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Posts Tagged ‘arugula’

VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS PEPPERS

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Sweet peppers, lunchbox peppers, bell peppers, Italian frying peppers, hot peppers – so many PEPPERS to choose from!

We started growing lunchbox peppers in 2014 and the first time we harvested them we thought, “I don’t think this is worth it, they’re so small and it’s back-breaking to pick them.”. But then we tasted them … and we were hooked. We pack them for customers in half pound bags but we take home 2 pounds a day and eat them in a sitting. As I sit and write this I’m snacking on these sweet treats. They are a dream to grow but even better to eat. With few seeds, all near the stem, you can eat the little red ones in one bite, leaving only the stem, making these a perfect snack for busy families. This variety doesn’t have the problems that bell peppers do so they’re also our most productive pepper. For a list of all the peppers we’re growing check out the VEGGIES! page.

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Not to be confused with HOT PEPPERS. Lunchbox Peppers and some of our Bell Pepper varieties look like hot peppers but we’re very careful to grow them far away from each other, to pick them at different times, and to carefully label them. We would never want someone to take a big bite out of pepper and find out it’s HOT. But we are growing hot peppers, and this year, with all the heat and drought, they are really hot. If you are a hot pepper connoisseur these are the peppers for you. Carefully selected and harvested by our farm children, who are hot pepper connoisseurs, these freeze well and make superb hot sauce.

“What do you get if you cross a chili pepper, a shovel, and a terrier?

A hot-diggity-dog!”

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Hot, hot, hot.

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With all the rain we got on Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, our Tomatoes exploded, literally. They didn’t know what to do with all the water (having acclimatized themselves to a slow irrigation drip) – and they split, cracked, exploded all over. We’ve worked at removing all the tomatoes so that new ones can come in all sweet and shiny.

Which is a good segue into imperfect produce …. We’ve all been accustomed to “perfect” vegetables that are sold in grocery stores. What most of us don’t know is that in order to get those “perfect” veggies a farmer must not only use unsustainable, polluting, and harmful methods, they must also plant 3 to 4 times more of a particular crop, which means 3/4 of a crop goes to waste. We cannot farm in this way, it goes against all we are and how we live. Our chickens and our composters don’t want or need that much food.  So yes, our produce is often imperfect, it looks the way it would if you grew it yourself. But it’s healthy and fresh, it’s good for your body and good for the environment. Imperfect produce is a trend, google it!

Before we get to the vegetable selection for the week (ignoring the BIG name we gave this blog post 😉 ) we want to thank our dear, dear farm friends who’ve stepped up to help us this week. It’s been hot, the work has been hard, it’s rained hard on us, we’ve worked long, long hours, but in the end everything gets done. Young and old, new and familiar, have all helped out this week. We had a lovely visit from a member and their little one who came to pick their own basket of tomatoes for turning into sauce and salsa. So many lovely visitors this week. Thank you all 🙂

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This week our salad mix contains some borage leaves. They feel a bit prickly on the lips but once you chew them they’re like a refreshing cucumber and the prickliness becomes but a memory.

We have cherry tomatoes, a variety of other tomatoes, beans, eggplant, gorgeous scallions (try dehydrating them for a surprising snack!), garlic, and some surprises.

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Mint drying to make mint tea.

On Saturday August 27th we welcome back Jackie from Another Way to our farm market, this time to talk about Crystals! Facebook event can be found at this link.

From 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM, Jackie will be available to answer your question as it relates to crystals. She can share which crystal would be best suited for you or how to use crystals. You could ask which crystal would be the best to use for a specific condition; how to use your crystal; what to use your crystal for. Using Hibiscus Moon Training and intuition to answer your crystal questions. Crystals will also be available for sale.

Until next week!

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson. Mark your calendars for Saturday September 3rd for our Heirloom Tomato Taste-Test Fest!

 

 

 

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Today, Friday August 5th, was yet another “heat alert” in our area. But when it’s harvesting day we have to work, no matter the weather. We take more breaks, drink more water, and take cold hose showers, but we still suffer the side effects of dehydration. On most days even a simple walk down a row of Tomatoes leaves us covered in sweat. This unending heat wave would be more bearable if we weren’t also in extreme drought conditions. But, we must harvest to meet our commitments to our dear members. And we hope that you, dear members, understand that we might not harvest as much, and that our crops are also suffering from the weather conditions.

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How we feel: as slow as a snail and desperately looking for water.

We also feel like Squidget ….

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Reposted from Andrea N’s Instagram: “Oh the life of a farm cat. This expert hunter is relaxing in the shade after a job well done. She was very proud of herself this morning by showing off her bounty before snuggling in for her afternoon siesta.”

This snake was also looking for shade and water and knew that the lettuce is the best place to find both …

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I hope the newest members of the farm survive the heat ….

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We are pleased to be offering a very special and unique calendar again this year. Photographs and descriptions by Naturalist and Blogger P. Allen Woodliffe, the 2017 calendars highlight the wonders and beauty of Rondeau Provincial Park. Calendars are always available at our on-farm market and will soon find their way to our ShopEco market tables as well. There are limited numbers of these calendars printed so get yours before we sell out! If you pick up at ShopEco you can ask us to bring one in for you! To find out more about Allen and about the calendars check out his website ~ http://pawsnaturenuggets.blogspot.ca/2016/05/rondeaunaturally-photos.html

A few of the photographic highlights ….

 

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Now on to the veggies available this week! Including the VEGGIE OF THE WEEK – FENNEL!

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There are many ways to enjoy Fennel including: using the fronds in salads or in pesto; grilling the bulbs on the barbeque; Apple Fennel Slaw; Soups, Pasta, Salads; 15 Fab Fennel Recipes from Canadian Living; and Martha Stewart’s take on this delectable herb. This delightful herb is a favourite of the farm children as a “passing-by snack”. Fennel is also very good for the digestive system, soothing sore tummies and colicky babies, as well as a great natural way to boost milk production in breastfeeding mothers (in honour of World Breastfeeding Week going on now!). If you’re not sure you’ll like the anise/licorice flavour just sample a small bit of the frond and see if the sweet flavour appeals to your palate. We’ll be selling this as whole bulbs with fronds as well as bunches of fronds.

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Eat The Rainbow!

Other veggies this week include: Heirloom Cherry ‘Candy’ Tomatoes + Beefsteak / Slicers (these are still slow coming on as we had several delays that were out of our control); Sweet Peppers (we’ve had weather + insect pressure that have made many of our early peppers unappealing and instead of throwing them all out we’ve discounted them from $8/lb to $1/lb); Hot Peppers (must be pre-ordered and they are VERY HOT); Kale + Chard; Salad Mix is back!; Scallions; Garlic (cured + fresh); hand-picked, heirloom, multi-coloured Snap Beans (for raw snacks but also for light cooking); Eggplant; Summer Squash (Again this year, what should be a reliable producer, has taken a hit. Striped Cucumber Beetles aka Fornicating F******, after a mild Winter, have attacked our Summer Squash seedlings, blossoms, and fruit.); Broccoli; Savoy Cabbage; fresh herbs such as Mint, Basil, and Sorrel; Kohlrabi; and fresh flowers (including Sunflowers).

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A few quick notes before we bid you all a most wonderful and delicious week …

We are planning an Heirloom Tomato Taste-Testing Day during a farm market in late August so please keep an eye on our Facebook page for event details. There will be a large variety of Heirloom Tomatoes available to taste and to rate and we’ll announce the winners at the end of the market (and online). This event may coincide with a Tomato Canning event for those of you interested in learning how to preserve the bounty and in making your own sauce to make Summer’s goodness last all Winter long. We’ll be taking orders for bulk tomatoes (hampers) in the next few weeks once the harvest is plentiful. Bulk garlic is also available by special request. If you are a member using the credit system you can order any veggie we have in large quantities and apply it to your credit, please let us know if you’re interested!

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VEGETABLE OF THE WEEK IS …. GARLIC SCAPES!

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The Farm Children keep a close eye on the Scapes, it’s one of their favourite things to harvest on the farm.

For those familiar with Scapes they wait all year for this limited time item, it’s a high demand luxury! As you can see in the picture the Scape is a curly-cued part of the Garlic plant that would eventually turn into seeds. In order to make our Garlic focus it’s energy on creating large and powerful bulbs we must remove the Scapes. For our efforts we get to enjoy a very versatile but limited time only special treat that we call a Garlic Scape.

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Each Scape has a unique curl.

 

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Garlic

These are fabulous roasted or grilled, they can pickled, they can be frozen, they can be dried, they can be made into Garlic powder, they can be made into pesto, and they can be used in any way you would use Garlic. Check out these 7 recipes from The Crisper Whisperer. More info on our Veggies page and if you search “garlic scape” in the search index on this blog site or click on the “tag”, along the right-hand side of this blog site. Past posts with amazing recipes include this beauty from 2012 and this one, also from 2012.

Jokes from the farm children:

How did the garlic get out of the garden?

It eSCAPEd!

Why did the garlic book travel tickets online?

It needed an e-scape!

Yuk yuk yuk 😉

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Farm baby helping to carry the bin full of Garlic Scapes.

Last week at our Saturday on-farm market we had a visitor ….

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As you can see from some of our pictures you’ll know that we love babywearing and we came across a lovely post that showcases various every day dad babywearing while cooking or grocery shopping and thought it would be a good share for other babywearing lovers out there ~ http://www.thekitchn.com/10-sweet-photos-of-baby-wearing-dads-in-the-kitchen-232143

Other produce available this week (may vary depending upon location and availability): portabello mushrooms and button mushrooms, Radnips, Rainbow Radishes, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Green Smoothie Mix, Cilantro (almost done for the season) and other Fresh Herbs, Rainbow Leafies (various Kale varieties + Chard), Scallions, Broccoli, and new this week – also for a limited time – Snow Peas and Sugar Snap Peas (they melt in your mouth!) We’re also getting larger amounts of Calendula for anyone who wants to order them on their own to make their own healing teas or salves – please let us know if you’re interested.

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Mushrooms as big as your head! Or a plate!

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Every Pea picked by a hand, our hands.

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Our artistic rendering of this week’s veggie offerings ….

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Pictured: Cilantro, button Mushrooms, Arugula, Radnips, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Scapes, Sugar Snap Peas, Portabello Mushroom, Scallions.

Our event with Wheatley Woods is still on for tomorrow – a foraging walk and plant sale. See the details on Facebook.

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Native Service Berries

You can also see the details for a foraging walk next Saturday June 25th (we may be having another special guest that week, check out Facebook for that announcement!). We’re currently taking registrations for Session 2 of the Kids Gardening Club, you can find out more at this link and on Facebook. We post every new event we’re hosting on our farm on this website as well, check back on the Foraging + Market Events page for update.

One last announcement …. a new CSA member has started a twitch live feed that will feature foods they will be making with their CSA veggies each week. You can find it at twitch.tv/margaret_haddad . This is a new live feed, they’re only in their second week, and comes with a warning that the language might not be appropriate for all ages 😉 The schedule is Mondays at 3 pm for art, Wednesdays at 8 for Community Sourced Cuisine (featuring veggies from Locally Germinated and eventually their own garden), and Friday at 9 for Food with Friends. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses!

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Harvest day pick list; new beds for perennials

 

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Funny accident, panoramic picture

 

 

 

 

 

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As we’re going into Week 3 we’re amazed at the variety of veggies we have so early in the season! Considering that every year we’ve been in operation we didn’t start until mid-June it’s so lovely to see the fruits of our labours from last year paying off.

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Week 3 – Rainbow Chard, Parsley, Garlic Scapes, baby Garlic, Broccoli, Radnips, Cilantro, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Rainbow Kale, fresh Mint, Chives, Rainbow Radishes.

The Vegetable of the Week is ……Salad Mix!

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Otherwise known as Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, each bag is unique and pops with flavour! We love a salad with flavour and colour and so unique you can’t find it anywhere but our farm. We use a combination of salad greens such as Gourmet Salad Mix, Red Planet, Sulu, Vulcan, Lovelock, a large variety of Romaines (to come later), Salanova, and some other secret varieties 😉 We also include baby spinach, fennel, dill, purlsane, wild spinach, arugula, mustard greens, spicy Asian greens, vivid choi, parsley, baby bok choy, edible flowers (arugula, chives, nasturtiums, calendula, clover, and more), and other seasonal surprises. In our opinion our salads are best enjoyed with a light vinaigrette dressing and on sandwiches, wraps, and burgers (veggie or meat). Farm child Faenin’s favourite dressing is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, garlic powder (made with garlic scapes), and nutritional yeast. We also enjoy eating the salads straight out of the bag. Salads can be made more delicious using more fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, fresh dill, rainbow radishes, radnips (the tops are also a salad green), broccoli, kale, chard, garlic, scallions, or grilled mushrooms.

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Couldn’t decide which picture I liked best!

Make sure you wash the salad mix again – we try our best to get out the grass, woody bits, bad parts, and dirt, but we mainly wash the greens “to take off the heat of the field” so that the greens stay fresh. If your salad greens seem too wet in their bag you can try spinning them again or removing the moisture with a towel and then returning them to their bag so that they stay fresh for as long as possible. Our salad mixes will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks as they’re picked within 24 hours of market + pickup and we do our best to chill them as quickly as possible. Salad is available almost every week of the CSA (it’s sometimes too hot during Summer to get the seeds to germinate or to grow).

We have been tossing around the idea of creating Green Smoothie mixes again – is there any interest in this? Please let us know if this is something we should offer again. This would be a mix of wild, foraged greens and flowers to be used in green smoothies.

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Broccoli, Calendula, baby Garlic, Cilantro, fresh Nettles, Horseradish, Leeks.

Courtesy of the farm children …. Jokes for the week!

Q: Why did the Kale blush?

A: Because it saw the Salad dressing.

Knock, Knock
Who’s there? Lettuce
Lettuce who?
Lettuce in and you’ll find out.

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and the classic …

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This week marks the return of bunched Rainbow Kale and Rainbow Chard. Garlic Scapes and Broccoli are just starting to come on. It will be the last of the Rainbow Radishes and Radnips for a week or two. This is the last week for “gallions” / “scarlic” / baby garlic. Fresh herbs available this week: sage, oregano, dill, chives, mint, parsley, arugula, cilantro, and thyme. We’ll have portabello mushrooms available this week for those that enjoyed them on special last week.

A reminder that fresh flowers can be used with member credits when picking up at the farm.

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Join us at the farm Saturday June 18th for a Foraging Walk and Plant sale with Wheatley Woods. Details at Market Events and on Facebook.

We had some lovely rains this past week and with the rain came some “aliens” ….

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Cedar Rust

After an unfortunate start and troubles with a supplier we finally managed to get our Tomato + Watermelon seedlings to size and planted! The farm children were falling over themselves at the chance to plant their favourites, Watermelons! Better late than never.

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Thanks to ShopEco for these lovely pictures of our market day ….

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And thank you to Andrea for these lovely farm pics to end things off for this week …

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VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS ….. PORTABELLO MUSHROOMS!

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Certified organic Portabello Mushrooms from Highline Mushrooms in Kingsville.

This week and every week to come make sure to check out the VEGGIES! tab on the blog for updates and recipes for every vegetable we grow and sell. We also update with all the varieties we’re growing in 2016. This week we added fantastic and easy recipes for Portabello’s including Grilled, Vegan Pizza, and 24 ideas from Canadian Living. This week only we’re offering a reduced price on these super fresh and local goodies.

After the last 2 very hot weeks I was inspired by this link for No Heat Summer Potluck Dishes for all from thekitchn.

From the farm children – Jokes of the week:

Q: Why was the mushroom invited to lots of parties?
A: Because he was a fungi to be with!
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Q: What do you call a fast fungus?
A: A mush-vroom.
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Produce available this week includes: the last of the Alliums for a couple of weeks (leeks, scallions, baby garlic), Portabello Mushrooms, the last of the Rainbow Carrots until later in the season (perfect for making Soup Stock), Potted Basil for the home garden, Radishes, small amounts of Broccoli, our unique Salad Mix (includes a wide number of lettuce varieties as well as arugula, parsley, fennel, and sorrel), fresh herbs (Cilantro, Sage, Thyme, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Arugula, Fennel, Mint), herbal teas (mint, lemon balm, nettles).

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French Breakfast Radishes are the fastest growers!

We get a lot of our fresh herbs from Union Herbs, a local small-scale start-up located in Ruthven. Check them out on Facebook to see what they’re up to! In exchange for herbs they receive a share of our produce, here’s a picture from Union Herbs of last week’s offerings ….

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Radishes, Salad Mix, Rainbow Carrots, Baby Garlic, Leek

For our farm market members and customers – it’s the last week to pick up your certified organic vegetable seedlings, maple trees, and potted purple coneflower.

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Artwork by Andrea Nickerson of Neo-Vintage Artistry

Our first market day with The Cheese Bar went very well! Some pictures….

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We’ll regularly have fresh cut farm flowers from seasonal blooms ….

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ShopEco took a great little video of our first CSA Member Pickup and Market day, you can find it on their Facebook page.

This Saturday we’re joined by MFA Tavis Lea of Petropunk for a “plein-air” landscape painting class. See event details on our Facebook page. Keep updated on all our market events on Facebook or on the tab “Foraging + Market Events“.

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Tavis Lea, MFA, of Petropunk

Around the farm this week ….

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Harvesting Wildflowers from a nearby wild space.

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Frog Friend we found on our wildflower adventure.

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The largest Fox Snake we’ve seen in many years. It thought it was well camouflaged in this location.

 

 

 

 

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12140127_849743068479715_48046645832885106_oWith the threat of the F-word – that did indeed come this weekend – we were frantically covering up all the crops we could with frost blankets and harvesting the crops that couldn’t be saved (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, hot peppers, okra, tomatillos, beans, summer squash). We won’t know the extent of the damage or how crops fared until we get out there and start harvesting on Monday morning. The root crops – beets, turnips, radishes – might be sold as roots only as the leaves may have been killed off but they will be sweeter with a frost.  And that is the good news of a frost – it sweetens up and makes extra tasty all the kale, chard, parsley, and roots.

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We also managed to get a large garlic area prepared for planting!

Remember that this is the very last of the tomatoes. We’ve brought many of them indoors to ripen them up but this will be your very last chance to have field-grown, organic, heirloom, tasty tomatoes and you’ll be back to eating tasteless cardboard tomatoes until next July.

Multi-coloured Cauliflower

Multi-coloured Cauliflower.

On the frost note…. we can only guess at what will be available for veggies this week. Apologies to the folks that use these posts to help them in their weekly menu planning. Please refer to the previous post for a possible crop list – Week 18.

Family working together to get the harvest done on Thanksgiving Monday.

Family working together to get the harvest done on Thanksgiving Monday.

From Facebook: “Some of the benefits of joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) weekly box program: Fresh, Local, Seasonal Veggies; Affordability; Environmentally-Friendly; Supporting your Community + Small Community Farmer. Did I mention fresh and tasty vegetables? 😉 “- http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Blogs/Eat-Drink-Post/October-2015/7-Reasons-to-Join-a-Farm-Share/

Family Thanksgiving activities included kite-flying, tractor lessons, and tree planting.

Family Thanksgiving activities included kite-flying, tractor lessons, and tree planting.

We are having one last Foraging Walk to close out the season on Sunday October 25th. There are still plenty of edibles left to discover and explore so if you’ve been meaning to make it to a walk it’s your last chance until next year! You can find an event page on Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/events/1068764633136247/. There is no obligation to pre-register, just show up on Sunday before 10:30 at our farm at 20600 Morris Rd (Canal St West), Tilbury.

Around the farm: #workperks (thinned baby carrots), woodpecker teepee, root crops soaking, plethora of sweet peppers, farm-bred baby chickens, asters (important nectar source for Fall migrating butterflies).

Around the farm: #workperks (thinned baby carrots), woodpecker teepee, root crops soaking, plethora of sweet peppers, farm-bred baby chickens, asters (important nectar source for Fall migrating butterflies).

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Our new favourite farm motto song! (I do love me some Brian Wilson.) Please tell us all about your favourite veg-table!

From around the farm this week ….

Monarchs have hatched out and are hanging around with us while we work, this one is sipping on a cracked Black Cherry Tomato.

11958200_830843003703055_5139214276639898949_oAnd we found another, much larger, Cecropia, this one on an Apple Tree.

cecropiaWe’ve planted the last of the lettuce seeds for the season, where these…..

11145910_10153542007401280_1133688028356184826_o…can turn into this….

All of these items were sourced from our farm. We only have a small family patch of Strawberries and 1 small nut Tree though, sorry folks!

All of these items were sourced from our farm. We only have a small family patch of Strawberries and 1 small nut Tree though, sorry folks!

and you can add some of these….

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Scallions

and some of this…

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Broccoli

and some of this…

What we're calling Broccoflower because it's part Broccoli-part Cauliflower

What we’re calling Broccoflower because it’s part Broccoli-part Cauliflower.

and shred up some of these….

Beets and Turnips

Beets and Turnips

Purple Top Turnip beauties

Purple Top Turnip beauties

And if you’re adventurous you can add Kale….

Kale or Palm Trees?

Kale or Palm Trees?

Collards are also bouncing back.

Collards are also bouncing back.

Or you can add Tomatillos (learn more about these delights from last year’s post), Cherry Tomatoes (get ’em while you can!), Sweet Snacking Peppers (the best!), or Dragon Beans! And how would everyone like if we started carrying those delicious Portabello Mushrooms again? Yum! The Pears and Apples were a hit and a nice surprise, let’s hope we can find more little-known sources of unsprayed fruit in the future!

12000986_10153542009871280_357533499521888888_oWith the Kale making a comeback I wanted to share a recipe a member shared with us – easy and simple – 3 Cups of Kale, 3 Garlic Cloves, mix with oil and salt in a food processor and you’ve got delicious Pesto. The last of the Basil will also be available if you want to make a more traditional Pesto. If you didn’t get your Garlic yet now is the time as we’re almost sold out for the season!

The Parsley is looking lovely right now so why not try this beautiful gluten-free and vegan Tabbouleh? The recipe can be found at http://mayihavethatrecipe.com/2015/03/18/not-just-for-passover-recipes-quinoa-tabbouleh/ Or you can google any variation on the Tabbouleh recipe – it’s a farm favourite and we make a huge batch that lasts days! The lemony flavour gets better as it sits and flavours the rest of the dish so it’s meal that tastes better as a leftover.

Quinoa-tabule-passover-620x438Our market table setups from this week….

ShopEco on Tuesday at our new indoor location.

ShopEco on Tuesday at our new indoor location. From their Facebook page.

At our on-farm Wednesday market.

At our on-farm Wednesday market.

Until next time!

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