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


Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Littlest Livestock

We took a little after-dinner walk as a family last night, and discovered that we look at flowers differently now that we raise bees.  We used to just look for pretty flowers along the road.  Now we look for flowers that will make tasty and plentiful sources of nectar for our littlest livestock.  But all the nectar-rich flowers in the world don’t mean anything if we don’t have a bunch of worker bees out there collecting.  So the past month or so, we’ve been repopulating our hives - our "Littlest Livestock."  We’d sacrificed six of our colonies last fall so that the other four had enough food to make it through the winter.  It almost worked - three colonies survived.  And thanks to the mild winter, we didn’t have to give them any supplementary sugar water like we did last year – their stores of honey saw them through. 
Our new queens, in their little "Bee Kennels"
This spring, we bought four “bee packages” to start building back the six empty hives – each package contained three pounds of bees, mostly worker bees (they’re the ones with the little hardhats) & nurse bees (wearing comfortable shoes, of course), with one queen and a couple of drones thrown in to get the party started.  We had been hoping to split the three colonies that survived the winter to populate three additional hives and save on bee replacement costs, but they were weak with poor queens.  So we decided to replace all 3 queens.  We brought in younger, more productive queens who would lay more eggs to build the colonies back faster.  Thank goodness the queens can’t sue us for age discrimination!  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This Week at the Cambridge Farmer's Market

It’s time for our farmer’s market debut!  This Saturday, May 26, we’ll be at the Cambridge Farmer’s Market from 8am-noon, selling radishes, leaf lettuce, spinach and Russian kale.  Hope to see you there!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cutting Out the Chemicals

We’ve always tried to limit our use of chemicals on the crops of Kopp’s Crops.  After all, one of the great joys of raising a garden is being able to eat vegetables right off the plant, still warm from the sun.  And our girls do much of the in-garden munching!  But in the past we’ve used a little chemical fertilizer, and when all natural pest-control methods failed on our cabbage, we resorted to a quick shot of pesticide.  We’ve called it being “practically organic” – organic when it was practical.    
But this year, we’re committed to raising our crops using only organic practices.  Our biggest challenge in going chemical-free is getting enough nitrogen into the soil to provide a healthy growing environment for our plants.  Isanti County has extremely sandy soil, so even with a few loads of nutrient-rich black dirt, three years’ worth of chicken manure applications, and this year’s double-dose of alpaca dung, we knew we needed more nitrogen.  So we fed the garden some nitrogen-rich meals.  Three meals, to be exact.  Soybean meal is essentially just ground-up soybeans in pelleted form for easy application, and contains a healthy 7% nitrogen with a bonus 2% phosphorus.  We first we broadcast-spread the soybean meal and some alfalfa meal ( alfalfa-based pellets that contain 2% nitrogen & 2% potassium)  over the entire garden for a nice all-over nutrient base.  Corn gluten meal is the heartiest nitrogen meal (10%!), but it inhibits seed germination (which is, incidentally, why it works so nicely to rid your lawn of crabgrass), so we can only use it to “side dress” our crops, applying it directly to rows of transplanted or partially-grown plants.  Hopefully these three meals will give our garden the balanced nutrition our plants need to grow "big & strong!"

Saturday, May 5, 2012

2012 "Limited Edition" Syrup for Sale!

You could call it “Reserve,” “Small Batch” or “Limited Edition.” We just call it a bummer of a season (Cue the trumpet blats:  wah, wah, waaaah).  Due to the maple sap-zapping side effects of our unusually warm winter this year, our total maple syrup output this year was approximately 85% lower than last year.  But the small amount of Kopp’s Crops 2012 Pure Maple Syrup that we did manage to eke out is now for sale!  For our Facebook friends & blog followers outside the Twin Cities, please order online from the sidebar at right.  For local pickup or delivery, email us at koppscrops@gmail.com to reserve your bottle now!  Each 8 oz. bottle of Grade A Medium Amber is $7.00 (plus shipping outside the Twin Cities) – first come first served while supplies last!  Can’t you just taste the pancakes now?  J