Posts Tagged ‘rainbow beets’

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!

laying plastic

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 🙂

we grow organic crop

Proud member and active participants with the EFAO!

Proud member and active participants with the EFAO!


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Here in the deep South we’ve still been enjoying warm days and warm nights with no threat of the F-word yet in sight, and that is a lot to be thankful for.


A few interestingly-timed articles that I’ve come across in the past week ….

Most Farmers Are Not Rich

Confessions of a Community Supported Agriculture Failure – This author was part of a traditional CSA box program but it was fascinating to me that even when designing a more flexible program, one that avoids many of the pitfalls described, that there are still more unhappy consumers than I am comfortable with. It has been a life lesson in “you cannot please everyone and when you try, you will only hurt yourself.”

And in response to the above article ~ CSA Programs Are Essential To Farms


On this week’s harvest list (may vary depending upon location) :

Cauliflower; Beans; Salad in jar; Crab Apples

Cauliflower; Beans; Salad in jar; Crab Apples

Beets, Salad, Kale, Chard, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Parsley, Sweet + Hot Peppers, Beans, Radishes, Hakurei Salad Turnips, Summer Squash, Eggplant, Fennel Fronds, Horseradish, Crab Apples, and the always to be expected unexpected surprises!


Grab your green tomatoes while you can because you will miss the taste of Summer when you have to return to eating the tasteless greenhouse-grown Tomatoes. They ripen beautifully on the counter in just a few days.

The Horseradish root can be used fresh or you can plant it in your own garden for a perennial supply of this healthy herb for yourself. The leaves are a great addition to your own home-made lacto-fermented pickles as they keep them crisp and crunchy while adding a little bite. Some more ideas from HomeSpunSeasonalLiving.

5 Things You Can Do with Crab Apples

From Facebook this week: farm child Oddy was on a hunt for tasty edible mushrooms and came across these which, after getting them identified by professionals, made a tasty home-made pizza topping.


In love with a bird-planted surprise Sunflower that has grown multiple heads rather than stretch up tall to the Sun. In a bed with Lettuce and Parsley, with Cauliflower + Compost in the background.


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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.


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.


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

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


11224099_10153542008366280_2831436949346858097_nCalendula Seeds


Rainbow Radishes – including some specialties like Ostergruss, Watermelon, Shunkyo, and Black Spanish.

In limited supply:

Cherry + Beefsteak tomatoes


Salsify + Scorzonera – yummy root alternatives to parsnips + carrots

Sage Smudge Sticks


Hot Peppers

Sweet Peppers


Summer Squash


Summer Squash in a raised bed; Carrots in the forefront.


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

bunching turnips

We have super awesome dedicated farm friends.



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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As the sunlight hours shorten and the nights get cooler we look towards rest and towards the seasons that lay ahead ….. If you enjoyed being a part of our CSA this season and know that you want to sign up again next year we are accepting membership renewals and new members for the 2016 season. There will be changes to the program and to some of the current locations but the deposit is still only $200. We will provide the updated information as soon as the changes are confirmed.


Veggie offerings at Take Back The Farm in late September.

We will also be forming a “core planning group” of devoted local foodies who want to create the best CSA experience possible. This group will help us with our planning by providing input and suggestions for future seasons. The time commitment will be small and can be in person or over email. If you are interested in being a part of our core planning group please let us know.

Wednesday night market at the farm.

Wednesday night veggie market at our farm in late September.

***An important note for those who pick up at Take Back The Farm*** – the store is transitioning to their Winter hours starting next week (Thursday October 1st) and we will be transitioning with them. Please note – Thursday pickup at Take Back The Farm is changing to between 4:30 to 6:30 pm until the end of the season.

Now on to the produce we have available for you this week!

Special treats, while supplies last:

Onions – grown by Brandner Farms in Ruthven

Sun-dried Candy Tomatoes

Sage Smudge Sticks

Foraged Hickory Nuts – hand-harvested + hand-shelled by farm child Oddy. The Flavour Is Worth The Hassle ; Recipes for Hickory Nut Cake, Pie, Refrigerator Cookies, Apple Crisp, and Wild Rice Stuffing.

Okra (red and green)

Hot Peppers (red rocket, maya, black hungarian)


Squash and Pie Pumpkins

Summer Squash

Chinese Eggplant

Bee Pollen – small and large sizes


Fresh Garlic – we found a bit more but this really is the last of the Garlic


Fennel – bulbs + fronds

Beefsteak Tomatoes + Cherry Tomatoes Next week we can make available the last of the tomatoes but they will be green. These can be used as green tomatoes or left in a windowsill or warm place and they will ripen up. Please let us know if you want green tomatoes because if there is no demand for them we won’t take the time to pick and to transport them. Some ideas for how to use green tomatoes can be found HERE.

Fresh Horseradish Root – the main ingredient in the spicy sushi condiment of Wasabi. We have kept these unwashed to better preserve the root. Simple Horseradish Condiment, Holiday Horseradish Recipes, Serious Eats.

Salsify + Scorzonera – These delicate delicacies can refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag for up to a week. Do not wash before use, best consumed fresh. Nutritional Information HERE. Some recipes ideas – GrowVeg, Slaw + Pancakes, Garlic Soup, Fritters + Tempura + Gratin, Forgotten Plants. See what Chef Ben from The Iron Kettle made with Salsify and Scorzonera…

salsify chef pics

From Chef Ben from The Iron Kettle B&B : “Poached in milk, sauteed in butter with baby zucchini, served as a side dish to duck confit.” He also suggests peeling the whole root with a vegetable peeler and deep frying it. The blossoms are edible and smell like vanilla.

Some meal ideas that use up a variety of your CSA veggies include the Ratatouille dinner we had on the farm this week. All ingredients except the wild rice were grown on our farm.

list the ingredients and link to the recipe

Garlic, Onions, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Peppers, Parsley, Basil, Thyme.

This share from a farm friend uses Summer Squash, Onions, Peppers, Broccoli, Collards/Kale/Chard, Garlic, and Pesto – CSA Pasta Recipe

Scrambled eggs are a favourite way to use a variety of veggies too!


Available in larger quantities from the gardens this week ….


From farm friend Siobhan:

From farm friend Siobhan: “Turnips and garlic from Locally Germinated lacto-fermenting to become those yummy Lebanese turnips you get in your shwarma.”

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix with assorted edible Flowers, Sweet Peppers, Rainbow Radishes (an early surprise!).

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix with assorted edible Flowers, Sweet Peppers, Rainbow Radishes (an early surprise!).

Fresh Herbs like Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, and Rosemary. Idea for a nut-free pesto.

Dried Herbs  – We air-dry our herbs and leave them whole in order to preserve their flavour. Only crush them when you are ready to cook with them. Serious chefs know that crushing or grinding, even with your hands, provides the best flavour. After you purchase our dried herbs we recommend you store them in airtight glass jars to further preserve their delicate flavour.

From http://dish.allrecipes.com/dried-herbs-and-spices/ – “You can tell if a dried herb is still useful for cooking by rubbing a small amount between your fingers and smelling. If the herb still gives off a strong scent, it’s good. A weak or faint smell means it’s probably time to replace it.”

Rainbow Kale


Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Beets

Rainbow Beans

Broccoli Florets

Our produce has been featured by The Beacon Alehouse in Amherstburg. Here’s a salad with our farm-grown Peppers + Fennel, also featuring Ontario Feta and a Fire-Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette. They have also been using our Kale and Chard in their dishes.


With many more blessings and veggies to come before the season is done….

Sunchokes blowin' in the wind

Sunchokes blowin’ in the wind.

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Our new favourite farm motto song! (I do love me some Brian Wilson.) Please tell us all about your favourite veg-table!

From around the farm this week ….

Monarchs have hatched out and are hanging around with us while we work, this one is sipping on a cracked Black Cherry Tomato.

11958200_830843003703055_5139214276639898949_oAnd we found another, much larger, Cecropia, this one on an Apple Tree.

cecropiaWe’ve planted the last of the lettuce seeds for the season, where these…..

11145910_10153542007401280_1133688028356184826_o…can turn into this….

All of these items were sourced from our farm. We only have a small family patch of Strawberries and 1 small nut Tree though, sorry folks!

All of these items were sourced from our farm. We only have a small family patch of Strawberries and 1 small nut Tree though, sorry folks!

and you can add some of these….



and some of this…



and some of this…

What we're calling Broccoflower because it's part Broccoli-part Cauliflower

What we’re calling Broccoflower because it’s part Broccoli-part Cauliflower.

and shred up some of these….

Beets and Turnips

Beets and Turnips

Purple Top Turnip beauties

Purple Top Turnip beauties

And if you’re adventurous you can add Kale….

Kale or Palm Trees?

Kale or Palm Trees?

Collards are also bouncing back.

Collards are also bouncing back.

Or you can add Tomatillos (learn more about these delights from last year’s post), Cherry Tomatoes (get ’em while you can!), Sweet Snacking Peppers (the best!), or Dragon Beans! And how would everyone like if we started carrying those delicious Portabello Mushrooms again? Yum! The Pears and Apples were a hit and a nice surprise, let’s hope we can find more little-known sources of unsprayed fruit in the future!

12000986_10153542009871280_357533499521888888_oWith the Kale making a comeback I wanted to share a recipe a member shared with us – easy and simple – 3 Cups of Kale, 3 Garlic Cloves, mix with oil and salt in a food processor and you’ve got delicious Pesto. The last of the Basil will also be available if you want to make a more traditional Pesto. If you didn’t get your Garlic yet now is the time as we’re almost sold out for the season!

The Parsley is looking lovely right now so why not try this beautiful gluten-free and vegan Tabbouleh? The recipe can be found at http://mayihavethatrecipe.com/2015/03/18/not-just-for-passover-recipes-quinoa-tabbouleh/ Or you can google any variation on the Tabbouleh recipe – it’s a farm favourite and we make a huge batch that lasts days! The lemony flavour gets better as it sits and flavours the rest of the dish so it’s meal that tastes better as a leftover.

Quinoa-tabule-passover-620x438Our market table setups from this week….

ShopEco on Tuesday at our new indoor location.

ShopEco on Tuesday at our new indoor location. From their Facebook page.

At our on-farm Wednesday market.

At our on-farm Wednesday market.

Until next time!


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We are going on 8 weeks with too much rain, 8 weeks ago is when we were supposed to plant the Beets and the Turnips that you’d be eating this week. 8 weeks with too much rain and we’ve had to cross off Cantaloupes, Honey Dew Melons and 2,000 Squash from the “to plant” list. 8 weeks with too much rain and the full effects of that are still to be seen fully but are already apparent in the unhappy (yet still growing) Tomatoes and Cucumbers. The only crops growing well, and extremely well, are the Kales and Chard and we can’t do a market or a CSA with only Kale and Chard. And so … we pause … and let the land drain and let the crops thrive and grow with the heat. We will be at the Belle River Farmers Market tomorrow (Sunday July 19th) but we will NOT be at ShopEco on Tuesday July 21st nor at Take Back The Farm on Thursday July 23rd and we will be taking a break from the Belle River Farmers Market on Sunday July 26th.


A modified plow along with the human-power of J and Mr. Muscles dug these trenches so that our fields could finally start draining.

We did manage to work up a small garden and plant Beets and Turnips this afternoon – small success! As a back up plan we are trying a straw-bale garden based on the success of one of our farm friends and we transplanted Tomatillos and planted a few Summer Squash in to it.


Do I thank our work share folks and volunteers and employee and family every week? If I haven’t then I need to start doing so. We have an amazing group of farm friends who pull through every time we need help – thank you to every one of our very special farm friends, we couldn’t do it without you!

That includes…..Tyler and Katrina Strickler of Union Herbs who’ve been providing the CSA with the lovely Basil and ever-fragrant Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, and more! They are based in Ruthven, ON and follow organic methods for their growing. They are trying their hand at small-scale gardening and decided that herbs were a good place to start. We’re very happy to be able to provide these quality herbs to our CSA members thanks to Union Herbs!


Around the farm this week….

Andrea is training Cucumbers (coming soon!) and Pumpkins that are full of Blossoms as we prepare to take a weed-wacker and lawn-mower in there to keep down the weeds. Only the weeds seem to grow with all this Rain!

Andrea is training Cucumbers (coming soon!) and Pumpkins (full of Blossoms) as we prepare to take a weed-wacker and lawn-mower in these areas to keep down the weeds. Only the weeds seem to thrive with all this cool-weather and Rain!

In bloom….

Edible Lillies and other pretty pollen-rich food sources.

Edible Lillies and other pretty pollen-rich food sources.

The good and the bad….

A white caterpillar moth's chrysalis; ladybug larvae feasting on aphids

A white caterpillar moth’s chrysalis; ladybug larvae feasting on aphids

Coming soon….

Around the Farm - Coming Soon! Top L to R: Napa Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Pea Blossom, Red Onions, Spanish Onions.

Top L to R: Napa Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Pea Blossom, Red Onions, Spanish Onions.

Have a lovely week friends, we’ll see you on the flip side!11717531_802328803221142_8468885833243725272_o

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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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