Archive for the ‘2021’ Category

West India Burr Gherkins (Maxixe)

West India Burr Gherkins (Maxixe)

So you got these in your share tonight and you are thinking what do I do with them? They are a cucumber so you can eat them raw. They are prickly so that might not be the best idea unless you peel them. And how do you say Maxixe anyway (Mashishi)

Here are a couple of resources to help you decided what to do with them. They can be eaten raw, pickled or cooked like zucchini. Evidently they are used in Brazilian cuisine and some of these links will give you some recipes. https://seekingsustenance.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/maxixe/ or check this one out https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-burr-gherkins-zmaz08djzgoe

Why do we grow them. Chad’s mother’s father grew them and made dill pickles with them As kids we would go to the basement of the old family house (a truly unfinshed hole in the ground and root cellar, really scary) and get jars of porcupine pickles. As we started doing our CSA Chad wanted to find those cucumbers and make his own porcupine pickles. That is what we usually do with them. We thought we would try to find you some other recipes though.

Porcupine Pickles that Chad makes

Let us know what you think.

July Update

The garden is doing well. It is slower than last year but we harvested the first few tomatoes over the weekend and the share this week including cucumbers and summer squash.

On the 5th of July we had an infestation of Japanese Beetles. We found them on our hazelnut trees, apple trees and everything around those trees. We put up some traps and caught over a gallon of them over night. Also spayed with BT but not BTg so who knows if it will work. Dusted effected areas with diatomaceous earth. Hopefully something will work or we could lose the trees and the squash and basil planted around them.

We have also added several recipes to our recipe page. We will keep doing this all summer long and into the winter so you can figure out how we use the food we produce.

Spring Foods and Garden Pics

The first strawberries of the year. Kathy got to eat the ripe one. We planted about 80 more this year. The goose berries are set on and so are the choke cherries. We have been eating mushrooms from the Winecap bed. We have had several salads and will have lettuce and radishes for the first CSA pickup on June 7th.

Just Had to Share

May 20, 2021

Kathy took this tonight as a storm blew through. Just thought I should share here. You can check out the GI Acres weather at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KNEGRAND69

Past Frost Free, But Not Without Some Losses

May 17 was the official frost free date for our area. We are past it. On May 8 we planted our first Tomatoes (30) and on May 10 we lost more than 1/2 of them. There is a reason to wait. We aren’t expecting any more frost until at least September. If you want to know what the weather is like here at GI Acres you can check out our personal weather station (PWS) on www.wunderground.com at station KNEGRAND69 named GI Acres. If you check out the low for Monday May 10 you will see it got down to 31.7F. Just a little too cold for tender tomato plants.

We have also been working in the main garden planting since then. You can follow along and see where things are planted at https://www.growveg.com/garden-plans/1233012. That is the plan for the main garden. (Cabbages, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Okra, Eggplant, Radishes, Turnips, Peas, Kohlrabi, and lettuce that came back from last year). We have some sweet potatoes in because we were able to buy slips from Barb’s Greenhouse. The main garden will also have a Three-Sisters garden plot with dry edible beans, squash and corn. We also extended the strawberry beds and planted a bunch more strawberries. We planted tomatoes to the south of the orchard. I will be mapping and recording the orchard and tomatoes soon. Potatoes and onions are planted in the back garden https://www.growveg.com/garden-plans/1267610. The other new thing that we will have this year and hopefully for a long time is sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes. They are a perennial sunflower with an edible tuber (choke) that can be harvested. It is supposedly a low carb potato substitute.

The mushroom bed is starting to produce. We have has several meals of winecaps. Hopefully it will still be producing at the beginning of June when we start in with shares. Ash from Nebraska Mushroom brought us more spawn and we need to get more wood chips from O’Neill Wood Resources.

Winecap Mushrooms

We expect to plant more this weekend and will keep you all informed.

And Then There Were None

March 12, 2021 I received an email from out Google Form CSA Sign-Up. We just sold our last CSA share for the season. At this point we have sold 10 full season and 6 short season shares. That is all we can handle. Thank you everyone that has shared our social media posts and told your friends and neighbors about our CSA.

Thanks to all of our 2021 Share Holders. We are excited about the season. Last weekend we delivered our seed and the list of plants that Barb Quandt of Barb’s Greenhouse will start for us. Barb has great plants if you need some vegetables or flowers your your garden at home. We are always thrilled with what she grows for us and we can’t walk out of there without buying something extra. Here is a complete list of the plants that we asked her to start last week (Plants Started by Barb). We also planned to ask her to hold a tray of shallots and leeks for us this year like we have done in the past and were shocked to discover that she was unable to get seed. We came home ordered seed from another company and will take it out to her. Hopefully we will have shallots and leeks. If you are interested in everything we plan to grow this year take a look at the list.

This weekend the 13th and 14th we missed the snow. This is really good because it looks like we got about 3 inches of rain. The east end of our new property is under water. The grass and pasture are starting to green up though. Kathy checked on the bees during the nice weather last week and one of our hives was able to make it through the winter.

Well it Happened. GI Acres is has 15.25 more acres.

We closed on the property around us today. It is official. We now own all of the N1/2 of the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of 14-11N-10W of the 6th P.M. less and except the ROW for 13th Street.

This year it looks like we will have alfalfa on most of it with some pasture. We are also leasing a couple of acres to gas company to use as the are putting a new gas line in along Engleman Road on the west side of our property. If you know anyone that is looking for somewhere to put bees we would like some additional hive on the property.

We will be planting trees along the east edge. Expanding our fruit forest. Not sure what we will do with the rest.

Seeds are Arriving

This is a fun time of year even if it is miserably cold right now. Current temperature is -5F and tomorrow when I go to work it is supposed to be -22F. It is fun, though, because seeds are arriving in the mail. Last weekend Kathy and I ordered seeds from five different companies and today we bought more seeds at Menard’s and Dollar Tree. It is okay to use cheap seeds sometimes.

It is interesting to note that many of the more expensive seeds from the catalogs do not have fancy 4 color packaging.

We are updating what we plan to plant regularly. You can find the whole list of possible plants here. We may or may not plant all of them in any given year and sometimes we run out of time to get everything planted.

About GI Acres CSA

GI Acres is located on the western edge of Grand Island, Nebraska. The garden takes up about half of an acre. We also have chickens, rabbits and bees

Our farm is not USDA Certified Organic and we do not anticipate applying for such status. We strive to produce healthy vegetables using natural methods of fertilizing, building soil, and controlling pests such as insects and weeds. Those healthy vegetables will begin in mid to late May with herbs, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries. During the season you can expect a variety of greens, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn and potatoes along with tips about how to cook and preserve your weekly share. The season will conclude in late September or early October. We aim for a 20-week season.

We did not grow up on farms but we did grow up in families with large gardens, eating a variety of fresh produce and canning/freezing the excess. We have maintained the tradition of growing and preserving food for our family for the past 20+ years. GI Acres is our attempt to share that passion for good food with our community.