Posted in Weekly Baskets, tagged beefsteak tomatoes, black cherry tomatoes, broccoli, bumper crop, celery, chard, cherry tomatoes, dried herbal teas, dried herbs, ecological farming, ecological food, ecologically-grown food, fresh herbs, Garlic, green peppers, green tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, Kale, local food, locally-grown food, organic food, organically-grown food, rainbow chard, rainbow kale, salad mix, scallions, slicing tomatoes, Sunchokes, sundried tomatoes, sweet peppers on October 21, 2016| Leave a Comment »
Posted in Weekly Baskets, tagged basil, Beans, beefsteak tomatoes, black cherry tomatoes, broccoli, candy tomatoes, chard, cherry tomatoes, chickens, chinese eggplant, collards, community shared agriculture, community supported agriculture, CSA, cucumbers, dragon beans, dried herbal teas, dried herbs, ecological farming, ecological food, ecologically-grown food, Eggplant, fresh herbs, Garlic, heirloom tomatoes, herbal tea, hot peppers, Kale, Kohlrabi, lettuce, local food, locally-grown food, lunchbox peppers, mini-cucumbers, Onions, organic food, organically-grown food, parsley, paste tomatoes, pastured chickens, patty pan, portabella mushrooms, purple peppers, rainbow chard, rainbow kale, rainbow leafies, rainbow salad mix, salad mix, scallions, slicing tomatoes, snap beans, squash, striped cucumber beetle, summer squash, sundried tomatoes, sweet peppers, tinctures, tomatoes, vegan bone broth, wild rainbow salad mix, winter squash, zucchini on September 30, 2016| Leave a Comment »
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.
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
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.
Posted in Crops, Recipes, Weekly Baskets, tagged basil, broccoli, cabbage leaves, chinese cabbage, chinese eggplant, community shared agriculture, community supported agriculture, CSA, cucumbers, dried herbs, ecological farming, ecological food, ecologically-grown food, Eggplant, fennel, fresh garlic, Garlic, grape leaves, Kale, Kohlrabi, local food, locally-grown food, napa cabbage, organic food, organically-grown food, patty pan, pesto, portabella mushrooms, purple peppers, rainbow chard, rainbow kale, red cabbage, salad mix, scallions, spaghetti squash, squash, summer squash, sweet peppers, wild rainbow salad mix, winter squash, zucchini on July 22, 2016| Leave a Comment »
Once again we find ourselves betwixt and between, a season that comes every year, when it’s too hot for salad, kale, and roots, and when the goodies of summer like tomatoes, peppers, and beans, aren’t quite ready. But take heart, the tomatoes and beans have indeed begun, we’ve had our first taste of them this week *smiles* This heat, while making harvesting quite a challenge for us, does wonders for Summertime veggie favourites.
This is also a week when we’re unsure of what we’ll find to fill out the weekly veggie shares so keep in mind there will be a lot of SURPRISES in the next couple of weeks. We found some spaghetti squash as well as delicata and sweet dumpling squashes that might find their way to our market tables next week.
A note about the purple peppers – these are actually green peppers that have been bred to have a purple skin so think of them as purple green peppers, if that makes sense, haha.
Much thanks this week to our “extension” farmer, Siobhan P, who brought us big, juicy purslane and baby beet greens and who will later have beets and other treats for our members. This is a work share partnership where we exchange veggies for veggies and harvesting help for veggies. We’re very grateful for these farm friends.
The veggie of the week this week is: BASIL!
A fragrant treat while we wait for the flush of Tomatoes, Basil is a versatile kitchen herb. Traditionally used to season tomato-based pasta sauces it stores better when it’s turned into Pesto (drying and freezing drastically reduce it’s volatile oils, those to which is owes is fragrance). There are as many ways to make Pesto as there are ways to use pesto.
A basic pesto recipe looks like this:
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO
1 pound Garlic Scapes or 1 whole head of garlic
1 bunch of Basil, Arugula, Kale, Fennel or any other leafy green
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
1/2 to 1 cup of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
1/2 cup Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Sunflower seeds or Pumpkin seeds (optional)
Chop the Scapes into 3 inch lengths (for easier processing). Put it in the food processor and process until pureed. Add the Basil or other leafy green and process until smooth. Add the parmesan or nutritional yeast and nuts or seeds and process until smooth again. Add lemon juice then slowly add the olive oil as the food processor is running and continue until all the oil is combined. You might need to slowly add the oil and lemon with the leafy greens to get your processor to blend everything properly. Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze.
CSA member Wendy Rose shared this recipe last season (Basil can be swapped out for Fennel) ~
Basil can also be blended with a small amount of water or with an oil and put into ice cube trays and into the freezer. Pop them out when frozen and put into a freezer bag. Each cube makes for an easy way to add flavour to a plain tomato sauce. Or use the pesto for a tomato sauce free alternative for your favourite pasta noodles. We love pesto on fresh tomatoes, as a veggie dip, on sandwiches.
Veggies you might find this week include: Cabbage leaves, Grape leaves, Scallions, Red Cabbage, Napa/Chinese Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Portabella Mushrooms, mini Cucumbers, fresh Garlic, Peppers, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Broccoli, and of course, Basil and other fresh and dried Herbs.
P.S. The Veggies tab has been updated with links to Summer Squash and Eggplant recipes!
Posted in Farm Life, Membership, Weekly Baskets, tagged beets, cabbage leaves, calendula, community shared agriculture, community supported agriculture, CSA, dolma, dried herbs, ecological food, ecologically-grown food, fennel, fresh garlic, fresh herbs, Garlic, grape leaves, local food, locally-grown food, ontario-grown garlic, organic food, organically-grown food, radnips, rainboow chard, rainbow kale, rainbow leafies, red cabbage, salad mix, scallions, stuffed grape vine leaves, wild rainbow salad mix on July 8, 2016| Leave a Comment »
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.
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.
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.
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!
Posted in Creatures, Crops, Farm Life, Planting, tagged baby garlic, bees, carrots, celery, community shared agriculture, community supported agriculture, CSA, dried herbs, ecological food, ecologically-grown food, experimental farming, family life, farm life, flower bouquets, Garlic, herbal medicine, herbal tea, herbs, hybrid farming, lemon balm, local food, locally-grown food, mint, motherwort, nematodes, nettles, organic food, organic pest control, organically-grown food, plantain, planting, plastic mulch, pollinators, rainbow carrots, squash, sweet peppers, tea, tree planting, waterwheel planter on May 27, 2016| Leave a Comment »
By the time many of you read this we’ll have officially opened for the season! Our first market is Saturday May 28th and it also marks the beginning of the Community Supported Agriculture – CSA – weekly member basket program!
Our veggie of the week is CARROTS!
Carrots originally and naturally came in colours such as purple, red, and white. Some are red on the outside and purple on the inside, or purple on the outside and white on the inside. So many Carrots to choose from! These Carrots have been happily living and growing all Winter long and in our experience the best keeping carrots are the purple ones, the orange ones didn’t fare so well.
These Carrots are best suited for cooking so here is a collection of recipe ideas to spice up the humble Carrot ~ http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/20-carrot-recipes/16/ – these recipes also use other seasonal veggies such as kale, parsley, and garlic, and includes easy pickled carrots ; http://damndelicious.net/2015/01/17/garlic-roasted-carrots/ – also uses thyme and parsley ; http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-carrot-refrigerator-cake-recipe ; http://www.theroastedroot.net/raw-carrot-pasta-ginger-lime-peanut-sauce/ ; http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/recipes.html Carrots have their own museum website!
Jokes of the week (a new weekly item that the farm children wanted to start) :
Q: What did one carrot say to the other carrot?
A: Is it orange in here, or is it just me?
What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?
How do you make gold soup?
Put 24 carrots in it!
What’s a vegetables favourite martial art?
Since we’re being joined by the Cheese Bar for our opening day a cheese joke:
What cheese is made backwards?
One last joke for one more seasonal item we have this week:
What is small, red, and whispers?
A hoarse radish!
(We have horseradish root available!)
Other seasonal veggies we have available for Week 1 (items vary depending upon location: Scallions (green onions), Baby Garlic (we’re debating calling it Scarlick or Gallions as it’s a mix of Garlic and Scallions – a truly unique product! an experiment that we tried that turned out perfectly!), Parsley, Salad Mix, Baby Kale, Arugula, Chives, Fennel Fronds, Leeks, Portabello Mushrooms, Potted Basil, Dried Herbs and Herbal Teas, Seedlings (including Sweet Peppers, Ghost + Scorpion Peppers, Kale, Chard, Scallions), Potted Coneflower, Flower Bouquets, and Maple Trees.
The farm children are inviting you to come this way ….
Updates on what we’ve been up to ….
We’re trying a new pest control method this year – Nematodes. They are soil dwelling creatures that prey on other creatures while not harming beneficial insects such as earthworms. If this shows success we’ll switch to this method of insect control completely.
Scanmask organic pest control ~ http://www.biologicco.com/products/scanmask/lawn-and-garden-scanmask
We had a busy weekend planting most of our heat-loving crops. First we have to lay down the plastic mulch…..
Then we can use the water wheel planter…..
This year we’re going to focus on harvesting more medicinal and beneficial herbs to share with our members and out community. We’ll be drying them for teas and making tinctures and salves.
Even our Plantain is a magickal purple colour ….
We’re adding new herbs to our gardens as well …
On Mother’s Day we found the time to hold ceremony with some very special local Knowledge Keepers (Elders), and to plant Trees. We planted over 100 different native species.
We held our first Seedling Sale at ShopEco on Mother’s Day weekend and it was so successful that we’ll be holding it again next year! And this time we’ll be ready for the hordes of folks interested in organically-grown seedlings for their home gardens.
New this year, we’re trying to grow Celery, if we’re successful it will be for members only. So far they look great!
Every blog has to have an amazing photograph of the simple beauty of the farm as captured by our amazing farm friend Andrea.
And last but not least a cool panaromic view of our HUGE Garlic patch….
Posted in Creatures, Crops, Farm Life, Membership, Planting, Recipes, Weekly Baskets, tagged baby kale, beets, broccoli florets, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, chives, community shared agriculture, community supported agriculture, crab apples, CSA, dill, dried herbs, eattherainbow, ecological farming, ecological food, ecologically-grown food, fennel, Garlic, hakurei turnips, heirloom tomatoes, leeks, local food, locally-grown food, mint, organic food, organically-grown food, parsley, planting garlic, rainbow beets, rainbow chard, rainbow kale, rainbow radishes, rutabaga, salad turnips, salsify, scorzonera, sweet peppers, tomatillos, vivid choi, watermelon radish, wild rainbow salad mix on October 24, 2015| 5 Comments »
This coming week is a bittersweet time at the farm and in our farming lives. This week marks the end of a hard, busy, and rewarding season. It also marks the beginning of much needed time for rest and repose. In the final weeks of the farming season we are simultaneously burned out, weary from a job we love, filled with a sense of accomplishment, with hearts and thoughts full of planning for the next season, and a deep gratitude for the new friends and community we have created in our world full of sunshine and dirty hands.
We have many people to thank for the successes of the 2015 season – our wonderful intern and friend Andrea N, our 3 awesome farm children, Marie W, Siobhan P, Amanda P, Jen R and her 2 children, Farmhand Andy, Jean T, Cara and her 3 children, Tavis L, Renee + Norm and their 2 children, Paul T, Nat T, Joce T, Steve + Jude, Union Herbs, our 2 retail partners – ShopEco and Take Back The Farm, Chef Ben, The Beacon Alehouse, the managers and vendors at the Belle River Farmers’ Market, and last but not least all of our wonderful customers. Thank you everyone!
Some of the highlights and #workperks of our farm life….
As Angie From Fertile Ground Farm said best, on Facebook, “Garlic planting – the first non-retractable act of commitment to the 2016 season.”
While Andrea found a new calling and her next vehicle purchase ….
Some veggies to look forward to this week include (some items are in limited quantities and may not be available at all locations) : baby kale + bunched kale + parsley that have all been sweetened up by the frosts; salad mix; sweet peppers; tomatoes; tomatillos; beets; hakurei turnips; radishes; leeks; brussel sprouts; cauliflower; broccoli; salsify + scorzonera; fresh mint, dill, fennel, and chives; dried herbs like oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary; vivid choi, rutabagas.
We’re highlighting 2 items this week – chard and watermelon radishes. Facebook friend Jess Mc shared a link for many ideas to use up chard including her own spicy pickled chard recipe (“Very simple recipe. Garlic and pickling spices in jar – then chard. Boil apple cider and white vinegar with a bit of maple syrup & hot sauce and s&p. Pour over the chard and voila!!!!”) and 19 Chard Recipes For Fall that includes recipes like Soup, Rolls, Pesto, Salads, Smoothies, Curry, and Pasta dishes. And some more ideas for veggies that can be pickled We Can Pickle That! Watermelon radishes are a pickled treat and National Geographic shared this Quick Pickled Watermelon Radish recipe. And Phickle shares some radish pickling recipes as well.
Don’t forget we are also carrying these limited edition 2016 calendars from local Nature Enthusiast Allen W of Nature Nuggets!
We will still have a limited supply of some veggies like lettuce and kale/chard and whatever else manages to survive until a hard frost hits. We will send out an email to our local farm-pickup folks but if you are local and don’t want to be on the list let us know. Or if you are from Windsor and *do* want to be on the list let us know. We can pick you some veggies and leave them in our on-farm self-serve fridge while supplies last. Members can also send us an email if they’re missing and craving their local produce.
Thank you to everyone who supported our small-scale ecologically-grown local food business this year! Looking forward to next season and keep your eye out for details on our program for 2016 – we are busy planning new changes, including a longer season for receiving your fresh produce! Let us know if you are ready to sign up for next season 🙂
Posted in Crops, Membership, Weekly Baskets, tagged bee pollen, beefsteak tomatoes, brandner farms, broccoli, calendula, candy tomatoes, cauliflower, cheddar cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, chinese eggplant, community shared agriculture, community supported agriculture, CSA, dragon beans, dried basil, dried herbs, ecological farming, ecological food, ecologically-grown food, foraged foods, green tomatoes, hickory nuts, horseradish, hot peppers, local food, local honey, locally-grown food, okra, Onions, organic food, organically-grown food, parsley, Pickles, purple top turnips, rainbow beets, rainbow chard, rainbow kale, rainbow leafies, rainbow radishes, sage, salsify, scallions, scorzonera, smudge sticks, snap beans, summer squash, sun-dried tomatoes, Sunchokes, sunshine pickles, sweet peppers, tomatillos, turnips, wild foods, wild rainbow salad mix, winter squash on October 5, 2015| Leave a Comment »
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.
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.
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.
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
Rainbow Kale + Leafy Green mixes
Snap Beans – dragon, purple, blu jay, fillet
Dried Basil + other dried herbs
In limited supply:
Cherry + Beefsteak tomatoes
Salsify + Scorzonera – yummy root alternatives to parsnips + carrots
Sage Smudge Sticks
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
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….