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Posts Tagged ‘rattlesnake pole beans’

June has come and gone too quickly. The rain has mostly missed us, besides a few gentle showers. Every day it looks like it will rain but the gardens are so very thirsty. Others who live not far from here are experiencing the opposite. We do our best to be adaptable to whatever the weather brings.

Farmer Andrea started the CSA this month, here are some highlights …

Veg-Head Andrea

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Garlic Scapes, Peas, Lettuce, very HOT days

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Photos by Andrea Nickerson

The most beautiful Kohlrabi I’ve ever seen, ‘Azur Star‘, pictures cannot do it justice.

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Market Set-up for Week 1 of fresh, local produce

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

The Farm Toddler helping with the Garlic Scape harvest + cleaning

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Andrea also took some beautiful panoramic pictures of the raised beds …

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Our family gardens are coming along nicely. We’ve eaten our fill of pea shoots and sugar snap peas and are leaving the plants as a seed crop. We’ve also been collecting onion seeds. We found this beautiful surprise in our ‘Rattlesnake‘ Pole Beans, little leaves that resemble the seeds and bean pods …

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A look at our Pole Bean bed, using a re-purposed swing set, with marigolds as a companion plant to deter bean beetles …

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And the view from the other end of the bed …

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Most of the beans in this bed will be a seed crop as we need to grow out the ‘Trail of Tears‘ beans we started saving in 2008, and we’re starting to save the seeds from other varieties so we have seeds that are regionally-adapted. Beans are the perfect starter seed-saving crop as they’re super easy to save.

A teeny tiny Lunchbox Pepper on a tiny little plant …

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A new favourite, an heirloom Lettuce “Grandma Hadley” from Seed Savers Exchange

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Another example of companion planting that Rashel has wanted to try for many years, but couldn’t make feasible on a larger scale, is using radishes as a trap crop to protect Cucumbers from flea beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs. The radishes will be left to go to seed and be another seed crop.

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In the trellised Cucumber bed we’ve also planted Lettuce as a companion but there were these beautiful “weeds” – 2 Sunflowers and a blooming Cilantro – that we decided to leave in the bed because they were just too nice to pull out.

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While we’ve seen many Insect friends – especially a variety of Swallowtails – we only got this one picture is a newly hatched Praying Mantis.

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We’ve had our first Lavender blossom harvest of the season …

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A medicinal plant harvest of Yarrow, Wormwood, Bergamot, St. John’s Wort, Red Clover, Plantain, and Comfrey. Most of these will be dried for later use and some will be infused in oil for later use. All but the Comfrey have come from the new wild area Rashel started in 2016.

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We are harvesting Chamomile and Calendula every couple of days, and dehydrating them to use later in teas and salves. In honour of the Summer Solstice why not try some of these recipes using a variety of edible blossoms ~ Sweet Magic: Honey Cookies

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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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We’re often asked why we grow such a diversity of colours and if the colourful veggies taste the same as “regular” ones. Well…there are many reasons we grow colourful vegetables! You can’t deny that the pop of colour pleases the eye as well as the palate but growing a variety of colours also makes for better growing conditions (most of the time). Take Kale for instance….the “regular” green curled Kale is the slowest growing and least productive of all of the 10 or so varieties we’ve grown and the non-green Kales aren’t a tasty treat for the White Cabbage Moth’s Caterpillars that decimates crops so quickly (and requires an investment in insect netting as well as regular applications of organic pest controls, which has it’s downsides even in organic/ecological farming). As seen here…you’ll understand why we haven’t had Kale available for a couple of weeks now….

Skeletonized Kale (yes, we made that word up).

Skeletonized Kale (yes, we made that word up).

This is also why we grow Red Cabbage vs Green Cabbage – to fool the Cabbage Moths. Sometimes a crop that is colourful is just more productive, take Dragon Beans for example, they produce Beans over the whole season instead of the 2 pickings you get from green or yellow Beans, and they are tastier! Purple Peppers are the first to ripen. Yellow Cucumbers like Poona Kheera and Lemon are more resistant to the diseases that plague Cukes and they are more productive. Colourful Tomatoes are more flavourful but also give a diversity of flavours when you’re snaking on our Candy Cherry Tomatoes. The more colourful the veggie the more diverse the vitamins and minerals and the healthier they are. And of course….I cannot resist anything that is purple but everyone already knows that, hahaha.

Double Dragon Carrot, Dragon Beans, Brocco-flower, Heirloom Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers.

Double Dragon Carrot, Dragon Beans, Brocco-flower, Heirloom Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers.

Sometimes we grow colourful and strange vegetables in order to try and find a couple of varieties that will produce and withstand tough conditions like the Squash Vine Borer, Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew and more that plague Squashes (we haven’t been very successful so far but there are many more varieties to try)….

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‘Winter Sweet’, ‘Spaghetti’, ‘Delicata’ + ‘Sweet Mama’, Squash Vine Borer

On a happier note we have seen Squash Bees around….no pic but here’s a link for more info on this native pollinators.

We’re curing our pumpkins and squash right now but you will see some of the varieties that aren’t good for storage in the coming weeks. Spaghetti Squash has many uses – cooked or raw. For fun, Why Is Squash Called Squash.

This week’s pick list includes but varies depending upon location …..

  •  Our Salad is thriving again and we’ve got plenty of delicious Salad Mix
  • We’ve picked the last of the Kohlrabi and the Cucumbers have almost seen the end of their days as well
  • Some of you have already seen the Broccoflower and others will see it this week while supplies last
  • The Sweet Peppers aren’t at peak yet but are starting to come on strong, much to my delight! I love the little Snacking ‘Lunchbox’ Peppers (last season’s post on them) and like last season I cannot stop eating them!
  • We have limited amounts of hot peppers and okra for those who are interested
  • Chinese Eggplant
  • Garlic and Onions (Onion supplies are running low so stock up now if you want some for the Fall and Winter)
  • limited amounts of Scallions will be ready again
  • new this week is the long awaited Dragon Beans, included in a mix with Cherokee Trail of Tears and Rattlesnake Pole Beans
  • Our Heirloom Tomatoes and Candy Tomatoes are still going strong. If you want to use up some of your remaining credit we are still taking orders for bushel baskets (must be ordered in advance) – $25 per 20+lb basket. It’s also super easy to make sun-dried Tomatoes using the Candies – just slice once and put in a dehydrator. Here’s a great recipe using Sun-dried Tomatoes. Some raw food recipes using Tomatoes, and a plethora of recipes using a multitude of veggies at once!
  • Also new this week…Hakurei Turnips! After hearing other CSA’s rave about these I had to try them this year! They’re like a sweet Radish or a juicy Turnip – both and neither at the same time – with leaves that taste just like a mildly spicy lettuce mix we grow. Here are some recipe ideas (if you don’t eat them raw like I do) – The Better Turnip, Salad Turnips, Pickled Harukei Turnips.

10339569_820975638023125_7573863776127053480_n* We’ve always got a variety of fresh herbs for sale, too, and if you don’t think you’ll use them fresh just string them up and let them dry so you can use them when needed all year long. Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, and Sage.

Tyler from Union Herbs getting your fresh herbs ready for market!

Tyler from Union Herbs getting your fresh herbs ready for market!

From the “what you missed on Facebook” this week file….

From chef Ben at The Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast - "I split the fennel down the seam but left the core so that the strands can stay together, like a cabbage, and I grilled it with some olive oil, salt and pepper over extremely high heat. Served it with a roasted chicken basted in butter that was whipped with the fennel fronds. Roasted the tomatoes whole and made a chutney to serve with the chicken."

From chef Ben at The Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast – “I split the fennel down the seam but left the core so that the strands can stay together, like a cabbage, and I grilled it with some olive oil, salt and pepper over extremely high heat. Served it with a roasted chicken basted in butter that was whipped with the fennel fronds. Roasted the tomatoes whole and made a chutney to serve with the chicken.”

#workperks

#workperks Farm friend and employee Andrea has been busy turning Tomatoes into sauce, paste, salsa, ketchup, and sun-dried tomatoes.

At the new ShopEco location at 1645 Wyandotte with Envy Boutique.

At the new ShopEco location at 1645 Wyandotte with Envy Boutique.

Our market offerings at the Belle River Farmers Market on Sundays.

Our market offerings at the Belle River Farmers Market on Sundays.

Coming soon from our experimental strawbale bed (with thanks to farm friend Siobhan for the idea!)….

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Tomatillos

The weather sure can be hard on the soil….

11889704_819390608181628_8194545194329195189_nTill next time!

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