News and Blog

Posted 5/24/2016 8:12am by Jacob Helling.


In Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside, a new book about a year of life at the farm by Heidi Barr, readers take a walk through the seasons and celebrate eating in a way that is attuned to the cycles of the earth.  

Prairie Grown is two parts recipe and one part story.  It’s a glimpse into how life unfolds on a small organic vegetable farm in eastern South Dakota over the course of a calendar year.  As the winter melts into spring, and spring blossoms into summer, and summer fades into autumn, and autumn falls asleep under winter’s blanket, it is a walk through the history, cultivation, growth, community, and preservation that comes about when we live close to the earth.

Available in June 2016 from Avenida Books.

Where are you getting your produce this growing season?  What takes you into the field to pick berries instead of down a grocery store isle?  What helps you wait for market day to restock your crisper drawer?  What makes you prioritize weeding your home garden over watching television in the evening?  How do you support your local farmers?  If you ARE a farmer, how do you take care of yourself as you care for your farm?  And most importantly, perhaps, what recipes do you look forward to making when things growing outside start to become abundant?

Watch for news about a book signing and other events in conjunction with The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co. this summer.  Books will be available for purchase at the market stand sometime this summer!


Advance praise for Prairie Grown:

“Channeling Wendell Berry at his best, Heidi Barr’s personal and familial book of meditations and recipes resounds with a highly original voice of her own. Hers is an active and proactive philosophy, taking the reader through the seasons of growth and renewal tied to the land, its bounty and challenges. Highlights are photographs that draw the reader into Barr’s world, stories of and from her own extended family across the generations, and a powerful authenticity: Barr clearly practices what she preaches, an active philosophy that resonates from every page. This short, intimate book is like a gift of good food for body and soul, and like Barr’s delicious recipes, her writing will make you hungry for more.”  

~William Huggins, writer and contributor for Texas Review in Books

“As the producer of a food podcast for public radio, new cookbooks and guides to eating and living cross my desk daily. Prairie Grown stands out for its originality, simplicity, and clarity. On a personal note, I grew up in South Dakota and remember admiring Ms. Barr and her family for their quiet self-sufficiency, refusal to buy into material culture, and independence of spirit. After living in New York City for the last decade, I admire that ethos — evident in this book — all the more.”

~Anne Noyes Saini, WNYC’s “The Sporkful”

With delectable recipes, family stories, stunning photographs, and inspiring quotes, Prairie Grown is a practical and layered cookbook that journeys back to real, slow grown, sustaining food. Barr inspires readers to cook and bake through the seasons, utilizing every morsel from the quiet of winter and the abundance of harvest time. Barr’s step-by step advice on how to plant, freeze, store and can will help bring a new consciousness of food justice to your kitchen. Prairie Grown is a beautiful and accessible read, inviting you to connect to the earth and calendar.

~Ellie Roscher,  Author of How Coffee Saved My Life

Posted 7/16/2012 3:00pm by Jacob Helling.





 Want to learn more about our garlic?  Click here.


Posted 5/3/2012 5:00pm by Jacob Helling.

Earlier this spring we were fortunate to receive funding through an NRCS grant for a fancy new high tunnel.  After many hours of deliberation (so many options!), we finally settled on this model, a 25'x100'x14' Super Solo Gothic tunnel made by Haygrove that was shipped to us in pieces all the way from Poland (via the UK, where Haygrove has its headquarters).

After assembling the frame (thanks mostly to Steve's ingenuity), we waited for a calm day and, with the help of some friends (and not so much from the manual), successfully got the plastic on and secured with a system of ropes.

Here's Hal of Muddy Pumpkin Farms showing off his Ag Engineering skills...

After we had the tunnel up, it only took us a few days to fill it with young tomato plants anxious to stretch their roots.  Ahhh, we're loving the extra space.

Also new this year is this Amish-made plastic mulch layer we were able to find, which hooks up to our new and improved tractor (an older Massey Ferguson model - a.k.a. Steve's newfound best friend).  The black plastic mulch warms the soil (ideal for heat-loving crops) while suppressing weed competition.  Both tools make our lives immeasurably easier.
And finally an update on garlic.  We've gone through and done the first wave of weeding (a big task made even bigger by the recent deluge of rainy days) to cut down on competition while the garlic is still young.  The thick layer of bean mulch we lay over the cloves in the fall after planting makes it so the roots of the weeds don't go too deep and are relatively easy to pull out.  The mulch also serves to nourish the garlic throughout its life below ground.  We'll go through and weed another two or three times during the summer before harvest in July.
Luckily, we have some help in keeping the garlic safe from harm :)


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