Tuesday, June 28, 2016

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 3

Now that we are on week three of the CSA we have now met all our new CSA families along with all our returning ones.  It has been lovely to catch up on all the news and to met all our new members.  
We are still noticing damage from last week's storm in the crops but are doing a few happy dances that the 400ft of carrots that we seeded that morning are just starting to germinate, we are feeling relieved about this as we were waiting to see a huge clump of carrots at the end of the bed!  
It has been really interesting talking to our members and seeing that some only saw the black clouds and lightning to the north and did not get a single drop of rain.  We got more rain overnight Sunday so it was a delight on Monday to transplant into wet soil something that has not happened much this year.
Even after the storm we had still continued with our regular watering as the hot and windy days are still doing a great job of drying our market garden out.  I also have to say a huge thank you to Michael for doing all the watering on his own on Sunday evening so that I could go and do an evening yoga class at Creekside Yoga in Stirling.   At least one farmer at the farm felt stretched and rejuvenated for Monday mornings transplanting!

This weeks basket:
Kale - You will have a mixed bunch of kale this week.  Dinosaur and the traditional curly kale.  The dinosaur does have a a slightly stronger flavour to it.
Napa/Chinese cabbage - Some like to make Kimchi, or add to colslaw.  We like it cut into quarters cover with a little oil, salt, pepper and then griddle on the BBQ.  It makes it sweet and tender! Then you can either chop it up add to a warm salad or just drizzle your favourite dressing over it!
Peas - We grow snap peas so you eat the whole thing! I know that most have been telling us that they have not made the drive home! So we are pleased after a field walk yesterday morning that the peas are coming on really well and it will be a quart of pea's for everyone this week!
Beets - I love beets and I am slightly addicted to them raw! I love them in a morning veg smoothie or spiralized into a salad. If that does not rock your boat hopefully one of these recipes will!  31 different ways to to eat beets!
Asian greens - This will be the last week until later in the season. We have done our best but the heat has beaten us to many of these lovely crops and caused them to bolt.  Do not think these crops go to waste, we leave them in the field for feed for our bees and then once the bees are done we feed the rest of the crop to our pigs so it is a full circle on the farm.
Scapes - Yes the bundles are getting bigger!.  Do remember you can pickle or make pesto from them, we still love them grilled on the BBQ!  You can also just put them in the food processor with some olive oil and blitz! Then freeze in ice cube trays.  I like to add the cubes in winter to soups, sauces or stir fry!
Collards -
Southern collards;
1 bunch collard greens, washed
 1/2 lb turnip greens, or mustard greens, or kale, washed
1 Tbsp canola oil
5 cloves garlic, minced or use your garlic scapes
5 cups veg stock
1 1/2 tsp red chili flakes, or to taste
1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke (the recipe calls for 1 TBsp but I just halved it and it was plenty)chiffonade the collards
warm oil in stockpot. add garlic and sauté 1 minute.   add remaining ingredients and greens and bring to a boil.  reduce heat, cover and simmer 40 minutes.
Allow to cool.  Let sit overnight in fridge or at least 2 hours at room temperature.  The longer they sit, the more flavor they absorb.  Reheat to serve.
Or with all your greens you could make a big batch of Crispy sweet greens!
Micro greens - Just a little taster to add to your salads. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 2

After the storm!
Sorry, everyone for the delay with the newsletter. We had to re write it after last nights storm and then we had no power for most of today!

The official first day of summer arrived at 6pm last night and it really did arrive with a bang! Holy Moley that was one big storm, well actually one big storm with three little ones to follow up for good measure!
As ever we do enjoy the rain, the hail not so much! In the first 20 minutes of the storm we received over half an inch of rain  and then in an hour and a half the final reading on the rain gauge was over an inch!
 We did get stuck in the middle of the field during the storm as we had to roll down the sides on the greenhouse and hoop houses along with getting the goats back into their houses!
Most of the plants looked thankful for the rain even if they are now covered in a thick layer of soil, we did lose a few plants to the storm and the lettuce and spinach have a few holes in it thanks to the hail!
We have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to our CSA members who posted updates to Facebook, offered generators so we could run a heat source for our baby turkeys tonight and to one of our members who arrived with two very large cups of coffee first thing this morning when she found out we had no power and Michael was boiling the kettle on the BBQ!

This weeks basket:
Spring Turnips - The turnips can be eaten raw or cooked but the tops can also be eaten too.  This following recipe you can replace the collars with any type of greens from swiss chard, kale to turnips leaves.  Crisp-sweet greens
Garlic Scapes - Scape season is here, enjoy it while it lasts! 7 different ways to eat scapes!
Pac Choy
Lettuce - After last nights storm you might find some hail holes in your lettuce!
Salad Onions
Mustard Greens - Mustard greens make great pesto.  Spicy mustard green pesto
Snap Peas or Micro Greens - Peas have been really slow for us this year.  The second seeding is looking more impressive than the first.  If we do not yield enough peas for all three pick ups then you will be receiving micro greens instead.
Kohlrabi - Reposting this video from last year by Riverford Farms it is a great resource on what you can do with Kohlrabi.  Kohlrabi is great eaten raw in salads or dips and don't forget to use the leaves.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 1

The start of the 2016 Season is HERE and as ever what a weather roller coaster ride it has been for the start of the season!
Our sprinklers had been running every evening for the last seven weeks watering in crops.  We went from a long cold March and April had two days of Spring and jumped straight into 40 degree summer heat! It has meant that some crops have been slow to germinate, to grow or have even bolted before they have reached maturity due to the heat. 
To add insult to injury with all the watering we did in the evenings the hot high winds did the most amazing job of drying it out all the next day! But we have continued with the watering and took to transplanting late into the evenings on many a day over the last few months. We did choose to put lots of floating row covers on crops again this year which does increase the heat but it also helps to hold the moisture in the soil as well as keeping flea beetles away!
Finally over the last week we received a much needed inch and three quarters of rain! It was not only a huge relief for two farmers, lots of animals and a huge market garden but I think the whole community also sighed when a week ago Sunday the skies finally opened and the gentle rain started to fall! Fingers crossed we get regular rain for the rest of the growing season.
We already need to say a huge thank you to several of our CSA members who have already been out to help weed some of the crops and field and also to help deal with some quack grass and thistle that had crept into the fields.
For those picking up at the farm we have not started to raise leprechauns! We had to ear tattoo the goats at the weekend and of course they rub all over one another and they all turn a lovely green!!
It is going to be rather quiet at the farm this season as we have had a huge demand for delivery this year.
So with the quick update here's hoping for a season of warm weather and regular evenings filled with rain, but a few days without rain would be lovely so hay making and weeding can start!  

Over the next twenty weeks we will include lots of recipes in the newsletters but do remember to read through some of last years recipes or if you find a recipe you love then please e-mail it in with a photo or you can post it directly to our Facebook page. We have also been adding recipes to our Pinterest page as well.  Our aim is to get the newsletter up and ready by Monday but please do not hold us to this! Between the two of us we do rather a lot at the farm, and some evenings all we want to do is crawl into our beds, but we will do our best to have the newsletter up a few days before the first pick up of the week.

Here are some great resources (books and websites) that we love using for finding different recipes from!  If you have a favorite book or website please let us know and we will add it into the newsletters.
Riverford Farms
Abel and Cole
Jamie Oliver
River Cottage
"River Cottage Veg everyday" by Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall
 "Jamie at Home"  by Jamie Oliver
Nom Nom Paleo

This weeks basket:
Collards - We have not grown these before so we are excited to see what you all think of them! We had them in scrambled eggs this morning and they are sweet and tender!
This recipe is a game changer for those who are not big lovers of greens! You can also use your radish and turnips leaves in this recipe as well.  Sauteed Greens with pine nuts and raisins.
Chard - Chard gratin
Lettuce - This weeks lettuce is a nice crunchy romaine, it is great for wraps.
Spinach - Please remember we do not wash the spinach.  Rinse as needed and it will keep longer.
Spring Turnips - You have a mixture of Scarlet Queen and Hakurei this week.  Both can be eaten raw in salads or cut into chunks and dipped into a good homemade mayonnaise!
Pac Choy - Prize choy is going out into the boxes this week! These are great roasted, stir fried or eaten raw.
Asian Greens - Green Wave has a little bite to it but can be made into Pesto, added to the sauteed greens or shredded into salad. Stir-fried greens with tahini
Arugula Arugula with prosciutto