Monday, July 30, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 31 July 2012 - Delivery #7

Hello everyone!

Can you believe it's August?  I certainly can't.  It feels like there's not enough hours in the day, every day, and so the days fly by and feel like minutes.  Luckily we've taken a few trips down to the river swimming hole to remind us to take a moment to enjoy the summer, and Jon and I will take a short vacation this week in PEI, thanks to Lisa's hard work picking up the slack the next 4 days!

Addie is back from camp and always willing to lend a hand!
If these bouquets pique your interest, you can still sign on for a flower share!

Thanks to all of you who filled out the Mid-Season CSA Survey, and a little reminder to those of you who haven't yet gotten the chance!  You can still fill it out by clicking here.

Teri and Camelia with a table full of gorgeous garden fare at the Bridgewater Farmer's Market

Please remember to return your bags with each week's delivery- it makes things so much easier for us (see, you pick up your stuff after we've left, so if we don't get your bag from the previous week when we drop off the new delivery, then we're stuck).  And thanks to those of you who do!

One last snapshot from the farm and then I'll get to what you're waiting to hear about:

This is a photo of our cute little "chosen family".  We had a chicken that went broody (wanted to sit on eggs), so we put a hefty amount under her.  She was just a little chicken, and it must have been too much for her, so she enlisted the help of her little white friend.  They both sat faithfully on those eggs for 21 days and hatched out an assortment of ducklings and even a chick!  Now they share the mothering duties, too. 

What's in your basket this week:
Stir-Fry Mix
Back by popular demand, our seasonally-changing stir-fry mix.  This week it contains such delights as tatsoi, yukina savoy, pea tendrils and red bok choy.  All of these greens can be lightly steamed or stir-fried, even eaten raw or added to a salad.  These are the milder of the asian greens, with a nice cabbage flavour and not a lot of intense heat like some of the mustards.  The green garlic which has made another appearance in your bag is begging to be friends with your stir-fry mix!


Jon and Addie both sport new haircuts in the blueberry patch!
The overarching conclusion we reached by asking in our survey "what would you like to see more of in your basket?" was fruit and berries.  Well, you got 'em!  These are unsprayed highbush blueberries from a neighbour's farm, as we don't have enough bushes to supply all members at once.  Jon, Lisa, Camelia, Peter, Addie and I went this afternoon and picked these gorgeous, delicious berries from huge bushes: some as old as 60 years!  If there's enough demand we may be able to repeat this offering in a future basket, or offer berries for sale via your CSA bag.  If you're very happy with them, let me know and we'll see if we can't schedule another picking!
Feel free to throw that little cardboard container back in your bag for us to re-use.


One of the zucchini plants got mixed in with a planting of winter squash, so we ended up with a huge ignored behemoth yellow zucchini, which fed us for more than one meal.  I did my "eggplant treatment" on it, which worked out well, here it is:
RECIPE: Fried Zucchini (or eggplant!)
- 1 medium to large zucchini
- salt
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour (we used buckwheat to make it gluten-free)
- desired seasonings of your choice
Cut zucchini into 1/2" planks, salt both sides, and let sit on a plate while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.  Beat two eggs in a bowl, and in a separate bowl, mix flour with seasonings (I used salt, pepper, and some dried oregano- you could use almost anything, including cinnamon, garlic, other herbs, etc).  Fry zucchini planks in oil (both sides) until tender and cooked.  Then dip in egg, followed by dipping in flour mixture, and fry both sides a second time (until flour is cooked).  Delicious with a bit of added asiago or other hard, strong cheese.

Beans, glorious beans!  I was just thinking about all the great things I have to say about vegetables, and what would happen if there was something that I really hated that I had to tell you about?  Luckily, beans are not it; I have nothing but great things to say about beans.  Yum!  If you're sick of beans as a side dish, try cooking them and then giving them an ice bath to stop the cooking process (and keep them crispy), then add them to salads (leafy or potato), or even make a cold bean salad.  You can eat these raw, too, if it's your thing.

Green Garlic
I love our green garlic.  It's so juicy and crisp and delicious.  I keep thinking of how good it goes with everything, so we keep putting it in your basket.  If nothing else, your house will be vampire-free!

It's either self-fulfilling prophecy or just great luck that my last name is Dillon, because Dill is-- by far-- my favourite herb.  I put it in everything, and when there's beautiful fresh baby dill around, I even chop it up and freeze it so I won't even have to look at that dried stuff in the wintertime. 

Lots of people are nervous about fennel, and I can't say I blame them.  I wasn't too sure about it until I just went for it and started experimenting and adding it to my cooking repertoire.  The first way I ever enjoyed it was a simple fennel orange salad, as I've mentioned in an earlier newsletter.  Below is a recipe that cooks it, which removes a lot of the licorice taste and makes it a bit more palatable for some.  A trick I've found that helps is having a very sharp knife and getting the slices as thin as you possibly can.  It's almost like it has so much flavour, like a strong herb, that it needs a little bit of a different approach than a carrot.  But it's still delicious!
RECIPE: Sauteed Fennel
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cloves garlic, sliced
1 head fennel, thinly sliced
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
Directions: 1 Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat until just smoking.
2 Add the oil, garlic, fennel, and start tossing, to coat fennel in oil.
3 Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4 As the fennel starts to caramelize, add a splash of water to steam for 1 minute.
5 Remove from the heat.

You're bound to have a couple of things in your bag that you don't know what they are this week, kohlrabi being one of them!  The kohlrabi is the round space-ship-like thing, which will be either purple or green.  It's got a great crunch and a mild cabbage flavour, and if nothing else it's something different to impress your friends and family members with!  I enjoy it best peeled, cut into sticks and served raw with dip or a sprinkle of your herb sea salt.  However, there are a lot of recipes out there, and I encourage you to try something new with it (and let me know how it turns out!).  I found a good one that makes use of some other things you have in your basket this week:
RECIPE: Kohlrabi Slaw

1 kohlrabi
1 cup apple
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Peel kohlrabi
2 Shred the kohlrabi and apple. You may use a food processor for this. I hand grate using a cheese grater.
3 Mix 1 Tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill in a glass bowl. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons olive oil.
4 Add shredded kohlrabi and apple and toss.
5 Chill for 30 minutes or more.
Goes very well with fish.
P.S. I would try adding some fennel to this one as well!

Full-size shares also get:
A staple that you simply cannot (and should not!) live without.  I'm craving potato salad this week!  In our household, to avoid the various food allergies and intolerances, we make an event of it and have "potato salad bar".  We cook and cut up the potatoes, and then all the other ingredients go into separate bowls and it's a create-your-own experience.  Some of our favourite ingredients include: home-made mayonnaise (our happy hen eggs are unbeatable for this), eggs, dill, garlic, fennel, apple, green onion, and pickles.

Our broccoli is tender and sweet, and I hope I have been creative enough in telling you how to make use of your kohlrabi and fennel this week that you should be able to figure out a use for this!

I may regret this, so:
Please don't send me emails saying "I didn't get any tomatoes in my bag this week!"
But here's a photo of what's coming soon!

Beautiful heirloom tomatoes!

Can't wait for all the great recipes you'll share this week!

One last note: Jon and I will be away this week, so if you have something super urgent, please contact Camelia (685-3901,  If it's not urgent, you can email and I will reply upon my return.  Otherwise, we'll be back Saturday morning at the Bridgewater Farmer's Market, hope to see you there! 

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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Check out the new Watershed Farm blog!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 24 July 2012 - Delivery #6

Hi everyone!

Below is a photo of what we did yesterday afternoon.  A neighbouring farmer came and cut and baled the hay in our pasture, and we helped load the wagon and stack it for the sheep's winter consumption.  This was the first load of four, which is why we were still smiling!  Stacking hay is hard.  Those bales that look all soft and cuddly in this photo are actually plotting to kill us, one hay splinter at a time.  We quickly changed out of the shorts and donned gloves as necessary.  We're still finding hay everywhere (in the bed, in our hair, even in the ice cube tray!). 
Previously we have bought in hay, so it was very satisfying to be harvesting the grass that our land produces for the animals who live here!

It's been a crazy week and we are glad to have our Lisa back (her parents came to visit and she enjoyed a quick vacation).  Everything in the fields looks great, and we are even starting to harvest a small amount of tomatoes, which means they aren't far from your plate!  We have such abundance that we are opening up some more full shares in our CSA, so if you know someone who is envious of the beautiful baskets you're receiving each week, send them our way!

A couple of notes:
Mid-Season Survey:
I thought it would be a good idea to get some feedback from everyone as to how you are enjoying the CSA so far.  I made up a quick little survey, and I would love if you could take 5 minutes to fill it out.  Also, if there's any major issues, please let me know so we can have an opportunity to rectify things before the season goes any further.  Since every pick-up location is different, certain locations may have different issues than others and it's a tough thing for us to find out.  So, you have to tell us!  I'm always happy to get emails with both compliments and suggestions.  Feel free to voice anything in the survey, or by emailing me directly.
Here is a link to the survey: (It's only 10 questions!).

Farm recycling: I have been super impressed with all of you who return your egg cartons faithfully (Thanks!), and it gave me an idea of some other things you can send along in your bags that we would be happy to make use of:
-(clean) plastic shopping bags
-twist ties
-fiber containers from berries/tomatoes
-any egg cartons

Egg and Flower Shares:

Here's a photo of what you can expect to see if you sign up for a flower share.  Camelia's bouquets are gorgeous, and I'm certain you all deserve to treat yourselves to flowers for 5 weeks!  It's a steal of a deal, at $35.  Also, flowers are something that you don't necessarily think about as something you should be putting on your environmentalist hat about, but you should: many of the commercial bouquets available to consumers are shipped from all over the world, and there's nothing local, sustainable, or environmentally friendly about them.  Fortunately, ours are something beautiful that you can feel good about, too!

Here's what some of our CSA members have said about our eggs this year:
"The Happy Hen eggs are awesome!" -JB
"...the eggs last week were SO yummy!" -AM
"...the eggs are sooo scrumptious" -RB
"The eggs last week were just wonderful." -SD
"nothing has ever been as much fun and as good as these eggs." -MH

Exciting news on the farm is that our new hens are starting to lay in earnest, so we will be ready to accept more egg shares as soon as you want them.  $25 gets you 5 weeks of delivery (not on consecutive weeks, but usually every second week or so).  Also, if you already have an egg share and would be interested in signing on for another, we can accomodate that, too.  Just send me an email to let me know you are interested in an egg ($25) or flower ($35) share, include a cheque in your bag return, and we will make sure you share in our delicious eggs and beautiful flowers!

And now, what you have all been waiting for...
What's in your bag this week:
Head Lettuce
I "googled" "leaf lettuce recipes" for you this week and came up with a great idea- why don't you wrap something interesting in it!  My search returned such delectables as "Korean spicy pork lettuce wraps", "Chicken salad lettuce wrap"; and I'm sure you could use ingredients other than meat and come up with something exciting.  My celiac friend in Calgary was always so excited when she would go to a restaurant and they would do something creative, like wrap her burger in a lettuce leaf rather than just serving it without a bun (Celiacs need a meat delivery device, too!).  Or, just keep eating that salad, like I know you are faithfully doing!

Just when I think I've run out of things to tell you about chard, I have my awesome CSA members to fall back on.  Here are some recipes that other members have sent me that they have used for the chard (We do love when you share your recipes with us, too!).  Thanks to A.C. and S.M.!


(From the Trout Point Lodge Cookbook.  Our member subbed new potatoes instead of the pasta, and said it was amazing!)

RECIPE: Swiss Chard with Orange Zest and Garlic
Serves: 4  Preparation Time: 15 minutes
2 bunches Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and diced
2 shallots, diced (I guess you could use the Scapes here)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 orange, zested* and juiced
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch chipotle chili flakes
1 tablespoon Fig Vinegar or balsamic vinegar
Saute the shallots, garlic and Swiss chard stems in a hot, dry stainless steel pan (or Salad Master Pot if you are fortunate to have one!) for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the orange zest and juice, allspice, and chipotle chili flakes. Deglaze the pan with vinegar; add the chard leaves and steam for 3 more minutes.
* The zest of an orange or other citrus fruit is the outermost, colored skin that contains flavorful oils. Use a grater to take off just the colored part, not the white pith.

Poultry herb blend
You don't need to use these herbs for poultry, I just call it a "poultry blend" because all of these herbs are the traditional taste of Thanksgiving.  You've got a few sprigs of thyme, oregano, and sage in a nice little bundle. 
I've often wondered why they put such food-centered holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas in the fall and winter.  We've got such great tasting stuff right now, who cares if it's not quite that time?  Roast a chicken, invite all your friends and relatives, and be thankful for the bounty!  Or, use these herbs to season your chard or potatoes or beets... you get the idea!

Green Garlic (1)
Green garlic is a seasonal treat, so enjoy it!  If you love it, we can sell you a bag for $10 (it will keep quite a while in the fridge).

It may not be that exciting, but it's essential for all that cooking you're doing, so we have an onion for you this week!  Use the tops in your salad or stir-frys, too!

If potatoes tasted this good all year long, I think I could live off of them.

Jon swore he hated beets, but he had only ever had them boiled, and once Lisa and I were a little more creative with them than that, he has decided he likes them.  We put them in with our "roasted root vegetable medley" (Potatoes, beets, carrots, rutabaga, etc)- toss in a bowl with oil and garlic and bake at 400 degrees until tender and brown.  Lisa adds beet to pretty well everything, including hummus: So, don't be afraid to experiment!
I'm going to share something very special with you folks right now- it's my Mom's recipe for borscht!  It may not be something you can make exclusively with the items in your basket this week, but rather something to aspire to.  Really, we throw in any veggies we have available, so your basket this week is a good start at least.

RECIPE: Stephanie’s Ukrainian Borscht
1 lb. Beef or pork bones with some meat on
3-4 quarts water
2 t salt or to taste
½ t ground black pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
½ C diced or shredded carrots
1 C diced or shredded potatoes
1 t dill weed (finely crushed FRESH stems and leaves)
2 T white vinegar
1 C shredded cabbage
½ C green or yellow wax beans
¼ C peas
4-6 medium beets shredded or chopped (when fresh leave some stems on)
1 can pre-cooked white beans
1 can crushed tomatoes
½ pint half and half cream or any sweet cream

(Meat is optional, but good for flavor) 
Boil bones in the water (skimming) until meat falls off, cut up and return to pot.  (If the bones are very fatty you may want to remove the fat or wait until the next day when the soup has cooled and remove it then).  Add salt and pepper, and other ingredients (except cream) in order given.  Be sure to add vinegar before beets or the soup may turn orange (does not affect taste).  Boil until vegetables are tender.  Turn heat off and add sweet cream (do not boil).  Serve.
Note: If you want to freeze some soup, don’t add the cream.  Just put in a plastic container and add the cream after you bring it to a boil.
- I don’t measure anything exactly—that’s what makes it unique.  If you don’t have soup bones, boil some round steak chopped in little pieces or ground beef.   

Here's a guest spot by Lisa, telling you all about the round friend in your bag:
Cabbage is an interesting vegetable, as it is also considered a medicinal plant due to an amino acid it possesses called glutomine, which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties.  I'll try to keep this short, as I could really ramble about cabbage forever, but first I'll tell you what you can do with your cabbage (if you even need any suggestions, maybe some of you are cabbage enthusiasts as well out there). 
Cabbage is delicious sauteed with butter and garlic (what isn't), or steamed (if you're keeping it light).  It is also easily incorporated into cold salads (grated or sliced thinly with grated beets, a little optional minced garlic, raisins, lemon juice, balsamic and olive oil, makes a simple delicious salad), and even delicious in omelets (as I learned when I was a very poor student last fall).  Or if you are feeling like dabbling in lacto-fermentation (it's not as crazy as it sounds), you can make sauerkraut.  Sauerkraut can really be made out many different vegetables, but cabbage works best because it contains a lot of water.  You could begin with any other leafy greens (beet tops, swiss chard, or garlic or ginger) as well.  You chop up the cabbage, put it in a stainless steel or glass bowl/crock, sprinkle sea salt on top (I'm not a measurement person, but a fair amount), then using a mallet, potato masher, or whatever you have on hand, proceed to squish the cabbage until water starts to come out. You'll be surprised at how much liquid will appear. Put a plate (or something that fits over the cabbage in the bowl) over the cabbage, with a weight on top (I use a rock), and put it in a cool, dark spot. Leave for at LEAST three days, checking it every day. If you find any spots of mold, don't worry, just scoop it off. The cabbage will begin to ferment. Don't be scared, taste it every day, you'll notice the change. When it suites your tastes, put it into a mason jar or container (preferably not plastic) in the fridge. It will keep for a long time.
Back to cabbage being an anti-inflammatory (it's also high in vitamin c): it works amazingly as an impromptu poultice; it really does wonders. Next time you hit yourself on the thumb with a hammer, bruise a cabbage leaf (roll over it with a rolling pin or wine bottle) and wrap your thumb in it. You might be surprised.

Full Shares also get:
Once we stop sending all of our zucchinis to our CSA members, we are going to have a zucchini BBQ party!  They are fabulous on the BBQ- just grill until tender, flipping as necessary, and a bit of asiago cheese on top to finish it off makes this dish.  They're a great veggie for shish kebabs, too.

These beaut's are considered a "baby leek", and are tender and sweetly similar to an onion... but different!  I sauteed one up with shredded cabbage and it was really, really delicious.  You could also make potato leek soup with what you have in your basket this week, which was Jon's suggestion for the newsletter after he picked them.  Potatoes and leeks really have a special relationship; they compliment each other very well.  This soup would also be great cold, as it's hard to imagine eating soup on some of these hot days we've been having.
RECIPE: Creamy Potato Leek Soup
1/2 cup sliced leek, washed well
2 cups chicken broth
4 medium potatoes, cut in 1" cubes
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Bring broth to a boil and reduce to medium.
2 Add leeks, potatoes, and onion.
3 Simmer, covered, 25-30 minutes.
4 Add seasonings and cream.
5 Simmer 5 minutes more.
6 Slightly mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.
7 Serve with salad and crusty bread.
8 A snap to make, but tastes gourmet!

Salad Mix
Our salad mix is gorgeous: it's got so much variety that all it needs is dressing.  Enough said!

Thanks for loving what we do and being a part of our farm.  Enjoy your baskets this week!

PSST!  Don't forget to fill out your Mid-Season CSA Survey!

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, July 16, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 17 July 2012 - Delivery #5

Hello all!

Thanks to all of you who made it out to our Open Farm Day (Don't worry if you missed it, we'll be holding another sometime in September!).  It was a very hot day, but those who braved the heat got to meet the sheep, ducks, chickens, ducklings, kittens, the vegetable fields, as well as Jon, Camelia, and I.

My favourite Rooster, "Boyfriend" making some new friends

There's some extra goodies in store for you if you help us sign on more full-share members (we have about 10 spots left).  Or, don't forget you can always upgrade to a full-size share if you're finding the small is just not quite enough, or if you're jealous of some of the early bonus items that the full-shares have been receiving (but don't worry, you'll get cabbage and beans eventually, too!).

My Grandma in Manitoba and I have always shared a love of growing things.  All of the earliest garden memories that I have are from her farm.  I remember Grandpa going out to pick strawberries for his cereal every morning and the little pot he picked them into.  I remember shelling peas on the lawn in the shade, hiding in the asparagus ferns, and thinking how funny broad beans looked.  My Grandma also receives our weekly newletter, as I don't have much time to write and this way she can see what's growing on our farm.  Last week she mentioned: "My Mother would have been charmed with your project.  When we grew up the garden was a necessity and we didn't realize how healthy our lifestyle was.  I recall some relatives from Ontario wondering why 'everything tastes so good!'".    It's true that so many of us have become so detached from what real food tastes like: Luckily, as part of our CSA, you're a part of the farm and getting to experience eating locally and seasonally. 
The meandering point of this story is that today is my Grandma's birthday, and I wanted to officially wish her a Happy Birthday in the newsletter!

Just so you know, all of the newsletters are available on our Watershed Farm blog shortly after I send them out to you (or the next morning, so if you ever need to reference a previous newletter, that's where you can find them.  Also, if you use Facebook, you can Like Us to keep up to date with our farm photos and news.

Here's what's in your basket this week:

Head Lettuce
Each week, we give you the makings of a great salad.  Our head lettuce are various types, such as red leaf, romaine, green leaf, red butter, and red romaine.  Jon saw my look of frustration in the cooler today when I was packing them and asked, "Too big?".  They're HUGE and I could hardly fit them in the bags!  You can invite all your neighbours over for salad for the next week.

Our second planting of carrots is ready, which means these are sweet babies.  We gave you rainbow bunches again, so if you were unsure about those purple ones, you're gonna have to try 'em!  Really, they're delicious.  I love the seed names for heirloom varieties, too: The purple ones are called things like "Cosmic Purple" and "Purple Haze".  I truly envy the person who has the job of naming the vegetable varieties.

You'll be getting a bunch of turnips in your basket this week.  These are summer turnips, which means that they are a sweet and tender early variety, a relative of the later turnips you may already be acquainted with (Purple Top or Rutabaga).  They have a mild cabbage flavour and are nice and crunchy.  You can slice them raw into that great salad that you're making this week, or here's a recipe from the Lunenburg Farmer's Market weekly newsletter that sounds delicious:
Recipe: Glazed Turnips
1 bunch baby turnips, trimmed, greens reserved
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
Kosher salt
Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 10 minutes. (If turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.)
Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2–3 minutes.

I had a nice experience at the market in Bridgewater on Saturday.  A man who was quite overweight, headed towards my side of the market and just when I was sure he was going in for the decadent pies at the vendor beside me, he came up to our stall and exclaimed over the kale!  It's nice to see all sorts of people making healthy decisions: it's never too late!  I used to think that kale was only for the really crunchy granola types, but now I love it.  So, either I was wrong, or I have turned into a crunchy granola type.  Either way, it's delicious!

I like cilantro in small doses.  One thing you can do that's really great is add it to any canned salsa that you have around (home-made or store-bought).  It perks it up and makes it taste like it was just freshly made by someone's Mexican grandmother.  Another thing I make with it is a great sauce for rice curries.  We have usually make it with lentils, but I imagine you could be really creative and use some sort of critter, too. 
Recipe: Cilantro Coconut Curry Sauce
1 cup almonds, toasted
1 can coconut milk
2 cups greens (turnip greens or spinach)
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp curry powder (to taste - I use 2)
Cilantro to taste (personally, I use 6-8 stems)
Chili pepper flakes to taste (I use about 1 tsp)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cinnamon
After I toast the almonds, I throw everything in the food processor and blend until uniform.  (A lot of the ingredients are "to taste" because I just play with it until it tastes good.)  After it's processed, I usually add it to cooked green lentils and cook until hot.  Serve over rice or quinoa. 

Green Garlic (2)
Our garlic is WAY ahead this year and begging to get out of the ground already.  We've pulled some of it and can't resist giving you a couple of heads of what we call "green garlic", because the cloves are just starting to form and the "papery" stuff hasn't developed yet (as it does when it's cured).  It's juicy and pungent and more like garlic than those scapes you've been so dutifully devouring the past few weeks.  See below for Camelia's notes about this great item.

If you've never used a fresh onion before, you're in for a treat!  I love the slightly sweeter taste and the real "crunch!" when you cut into it.  This is something that can roll around in your crisper for a long time before you use it, but it won't, right?!  I had an ex-boyfriend who claimed to not like onion, so I grated it when adding it to nearly everything: It's an essential flavour for cooking and your kids won't even know it's there if you grate it.  Be prepared to cry a lot, though!

YAY!!  It's finally begun!  As a farmer, you measure the seasons by when your crops are ready, and to me summer squash is the gateway to real summer.  It IS summer.  It's the middle of July!  Chew on a zucchini and think about that: Carpe diem!
The one you get may be green or yellow.  You certainly may get a striped one, or even a warty fella'.  Some of them look like they are straight out of Dr. Seuss, so that was my best attempt at a Dr. Seuss impression.  (I'm sorry!  It's been a long day!)
Sautee the last 3 items together (Zucchini, Garlic, Onion), and add eggs.  MMMmm!  Throw some kale in there, while you're at it.

Full-size share also gets:
Beans (Yellow and Green Mix)
If you thought I sounded excited about the potatoes last week, know that I am just as excited about the beans!  I could eat green beans until I turned into one.  The one thing I have never understood is the "green bean - yellow bean debate".  There are some people who go nuts for the yellow beans, and some people who like their simple green bean.  I've never been able to taste the difference.  You would think being such a bean lover I would be more of a connoisseur.  Anyhow, they're delicious and it pains me to send them away in the baskets (I'd rather have them all to myself!).

Purple Kohlrabi also known as: "Whoa!  What is that purple spaceship in our basket this week!?"
Kohlrabi is a crunchy vegetable in the cabbage family, and tastes a bit like if cabbage and turnip had a baby.  You can eat it raw or lightly steam it.  First, you remove the outer skin (easy on the purple ones, as the skin is purple and the flesh is white) and then chop it up as you like.  If you've never had it before, I suggest you try it raw with a nice dip, or sprinkled with some of that herb salt you got in your basket last week. 

Message from Camelia from the garlic and flower beds:
This week is the beginning of the garlic harvest. I look to see whether there are at least two of the lower leaves that have dried down completely before pulling the whole head out of the ground. Each of the leaves represents another papery wrapper that is what will eventually protect your garlic bulbs once it dries down. Curing the garlic is a process that can take between 3-5 weeks and requires the right temperature, ventilation and humidity levels or the garlic will not store well over time and sometimes will succumb to molds and rot. One of the most delicious ways to enjoy garlic, however, is when it is still green. Fresh out of the ground and throughout the next couple of weeks at the most, the garlic still has a juiciness that is unbelievably delicious. When you peel back the white skins you will see that they haven't dried into the thin papery wrappers that you are used to seeing, just keep on peeling till you hit that juicy plump bulb and then enjoy this short lived seasonal treat.  It's best stored in the fridge, if it even makes it there!

( OPTIONAL IF YOU WANT TO GO THIS ROUTE: We can always add more green garlic to your next bag if you let us know that you are interested. We sell bags of green garlic for $10.00 and this usually represents 6-8 heads depending on size and weight. Again, this is not storage garlic but is meant for fresh eating.


I want to introduce you to some of the amazing flowers that are in your bouquets and perhaps entice a few more of you to consider signing on for a flower share, especially as the variety of flowers grows each week. I really enjoy both harvesting these beauties and finding ways to combine the colours and shapes so that you can appreciate the combination of different flowers that go into each bouquet.

This week we seem to have an abundance of so many different lovely blooms, including two of my new favourites, Cerinthe or Pride of Gibraltar with their succulent leaves and stems and indigo blushed drooping flowers and the cheerful Painted Tongue which is properly called Salpigloissis. Both of them were Victorian favourites and it's easy to see why. This week I am also able to incorporate another Victorian charmer, the dramatic Love Lies Bleeding with their drooping tendrils of red and green.

And of course, we have all of our wonderful colourful yarrows which stand up so well in the vase along with the elegant and delicate lilac and white of Agrostemma or Corn Cockle and for that burst of orange or yellow you will find some calendula blossoms.

I would love to hear how you are enjoying your flowers and if they are holding up for you in the bag and at home.

Please email Teri if you are interested in signing on for a flower share ($35 for 5 weeks of bouquets).

I really hope you enjoy your bag this week, and look forward to hearing from you!

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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Monday, July 9, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 10 July 2012 - Delivery #4

Hello from the farm!

Things are rolling along just perfect here; July is well upon us and it's hard to believe the field was ever under snow like in February when we arrived.  We have a very new addition to our farm family, and more on the way: one of our hens went broody (which is when their instincts kick in and they want to sit on their eggs- because ours are heritage breeds this happens more frequently) and somehow, unnoticed, sat hidden somewhere in the chicken coop on her eggs for 21 days and hatched a little peeper!  He or she is cute in the way that only newborn fuzzy little chicks can be.  We also have a team of mothers who are sitting on an assortment of other eggs (on purpose; though we didn't expect them to share the task!), including some duck eggs, which we hope will get us some ducklings, too.

I have been meeting lots of you at the farmer's markets, and look forward to meeting even more at our CSA Open Farm Day next Saturday, July 14.  It's so great for us to be able to put a face with a name when we're packing your bags or responding to emails.  It motivates us that you are enjoying the fruits of our hard labour, and also, that being a part of our CSA is helping us do what we want to do: which from mine and Jon's perspective, is as simple as making a living growing healthy food for others.  You're also part of your community in really awesome ways: the other day a member in Lunenburg asked if another member would be able to deliver a couple of her baskets as she is unable, and within 24 hours I had responses of "yes!" from over half of the members at that drop-off location. 
Basically, we here at the farm think you're all great, and would love to have you over.  So, please come if you can make it!

Lisa picking peas- she swore she was eating more than she put in the pail, but we still had enough for all of you!

Just a reminder to please make sure you read over the contents of each bag in this email (in bold, below) and confirm that you have received all your items each week.  We'd hate for someone to miss out, and would be happy to send it along the following week.  We also welcome your suggestions and criticisms, too: please let us know if something doesn't arrive in stellar condition, so we can try a better way.  Also, if you're feeling like you don't know what to do with something, email me for suggestions or recipes: I'd really hate to see you miss out on a delicious meal!  Basically, we're like your vegetable support group, and we welcome your feedback!

Rumtopf Farm Herb Salt:

This week you will each be receiving a bottle of herb salt. I warn you all that Salt of the Earth is not only delicious it is highly addictive.   Mike and Wanda Wolters and their five children farm on a lovely hill top site called Rumtopf Farm in Conquerall Mills. For a number of years Mike has been layering rock sea salt from Brittany with fresh herbs from the garden.  Starting with lovage in May and ending with leeks in late fall, the salt and fresh herbs from their garden are placed on top of each other in alternating layers.  Over many months as the herbs dry the salt slowly absorbs the unique characteristic of each herb.  Mike then crushes the whole lot in small batches to bring out the most amazingly delicious collection of flavours imaginable.  We have become so accustomed to always having this salt shaker on hand and use it on everything from our morning eggs to late night popcorn with everything in between from soups and stews to fish and meat.  Remember that a little goes a long way and the good news is that you can always order more from us.  At $5.00 a bottle this is the quickest and most reliable way I know to season just about everything other than your morning porridge or chocolate mousse.  Mike has also made a Smoked Spicy version of this salt so if you are feeling adventurous, order one of those as well and enjoy the zing that this herb salt will add to all of your dishes.

Lettuce Medley: A simple mix of different varieties of lettuce.  That being said, this mix is still wonderful: beautiful red and green varieties, with such a satiny texture and sweet flavour.   Lettuce is best grown in the spring or early summer, and can get bitter in the late summer heat, so now is the time to enjoy these fresh greens. 
Jon, Lisa, and I were talking the other day about iceberg lettuce, and how it used to be such a salad staple.  It actually has very little nutrition, and is mostly water.  However, this bag of lettuce in your basket does have lots of nutrition: vitamins (A and C) and minerals (iron and calcium) too. 

Peas (Sugar, Shell, and Snow): Hopefully if you got one type last week, you'll get another this week, but either way: fresh summer peas are an unbeatable treat!  Eat them while they're here, because they're never the same as straight off the farm, in season!

Baby Potatoes: They're here!!  MMMmmAughaughMmmhaha - that's the only way I can express in words how delicious these nuggets are.  If you were here to see how excited I am about having these for you this week, it would look like a combination of me flailing my arms and running around in circles, while skipping.  Not the best way to get them picked, but luckily Jon and Lisa are (a little) more controlled about these things. 
Your bag is a mixture of "Blue-Noser" (purple skin, white flesh), "All-Blues" (purple skin and flesh) and Whites.  The all-blues are our favourite as far as taste goes, and they're kid friendly, too (how cool is a purple potato?!).  Here's my Mom's recipe for new potatoes:

--> Creamed New Potatoes
1-2 lbs fresh new potatoes
1 cup cream or whole milk (we subbed a can of coconut milk to make it dairy-free and it was great!)
1-2 sprigs fresh dill
1 garlic scape, diced
salt and pepper to taste (a great spot to make use of your new herb sea salt!)

Boil potatoes until cooked (they will take a lot less time to cook than storage potatoes, and have a much lower starch content than those oldies)
While potatoes are cooking, sautee scapes in cream until hot (do not boil).  Remove from heat, add dill, pour over potatoes, and serve!
P.S. I am throwing in a couple of sprigs of dill for each of you, so you have everything you need (except the cream) for this recipe. 

Even if you want to go the healthy route, they are delicious just boiled with the fresh dill and a bit of butter.  I talked to a market goer on Saturday who was going to "smash" hers: boil until cooked, place on a baking sheet, "smash" with the bottom of a cup or jar, drizzle with olive oil and bake 5 more minutes in the oven.  I'm pretty certain you could eat these raw and they'd still taste good!

Spinach: I asked a friend who is a full-share member how she was enjoying the baskets, and if her family of four was able to eat all the veggies.  She said that everything she hasn't been able to get to in terms of leafy greens, she freezes, which I think is a super idea!  We do it with leftover market goods, and if you're stuck with stuff from last week by the time this week's delivery comes along (or if you're going away, et cetera), you should try it too.  She said the frozen spinach is great and easy to throw into a smoothie (and what a great way to have greens for breakfast).  You could freeze stir-fry mix, kale, turnip tops and beet greens as well.  No blanching required - just throw them straight into the freezer! 
Or, use your spinach fresh and combine with hard-boiled eggs (especially our happy hen eggs, if you're one of our egg shares) and scapes with a nice vinagrette for an awesome simple salad.  Those strawberries at the market are looking delicious, and would be a great addition as well.

Scapes: This is your last week of getting scapes, and there's a while until the garlic is ready, so savour them!  You can also freeze them if you feel you won't go through them in time.  I just LOVE how good everything fresh tastes together, especially with scapes, and even if you're not a garlic lover, they're so mild and sweet you'll love them anyway!

Full-size share also gets:

Cabbage: Our cabbage is beautiful and early!  We had some sauteed with fresh peas and scapes for lunch today, and it is so sweet it hardly tastes related to those old lumpy winter cabbages at the grocery store.  If you're unsure about it at all, try it raw: I was certain I detested it until I started eating raw cabbage salads.  It's hearty, too, so it takes a long time to eat and makes you feel full (for those of us watching our figures).

Chard: I actually stopped dead in the field the other day when I walked by our chard: It's so beautiful!  It's also delicious, and I urge you to use it, or freeze it for those long winter months.  Substitute it anywhere you would use cooked spinach.  It's great with fish, and after all, we do live on the East Coast!  Jon and I take Tuesdays off, and tomorrow will be trying our luck fishing at a nearby lake.  If we catch one, we'll eat it with chard and lots of butter and scapes, and think of you!

Remember, it's never too late to decide you want more vegetables in your life and upgrade to a full-size share.  Just send me an email and let me know, and I'll calculate it our for you.  That being said, you can decide the same thing about eggs ($25) and flowers too!  Our flower gardens are looking awesome (and Camelia's bouquets do them great justice) so you should treat yourself to some flowers.  It's a steal at $35.00 for five bouquets and is guaranteed to bring joy to your day or make your loved one feel that you really do love them after all!

Jon inspecting his tomato plants inside the caterpillar tunnel

Thanks for being such an important part of our farm.
Hope to see you Saturday between 12-5 for our CSA Open Farm Day!

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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Watershed Farm CSA - 03 July 2012 - Delivery #3

Happy Canada Day!

This is the rainbow that greeted us early this morning.  It was raining to the west, and the sun coming up made a huge double rainbow across the sky.

Lucky for you, we don't take the long weekend off!  But we did take a couple of trips down to the swimming hole in the river at the hottest part of the day these past couple scorchers.  For some reason (because he's nuts!) the heat doesn't bother Jon as much as Lisa and I.  He runs circles around us with the rototiller, and the most we can handle is to pull weeds and make barely coherent conversation with each other.  The heat also limits our harvest window considerably, meaning that we were up well before the roosters this morning, and well into the evening packing.  As I write this, Jon is outside with a flashlight, squishing striped cucumber beetles. 

I could say I'm exhausted, but I barely feel like this is "work", I love it so much!  Jon and I often marvel at the fact that this is what we do, and feel so fortunate for it.  I flipped the calendar onto the correct month yesterday (It was actually still on May, which shows how up-to-date we are!) and saw the quotation: "Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love."  That's how I feel about what we are doing here, up on our hilltop farm.  It may be a drop in the bucket-- growing healthy organic food for people in our community-- but it's at least a step in the right direction.  Though it's a small thing we're doing, it's a great thing, and we do it with the deepest kind of love.  I'm sure it rubs off on the vegetables, all the way to your table! 

We've decided that you need to see the farm!  So, we will be holding a CSA Open Farm Day on Saturday, July 14 between 12-5.  Show up when you can, and if possible, please RSVP so I know how many people to expect.  You can meet all of us as well as our sheep, ducks, chickens, turkeys, and even maybe even take home a kitten or two.  We'll be hosting another one of these days later in the season as well, so if you can't make it we'll catch you another time.

A surprising number of you have paid $9 for your bags already (Thank You!), and if the rest of you could possibly remember to include $9 in cash or cheque in an envelope with your name on it in your bag return this week, that would be great.  Also, just another reminder: if it's easy for you to drop off your cooler bag at your location before Tuesday, that really helps us, as then we can pick them up as we drop off the full ones.  Please, please, please remember to return your bags, as it makes our job so much easier!

Small Share folks: Are you jealous that the full shares got beets a week early, and turnips this week?  Are you finding that our stuff is so great, you have no problem eating the whole bag before Tuesday?  If you'd like to upgrade your share to a full-size, you can do so by emailing me and letting me know and including a cheque for $95 in your bag return this week.  What this gets you is an upgrade for the rest of the season, which is about a $7 value or more per week, starting next week (14 weeks of delivery left).

Here's what we have for you this week (stop reading now if you'd rather be surprised!)

Radishes - Back again, our beautiful spicy radishes.  I make a great dip with goat cheese, chives, garlic scapes and grated radishes, here's the recipe:

Radish Dip
6-8 radishes
8 oz. fresh soft goat cheese
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh garlic scapes and chives
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Finely grate radishes and mix with all other ingredients.  If you like a thicker dip, add less yogurt, and vice versa.  Try making this dip with different herbs as they are seasonally available.  If you are not eating it immediately, you should grate the radishes and strain the juice out so that the dip does not separate.  Goes great with bread, veggies, or crackers.

Chives - Use these anywhere you need a burst of fresh onion flavour, or in the recipe above.  They're great in a salad, and you can lightly sautee them with other items in your basket (beet tops, kale, turnip tops).

Peas - Some of you will get peas in the pod (the kind you just eat the peas inside) and some will get sugar snap edible pod peas (eat the whole thing).  Peas are a true taste of summer, whatever the variety: sweet and delicious!  Don't worry, we labelled them, so if you're not sure: the snap peas have no label, and the pod peas are labelled "shelling peas".

Kale - I have a great kale salad recipe that I love... it's so great, you forget you're eating something that's actually healthy!  We had it for lunch today:

Kale Salad
1 bunch kale, finely chopped
1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
handful of chopped parsley and chives
1/2 cup nuts and/or seeds and/or raisins
In a large bowl, massage oil and vinegar into kale (this helps the hearty leaves absorb the flavour).  Toss with herbs and nuts, seeds, raisins.  You can also add apple, sprouted lentils, or other fruit as desired.

Today, since we had some help from our wonderful work share helper Susan, Lisa and I spent the afternoon making some goodies to sell at the farmer's market.  Lisa made kale chips, which are just kale leaves (stems removed) tossed in some oil and then other ingredients, with your imagination as the limit.  She made some spicy ones with cayenne and crushed peppers, some salt and vinegar, and some flavoured with curry spice.  We had both dehydrators going, as that is the best way to retain the most nutrition in the chips, but she also made some in the oven.  Simply spread out on a cookie sheet and bake until they become light and airy.  They're so much like chips, you won't even miss chips!

Head Lettuce - We thought we'd give you small shares a break from salad mix and give you something to put on your barbequed hamburgers! 

Baby Beets - Candy, for veggie lovers!  The tops on these are gorgeous, and delicious, too!  Since these are baby beets, you don't have to peel them, which saves you some mess in the kitchen.  We enjoy them cut in half and sauteed for 3-5 minutes, and then the tops added and sauteed until they wilt. 

Fennel - A true gem, that most people overlook and you're fortunate enough to get to try!  I never got it until I tried it sliced as thin as possible with oranges... delicious!  We're planning a salad with fennel, orange, and beets as soon as we get our hands on some oranges.  I also have tried adding it with roasted vegetables, which is great because your dinner guests will never guess what that delicious mystery vegetable is!  You can add the fronds (the green feathery tops) to your salad or use them as you would a herb- I added some to potato salad the other day.

Scapes - We have a lot of scapes, and love them so much that we want to make them last longer than the season for them, so Lisa and I pickled some today.  Here's the result:

Gorgeous!  I can't wait to eat them.  I hope you find something equally exciting to do with your bunch.

Full-Size share also gets:
Turnips - The white ones are called "Hakurei" and the red are "Scarlet Lady".  Both are sweet, crunchy, and delicious, and you can eat the tops, too!  They're great sauteed with garlic scapes, but let's be honest, what isn't great sauteed with garlic scapes?!

Salad Mix - I think I've said all I can about salad mix in past weeks, so here's a picture of a cute kitty to finish off this email!

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!