December 22, 2014

We are enjoying our family this Christmas season. Hope you are too! Still need a Christmas gift for that hard to buy for person? We have gift certificates or many people last year enjoyed shares of produce meat and eggs bought for them. It is a Christmas gift that keeps on giving all season!
Joshua our 5 year old year old said to me, “Mom I like winter. The plants don’t grow and the weeds don’t either.” Hope you are enjoying your weedless winter too. 🙂

November 30, 2014

All right this is NOT technically ‘farm’ news but it is important news to us none the less. Also, our farm is run by our family so our family news is our farm news, hence the family farm model. Here she is!!!!!

Our family is super excited to welcome our newest addition Elizabeth Deanna Braatz. She is 7 lbs 6oz and so wonderful (at least we think so). She was born at 5:41 on Thanksgiving morning so although we were not able to eat Thanksgiving with our families we are still so thankful!!! We are praising God for a healthy mom and baby and the fact that He is so amazing and can put together a human being, every cell perfectly placed to function as a body, with eyes that see, a heart that beats, and perfect little fingers and toes. We are totally in amazement again at His amazing handywork!
We are super excited that we get a girl again too. God is perfect and gives us this amazing gift! Be thankful this holiday season with all that he has blessed you with!

As a side note, I hope everyone who enjoyed the 55 turkeys we grew this year got to enjoy it hot out of the oven. We had our Thanksgiving meal hospital style and had our turkey leftovers delivered. Luckily we had a heritage turkey that we cooked for our son’s birthday on the 30th of November so we were still able to enjoy one freshly cooked, home grown, free range My MN Farmer turkey! 🙂

October 27, 2014

We are cleaning out our fields for the winter. We still are digging carrots and we harvested the last 3,500 lbs of beets in the last couple of days. We are still getting carrots out of the field. It is so great to have storage crops. It makes winter feel a bit more like summer when you can eat veggies that are raw and not canned but yet home grown!
We still have a lot to do in the next month with harvesting the last couple crops. Taking down the tomato trellising, cleaning out the fields, spreading compost and plowing the fields will keep us busy but it will be so nice to get it done.
Our animals are doing great. Rama Lama Ding Dong aka Sir Henry the Ram the first is with his lady friends so we will hopefully have adorable lambs running around here beginning in mid March next year.
Life is good. We still have a lot to do and we are staying busy but we actually had a weekend away this weekend. Our 15 year wedding anniversary was on the 23rd. We left on a marriage retreat on the 25th and had a wonderful time! It is great to be farmers and be busy all of the time. Why? Because we appreciate the down time we have so much. We better appreciate it too. One month more and our brood of busy blessings will go from 6 to 7 children. Enjoy life right now, whatever it may give you!

October 18, 2014

The last week of the season always seems a long time away in the middle of the year and then it sneaks up on us! Well now it is here. We thank you all so much for being supporters of our farming adventure. We so appreciate that you are willing to invest in our business so we can in return invest our time and energy into growing healthy, real food for you. When people ask me what I do I love to say we grow real food, in real dirt for real people. We couldn’t do that without you! Thank you!
The last newsletter is ready for you. I put the basic things which will be in the box this week on the newsletter. At this time of the year whatever else we find around gets thrown into the boxes too so they are full and beautiful. We are packing almost exactly half as many boxes this week as we did last week so you are helping us find a home for everything that didn’t fit last week. Thanks!
Our big projects this week are planting the garlic for next year, 3,100 cloves planted already, and cleaning out the fields so we can spread compost on them and get the soil re-energized for next years plants. We are really working hard to heal our soil and bring it up to par with what organic soil should contain. Lots of worms and minerals in the dirt are such a blessings. We can see the changes already since we started farming in the field 4 years ago.
Thank you again for being friends of our farm. We really appreciate you!!!


October 11, 2014

This is my last newsletter of regular season. If you are going to miss your eggs or chicken if you order the day before your delivery you can still get them delivered this week. As much as I love writing, farming and providing real food to real people it is ok for a break this year. Being 7 months pregnant with 6 other kids and a farm to run has been a bit busy. We still have plenty of ‘closing up shop’ in the fields but it has been beautiful weather for getting things done. Fall is a beautiful time. If you find you are going to miss your produce boxes, meat or eggs let us know. We have an extended season delivery next week and a Thanksgiving delivery on Tuesday November 25th. We have produce, preserves, chicken, eggs and hamburger available then. If you would like to sign up for these go to the Thanksgiving Store button on https://mymnfarmer.com/CSA.html. Thank you! I will have the 2015 shares published early this week. There is a sale on all shares though January 1st 2015. Order early to get great produce at the best price. Let us know any questions or comments about the season. Thank you for you support.

October 10, 2014

As I was walking through the fields today I couldn’t help but notice all of the grasshoppers springing this way and that. The birds are flying all around. The turkeys walk up to our back door and say hello. We go and visit the pigs and they come right up to us wondering what we have brought them this time. The calves shy away still as the older cows know to expect some goody from the garden as we approach. Sir Henry the Ram the First (aka Rama Lama Ding Dong) comes over and baaas at us until we pet and love him and give him some longer grass or veggie scraps. This place is just teaming with life and we feel so blessed to be caretakers of it. Even if it is only for a little while. Thank you Lord.

October 6, 2014

We have been so busy bringing all of our cattle home from their summer homes I forgot to post the newsletter! Sorry. It is here now!

Sept. 28, 2014

The newsletter is ready. There is a picture of Dean on an excavator. We had an icky thing happen last week that has thrown off our week (not to mention our budget)! We had a leak in the gas line. Because we had a gas man out to check the spigot of the farm tap, a yearly inspection, we had him find the other leak too. We dug it up and fixed it but were told our whole gas line is not ‘up to code’. It seems kind of sad since it has been working for the last 40 years but the whole thing has to be replaced. We were told if we didn’t have it replaced by November we would have to get an LP tank. Ugh. So out goes the money and Dean’s time has totally been redirected this week. Bummer. Anyway, we are without a stove, dryer and hot water until it is finished on Tuesday. Extra prayers for patience, diligence for the rest of us getting boxes packed and finances over the winter months we would greatly appreciate that.
You will see on the newsletter the last day of regular season is the week of October 13th-18th. The last week of extended season is October 20th-25th, and our wedding anniversary is the 23rd. Perfect timing for the end to the growing season!

Sept 20, 2014

Here is the newsletter. I didn’t put a recipe on there this week. There is fennel in the box this week. Here is the recipe I have with fennel in it http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/fennel-roasted-vegetables-recipe.html.
Here is our new ram. It will be about two more weeks until he is in with his ladies. He is wonderfully kind. It is so fun to have a friendly ram around. He is loving his new home which we move around so he gets new grass. Isn’t he cute, or maybe handsome? Got any good ideas for names? We haven’t thought of anything we love yet.


Sept 13, 2014

Well, we made it through a very early frost. Not totally without consequence but we will make it! We covered a lot of crops and most of those were saved. We also had a lot of hit or miss crop damage. I think our summer squash and zucchini are now done. We also lost the baby beans which would produce the next crop. The ones that are producing now should be OK. We will see if the flowers made it through or not as the week goes on. This is an early frost. Good thing we have lots of high tunnels (which we heated and they look very nice). There are also lots of cool season crops out there so we should be sitting well for the next 5 weeks of regular season. Fall here we come!
On the newsletter there is a recipe for the acorn squash you will get in your box this week and a bunch of farm news. Enjoy!

Sept 6, 2014

Wow, it is already September. This has been a year that has gone very fast. There is still plenty of season left though. The last week of regular season is the week of October 12th. The last week of extended season is the week of October 20th. Lots of fall crops are starting to get ready as the summer crops are slowing down. The boxes will be a bit random this week as the seasons change. Enjoy all the goodies listed on the newsletter. It will be fun to see the butternut squash come in. That is always my favorite! Enjoy!

August 30, 2014

It has been a busy weekend preparing for our two straight days of packing. It is always interesting when you take your day to prep for packing and totally get rid of it. It makes us scramble a little more than normal. Being farmers and many times being flexible enough to be not only on plan B but plan C, D, or E before a day is done helps us to get through and still have smiles on our faces. We have done lots of prep work and planned a little easier crops this week to help us make it through. Hope you all enjoy your Labor Day weekend. Hopefully you don’t have to work as hard as we do! 🙂 Good luck with all of the transitions as we head into school year and the fall weather. Blessings!
Enjoy the newsletter and maybe try some Zucchini Garlic Soup. 🙂

August 24th, 2014

I guess when you need to harvest on Sunday night for Monday morning deliveries sometime you need to harvest in the rain. This is one of those Sundays. Just let us know if you ever want to come dance in the rain with us. 🙂 It is wet our there! I guess I will take this over the dry, dry weather we had the last month.
The newsletter is ready. No new pictures this week. I do have the pictures of what hot peppers look like though. We will have those in everyone’s box I believe. There are also two recipes on there. One for eggplant meatless meatballs and one for our favorite refrigerator pickles. Enjoy!
We will miss you Carl, Maddy, Tim and Rhiannon. Have a fun time back at school! Learn lots! Thanks for helping out during your summer!

August 10, 2014

Lots of excitement around the farm this week! Not only did we have another baby calf, our first girl this year, but we also got a new kind of animal; sheep! It is fun to watch these curious animals check out their new surroundings. We got a flock from a farmer who had his 4H kids heading off to college. We are very happy with them. We have 20 females including a few older ewes and a few yearlings. We are now on the lookout for a ram. Anyone know of one around? We are probably looking for a suffolk or a suffolk cross but not for sure. Then we can have lambs in February and March. That will be so fun! Dean used to raise and show sheep in high school so it is fun to get back into this fun animal.
Lots more goodies this week! For ideas of what to do with produce and some cute sheep pictures check out the newsletter. Let us know if you have any feedback or recipes! Thanks for those of you who have already sent in any of the above. We love new ideas!

August 3, 2014

Thanks for the egg cartons! Keep them coming! 🙂
Two cute pictures of the new calves are on the newsletter. There are lots of new things going into the boxes each week. This time of the year is so fun! Get used to seasonal eating. Before you know it there will be lots of peppers, tomatillos, carrots, beans, eggplant, melons, and lots more. I am excited about the rest of the season!
Also we have plenty of eggs and chickens if you need some. We are opening up our weekly egg shares and you can order chicken or eggs for just one delivery if you would like to. Soon I will list tomatoes in bulk for canning. It looks like I may have enough peppers to list those in larger quantities too. Of course, I will always make sure there are enough for the CSA shares first! 🙂 Enjoy!

July 27, 2014

Here we are at week seven of the season. The newsletter has a cute picture of our new poults and a recipe for vomacka. We have more colorful boxes and they are getting a little heavier too. We are excited about all the produce that is to come. We have a few acorn squash that are getting bigger but those will be a fall crop. Things are starting to grow. We are excited about carrots coming soon too. Hope you are enjoying your produce. We have had lots of wonderful comments. Hopefully I will get a customer comments page on the website soon. Thank you for your appreciation!
P.S. We are ordering new egg cartons. If you have any around we would love them back! The less we have to buy the lower our price gets to be. Thanks!!

July 20, 2014

I was having problems with my internet this morning. Everything is up and ready now so enjoy your newsletter. On the newsletter this week there are pictures of our new calves, also found below, links to recipes for Chocolate Beet Cake and Collard Greens, Praises for alive chickens, a plea for more egg cartons, and a progress report about what is in the boxes. Very little if any lettuce this week. There may be a little lettuce coming now and then but nothing like the boxes have been. Enjoy the color and variety!

July 17th, 2014

The calves we were waiting for are here! Three new calves in two days. One mommy has a pinched nerve. Hopefully she will heal quickly. All three calves seem to be doing well. Here are some photos because when cute new calves come into the picture you need to see a picture! Think of any great names?

July 13th, 2014

Alright, the newsletter is ready to go. Still no baby calves. Won’t be long though. The boxes will be getting more colorful soon. Lots of produce is getting close to ready. I don’t want to harvest things before they are big enough though. More goodies to come!

July 6th, 2014

This week’s newsletter is ready to go. It took a little longer because of internet connection issues. Sorry. It is up and ready to go. There are still lots of crops that are producing but not enough for everyone. Enjoy your goodies! More to come each week!

June 28, 2014

It is raining so I wasn’t able to get the newsletter out before Sunday. Sorry it has been so late. I will try and get it out a little earlier. The longer I wait the more likely the newsletter will be accurate. The earlier I send it out the closer it is to a guess than the actual things that will be in the box.
This week was better than last. We got less rain, we didn’t total a delivery vehicle, the sun shone a good amount. Many crops are growing. We are even seeing little peppers, zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes. I am getting more and more excited about what is to come!

June 22, 2014

We have the newsletter done. Many people that talk to us ask us about all the water and how it is affecting the farming. Besides that we now have lake side property, with the field under it, the plants are not growing well because they are so waterlogged and can’t take up the nutrients in the soil. We are praying for dryer weather but not a drought. Are plants need to be able to take up all that good organic nutrients in the soil. It is hard to do if they are just struggling to not drown.

June 19, 2014

Today was a sad day on the farm. When making our deliveries our U-Haul truck was totaled. Our 8 year old son was in the car when it happened and ended up going to the hospital with a concussion. It wasn’t a fun day for our day off. On Friday we went and bought a new U-Haul. It looks a lot like the first one except it is in working order, unlike the one that crashed. Bummer. That was an investment we were not planning on making. But we got a good deal on it and everyone is safe now. Thanks for loving us through our bumps and bruises!

June 15, 2014

Tomorrow is the first day of regular season deliveries. There are lots of produce and meat going out. I pray every one is blessed with what you receive!
Here is the newsletter with a super cute picture of one of our pigs, a recipe and a list of all the things that are in the box. Also many of the extended season members have seen the drop site etiquette section but I put that in there again for the benefit of everyone. Thanks so much for being part or our CSA and enjoy your home grown foods!

June 9, 2014

Here is that recipe for kale chips:


1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt, for sprinkling (or any other of your favorite spices)

proud member of minnesota grown