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Posts Tagged ‘bok choi’

Week one has finally arrived for those of you who have been patiently, or not so patiently, waiting for the start of the fresh veggie season! It seems to have come quickly for us but that is because, while we desperately needed the rain, it came as too much too late and we are still working very hard at getting all of our crops in. One thing we’ve done differently to compensate is to start our beets as seedlings in trays as opposed to seeding them directly in the ground. The soil is too wet and may be that way for another few weeks so this way the beets will have a chance to grow and when we transplant them they will have a huge head start on the weeds.

Beet seeds are so cool! ~ Picture By Andrea Nickerson

On a more difficult note…our tractor and equipment operator, aka Mike aka Pepe aka Daddio, got seriously injured at his full-time day job, breaking his shoulder and collar-bone, and will not be able to do any farm work for the rest of the season. We are grateful to have a large, generous, and helpful family who are willing and able to pitch in to help us.

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A panoramic view of some of our gardens ~ Photo by Andrea Nickerson

The season starts off slowly as it always does with an emphasis on the leafy greens that are cold tolerant – they get planted early and thrive in cooler temperatures while also being ready to harvest sooner than most other crops.

Bok Choy – we grow several different kinds that may be white or green stemmed and will either be stocky and compact or long and slender. Bok choy is light and crispy, much like celery. It’s perfect in a stir fry as it doesn’t have much of it’s own flavour and takes on the flavour of the ingredients in the stir fry beautifully. It’s also easy to chop up and throw in the freezer for winter stir fries – no blanching necessary. Some recipes to try can be found here, here (a crunchy slaw but this site has another dozen recipes to try), and here (this one uses Garlic but you can substitute the Scapes in this week’s share). For more ideas put “bok choy” in the search bar in the upper right of our website to get recipes we’ve posted in past years. I posted all of this before checking the Bok Choy for market harvest today and while it was beeeyouuuutiful last week it has almost all bolted so it will be slim pickings <sad face>

'Mei Qing' Bok Choy interplanted with Scallions.

‘Mei Qing’ Bok interplanted with Scallions, under row cover to protect them from Flea Beetles and hail storms.

Garlic Scapes – these beauties showed up overnight to make their way into your weekly veggie shares! Our farm children couldn’t wait to harvest them (and our Garlic will be happy they did as harvesting the Scapes allows the Garlic bulbs to grow larger). Scapes are the upper part of the Garlic plant and can be used any way you would use Garlic in a recipe. We like to dehydrate the Scapes and turn them into a powder using a coffee grinder so that we have an aromatic Garlic topping to use (we LOVE Garlic), we’ve also chopped them and thrown them into a freezer bag to add to soups and stir fry’s for the winter. Garlic Scape pesto is a favourite way to use this limited-time produce or try this Salad dressing with our Rainbow Salad mix, recipe courtesy of Made With Metta.

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Sweet Faenin says, “Mom, can I pick all the Garlic Scapes for you?” Why yes you can dear child 🙂

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Garlic Scapes or Green Garlic

11 ingredient Rainbow Salad Mix – Red and green lettuce, spinach, wild spinach, baby kale, baby chard, arugula, chives, dill, purslane, bok choy, parsley.

IMG_7551Rainbow Kale – We went out to pick baby kale only to find that many of the plants have leaves too big for a salad, lucky for you we can bring some bunched leafies!

'Olympic Red' in an un-weeded bed; gorgeous 'Curly Roja'.

‘Olympic Red’ in an un-weeded bed; gorgeous ‘Curly Roja’.

The peas are just coming on so some folks might see a few this week but not to worry if you don’t get them this time there are more coming. We might be able to scrounge up a few scallion bunches and radish bunches as well. Limited quantities of mini-cukes, greenhouse tomatoes, and mushrooms.

IMG_6377We always have Sunshine Pickles and Sunparlor Honey available.

From our market sign

From our market sign

For interest if we were doing pre-packaged bags a small $15 ($300) share would have 1/2 LB of Salad Mix, 1 Bok Choy, a bunch of Scallions, a bunch of Rainbow Kale, 1/2 LB of Garlic Scapes. A medium $20 ($400) share would have 1 LB of Salad Mix, 1 Bok Choy, a bunch of Scallions, a bunch of Rainbow Kale, 1/2 LB of Garlic Scapes. A large $25 ($500) share would have 1 LB of Salad Mix, 2 Bok Choy, a bunch of Scallions, a bunch of Rainbow Kale, 1 LB of Garlic Scapes.

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Panoramic picture by Andrea Nickerson

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The Belle River Farmers Market opens this Sunday June 7th from 10am – 2pm at Optimist Park (705 Notre Dame St.) in Belle River. It’s still early in the season but here are some fresh veggie goodies we’ll have on offer at the market:

2 different varieties of delicious Spinach 'Butterflay' and 'Corvair'.

Two varieties of delicious Spinach, ‘Butterflay’ and ‘Corvair’.

Week 1 Market Produce

From Left to Right: Salad + Scallions, Bok Choi, ‘Olympic Red’ Kale, ‘Red Russian’ Kale, ‘Vates Curly’ Kale, Certified Organic Seedlings.

We’ll also have Sunshine Pickles, Sunparlour Honey, Mushrooms, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Eggplant, and ASPARAGUS.

Fresh goodies to come in the next couple of weeks….

Garlic is coming along beautifully; Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, and Shelling Peas; a new crop this year - Fennel; more Spinach!; Onions.

Garlic is coming along beautifully; Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, and Shelling Peas; a new crop this year – Fennel; more Spinach!; Onions happy under their leaf mulch.

We’re expanding our production space this year by not just doubling but tripling the amount of area we’re using to produce vegetables. We’re using more of our “back 30” for heat-loving veggies that are grown under black plastic and we’re using an old pasture that has been used by our free-range chickens for many years (using the fence to grow Pole Beans, for example). We’ve added more companion crops and beneficial crops like Horseradish and Tansy while re-using old tires for the farm children to grow their own personal crop of Potatoes.

ExpansionAfter receiving 4 inches of much-needed Rain all at once we are reminded of why we use permanent raised beds even for crops grown under black plastic (these beds differ from our boxed raised beds). If our crops were grown “on the flat” these precious seedlings would have been lost and drowned but the seedlings are raised several inches up off the ground while the excess water pools in the “valleys”. Underneath the plastic is also a “valley” where water can pool and where the roots of the seedlings have to work to get the water but in the process it strengthens the seedlings and keeps them from drowning.

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Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant seedlings.

We are still accepting new members for the 2015 season at all of our locations so don’t forget about our referral program and have your chance to win FREE produce for the season! We will be sending out emails to current members in the next couple of weeks when we are ready to start the season for FRESH VEGGIES!, and to discuss the various share size options and final payments. We will also be announcing soon the details of our weekly on-farm farmers market so stay tuned here and at our Facebook page!

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The time has finally arrived!

We’ve been getting a lot of messages from members asking when the weekly veggie baskets are starting and we are pleased to announce that they are starting next week!

We have made the decision to purchase some items from local businesses in order to fill up the baskets and replace what was lost in the hail storm this week. Look for organic mushrooms from Highline Mushrooms and organic baby cucumbers from Erieview. We will also be including what we’re calling a Hail-lelujah Salad Mix at a discount price. This will include Rainbow Chard, Curly Kale, Red Kale, Collard greens, and Dinosaur Kale – our Rainbow leafy green mix – greens that were damaged by hail but are still good to use in smoothies, for juicing, for stir fries, or for freezing.

A sneak peek at what to expect in your first basket from our gardens —

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes

 

Sugar Snap Pea, 'Cascadia'. Edible pods with fat, juicy peas inside.

Sugar Snap Pea, ‘Cascadia’. Edible pods with fat, juicy peas inside.

Beautiful 'Salanova' lettuce from Johnny's Seeds interplanted with our own specialty mix of Rainbow Radishes.

Beautiful ‘Salanova’ lettuce from Johnny’s Seeds interplanted with our own specialty mix of Rainbow Radishes.

A larger sized variety of Bok Choi.

A larger sized variety of Bok Choi.

There will also be Arugula in the baskets.

A fun blog post on what to do with “strange and scary” CSA vegetables – 31 Things To Do With Confusing CSA Vegetables – lots of great ideas here so keep this blog post handy for future weeks.

General details for all of our locations: Pick up times are between 4 pm and 7 pm. If you are picking up from a retail location they will NOT be able to hold your veggies if you are late. You can send someone else in your place to pick up your veggies if you’re not able to. Retail locations are acting as pickup locations only, if you need to ask a question or communicate with us please use our email address as individuals at the stores are not able to take payments and may not be able to answer questions about the veggies.

Details for each location is as follows:

Main farm near Tilbury (Lakeshore) – Weekly pickups will be on Mondays from 4 pm to 7 pm. If you’re not there by 7 pm we will bag up your share, label it with your name, and put it in our self-serve fridge for eggs (and later our walk-in cooler) for you to pick up at your convenience, for a maximum of 24 hours. We would appreciate an email if you know you won’t be able to make it. If you’d like to have eggs each week with your share let us know so that we can put them aside for you to pick up with your veggies. If you haven’t paid for your share in full then your next payment of $125 is due on the first week. You can pay in cash or by cheque when you come for your veggies at the farm or you can pay by email money transfer if that is more convenient. The address is 20600 Morris Rd (take Canal St West out of town and we’re the 2nd house on the right).

Shop Eco378 Devonshire Rd, Windsor – Weekly pickups will be on Tuesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm. There will be a list of member names at the store, please sign off that you’ve received your weekly share. I will be present at Shop Eco – to meet members, answers questions, and take payments – on Tuesday June 24th. If you’re not paid in full then your next payment of $125 is due and you can pay in cash or by cheque with us directly or use email money transfer if that is more convenient.

The Urban Greenhouse7635 Tecumseh Rd East (in the Pickwick Plaza), Windsor – Weekly pickups will be on Tuesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm. There will be a list of member names at the store, please sign off that you’ve received your weekly share. I will be present at The Urban Greenhouse – to meet members, answers questions, and take payments – on Tuesday July 1st. If you’re not paid in full then your next payment of $125 is due and you can pay in cash or by cheque with us directly or use email money transfer if that is more convenient.

Take Back The Farm4929 Malden Rd, Windsor – Weekly pickups will be on Tuesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm. There will be a list of member names at the store, please sign off that you’ve received your weekly share. I will be present at Take Back The Farm – to meet members, answers questions, and take payments – on Tuesday July 8th. If you’re not paid in full then your next payment of $125 is due and you can pay in cash or by cheque with us directly or use email money transfer if that is more convenient.

Faerie Willow Farm1720 Mersea Rd D, Leamington – Weekly pickups will be on Tuesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm.

If you have any questions or concerns please send them to locallygerminated@gmail.com.

Let’s get the season for fresh, local, organic veggies started!

Week 1 basket - sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, radishes, bok choi, mixed greens (hail-lelujah salad), arugula, greenhouse tomato and baby cucumbers.

Week 1 basket – sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, radishes, bok choi, mixed greens (hail-lelujah salad), arugula, greenhouse tomato and baby cucumbers, mushrooms.

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This isn’t the blog post I had intended or planned or thought I would write. I was all set to announce the start of the CSA next Monday and Tuesday and to give out details on payments and pickups. That post was set to go out last night. And then this happened….

What we saw when we walked out of the house after being pelted by hail.

What we saw when we walked out of the house after being pelted by hail.

Golf ball sized hail.

Golf ball sized hail.

After getting over our shock that big chunks of ice fell out of the sky on a scorching hot and humid day…we decided to check on the crops. And it’s a good thing I had taken pictures earlier in the day to show members what was coming up in their first basket so I have proof it was beautiful (at least for my own purposes!).

Here are some “before” pics….

Bok Choi

Bok Choi

Rainbow mix of leafy greens.

Rainbow mix of leafy greens holding up well under very windy conditions.

And some “after” pics…

Collards pelted by hail.

Collards pelted by hail.

Rainbow Chard got hit the worst.

Rainbow Chard got hit the worst.

San Marzano Paste/Sauce Tomato pelted by hail and damaged.

San Marzano Paste/Sauce Tomato pelted by hail and damaged.

At this point we don’t know the full extent of the damage as we haven’t been able to brave it just yet. This afternoon we will go out and count how many plants have been damaged that won’t recover. The good news is that the Chard, Kale, and Collards will bounce back in a couple of weeks, the bad news is that those leafy greens and the Bok Choi are full of rips and large holes and won’t be “fixed” for the first CSA delivery we had planned for next.

We haven’t yet made a decision about what to do in regards to current paid members in the CSA. We can try and buy produce from other farmers (as it seems that only our small area of Tilbury was hit with the hail), we can delay the start of the CSA (and forego being able to deliver some crops, like snap peas), we can harvest and deliver the damaged crops at a reduced price, or we can come up with another solution/decision altogether. If you have any suggestions please email them to us at locallygerminated@gmail.com We will be in touch again soon with regards to what we are going to do and we will still send out a blog post regarding CSA pickups.

I (Rashel) made the decision to post this even though I don’t know what we will do yet because some of you might hear me on CBC Radio today and I wanted to at least let everyone know, from us, what has happened.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, we are grateful.

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