Archives for category: Baskets

Quick update from the garden…
This past week has been quite exciting as we had the big garlic harvest. This year we grew about 2,500 garlic with 10 varieties. We plan to eventually narrow down our garlic to 5 varieties or so, but in the mean time we are trying to see which varieties grow best here. Some of the varieties are going to be used solely for seed, but we also have some new varieties to introduce to the CSA this year including Korean Purple, Marino, and Italian Purple.

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Smelling the fresh garlic

A note that next weekend on August 9th & 10th, the Carp Farmers’ Market is hosting the Garlic Festival, which is the 2nd largest in North America. Most of our garlic will be sold at the Festival and if you are looking for an outing with friends and family, this festival is pretty amazing and… aromatic!

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Garlic drying in the hay mow.

The landscape in the garden is changing. This year we received a grant from the Big Carrot’s Carrot Cache in Toronto to purchase a season extending unheated greenhouse. My brother Paul is visiting from Edmonton this week and is making it his mission to construct this greenhouse for his little sister! There is so much more to say about the Carrot Cache, this greenhouse, and how we plan to use it, so stay tuned for more in future newsletters.

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This week’s share of the harvest
1 bag spring mix OR 1 bunch rainbow chard
1 bunch rainbow carrots
1 pint beans – French Filet or heirloom Dragon’s Tongue
1 box pattypan squashes
1 English cucumber
1 pair of green bell peppers
1 fresh garlic – this week’s variety “Russian Red”

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Tuesday evening harvest of zucchini for market on Saturday and your gorgeous green bell peppers. As you can see, tomatoes are about to ripen too…

Some ideas for how to use your share this week:

Lunch idea: Pita wrap with cucumber, grated carrots, peppers, spring mix, cheese and mayo!

Carrots with Sesame and Ginger
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. ginger (finely minced)
4 large carrots (cut into matchsticks ~4 cups)
coarse sea salt
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
couple drops of sesame oil

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add ginger and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the carrots and toss them in the gingery oil. Add a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat down to medium high. Cook until the carrots begin to soften and the water evaporates, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds and serve.

Hot German Green Bean Salad

300g green beans (~1 pint, double recipe if using a quart)- Cook, covered, in boiling water until barely tender. Drain and reserve 1/8cup of the liquid.

2 slices bacon – Fry until crisp. Save 1 Tbsp. of the bacon drippings.

1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 small onion (sliced into thin rings)
Add sugar, lemon juice, salt and onion to bacon drippings along with reserved bean cooking liquid.

1/8 cup cold water
1 tsp. cornstarch
Mix together separately, stirring until dissolved. Stir into frypan along with the sugar/lemon liquid mix. Cook until thick and clear, stirring constantly. Add cooked beans and heat through. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh dill
1 lb cucumbers (halved and thinly sliced crosswise)
Whisk sour cream, lemon juice, dill and season with salt & pepper. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Russian Red garlic

Russian Red garlic

Honey Garlic Glazed Pattypans on BBQ
1 pint pattypans
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic minced
salt & pepper

Heat BBQ to high heat ~400F. Trim pattypans and if small leave whole, if larger cut in half. Toss in a bowl with honey, oil, garlic, salt & pepper. Lay on foil on the top rack in BBQ and roast for 15 minutes (or until nice and roasty) turning half way.

 

 

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Quick update from the garden…
This week brought more rain and some warmer humid weather and so finally the beans are making an appearance – we’re hoping to have enough ready for next week’s CSA along with some amazing pattypan squashes. It’s kindof a fun time of year in the garden because our winter squashes are starting to form: pie pumpkins, butternut squashes, acorn squashes etc. and they are so cute in their mini version.

This is what it looks like when harvesting summer squash. Pattypans on the left and zucchini on the right!

This is what it looks like when harvesting summer squash. Pattypans on the left and zucchini on the right!

This past week the first cut on our new hay seeding has been taken off and the field is left to grow its protein rich alfalfa. First cut hay is typically more grassy and can be described as a “weaker” hay ideal for horses who can’t handle the protein rich 2nd and 3rd cut hay. It is also suited to beef production – which is where our hay is going. 2nd and 3rd cuts are more suited for dairy production (or beef, or…).

First cut hay

First cut hay on an overcast day

Coffee this week: We have a freshly roasted batch of organic fair trade coffee in the shop this week, straight from Engine House Coffee in Eganville. A pleasant combo of a Colombian and Ethiopian bean. Slightly heavier on the Colombian, it is a full bodied, rich, yet smooth taste. Coffee is $10/half lb. bag.

This week’s share of the harvest:
1 bag spring mix – with the inclusion of blonde chicory
1 bunch chioggia or “candy cane” beets!
1 English cucumber
1 box zucchini
1 garlic (variety: Music)
1 bunch kale – Rainbow or “Winterbor”
1 bunch yellow onions with big greens

Chioggia or "Candy Cane" beets

Chioggia or “Candy Cane” beets

How to use this weeks share:

Stuffed Tortillas with Summer Squash
1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 large onion
1 green pepper

Sautee garlic in 2 Tbsp. oil for 1 minute. Add onion and pepper and sautee until crisp-tender.

2 cups corn
1 medium zucchini
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Add and continue to sautee until all vegetables are tender.

2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. salsa

Add and cook until there is no excess moisture. 

To prepare, preheat frying pan and place a  flour/corn tortilla  in pan (you’ll need a dozen or so that fit in your frying pan). On half of the tortilla, sprinkle on some cheese and vegetable filling. When tortilla is crispy, fold over like a half moon and flip over. Cook until the other side is crispy. Nice to serve with sour cream and fresh sliced scallions/onions, chives and/or fresh cilantro.

Kale Salad from Steven and Chris on CBC
1 bunch kale
6 slices bacon
4oz. feta
1 large lemon (juiced)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup dried cranberries

Tear the kale off the stem (or include the stem if you like). In a bowl, combine with lemon juice and massage with your hands until the kale is dark and silky. Leave marinade for a few minutes. Then add the feta, bacon, oil, cranberries, salt, pepper and voila!

Kale salad

Kale salad

Quick Cucumber Kimchi (fridge pickle)
4 cups coarsely chopped cucumber
1 Tbsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. miso paste
1 1/2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp. chili flakes
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. honey

Combine the cucumber with the salt and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients into a paste. Rinse and drain the cucumbers and thoroughly combine them with the paste. Pack into a mason jar and let them sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours before eating. They can keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks but we find they taste best when eaten within 3 days.

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

Quick update from the garden…
The rain has been absolutely amazing for the garden and despite the orange and red on the radar, we have yet to see any hail, so it’s all smiles here so far. I noticed that the potatoes grew at least a few inches overnight and that’s no exaggeration! Unfortunately the weeds are also growing inches and so we are out cultivating, weeding and on occasion rescuing crops (this week we had to rescue the parsnips and a planting of carrots). New into the garden this week is red cabbage for fall harvesting as well as the Brussels’ sprouts. This year we’re keeping the Brussels’ sprouts covered the whole time to protect from cabbage moths and hopefully we’ll get nice big stalks of them come October.

Sign of excellent soil and growing conditions - huge carrots at the beginning of July!

Sign of excellent soil and growing conditions – huge carrots at the beginning of July!

This week’s share of the harvest…
1 bag spring mix
1 bunch carrots OR 1 broccoli
1 bag (heaping pint) sweet peas – eat the whole thing
1 bag (half pint) red currants
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 bunch sweet Japanese salad turnips
1 bag basil

Mmmmm... basil & garlic scape pesto?

Mmmmm… basil & garlic scape pesto?

How to use this week’s share…

A note on Sweet Japanese Salad Turnips
If you have never tried these before you are in for a treat. These little turnips have a mild turnip flavour but are sweet and juicy… with a hint of spice at the end like a radish. They are best enjoyed raw as a snack to chew on or sliced into a salad. You can also cook up the green tops as you would kale, chard, beet tops, etc.

Harvesting turnips after the rain.

Harvesting turnips after the rain.

Peas to please

Peas to please

Peas are amazing and this year we’re trying out a “dual purpose” pea that can be eaten whole or shelled. Over winter I noticed snap peas appearing on veggie trays everywhere, so feel free to snack on these little guys raw. Since you don’t need to peel them, try steaming them with a little butter and fresh herbs. Add them in with an asian style stir-fry:

Stir-fry Peas
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large frypan over moderate heat until hot, add the following until fragrant – about 1 minute.
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
chili flakes

Add 2 cups of sugar snap peas and cook until tender-crisp – about 3 minutes.
(Feel free to add in other goodies you may have: bok choy, garlic scapes, kale, chard, radish, scallions, broccoli)

Stir in: 
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, salt, and serve immediately.

We're competing with the Robins for the red currants.

We’re competing with the Robins for the red currants.

Red currants have been growing on our farm for over 50 years. My european grandparents planted them here so they could continue making those fresh summer berry dishes from the old country. We have a little taste of them for the CSA each year. You may not be able to make a pure red currant pudding, but you can mix them with other fruits and still enjoy their sweet-tart flavour. We enjoyed them last night on Tracey’s vanilla ice cream and it’s my new favourite way to enjoy them. You can also try this nice dessert:

Red Currant Fruit Platz
Combine:
3/4 cup four
3/4 tsp. baking powder

Mix in 1/4 cup butter until crumbly. Add 1/4 cup milk. Mix with fork until a ball of soft dough forms. Press into a square pan.

Mix and spread over dough:
2 cups assorted fruit (red currants, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, etc.)
3 Tbsp. sugar

Mix and spread over fruit:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Bake at 375F for 30-45 mins. Best eaten day made.

Quick update from the garden…
Ahhh, finally time for our first CSA share. The garden is pretty much a jungle right now as we’ve had quite a bit of rain and warm weather. We’ve managed to get a lot of crops in earlier than ever before this year and so I expect a good variety early in the season.

Lush lettuce harvest this morning

Lush lettuce harvest this morning

Squashes covered with netting to protect from cucumbers beetles. We'll be uncovering them this week to allow pollination.

Squashes covered with netting to protect from cucumber beetles. We’ll be uncovering them this week to allow pollination.

Tomatillos developing.

Tomatillos developing.

A big change from last season is our new Milkhouse Farm Shop, which is where you will pick up all CSA items – veggies, eggs and pork. It was a project that we had planned on doing eventually and with all the snow hanging around this spring so long, we thought why not get it done!

Locally roasted, organic, fair-trade COFFEE!
We have teamed up with a local coffee roaster in Eganville, Engine House Coffee, to create a couple yummy coffee blends exclusive to Hedgeview Farm. We’re offering 2 blends – one is a Colombian/Ethiopian blend, rich in flavour and smooth – the second is a reduced caffeine blend with beans from Ethiopia and a surprisingly delicious de-caf. Coffee is roasted FRESH for our CSA members and is available each week in the Milkhouse Farm Shop. $10/half lb bag.

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Locally roasted, organic, fair trade coffee. $10/half lb bag. Freshly roasted!

This week’s share of the harvest:
1 bag Spring Mix
1 bunch Radishes
1 bag Bok Choy
1 bunch Scallions
1 head Lettuce
1 bunch Rainbow Chard
Choice of herbs

This week's harvest waiting to be washed.

This week’s harvest waiting to be washed.

How to use this week’s share:
Now I know that some of us just don’t do radishes, but being a radish-convert myself, I know there are ways to ease into eating them. Radishes are a great veg to enjoy as they grow super early in the season, grow quick, and are a good source of Vitamin C in the early weeks of garden season. An easy way to try them out is sliced very thin into salads, added as toppings onto i.e. fish tacos, or even roasted with a little olive oil. For a purely radish recipe, try them marinated…

Marinated Radish Salad
Combine:
1 bunch radishes – sliced, diced, or julienned
1 green onion – sliced
fresh dill

Stir together, pour over radish mixture and toss lightly:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
salt & pepper

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but no longer than 4. Remove 30 mins before serving. Stir. Sprinkle some shredded swiss cheese on top and serve.

Bok Choy Stir Fry (can use chard, kale, beet tops, etc.)

Combine Sauce and set aside:
3/4 cup broth
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tsp ginger root
1 1/2 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. dried chilies

1lb chicken OR 1 block firm tofu
Heat olive oil in a large fry pan and saute over medium heat until cooked through.

1 head bok choy
Add to frypan. Add sauce and bring to boil stirring. Reduce heat and cook a couple minutes until the bok choy is wilted. You can also add chard and radishes!

Serve immediately over fettuccine, spaghetti, soba noodles or rice noodles. 350g serves 4. Top with chopped green onions!

chard

Chard is a leafy green and easy veg to work with – eaten raw, steamed, added to soup, added to pestos, stirfry, used as a bed for some kind of saucy dish. Here is a snack style recipe that could go well in a lunch pack or as part of a brunch.

Chard Squares
Mix together:
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix in: 250g chopped fresh chard (or spinach, or beet tops, or kale) and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Press into greased square baking pan. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.

Salads we all know – use your lettuce, mesclun, scallions, herbs, radishes, salad turnips, even chards and kale. I think homemade dressing is the key to keeping garden fresh salads tasting like garden fresh salads. Mathias and I mix up a dressing every couple days and shake it in a mason jar. You can keep it in the fridge and top it up as needed. Very easy to do and you can make each dressing to taste…

Dressing 1: Honey Dijon
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard (seedy one is great)
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
salt to taste
* If it’s runny, add more dijon or honey. If it’s thick, add more olive oil or vinegar.

Dressing 2: Maple Balsamic
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. mustard
salt to taste

 

Quick update from the garden

First of all, I can’t believe that this is the second last week of CSA shares and this is the final pick up for our Group A bi-weekly members. The garden has been so bountiful all summer and I feel so proud of all the good food we have shared.

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The weather has been just beautiful the past week and a half and some of those plants that were killed off in the frost are making little come backs. The warm weather has bought us some more time for the late-ripening squashes and tomatoes. All in all, most of the items that have needed harvesting are all curing away in their respective locations including potatoes, onions, and 7 different varieties of winter squashes. Items like beets, parsnips, leek, carrots, and kale are still quite happy out in the garden for several more weeks and beyond. The frost only sweetens them by converting its starches to sugars!

Parsnips in the wash tub.

Parsnips in the wash tub.

Looking for Hedgeview Farm Organic’s produce after the CSA ends?

While supplies last, we will have several late season/storage items available and we are also taking orders for Thanskgiving.

I will make a separate post/e-mail with details and prices over the weekend but you can expect potatoes, beets, and onions all by the lb as well as parsnips, and our various winter squashes (including pie pumpkins) at the least. We may also have extra kale, arugula, chard – which CSA members will have priority if ordered in advance (1 week). If you would like extra items for your Thanksgiving feasts, please send me an e-mail hedgeviewfarm@gmail.com.

 

The beautiful red onions that we will have available in storage for the next couple months.

The beautiful red onions that we will have available in storage for the next couple months.

This week’s share of the harvest

1 Pie pumpkin
1 Winter squash – choice of delicata, acorn, festival, or butternut
Potatoes – choice of red, purple or yellow
Onions – take what you can use this week
1 Garlic
Beets
Carrots
Leek
Parsnips
CHOICE: Kale OR Rainbow Chard
CHOICE: Tomatoes, Mild Peppers OR 2 Eggplant

The cold room today, ready for our CSA members. Outside we have a wheelbarrow of pumpkins for you to choose from!

The cold room today, ready for our CSA members. Outside we have a wheelbarrow of pumpkins for you to choose from!

How to use this week’s share:

I have rediscovered a love for pumpkin in so many ways and am glad to finally get to share some of these neat ways to prepare it. The good news is that you can really substitute pumpkin for whatever squash you have in most cases.

Pumpkin Smoothie
1 cup baked pumpkin, puree (option to freeze)
1 banana (option to freeze it in slices)
1 cup coconut milk/almond milk/cow milk
2 Tbsp. pecans
1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup (the pumpkin is sweet enough without this!)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
cinnamon/nutmeg as desired
Assemble and blend until smooth! This recipe is pretty filling for 1 person. 

smoothie

Pumpkin – Pecan Pie
Side note, I have never made a pie like this before and it turned out incredible. Still creamy like a pumpkin pie, but it has that caramelized sugar that pecan pies have. It was simply delicious!

1 cup pumpkin puree (we used a pumpkin-butternut blend)
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecans (chopped)
3 eggs (beaten)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat together the above filling and pour into a pie shell. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F until set. 45-55mins.

Delicious pumpkin pecan pie! Very easy and not too sweet. The pumpkin balances the sugar that usually comes with a pecan pie.

Delicious pumpkin pecan pie! Very easy and not too sweet. The pumpkin balances the sugar that usually comes with a pecan pie.

Squash Stuffings
For stuffing, you can use any winter squash you have.

acorn

First: Prepare the Squash
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake until soft but not mushy – 350F for about 40-50 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with one of the following stuffing options and finish baking as directed.

Stuffing #1: Apple Stuffing
2-3 tart apples (diced)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter (melted)
Combine. Stuff into squash and bake covered at 375F for 30 mins.

Stuffing #2: Mushroom Stuffing
1 onion (chopped)
1/2 cup mushrooms (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. sage and salt
dash pepper
In a large frypan, sautee onion, mushrooms, and garlic until soft. Add remaining ingredients and stuff into cooked squash. Bake at 375F for 20 mins.

Stuffing #3: Apple-Sausage Stuffing
1 lb sausage
1 onion (diced)
1 apple (diced)
2 cups toasted bread crumbs
3/4 cup nuts (chopped)
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp. sour cream or plain yogourt
1/4 tsp. dried thyme, basil, and oregano
Brown sausage in a large skillet. Add onion and apple and sautee just until tender. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and stuff into cooked squash and bake covered at 375F for 20 mins.

Quick update from the garden…

This past week we experienced a couple frosts in the garden. Frosts will kill our sensitive plants which include any kind of squash, beans, tomatoes, etc. Gratefully we have on hand some seriously huge blankets (row cover), which we can cover our plants with to help protect and add just a few extra degrees of heat. This is important because we still have plenty of tomatoes and winter squashes that need ripening!

Harvesting our winter squashes and in the background you can see how we have pulled away the protective blankets.

Harvesting our winter squashes and in the background you can see how we have pulled away the protective blankets.

At this time of year, it’s not just our veggies that are being harvested, but my dad is getting in all of his oats. If you remember from some early season posts, we re-seeded our hay fields this year and with the young alfalfa/clover/timothy mixes we planted some annual oats to help protect their early growth. As such, this year we are harvesting a crop of oats for feed and then for the next 5-7 years we will have crops of hay again.

Dad cleaning the oats and getting them in the grain room for drying. Since we do not spray our fields to kill weeds, the cleaning process is especially important to remove any non-oats.

Dad cleaning the oats and getting them in the grain room for drying. Since we do not spray our fields to kill weeds, the cleaning process is especially important to remove any non-oats.

Oats and hands showing what 40 years of farming looks like.

Oats and hands showing what 40 years of farming looks like.

Finally, I would like to introduce to you our latest guests on the farm. Maria is visiting us with her son Massimo from Denmark until the beginning of October and I as I am in my final 10 weeks of pregnancy, I am very grateful for their help!

Maria picking your beets today.

Maria picking your beets today.

This week’s share of the harvest:

1 Box New Potatoes – red, yellow, or Russian Blue
1 Box Brussels Sprouts
1 Box Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
1 Box Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Garlic Bulb
1 Box Onions
1 Bunch Beets
1 Box Carrots
1 Bunch Leek
2 Winter Squashes – choices of: butternut, festival, delicata, acorn and kuri squash

How to use this week’s share of the harvest:

You can expect plenty of winter squashes over the next 4 weeks so here is a little introduction to them. If you feel a bit overloaded with these, don’t fret. You can keep them until at least Christmas at room temperature.

Butternut Squash – Sweet, relatively easy to peel. Roasts and sautees quickly. Mashes and purees smooth and is ideal for soups.
Festival Squash – Shape of an acorn squash, flavour and flesh of a delicata squash.
Delicata Squash – Exceptionally thin and edible peel. Flesh is sweet, nutty and a bit drier like an acorn squash. Best roasted with butter or stuffed and baked.
Kuri Squash – Mellow, somewhat nutty flavour. Good in soup and baked goods. Size makes it good for stuffing and roasting. Excellent with spices.
Acorn Squash – Sweet, tender flesh. Good for roasting, baking, steaming, mashing. It’s smaller size makes it perfect for stuffing.

Try a "root-fruit" roast using your onions, beets, carrots, onions and squash.

Try a “root-fruit” roast using your onions, beets, carrots, onions and squash.

Roasted Delicata Squash

Roasted Delicata Squash

A note on brussels sprouts

First of all: Use these in the next 2-3 days.

This is the first year that I have ever grown brussels sprouts and I’m happy that we will have 2 weeks of harvesting from them. They are especially tricky because they are huge plants that require a long growing season and therefore tending, but also because they are in the brassica family with cabbage and suffer from the terrible cabbage moth that lurks in our gardens.

We grew up eating these steamed with a little homemade cheese sauce or parmesan on top. If you are not a fan at all of these, try adding them to a blended soup. You can also try preparing them sauteed with some bacon and apple or some glazed red onions.

A quick update from the garden…

It amazes me how quickly weather can change and how suddenly new seasons arrive. My Omi always says that it all starts with the agricultural fairs and the next thing you know, it’s Fall. The neat thing about the cooler weather is that it is time to plant cooler weather crops again so we have already put in another round of spinach (and will keep doing so for the weeks to come) along with a new baby lettuce mix and possibly radishes.

New spinach coming up.

New spinach coming up.

This week’s share of the harvest:

1 Head Lettuce
1 Box New Potatoes
1 Bulb Garlic
1 Bunch Beets
1 Bunch Onions
1 Box Beans
1 Box Pattypan Squashes
1 Box Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
1 Bunch Kale

How to use your share this week:

What are pattypans? 
Pattypan squashes are these nice little summer squashes – cousins to the zucchini. This means that they can be harvested continuously throughout the summer growing season and are tender enough that you can eat the skin. Do not peel these guys.

How to prepare pattypans?
There are several ways to prepare them. You can steam or BBQ them whole. You may cut them in half or into quarters and sautee them with some butter salt & pepper. You can also cut them up and add them to stirfry or casseroles – really anything. A nice way to prepare them is to cook them in a roast pan with some chicken, mayonnaise and herbs. You make the mayo mix and spear it on the chicken breast. Bake the chicken and add the pattypans (in whole) towards the end and they will be like little sponges, soaking up the tasty juices.

Chicken breast baked with mayonnaise and hot sauce. Pattypans added about 20 minutes before it was ready.

Chicken breast baked with mayonnaise and hot sauce. Pattypans added about 20 minutes before it was ready.

This week I experimented with a quick Kimchi type salad from one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s awesome cookbooks. It was delicious:

Quick Cucumber Kimchi
1 English Cucumber, sliced thin on the grater
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Miso Paste (or I used Tamari Sauce)
1.5 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Tbsp. Chili Flakes
1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp. Honey

Slice the cucumber and let it sit with the salt for 10 minutes to draw out the moisture. In the meantime, mix the other ingredients into a paste. Rinse and drain the cucumber – squeeze out that extra moisture. Combine the cucumber with the paste and put in a jar for at least 6 hours before serving. It can keep for up to 2 weeks getting more and more flavourful!

Looks beautiful and tastes great. Very fresh and healthy.

Looks beautiful and tastes great. Very fresh and healthy.

We also experimented more with beet chips and kale chips. We just tossed/brushed each with some oil and salt. For the kale chips, I brushed them whole with a mixture of oil and tamari sauce. They turned out seriously delicious. 350F for about 8 minutes for the kale and about 15 minutes for the beets. It depends on how thin you can slice them.

Our little beet chips. If you are not a big fan of beets, this is an indulgent way to eat them. Just slice very very thin so that they get crispy when baked.

Our little beet chips. If you are not a big fan of beets, this is an indulgent way to eat them. Just slice very very thin so that they get crispy when baked.

Kale chips - brushed with oil and tamari. These chips are made with Dinosaur Kale, which is nice because you don't need to remove the stems. Just bake them whole.

Kale chips – brushed with oil and tamari. These chips are made with Dinosaur Kale, which is nice because you don’t need to remove the stems. Just bake them whole.

Try this creamy garlic dressing:
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon Dressing
1 Garlic Clove – minced
Cracked pepper

Finally my favourite creation of the week: Summer Squash & Veg Fritters.
I started making these only with zucchini but now I’m making them using grated large pattypans, carrots, beets, kale, onion, garlic… anything that I can grate or chop fine is going into these things! If you don’t like kale, this is a good way to sneak it in. Here is a starter recipe though:

1 Large Zucchini or Pattypan, grated
1 Small Onion, chopped fine
1 Egg
3 Tbsp Flour

Grate your 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. You may wish to 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.

Fritters. They also make a nice leftover snack, so don't be shy to make a lot. They cook quick, so you don't need to stand over the stove for hours, like you might with potato pancakes.

Fritters – made with kale. They also make a nice leftover snack, so don’t be shy to make a lot. They cook quick, so you don’t need to stand over the stove for hours, like you might with potato pancakes.

Quick update from the garden

Unrelated to the garden, we are all recovering from hosting my sister’s wedding this past weekend. Instead of working in the garden, I got to bring friends and family on tours of the garden and it was great. That was when I noticed that the tomatoes are finally ripening! I hear from other gardeners that it is a late year, and I have certainly noticed this. Tomatoes were ripe already weeks earlier last year than this. The good news is that they are well on their way – so are the potatoes!

Aside from weddings and tours, we managed to bring in all of our garlic, which is now happily curing in the hay mow.

This summer I started a work share with my friend Emily. Emily comes to the farm each Thursday for several hours to help harvest your CSA shares, and in return receives a CSA share herself. This is another great component of Community Supported Agriculture! I am so grateful for Emily’s help each week that I’m thinking I may open up a 2nd “work-share” for next year in case anyone is interested/available Friday mornings.

Meet Emily! Emily helps harvest your CSA share each Thursday. Here she is washing your yummy onions...

Meet Emily! Emily takes her tasks very seriously as you can see! She helps harvest your CSA share each Thursday and here she is today washing your onions…

This week’s share of the harvest

1 bag Salad Mix
1 bunch Rainbow Carrots
1 box Beans
2 bulbs of Garlic
1 box Pattypan Squashes
1 box New Potatoes
1 bunch Onions
1 box Cucumbers
CHOICE: 1 box Tomatoes OR 1 box Peppers

How to use your share this week

A quick and healthy lunch is easy when you have so much fresh seasonal produce to choose from. Here is a simple lunch using my harvest day “rejected vegetables”, that only took 10-15 mins to prepare.
1. Simple Salad with tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, feta and a ready vinaigrette dressing.
2. Cucumber and shredded carrot salad with sour cream, salt, pepper, and chili flakes on top. Would be good with raisins/nuts in it.
3. Fried potatoes with onions and onion greens… cooked with butter, salt and pepper.

Typical harvest day lunch, full of organic goodness straight from the field!

Typical harvest day lunch, full of organic goodness straight from the field!

Garlic – the garlic you are receiving this week is not fully cured. You can therefore choose to use it up now, or hang it in a well ventilated area for about a week and it should keep for months!

New Potatoes – these young little things need not be peeled. Plus organic potatoes coming from certified organic seed means the skin is nothing put taste and nutrition. New potatoes do not take long to cook. When they are this fresh, I recommend boiling/steaming/BBQing them whole or if you have mini potatoes you can steam them and add them on salads. They also fry up sooo nicely.

Cucumbers – I read yesterday that cucumbers in the grocery store have an edible wax coating on them that keeps them crispy. This was comforting (and also upsetting I suppose) because I struggle to keep cucumbers firm and crispy after harvest and now I know why I can’t do it like the stores do! I did read though, that a great way to store them is in a ziplock bag in your crisper in the fridge, so perhaps you can try that this week.

Quick update from the garden

It is most definitely garlic harvesting season! We have about 1/2 the garlic in and will do the rest next week. Once the garlic is pulled it is cleaned a bit, seed for the upcoming year is selected, it is all bunched and then hung up for a week or two to cure. We grew 5 varieties for this year but we will keep 3 of the varieties for seed this year and we will provide you with our Music and Russian Red varieties. Next year we will have Merino, Georgia Crystal and Korean Purple available in the CSA. The Carp Farmers’ Market Garlic Festival is on August 10th and 11th, so we’ll see what new varieties I pick up….

Some of our garlic curing in the hay mow. It needs a decent amount of warmth and ventilation.

Some of our garlic curing in the hay mow. It needs a decent amount of warmth and ventilation.

Some perks of planting flowers around the place is that you keep the bees close. I noticed that there may be some bees living in a birdhouse on the cool room. They like to come out and enjoy the herb garden all day long. I always feel so relieved when I see the bees enjoying healthy plants free of anything dangerous.

Bees going nuts in the Bee Balm yesterday...

Bees going nuts in the Bee Balm yesterday…

Mom is our resident bean picker and Ben helped out with the harvest last week. It takes a long time to pick so many beans and I am grateful for the help!

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Here are our 5-week old chickens. They will be ready for pick up in another 5 weeks. If you would like some and haven’t ordered any yet, get in touch soon. They are $4.30/lb. We have some left but they always sell out….

Chickens at 5 weeks

Chickens at 5 weeks

This week’s share of the harvest

1 Bag Salad Mix
1 Garlic – Music variety. You can hang it to cure it at home
1 Bunch Beets
1 Cucumber or a Box
1 Bunch Onions
1 Summer Cabbage
1 Box Zucchini
1 Bunch Carrots
1 Box Beans – please bring your own bag
Herb Selection

How to use your share this week:

Zucchinis – we’re seeing a lot of them, but they are such a tasty and versatile vegetable.
Try stuffing them, grilling them, or making some chocolate zucchini loaf….

Stuffed Zucchini - in a pan we sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, and the zucchini insides. We added the stuffing into the zucchini boats with feta on top. In foil on the BBQ for 15 minutes.

Stuffed Zucchini – in a pan we sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, and the zucchini insides. We added the stuffing into the zucchini boats with feta on top. In foil on the BBQ for 15 minutes. You can try adding some rice to the mix, which I think we’ll do next time.

Simple roasted zucchini - just salt and pepper on the BBQ, add the butter on the hot squash after.

Simple roasted zucchini – just salt and pepper on the BBQ, add the butter on the hot squash after.

Make a simple stew! Here we have chopped beets, zucchini, onions, garlic, mushrooms and sweet potato.... cook it with just some butter and a lid. At some point it will cook down to a perfect stew.

Make a simple stew! Here we have chopped beets, zucchini, onions, garlic, mushrooms and sweet potato…. cook it with just some butter and a lid. At some point it will cook down to a perfect stew.

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Here is the veg stew with some of Heather’s Hearth bread. The sunset is really giving this a pink hue….

Another great salad - your salad mix and dill with a topping of: sauteed garlic, onion & beets, butter, maple syrup. Feta sprinkled on top. I also drizzled some of the Wilno Tavern poppyseed dressing.

Another great hearty salad – your salad mix and dill with a topping of: sauteed garlic, onion & beets, butter, maple syrup. Feta sprinkled on top. I also drizzled some of the Wilno Tavern poppyseed dressing. Would have loved some pecans on top.