous head of cabbage will be sauerkraut but it’s going to have to wait until tomorrow...we’re tired! 🙂 Dinner tonight is a grilled mostly grass fed steak from a local family farm served with cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans and a kale salad from our garden. I am in heaven!



One of our favorite fermented veggie combos...Giardiniera!

For each quart jar:

2 garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/4 teaspoon dried dill seeds

1 Bay leaf

Broccoli florets

Cauliflower florets

Carrots, sliced

Onion, sliced

Don’t hesitate to add sliced broccoli and cauliflower stems. They turn out tender and crisp when fermented!

Brine ratio: 1 Tablespoon finely ground pink Himalayan sea salt dissolved into 2 cups of water.

Layer veggies and spices into jar, packing tightly. Tuck kale leaves over veggies to keep them submerged beneath the brine. Use a proper weighting method. In this case, we criss-crossed kale stems that we pushed beneath the shoulder of a small mouth jar. Cover veggies with brine, place a lid on the jar and allow to ferment for 1 to 2 weeks while burping jars daily. Place jars in refrigerator where they can be stored for several months. Helpful hint: Wrap spices in cheesecloth and place in the bottom of the jar to keep them from floating.

Giardiniera is the perfect ferment to use in our Quinoa Salad With Fermented Vegetables. Finely dice the kale leaves and add them to the salad, too! A serving of Quinoa contains as much protein as a serving of meat. Protein together with probiotics make this salad a powerhouse of nutrition!