Thursday, December 12, 2013

Good Bye, Sweet Blaze.

We had to say good bye to our dear friend Blaze today - Farmer Man's best friend.  We knew it was coming but somehow you're still never quite ready to lose a pet.  He'd been slowing down this past summer and fall; he no longer followed either of us anytime we left the house, he slept more, he ate less.  We knew he didn't hear much anymore and suspected his eyesight was going.  Then, two days ago he just seemed to lose the use of his back legs.  We found we had to hoist up his back legs to get him to walk, he'd stagger outside and just lie down even in frigid weather.  We'd have to go hoist him up again to get him back inside.  He couldn't, um, lift-his-leg to do his business and would just fall down into whatever business he had done.  It was time to say goodbye...he could no longer function as a dog.

Blaze, a Border Collie cross, came to us through our pal Molly.  Almost twelve years ago Molly was a very young lady working for the summer at the Clear Lake trail riding ranch, which also held the Clear Lake/Wasagaming pound.  She had called home to her Mom saying that a lovely dog had come into the pound and was due to be put down and she just couldn't let that happen.  He had obviously been on the run a while and was a mess, but seemed to have a beautiful disposition.  Molly worked on finding him a home and when his time at the pound was up, Mom Nancy supported Molly's call and took the dog out of the pound.  Thank you, ladies!

Molly eventually got in touch with us, knowing that our farm dog Nicky was very elderly.  We had always loved the breed: Jes had always been interested in frisbee sports and a Border Collie would be a great match.  Farmer Man wasn't in town but I went over to Nancy's to meet the dog and fell in love!  I brought him home and Blaze was a bit of a surprise present!  Our vet, Dr. Sherry at Wheat City Vet, estimated he was three to four years old at the time.

It wasn't easy at first!  Blaze wasn't well socialized and we had the big farm dog (a Malamute) and we had little Teddy Bear, the diva.  Blaze also didn't like cats at all and the old farm cat Peanuts had to scratch his face a few times to teach Blaze some respect.  Because I didn't know the dog and was still working on walking him and teaching him simple commands, when I was working in the gardens early on I would tie him up someplace close by.  Soon, he was chewing through the rope to be free to come lie down beside me, where ever I was working.

Blaze really became Farmer Man's dog: Jes was always up-and-out earlier than I was.  Blaze would be with him every minute of the day.  When Farmer Man was working on the tractor, Blaze would find a place in the shade and just watch the tractor go up and down the rows.  At potato planting, when the speed is a little slower, Blaze would follow the tractor, up and down the rows. If the farmer was hoeing, Blaze would be lying someplace close.  He might take some time to go swim in the dug out, smelling bad for a time after, but he was never far for long.

When we acquired Grizzly Bear, Blaze and the puppy developed a special relationship.  I don't know if it was because Grizzly was the youngest, but he would groom Blaze intensely, licking his ears, face and even his teeth!  I wonder if Grizzly will miss him?  Blaze eventually became the most accepting dog, showing no problems with visiting dogs, barn cats, chickens and goats.  Even though he absolutely had Border Collie in him, he never showed any inclination to 'herd' anything, but that's okay.

Blaze was the kind of dog that didn't care about toys or treats - he just wanted love and pats!  Oh, he'd chase a ball or frisbee, sometimes he'd bring it back.  But what he loved most was getting his tummy rubbed and his ears scratched.  He was always a hit when we did farm tours, even with children because he would just lie down, roll over and offer his tummy!

I know we'll just automatically be looking for him for a while; it will be hard to find him 'not there'.  Hopefully, he had a good life and enough love and pats!  And we'll see him again....over the Rainbow Bridge.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's Been A While...


I've been a bad, bad blogger.  Nothing written for a couple of months.  I think that's the longest I've ever gone since we started the blog!  It's not that nothing has been going on - it's just....it's just....

There's a couple of reasons: I find it so fast and easy to update on our Facebook page.  A photo, a couple of lines and presto!  Done!  Doing a blog post, to my mind anyway, involves more 'serious' writing, an essay every time, more thought, more preparation.  And Facebook often gives more instantaneous feedback: a like, a comment within minutes.  Second, by the end of our season we're so tired and cranky it's hard to write something upbeat and enthusiastic - which is how we like to have the blog.  And this wasn't a fantastic year for us, so it was hard to find the motivation to write.  I really just wanted a break, I guess.

So what's been going on since we last blogged early in October?  CSA went into the first week of October for the first time, an indication of a less than stellar year.  We were at the Global Market just Saturday's through October.  We were still harvesting in October: carrots, onions, hauling in winter squash.  First sweeps of the squash patches were for what was really ripe and ready for CSA and for markets.  We left squash on the vine to continue to ripen until hard frost, which came about the end of October.  We eventually took even unripe stuff hoping it would ripen in the sun room and because you can never have enough - it's great for feed for chickens and goats.  Ongoing problems with the tractor made harvest more difficult.  We can bring in a lot in a tractor bucket and much less in a wheelbarrow, so our work was made a little slower.

October was also all about making soap!  I'd signed up for a few craft shows and needed a good supply of our lovely goats milk soaps, well cured!  The soap made in October was well aged for December sales!  Three weeks is about the minimum our cold-process soap can be cured, so I was happy to have soap at least six weeks old for sale!  Created some new types of soaps and acquired some new molds that let me do guest sizes and some festive shapes!  There was quite a learning curve for the small molds; I found that at first I was letting the soap set-up too much so I was trying to get thick glop into tiny shapes.  Worked that out eventually!

The other challenge with both soaps and blogging has been computer problems.  The old office computer is dying and printing the labels I needed became a challenge with frustrating lock-ups and crashes.  Then, the newer laptop started to act up with the track pad going off - sometimes it wanted to just grab-and-move everything, or just highlight everything, or just ignore being clicked.  Trying to send a simple email might take five or six tries of hitting the 'Send' button before anything happened.   The laptop also decided it didn't want to recognize the printer.  Just writing this blog post I've had to stop three times to un-highlight text.  Aaaaargh!

November was about cleaning the barn and chicken coop, renovating and getting all the critters ready for winter....and breeding for the goats!  We almost completely emptied the barn of equipment and stuff, broke down the pens, hauled out old bedding and then re-built new pens with brand new bedding.  Farmer Man must have taken out forty tractor buckets of old bedding!  That, like harvest, took a while as Farmer Man was working off the farm and the tractor was acting up from time to time.  But that, also, eventually was completed.  On Remembrance Day, Randi the buck got his most fervent wish and got a couple of lovely ladies to live with.  Assuming he did his 'duty', we should have some babies mid-April.  We were still milking Mabel and Chocolate, so we didn't put them in with Randi at that time, because it would be too difficult for me to get them out of Randi's pen to milk.  I'm doing chores alone five evenings a week while Jes is at work and I'm a little intimidated by the exuberant Randi - he's a friendly buck, but enthusiastic.  We started the process of drying off the two milkers, which means milking less and less until they stop producing.  So we'll have another batch of babies, hopefully, mid to end of May.  That will ease things a bit; it got a bit crazy last Spring when the does all had their kids within 36 hours of each other and some of the babies required bottle feeding - don't want to do that again!

Mid-November to now has been about me finding some work, Farmer Man working a lot, always the chores, craft shows, fighting with computers, baking, thinking about getting ready for Christmas.  It's been busy! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CSA For October 1st - The Last Tuesday Share!

Things are really winding down.  The gardens show signs of... age, shall we say.  There are few flowers on any of the plants, leaves are browning and getting crispy, the fruit trees are turning golden.  In this last pick up of the season for Tuesday's families we're going to be sharing some goodies that will last you for a while! We regret that our potato harvest has been such a disaster...I really notice the absence in the shares.

It drives us crazy, this time of year, when recipes call for a can of pumpkin puree.  This is the time to make your own using fresh and local squash!  Awesome to pull out of the freezer in the dead-of-winter for soups, casseroles, muffins and more!  Here's some easy instructions here.  We don't puree it at the time, just mash it a bit.  We put one cup portions into freezer bags; they stack nicely and don't take up a ton of freezer space.  Then, grab one when you're ready for muffins!  We freeze some different purees: Hubbard, Kabocha, Acorn - all are great for most recipes!  One delicious way to use winter squash is as an easy pasta suace!  This one boils the skinned and cubed quash with stock for a Butternut Pasta Sauce.  Try this Winter Squash and Balsamic Pasta Sauce from the Cookin' Canuck for some zing!

A few more recipes for your arsenal: this Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Galette sounds divine!  For breakfast, how about a Baked Pumpkin French Toast?  This would be really nice with Hubbard or Kabocha winter squash!  And, you can prepare it the day before, bake it up in the morning!  Here's a great treasury of squash recipes to bookmark:  26 Pumpkin Recipes.

We're sharing our tomato harvest, even though very little is ripe.  Here's a great link (from a fun website) on how to ripen tomatoes indoors.  Here's another great post for ripening tomatoes indoors from one of fav bloggers - we follow her blog Farmgirl Fare regularly for great recipes and fun shots of her farm.

As a little, parting treat:  our summer sown beans are ready - not in the quantity we might like, but a nice taste for everyone!

So, in the share this final week:  For everyone: tomatoes, beans, carrots, Delicata squash, Buttercup squash, Spaghetti squash and for the Part and Full shares Sugar Pie Pumpkin!

Enjoy! And thank you so much for 'eating' your summer with us!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CSA For September 26th!

A touch of frost on the Buttercup squash!
Not the kind of day we'd prefer for getting ready for our CSA families!  Raining when I got up, we got a little window-of-opportunity mid-morning, then rain again, then stopping early afternoon.  Fortunately, we had winter squash already harvested; cucumbers, carrots and tomatillos may be mucky! Fall is so apparent in the garden - a touch of frost on the leaves, cucumbers are starting to grow in odd shapes and hardly any flowers are apparent so it's probably the last taste of cucumber this season.  The summer squash are finally slowing down, but they are not done until hard frost, which is not in the forecast.  We're also seeing more 'nibbling' by wee creatures, admittedly some by our free-ranging chickens but also mice, raccoons and others are stocking up for winter!

Today is the second-to-last share for Thursday's families!  At the final share next week we hope to stock you up with some winter squash - so it will be a heavy one!  Today has some weight to it, too!  We'll also share tomatoes with everyone next week - ripe or not!  You can ripen them on your counters - just turn them everyday so that they don't get soft spots where they sit!

It drives me absolutely crazy, this time of year, when recipes are posted online that call for a can of pumpkin puree!  This is the time of year to use fresh....and CSA members should definitely be roasting some of their Winter Squash and freezing one cup portions for yummy baking all winter!  We freeze them in the small, zip-top bags - they stack so nicely in the freezer and don't take up much room.  Nonetheless, this recipe for Pumpkin oatmeal cookies sound delish!  We'll be using regular whole wheat flour, regular brown sugar and they should still be awesome!  This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with cream cheese icing also sounds good - and easy!  Both these recipes would be awesome with Kabocha squash, a little more nutty flavor with Buttercup or Hubbard!

Here's one to bookmark: a link of links to a myriad of winter squash recipes!  The Pumpkin Fritters with salted caramel sauce sound divine - Kabocha squash would be awesome in that one!  The pumpkin pretzels sound fun, too!  There's just a ton of great links for everything from appetizers to soup to dessert!  And if you love a hot breakfast, try this Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal!  For dinner, here's a Chicken Pot Pie with Squash and Bacon!  Also found this recipe for Hummus made with Winter Squash - perfect for Sunday football games!  The recipe is using Delicata, and I'm not sure we'll have enough to share but you can, as always, substitute another winter squash.  Hopefully next week we'll have at least a few Delicata on the trading table!

If you've got tomatillos to deal with here's an easy and yummy recipe for Roast Tomatillo Salsa!  Tuesday member Reta did a version of this and is a big fan.  Jes got to sample it and is now a big fan, too!

So, in the boxes today:

FULL SHARES:  Winter squash Hubbard (the pointy orange one), Kabocha (the round orange one), spaghetti and acorn, summer squash either Patty Pan or Crookneck and zucchini, cucumber, apples, peppers including jalapeno, Hungarian hot wax and Thai chili, carrots.

PART SHARES:  Winter squash including Hubbard, Kabocha and spaghetti, summer squash Moroccan and zucchini, cucumber, apples, peppers including jalapeno and Hungarian hot wax, carrots, tomatoes.

SINGLE SHARES:  Winter squash Hubbard and spaghetti, zucchini, apples, jalapeno and Hungarian hot wax peppers, carrots, tomatillos.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CSA for September 24th!

This is the second last pick-up! This will be the one of the latest seasons, with the final box in early October, but we did start later than ever this year what with a cool, moist Spring!

It's Winter Squash season now...and you'll be getting a bit of a 'stash' in these last two weeks.  We always say that they are somewhat interchangeable in recipes...except spaghetti squash, although if mashed up or blended well enough it's very good in all the recipes!  The recipes will taste differently, depending on the squash you use, but all good!  Everyone is getting a spaghetti squash today, so here's a brief review on roasting spaghetti squash!  So, here's a pumpkin custard that's dairy and gluten-free!  Awesome dessert for Thanksgiving dinner!  This would be awesome with pumpkin, Kabocha, Hubbard or Boston Marrow.  A bit more nutty and textured with Buttercup or Acorn.  Do you like a breakfast smoothie?  Here's a super healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!  This includes kefir, a healthy probiotic, which you can purchase at local health food stores or substitute yogurt!  This is a somewhat simpler Pumpkin Smoothie with bananas and milk or yogurt!  Just 'cause it is 'the season', here's a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice.   Make it up ahead then you're ready for all those muffins, pies, loaves, smoothies and custards!  For us, we're going to probably quadruple a recipe like this...it's not going to go bad, right?  How about starting your day with Winter Squash Baked Oatmeal?  And then, if you want to be slightly more decadent...how about Butternut Swirl Cheesecake?  Or Pumpkin Gingerbread, although ignore the part that calls for a can of pumpkin puree and use your fresh baked!

Winter squash are not just for dessert!  How about Squash and Bean Tacos, with Tomatillo Salsa?  This S'ghetti-Q Squash with BBQ beef and loads of cheese sounds yummy but pretty simple!  Start the morning with Pumpkin Pancakes made with coconut flour!  Here's more traditional Pumpkin Spice Pancakes; we've made these and they were fluffy and tasty!  And soup...you've got to make soup with some of your winter squash!  They all freeze well, for make-ahead-meals!  Here's a Buttercup Soup recipe.  Here's one that we've made: Curried Squash and Apple Soup!

And just because there has been some nice tarragon of late, courtesy of Tammy and Mike, how about a Grapefruit Tarragon Gin and Tonic after a hard day?

So, in the boxes today:

FULL SHARES:  Winter squash including Hubbard (the pointy orange one), Kabocha (the round orange one) and spaghetti, Summer squash including zucchini, and Patty Pans, cucumbers, tomatillos, mixed peppers, apples carrots.

PART SHARES:  Winter squash including Hubbard, Kabocha and spaghetti, Summer squash including zucchini and Patty Pans, beets, pepper mix, apples, carrots, tomatoes.

SINGLE SHARES:  Winter squash Hubbard and spaghetti, Summer squash zucchini and Romanesque, mixed peppers, apples, carrots, tomatoes.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

CSA on September 19th!

Rather a mucky, squishy, damp, cool day preparing for CSA!  All the veggies will be damp and probably still a little dirty!  We highly recommend that you get the potatoes and tomatillos out of the plastic bags and let them air out and dry out!

Yes, everyone got some tomatillos today!  They are a tomato relative, but tart and dry.  They are what Mexicans and Central Americans make their awesome Salsa Verde from!  If you didn't see Tuesday's blog - check out this great link with a ton of great things to make with tomatillos!  We're going to try the tomatillo sauce on chicken this weekend!  Lots of people like them fried like green tomatoes, sometimes coated, sometimes not!

Yes, the summer squash keeps coming!  Love this simple appetizer with zucchini roulade: thins strips of zucchini wrapped around ricotta cheese and other goodies!  Also love this dessert recipe from Fruit Share Manitoba: zucchini crabapple crisp!  That uses up a bit of local food: perhaps you've got a crabapple or apple tree in your yard?  Here's a nice recipe for a zucchini apple muffin!  This dessert cake sounds delicious:  Patty Pan Bar - with cinnamon frosting!  Of course, any of the summer squash can be substituted!  CSA member Terra found this scrumptious looking recipe for Patty Pan Quesadillas!

As the Winter squash comes along - here's some other great uses!  We roast up large squash and freeze one cup portions of the meat.  We use the small freezer bags so they stack beautifully in a corner of the freezer.  Grab one, that and whip up these fabulous muffins - they are a go-to breakfast for us in the winter!  We've made these muffins with virtually all winter squash and they're all great, but Hubbard is definitely one of our favorites!  We've also replaced some of the flour with whole wheat and spelt, and just upped the oil a titch!  If you save just 3 tbsp. of that pumpkin meat you can make your own Pumpkin Chai Latte.  Or how about this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake, which uses applesauce instead of oil and is lower in sugar!  How about a Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter - paleo and vegan! Easy and would be great on pancakes, toast or fresh biscuits!

So, in the baskets today:

FULL SHARES:  Buttercup (green) and Hubbard (orange) winter squash, zucchini, cucumber, tomatillos, Chioggia beets, carrots, a mix of Warba and Sangre potatoes, Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, tomatoes, corn, apples.

PART SHARES:  Buttercup winter squash, cucumber, tomatillos, carrots, mix of Warba and Sangre potatoes, Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, corn, apples, zucchini.

SINGLE SHARES:  Buttercup winter squash, cucumber, tomatillos, carrots, Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, corn, apples, zucchini.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CSA For September 17th!

So much potential!

We're quite lucky being up here on the North Hill.  There's a touch of frost on some of our plants, in more exposed, open areas from the cold, cold evenings of the weekend.  We've gotten nothing like friends lower down in the valley!  But still worrisome: we look around at the potential of green tomatoes and green butternut squash.  Will we, or you, ever enjoy them?

The cool weather seems to have kick-started the tomatillos!  They've ripened like crazy, so we're able to share them this week.  Tomatillos are a staple in Mexico and Central America.  They're used most commonly for true green salsa: Salsa Verde!  They are related to tomatoes, but are tart and dry, with a papery covering.  They are awesome fried:  check out this recipe for coated and pan-fried tomatillos!  Here's a great link with a number of different recipes: we're liking the looks of Shrimp and Tomatillo baked stew or chicken with tomatillo sauce.  And the tomatillo and pineapple salsa sounds fine, as well!

The deer got into the chard, again!
The deer got into the chard again, just as it was looking good!  They've also been nibbling at the foliage of the carrots, we see.  They ate down the chard and the beets early on; the chard bounced back a little bit better than the beets.  But, we've dug beets today - what the heck!  We want to get some to everybody before CSA is over.  There is just enough for the Full Shares today - and that took a bit of digging!  I think they're a nice, small size - Farmer Man thinks they're a waste of time!  It's mostly Chioggio beets, with a bit of regular Detroit Red and the occasional white beet!  We don't, unfortunately, find the greens of Chioggia as good for eating, but the candy cane striped beet is delicious!  Amanda and Ed provided some Armenian and English cucumbers today.  CSA member Tammy and Mike donated the tarragon in the Full Shares.

Spaghetti squash is one of our most requested, and best known, winter squashes at The Global Market.  Most people eat it in a pretty standard manner: roast or bake, scrape out the stringy flesh and serve.  Here's a great idea for a healthy pizza with spaghetti squash crust!  Or how about spaghetti squash as the crust for a snazzy quiche?  It can also make a delicious sweet treat, here with cinnamon!

So, in the boxes today:

FULL SHARES:  Tomatillos, cucumbers, carrots, Sangre potatoes, Crookneck summer squash and golden zucchini, beets, spaghetti and Delicata (sweet potato) winter squash, corn, peppers including jalapeno, Thai and Hungarian Hot wax, tarragon.

PART SHARES:  Tomatillos, cucumbers, carrots, Sangre potatoes, Crookneck, golden and Papaya Pear summer squash, Spaghetti winter squash, corn, jalapeno and Hungarian Hot Wax peppers.

SINGLE SHARES:  Tomatillos, cucumbers, carrots, Sangre potatoes, Crookneck and Golden zucchini, Spaghetti and Delicata winter squash, corn, and Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot wax peppers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CSA For September 12th!

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper! So many are
so close, but not quite ripe!
For Thursday's families we've got an awesome hit of heirloom tomatoes courtesy of Angela at Mouse River!  She's had a bumper crop this year!  We've got largely Black Krim and Cherokee Purple for you today!  She's got other varieties available for sale....a deal if you're willing to go to Wawanesa for pick up!  Check out her blog post here.  If anyone is interested in getting some for preserving or just for eating, maybe we can get a delivery to CSA at the deal price!  Email Angela from the link on her blog page!

Amanda and Ed came up with some more Armenian cucumbers; the Singles got them this time and a few Part Shares.  Everyone else has regular slicing cukes.  Amanda and Ed also supplied dill and basil and Tuesday CSA members Tammy and Mike donated some of their 'enthusiastic' tarragon!

Zucchini as pizza crust? Check out this quick and easy recipe here.  For an excellent and easy side-dish, how about this Summer Squash Gratin?  Do you like sushi?  How about thinly sliced zucchini instead of the seaweed paper for Zucchini Sushi?  Those little rolls would be awesome at your next football party, as a healthy alternative!  We've made these zucchini fritters and they're pretty yummy and easy!  The included recipe for a dip with Greek yogurt and cucumber is pretty good, too - lots of uses for it!  Just made this zucchini chocolate cake - we've made a number of different recipes and I still think this is the best!  The link for icing has a number of great selections; we used the chocolate fudge icing!

Winter squash is ripening now!  As we mentioned on Tuesday, in most recipes winter squash is interchangeable.  Different with each different winter squash, but just as good!  The exception is spaghetti squash - the only one that doesn't cook up with a fairly smooth texture.  The noodle-like consistency of spaghetti squash can easily be 'mushed' up to be used in many a recipe.  It might not be the best choice for this enticing recipe for Goat Cheese and Squash pasta!  Here's a grain-free paleo pasta recipe where, like summer squash, the winter squash becomes the noodle!  Kabocha would be a good choice, buttercup, acorn, Hubbard, all would work!  Here's also a great link for making easy crackers and chips with your produce, in the oven, including zucchini and winter squash.  The link mentions zucchini and butternut squash, but as you know now and summer squash can be subbed for zucchini and any winter squash can be subbed for the butternut!

On our Facebook page last night we shared a number of fairly fast and easy bread recipes!  Mostly because we're thinking Winter Squash soup!  Here's a pretty simple recipe for Kabocha Cream Soup.  You can make a big batch and it will freeze nicely!  Here's a Roasted Winter Squash and Apple soup; we've done a version of this many times - sometimes with a mild curry - and it's lovely!  Winter squash also make fabulous fries - here's a link for baked Kabocha fries!

So in the baskets this Thursday:

FULL SHARES:  Kabocha and spaghetti winter squash, Patty Pan summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, Sangre potatoes, carrots, Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, herbs either tarragon or basil, corn, apples.

PART SHARES:  Winter squash Kabocha and spaghetti, Patty Pan summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, Sangre potatoes, carrots, Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, Herbs basil or dill, corn, apples.

SINGLE SHARES:  Kabocha winter squash, Patty Pan summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, Sangre potatoes, carrots, Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, corn, apples.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

CSA For September 10th!

Heirloom tomatoes! Yummy!
Oh, have we a treat for you today!  Our friend Angela of Mouse River has had a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes and we've managed to obtain some for you!  These are heirlooms; Black Krim and Cherokee Purple - awesome flavour, juicy and delicious!  Angela has tomatoes for sale - if you're still looking to preserve or simply want to feast!  Check out her blog post here.  These are all grown organically; she's looking for $3/lb. (the going rate at the farmers market) and she'll do $2/lb. with pick up at her place in Wawanesa!  If enough of us are interested, we may get a nice rate delivered to CSA.....maybe.... just sayin'.  Email her at the link on the blog page!

Amanda and Ed have come up with a nice round of Armenian cucumbers - the long, ridged, pale green ones.  The Single Shares and some of the Part Shares get them this week!  Everyone else has a nice hit of slicing cucumbers.  Amanda also sent some herbs, including basil and we'll finally cut some of ours to go with all those lovely tomatoes!  The classic tomato basil Caprese salad may be on the menu in the next few days!  I find this version of Caprese salad interesting because she's reducing the balsamic vinegar - something we've never done!

A blog post gave me a big giggle this week: 'Ten things to do with zucchini when you're past all hope!'  It's an interesting collection of links from zucchini butter to boats to, well, check it out here!  Here's a great tutorial for making a grain-free zucchini lasagna - the zucchini becomes the noodle!  This link takes you step-by-step through the process!  In this recipe, zucchini becomes spaghetti, with roasted tomatoes!  A 'spiralizer' is probably necessary for this second recipe - a little gadget that slices zucchini and other veggies in special ways!  I'm also loving the look of this zucchini and tomato tart, kind of a pizza, kind of a pie!  Everyone is getting Patty Pan today....as they get larger they are awesome for stuffing as a side-dish; you can serve out little pie-shaped wedges to each diner!  Single Shares have a smaller one - awesome for stuffing for a single serving!  Here's a vegetarian stuffed Patty Pan.  Here's a sausage stuffed Patty Pan; this recipe would also be great for vegetable marrow or Moroccan squash!  Here's the recipe for quinoa-stuffed Patty Pans that we shared on our Facebook page a couple of weeks ago!  Of course, you could use rice instead of quinoa!

As the Winter Squash ripens, you'll be seeing more in your baskets!  Remember that Winter Squash is largely interchangeable in recipes...except for Spaghetti Squash.  It's a little different, but just as viable as long as you mash it or accept a different 'texture' to finished food.  Winter squash are awesome both as savoury and sweet dishes. Everyone is getting buttercup squash today; here's a great link for simple baked buttercup it as a side-dish.  Here's a nifty recipe for pumpkin fudge, dairy-free!

So, in the baskets today:

FULL SHARES:  Heirloom tomatoes, Buttercup winter squash, cucumbers, Patty Pan and Moroccan summer squash, Hungarian hot wax peppers, herbs, garlic, 4 lbs. Sangre potatoes, carrots including Purple Haze and Nantes, apples, corn.

PART SHARES:  Heirloom tomatoes, Buttercup winter squash, cucumbers, Patty Pan and Moroccan summer squash, Hungarian hot wax peppers, herbs, garlic, 2 lbs. Sangre potatoes, carrots including Purple Haze and Nantes, apples, corn.

SINGLE SHARES:  Heirloom tomatoes, Buttercup winter squash, cucumbers, Patty Pan and Moroccan summer squash, Hungarian hot wax peppers, herbs, 2 lbs. Sangre potatoes, carrots including Purple Haze and Nantes, corn.

Friday, September 6, 2013

CSA for September 5th!

It still seems odd to write 'September'...where did summer go?  Except for the heat of last week, it hasn't seemed super 'summery' this year!  Because I put the chickens to bed most nights, I've certainly noticed that it's getting darker much earlier in the evenings!

It seems odd, too, that the Winter Squash is starting to come on strong...and we've hardly had any ripe tomatoes, yet.  However, we soooo love Winter Squash that we're still excited!  Forget canned pumpkin - bake the squash you'll be getting and use it for pies, muffins and cookies, as well as side dishes and entrees.  As a matter of fact, here's a nice recipe for Pumpkin Molasses Cookies!  Today everyone is getting a spaghetti squash...quite unique in the Winter Squash world in that, when baked, the flesh comes out like spaghetti.  You can serve it with pasta sauce or salsa, or I like it with lots of butter and a touch of maple syrup!  Full and Part Shares are getting a buttercup squash - a lovely version with a nutty flavor!  Would be as good in that cookie recipe as pumpkin, giving a bit more, hmmm, almond flavor!

Amanda and Ed have brought the last pick of their corn.  Small cobs, but still good; they've got a pale outside!  We're adding the first pick of our corn, bright green wrapping!  Amanda and Ed also brought a few more Armenian cucumbers as well as herbs and onions!

With back-to-school and back-to-work foremost on people's minds here's a great link for healthy lunches!  Please note the zucchini sticks....Here's a great recipe for a spinach-stuffed crookneck - sounds yummy!

So, in today's boxes:

FULL SHARES:  Spaghetti squash, Buttercup winter squash, zucchini, crookneck squash, Moroccan squash, onions, corn, garlic, cucumbers, Sangre potatoes, carrots, herb either savory or dill.

PART SHARES:  Spaghetti squash, Buttercup winter squash, zucchini, crookneck squash, onions, corn, garlic, cucumbers, Sangre potatoes, carrots, herbs either basil or dill.

SINGLE SHARES:  Spaghetti squash, Buttercup squash, zucchini, crooked neck squash, onion, corn, garlic, cucumbers, Sangre potatoes, carrots.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

CSA The First Tuesday of September!

We're calling this Mondo Tuesday - 'cause everyone is getting some summer squash that is mondo!  The weather seems to be making the zucchini and other members of the group very happy and they're growing like crazy.  Hard to believe that we harvested them thoroughly for Friday and Saturday's Global Market and, a few days later, can find armfuls of large ones again!

As the season marches on, the first of the Winter Squash appears in the boxes this week!  Winter squash, as apposed to summer squash, has an inedible skin.  They are best roasted or baked, although we sometimes steam chunks as a side vegetables and the seeds can be roasted.  Many are as good as pumpkin in pies, muffins and cookies and, of course, they make awesome soup.  We're sharing the first of the garlic today - if you haven't had freshly harvested, local garlic before be prepared for a bit of a flavour surprise!  Way more 'punch' than what you may be used to from the stores.  This garlic is not at all considered cured and ready for storage, but you're all going to use it promptly anyway, right?  Tomatillos are available on the trading table, they're coming but not sure if we'll ever have enough to put them into a share.

Cucumbers are doing quite well.  Amanda and Ed have come up with a few Armenian cucumbers, long, thin pale green cucumbers with distinct ridges.  These are quite different and delightful, with nice cucumber flavour and a dense texture. We closed our eyes and just dropped them in some boxes - don't know how else to split them up! Everyone has some good old slicing cucumbers!  This Thai cucumber salad sounds lovely!  Evelyn and Menno will be making a stop today, too - with some tomatoes!

And...what we all need:  a Zucchini recipe round-up!  Yee Haw!  Tons of great ideas and links!

Everyone is getting the very popular Winter squash spaghetti squash: some have the classic, oval greenish beige version.  Some of you have a round version, with a green and gold 'netted' skin, a variety called 'Little Wonder'.  They taste and cook up the same!  Bake and then pull out the flesh - it's like spaghetti!  It's a very unique winter squash for having flesh that comes out like pasta!  Some people like it with a pasta sauce or salsa, some like it with butter and maple syrup or brown sugar!

The FULL SHARES have a vegetable marrow - which looks rather like the common spaghetti squash.  Marrows have a 'V' carved in them.  This is a classic English vegetable but not well known in other cultures.  On it's own, it's a rather bland, mild green flavour.  It's claim to fame is the way it takes on flavours fantastically: in a stew or saute it will pick up the flavour of your spicing and herbs!  The way I'm accustomed to it is stuffed and baked:  my Grandmother's (and Mother's) recipe involved stuffing marrow with sausage meat.  This is the entree for dinner: just serve slices out!  It reheats beautifully if there is leftovers!  You can stuff them with anything you might use to stuff a pepper, tomato or even a turkey.  PART SHARES have a Japanese Kabocha - a sweet, fine-textured winter squash excellent as a vegetable but also very good in pies and other desserts.

So, in the boxes this week:

FULL SHARES:  3 lbs. Sangre potatoes, garlic, onions, spaghetti squash, vegetable marrow, cucumbers, small bunch of herb, Romanesque summer squash, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes.

PART SHARES:  3 lbs. Sangre potatoes, garlic, spaghetti squash, Kabocha squash, cucumbers, bunch of herb, Romanesque summer squash, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes.

SINGLE SHARES:  2 lbs. Sangre potatoes, garlic, carrots, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, Romanesque summer squash, zucchini, Swiss chard.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

CSA For August 29th!

Everything was a little wet and dirty today!
A stormy start to the day.  Harvesting was delayed until about 11:30 AM, so the boxes are a little small today.  We had to wait until the rain stopped and then gave it a bit more time to dry up a bit.  As it was, everything was still wet and dirty!  Highly recommend any beans that are not being eaten promptly be laid out on a towel or something to dry out.  Beans are a little prone to rust at the best of times and damp beans sitting in plastic bags is a recipe for disaster!  Even though we waited until mid-afternoon, digging carrots was still a mucky chore and potatoes were an impossibility!

Our carrots are finally starting to look like, well, carrots!  The taste is fantastic so carrots should start to be regular in the baskets.  Heavens, were the carrots dirty and mucky when we dug them today; forgive us if a little soil still clings!  Amanda and Ed came up with corn for everybody today: hip hip hooray!  I sure wish our tomatoes would get going!

The summer squash continues to do well!  No, we're not yet leaving them on people's doorsteps and running away but...We've often talked about lovin' the Crookneck coated in cornmeal and Cajun spices and fried.  Here's a DIY recipe for Cajun or blackening spices!  How about using slices of zucchini as the base or crust for mini-pizzas!

Love buffalo chicken?  How about this buffalo chicken stuffed zucchini, with cheddar, bacon and an avocado blue cheese dressing?  Sounds fabulous!  While you're on that link, stay to take a look around the blog Closet Cooking - tons and tons of great ideas!  As a matter of fact, here's his link to 25 great things to do with zucchini!  Also found, on another great blog called Fountain Avenue Kitchen, zucchini pizza casserole - fast and easy!  Here's an interesting link from a blogger who's vegan and gluten-free and 'examining' a paleo-diet.  She making 'rice' of grated zucchini and cauliflower.  Bookmark this one, maybe, because I've heard a rumour Amanda and Ed gave a try to growing cauliflower this year!  Also sounding yummy is this Tunisian Summer Squash Casserole; a little exotic with harissa sauce and chick pea flour but you could substitute your favorite hot sauce and regular flour!  Here's some smart ways to preserve summer squash for the winter season: from butter to relish to making chocolate zucchini bread and freezing it now!

So, in the boxes today:

FULL SHARES:  Cucumbers including, perhaps, Armenian and English, green zucchini, golden zucchini, Patty Pans, Papaya Pear summer squash, carrots, Dragons Tongue beans, corn, radishes, Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot pepper, herbs either oregano or basil.

PART SHARES:  Cucumbers, green zucchini, golden zucchini, Patty Pan, and Papaya Pear summer squash, carrots, corn, radishes, Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot pepper, herbs either basil or dill.

SINGLE SHARES:  Cucumbers, golden zucchini, Patty Pan and Papaya Pear summer squash, carrots, shelling peas (a wee bag), corn, radishes, Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot pepper.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CS A For August 27th

Look what Amanda and Ed found! Corn!!  The first of this summers' corn, only for the Full Shares today, but more will be coming in good supply for the next few weeks.  Ours is still a good week away, Amanda and Ed have more growing so we should all get a good feast in the next little while!  We're all growing chemical-free, but we haven't noticed a problem with the corn borer this year but you may, may find a little caterpillar in your corn.  Just cut it out: it's generally in the top inch!  Amanda and Ed also got an interesting pick on cucumbers, including a pale green we think is an Armenian (they were given the seed, without a name), as well as some long English cucumbers.

The hot weather has really kick-started a few crops like cucumbers.  The cucumbers are spreading and flowering like crazy.  Field tomatoes and peppers finally look like they're going strong.  The winter squash, which all have a few fruits, are flowering and spreading and taking over now!  The hot weather does mean the demise of the lettuce and the peas look like they're giving one last pick.  We've already seeded some lettuce for fall and it's slowly coming along, as well as some beans we seeded just a couple of weeks ago.  Unfortunately, we seeded some radish with the lettuce which are ready now.  We're sorry to say potato picking did not go well today so we have just a few bags on the table for purchase or trading.

The summer squash is coming on strong!  Here's a great post with ten awesome recipes for zucchini, although any summer squash can be substituted!  Found this on Facebook: a baked, coated zucchini fritter, which includes an nice, easy recipe for homemade tsatziki sauce.  For something a little different on the snacking front: Salt and vinegar chips - with zucchini!  Here's another great link with ideas on dehydrating zucchini: as chips for snacks or shredded, for re-constituting for winter soups and stews.  I am also rather fascinated by this recipe for raw zucchini ravioli - a little fancy, with some ingredients we don't actually keep in the pantry, but worth a shopping trip I think!  Here's an interesting twist on pancakes with zucchini and broken-up pieces of angel hair pasta!  I'm also thinking of trying this recipe for meatloaf with turkey and zucchini flavoured with Thai green chili paste, which we do keep in the pantry!  Stuffed Patty Pans are all the rage: here's sausage stuffed Patty Pans.  This recipe would also be great with Papaya Pear or Moroccan.  It's similar to what we do with a Vegetable Marrow....which is coming soon!  Any size Patty Pan can be stuffed:  if using a large one it's very cute to cut it into pie-like wedges for serving.  Smaller sizes can be an individual side dish.  Zucchini desserts like these zucchini applesauce oatmeal cookies are fun for upcoming school lunches or an evening snack with tea!  I saw, someplace, a recipe for an orange and zucchini loaf - would love to find it again; anyone know of a nice recipe?

With the cucumbers in good supply have you tried making a Japanese sunomono salad - a lovely, light vinegar salad, usually with rice vinegar (we have substituted a white wine vinegar in a pinch, cut with about 1/5 water).  This creamy cucumber salad looks scrumptious, too!  For something a little more exotic how about these spicy Sichuan pickles, which only need to sit in the vinegar for a couple of hours - although more time would be spicier!  Of course, at tea time you need a proper English cucumber sandwich, white bread and no crusts, please!

So, in today's baskets:

FULL SHARES:  Shelling peas, corn (probably Peaches 'n Cream), mixed cucumbers including Armenian, English and slicing, Dragons Tongue beans, Royal Burgundy purple beans, large zucchini, Crookneck or Papaya Pear, assorted Patty Pan, carrots, radish, peppers Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot Wax.

PART SHARES:  Peas mixed edible pod and Snow peas, mixed cucumbers, Dragons Tongue beans, zucchini, Crookneck or Papaya Pear, assorted Patty Pan summer squash, carrots, Swiss chard, peppers Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot Wax.

SINGLE SHARES:  Cucumbers, pole beans 'Blue Lake', zucchini, Crookneck or Papaya Pear summer squash, assorted Patty Pans, carrots, pepper Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot Wax.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

CSA For August 22nd!

Fresh spearmint! Tea or iced tea? Ice cream? Mojitos?
More odd weather - a low of 6 C last night, but highs in the 30's C coming up in the next few days!  It's been a see-saw year and it shows in the slowness of some things to develop like tomatoes, peppers and cukes, and in the longevity of other crops like lettuces!  We did, finally, get a decent pick of cucumbers and there is still lettuce to go with them for salad!  We're digging carrots today - and you'll see why we've waited; the sizes are still very small even though there's been lots of rain.  Go figure!

Included in your boxes this week is some info on ordering some of our favorite perogies, handmade locally.  Penny is a retired lady who makes yummy perogies.  One of the things we like best is that she pre-cooks hers, so it's just de-frost and microwave or fry.  On busy days we love skipping the boiling part of perogy preparation!  I've got an order form and if you're interested bring your money next week and we'll get an order in for delivery with your CSA in a couple of weeks!

The summer squash is (finally) coming along well.  Discovered this recipe for zucchini fries - seems quite fast and easy...and tasty.  We're going to try that this weekend. A great side dish for burgers on the BBQ!  Or how about zucchini chips - these would freeze well for winter snacking!  Stuffed and baked summer squash are delightful - and can be done on the BBQ in hot weather!  This recipe for sausage and onion stuffed squash reminds me of the recipe my Mother used for stuffed a winter squash called Vegetable Marrow (which is coming along nicely, too).  Of course, there is the most fabulous chocolate cake:  Chocolate zucchini cake!  It's a gorgeous, fluffy, moist cake with the added nutrition of zucchini - and quite easy!  Tuesday's CSA blog post had a nice recipe for chocolate chip cookies with zucchini, as well as some other good things!  Check it out here.

Some different herbs will be coming your way!  Always awesome to use them fresh...but we love preserving them for winter use, too.  Of course, you can just hang them up in a cool, dark place to dry, then crumble and put into glass jars.  Here's a great way to prepare and freeze herbed butters; the butters would be awesome on potatoes in the winter, or for basting chicken, perhaps.  You'll be surprised at how much more flavour home-preserved herbs have than the bottles from the store!  That method works best for the savory herbs.  Today everyone is getting fresh spearmint!  Perfect, of course, for a delightful cup of tea.  Necessary in a mojito!  Fabulous added into iced tea!  Here's a great link with eleven things to do with fresh mint, including a mojito recipe!

The 'late' beans are available.  Regular bush/snap beans are largely finished but the Romano and Blue Lake pole beans are just getting going!  The Blue Lake are big, fat, long round beans - very like a regular bush bean - just mondo!  The Romano (related to Dragon's Tongue) are flat podded, big guys.  They've got a bit more texture and they do have a string along the spine so pull it out as you top them.  The Romano's are very good for soups, stews and stir fries; they will stand up a little better.  Also nice in tin foil packs on the BBQ; you'll find they won't go as limp as regular beans!

On a different note, the Brandon Community Gardening Network has some great workshops and presentations coming up!  This one next Tuesday includes a look at everything 'hot' in foodie circles:  lacto-fermenting, komboucha and cheese/yogurt making.  Here's the scoop, straight from their Facebook page:

Ferment yourself next Tuesday evening (Aug.27). The Community Garden Network presents the fall workshop series. On Tuesday learn to make lactic acid ferments, komboucha, tempeh, seed gurt, yogurt and cheese in your kitchen with instructors Esan Azor and Keith Williams! workshop takes place at Central United Church 327-8th street. from 7pm-9pm. Free!!



So, in the boxes this week:
FULL SHARES:  3 lbs. Carlton white or Aladdin red potatoes, couple of green zucchini, golden zucchini, mixed Patty Pan summer squash, Red Sails lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, edible pod peas, Romano beans, spearmint
PART SHARES:  2 lbs. Carlton white or Aladdin red potatoes, green zucchini, golden zucchini, assorted Patty Pan summer squash, Red Sails lettuce, carrots, shelling peas, blue Lake pole beans, cucumbers, spearmint.
SINGLE SHARES:  Cucumbers, zucchini, golden zucchini, Patty Pan summer squash, Red Sails lettuce, small bag either Romano or Blue Lake beans, carrots, spearmint.

Enjoy!





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CSA For August 20th!

Every year I think I say it's a weird growing year...but this year seems to be the oddest yet!  It was striking that at Saturday's Global Market there were no cucumbers and no tomatoes!  In the middle of August!  I shared a picture on our Facebook page of the pumpkin patch, which is all foliage, finally some huge flowers but very little pumpkin!  A number of our Facebook friends responded to the picture; one said she's hardly had any zucchini, another said the fruit is rotting before it's big enough to pick!

We've got another great local product to share with you this week!  Penny's Perogies are handmade by a retired lady named Penny.  What we love (aside from the fact that they are yummy) is that Penny cooks hers - so all you have to do is thaw and fry or microwave, what ever your preference.  I love skipping that step where I boil perogies before frying!  I've got an order sheet from Penny, so if you'd like to order bring your cash or cheque to me, we'll get you on the order list and we'll get them delivered to our CSA pick up in a couple of weeks!

The summer squash are finally taking off for us!  Last year's members may recall that at this time last year, everyone was getting a couple or three interesting summer squash in the boxes, than regular zucchini were available quite freely!  Not this year!  We've waited a while and they are not filling in rapidly.  But, they're coming!  There's lots of great ideas out there on the web for zucchini and other summer squash!  I like this version of zucchini tacos (or taco-stuffed zucchini boats) made with turkey!  We've done this: replace lasagna noodles with thin-sliced zucchini for a low-carb version of lasagna!  This could be gluten-free, depending on your fillings!  This morning, just found this recipe for smashed yellow squash casserole - looks easy and yummy!  Everyone has Crookneck squash today, a lovely creamy version.  Farmer Man likes it sliced in the rounds and coated in cornmeal and Cajun spice then fried!  Here's a recipe for beer battered Crookneck!  And sneak some zucchini in your desserts: zucchini coconut chocolate chip cookies sounds great!  Full Shares have a Moroccan squash, with the green netted skin.  It's a little firmer than zucchini, good on the BBQ and awesome stuffed!

We love it when we get emails in the dead-of-winter from members still eating our produce!  Shared on the Facebook page a great idea for freezing zucchini for winter stews, sautes, muffins and breads: grate and pack into a one-cup measuring cup.  Turn out the cups upside-down onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Fill the cookie sheet with these cups of grated zucchini, then freeze.  After, the frozen 'pucks' can be stored in a freezer bag or container for grab-and-go baking or cooking!  Here's the Facebook page here.

Beans are still on the menu this week: the pole beans and Romano beans are just coming on strong, the purple are just finishing!  Loved this idea for a bean, gouda cheese crescent roll - great for those upcoming school lunches!  If you're a DIYer, like doing things from scratch in the kitchen...here's a nice recipe for the crescent rolls!  Book mark that recipe for crescent rolls for something special for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!  The Romano beans, like Dragons Tongue, are flat, wide pods; meaty but tender.  It's Jacob's Cattle we've picked, a bean we've saved the seed of for three years now.  Left to mature until late in the fall, the seed inside is excellent for baked beans, soups and stews.  We're taking some of them early as a snap bean.  It does have a bit more of a 'string' along the spine, so as you're snapping them pull the string!  Try this recipe for a great bean side dish!  We've also got some big old pole beans - Blue Lake is the variety.  Don't let them scare you with their size - they're really quite lovely!

Amanda and Ed have come up with nice (!) onions, cucumbers and herbs again.  I was kind of surprised by the number of CSA members not familiar with summer savory!  It's an awesome herb - here's a great article on it here.  While you're checking out the link..check out the rest of the blog Edible Manhattan - lots of great tips on growing and cooking, particularly in small spaces!  And I think that today Evelyn and Menno may be making a visit.....

Now, this next recipe has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with what we grow but it sounds yummy!  Next cool day, we're trying this Gouda and Bacon Mac and Cheese!  Thought we'd share it with you!

So, in the baskets today:

FULL SHARES:  Mixed onions, cucumbers, snow peas, Red Sails lettuce, 3 lbs. Norland red potatoes, Romano beans, pole beans, zucchini, golden zucchini, 2 Crookneck squash, Romanesque and Moroccan squash, Swiss Chard, carrots, herb Summer Savory.

PART SHARES:  Mixed onions, cucumber, shelling peas, Red Sails lettuce, 2 lbs. either Norland red or Carlton white potatoes, Romano beans, zucchini, golden zucchini, two Crookneck squash, carrots, herb basil.

SINGLE SHARES:  Onion, cucumber, edible pod peas, Red Sails lettuce, mixed Romano, pole and purple beans, zucchini, two Crookneck squash, carrots, oregano.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

CSA for August 15, 2013

The Swiss Chard 'Rainbow Lights' is finally
rebounding after being eaten by deer!
Finally felt like a summer day today!  We're looking hopefully at the tomatoes and peppers; they should like this weather we're going to have the next few days.  First cut (!) on the Swiss Chard today - it has been slowly re-growing after being decimated by the deer back at the end of June.  Just enough for a good cut for the Full Shares - but it's coming nicely now! Lots of things just had little picks today:  Golden French Filet beans just for the Part Shares, shelling peas for just the Single Shares!  It's often like that for CSA and we've said many times that the hardest part of the day is dividing the harvest!

The summer squash, on of our obsessions, is finally producing.  Zucchini and more for everyone today!  Some of you have the classic zucchini, officially known as black zucchini.  Some of you have a mid-green, spotted fellow who is a Moroccan or Mediterranean.  A little firmer then zucchini, with a nice almond flavour; it's often stuffed and baked.  It is great for raw dipping or in a salad and just as good as anything you'd use a zucchini for.  There's some Patty Pans in the boxes - the flying saucer squash, some golden zucchini which is a little more delicate and creamy than regular zucchini, and a few small Papaya Pear, the pear shaped, firm squash great for the BBQ!

One of the recipes I've been dying to try is this recipe for baked summer squash chips!  The recipe calls for golden zucchini, for more of a potato chip look, but any squash would work.  Another recipe I've had bookmarked for a while is from one of my favorite blogs, Farmgirl Fare.  This lemon rosemary zucchini loaf sounds lovely and every recipe I've ever made from Farmgirl Fare has worked out beautifully!  If you've been thinking of making bread from scratch her recipe and instructions for Farm House White is where I started a few years back!

Last pick of the raspberries for the season.  Do enjoy!  They've done quite well this season, but the picking is now taking just too much time.  We'll also have with us the few last fabulous cabbage from Amanda and Ed, so grab one now while they're here if you're still hoping to make cabbage rolls or something.  Amanda and Ed supplied the onions today - so much larger than ours, it's amazing what a little heavier soil then our sand can do!  They've also supplied a nice mix of herbs.  Member Allison is bringing along some chocolate mint that volunteered in her garden so that will be available once she arrives.

Final call for anybody interested in some of the gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan baking mixes whose order form was in your basket a couple of weeks ago!  So happy to offer this awesome product from local company Swift Mix!  Bring your order form and cheque next week and we'll have the group order delivered to our pick-up the following week!

So, in the boxes this week:

FULL SHARES:  3 lbs Norland red potatoes, bag mixed Red Sails and Grand Rapids leaf lettuce, Dragon's Tongue beans, green beans, Swiss chard 'Rainbow Lights', a red and yellow onion, Moroccan squash, zucchini, cucumber, raspberries, herbs.

PART SHARES:  2 lbs. Norland red potatoes, bag mixed Red Sails and Grand Rapids leaf lettuce, Dragons Tongue beans, green beans, Golden French Filet beans, red and yellow onions, golden zucchini, papaya pear squash, zucchini, cucumber, herbs, raspberries.

SINGLE SHARES:  1 lbs. Norland red potatoes, bag mixed Red Sails and Grand Rapids leaf lettuce, green beans, Dragon Tongue beans, shelling peas, Patty Pan, zucchini, Papaya Pear, red and yellow onions, dill, raspberries.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

CSA For August 13th, 2013

Now, who gets what?
Apparently, this coming week is actually going to feel like summer!  Warm temperatures are coming our way - perhaps our peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes will kick into high gear!  The summer squash has finally gotten going and we've got a nice pick of crookneck, Patty Pan and some Italian Largo (or Romanesque) today.  The hard part of CSA is always how to divide the harvest!

If anybody was interested in the lovely gluten-free, dairy-free baking mixes please bring in your order forms next week with your cheques!  We'll have them delivered to our CSA meeting the following week!

A nice treat:  Evelyn and Menno are going to be able to harvest tomatoes for the Full Shares today.  Even Menno's hothouse is slow to produce this year with these cool nights.  Amanda and Ed have also harvested an awesome collection of assorted herbs for everyone: basil, summer savoury, flat leaf parsley, dill and oregano.  Amanda and Ed will have a small cut of cabbage for this weekend at the Global Market - if anybody is thinking cabbage rolls or something with this beautiful cabbage let us know or come see us at Global Market!  Saturday at the Global Market should be awesome:  it's International Women's Market meaning people from different ethnic cultures in our city will be presenting some of their traditional dishes for eating on the spot or for taking home!

Everybody is getting crookneck squash today: this summer squash is considered a delicacy in the Southern States.  It's creamier than zucchini, with lovely flavour.  The traditional southern style of cooking is coating in cornmeal and zesty spices and deep frying; the squash inside is like pudding!  You can pan-fry instead of deep frying, try this recipe!  It would work, of course, with any of the summer squashes.  We've also got a nice little pick of Patty Pans or Scallopinis - the 'flying saucer' squash.  This one is excellent for tinfoil packages on the BBQ - it's a little firmer than zucchini, with a nice light almond flavour.  Here's a great little recipe for a side dish using the Patty Pans here.  When they get bigger, they are awesome stuffed!  I recently shared on our Facebook page directions for canning the Patty Pans with ginger!  There's also the long, ribbed green Largo - like zucchini but with a wee bit more of an herbal flavour.

So, in the baskets this week:

FULL SHARES:  3 lbs. Norland red potatoes, Dragon's Tongue beans, snow peas, assorted herbs, Patty Pan and crookneck squash, mixed bag Red Sails and Grand Rapids lettuce, cucumber, Hungarian Hot pepper, onions, tomatoes, 2 pints Red Mammoth raspberries.

PART SHARES:  2 lbs. Norland red potatoes, Royal Burgundy and Yellow Wax beans, assorted herbs, Largo and crookneck squash, mixed bag Red Sails and Grand Rapids lettuce, cucumber, Hungarian Hot pepper, onions, pint Red Mammoth raspberries.

SINGLE SHARES:  2 lbs. Norland red potatoes, Dragon's Tongue beans, edible pod 'Sugar Snap peas, assorted herbs, crookneck squash, mixed bag Red Sails and Grand Rapids lettuce, Hungarian Hot pepper, onions, pint Red Mammoth raspberries.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

CSA for Thursday, August 8th

Anybody thinking of adding a kitten to their home?
We've some adorable barn kitties looking for loving
forever homes!
Cool morning to start but warmed up nicely.  Nice to have family visiting who got 'drafted' into all kinds of assorted labor!  Sister Keltie and niece Laura were steaming some cherries for juice for jelly.  As well, Keltie did a lot of the weighing and bagging.  Laura picked peas and cleaned onions, nephew Jack cleaned Romaine and found a few interesting links for the blog!  The family goes home on the weekend so we're soliciting help picking raspberries next week!  If you love raspberries in your basket, as the picking gets a little harder we have less time for it - so if you can help next Thursday morning you'd be most welcome!  Volunteers always go home with a bonus!

A lovely first pick on cucumbers from both Amanda and Ed and ourselves - but only for the Fulls and Singles, sorry to the Part Shares this week!  That seems a bit more like summer when we can finally start picking cucumbers!  Amanda and Ed also came up with another round of gorgeous cabbage; cabbage and lettuce have loved this cool, moist summer.  Check out the newsletter for Tuesdays' CSA families for some great links for cabbage recipes.  Thursday CSA member Naomi is moving so she's sharing the herbs she can't take with her!  Yeah for fresh herbs!

Now, speaking of cabbage let's share some more good recipes because there is never such a thing as too much cabbage, and the season for summer cabbage is winding down. This is one my niece shared with me that uses pasta and bacon.


Cabbage & Noodles with Bacon

1 head of cabbage, chopped
1 pound of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 large handfuls of egg noodles
Black pepper

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels, then break into bite-sized pieces. (Warning: there’s a chance that you could end up snacking on the bacon bits while you’re finishing dinner. It’s been known to happen here.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the egg noodles. Add the noodles and cook until done. Drain the noodles and set aside.

Drain some of the bacon fat from the pan, reserving enough to cook the onions. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften. Add the cabbage to the skillet and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. When the cabbage is tender, add the egg noodles and bacon, mixing thoroughly. Season with pepper. Serve immediately.

Sounds pretty good to me, check out this awesome rustic cabbage soup recipe also as it will use more than a few ingredients from today's batch of veggies but don't forget to adjust for how many people you are cooking for.  Now here is an interesting recipe for grilled cabbage wedges with a spicy lime dressing, seems like it would be a refreshing summer dish.

Dragons tongue beans are finally ready to pick; they look funky but they can be treated like any other beans out there.  They are tender, juicy and stringless with great flavour - our favourite bean now.  Nephew Jack has been googling recipes for me and did locate a nice recipe for a good side dish using them. The zucchini is coming in nicely now as well and we included a few nice recipes with the last blog entry and here are a few more: anyone who likes spanikopita might also like to try this recipe for kolokithopita, continuing the Greek theme here is some Greek style zucchini fritters and lastly how can a recipe post for zucchini be complete without some form of zucchini bread.

So, this week in the boxes:

FULL SHARES:  Large cabbage, cucumber, Dragons tongue beans, small bag purple beans, red onions, Red Sails lettuce, Romaine lettuce, summer squash (black and golden), 3 lbs. new Norland potatoes, two pints Red Mammoth raspberries, bunch of herbs.

PART SHARES:  Medium cabbage, Dragon's Tongue beans, purple  beans, red onion, Red Sails lettuce, Romaine lettuce, summer squash (black zucchini or Lolita Middle Eastern squash), 2 lbs. new Norland potatoes, pint of Red Mammoth raspberries, bunch of herbs.

SINGLE SHARES:  Small cabbage, cucumber, Dragons Tongue beans, purple beans, red onions, Red Sails leaf lettuce,  summer squash Papaya Pear, 2 lbs. new Norland potatoes, pint of Red Mammoth raspberries.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CSA For Tuesday, August 6th!

Niece Laura in the raspberry patch!
Today seemed like a hard day to get anything going!  Our Hort student from ACC had left a message last night that she couldn't work today so we were behind before we even started!  A little frustrating as we had stressed to her that Tuesdays and Thursdays were our priority - if she worked for us those were the most important days!  We had two 'volunteers' coming today - both who left early because it was too cold and damp this morning.  **Sigh**  So, we've done what we can, got a little help from some other pals and put visiting family to work!  Sister Keltie has weighed and bagged, niece Laura has picked raspberries and nephew Jack has weighed and bagged, helped find some great links for this blog and helped feed the goats!  It's good to have family around!

Speaking of help if you're a raspberry lover we could use your help to get more raspberries in the boxes!  As the soon moves on, picking takes a little longer so we won't have as much time for it.  If you want more berries and are free on a Tuesday - do help come pick.  Volunteers always go home with a little extra treat!

Another round of beautiful cabbage from Amanda and Ed today!  We've heard about lots of good coleslaws and braised cabbage dishes being made by CSAers.  Of course, some cabbage rolls and a cabbage roll casserole have been happening!  Some of the more adventurous, like Naomi, have been making versions of kimchi, a spicy Korean side dish.  Kimchi would usually be made with the curly Napa cabbage, but it's working well with this cabbage!  Try this simple recipe  for kimchi from Cultures for Health, a great website if you're interested in more info on the health benefits of lacto-fermentation.  Fermented foods are extremely popular in foodie circles right now - big health benefits, as well as great taste!  Reta has recently purchased Sandor Katz' book on fermented food and has been experimenting with fermented sauerkraut, - quite unlike the common vinegar pickled sauerkraut!

Since cabbage is coming in great right now another easy way to store some excess is to freeze or preserve it as shown how in this awesome blog post that is also about fermenting cabbage. A couple other good recipes I have found:  great sounding slaw that can be prepared and frozen for up to three months before you even need to use it. And, another awesome idea if you don't like sauerkraut is a nice cabbage soup, this one is a Scandinavian style that can be prepared quite quickly.

Zucchini is starting to come in now and there are a lot of nifty recipes out there other than just your usual stir fry, breads and muffins. An interesting one I've come across is silver dollar pancakes made out of the zucchini with a Dijon sauce on top. You can also try baking the zucchini with a number of herbs to be used on top of pasta or salad. Anyone who has a sweet tooth will appreciate this nice brownie recipe using zucchini and there is even a gluten free version too for anyone who might need it. Zucchini can even make a great snack like chips in this recipe. Now there isn't alot of zucchini right now but this is just the first batch of more to come.

So, in todays' boxes:

FULL SHARES:  Cabbage, Dragons Tongue beans, mixed yellow/green beans, 2 pints raspberries, zucchini, new red Norland potatoes, 'Red Sails' lettuce, Romaine lettuce, red onions

PART SHARES:  Cabbage, Dragons Tongue beans, mixed yellow/green beans, pint raspberries, zucchini, new red Norland potatoes, 'Red Sails' lettuce, red onions.

SINGLE SHARES:Cabbage, Dragons Tongue beans, pint raspberries, zucchini, potatoes, 'Red Sails' lettuce, red onions.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

CSA for August 1!

Michele brought daughter Anna along to help pick raspberries
at 6 AM! A little chilly and dewy in the berry patch!
Hard to believe it's August!  We haven't had much of anything like 'summer' weather yet...it feels more like Spring (or maybe Fall) with highs just around 20C, cool evenings and lots of rain!  With a May snow, everything is late and the cool weather is making everything grow slowly.  It just doesn't feel like high summer!

Farmer Man will be meeting our CSA families solo today because I will selling our lovely goats milk soaps and natural body care at Cruise Night at Global Market.  And, our right-hand gal Michele has to leave early for a doctor's appointment.  Makes for a busy day because we have to get everything done early.  Raspberry picking started at 6 AM today (thanks, Michele!).  I've had all the crates laid out and labeled by 7:15 AM.  The goats are going to get milked a little early and then it is into the bean patch for me!

Included in each basket today is a little sheet from Swift Mix.  This is a local company producing gluten-free, dairy-free mixes for cupcakes, pizza dough and pancakes.  Easy as anything to make, a great stash for the pantry for the coming winter!  I've had a chance, at the Global Market, to sample the chocolate cupcakes and they were fabulous!  If anyone is interested, we can get together a group order and have pick up at one of our CSA meetings!  Love to support small, local start-up businesses, especially when they have such a nice product!  Check out Sarah's website here.

Those of you who were members last year know it wasn't a good carrot year.  Many gardeners around the area experienced extremely poor germination.  Well, this is looking like a good carrot year - and first dig was today!  Also an awesome treat today, for some members, is a nice pick of tomatoes from Evelyn and Menno's hot house!  Everyone will get some sooner or later - be patient!  Our growing partners Amanda and Ed came through with another round of beautiful cabbage!  For the Single Shares today, the beans are a beautiful 'Golden Child' filet bean - a wee, skinny bean always tender and sweet!

So in the boxes today:

FULL SHARES:  Onions, cabbage, 'Red Sails' leaf lettuce, 'Grand Rapids' leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, carrots, 'Norland' new potatoes, 'Red Mammoth' raspberries, ;Boyne' raspberries, tomatoes and a bag of mixed beans.

PART SHARES:  Onions, cabbage, 'Red Sails' leaf lettuce, 'Grand Rapids' leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, carrots, 'Norland' new potatoes, 'Red Mammoth' raspberries, 'Boyne' raspberries, tomatoes, mixed bag of beans.

SINGLE SHARES:  Onions, cabbage, 'Red Sails' leaf lettuce, 'Grand Rapids' leaf lettuce, carrots, 'Norland' new red potatoes, s pints 'Boyne' raspberries, golden filet beans.