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Posts Tagged ‘calendula’

June has come and gone too quickly. The rain has mostly missed us, besides a few gentle showers. Every day it looks like it will rain but the gardens are so very thirsty. Others who live not far from here are experiencing the opposite. We do our best to be adaptable to whatever the weather brings.

Farmer Andrea started the CSA this month, here are some highlights …

Veg-Head Andrea

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Garlic Scapes, Peas, Lettuce, very HOT days

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Photos by Andrea Nickerson

The most beautiful Kohlrabi I’ve ever seen, ‘Azur Star‘, pictures cannot do it justice.

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Market Set-up for Week 1 of fresh, local produce

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

The Farm Toddler helping with the Garlic Scape harvest + cleaning

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Andrea also took some beautiful panoramic pictures of the raised beds …

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Our family gardens are coming along nicely. We’ve eaten our fill of pea shoots and sugar snap peas and are leaving the plants as a seed crop. We’ve also been collecting onion seeds. We found this beautiful surprise in our ‘Rattlesnake‘ Pole Beans, little leaves that resemble the seeds and bean pods …

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A look at our Pole Bean bed, using a re-purposed swing set, with marigolds as a companion plant to deter bean beetles …

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And the view from the other end of the bed …

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Most of the beans in this bed will be a seed crop as we need to grow out the ‘Trail of Tears‘ beans we started saving in 2008, and we’re starting to save the seeds from other varieties so we have seeds that are regionally-adapted. Beans are the perfect starter seed-saving crop as they’re super easy to save.

A teeny tiny Lunchbox Pepper on a tiny little plant …

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A new favourite, an heirloom Lettuce “Grandma Hadley” from Seed Savers Exchange

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Another example of companion planting that Rashel has wanted to try for many years, but couldn’t make feasible on a larger scale, is using radishes as a trap crop to protect Cucumbers from flea beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs. The radishes will be left to go to seed and be another seed crop.

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In the trellised Cucumber bed we’ve also planted Lettuce as a companion but there were these beautiful “weeds” – 2 Sunflowers and a blooming Cilantro – that we decided to leave in the bed because they were just too nice to pull out.

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While we’ve seen many Insect friends – especially a variety of Swallowtails – we only got this one picture is a newly hatched Praying Mantis.

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We’ve had our first Lavender blossom harvest of the season …

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A medicinal plant harvest of Yarrow, Wormwood, Bergamot, St. John’s Wort, Red Clover, Plantain, and Comfrey. Most of these will be dried for later use and some will be infused in oil for later use. All but the Comfrey have come from the new wild area Rashel started in 2016.

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We are harvesting Chamomile and Calendula every couple of days, and dehydrating them to use later in teas and salves. In honour of the Summer Solstice why not try some of these recipes using a variety of edible blossoms ~ Sweet Magic: Honey Cookies

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Veggie of the Week: Grape Leaves

Strange choice, we know, but the farm children were adamant that they wanted to pick these for everyone, even after we told them that would mean harvesting over 500 leaves! It might be because they miss the fantastic Lebanese restaurants in Windsor that serve variations on Stuffed Grape Leaves.

Q: Why did the grape stop in the middle of the road?

A: It ran out of juice!

Nutritional Benefits include being a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Maganese. For the full  “nutrition facts” check out this full profile from Self.

You can add them to Green Smoothies, use them as wraps, or add them to a salad.

You can make any of these variations on Stuffed Grape/Vine Leaves: Vegetarian Stuffed, with instructions on preparing fresh and raw leaves (Lebanese style), Authentic Greek Dolmades, Dolmadakia by Lerios, the kitchn’s take, On a Budget (numbers laid out), allrecipes has a great selection on variations, Vegetarian Dolma, Vegan Stuffed Grape Leaves.

We’ve also added “Snake Tongue”, taken from the grape vine plant, to the salad mixes. It’s a sorrel-lemon flavoured treat.

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Items on offer this week include: Salad Mix, Rainbow Leafies, Scallions, Radnips, a variety of Fresh Herbs including Fennel and Calendula (can be dried or infused in oil or water and used to make a variety of healing salves and more), Dried Herbs. New this week: fresh Garlic, Red Cabbage, whole Cabbage leaves (some of you have already seen some of these!).

Recipe Ideas for Cabbage leaves include: shredding them to make sauerkraut (lacto-fermented and raw, or cooked) and stuffed recipes for classic Cabbage Rolls.

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Week 7: Fennel, Salad Mix, Radnips, Beets, fresh Garlic, Scallions, Grape Leaves, Kale, Cabbage Leaves, dried Sage, Red Cabbage, Calendula.

This is fuuuuhresssssh Garlic, just out of the ground, not cleaned, not cured, and super potent and juicy! If it’s too fresh for you simply hang it in a warm dry place to let it cure.

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A Garlic that got injured in harvesting. Look at the number of cloves in this beauty!

So far the Garlic this year looks to be at least 3 times bigger than the biggest Garlic we usually get. Something is working right here on this farm!

 

 

After drought and extremely dry conditions we were happy to wake up to over an inch of Rain on Friday morning!

Lastly, we came upon the first Wild Turkey feather ever found on this farm. We’re still confirming but we believe we’ve found some other rare birds on the farm this week as well. So much LIFE here!

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Fun With A Feather

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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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We are approaching the time of year when we give thanks. Reflecting on all we have to be thankful for is a wonderful practice. A big THANK YOU to all the folks – big and small, human and non-human – who co-create and conspire to bring us a bounty of food to eat every day.

I am incredibly grateful, if not in awe, of my own little farming family. It’s amazing to watch small children be as competent + knowledgeable as any adult in almost every area of our little farming operation. It’s even more amazing to be working alongside my awesome children each and every day. We are blessed.

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We’ve had a veritable ABUNDANCE of veggies in the last two weeks! From our Wednesday on-farm market the last week of September 2015.

This is also a time to reconnect with our roots and with the teachings of those who inhabited this land before colonization, the First Peoples.

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The abundance of Fall produce is the perfect time to re-commit to another year of good health by securing yourself a spot in our CSA for the 2016 season. By signing up you commit to: feeding yourself and your family FRESH, ecologically-grown food you can trust; eating well by enjoying the fruits of our labour every week; a healthier community by buying local and by supporting our farming family.

You can also help build a strong local food system within our CSA program by being a part of our “core planning group” and providing input in to our planning for next season.

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A reminder for those who might have missed it: We have a new pickup time at Take Back The Farm for the rest of the season – 4:30-6:30 on Thursdays.

I came across an interesting article this week about the plight of small-scale local farmers – from the farmer’s perspective – on growing for a local, ecological market … Manure and Markets.

Our harvest list is very similar this week as last week so if you need information on certain veggies or are looking for recipe ideas you can reference last week’s blog post, Looking Towards The Future.

What we are harvesting this week:

Rainbow Beets – red, chiogga (candy cane), golden

beets'n'andreaWild Rainbow Salad Mix (the lettuce is just gorgeous and sooooo tasty right now!)

CSA member J shared this simple yet beautiful salad. Our mixes are perfect to just put into a large bowl and add whatever dressing you prefer. Can't get easier than that.

CSA member J shared this simple yet beautiful salad. Our mixes are perfect to just put in to a large bowl and add whatever dressing you prefer. Can’t get easier than that. A plethora of taste to please the palate!

Rainbow Kale + Leafy Green mixes

Snap Beans – dragon, purple, blu jay, fillet

Broccoli florets

And hopefully a few Cauliflower, too. This is 'Cheddar'.

And hopefully a few Cauliflower, too. This is ‘Cheddar’ – fresh in the field, complete with insect poo.

Green Tomatoes

Dried Basil + other dried herbs

Tomatillos

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Parsley

Rainbow Radishes – including some specialties like Ostergruss, Watermelon, Shunkyo, and Black Spanish.

In limited supply:

Cherry + Beefsteak tomatoes

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Salsify + Scorzonera – yummy root alternatives to parsnips + carrots

Sage Smudge Sticks

Okra

Hot Peppers

Sweet Peppers

Squash

Summer Squash

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Summer Squash in a raised bed; Carrots in the forefront.

Eggplant

Sun-dried Tomatoes – only a couple of bags available at each location

Hickory Nuts – only a couple of bags available at each location

Bee pollen + Pickles – until supplies run out

Horseradish root – you can also plant this root in your garden for a perennial supply

Turnips – almost done until the next batch are ready

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We have super awesome dedicated farm friends.

Scallions

Fennel

And there will certainly be surprises, like perhaps Sunchokes…..

What is to come before the end of the season…..crops we are still hoping will produce before the end of the season – Cauliflower (orange, purple, green), Brussel Sprouts, Leeks, and Rutabagas – as well as more Beets, Turnips, Salad (Hakurei) Turnips, and Kohlrabi. How long the season goes will depend on the weather. If the weather holds and we still have veggies we will keep bringing them until we can’t anymore.

A great salad preserving share from Facebook – Mason jar salads to-go! Farm friend Marie W has tried these and said they worked wonderfully so we had to share!

A snapshot of the abundance we’ve had and shared and the abundance still to come….

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As the sunlight hours shorten and the nights get cooler we look towards rest and towards the seasons that lay ahead ….. If you enjoyed being a part of our CSA this season and know that you want to sign up again next year we are accepting membership renewals and new members for the 2016 season. There will be changes to the program and to some of the current locations but the deposit is still only $200. We will provide the updated information as soon as the changes are confirmed.

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Veggie offerings at Take Back The Farm in late September.

We will also be forming a “core planning group” of devoted local foodies who want to create the best CSA experience possible. This group will help us with our planning by providing input and suggestions for future seasons. The time commitment will be small and can be in person or over email. If you are interested in being a part of our core planning group please let us know.

Wednesday night market at the farm.

Wednesday night veggie market at our farm in late September.

***An important note for those who pick up at Take Back The Farm*** – the store is transitioning to their Winter hours starting next week (Thursday October 1st) and we will be transitioning with them. Please note – Thursday pickup at Take Back The Farm is changing to between 4:30 to 6:30 pm until the end of the season.

Now on to the produce we have available for you this week!

Special treats, while supplies last:

Onions – grown by Brandner Farms in Ruthven

Sun-dried Candy Tomatoes

Sage Smudge Sticks

Foraged Hickory Nuts – hand-harvested + hand-shelled by farm child Oddy. The Flavour Is Worth The Hassle ; Recipes for Hickory Nut Cake, Pie, Refrigerator Cookies, Apple Crisp, and Wild Rice Stuffing.

Okra (red and green)

Hot Peppers (red rocket, maya, black hungarian)

Tomatillos

Squash and Pie Pumpkins

Summer Squash

Chinese Eggplant

Bee Pollen – small and large sizes

Pickles

Fresh Garlic – we found a bit more but this really is the last of the Garlic

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Fennel – bulbs + fronds

Beefsteak Tomatoes + Cherry Tomatoes Next week we can make available the last of the tomatoes but they will be green. These can be used as green tomatoes or left in a windowsill or warm place and they will ripen up. Please let us know if you want green tomatoes because if there is no demand for them we won’t take the time to pick and to transport them. Some ideas for how to use green tomatoes can be found HERE.

Fresh Horseradish Root – the main ingredient in the spicy sushi condiment of Wasabi. We have kept these unwashed to better preserve the root. Simple Horseradish Condiment, Holiday Horseradish Recipes, Serious Eats.

Salsify + Scorzonera – These delicate delicacies can refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag for up to a week. Do not wash before use, best consumed fresh. Nutritional Information HERE. Some recipes ideas – GrowVeg, Slaw + Pancakes, Garlic Soup, Fritters + Tempura + Gratin, Forgotten Plants. See what Chef Ben from The Iron Kettle made with Salsify and Scorzonera…

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From Chef Ben from The Iron Kettle B&B : “Poached in milk, sauteed in butter with baby zucchini, served as a side dish to duck confit.” He also suggests peeling the whole root with a vegetable peeler and deep frying it. The blossoms are edible and smell like vanilla.

Some meal ideas that use up a variety of your CSA veggies include the Ratatouille dinner we had on the farm this week. All ingredients except the wild rice were grown on our farm.

list the ingredients and link to the recipe

Garlic, Onions, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Peppers, Parsley, Basil, Thyme.

This share from a farm friend uses Summer Squash, Onions, Peppers, Broccoli, Collards/Kale/Chard, Garlic, and Pesto – CSA Pasta Recipe

Scrambled eggs are a favourite way to use a variety of veggies too!

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Available in larger quantities from the gardens this week ….

Turnips

From farm friend Siobhan:

From farm friend Siobhan: “Turnips and garlic from Locally Germinated lacto-fermenting to become those yummy Lebanese turnips you get in your shwarma.”

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix with assorted edible Flowers, Sweet Peppers, Rainbow Radishes (an early surprise!).

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix with assorted edible Flowers, Sweet Peppers, Rainbow Radishes (an early surprise!).

Fresh Herbs like Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, and Rosemary. Idea for a nut-free pesto.

Dried Herbs  – We air-dry our herbs and leave them whole in order to preserve their flavour. Only crush them when you are ready to cook with them. Serious chefs know that crushing or grinding, even with your hands, provides the best flavour. After you purchase our dried herbs we recommend you store them in airtight glass jars to further preserve their delicate flavour.

From http://dish.allrecipes.com/dried-herbs-and-spices/ – “You can tell if a dried herb is still useful for cooking by rubbing a small amount between your fingers and smelling. If the herb still gives off a strong scent, it’s good. A weak or faint smell means it’s probably time to replace it.”

Rainbow Kale

Collards

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Beets

Rainbow Beans

Broccoli Florets

Our produce has been featured by The Beacon Alehouse in Amherstburg. Here’s a salad with our farm-grown Peppers + Fennel, also featuring Ontario Feta and a Fire-Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette. They have also been using our Kale and Chard in their dishes.

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With many more blessings and veggies to come before the season is done….

Sunchokes blowin' in the wind

Sunchokes blowin’ in the wind.

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We are entering a time of balance, when night and day are *almost* equal. The Autumnal or Fall Equinox. A time when plants and veggies are still growing but much slower, the weeds are slower, too, and the insects are few. Dates to maturity for crops is a guessing game at this time of year but rather than “the end”, it’s merely the beginning of the end but there is still plenty to come.

On the harvest list this week (items vary depending upon location) :

We’ve got more Bartlett Pears and Asian Pears!

A treat this week from Stoney Point - Pears + Apples from 60 year old trees that were planted from heirlooms brought over from Italy and never sprayed! Hand-picked by Jean Tremblay, here's what he shared on Facebook: "So you pick pears for three hours and drop some off to a Magician and he does this... Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin at The Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast - A Pinot Grigio vanilla poached Stoney Point Pear with Chantill, and a biscotti crumble." Priced at $1 a pound you can't go wrong!

A treat this week from Stoney Point – Pears + Apples from 60 year old trees that were planted from heirlooms brought over from Italy and never sprayed! Hand-picked by Jean Tremblay, here’s what he shared on Facebook: “So you pick pears for three hours and drop some off to a Magician and he does this… Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin at The Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast – A Pinot Grigio vanilla poached Stoney Point Pear with Chantill, and a biscotti crumble.” Priced at $1 a pound you can’t go wrong!

Dragon Beans + Blu Jay Snap Beans

Parsley

Summer Squash

Sweet Peppers – We’ve been freezing the purple peppers to use as pizza toppings this Winter!

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Rainbow Kale and Rainbow Chard. Easy to freeze for the Winter! Just put whole leaves – stems and all – in a freezer bag and enjoy Kale and Chard all Winter long in smoothies, soups, stews, stir fries and more! A great way to use up your credits.

Okra (red + green)

Hot Peppers

Scallions

Broccoli Florets!

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Wild Rainbow Salad Mix with Sunchoke Blossoms

Calendula Seeds – we’ve been including these in our salad mixes and we are offering the seeds for you to be able to grow your own! Wonderful dried to make healing salves and teas for sensitive skin, especially as a diaper rash cream – make your own medicine!

Calendula Blossoms

Calendula Blossoms

Pie Pumpkins and Squash

Eggplant

Fennel

Cherry Tomatoes

Sundried Tomatoes – dried to crunchy perfection these are a treat just as they are. Made using the sweetest of tomatoes, they can also be soaked in water and re-hydrated if needed for a certain recipe.

Turnips – a farm friend made the *most* delicious Turnip curry for us and we are waiting on the photo and recipe to share because it was the most delicious way we’ve ever eaten Turnips!

We have small amounts of frozen Sea Buckthorn if anyone is interested, please let us know in advance.

From around the farm this week…..

Oddy: "No, I don't want to go inside! I want to prune this Tree!"

Oddy: “No, I don’t want to go inside! I want to prune this Tree!”

Bird's Nest Fungus; Leopard Frog; Red-Underwing Moth; Unidentified Spider with prey

Bird’s Nest Fungus; Leopard Frog; Red-Underwing Moth (Oddy thinks this is the laziest name ever); Unidentified Spider with prey

From Facebook….

From a member: "Your kale made it in my homemade chicken noodle! It was yummy!"

From a member: “Your kale made it in my homemade chicken noodle! It was yummy!”

Happy Equinox Everyone! May you all find your Peaceful Place…..

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On the pick list this week (items will vary depending upon your location) :

Broccoli, Chinese Eggplant (with Chevron-shaped markings), 'Cocozelle' Summer Squash

Broccoli, Chinese Eggplant (with Chevron-shaped markings), ‘Cocozelle‘ Summer Squash

Sweet Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes, Salad Turnips, Fennel, Cabbage.

Sweet Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes, Salad Turnips, Fennel, Cabbage.

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Farm friend Amanda Paulin made these cute stuffed Squash for a romantic dinner.

From Chef Ben at the Iron Kettle in Comber, who uses simple ingredients and makes them beautiful. Most of the ingredients come from our farm. On the left - Salad Mix, Salad Turnip, Asian Pear, Heirloom Tomato, Carrot, with a Balsamic Vinegar + Olive oil dressing. On the right - Salad mix with edible Calendula Blossoms, Carrot, Radish and a dash of Balsamic vinegar.

From Chef Ben at the Iron Kettle in Comber, who uses simple ingredients and makes them beautiful. Most of the ingredients come from our farm. On the left – Salad Mix, Salad Turnip, Asian Pear, Heirloom Tomato, Carrot, with a Balsamic Vinegar + Olive oil dressing. On the right – Salad mix with edible Calendula Blossoms, Carrot, Radish and a dash of Balsamic vinegar.

A treat this week from Stoney Point - Pears + Apples from 60 year old trees that were planted from heirlooms brought over from Italy and never sprayed! Hand-picked by Jean Tremblay, here's what he shared on Facebook:

A treat this week from Stoney Point – Pears + Apples from 60 year old trees that were planted from heirlooms brought over from Italy and never sprayed! Hand-picked by Jean Tremblay, here’s what he shared on Facebook: “So you pick pears for three hours and drop some off to a Magician and he does this… Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin at The Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast – A Pinot Grigio vanilla poached Stoney Point Pear with Chantill, and a biscotti crumble.” Priced at $1 a pound you can’t go wrong!

Also available this week but without the fanfare of pictures: Parsley, Rainbow Kale,  Purple Top Turnips (regular ones, not the salad ones), Beets, Beans, Scallions, Garlic, Basil + Herbs…..and who knows what surprises!

Praying Mantis in a Kale and Brussel Sprouts patch; Monarch that had to be chased down to be photographed! Seems that many Monarchs have hatched out in the last week as we've been seeing quite a few of them.

Praying Mantis in a Kale and Brussel Sprouts patch; Monarch that had to be chased down to be photographed! Seems that many Monarchs have hatched out in the last week as we’ve been seeing quite a few of them.

Spider-eating Wasp; Orb Weaver Spider

Spider-eating Wasp; Orb Weaver Spider

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