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Posts Tagged ‘chickens’

Some highlights of our gardening adventures in July

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A mid-July harvest of Kale, Collards, Radnips, Carrots, Beans, and Romaine Lettuce.

Happy Smiling Sunflowers.

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Farmer Andrea’s Kales are Trees.

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Farmer Andrea’s Companion Planting of Beets and Broccoli is thriving.

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The heat of Summer brings on goodies like Tomatoes (variety: Bosche Blue), Eggplant, Summer Squash (Zucchini + Patty Pan), Winter Squash (like this Acorn Squash), and Watermelon.

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Farmer Faenin is proud of how large his Onions are, these are early ones.

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A Pear Tree planted for baby Lennon 17 years ago has it’s first Red Pear; a lovely Butterfly is sipping sweet juice from rotting fruit.

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‘Seal’ Lavender throwing up the largest spears of all our varieties.

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First time growing Wild Tobacco, for ceremonial purposes.

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View of perennial beds of Sorrel, Onions (for seed), Chamomile, Plantain, Calendula, Horseradish, Chives, Strawberries, Asparagus, and Raspberries, with some Ground Cherries thrown in.

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One of only a few successful Cucumbers.

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It might be time to stop trying to grow Cucumbers outdoors. Between the insects and the mildew it’s a whole lot of work for nothing most years. We keep on trying because we love the taste of field Cukes in varieties not found in any store.

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July is Garlic harvesting, and hanging to dry time. Many thanks to Paul + Andy for getting most of these beauties out of the field.

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pretty little garlic all in a row

Farmer Andrea’s mom came to visit and they harvested some monster Kale!

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Farmer Andrea also introduced the Veggie-Table. Held outside an art studio she shares with her partner, they are bringing Fresh, Local Veggies + Art to downtown Tilbury.

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Farmer Andrea has been busy this Spring getting ready for the 2017 CSA + Market Season! Spreadsheets, Seed Catalogues, Sterilizing Seedling Trays, SEEDS, Planting, all part of the Farm Lyfe.

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Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson + rashel t

Seedlings Indoors …

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Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson + rashel t

Seedlings Outdoors …

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Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson

Over-wintered and self-seeded Spring surprises …

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Scallions, Gorgeous Lettuces that popped up in beds, outside of beds, gorgeous Lettuce everywhere! Photo credit: rashel t.

Every year we let a couple of broody Hens hatch out a clutch of eggs. We don’t purposely breed them so they become Tremblay Farm Mixies. Farm child Oddy wanted to make sure we had some new chicks this season and Farmer Mike (Pepe) helped get them all set up before his major heart surgery this Spring.

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These Mamas are very protective of their babies. Here they are showing their newly hatched offspring how to scratch and forage for grains and seeds. After eating very little while incubating their eggs these Mamas are ravenous! Photo credit rashel t.

 

Interesting things found around the farm in May …

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Wallflower, ancient Pear Tree covered in blossoms, Wild Ginger, Fungus, Lilac, Chives with Busy Bees, Kildeer eggs, Scat, Insect Eggs. Photo credit: rashel t.

While Farmer Rashel is taking a break from Market Gardening they are turning their focus towards creating and maintaining a new Wild Space in an awkward part of the farm. This will serve as an Insectary (habitat) for beneficial insects + pollinators, as well as a space for Medicinal Plants. The focus is primarily on Indigenous Perennials and self-seeding annuals with the goal of having the space be self-sufficient and diverse, as well as a place to learn from and harvest medicines.

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Plantain infusing in oil, Chamomile, Nettles. Photo credit: rashel t.

This blog will have a different focus in 2017. Instead of being a weekly round-up of farm happenings and seasonal veggies it will be a monthly update of interesting things found around the farm, musings on gardening with children, current experimentations in permaculture and sustainable ecological food growing.

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Our “little” garden this year – only 15 4×18 ft beds – and our new little helper. Toddler S is a natural forager! Photo credit: rashel t.

More fun around the farm in May …

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The big farm children take the toddler on adventures, pea shoot snacks, plants in flower / seed saving, rainbow, potatoes planted by Rashel + Toddler S in an experimental hay bale bed, carrots, flooding. Photo credit: Mike Tremblay, rashel t.

Unsurprisingly Rashel’s favourite bed is the most diverse one. Lettuce self-seeded, Parsley over-wintered, Sunflowers showed up, and Rashel didn’t want to remove anything so they planted seedlings in the available spaces. Trying out Celeriac + storage Kohlrabi for the first time. Also planted Collards, Brussel Sprouts, and Radnips.

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Photo credit: rashel t

A new experiment this year is Trench Composting. This bed was in need of remediation so it was the perfect first experiment. A trench was dug out of the middle of the bed and in it’s place we placed unfinished compost and seaweed. Various squashes have been planted in to the middle where the compost is. If this is successful we will do a variation on this in years to come. Each year one third of a bed will be dug out and composting materials thrown in as the season progresses. The following year we will plant on top of the trench, rotating which area gets the compost from year to year.

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Photo credit: rashel t

We are also experimenting with more Companion Planting, with plants in closer quarters in our 4 by 18 foot raised beds. Some friends include: Peas + Carrots with Lettuce; Cucumbers + Squash with Radishes + Beans; Alyssum all over but especially near Lettuces; Garlic + Tomatoes with Basil; Marigolds + Pole Beans.

Looking forward to sharing more Cute Creatures, Garden Stories, and Farm Lyfe with everyone 🙂

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Newly hatched Praying Mantis in a pot of Succulents. Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson.

 

 

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Week #19 begins with a few updates.

For farm members: Saturday markets will start at 9 am (not 8 am) starting tomorrow, October 1st. Saturday October 8th will be the last market of the season and The Cheese Bar will be present – they helped us open the season and they’ll be there to close the season. Facebook event details. After that we’ll be emailing out a weekly list of the veggies we’ll have available and will be packing up individual orders that can be picked up at the farm. Check your emails for more details and please talk to us about these changes when you see us at the farm in the next 2 weeks.

For ALL members: Before the season began we had hoped to run for 24 weeks – until November – but that is no longer realistic. The CSA will end on Saturday October 22nd for farm members and Wednesday October 26th for ShopEco/Windsor members. If you have a basic, pre-packaged bag, we will be emailing you if your bag is to end sooner than the above dates. Please talk to us at the next few markets if you have any concerns or questions. We are letting folks know in advance because if you’re on the credit system you’ll want to make sure you use up your credits before the last week. There is a small chance we’ll be able to go longer but that will be a bonus rather than part of the core CSA program. The CSA has always been 20 weeks long, this year we were hoping for 24, and we could have started even earlier (we started 2 weeks earlier than ever), but these are all things we learn from each year as farming is always a work in progress.

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October Vegetable Share from 2015

We have ordered bulk potatoes, carrots, and beets that will be available on Wednesday October 5th and Saturday October 8th – in time for Thanksgiving! There are other options for using up credits as well – dried herbs and herbal teas, sun-dried tomatoes, tinctures, pickled asparagus, honey, and *fingers crossed* seeds to get you started on next year’s garden, dried beans (eg, kidney and black beans, for cooking), salves, hot pepper sauce, and pesto. Or simply stock up on all the veggies we have available and fill your freezers so you can make nourishing meals all Winter. We’ve found that the Scallion Roots make a very delicious stock! We came across this link for vegan “bone broth” that gives you lots of ideas for using up veggies ~ http://cleanfooddirtycity.com/recipes/healing-soup-with-vegan-bone-broth/

If you haven’t been convinced to start canning than maybe this comprehensive link (download included) will help ~ https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/135558/posts/1172189242

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Preparing a Digestive Herbal Tea

We’ve been lucky in many ways with this season so far. It’s been the most productive and the longest tomato season ever! The drought has given incredible bumper crops to every commercial Tomato grower, so much that we, and others, are letting the fruits rot on the vines because the demand isn’t there. I guess folks don’t want Tomatoes as much as we thought they would. We’ve also got more Melons + Squash to harvest, that’s exciting! But, we weren’t able to plant new crops to tide us over for the rest of the season. There is an insect in the soil in all parts of our gardens that eats every root crop, crops that we rely on to extend the vegetable season well into November. Other insects (due to no Winter kill) have decimated every seedling we planted and despite using organic insecticides we could not beat them this year. Every season is different – different highs and different lows – and we must go with the flow and cross our fingers that there will be enough for everyone. CSA’s – community supported agriculture – help farmers remain viable because they value community and take the risks as well as the benefits.

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VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS EGGPLANT + SUMMER SQUASH

We’ve had these 2 vegetables available for many, many weeks now, but never in enough numbers to be an “official” veggie of the week. But as staples of the garden they deserve recognition. Every year since we started being market gardeners we hear that there is too much Eggplant and Zucchini (a type of Summer Squash) and every year we plan to plant less and less of them so that we have a steady supply versus an over-abundance. Eggplant are ready to harvest early in the season and give a steady supply until frost comes. We started growing smaller sized Eggplant a few years ago so that no one is stuck with large amounts of large Eggplant. This website is chock-full of recipes – hundreds of them – for both Eggplant and Summer Squash. We actually planted over 200 Summer Squash (mostly Patty Pans) this year but the seedlings were eaten by Striped Cucumber Beetles, the seedlings that managed to grow couldn’t produce fruit because the Cucumber Beetle ate the flowers. Even growing a large variety of this prolific fruit didn’t help us to have very much of this garden staple.
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Q: Where do chickens come from?
A: The Egg-plant.
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Huh?

Produce available this week (may vary depending upon location and availability): Salad Mix, Kale + Chard, Scallions, Beans, Sweet + Hot Peppers, Tomatoes (slicing, canning, cherry), Broccoli, Mushrooms, mini-Cucumbers, Savoy Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Garlic, and fresh herbs.
Spotted at the farm this week, Several Swallowtails munching on the same Wild Carrot plant, so many that they couldn’t all be photographed at once!
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How many Swallowtails can you spot?

 Stay dry everyone!

 

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We picked so many Beans on Tuesday that all we could see when we closed our eyes was Beans …. and that’s a lot of Beans! We made some canned dilly beans, froze some, all to our heart’s content but still harvested close to 150 lbs of Beans this past week. And there’s more to come!

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Lennon bringing in the Bean harvest

Since Beans have already been veggie of the week (and we don’t see the point in duplication for a simple and well-known veggie) we’ve decided to feature ….

Watermelons and Cantaloupes!

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We thought they were all dead but we’re still picking a few more every week and will be until there is a frost. The most productive Watermelons have been Blacktail Mountain, Cream of Saskatchewan, and Baby Doll. The most productive Cantaloupe has been Oka (which has personal family significance and great Canadian historical significance).

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‘Oka’

Tomatoes are still looking beautiful these days ….

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Striped German, Nebraska Wedding, Bosque Blue, Oxheart, and more.

We now have Sun-dried Tomatoes available for sale, superb snacks! Those who’ve tried them can’t put them down, something like healthy chips 😉 We also now have Ghost Peppers for sale until the frost hits. We’re going to try pickling some this weekend!

Other veggies available this week include: Kale + Chard, Salad Mix, a variety of fresh herbs, Sweet Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Scallions, Garlic, and some surprises.

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Salad Mix

A note for farm members – we are open at the farm, rain or shine; starting next Monday Morris Rd will be closed as crews do work on the bridge, we’ll post details for the detour next week.

One of our CSA members has started a new business called Trust Our Gut, check them out on Facebook. They use all organic ingredients in their bone broths, including veggies from the Locally Germinated farm.

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This week they got all the Celery tops that others didn’t want, great way to share the bounty!

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We’re offering dig-your-own Maple Trees from the farm for $5 a Tree, dig as many as you can. Fall is the perfect time to plant Trees and these have been generously fertilized by our pastured chickens. Available until October.

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Until next week …

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We’re often asked why we grow such a diversity of colours and if the colourful veggies taste the same as “regular” ones. Well…there are many reasons we grow colourful vegetables! You can’t deny that the pop of colour pleases the eye as well as the palate but growing a variety of colours also makes for better growing conditions (most of the time). Take Kale for instance….the “regular” green curled Kale is the slowest growing and least productive of all of the 10 or so varieties we’ve grown and the non-green Kales aren’t a tasty treat for the White Cabbage Moth’s Caterpillars that decimates crops so quickly (and requires an investment in insect netting as well as regular applications of organic pest controls, which has it’s downsides even in organic/ecological farming). As seen here…you’ll understand why we haven’t had Kale available for a couple of weeks now….

Skeletonized Kale (yes, we made that word up).

Skeletonized Kale (yes, we made that word up).

This is also why we grow Red Cabbage vs Green Cabbage – to fool the Cabbage Moths. Sometimes a crop that is colourful is just more productive, take Dragon Beans for example, they produce Beans over the whole season instead of the 2 pickings you get from green or yellow Beans, and they are tastier! Purple Peppers are the first to ripen. Yellow Cucumbers like Poona Kheera and Lemon are more resistant to the diseases that plague Cukes and they are more productive. Colourful Tomatoes are more flavourful but also give a diversity of flavours when you’re snaking on our Candy Cherry Tomatoes. The more colourful the veggie the more diverse the vitamins and minerals and the healthier they are. And of course….I cannot resist anything that is purple but everyone already knows that, hahaha.

Double Dragon Carrot, Dragon Beans, Brocco-flower, Heirloom Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers.

Double Dragon Carrot, Dragon Beans, Brocco-flower, Heirloom Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers.

Sometimes we grow colourful and strange vegetables in order to try and find a couple of varieties that will produce and withstand tough conditions like the Squash Vine Borer, Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew and more that plague Squashes (we haven’t been very successful so far but there are many more varieties to try)….

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‘Winter Sweet’, ‘Spaghetti’, ‘Delicata’ + ‘Sweet Mama’, Squash Vine Borer

On a happier note we have seen Squash Bees around….no pic but here’s a link for more info on this native pollinators.

We’re curing our pumpkins and squash right now but you will see some of the varieties that aren’t good for storage in the coming weeks. Spaghetti Squash has many uses – cooked or raw. For fun, Why Is Squash Called Squash.

This week’s pick list includes but varies depending upon location …..

  •  Our Salad is thriving again and we’ve got plenty of delicious Salad Mix
  • We’ve picked the last of the Kohlrabi and the Cucumbers have almost seen the end of their days as well
  • Some of you have already seen the Broccoflower and others will see it this week while supplies last
  • The Sweet Peppers aren’t at peak yet but are starting to come on strong, much to my delight! I love the little Snacking ‘Lunchbox’ Peppers (last season’s post on them) and like last season I cannot stop eating them!
  • We have limited amounts of hot peppers and okra for those who are interested
  • Chinese Eggplant
  • Garlic and Onions (Onion supplies are running low so stock up now if you want some for the Fall and Winter)
  • limited amounts of Scallions will be ready again
  • new this week is the long awaited Dragon Beans, included in a mix with Cherokee Trail of Tears and Rattlesnake Pole Beans
  • Our Heirloom Tomatoes and Candy Tomatoes are still going strong. If you want to use up some of your remaining credit we are still taking orders for bushel baskets (must be ordered in advance) – $25 per 20+lb basket. It’s also super easy to make sun-dried Tomatoes using the Candies – just slice once and put in a dehydrator. Here’s a great recipe using Sun-dried Tomatoes. Some raw food recipes using Tomatoes, and a plethora of recipes using a multitude of veggies at once!
  • Also new this week…Hakurei Turnips! After hearing other CSA’s rave about these I had to try them this year! They’re like a sweet Radish or a juicy Turnip – both and neither at the same time – with leaves that taste just like a mildly spicy lettuce mix we grow. Here are some recipe ideas (if you don’t eat them raw like I do) – The Better Turnip, Salad Turnips, Pickled Harukei Turnips.

10339569_820975638023125_7573863776127053480_n* We’ve always got a variety of fresh herbs for sale, too, and if you don’t think you’ll use them fresh just string them up and let them dry so you can use them when needed all year long. Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, and Sage.

Tyler from Union Herbs getting your fresh herbs ready for market!

Tyler from Union Herbs getting your fresh herbs ready for market!

From the “what you missed on Facebook” this week file….

From chef Ben at The Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast - "I split the fennel down the seam but left the core so that the strands can stay together, like a cabbage, and I grilled it with some olive oil, salt and pepper over extremely high heat. Served it with a roasted chicken basted in butter that was whipped with the fennel fronds. Roasted the tomatoes whole and made a chutney to serve with the chicken."

From chef Ben at The Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast – “I split the fennel down the seam but left the core so that the strands can stay together, like a cabbage, and I grilled it with some olive oil, salt and pepper over extremely high heat. Served it with a roasted chicken basted in butter that was whipped with the fennel fronds. Roasted the tomatoes whole and made a chutney to serve with the chicken.”

#workperks

#workperks Farm friend and employee Andrea has been busy turning Tomatoes into sauce, paste, salsa, ketchup, and sun-dried tomatoes.

At the new ShopEco location at 1645 Wyandotte with Envy Boutique.

At the new ShopEco location at 1645 Wyandotte with Envy Boutique.

Our market offerings at the Belle River Farmers Market on Sundays.

Our market offerings at the Belle River Farmers Market on Sundays.

Coming soon from our experimental strawbale bed (with thanks to farm friend Siobhan for the idea!)….

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Tomatillos

The weather sure can be hard on the soil….

11889704_819390608181628_8194545194329195189_nTill next time!

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We are at Week 10 – the halfway point, the middle – we are betwixt and between. To celebrate we’ve added up everyone’s total credit used so far this season, feel free to check in to see where you’re at. 🙂

An important note for members who pick up at ShopEco! Pickup will be at their NEW location this Tuesday August 18th – located at 1645 Wyandotte St E (with Envy Boutique). To reach the parking lot, just turn down Windermere, and then make a right at the little alleyway. The parking spaces for Envy and ShopEco are the first five spaces right outside the shop. ShopEco will NOT be open this Tuesday as they are moving but will re-open on Wednesday August 19th.

11112481_799600493493973_7599578116448054026_oOur Kale has been hit hard by little green caterpillars who somehow got under the insect netting and hatched out by the hundreds and have decimated the crop. We’re giving the Kale a break but will have more next week along with some delicious new recipes to try.

There are some caterpillars we don’t mind seeing…..We shared pics of Swallowtail caterpillars in with the Dill but now we are finding them in with the Fennel….Love these creatures!

fennel swallowtailNew this week is Fennel!

fennelSome recipes for Fennel….

From chef Dan at the Beacon Alehouse in Amherstburg: Apple Fennel Slaw, it’s great with pork dishes or a salad. I got a sample of this and it was awesome!

3 apples, shredded or mandolined

1 Fennel bulb, shredded

1/2 tbsp fresh cracked pepper

1 Garlic clover, minced

1/3 cup of oil

3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or malt vinegar)

Mix all ingredients together

We’ll have more chef recipes for Fennel next week but keep an eye on our Facebook page for more yummy ways to eat this unique veggie!

Other recipe ideas can be found on allrecipes.com, Canadian Living, Fennel Zucchini Tomato Soup, and if you’re adventurous on Martha Stewart’s website.

In limited quantities this week we have…..

Inter-varietal Carrot Love

Inter-varietal Carrot Love

bunching carrotsOn the pick list this week (will vary from location to location):

Rainbow Carrots

Heirloom Tomatoes

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix

Pea Shoots + Parsley

a variety of Herbs – Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage

Fennel

Garlic and Onions

Field Cucumbers

Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Okra, Eggplant

Cabbage – Red, Chinese.

Delicata Squash

We may even see some early Cauliflower! We never know what surprises lurk…..

Kohlrabi

Cool Kohlrabi

Cool Kohlrabi

We had to pick most of our Squash and Pumpkins this week due to the Squash Vine Borer and it’s now curing for later use. More on that next week but at least the chickens got some good treats! Speaking of chickens…..some new chicks came this week and we discovered something sweet and cute with our broody mom and her wee ones ….

Broody mama has 4 chicks and they sleep like this every night - 2 under her wings, 1 underneath her, and 1 on top.

Broody mama has 4 chicks and they sleep like this every night – 2 under her wings, 1 underneath her, and 1 on top.

Time to sign off and get some rest in preparation for the Belle River Farmers Market tomorrow and another busy farm week ahead – can’t wait to hear what you’ve all been cooking up this week!

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If you’re interested in canning whole tomatoes, making tomato sauce, making fresh salsa or salsa for canning, or in making sun-dried tomatoes now is the time to let us know that you want tomatoes in bulk. We can sell bushel baskets (approximately 20 pounds) of our heirloom and organically-grown field tomatoes for $25 but you must let us know in advance.

Zapotec Pleated, Forme de Coeur, and Striped Roman varieties; a baby belly tomato and a tomato with a nose; our display at the Belle River Farmers Market.

Zapotec Pleated, Forme de Coeur, and Striped Roman varieties; on the day we welcomed a new baby to the family we picked this fertility Goddess / baby belly Tomato; sometimes Tomatoes have noses and appendages; our display at the Belle River Farmers Market.

Our Candy Tomatoes are perfect for making sun-dried Tomatoes in a dehydrator.

Our Candy Tomatoes are perfect for making sun-dried Tomatoes in a dehydrator.

With Tomatoes (and Peppers, and Eggplant) comes…Tomato Hornworms….

11802788_756521694456875_3233170437779635782_oThe pick list is the same this week and please keep in mind that not all items are available at all locations. This week you’ll see lots of Tomatoes, Basil, Sweet and Hot Peppers, Okra, Chinese Eggplant, Rainbow Kale + Chard, Salad, Red Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Garlic, Onions, Field Cucumbers, Parsley, and perhaps some surprises!

We've been enjoying lots of variations of Tabouleh lately - Parsley, Garlic, Onions, Cucumbers, and Tomatoes from the farm tossed with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil and served with a variety of grains like couscous, quinoa, or wild rice.

We’ve been enjoying lots of variations of Tabouleh lately – Parsley, Garlic, Onions, Cucumbers, and Tomatoes from the farm tossed with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil and served with a variety of grains like couscous, quinoa, or wild rice.

Armenian Cucumbers will be ready soon…..not quite big enough yet….

11865123_814044772049545_1867051037210514359_oFrom around the farm this week….the baby chicks already have their feathers and Oddy (our 8yo farm child) found “The World’s Smallest Chicken Egg” and wanted to share with everyone.

littlest egg everWhat you missed on Facebook this week….

Our produce found it’s way into the kitchen of Chef Ben from The Iron Kettle who created lovely dishes for a local wedding.

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A purple cabbage and cucumber slaw done 2 ways – one mixed and the other decomposed – the vinaigrette was made with the purple basil. Swiss chard mixed with green beans and bean sprouts to mix textures and balance bitterness. And lastly more chard wilted in a pan with mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Marie W shared some ways she’s been enjoying our produce….

Marie said, "Packing fresh pickling cucumbers from Locally Germinated: a farmer's cooperative into a 5 litre Fido jar. In about 4 days, I hope to have crunchy, fermented dill pickles!";  Cooked, chopped leaves and julienned bulb of Kohlrabi topping a Zucchini Mushroom Egg dish.

Marie said, “Packing fresh pickling cucumbers from Locally Germinated: a farmer’s cooperative into a 5 litre Fido jar. In about 4 days, I hope to have crunchy, fermented dill pickles!”; Cooked, chopped leaves and julienned bulb of Kohlrabi topping a Zucchini Mushroom Egg dish.

A nice little post about crops to plant for an Autumnal Garden (we are still planting, planting, planting and will be until the end of August). We are growing the Hakurei Turnips and they will be ready in the next 2 weeks! Still deciding on planting more Kohlrabi…..does anyone want to see more Kohlrabi?  http://savvygardening.com/three-crops-to-plant-now/

And a farm pic to end things…..as always a big thank you to Andrea Nickerson for providing most of the photographs for the blog!

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