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


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mid-Season Maintenance

We’re smack in the middle of the garden season now!  We’ve gotten past the “salad days” when we eat salad just about every day because lettuce, spinach and radishes are the only harvestable vegetables.  Now we have enough variety that we can eat out of the garden every night for supper, without having the same vegetable two days in a row.  But we haven’t yet started the canning and freezing frenzy that occurs when the garden is at is fullest production.  ‘Tis the season of mid-season maintenance.  There’s the weeding, of course.  And more weeding.  And whining about weeding.  But wait, there’s more!

Cocooning The Cauliflower:  As soon as a head of cauliflower starts to form (about 1-2” in diameter), we gather the outer leaves and tie them together above the head, creating a little cauliflower cocoon.  We do this because when the sun hits the developing cauliflower, it starts turning purple or green or some other color we don’t care to see on our cauliflower.  Using the leaves to shade the delicate florets keeps them nice and pasty white, like Michelle’s legs in March.

Thinning the Beets:  Beets are grown from compound seeds, which means that those Grape-Nuts-cereal-looking seeds that we plant are actually a conglomeration of up to 6 individual beet seeds.  If all those mini-seeds actually germinate, the baby beets are duking it out for room to grow.  We end up having to sacrifice a certain percentage of the plants, plucking them from the row to make sure the remaining ones have ample space.  Then throughout the summer, we strategically pick beets from thicker clumps first, to keep thinning the rows as the beets get bigger and need more room to spread out.  We thin carrots and onions this way, too – we intentionally plant them thickly because as we pick and eat young tender onions & carrots, it naturally allows nearby plants to spread out and reach their “full potential.” 

Staking and Suckering The Tomatoes:  We staked the tomatoes a while ago, using baling twine to tie them to metal stakes so they grow tall & straight and the sun can get to all the tomatoes.  Now we periodically “sucker” them.  Suckers are tiny branches that start growing in the crotch of two larger branches of the tomato plant.  If we let the suckers continue to develop, they take valuable tomato-growing energy away from the rest of the plant.  So we say, “I’m gonna get you, Sucka!” and pinch them off.  We saw our first red tomato today, so it must be working!