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Farm Share Week 9 (July 31-Aug 2, 2013)

So much for the simple life! There seems to be such a breadth of knowledge to attain on how vegetables grow, and I am ever a student. Like this week, I came to the unpleasant realization that we had very few tomatoes. Since we had quite a few last week, I thought their abundance was a given, however I learned that there is an innitial burst of ripe tomatoes (a cluster on each plant) when they first start to turn, followed by a lull, and then an explosion of ripened tomatoes where the whole plant’s load turns red at once. It’s encouraging to know that excesses of tomatoes are in our future, even if they are a precious commodity at the moment. The gargantuan zucchini that grew practically before our eyes last week (harvested every 2 days) aee poking along in their growth in the cool and cloudy weather this week. However, an array of colour makes this week’s box exciting again- orange carrots, straight  as soldiers, magenta radishes, purple beans, rainbow chard, red leaf lettuce and of course, contrasting greens make me rejoice in the harvest again.

Plus this week, I had the pleasure of harvesting garlic. Pitchfork in hand, I felt like a conqueror, subduing the field before me, baby in pouch as usual, sleeping soundly. It made me think, spending a few hours volunteering on the farm this summer may be strangely satisfying for you also. Would anyone be interested? You wouldn’t go home empty-handed of course. I find sometimes being in a field harvesting alone is some of the best

 

Half Share

  • carrots

  • burgundy beans (purple when raw, turn green when cooked- fascinate your kids!)

  • green cabbage

  • rainbow swiss chard

  • chicory (this variety can be used like endive, raw in salad or cooked)

  • garlic

  • cucumber

  • red radish

  • red leaf lettuce

  • mini red potatoes

Whole Share

  • carrots

  • burgundy beans (purple when raw, turn green when cooked- fascinate your kids!)

  • green cabbage

  • rainbow swiss chard

  • chicory (this variety can be used like endive, raw in salad or cooked)

  • garlic

  • cucumber

  • red radish

  • red leaf lettuce

  • mini red potatoes

  • red beets

  • campari or beefsteak tomatoes

  • zucchini

  • green leaf lettuce

  • strawberries (not the prettiest but still tasty)

  • grape tomatoes

 

Easy Nutritious Lunch: Cucumber-Tomato Hummus Wraps

Ingredients:

  • flour tortillas

  • any type of tomato, chopped

  • cucumber, skinned and chopped

  • any type of lettuce or greens, torn, washed and dried

  • generous heap of hummus, homemade or store-bought (I made my own without a recipe by using a can of chickpeas, 1 tbsp. lemon juice (or even a tbsp. red wine vinegar if you have no lemon juice), a few cloves of fresh garlic, and enough water to liquify in the blender, and it was delish!

  • Fresh parsley (if desired) – I had some left over in my fridge

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop veggies. Spread hummus on wrap, followed by veggies and parsley and wrap.

  2. Consume with no guilt, knowing you ate low-cal and high-vitamin and taste!

 

I will send you to another blog for the Endive (chicory) Mash and Dutch Meatballs as it is pretty gorgeous in its original glory. Jannette (my mother-in-law and co-owner of the farm, speaks fondly of this dish, and I love how there is no need to cook the chicory or endive (apparently you can sub chicory for endive). Enjoy! http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/endive-mash-and-dutch-meatballs

 

All the best as you wash, prepare and chop to better health!

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer (the accidental farmer 😉

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Farm Share Week 8 (July 24-26, 2013)

Sweet relief! The storms that have been passing through have been kind enough to lend us some more comfortable working weather. The expression “make hay while the sun shines” is appropriate, as we make the most of the time picking in the fields when it is not raining and try to be back in the building washing and packing before the clouds make good on their promise of rain.

 

We have tomatoes this week- something I have long awaited. The larger ones are coming but for now we have these tasty morsels to enjoy. The zucchini are quite large this week, inspiring my hunt for the recipe below. The peas are also coming to an end. Don’t worry, anything that looks different than normal (like the large zucchini) I taste test raw to make sure they are still tasty.

 

Half Shares

  • grape tomatoes

  • snow or sugar snap peas

  • green beans

  • flat beans

  • cucumber

  • zucchini

  • garlic chives

  • black kale

  • green leaf lettuce

  • romaine lettuce

 

Whole Shares

  • grape tomatoes

  • snow or sugar snap peas

  • green beans

  • flat beans

  • cucumber

  • zucchini

  • garlic chives

  • black kale

  • green leaf lettuce

  • romaine lettuce

  • green cabbage

  • campari tomatoes

  • raspberries

  • black currants

  • callaloo (a leafy green from the islands- similar to spinach)

 

Giant Stuffed Zucchini from www.epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 1 very large zucchini(11 in., cut in half lengthwise)

  • 1 tbsp. Butter

  • 1 medium shallot

  • 3 cloves garlic (or 3 tbsp. Chopped garlic scapes)

  • 1 lb. Ground beef (or veggie ground round)

  • 1lb. Campari Tomatoes, chopped

  • ½ – 1 tsp. Fennel (try substituting fennel fronds)

  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1-2 slices fresh bread crumbs using food processor

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese

  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large heavy pan, saute shallots in butter. Add garlic, once tender and beef. Cook until browned. Add tomatoes, scooped out zucchini and seasonings to the beef mixture. Cook another 5 min, then turn heat off and let it cool a few mins. Add bread crumbs, egg and pamesan to meat mixture.

  2. Scoop out zucchini seeds and centre leaving ½ in. of zucchini around the outside. Put zucchini halves in large baking dish. Heap mixture into 2 halves of zucchini. Top with grated mozzarella and a little more parmesan. Add ¼ in. pf water to bottom of baking dish. Place in oven for 45 min. or until zucchini is fork tender but not soggy. Cut into serving sizes and serve.

 

Looking for some inspiration for the flat beans?

 

Beans in Citrus Butter from www.thinkvegetables.co.uk

Ingredients

  • 1lb. Flat beans

  • 25g. Butter

  • zest and juice of a ½ lime

  • 1 tbsp. Chopped fresh garlic chives

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook the beans in boiling, salted water 3-4 minutes, or until tender and drain.

  2. Melt butter in saucepan and add lime zest and juice. Cook for 1-2 mins. Add chives, beans and seasonings.

 

May your veggies bring you lots of energy for your week.

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Farm Share Week 7 (July 17-19)

Happy siesta day!

I hope you have been finding places to cool off from the heat. Yesterday the whole farm crew (except for the farm share packers who work partly indoors) took a four hour siesta to beat the heat in the most intensely hot part of the day.

I remember in my summer as a general labourer, I got so desperate to cool off one day that I jumped in our pond fully clothed. I think farmers have a little bit of crazy in them – you have to have a passion to put up with the less glamourous aspects of growing things. I think the farm share packing staff have that little bit of crazy too. They wisely volunteered to stay later to pick raspberries for tomorrow. I hope you are crazy about your organic goodies, too!

 

Half Share

  • raspberries

  • green beans

  • basil (keep out of the fridge- put in container of water) or parsley

  • cucumber

  • zucchini

  • red beets

  • green cabbage

  • green swiss chard

  • romaine lettuce

  • red leaf lettuce

Whole Share

  • raspberries

  • green beans

  • basil (keep out of the fridge- put in container of water) or parsley

  • cucumber

  • zucchini

  • red beets

  • green cabbage

  • green swiss chard

  • romaine lettuce

  • red leaf lettuce

  • carrots

  • fennel

  • turnip greens

  • garlic scapes

  • sugar snap peas

  • green kale

 

Basil Tea

What to do with that fragrant little bunch? How about some basil tea? This one comes from our Jamaican workers.

 

Wow- who knew? Basil tea is used for improving memory and nerves, for the stomach, cold prevention, and for strengthening the heart and relieving stress in various cultures.

 

Simply take 6 basil leaves, place in boiling pot of water and boil for 2 minutes. Let steep for 5 minutes. Relax and enjoy a nutritious, virtually calorie-free beverage. Add honey if desired.

 

Spicy Summer Salmon Salad (note the alliteration 😉Image

 

Tonight we ate low-carb, vegetarian and paleo upon my carb-loving husband’s request to ditch the rice. I can’t say I missed the rice, and we ate heartily of all the good stuff pulled right from the ground/bush. The spicy comes from the turnip greens- they add some serious kick. If you prewash/chop the veggies, it could be dinner ready in 20 mins! P.S. It’s also quite pretty with all the colours and won’t heat up your house in the sweltering heat.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh half salmon filet with skin on (454 g)

  • 2 garlic scapes, coarsely chopped

  • ½ head lettuce, washed and torn

  • ¼ bunch turnip greens, washed and torn, tough stems removed

  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, sliced and halved

  • ½ can peaches

  • 1 orange, divided and pieces halved

  • ½ of a ½ pt. Red currants (or raspberries if they have not already been eaten)

  • 2 green onions

  • ½ pint sugar snap or snow peas

  • toasted walnuts or almonds (I used untoasted and they didn’t quit pop. Toasted or carmelized nuts would be much more exciting)

Dressing/Marinade

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. Honey

  • ½ cup citrus fruit juice

  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Marinate salmon in half the dressing above for an hour. Heat up barbecue and cook salmon for 15-20 minutes in foil with small amount of marinade and chopped garlic scapes on top.

  2. Wash, dry and tear lettuce and turnip greens. Add cucumber, peaches (or mango), orange, currants, peas, green onions and mix. Top with nuts and serve with cooked salmon overtop. Serves 2.

 

Stay cool!

 

 

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Farm Share Week 6 (July 10-12, 2013)

A labour of love- that’s what I hope you see in your boxes this week. It just so happens that peas, beans, raspberries and currants are all ready together, which take a pretty long time to pick! I really do enjoy being out there harvesting though, as it’s really a great chance to think. This week I am thankful for fruitfulness- the wonder of how new life grows, in the fields or in a mother’s womb. It’s all beautiful to me. So thanks for making it possible for me to be out enjoying such things.

 

For those of you wondering about little Naomi, my 8 week old little delight, she is growing amazingly and even letting me sleep! She’s my sweet companion in the fields, in the building- everywhere I am, and it’s a regular sight to see her with me in her carrier. She’s begun smiling and cooing and does a fabulous job of melting my heart.

 

Half Share

  • sugar snap or snow peas

  • carrots

  • turnip greens (large leafy green- yes, they are supposed to have the reddish tinge)

  • raspberries

  • zucchini

  • green leaf lettuce

  • red kale

  • fennel

  • cauliflower or broccoli

  • green onions or garlic scapes

Whole Share

  • sugar snap or snow peas

  • carrots

  • turnip greens (large leafy green- yes, they are supposed to have the reddish tinge)

  • raspberries

  • zucchini

  • green leaf lettuce

  • red kale

  • fennel

  • cauliflower or broccoli

  • green onions or garlic scapes

  • baby bokchoy

  • snow peas

  • red leaf lettuce

  • currants

  • green beans

  • rhubarb

 

Recipe Ideas

 

Overwhelmed with greens? Who would’ve thought you could slow-cook them?

http://www.diynatural.com/recipe-for-greens/

Fennel and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Hazelnut Dressing

Adapted from www.canadianliving.ca

Uses your zucchini, fennel, lettuce and turnip greens (well, some of them) all in one recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini (or 1medium)

  • 2 large portobello mushroom

  • 4 plum tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar

  • 1 garlic clove, minced or 1 tbsp. Chopped garlic scapes

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar snap peas, trimmed

  • 1/2 fennel bulb

  • 2 cups (500 mL) mixed lettuce and chopped turnip greens, chopped

  • Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped hazelnuts, toasted

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) rice vinegar

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) orange juice

  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) liquid honey

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

    Preparation

Cut zucchini into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks. Remove stems from mushrooms and, using spoon, gently scrape out dark gills; cut into quarters. Quarter tomatoes lengthwise. Place vegetables in large bowl.
Add oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper; toss gently to coat. Spread on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast in 425°F (220°C) oven until tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, in pot of boiling salted water, cook sugar snap peas until bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain and chill in ice water; drain and set aside on towel.
Dressing: In large bowl, whisk together hazelnuts, oil, vinegar, orange rind and juice, honey, salt and pepper.
Cut fennel crosswise into paper-thin slices. Add to dressing along with salad greens and sugar snap peas; toss to coat.
Evenly mound roasted vegetables in centre of each plate; top with salad.

 

Currant, Kale and Banana Smoothie

Get those red currants into you for the vitamins C & K and fibre! Add more vitamins A, C and K with kale, along with some serious anti-inflammatory power.

Ingredients

  • a couple ice cubes

  • 2 small bananas

  • 2-3 leaves raw kale

  • 1/2 pt. Raw red currants

  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 6 tbsp. Plain yogurt

  • 1 tbsp. Honey.

Directions

  1. Place in blender in order above. Blend until smooth. Warning, it was a little “chunky” due to currant seeds. Consider using a fine strainer if this would bug you. My husband and I enjoyed it as is.

 

Be kind to your body this week!

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Farm Share Week 5 (July 3-5, 2013)

Image
Checkin on the apples- sure looks more promising than last year!

Summer is upon us! The kids are finally out of school and hopefully there’s a vacation in your future. The asparagus patch is shutting down while the zucchini and raspberries are coming into season. But for this week we have tart but delicious currants. I adore these right from the container (washed of course) with dark chocolate. A beautiful combination. Also, they would be lovely atop a salad. All I know is I’m dying to try some with goat cheese and maybe basil on a cracker as an appetizer- I think the flavours would really compliment each other. We also have some parsley for you, which is a great flavour booster for soups, salads, pastas- pretty much anything. See below for storage tips. Also, if you have a favorite recipe for one of these items- please share in the comments section and share your ideas. You could be giving someone a new standby recipe!

 

Half Share

  • currants

  • snow peas

  • carrots

  • baby bokchoy

  • spinach (sorry, it’s a little yellowy this week even though it wast picked- still very tasty)

  • parsley

  • zucchini

  • green leaf lettuce

  • red swiss chard

  • red radish

Whole Share (16 items this week- yay! And I’ll keep increasing the amount as the abundance of summer permits)

  • currants

  • snow peas

  • carrots

  • baby bokchoy

  • spinach (sorry, it’s a little yellowy this week even though it wast picked- still very tasty)

  • parsley

  • zucchini

  • green leaf lettuce

  • red swiss chard

  • red radish

  • asparagus

  • red leaf lettuce

  • garlic scapes

  • green kale

  • cauliflower or extra carrots

  • green beans

Herb Storage Tips from www.simplyrecipes.com

Long live your bunch of parsley!

1. Snip off the bottom of the stems.

2. Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Better to hold off rinsing them until you’re about to use them.

3. Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar.

4. If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Cilantro loves cool temperatures and should be stored in the refrigerator. Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. According to Harold McGee, basil is ideally stored at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, because it is susceptible to damage from cold (It goes black actually!).

5 Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor.

Fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.

Enjoy your veggies this week. Remember to pass on any tips you have learned of your own.