How's it Growing on the Farm?

 

 

This is a sampling of the fruits and vegetables grown at Prairie Garden Farm. (Disclaimer: some of the veggies aren't botantically in the correct category.)

Broccoli: Green, delicious and full of vitamins. Enjoyed raw or cooked, this is one of the most popular vegetables in America. Broccoli is low in calories and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods.

Cabbage: The king of vegetables. Cabbage is a low calorie, nutrient-dense food that offers an excellent source of many nutrients. We're learning to make kraut.

Cauliflower: White relative of broccoli. Like broccoli, cauliflower is made up of tightly clustered florets that are begin to form but stopped at bud stage. This cool season vegetable prefers fertile rich adequate moisture in the soil to flourish.

Collards: This leafy green vegetable is also known as tree-cabbage and is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Horseradish: We got our starting plants from Loretta's mom in South Dakota. Hold your breath, grind it up and stand back! With a little vinegar, horseradish is a great accompaniment with meat.  

Kale: Until the Renaissance, kale was the most common green vegetable eaten by the people of northern Europe. The plant is similar in growth and appearance to collard greens. Kale: the new beef.

Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is a member of the turnip family. This plant has a flavor all of its own. We enjoy it on a salad, cut up and served raw as an appetizer, or sautéed and eaten like home fries.  One of our new favorites.

Radish: The humble radish is a peppery vegetable. We usually eat the taproot, but the leaves can also be eaten in salads.

 

Apples: We planted all of our fruit trees in the spring of 2011, and are impatiently waiting for a harvest. We look forward to a good man pies, sauce, cider, and off-the-tree snacks in the years to come.

Apricots: Great for eating fresh or made into preserves, this fruit is a welcome addition to our farm.

Blackberries: Rich in fiber and antioxidants, this fruit can be eaten plain, mixed with yogurt and honey, or made into jam.

Blueberries: These precious berries are delicious eaten fresh, added to yogurt, make great jams, and--of course-- blueberry pancakes!

Elderberries:Elderberries are small, dark berries that grow in clusters on bushes. Elderberries pack in health with powerful antioxidants.

Grapes : Great for an off-the-vine snack, jelly and jams, and grape pies. We're also growing a couple of wine varieties. Unfortunately, it’ll be a few years before we can harvest.

Pears: We cannot wait to bite into this juicy golden fruit.

Rhubarb: Strawberry and rhubarb go together like peanut butter and jelly. This plant has large leaves that grow out of thick succulent stems with a very particular floral scent. The stems are popularly eaten as a fruit once sweetened and cooked--pie time!

Strawberries: We've had great luck growing these delicious little gems. Strawberries are a great addition to so many desserts and of course, are delicious flying solo.

 

Eggplant: Not a vegetable that we grew up with, but we’re learning to appreciate its use in vegetarian and Mediterranean dishes. Generally, these veggies falls into two broad categories, either oval shaped or thin and elongated.

Peppers: We grow sweet and hot varieties. The sweet peppers are used in many of our dishes and we love the heat of the others.

Tomatoes: As we all know, this isn’t a vegetable, it’s a fruit. Let’s be blunt: tomatoes available in supermarkets are not worth eating and denigrate this “fruit.” Fresh, homegrown tomatoes are great sliced, canned or in a variety of sauces.

Okra: Also called 'ladies fingers' or gumbo, this is a wonderful vegetable from the same family as hollyhock. It probably was first cultivated in Ethiopia and is still a North African staple, but has become popular in America. Hate it or not: those that like it, love it!

Asparagus: This tender green vegetable is one of the first available in the Spring. Although they have a short growing season, they are a welcome dish after a long winter.

Garlic: If you cook at all, you would not be caught without this essential herb in the pantry. Garlic has been recognized in almost all cultures for its medicinal as well as cooking uses.

Leek: The king of the soup onion has a distinct, subtle flavor that comes from this “poor man’s asparagus.”

Onions: Onions have been eaten for tens of thousands of years and we still aren't bored of them. We can't imagine cooking in a kitchen that doesn't have a good supply of onions.

Shallots: Small onions often with a more fiery bite. We love these little things for our recipes.

Chard: Succulent Swiss chard, also known as spinach chard or silverbeet, is a popular green leafy vegetable. Botanically, it belongs to the beet family. Chard plant features distinctly large dark green leaves with well-developed edible stalks.

Herbs: Basil, fennel, mint, lemon balm, thyme, sorrell, borage, comfrey--too many to mention for every purpose under the sun.

Lettuce: Many shades of green and red in as many textures and shapes. We grow several varieties, including romaine, bibb, iceberg, leaf, and butterhead.

Spinach: Large green leaves wilt easily in a pan and are often served with a little butter and nutmeg as an accompanying vegetable. Spinach contains lots of healthy trace minerals including iron.

 

 

Green Beans: While low in calories, green beans are loaded with nutrients. This versatile vegetable can accompany nearly every dish.

Peas: Best eaten within minutes of picking as the sugars rapidly turn to starch. Some like peas more than others. At Prairie Garden Farm, we have a 50% favorability rate.

 

 

 

 

Cucumbers: The cucumber grows quickly and holds lots of water. This wonderful, low calorie vegetable indeed has more nutrients to offer than just water and electrolytes. These are great eaten fresh, and of course, pickles. We hope to make more pickles.

Squash: We grow Butternut, Yellow and—of course—Zucchini. Whether in a soup, sautéed, or baked, we love eating this vegetable.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet PotatoesBeet: Tubers with rich nutty flavors. Beet greens contain a larger amount of nutrients than the roots. One of Loretta's favorites.

Carrot: Introduced by the Romans, carrots have been popular for 2,000 years. Naturally sweet, delicious and crunchy, carrots are healthy additions you can make to your diet.

Jerusalem Artichoke: It isn't an Artichoke and it doesn't come from Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Artichoke is actually related to the sunflower. The bit we eat is an ugly little tuber (like a small thin potato) with an interesting taste.

Potatoes: Nothing finer than a steaming plate of mashed potatoes. The Irish in us demands we have plenty of these growing our garden.

Sweet Potatoes: Ipomoea batatas. What a mouthful for an orange colored potato. Amazingly, these guys are actually related to the morning glory (not root crops) and the vines are beautiful. Better yet, we harvest these in late fall for stew, fresh baked for a dish to pass, and sweet potato pie. Yum!

Turnips: This root vegetable grows well in cold climates and we have added this plant to our garden. These are a great addition to the fall table.