Archive | Harvest 2016


Staying (Mostly) Sane While Feeding Little People

By Summer Miller  | Photography by Alison Bickel


“Ya, I’m not eating that,” my five-year-old daughter says while boldly proclaiming her disgust for all things broccoli. The problem is she does like broccoli. She just doesn’t like it on this day when she is tired and adjusting to kindergarten, new friends and teachers. She simply isn’t willing to try one more new thing. Frankly, I can’t blame her; I’ve had many days like that myself. We’ll try broccoli again next week or maybe on the weekend after she’s had a little more rest.

Every parent has been confronted with the mealtime battle. While feeding some children is, without question, more challenging than feeding others, there are a few tried and true ways to move the needle toward a healthier, whole food direction while keeping your sanity (mostly) intact.

Begin by having a conversation that includes the whole family. Explain that the kids and the adults are going to start experimenting and trying new foods: “Sometimes it will be fruit, sometimes it will be vegetables and sometimes meat. If you don’t like it, that’s OK, but the rule in our house from this day forward is that you have to … Read More

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Four Dudes Gardening

Andy Severson (left) and Scott Rynders are friends and two of the founding members of Bellevue Produce, LLC which began as an evolution of their hobby gardening.

My Journey to Friendships and Belonging

By Sheena Wheeler
Photography by Ariel Fried

Since falling in love with juice from Juice4Life in Bellevue earlier this year, I’d wanted to visit the garden where the produce is grown and to meet the passionate young men helping their community obtain wellness and knowledge through nature.

I’d discovered the location is known as a community garden, without fully understanding what that meant, and on my first visit my two young boys and I pull up to someone’s home. Concerned we aren’t in the right place, I call my contact Andy Severson to confirm address. Andy says, “Yes, come on around to the back of the house,” where sure enough, I find Andy, and a large backyard burgeoning with produce and herbs. I immediately want to dig in.

Once within the garden, Andy identifies weeds around the corn that the boys and I can help pull. Not surprisingly, my boys’ attention shifts quickly and their interest turns to the bees and beehives. As they watch the bees … Read More

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The young buds and leaves from the common milkweed plant are coaxed into a simple broth-based seasonal delicacy known to Native people as wa’gtha, and to the rest of us as milkweed soup. The milkweed is soaked in a bowl of water two, sometimes three times to coax tiny insects out from the clusters. The leaves and buds are swished around the water and any bugs are scooped up and taken back outside.

Native Traditions

The Making of Milkweed Soup

By Summer Miller | Photography by Alison Bickel


Milkweed is found in dense, tall grass. Harvesting milkweed involves plucking the compact, still green, tender buds and young leaves from plants three or four feet tall. Anything with a tinge of pink or a hint of fragrance is bypassed as those are both signs that the plant is too mature to harvest.


Taylor Keen and his mother, Octa Keen, stand in stark contrast to one another––his voice booms, he is tall and broad shouldered with thick paw-like hands. She is deliberate and methodical in her movements, soft spoken and so petite she appears fragile. He commands a presence; she commands a sense of wonder. Together they preserve Omaha Indian traditions, including the much-anticipated summer harvest of young buds and leaves from the common milkweed plant. Carefully, over the course of an afternoon, Octa coaxes the flavor of those buds into a simple broth-based seasonal delicacy known to Native people as wa’gtha, and to the rest of us as milkweed soup.

Together, Taylor Keen and his mother, Octa Keen, preserve Omaha Indian traditions, including the making of milkweed soup.

Together, Octa and Taylor drive to … Read More

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Food for Thought Harvest 2016


Pickled Okra
Minne Lusa House

Granola and Yogurt
with baby beets and basil
Sunday Brunch at Kitchen Table

Lamb Bolognese
Lot 2

Oh, what a marvelous harvest season, which included plenty of lessons learned. Every year I am amazed with what I glean from the process of growing food.

First and foremost, I was super excited to meet my goal of harvesting our pears before the deer took the opportunity (up until now, they’ve beaten me every year). As luck would have it, we had a record batch of pears and I found out how prolific one tree can be, and how heavy hundreds of pears are.

I am hopeful our experience with zucchini cured my husband of his belief that you must plant every seed in a seed packet. We ate zucchini for practically every meal for weeks on end––raw, grilled and steamed, and we shredded and froze dozens of packages for winter. It is utterly amazing to me how a small zucchini can seemingly quadruple in size overnight.

Our bounty enabled us to enjoy sharing on a whole new level. We delivered pears to the Minne Lusa House (find it on Facebook if you’re … Read More

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