They are everywhere on the farm! If you take a drive by, you will see a whole row right by the road. Feel free to stop for a selfie. You wouldn’t be the first, but maybe don’t tell every single person on your friends list 😉 so we don’t block the roads where farmers on tractors are hard at work and families are bustling to and from school and work. My big 2 went back to school again this week and I had a little shadow for much of the day. He was so into it! Harvesting cabbages in the tall weeds (his job was to carry them to the baskets) or helping mommy collect all the onions, not to mention helping me out collecting eggs and chasing runaway chickens, this little boy was a great helper today, and I relished the time with him (even if it meant being climbed on whilst trying to harvest things ;). Back to those sunflowers, i am attempting to send you all one with your farm shares. I am definitely not a florist, so trying to figure out how to get these to you looking as nice as they do in the field will be a challenge. I hope the sunflowers make you smile and remind you of the goodness in little things.
With the sudden nip in the air and the risk of frost, we covered the peppers and eggplants, which are still doing fantastic out there but have very little tolerance for frost. The first frost almost always comes this month, but this one seems to have snuck up on us since we have had a pretty balmy September so far. This week we are enjoying sweet banana and sweet chili peppers. They may look like hot peppers, but they are mild and sweet with not even a hint of spice for what I can tell. With their smaller size, they make a perfect snack, or would be great to stuff with cream cheese and wrap in bacon like a jalapeno popper but without the spicy. I like this super simple recipe.
I don’t know about you, but I have been hankering for comfort foods again. Chili con carne made it back on my menu this week with the addition of the sweet chili peppers. My kids to be honest are not the biggest pepper eaters (pains me because these are one of my favourite vegetables), but in chili they never mind them at all and are getting loaded up on vitamin C. Did you know sweet peppers are a better source of vitamin C than oranges, pound for pound? Hope you enjoy them both for their taste and benefits. As for the chili, I make it with about 3/4 cup each navy beans and red kidney beans from fresh acres (available in our online store) or the mixed beans and cook them from raw right in my instant pot. It only takes 35 mins cook time (leave about 15 minutes for it to pressurize). I had the ground beef pre-cooked, added about 4 cups of pureed fresh tomatoes (just threw them in the blender), added 4-5 sweet chili peppers, chopped, 1 small white onion, chopped, 1.5 cups total of fresh acres dry beans, added chili powder, coriander, salt and paprika and some extra water for the beans to absorb (about 1.5-2 cups) and put it on the chili cycle on my instant pot. I left this all prepped in the fridge so my hubby (not the family cook!) could literally just put the instant pot together and turn it on while I finished up my work and I came home to dinner! We love to serve chili with shredded cheddar cheese (or daiya/goat cheese shreds for my son), plain yogurt and tortilla chips. The yogurt or sour cream cools down the chili for little eaters and makes it more appealing all in one!.
Celery is back again this week and was totally the inspiration for me making Chicken Pot Pie. I decided to go all out and do a full gluten free vegan crust, top and bottom, with a pound of chicken, 5 celery stalks, 4 carrots, 7 small potatoes, and one medium zucchini and butter and chicken broth thickened with gluten free flour as my filling. The ingredients are pre-cooked so your oven time is just about cooking the crust and melding all the flavours together. Note: watch out for the gluten in chicken broth if you are highly gluten sensitive. It often contains barley malt extract when purchased in the carton. I used this recipe as a very loose guideline, added WAY more veggies, and used this recipe for the gluten free and vegan crust . I’ve used it before and while I won’t tell you it’s exactly like the real McCoy, us gluten-eaters enjoyed it too. The only thing I will remember for next time is don’t be afraid to let the filling be a little more moist and “soupy” as the crust/cooking process does thicken it up some more.
Another item we haven’t seen in a while is onions, and what good timing, with the recalls of US onions. This is the benefit of buying local, friends. Knowing where your food comes from! We are Canada Gap certified, which means we follow a pretty exhaustive list of food safety protocols to prevent any contamination that could make you sick. When you know where your food comes from, you don’t need to worry about these massive food recalls because your food can be traced directly back to our farm. No wondering where the heck it came from! Hope you enjoy the savoury flavour enhancing onions do in almost any dish!
One more thing- winter shares are now ready for purchase! If you like the idea of keeping going with this local food journey, and also love the idea of staying cozy at home while your produce is delivered directly to your door, we have winter shares to offer you! They are mostly local, always organic and now we are offering 2 different sizes to meet the needs of larger families as well. Add a fruit share and fresh, organic produce with be coming your way through the fall, winter and spring months. Deliveries run biweekly or monthly. We explain your options here: You can order right on the website.