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Farm Share 2019 Week 15 (Sept 11-14)

It’s feeling a whole lot like fall! We just enjoyed the Uxbridge Fall Fair, a celebration of agriculture and community in our local town. If you are looking for a great time in the country, you should consider going next year. My kids had a lot of fun making crafts and other entries. No, they don’t get to enter all the veggies in- that wouldn’t be fair, but next year if they want to work hard caring for a certain veggie then maybe they will earn themselves a few new ribbons.

Our eldest with some of his fair entries

We harvested green cabbage today- a gorgeous crop, and so simple to harvest! If only it were so easy to grow. We grew less cabbage this year because it takes a great deal of nutrients added to the soil to get a nice crop. I have been eying those apples, especially the honeycrisp, that are looking amazing, red and plump, but after extensive taste-testing, I think they need another week or 2 to reach that peak, moan-worthy flavour! The red delicious apples are also looking gorgeous and red, but just need to sweeten up a little bit.

A beautiful green cabbage crop. They are ready for harvest when the heads are firm

The watermelon are officially done- I was so not ready for that, but we did have a solid month of melons! I cut most of your watermelon’s into halves last week to help them both fit in the box, and make sure they were not overripe inside. Soon some apples will be sweetening our lives.

Honeycrisp apples grow alongside a golden variety
Soup season is here! I put raw ground beef, chopped carrots, 3 diced tomatoes, and a couple cloves of garlic in my instant pot with some italian seasoning and salt. I set the pressure cook for 10 mins, and after doing the pressure release, added leftover corn, finely chopped spinach and kale, and broken up 1 minute rice noodles. I sauteed in the pot for 5 minutes more and we had a soup the whole family enjoyed. Leave it to the tomatoes to make a nice soup broth without having to add any from the store!
Here I cooked up spaghetti squash but cutting it into quarters and placing facedown in the steam basket over 2 cups of water. I set my pressure cooker to 10 minutes and made a bolognaise sauce loaded up with veggies including zucchini, tomatoes and carrots. Tip: it takes less spaghetti squash than you would normally eat in wheat or rice pasta to satisfy, and there is a whole lot more fibre and nutrients.
Your whole share veggie baskets this week
BC Bartlett pears, Zephyr golden delicious apples, Ontario peaches, grapes and oranges for this week’s fruit basket

What will you make this week? I know cabbage rolls and spinach lasagna are back on my menu! Happy making!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 14 (Sept 4-7)

We have lots of lunches to make!

Happy back to school! We hope that this return to routines has you savouring the produce of the season. We hope to inspire you to to make some salsa this week with your tomatoes, tomatillos and cilantro. Here is an easy tomatillo salsa recipe to try.

Week 14 Whole shares

Simply Six Shares: green beans, beefsteak tomatoes, watermelon, red yukon potatoes, romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash

Half Shares: green beans, beefsteak tomatoes, watermelon, red yukon potatoes, romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash, cilantro, campari tomatoes, tomatillos, spinach

Whole Shares: green beans, beefsteak tomatoes, watermelon, red yukon potatoes, romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash, cilantro, campari tomatoes, tomatillos, spinach, collard greens, onions, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red leaf lettuce, red peppers, golden delicious apples

Fruit Shares Week 14

Our fruit shares this week are almost completely Canadian! Even mostly Ontario: we have cantaloupe and apples grown by us, peaches and concord grapes grown in Niagara, BC plums and a couple grapefruits (U.S.)

All tomatoes are still going strong! Look for roma and campari tomatoes in our farm store.

Apple season is beginning: We begin with golden delicious apples. This variety has some spots and blemishes this season. We do our best to stay on top of pests organically, and while these apples aren’t perfect, I think you will find them to be quite delicious and nice inside. If your are not happy with the apples you received, let me know and I will replace them. We have also been testing the honeycrisp apples- they look so tempting but are still very tart. They will be nicer after a frost or even just a cooler night. We hope you are all able to enjoy some apples from our farm this season- you can really taste the difference of local and organic. 

The honeycrisp apples are looking tempting, but aren’t ready quite yet.

Have a happy, healthy week!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 12 (Aug 21-24)

A view from the top of one of our rental properties: rows of vegetables responding to the rain we finally got!
Whole Shares week 12: zucchini, grape tomatoes, green beans, radicchio, cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, black kale, cantaloupe, green peppers, romaine, spaghetti squash, yukon potatoes, carrots, parsley, field tomatoes.

Raddichio is new on the menu this week and is out of a lot of our culinary comfort zones. A bitter and nutritious green that’s er…a lot more purple, radicchio is great is all sorts of salads, chopped up, pairs nicely with citrus flavours and can be roasted with balsamic vinegar as in this recipe. Speaking of balsamic, are you thinking there are too many tomatoes in your basket? My friend Stephanie makes an amazing bruschetta and I’ll try to share it hear without botching it!

Ingredients

  • 1lb field or campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium spanish onion
  • 8 button mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • balsamic vinegar
  • chopped garlic or garlic powder
  • 1-2 baguettes, thinly sliced (1/3 inch)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Finely chop onions and mushrooms and sautee on medium heat with olive oil. Finely chop tomatoes and add to onion and mushroom mixture. Sautee until tender, add balsamic vinegar and toss.
  2. While sauteeing, butter one side of each baguette slice. Spread on a baking sheet and lightly toast. Take out of oven and add onion, mushroom, tomato and balsamic mixture (a spoonful on each slice). Return to oven and cook another 5-10 mins until browned at the edges.
  3. Top with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a shaving of pecorino cheese if you really want to impress.

Enjoy (and here’s hoping I didn’t botch writing out the recipe). Her bruschetta really is the best!

One more inspiration for you: local holistic health coach Karen Porter snapped this beautiful photo of her on the spot creation with spaghetti squash. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Spaghetti squash can be cooked in only 20 mins in an instant pot with a little water, or roasted at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes.

So many possibilities with spaghetti squash!
Half Share: zucchini, green peppers, green beans, cantaloupe, field tomatoes, black kale, carrots, yukon potatoes, romaine, cherry tomatoes
Simply Six Shares: zucchini, carrots, field tomatoes, cantaloupe, yukon potatoes, romaine
Sometimes the simple things are the best! Simply steamed with a little butter.

Have a beautiful, colourful week!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 11 (Aug 14-17)

Over 1,000 Boxes of kale picked this weekend!

Did you do anything exciting over the weekend? It was crunch time getting a massive kale order ready. Over 1,000 boxes were sent out, and it was amazing having the whole crew working all together all Friday and Saturday. We really can accomplish so much together. Thankfully I had some help with the kids so I didn’t have to chase my toddler like usual 🙂

Another highlight of this week was visitors! I was blessed to show some friends around the farm, as well as a missionary family that is improving their community through gardening. Sharing the farm with others leaves me energized! Organic farming really is a gift.

Another thing I can’t seem to stop myself from doing in the middle of my work day is spotting and photographing butterflies, and there have been so many different types around!

In all the busyness, I did not take a picture of your lovely farm shares! I’m going to have to list it like old times. Hopefully with a few months under your belt you can identify the items.

Simply 6 Shares

  • yukon potatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Green peppers
  • watermelon
  • Spanish onions

Half Shares

  • Watermelon
  • Green Peppers
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Spanish onions
  • Orange Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Mint
  • 1lb yukon potatoes
  • Rainbow swiss chard

Whole Shares (same as above, with…)

  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • 1lb field tomatoes
  • Tomatillos (try tomatillo salsa recipe here, cut amounts in half for your clamshell of tomatillos)
  • Cantaloupe instead of watermelon
  • Snow peas
  • Baby bokchoy

Fruit Shares

Lots of delicious fruits are in season in Canada now! You will receive

  • Organic Ontario peaches
  • Organic BC plums
  • Zephyr Organics cantaloupe
  • Grapefruit & Oranges
  • 2lbs Green Grapes

Burger night is no reason to skimp on the veggies! You must try this watermelon, feta and mint salad! A fun way to enjoy your watermelon. I made mine with lemon juice and balsamic vinaigrette and it was delish.

Bon apetit!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 10 (Aug 7-10)

And the rain finally came! It’s been a dustbowl but we were blessed with a few hours of rain today. It’s easy to wish for sun all the time if you are not a farmer and forget how much we need the rains to thrive! I aspire to be like my daughter (and sons, who literally dance in the rain!) This principle applies to life too! You can see the grey skies and the damper on your plans, or you can see the beauty and the nourishment coming your way. The only difference is your attitude- choose gratitude today. 🙂

I had to share this photo of my daughter dancing in the rain! The joy!
It’s here….watermelon! Super tasty, hydrating…what’s not to love?!

The really big deal this week is watermelon! Always a fan favourite. I have to limit the number of slices my little guy has before the “ahem” laxative effect works a little too well 🙂 You’ll notice we cut many of your watermelons in half. While I like to keep things in tact and as they are naturally, putting a 12 pound watermelon in your boxes would not leave much room for your other veggies, so something had to give. Bonus points- I got to see just how red and glorious they were inside! Next week we will be sending yellow doll melons- a much smaller melon that is yellow inside! Cantaloupes are also going to be ready soon, so I hope your sweet tooth is fixing for a treat. I have been called “watermelon lady” more than once, because I love to show up to social gatherings with a watermelon. Seriously, what is better than showing up with something super easy and nutritious, that children DEVOUR! And these organic, in-season melons have loads of flavour.

Another fun memory this week: My little B, packing grape tomatoes with Grandpa. He may have sampled a few, just to check for quality 😉
Now to your boxes! The simply six shares this week, with watermelon, Spanish onions, grape tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and romaine. Hungry yet?

Another new item in our boxes in Spanish onions. As you can see by their pretty green tops, they are fresh from the field and not cured. Yes, they are more perishable this way and should be kept in your fridge and out of the sun, but onions are a fantastic way to add flavour and nutrition to any savoury dish, so I am betting that finding a use for them will be no trouble at all!

Half shares week 10- we added baby bokchoy, carrots, zucchini and snow peas The boxes looked to lush and full already I forgot to put the romaine lettuce in the picture!
The full shares are jam packed this week with the addition of Yukon potatoes, red beets, cherry tomatoes, green kale, Chinese cabbage, spinach and field tomatoes. If you are overwhelmed by the greens, Chinese cabbage will last several weeks in a zip loc bag in your fridge while you eat up the more perishable items.
Was taking a peak at the eggplant greenhouse today and spotted a couple baby eggplants! First a pretty purple flower blooms (as seen in photo), and then a beautiful black fruit grows.
Ground beef, zucchini, carrot, swiss chard and tomato stir fry

Looking for an easy and affordable crowd-pleaser, that helps you incorporate lots of nutritious veg? This is one of those meals the kids just gobble without making a fuss of it. Another classic tasty dish by my mom. Just stir fry 1lb ground beef, 1/2-1 chopped Spanish onion, a few chopped carrots, 1-2 chopped zucchini, 1 chopped bunch of swiss chard or whatever greens you have, and 2 chopped medium field tomatoes until tender. Add garlic & Italian seasoning and a little soy sauce to taste. Serve over rice if desired.

Crudites at the ready for pre-dinner munching!

Do your kids (or even you, let’s be honest!), work their way through the rest of dinner, only to be too “full” for their veggies? Studies have shown that kids consume more veggies when they are available to munch on before supper. Bonus points- with something to snack on, you will be able to get the cooking done with less food requests! Why not keep a few crudites (raw veggies) and dip at the ready for such snacking emergencies as pre-dinner time?!

Well, that’s all for now folks! Now is your time to plan your meals for this week and get creating!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 8

Hello from the farm! I was blessed to spend some time away from the farm this weekend with some of my best girlfriends. It’s nice to come back to busyness and abundant labours of the farm refreshed and rejuvenated! I must be a farmer through and through- I was delighted to visit a lavender farm in Prince Edward County, and of course had to come home with a lavender plant! My mother in law tells me it may not fare well over winter, so I may end up planting it in a large container. Even the foliage of the plant, which has no blooms yet, smells amazing!

Beautiful lavender fields in Prince Edward County

Now for your boxes: green beans are just in! They taste great fresh or steamed until tender but still bright green, and of course, butter never hurts ;)! Another new addition this week is cauliflower. This is one of my kid’s favourites, but is one of the most difficult veggies to grow organically. The cauliflower in your boxes are not perfect, but they sure are good and tasty. You can steam and garnish with a little cheese, or get fancy and make it into cauliflower rice. We also have red kale. If you want to see something amazing, steam it and check out the colour of the water after. You will be surprised! Hint- it’s not red…Not into steamed kale? Make it a crunchy vegan-friendly cheesy snack.

Whole Share
Half Share

Hope you enjoy your farm goodies this week, and stay cool!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 7 (July 17-20)

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.

Half Share week 7

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

Ingredients

  • 1lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 baby leeks, chopped
  • 1lbs zucchini
  • 8 large iceberg lettuce leaves (I  chose the harder cup-shaped leaves)
  • Sauce:
  • 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

Directions

  1. Place ground beef in pan or on sautee in instant pot, and break up with a lifter.
  2. Add leek once mostly browned, then add diced zucchini (keep skin on)
  3. In a bowl or mixing cup, mix sauce ingredients together. Add to beef mixture. 
  4. Scoop 3tbsp. of the mixture into 8 lettuce cups, topping with desired toppings. 
Reluctant to try zucchini noodles? Why not try them mixed in with your favourite spaghetti noodle?

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!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 6 (July 10-13)

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!

At our farm we believe that a diversity of crops is both beautiful and practical for keeping pests under control. In the foreground we have cauliflower and then tomatoes, followed by fennel and sunflowers.
The whole shares this week! Gotta love the colours!

Have a delicious and nutritious week!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 5 (July 3-6)

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!

Whole Share Week 5!

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!

Strawberries are beginning…more on the way.
The SImply Six Share is loaded with Green Goodness!
The half share rolls into summer with zucchini and 2 varieties of peas

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

Friday: Pizza with kale & garden salad

Saturday: Stir fried bok choy with shrimp and/or chicken

Sunday: Meatballs with fresh parsley & oregano, zucchini noodles & sauteed swiss chard

Monday: Sugar snap pea salad with spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken (see picture below)

Tuesday: Macaroni & cheese with ground beef & roasted asparagus

Swiss chard/spinach & goat cheese stuffed chicken. Just sautee 1 bunch of chopped greens, add salt, pepper and garlic, and stir in a couple tbsp goat cheese. Cut 3 chicken breasts in half lengthwise and stuff with greens mixture. Wrap in turkey bacon if desired and secure with toothpicks. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Why does organic cost more? Without the use of chemicals, we have some serious weeds to contend with. We use machines where we can, but often it comes down to using a hoe. Believe it or not, we sure could use some rain! Hoeing the broccoli was quite a workout on a beautifully hot day!

Here’s hoping you enjoy your first tastes of summer this week 🙂

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Farm Share 2019 Week 4 (June 26-29)

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.

2 young farmers looking for pea blossoms

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!

Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. Heat sesame oil, rice vinegar, cabbage and turkey bacon over medium heat in a large wok.
  2. Meanwhile, boil chow mein noodles 1 minute or as per package directions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 🙂

I’m signing off for tonight! Have fun creating!