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Farm Share Week 1 June 6-9, 2018

Welcome to a new season of farm share!

It’s been a crazy year so far with a very cold April and super hot May, and this week it feels like fall…what?! We also just had our Open House! It was a perfect day and it was a pleasure to connect with the awesome folks who support our farm as farm share members, and other great folks eager to see what organic veggie farming looks like.

Great people, great produce and of course, great snacks at the open house!

I am excited to send you lots of fresh spring veggies, and plenty of asparagus. Asparagus is a short-lived season, so I hope you enjoy it often. Asparagus is fantastic on the barbecue (I put it in tin foil or a barbecue safe dish, slathered in MELT butter alternative and lightly salted). You can also put it right on the grill, but I don’t want to lose any of those delicious spears if they were to fall!

We also have some lovely rhubarb. If you were at our open house, you got to try it in gluten-free vegan strawberry rhubarb bars. These were a hit and quite simple. We used quinoa oats due to an oat sensitivity. You can get the recipe here.

If that sounds like too much work, why not whip up some rhubarb chia refrigerator jam? Healthy, easy, and great with yogurt, on toast, or topping ice cream. Here’s the recipe. Feel free to tweak the sweeteners to your own taste buds.

Ingredients

  • 1lb rhubarb, washed and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp stevia powder (or other sweetener if needed)
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • optional: lemon juice to preserve colour, or I stirred in and then removed cooked beets to give it a pinkier hue

Directions

  1. Finely chop 1lb rhubarb. Add to small saucepan and cook on medium, stirring regularly. When it begins to cook down, add maple syrup, stevia, optional lemon or cooked beets and chia seeds.
  2. Stir and cook until you have a smooth jam. (Don’t worry if it’s not all the way thickened as it will thicken with chia seeds in the fridge).
  3. Refrigerate for a few hours and enjoy!
Rhubarb chia refrigerator jam is yummy and so easy!

Now for your box contents:

Half Shares

  • 1lb asparagus
  • another pound of asparagus (never too much, right!?)
  • 1lb baby bokchoy
  • 1lb rhubarb
  • 1 pint snow peas
  • 1 bunch green kale
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch garlic chives (chop up as needed with kitchen scissors and add to any savory dish)
  • 1lb rutabaga (makes a great mash, French fry, addition to soup or even raw in salad. One of my ingenious customers gave me the idea to slice them into rounds, bake them and then top as pizzas!)
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce

Whole Shares

All of the above…plus…

  • turnip greens (light green leafy veg, great in salad or as cooking green)
  • sugar snap peas
  • arugula (spicy salad green)
  • lemon balm (makes a lovely tea or chop and use in pasta for added lemony flavour)
  • a 3rd asparagus! (so good on pizza, in pasta, in stir fries, or just sautéed as a side)

Fruit Shares

  • 3lbs bananas
  • 8 nectarines
  • 1lb strawberries
  • 5 Valencia oranges
  • 1 honey dew melon

 

 

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Feb 20-21, 2018 Winter Shares

This week was an exciting one as all 3 of the farm owners, the owner of farm share (myself), and our littlest sprout were able to take a couple days away at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls. We go to this conference most years, but I especially enjoyed this one. I learned more about Jerusalem artichokes, the funky tubers in your veggie bins this week.

Some fun facts: the are indigenous to North America and one of the first cultivated plants in North America. The First Nations People were already using it in 1605 when it was first recorded by early settlers.

What was even more exciting to discover was that they are rich in inulin, a prebiotic that is stellar for our digestive and immune systems! I’ve learned you can make them into pickles, but for now, a creamy soup is the perfect way to enjoy these tubers.

Here’s a tip from fellow customer, environmentalist, herbalist, and overall awesome person Gloria:

“I made the most delicious sunchoke soup with the first winter veggie delivery. Didn’t peel, only washed well and scrubbed. Added leek, garlic, celery and a half bunch of kale.. Puréed in blender. Very elegant.”

I myself was torn between making butternut squash soup and jerusalem artichoke soup this week, having both items in our shares, so I decided on…both! I was excited to get all these nutrients into my family, from the grown-ups, to the kids, to the baby!

Butternut Squash & Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

After peeling, I slice the butternut squash thickly. The rounded end of the squash will have seeds.
I make about 5 angular cuts to separate the seeds from the flesh, creating cubes as I go.
All the ingredients in the slow cooker, ready to go!

 

Cooked, pureed, and ready to enjoy!Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1   2lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed. (See photo for how I do this)
  • 1lb Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed (I used a Norwex veggie and fruit cloth. A nylon bristle brush also works) and cubed
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cube chicken boullion
  • 3/4 tsp stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup coconut milk (optional) (from the carton or can- your choice)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients except coconut milk in a slow cooker on high. Cook 4-5 hours.
  2. Transfer to blender or blend with immersion blender, being extra cautious with the hot liquid.
  3. Pour in coconut milk and mix. Enjoy!

In your shares this week:

  • butternut squash 2-4lbs
  • 1.5lbs zucchini
  • 2lbs carrots (Zephyr)
  • 2lbs red beets (Zephyr)
  • 2lbs purple top turnip (Zephyr)
  • 1lbs Jerusalem artichokes (Zephyr)
  • small package Cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic!)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch broccoli or 1 head cauliflower

Fruit

  • 2.5lbs bananas
  • 1 red watermelon
  • 6 apples (Fuji, BC)
  • 4 oranges
  • 4 avocadoes

 

 

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Winter Share Delivery 2 (Nov 28/29, 2017)

Winter share Delivery 2

I’m getting in the Christmas mood, and I don’t think I’m alone: I was admiring the festive decorations I saw at many of your homes. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you find opportunity to be generous to warm up your surroundings in this cool weather.

Your veggies this week:
-2lbs Zucchini
-head cauliflower
-3lbs yams
-2lbs carrots
-2lbs beets
-1 head red cabbage
-1lb baby bokchoy (the last of the season)
-1lb bunch collard greens (also last of the season from our farm)
-2lbs purple top turnip (instead of the spinach, which was sadly frozen 🙁

Your fruits
3lbs bananas
3 grapefruits
3lbs gala apples (QC)
1/2 pint blueberries
4 oranges

We had to make a couple changes to our original plan due to availability.

I’m guessing I don’t have to tell you what to do with cauliflower or carrots, but I figured red cabbage might be a little out of your comfort zones. To be honest, I generally resort to some sort of slaw with it, which is great, but I was looking to mix it up. I found many similar recipes, but settled on this one due to its quicker cooking time.  Check out the recipe for Red Cabbage and Apples

Why don’t people feed babies beets? Maybe this is why (the mess) but he sure liked it!
This recipe is quite easy and very tasty!

I also tried making Sweet Potato Pizza Crust (gluten free) with the yams. Here are some pics of making it.

The pizza crust is finally cooked and getting topped up with tomato paste.
The finished product. I loved it and found it very satiating compared with regular pizza, but the family was less than enthusiastic and it was a lot of work. I think I’ll stick to my regular pizza crusts and enjoy the yams in a curry or as fries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza w/BBQ Chicken from www.bakosweet.com

Ingredients

  • 3lbs sweet potatoes (or yams)
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 cup pre cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 egg (I used a flax egg)
  • 1 cup almond flour (I used Brown rice flour and had to increase the amount)
  • are 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or paste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook bake sweet potatoes until soft (40 mins or so)
  3. Peel sweet potatoes and add to large mixing bowl with 1 cup almond flour, 1 egg, spices and apple cider vinegar. Mash ingredients together until well combined and dough like.
  4. Use rubber spatula to spread on pizza stone until evenly distributed 1/3 inch thick (I used a fork and spread on parchment paper on a cookie sheet).
  5. Cook dough at 400 degrees for 30 mins.
  6. While dough is baking, shred 1 cup cooked chicken, chop 1 cup spinach, and Sautee on onion until soft.
  7. Remove pizza dough from oven. Let cool 20 mins to harden. Spread bbq and tomato sauce on top. Add cheese on top.
  8. Cover pizza with chicken mixture.
  9. Return pizza to oven and cook another 10-13 minutes. Slice and ebjoy.

 

Is anyone overwhelmed by 3lbs of bananas? I can’t seem to keep them in my house. Between easy snacks, slicing and adding to breakfasts and making great gluten free vegan pancakes and treats, my dreams of peeling them and throwing them in zip locks in  the freezer for smoothies are often dashed. I love the versatility of a banana! If you haven’t tried that yet, they freeze beautiful with the skins off. There is no need to let even one go to waste!

Well that’s it for this delivery. Let the prepping (and eating…) begin!

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Winter Share Delivery 1 (Nov 14/15 )

Well you’ve got your lovely bunch of vegetables (and maybe fruit too). Could you use some inspiration? Maybe a slightly embarrassing story about my ineptitude and sheer ignorance with avocados?

But first, your veggies and fruit baskets for this week Nov 14/15

Vegetables

  • 4lbs russet potatoes
  • 3lbs yellow onions
  • 1lb brussels sprouts
  • 2lb carrots
  • 2lbs rutabaga
  • 1lb red peppers
  • 1 caraflex (sweet) cabbage
  • 1lb baby bokchoy
  • 1 bunch green kale

Fruits

  • 3 grapefruits
  • 4 avocados
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 3lbs bananas
  • 3lbso apples

 

Well, here come the story and recipes. I was joining this group of farmer ladies for a luncheon, already feeling like a bit of an imposter because many of these women lead their own farms…bottle feed lambs, have kept them in their houses to protect against the cold…know all about livestock and germination and the like, and I married into this gig not knowing a bunch of kale from a head of bok choy. For some reason I thought it was wise to offer to bring the guacamole, a dish I loved but had never made. At least I knew you needed avocados…so I went to the store that same day and brought home my first bag of avocados.

My first challenge was getting into them. I think I used a vegetable peeler which worked ok, managed to wrestle the pits out and then as per the recipe, began to “mash” them. I put all of my might into the mashing and even bent my masher. No results. Then I got out the mixer and gave that a go. Still, nothing was mashed about those avocadoes. Next, I got out the blender and let that sad little thing try to get somewhere, stopping to mix it around. I think at the end I ended up with some half decent guacamole, but let me save you the trouble.

Green skin= not ripe
Rock hard= not ripe (my problem!)
Skin pulling away from insides= too ripe
Blackish skin, a little give or tenderness when lightly felt with your fingers= just right.

Now that I have at least a few hundred avocadoes under my belt, I like to cut mine around the middle, and twist the two halves in opposite direction tovopen. Then I normally cut square shapes right into the half and scoop out. You can also peel away the skin with a properly ripened avocado.

Then, make this pudding!

Avocado Coconut Milk Pudding

Ingredients
-2 – 2 1/2 ripe avocadoes
-3/4 cup pitted dates
-5 bsp. Cocoa powder
-1 1/2 Tbsp. Stevia, or to taste
-1 can full fat coconut milk (go organic if you can. I also like Arroy-D brand because it is free of additives)
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
-peel the avocadoes and scoop flesh into blender. Add dates, cocoa powder, coconut milk and vanilla extract and blend on high until texture is smooth and pudding like. Add stevia  to taste for added sweetness (plant based and doesn’t spike your blood sugar)
-enjoy! Add some berries or bananas for a delicious snack or dessert full of fruit and healthy fats.

And for the rutabaga…a few people swapped theirs out this week. I don’t think they’ve given these fries a try! While the dietary fibre, potassium, manganese and vitamin C make these a great choice, they really hold up on the taste end too.

They definitely are more filling then their potato counterparts and ended up with a nice tender crisp texture in the oven.

Rutabaga Fries (serves 4 as a side)

Ingredients

-2 lbs rutabaga,  peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick fry shapes
-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
-salt and paprika, liberally sprinkled

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss rutabaga fries in olive oil and spread out on large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and paprika.

2. Cook about 30 minutes, turning part way for even cooking

Simple Steamed Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
-1 lb Brussels Sprouts
-1 Tbsp MELT butter alternative
-sprinkle of salt

Directions
1. Put water in the bottom of a sauce pan and place washed brussels sprouts in steaming basket inside.

2. Place lid on. Bring water to boil and cook until slightly tender and bright green. Take off the heat when they seem a little under done as they will continue to cook in the steam. Remove steaming basket and sprouts, pour out water into sink and return sprouts only to pot. Toss in MELT and sprinkle with salt. Serve . (The kids even ate these without drama. Win!)

Enjoy!

 

 

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Final week of Summer share 2017-but wait! We have winter shares!

Hello fine Farm Share folks!
It’s the final week of summer Farm Share.
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:

Monthly payment options are now available for your convenience. Look for the next post featuring winter shares on November 14th.

Here is a 7,000 word guide on 15 health benefits of brussels sprouts according to science, and includes 7 delicious recipes. Check out the review below.

Farewell for now!

Week 22
-sweet cabbage
-chicogga beets
-carrots
-Jerusalem artichokes (large root that looks like ginger- use
in cream soup, or slice and Sautee, skin and all in olive oil and
garlic until tender crisp)
-red pepper
-green kale
-baby bokchoy
 -radish or rutabaga
-cilantro
-Brussels sprouts
Whole
-onions
 -rapini
 -parsley
 -red cabbage
-eggplant
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Farm Share Week 21: Oct 25-28, 2017

I can’t believe it’s week 21 and some folks are getting their last veggie boxes this week! It’s been a wonderful year, and full of surprises as always. We hope you’ve loved your bounty of organic goodies and discovered new tastes along the way.

I went out and managed to bring in most of the field of peppers just hours before a heavy frost last week thanks to baby-wearing. It was very tiring but my work paid off! Anything not sheltered by the rest of the plant had cooked!

Here’s your late fall haul:

 

Half Shares

-black kale
-yellow potatoes
-carrots
-green onions
-baby bokchoy
-red peppers
-chicoga beets
-rapini
-rutabaga
-celery root (super ugly root veg but so yummy in soups or even mashed…also called celeriac)

 

Whole Shares

-2nd carrots
-red Swiss chard
-red hot peppers *be careful with the seeds…nice and hot. Use gloves to cut and wash hands with dish soap after handling
-Collard greens
-mint

 

I’ve been going a little crazy with the homemade snacks since falling in love with my dehydrator. A few successful batches of fruit roll ups gave me the courage to take on a gluten free baking recipe (and trust me, Ive had some epic fails in this category). I knew I wanted to include some veggies in my snack and went with the obvious choice of carrots. I found this recipe that fit the vegan and gluten free bill: https://minimalistbaker.com/one-bowl-carrot-apple-muffins-vegan-gf/, but considered how I would actually like to send these to school with the kids. Let the substitutions begin!

Of course I thought I’d add some more good fats to the mix and lure the kids in with some icing.

Lo and behold, it went over great with my sweet-tooth queen, myself and my oh-so-picky-about sweets son. I think we have a win here folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GF, Egg and Dairy Free Carrot Muffins with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting

Makes 12 Muffins

Ingredients
1 1/2 flax eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana
1/4 cup molasses (or honey, agave nectar or maple syrup)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or 1 sweet apple, finely grated
1/2 cup brown sugar (or sub muscavado)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened
1 heaping cup (packed) grated carrot
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup flax meal (ground flax seed- I do mine in a coffee grinder)
1 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten-free flour blend (I used my favourite blend of tapioca starch, brown rice flour, sorghum and millet mixed with 1 heaping tsp guar gum)

Directions

 

Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).Prepare muffin tin with liners or lightly grease them.To flax eggs mashed banana, molasses, agave or maple syrup, olive oil and whisk to combine.Next add applesauce, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and whisk to combine.Add almond milk and stir.Add grated carrot and stir.Add coconut, flax meal, and gluten-free flour blend and stir.Divide evenly among 12 muffin tins, filling them all the way up to the top.Bake for 32-36 minutes, or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you press on the top it shouldn’t feel too spongey, so don’t be afraid of over baking! The GF blend just takes longer to bake.Remove from oven and let set in the pan for 15 minutes. Then flip on their sides still in the pan to let cool completely.If you try to unwrap them too quickly, they have a tendency to stick to the wrappers.Once cooled, store in a covered container or bag at room temp to keep fresh. Freeze after that to keep fresh.

Notes

*If baking in a loaf pan or cake pan (8×8), bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour and check every 5 minutes thereafter for doneness.

 

 

 

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Farm Share Week 20: Oct. 18-20, 2017

Hi everyone!
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.
Here is a recipe for collard green wraps (and another link on how to prep them for wrap use)
How to prep collard greens for wraps
hummus collard wrap recipe
Week 20
-chicoga beets (candy striped inside!)
-carrots
-sweet peppers
-sweet cabbage
-yellow potatoes
-Parsley flat
-Collard greens (nature’s perfect wrap)
-baby bokchoy
-leeks
-tomatillos
Whole
-black kale
-celery root
-Snow peas
-red lettuce
-squash
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Farm Share Week 19 (Oct 11-14, 2017)

Hello everyone! Well I think fall is officially here…and it feels a little shocking after Monday’s heat, but it is October after all. Stephanie is fighting off a bug so this is Jennifer with your weekly produce list and your meal ideas.

With the holiday closure on my shop day this week and a busy work week ahead, we’ve been going vegetarian for the week on most meals. In this vegetarian shepherds pie I used more rutabaga than potatoes in the potato part and the kids didn’t even notice! Plus, I used up leftover carrots and mashed rutabaga from thanksgiving dinner!

Here’s the recipe: https://minimalistbaker.com/?s=vegetarian+shepherds+pie

Half Shares

  • beets
  • carrots
  • spaghetti, butternut or pepper squash
  • Yukon gold potatoes
  • red bell peppers
  • eggplant
  • red kale
  • green Swiss chard
  • grape tomatoes
  • rapini (dark leafy relative of broccoli: try steaming and tossing with soya sauce or in stir fries)

Whole Shares

  • bokchoy
  • rutabaga
  • green bell peppers
  • savoy cabbage
  • red leaf lettuce

Enjoy!

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Farm Share Week 18: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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.
This recipe is for Jenny and anyone else who doesn’t want to have to buy gluten free bread to make stuffing-here is a gluten free corn bread stuffing recipe!
For those who aren’t set on ‘traditional’ stuffing here are 5 gluten free stuffing alternatives.
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!
Blessed Thanksgiving, everyone!

Week 18 (Thanksgiving)
-butternut squash
-curly parsley
-sweet peppers
-rutabaga
-carrots
-beets
-red leaf lettuce
-pumpkin or pepper squash
-green cabbage
-yellow potatoes
Whole
-2nd carrots
-eggplant
-celery root
-grape tomatoes
-sage or oregano (for turkey stuffing)
-ground cherries
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Farm Share Week 17: Sept 27-30

Hi Everybody!
Wow…the heat! I was praying for some more heat for the farmers waiting for their crops to mature before the heat, so I guess I should say sorry- I asked for it! However, I hope you have been able to enjoy it. I managed a perfect beach day with family and friends on September 23rd. The water was great! So enjoy it.
By the end of the week you may be inspired by those potatoes and leeks to make potato leek soup.
Another not dairy free potato and leek soup recipe.
I met up with a friend of mine and we started talking about cabbage rolls (we’re both mom’s and wives, so dinner time is always needing some inspiration). I remembered how much I loved making them, but got a little discouraged when I had to make separate ones for my dairy and egg sensitive son.

I sought to make some tweaks to my go to recipe, and I’m happy with the results.
Recipe to come in the next newsletter.
Cabbage rolls before I smothered them with tomato sauce.
In your boxes this week:
Half
-delicate squash
-sweet cabbage (make beautiful cabbage rolls)
-carrots
-yellow potatoes
-leeks
-ground cherries
-zucchini
-green leaf lettuce
-green beans
-Sugar snap or snow peas
Sweet cabbages: they’re shaped like gnomes!
So pretty!
Whole
-grape tomatoes
-cherry tomatoes
-garlic
-jalapeños peppers
-tomatillos
-cilantro
-celery
-red bell peppers