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.
Hi everyone! I (Jennifer) wanted to wake up the blog to provide you with an update from the farm and share a recipe that I think just about everyone will enjoy.
My family and I had the privilege of travelling to central Florida to meet up with some farms we will be shipping produce to in the summer months, when Florida is just too hot to grow certain crops. Along the way we got to pick oranges right from the trees (which I was so excited about), and visit lots of friends and family in Florida and all over Virginia. Road tripping with the family, even *gasp* without a dvd player, went surprisingly well aside from the extra stops we made for our 4 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year olds’ smaller bladders. We spent most of our trip visiting with people we wished lived a whole lot closer, and taking in the scenery, city by city. We even took a dip in the chilly Atlantic at Daytona Beach!
We also continued our education and planning efforts (one major thing we like to do this time of year) at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in Niagara Falls, which is always a great opportunity to learn something and face to face with other growers and people in the agriculture industry.
While on our trip, our son was on an elimination diet of about 12 foods that his body was not processing. What a challenge! Gluten and dairy free seems so simple now by comparison. One of the most difficult foods to avoid was brewer’s yeast, which is in beer of course, but also used for flavour in so many foods including broth and in anything with vinegar (just about all condiments). I know you will tell me to make my own, but I don’t often have whole chickens or bone-on beef to make my own broth, therefore this is something I normally buy in the carton. I could not find a single brand without yeast! I was also instructed to load up my son with extra dark leafy greens.
Enter this soup from “www.gimmesomeoven.com”, which gets much of its flavour from tomatoes, which I was lucky enough to have still frozen from the summer. I managed to pack in a whole bunch of green swiss chard in here. You can also find this recipe on our pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/zephyrfarmshare/ .
Tomato Basil Chicken Stew
I wasn’t quite organized enough to have everything defrosted so I put the chicken and tomatoes together as the oven warmed up with a little olive oil, covered with tin foil and baked about an hour and 20 mins at 375 degrees.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves garlic
6 assorted whole tomatoes, roasted
1 (14 oz.) can cannelini beans (I used chickpeas due to a food sensitivity)
1 can water (or as needed)
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 bunch green swiss chard, main stems removed
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil (or dried to taste)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute or two until fragrant.
Add in remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Use a long spoon to crush the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partially-covered for 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
Hope this stew warms you up as we wait for spring and that you are having some adventures of your own.
Our society craves conveience and ease, especially with food, and consequently now w e find we must wean ourselves off of those items that go through a lengthy manufacturing process while ending up something entirely different than its original form. It’s no surprise then with something like watermelon, that people don’t want to have to bother with seeds. Seeds however propagate life. A seedless melon is one incapable of reproducing, like when the first curious scientist bred a lion and a tiger, which yielded a seemingly healthy but sterile liger. I think part of what makes a plant or animal fully healthy is its ability to reproduce, so I’ll keep the seeds in my watermelon thank you very much! Producing these sterile plants means taking away the ability of the grower to replant the way the amazing cycle was designed and puts all the power in the hands of those ever-popular bioengineering companies, like Monsanto. I think you can see the trouble of the world’s food supply being controlled by corporate giants. So I say, take those seeds and with each one you spit out, spit it in the direction of injustice of our food being controlled by just a few. Ok- off the soap box now.
rainbow beets (red & golden)
burgundy beans or snow peas
spaghetti squash (see recipe from last week)
yellow doll melon (yes, the inside should be yellow)
field tomatoes (if they look a tad underripe, find a sunny spot on the counter and they will be looking very tempting in an extra couple days)
rainbow turnip greens (light green & purpley red- let these spicy greens wake up your salads)
green leaf lettuce
sugar snap peas
baby red romaine (that adorable, dark and gorgeous salad green)
I made this hearty soup for a weekend meal with tons of veggies. A nice crusty loaf of bread would pair nicely. This should help if still have zucchini and/or eggplant from your last box. I left all skins on the veggies and did not regret it.
1lb. Pork loin, cut into 1 in. pieces (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. butter
2 medium zucchini, washed and chopped
1 medium eggplant, washed and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ cup white cooking wine
1 carton chicken broth
½ tsp. Dried basil
2 bay leaves
pepper to taste
1 tsp. Salt (or to taste)
Heat butter in large pot and add pork loin. Brown on all sides and add garlic when almost done (2 mins or so).
Add wine, chicken stock and spices and bring to a boil. Add veggies and bring back to a boil. Turn heat down and let it simmer for 40 mins or until veggies are very tender.
Makes great leftovers! This recipe yielded about 7 bowls.
I can’t believe it’s the last week of Farm Share! And I also can’t believe we are expecting such heat for this time of year.The forecast is promising 20 degrees with sunshine on Thursday, our last day to harvest and pack your veggies. I couldn’t ask for better.
This fall, I had some curveballs thrown my way with the apples, brussels sprouts, broccoli and celery root all not turning out. But amazingly, we still had abundance and I still had choices of what to put in your boxes for the last week. That’s the beauty of growing a diversity of crops- one failed crop is not the death of us! This is actually a wonderful time of year for the cooler weather crops. The radishes look the best I have ever seen them- apparently you can eat the tops and this might be just the week to try that considering how gorgeous they are. Also, the leafy vegetables and beet tops are happy as can be as their normal pests disappear with the cold nights.
This week I am excited to have chioggia or candy-striped beets for everyone. They are the rock stars of the beet world, with their striking pink and white stripes. Simply stunning in a salad or roasted and sliced to show off their hot colours. This week I tried them raw with some quinoa- and it looked pretty and was amazingly sweet and delicious with the natural taste of the beets.
In your box this week:
-rainbow carrots -chioggia beets -pepper squash (from Kawartha Organics- our squash is gone already!) -jerusalem artichokes (the roots in the mesh bag that look like ginger- see last week’s post) -red radish (seem to taste mild this week) -spinach -baby bok choy -sweet peppers -green cabbage -leeks
-rainbow carrots -chioggia beets -pepper squash (from Kawartha Organics- our squash is gone already!) -jerusalem artichokes (the roots in the mesh bag that look like ginger- see last week’s post) -red radish (seem to taste mild this week) -spinach -baby bok choy -sweet peppers -green cabbage -leeks -eggplant -green onions -parsnips -red swiss chard -regular carrots
Candy Striped Beet Quinoa Salad with Cheesefrom www.citylifeeats.com (see our facebook page for a picture) Makes 4-6 servings
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups quinoa 4 medium candy striped beets (or a combo of whatever beets you have- I did half golden) 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons) 2 tbsp. avacado (or olive) oil 1 tbsp. mustard salt and pepper to taste 1/3 cup water 3-4 green onions, roots removed arugula or peppery green to serve scallion cashew vegan cheese (recipe on their website, I just used cottage cheese although goat cheese would’ve been tastier)
Directions Cook quinoa according to directions. While hot, add beets, lemon juice, oil, mustard, salt and pepper, water and green onions and mix. Remove from heat and chill in the refridgerator until cool. Serve over arugula or peppery greens with the cheese of your choice!
A final note:
I feel so totally blessed by the abundance of good, clean food I have access to, and sharing it has made it all the richer. Consider the joy it would be to share some homemade soup or that item that you still have plenty of with a neighbour or friend this week. It doesn’t even matter if they are truly needy, because everyone needs to know that someone cares.
A sincere thank you to you incredible Farm Share participants that chose to support the farm this year by purchasing a Farm Share and encouraging me by your kind words, enthusiasm and creativity all year. Getting my hands (and everything else) dirty on the farm was well worth it!
Feel free to drop by the farm for a free decorative pumpkin (while supplies last) to get ready for fall/Halloween.
Picking the peas was a great way to start today in the nice cool morning. The weather is giving us some sweet relief from an incredibly hot and stormy week. Sugar snap peas are fresh out of the field this week and they are my favorite of all peas! They have sweet flavour paired with the ease of using the whole pod. So, please don’t sit there shelling your peas- the whole pod was made to be enjoyed.
Also new this week is cauliflower- and I must say, it is an achievement. Cauliflower is very vulnerable to pests that are extemely hard to control organically. This is the reason we have not grown more in the past. However, in the shelter of the greenhouse, it looks like the bugs were unsuccessful in finding their favourite treat. Why not try wrapping your cauliflower in tin foil and grilling it?
There are still many leafy greens decorating your box. Try to enjoy them for their versatility- salads, pastas, soups, sauteed on their own or with those sassy garlic scapes! You can even try adding them to smoothies for a little “green power” or using them in an omelette. As more of the other vegetables become available, they will gradually replace some of the greens.
So, here is what you are receiving this week and some recipe ideas.
Whole Share -asparagus (last week folks, savour it!) -green leaf lettuce -red leaf lettuce -cauliflower -garlic scapes -green kale -spinach -rainbow swiss chard -large sugar snap peas -snow peas (York & Durham) or black currants (Durham & Pickup) -red beets (first crop this year!) -kohlarabi (those light green or purple martian heads with big leaves) -red radish -Russian kale -oregano -green onions
Now for the recipes:
Snow Pea and Bean Sprout Stir-Fry: Try this Lightning-fast Vegetarian Main Dish! (Adapted From Fresh Juice Magazine, June/July 2012)
Ingredients -pint clamshell of snow peas -4 cups bean sprouts -2 tbsp. peanut or other oil -3 garlic scape stems, chopped -pinch salt -1.5 cups julienned fresh shitake mushroom caps -3 green onions, sliced thinly on a diagonal -pinch granulated sugar -1 tsp. light soy sauce
Directions 1. Pull off strings from peas. Stack 3 or 4 pods and slice lenthwise into 3 or 4 thin strips to make julienne. 2. Pinch off roots and brown seeds from bean sprouts. 3. In wok, heat oil over medium-high heat; add mushrooms, onions and garlic scapes, and stir fry one minute. Add peas, sugar and 3 tbsp. water, stir-frying until peas are tender and water has evaporated (1-2 mins). Add bean sprouts and soy sauce; stir fry for 1 minute. (Serves 4)
One of my customers was kind enough to share that her family’s favourite way to enjoy spinach was cheese canneloni. I found this recipe online, which is fabulous and hearty, but I must add a few tweaks. The recipe uses frozen spinach, which to me would be more suitable as hockey pucks. Instead, use your fresh organic Ontario spinach, chop it up, steam it for a few minutes (wilted but still vibrant in colour), and then drain it (I squish out the water to save time with my hands). Add as directed. Also, your garlic scapes can be used the same as garlic cloves, so you can easily use this instead of purchasing garlic. Here’s the basic recipe http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/Spinach-and-Cheese-Cannelloni-L1412.html .
Finally, a few ideas for the whole sharers with that odd vegetable called kohlrabi. Try it raw or roasted this week. The green are good to eat also.
Here’s Jennifer busy packing boxes, getting them ready to head out to you and me. We’re hoping to get you more photos in the next few weeks so that those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit the farm can get a peek.
In the box this week:
Half Share -golden and red beets -red sheppard peppers -spinach -rainbow carrots (or regular) -romaine -radish -green cabbage -watermelon -butternut squash -roma tomatoes (ideal for sauces and pastas)
Whole Share -golden and red beets -red sheppard peppers -spinach -rainbow carrots (or regular) -romaine -radish -green cabbage -watermelon -butternut squash -roma tomatoes (ideal for sauces and pastas) -green leaf lettuce -rhubarb -saladette tomatoes -eggplant -extra carrots
Just in case you were wondering about some variances between the posted box contents and what you did receive, here were the changes (and why):
– We had to give kohlrabi instead of corn as the crop was destroyed by raccoons – We had to substitute red leaf lettuce for broccoli as we ran out of broccoli – We had to substitute radish for zucchini in a couple boxes (we have no more zucchini for the rest of the year)
For those of you with kohlrabi still looking at you from your refrigerator, don’t fret! Here are a few simple recipes to try:
Kohlrabi & Carrots
Ingredients 1 medium kohlrabi, chopped into 3/4 ” cubes (about 2 cups) 4 large carrots, cut into chunks to match the size of the kohlrabi 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon butter (optional) salt and pepper
Directions 1 Cover the Kohlrabi and carrots with lightly salted water and boil until quite tender (about 15-20 minutes). 2 Drain. 3 Lightly mash, leave a lot of texture don’t try to make them smooth like mashed potatoes. 4 Add nutmeg and butter. 5 serve.
Ingredients 2 small kohlrabi 1 cup radish 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions 1 Peel two small kohlrabi. 2 Shred the kohlrabi and radishes. You may use a food processor for this. I hand grate using a cheese grater. 3 Mix 1 Tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley in a glass bowl. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons olive oil. 4 Add shredded veggies and toss. 5 Chill for 30 minutes or more
Creamy Kohlrabi Salad
Ingredients 1 lb kohlrabi, each about 2 inches across 3 scallions, minced 1 tablespoon minced red onion 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon coarse grain mustard
Directions 1 Cut kohlrabi into quarters and steam, covered, over boiling water until tender, 25 minutes. 2 When kohlrabi are cool enough to handle, remove the skins with your fingers. 3 Place kohlrabi in a medium bowl with scallions and onion. 4 In a food processor or blender, combine ricotta, mayonnaise, and mustard and process just until creamy. 5 Pour ricotta mixture over kohlrabi mixture and toss well to combine. 6 Serve warm or at room temperature
I (Jennifer) will be posting in the blog now too. I thought I would go back and make up for missed posts. I am sure you could use some more recipes! As the last week for asparagus, I thought I would share an idea for a different breakfast that I really enjoyed. When you don’t have any asparagus, you can experiment with different veggie and cheese combos- you could try broccoli, swiss chard or kale for instance. See the bottom of this post for details.
Greetings from the farm!
This week I was challenged by the unpredictability of farming. Due to the cold weather this spring, most crops are about 2 weeks behind. Other crops ebb and flow with so many variables. This is unfortunately the last week for asparagus and I was not able to get them for everyone. Also, currants were in limited supply. I am trying to not give you all too many leafy greens but there are still many in the box this week.
However, the leafy greens are some of the most versatile veggies- This week I have enjoyed kale in an omelet, in baked beans and on a burger and baby bok choy with beets and soft cheese as a delicious side. Other possibilities include juicing, soups and stir fries, and I am eager to try kale this week steamed with white wine. On a positive note, your participation in Farm Share is protecting you from the volatility of the produce market’s prices. Kale for instance is in extremely limited supply in Ontario, and is selling at almost double wholesale what it does during the summer and this will undoubtably affect prices at the checkouts. So, enjoy- knowing that your decision to support Zephyr Organics has its perks.
Here are the contents of Week 3’s Farm Share Box:
-romaine -green leaf lettuce -asparagus or rhubarb -currants or red kale -green kale -dill -carrots -radish -spinach -bok choy
Whole Share -romaine -green leaf lettuce -asparagus or rhubarb -currants or red kale -green kale -dill -carrots -radish -spinach -bok choy -red leaf lettuce -red beets -black kale or currants -chives -sugar snap peas
Recipe for Asparagus Breakfast Casserole
-4 slices whole wheat bread
-3 large eggs
-1/4 cup skim milk
-4 tbsp. unslated butter, melted
-1 cup havarti cheese (grated)
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 tsp. sugar
– 1 small bunch thin asparagus spears in 1/2 in. pieces.
1. Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 8″ X 8″ baking dish. Cover the bottom of the dish generously with bread cubes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and cheese, salt and sugar. Mix until combined. Stir in the asparagus and pour the mixture over the bread.
3. Cover with foil and bake for 25 mins. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 mintues until golden brown on top. Serve hot.
First of all I apologize if any of these email addresses are out of date. I am working from home so I have an older list to work from.
I just wanted to let everyone know that the end of October was indeed the final week of Farm Share for the 2010 season. I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed their experience and I will be informing you about the coming season in later months (which starts June 2011) unless of course you have requested otherwise.
If you forgot to leave any of the reusable plastic boxes for your delivery person to pick up, please find a time in the coming weeks where you can return them to the farm yourself, as they are costly to replace and they are still property of the farm. Thanks for your cooperation.
Also, I will soon be informing you of the results of the draw for returning your surveys to the farm over the last two weeks. Thanks again for your invaluable feedback.
A final thank you to all of you for supporting your local farmers. I hope the effort we placed into growing, selecting and packaging your vegetables showed how much we value you as customers and families.
(And thank you from me, Heather, for coming and reading the blog! Many thanks to all of you who took the time to post a comment or share a message about what you liked about the blog and what you would like to see more of here next year. We’re going to focus on lots more content, more recipes and more information for you come the 2011 season!All the best!)