Posts Tagged ‘paste tomatoes’


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.


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


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.



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.
week 19 collage.jpg
Q: Where do chickens come from?
A: The Egg-plant.


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!

How many Swallowtails can you spot?

 Stay dry everyone!



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The Autumnal Equinox – the balance between the light and the dark, the day and the night.


A perfect time to highlight the Super Squash Squad.




L-R: Acorn, Honeynut, Butternut, Long Pie Pumpkin, Thelma Sanders (Sweet Potato), Heart of Gold

Autumn’s sweetness seems to come with Winter Squash. Check out the Veggies! page for storage tips, recipes, and variety information. Our Heirloom have been the best performers with all the problems plaguing the Squash this year (no Winter kill = more insects to eat all your blossoms + fruit + stems, for example).

“What game do Elephants like to play with mice? SQUASH!”

While the Equinox has come, the weather doesn’t feel like Autumn quite yet and we’ve been blessed with a long season of Summer’s fruits – the longest season we’ve ever had Tomatoes a’plenty (we can still squeeze you in for a last chance at a hamper of tomatoes for canning!!!) … we can still Eat The Rainbow ….


We took the time this week to preserve the bounty and we pickled Beans and Ghost Peppers and Ring of Fire Peppers.

pickled peps.jpg

New this week we’ll have available Shepard’s Purse Tincture. We gathered the fresh leaves in April to make a tincture for ourselves but we made so much that we wanted to share! Available in 120 ml glass jars, you only need to take 1 ml (1/5 a teaspoon) per day, and the tincture will keep for 2 years in a cool dark area. Shepard’s Purse is used to reduce bleeding. Take 1 to 2 days before menstruation and up to 3 days during menstruation. Also helps with nosebleeds. To find out more, including safety information, precautions, and dosages,  please check out this article on WebMd and detailed info from Herbalist Richard Whelan.


After filtering out the tincture.

We also have small amounts of Yellow Dock Tincture but only if requested. If you want to know if Yellow Dock would be beneficial to you please read this article.

We’re very excited to be having local company The Cheese Bar at our farm market this Saturday September 24th! 100% Canadian Artisanal Cheeses! They will be at the farm from 10 am to 2 pm tomorrow, don’t miss it!  Facebook event and The Cheese Bar info here. We are still offering Dig Your Own Tree at the farm during market times on Saturday’s 8 am to 2 pm.



This is what Fall looks like to Rashel …. the gorgeous hues of Goldenrod, Purple Aster, White Aster, and the ripening goodness of Rosehips that will be harvested after a frost ….


Tremblay Creek bank, while looking for the Heron.

And just for fun …

A Melon blessed by our local Heron 😉






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It’s August 12th and we’re on our 12th week of fresh, local, weekly vegetables. It’s also the halfway point of the season – peak time for Summer goodies.

“Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel, so have some beans with every meal.”

Can you guess what the veggie of the week is?


Farmer Rashel waits every year for the first bean to be ready, it’s a rite of Summer to eat Beans, and they’ve always been Rashel’s very favourite thing to eat straight out of the garden. It’s no wonder we grow such a large variety of them every year! We are growing bush beans, snap beans, string beans, pole beans, dried beans (to come later in the season), purple + yellow + green + red + of course multi-coloured beans, and mostly heirloom + historical varieties. These resilient creatures grow despite drastic drought and no irrigation. Many thanks to an old friend who introduced me to Rattlesnake beans when we made a friendly exchange a number of years ago – they are a super producing and tasty pole bean. Every year we grow more varieties because we just can’t get enough.

Knock Knock!
Who’s there?
Bean who?
Bean a while since I last saw ya!

Q: What’s a tailor’s favorite kind of vegetable?
A: A string bean!
When it comes to certain veggies we are at a loss about what to tell people how to use them because we eat them in the car before we even make it home! Beans are one of those. The farm baby has been cutting their little teeth on beans (under close supervision, in case of choking), and lightly cooked beans are a great baby food for children who want to feed themselves. They can be canned and pickled, and they are great in salads. Some other ideas include:  Vegan Chinese Green Beans, Fermented Dragon Beans, and 13 Fresh Beans Recipes (that include a number of other seasonally available veggies), Spicy Pickled Beans.

Every Bean is hand-picked and super chilled for longer freshness.

To go with many of the bean recipes above we still have GARLIC. This is a great keeper and a great way to use up some of your credits. Us farmers eat the damaged Garlic and it keeps well until June so stock up for all your Winter needs. We came across this interesting Garlic recipe that we think you’ll like, too – Garlic Confit is the Magic Secret to Loving Any Vegetable. We’ll have Portabello Mushrooms and mini-cucumbers for a short time only.
Now is the time to send us a message letting us know if you want hampers of Tomatoes for canning, making sauce, or for sun-drying. This is another great way to use up credits. We’ll be hitting peak tomato time in the next 2 weeks. We have a wonderful and delicious variety of heirlooms this year, in preparation for the Heirloom Tomato Taste-Test Fest!
You must try our ‘Candy’ Cherry Tomatoes, their sun-ripened goodness cannot be beat!
Sweet Peppers and Hot Peppers will be available in bulk quantities as well, please let us know if you’d like a large quantity of either for canning or freezing.

These “glow” orange peppers have really caught our attention this year!

If you’ve been wondering what these strange “umbels” are in your Salad Mixes it’s the forming seed head of Parsley. We took a taste and found them quite pleasing with a mild Parsley taste. We’re making a lot more seed than we need so we thought we’d throw them in for a taste punch in the salad mixes.


We have small quantities of Kale and Chard and mixes of the two; also small quantities of eggplant and summer squash. Our trusty staple, Scallions, as well as Fennel (bulb and fronds), Basil, fresh Mint, assorted fresh herbs, and our gorgeous Sunflowers and other fresh flower mixes. Dried Nettle Tea is also available again.

veg week 12

Styled and Photographed by farm child Faenin (11) – Fennel, Beans, Garlic, Kale, Lunchbox Sweet Peppers, Scallions, Cherry Tomatoes, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Portabella Mushroom, Salad Mix, mini-Cucumbers.



Good things to come … things we hope and dream for in these unbearably hot days ….



The Coriander crop is ready and has been harvested. All that’s left is stripping the seeds and letting them dry before they’re ready to be sold.


So far our first year growing Celery has been successful. Though we must take care to water it every single day. They still have some time to go but we can’t wait to take a bite out of this forest of crunchy goodness. Or maybe that’s the heat talking ….



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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


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…..


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.

Ben chef pics1

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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Note: this was just a quick and abridged version of the weekly blog post. (Stay tuned for pictures to be added as well as links and more info.)

Every Tuesday except for 1 in the last 11 weeks it has rained and stormed and yesterday was no exception. We were sopping wet. Pictures were not taken. The bare minimum was done to get the veggies harvested and put away. It seemed ridiculous to be hand-washing Beets in the pouring rain but there we were. And the veggies are waiting to be packed up and taken to Windsor this afternoon.

On this week’s Pick list (items will vary with location) :

Salad Mix (Nasturtium flowers)

Candy Cherry Tomatoes – if you find you are getting too many of these try slicing them in half and dehydrating them to have a supply of sun-dried tomatoes for the Winter

Sandwich and Sauce Tomatoes – great week to turn our delicious tomatoes into sauce for the Winter

Delicious Sauce Tomatoes!

Delicious Sauce Tomatoes!

Sweet Peppers – Lunchbox (the small red ones look like hot peppers but they are super sweet and tasty!), Glow (orange bell), Islander (purple pepper), King of the North (red bell), King Crimson (red bell).

Eat the Rainbow!

Eat the Rainbow!

Lunchbox Snacking Peppers

Lunchbox Snacking Peppers

Hot Peppers

Eggplant or Summer Squash (this is likely the last week for Summer Squash, the plants will be done by next week)

Cucumbers – Armenian “Snake”, Slicers, Lemon, Boothby’s,

Rainbow Beets and Turnips

Select locations are getting Watermelon – please be assured everyone will get a Watermelon. This week Watermelons are going to members who pick up at Take Back The Farm and The Urban Greenhouse, where I will be from 4pm until 7 pm today. Don’t forget I’ll have Organic Pickles and Local Honey for sale!

A note about the Watermelons – many of the fruits that are ready right now are yellow or white inside so please don’t fret and think that you got an unripe one, you won’t know until you try it!

Farming note: Mildew and mold have swept through all the plants due to the cold and wet weather, mostly the wet. Basil has been decimated, Dragon Beans, too. Our first plantings of Cucumbers are done. It is affecting the Tomatoes badly though they are still producing. <fingers crossed> it doesn’t get any worse!

Bounty of the County Week! Too much to all be pictured! Several POUNDS of Sauce Tomatoes, Candy Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Armenian Cucumber, SWEET Peppers, Salad mix with Nasturtiums, Rainbow Beets + Turnips, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Watermelon.

Bounty of the County Week, too much to all be pictured! Several POUNDS of: Sauce Tomatoes, Candy Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Armenian Cucumber, SWEET Peppers, Eggplant, and Summer Squash. Salad mix with Nasturtiums, Rainbow Beets + Turnips, Watermelon, bonus Hot Peppers.


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ON-FARM PICKUPS WILL BE ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD AND WINDSOR PICKUPS WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD. I will be at The Urban Greenhouse to collect payments and I’ll have Pickles and Honey for sale on September 3rd from 4 pm until 7 pm.

I will be at Shop Eco today, August 26th, from 4 pm to 7 pm, to collect payments and with Pickles and Honey for sale.

Pick list this week:

‘Candy’ Cherry Tomatoes


Roma style (or paste, sauce) Tomatoes – We are growing what is considered the standard in paste Tomatoes, San Marzano, but we haven’t been pleased with their performance in the last several years. They are prone to blossom end rot and haven’t plumped up. It seems that they only perform well in commercial operations that spray pesticides and ripening agents. We’ll be experimenting with different Heirlooms in future years.

Sandwich Tomatoes – Japanese Trifele is by far the tastiest Tomato we’ve ever had and in taste tests our long-time market customers prefer the Trifele over any other. As we like to say, “The uglier the tomato, the tastier it is”. Bellstar is a multi-purpose and prolifically producing strong Tomato plant – it can be used as a sauce/paste Tomato or as the perfect red, round tomato for your sandwich. Eva Purple Ball is another winner in our taste tests and it’s a wonderful, hardy tomato plant. We are only growing 3 varieties of this type of Tomato this year, compared to the 30 varieties we usually grow, because we had to hire a local greenhouse to germinate them for us and more varieties would have significantly raised the cost.

Rainbow Beets – Chiogga (white and pink striped Beets; milder flavour; doesn’t “bleed”, grown for it’s tasty and nutritious leaves), Red Ace (these Beets have dark red veins in the leaves), Touchstone Gold (milder flavour, doesn’t “bleed”). These Beets are great for juicers and roasted in the oven or on the BBQ.









(No Beets were wasted in the making of these pictures, our amazing intern took them home to juice them.)

A variety of Cucumbers – English-type Slicers, Boothby’s Blonde, Lemon Cucumbers, and some Pickling.

Baby Kale + Baby Chard mix / Bunch of Rainbow Chard / Bunch of Rainbow Leafies

Dragon Beans

Eggplant / Zucchini


Pictured: Cherry Tomatoes, Sandwich Tomatoes, Yellow Crookneck (Summer Squash), Chinese Eggplant, Dragon Beans, a variety of Cucumbers, Baby Kale, Rainbow Beets. Picture credit to Lennon.


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