CSA/Vegetable Share Information

CSA Week 7 Farm Newsletter


In this week’s share :

  • Onions (green salad)
  • Fennel
  • Sweetheart Cabbage
  • Tomatoes or Peppers!!
  • Carrots
  • Chard or Kale
  • Herb (your choice)
  • Garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Beans


Malissa harvests Dragon Langerie beans for this week’s shares

Recipes and tips below!


The light is changing- the days are slightly shorter and the shadows are shifting as the Earth tips this part of herself further away from the sun. The plants continue to grow and fruit at a rapid rate and will for another month. Beans, zukes and cukes are machines, pumping out many pounds of fruit per foot. The tomato ripening club is starting to gain more members and I found one red pepper this morning. The flowers are flowering like it’s their last chance: I was was away in Nova Scotia for a family event for five days and came back to a tapestry of colour. This is the time of abundance.




Finally we can harvest some carrots! They aren’t huge but they’re delicious! If you don’t eat them raw before you get home, try roasting them whole (oil and salt). Notice how the coloured ones have a slightly different flavour from the orange varieties (this may take a couple of weeks as they are not mixed bunches :)).







Employee of the Week: Meet Derek Shaver!


Derek is currently enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture program at Sir Stanford Flemming College in Peterborough Ontario. He is completing his apprenticeship here. He already has a BA in Political Science from Brock University. After working many years doing a diverse number of jobs including driving trucks and installing gas lines, he decided to go back to school to gain organic farming skills. Inspired by his Italian heritage, Derek has a passion for food and loves to cook  He has been a great addition to our team and we hope to see him back after he finishes his schooling this fall.


Our irrigation pump sustainably draws water from the municipal creek that runs through our property. It is essential to germinating and growing our crops. We were lucky to inherit a farm with power next to the creek so we can run this pump!








Kielan wields his machete

Last week the Fennel looked perfect but this morning we noticed some of it going to seed. Things happen fast around here! So, we decided to harvest it and give it to our share members. Fennel has a licorice or anise flavour and is delicious raw or roasted. Cooking tends to eliminate the best parts– the crunch and flavour, but if you have a good recipe, let us know! See below for recipes and tips for using fennel.






A new variety of garlic has been doing strange things.

A new variety (the name eludes me just now) of garlic that we’re saving for 2017 seed, hid its flowers in the base of the stem. We’re happy as this variety will not be for sale, but only to grow our seed stock for the coming years. Both the seeds and the cloves will be used to grow garlic for next year.










The chickens are slowly getting bigger. They are very active and loving eating veggies and grass. It’s a long process to eggs- we hope they’ll be laying by November.









This week (and last week’s) feature flower is the lisianthus. They are long lasting and rose like.


  1. I have also been including a couple everlasting flowers like celosia and strawflowers. You can rearrange your flowers once other stems start to die for a longer lasting arrangement.
  2. Don’t forget to recut your stems into warm water if they wilt on your way home. After they have perked up put the flowers in a clean vase with cold water. Changing the water and recutting the stems ever couple of days will lengthen their vase life.
  3. When you get home with your flowers and have perked them up with warm water, why not try your hand at arranging them. Always start by creating a ‘shape’ with your greenery. Then lace in the main flowers and finish with the “airy” ones.

Flower Shares and Farm-store bouquets are available .

Recipes and Tips

Veggie of the week: Fennel 

Fennel and Cabbage slaw is one of my favourite salads. I slice fennel, cabbage and salad onion as thinly as possible and toss with a pinch of salt, good quality olive oil, a little seedy dijjon and some apple cider vinegar. If I want it creamy I’ll emulsify the dressing.

Here’s another straightforward Cabbage, Cucumber, Fennel Slaw recipe.

You can also barbeque or roast fennel. Slice into quarter inch lengths and toss with olive oil and salt and chunks of fresh garlic. Roast in your preheated oven at 375 for 15-25 min or until the edges start to brown. This is a great side dish and goes well with a bit of grated or shaved parmesan and a touch of lemon.

This Bean and Fennel Salad recipe uses beans and fennel. You may not have enough fennel that this recipe calls for, but you can still pull off a nice dish.


This garlic is potent! If you’re following a recipe, beware that you may need to halve the garlic. We never have a problem getting through garlic, but if you find it is accumulating, try roasting a bulb in tinfoil. The garlic will turn to a milder tasting paste that you can use in soups or dips, salad dressing or straight on some bread from garlic bread.

This fresh stuff should last a couple weeks but will not have the shelf life of our cured garlic we send out later in the year. Consider storing it in the fridge.


This chard soup uses fennel!!

We hope you’re enjoying your share. Let us know if you have more questions about preparation and storage. You can also ask your coordinator to help identify new veggies and for tips on preparation options.





CSA 2011 Week 15 – Happy Thanksgiving

And just like that we’re here again, at the most important farmer celebration of the year. Thanksgiving (I think) was intended to thank the First Nations who helped out the Pilgrims, but it replaced a long line of harvest festivals which most likely occur in different forms in cultures and climates around the world.

This year there’s a lot to be thankful for, and we are thankful. It’s been a wonderful summer, weather wise, and an even better autumn. The plants just keep growing in the field, and with the addition of row cover the plants are really growing like crazy.

It’s a good thing, too because there are some exciting Christmas markets coming up. At the Ottawa Farmers Market, we’ve been trying like crazy to get into the Aberdeen Pavillion for an indoor winter market for as long as the OFM has existed. We finally succeeded a few weeks ago, and we’ll be in there for four days in November and December. This is really exciting for local food, for us farmers, and for our common heritage. The Aberdeen Pavillion (also known as the Cattle castle) was built to house farm shows, fairs, and markets. We think it is a natural fit for a beautiful indoor market that would be the envy of the nation, and this is a first step. Do your best to visit us there – Nov 20 and 27th, Dec 4th and 18th (all Sundays) to get some fresh winter veg and maybe a gift or two for the big day.

But the thing we’re really thankful for is the amazing support and interest we’ve received since starting our farm here so close to Ottawa. It’s been inspiring and exciting, and a lot of fun. Every day, I realize that I am very happy to be doing what I am doing, and it’s in no small part to all of you, our wonderful CSA sharemembers.

Jess was very adamant about giving a great share in the week before Thanksgiving, and I think we succeeded. Without further ado, here it is:

What’s in your share

Big buncha beets
big buncha carrots
Strong celery (great for stuffing)
2 quarts (!) of potatoes
A big head of lettuce
1.5lbs of Brussel Sprouts!!
Bunch of Kale
Bunch of Hakurei Turnips (back by popular demand)
One big butternut or three small dessert squash


CSA 2011 Week 14 – “Next Year”

This past winter we started planting our leeks and onions in February. We had to plant them in my Dad’s greenhouse (this is Jess). Ours was not done yet. This was a nice gesture by my dad–every square inch of heated greenhouse is hot realestate for farmers. So we squeezed in the seedlings that we cold. Unfortunately, it means that our leek patch was small. Very small! This week we can only give leeks to the half shares. Next year, however…

“Next Year” is a running joke on this farm. See, last year, by mid-season, we were constantly comforting ourselves by shouting out, “Next year”!! What we really meant when we shouted this is that “Next will be more efficient!”, “Next year will be more fertile!”, “Next year we’ll have a shower!” etc. It’s funny, cuz “Next Year” never actually arrives. Our systems always improve, but, as with life, once you reach a goal, there is another milestone that appears on the horizon…and about a gazillion little potholes in between. “Next Year” is a perfect farm, in our minds. It will always be there, helping us strive to be more efficient, more effective, and more productive. We do have a shower this year.

Currently, we are plowing up fields to prepare for the garlic and flower bulbs we will be planting in the next couple of weeks. I will also be seeding some things later in the fall, so they will germinate as soon as the soil warms.  See, Next Year.

Robin and Danny just got back from the greenhouse site with (hopefully) the last of the greenhouse bits.

Robin here. Now where there was once a post-apocalyptic tangled mess of greenhouse frames, rusty equipment, faded plastic and rotten wood sixty km away from here, we have several tidy piles of arches, fans, braces and tracking right here on our own farm. It took three loads with the 26 foot u-haul truck (the biggest they rent) to get all the arches here over a period of two days. Although we will miss our semi-coherent conversations in french with Pierre Lamoureux, and our encounters with the massive, drooling, kitten-harassing St. Bernard named “Bebe” (pronounced bay-bay), it is very good to be in greenhouse construction mode as opposed to greenhouse destruction mode.

In other news, we got our compost tests back, and the results are  good, which means many nutrients for next years little plants. Bad news our irrigation water is high in bicarbonate. My agronomist informs me I have to purchase a pH meter.

We hope you enjoy your third last share!

What’s in your share:
Red Cabbage
Carrots (some are white–they are not parsnips)
Radishes (small bunch)
Small Squash
Hakurei Turnips!!
Salad Mix

Leeks : For half share only

We were lacking in the recipe department this week, but these came through from a very gracious CSA member, Carol. Thanks Carol. This is a true sign autumn is here!

Smoked Sausage Soup

At least 1/2 pound of smoked pork sausage
2 quarts water
1 small head of cabbage shredded
1/2 small turnip, diced
4 medium potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 quarts water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp caraway (optional)

Slice vegetables while sausage is boiling gently in first 2 quarts of water.  Add the vegetables and seasonings to sausage and second 2 quarts of water and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender…30 minutes or more depending on the side of the dice,
Remove sausage and slice into 1/4 inch slices and return to soup and cook for another 20 min.

Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 onion sliced thin
1/2 c raw rice
1 can tomatoes mashed or equivalent mushed fresh tomatoes (I just throw which ever I’m using in the blender)
3 cups shredded cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour Cream (garnish)

Brown beef in 1tbsp oil,  Add onion, salt, pepper and rice and mix well, then add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.
Put the shredded cabbage in a baking dish and pour the beef/tomato mix over it and DO NOT STIR.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.  Serve sour cream as a garnish.

The original recipe for the casserole called for a can of tomato soup plus a can of water, but I don’t like the “other things” that are in there plus the amount of salt so I prefer plain tomatoes.

CSA 2011 Week 13 – Frost Leek

Last friday, CBC kept warning that there was a possibility of frost. It was such a beautiful day and we were preoccupied with the tasks at hand, so we shrugged it off. In one night we lost our tomatoes, zucchinis and peppers. It was a light frost, so our uncovered lettuce was OK. Last year the frost came around the same time – I was just looking at our newsletter archive and I had reported frost on week 13.

Frost is a fickle friend, roaming down from the north to remind us that change is a coming. You don’t see her for months and then she makes a cameo appearance in our late summer special. Then, like every winter, she moves in for what seems like ever. The good part is that the sweaty, muggy, work filled days are over for a while. The harder part is taking stock and realizing that if we haven’t pickled any peppers yet, it’s too late. And that can be sad. And you gotta find your long underwear again.

Another thing the frost brings is extra tasty vegetables. Although many of our more sensitive veggies go belly up at the first sign of winters wisps, the frost actually makes a lot of vegetables taste even better. Things like carrots, kale, and leeks (mmm, leeks) react to cold temperatures by producing more sugars. The sugars act as an ‘antifreeze’ so the vegetable may survive a subzero soiree.

In any case, there’s not much to compare to, because this is the first week that leeks will grace the share. We didn’t have a ton of leeks to plant this spring, so we won’t see them for long. We do want to warn you all about leek moth damage, which may or may not exist inside your particular leek. It is very difficult to tell if the leek moth is inside the leek or not, and we wanted to let you decide how much or little to throw out if you find some damage.

Finally, before the recipe, we’d like to notify you about a sweet little farm just across Mitch Owens Drive: our farming friend Paul Slomp is having an open house of his grass-fed cattle operation this Saturday, September 24th. If you can’t make it, check out Paul’s website anyway, as his beef is top-notch! Here are the details

Grazing Days

Who: Anyone who is interested – this is a family friendly event, although there will be walking in tall grass on uneven terrain.
Where: At the Grazing Days Farm, right across from Roots and Shoots. (6191 Mitch Owens Road, Ottawa – MAP)
When: 24 September 2011: Tour starting at 3:00pm, Potluck at 6:00pm

You can check out Paul’s website and grass-fed beef shares here www.grazingdays.com

This week we’re introducing another first for the season – leeks!

In your shares this week:

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce mix (not washed)
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Dill
  • Butternut squash
  • Radishes


Robin’s squash coconut curry soup

Bake your CSA squash (cut in half and cleaned, facedown on a baking sheet with olive oil, 300F, until soft). Meanwhile, fry 1 large onion (diced), 3 cloves garlic (diced) in a medium soup pot. Add .5 cup sliced carrots, 1 diced potato. Add 2 Tbsp water, cover, and allow to soften. When veggies are semi-cooked, add 1 cup stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer. When squash is ready, scoop the flesh into the pot. Careful, it’s hot. Add one can of coconut milk, and a Tbsp red thai curry paste. Add a tsp or two of honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend if so desired or enjoy the chunkiness of this exotic autumn”potage”. You may need to add water to achieve a desirable consistency.

Roasted Beets and Leeks

1lb small raw beetroot , peeled and halved
1 onion , peeled and quartered
.5 lbs leeks (quartered) , trimmed
2 large garlic cloves , peeled
4 tbsp olive oil
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 bay leaves
about 75ml balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas. Heat a heavy-based oven roasting pan on top of the stove and toss in the vegetables and garlic. Sprinkle with the oil. Stir until they start to brown. Add the herbs, sprinkle over the vinegar and season well. Put the pan in the oven and roast for about 15 mins, then reduce the heat to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and continue cooking for another 30 mins or so, stirring 2 to 3 times until the beetroots are tender. If the vegetables start to burn, add a little more oil and vinegar to the pan. Serve as a vegetable dish scattered with toasted pine nuts or as a main course with baby goat’s cheese, cooked white beans and rocket.