Kopp's Crops is a family-run business specializing in maple syrup, honey and fresh vegetables. We are located 45 miles north of Minneapolis in Bradford Township on our 65 acre farm.

*Now Selling at the Cambridge-Isanti Farmers Market!*

Local Orders: For pickup in Isanti, Cambridge, Brooklyn Park or Arden Hills, please email koppscrops@gmail.com or call 763-772-7057 to place your order and arrange payment & pickup. Available products are listed in the shopping cart below.

Outside the Twin Cities: Please use the online shopping cart below. USPS shipping charges will be calculated at checkout.



For questions, please email us at koppscrops@gmail.com

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Popeye Would Be Proud

We had our second big harvest at the end of last week– three garbage bags full spinach.  Lawn & leaf bags, actually – the really big ones.  Which made us really happy until we realized that a) we had to wash all that spinach at least twice before processing to get rid of all the non-spinach matter, and b) that it was going to cook down to nothing in the jar, and leave us with a significantly less impressive-looking yield.   
We did the initial washing in a big washtub outside to get rid of the bulk of the dirt and sand (and avoid making such a big mess inside!).  Then it was into the house for a more thoroughly-scrutinized wash.   We swished small batches of leaves in a sink full of water to get rid of the rest of the sand, and then did a quick visual scan of each leaf on its way to the stock pot to pick out the icky spots and other things that we don’t care to include in our jars.  A partial list of the goodies we pulled out of the spinach this week:  clover, pollen strings, grass, more clover, a small bee, various assorted non-spinach leafy weeds, still more clover and one dead daddy longlegs.  Mmmm! 
After the spinach was squeaky clean, we wilted it in a little water, then packed the leaves fairly tightly into clean pint jars.  We’ll write more about the canning process in upcoming posts, but the unique part of canning spinach is the processing time.  Spinach needs to spend 70 minutes in a pressure canner at 10lbs of pressure, which is longer than most other foods.  Botulism risk, which is the biggest concern for inappropriately-processed home canned goods, increases with the surface area of the food inside the jar.  And it’s hard to find anything with more surface area than a jar filled with hundreds, if not thousands of spinach leaves.  Did we mention how those leaves cook down to nothing?   So two batches of jars meant two hours and twenty minutes of hanging out in the kitchen, making sure that the canner kept the proper pressure, all for a mere 32 pints of canned spinach.  Yes, you read that correctly:  3 lawn & leaf bags of spinach = just 32 pints of canned spinach.  Makes that 40-to-1 maple sap to syrup ratio look downright generous, doesn’t it?