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Have a Sweet Family Day!

Happy Family Day! 

The sun is shining brightly in Zephyr today and beckoning us outside for some sledding fun! While the farm is mostly flat (ideal for growing veggies), the nearby town of Uxbridge has a couple great sledding hills on public lands, and we are eager for some winter fun! We were blessed this week with the opportunity to have a mini vacation at Great Wolf Lodge. Spending all day in the pools and on water slides almost makes you forget that it’s still winter, and having those few days to just enjoy each other was marvellous! Here’s hoping you get a chance to enjoy some fun today with someone you call family!

Enjoying some family time at Great Wolf Lodge

This week we are highlighting sweet potatoes. You’ve probably heard that sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to white potatoes, and while I think organic white potatoes can be a healthy part of most diets, sweet potatoes do have an awesome nutrient profile. First of all, they are a great source of fibre which gives you that feeling of being full as well as keeping your digestive system humming along. Add to that vitamins C, a variety of B vitamins and beta-carotene (which your body makes into Vitamin A), iron and calcium, and I hope you are motivated to learn to love this root if you don’t already.

While I gobble up anything sweet potato, my family is sadly unenthusiastic. Yes, even those healthy farm kids have their likes and dislikes. I have tried sweet potato mash & sweet potato fries, but their favourite way to enjoy sweet potatoes is normally in their chili or in a curry. Sweet potatoes and spice go together beautifully. Today I thought I’d try a couple new recipes to get all those awesome health benefits into my crew.

Still in my pjs (it is family day after all and that means all the kids are at home with me), I peeled and boiled up about 2lbs of sweet potatoes in a pot of water, along with 1/4 of the washed skins (a tip from the recipe to add an earthy flavour). 1 cup went to my muffin recipe (drained and mashed), and the rest I transferred into my blender. I added a half medium sized red onion that I sauteed in vegan butter, along with a tsp of dried chives, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried thyme, and 3-4 cups water. I blended on high till smooth, then I transferred it all back in the pot to heat up for lunch (it was about 9am after all). See the full recipe here.

Meanwhile I did a little baking. Putting veggies in muffin form, especially with chocolate chips is a great way to get my kids’ interest piqued in new things. I tried making these Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins using quinoa oats as my ds can’t have regular oats. They were quite tasty but not amazing. Now, I am dying to try them using regular oats to compare. Let me know what you think!

Winter Farm Shares This Week

We are always striving to reduce unnecessary waste at the farm, and felt that we could do without a couple bags. You can expect more naked veggies in your future! However, most veggies will shrivel up prematurely if left open in your fridge. For example, carrots, celery, rutabaga and beets need to be in a bag or container, preferably in your crisper drawer to stay fresh and beautiful. Hopefully you can some old Zephyr Organics bags or containers saved up that you can use. Any veggies that like it dry like sweet potatoes, white/red potatoes, onions and garlic are happy to be able to breathe and also don’t need to be in the fridge at all. However, sometimes I keep these items in my fridge if it will be a while until I eat them and don’t want them to sprout. I hope that you see the value in our reducing our use of bags, however some of the items I buy in are only available prepackaged.

Your veggie basket this week:

  • 3lbs russet potatoes (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1.5 sweet potatoes (U.S. organic)
  • 2lbs red beets (Zephyr Organics)
  • 2lbs carrots (Ontario organic)
  • 1 pack cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic)
  • 2lbs rutabaga (Zephyr Organics)
  • 1 head celery (U.S. organic)
  • 3 romaine hearts (U.S. organic)
  • 1 cucumber (Canada organic)

Your fruit basket this week

  • 3lbs fuji apples (Canada organic)
  • 7 organic navel oranges
  • 1 organic watermelon
  • organic avocados
  • 3 organic mangos

Summer Farm Shares. Winter has been a great time for lots of beautiful roots, alliums and crucifers but nothing can compare to the beautiful, colourful cornucopia of taste in our summer shares! Find the box that is right for your family at an affordable price today and make your summer and fall a party of taste and nutrition! We ask for your support as we steward the land well by building the soil naturally and keeping chemicals out of our environment and off your table. While our summer shares will contain fruits like watermelon, apples and strawberries when available, we offer organic fruit shares so you can keep the organic fruit coming in plenty all season long. 

Can’t wait till Spring!
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Valentine-My Heart “beets” for you!

So I am feeling inspired- must be the fact that I finally was able to exit my house for reasons other than seeking medical care and supplies (my little guy has been quite ill but is finally on the mend). Being cooped up doesn’t do much for my inspiration…but feeling the bright sun on my face today and enjoying the sparkle of the snow, I felt suddenly inspired to do some fun Valentine’s-themed veggies. Enter chicogga, or candy-striped beets. I know traditionally we think of chocolate as being a Valentine treat, and I’m all for that, but why not make dinner a little special too? And why not pack your Valentine with fibre, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and other nutrients while having some fun? I washed them, roasted them at 400 degrees for an hour in a ceramic dish with the glass lid on and a little drizzle of oil inside. I chose 3 large beets to make them easier to create my masterpieces.

Now if you have young kids like me, your play dough collection probably consists of more shape cutters than a small day care could hope to use along with very little actual workable play dough. It puts my cookie cutter selection to shame, so I borrowed some cutters for this purpose. Now, before you think I have no standards at all, I did wash them well first! Then I got to work cutting out the shapes. Boy was it fun! My only regret- I should have done this with the kids, not while they were in school (totally hogging all the fun here). Best of all, roasted and sliced, they were very easy to cut with just plastic shape cutters. So there you have it- make your valentine some heart beets- or sharks, or dinosaurs!- whatever they would most love.

At the same time the beets were roasting, I was also roasting some of those nice big yummy red potatoes from this week’s winter shares (I did 5 as it’s just me and my 3 kids eating tonight). Again I shunned the tin foil in favour of a casserole dish with lid and a drizzle of olive oil and they were nice and tender when the beets were (400 degrees for 1 hours). Please check your potatoes before then as the size of potatoes and awesomeness of your oven will determine how long they take (hint- my oven is not very awesome lol).

Meanwhile, I boiled some water in a smaller saucepan and cooked 2 cups of broccoli until tender but not still a lively green colour. I sliced the top of the potatoes off and carefully scooped out most of the flesh, adding it in with the broccoli. For flavour, I added 2 tbsp vegan butter, 2 tbsp. italian herb goat cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 cup coconut milk (carton). I mashed the ingredients together. Then I drained the broccoli and added it to the potato mixture, mashing in the broccoli but still leaving some chunks (you decide how small to go for your family). Then I reloaded the potato skins with the mixture and sprinkled with cheese (goat cheese for my son with a dairy sensitivity and regular cheddar cheese for the rest of us). We all love his goat cheese but not the price so much 🙂 Finally bake for 10 mins at 400 or until hot and the cheese is melted and looks delish!

My original plan was to pair it with beef steak but my husband would be too sad to miss it, so I’ll use the pemeal bacon I have waiting to be cooked in the fridge. If looking for vegetarian, why not pair with a portobello steak?

Finally, I am sure you need some cat pictures in your life. You are welcome 🙂

That’s all folks! And remember, summer is just around the corner. No, really! Check out our Summer Farm Shares and start dreaming today!

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Week 22 (Final!) Week of 2019 Farm Share

Here we are, on the final week of our 2019 Farm Shares! Have you learned something? A new recipe, a new veggie altogether? A new adventure? I can always say I did. Even after 10 years of running Farm Share I am astounded with the knowledge and skill it takes to grow the variety of veggies we do. I am forever learning new recipes to feed my ever-changing family well, and I am learning about you as customers and people, and how to make a great year of Farm Share happen for you.

Taste the Rainbow!

So thanks for joining me on the journey! I hope it has been a rewarding one. Your support of our farm this season, from beginning to end has been such a blessing. Thanks a million! I am thankful now for a time of keeping a slower pace and doing those little things again like trips to our library, or an afternoon at the park. Time to do something with all that wonderful produce and fix up our century home. But, not time to quit farming altogether. While many of the fields are looking empty, which makes me rather happy instead of sad- relieved we got most things in before the ground freezes. Last year we did not have all of the potatoes dug before winter came seemingly overnight! Just a little more beets and Jerusalem artichokes and we are on to the last of the greenhouse crops: baby bokchoy and a gorgeous late crop of radish. We hope you enjoy they since it’s been a while. Remember you can also roast them for a delicious mild and low card alternative to potatoes.

Move over skittles- this week we get to truly taste the rainbow! From our staple green veggies like green cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and baby bokchoy, to the punchy red peppers, the bright pink radishes, the deep purple beets, the oranges and buttery tones, I think the “red” kale in a rich royal purple, takes the cake for colour power. I heard recently that nature has colour coded our food to help us stay healthy. So, taste the rainbow with us this week!

Simply 6 Shares

  • Green cabbage: great in coleslaw, cabbage rolls or simply boiled with carrots for a side
  • Red Beets: Try Maria’s Potato salad. Boil equal amounts peeled beets and peeled potatoes. Cool, finely slice small dill pickles and toss in some of the pickle juice. Add salt, pepper and other spices to taste. Healthier than traditional potato salad, pretty and satisfying.
Pink potato salad? You betcha!
  • Sweet potatoes: Try sweet potato fries, add to chili, or mash and dress like you would white potatoes.
  • Brussels sprouts: simply trim and roast with a little garlic powder. See recipe here. You can even throw them in your rice cooker with your rice if you like them soft.
  • Red Peppers: Try Roasted Red Pepper soup if the peppers are piling up! Or stuffed peppers.
  • Yellow Onions: Perfect in the Red Pepper soup above or in almost any savoury dish to add flavour.
Brussels sprouts in the rice cooker, pan-fried, garlic & basil spiced potatoes & a freezer stash of cauliflower.

Half Shares

  • Baby bokchoy, red kale: Try Greens and beans for a simple complete meal. Thanks for the suggestion Gloria!
  • Red radish: You either love that spicy kick or you don’t. Luckily, they roast beautifully for a mild taste. The leaves are good too in salad or cooked.
  • Butternut squash: I found a treasure trove of ideas for you here.

Whole Shares

  • Celery, potatoes, leeks, rutabaga, & parsley: Sounds like the perfect ingredients for chicken pot pie or soup!

Fruit Shares:

  • 3lbs bananas or 5 oranges, 9 kiwis, 1/2 pint blueberries, 3 grapefruits and 3lbs Bartlett pears or apples

Just can’t wait all the way till June to enjoy more veggies? Sign up for our winter share program or stock up on some bulk winter veggies to keep you going. Winter share deliveries occur weekly and bulk veggie deliveries will be available monthly starting Nov 27, 2019.

Thank you from all of us at Zephyr Organics. It’s been a slice!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 21

Hello from the farm! I hope you all voted yesterday in the federal election. Even though the electoral system we have here leaves me wondering if there is a better way to represent Canada’s choice than electing by seats, I am thankful that in this country, elections are scrutinized, democratic and free of violence. In other nations, there is threat of violence during elections or fraudulent systems that keep powerful dictators in charge. It is my hope that in our current minority government, opposing parties can actually listen to each other for the betterment of Canada (am I dreaming?). No one party had the perfect platform in my opinion. It would also be neat to vote policy by policy, but I guess that would take an awful lot of time and truth be told, not all of our opinions on each matter may be educated. Now let’s hope our leaders have taken time to truly educate themselves!

Well, enough with the political talk, though food can be political too. I have definitely heard many people or organizations try to discredit organic foods as some sort of a sham. While I can’t speak for the entire globe of organically labelled products, I can tell you that we stringently follow the organic guidelines, avoiding chemicals and using the slow, soil health building methods that yield long-term, environmentally sound and healthful results. But, of course I am a little biased, so here is a great article I found highlighting some of the studies that have found much higher nutrient levels in organic foods, even leading to a reduction in cancer.

No, we don’t suddenly own cows. Right across from the apples I was drinking in this colourful fall vista, complete with sound effects!
Simply 6 Share this week: yukon potatoes, carrots, sweet peppers, red beets, celery and leeks.
Half shares this week: carrots, leeks, beets, celery, black kale, sweet peppers, brussels sprouts, bok choy, yukon potatoes & butternut squash

Whole Shares:

  • carrots (super sweet!)
  • celery
  • leeks
  • yukon potatoes
  • red beets
  • brussels sprouts
  • bok choy
  • black kale
  • butternut squash: try this comfort food mac and cheese recipe from One Hungry Monkey‘s blog
  • sweet peppers
  • savoy cabbage
  • mint
  • assorted apples (gala, granny smith & northern spy)
  • pie pumpkin
  • green leaf lettuce (last of the season)

Fruit Shares

  • 3lbs bananas
  • 2lbs kiwis
  • 5 oranges
  • 2lbs grapes
  • 3lbs bartlett pears
Is anyone in a packed lunch rut yet? Some of my ideas lately are salsa made with my september tomatoes with tortilla chips, homemade dehydrated apple slices made in the dehydrator, sliced apples (with a dash of lemon juice to keep fresh), and sweet pepper slices. Happy lunch-making!

Two of the items I am most inspired by this week are celery and leeks. While I will be for sure enjoying (but not sending to school!) celery slices with peanut butter, I am eager to make some homemade chicken noodle soup. Nothing like celery to bring on that amazing flavour! I like to wing it, making sure to add onions and garlic for their immune boosting properties, as well as carrot for colour and flavour. Try this simple recipe for chicken noodle soup. Add some of that bokchoy to get some greens. It really is awesome in soup. Chop it up finely if you have some pickier eaters on your hands and be ready to share with the latest person in your circle to catch a cold! 🙂

Now leeks also forever make me think of potato leek soup. This one is super comforting and a classic for a reason! Another option is this amazing dip shared by a fellow farm share member back in the spring:

Spring Leek Dip with Lemon and Mint

Serve this creamy dip with assorted vegetable dippers, such as carrot sticks, radishes, sliced fennel and cucumber.

Makes one cup (250 mL)

2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

1 bunch spring leeks, (about 6 to 7) – NOTE: could do with a few less since the leeks are larger now

½ tsp (2 mL) sea salt

½ cup (125 mL) sour cream

1/3 cup (75 mL) plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon zest

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh mint or cilantro

Whole share member take note: the mint in the dip is pure magic!

Well, that’s all for now folks. Just one week left after this one of our summer share, but thank goodness we have winter shares too! Check out our “Farm Share Boxes” page if you want to know more.

Soak up all the sun you can now!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 20 (Oct 16-19)

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! We just finished up the last of the festivities yesterday and it was back to work today. There’s still lots to be harvested outside, and today I was blessed with a little extra help with my visiting nieces and nephew. They were more than a little enthusiastic picking apples, harvesting celery, and wrestling rutabagas from the ground! Just having them there made me deliriously happy. I think I’ve got the equation figured out: Veggies+children (especially extra special ones) = happiness for me. We even discovered some delicious peas that were extra sweet from the frost, and of course, there was abundant taste-testing along the way. What we have to show for all our efforts is a fall bounty, with a few new items like celery, new varieties of apples, black kale and sweet potatoes.

My lovely niece had no problem harvesting this big rutabaga herself!
Farm Share bins are all full and ready for “lidding and skidding”
Whole Shares Week 20

Instead of doing all pictures, I thought I’d tell you what’s in each share with some ideas:

Simply 6 Share

  • red beets (I just remove the tops, peel, boil until tender, and serve with a touch of butter as a side. The kids love! Save the tops for stir fries or pastas as a healthy green)
  • carrots (scrub clean and chop for carrot sticks, boil or roast, or add to stir fries).
  • butternut squash (make this classic butternut squash soup recipe, or even use your leftover squash from thanksgiving like I did- easy and resourceful 😉
  • black kale (massage leaves with olive oil, chop, and add lemon juice, nutritional yeast & salt and pepper for a surprisingly good salad, or chop and add anywhere you would use spinach. Add to a smoothie and tell your kids this is also called “dinosaur kale” because the leaves have the texture like dinosaur skin. Look really cool and knowledgeable.
  • red cabbage (looks great grated up and added to coleslaw with green cabbage, or try German Style Red Cabbage
  • Lettuce (red, green or romaine). It’s a surprise what lettuce you will get when we carefully select the best last of the lettuces
Leftover squash from Thanksgiving? Re imagine it as a nice creamy soup.

Half Share (as above, adding…)

  • sweet potatoes or sweet peppers (I love sweet potatoes cut into cubes and cooked in my chili or in a curry)
  • baby bok choy (always awesome in a stir fry or in soup, or even as a salad green)
  • apples (some fuji and I am not sure of the other variety. Awesome sliced and served with nut butter/yogurt mixed as dip. Add honey if desired). These apples aren’t perfect but I think you will find they taste amazing!
  • celery (great chopped into snack sized lengths and topped with nut butter, or add to flavour to just about any soup or stir fry).

Whole Share (as 2 lists above and add)

  • sweet peppers (core and slice for a yummy snacking veggie, stuff, or add to stir fries, chili, protein bowls)
  • russet potatoes (great potatoes for french fries. I peel (leaving some skins), cut into fry shaped pieces, toss in olive oil and place on a baking sheet, and cook for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees.
  • rutabaga (also make great fries, prepared the same as above, mash and add butter and/or sugar or mash and mix in with mashed potatoes. Also great in soups and stews).
  • pepper squash (cut around it’s middle, scoop out seeds, put a little butter and brown sugar if desired and bake cut side up in oven at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork). Serve as a side.
  • sugar snap or snow peas (eat raw as a snack or add to a stir fry)
My mother’s stir fry of the week: she used zucchini, tomatoes, and baby bok choy that needed to be cooked with some chicken and rice. My kids, who claim not to like zucchini and baby bokchoy, ate this happily. Her secret: chopping up the veggies finely and adding lots of spices for flavour. Don’t forget the garlic 😉

I hope I’ve been able to offer you some useful ideas this week. Now it’s your turn to get creating! 3 more weeks of farm share (including this one!) to go. Savour each flavour!

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Farm Share 2019 Thanksgiving Week!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving week to me in Farm Share is a big deal! I picture how each item will contribute to your weeks, and especially, your Thanksgiving gathering. How do you celebrate? Both of my family celebrations (one for my side of the family, one for my husband’s) are looking a little different and bigger this year, and I love it! My cousin is hosting all of her family together in one gathering, so I’ll get to spend Thanksgiving with both the familiar family members and some new faces. We’ll play lots of games and do a big, traditional feast. On my husband’s (the farm) side, we have some special relatives visiting from Holland and so all the extended family is getting together. We might even have a few people join from our church family. On this side there will be lots and lots of kids, so there is never a dull moment and along with another turkey dinner, we’ll be treated to the handiwork of some truly awesome bakers! Whether large or small, I hope you have someone to celebrate with this Thanksgiving.

So of course Thanksgiving is not all about the food- but the soul food of gratitude. I honestly attribute learning to practice more gratitude for pulling me out of a mild depression. It has a powerful effect on our brain and helps lead our emotions to a better place.

So here goes…today there was an accident in someone’s home in my little town. Terrible, I know. It was quite the scene with police, ambulances and fire trucks everywhere. Not the sort of thing that at all looks in place in our sleepy little town. What struck me was all the neighbours lining the road- yes, to see what was going on…but not to gawk. These same neighbours were out handing out practical help when a local family was forced out of their home when a fire broke out. I have neighbours that pass along hand-me-downs, or weed whack my mess of a yard, or let me know if someone suspicious had been around, and of course, I’m looking for ways to bless them too. In this community, people really do care, and that means the world! This is the neighbourhood my kids get to grow up in. I’m thankful for my neighbours.

She was so proud to help mom and find such a gorgeous red delicious apple!

I’m thankful for the opportunity to raise 3 kids. Some people think it’s crazy to have 3- really, just 3! Yes, they can be demanding, yes, they are noisy and sometimes drive me right to the edge of my sanity, but they are truly beautiful. They take in the world with a fresh sense of wonder that awakens me too. They make me laugh often. They offer hugs and cuddles galore and think the world of me. They are creative and sweet- thoughtful and also energetic. Sharing the farm with them often involves very dirty kids, or kids who have lost their patience with a task, but also involves those magical moments where we are working side by side, drinking in the beauty of nature and the simple joy of spending time together. It’s also where I see my kids blossom in independence, competence and knowledge, moving their bodies and filling their mouths how it was meant to be. I’m so thankful to be their mama.

One more I have to mention is the people who help me raise them! First of all, my husband, working hard for us, teaching them new skills, having my back, and showering us all with love, not to mention making life a whole lot more fun. My mom and dad, and Doug’s mom and dad, for caring, guiding, helping and a little bit of spoiling our kids, and setting examples that my kids can learn from. Even my friends and other family members help me in that role with their encouragement, love, and helping me to get out without the kids now and then.

We are so thankful for you as Farm Share members and customers! People who truly care about supporting us, eating well, and healthy, organic foods. One way we want to say thank you is by sending you with a decorative pumpkin for free!. Just visit the store Friday or Saturday and tell Lyan you are a farm share member,and take your pic. Non-members can also purchase these pretty large orange pumpkins to decorate their homes or carve.

Farm Share members can pick up their free large pumpkin while they last!

I could go on and on…but then there are the vegetables!

Carrots, savoy cabbage, red potatoes, pumpkin, pepper (acorn) squash) and green leaf lettuce in the Simply 6 shares this Thanksgiving week.
For the half shares we added yellow onions, red beets, red and green peppers, rutabaga & a mini bunch of sage.
The whole shares are a real cornucopia of colour and taste! Cucumber, green kale, sweet potatoes, delicata squash (the yellow and green striped ones), garlic chives and 1 more item.

Now for some ideas of what to do with all of this good stuff! Of course that pie pumpkin is just begging to be made into pumpkin pie. This recipe was a game-changer for me as my son has so many food sensitivities that make just about all conventional baking a no-go for him. Here’s his beloved recipe for Gluten Free & Vegan Pumpkin Pie. Or why not try making pumpkin muffins? It’s so much tastier and healthier to use fresh rather than canned pumpkin puree. Just cut your pumpkin in half down it’s belt line, scoop out the seeds (wash and save for roasting if you like!), and bake cut side down on a baking pan at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender. Scoop flesh out of skin and into a blender, and blend until smooth. No water needs to be added. Then use in your favorite recipes.

As the veggie farmer, I was asked to bring veggies to one of my family dinners. I plan to roast my carrots and beets, as it brings out the natural sweetness. I don’t think the sugar in this recipe will be needed with how sweet the carrots are now tasting after the frost! The carrots have been smaller this year due to the drought for much of the growing season. I find the skins on the smaller ones are softer, and I simply scrub them clean with a norwex veggie cloth or a kitchen scrub brush and roast with the skins on.

Wondering what to do with your rutabagas? This classic Mashed Rutabaga recipe couldn’t be easier!

Now you know what a rutabaga looks like in the field! We don’t have the mammoth-sized ones we did last year, but they are looking lovely!
Sweet potatoes are here!

In the farm side of the family, this Sweet Potato Casserole is always a fan favourite! This can also be topped with marshmallows if you are feeling indulgent.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a beautiful feast and find lots of blessings to dwell on.

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Farm Share 2019 Week 17 (Sept 25-28)

Well this was the big week for me to finally harvest those honeycrisp apples that have been beckoning me! If you are not familiar with the honeycrisp variety, you are in for a treat: the sweet taste and super crispy texture make these my absolute favorite type, especially when they are super fresh and organic. The taste is awesome!

If I’m to be honest, I was a little disappointed. We worked so hard on the apple trees starting in March- pruning, painting them with homemade dormant oil, and spraying with clay to keep bugs and pests out, but there were still a lot more apples that didn’t turn out well than did. The yield was not too impressive, but still we have some imperfect, but quite delicious apples for you to enjoy. Many have asked me about purchasing extra apples- I have no extras of the honeycrisp as I am trying to get them in every farm share member’s box this week and as many as I can for next week. We also have some lovely red delicious apples going into the fruit shares this week and hopefully all shares next week. Then after that we have another variety of apples which is looking lovely but is still very green and sour. They have some sweetening up to do! If you simply must get more honey crisp apples (and I don’t blame you!), Organics Farm has just started with that variety and are certified organic. If you have some plans to make apple sauce or other yummy apple goodies, we do have quite a few seconds- feel free to email me to inquire. Enjoy!

Whole Shares week 17: L-R: cucumbers, honeycrisp apples, spinach, fennel, grape tomatoes, green beans, yellow onions, red beets, spaghetti squash, romaine lettuce, campari tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, parsley, eggplant and baby bokchoy

My other big project this morning was digging up the onions- or should I say pulling up! We knocked the tops over and left them to cure in the fields, so these onions are ready to store- or use- whenever. It was so easy even my 2 year was getting in on the fun of pulling them up. I can’t say cleaning them was quite as easy. The dirst just loves to stick to the skin so some peeling and rubbing are needed to get these alliums farm share box ready!

Enjoy your tomatoes while they last folks! The fields are done, which means no more bulk orders. I am so thankful for all the people that made our tomatoes a part of their canning recipes. This week we still have grape tomatoes and enough campari tomatoes for our whole share members.

You can guess what is coming in your farm shares over the next few weeks! This field of beets is looking lovely!
Whenever I have spinach and grape tomatoes at the same times, I just have to make pasta tossed in olive oil, italian seasoning and goat cheese. An easy meal that makes great leftovers, hot or cold.

Hope you all have a week as vibrant as your farm share boxes this week!

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Farm Share 2019 Week 16 (Sept 18-21,2019)

Ahhh…what a September! The warm days…the cool nights…the zero frost so far= love! The red peppers are turning, the winter squash are ripening, and the fruit is sweetening. While I harvested a few for our fruit shares of our honeycrisp apples (they are more of a tart apple right now), I know they will sweeten up a bit more before the big harvest, when I will go fill basket upon basket, and sample so many apples I will get a tummy ache…lol. For me, taste-testing is so essential for such things. While we wait for more apples to ripen, a lovely friend who has an organic orchard just for her own enjoyment, has allowed me to pick you some asian pears! They look a lot more like apples in their shape and have a very crisp texture, but the taste is a nice, mild and sweet pear-y taste. You can enjoy them as is or try something adventurous, like Asian Pear Slaw with Ginger and Lime This recipe uses cilantro too if you are wondering what to do with that ample bunch of cilantro!

How adorable are these asian pears all lined up in a row?! I had a blast climbing the ladder and harvesting them with my kids.

This week I tried to use the items that will be goners as soon as the frost hits. Cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, and peas will not tolerate much frost. At the same time, I have been dreaming of Butternut Squash Soup and thought you might be dreaming about that creamy deliciousness too…or perhaps just started now! It’s a super easy soup that even most picky eaters enjoy. Win-win! I don’t even bother using the chicken stock as many store-bought stock’s have funky ingredients in them (like wheat for instance) that don’t agree with everyone in our family, so I merely add water, and find there is still plenty of flavour. You can even add a little nutmeg or cinnamon for a rich compliment to the natural flavour of the squash.

The whole shares this week are packed with 18 items: cilantro, sugar snap peas, red peppers, chinese cabbage, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, green swiss chard, field tomatoes, butternut squash, romaine lettuce, tomatillos, grape tomatoes, russet potatoes, spinach, snow peas and asian pears. Hope you are hungry!
The half shares have green swiss chard, field tomatoes, butternut squash, red peppers, romaine lettuce, tomatillos, sugar snap peas, cilantro and grape tomatoes.
The simply six share is looking totally different this week with green swiss chard, red peppers, butternut squash, sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes and asian pears.

Need some inspiration for those tomatillos? First of all, why try them? Well 1, they are probably in your farm share and 2, they are packed with vitamin C and K, as well as being great for your eye health. I have 2 ideas for you…the easiest one is simply wash and chop them, and add them to your favourite chili recipe with the other ingredients. My husband and I enjoyed the different, sweeter taste it gave our chili.

The second idea is to make Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas with your own Green Enchilada Sauce . Reading the proper recipes, I realize I did not follow them very closely, but I still ended up with a delicious dinner. Note- your little clams only hold about a half pound or so, so you will likely want to do 1/3 of each ingredient. Bonus- this one also uses your cilantro- yum! And whole shares have the jalapenos for it too! (See note below)

Well, I followed the recipe only loosely, but these enchiladas were still so tasty! I used a large tomato also to add some more bulk to the sauce.

While we are on the subject of jalapenos, I thought I would give you a warning (also printed on your little clam of jalapenos). Please handle them with care! Dish gloves are a wise idea, or if using your bare hands…do not…and I repeat, do not touch your eyes…or your baby until you have washed thoroughly with dish soap (not that I have any experience with this ;). If you do get some on your skin and get some irritation, dairy products also do well to soothe the skin (like yogurt). End of warning. Have fun! Ps- any leftover jalapenos are great in fresh or cooked salsa. Remove seeds for a milder heat.

Can you identify this caterpillar? I guessed he was up to no good up in the apple tree so I took him off by removing the leaf he was on (he didn’t look like the sort of caterpillar one should touch!)

Hope you are ready to take on this week of food prep! You are doing an amazing thing for yourself and your family by choosing real food. It is worth the effort!

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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!