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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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Frozen Chosen

The weather may finally be heating up, but here at Kopp’s Crops we’re still freezing – freezing broccoli, that is.  The first sizable batch of broccoli crowns was ready to harvest this weekend.  With the Packman broccoli we grow, we always make sure to cut off the main crown of broccoli before it starts to flower.  Harvesting the first crown early enough means the plant will continue to grow smaller shoots of broccoli for most of the summer, providing a steady supply of the superfood for our dinner table.
After cleaning the broccoli & cutting it into Sacagawea-dollar-sized florets (and yes, we eat the “stumps” too), we blanch about a gallon at a time in boiling water for three minutes to kill any bacteria and stop the enzyme action that destroys that delicious fresh broccoli flavor.   We then quickly drop it in a sink full of ice water to stop the cooking process before the broccoli gets too mushy for anyone but the baby to enjoy.  Normally we soak our broccoli in salt water before processing to make sure to get all the bugs out.  But this year we seem to be vermin-free!  The nice thing about the blanching process is that even if we miss a bug or two, we find them before we bag & seal the vegetables – they wind up floating belly-up in the blanching water, like miniature Mafia snitches in the East River.
A couple of years ago we invested in a good quality vacuum sealer, which has paid for itself over & over in freezer burn prevention.  Freezer burn is caused when the outer layer of the frozen food loses its moisture and starts to dehydrate.  This can be caused by too much air in the freezer bag to begin with, or a small leak that lets the moisture out.  And today’s auto defrost freezers make it worse, because they are designed to remove moisture from the freezer (which is why you don’t get the ice buildup…solve one problem, create another).  The vacuum sealer solves both problems, by simultaneously sucking all the air out and melting the plastic together to get a truly airtight seal.  Which is a great improvement over the method Michelle can remember back in the “olden days,” freezing vegetables with her mom.  Back then, the process was as follows: put the veggies into thin plastic freezer bags bags, stick a straw inside, suck out all the air, try not to choke on the inevitably-inhaled broccoli bits, and then hope for the dexterity to quickly remove the straw and close the twist tie before all the air get back into the bag.  Repeat as necessary until all the bags are air-free or we pass out trying.