This may be your second week in or maybe this is your first taste of the season. With the cool spring we have been having, our greenhouses have been even more essential to provide you with the variety you expect. This week offers many different leafy greens, from spinach, to kale, to bokchoy and turnip greens. We hope to inspire you in this blog that yes, you can handle all this leafy goodness, and your body will thank you for it, as these are the most-nutrient-dense veggies around!
A couple of crops we are eagerly anticipating are greenhouse cucumbers (little babies are on the plants now- can you spot them?) which will be ready in a week or 2, and carrots, which are the size of my pinkie fingers now and will be quite lovely in a couple weeks. Of course there is also lettuce, which is in the field and finally starting to grow! We are watching hopefully to see if we will have some next week, and in the mean time, our whole share holders get to sample them as baby lettuces.
Thai Kale, Quinoa & Turnip Green Salad
3 cups green kale, finely chopped (I used scissors)
2 cups turnip greens, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch radish, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, almonds or cashews
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup peanut butter, smooth
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3/4 cup quinoa
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil, toasted
1 1/2 cups water
Wash and chop produce and cooked quinoa and add to large mixing bowl.
Mix liquid ingredients for dressing (heating lightly if needed to mix) and toss with salad.
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)
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
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!
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
4lbs russet potatoes
3lbs yellow onions
1lb brussels sprouts
1lb red peppers
1 caraflex (sweet) cabbage
1lb baby bokchoy
1 bunch green kale
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
-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
-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)
-2 lbs rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick fry shapes
-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
-salt and paprika, liberally sprinkled
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
-1 lb Brussels Sprouts
-1 Tbsp MELT butter alternative
-sprinkle of salt
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!)
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:
-celery root (super ugly root veg but so yummy in soups or even mashed…also called celeriac)
-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
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
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)
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.
*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.