Tuesday, September 24, 2013

14th CSA Week

Ouch.  I lifted a bin of winter squash the wrong way at the CSA pick-up and my back is NOT happy with me.  Funny how you can lift and haul around 75lbs all day and no problem but lifting something the wrong way can almost put you on the floor.  No fun!!  But farming must go on :)

This weeks large share has carrots, parsnips, lettuce mix, arugula, hardy mix (tatsoi, purple mizuna and spicy red mustard), radishes, tomatoes, onions, shallots, green pepper, Italian parsley and either broccoli or cauliflower.  The grab boxes were overflowing with salad turnips, winter squash, leeks, dill, cilantro, basil, hot peppers, zucchini, cabbage, green onions, swiss chard, kale, collards, celery and beets. 

I have been waiting all season for nice broccoli and cauliflower.  I'm not sure if its the fact we had no rain all summer or just bad luck but our harvests to date have been less than satisfying.  Well today that all changed.  Beautiful full heads of perfect broccoli and stunning large white heads of cauliflower!!  It's about time. 

I made a very yummy Tomato soup on Sunday and it was way too easy.  If you like tomato soup I think you'll agree with me that its a winner!!!
Tomato Soup
1 quart tomatoes
2 medium carrots
2 medium onions
1.5 L water
2 bouillon cubes
2 cloves garlic
In a pot, heat some olive oil and add roughly chopped carrots, onions, and minced garlic cloves. Toss around for about 10 minutes. Add the quart of roughly chopped tomatoes, (with skins) and 1.5L of water with the 2 bouillon cubes (we used chicken) and bring to a boil. Simmer for another 10 minutes and then blend the soup using a hand blender or food processor.  I doubled the batch and its just delicious.  It is very plain but surprisingly sweet and a wonderful starter base.  A simple shake of parmesan cheese and some pepper....amazing.  

This is organic week and we were very excited to see our farm highlighted on "My Island Bistro Kitchen" blog.  Barbara came to visit us about a month or so ago and did an interview and took some pictures as well as visit a CSA pick-up to see all stages of the CSA process.  It's so interesting to read about the farm from another person's words. 

This coming Sunday is Farm Day in the City and I will be there along with fellow farmer friends with lots of farm fresh products available.  It's a great day to wander around down town as the farm "comes to the city".  It's an outdoor farmers market with tonnes of vendors displaying the best of in-season produce, fruits and culinary delights.  Last year was such a great time and I'm really looking forward to attending again. 
2012 Farm Day in the City.......What a great day
Here are some recent pictures from around the farm. Enjoy

My rock and roll cutter bar.  Many thanks to my brother for whipping this together for me.  Takes all the work out of digging parsnips!!

Slow roasted tomatoes.  Ripe tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt

Rather ugly but five hours later.......delicious!!!

Lettuce heads growing for end of CSA season harvests.

They seriously love their tomatoes!!!!
lettuce mix under cover for fall harvests
Enjoy this weeks great selection of farm fresh veggies!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

13th CSA Week

Sure feels like fall is here and the CSA boxes are filling up each week with fall comfort veggies.  Nothing better than hot soups on these chilly sunny fall days.  I'm grateful for the sun as the mornings are starting to be a tad big chilly!!  I was all bundled up today is overhauls, wool socks, hoodie and my winter coat.  Once the sun came up though it was a lovely warm fall day.

This weeks large share has carrots, tatsoi, spinach, tomatos, peppers, onions (white, yellow and shallots), red & white salad turnips, garlic, winter squash, leeks, dill or cilantro, cabbage or cauliflower or broccoli.  The grab boxes had hot peppers, parsnips, zucchini, cucumbers, green onions, parsley, swiss chard, kale, collards, celery, fennel, beets and basil.

The buckwheat cover crop has germinated well and is slowly starting to grow.  I'm sure hoping we get some nice fall weather to get some nice ground cover before the winter weather sets in. 

Buckwheat just germinating

One week after seeding

Parsnips grew very well this year!!

Pauline did a little taste test last week of all the hot peppers.  The little orange guy was HOT HOT HOT!! 

It's not a mutant!!  Its a "broccoflower"..... gourmet cauliflower.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

12th CSA Week

 Well, the weather has changed and in my mind fall has set in.  I am hopeful for some really nice fall weather like we've had the past few years but those chilly mornings and brisk winds have cause the shorts to be put away and the long warm pants to be pulled out of storage.  Warm long sleeve shirts and hoodies are a must as well as overhauls and I think the touque will be pulled out of storage in the next day or two as well.  With this fallish weather I've got hankerings for soups, stews and all things "comfort food".

The colder weather has also had an impact on the vegetables as well.  The zucchini plants took a real beating over the weekend with the high winds and I"m pretty sure this will be our last week with any amount.  The cucumbers are pretty well done and this will be the last week picking beans.  There comes a time when you spend way to much time picking for the amount you actually get so I think we would be better off spending our time on other crops.

This week marked the first harvest of winter squash.  I'm a little disappointed in the Delicata variety as there are not as many as I expected.  Must make a note of that to plant more for next season.  The pie pumpkins look amazing and the spaghetti squash should be ready for harvest next week.  It'll be time very soon to harvest the squash and get them into the greenhouse to cure for winter storage.  Well, in reality almost all of ours gets taken through the CSA but I still like to cure it properly so our members can store it for awhile.
Burgess buttercup
Red kuri

Butternut - my favourite!!
This weeks large share has lettuce mix, spinach, beans, hakurei turnips, carrots, red and yellow onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, garlic, parsley root and a winter squash.  The grab boxes have broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green onions, dill, cilantro, swiss chard, basil, parsley, hot peppers, leeks, beets, cucumbers, celery and fennel.  So much selection!!!

Hakurei turnips
Parsnips you say????  Nope, parsley root
Just a few freshly washed items.
We had so much rain over the last week, in face I'm pretty sure its safe to say we got more rain in the last week than we got in total over the whole summer.  It would be great to get a nice warm, calm dry spell to help the fall planted crops to grow.  Never happy us farmers, too dry and then too wet. 

Derek spent some time Saturday before the rain on Sunday to harrow up empty beds and plant a cover crop of buckwheat.  I'm really hoping we are not too late to get a cover crop established before the end of the growing season. 

This is one of the most twisted bunch of carrots I have ever seen!!!!

Silly carrots, always make me smile

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

11th CSA Week

 Well unless you have been away or hiding under a rock you should have noticed that it finally rained today!!!  It has been so dry this summer that I was thinking that maybe it would never rain again.  It was a wild and crazy harvest day but Rachael and I survived and the CSA shares looked lovely.

This weeks large share had lettuce mix or spinach, tatsoi, arugula, yellow beans, yellow onions, shallots, carrots, green onions, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli or cauliflower, fennel, cucumber, zucchini and garlic.  The grab boxes had swiss chard, hakurei turnips, basil, carrot poppers, cilantro, parsley, dill, hot peppers, eggplant, leeks, beets and more of the above mentioned veggies. 

Basil, so much basil.  I've been enjoying all the basil this summer.  I will be sad when its done for the season.

So, the hot peppers are HOT HOT HOT!!!  Some are hotter than others so just be careful to not add too many unless you like whatever your making spicy!!

Derek and I headed down east this weekend to celebrate his 40th birthday and just relax a bit.  My parents took care of the boys which was fantastic!!  We stayed at a lovely spot near Murray River which was so peaceful, quite and beautiful.  We toured around the Eastern end of the Island and ate at every little roadside stand and restaurant.  Ate way too much but so much fun!!

Route 3 Eatery, such a cute little spot and they had a wood fired oven, yummy pizza!!!

No kids in tow!!!  Smiles all around

The wood fired pizzas and ribs, ohhhhhh  so tasty!!

This is the place we stayed.  Forest and Stream Cottages.  It's such a peaceful spot.  Can't wait to go back.