This week in the garden
Gorgeous weather this week has our fall plantings growing well but still a bit slow… that’s just due to the shorter days. We harvested the majority of our winter squashes and have them curing in the field, with no threat of rain in the next few days. Onions are all out and are curing in the coldhouse. Curing firms up the skins and seals the vegetable up a bit for storage. It’s looking good!

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Some of our winter squash curing.

We received our rotary plough this past week for the walk behind tractor and we’re using it to tame a plot that failed with cover cropping this season due to the rain. We only managed to get 1 of 3 plantings of buckwheat in due to the wet weather and so weeds took over. We’re planning to plough up the beds a bit, cultivate them and perhaps get a fall rye in, all before the cold sets in.

Our current cover crops of peas/oats are doing very well. Here’s a photo update. Again, this is the plot where we had our garlic.

This week’s share of the harvest
1 bunch Carrots
1 head Lettuce
2 Peppers
1 box Potatoes (Red Fingerling or Russet)
1 bunch Beets OR Cabbage
1 Delicata Squash
1 Spaghetti Squash
Large only: 1 bunch Lettuce, 1 box Potatoes

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Irrigation lines tied up for winter.

Beets….
Beets are such a comforting and rich root vegetable. Roasted beets made into a salad with a vinaigrette dressing is just classic and delicious (especially with some goat cheese on there). However, not everyone seems to like beets… maybe it’s the earthy taste. If you are looking for a way to “sneak” beets onto the plates in your house, try this unusual recipe for pancakes and feel free to douse them in maple syrup of course!

Note, you may consider roasting a bunch of beets at a time and use some for savoury dishes and some for this recipe.

Beet and Chia Pancakes

  • large or 2 medium beets (enough for 1/2 cup puréed roasted beets)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, or agave syrup (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk or 1 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower, grapeseed or canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish. Add 1/2 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) for 50 minutes, large beets (8 ounces) 60 minutes, or until very soft and easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish. Cut away the ends and slip off the skins. Purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until smooth. Measure out 1/2 cup. Freeze any extra.
  2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar (if using sugar). In a medium-size bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk or yogurt and milk, oil, vanilla, beet purée and honey or agave nectar (if using). Quickly whisk in the flour mixture and fold in the chia seeds.
  3. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and brush with butter or oil. Drop the pancakes by the scant 1/4 cup onto the hot pan or griddle. Cook until bubbles break through and turn the pancakes. They will be quite moist so make sure to wait long enough so that they don’t fall apart when you turn them. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side, until lightly browned. Remove to a rack. Serve with maple syrup and butter.
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