Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Final CSA Week

It's hard to believe another CSA season is wrapping up this week. I feel truly blessed to have such a great supportive bunch of members, it really feels like I grow food for friends!! I was very surprised & touched today to receive some lovely parting gifts such as flowers, fresh hot biscuits and super cute muffins, which apparently I have to share with the rest of my family : ) I also got to see a super cute baby who's going to grow up to be a real heart breaker, watch out Ben & Jake!!!

This weeks large share had beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, kale, green cabbage and bok choy. The grab bin had Chinese cabbage, mizuna, winter squash and lots of extra carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips, parsnips, kale & garlic.

A new recipe I saw this week that was posted by another farm for parsnip soup. Looks like a great way to use up this weeks final parsnips.
Here is another great recipe that I saw on heart beet organics web site for kale.

I celebrated my 31st birthday this week and what better way to spend the day then harvesting farm fresh veggies. The weather was beautiful, sunny, low winds; just awesome. I also got to spend a small part of my day being filmed by a local film maker who is currently working on a documentary for the National Film Board of Canada about organic farming on PEI. It will be interesting to see the final work of art!!!

Just a few pics of my super thoughtful end of CSA season thank-you treats!!

fresh from the oven, still steamy!!

Two bigger muffins for Derek and I and two smaller ones for Ben & Jake. Mine already had a bite out of it and two minutes later it was gone!!

Beautiful bouquet of flowers given by some very lovely ladies!!

So, what will we be up to now that the CSA is over for another season? We will be in fall clean-up mode trying to get the gardens all finished up and put to bed and getting ready to start on our new farm in the spring. The to do list seems frightfully long but I guess we can just pick away at it one item at a time. I often think a nice mid-day nap is in store but I'm sure my restless spirit will win and out to work I will go!!

Just a few pictures of my little men as we enjoyed a nice sunny day last week exploring around the farm. They are growing up so fast!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

16th CSA Week

The weather continues to be quite lovely this fall which makes for pleasant harvesting. The garden is quickly wrapping up and we've decided that next week will be our final CSA harvest and deliveries. We still have broccoli, cauliflower, purple cabbage and some lettuce heads that are still growing and if we get enough ready we will either have another pick-up later on in the fall or have an open farm day for members to come and pick-up some more goodies.

This weeks large share has carrots, parsnips, red onion, kale, beets, leeks and bok choy. The garb box had winter squash, pie pumpkins, dill, cilantro, chinese cabbage, small green cabbage, summer turnips and more of the above mentioned veggies.

As next week is the final CSA pick-up it will be a big one so make sure to bring an extra bag. We will have pretty much the same veggies as today but there will just be more of them. There should be lots of winter squash and garlic for winter eating.

Bok Choy - My favorite way to enjoy this tender yummy vegetable is very quite simple. Remove the greens from the stalks and set aside. Chop the stalks into 3/4" piece and saute in melted butter, onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add in the greens and stir until wilted and then put on top of rice or noodles with a splash of soy sauce. Yum yum yum!!!

A look at the grab bins

Farm fresh kale

Chinese cabbage and regular green cabbage all up for grabs

I'm going to make this weeks blog entry shorter this week as I've been battling a head cold and an early night is definitely needed!!! Enjoy your veggies

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

15th CSA Week

I'm typing away to the warmth of our wood stove. My fingers were absolutely frozen by the time I got home tonight from the pick-up and I was some excited to see the smoke curling out of the chimney as I drove up the driveway. They are calling for frost tonight with temperatures going down to -1 so bring on the heat!!!

Kim and I cleaned up all the pumpkins, winter squash and cucumbers today in anticipation of tonight's weather. Last week's nasty weather did a number on many items in the garden but in particular it killed all the cucurbit families foliage (zucchini, cucumber, winter squash & pumpkins) so tonight's frost would definitely have done some damage. They are now all tucked away nicely in the greenhouse shed. Last weeks weather was particularly hard on the greens. We had winds over 100km/h for most of the day on Wednesday/Thursday along with hail and snow for most of Thursday. The Summerside CSA did not see any greens in their shares last week as they were still looking very unhappy on Friday. I was very glad to have pushed off the Summerside pick-up till Friday as the weather turned out to be very nice, although I was still lucky enough to have been able to harvest all day Thursday during the lovely hail/snow.

The car early Friday morning, brrrrr. Hard to believe that it was 23 degress on Sunday!!

The garden is definitely slowing down but the shares today were still very diverse. The large share had potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, onions, leeks, garlic, mixed greens, arugula, winter squash and bok choy. The grab box had brussel sprouts, dill, cilantro, parsley, leaf celery, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, chinese cabbage & gourds.

We dug the last of the potatoes on the weekend so this will be the last week with our potatoes. We were able to provide potatoes for 10 weeks of the CSA which is by far the longest we've ever been able to go. Seeing as this year was so crappy in terms of weather and disease I think we did pretty good. We topped the plants quite early so they did not get a chance to get as big as I would have liked but we followed a strict blight control program which resulted in a clean crop and no blight.

Need another recipe for leeks? Thanks to Shannon for passing this along. Courtesy of allrecipes.com!
Leek Apple Soup
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons curry powder
3 leeks, chopped
3/4 cup diced potatoes
2 or 3 apples -- peeled, cored and chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plain yogurt


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in curry powder and cook 1 minute. Stir in leeks, potato and apples and cook 5 minutes. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Puree in a blender or food processor, or using an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a swirl of yogurt.

Just a few photos for your amusement!!

Jake inspecting Derek's wash technique

Ben stealing a parsnip

Carrots, potatoes and parsnips

Boss getting a hug

Wash station

The boys really think that Boss should enjoy carrots as much as they do

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

14th CSA Week

The weather for the next few days sounds down right miserable. Heavy rains, high winds and chilly temperatures all make up for some crazy weather warnings. I sure hope the garden can survive the next few days. We have decided to push back Thursdays CSA pick-up to Friday just to try and avoid harvesting in the nasty weather. I find I have to harvest for about 2-3 hours the day prior to the pick-up and even though I have great rain gear I don't think it will keep me dry in 100km/h winds along with pounding rain they are calling for. I'm just hoping its all calmed down for Friday.

Today turned out to be a pretty nice harvest day weather wise but it also felt like a rushed day. Kim and I just could not seem to get ahead. I had the carrots, potatoes and parsnips harvested and bagged up by last night so we should have had all kinds of time but the greens are very slow going. Our current mixed greens are made up of six different kinds of greens and our wash barrels are not big enough to mix everything up at once so it takes quite a bit of time sorting through them and then spinning them. Then they also need to be weighed and bagged up which also takes quite a bit of time. I never even got a chance to clean up onions for today's shares, sorry to everyone about no onions today. But even though it felt like a rushed day the pick-up went very smoothly. Everyone was there by around 5:45 and I was pulling out of the parking lot at 5:55, excellent. Ben & Jake were giving Derek a bit of a hard time so I went right home to hang out with my little men. They have decided they no longer wish to nap at the baby sitters so they are quite the handful as they are super tired. Luckily they still nap here which is a life saver for getting work done.

Today's large share had carrots, potatoes, parsnips,mixed greens, zucchinis, cucumbers, leeks, garlic, beets and baby turnips. The grab box had spinach, radish, arugula, gourds, parsley, cilantro, dill, winter squash, pie pumpkins and more of the above goodies. I had hoped for a pie pumpkin for everyone but I only had about 10 that were ready. It was great to see the kids get all excited over the gourds!!

Golden and red beets mixed

Baby turnips, great roasted with other veggies, eaten raw or cooked like regular turnips. I like a bit of brown sugar mashed in for extra sweetness.

First parsnip harvest - They are still a bit small but still very tasty. Their flavour will improve with some frost but I'm hoping that won't happen for a few weeks yet!! Great added into soups or with a roast.

Showing off their new hair cuts - big boys now!!

They were quite happy as their blankets and puppy and bunny had just gotten out of the dryer and Mommy let them watch a movie and eat their snacks. Jake still is munching on his carrot we picked on our morning adventure in the garden, silly boys!!

If your looking for a fresh chicken for Thanksgiving Barnyard Organics will be doing a Charlottetown drop off at the Charlottetown mall on Friday Oct 7th from 4-5pm. Certified organic chickens weighing aprox 7-8lbs. $3.50/lb. If you want more details or to touch base with Sally or Mark their e-mail is info@barnyardorganics.ca or check out their face book page
If your in the Summerside area you can pick them up at their farm in Freetown.