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.
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:
- 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 pepperChard - 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 leaf...it 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.
- Whisk together all ingredients until blended.
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)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.