February 27, 2012

Recovering from losing my first plastic...

First of all, if you ever need supplies for your garden or seeds, check out Morgan County Seeds in Missouri. They have wonderful prices, and best of all they understand people when they are in need and do their best to help you out.

On Thursday, February 24th, Linda called and said she had bad news. The building is still there, but the plastic is a total loss. On that day, the wind was blowing a steady 35-40 all day. We are use to that wind, the buildings have taken much worse, but today wasn't going to happen. I am not sure the order of events that let to the failure of the plastic, but it happened. Every time I do a presentation, I am ask if I have lost a building or plastic and I always say "No, not yet!" I knew my day was coming. It comes for everyone at some time. So today was my turn. Either the plastic ripped to the seam and then just split down the side or the ropes broke and then the plastic split at the seam. Either way, it was toast.

On Thursday night, I ordered the plastic and made a request to rush it out the door for shipment on Friday, if possible. I was hoping to get it by mid to late the following week. To my surprise, it was sitting at home on Monday the 27th! Wasting no time, the girls and I decided to risk the light breeze and try to put it on that evening. Since this is about the 11th or 12th time I have put on plastic on a building, I am starting to feel confident in my ability and tonight was very easy.

I have learned what you need to do, where you need to attach it, what you need to worry about. It took us less than an hour to put the plastic on, secure it on all four sides and then go in for supper. I came back out later to finish up stretching it as tight as possible and adding the side strings. All in all,it took about 2 hours to do with 4 kids under the age of 10 and one adult. They listened well and it helps this isn't their first "Plastic Rodeo" either. They knew the drill, they knew they had to hurry and they don't ask questions. Just do as you are told and everyone will be happy!

The before and after shots.


AFTER ( sorry it was taken at night)

We were lucky that the weather wasn't too cold as we have carrots just starting to germinate. We have tried to keep them under row cover, I think it has worked because I was seeing a lot of green under there tonight.

I hope I don't have to do that again anytime soon!

February 7, 2012

Ginger-Sesame Chicken with Carrots and Bok Choy

Here is a really yummy recipe that used everything we had on hand from the garden. I added my adaptations. It had a very nice balance of spice, but if you aren't a spicey person, you may want to omit the crushed red pepper.


Ginger-Sesame Chicken with Carrots and Bok Choy

Adapted from http://ellysaysopa.com, Food & Wine, as seen on Proceed with Caution

1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar (used white vinegar)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1.5 Tbsp. canola oil (used olive oil)
3/4 lb. Carrots
3/4 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
3/4 lb. bok choy, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips ( we used frozen pepper strips from the garden)
2 scallions, sliced, green parts separated from whites
2 Tbsp. freshly minced ginger ( 2 tsp of ground ginger)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

In a medium jar or bowl, mix together the chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch slurry, rice vinegar and crushed red pepper. Shake or whisk well. (I marinated the chicken it this sauce and then, took out the chicken and added the sauce at the end.)

Heat 1/2 Tbsp. of the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then add to the hot oil and cook through, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet.

Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil to the pan. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bok choy, red pepper, white slices of scallion, garlic, and ginger and cook until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes.

Return the chicken to the skillet. Shake or stir the sauce, and then add it to the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened, about a minute. Stir in the sesame oil and scallion tops and serve.


February 5, 2012

Red Russian Kale and Red Onion Savory Breakfast Squares Recipe

1 bunch Red Russian Kale, chopped, or use any other variety of kale
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (1/2 tsp. teaspoon minced garlic)
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Tamari or other soy sauce
1 C grated cheese (I used mozarella, colby and white cheddar from the Wiebe Dairy)
1/4 cup 100% whole wheat bread crumbs (optional; I've made this successfully without the bread crumbs)
6 eggs, beaten well

6 strips of bacon, crumbled (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.) Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square. Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs. Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed. Spray a 13 by 9 pan with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot. This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa.

Source: http://www.kalynskitchen.com

February 4, 2012

Consistancy and Winter Farmers Markets

We are in the second year of year around growing. In addition to our online market, this year we added a monthly Winter Market in Manhattan. What I try to do is to offer a variety of products consistently over a long period of time. So, if you look at the next three pictures, you will see what I mean.

December 3rd,


January 7th,



February 4th,



Of course without customer support, I would be just a guy with a lot of veggies! Thank you to everyone for your support!