Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Well, it’s still cold, but we are well on our way to a spring.  Which means we’ve got all sorts of yummy vegetables growing for you!  There’s spinach in the high tunnels, although the arugula didn’t fair well through the cold. The tomatoes and cucumbers are coming along nicely… looks like we have been able to put cucumbers in the weekly vegetable subscription on the first week of the year the last couple of years.  Tomatoes have been ready for the third week of the weekly vegetable subscription. Cabbage, head lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower are growing in the greenhouse.

All of these goodies will be ready for your weekly vegetable subscription!  Sign up today and learn more on our Weekly Vegetable Subscription Page!

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Sign Up for Your Weekly Vegetable Subscription from Pekarek’s Produce

Well, it’s still cold, but we are well on our way to a spring.  Which means we’ve got all sorts of yummy vegetables growing for you!  There’s spinach in the high tunnels, although the arugula didn’t fair well through the cold. The tomatoes and cucumbers are coming along nicely… looks like we have been able to put cucumbers in the weekly vegetable subscription on the first week of the year the last couple of years.  Tomatoes have been ready for the third week of the weekly vegetable subscription. Cabbage, head lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower are growing in the greenhouse.

All of these goodies will be ready for your weekly vegetable subscription!  Sign up today and learn more on our Weekly Vegetable Subscription Page!

2019 PekareksProduce CSA_Color

February 2019…Oh snow!

It’s no surprise to anyone in Nebraska, but it’s getting to be quite a snowy winter. With the wet fall and the snowy, cold spring we are getting anxious to get out into the field. Looking at the forecast, it may be a long wait!

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Seeding plants during a blizzard

Since we began farming in 2004, this is probably the most snowy winter we have seen.  We are guessing the snowfall from yesterday to be in the 9-12 inch range, but it’s hard to tell when there are 4 foot drifts.

 

So what do we do during a late February blizzard? Why we go turn on the furnace in the greenhouse of course!

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Snowy High Tunnels after February 23, 2019 Blizzard

Ryan decided yesterday was the perfect day to fire up the greenhouse and begin planting.  So now we’ve got a round of head lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.  We’ve also got cucumbers and tomatoes growing in the office in the house! It seems way to early to do this with the snow, but it’s time to get moving.

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February 24, 2019 Tomatoes

As far as seed orders go, most of the orders have been placed and many are here.  We’ve run into a few snafus where we have lost a couple of our good seed dealers.  One of our favorite potatoes that we’ve found in the last couple of years didn’t pass the viability test to where they can sell them to us.  So this means we’ve been hunting through the books and online.

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February 24, 2019 Cucumbers

All in all, Ryan is out on the tractor again… pushing snow.  Hopefully, the next time he gets the tractor out it is for farming purposes!

It’s Weekly Vegetable Subscription time again!  We are excited to say that we will be working with Merle’s Garden Center this year for a Seward partner and pick up location.  Be sure to check out the weekly vegetable subscription page for more information!

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Happy Farming!

Week 4 – Fall 2018 CSA

Things have finally slowed down.  Mother Nature has continued to have her way this fall.  Since our last delivery to you folks, we have had a large rain, an inch of ice, and about 4 inches of snow.  Now with the warm weather, we have (as we have been discussing all through late summer and fall) mud, mud, mud.  It freezes overnight so a person can go anywhere on the yard, but by late morning it is like a mud wrestling match.

Week 4 Fall 2018_veg list

Last time I said the box was kind of big.  I hope everyone was able to enjoy everything and incorporate these items into family gathering during this Holiday season.  I would describe this week’s box as not very diverse, but still very tasty.  We have 3 types of potatoes.  Red skinned spuds are good for boiling, mashing, steaming, and frying.  They have lots of moisture, so they don’t make fantastic baked potatoes, but they are fine for this.  Purple spuds are a lot like the reds in my opinion.  Not a lot of starch.  If you steam or bake these, you will hold some of the purple skin color.  Boiling will wash the soluble purple pigment away.  2018 was the first year we tried these purple potatoes; I think they worked well in the field and out of storage.  The final potato is the small, yellow, oblong Nicola.  These are yellowed fleshed and similar to our summer variety Yukon Gold.  The netted skin looks good after roasting.  We served these Nicolas as mashed potatoes are two of our family’s Thanksgiving celebration.  These also make very good potato soup.  Any of these spuds pair well with the carrots and turnips.  All of these items can be roasted with olive oil on a baking sheet or tossed along side a beef or pork roast.  Thank goodness for things that grow under the ground. Thanks for a final time for your support during the 2018 farming season. 

Remember, if you need to reach us please CALL or TEXT (402) 641-3305 of (402) 560-3110.

Merry Christmas, Ryan, Katie and Kiddos.

Week 3 – Fall 2018 CSA

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  We managed to “celebrate” for three days starting on Thursday at our house.  Friday was football which is always part of the holiday.  Saturday was another large meal.

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This week’s box is kind of big.  We’ve got some good things in there.  Make a salad with broccoli, red radishes, and turnips sliced on the top.  Our kids eat the turnips with a little salt, or oddly enough, they smear cream cheese on them.  They also go good into coleslaw with the cabbage.  Anything you do with broccoli — Romanesco can be used also — soup, stir fry, ranch dressing.  The potatoes and squashes have the best shelf life, so they can be enjoyed last.  The squash just needs to be split in half, seeds scooped out, and place face down in a casserole dish.  Put about a half inch of water in the pan and bake in the oven on 375 until a fork will easily pass through.  I like them with butter and brown sugar.  Katie uses butter, salt, and pepper.

Work has basically transferred inside.  I finally starting to file the second half of receipts for 2018.  Meetings are scheduled with wholesale buyers during the month of December.  Seed catalogs are mostly here for 2019.  I’ve been keeping notes on more of this or less of that all year in my iPhone.  These notes can be sent to the computer via email and then incorporated into our planning spreadsheets going ahead.  Within 60 days from early December we will be seeding tomatoes, onions, and a few other cool season early crops for spring of 2019!

 

The strawberry field has been covered in straw.  A neighbor of ours joked that it would all blow away. I told him we needed a wet snow or ice to keep it in place.  I guess you just need to be optimistic.  I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring.

 

Remember, if you need to reach us, please CALL or TEXT 641.3305 or 560.3110.

 

Your Farmers,

 

Ryan, Katie, and Kiddos.

 

Week 2 – Fall 2018 CSA

Its time for a change in the fields.  With the changing weather, we are finishing up a lot of field activity.  We have been out putting straw on the strawberries – we hope this helps them get through the winter.  Because we drip irrigate everything (or as much as we can) we have been pulling up drip tape and taking the plastic mulch out of the fields. It’s been wet, so we are hoping we can get the fields worked before the winter.  We are also looking to put out some cover crops on the field so that we can build up our soil health.  It also does a lot for us to reduce erosion from wind and rain.

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It’s almost time for the crew to disappear for the winter.  Whether full time or a couple days, it takes many hands to get all this food in a box for you, our customer.  I enjoy working with a crew, but it is nice to just drink coffee and only worry about one person for a while in the winter.

We have plenty crops in storage or growing in the tunnels and greenhouse to finish our last 2 fall CSA drops.  Store your sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash on the counter in the kitchen.  The rest of your good food can go into the refrigerator until you eat it.  Hopefully this will be included in your family’s Thanksgiving Day meal.

Thanks for letting us come into your home and to your table

Ryan, Katie, Joe, Rebecca, Jacob, Margret, Michael, Lukas

Week 1 – Fall 2018 CSA

Welcome to the Fall CSA with Pekarek’s Produce! We hope you enjoy the produce that we bring to you each week.

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Your pie pumpkin, acorn squash and sweet potatoes should be stored on the counter (not in the refrigerator).  The acorn squash will store for at least a month, but don’t forget you’ve got more veggies coming in two weeks.  The pie pumpkins should be used in the next 2 or 3 weeks. You should be able to make 2 pies out of your pumpkin.  You can store your Yukon Gold potatoes in the fridge or on the counter, depending on how soon you will be using them.

The rest of the produce can be stored in the refrigerator. Romanesco will likely be a new food to most of you.  Its absolutely amazing and kind of cool looking.  Eat it and cook it in the same way you would cauliflower.  We usually eat it raw (maybe with some ranch dip) or roast it in the oven.

If you aren’t sure how to cook your acorn squash or any of the other foods in this week’s CSA box, be sure to visit the website at pekareksproduce.wordpress.com.

There are lots of veggies we are still picking for the fall, and Ryan is already gearing up for next year.  He’s got the seed catalogues out and is making maps for where to put the vegetables in the spring.

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

Week 13 – Pekarek’s Produce Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello folks,

It’s still a little wet around here, and that’s a good thing.  Last week we cleaned out the high tunnels and prepped them for new crops.  This week we’ve been able to go back in and plant them with orange, white, and purple carrots, broccoli and cucumbers.

 

Small Carrots

Carrots

 

Sometimes it sounds like its all peaches and cream  (or watermelon and tomatoes) on the farm, but the work and the hours are getting a little long.  Ryan and crew are out at dawn and that part is pretty nice – its quiet, cool and calm.  But, whoever invented lights for a tractor should be shot!  When the crew leaves in the afternoon, Ryan goes back out until the lights on the tractor aren’t bright enough for him to see what he is doing… Last night he was trying take care of weeds in the potato field!

 

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Potato Field

 

Cauliflower is still looking good, but has a few weeks to go.  Broccoli harvest will likely start in the next week to ten days.  This good stuff will make its way to the CSA, markets, schools, and grocery stores. We’ve still got lots of tomatoes coming along out in the field and it is a beautiful year for a pepper harvest. Watermelons are growing like gangbusters too!  The yellow watermelons are absolutely delicious – and a little fun.

 

Yellow Watermelon

Yellow Watermelon

 

This week you will get the sweetest red and yellow peppers you’ve ever tasted.  We recommend just taking a bite out of them like an apple!  Alternatively they fry up beautifully with an onion.  You will also be receiving some basil in this week’s CSA.  This is our first year growing basil and it looks like a great crop.  I’ve been drying down my basil in the oven so I can have some for winter.  Not sure how to use it? Try the classic tomato-basil combination with some fresh mozzarella, or throw some fresh basil on your pizza.  And of course you can infuse your favorite oil with basil.

 

Basil

Basil

 

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

Week 12 – Pekarek’s Produce Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello Folks,

Well, last week I was talking about rain and this week we are talking about mud!  We ended up with about 4 inches one day and 2 ½ a couple of days later.  Vegetables perked up, people perked up, and everything got a little messier.  The biggest downside?  Weeds perked up too.

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Muddy

We have been working on cleaning out the high tunnels this week.  Several crops in the high tunnels have reached their end and its time for something new.  Everything either got pulled or shredded.  We prep the ground and begin planting again.  It’s crazy to think that we’ve already been planting for fall since late May!

 

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Ready for Planting

 

The fall cauliflower is looking amazing!  Pumpkins and squash are coming along and will be here before you know it. Sweet potatoes are starting to size up.  These are some of my favorite crops but they require a lot of delayed gratification!  As much as I love fall – don’t worry, we haven’t started making pumpkin pies… yet 🙂

 

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Getting Pumpkins Ready for Fall

 

With all this fall talk, we’d like to invite you to join us for the 2017 Fall CSA.  It’s a bit hard to start thinking about already, but it will be here before you know it. We are already 2/3rds of the way through this CSA and only have about a month and a half left.

 

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Fall CSA

 

This year we will be offering a Fall CSA during the months of November and December.  The CSA will include four delivery dates which we tried to schedule to go along with the holidays: November 7th & 21st, and December 5th & 19th.  The cost for the Fall CSA will be $25 per week (only one size).  As usual, the produce you receive in the box will be somewhat dependent on successful cropping and weather, just as it is in the current CSA and will primarily include vegetables that will store well.

 

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Romanesco

 

Last year, the CSA included:   Pie Pumpkin, Broccoli, Romanesco, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash, Cucumbers, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Radishes, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Spinach, Potatoes, Kohlrabi, Butternut Squash, Turnips, Beets, Peppers, Sunshine Squash, and Cabbage.

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

 

What’s in this week’s box?

  • Sweet Corn
  • Watermelon*
  • Cantaloupe**
  • Wax Beans*
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  •  Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes*

*Full Share Only

**Partial Share Only

 

Week 9 – Pekarek’s Produce Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello Folks!

It’s been another busy week around here.  We had a new crew member start with us this week for the fall and we are very excited!  In a couple of weeks when school starts, it will be like an exodus around here.  About two-thirds of the crew will disappear as they go back to school.  We always hate to see them go!

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This weekend was the Dwight Czech Festival!  Which means after markets were finished, we loaded up two of the little tractors and took them to town.  The Pekarek family worked the games tent for the church during the day on Sunday.  Then on Sunday evening, we drove our little tractors through the parade!  If you’ve ever been through a small town parade, you know that most floats throw out a little bit of candy.  But for those of you that made it to the Czech festival, you know that we like to throw out veggies – This year it was carrots, zucchini and water balloons.

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Even with the cool off in weather, irrigation has been key over the last week. Most of the crops are looking pretty good.  Yellow squash and zucchini have been producing like crazy, which is great!  Unfortunately, there’s just too much this year to get moved, so we disked up some of the zucchini this week.

On the other side, this is one of the slowest tomato years we’ve ever had for production!  We always say that tomatoes for us, are like a marathon, not a sprint.  We aren’t usually the first ones around with tomatoes, but we will have them for the long haul.  Unfortunately, the four or five hails we had earlier in the season, the hot snaps and cold snaps, and any number of critters slowed everything down and knocked out several plants.  They are starting to make the turn for the better now.

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Pekarek’s Produce Beets going to find a new home at Bread & Cup

 

Beets are producing like gang busters, so if you are looking to can or pickle some beets, now is the time to call Ryan.  Pickling cucumbers are doing great too.  In a couple of weeks, we will have them coming out our ears.  Be sure to call Ryan for pickling cucumbers in bulk!

All in all, it’s been a good week on the farm.  We hope this translates to a good week for all of you as well.  Happy CSA Day!

Your Farmers,

Ryan Katie and Crew

What’s in this week’s bag?

  • Sweet Corn
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Tomato
  • Beets*
  • Onion*
  • Kohlrabi*

*Full share only