Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fall CSA Newsletter ~ Week 4

Fleur enjoying last weeks snow!
This week is the last week of our Fall CSA.  Including the Summer CSA we are about to complete 24 weeks of harvesting and providing our community with seasonal vegetables from our fields to your tables. Thank you to all our members for being part of the first Fall CSA here at Strattons Farm.  But it is not over just yet, we still have vegetables in storage and kale and spinach in the hoop house! We have had an overwhelming response to bulk boxes which will start the second week of December. (Details will be e-mailed out next week).

We have also had lots of our Summer CSA members contact us about registraiton for next years 2015 Summer CSA.  Normally by now we have e-mailed out registration forms for 2015.  We wanted to finish the Fall CSA before we sent out everything for next year.  So you will shortly be receiving renewal e-mails. 

The snow and cold of last week did have a huge impact on the greens that appeared in everyone boxes the first two weeks of the Fall CSA.  Thankfully the kale and spinach are holding on. 
This last weeks weather has gone from feeling like -18 with a good dump of snow to +17 yesterday and gusting winds off up to 86kph!  The wind yesterday evening did loosen some of the rope over the hoop house last night so we spent this morning having to tie down one end of the tunnel so it did not blow away! If we get a break in the wind I think we will need to re-string the whole tunnel again!  We also discovered the turkeys door had rattled open in the wind last night and they where all enjoying a stroll around their paddock first thing!!.

This weeks basket:

Acorn Squash - How about stuffing your squash this week! Stuffed squash with kale and red cabbage.
Carrots Carrots with garlic all I would do is replace the sugar with a small amount of honey instead!
Kalettes - Remember kalettes are a natural crossing between kale and brussels.  You can use them like kale or use them like brussels! This weeks recipe is a brussel one! brussels sprouts with bacon almonds
Watermelon Radish - These can be eaten raw, added to stir fry or even roasted.
Red Cabbage - Why not try this quick-scandi-style-red-cabbage
Beets - How about a beet and carrot burger on a bed of wilted spinach
Kale - Found a callaloo stew for all to try.
Spinach - You could even try a spinach-scramble for lunch!
Leeks - If you do not want to use your leeks straight away, just slice them place in a ziploc bag and use in replacement of onions during winter. Or you could try a carrot and leek cobbler.
Parsnips - We managed to get the last of the parsnips out yesterday after the snow had melted! This weeks recipe is for parmesan-baked-parsnips.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall CSA Newsletter ~ Week 3

Kale in the snow on Friday.
Not sure we were ready for all this snow!! Since living in Canada I think this is the earliest we have seen this much snow!
For everyone who is picking up at the farm please allow extra time for your drive and please be careful on our drive and getting to the stand.
Thanks to the early onset of winter the box has changed, the cold temps and snow have left crops under the fleece covers not looking too happy! But the crops in the hoop houses are hanging on in there.
We have been rather happy that the ground had warmed up enough yesterday and today to dig out some parsnips for everyone.  Also today's temperatures also allowed us to harvest spinach and kale from our hoop houses.  Michael did have to take the reciprocal saw to the Kalettes as it really was the only way to cut them down, it looked like he was felling miniature trees.

This weeks box:
Potatoes - Dakota Pearls this week. These potatoes will work really well in this Spanish potato dish
Pie Pumpkin - Yes it's long and not round but will make amazing soup, pie or even really nice added to mash potato.
Beets - I think one of my favourite ways to eat beets is roasted with balsamic vinegar and feta cheese!
Swede/Rutabaga - I am finding lots of great recipes for your root vegetables. This one you can also add your kale to.  Why not try making Rumbledethumps
Celeriac - I have found a rather yummy roasted vegetable recipe for your celeriac and parsnips this week!
Parsnips - Finally at 4pm on Sunday the ground had thawed enough to allow us to dig a tub's worth of parsnips out the ground in the snow.  We are hoping the weather might give us a small window of opportunity to get some more out for next weeks shares.
Golden Turnips - How about using your root vegetables to make a gratin
Carrots - Or you could even try Veg in the hole with your root veg!
Kale - Something different to do with your kale and you can use any type of kale for this Turkish tahini greens dish.
Spinach - Something easy and cheesy to do with this week's spinach!
Kalettes - Yes these are rather weird looking. Kalettes are the result of years of traditional breeding work crossing Brussels sprouts and kale. Grown and harvested similarly to Brussels sprouts, the open, flower-like florets can take up to 138 days to grow!!!.  All you need to do is break off the florets, these can be stored in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.  They can be roasted, sauteed or eaten raw.  We sauteed some on Sunday evening with garlic, onions and cranberries to have with our roast pork and roasted veggies! All we can say is Delish!

Next week sees the last delivery of our Fall CSA.  If you would like a bulk vegetable box after next week then please let us know ASAP.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall CSA Newsletter ~ Week 2

Last week should have been a simple week of vegetable deliveries and field clearing and storing!! It ended up being one of those weeks! As one of our customers said "CSA builds community" and we could not agree more.

We delivered our first box on Tuesday morning all excited, jumped back into the truck to head off to the next delivery and the truck just died on us!!!!! 
Long story short the starter motor had gone.  We have to say a huge thank you from us to our CSA members and one of our friends Marj, who were all ready to come to our rescue.  
We were certainly very lucky that where the truck broke down our CSA family were home. We took over their home, phones and phone books in order get the truck towed and to figure out how to do deliveries.  

We had several of our CSA families offer to come and get us, loan us a vehicle and one of our families offered to chauffeur us to complete the deliveries. So I spent the afternoon cackling away with Linda as we drove around Belleville doing vegetable deliveries while Michael got the truck towed and headed back to the farm.  So again a huge THANK YOU to all of you who offered to rescue us on Tuesday we would not have got through the day with out you. 

You will notice you will be getting some of the same greens again this week.  They have held on really well in the field under fleece covers so while these vegetable remain happy in the field we are going to keep filling your boxes with fresh greens rather than root vegetables. 

We love receiving pictures and recipes of what you are all doing with your produce from the farm.
Colleen sent in her Fall Stir fry with left over roast pork.  As Colleen said in her e-mail, everything was from Strattons farm! 
We have added Debbie's picture to the recipe list below for radicchio.

This weeks basket

Potatoes - Great recipe for hiding those greens in foods! Why not try Kale and potato cakes
Carrots - carrot mash
Kale - kale, potato, celeriac Stilton Pie You could replace the Stilton with any blue cheese!
Spinachsag aloo spinach or chard and potato
Pac Choi - With the winter nights drawing in why not try a chicken broth and pac choi broth.

Napa Cabbage - Why not try roasting your napa cabbage this week!
Leeks - We like to find you different recipes and this weeks leek is for cottage pie with leeks and potato topping
Mustard Greens
Celeriac - This vegetable may come under the ugly category but it is yummy added to mashed potatoes or roasted with other root vegetables
Radicchio Debbie sent in this photo and recipe for her Radicchio.
Quarter and wash the radicchio. Dry on a tea towel for 1/2 hr or so. Put in a baking dish. 
Make dressing. Mine has apple cider vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil, lots of chopped garlic, Dijon mustard and sun dried tomatoes. Crumble  bacon on top and pour dressing on top. Cover with foil at bake at 350 for ~1 hr or how ever you like it cooked. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall CSA Newsletter ~ Week 1

Thank you to everyone who signed up for our inaugural Fall CSA. We had limited shares for the first one but we had such an over whelming response we are already looking forward to enlarging the offering of Fall boxes for next year.

It Feels very odd being in November and we are starting at week one all over again! We have been busy bringing crops in for storage as well as experimenting with some late seeding in our hoop house and the unheated greenhouse we have.

Our aim is to make sure you get a mixture of root and leafy greens in your boxes for the next four weeks.  This week everything has been dug fresh from the field including the carrots! 

Please remember for those having delivery to doorstep 
to leave either a cooler box or large tote out for us! 

Please do look back over the last few weeks of the summer CSA Newsletter for additional recipe ideas.

Pac Choy under fleece.
This week basket: (click the top photo to enlarge, we have labeled all the vegetables for you in the photo!)
Daikon Radish - Can be eaten raw like any other radish, added to stir fry etc.
Swede/Rutabaga - This is becoming one of my new favourite vegetables very versatile in so many dishes.  This one comes with a little spice! Indian spiced swede
Hakurei turnips - These can again be eaten raw or you could do a braised carrots turnips with honey

Napa Cabbage - Lots of different idea for napa cabbage in the summer CSA newsletters
Radicchio - We grow a green radicchio over red. I have found a very nice risotto recipe.
Lettuce - Not in the mood for salad then why not try  braising your lettuce instead!
Pac Choy - Great in stews, stir fry, salads.
Kale - We have put the kale in freezer bags in case you do not want to use it straight away all you need to do is pop the whole bag into the freezer for winter use.
Ruby Streaks Asian Greens - This is a mustard green but we have found the plants on the field (after the very heavy frost on Saturday night) seem to have mellowed the flavour compared to the plants growing in the greenhouse.  This can be eaten raw, added to stir fry or made into pesto.
Cauliflower - The little green pointy things in the box this week are cauliflower they are called Romanesco.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 20

So here we are at week 20 and the last week of the Summer CSA 2014.  This has been our largest CSA since we started, both in length of season and also the amount of families we have fed, since we started our CSA in 2010 (we spent our first year in 2009 just focusing on learning how to grow and attending a farmers market).  What can we say but a huge thank you from us to all our members for their support this year.  We hope you have enjoyed this years CSA as much as we have growing all the vegetables for you.
Once again a huge thank you from us to you for your support this year and choosing to keep your food local this season.

Please do take the time to fill our your survey that we sent out with your e-mail at the weekend. The survey also includes a summation of the growing year which is not in the e-mail.

We have already had several members ask about next years CSA.  Registration will open again at the beginning of December. 

Are your two farmers putting their feet up now the season is over? No! As of next week we start our Fall boxes for four weeks, this is our first year running these boxes so we are looking forward  to expanding on these over the coming years.  Then in December, we hope, if all stores and grows well to start offering our bulk vegetables boxes.

This weeks baskets:
Napa Cabbage - Have found an amazing list of lots of different recipes you can try with your napa/Chinese cabbage.
Beets - This week everyone gets a bag of beets.  We are in the middle of bringing crops in from the field so it was easier for us this week to just bag your beets.  We have put holes in the bag but you should still store them in the fridge.  Why not try a heart beet soup.
Radicchio - Does have a bitter taste to it.  We grow a variety called sugar loaf which we have found is not as bitter as the red radicchio.  Radicchio can be eaten raw in salads, grilled on the BBQ and then cut into chunks to create a warm salad adding feta cheese, mushrooms etc to the mix, shredded into stir fry or even made into a radicchio and mushroom frittata or added to risotto
Swiss Chard or Kale  - is another one of those greens that most people have a bit of a love hate relationship with.  We have found some tasty recipes for a chard and onion tart and chickpeas with swiss chard and carrots
Watermelon Radish
Golden Turnips - This is a great soup recipe which uses root vegetables.  So you could use a mixture of turnips and carrots.
Butternut Squash - We have managed to get enough together for the last week, after we had a small visit from a rat over night who has chosen to have a good gnaw through some of our squash that we had on the tables in the greenhouse! Something totally different to do with your butternut squash squashage Paella
Parsley - Great added to winter stews or you can just place into a Ziploc bag and freeze until you need it.
Spinach - Please remember we have not washed the spinach as it does store better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 19

Mud, mud, glorious mud!! I think the only animals on this farm that are enjoying all this rain and mud are our pigs! 
We finished the garlic planting last week and final count was 3004 cloves! We are feeling slightly nervous about the garlic patch as a mole seems to have moved in to the beds! Not much damage has been done to the beds though, he seems more focused on the newly prepared ones, rather than the ones we have planted!! 
Apart from all the mud, field clearing continues, along with the harvest of crops to be stored for our Fall Baskets which start the first week of November.  If anyone is interested in signing up for November weekly or bi weekly baskets please contact us for a registration form.
This week we say goodbye to our Group A half shares and then next week is the end of our 20 Week Summer CSA! We have to be honest we are not sure where the last 19 weeks have gone, it really seems to have flown by this year.
To all our half shares who have their last pick up this week, if you have time we do appreciate your feedback and the survey link is attached in the e-mail that went out on Sunday.  
A huge thank you from us to you for your continued support and we hope you have enjoyed this years CSA and eating seasonal vegetables as much as we have enjoyed growing them for you.

This weeks box:
Carrots - Why not try a sweet dish with your carrots this week! We are going to be trying this one and replacing the sugar with half the amount in honey carrot halwa
Parsnips - This has been a crop we have seeded each year and has never germinated.  Germination was not fantastic this year but 100% better than any other year!!!   They do take a really long time to grow (think we will try seeding a little earlier next year to see if we can get them bigger) and they are much tastier after a really heavy frost. So even though they are heading out in the boxes this week they are not huge and the quantity is alot less than what we would like. But if we can do it this year here's hoping for a better crop next year.
Kale - If you do not want to eat your kale and want to keep if for winter then just place it in a Ziploc bag straight in the freezer.  Kale is really nice to add to any stew or soup over the long winter evenings.
Potatoes - This weeks potatoes are Gold Rush. We have found some really yummy Winter potato dishes for you to try.
Turnips - As I write this newsletter I am in the middle of cooking a potato dauphinosie. What I like about this recipe is it has a couple of variations one using turnips and one using celeriac.
Acorn Squash - Here's a great recipe for stuffed squash.
Swede/Rutabaga - If you have not guessed we love to cook and eat swede so have found this amazing recipe that we will be cooking this week for spiced swede cakes
Leeks - We have found this great recipe for Cottage and Roots pie it uses leeks but also if you are struggling with the celeriac or turnips this is a great recipe to use those vegetables in too.
Chinese white radish Moo/Mooli or Daikon - When I worked in South Korea this was one of my staples, I love this radish! It's crispy, peppery, spiciness and sweet flavour is just amazing eaten raw, added to stir Fry, salads or you can make one of my favourites which is radish Kimchi.

Cauliflower or Broccoli - This is week four and we are really making up for all the years we have struggled to get these to head up at the farm! Last Saturday when we picked we found one that weighed in at 2lbs15oz
Arugula - Is a great spring and fall crop. The leaves are very peppery and make an amazing salad, pizza topping or you can even turn it into pesto

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 18

We hope that everyone had a restful Thanksgiving with friends and family.

This last week has seen our first really heavy frost at the farm, blue spotted salamanders and a huge chunk of our garlic planting completed! As of this evening 2321 cloves are in and we have about another 1000 to go! This is our largest garlic patch ever! Compared to some this is tiny but each year we keep enlarging the patch. I did suggest to Michael we should aim for 6000 next year!! If we do that, we might have to have a CSA garlic party! 

Thank you to everyone who filled in the winter vegetable CSA survey. Once our 20 week summer CSA ends we will running a Fall CSA Box for November. You will be able to choose a weekly or bi weekly box and in December we will be offering bulk vegetable boxes.  These bulk boxes depend on how well the greens do in the greenhouse, along with our cold storage! If all goes well we will offer more bulk boxes in January and February.

Everyone who has said yes to extending will shortly receive an e-mail with a registration form with all the in's and outs of how the November shares will work. We hope to have this done and updated on our website by this weekend!

Watermelon Radish
This weeks basket:
Golden Turnips
Watermelon Radish - These can be eaten raw in a salad or roasted
Sweet peppers - This will be the last week of these.
Spinach - Yes the leaves are huge, but very sweet and tender.  We do not wash the spinach as it keeps longer.  So wash as you need it.
Mustard greens

Monday, October 6, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 17

Chewed pac choy!
I think we can say that the Fall weather has returned to the farm this weekend!
We are thankful that we re-covered some of our crops on Saturday as we did get another light, patchy frost across the farm!
The most damage we received was to our radicchio and pac choy not due to the weather but due to either a skunk or raccoon that has felt the need to walk over our fleeces pull them apart and have a bit of a nibble on the crops!
Even though it is the long weekend coming up, vegetables still need to be harvested and we will still have a Saturday pick up at the farm!

We may be a little sluggish on Saturday as we have a rather long day on Friday as it is Turkey day which starts really early and ends rather late!

Thank you to all who have filled out the winter survey so far! Please do remember that if you want to continue after the 20 weeks whether it be bi-weekly or weekly you do need to leave your name at the end of the survey  The survey is anonymous so we really have no idea who fills it in.

When it gets this cold we tend to make soups, curries and stews so we have added some of these recipes this week, along with a few different ideas! Enjoy!

This weeks basket
Carrots -  Baked whole carrots
Beets - Why not serve your beet roots for dessert Chocolate beetroot cake
Swede - A great way to use up your root vegetables is to make a large pot of root vegetable stew
Kale - Found a great recipe for Mashed winter vegetable stew which helps to use up your kale!
Leeks - Something to do with all the turkey left overs! Turkey and leek pie.
Turnips - We have the sweet, tender hakurei turnips again this week why not try a a little spice this week and cook a spiced turnip and chickpea dish.
Lettuce - How about a chicken and squash salad? The recipe says to use a butternut but you could use any type of squash for this recipe.
PotatoesButtery herby potato cake or a bubble and squash!
Beans - You could always add your beans to the cauli coconut curry or try this bean cooking dish!
Squash - You will either receive this week a bright orange Kuri squash or a spaghetti squash.
Cauliflower - Yes we have cauliflower again this week, very excited about this! Why not try a Cauli Coconut Curry
Mustard Greens - Mustard greens are great for juicing, making pesto or you could even try a calabrese mustard greens

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 16

The weather has been amazing this last week.  We have been busy putting some parts of the market garden to bed and other parts are still producing lots of lovely vegetables.  Thank you to everyone who has filled out the survey on winter vegetables.  If you do have the time it is a very short survey and we appreciate your input.  If you have not received an e-mail about winter vegetables then please check your spam mail as well!
For those who are picking up at Lolly Lodge this week please remember pick up is at the back of the parade of shops in the staff parking lot and not in the front parking lot.

This weeks share
Sweet peppers
Hakurei turnips - This weeks turnips are the white round ones that remind me of ping pong balls! Again these can be eaten, raw, stir fried, made into soup or even roasted or you could even try smokin turnip layers.
Pac Choy
Braising greens - We have been asked what is in the braising green bunch? It is made up of kales, mustard greens, pac choy and leafy Asian greens.  Great raw or cooked.  If cooking you will lose some of the bitter taste that it has if eaten raw but they really have a nice balance of sweet and bitter.
Watermelons - Last week! We hear the cheers! I think we are still in shock at how many watermelons we have had this year!!
Celeriac -With this weeks celeriac why not try a smokin neeps and tatties hash!
Swede/Rutabaga - As Brits we like to call a Rutabaga a Swede! So we have found some great swede recipes for you.
Potatoes - This weeks potatoes are Dakota Pearl and they are stunning!
Acorn squash10 different ways to eat Acorn Squash
Cauliflower - Last minute update! They seemed to have appeared over night.  We are rather excited about this as cauliflower like broccoli has been hard to grow in our soil but everything seems to have come together this year!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 15

Happy First Day of Fall

The weather this last week has been crazy! From a frost warning on Thursday which had us covering sensitive crops and digging the last of the sweet potatoes out, to high winds with hot and humid temperatures by the weekend! But as we welcome fall will we be getting back to normal temperatures for this time of year?  We have sorted our seed garlic for seeding and will shortly finish the last of the bed prep and then the chore of cracking bulbs and seeding will commence.  
Our green manures are doing great this year.  Lots of beds have been seeded. We also did some seeding just before the temperature dropped and we are happy to say the seed has germinated! 
Shortly you will all be receiving a survey about winter vegetables.  We would like to get an idea of what you would like as this will help us this year in what we offer but also in planning future winter vegetable boxes.  

This week's basket:
Watermelon - Yes they are still with us! Do remember you can freeze your watermelon in chunks.
Tomatillos -  if you don't fancy making anymore salsa why not try this stew.  If you do not eat meat you can replace the meat with kidney beans.  Do remember you can roast your tomatillos and then freeze them for winter stews and soups.
Tomatillo, sweet potato and pork stew.
1lb of pork stew
One batch of tomatillos roasted.
400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed or you can use normal potatoes
3 medium onions diced
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 heaped tsp of cumin
2 Tbsp of paprika
2 Tbsp of chopped chili
2 litres of stock vegetable, pork or chicken.
Salt and pepper to season
Saute the garlic and onion in a large dutch oven till soft
Add in the cumin paprika and chili stir to coat then add the pork stir to coat for several minutes, add the potatoes and stock bring to a boil cover and simmer gentle for 1 1/4 hours or until the pork is tender.
Sweet Peppers - We are hoping to get a another couple of weeks of these as they are doing really well in the hoop house.
Cabbage want something different to do with cabbage then try these roasted cabbage steaks.
Celeriac also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery is a variety of celery cultivated for it's root.  Can be eaten shredded raw into a salad, added to mashed potatoes or what is rather nice is Jamie Olivers recipe for smashed celeriac.
Sweet potatoes - We are so excited to be able to add more sweet potatoes to this weeks boxes.  We did find on the last two rows the voles had chewed a few but over all we have had a much better yield this year.  Sweet potatoes do make great soup!
Garlic - The Garlic is cured. This weeks garlic bulbs are red russian and tibetan.
Braising greens - These can be eaten raw, added to soups or stir fry.  This is our first time growing these and they have grown really well in our greenhouse so hoping you all enjoy them as much as we enjoyed growing them.
Turnips - These stunning golden turnips can be eaten raw, roasted, added to mash or made into soup.  The tops can also be eaten as well.
Turnip Soup.
4 turnips chopped
2 medium onions diced
1 1/2 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
2 cloves of chopped garlic
2 Tbsps of curry powder.
Saute onions and garlic in a little oil until soft, add curry powder and turnips saute for a few minutes then add stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until turnips are soft, season with salt and pepper.  Blend soup and serve.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 14

Lily says this weeks carrots are 'yummy'! 
As it poured with rain on Saturday we spent most of the day covering our sensitive crops with row covers/ fleece as the weather  network had warned of a cold evening!  The thermals have been dug out along with the toques for Sunday morning and we did have a patchy frost over the field but all in all everything looks pretty good!
We have started our harvest of sweet potatoes, so far we doing pretty well with our battle against the voles! I should not speak too soon mind as I can imagine they are out there now munching on the other rows that are covered by fleece.

We also have a huge request! To all our CSA egg customers please remember to return your cartons! We are running very low here at the farm.  For those of you who do return them, "Thank You" and if anyone would like to collect cartons for us we are happy to take them off your hands!

This weeks box
Sweet peppers
Celery - it is still holding on and we did not want to see it go to waste so it should be good for fresh eating still, juicing or chop into chunks for freezing to use in winter. At this time of year we enjoy a celery gratin from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Everyday Veg book. You will need to scroll down the link page to find the gratin recipe.
Voles have been munching of the potatoes!
Sweet potatoes -  So far the sweet potatoes are looking pretty good, please remember we have not cured them! They will keep for a while!  We still have some more to dig out.  We have never tried hasselback potatoes before and found this great recipe which we tried on Saturday which was just yummy! We also made rutabaga hasselbacks using the same recipe just cooked on a slightly higher heat.
Cucumbers - Thinking this may be the last week for them! 
Leeks - We have had an issue with leek moth this year! We have cleaned the leeks up as best we can but still keep a look out for the little worms!  At this time of year we love the following dish with leeks and kale Great for lunch or as a side dish.
Kale - We don't like to give out too much kale as we know it is a love hate relationship for many with this vegetable! We have had a few requests to have kale back on the menu and now the flee beetles seem to have died back and the kale has bounced back we are adding it to this weeks boxes.  
Watermelons - Yes they are still here! We cleared the field last week with the threat of a frost and they are all stored in our super cold basement.  Looking for something different why not try watermelon gazpacho
Onions - These are not storage onions so please use them sooner rather than later. 
Pac Choy - Is great in stir fry's or in a steam boat.  A steam boat is pretty much anything goes! We use chicken or beef stock for our boats and then will saute onions, garlic, hot peppers for the base, allow it to simmer in the stock adding in pac choy or napa cabbage shredded, oyster mushrooms add some more texture to the soup with either fish or meat for protein. You can use soy sauce, coconut aminos or Thai fish sauce to give it a bit of a lift. We have even added some zucchini or cucumber noodles just before serving.
Broccoli or Napa Cabbage - It's an either or this week as we don't have enough broccoli to do a full run this week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 13

Not sure where the last week has gone! We have spent this week clearing crops that have come to their end and harvesting watermelons, we seem to have a lot this year! Also moving our last batch of meat chickens out onto pasture, moving Christmas turkeys to the training pen before they go out into the big house on the field, stacking wood for winter and transplanting winter greens, ooh! and lets not forget Friday nights thunder and lighting storm and the rain on Saturday! Apart from all that it has been a pretty normal week around the farm!

This weeks basket:
Tomatillos - Pork and tomatillos go so well together I found a different type of stew using both!
Tomatoes - It is looking like this will be our last week but we have had an awesome run this season.  We are in the middle of clearing the hoop house to allow us to get our final planting and transplants of winter greens in.
Beans - They just keep on coming
Sweet peppers - Can also be sliced and frozen for winter stews
Eggplant - Are starting to slow down, we hear the cheers of "finally"! We have had another good crop this year.
Watermelon - Why not try something different with your watermelon this week! I found this very tasty watermelon and feta salad.
Broccoli - We have broccoli! grown without sprays or chemicals! I think we have come to the conclusion that we will not grow this for early season but will do it for the fall.  It has also taken lots of soil building over the last few years to get this far! So for all our long standing customers thank you for hanging on in there and we have finally done it, fingers crossed we can do it again next year!! They may be small but they will be perfectly formed! We took the row covers off yesterday and trust me we are really pleased we did! We are hoping that you should not have much cabbage white worm on them but we still recommend soaking the heads in cold  salted water.
Chinese/Napa Cabbage - You do have napa/chicnese cabbage again.  When you are faced with a colder wetter season you do adjust your seeding to accommodate and these  have grown really well this season.

Help yourself to hot peppers and parsley

Last week while chatting to Wendy and Mark two of our CSA members they told us about their sunflower that they are growing with no chemicals or fertilizers as of last Thursday evening the sunflower measured 10.5 feet tall as you can see from the photo is it huge!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 12

It has been hot and humid as we leave August and enter September!
Last week we got all out onions lifted, beds hoed and seeded down to oats, peas and clover.  We also started prepping other areas of the garden for next year.  We have hauled a lot of horse manure this weekend, Michael has harrowed the areas and we are just getting ready to seed it all down to oats and peas.

This week's box is a little taste of summer and fall all together.  We still have lots of summer vegetables but as we come into September we will start adding in more fall type veggies into you boxes.  
Over the next few weeks you will see tomatillos again as they have done really well in this cooler summer, sweet peppers, eggplant, tomatoes (this has been a best year to date for yield) and more cucumbers.  

Sweet Peppers
Lemon Cucumbers
Cucumbers - I was lucky enough a few years ago to be given the opportunity to work in South Korea and I totally fell in love with their food.  If you are feeling a bit bogged down by the cucumbers why not try this amazing salad.
Cucumber Namul - Koren Cooking by Young Jin Song
Vegetable oil
spring onions finely chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1 tsp of sesame oil
sesame seeds, and seeded and shredded red chili to garnish.
Cucumber Namul
Thinly slice your cucumber and place in a colander.  Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 10 minutes.  Drain off any excess liquid and transfer to a clean bowl.
Coat a pan with oil and heat over a medium heat. Add the spring onion, garlic and cucumber and quickly stir fry together
Remove from heat, add the sesame oil and toss lightly to blend the ingredients.  Place in a shallow serving dish and garnish with the sesame seeds and shredded chili before serving.

Leeks - Why not try a different take on the traditional leek and potato soup. We will over the remaining weeks, as we add leeks to your boxes, give you a few different ways to enjoy them but we thought we would start with the classic soup first! If you are not in the mood for soup then remember leeks can be sliced into 1cm chunks placed in a Ziploc bag without blanching and straight into the freezer to be used during winter.
Swede/Rutabaga - In England we call them Swede in North America it seems to be a Rutabaga. What ever it's name it is not waxed!! This did freak me out seeing these waxed in the store a few years ago! I think due to the cooler weather and rain they are huge!!!!!!!
Swede with onion and sage - Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
50g butter
1 swede, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1 large onion chopped
12 sage leaves finely shredded
sea salt and black pepper
Heat the butter in a wide pan over a medium heat,  Add the swede, onion, half the sage and some salt and pepper.  Stir well.  When the vegetables are sweating nicely, cover the pan and reduce the heat a little.  
Cook, stirring from time to time, for 40-45 minutes, until the swede is tender and the onion is sweet and caramelised.
Stir in the remaining shredded sage, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve.
Watermelons - After this week we are hoping for at least one more week of watermelons. 

Potatoes - This week you have Estima.  We have given everyone 3lbs after having such a good yield.  We do not wash your potatoes as they keep longer if the dirt is left on them.  Potatoes can be stored in a cool dark place if you are not going to use them straight away.  Please remember they have not been cured so you will find you just need to wash the skins before using, you will not need to peel these potatoes.

Kohlrabi - This will be the one and only week of kohlrabi.  We are very sad about this.  For the fall seasoning we like to grow a storage variety and this year it seems to have struggled with all the rain.  It has split and with the continued rain that has sat in the slits it also rotted.  We have managed to salvage some. You may find them looking a little odd like the one in the picture but please do not be put off by it's ugliness, you will find plenty of juicy flesh inside these for eating. 

Onions - We are doing bags of onions from now on.  We won't be giving them out every week as you will be getting larger quantities in one go.

At both the farm and at pick up points you will have the additional options of help yourself hot chilies and also some lovely fresh sage.

Monday, August 25, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 11

The heat and humidity has returned over the last few days, which has meant running sprinklers for the meat chickens on pasture, filling wallows for our pigs and running the sprinklers on some of our crops. Our heat loving crops however are loving the change in temperature, sweet peppers are going red and the tomatoes are still ripening.

We are still in the middle of a battle in our greenhouse between farmer and animal!! Some thing is still being very insistent on removing seeds from seed trays and replacing with oats!!

This week we have started lifting all our onions to cure.  We are not over joyed with our onion crop this year and we are wondering if it is the change in compost that we used.  We have always used composted horse manure and this year we used a certified organic compost. All our other crops have done really well with the new compost but I think next year we will be heading back to the composted horse manure for onions.

What is in this weeks basket?
Tomatoes - We hope you are enjoying the bounty this year. Looking back over our records this year has been the best year we have ever had on the farm for tomatoes!
Tomatillos - Do remember if you don't want to make salsa these are great roasted, made into chili sauce or you can even freeze them to use at a later date.  This weekend I will be making a tomatillo and pork stew so will post the recipe next week as we still have a few weeks to come of these!
Eggplant - They are still doing really well so we have found nine different ways you can try them this week!
Sweet peppers
Beans - We are having an amazing bean seasons so far this year and we still have more to come!!  So we have added two additional recipes this week for beans in case you are running out of ideas!
This is the one I am looking forward to trying this week, it is from Melissa Joulwan's book Well Fed and it is coconut almond green beans
Last week I made a modified Ribollita Soup and have included the recipe for you all!
1lb of fresh beans chopped into 1cm slices
1 onion chopped
4 carrots grated
2 cloves of garlic chopped.
4 stalks of celery sliced
6 tomatoes chopped into chunks
2 litres of stock chicken or vegetable
Then some sort of greens! I used cabbage but you can use kale napa cabbage etc.
salt and peppers
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and celery and saute for about 10 minutes then add the carrots and chopped tomatoes and a little thyme and saute for another 5 minutes then add your stock simmer gently for 45 minutes, season with salt and peppers then add your shredded cabbage/greens and beans and cook for another 15 minutes.
Michael gave it the thumbs up! "Sooooo Sweet!!"
Hot Peppers - Please remember we do not include hot peppers as part of your box.  We don't feel it is fair as not everyone enjoys hot and spicy food.  Hot Peppers are something that we grow and we leave in a basket for you to help your self to.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 10

We have certainly seen some rain and heat this week but the cold nights have continued! Michael has been wondering if we should have grown rice this year rather than vegetables?

One of our chores this week was to clear out the greenhouse and plough it ready for transplanting and direct seeding our winter crops.  I have been left a tiny corner to continue with the seeding but we managed to get three full length and two short beds into the greenhouse which did bring up the conversation of maybe needing another greenhouse!!

This weeks basket!
Sweet Peppers 
Beans - They are back and are amazing.  Some of the beans are going to be large, they are a jumbo borlotti bean variety and we cooked with them this weekend and they are not at all stringy!
Watermelons - These are certainly going to be watery but not sure how sweet! We have had enough rain but not enough heat and I think these need the balance of each.  Our other melons have been slow to grow and I think this is purely down 

to not having the heat we had last year to bring them along.
Zucchini - They are starting to slow and we hear the cheers! We may get another one or maybe two weeks out of them.
And as per previous weeks help your self to hot peppers!

Eggplant and green bean curry ~ Taken from Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's book "VEG Everyday".

Ahead of time either stew your tomatoes or roast them in the oven and blend into a thick sauce.
Curry Paste! You can make this as hot or as mild as you like.
2 medium onions
6 garlic cloves
1.5tsp ginger powder
5-6 medium chillies
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp of tamarind paste
Place in a blender and blend till a paste.  You can use all of this or just a little!
Cut the eggplant into 2 inch chunks and saute in oil until they are lightly browned.  You may need to do this in batches.  Place the cooked eggplant to one side add a little more oil to the pan, add the paste and fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Add the eggplant back to the pan and stir until coated in the spice mix. Add your tomato sauce (about 300ml) and one can of coconut milk.  Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes then add your beans and simmer until they are tender about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with toasted almonds.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 9

I think we have to start this weeks newsletter with a huge shout out and an even bigger thank you to two amazing friends.  

They headed to Canada for their annual holidays and have ended up spending a good portion of their trip here at the farm.  They rolled their sleeves up and have got stuck into farm work and life and they have been the most amazing help to us.  
We have managed to clear sections of the field from earlier plantings, hoe, rake and get them seeded down to a cover crop of oats, peas and clover, they have weeded the pumpkins, dug potatoes, counted watermelons (all being well these will be in the boxes next week) and helped with all the animals. Of course after not seeing them for eight years there has also been lots of cackling, banter and eating as well and even a day off for the famers to enjoy Prince Edward County!   Michael and I can not thank our friends enough for all their hard work and help.  We are going to miss them both!

Counting watermelons!
The rain started pouring over night last night and continued to pour this AM while we picked  the vegetables, but it was much needed here at the farm and we are grateful that we get a little reprive from running pumps and sprinklers.  The last few days of hot weather meant some of the vegetables started to beg for real rain and even though some do a look a little windswept  they are looking a lot happier for that big dump of rain.
Michael has also been busy extracting honey this week.  We now have raw honey for sale at the farm.

This weeks vegetables are:
Tomatillos - Chris sent us this amazing recipe for tomatillo chicken stew.  You could also replace the chicken with pork.
Tomatillo Chicken Stew Recipe

Yield: Serves 4.
You can make this recipe with fresh tomatillos, or you can use canned chile verde tomatillo salsa as a substitute for the tomatillo sauce.
Tomatillo Sauce
1 1/2 lbs tomatillos
1-2 jalapeƱo chile peppers, or 2-3 serrano chili peppers (include the seeds if you want the heat, remove them if you don't want the heat), stems discarded, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp lime (or lemon) juice
Pinch of sugar
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups tomatillo sauce
1 teaspoon dry oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped
1/2 cup packed chopped cilantro (about one bunch, rinsed and chopped, stems and leaves)
1 Make the tomatillo sauce. Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse well. Cut the tomatillos in half and place them cut-side down on an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan. Broil for 5-7 minutes until blackened in spots. Let cool enough to handle. Place the tomatillos, any juice they have released, chile peppers, garlic, salt, lime juice and sugar in a blender, and pulse until well blended. If you make ahead, refrigerate until needed.
2 Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat until almost smoking. Pat dry the cubed chicken parts with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, and adding more olive oil when necessary, brown the chicken pieces on two sides. When you place the pieces in the pan, make sure there is room between them (otherwise they will steam and not brown), and don't move them until they are browned on one side. Then use tongs or a metal spatula to turn them over and don't move them again until they are browned on the other side. Do not cook through, but only brown. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and lower the heat to medium. There should be a nice layer of browned bits (fond) at the bottom of the pan.
3 Add the onions to the pan, and a tablespoon or two more olive oil if needed (likely). Add ground cumin and coriander. Cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are softened and the browned bits from the chicken have been picked up by the onions and are no longer sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, until fragrant.
4 Add the browned chicken, the tomatillo sauce, chicken stock, and oregano to the pan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Add the cilantro to the stew in the last minute or so of cooking.
Serve over white rice, accompanied with sour cream if needed to offset the heat from the chiles. The stew will thicken as it cools.

Sweet Peppers
Eggplants - Some of our plants are loaded with fruit so you will have two eggplants in your boxes this week.
Carrots - Looking for something different to do with your carrot tops why not try one of of these 5 different ways to eat them!
We don't like to include hot peppers in your baskets as we appreciate not everyone loves them like Michael does! So you will find a basket at the farm and at the pick ups so please just help your self to what you need.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 8

The weather continues to keep us on our toes again! Last Wednesday we had an 1" of rain in 20 minutes and hail! The weather man forecast 1mm of rain on Sunday and we ended up with a huge thunder and rain storm which left us pushing watermelon radish seed back into the ground that we had seeded the day before!

Good news though, the carrots made it! After the last rain storm we had we started to see faint lines of green appearing in the bed.

We have friends from England arriving this week which we are really excited about so your farmers may even take a day off work while they are here!

This weeks basket
Cucumbers - Finally the patch is starting to look amazing, why not try something different with them like making Tzatziki
Onions - These will keep just chop off the green tops.
Salad onions - You have a double dose of onions this weeks as we wanted to clean out the last of these from the bed.  If you do not want to use them this week one option is to slice them and freeze them and you can use them in soups and stews in winter.
Tomatoes - Again the rain has caused the bigger tomatoes to split so make sure you use these first.
Napa cabbage - It is back by popular demand, everyone loved it bbq'ed it so we did an additional planting.
Lettuce - thanks to all the rain and slightly cooler temps the lettuce bed has come on.
Potatoes - These are called Onaway and are stunning potatoes.  They are straight out the ground so just give the skins a scrub don't peel them as they are so fresh.  You may find the odd crack in a potato, this is due to all the rain we have had.
Tomatillos - These are Mexican tomatoes and can be eaten raw or turned into salsa.  All you need to do is rinse them and remove the paper husk.  You can also freeze them by leaving them whole placing in a ziploc bag and freeze for winter use.  They make great chilli! We find that most people like to make salsa.  The tomatillos can be roasted or you can make salsa by leaving the tomatillos raw. I have found a great creamy tomatillo ranch dressing which sounds rather tasty.
Hot Peppers are optional.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 7

In the early hours of Sunday morning we were woken by one huge almighty thunder, lightning and rain storm.  We had two fork lighting strikes hit the ground one near the barn and the other at the end of the road but the biggest thing was the rain! The weather man forecast 5mm, we got over 2" in the early hours of Sunday morning followed by another dump on Monday morning.  We are rather fussy as farmers as we do like a nice steady rain rather than the torrents that fell from the sky over the last few days! We are hoping that the 1000ft of carrot seed that we had seeded about 10 days earlier has not been washed out of the ground!
Good news! All our garlic is now out!  Tibetan, Red Russian and Music but it was slightly longer process than normal as we have a bumble bee nest in the middle of the patch and they have been getting a little mad when we get a little close which meant, on a few occasions, downing tools and exciting the patch rather quickly!

This weeks basket:

Cabbage - Found this amazing cabbage recipe today by Melissa Joulwan the author of Well Fed 1 & 2

Ethiopian Cabbage
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 carrots, shredded or very thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 head cabbage, shredded
1. In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over a medium heat; add the carrots and onion and cook in the hot oil about 5 minutes.
2. Lower the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, ginger, and cabbage; mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender.
Beans - This will be the last week of beans but don't worry we have more to come.  We do lots of succession planting of beans so we have a few different varieties that are flowering well and starting to set little beans
Salad Onions
Tomatoes - We have a mixture of field and hoop house tomatoes this week.  The field ones do have a few cracks in them so eat these first.
Celery - We are thinning out the patch so we will be bunching two heads together.  If you are not a celery fan you can chop it up and freeze without blanching to use for soups and stews during winter.
Carrots - With all the rain we have had these babies are so sweet.  Please remember at this size they do not need peeling.
Eggplant - All shapes, sizes and colours are coming along really well. Why not try a baked eggplant f'armesan this week!
Sweet Peppers - Sweet peppers are slow to ripen but we have managed to find a few purple beauty which are looking stunning.
Beets - These babies just seem to keep on coming this year! Michael has finally caught one of the voles in the beet patch, but we can imagine we still have many more!
Garlic - This weeks garlic is Music.
Cucumbers - Our cucumbers have been so slow this year! We have loads of flowers and our honey bees are all over them! We are only now getting fruit.  You will have either green or a yellow cucumbers to choose from.  The yellow ones are meant to be yellow they are not old cucumbers! We just like to grow something different!