Quick update from the garden…
The main event of the last week was sending our first batch of chickens for processing. The day was a total success and thank you to everyone for remembering the come. We have only 9 chickens left available between 6lbs and 7lbs if anyone is interested.

Cut into pieces and we have at least 6 meals for 2-3 people from 1 chicken.

It takes just a few minutes to do, but when cut into pieces, we have at least 6 meals for 2-3 people from 1 chicken.

The weather is also noteworthy – since it has been relatively cold and damp for July. For some crops like kale and carrots, it seems to be OK. However it is a bit tough on our lettuces due to slugs and the beans and squashes could use the absent heat! All in all the season seems to be going well and the beans are probably 2 weeks away. Squashes are forming and soon we’ll have the summer squashes (zucchini and pattypans) in the CSA.

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Marlo enjoying a broccoli head affected by the cabbage moth.

This week’s share of the harvest
1 bag baby leaf lettuce
1 garlic
1 half pint red currants
1 bunch Japanese salad turnips OR 1 head broccoli
1 Florence fennel OR 1 bunch kale
1 bunch beets
1 bunch white onions

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My cousin’s daughter McKayla helping weigh out the red currants today.

How to use this week’s harvest

Ah, the first CSA harvest of beets and yet another vegetable that CSA members seem to either love or hate. Being your farmer, it is my mission to make everyone enjoy this vegetable that is so absolutely sweet, delicious and a great source of Vitamin C, folate, potassium and fibre. As suggested with radishes, you can add beets to your meals in subtle ways for big flavour – try shredding them raw into salads (or shredded onto anything really), or roasting them in the oven or BBQ. Make a vegetable broth using beets as it helps take out that “dirt” flavour. Many take advantage of their sweetness and juice them. Hey, if you really can’t do them – consider making a red velvet cake!

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Shredded Beet Salad
Mix together:
2 cups red beets, cooked, peeled, shredded
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Arrange around the beets:
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Fresh garlic is quite lovely, isn’t it? Use the garlic the same way you would cured garlic. Peel away the skin and be sure to squish it before using – the squishing activates all those flavourful oils. The garlic is not cured, so be sure to use it up now, while it is fresh.

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Florence Fennel is actually becoming one of my favourite vegetables even though I had never tried it until a few years ago. I was introduced to it at an Italian restaurant I worked at in Copenhagen. They often had it roasted or braised as a side dish to meat. It has a similar taste to Anise, or some say licorice but don’t let that turn you off if you’re not into licorice. Here are a few ways you can prepare your Florence Fennel:

  • Roasted on a pan with olive oil in the oven or BBQ
  • Tucked in beside a roast (slow cooked)
  • Braised on the stove top – sear them with some heat and oil and then add a bit of water and cover until tender.
  • Shredded thin as a pizza topping
  • Egg & breadcrumb/Panko coated and fried
  • Salad: sliced thin, combine with parsley, dill, quinoa, lemon juice, olive oil
  • Cut into chunks and baked with parmesan and italian dried herbs
  • Grated and added with cabbage to make coleslaw
  • Pasta – cook fennel in a pan with olive oil, toss with a cooked pasta, cooked chicken or tuna, add some of the tops, add lemon juice, salt & pepper
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