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Archive for August, 2014

Until now we’ve been using the back of our “Milkhouse” as a cooler to keep the veggies fresh. This is a very old building – it might be part of the original house – and was never properly insulated. As anyone who’s been to the farm knows the doorway was constructed for very short people and trying not to hit your head has always been a hazard. Earlier this Spring my dad (Mike), my children, and my brother were working on a new chicken coop but with the arrival of the pigs and the construction of raised beds the farm didn’t get new chickens in the Spring. But we did need a new cooler. We thought of, and checked out, various options including a refrigerated truck, but nothing worked out. So we decided to move the new “chicken coop”.019We used Permaculture concepts when deciding on its location. It’s under Trees and gets shade for most of the day. It is located at the end of the driveway so it’s easy for customers to access and it’s easy for us to get in and out and to pack up the truck for deliveries. It got a “facelift” so that it looks more like a “Cabane” that could be used as a guest house rather than the chicken house it was meant to be.020Again inspired by Permaculture principles the walk-in cooler is already set up for Rainwater Harvesting with a Rain barrel.  024Right now we are using an air conditioner only and it fits our needs well but we will look into getting a Coolbot again in future years. We are so pleased with the extra room the new cooler provides, we aren’t tripping over ourselves and we are able to be organized when packing up the weekly CSA shares. It’s much more convenient, and safer!, for customers who visit the farm.

On a different note, some of you may have noticed that you didn’t get any Kale or Chard in your bags this week even though the weekly basket picture had baby Kale in it. When we were packing the bags up we noticed that while some of the Kale was still in good condition most of it was not and we could not give that out to customers. We only had 1 hour before needing to leave to deliver to Windsor so there was no time to get more Kale. We apologize for that.

Happy Long Weekend Everyone!

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PLEASE NOTE THAT PICKUP TIMES ARE CHANGING FOR NEXT WEEK!
ON-FARM PICKUPS WILL BE ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD AND WINDSOR PICKUPS WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD. I will be at The Urban Greenhouse to collect payments and I’ll have Pickles and Honey for sale on September 3rd from 4 pm until 7 pm.

I will be at Shop Eco today, August 26th, from 4 pm to 7 pm, to collect payments and with Pickles and Honey for sale.

Pick list this week:

‘Candy’ Cherry Tomatoes

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Roma style (or paste, sauce) Tomatoes – We are growing what is considered the standard in paste Tomatoes, San Marzano, but we haven’t been pleased with their performance in the last several years. They are prone to blossom end rot and haven’t plumped up. It seems that they only perform well in commercial operations that spray pesticides and ripening agents. We’ll be experimenting with different Heirlooms in future years.

Sandwich Tomatoes – Japanese Trifele is by far the tastiest Tomato we’ve ever had and in taste tests our long-time market customers prefer the Trifele over any other. As we like to say, “The uglier the tomato, the tastier it is”. Bellstar is a multi-purpose and prolifically producing strong Tomato plant – it can be used as a sauce/paste Tomato or as the perfect red, round tomato for your sandwich. Eva Purple Ball is another winner in our taste tests and it’s a wonderful, hardy tomato plant. We are only growing 3 varieties of this type of Tomato this year, compared to the 30 varieties we usually grow, because we had to hire a local greenhouse to germinate them for us and more varieties would have significantly raised the cost.

Rainbow Beets – Chiogga (white and pink striped Beets; milder flavour; doesn’t “bleed”, grown for it’s tasty and nutritious leaves), Red Ace (these Beets have dark red veins in the leaves), Touchstone Gold (milder flavour, doesn’t “bleed”). These Beets are great for juicers and roasted in the oven or on the BBQ.

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(No Beets were wasted in the making of these pictures, our amazing intern took them home to juice them.)

A variety of Cucumbers – English-type Slicers, Boothby’s Blonde, Lemon Cucumbers, and some Pickling.

Baby Kale + Baby Chard mix / Bunch of Rainbow Chard / Bunch of Rainbow Leafies

Dragon Beans

Eggplant / Zucchini

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Pictured: Cherry Tomatoes, Sandwich Tomatoes, Yellow Crookneck (Summer Squash), Chinese Eggplant, Dragon Beans, a variety of Cucumbers, Baby Kale, Rainbow Beets. Picture credit to Lennon.

 

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Busy, busy Bees

Busy, busy Bees

A reminder that we have Certified Organic Baby Dill Pickles for sale at the farm as well as Sunparlour Honey – liquid or creamed – $7 each.

Local and Organic

Local and Organic

I will be at Shop Eco on August 26th from 4 until 7 and will have Pickles and Honey with me. I will also have them at The Urban Greenhouse on September 2nd from 4 until 7. If you’d like them included with your weekly veggies at another time please let me know so I can pack them up for you.

Have a lovely, sunny week everyone!

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Welcome to the bounty our county has to offer! It’s only 3 weeks behind but better late than never! After a decade of drought conditions in our area we’ve had to contend with cold, rainy weather this season when most of our crops want hot, hot heat! But we are rolling in local produce now! Harvesting all the bounty takes an extra couple of hours a week now but it’s worth it to have such variety coming out of the gardens.

Some Notes:

* If you get a small green tomato basket in your bag please return it the following week as we reuse these and need them for harvesting.

* We decided not to wash any of the salad mix, or greens, or any produce this week. The morning was cool enough that we didn’t need to get the “heat” off the veggies. And since we don’t have any commercial washers or spinners the salad mix has been getting too wet, too bruised, and not keeping as long as it should. Please wash all your produce before eating.

* If you didn’t get a Watermelon this week don’t worry! We only had a few early varieties ready and everyone will get a Watermelon eventually! If you get a Watermelon that wasn’t ripe (don’t judge it by the colour but by the taste) please let us know so we can get you another one. We taste test to make sure we are picking ripe ones but you really don’t know until you crack it open.

* Every location is a bit different as to contents but we make sure everyone gets the goodies eventually.

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Photo taken by: Expert 9 year old Faenin- Armenian Cucumber Necklace

Pick list:

‘Candy’ Tomatoes – This year we are growing Peacevine, Bing, Yellow Pear, Brown Berry, Black Cherry, Gold Nugget

Field Cucumber, Heirloom + Pickling – This year we are growing Armenian Cucumbers, Boothby’s Blonde, Lemon Cucumber, Green Finger. The Cucumbers are supposed to be various colours and they can be enjoyed with or without peeling first.

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Thin-skinned Slicers

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Yes, these are Cucumbers! ‘Boothby’s Blonde’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon Beans

Rainbow Leafies

Salad mix with Nasturtium flowers

Summer Squash and Eggplant

Purple Peppers – our Red, Yellow, and Orange Pepper plants are positively LOADED with fruits, we are just waiting for them to ripen!

Watermelon -What is ready now are some Sugar Babies and what we are calling Faenin’s Hybrid (a mix of Little Baby Flower and Baby Doll Watermelon seeds saved from personal melons over 3 years and cross-pollinated) – these are white or yellow inside. Larger Watermelons are coming in the next few weeks. All of our Watermelon seeds come from (or in the case of Faenin’s Hybrid, came from) High Mowing.

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Moon and Stars: a long-season heirloom variety; Faenin’s Hybrid in the background

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Pictured: ‘Boothby’s Blonde’ Cucumbers, ‘Dragon’ Beans, Salad with Nasturtium Flowers, Rainbow Leafies, ‘Candy’ Tomatoes, Eggplant, Purple Pepper. Not pictured: Watermelon, Parsley, Hot Peppers, Okra, Summer Squash.

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Welcome to week 8 of seasonal, fresh, local, ecologically-grown veggies! The weather has cooperated enough that we are starting to get a more diverse selection of veggies ripening in the gardens!

We are on week 2 of everyone getting a large bag of Dragon Beans (they are so prolific!) so I thought this would be a good time to talk a little about eating with the seasons. Eating local isn’t just about sourcing from local farmers but about eating what is currently ripe and feasting on what is in season. When it’s Strawberry season we eat to our heart’s content and freeze or preserve the bounty for later. We do the same with every sweet fruit. It’s a great opportunity to fully enjoy what is ripe and ready to eat in our local area and it gives us a chance to preserve some of the bounty for the Winter when the selection is quite low. Check out this great blog post for more information – Eat The Seasons.

A couple of notes:

* If your Rainbow Leafy greens look wilted put them in a jar of water to perk them up.

* The leafy greens on the Beets and on the Turnips are edible and delicious!

* I always suggest using our veggies in stir fries but I almost always forget to mention omelets! All of our veggies are superb in them!

* When harvesting we come across some pretty funny looking veggies but the camera isn’t close by so we aren’t able to photograph them. If you find an Eggplant with a nose, or a funny looking Beet, for example, take a picture for us and share them on the blog or on our Facebook page. It would be great to start an album of funny veggies grown on our farm!

Contents pictured (varies per basket) : - Scallions, Dragon Beans, Heirloom Cucumber, Dill, Heirloom Tomatoes, Purple Sweet Pepper, Rainbow Beets, Eggplant.

Contents pictured (varies per basket) : – Scallions, Heirloom Cucumber, Dill, Dragon Beans, Heirloom Tomatoes, Purple Sweet Pepper, Rainbow Beets, Rainbow Chard, Eggplant.

Pick list:

Rainbow Beets plus Turnips (‘Chiogga‘, ‘Detroit Dark Red‘, ‘Touchstone Gold‘)

Purple Pepper ‘Islander

'Islander' Purple Pepper

‘Islander’ Purple Pepper

Scallions

Eggplant or Summer Squash

Listada di Gandia

Listada di Gandia

Rainbow Leafies (a mix of Vates Curly Blue Kale, Dinosaur (Lacinato) Kale, Red Russian Kale, Collard Greens, Rainbow Chard)

Basil or Parsley

Dragon Beans – best enjoyed by themselves as a raw snack; a perfect companion to a dip such as hummus; enjoy in a salad; can be steamed or boiled; can be frozen as is or blanched first for use later in soups, stews, and stir fries.

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And some kind of little veggie surprise!

Every Monday we have a wonderful work crew who come and help us get everything harvested. They are amazing and we are so thankful for the work they do. The work crew is a mix of people: folks who were accepted into the work-share program, our intern, and volunteers who enjoy being part of the experience.

Work Crew

Work Crew in the Dragon Bean patch

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Here we are in August and it doesn’t seem like Summer has arrived yet! At the farmer’s market on Sunday people were asking me, “Why aren’t my tomatoes ripening up?” and the fact is it hasn’t been hot enough and without heat many crops just won’t ripen. We grow these heat-loving crops on black plastic but that can only do so much so we are still waiting for the Tomatoes to really come on.

In the last couple of weeks we’ve had a little bit of this veggie or that veggie – not enough to give every member 1 of everything – and so we’ve been putting a little “surprise” in each bag and each bag is different. If you get something and you don’t know what it is please feel free to ask on the blog or to send me an email or even to ask on the Facebook page! There might be someone else also wondering what they got and we want each of you to enjoy your weekly veggie experience and you can do that best by knowing what veggies you’re getting and how to cook and eat them.

On the pick list this week (items will vary in each bag) – DRAGON BEANS! One of my favourite crops but don’t take my word for how great they are, try them yourself! I’ve never cooked them, though I suppose you could, they taste great raw and make a great treat!

002Eggplant (mostly Chinese, some fingerling) Or Summer Squash (Zucchini, Patty Pan aka Flying Saucers). These 2 crops are just starting to come in their own so this week will be a good time to put up a bunch of recipes I’ve been collecting. Come back and refer to these as the week’s go along.

Eggplant recipes: Eggplant CornucopiaPerfect Eggplant , Many Ways To Use Eggplant

Zucchini and Summer Squash recipes: Cheesy EnchiladasSunny SoupCorn ChowderBaked with Pesto Gratin , Eat Local Grown has several recipes here , 35 Delicious Ways to Use Zucchini

Beets and / or Turnips (we did an experiment and planted some Turnips in a raised bed and they have grown incredibly fast, much faster than those in the ground!) An interesting recipe for Beet and Raspberry Muffins.

Parsley or Basil (Recipe for Tabouleh, a Lebanese salad that uses LOTS of Parsley)

Rainbow Leafies

Salad Mix

**Please note that if you pick up at the farm in Tilbury that your pickup is still tonight, Monday, even though it’s a holiday**

Week 7 - Dragon Beans, Rainbow Beets, Salad, Rainbow Leafies, Eggplant, Summer Squash, plus surprises!

Week 7 – Dragon Beans, Rainbow Beets, Salad, Rainbow Leafies, Eggplant, Summer Squash, plus surprises!

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