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Posts Tagged ‘dried herbs’

The end of the season is always bittersweet. We love growing food and working with the Earth and we’re also ready for some rest when the nights get longer and the days are colder, or in the case of today’s weather colder and wetter. We also miss the routine and seeing familiar faces every week as we also look forward to spending more time with our families. Before we can rest we still have a lot of Garlic to plant for next season, and a lot of beds to put to sleep to be ready to plant next year as well. The season doesn’t end when the veggies do.
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As this is the last week we thought it was time to make an announcement about changes for next year. Farmer Rashel is taking a leave from farming. As some of you know a small child came in to our care just before the growing season started. As a family we’ve all made sacrifices and worked very hard to keep the farm afloat while also raising a baby, we did what needed to be done. Some days and weeks it felt like all we were doing was treading water but we managed to keep the plants alive and delivered every week. It almost feels like a miracle. In no small part due to farmer Andrea, who we are happy to announce, has decided to continue running a CSA from the Tremblay Family Farm in 2017! Please keep an eye out on this blog and/or on Facebook for details about Andrea’s CSA plans for next season. Farmer Rashel will continue to grow food for and with their family, and continue to experiment with sustainable farming techniques and sharing that joy on this blog and on Facebook.
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Now on to the final Vegetable list of the season:
We’ve had a bumper crop of Peppers this season and we’re offering Green Peppers for only $4 a pound and as a 2 for 1 deal – 2 lbs of organically-grown Peppers for only $4!
We still have a lot of Scallions ready to go so we’re offering those as a 2 for 1 deal as well!
If the frost holds off we’ll have Hot Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes,  and Heirloom Tomatoes.
There will also be Green Tomatoes (to use for fried green tomatoes or to let sit and ripen, other recipe ideas on Veggies!), Sunchokes, Salad, Kale, Chard, Broccoli, Garlic (for planting or for eating), Celery, a variety of fresh and dried Herbs, Shepard’s Purse tincture, and bee pollen.
A big THANK YOU to all of our loyal and appreciative members – you keep us going when things get difficult and we couldn’t make this happen without YOU!
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Only these 4 Pears grew on 16yo Lennon’s baby Tree this year, each 1 the same relative size as each of the 4 farm children ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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.

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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!

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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.

A recipe for a nut free lacto-fermented pesto can be found here.

CSA member Wendy Rose shared this recipe last season (Basil can be swapped out for Fennel) ~

Fennel Fronds Pesto
Ingredients:
2 cups fennel fronds, stemmed removed and packed
1/2 cup almond flour or slivered almonds
2 tbsp hemp hearts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Directions:
  1. Add all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.

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.

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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!

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We took time this week to pick organic Blueberries from Blueberry Hill in Rodney.

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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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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!

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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) :

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Q: What did one carrot say to the other carrot?

A: Is it orange in here, or is it just me?

Q: What did the other carrot say back?
A: Hang on a minute while I root around for the answer!

 

 

What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?

A carrot!

 

How do you make gold soup?

Put 24 carrots in it!

 

What’s a vegetables favourite martial art?

Carrottee!

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Carrots make for the funniest pictures

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Since we’re being joined by the Cheese Bar for our opening day a cheese joke:

What cheese is made backwards?

Edam!

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.

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Walking Onions, Salad Mix, Baby Garlic, Spinning Lettuce, Fennel

 

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Local honey products and pickled products

The farm children are inviting you to come this way ….

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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

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We had a busy weekend planting most of our heat-loving crops. First we have to lay down the plastic mulch…..

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Then we can use the water wheel planter…..

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Squash Seedling, Cooperation, Baby Watching us work

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.

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Nettles + Motherwort hang as though in an art gallery

 

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Mint + Lemon Balm hanging to dry

Even our Plantain is a magickal purple colour ….

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Plantain will make it’s way into healing salves

We’re adding new herbs to our gardens as well …

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Lavender, Sweet Grass, Yarrow, Bee Balm, and more

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.

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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.

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Photo courtesy of ShopEco

New this year, we’re trying to grow Celery, if we’re successful it will be for members only. So far they look great!

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Every blog has to have an amazing photograph of the simple beauty of the farm as captured by our amazing farm friend Andrea.

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Bumblebee and Magnolia Tree

And last but not least a cool panaromic view of our HUGE Garlic patch….

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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.

around the farmWe 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….

creaturesAs Angie From Fertile Ground Farm said best, on Facebook, “Garlic planting – the first non-retractable act of commitment to the 2016 season.”

garlic plantedgarlic planted2And because this wasn’t enough we laid down more plastic to plant even more garlic, approximately 2,340 cloves that will each turn into 1 head garlic have been planted!

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It’s a cooperative family effort.

While Andrea found a new calling and her next vehicle purchase ….

andrea's new vehicleSome of our beautiful rainbow-coloured produce from last week….

rainbow offeringsSome 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!

11755705_805178219602867_2397866539883179801_nWe 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 🙂

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Proud member and active participants with the EFAO!

Proud member and active participants with the EFAO!

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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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