My name is Stephanie Hofman and this is my 5th year with the farm share program.
I am an earth loving hippie-follower of Christ-lover of all people and love to try new things. I am not a blogger outside of zephyr organics-so please keep this in mind as I continue to learn the in's and out's of what it means to create a good blog and to be a good blogger!
My family and I do our best to make everything at home from scratch, but we are not fully organic, non-GMO, nor are we dairy free or gluten free. I do my best with what I have and am slowly but surely making changes towards a more healthy lifestyle.
I try and keep the recipes that I share to encompass all diets-some will be desserts, some will be juicing recipes (last year I failed epically at my juicing fast-FYI don't add 'more kale' just to use it up in a recipe) some gluten and dairy free-some vegan and many in between.
Most of the items in the box I am familiar with now-but a few years ago I didn't know what bokchoy was nor had I ever heard of swiss chard-now they are my 2 favourite items to get in my box!
I'm a free going spirit who has taught herself most things and love to help others out since I've only become who I am and gotten to where I am in life because of the love and generosity of those who've I've encountered. I've never been very good at spelling nor have I been very computer savvy. Any feedback and suggestions are always welcome.
Thank you so much for joining us on this journey towards supporting local farmers and supporting the growing organic food movement. May your box bless you and your family all season long and I look forward to sharing my recipe successes and failures with you.
Hello everyone! Hope you’ve been keeping in good shape because these boxes are heavy! We have yellow doll watermelon (yay!) And spaghetti squash to thank.
Just for watermelon season, I wish I had X ray eyes like Superman to see inside each and every watermelon to make sure it’s amazing for you. Sadly, I do not, but if you should open up and it’s not fully of yummy yellow deliciousness, we will happily replace it for you. Watermelon season is just too good to be anything but satisfied!
Feel free to purchase an extra one at the farm store. It’s the one thing that everyone wants…and the life of any good party (Ok, maybe I’m a little overexcited here but I have been anticipating these melons for a while).
There’s definitely a Mexican vibe in this box with the jalapenos, tomatoes and cilantro. If salsa is not your style, try out our jalapeno popper recipe from last week’s blog…or just give them to a hot shot!
Here is a lovely Mexican collard green wrap recipe to try out with your greens too!
Green beans are also here. Nothing makes a easier side than green beans steamed to perfection (when the colour is brightest) with a little bit of butter.
Half Cilantro Beans Rainbow swiss chard Saladette or grape tomatoes Collard Greens Snow peas Cucumbers Zucchini Jalapenos Spaghetti Squash Whole Grape tomatoes Sugar snap peas or radish Romaine Lettuce Green Peppers Broccoletti Green onions
Here are your veggies for this week. Some of the items I have been waiting on are keepimg us waiting 1 or 2 more weeks. In the mean time, hope you enjoy your veggies and maybe find a new way to enjoy some of the same items.
A tip for whole shares: jalapenos are spicy and beware after handling them what else you touch (ie. Not your eyes or a baby, both of which I have done). We recommend kitchen gloves, but if you get the oils on your hands, use dish soap to remove it and wash thoroughly. If you do irritate your skin, a little yogurt can soothe the skin. Hope the spicy treat is worth the special handling 🙂
Sugar snap peas
Green leaf lettuce
Red leaf lettuce
Rainbow Swiss chard
Cauliflower or broccoli or kohlrabi
Green onions (some are multiplying onions that may look a little larger than typical)Whole
Green peppers or blackberries
Purple bok choy
3lbs gala apples
3 large mangos
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 pint blackberries (from the Uxbridge farm!)
Did you get that amazing rain on Monday? The ground was just begging for it and we got a thorough watering. I honestly thank God for irrigation, or we would not have made it this far!
In the spirit of the World Cup winners, we have the opportunity to try out some delicious french cooking. Tarragon, a green herb, is the main ingredient in béarnaise sauce, and endive is a staple in European cooking. It may be rather bitter raw, but one of my Dutch customers assures me it is delicious cooked in a roux (thick buttery sauce). Remember, there are great vegan and gluten free ways to recreate these sauces. I personally love MELT butter alternative because it is coconut oil based and oh so yummy!
This week the fruit share members are receiving black raspberries we sourced locally, right in Uxbridge. The grower is a retired home gardener (as much as you can be retired while maintaining a large garden!) With these gorgeous organic black raspberries. I had the pleasure of talking to and and learning from her while I hand picked your berries. Here is a picture of how they ripen from the centre of each cluster. Enjoy!
Fennel (try raw in salad or roasted. Celery’s funky cousin! The fronds can be used as an herb with fish as well)
Broccoli or kohlrabi
Sugar snap peas
Rainbow swiss chard or endive (curly leaves)
Green leaf lettuce
Same as above but with
Both broccoli and kohlrabi
Both rainbow swiss chard and endive
Red leaf lettuce
Red raspberries or blackcurrants
Tarragon (great in french cooking or help for tummy troubles)
3lbs granny smith apples
1/2 pint blueberries
2lbs red grapes
1/2 pint black raspberries
A few kiwis for good measure 🙂
In the other pictures: here is the broccoli growning in the fields. The broccoli has one thick stalk in the centre, closer to thr ground, and the broccoletti sends up multiple tall, skinny shoots that are visible above the plant.
The cauliflowers are growing now also. It looks like we have a smaller amount but of course farm share people have dibs!
Hello from the scorching greenhouses of the farm!
This crazy heat has ushered us into zucchini season (yay!) And the options with zucchini abound: from old favourites like zucchini bread or sauteed zucchini and carrots, to trendy fare like zoodles or zucchini boats, we hope you welcome this addition to your box.
Also new this week is chinese cabbage. We cut them in half this week because they were overwhelmingly large (some 5 or 6 lbs). Instead of leaving you drowning in chinese cabbage, we thought you could share your other half with another farm share customer out there. We added the plastic wrap to avoid browning. Now if you are wondering what to do with your half chinese cabbage, think asian stir fries, noodle soups or even raw in salad. Hope you enjoy.
New at the farm there is a new litter of kittens. We are loving the little kitty snuggles and abundant cuteness 🙂 if you’re coming to the farm for your box, you may even get a peek!
The other pictures: you can see the jerusalem artichokes growing well and lots of colour from the leafy greens over the hill: especially the red leaf lettuce and red kale stick out!)
Tons of flowers on our pickling cucumber plants! You know what’s next 😉
This week I used my spiralizer again-this delicious spiralized zucchini and beet salad is very refreshing in this heat.
I often forget to take photographs of my meals since by the time the cook sits down (myself) I’m famished and eat it all before remembering I needed to take a picture for the blog. It’ll take a few weeks to get back into the swing of remembering to photograph my food!
Here comes the rain! I hope it’s not ruining your plans…but we’re sure thankful for multiple good rains this past week. The peas are loving it, along with everything else. Growth is starting to accelerate as our cucumbers, peas, carrots and beets come on to more full production.
Asparagus is in its last couple days so we have a limited supply. I hope you’ve enjoyed asparagus season well with double bunches some weeks. Now we must let the plants go to seed: they shoot up like fuzzy bluish “dr seuss” trees this time of year. Zucchini, green beans and currants will be ready soon (redcurrants next week!) As we usher in the month of July. Broccoli, kolhrabi and cauliflower (all part of the Brassica family of veggies) are coming along and most summer and even fall crops are now in the ground.
I hope all the organic bounty helps you feel your best this week!
Hello from the fields of Zephyr Organics!
On week 3 we have cucumbers! (Here’s hoping they grow enough for me to send them to everyone!). They are just getting started and the vines are still small, just beginning to climb the netting we hung for them, but my oh my do they grow quickly!
Carrots are also just beginning, so the lucky whole share people get them this week, and everyone can anticipate receiving them next week and beyond. We still have asparagus for now, but the field is slowing down a bit, especially with the dry weather. I got caught in some pretty heavy rain in Uxbridge on Monday, but the farm just got a dusting! I have sad news in that our strawberries are not looking well at all. I was hoping we might get one more year out of our current plants but they are producing tiny, not so pretty little fruits. Happily, the redcurrants are slowly ripening, and we may even have a little raspberries come July.
Upcoming next week one of our amazing farm share members, Melissa Hutchins, is sharing her knowledge of fermenting and letting us get right in there and ferment some asparagus of our own! I am stoked, as I have always wanted to ferment, but been afraid to do it on my own!
Next thurs it will be happening in Port Perry at the library. Check it out here:
Hope you are inspired by the fresh spring veggies!
Here is the recipe for the week-I just made it the other night and while I’m not great at taking pictures it certainly looked AND tasted better than my awful photos make it out to. I put the meatballs on top of squash noodles! Follow the hyperlinks below.
It’s not so hard to believe on this crisp, dark mornings, but it
came quickly. The frost-sensitive plants have been harvested and
stowed away in the cooler, but lots of items are still to be reaped:Jerusalem artichokes, kale, collards, parsley, beets, carrots,rutabaga and I’m sure more!
We are thankful you’ve been a part of our season from start to finish, taking a chance with us and enjoying the spoils of the land. Many blessings to you and your household for the winter ahead. You’ve probably heard that we now offer winter shares: both organic vegetables and fruits. Follow this link and read carefully as your options are a little different than our summer shares:
It looks like fall is really here now. I managed to get most of the red peppers in just before the frost (thanks to baby-wearing and one happy little guy). This is the time of year we start gambling with the weather, watching for any chance of frost. Any time it dips below 2 or so, especially on a clear and still night is enough to completely destroy some plants, like sweet peppers, and scarcely affect others, like parsley or kale. It’s a busy time bringing in the fall harvest, but a rewarding time also.
Have you heard? The goodness can continue all winter long for you in our winter share.
No, it won’t have the incredible variety of summer, but we still will have lots of yummy root crops, winter greens and some Quebec organic cucumbers and tomato especially just to keep it feeling fresh. We are also offering a fruit share for the first time ever. Register soon as we have spaces for only the first 40 registrants this year.
For the rest of you, next week or the following week will be your last delivery for summer Farm Share (sigh). You will receive you last share in a cardboard box. Please don’t forget to return your plastic bins. We hope you enjoy your fall veggies this week.
I am sure looking forward to gathering before a feast with both my husband’s and my family (not at the same time, but that would be interesting). Just having a family that enjoys each other’s presence fills my heart with thanks. If you see someone around you who you’re not sure has a family to gather with, why not grab a chair and count your family a little larger this year?
Do you always make the same dishes for Thanksgiving? I think it’s about time I find a good gluten free stuffing recipe my son can enjoy, one that doesn’t involve using $15 worth of gluten free bread! I’ll post on Facebook if I find something goodles, and feel free to post on Facebook or reply here if you have a great Thanksgiving recipe to share with the Farm Share community.
If your not up for baking your own crust you can check out Charlottes foods in Richmond Hill. They don’t have a website and their hours are a bit wacky because its run by an 80+ year old woman but she has dairy free, gluten free and amazing food options include GLUTEN FREE PIE CRUSTS. They are talkers but really sweet and amazing so feel free to stop in (call first!) to pick up a gluten free pie crust for your pie making needs. Charolttes foods: (905) 709-9079 Address is 55 West Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1K5
Your baskets this week are themed around a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Potatoes, carrots, squash and even rutabaga! Our pumpkin patch turned out teeny tiny this year so we may not have enough for everyone. Here’s hoping a delicious pepper squash can get you in the Thanksgiving mood instead! Don’t forget to add the fresh herbs into your stuffing, or use the Parsley for an easy garnish wHich makes you look like you know your way around a Kitchen!