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Farm Share Week 4 (June 27-29, 2013)

Hello heat wave!

Yes, we’ve had some ridiculous humidity, but things are growing so well. I think this is the first week so far that things are actually ready in larger quantities than I expected. The asparagus, which I thought would be just about done is still producing quite a lot, although the stalks that shoot up into fuzzy bluish trees hint at the end of its fruitfulness for this season. Then we have the snow peas, which are producing very well and the beans, which are looking just about perfect. I cannot believe that we have carrots in June, Jannette’s hard work back in April paying dividends. The strawberries still aren’t yielding enough for everyone but I was recently taught how to pull out the shoots which are sent out to enlarge the plant. This takes away from the fruit, so removing them will help the plant bear more.

Spending time harvesting always gets me thinking…this time, I was thinking of how much I love dirt. A strange confession, to be sure, but I love the great potential in it, the complex balance of minerals and elements that feed the plants. While scientists have a basic idea of what things need to grow, like nitrogen, etc., I feel like soil is so much more complex than we  realize, and thus, I distrust hydroponic growing (where plants are grown in a mineral water solution without soil) on principle. Dirt’s even been shown to promote healthier immune systems in kids. You never would have thought I would have this appreciation for soil. As a kid, I preferred to be clean and mostly indoors. So here’s hoping for you if your kids show no interest in growing things!

Half Shares

  • carrots!

  • Snow peas

  • asparagus

  • garlic scapes/tops (chop and use just like garlic- no peeling 🙂

  • spinach

  • red leaf lettuce

  • green leaf lettuce

  • cilantro (add a tang to salads or try making Thai food)

  • red radish

  • green kale (try kale chips http://yourlighterside.com/2013/03/roasted-kale-chips-four-ways/ for a few different flavouring ideas)

Whole Shares

  • carrots!

  • Snow peas

  • asparagus

  • garlic scapes

  • spinach

  • red leaf lettuce

  • green leaf lettuce

  • cilantro

  • red radish

  • green kale

  • red swiss chard

  • strawberries

  • rapini

  • green beans

  • extra carrots

Recipes

Waste-Free Carrot Mango Juice

This is something I learned from a few of our Jamaican workers, that I thought was very clever. It’s a juicing recipe for people who don’t have a juicer. While it does involve cooking, I like how the nutrient-rich cooking water is also used.  I am not sure about quantities- they can be adjusted to your taste.

Method

  1. Scrub carrots thoroughly. Place in boiling water and cook until tender.

  2. Transfer cooked carrots and the leftover cooking water into blender. Add mango and/or pineapple and blend. Apparently there’s no need to strain it either!

Fabulous Cilantro Pesto from www.allrecipes.com

Wondering what to do with an entire bunch of cilantro? Here’s an idea to perk up your pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 package farafelle pasta

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (substitute 5 tbsp. Chopped garlic scapes)

  • 1 tbsp. White wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne powder

  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

  • salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and return water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain well.

  2. In an electric food processor or blender, blend cilantro, garlic, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, nuts, and salt. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and blend the pesto. Add more olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.

  3. Pour pesto in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until pesto begins to simmer. Pour over cooked pasta and toss.

Have fun creating!

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Farm Share Week 3 (June 19-21, 2013)

Hello from the sunny fields!

This week is just plain gorgeous, isn’t it? I think I’d be ok with this kind of weather for most of the year. The snow peas are producing very well this week in the greenhouse, and the carrots we planted in April will likely be ready next week. I was hoping for a lot more strawberries, but I will have to rotate who gets the little we have each week to share the strawberry love. We have more chinese cabbage, which may not be too thrilling to you, but I have enjoyed it a few different tasty ways this week. On to your list of goodies.

Half Shares

  • snow peas
  • red radish
  • asparagus
  • chinese cabbage
  • rapini
  • rainbow swiss chard
  • spinach
  • baby bok choy
  • oregano
  • romaine lettuce

Whole Shares

  • snow peas
  • red radish
  • asparagus
  • chinese cabbage
  • rapini
  • rainbow swiss chard
  • spinach
  • baby bok choy
  • oregano
  • romaine lettuce
  • red leaf lettuce
  • parsnips or Jerusalem artichokes
  • rhubarb or strawberries
  • green kale
  • green onions

Recipes

Asparagus, Swiss Chard, Yellow Pepper and Bacon PizzaImage

Nothing saddens me more than the lack of originality and nutrition of the typical pepperoni pizza. I like a pizza loaded up with colourful veggies. The possibilities are endless!

 

Ingredients

  • 8 strips bacon, thinly chopped with kitchen scissors
  • 1 bunch asparagus, finely chopped
  • 4 leaves swiss chard
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 2 large pizza crusts
  • 3 cups (ish), grated mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • pizza sauce
  • pepper to taste
  • fresh oregano (optional)

Directions

1. Snip bacon into small strips widthwise with kitchen scissors and cook on med-high till almost crispy. Add asparagus and peppers and cook for a couple minutes, then add swiss chard and cook until lightly wilted. (cook separately from bacon for a lighter pizza). Drain excess fat.

2. Spread a light layer of pizza sauce on pizza crusts, add about 1 cup of cheese per pizza, and then add half the bacon/veggie mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese, parmesan and pepper over pizzas.

3. Bake at 425 degrees for about 14 minutes (on a pan) or until desired doneness. Serves 4. Enjoy with an organic salad.

Basic Baby Bokchoy Salad

Get all the amazing benefits of bokchoy without losing anything by cooking it. Any dressing ideas for me?

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. baby bokchoy, washed, chopped and dried
  • 3/4 bunch of radish, finely chopped
  • 2/3 quart of snow peas, ends removed and cut in half
  • 2 green onions or to taste
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • your favorite dressing

Directions

1. Wash, chop and dry bok choy. Add washed and cut radishes, snow peas and green onion. Toast almonds and add on top. Serves 4 as a side.

Ginger Chinese Cabbage and Pork Chow Mein

Ingredients

  • 1lb. pork steak
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil or as needed
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small chinese cabbage or 2/3 large
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey and chicken or vegetable broth to taste
  • 300g chow mein noodles
  • more garlic, ginger, pepper and salt to taste

Directions

1. Mix ginger, garlic and cornstarch in bowl. Cut pork into small strips, dip in beaten egg, and coat evenly with cornstarch mixture. Place in hot wok with coconut oil and brown on all sides at med temperature. Set aside.

2. Add chinese cabbage, yellow pepper, broth, vinegar, honey, and soy sauce and cook until lightly wilted.

3. Boil pot of water and cook noodles as per directions. Drain and add to chinese cabbage mixture, along with pork. Add additional spices, taste for flavour balance and serve. Serves 3-4.

Another idea: make some won ton soup with the chinese cabbage and add some green onions for spunk.

P.S.- Any raw foodies out there sick of me posting lots of cooked recipes? I’d love to try your raw recipes. Feel free to enlighten us all!

Make sure to get your daily dose of vitamin D in the brilliant June sun.

Jennifer

 

 

 

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Farm Share Week 2 (June 12-14, 2013)

Hi from the farm!

We have a great growing week upon us- a little rain and a lot of sunshine and heat. This means that the early crops like snow peas, asparagus and strawberries are growing so rapidly they must be harvested every other day. While we only have enough for some of the whole shares this week of the snow peas, I hope to have enough for everyone next week, as well as more strawberries.

We had a successful Open House on Saturday. Many of you came to learn about the farm, meet like-minded friends and eat Jannette’s famous rhubarb cake as the kids made their own caterpillar herb gardens. Thanks to all that came out!

Now, here are your organic goodies for the week:

Half Share

  • asparagus
  • red radish
  • chinese cabbage
  • parsnips
  • green onions
  • white baby bokchoy
  • green kale
  • red swiss chard
  • red leaf lettuce
  • potted basil (don’t put in fridge)

Whole Share

  • asparagus
  • red radish
  • chinese cabbage
  • parsnips
  • green onions
  • white baby bokchoy
  • green kale
  • red swiss chard
  • red leaf lettuce
  • potted basil (don’t put in fridge)
  • romaine lettuce
  • rhubarb
  • strawberries or cilantro
  • jerusalem artichokes
  • snow peas

Recipes

Radishes for the Skeptical

While I enjoy the spicy taste of fresh radishes, I was looking for a less provocative-tasting side and came up with a way to make radishes mild and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radish, washed with stems and roots removed
  • 1/2-1 bunch carrots or parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. diametre pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp. real maple syrup

Directions

1. Wash, peel and cut vegetables, leaving radishes whole. Place in saucepan.

2. Add water and maple syrup, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, cover and cook until tender.

Chicken Caesar Wraps

Are the greens piling up on you, especially lettuce? You can mix in other greens, like baby bokchoy in this super simple meal idea. Between my husband, son and I, we managed to eat almost the entire giant head of lettuce. Serves 3.

Ingredients

  • medium head of lettuce
  • 1 lb. chicken, cut into small strips
  • coconut oil
  • caesar dressing
  • parmesan cheese
  • fresh minced garlic or garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 large whole wheat tortillas

Directions

1. Sautee chicken in coconut oil until cooked through, seasoning with garlic and salt.

2. Wash and chop lettuce and any other greens/veggies you wish to add (I kept it simple because I was hungry and tired). Add caesar dressing, parmesan, garlic and salt and pepper. Toss until mixed and serve with chicken strips in tortillas.

I hope this helps you in your quest to eat more fresh organic veggies!

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Farm Share Week 1 (June 5-7, 2013)

Farm Share Week 1 (June 5-7, 2013)

 

Well, this chilly spring (April at least) had me a little anxious about how we would come up with 15 items for the whole shares. A challenging thing with growing vegetables is timing- we had some lovely rapini and gorgeous huge radishes ready last week, but that isn’t much help now. However, I was pleasantly surprised with lettuce being ready, and nice substantial heads of it as well. A few items that overwinter (keep fresh in the ground from last fall) were a big help: the parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes (sun chokes). Most of the other items ready this early are perennials like asparagus, sage and rhubarb, and leafy greens, like kale and Bokchoy which grow to maturation quickly.

 

Here are your items for week 1:

 

Half Shares

-asparagus

-rhubarb

-Jerusalem artichokes

-parsnips

-sage

-black kale

-white Bokchoy

-red swiss chard

-green leaf lettuce

-green onions

 

Whole Shares

-asparagus

-rhubarb

-Jerusalem artichokes

-parsnips

-sage

-black kale

-white Bokchoy

-red swiss chard

-green leaf lettuce

-green onions

-red radish

-garlic chives

-green kale

-chinese cabbage

-romaine lettuce

 

Now for the recipes: Admittedly my cooking adventures with a newborn have been limited, but I still found some ideas that looked simple enough for the Jerusalem artichokes and sage, which I thought would stump you as far as what to do with them. Jerusalem artichokes are from the sunflower family, and grow huge stalks with large flowers. They are tubers like potatoes, and while they have their own distinct flavour, they can be used similarly to potatoes. They are a great source of fibre, antioxidants and minerals like potassium, iron and even B-vitamins (http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/jerusalem-artichoke.html), making it a great choice for vegetarians. Sage is a great source of vitamin C and adds flavour to meat, eggs and some veggies without adding much fat, sodium or sugar! I hope you enjoy- if all else fails, they can be hung up-side down (in smaller bunches in a paper bag with little holes) to dry, and you’ll have a nice supply of dried sage.

 

Uncle Bill’s Simple Jerusalem Artichokes (from http://www.food.com/recipe/uncle-bills-simple-jerusalem-artichokes-143481). I tried some sun chokes cooked simply as in this recipe and thought it was a flavourful and crisp break from the same old potatoes.

 

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. 1  Scrub or peel artichokes.

  2. 2 Slice each artichoke to 1/4 inch thick slices.

  3. 3 In a Wok or frying pan, heat olive oil and butter on medium-high heat.

  4. 4 Add sliced artichokes, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley; stir well to coat

  5. 5 Stir-fry for about 4 minutes, stirring often.

  6. 6 Do not overcook artichokes, they should be slightly crunchy.

  7. 7 Serve immediately.

Cheddar and Sage Skillet Cornbread (http://www.canadianliving.com/food/cheddar_and_sage_skillet_cornbread.php)

Ingredients

 

  1-3/4 cups (425 mL) medium-grind cornmeal

  2/3 cup (150 mL) multigrain flour

  1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar

  2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

  1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

  2 eggs

  1-1/2 cups (375 mL) milk

  1 cup (250 mL) shredded old Cheddar cheese

  1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh sage, (or 1 tsp/5 ml dried)

  2 tbsp 2tbsp(30 mL) (30 mL) butter

 

Preparation

 

Place butter in 10-inch (25 cm) ovenproof cast-iron skillet. Heat in centre of 450°F (230°C) oven until smoking, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, beat eggs until foamy; whisk in milk. Pour over cornmeal mixture. Add half of the cheese and the sage; stir just until combined. Scrape batter into hot pan; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. If desired, invert onto rack; invert top side up. Eat while still hot or let cool. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

 

I hope these recipes help! I will get more creative in the kitchen when my sweet little girl gets a little bigger. Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding as we find your houses for the first time this week and next.