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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