It’s sure looking (and feeling) like summer! We’ve had lots of very hot days on the farm and even been blessed with a little rain. Trust me, we want and need the rain! We move from redcurrants to blackcurrants this week. These tart berries may be new to you, and yes, they are for more than just jam! While most toddlers I’ve met like them right out of the package, those with sweeter tastes might want to add them to smoothies or baking. They are lovely topping ice cream and I even tried to red ones in waffles with zucchini, which went over well with the family.
A new item this week is iceberg lettuce. The cup-shaped, sturdier leaves looked just perfect for wrapping, so I found some inspiration from pinterest and whipped up these Korean Beef lettuce Wraps
1lbs lean ground beef
2 baby leeks, chopped
8 large iceberg lettuce leaves (I chose the harder cup-shaped leaves)
3tbsp soy sauce
1 + teaspoons hot sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
Toppings: shredded carrot, diced cucumber, toasted sesame seeds, green onion
Place ground beef in pan or on sautee in instant pot, and break up with a lifter.
Add leek once mostly browned, then add diced zucchini (keep skin on)
In a bowl or mixing cup, mix sauce ingredients together. Add to beef mixture.
Scoop 3tbsp. of the mixture into 8 lettuce cups, topping with desired toppings.
One final Idea. Wondering what to do with you fennel? Try this recipe for Grilled Beet & Arugula Salad with Sprouted Lentils . You can use both the bulb and the fronds for that licorice flavour. Also, don’t forget that your beet tops make healthy delicious greens. It’s wise to separate the greens from the roots, but don’t throw them away! Hope you enjoy the farm bounty this week!
What a strange year! First harvest of redcurrants in July! You might be wondering what you can do with them besides make jam and we are here to help! This week I made this easy salad using them in place of dried cranberries. The tart berries were a nice compliment to the slightly sweet dressing. If the idea of a salad does not appeal, try a handful of redcurrants with dark chocolate, or topping ice cream. Also, why not add them to your baking, using up that zucchini also in classic zucchini bread?
Greens abound in your shares this summer! As some of the most nutrient-dense foods around, there are lots of reasons to learn to love them. I often just add greens to my regular meals, like adding swiss chard and zucchini to my chicken curry. The kids always like their curry with full fat coconut milk to make the flavour more mild. Throw a handful or virtually any green into your smoothie, or sautee and add to an omelette. Chop and add to your spaghetti sauce, or in your pasta or stir fries. I love swiss chard, because it stands alone sauteed in butter, or also adds some great nutrients to all sorts of dishes, without being too bitter. Hope you enjoy!
Happy Canada Day everyone! There are many things I love about our nation: the vast and rugged lands, beautiful greenery everywhere, diversity of peoples, freedom, and a spirit of generosity. We can surely count ourselves among the most blessed in the world!
This week a few new crops are here. Sugar snap and snow peas (can’t believe we are harvesting the first of them in July!), zucchini, swiss chard (green, red and rainbow…it will be a surprise which one you get), strawberries and oregano. I know everyone is probably feeling super jealous of the whole shares getting strawberries. The patch is not at full production yet, but I hope to share the harvest with the other shares when supply allows. Eat ’em up quick!
Meal Ideas to Enjoy All of Your Farm Share Veggies
Wednesday: Chicken Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, cucumber and radish
Thursday: Tacos with zucchini (in meat mixture) and lettuce
Hello everyone! I was over the moon Saturday to see the crop of lettuce I have been eyeing since the beginning of June finally harvested! Our farm supplies wholesalers and other businesses as well and you can see this was quite a large harvest, even though we only cut a few rows! This week everyone gets a taste of the ever-popular romaine…not to be confused with the similar-looking endive. Romaine is famous for being delish in caesar salad, but is great in virtually any salad or to add a little crunch to your sandwiches.
What a weird year it has been! Many items are still 2 or 3 weeks later than usual. Here we are spotting the first couple blooms on the snow peas, which means they won’t be ready for harvest until July! Thankfully, we found another few rows of peas that will be ready for next week. The carrots this week come from the greenhouse, as do the cucumbers. We’re thankful to have these items to add some colour and variety to all the leafy greens available in spring. A new leafy green available this week is endive. Wondering why cook with endive? Endive is rich in folate, fibre, and vitamins A and K. It may be a more bitter tasting green, but the Dutch know how to enjoy it in stamppotten, a creamy mashed potato dish with endive chopped and folded in. Try the recipe here.
Mint is another new item this week that I am excited to introduce. This week I used it in what I call “lazy pickles”- just peel your cucumbers, and toss in a dressing of vinegar, salt & pepper, and chopped mint to taste. It’s so refreshing on a hot day, and the flavour intensifies as it soaks in the dressing. Add some honey if you would prefer a little sweetness. I also used mint in tzatziki sauce and a little to garnish on the greek chicken, lettuce, cucumber and tomato wraps. Garlic chives are great in it too. I put the cucumber right in the blender and only had regular (not greek) yogurt, so my sauce turned out super thin. I used some of it to cook the chicken in as I pan-fried it, making it extra moist and tasty!
1 chinese cabbage (1.5lb size)
3 tbsp sesame oil
2.5 tbsp rice vinegar
5 slices turkey bacon
250g chow mein noodles
2 tbsp. soya sauce
2-3tbsp. chopped green onion, garlic and/or onion chives
Heat sesame oil, rice vinegar, cabbage and turkey bacon over medium heat in a large wok.
Meanwhile, boil chow mein noodles 1 minute or as per package directions.
Once chinese cabbage is tender, add drained and cooked noodles, along with soya sauce and chopped fresh herbs. Stir fry a couple more minutes and stir until well combined.
Enjoy! Use chopsticks if you are talented like that 🙂
Fruit: sorry, no pretty picture of the fruit today, but your fruit shares contain: 3lbs fuji apples, 3lbs bananas, 3 mangoes, 3 grapefruit or 2lbs kiwis, 1/2 pint raspberries. Enjoy 🙂
Hello everyone! I think we got to feel some summer today! I was actually hot…a nice feeling, really! The greenhouses are heating up of course with the sun, and the cucumbers are finally producing. I picked them small this week because I figured you’d want them as badly as I do! If the skin still feels a little prickly just rub it with a cloth. By the weekend they will be big and beautiful, and featured in our boxes most weeks throughout the summer. So refreshing! I also pulled some wee little carrots this week to give our whole share members a taste. Don’t worry, there are lots more carrots on the way, we are just giving them a chance to grow.
Asparagus are still going strong! Enjoy them while they last, as in 2 weeks and they will be gone 🙂 The other new veggie gracing your boxes is lettuce! Green leaf lettuce is in my family’s opinion the best lettuce for burgers and sandwiches and tacos…and yes they are of course awesome in salads!
Speaking of salads, did you know those big & beautiful chinese cabbages in your bins make a fine salad? One of your fellow farm share members advises: “I like making coleslaw with it sometimes with some aniseed, Thai basil & grated carrot.” If the salad idea is not your style, try finely chopping the cabbage in noodle soup or sauteeing with bacon.
Eat well, love well, and be well this week, everyone!
This may be your second week in or maybe this is your first taste of the season. With the cool spring we have been having, our greenhouses have been even more essential to provide you with the variety you expect. This week offers many different leafy greens, from spinach, to kale, to bokchoy and turnip greens. We hope to inspire you in this blog that yes, you can handle all this leafy goodness, and your body will thank you for it, as these are the most-nutrient-dense veggies around!
A couple of crops we are eagerly anticipating are greenhouse cucumbers (little babies are on the plants now- can you spot them?) which will be ready in a week or 2, and carrots, which are the size of my pinkie fingers now and will be quite lovely in a couple weeks. Of course there is also lettuce, which is in the field and finally starting to grow! We are watching hopefully to see if we will have some next week, and in the mean time, our whole share holders get to sample them as baby lettuces.
Thai Kale, Quinoa & Turnip Green Salad
3 cups green kale, finely chopped (I used scissors)
2 cups turnip greens, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch radish, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, almonds or cashews
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup peanut butter, smooth
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3/4 cup quinoa
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil, toasted
1 1/2 cups water
Wash and chop produce and cooked quinoa and add to large mixing bowl.
Mix liquid ingredients for dressing (heating lightly if needed to mix) and toss with salad.
Welcome to a new season of farm share everyone! In this unusually chilly start to June, we sure are thankful for our greenhouses and some lovely root crops to round out our veggie shares. This week I thought I’d give you a visual for what is in your box so you can identify each item easily. I also thought I’d share a recipe I just made up that got resounding “yums” from my family and uses tons of spring veggies! Finally, meal planning is an important part of enjoying your farm share baskets without seeing any of it go to waste. Do you have a plan day? It sounds like Tuesdays may be just the right time for us now, as I will be posting the blog each week on Tuesday nights.
In future blog posts we will be learning from other amazing farm members who have a lot to share, from naturopaths, to nutritionists, to minimalists and busy moms, all tied together in their passion for great food.
Check out your farm share box contents below in picture form, with labels!
Allergy-Free & Veggie-Packed Chicken Pot Pie
As soon as I knew we’d be having parsnips this week, I knew I ought to give you a recipe for them. After all, you’re not going to want to gnaw on them raw like you would a carrot. You see, they are a tougher veg, but their delicious flavour means we need to find a way to coax some tenderness out of them! Enter the instant pot- if you don’t have one, this would also be great in a slow cooker. Now, for the recipe:
-600g chicken breast, chopped into chunks
-2 tbsp olive oil
-400g parsnips (about 3/4 of your bag)
-3 large carrots
-600g red potatoes (with or without skin)
-3/4 bunch red radish
-1 can full-fat coconut milk (60% fat)
-3/4 cup chicken broth
-1 tsp. poultry seasoning
-1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 tbsp fresh chives
Put chopped chicken and olive oil in instant pot and set to sautee. Ligthly sautee as you wash, peel and chop parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, potatoes and radish (can be left whole or halved)
Add vegetables to instant pot when meat is partially cooked. Add in coconut milk, chicken broth, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper.
Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 10 minutes. Remember to put the little dial in the “sealing” position. Meanwhile, prepare biscuits or socca/farinita (chickpea flatbread) to serve with (pictured).
Alternatively, saute chicken in pan on stove and add all ingredients to slow cooker…and be patient…very patient 🙂
Now for a sample meal plan my family for the week (farm share veggies used in parentheses)
Monday- Chicken Pot Pie (parsnip, rutabaga, red potato, radish, chives)
Tuesday- Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Penne Pasta & Tomato veggie sauce (spinach, baby bokchoy in sauce)
Wednesday- Roasted Salmon, asparagus & Red potatoes (asparagus, red potatoes)
Thursday- Beef & bokchoy stir fry with rice (baby bok choy, bok choy)
Friday- Chicken & asparagus pizza with turnip green salad (turnip greens, asparagus)
We made it! 22 weeks of eating from the fruits of the land, trying a new recipe or 2, or 30 and perhaps even learning a new vegetable. We are so thankful you’ve taken this journey with us. It’s easy to put good food at the bottom of your priority list in this busy world, but taking the time to enjoy unprocessed, organic produce is worth your time for your health, and even enjoyable!
We hope you enjoyed this little adventure and are ready for one last summer box, although I don’t think any of us are still calling it summer out there ;).
So let me say thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring about your food, and how and by whom it’s grown! We sure appreciate it.
If you want this local food journey to carry on throughout the fall, winter and spring, we offer winter vegetable and fruit shares. Please Register asap so we can save a spot for you https://zephyrorganics.com/what-is-farmshare/products/
Now, for this week’s list….
Finally we have those potatoes I have been nagging my husband about for weeks and weeks! They look really lovely, and I think you’ll find they have a wonderful taste.
chicogga beets (candy-striped! cut ’em open and discover the awesomeness. Slice them thinly and they can be used like a cracker)
Can you believe it-only 2 more weeks. Wow, time has Flown! We hope you have enjoyed eating with the seasons. A lot had changed over these 5 months of Farm Share. Believe it or not, there is still quite a bit of harvest to bring in. The collards and kale are stunning right now (they are loving the cool weather!) and the fennel was just too pretty to pass up.
I am a little obsessed with soup lately (just had a nice beef stew with carrots, brussels sprouts, potatoes and celery). For lunch I made some soup with some leftover rice, chicken stock, chicken and cabbage. So much nourishment and it warms you up from the inside out.
Now is a good time to take a cue from the lazy sun and slow down a little. Capture the moments where you can where you hit pause on your to-do list and just enjoy the people (or the quiet!) around you. Everyday moments can be so beautiful if only we have the eyes to notice them!
This weeks recipe is a wonderful kale vegetable stew with rutabaga noodles. I look forward to eating the rutabaga that’s not just boiled and mashed with sugar (that’s how our family eats it for thanksgiving). I had forgotten that I used to make noodles with it last share season, yay for a veggie spiralizer!
Here’s hoping these short days come with slow-cooked and hearty foods from our gardens to your table!
mint or parsley
lettuce (last of the season-enjoy!)
1/2 pint raspberries
3lbs gala apples
I thought I’d give you a jump on things this week as you meal plan. Brrrr it was cold today. We are definitely in double socks season on the farm, which means we also had to go harvest all the lettuce!
New this past week we just harvested our first ever sweet potatoes! I was quite surprised at how large they turned out with our limited experience growing this crop. Now that they are harvested they are curing in the greenhouse. In this process the starches turn to sugars (thus making them super tasty!) and they are able to keep longer in storage. I will send them next week or on the last week. We’ll see how long I can wait, as I am so excited for them!
We also have some jalapeños for the whole shares to spice up your lives. Some of them have turned red and though they are definitely still spicy, there is some sweetness in there too. I made mine into jalapeno poppers again because I am a little obsessed.
Also this week we have Brussels sprouts again. My dear mother made me dinner while I worked today (I know, I am spoiled!) and sped along the cooking process while maintaining some amazing taste of a brussels sprouts-carrots combo by first boiling them until tender, then pan-frying them with cooked bacon pieces, garlic, onion powder and oregano. So good!
For those of you wondering: this is week 20 of 22. Those of you with weekly shares will get 2 boxes after this week, and those of you with biweekly shares are only due for one box after this one. The season has flown by! I hope you can savour every bite 🙂