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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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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?

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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
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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 ….

 

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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.

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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 praising the Sun and it’s heat, and the Rain and it’s moisture, for providing us with an abundant harvest on Week 10 of the season!

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Lettuce in Flower, the face of the Sun

VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS GARLIC!!!

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We are finally able to offer our sought-after GARLIC in large quantities and to the public!!!

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Garlic hanging to dry and cure

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From last week’s market table

Garlic is a must for every meal in our house, it isn’t a meal without Garlic! The variety we grow is called Music and it thrives in our rich soil.

New this week is our much loved mix of fresh snap Beans, folks who’ve tried our mixes ask for them year after year. They include Dragon, Tongue of Fire, Rattlesnake, Blu Jay, Amethyst, as well as a variety of red, yellow, and green beans.

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Also new this week (in limited quantities, for now) – Candy Tomatoes!

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On our market tables this week we’ll also have: Red Cabbage and Cabbage Leaves, Chinese (Napa) Cabbage, Spaghetti Squash + Sweet Dumpling Squash, Mini-Cumcumbers, Mushrooms, Sweet Peppers, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Scallions, Grape Leaves, Rainbow Leafies, Kohlrabi (limited), Fennel, Basil and other fresh herbs, Broccoli, and small amounts of Beets.

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Week 10 is looking fabulous!

From around the farm this week …

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Polyphemus Moth

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Red Spotted Purple Butterfly

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Baby Ants, newly hatching from their nest under a Tree.

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The farm children were quite surprised with the Cucumbers they’ve been growing in their own personal garden! These were shared and enjoyed with all our neighbourhood children.

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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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VEGETABLE OF THE WEEK IS …. GARLIC SCAPES!

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The Farm Children keep a close eye on the Scapes, it’s one of their favourite things to harvest on the farm.

For those familiar with Scapes they wait all year for this limited time item, it’s a high demand luxury! As you can see in the picture the Scape is a curly-cued part of the Garlic plant that would eventually turn into seeds. In order to make our Garlic focus it’s energy on creating large and powerful bulbs we must remove the Scapes. For our efforts we get to enjoy a very versatile but limited time only special treat that we call a Garlic Scape.

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Each Scape has a unique curl.

 

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Garlic

These are fabulous roasted or grilled, they can pickled, they can be frozen, they can be dried, they can be made into Garlic powder, they can be made into pesto, and they can be used in any way you would use Garlic. Check out these 7 recipes from The Crisper Whisperer. More info on our Veggies page and if you search “garlic scape” in the search index on this blog site or click on the “tag”, along the right-hand side of this blog site. Past posts with amazing recipes include this beauty from 2012 and this one, also from 2012.

Jokes from the farm children:

How did the garlic get out of the garden?

It eSCAPEd!

Why did the garlic book travel tickets online?

It needed an e-scape!

Yuk yuk yuk 😉

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Farm baby helping to carry the bin full of Garlic Scapes.

Last week at our Saturday on-farm market we had a visitor ….

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As you can see from some of our pictures you’ll know that we love babywearing and we came across a lovely post that showcases various every day dad babywearing while cooking or grocery shopping and thought it would be a good share for other babywearing lovers out there ~ http://www.thekitchn.com/10-sweet-photos-of-baby-wearing-dads-in-the-kitchen-232143

Other produce available this week (may vary depending upon location and availability): portabello mushrooms and button mushrooms, Radnips, Rainbow Radishes, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Green Smoothie Mix, Cilantro (almost done for the season) and other Fresh Herbs, Rainbow Leafies (various Kale varieties + Chard), Scallions, Broccoli, and new this week – also for a limited time – Snow Peas and Sugar Snap Peas (they melt in your mouth!) We’re also getting larger amounts of Calendula for anyone who wants to order them on their own to make their own healing teas or salves – please let us know if you’re interested.

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Mushrooms as big as your head! Or a plate!

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Every Pea picked by a hand, our hands.

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Our artistic rendering of this week’s veggie offerings ….

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Pictured: Cilantro, button Mushrooms, Arugula, Radnips, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Scapes, Sugar Snap Peas, Portabello Mushroom, Scallions.

Our event with Wheatley Woods is still on for tomorrow – a foraging walk and plant sale. See the details on Facebook.

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Native Service Berries

You can also see the details for a foraging walk next Saturday June 25th (we may be having another special guest that week, check out Facebook for that announcement!). We’re currently taking registrations for Session 2 of the Kids Gardening Club, you can find out more at this link and on Facebook. We post every new event we’re hosting on our farm on this website as well, check back on the Foraging + Market Events page for update.

One last announcement …. a new CSA member has started a twitch live feed that will feature foods they will be making with their CSA veggies each week. You can find it at twitch.tv/margaret_haddad . This is a new live feed, they’re only in their second week, and comes with a warning that the language might not be appropriate for all ages 😉 The schedule is Mondays at 3 pm for art, Wednesdays at 8 for Community Sourced Cuisine (featuring veggies from Locally Germinated and eventually their own garden), and Friday at 9 for Food with Friends. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses!

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Harvest day pick list; new beds for perennials

 

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Funny accident, panoramic picture

 

 

 

 

 

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VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS ….. PORTABELLO MUSHROOMS!

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Certified organic Portabello Mushrooms from Highline Mushrooms in Kingsville.

This week and every week to come make sure to check out the VEGGIES! tab on the blog for updates and recipes for every vegetable we grow and sell. We also update with all the varieties we’re growing in 2016. This week we added fantastic and easy recipes for Portabello’s including Grilled, Vegan Pizza, and 24 ideas from Canadian Living. This week only we’re offering a reduced price on these super fresh and local goodies.

After the last 2 very hot weeks I was inspired by this link for No Heat Summer Potluck Dishes for all from thekitchn.

From the farm children – Jokes of the week:

Q: Why was the mushroom invited to lots of parties?
A: Because he was a fungi to be with!
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Q: What do you call a fast fungus?
A: A mush-vroom.
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Produce available this week includes: the last of the Alliums for a couple of weeks (leeks, scallions, baby garlic), Portabello Mushrooms, the last of the Rainbow Carrots until later in the season (perfect for making Soup Stock), Potted Basil for the home garden, Radishes, small amounts of Broccoli, our unique Salad Mix (includes a wide number of lettuce varieties as well as arugula, parsley, fennel, and sorrel), fresh herbs (Cilantro, Sage, Thyme, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Arugula, Fennel, Mint), herbal teas (mint, lemon balm, nettles).

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French Breakfast Radishes are the fastest growers!

We get a lot of our fresh herbs from Union Herbs, a local small-scale start-up located in Ruthven. Check them out on Facebook to see what they’re up to! In exchange for herbs they receive a share of our produce, here’s a picture from Union Herbs of last week’s offerings ….

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Radishes, Salad Mix, Rainbow Carrots, Baby Garlic, Leek

For our farm market members and customers – it’s the last week to pick up your certified organic vegetable seedlings, maple trees, and potted purple coneflower.

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Artwork by Andrea Nickerson of Neo-Vintage Artistry

Our first market day with The Cheese Bar went very well! Some pictures….

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We’ll regularly have fresh cut farm flowers from seasonal blooms ….

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ShopEco took a great little video of our first CSA Member Pickup and Market day, you can find it on their Facebook page.

This Saturday we’re joined by MFA Tavis Lea of Petropunk for a “plein-air” landscape painting class. See event details on our Facebook page. Keep updated on all our market events on Facebook or on the tab “Foraging + Market Events“.

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Tavis Lea, MFA, of Petropunk

Around the farm this week ….

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Harvesting Wildflowers from a nearby wild space.

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Frog Friend we found on our wildflower adventure.

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The largest Fox Snake we’ve seen in many years. It thought it was well camouflaged in this location.

 

 

 

 

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It’s hard to believe that after all that Rain and flooding – and some areas that are STILL flooded – that we had to irrigate this week. But here we are. It’s important for Tomatoes and Peppers to have consistent watering and this year they have been accustomed to a lot of water but the soil has turned into cement underneath them and they are full of fruit! So we irrigated and fertigated with molasses (for calcium) to avoid blossom-end rot. Time will tell if it helps. With irrigation brings the inevitable holes in the irrigation lines that need to be repaired…

IMG_7694This broken line in the Rainbow Chard reminded me to take pictures of a Chard root. Most people are quite surprised to learn that Chard and Beets are the same plant – one was bred for it’s leaves and the other for it’s roots. But Beet leaves are tasty and edible just as Chard makes a Beet-root but a rather “ugly” one…

IMG_7707Around the farm this week … one of our broody hens hatched out 4 little chicks, each a different colour. We’ve been feeding them tent caterpillars to hone their foraging skills (the alternative would be to burn the caterpillars).

11754326_805178066269549_5341734747503205271_oGrowing around the farm this week…

Around the farm: various types of Squash; Kohlrabi starting to beautifully bulb out.

Around the farm: various types of Squash; Kohlrabi starting to beautifully bulb out.

From Facebook this week …

Kale and Chard made into soup and mac'n'cheeze

Kale and Chard made into soup and mac’n’cheeze

Some benefits to a wild edible you’ve likely found in your Wild Rainbow Salad mixes – Purslane.

Despite the heat alert last Saturday we had a wonderful turn out to our Foraging Walk. A reporter from the Tilbury Times was there and wrote a lovely article (unfortunately it’s not online), thank you Dan!

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Tasting Mulva (Common Mallow). Photo credit to Susan Platsko.

We will be highlighting some of the Orgunique fertilizers that we are selling on our Facebook page. Right now our featured fertilizer is Green Up – This garden amendment is a 0-0-15 water soluble mix of Kelp and Potash and the perfect choice for Vegan and Cruelty-Free Gardeners (we also carry ‘Rapidgrow’ as a Vegan fertilizer). Potassium deficiency affects plants such as potatoes, brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi), tomatoes, apples, and raspberries. Unlike the production of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, the manufacture of potassium fertilizer appears to be relatively harmless to the environment, not being a major pollution source. OMRI listed, 100% organic, Product of Canada. $12 for 350g. Mix 4-5g in a litre of water. Use every 3-4 weeks or as needed. We carry this at our farm (20600 Morris Rd or Canal St West, Tilbury), every Tuesday at ShopEco from 4-7pm, and at the Belle River Farmers Market on Sundays.

green upAnother new item we have for sale are 2016 Calendars. The photographs were taken by local nature enthusiast and photographer PAWS, this gorgeous calendar features wildlife shots taken in Rondeau Provincial Park.

11755705_805178219602867_2397866539883179801_nNow for this week’s pick list! A note….not all of these items will be available at every location this week, we will be rotating availability to make sure everyone gets all the produce but we don’t have enough quantity of each item to make them available at all 4 of our pickup locations.

Rainbow Kale + Rainbow Chard

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix

Garlic

Fresh Beans – Rainbow Mix

Field Cucumbers

Field Tomatoes

Onions, storage – limited

Red Cabbage and Chinese Cabbage – limited availability

Kohlrabi – I love to eat this raw – just peel, chop and chew. It’s a crunchy Cabbage! The leaves are also edible. Limited availability

Purple + Green Basil

a variety of fresh Herbs

Chinese Eggplant – a smaller version of eggplant, limited quantities

Purple Peppers – limited availability

Summer Squash (Zucchini) – very limited; how strange that the most productive veggie of all hasn’t grown well at all this year.

Rainbow Carrots (very limited quantities, only those grown in a raised bed have produced so far)

Portabella Mushrooms

Recipes to try!

Top 10 ways to cook Kale!

Kohlrabi Coleslaw!

5 Tasty Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi

How to cook your strange CSA vegetables!

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

7 Asian Eggplant Recipes

Ideas on cooking Chinese Eggplant

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