Monday, June 25, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 26 June 2012 - Delivery #2

Greetings from Upper Canada,
Welcome to Week Two. I am in Toronto celebrating the upcoming wedding of my nephew with my enormous family. At the party that my parents just hosted my 12 year old daughter kept saying as she met over 140 new people " Hi, I'm Addie and I don't know who you are but I know we're related". Well, by the end of the summer all of us on this CSA journey will feel that we are related, and we will be, if only by having our bodies and souls nourished by all of the good food that we will have consumed. This trip to Toronto is only possible because I can rely on the hard work and amazing organizational skills of our team back at the farm. Hats off to Teri and Jon and Lisa and a fond farewell to our most recent WWOOFers, Samia and Loic who are heading back to Quebec after three weeks at Watershed Farm. In the next week or two we want to introduce you to a wonderful product made by farmer friends. Salt of the Earth herbal sea salt is made by Wanda and Mike Wolter at Rumtopf Farm. Over the course of the growing season they layer numerous fresh herbs with coarse sea salt from France and after many months the salt absorbs the rich flavours and the dried herbs are then crushed together with the salt by hand into the most tasteful condiment imaginable. We will include one shaker bottle in each bag and you can feel free to order more from us once you use that one up, which I am sure you will before long. I hope some of you have the opportunity to meet Jon and Teri this week as they make the rounds delivering the bags. And I look forward to seeing many of you at our farm before too long.


Hello folks!

Another week has gone by already, which means you have another basket of gorgeous farm stuffs arriving tomorrow.  This week we have some exciting additions to your basket that I can't wait for you to taste!  Camelia is away this week, so Jon and I are doing the delivery, so I hope to meet some of you along the way!

A reminder of the pick-up locations, and the times when your bags will be available (please see an email from me sent Tuesday June 12 for your specific location):
Bridgewater, The Ark - 655 King Street, 9:00 - 3:30 pm
Lunenburg, Claussen-Walters - 6 King Street, 10:00 - 5:00
Mahone Bay, Mateus Bistro - 533 Main Street, 11:00 - 5:00
Chester, Chester Chiropractic Health Center - 4138 Hwy 3, 3:00 - 6:00
Halifax, Mid-East Food Centre - 2595 Agricola, 1:00 - 9:00
Halifax, Nurtured - 2571 Robie Street 1:00-5:00
On-farm pick-up - 768 Allen Frausel Road, Baker Settlement, 8:00 - 8:00

Bags: Please remember to include $9 in your CSA bag as you return it to pick up your second delivery. We really appreciate it if you can find an envelope and write your name on the envelope so we can more easily track your payments. (TERI: Did you suggest that those who had already paid for their bags last year needn't do so again?)  And please make sure you always remember to return your bags, it makes things much easier for us.  If it's convenient for you to return the bag to your CSA location before Tuesday, that would be most excellent, as we can then pick them up as we drop off the next delivery.

Flower Shares -
Those of you who purchased flower shares at the beginning of the season received your first of 5 bouquets last week.  We hope they made your week!  Please let us know if they made it to you in one piece.  One thing that we recommend with cut flowers is changing the water at least every second day.  Also, if there's anyone who is interested in a flower share, there are still some available.  They are $35 for 5 bouquets throughout the season, and you can pay via your CSA bag return or online.

Eggs, clean and ready for our loyal egg share customers!

In your bag this week, you'll find:

There's a beautiful rainbow bunch of carrots in each of your bags.  This is from a planting in one of our new Caterpillar Tunnels which we just put up this spring, which makes them a little earlier than most!  We grew them just for you, and our outdoor carrots are still a few weeks away, so savour these babies.  They look so good, in fact, that Jon couldn't resist and- even though he is allergic to raw carrots- had to taste one.  The true magic of growing your own food is: he could eat them!  We figure that since it's a birch pollen allergy, maybe it is seasonally dependant, or because of the covered growing space that he can eat them.  Either way, imagine how good a crispy fresh carrot would taste if you hadn't been able to eat them raw for the past 20 years?  Think of that while you're devouring these, and know that Jon will be having his fill while he can, too!  I'm not even giving you a recipe with these, because I know they probably won't even make it to the fridge!  I will, however, assure you that those purple ones are supposed to be purple, and are just as delicious as the orange ones: In fact, the very first cultivated carrots were purple.

Mint - Our mint is gorgeous right now, and I can think of a million things you can do with the bunch in your bag, here's a few:  You can steep it in hot water for a soothing mint tea.  You can make the tea, put it in the fridge, and have iced mint tea (add your favourite tea bag and some sugar if you like).  You can enjoy a mojito in the sun! (we make ours with organic ginger ale instead of soda water and sugar).  Here's a recipe that you can use to make a great, summer dressing for that bag of salad mix in your basket:

Mint-Lemon Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper


  1. Whisk together all ingredients until blended.
Chard - Once again, swiss chard makes an appearance in your bag- so beautiful that we couldn't resist.  Lots of you wrote back to me this week saying how much you enjoyed it, and I was happy that you were able to make use of the recipe that I sent along.  But this isn't just another pretty is also packed with Thiamin, Folate and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Honestly, we won't quiz you on any of this but just thought you might want to know.

Here's a simple recipe and feel free to subsitute your garlic scapes for the  minced garlic, in fact, feel free to throw in a whole bunch of scapes.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste (optional)


  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.                 

Salad Mix - One of our CSA members turned down a dinner invitation last week so she could stay home and eat a big salad!  I'm glad that our greens are that good!

Spinach - Do I have to tell you to eat your spinach, it's good for you?!  Luckily, ours tastes good, too! 

Scapes - Hopefully, you had a good first meeting with the scape in your stir-fry mix last week.  This week, you're getting a whole bunch!  Chop them up and use them anywhere you use garlic.  Personally, I'd add some to the dressing recipe above.  Sauteed spinach with scapes... Mmm! And don't forget that these wonderful seasonal treats freeze well. I suggest you cut them into one inch pieces first and then throw them into a ziploc bag and you can pull them out in the winter to add to a soup or stir fry.

Tea, by Lisa -
Hobo Crow Teas are a mix of hand-picked herbs and plants, both from our gardens and wild-crafted from nearby fields and forests. This is a project I've been working on for a while now, and the last few weeks I had some help from our lovely WWOOFers, Samia and Loic, with harvesting and drying, and Addie, who always somehow shows up right before I start pulling out my hair, lent a hand or two as well.
In this weeks CSA bag, you will find a packet of my Spring Medley tea. It's made up of mainly Stinging Nettle, Mint and Raspberry Leaves. Nettle is one of my favorite plants to make teas with, especially early in the year. It's a spring tonic, and, it just tastes green. Nettle is loaded with potassium, magnesium, iron, protein, minerals, tannins, chloropyll, antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Nettle tea has been used to treat a variety of ailments, from bronchitis, poor circulation, anemia to bladder infections. It's good for cold and flu season. Mint, I'm sure needs no explanation, but other than the the obvious delight of the taste, mint is good for digestion, headaches and coughs, to list a few. Raspberry leaves are also rich in vitamins minerals, and a great toned and detoxifer for the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. It's also well known as a 'women's herb', but it doesn't stop there. I could really ramble on and on about all the medicinal properties of the plants included in the teas, but I'm going to tie things up by saying that you only need about a tablespoon for a cup of tea (I didn't want to cut or crush the plants after drying them, but you can do this if it makes it easier, otherwise just use a pinch of the leaves), and it makes a nice after dinner tea. You should allow the herbs to steep for at least ten minutes (less if you prefer weak tea, longer if you like, sometimes I infuse mine overnight by pouring boiling water on top of herbs in a mason jar, or tea pot, covering them, and either drinking it cold or heating it up for breakfast). Feel free to contact me if you want any more information about the herbs or tea.

Full size share also gets:
Stir-Fry Mix - Your stir-fry mix has a broccoli floret included this week; soon you'll find all kinds of other stir-fry-able things in there as well! 

Rainbow Beets - A mix of red, gold, and chioggia (pink, or candy-striped) beets, this is the first of our harvest for the season.  The beets are like candy, but it's important that you know how delicious beet greens are, and that you eat them, too!  My Mom is well-known at her market in Manitoba for her Ukrainian "beet leaf buns" which are basically a beet leaf wrapped around bun dough, with a dill, green onion and cream sauce poured over top.  They are also delicious sauteed, or even just eaten raw as a salad with a nice goat cheese.

Kittens -

I will be randomly placing a kitten in two CSA members bags this week, so please pick up your bags on time!  Just kidding, of course, but we are looking for good homes for two of the six kittens born to our barn cat Mel this spring.  They have already shown their skill hunting, and as you can see in this photo, they are very playful!  Because we all love them so much, they are very used to people, and at 8 weeks old are ready to leave their mother and siblings.  Let me know if you are in the market for one of our Gingers (and Jon does not count!).

Thanks for being so grateful for what we do: it makes the long days and hard work totally worth it.  Please do let me know if you have any comments, questions or feedback for us.  We got so many nice comments last week I've started a "happy wall" in our prep area so we can refer to them when we need the motivation most (like at 10 pm tonight when we were packing the last bags up!).  We are also happy to hear any suggestions you may have for how we can do better, and let us know how those veggies make it home to your table.
Here on the farm we're all thinking of you and looking forward to you receiving your second delivery tomorrow!  Hope to see you along the way.

Teri Dillon

Watershed Farm
768 Allen Frausel Road
Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia
B4V 7H8
c. 902.212.2301 | p. 902.685.3901
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 19 June 2012 - Delivery #1

Watershed Farm CSA – 19 June 2012 – Delivery #1

Welcome to the 2012 Watershed Basket CSA,

Harvesting, picking and packing the first bag of the season is always an amazing experience. Here's a huge shout out to all those who helped get us to this point in the season. Ever since the snow was flying we have had some very dedicated and talented folks pass through our farm as WWOOFers, apprentices, work share members and more. Each of them contributed to the whole that now comes together in the weekly offering that you will find awaiting you each Tueday for the next 17 weeks. I am so pleased to have found Teri and Jon, our very capable farm-managers, who have given so much of themselves and do so with great humour and real joy. In the upcoming weeks you will hear from me as I occasionally add in my notes about farm events, introduce some of the dedicated team who help us with all that we do here and keep you abreast of all of our furry and feathered friends who share this farm with us. I will usually be the one doing the driving for the drop-offs and I look forward to meeting some of you as we cross paths along the way. We are also starting to plan our CSA FARM DAYS with the first one likely to be scheduled towards the end of July. That will offer us another opportunity to meet many of you and for all of you to see where your food is coming from.  For those of you who are eager to get your hands in the soil, there will be activities for young and old alike as well as lots of tasty food to enjoy.

And now I hand you over to Teri who is bursting with excitement (only slightly dampened by exhaustion) as she introduces you to your very first CSA bag of the season.

Happy eating,


Hi everyone!

I greet you with the joy that can only come from someone who truly loves what she does, as the lead up to today has been a long haul!  We've been planning for this since before we arrived in February; before some of you had even signed on!  For you this week we have a seasonal selection of gorgeous greens, some exciting spring vegetables, and a couple of delicious culinary herbs.  Our love and dedication for what we do is in every bit of the produce you are receiving this week, from seed to basket. 

Being part of a CSA is a truly special thing.  In exchange for your generosity early in the season and your flexibility (working with what we give you!), we pack up our freshest harvest for you each week, for 17 whole weeks!  If you do the math, the small share works out to around $20/week and the full is about $27 (and we'll always make sure the value of your basket meets or exceeds this amount).  But in reality, you receive much more: delivery to a nearby pick-up spot, recipes and email newsletters, an opportunity to cook with something new or different, and a chance to be a part of a farm and your community.  Please don't think of this as a grocery delivery service, it's really so much more about building community and connecting you with the food we are growing for you.

I'll get the administrative stuff out of the way before I tell you what you're going to find when you unpack that basket!

A reminder of the pick-up locations, and the times when your bags will be available (please see an email from me sent last Tuesday June 12 for your specific location):
Bridgewater, The Ark - 655 King Street, 9:00 - 3:30 pm
Lunenburg, Claussen-Walters - 6 King Street, 10:00 - 5:00
Mahone Bay, Mateus Bistro - 533 Main Street, 11:00 - 5:00
Chester, Chester Chiropractic Health Center - 4138 Hwy 3, 3:00 - 6:00
Halifax, Mid-East Food Centre - 2595 Agricola, 1:00 - 9:00
Halifax, Nurtured - 2571 Robie Street 1:00-5:00
On-farm pick-up - 768 Allen Frausel Road, Baker Settlement, 8:00 - 8:00

Please don't forget that we need cash or a cheque for $9, for the bags that you will be receiving your weekly deliveries in.  Please put this in an envelope with yor name on it when you return your first bag to pick up your second.

Egg Shares: Please return your used egg cartons via your bags.  Just think of it as farm inter-office mail!

Please let me know if you feel that anything is missing or not up to par in your basket.  Please also let me know if anything is particularly inspiring or exciting, too, and I will share it with our team!

One last thing about bags...  If you clean 1 each week, I don't have to clean 55: We appreciate if you return your bags clean and ready to go for next week.  Also, all the coloured ribbons and strings attached are our code for various things, so please leave them on for the season!

In your basket this week:
Swiss Chard - a truly delicious, healthful green.  With it I've included a very simple recipe, which is my favourite way to serve it.  If you're not working as hard as we are, you can substitute the oil and butter for broth or water.  Some people really enjoy it raw, and my Mom makes cabbage rolls with it (which I guess then become "swiss chard rolls"!). It's a bit meatier than spinach, but you can use it as a substitute for Popeye's fav.  I think a swiss chard lasagna would be delicious.  Have fun with this one!

Green Onions - beautiful, fresh, green onions are unbeatable and taken for granted.  As I write this newsletter, my hands are permeated with the sweet onion scent of these babies, from washing them earlier in the day.  Served in a salad, or with your radishes, they are delightful!  I know some (not me!) who love them so much, they dip them in salt and eat the whole thing!

Cilantro - If you haven't tried this herb, you're in for a new experience!  It is a sharp blast of flavour that goes well with spicy dishes like Mexican foods may also be familiar to you if you eat Thai food as it is commonly used in many of their dishes.  It's great in a salsa fresca (diced tomatoes, onion, peppers; lime and cilantro).  We make a delicious pesto from it when we have an abundance, and you should do some experimenting this week to find out how you like it best (I didn't used to like it, and now I enjoy it in small doses).  If you can't make use of all of it, you can chop it up and freeze it, which is my favourite (easy) way to preserve herbs.  Since most recipes call for just a little bit, you'll have the freshest taste that way (though you can only use it for cooking once frozen, as it does turn black when it freezes).  It's also worth noting that it is an enormously healthful herb rich in iron, magnesium and Vitamin C and A and is used in de-toxifiying the body, as an anti-inflammatory, reduces LDL cholesterol, offers relief of stomach gas and reduces nausea.

Salad Mix - Our salad mix is simply awesome right now.  You will recognize it as the bag with the range of different kinds of lettuce and little pretty flowers in it. Our mix changes as the season progresses but right now alongside the different lettuces such as red oak leaf, deer tongue, black-seeded simpson, red romaine you will find some exciting additions like claytonia (miner's lettuce, a succulent crunchy treat) and cress (a spicy, beautifully frilly green), and the lettuce itself is exactly what lettuce should be- shiny and satin, so beautiful it's almost hard to devour that salad (except you will... because it tastes as good as it looks!).  We don't profess to washing our salad mix so you should do so at your end. We find that when harvested at dawn before the heat of the day wilts the leaves and left unwashed, this mix should last in your fridge for the better part of a week though we hope you will eat it long before the week is up. Anyway, it's so gorgeous I can barely believe we are all responsible for growing it.  And I'm so proud that we are!  The small purple and yellow flowers (a.k.a. "Johnny-Jump-Ups") are edible too, and add a hint of minty flavour.

Stir-Fry Mix - This bag is a mixture of different asian greens like spicy mustards, bok choy, purple mizuna, red rain... most of which mean nothing to you, I realize.  Basically, they are healthy greens that you can cook or eat raw (if you're adventurous!), as they have flavours ranging from mild-cabbage to wow-spicy-mustard!  They're great chopped up in stews or soups, too. Chopped finely and then added to a pasta or rice salad these greens add some wonderful zest and you never get a sense of being overpowered by their bite. You can make double use of your recipe this week and substitute the Stir-Fry Mix for the Swiss Chard.  Raw, these greens stand up to a bold dressing, or hold their own with a mild one, so do some trials and see what you like.  Beware of the frilly green mustard, he packs a punch! As the season progresses you will see more of this mix and it will change to allow for it's stellar reputation as a "Meal-In-A-Bag" as we add snow peas or broccoli florets or other items that are well suited to join each other in a tasty and healthy dish.
In your stir-fry mix is a garlic scape, which is the first you'll see of our amazing garlic for the year.  The scape is how the garlic plant sends up its seed in the late spring, and we remove them to encourage the bulb to grow (and because they are delicious!).  It's a definite garlic flavour, a bit milder and sweeter than winter garlic.  You can use it with your stir-fry, or anywhere that you like garlic (we on the farm like it everywhere!).  You'll be seeing more of these in the weeks to come, they are truly a seasonal treat!

Oregano - We often opt for the dried version, but the fresh bundle in your basket this week is pungent and flavourful, reminscient of pizza and greek food and warm herb bread...  Mmmm!  If you're not able to creatively incorporate all of it into your dishes this week, hang it up to dry in a dust-free spot and you can use it until it's all gone!

Radishes - My favourite thing to grow, as they are the earliest root vegetable, and simply gorgeous to look at!  Ours are called "Easter Egg", and are a range of pinks, purples, white and reds.  Try grating them into your salad, or be traditional and just slice them.  These put the mild, boring grocery store radishes to shame-- I had one at lunch the other day and it was shockingly spicy!  Most of them are a reasonable spicy radish flavour, and they are also very juicy, which is a quality I didn't appreciate in a radish until now.  Goes well with goat cheese and those green onions in your basket!

Head Lettuce
- These beauties are our first outdoor head lettuce harvest of the season.  There's a range of different types, all of them shockingly gorgeous, and I worry about them fitting into the bags!

Kale - Ours is a mixture of different varieties, and kale is one of the most healthy greens (a "super-food"!), and not something to be afraid of!  I actually really like it raw, with a bit of oil and vinegar, which is best massaged into the torn-up leaves.  Throw some seeds or nuts on top and you have a "super-salad" (as opposed to a soup-or-salad-- which you can also do, as it's great in soups, too!).  Something else I LOVE is kale chips, which you can do in a dehydrator for maximum nutrition retention.  Sometimes I'm lazy and just bake mine in the oven: Tear kale leaves into bite-sized pieces, toss them in your favourite flavours with oil (I do cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt), and bake in the oven at 400 degrees spread out on a cookie sheet until they turn into the lightest, airiest "chips" you've ever had!  Save the stems and throw them in your next soup pot.

We hope you enjoy eating everything in your basket as much as we enjoyed growing it!

Teri Dillon

Watershed Farm
768 Allen Frausel Road
Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia
B4V 7H8
c. 902.212.2301 | p. 902.685.3901
Follow us on Facebook
Check out the new Watershed Farm blog!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two weeks 'til great food!

 Tomorrow marks two weeks until all of our lucky CSA members are receiving great food every week from our garden, which is busy growing with all of us busy tending it!
Ironically, when I went to post this, I noticed that Thomas must have taken the opportunity of a rainy day to post some photos of his chicken tractor as well! Knowing that I'll never get it done if I don't do it now, I'm going to step on his toes and put this up anyhow.
Here's a photo of half of our wonderful playful kittens, who occupy all and every moment of my breaks in the day.  They are unplanned moments when I go into the barn to get something and have to stop to enjoy 10 minutes of 6 kittens piling all over me!  Some have names, but the 3 orange ones are consolidated into one and called "Ginga".
If you thought two weren't cute enough, check out the background, between the tails!
The caterpillar tunnels are holding up well in the wind; in the foreground there is a buckwheat cover crop, potatoes, beans, etc!
Glorious lettuce, growing for the first CSA boxes in 2 weeks time!
Radishes, tomatoes staked in the tunnel, and lettuce
If you  knew Jon, you'd know he's been waiting all season to do this.  We picked up this landscape fabric from a local greenhouse that shut down.  It is used for mulching, which is a technique that us organic growers need to use to control weeds.  First he lays a strip of drip tape, which is the most efficient way to water when you have a limited supply like we do- the water literally "drips" from the length of hose and permeates the ground all the way to the plants roots- no wasted water due to evaporation or pooling.  He lays the fabric on the beds and holds it down by first putting rocks and then burying the edges.  THEN (and this is the part he likes!) he heats up his metal-can-on-a-stick with a blow torch and burns a hole to plant though, cauterizing the edges of the fabric so it doesn't fray.  Then he plants into the holes: These beds were winter squash, as the corn is in the middle: the squash will grow around the corn, and the racoons detest stepping on the spines of the squash leaves, so they will leave our corn alone (we hope!) And then, because we've just seen our first striped cucumber beetles, we cover the squash transplants with row cover until it flowers.  Whew!
Yes, that is broccoli!
The main greenhouse, full of tomatoes
Our little house, which I painted as a surprise to Jon when he returned from Calgary.  That's not a doghouse inside the fence, it's a duck-house!
Trellising in the field for the tomatoes

Our first Chicken tractor

the happy hens new home
exploring the new chicken run

worm hunting in the grass jungle

fresh grass = happy hens

the season of rotational grazing begins