Update from the Garden
The seasons are slowly switching over in the garden. As August marches on, this past week we were busy flipping beds. This means we were pulling out the pea trellis, pulling old cabbage plants, pulling lettuces that have went to seed etc. and doing some cultivating and cover cropping to restore nutrients and build organic matter. We have been planting hundreds of transplants including lettuces, bok choy and kohlrabi. We also direct seeded some arugula, radishes, and some fancy spicy red mustards for the fall. All of these crops love the cooler weather and will hold us over until the end of October. We are also finally turning in a new plot to incorporate into our rotations. We will cover crop it and then aim to plant garlic in the fall. We would have liked to have had this cover cropped since June but it was just too dry. The field is currently in hay production and free of weeds, so we’re hoping it will work out nicely… if we get the cover crop seeds in before this week’s rain!

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Ploughing a new plot… cover cropping with an oat/pea mixture.

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Many of our squash plants have relaxed slightly and are revealing loads of gorgeous squash beneath. We did a bit of research for our pie pumpkins and have sought out a market gardener’s favourite (and best tasting) variety: Winter Luxury. Check out the pretty lace skin on these squashes, which are coming along nicely.

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Finally, the Garlic Fest was a huge success for us. We sold all our garlic (about 3,000 bulbs), which was totally crazy. Many many people were returning customers, which was great to see. Our fancy garlic braids and single garlics earned several ribbons. Of course we are planting even more this coming fall!

This week’s share
1 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
1 Head Lettuce
1 box Tomatoes
1 bunch Garlic
1 bunch Onions
1 bunch Carrots or 1 bunch Beets
1 item from the Choice Shelf
Large ONLY: 1 extra Zucchini, 1 bunch Basil, 1 extra bunch Carrot/Beet

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Our cucumbers being harvested. We never trellis our cucumbers due to intense cucumber beetle pressure, but boy do they do well!

Claudia’s Beet Salad
This recipe was created by our German WWOOFer from a few years ago.

1 bunch beets – half steamed & roughly chopped, half raw and grated
1 medium onion – sliced thin
1 avocado – chopped
Dressing: 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt & pepper

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Update from the Garden
Wow, like that the CSA is already at the half-way mark! We are in the heart of the summer – where we get all the summer crops like cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash. I love it.

The garlic season is almost complete, which means that we are moving on to fall prep. This includes flipping beds into fall plantings like spinach, lettuces, turnips, arugula, radishes, kohlrabi, etc. I like this time of year because weed and bug pressure somewhat subside. We do have a lot of garden catch up to do since all this rain came.

This is also the time for me to plant our cover crops on beds and areas that are done for the year. The cover crop will be a combination of peas and oats. We basically plant peas and oats and allow them to grow until the frost kills them. These crops will mop up nutrients and grow… then when they die, they will return nutrients and lots of organic matter to the soil. Helps build soil health and suppresses weeds. I absolutely love cover cropping!

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Upstairs in our awesome hay mow, where I dry and process garlic. Lots of lumber drying here too.

This week’s tip: Eat it raw
Figure out what you can eat raw and go for it.
 If you are unsure about which foods to eat raw, start with dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale or try carrots, turnips, and cucumbers. Technically you can eat almost any vegetable raw, in its naked, natural state (careful around rhubarb!). It’s just a matter of taste and how well your body digests it. Just make sure to chew your food well to aid your body in digestion.

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Pepper plants are getting very heavy with fruits.

This week’s share:
1 bunch Carrots
1 bunch Garlic
1 Zucchini
1 box Pattypan Squash
1 Cucumber
1 pint Tomatoes
2 Peppers
1 Choice Item: Bok Choy/Kale/Beans/Cabbage
Large ONLY: 1 extra Cucumber, 1 head Romaine, 1 bag Basil

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Little Pete out for a tractor ride with Opa…. 

Dark Chocolate Zucchini (or Pattypan) Brownies
These are seriously delicious brownies – a recipe that a CSA member gave me in my first season, about 7 years ago!

2 cups zucchini, grated
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup whole spelt flour (or an additional 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I used a combo of chips and chopped up 100% cocoa chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Grate zucchini. Dump into a mesh colander and squeeze it with a towel to get rid of excess moisture. Fluff it back up
with a fork.
In a large bowl, beat together the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, honey and vanilla). Stir in the zucchini.
In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (whole wheat pastry and spelt flour, cocoa, salt, baking
powder and cinnamon). Pour the dry mixture into the wet/zucchini mixture. Stir just until combined, and then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine was done baking at 30 minutes).
Let cool completely before serving.

 

Few notes:
We have been having experiencing wi-fi issues at the farm and so it’s been impossible for me to send out newsletters during the day – hence them coming now in the evening from my home in Beachburg.

Please, if you could, return any wooden containers as we love to re-use them!

Please ensure your name is checked off the list when you pick up veggies so we can track who is still to come and make sure everyone gets their goodies.

Thank you, you are all such fantastic CSA members!!

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Next generation market gardener with her “shop”.

Update from the garden

Oh glorious rain, where have you been? It’s funny because I spent last Sunday morning (before last week’s CSA), writing a poem for the Beachburg Fair, expressing my thoughts and feelings about farming in drought conditions. As soon as I finished writing it, down came the rain! Forget rain dances in the future, let’s all pick up pens.

As you know, I had done numerous extra seedings of carrots and beets to try to make up for the poor growth of our early plantings. I’m relieved that this rain has allowed many of these seeds to germinate well. I seeded some more cilantro last week too as the earlier plantings all went to seed/got such scorched.

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Variety of Santa Fe hot peppers “Havasu”.

Normally I would have harvested my garlic but I left anything that looked green (alive) in the beds, in hopes that some rain would come and size them up. The bulbs I had been pulling looked very healthy but also very small compared to past years. You can imagine that slow growing dry bulbs would get a shock from a big rain, but very few of the garlic have cracked. Surprisingly, I still have quite a few in the ground – still waiting for them to mature.

This week’s tip: Seal it up
A lot of things in the CSA do not come in bags but pretty much all of it would benefit from being sealed in a container – especially carrots, cucumbers and all things leafy. If you get a wilty item, dunk or rinse it in cold water, shake it off, and put it in a bag or container in the fridge. This helps immensely! Remember to keep your tomatoes and basil out of the fridge though. Winter squashes too, when they begin to appear come September.

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This week’s cabbage, still under fine exclusion netting.

This week’s #8 Share
1 head Lettuce OR 1 Romaine
1 bunch Rainbow Carrots
1 bunch Beets OR 1 Savoyed Cabbage
1 bunch Herbs – choice of basil, mint or parsley
1 Zucchini
1 Pattypan Squashes
2 Green Peppers
1 cluster of Garlic (Russian Red)
1 Choice: beans, pea shoots, kale, onions, cippolini onions, cucumbers
Large ONLY: Take an extra bunch of carrots & extra bunch of beets
Free to take if you can use: extra zucchinis and pattypan squash.

Last Week #7’s share just FYI
1 bag Spring Mix
1 bunch Carrots
1 pint Tomatoes OR 1 Combo of Large Tomato + 2 Onions
1 Cucumber
2 Zucchinis
1 pint Beans
1 bunch Rainbow Chard
Large ONLY: 1 extra bunch Carrots, 1 extra Bean
Free to take if you can use: extra zucchinis and large pattypans – great for baking!

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Beauty herbs this week. So proud of the basil & parsley!

Zucchini Fritters
This is a big go-to for us when we have lots of summer squash around. It uses a good amount of squash, it cooks easy, and you can dress them up as much as you want i.e. bacon & sour cream.

Prepare these using any combination of zucchini, large pattypan squashes, carrots, beets, kale, cabbage, onion, garlic… anything that can be greated or chopped fine. Here is a starter recipe:

1 large zucchini or pattypan, grated
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 egg
3 Tbsp. flour

Grate squash and salt it. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then drain and squeeze out the moisture. Toss the squash with the remaining ingredients. At this point, you may wish to add other grated veggies. Add more or less flour and egg to get the right consistency. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat and fry the fritters/latkes until golden brown. These cook much quicker than potato pancakes. Serve with sour cream.

 

Update from the Garden

Yet another week revolving around a strict irrigation schedule. The couple showers we did have were definitely some relief but Saturday AM’s check of the rain gauge in the garden only showed 3mm (25mm in an inch).  I’m sharing the numbers because I remember before I relied on weather for my livelihood, I didn’t realise how dry the weather could be and what the implications were! In fact, I barely even noticed weather patterns! How times have changed….

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This is our celery today – the first ever grown on our farm, which of course I chose to do in a drought year!

I have replanted hundreds of feet of carrots in hopes that we won’t run out this season. I have also put in more beets and herbs. Once August comes, I’ll get to do all our fall planting, which is my favourite time to seed – the flea beetles will have basically buggered off for the year, allowing me to grow turnips, arugula, mustards, etc. without a daily panic of “did the bugs get under the netting??”. We even did some lettuce transplanting today, which is looking great.

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Beans are now starting to produce and the cucumbers and zucchinis are bringing more fruits each week. I can already see the winter squashes like Delicata and Kuri starting to form. The plants look strong. It’s amazing how well the giant squash plants retain moisture and cover the soil so well.

Soon the big garlic harvest will be underway and so this week I am preparing our garlic processing area. Here the garlic will undergo curing, cleaning, grading, braiding, and labelling. Best to get all that prepared ahead of time because once the bulbs start coming out, it’s go-time.

This week’s share
1 pint Tomatoes
1 large Slicing Tomato
1 half pint Red Currants
1 Cucumber
1 Zucchini
1 bunch Carrots
1 pint Beans
1 bag Basil

**Our friends, Grant and Dorothy Dobson at Connaught Nursery in Cobden grew the gorgeous tomatoes and some of the basil in our CSA shares this week. Our tomatoes are coming along slowly but surely!

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This week’s tip: freeze some for later
If there is a week where you are not making too many meals for one reason or another, there are some quick things you can do to freeze items. A great trick for zucchini is to grate the zucchini in a pre-measured amount (1 cup). Then, make a ball with the zucchini on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, you can put the ball into a bag with others and it’s super easy to grab it again for baking or soups. You can do the same thing with blanched kale and chard.

Red Currants and their special place on our farm
We haven’t had red currants in the CSA for some time mainly due to production (we need LOTS for CSA) but for some reason they are loving this hot weather and have gorgeous plump berries for us all to enjoy. This is old news to many returning CSA members, but red currants are a berry of my childhood… my dad’s… and my Omi’s… and I’m certain, generations before that. My Omi and Opi had emigrated from Europe to our farm after WWII. My Omi had been separated from her family during the war and at the time they immigrated to Canada, she did not know if they were still alive (they were eventually reconnected through the Red Cross, 15 years later). My Omi is originally from Latvia – one of three small Baltic countries in Eastern Europe. Red and Black currants are very popular there and very much part of Latvian and Northern Europe’s cuisine and culture. When my Omi came to Canada, she could not find any red currants and so of course, she did what any sensible person would do – she planted her own. These are still the same currants that we are sharing with everyone today.

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So what to do with them? Red Currants are tart berries, so best to enjoy them with a little sweet. Great on icecream, on yogourt, on oatmeal, in a smoothie, decorating a cake, mixed with raspberries in a jam, or even in a crepe – which is how my family enjoyed them on Sunday morning. Hope you find something yummy to do with them 🙂

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Update from the garden
It’s no surprise that the big activity over the last week has been watering. Everything. Morning and night. Since we live off-farm, my dad has been Mr. Waterworks for us in the evenings. During the heat wave I did lose over 200 lettuce transplants but another 200 or so survived so I’m calling that a win!

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Irrigation lines, providing water from 2 different sources.

I noticed a section of my garlic looked very dry until I remembered that I had planted some new “softneck” varieties, which mature much sooner than the usual “hardneck” varieties that I grow, so we got pulling. Without the chickens around this year, the big, well-ventilated coop is going to be the perfect place for drying the racks of garlic. We have 5,000 in the ground and garlic will be appearing in the CSA around the end of this month. Most of our garlic is marketed at the big Garlic Festival, the 2nd weekend in August at the Carp Farmers’ Market. So far it all looks surprisingly good coming out of the ground, so I’m very pleased.

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Cucumbers majorly busting out of their protective netting. Lots of blooms and soon loads of cucumbers!

I’ve also started doing some more seedings of beets and carrots. Both this season are very small and the fear of running out has been seeding any space I can get. It’s difficult to get seeds to germinate in such dry conditions but I’m planning to irrigate those areas every day and then cover them with some of our “row cover” to help retain moisture. Hoping that works!

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The asparagus experiment is going well. This was all rototilled just a few weeks ago and it has all come back. We are waiting for rain to germinate the oats and pea cover crop beneath.

This week’s tip – Keeping it crispy
Often cucumbers you buy in the store have a wax coating on them or plastic to keep them crispy. Obviously this is not the case for our cucumbers so make sure you store them in a sealed bag or container to prevent them from going rubbery. For carrots, remove the tops and store them in a container as well. Greens like kale and chard should also be stored in a sealed bag or container.

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Pattypan squashes just starting.

This week’s share
1 bunch Young Onions
1 bag Spring Mix
1 Cucumber
1 Zucchini
1 pint Tomatoes
1 bunch Lacinato Kale OR 1 bunch Rainbow Chard
1 Herb: basil/dill/tarragon/mint/thyme
Weekly ONLY: Carrots
Bi-Weekly ONLY: Sugar Snap Peas
Large ONLY: extra Carrots, Scapes, and 1 extra Zucchini

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We have 3 kinds of hot peppers this year. This is our “Red Ember” starting out. If you want some hot ones, let me know!

How to make Kale Chips
Kale chips were extremely popular several years ago but they are still a solid go-to, especially when you have this nice “Dino” or “Tuscan” or “Black” or Lacinato Kale. This particular kale is found to be more tender and flavourful and does not contain oxalic acid, which sometimes bothers some people. I found this recipe for Cheesy Kale Chips, which sounds pretty delicious. I would also add maybe a little honey to it…

1 head Kale
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Nutrional Yeast
1 tsp. Onion Powder
3/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Wash the kale and dry thoroughly with a towel or spinner.
  3. Place the dry kale leaves in a large bowl and add the olive oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic powder. Use your hands to mix, making sure each leaf gets some of the coating on it.
  4. Spread kale in a single layer on the cookie sheets, making sure that they are spread out without touching.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Check on them periodically so they don’t burn. When they are crisp, remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.

Update from the garden
Hot weather is obviously great for many summer plants but totally a struggle when it’s so dry for so long. I am looking back at my rain gauge notes and the last time we had real rain was about a month ago (30mm around June 3rd). Since then it’s been all a few mm here and there. As such, we’re irrigating every day. It’s a bit tricky with the transplants that have been going out but we’re been paying extra attention to those and making sure those areas see the water first. When lawns start to fry, we know it’s time for some decent rain… will it come?

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The winter squash plants starting to creep around. Soon it will be one giant mass.

We are normally irrigating from the main farm drilled well. It has lots of water and it takes in ground water (sweats into the well) but we tend to lose pressure when using overhead sprinklers with the garden. Actually, we ran into problems with it on Friday night at 7pm (I’m on the road for market on Sat. morning at 5:30am so I was pretty thrilled as you can imagine). Dad and I ended up rigging up another farm well with clean water and had it working by midnight. I’m hoping to dig a big irrigation pond within the next couple of years. It will take significant research and planning. I find that watering right now is enough to keep things from wilting but not enough to have them thrive and so things like beets and carrots are a little behind this season unfortunately. Cucumbers are very happy though! Zucchini too look well on their way so look forward to more variety shortly!

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Also, I finally planted out some hops as an experiment. I figure they will need more trellis but this is a start. They are auto-irrigated from the run off of the wash station.

This week’s tip: when you have too much, share
The other day I told a friend that I had a lot of something. He said, well we have a lot of chicken, do you want to trade? I thought that was so nice! If you find yourself having too much cabbage for example, make a big coleslaw and invite a friend/family over for a small potluck. Not only do you get a little more variety, but it’s a good step towards building stronger community… and it’s just fun.

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Forever mowing pathways to let some new clover establish.

This week’s share:
1 bag Spring Mix or 1 Head Romaine
1 bunch Garlic Scapes
1 bunch Hakurei Turnips
1 bunch Scallions
1 Zucchini (lots more coming)
CHOICE: 1 bag Peashoots OR 1 head Bok Choy
Bi-weekly ONLY: Savoyed Cabbage
Weekly ONLY: 1 bag Sugar Snap Peas (bi-weekly these will come in your next basket)
Large ONLY: 1 bag Sugar Snap Peas AND 1 bunch Beets

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Delightful elderflowers everywhere! Elderberries will appear in the shares again this season.

What to do with… a lot of cilantro.
I can highly recommend this Jamie Oliver recipe. Due to time constraints, I often omit the bean and rice part, which really ends up making just a wrap, but it’s up to you! What I really love is the tomato-cucumber-cilantro-scallion-lime salad part, which is quick, delicious, and CSA friendly. You can already find local greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers at the Farmers’ Markets. Our field versions are coming along!

Cracking Chicken Burritos
(Jamie Oliver)

  • 4 skinless, boneless free-range chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ a tablespoon ground cumin
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400 g tin of pinto or black beans
  • 200 g leftover white or brown rice , chilled
  • 1 lime
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 little gem lettuce
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 80 g mature Cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Greek yoghurt

Method

  1. Preheat a griddle pan over a high heat. Meanwhile, place the chicken thighs between two sheets of greaseproof paper, then bash with the base of a heavy pan to roughly ½cm thick. Pop into a bowl, sprinkle over the paprika, cumin and a lug of oil, and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Mix well to coat, then place the chicken onto the hot griddle. Cook for 10 minutes, or until charred and cooked through, turning halfway. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic. Pick the coriander leaves and set aside, then finely slice the stalks. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the garlic and coriander stalks and fry for 1 minute.
  4. Drain, rinse and add the beans, then fry for a further few minutes. Add the rice and cook for 5 minutes, or until crisp and piping hot through, stirring occasionally. Finely grate in the lime zest, roughly chop and add half the coriander leaves. Stir well and remove from the heat.
  5. Roughly chop the tomatoes and trim and finely slice the spring onions, then add to a bowl with the juice of the lime. Roughly chop and add the remaining coriander leaves, mix well and season to taste. Shred the lettuce and cooled chicken.
  6. Pop a tortilla onto the griddle for 1 minute to soften, then place onto a board. Spoon one-quarter of the fried rice and beans along the middle, top with a generous spoonful of salsa, a handful of lettuce and one of the shredded chicken thighs. Grate over some cheese and add a spoon of yoghurt.
  7. Wrap up the burrito, then tuck in. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, serving as you go.

Update from the Garden
I did something crazy this past week as a bit of a Hail Mary to try to reclaim my asparagus patch, which has become increasingly overtaken by scotch grass. You see, when I began market gardening, I didn’t have a clue about weed suppression and weed management and so I turned in a cow field and planted the gorgeous little asparagus transplants that I had started from seed.

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Asparagus popping up after the rototiller assault. You can also see the peas and oats, which had been incorporated.

They initially did very well but over time, grass pressure increased and production decreased. Through online forums that I participate in, I met someone out of New YorK State who had done some experimenting with reclaiming asparagus patches. As such, I began my own mission… I did a shallow cultivation about 1 week before the asparagus was due to emerge. Then, I let the asparagus produce for about 5 weeks, which brings me to the past week when I mowed down the entire patch and shallow rototilled in the grass. I then seeded peas and oats and harrowed them in. The plan now is to allow the peas/oats to establish quicker than the grasses, but slower than the asparagus. Once the asparagus emerges again, the oats and peas will smother out the grasses underneath.

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Some of the uncovered squash plants.

I truly do not know if this will be successful, but this is what I have been up to! Aside from this sort of activity, my buddy Robyn and I removed 5,000 garlic scapes and along with my mom, we weeded the entire patch. Garlic is looking great! I am also doing some work on the greenhouse (we moved it to a new location recently) and I am busy trellising our already fairly large tomato plants.

This week’s share
1 Savoyed Cabbage
1 bunch Garlic Scapes
1 bunch Kale
1 bunch Sweet Hakurei Salad Turnips
1 bunch Scallions
1 bag Dill OR Cilantro
1 Choice Item: Kohlrabi OR Rainbow Chard OR Bok Choy OR Napa Cabbage
Large only: 1 extra bunch Hakurei, 1 extra bunch Scapes, 1 extra bag Herbs

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This week’s tip: Remove the tops and store them separatly
You can use most of the tops off our veg including kohlrabi, radishes, Hakurei turnips and beets. When you get home, remove the tops from the roots, etc. and store them separately in a bag or container. This will keep the tops nice and fresh and ready for you to saute or add to soups, stir-frys, salads etc.

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What to do with…. Garlic Scapes
Garlic scapes are the flower on garlic plants, which shoots off the main garlic stalk with a whimsical curl. We pick the scapes off the stalk in late June, so that the garlic plant can focus on developing the garlic bulb, which should be ready to harvest by the end of July. Garlic scapes are often described as a garlicky bean and are extremely easy to incorporate into most dishes. You can eat the entire scape…. my favourite way to prepare scapes is to roast them in the oven and put them on mashed potatoes. Here are some other things you can try:

  • Chop scapes and mix with sourcream for a dip
  • Chop scapes and sprinkle on salad (try them first to see how strong you find them)
  • Add scapes to eggs for a garlicky omelette
  • Chop scapes and add to a dressing
  • Add atop a pizza
  • Roast and blend to make a pesto – or add to an existing pesto

     

 

Update from the garden

It’s been a great week weather-wise – some rain with hot weather has the garden growing like crazy. The peas are starting to flower, the parsnips are getting bushy, the beets are creating a canopy and I’m starting to see the very first baby cucumbers and zucchinis coming along.

Along with the garden growth comes the weeds of course, so I have been doing lots of cultivating and also mowing. Returning CSA members have heard me talk about it before, but I’m a huge fan of planting clover in the pathways in the garden. I learned this from a 90 year old farmer who was doing using peas. I do a “permanent bed” system, (where I keep my formed beds each year and just cultivate/amend the bed) and so I preferred a perennial smother crop like clover compared to peas, which get killed off by the cold.

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The garden is rather exposed in a wide open field with lots of wind and the clover really helps hold our soil in place and protects it from erosion (wind and rain). We need to mow the paths almost every week and a half but this is incredibly quick and easy compared to cultivating. Clover chokes out grasses and prevents them from creeping in the garden. Clover is a nitrogen fixer and so it serves as a natural fertilizer for the garden, feeding the soil around the beds. The clover flower is also great for attracting pollinators. Did I mention how much I love clover?

In your share this week:
1 bag Spring Mix
1 Kohlrabi
1 Napa Cabbage
1 flat Microgreens
1 bag Cilantro
1 bag Pea Shoots
1 bunch Radishes
Large ONLY: 1 extra bag Cilantro, 1 baby Bok Choy, 1 bunch Black Kale

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This week’s tip: Question your veggies
As you pick up your veggies, take a moment to ask yourself, “do I know what this is?”. If not, ask your farmer! I always have quick tips to offer on how to use unusual veggies, such as the kohlrabi you will find this week. Not a big fan of the radishes? You can try halving and roasting them… changes the veggie to be more sweet, mild and tender.

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What to do with… Kohlrabi
This is a perennial recipe I offer every year because it’s just so good and easy!

Kohlrabi Slaw 
1-2 kohlrabi – cut into matchsticks
1 small apple – cut into matchsticks
olive oil
fresh lemon juice
coarse salt & pepper

Mix together your kohlrabi and apple and then drizzle on the oil and lemon juice. Use your judgement and taste. Add a little to start and then more if needed.

Update from the garden
Once again, a big welcome back to everyone who is joining us for another bountiful season with our Community Supported Agriculture program and a special welcome to all the new members we have this year – there are many of you! I am so pleased to say that this season’s growing conditions have been pretty fantastic so far (hoping not to jinx it). I often talk about the kinds of investments we make on the farm with our members’ CSA fees and this year we have been taking full advantage of the new BCS Walk Behind tractor that we purchased last season. By we, I mean I. I have been able to plant the entire garden on my own by using this highly efficient soil-prep tool and all its implements. We bought 2 more implements this spring to complete our arsenal. To give you an idea of the efficiency this tool offers… this year I am planting 50% more garden space with 50% less labour – that’s huge. Lots of other improvements to discuss in the next newsletter too… until then, check out these gorgeous crops!

 

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In your share this week
** Note that this share size is smaller than the usual size because of the narrow variety available at this time of the season. Larger shares in the summer will make up for it. **
1 bag Spring Mix
1 bag Pea Shoots or 1 Extra Spring Mix
1 tray Microgreens – cut per use until gone & then return the container!
1 head BIG Bok Choy
1 bunch Radishes
1 Choice Item – Kale, Romaine Lettuce or Head Lettuce
Large Shares: 1 extra Bok Choy, 1 extra bunch Radishes

In each newsletter, I will offer a tip to help members make the most of their CSA experience. These tips are collected from articles, experience, feedback and my 90 year old Omi, who’s still cooking fresh meals from the garden. I hope you will find one, some, or all of them helpful and supportive this season!

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Carrots coming along nicely!

This week’s tip: Be Delicate
This week’s share has a lot of delicate greens in it and you will likely be eating many of them in combination, but as we start getting more roots and other variety in season, I recommend cooking and eating delicate leafy greens earlier in the week and leaving some items like roots and squash to later in the week, when possible. For roots that have greens, try removing the root (i.e. radish) and saving the greens separately in a bag or container.

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Our middle plot – mainly squash and onions… well covered for pests.

What to do with…. Peashoots
Pea shoots are exactly as they sound: they are peas grown up just a few inches and the intention is to eat them fresh. Pea shoots taste like crunchy, juicy sugar snap peas. They are excellent piled on a bagel with cream cheese. Enjoy them in a salad or wilt them in a soup. You often see them garnishing a dish in a restaurant and indeed they are tasty atop a creamy sauce like Alfredo or similar. Pea shoots keep quite well, sealed in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

You can try a raw greens salad (think raw bok choy, sugar snap peas, etc.) using the pea shoots and this Asian inspired dressing (note that you can usually substitute the sugar for maple syrup or honey):

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted lightly
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

 

 

Some very merry Christmas and holiday wishes to all our friends, family and customers from all over. We wish you all many good things for 2018. As Mathias and I become further humbled by the parenting experience and life in general, we are looking forward to taking more time to appreciate and enjoy even the ordinary moments both in our personal and business lives. We are so grateful for our fabulous community – so supportive, encouraging and dedicated. We are going to continue to work hard but also be gentle with ourselves and others and feel the joy of living such a blessed life. Love to you all and Merry Christmas, Brenna

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