Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day here on the farm. We hosted a Season Extension Workshop with David Cohlmeyer, who just flew in from Toronto. Over 30 farmers, gardeners, consultants and garden enthusiasts attended, and it was a great day, despite the downpour (which let up enough so that we could have a tour). In the workshop we covered winter greenhouses, root cellars, and crop choices for extending your harvest into the winter months, and also had a delicious lunch thanks to Camelia's hard work the past few days in the kitchen!
David Cohlmeyer in front of a caterpillar tunnel at our Season Extension Workshop this past Sunday
In the morning when Lisa went to water the sheep, their shelter had blown over their fence and they were gone. We spent most of the morning looking for them, to no avail. They finally turned up halfway through the workshop, when a neighbour drove up and let us know they were in the middle of the road. We herded them back on the road at least a kilometer, and they were happy to be home.
Apparently all the animals were set on escaping, as I went to change out of my wet clothes and saw a fat, cute little black bunny with floppy ears cross my path- My bunny! Luckily Jon was around and I was able to corner her and grab her.
This Sunday we'll have another busy day at the farm, when we take part in NSFA Open Farm Day. If you're a CSA member you can skip the crowds and come later in the month when we have another CSA Day, but you're welcome to come to our farm (or many others!) this Sunday, too. Here's a poster, so you can share it with friends and family that might be interested to see where all that good food you've been eating is coming from!
The rain these past few days has been great for the fields and though we don't prefer to harvest in the rain, we're happy for it nonetheless.
What's in your basket this week:
After bunching the beets, they just looked so darn good we had to eat some for supper. Lisa sliced them and roasted them in the oven with a little olive oil and some lemon juice. After they were cooked, she topped with fresh garlic butter and some dill. They are so beautiful-- all the different colours-- and delicious, too!
I was reading a calendar that appeared on our kitchen table and found this recipe for beets. I've had nothing but good experiences adding vegetables to baking, so it would follow that these are probably delicious:
Above, in the glare: "icing sugar" next line "butter at room temperature" next line "vanilla" next line "beetroot water"
Marry your tomatoes to your basil and you've got an instant hit!
I got a great tip at the Farmer's Market this Saturday for preserving basil. In the past I have always just thrown it in the freezer and not worried about it turning black, but it's obviously not optimal. A woman told me that she blanches hers (throws into boiling water until it boils again), and then mixes it with enough olive oil in the food processor to make a paste. Then she freezes it flat in freezer bags and it stays bright green!
In your stir-fry mix is chard, kale, arugula, and some spicy mustards. Make sure you wash it, as we got a lot of rain this weekend which usually does the opposite of washing our greens. Jon picked out a recipe for a thai peanut sauce that you might try with your greens this week. Just add rice, and you've got a meal!
RECIPE: Thai Peanut Sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Combine above ingredients and stir until creamy. (It helps to soften the peanut butter first).
2 Add sauce to the stir-fry during the last minute of cooking, stirring to coat food evenly.
Edamame is the term for immature soybeans. You may have had them in Japanese restaurants before, and I highly recommend that you serve them the same way: Steam or boil them in salt water until they turn bright green and the beans are cooked, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve! Your family or guests remove the beans inside by putting the whole pod in their mouth and pulling the beans out with their teeth (don't eat the pod). Or, you can shell them and add them to a stir-fry or soup.
Soybeans are one of a list of crops that you should always make sure to buy organic (and that includes tofu), as commercially they are often GMO and sprayed with chemicals you wouldn't want to eat. Fortunately, ours are Round-Up-free!
This week we are sending you some russet potatoes, which are in bags unwashed so they can keep longer. Russets make the best baked potatoes! A little tip from yesterday's workshop if you are going to keep them: if you put them in the fridge, the cold causes the starch to convert to sugar and it actually makes them un-fry-able, as the sugars will burn before the potato cooks. They're just fine if you don't plan on frying them, but if you want them to stay as-is, keep them in a dark, ventilated cupboard rather than the fridge.
We had an army of volunteer poppies all over the gardens this year, so Camelia and Addie patiently collected the seeds and we're sharing them with you! These are a beautiful mauve poppy if you want to save them to plant next year, or you can eat them, too. My favourite is a simple poppyseed dressing:
RECIPE: Poppyseed Dressing
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Mix the dressing ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. Very important!
Note: this makes a lot, but you can cut it in half if you like.
Note: this makes a lot, but you can cut it in half if you like.
Full-size shares also get:
The melons are a crop that loved the heat this year, and there's no comparison to a farm-fresh melon! There are a few different varieties that you may get: Charentais (bluish skin with dark orange flesh), Galia (russeted yellow skin, light green flesh), Cantaloupe (ribbed, russeted skin with orange flesh), Muskmelon (russeted skin with orange flesh). I'm pretty certain this won't make it to the fridge, as one bite is all it takes to end up eating the whole thing! Jon and I picked a whole bunch on Saturday and sat in the late afernoon sun, covered in dirt from digging potatoes and dripping melon juice as we devoured all the different kinds. Perks of the job!
Broccoli & Cauliflower
We wanted you to have enough broccoli and cauliflower to have a whole side-dish. My favourite thing to do with cauliflower and broccoflower (the green, pointy cauliflower), is to cut off the florets, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees until it starts to brown. Then it's really delicious as is, or with a lemon juice and dijon mustard sauce added on top.
And finally, just because I'm so impressed that I caught the Kodak Moment:
Have a fantastic week!