Archives for the month of: October, 2018

Update from the Garden
Our 2018 CSA Season has come to a close now, after 18 weeks of fresh garden veggies! I can’t thank you all enough for the amazing commitment you have made to this farm.

Each year presents its own challenges and this year was certainly no exception. I have never had a season with this year’s combination of factors. We had, what seemed like a late and wet spring, which quickly turned into a dry spell lasting into July. This was a huge problem because May and June are the months where I had been seeding most of my crops and without water, many had poor germination or were stunted. Hence the few carrots and then small parsnip and garlic for example. The dry weather had me scrambling to water everything – not for them to thrive, but to just keep everything alive!

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We have limited water at the farm and so we had to get creative with accessing a 2nd well on the farm and pumping/transferring water, then we re-purposed our old milk bulk tank for holding water and put an eavestrough on the barn to collect the little amount of rain that we did get. It was a little crazy. Each year brings a new major challenge and when I decide that I’d rather not struggle like that again, I make a new investment for the business… so for next year, we plan on having an irrigation pond on the farm, which will serve as a reservoir of water for us over the season. On to the planning for that…!

The goal is to build resilience as a farm, especially in the face of climate change and all the extreme weather that we are now regularly experiencing. It’s challenging but also exciting to have your livelihood dependent on the weather – a factor that is completely unknown and unpredictable. Or maybe it’s a little nuts. Either way, I’ll be back next year.

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A family friend has written a short kids book about a little boy learning that farmers are both men and women!

Garlic Planting Party
This is my first time hosting a garlic planting party so here it goes. I have over 7,000 cloves to slam in the ground and if you want to come see how that happens – and plant a bunch – come join me on Sunday October 14th, from 1pm – 2:30pm (or so). Being a fairly German family, there will be a gorgeous Torte with coffee and even beer (dad’s suggestion). Kids are welcome and we have tricks for having them help plant garlic… from my own experience with my kids 🙂 Would LOVE to see you Sunday if you can make it! 🙂

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Garlic zone, ready for cloves.

This week’s share
1 bag Spring Mix OR Spinach
1 box Potatoes
2 Peppers
1 bunch Parsnip
1 Cabbage OR 1 bunch Leeks
1 Choice of Squash
1 bunch Chard OR 1 bunch Kale
Large ONLY: 1 kohlrabi, 1 bunch radish, 1 Romaine

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Parsnip and Squash Soup
I have made this recipe 2x in the past week. The original recipe called for carrots but I only had parsnips in the fridge and the substitute worked great. I used a butternut squash for this but you can use pretty much any other squash or pumpkin. I came up with my own typical soup seasonings and they worked great. Just add to taste.

1 sprig Rosemary, chopped fine
4 small Parsnips – chopped small
2 small Onions – chopped fine
3 cloves Garlic – minced
2 sprigs Celery – chopped small
1 small squash – chopped bite size
1 L. stock
Seasonings of: tamari sauce, lemon juice, grated parmesan, salt, pepper, splash of cream

Heat a couple glugs of oil in a soup pot. Add the rosemary and let it sizzle for a minute. Add the parsnip, onion, minced garlic and celery. Saute it for 10 minutes.
Add the chopped up squash and saute that for a few minutes until you start to see it softening.
Add the stock and scrape the bottom of the pot getting all the flavour mixed in.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Blend 1/2 the soup and then add your seasonings. I used a splash of tamari sauce, juice from 1/2 a lemon, probably 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, a few pinches of salt (my stock was low sodium, so be careful with the salt), loads of cracked pepper, and a splash or two of my coffee cream to lighten the colour a bit. Voila!

 

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Update from the Garden
This past week has been a little overload for me with CSA/Market/Kids with colds/School Council/Thanksgiving preparations, hence this newsletter coming late… but it’s also timely with wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

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My first caesar salad of the year – finally…. prepared for Thanksgiving.

This past week we had a pretty hard frost in the garden and that put a definite end to our pepper, squash and tomato production. Some crops didn’t mind the frost and some even benefit from frost. Our frost happy crops right now are bok choy, kohlrabi, cabbages, kale, spinach and parsnip. All of these crops actually get sweeter and tastier with a touch of frost – the frost converts starches to sugar. We have other crops out there that we have covered such as lettuce, romaine and cilantro – these guys don’t mind a mild frost but need to be protected with row cover to prevent frost damage.

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Frost sweetened parsnips, fresh from the earth.

We have now formed the beds for our big garlic plant and actually, we are inviting anyone who is interested to join us on Sunday, October 14th from 1pm – 2:30pm for a big garlic plant (weather permitting). We will have coffee and cake on hand and about 7,000 cloves of garlic ready for the ground! I will send out a reminder/invite later in the week. If you are keen in joining, please let me know so I can prepare a task.

This was indeed the final pick up for all Bi-weekly Group A members and I want to truly thank you all for joining us this season. This season was a big year at the farm with an expanded CSA and market table and it couldn’t have happened without all your support and enthusiasm, so thank you! I hope you will join us again in 2019. We will begin our sign up in February, so stay tuned for a colourful, warm e-mail in the dead of winter!!!

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Potent leeks.

This week’s tip: Storing squash
Winter squash don’t like the fridge. Stable temperature is key and you are aiming for 10C-13C. Attached garage is usually good or a cooler room/basement in your house.

This week’s Share:
1 bag Spring Mix
1 bunch Leeks
1 bunch Parsnip
1 box Potatoes
1 Red Kuri Squash
Weekly ONLY: Spaghetti Squash
Bi-weekly ONLY: “Winter Luxury” Pie Pumpkin
1 item from Choice Shelf
Large ONLY: 1 extra Spring Mix, 1 bunch Carrots + something I forget!!

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Spring mix, washed and spun dry.

Roasted Red Kuri squash
The main thing to remember with a Red Kuri squash, is that you can eat the skin! This is a big reason why it is the most popular squash I grow. That and the fact that it is mega tasty. Here is an easy recipe for roasted squash slices that uses some nice herbs and garlic. You can also pre-roast squash like this when you want to make a roasted squash soup! Absolutely delicious.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Open the kuri squash and remove all the seeds.
  3. Cut the squash into one inch slices and spread them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  4. Sprinkle generously with olive oil.
  5. Add salt, pepper, 1 tsp. rosemary and 1/2 tsp. thyme, 5 cloves of garlic and mix well.
  6. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Turn on the broiler for the last 10 minutes to brown the edges a bit more. You can flip half way.