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Farm Share Week 17 (Sept 25-27, 2013)

Welcome to fall!

We’ve had a brisk start to the week but some lovely 20-degree highs complete with sunshine are in the forecast. That’s some ideal fall growing weather! It’s also Organic Week, a time to celebrate all things organic. How do you plan to celebrate? With 2 small children, I can’t see myself traveling to a special event, but I think I can use one of the most powerful tools for change in our possession- our wallets. See, we can talk about organics, which is good, but purchasing organics shows that we value ecologically-produced items enough to purchase them, even if it costs us extra. Changing to everything organic may be a daunting task for you, and so it is for most of us. Why not make a small change in the right direction? You are clearly supporting organic by investing in a Farm Share.

What`s next?

Try purchasing something new organically that you have always purchased conventionally before. I find organic yogurt is pretty affordable, for instance. I can buy the Saugeen County brand, a whole litre tub, for $4, or just over. Also, you could ditch some chemical cleaning products. Vinegar really does work so well, and heated and combined with Dawn dish soap it makes a great tub cleaner. Baking soda and water works great on electric stove tops. This is one area where your disdain for chemicals will actually save you money (money that can help you purchase organic food ;). I am dying to try making my own dishwasher pucks or detergent. See this link for a recipe: http://thethriftycouple.com/2013/03/26/homemade-natural-dishwasher-detergent-easy-effective-healthy-and-only-05-per-load/

So, on to the veggie line-up. It`s stunningly colourful this week!

Half

  • rainbow carrots (they`re finally here!)
  • red beets
  • pepper squash
  • red cabbage
  • red radish
  • baby bokchoy
  • red leaf lettuce
  • grape tomatoes (from the greenhouse, all other tomatoes bit the dust with frost)
  • assorted sweet bell and sheppard peppers
  • sweet corn (grown by Kawartha Organics, Mennonite growers in Lindsay. Normally everything is grown by us but this week I was having a tough time getting all the items I needed and we had an abundance of local, organic corn)

Whole

  • rainbow carrots (they`re finally here!)
  • red beets
  • pepper squash
  • red cabbage
  • red radish
  • baby bokchoy
  • red leaf lettuce
  • grape tomatoes (from the greenhouse, all other tomatoes bit the dust with frost)
  • assorted sweet bell and sheppard peppers
  • sweet corn (grown by Kawartha Organics, Mennonite growers in Lindsay. Normally everything is grown by us but this week I was having a tough time getting all the items I needed and we had an abundance of local, organic corn)
  • fennel
  • celery
  • cilantro
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red swiss chard
  • green bell peppers

Recipes:

Are last week`s turnips still hanging out in your fridge? One of the hardworking staff packing your box suggests mashing it with beets to offset the bitter taste.

Turnip-Beet Mash

Directions

1. Roast beets with tops removed for 45 mins in the oven. Remove skins from cooked beets. Meanwhile, remove tops from turnips, clean, peel and chop and boil until tender. Mash beets and turnip together and season to taste. Experiment with different amounts of beet and turnip to see what you like best.

Hope you enjoy this week`s harvest!

 

 

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Farm Share Week 16 (Sept 18-20, 2013)

First frost of the season. It came rather early this year. We farmers watch the forecast with holy fear, playing a game of odds as we decide when to spring into action to defend our crops. Many things affect a frost other than temperature. Even temperatures above zero can cause burning out in the fields, especially on a clear, windless night. Monday night was a flurry of activity- harvesting all the squash and carrots we could get our hands on, covering eggplants and peppers in fabric forming mini greenhouse shelters, and turning on sprinklers in the wee hours of the morning. Most things seemed to have escaped harm, but that late crop of peas we hoped to harvest soon may never be.

 

Even the weeds can sometimes shelter plants. I feel rather satisfied as I harvest some green onions among weeds that have been charred by the frost. The bugs begin to die down, gratefully, aside from the friendly abundance of flies that seek shelter indoors. Root veggies like carrots and parsnips, as well as apples, fill up with sweet sugars in response to the chill. It’s a mixed blessing, something powerful and uncontrollable like a wave of the sea, propelling forward the one who is positioned well, and capsizing the one that is not.

 

Our adorably sized butternut squash testify to the way climate can vary the produce. Last year the same squash were too large to sell to retailers and ended up being sold cheaply to be pureed for baby food. This year the gap between the last frost of the spring and the first one of the fall was uncomfortably narrow. But still, some things grew beautifully and us farmers are nothing if not adaptable. I love this country and it’s worth living here, short growing season and all, to enjoy the freedoms we take as givens.

 

Half Share

  • Turnips (yes, these ones have the bulbs also)
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Eggplant
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Watermelon or cantaloupe
  • Collard greens: try sautéing with a little garlic, bacon and chicken stock: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/kickin-collard-greens/
  • Green kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Assorted sweet Sheppard and bell peppers (despite the shape, none of these are at all hot!)

Whole Share

  • Turnips (yes, these ones have the bulbs also)
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Eggplant
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Watermelon or cantaloupe
  • Collard greens: try sautéing with a little garlic, bacon and chicken stock: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/kickin-collard-greens/
  • Green kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Assorted sweet Sheppard and bell peppers (despite the shape, none of these are at all hot!)
  • Green peppers
  • Saladette tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Parsley
  • Green cabbage

 

Hope you enjoy your veggies this week. I am stoked to have some sweet peppers!

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Farm Share Week 15 (Sept 11-13, 2013)

Phew! So summer’s having a little comeback this week. I hope you are enjoying the sun while we have it.

Half Share

  • Spinach
  • Beefsteak or Campari tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Red beets
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Red or green scallions
  • Green peppers
  • Zucchini (yellow or green)
  • Turnip greens or green kale
  • eggplant

Whole Share

  • Spinach
  • Beefsteak or Campari tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Red beets
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Red or green scallions
  • Green peppers
  • Zucchini (yellow or green)
  • Turnip greens
  • Eggplant
  • Campari tomatoes
  • Black or green kale
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Red sheppard or yellow bell peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Strawberries or apples
  • Leeks or garlic

 

This week I wanted to give you some ideas of how to use all of your veggies for the week, based on some of the tasty meals I’ve made with our veggies lately. I do not follow any specific diet except for the more veggies and unprocessed foods, the better, but I think most of these ideas could be adapted to vegetarian or gluten-free diets.

Monday:

Roasted chicken (legs and wings) and roasted veggies (beets, carrots, potatoes or squash). Roast whole chicken and save the breasts for tomorrow.

Tuesday:

Spinach, chicken, avocado and strawberry salad with mango chipotle dressing. A five-minute meal if you pre-roasted the chicken!

Wednesday:

Eggplant Parmesan with turnip green and beet green salad

Thursday:

Sweet and Sour Chicken (green peppers, carrot, cabbage and scallions)

Friday:

Burgers with tomato (reg or veggie) with savoy cabbage salad (carrot, savoy cabbage)

Saturday:

Fish filets and zucchini fries

Sunday:

Ground chicken chili (green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, scallion) with cheese, plain yogurt, and scallions to garnish.

 

Hope these ideas get the wheels in your head turning. Here’s a tip if you are overwhelmed with tomatoes. Wash and put in the freezer in a bag, and simply pull out and use in your cooking later. I made a large watermelon and a few very ripe bananas into juice by throwing it all into a blender, doing a quick blend, seeds and all, and simply straining out the seeds and pulp. I also froze some juice for popsicles for my son.

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Farm Share Week 14 (Sept 4-6, 2013)

Happy back to school everyone! I’m going to keep it brief but meaningful this week.

Half Shares
• Spinach
• Eggplant (or zucchini)
• Buttercup squash
• Grape tomatoes (great for lunches)
• Romaine lettuce
• Mini red romaine lettuce (a bonus item as it’s teeny)
• Carrots
• Parsley (if you are adventurous, you may want to try making tabouleh)
• Chinese cabbage (tasty in stir-fries and soups)
• Raddichio/chicory/turnips/turnip greens
• Cantaloupe/watermelon

Whole Shares
• Spinach
• Eggplant (or zucchini)
• Buttercup squash
• Grape tomatoes (great for lunches)
• Romaine lettuce
• Mini red romaine lettuce (a bonus item as it’s teeny)
• Carrots
• Parsley (if you are adventurous, you may want to try making tabouleh)
• Chinese cabbage (tasty in stir-fries and soups)
• Raddichio/chicory/turnips/turnip greens
• Cantaloupe/watermelon
• Field tomatoes
• Radish
• Red swiss chard
• Rhubarb
• Zucchini
• Green peppers
• Beets

And a few ideas for you….

Stuck with zucchini you don’t know what to do with. Try slicing and using the zucchini instead of crust (could work for eggplant also, though you might want to salt the slices and let them sit to reduce bitterness)

Overwhelmed with another watermelon? It makes wonderful juice or smoothies, or can be paired with feta and fresh mint for a delicious salad.

I’m about to try a spinach, tomato and quinoa frittata tonight. Feel free to add your own recipes in the comments sections.

Jennifer