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Farm Share Week 22 (Oct 30-Nov 1, 2013)

It’s here- the final week of Farm Share, accompanied by a rather conclusive frost. We experienced temperatures of minus 7 with clear skies, which spells doom for almost everything left in the field. Even the peppers and eggplants in the greenhouse hang their leaves in defeat. Two surprising survivors are parsley, which looks great save a few stems closest to the ground, and the carrot tops, which are still firm and green.

Call me crazy, but this heavy frost gives me a sense of relief from the very physical work of work out in the fields, which gets less appealing as the cold temperatures and fewer hours of sunlight discourage your muscles from cooperating. I wonder- do Canadians have a lower economic output in the winter, because between the cold and dark it sure seems like our beds try to keep us a little longer. I think us Canadians are a hardy bunch in that we do carry on. Maybe we just need some peppy music, a strong cup of java, and some hearty, nutritious meals to fuel us!

Half Shares

  • Black kale (remember, it makes a great addition to pastas, soups or eggs, or even raw, massaged with olive oil and tossed with lemon juice, salt, pepper and yeast nutrition flakes- thank you Lyne 😉
  • Baby bokchoy (also stellar in salad or chicken soup)
  • Red swiss chard
  • Pepper squash (see recipe below)
  • Red beets (see recipe below)
  • Carrots
  • Green cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Parsley
  • Jerusalem artichokes (see recipe below)

Whole Shares

  • Black kale (remember, it makes a great addition to pastas, soups or eggs, or even raw, massaged with olive oil and tossed with lemon juice, salt, pepper and yeast nutrition flakes- thank you Lyne 😉
  • Baby bokchoy (also stellar in salad or chicken soup)
  • Red swiss chard
  • Pepper squash (see recipe below)
  • Red beets (see recipe below)
  • Carrots
  • Green cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Parsley
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Honeycrisp apples
  • Garlic chives
  • Red radish
  • Green peppers
  • Celery root (probably the ugliest of veggies, but it is adds great celery flavor to taco meat, soups and stews without overpowering the other flavours)

 

Recipes

 

Dairy-Free Jerusalem Artichoke Shepherd’s Pie (my own concoction, so feel free to modify the quantities at your discretion)

(Can be modified to be vegetarian as well). A good option for helping a meat-and-potatoes family consume embrace Jerusalem artichokes.

Ingredients

  • 1lb. ground meat or meat substitute
  • ½ lb. celery root
  • ½ cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. Montreal steak spice seasoning (garlic, salt and pepper)
  • 1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes, washed
  • ½ lb. potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup or more rice or almond/coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. olive/canola oil
  • 2 cups frozen peas (I cheated on this one)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat meat on medium in medium sized skillet until lightly browned, Add celery root and Montreal steak spice and, add broth and sautee until celery root is soft. Place in bottom of deep casserole dish (I used 8 in. round CorningWare dish that’s about 3 in. deep.)
  2. Meanwhile, boil medium-sized pot with lightly salted water. Wash Jerusalem artichokes (no need to peel), chop coarsely if desired. Peel and cut medium-sized potatoes into quarters. Add Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender. Drain and add 1 cup rice milk or more, a dash of salt and pepper and 1 tbsp. oil and mix with hang mixer until desired consistency.
  3. Layer frozen peas over the meat mixture. Then place artichoke mixture overtop and smooth out. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes, until heated through.

 

Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley with Goat Cheese

I brought this one to a pot luck when I was short on time and came home with an empty dish- victory! Maybe this will help me get over my fear of pot-lucks. 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized pepper squash, peeled and chopped into 1-1 ½” cubes
  • 1 bunch of beet roots, peeled and chopped into 1-1 1/2’” cubes
  • Yellow-flesh potatoes, cut into 1-1 1/2” cubes (or sub in carrots or Jerusalem artichokes for those who don’t eat potatoes)
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (or enough to coat)
  • 150g crumbled goat feta (I used Woolwich Dairy that comes in a brick form)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh parsley to garnish

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel squash and beets. Chop them along with potatoes and place in casserole dish. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with goat feta.
  2. Cover dish (I used a 9×13” glass dish) with tin foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until veggies are tender when pierced with fork. Enjoy! Makes 6-8 servings.

 

Quick Indian-Style Spinach and Chickpeas

Fellow farm-sharer Keren sent me this recipe. Sounds like the perfect thing to gets some greens into my son. I think I may try it with black kale until we have spinach again.

http://onehungrymama.com/2011/09/recipe-winning-quick-indian-style-spinach-and-chickpeas/

Ingredients

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, defrosted (scratch that- use fresh or try black kale)
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons minced (or grated) fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Combine spinach (don’t include any water that’s drained out of the spinach, but you don’t need to squeeze the spinach either) and your preferred broth in a powerful blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Set spinach puree aside.

2. Heat butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat. As soon as it melts, add the ginger (1/2 teaspoon for a more mild ginger flavor; I use 3/4 teaspoon for a stronger flavor) and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garam masala, cumin, coriander and curry powder. Toast the spices for 3-4 minutes, until they are fragrant and take on a deep color. If the garlic begins to brown or the spices darken quickly, lower your heat. This is a gentle process to ensure that your ground spices release their oils and keep from imparting a powdery flavor. (This dish will taste significantly better when made with fresh spices.)

3. Add spinach puree to the pan, along with the lemon juice. Cook for about a minute, to bring the flavors together, then add the chickpeas. Continue cooking until the chickpeas are heated through and all of the watery liquid cooks down leaving a puree (with a consistency like baby food). Add more broth if you end up needing to make adjustments to the consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Suggestion: serve with rice.

*Note: Be sure to mash or puree the chickpeas into the spinach for babies not yet managing larger chunks.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Farm Share customers like you are amazing because they…

  1. Really, truly believe in local, organic food.
  2. Value freshness and taste over cookie-cutter veggies.
  3. Experiment with new varieties and get creative in the kitchen for their good health.
  4. Reduce food waste and the use of fossil fuels and thus have itty, bitty, carbon footprints.
  5. Support Organics for Orphans- an organization which brings self-sufficiency and amazing, nutrient-dense organic foods to some of the most vulnerable people in the most impoverished nations.

http://www.organics4orphans.org/

  1. Remind me with their enthusiasm of why I keep farming and connecting families like yours to our tasty veggies.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. You have eaten your way to a positive change this season. May you be blessed with great health to enjoy your every day with the people you love.

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Farm Share Week 21 (Oct 23-25, 2013)

This is the second-last week of farm share, and the last week for some of you with biweekly boxes. It’s hard to believe another season is over, but admittedly my motivation go harvest out in the fields cools off with my frozen toes. On a warmer note, this week’s bin is just crying out for some good soups. I believe everything in your box would be delightful in one of 3 soup ideas listed below. This week there are some back to back frosts happening, so the fields are pretty much empty now, save a few frost-hardy crops. Delightfully, there are still many different items available and I didn’t have a need to desperately hoard things to have enough for your last few boxes. This time of year I get very possessive of everything grown on the farm that’s in limited quantity. I don’t want to end up giving you 3 types of kale in your box at once, and I won’t need to. Phew!

Perhaps you are eager to pick out your own comfort food staples from the grocery store after a season of creatively cooking the farm-fresh variety we sent your way. For those faced with a limited organic selection (especially in Durham), one of the farm’s owners, Ted has opened up Teddy’s Organic Market in downtown Uxbridge, (www.teddysorganicmarket.com). Those of you from urban areas still wanting home delivery and as much of local produce as you can get through the winter and spring may wish to check out https://toronto.greenearthorganics.com . I have long wanted to create a winter share myself, but desiring to put my best into both home and work life means keeping farm share seasonal for now.

 

Half Shares

  • red swiss chard
  • green kale
  • jerusalem artichokes (not sure about this new tuber? Learn to love it for all the good stuff in it- see a nutrition profile here on this iron and potassium powerhouse http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2456/2 ). Mash it together with mashed potatoes for an easy nutrition boost. No need to peel the skin, just wash well). I’ve even eaten mine in a twist on shepherd’s pie.
  • Buttercup, butternut or delicata squash
  • carrots
  • red beets
  • garlic chives
  • red radish
  • celery
  • green peppers

Whole Share

  • red swiss chard
  • green kale
  • jerusalem artichokes (not sure about this new tuber? Learn to love it for all the good stuff in it- see a nutrition profile here on this iron and potassium powerhouse http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2456/2 ). Mash it together with mashed potatoes for an easy nutrition boost. No need to peel the skin, just wash well). I’ve even eaten mine in a twist on shepherd’s pie.
  • Buttercup, butternut or delicata squash
  • carrots
  • red beets
  • garlic chives
  • red radish
  • celery
  • green peppers
  • red cabbage
  • leeks
  • baby bokchoy
  • eggplant
  • coloured peppers

 

Recipes

This one’s been circulating around facebook and it made me happy to see a recipe with in-season produce! From www.mindbodygreen.com

Harvest Minestrone With Quinoa and Kale

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion (or sub one leek- save greens of leek and add later in cooking)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of the pot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh zucchini (sub for chopped radish)
  • 2 cups green beans- cut in 1 in. pieces
  • 1 bell pepper- medium diced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 28oz cans water
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric (or to taste)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with parmesan to taste and chopped garlic chives

Directions

1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat heat and add onions, carrot and celery. Cook for about 5 mins or until softened. Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 min or until garlic begins to colour.

2. Add the zucchini and green beans, season with salt and pepper, add the turmeric, stir and cook for about 3 mins. Add the tomatoes and water, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

3. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to gently boil uncovered for 20 mins. Add quinoa and cover for 15 mins. Remove the cover, add kale and canned beans (more water if needed), bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or until the kale is tender.

  1. Grate the parmesan, add garlic chives and serve (or do in individual servings).

 

Creamy Dairy-Free Jerusalem Artichoke and Leek Soup

An easy and amicable soup that eats a potato soup’s heart out nutrition-wise.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. Chopped garlic
  • 1 medium leek, chopped with greens separated from whites
  • 1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes (scrubbed, not peeled, sliced ¼ in. thick)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup plain unsweetened milk alternative)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chopped garlic chives

Directions

  1. Melt the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, add garlic and leek whites and cook until soft, about 2 mins. Add jerusalem artichokes and sautee about 2 mins. Add stock and leeks and simmer until chokes are tender. Add milk substitute (if using) and bring back to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Puree in blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve (I never remembered doing this and it tasted fine to me). Keep warm. Sprinkle with chive and serve.

 

Enjoy your last (or almost last) taste of this year’s harvest!

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Farm Share Week 20 (The final week of the season)

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:

Half

-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

Whole

-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 Cheese from 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.

Thank you for loving good, organic food.

Jennifer

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Farm Share Week 19* the last week for biweekly odd weeks

Greetings all! This week is the last week for those who receive their order every second week since June 15th (odd weeks). So, if it is your last week, thanks for supporting our farm through our csa box.

Hopefully you discovered a new vegetable favourite and some recipes that make your mouth water when a new vegetable comes in season. While many of the winter vegetables I was anitipating have been taking their time to be ready (celery root) or not looking so good (brussels sprouts), everyone will get either Jerusalem artichokes or parsnips this week. There are two different recipes in this post for parsnips, and the Jerusalem artichokes make a great substitute for potaotes in mashed potaotes or in shepherd’s pie. They also make a delicious creamy soup. Here is your list:

Half Share
-rainbow carrots
-Jerusalem artichokes or parsnips
-spinach
-green onions
-green kale
-delicatta squash
-eggplant
-sweet peppers
-green cabbage
-green leaf lettuce

Whole Share
-rainbow carrots
-Jerusalem artichokes
-parsnips
-spinach
-green onions
-green kale
-delicatta squash
-eggplant
-sweet peppers
-green cabbage
-green leaf lettuce
-red leaf lettuce
-golden beets
-leeks
-baby bokchoy
-grape tomatoes

Savory Tempeh and Vegetables (vegetarian main dish) from “Simply in Season”
I have not been able to make this yet because I need to shop for some tempeh. I was excited to find a recipe using carrots, parsnips, squash, green onions, sage and garlic (you may have some left over). While I am not one to tout soy products, tempeh is more nutritious and less processed than tofu, and if you can find organic, then it will not be made from GMO soy.

Ingredients
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
four 3-4 inch strips kombu seaweed (broken into 1 inch pieces)
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. ginger root (peeled and minced)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or sage

1 lb. tempeh (cut into 1 inch squares

1 cup water
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. maple syrup

2 medium onions
1 1/2 lbs. winter squash (such as delicatta) (seeded and cut into 1 in. chunks)
2 medium parsnips (peeled and cut into 1/2 in. slices)
2 large carrots (peeled and cut into 1/2 in. slices)

1 1/2 cups cold water
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Directions
1. Melt butter and olive oil in oven-safe pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add seaweed, garlic, ginger root and herbs and sautee 2 minutes.
2. Arrange tempeh on a layer on top.
3. Whisk water, soy sauce and maple syrup in a small bowl and pour over tempeh.
4. Layer onions, squash, parsnips and carrots in that order on tempeh.. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Transfer to preheated oven and bake at 400 degrees until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables and tempeh into a serving bowl. Drain back any juices into the dutch oven and place over medium heat.
6. Combine cold water, soy sauce and arrowroot powder or cornstarch and mix until dissolved. Whisk into the juices. Simmer, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Pour sauce over the tempeh and vegetables. If desired, gently fold in 2 thinly sliced green onions. Serve immediately over rice or bulgur.

Winter Vegetable Crumble (another vegetarian choice- yay!)

Ingredients
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup cashews (finely chopped)
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed, or 1 tbsp. fresh

2 lbs. root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, potatoes (scrubbed and peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces))

1 medium onion (finely chopped)
2 tbsp. cashews
2/3 milk
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. dried rosemary
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Combine oats, cashews and flour in a medium bowl. Mix in oil and rosemary with fingers to form a crumble topping. Set aside.
2. Steam root vegetables for 10-12 minutes until just tender. Reserve the steaming water for stock. Transfer vegetables to lightly oiled 2 L baking dish.
3. In a large saucepan, saute onion in 2 tsp. oil until soft, 4-5 minutes. Stir in milk and vegetable broth. In a cup mix flour with a little milk to make a smoothe paste. Stir into saucepan. Add rosemary. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Cool sauce slightly, then puree until smooth. Pour over steamed vegetables, then sprinkle with oat topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.