Friday, 21 September 2012

CSA Weel 16 — Meet this week's vegetables

  • Bunch of baby carrots — Our new fall crop of sweet Nantes carrots. Although started at the height of the drought this summer, we gave them plenty of water, and they grew remarkably quickly. Late summer carrots grown in a high-organic matter soil with plenty of moisture are always the best tasting carrots of the season.
  • 1 cabbage — Light and crispy, perfect for a cole slaw.
  • 1 quart French fingerling potatoes.
  • 2 winter squash
  • Fall salad mix
  • 3 rutabagas — These guys keep practically forever in the vegetable crisper. Use as you need them.
  • 1 red and 1 yellow onion
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 bunch of parsley

Vegetable spaghetti squash

Here's a quick and easy recipe for vegetable spaghetti squash:

Cook the spaghetti squash (cut in half, rid of seeds, upside down on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 1 hour) Once baked, remove the flesh.
In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil, sautee chopped celery, onion and garlic....then sage, rosemary and parsley, pepper and sea salt to taste.

Place squash in casserole, top with sauteed veggies and herbs...add shredded mozzarella cheese, broil in oven 5 minutes and voila....delicious!

Friday, 14 September 2012

CSA Week 15 — Meet this week's vegetables

  • Savoy Spinach
  • Mix of red and chioggia beets — First pickings of the new fall crop. The greens are vigorous and  make a great addition to a stir-fry, or cook them up along with the beets just on their own.
  • Mixed heirloom carrots — The short, thick ones are called Oxheart, a now rare heirloom variety.
  • Celery
  • True Siberian kale
  • 2 sweet peppers
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Vegetable spaghetti squash

Friday, 7 September 2012

CSA week 14 — Meet this week's vegetables

  • Fall salad mix  — Cool nights and warm days make great growing weather for our fall salad green crops. This mix includes spinach, leaf lettuce, mustard greens and baby arugula.
  • 1 quart mixed gourmet new potatoes
  • 1 pint sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 pint ground cherries
  • 1 bunch red globe radishes
  • 1 rutabaga— Also know as Swedes (for Swedish turnip), they originated as a cross between cabbage and turnip. They make a nice, sweet addition to any roasted vegetables mix.
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Fresh herb mix: parsley, sage, oregano, and red sorrel. Sorrel has a lemony flavour, and adds a zesty twist to our roasted potatoes with fresh herbs recipe.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Mix it up with Kale

Our new fall crop of True Siberian Kale is getting the attention of kale connoisseurs young and old!
Incredibly nutritious, and compliments so many other veggies coming out of the garden at this time of year.
Here's my favorite, a vegetable medley with sweet peppers and tomatoes.
Just fry up a little garlic and onion, add some celery and the stalk-end of the kale. Add a little water and soya sauce and allow to soften. Add the rest of the kale, peppers and tomatoes. Add a dash of lemon juice and more water if necessary and toss a few times. Fast, tasty, nutritious, and a great way to keep that vegetable crisper under control!


CSA Week 13 — Meet this week's vegetables

  • Heirloom leaf lettuce mix
  • 1 pint mixed gourmet new potatoes 
  • 1.5 L mixed heirloom carrots and beets
  • 1 bunch of mixed Kale and Swiss chard
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 large cantaloupe The key to a great tasting cantaloupe is to make sure it is a ripe as possible before eating. If it is still quite firm, leave it out on the counter until it gets more colour and begins to soften a little. 
  • 1 bunch easter egg radishes

Friday, 24 August 2012

CSA Week 12 — Meet this week's vegetables

  • 1 quart mixed tomatoes
  • 2 sweet peppers
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1.5 L mixed beets and heirloom carrots — Perfect for roasted vegetables!
  • Celery — We're very happy to have a much improved celery crop this year.
  • 2 cantaloupes
  • 1 bunch of Kale  — This variety is True Siberian. Try it sautéed with a sweet pepper, celery, garlic and onion.

    Thursday, 16 August 2012

    Know thine heirloom tomatoes

    Spencer on taste-testing duty in the cherry tomato house.
    What a great year for tomatoes! Hot, dry weather all summer long was hard on a lot of crops, but our tomatoes were in heaven! Some of our heirlooms this year include (from right to left) Yellow brandywine, brandywine, black brandywine, red zebra, black cherry, purple calabash, glacier and gilbertie paste. (We've renamed it the gilbertie griller, since it is absolutely the best tomato to roast on the barbeque.)

    Roasted New Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

    1 quart organic new potatoes. Scrub and cut the larger ones in quarters.
    1/2 tsp. Paprika
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    3 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp. Olive oil (more if needed)
    1 small sprig Sage
    1 small sprig Oregano
    1/4 cup Parsley
    2 cloves Russian red garlic

    Finely chop the herbs and garlic

    1. Toss potatoes in 3T olive oil, paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper
    2. Roast in a skillet in a preheated 400 degree oven till soft and brown, tossing often. (cooking time: about 20 minutes)
    3. Before serving, toss potatoes with the herbs, remaining olive oil and more salt and pepper if desired.
    4. Taste, adjust and serve.

    CSA Week 11 — Meet this week's vegetables

    • Mixed heirloom tomatoes
    • Mixed cherry tomatoes
    • Ground cherries
    • 1 quart new potatoes — First diggings of the season! They are a little late because of the drought, but are catching up fast. This is our mix of German butterballs, Russian blues and French fingerlings.
    • Arugula salad mix
    • 1 head of garlic
    • Minnesota midget melon — Always the first of our melons to ripen, it has a lovely delicate flavour and velvety soft texture.
    • Fresh herbs — Parsley, sage and oregano. Perfect for the new potatoes!

    Friday, 10 August 2012

    CSA Week 10 — Meet this week's vegetables

    • 1 quart mixed heirloom tomatoes
    • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes  — We grew a mall trial last year, and are very happy to have enough for CSA this season. A delicious tropical taste, each in their own individual wrapper. Makes a great topping for vanila ice cream!
    • 1 quart green beans
    • 1 sweet onion
    • 1 head of garlic
    • 2 hot peppers. The red one is my favorite, it is called Cyklon, a Polish heirloom pepper with nice heat and an underlying sweetness. Keep fresh hot peppers in a bag or container in the fridge for daily seasoning.
    • Sugar baby watermelon

    CSA Week 9 - Meet this week's vegetables

    • 1 quart mixed heirloom tomatoes
    • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
    • 1 sweet pepper
    • 1 hot pepper
    • Fennel
    • 1 Artichoke
    • 1 sweet onion
    • 1 head of garlic

    Friday, 27 July 2012

    CSA Week 8 - Mee this week's vegetables

    • 1 quart mixed snap beans
    • 1 quart mixed tomatoes
    • 1 sweet pepper
    • 1 Hungarian yellow hot wax pepper
    • 1 eggplant — The key to great eggplant is eating it fresh.
    • 1 sweet onion — This variety is Walla Walla, one of our favorites
    • Arugula  — Have you tried it wilted over pasta, or perhaps an eggplant parmesan? Delicious!
    • Garlic
    • Fresh parsley and oregano

    Monday, 23 July 2012

    CSA Week 7 — Meet this week's vegetables

    • 1 large zuchinni
    • Mesclun salad mix
    • 1 bunch nantes carrots
    • 1 sweet pepper
    • 1 bunch Swiss chard
    • 1 hot pepper This one is a Hungarian yellow hot wax.
    • Sweet Spanish onion
    • 1 quart bush beans — We've mixed together yellow green and royal burgundy beans.
    • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes —First of the season! The yellow ones are Sun Gold, one of our favorites.
    • 1 head garlic

    Friday, 13 July 2012

    CSA Week 6 Meet this week's vegetables

    • Pint of sugar snap peas 
    • Red beets
    • Green pepper
    • Zuchinni
    • Patty-pan summer squash
    • Head lettuce
    • Broccoli
    • Sweet Spanish onion
    • Garlic
    • Parsley

    Drought year 2

    We're into our second summer in a row of drought conditions in July. The difference this year is that we started out dry, compared to a record-setting wet spring last year.
    What a change from the first three summers on our farm which were incredibly wet.  July of 2010 was topped off with a storm which dumped almost a foot of rain in 24 hours!
    When you're growing vegetables, especially the kind of growing that we do which relies on the replanting and germination of crops throughout the growing season, water is essential. We've invested heavily in the last couple of years in irrigation, including a drip system, and our new micro-sprinkler setup (above).

    Friday, 6 July 2012

    CSA Week 5 - Meet this week's vegetables

    • Summer salad mix
    • Heirloom carrot Mix — Some of our customers juice or make other use of the carrot tops, but for longer storage in the refrigerator, take the tops off and store carrots in a sealed container to prevent them from going soft.
    • 1 pint sweet peas — Unlike the sugar snaps and snow peas we also grow, sweet peas need to be shelled. Summer candy from the garden, each with it's own wrapper!
    • Sweet Spanish onion 
    • Red Russian kale — Many kale connoisseurs prefer this variety over all others for its' tenderness and flavour, even in summer heat. In our house, this  makes a frequent addition to fried a zucchini.
    • Patty pan summer squash — Great sliced and fried like zucchini, or try it marinated on the BBQ.
    • Fresh Russian red garlic! — Our first pickings of the year! The stem has not dried down yet, so you can use the stem as you would a green onion. 
    • 1 bunch basil

    Friday, 22 June 2012

    CSA Week 3— Meet this week's vegetables

    • Heirloom leaf lettuce mix
    • 1 pint sugar snap peas
    • Mixed beets — A mix of red beet, bull's blood and chioggia.
    • Garlic scapes — As they begin to enlarge their bulbs, garlic plants produce a flower stalk, or scape. Use as you would garlic, lending a mild garlic flavour.
    • Spring onions — Last week was the last of our over-wintered onions, this week we’re starting on our new crop sown this year. We also grow from seed for the best quality and taste
    • Hakurei turnip — AKA the Japaneese salad turnip. Our kids love them cut up like carrot sticks, also good steamed along with the greens.
    • Zuchinni 
    • Cilantro

    Friday, 15 June 2012

    CSA week 2 — Meet this week's vegetables

    • Spicy salad mix
    • Romaine lettuce head
    • Baby carrots — First of the season!
    • Baby rainbow Swiss chard
    • Easter egg radishes
    • Kohlrabi
    • 2 zucchini
    • Baby leeks  

      In praise of carrots

      Perhaps more than any other vegetable, carrots take up the taste of the taste of the soil, report the conditions in which they were grown, and in short, represent a sense of terroir, to use the term that often is used to describe grapes grown for wine. The high-mineral glacial soil of this part of the seaway valley promotes the quick growth of carrots. Like so many crops, carrots taste best when they have rapid, uninterrupted growth.

      Nutritional Benefits
      Carrot is one of the most healing foods that provides the finest and highest quality in nutrients, especially from its juice. It is an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, D, E, K, B1 and B6.

      Health Benefits
      Carotenes, the famous ingredient in carrots, is an anti-oxidant that has powerful healing virtues for many diseases. Drinking a glass of carrot juice daily will do much more for you than many bottles of supplement tablets

      Healthy lemon carrot salad   
      1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
      1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
      1/2 small clove garlic, minced
      1/8 teaspoon sea salt
      Freshly ground pepper, to taste
      1 cup shredded carrots
      1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
      1 tablespoon chopped scallion

           Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl, Add carrots, dill and scallion, toss to coat.

      Special thanks to Sylvie Thibert for this recipe and advice.

      Friday, 8 June 2012

      CSA main season week 1— Meet this week's vegetables

      •  Spring salad mix — Baby lettuce, arugula, and a little spinach and mustard greens
      • Boston head lettuce
      • Spring onions — Still getting bigger
      • Green Garlic
      • Baby Beets — Perfect sautéed with a little olive oil and some of the green garlic and onion. Make sure to wash them well before eating to remove any remaining soil.
      • Baby Rainbow Swiss Chard — This crop is from our new field planting. Tender enough to be eaten raw, or throw them in with some baby beets.
      • Kohlrabi — We like to cut it in sticks and eat raw, or you can steam or stir-fry. The stems and leaves can be eaten as well.
      • A sprig of dill & parsley

      Saturday, 2 June 2012

      Early Season week 4 — Meet this week's vegetables

      • Heirloom leaf lettuce mix
      • Bronze Arrow head lettuce  — An heirloom oak-leaf type with great texture and flavour.
      • Spring onions — Getting bigger by the week!
      • Over-wintered baby leeks — Use as you would onion, but with a milder flavour
      • Kale
      • Baby Beets!
      • Fresh dill

      Saturday, 26 May 2012

      Early Season week 3 — Meet this week's vegetables

      • Heirloom leaf lettuce mix
      • 2 red romaine lettuce heads
      • Rainbow Swiss chard — Great steamed, boiled or stir-fried
      • Hakurei turnip — AKA the salad turnip. A delicious japanese white-flesh turnip that can be eaten raw. The greens can be eaten as well.
      • Pak Choi — An Asian vegetable, perfect in a stir-fry.
      • Green garlic — A young garlic stem, the result of a little thinning we had to do in the garlic beds. Chop it up, and use it as you would mature garlic.
      • Spring Onions

      Saturday, 19 May 2012

      The power of Mustard Greens

      If you’ve never had mustard greens before, then I think you’re in for a treat. Think of it as horseradish in the form of a healthy fibrous dark leaf. It has the sharp pungency of a strong mustard and is indeed one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetables. The greens actually contain vitamin A, and K. As the mustard greens get bigger they are awesome in stir fries.

      If you are not used to mustard greens, then be forewarned. They pack a big flavor punch, and are much more fibrous than lettuce or even spinach. You may want to sub out half of the mustard greens for lettuce or spinach if eating raw.

      - Sylvie Thibert

      The goodness of Kale

      Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals vital to good health. Kale contains high levels of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and lutein. It even has omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins B6, B3, B2, and B1. One cup of cooked kale has over 5 % of the recommended daily allowance of protein.

      Serves 6
      -2 bunches of  kale, about 12-14 ounces, wash and dried
      2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
      1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
      A few twists of black pepper
      1 Tablespoon minced green onions
      2 teaspoons 100% pure maple syrup (St-Pierre, Lancaster Ont.) or raw honey (Levac Apiaries, Green Valley, Ont)
      6-7 Tablespoons cold-pressed organic extra-virgin olive oil
      Remove the stems from the kale and stack a bunch on a cutting board. Thinly slice the kale with a sharp knife and transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining kale.

      Preparing the dressing
      -whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl and add enough dressing to coat the kale lightly.
      -Massage the kale with the dressing. Add in your favorite salad fixings (dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nute) and additional dressing ,if needed.

      Special thanks to Sylvie Thibert for this recipe and advice.

      Early Season Week 2 - Meet this week's vegetables

      • Spring Salad Mix
      • Rouge Grenobloise head lettuce — A french heirloom lettuce that is both heat and cold tolerant, perfect for early spring growing
      • Spring onions
      • Red globe radishes  — First crop of the season!
      • Kale — Great steamed, boiled or stir-fried
      • Mustard Greens — Perfect for a stir-fry, juicing or eating raw.

      Friday, 11 May 2012

      Early Season CSA - Meet this week's vegetables!

      •  Sweet and Spicy salad mix — A mix of spicy mustard greens, arugula, sweet overwintered spinach and leaf lettuce.
      • Rainbow Swiss Chard
      • Baby Arugula
      • Spring onions —  We always grow from seed for the best quality and taste, and to prevent any disease or chemical contamination
      • Baby carrots
      • Parsley

      Sautéed Rainbow Swiss Chard

      -1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard, washed in several changes of water and thoroughly dried, and chopped into 2 -inch pieces.
      -1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
      -2 teaspoons organic extra-virgin olive oil               
      -Juice from half of a fresh lemon (optional)                   
      -Sea salt and pepper to taste       

      -In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
      -Sauté the garlic lightly in the oil and remove it from pan as soon as it starts to brown.
      -Add the chard pieces to the pan and sauté until just wilted, stirring frequently.
      -Remove the pan from the heat, add lemon juice, salt (optional), and pepper, to taste, and serve.

        What's Beneficial About Swiss Chard
      One of the primary flavonoids found in the leaves of chard is called Syringic acid  It has received special attention in recent research due to its blood sugar regulating properties. It makes sense to think about chard as a vegetable whose flavonoid phytonutrients are unique and may offer special benefits for blood sugar control.
      The red and yellow betalain pigments found in this food family and the special connection between their overall phytonutrients and our nervous system health (including our specialized nervous system organs like the eye) point to this family of foods for overall health.

         Special thanks to Sylvie Thibert for this recipe and advice.

      Wednesday, 11 April 2012

      Putting the community in Community Supported Agriculture

      Families, communities, friends and neighbours are what make small scale farming possible. We feel blessed to have creative and energetic members of our community working with us to further the vision of local food. From left to right are Jamie and Stacey, Sylvie Thibert, Shirley Barr and Kathleen Barr.
      Sylvie, aka 'The Heath Nut', whose popular healthy eating seminars are must-go events, will be working with us this year to bring delicious cooking ideas to your CSA baskets.
      Shirley Barr is a long-time farm supporter. Shirley has been instrumental in developing our CSA plan, doing community outreach, coordinating volunteers, helping out on the farm and giving us pep talks when we need it most!
      Kathleen Barr will be working with us on the farm this year. The results of her help in the greenhouse and early field plantings will be showing up soon in your CSA baskets and market stands!

      Friday, 2 March 2012

      A new crop of lambs, basking in the Sun of a warm February day. Exceptionally mild weather this winter has made for an easy lambing season.