We made it! 22 weeks of eating from the fruits of the land, trying a new recipe or 2, or 30 and perhaps even learning a new vegetable. We are so thankful you’ve taken this journey with us. It’s easy to put good food at the bottom of your priority list in this busy world, but taking the time to enjoy unprocessed, organic produce is worth your time for your health, and even enjoyable!
We hope you enjoyed this little adventure and are ready for one last summer box, although I don’t think any of us are still calling it summer out there ;).
So let me say thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring about your food, and how and by whom it’s grown! We sure appreciate it.
If you want this local food journey to carry on throughout the fall, winter and spring, we offer winter vegetable and fruit shares. Please Register asap so we can save a spot for you https://zephyrorganics.com/what-is-farmshare/products/
Now, for this week’s list….
Finally we have those potatoes I have been nagging my husband about for weeks and weeks! They look really lovely, and I think you’ll find they have a wonderful taste.
chicogga beets (candy-striped! cut ’em open and discover the awesomeness. Slice them thinly and they can be used like a cracker)
I thought I’d give you a jump on things this week as you meal plan. Brrrr it was cold today. We are definitely in double socks season on the farm, which means we also had to go harvest all the lettuce!
New this past week we just harvested our first ever sweet potatoes! I was quite surprised at how large they turned out with our limited experience growing this crop. Now that they are harvested they are curing in the greenhouse. In this process the starches turn to sugars (thus making them super tasty!) and they are able to keep longer in storage. I will send them next week or on the last week. We’ll see how long I can wait, as I am so excited for them!
We also have some jalapeños for the whole shares to spice up your lives. Some of them have turned red and though they are definitely still spicy, there is some sweetness in there too. I made mine into jalapeno poppers again because I am a little obsessed.
Also this week we have Brussels sprouts again. My dear mother made me dinner while I worked today (I know, I am spoiled!) and sped along the cooking process while maintaining some amazing taste of a brussels sprouts-carrots combo by first boiling them until tender, then pan-frying them with cooked bacon pieces, garlic, onion powder and oregano. So good!
For those of you wondering: this is week 20 of 22. Those of you with weekly shares will get 2 boxes after this week, and those of you with biweekly shares are only due for one box after this one. The season has flown by! I hope you can savour every bite 🙂
We’ve spent just over a week here and we finally got to do a farm visit to the farm of one of our seed producers, Beyo. It’s cool to see some of the Dutch culture applied to farming. I love the “less is more” vibe I am experiencing here. The homes here are smaller, people travel less, enjoy tea with friends more, and space is used efficiently. Although we already grow cucumbers in a similar way, I loved seeing the pepper plants growing vertically. They look quite happy!
The food here consists of a lot of bread and very delicious cheese, though I have seen a beautiful assortment of vegetables and fruits in the open air markets we have gone to in a few different towns.
Fall is in the air and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so I thought it was time to give you a gorgeous little pumpkin to add some hearty flavour to your dishes. No, you do not have to make pie! Pumpkin has a place on your dinner menus too! Here is a recipe idea for you. I can’t wait to dig into some pumpkin when I get home. Feel free to add peppers, greens and other veggies to this dish. To make the pumpkin puree, all you have to do is cut the pumpkin around the middle (using a large, sharp knife), scoop out the seeds (save for making a snack), and place halves facedown on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour at 400 degrees. Then scoop the flesh out of the skin and put in your blender. Blend until smooth. Voila! Pumpkin puree!
I should warn you, a few of the items below may have been changed based on availability. Each week I start with a plan, but nature can be surprising and sometimes a Veggie grows more quickly or slowly than I had planned. I hope you can embrace nature’s surprises along with me 🙂
Green or red kale
Red leaf lettuce
Parsnips Alt carrots
Hello from Holland! Doug and I are in the Netherlands to celebrate a family milestone and getting a little break from the busy days of late summer (just about fall now!).
Other family members and workers have stepped up to make sure you get your produce right on schedule. If you need to contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org and Regina at the farm will help you out 🙂
I hope to visit one of the farms of one of the companies we get our seeds from, and take in some local markets! For now I have been inspired by the efficient use of space everywhere: farmers growing crops or pasturing animals on little straps of land alongside highways and buildings that stand above roads.
This weeks recipe I’m sharing a rainbow collard green spring wrap with shrimp recipe. Truthfully I rarely follow a recipe 100% since I usually don’t have all the stuff to complete one. This time I sautéed up some of the veggie from the share (tomatoes, peppers, cabbage from a few weeks ago, onions) and then cooked up rice and quinoa. I put that in the center of the wraps and topped it with shrimp I cooked up and the family loved it and I forgot to get a photo. It was our first time using collard greens instead of wraps and everyone enjoyed it! I’ll be doing it again.
In the mean time, here is the contents of your box this week:
Red or green cabbage
red leaf lettuce
2lbs prune plums (BC)
2lbs red grapes
bag of avocadoes
Hope you enjoy the new fall Veggies and savour the last tastes of summer!
Hello everyone. After a few days of reaching into that forgotten box of fall clothes, summer is giving us another surge of heat! Enjoy those last few days of shorts and sandals, and definitely catch some sun when you can.
The produce mix is still mostly summery, but with a nod to fall with some butternut squash. If you have never made butternut squash soup, you are missing out! Butternut is the creamiest squash in my opinion, and especially when you add a few potatoes and puree it…it’s pure creamy soup heaven!
We included a little tomatillo salsa kit with a recipe right in your boxes this week. I adapted it to a smaller size for you to try out, complete with a jalapeño (please use gloves when chopping it up and handling the seeds!) and a bunch of cilantro. Hope you enjoy some refreshing salsa in this heat. If you are getting overwhelmed with tomatoes at this point, why not think red salsa as well? Or load some tomatoes on tacos! Nothing is better than a tomato in season!
An exciting note for myself (Jennifer) personally- from the 18th-30th I will be travelling to Holland for my husband’s Oma and Opa’s 60th wedding anniversary! Kind of a big deal, and we just couldn’t miss it. But rest assured, your veggies and fruit will still be delivered on schedule. My lovely sister in law will be responding to my emails and you may also phone her in case of an urgent need (her phone number will be included in my voicemail message). We have some capable workers and family at the farm who will be harvesting and lovingly packaging up your shares. I am so excited but it is also so hard to leave the farm mid-season!
Here is your list for this week:
green beans (great to blanch and freeze if you have too many 🙂
tomatillo salsa kit
bok choy/baby bokchoy
6 sunrise apples (BC)
2lbs black plums (BC)
3 red grapefruit
3 nectarines (BC)
1.5lbs red grapes
Hope you can savour the summer and summery produce while it lasts!
Hope you are having a wonderful week. We’ve been busy picking all sorts of yummy things as usual (more broccoli, now some cauliflower, and kohlrabi). What do you do with some kohlrabi you say? It’s got a nice crunchy texture and is in the brassica family like broccoli. The taste I find is similar. I peeled and sloced mine as a crudite, and also peeled and grated another one for in some collard green wraps with salmon salad and lettuce. What a satisfying and easy meal it was, and it’s low carb, gluten and dairy free as well.
I am super stoked about Melanie at Sparks Honey’s first harvest of the year with the bees living on our farm. I never knew the taste could vary that much in honey, but seriously, this is the best honey I’ve tasted! Looks like the organic veggie life is agreeing with our 6 legged friends :). If you are dying to know how great it tastes, or want the health benefits of raw local honey, message me and I’ll send a jar with your farm share or pick it up from the farm store. The cost is $15 for 2lbs.
This week I had the immense but slightly painful pleasure of picking blackberries! Those thorns had my by the head and shirt at some points, but they are so worth it! What a treat for me. This was the first time I got to try them freshly picked. Hope you are as jazzed as I am fruit share people.
Watermelom will be ready so soon! They really look gorgeous out there. Maybe 1 more week, and green beans are coming soon too.
Another new item is those pickling cucumbers. We will have them for bulk orders soon, but we thought we’d give you the first taste. No, you do not have to go to great efforts to enjoy pickles. Here’s an easy recipe to savour the fresh pickles for longer.
Now, for your list:
Snow or sugar snap peas
Broccoli, cauliflower or kohlrabi
Endive or dandelion greens (curly leafy veg. We recommend them as a cooking green as they are a bitter veg)
Collard greens (make amazing raw wraps)
Whole Shares (same as above with…)
Cauliflower or broccoli and kohlrabi
Mint (remember, it’s mojito season!) Try mint syrup with some club soda…yumm
Red leaf lettuce
1/2 pint locally picked (and organic of course) blackberries
Here comes the rain! I hope it’s not ruining your plans…but we’re sure thankful for multiple good rains this past week. The peas are loving it, along with everything else. Growth is starting to accelerate as our cucumbers, peas, carrots and beets come on to more full production.
Asparagus is in its last couple days so we have a limited supply. I hope you’ve enjoyed asparagus season well with double bunches some weeks. Now we must let the plants go to seed: they shoot up like fuzzy bluish “dr seuss” trees this time of year. Zucchini, green beans and currants will be ready soon (redcurrants next week!) As we usher in the month of July. Broccoli, kolhrabi and cauliflower (all part of the Brassica family of veggies) are coming along and most summer and even fall crops are now in the ground.
I hope all the organic bounty helps you feel your best this week!
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
Refrigerate for a few hours and enjoy!
Now for your box contents:
another pound of asparagus (never too much, right!?)
1lb baby bokchoy
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
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)
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
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)
Place all ingredients except coconut milk in a slow cooker on high. Cook 4-5 hours.
Transfer to blender or blend with immersion blender, being extra cautious with the hot liquid.
Pour in coconut milk and mix. Enjoy!
In your shares this week:
butternut squash 2-4lbs
2lbs carrots (Zephyr)
2lbs red beets (Zephyr)
2lbs purple top turnip (Zephyr)
1lbs Jerusalem artichokes (Zephyr)
small package Cremini mushrooms (Ontario organic!)
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:
-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 🙁
3lbs gala apples (QC)
1/2 pint blueberries
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
I also tried making Sweet Potato Pizza Crust (gluten free) with the yams. Here are some pics of making it.
Sweet Potato Crust Pizza w/BBQ Chicken from www.bakosweet.com
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
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook bake sweet potatoes until soft (40 mins or so)
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.
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).
Cook dough at 400 degrees for 30 mins.
While dough is baking, shred 1 cup cooked chicken, chop 1 cup spinach, and Sautee on onion until soft.
Remove pizza dough from oven. Let cool 20 mins to harden. Spread bbq and tomato sauce on top. Add cheese on top.
Cover pizza with chicken mixture.
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!