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Farm Share Week 18: Sept 28-30, 2016

Can you believe we have just 4 more weeks of farm share left? For those of us who get our shares biweekly that means just 2 more boxes! The summer has flown by and now we are tasting fall, our turkey is on order from Don Howard Farms in Newmarket-which means thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Home made pumpkin pies, apples from the orchard and of course, amazing stuff from Zephyr Organics will be on our table to enjoy this Thanksgiving.  Here is a note from Jen:

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Happy fall everyone! I think I’m finally ready to embrace cozy sweaters, yummy soups and lots and lots of tea! I’m excited to share more honey crisp apples with you. If you notice a whitish film on the apples- no worries. We use clay (naturally found in soil) as a physical barrier to protect the apples from the abundant pests and diseases that attack them. This will wash off with water. I hope you fal in love with apples all over again enjoying them fresh like that. Here are some photos of beautiful things I spot around the farm: an apple tree makes a perfect place for a bird’s nest and the eggplant greenhouse is looking fantastic after being almost destroyed by potato bugs. These gorgeous purple flowers show us the plant is happy and ready to produce more eggplant! Enjoy your tomatoes as all the vines are dying out. We had a mild frost unexpectedly and saw some damage to plants but I think they’ll pull through (well except for the tomatoes). Stay tuned for a Thanksgiving themed basket next week!
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Half Shares
-watermelon or green beans
-snow peas (or sugar snap)
-carrots!!
-green onions
-celery
-mint
-apples (honey crisp)
-red leaf
-saladette tomatoes
-rainbow swiss chard (or green)
Whole Shares 
-field tomatoes
-eggplant
-zucchini
-green beans
-green leaf lettuce
-spinach
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I’m not sure about any of you, but I’m still struggling with my egg plant recipes.  I’ve been reading up on some tips and tricks and plan on trying this eggplant meatball recipe.  I am hoping we have better luck since we didn’t care much for the recipes I’ve shared before.
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Farm Share Week 17: Sept 21-23, 2016

Can you believe it’s already the end of September? I certainly can’t, I knew summer would fly by but I had no clue just how quickly these few months could pass.  Every morning and evening though it drops down in temperature and there isn’t any denying it, the leaves will begin changing soon enough and thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away!  Here is a note from Jennifer 🙂
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Every day’s an adventure at the farm!‎ I thought I’d share some moments from my day:
-singing as I bunch cilantro in the greenhouse
-some serious apple picking: ten bins of the best apples out there
-discovering this large spider on my neck in the apple orchard
-fitting a full-sized ladder in my sedan
-trying to make friends with an unhappy dog while I picked asian pears from a friend’s orchard up on a ladder: I kept feeding him pears and he loved it but kept barking for more!
-attempting to communicate in Spanish with the friend’s neighbour
Now don’t you feel like you were right there with me today? Sometimes I just have to smile ‎at the funny little moments of my days on the farm.
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Week 17
-collard greens
-watermelon radish
-cilantro
-honey crisp apples (no, they’re not perfect, but yes, they sure are tasty and we’ve sent our very best to you)
-field tomatoes
-saladette tomatoes
-green sweet peppers
-lettuce (green leaf)
-sugar snap peas
-green beans or beets
Whole
-asian pears
-fennel
-romaine lettuce
-tomatillos
-cherry tomatoes
-red swiss chard
-cantaloupe, honey dew or watermelon

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I must admit I haven’t been too adventurous this week in my cooking.  Although since I didn’t get a share last week I will try to make a mini-apple pie from the asian pears!  This week’s box is filled with such a lovely array of colors I can’t wait to do some more blanching and canning to save for this winter.
Here are a few different recipes for your fennel-fennel and cucumber salsa and a carrot and fennel recipe, and last but not least fennel in wine and honey.
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Farm Share Week 16: Sept 14-16, 2016

Many changes this week are making it feel a lot like fall! Lots of harvest to bring in, those cool nights and (gasp) dark mornings. Fall on the farm is nothing to get upset about, though, because the harvest is rich. New this week we have beets, green peppers (finally in plenty!), and red cabbage and Asian pears for whole shares. Tomatoes are still going on strong as well as tomatillos: email Jen if you have any canning and preserving plans for bulk items.
In just a couple of weeks it will be Thanksgiving already.  The summer has flown by and the shorter days and cooler nights are a sure sign that winter is just around the corner.  This week I canned zucchini relish and this rockin salsa recipe.  I had a ton of tomatillos from all of my boxes and so I substitued some of the tomato weight for tomatillos and it gave it a bit more of a sweet flavor.  I must say, I am impressed with myself since it’s my first go at canning and they both taste amazing!  Here is a great recipe for asian pear pie recipe as well as a recipe for asian pear slaw recipe.
Here is what you can expect in your boxes this week:
Week 16
-celery
-watermelon (sugar baby)
-beets
-green beans
-romaine
-tomatillos
-green kale
-field tomatoes
-grape tomatoes
-green peppers‎
Whole
-cherry tomatoes
-eggplant
-asian pears (look like apples)
-zucchini‎
-spinach
-red cabbage
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Farm Share Week 15: Sept. 7-9, 2016

Hello from the farm! Sorry for the delay in your share contents-the week got away from both Jennifer and myself.  Just in case you have issues identifying what’s in your share here is what you got this week below.
Half Share
-baby blue, Hubbard, golden nugget or butternut squash
-cantaloupe
-cherry or grape tomatoes
-cucumbers
-zucchini
-romaine lettuce
-garlic chives
-field tomatoes
-saladette tomatoes
-green beans
Whole
-green peppers
-red leaf lettuce
-ground cherries or plums
-leeks
-tomatillos
-dandelion greens
-parsley

This week I tried to make something with the radishes as well as the dandelion greens.  This recipe  I substituted the dandelion greens in and added cucumber.  I found that the ratio of dressing was WAY to much (more like a soup) and my husband said he didn’t like the strong vinegar taste so next time I’ll be reducing it by at least half-but over all it was my first not lettuce salad and I enjoyed it.
This week I will be making salsa with all the tomatoes as well as making zucchini relish.  I’ll let you know how they turn out!
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Farm Share Week 14: Sept 1-4, 2016

I can’t believe it’s September already! Over this past 2 weeks my husband and I have been doing a fast-we have been juicing, or having a smoothie or other liquids during the day and in the evening our regular meal.  Since we’ve started I’ve begun taking a bit more pride as well as venturing out of my usual dinner ideas for supper.  My husband thinks he’s being spoiled since with all the tomatoes and other lovely veggies I’ve really stepped up my game making stuff from scratch.  This past week I had so many tomatoes (we also have a garden, and a friend stopped by with some too-this on top of my share) that I had no choice but to try my hand at making my own pasta sauce.  It’s amazing just how many it takes to get such a small yield but we had a wonderful vegetable pasta sauce (that I forgot to take a picture of again) this past week.  What I did try this week was a quiche!  From my share I used zucchini, tomatoes, spinach (which I also used on my home made pizzas from this week too).  I gave my first go at making a pie crust-which turned out great!  Has your share inspired new dishes? Tonight I’m trying a Mexican salad recipe.  Which hopefully will use up some more tomatoes and tomatillos but I plan on making at least another batch or two of pasta sauce after the long weekend.  If you have a nice salsa recipe you care to share please post it to the wall at zephyr organics on facebook and don’t forget to check out our pinterest page for more ideas!
A quick note from Jennifer:IMG_4954
Where has the summer gone, everyone?! My son is looking forward to school starting next week, and there will be lots of farm goodies to send as snacks, especially all the melons and tomatoes!
‎It’s been a funny sort of year with our field tomatoes just ready now at the same time as apples are almost ready! We have the most beautiful beans I have seen all year and celery for the first time this season. And of course there are the tomatoes!  
TIP: Hopefully you are eating them up for now…but if you find you are getting behind on your tomato consumption, just core them (field tomatoes) and pop in a freezer bag without blanching, and they will be ready when you are for chili, soup, tomato sauce or just adding flavour to meals. 
Enjoy the bounty! I love this time for year for the hot days, cooler nights and abundant harvest. Hope you enjoy each flavour.
Half
-red swiss chard
-watermelon or cataloupe
-beeftseak tomatoes
-green beans
-celery
-romaine lettuce
-tomatillos
-radish
-saladette tomatoes
-cucumbers
Whole Shares
-chinese cabbage or bok choy
-orange cherry tomatoes
-second romaine lettuce
-eggplant or onions
-mint
-zucchini
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Farm Share Week 13, Aug. 24-27, 2016

Dear Farm Share Members,
We are sure getting our workouts this week and you will too, lifting up your boxes. The main reason is watermelon! We have some yellow doll but mostly the classic red. We do our best to pick you the ripest and best (look for heavy for size, nice hollow sound and deep yellow spot), but if you open your melon and it’s underripe, let us know and we’ll send you a replacement on your next delivery. They really are phenomenally sweet and delicious!
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This week we also have spinach! A rare treat, especially in hot, summer weather when it is hard to grow. Raw or cooked, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse for it’s iron content. To get rid of the grit from the soil it’s grown in, soak it twice in the sink and shake off the water.
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If you are wondering why those crazies at the farm would send you green tomatoes…they are tomatillos! Prized in Mexican cuisine with a little sweetness to them, these are the juicy specimens responsible for enchilada sauce and tomatillo salsa. If you are not quite that ambitious, just add them chopped up into chili, quesadillas or any Mexican fare. These pair perfectly with cilantro as well.
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Speaking of tomatoes, in all likelihood your sandwiches will be sporting our fresh organic beefsteak tomatoes ‎next week! Hopefully you have been enjoying the grape and saladette tomatoes. They’re really quite addicting…
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Week 13
-grape tomatoes
-saladette tomatoes
-tomatillos
-watermelon (yellow or red)
-green leaf lettuce
-romaine lettuce
-cucumber
-zucchini
-cilantro
-spinach
Whole
-mini orange tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes
-eggplant (why not try baba ghanoush, a garlicky delish dip that will pair great with fresh cucumber, zucchini sticks or tomatoes..I’ll post a recipe on facebook)
-leeks
-green kale
-green beans or green peppers
-golden nugget squash
This past week I made my own Baba Ganoush including homemade tahini.  I must admit, I wasn’t a huge fan.  I did roast the eggplant, and may have burned some of the sesame seeds but overall I’m fairly certain it’s just adapting my taste buds.  I will give it another go-and be more careful about the tahini in hopes that improves the flavour.  I have made quite a few recipes this week but I forgot to take a picture!  If your not sure what to do with your tomatillos, here are 15 different ways to use them!  
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Farm Share Week 12: Aug 18-21, 2016

I can’t hardly believe we are over halfway though our farm share season already!  I took my boys to the park today and there were leafs already brown on the ground-a sign that summer is nearing an end and the fall will soon be here.  While I am saddened by how short our summer season is, I am very excited for what the fall harvest is going to bring us.  I shared a recipe last week for the radicchio with sausages and here is a picture of our meal.  My husband wasn’t too fond of the radicchio-so I’ll be trying another recipe if another one comes in our share.  If you have a recipe you used and enjoyed please share by emailing Jennifer a picture and a recipe and we will post it to the blog!
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Here is what you can expect to see in your shares this week-since we missed a week while away and are doing a fast I requested we get  half share on the weeks we usually wouldn’t get a share.  This weeks recipe I thought I’d share some lettuce wrap recipes.
I know that sometimes salads despite the wide variety can sometimes get old-but there are SO many options for lettuce that are not salads.  I’ll try making these for the boys this week hoping that they’ll enjoy more leafy greens but over the next 40 days my husband and I are fasting-and so I will be sharing a lot more smoothie recipes as well as juicing recipes too!
Here is what our half share this week looks like!
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Week 12
-grape tomatoes
-garlic chives
-eggplant
-saladette tomatoes
-baby bok choy
-zucchini
-cucumbers
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow swiss chard
-peas (sugar snap and snow)
Whole
-green peppers or cauliflower
-carrots
-mini tomatoes or extra grape tomatoes
-romaine lettuce
-white onions
-dill
-pickling cucumbers
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Farm Share Week 11: Aug 10-13, 2016

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Hello from the farm! I’m very excited to get this weeks share-we missed a couple of weeks while away on vacation and I am SO excited by this beautiful array of organic vegetables.  I am going to try my hand at canning on a couple of these I think and if I do I promise I’ll share!

With the blazing heat (and the scattering of rain) we have a great share this week coming to your door.  Please send pictures of things you’ve made-with recipes for me to share to help encourage and inspire others on their journey to eating local, fresh and organic.

So far I see fennel soup in my future as well as leek-and likely some cabbage rolls with our  chinese cabbage.

This weeks recipe I would like to share is for your raddichio.  I have some sausages in the freezer that are honey garlic I am hoping to try this with.
sausages with caramelized red onions and radicchio.

Half
-grape tomatoes (yay!)
-‎leeks
-sugar snap or snow peas
-chinese cabbage
-raddichio (red/white leafy head: bitter green but nice in salad mix- try in a caesar salad)
-parsley
-romaine lettuce
-cucumbers
-zucchini
-green kale
Whole
-eggplant
-cauliflower, chinese broccoli, beans or mini tomatoes
-endive
-garlic chives
-pickling cucumbers
-fennel
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Farm Share Week 10

I can’t believe it’s August already and in a couple more weeks you’ll see grape tomatoes and watermelons!  This weeks recipe is for the fennel-I know I wasn’t even sure what it was in my first share-but I’ve made a lovely soup, roasted it in the oven but this week I’m going to try this apple fennel celery salad.  I’m really looking forward to the leeks this week to make myself a soup too-this one is very good.  Potato and Leek soup recipe.

Half
-red/spanish onions or leeks
-black kale
-zucchini
-cucumbers
-fennel
-thai basil (do not refrigerate, loves water!)
-carrots
-sugar snap or snow peas
-red leaf or boston lettuce
-green leaf lettuce
Whole
-cauliflower or beans
-pickling cucumbers
-dandelion greens
-baby bokchoy
-eggplant or beets
-leeks
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Farm Share week 9: July 27-30, 2016

Sorry this is a day late-life with toddlers always keeps me on my toes although my brain seems to only remember things at certain moments in the day.  This week we have delayed our share until the following week since we will be out of town-Jenny was great at accommodating once again.  This week I made a couple of things to share with you (but only one picture).  I still had my black currants in my fridge from a couple of boxes ago and they were on their way out.  A few years ago I had saved a few of them to make a red/black currant jam that turned out amazing but alas-I didn’t have enough to make a batch of jam.  However I did have some Ontario cherries and added that to the mix and made a wonderful black currant and black cherry syrup for my pancakes and egg in the middle.  It’s was quick and very tasty! I did add maple syrup to the mixture after it was done-just to give it a mix more of a mellow taste but it was good without.  Here is the recipe in case you have any fresh fruit you care to turn into a yummy syrup too!  They also use them for snow cones-drinks and other fun things.  Here is the recipe simple fruit syrup recipe.
I also made a WONDERFUL dinner (seriously impressed myself and my husband and even my picky todder ate his whole taco) and for the side I just peeled and cut up a sweet potato, beets from the share and an onion.  I used leftover bacon grease but you can use any oil (we love bacon what can I say?) and put them all cubed into a glass roasting pan with some salt and pepper and a bit of garlic and baked at 425 for about an hour stirring at random intervals to coat with the seasoning and oil.
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And FINALLY-someone has SHARED A RECIPE! YAY! I’m so happy to see some feedback and easy recipes for staples in our boxes.  a huge shout out goes to Chris-and I will for sure be making this with the next batch of endive I get! Thank you Chris for your contribution we always appreciate the recipes that you share so feel free to email Jenny with a suggestion to add to our blog.

As an aside, I make a soup with endive that is super easy and great if one has a cold.

A take on chicken noodle soup:

  1 head endive cut up2 medium onions diced (use your leek whites instead and save the green parts for later)

6 cups chicken bone broth or homemade stock ( don’t bother with the commercial stuff- yecch) The real stuff is worth the time. Have slow cooker- can make stock!6T olive oil

garlic if desired

1/2 c noodles- I use rice noodles because I am gluten intolerant.

Salt and pepper to taste

 Sautée leaves gently coating them with oil in pan. Add onions then garlic- throw in stock and boil for 5 minutes or so- Add noodles

Here is a note from the farm:
This is the week that I see how wonderful our farm share team of harvesters and packers (and the farm staff too!) really are! I have been seriously out of commission for almost a week I’ve been so ill. Thankfully, I’m on the mend now and their are some wonderful people working extra hard to bring you the best from our farm this week. Enjoy!

Week 9
-green beans
-leeks
-cucumbers
-zucchini
-carrots
-green leaf lettuce
-radish
-endive
-baby bokchoy
-garlic chives
Whole
-beets
-pickling cukes
-cauliflower/ broccoli
-spinach
-romaine lettuce
-swiss chard