Thursday, 25 August 2011

Meet this week's vegetables






















  • Torpedo onions — Prized in Mediterranean cuisine, these fine-grained onions have a great texture and flavour.
  • Thibodeau du ComtĂ© Beauce Bean — Originally from ComtĂ© de Beauce in Quebec, with a unique coloring.
  • 1 pint mixed new potatoes — German butterballs, French fingerlings and Russian blues
  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • Mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • Red Malabar Spinach — Another summer spinach with a vine growing habit. An heirloom variety from India, Red Malabar makes a great addition to stir-frys, lasagna, or just on it's own. You can eat it raw, but we prefer it cooked, and you can use the whole plant, including the stem.
  • Minnesota midget melon

Scenes of summer

Some of last succession crops are going in the ground, the rains have finally returned, and our ram is getting frisky. All signs that a change of seasons is just around the corner. A few images from this past summer at Hoople Creek Farm.

Jamie digging carrots



Garlic drying on the haywagon




















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Spencer with German bi-colour



















Iris pruning tomato plants in the hoophouse. Iris has been working on the farm this summer,
and has done an amazing job keeping plants and weeds in check.








































The first apples from the orchard. Organically-grown with no sprays of any kind.
We hope to have a big enough crop to sell next summer.

A hawk circles over a field with newly planted beds tucked under row-covers, as storm clouds approach.
Finally, the drought is over, and we expect to be complaning about too much rain very soon!





Thursday, 18 August 2011

Meet this week's vegetables






















  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 hot peppers  — Hungarian yellow hot was and jalapeno
  • 1 quart mixed beans
  • 1 pint German butterball new potatoes —A delicious potato with a buttery flavour.  Won first place in Rodals’s Organic Gardening “Taste Off.”
  • Sugar baby watermelon!
  • Early Hanover melon. — An old fashioned 'muskmelon' with a delicate taste similar to a pear. An endangered variety.
  • Rainbow swiss chard

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Meet this week's vegetables






















  • Heirloom mesclun salad mix
  • Broccoli
  • New Zealand spinach  — High Vitamin A, B1 and B2, this summer spinach has a vine-like growing habit. Pick off the leaves and it's great in a salad, or cooked you can use the whole stalk. It's especially good for lasagna, since it holds it's volume well compared to regular spinach. Also makes a great freezer.
  • Mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • Sweet  peppers
  • Carrots
  • Sweet onion
  • Garlic
  • Minnesota midget melon

Fruit!

Kyle, Lindsay and Spencer hamming it up for dad's request of a fruit photo-op.  They're digging into a Minnesota midget melon and some of the first apples from the orchard.









The melons have started to come in this week, with Minnesota midget leading the pack as usual. Developed by the University of Minnesota in 1948, this little pocket-sized melon is sweet and aromatic. Even in a cold summer like we had in '09, this variety produced, when many other did not.

Since we first started to plan our farm, we knew that fruit was going to be play an important part. It's so hard to find organic fruit, and even harder to find it grown in Canada, that we knew we had to try.
Some things haven't worked out just yet, like strawberries. We gave up on those after losing the battle to weeds, but we will tackle them again next year using some different techniques. Others are going well, like the apples which are producing perfect fruit without any sprays.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Meet this week's vegetables






















  • Red cabbage
  • Cauliflower —They're a little small this time around, the drought we're experiencing right now is taking it's toll on some crops.
  • 1 pint of mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 1 quart of heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • Sweet peppers
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 patty-pan squash
  • Fresh basil

Freezing

This time of year, you might find yourself with a little more veggies on your hands than you can use right away. Don't let them go to waste, put them in the freezer, and in February those carrots will be almost as fresh as the day they were picked! I honestly don't know how they manage to make supermarket frozen vegetables taste so bad. You can freeze almost anything, other than lettuce.
- Chop up carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. Peas, beans, etc. can be frozen whole.
- Boil a pot of water, and throw in the veggies for 30 sec.
- Drain the water, and let air dry for a few minutes.
- Put them into  zip-lock freezer bags. Use a large straw, those big slurpee straws are perfect, to suck out the air as you close the bag.
- Put in the freezer, and enjoy it anytime. We find it's best to use them up within a year.

Heirloom Tomatoes!






















Tomato season is in full swing right now, with a near-perfect growing conditions for that heat-loving plant.
What I find really amazing, is that tomatoes taste like they look. The yellow German bicolor has an almost fruity flavour, the rich-red Brandywines have a full-bodied classic tomato flavour, and the blacks have a deep, almost smokey flavour with subtle undertones.
Here's a selection of the heirloom tomatoes coming out of the garden right now. Clockwise from left to right:
Black brandywine
Black from Tula
Mary Robinson's German bicolor
Gilbertie Paste — Not just a paste tomato. Some of our customers have renamed this the Gilbertie griller, since it's firm flesh and shape makes it perfect for the BBQ.
Brandywine
Yellow Brandywine
Black cherry
Brown cherry