Newsletters

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers


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

Tips:

  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.

Garlic

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.

Chard

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 Week 4 – The Return of the Heat

News:

The heat is back in style! Today the mercury is reaching for the sky, and we’re debating a mid day trip to the river. If only there were a lake at our doorstep!

With the heat comes the heat-loving crops, and they are all stretching they’re legs and starting to really grow! That means Beans AND Cucumbers in this week’s share!!! It means the Tomatoes and Peppers are on their way! It means the share is starting to get real yummy and fun to cook with.

Recipes this week: Lauren’s Chard Pizza, Fresh Shoots’ Pasta, and Creamy Beet Salad – See below for more info!

 

We eat lunch all together in the shade of the pine trees beside our mobile farm kitchen. Lauren is the cook on most days and we all revel in the quality (and quantity!) of food that emanates forth come noon-time. Although we wouldn’t recommend eating like the farm staff do (unless you’re burning, like, 6000 calories a day), you gotta try this pizza. It involves making the dough, and uses up chard quite nicely. And as you can see, if you eat enough of it, you too can be a professional (Ultimate) athlete!

 

Our new favourite cookbook is fast becoming a modern classic. Plenty is a mostly vegetarian work that makes seemingly dull veggie shine in delicious combinations. Jess has been pretty inspired by it (and she’s a pretty fine cook to start), and our meals have gone up a level because of it. The fresh pasta and the beet salad are inspired by the flavours of this cookbook, and we hope you enjoy them.

 

Verdant fields of Green We had a nice visit yesterday eve with Robin’s sister, who comes out to revel in the many shades of green that roll over the farm at this time of year. Here we are in the beans patch, which has come to fruition (literally!) this week, looking over all those yummy onions.

Buckwheat is ready for mowing: Once the buckwheat reaches the flowering stage, it’s a battle of nerves to get the most organic matter out of the crop without allowing it to go to seed. You see, the flower is the beginning of the seed, and once the seed is viable this valuable cover crop becomes a major source of future Buckwheat weeds. So we have to walk to the fine line – let it grow as much as possible, but till it in before it seeds up.
Zukes in the grass. . .  Robin was proud of his potato cultivation last week, and while they are still nice and weed free, we can’t say the same for the Zucchinis, which have a good mat of grass growing in between each bed. Thankfully we planted these Zukes into a biodegradable mulch, which protects the plants themselves from any weed intrusion. At this point our only recourse is to mow that stuff with the weedeater and hope there’s not too much more rain. . .
The beans are here! These delicious treats are a true sign of summer, as they are one of the real ‘heat loving’ crops in the garden. The fact that they are ready signals that tomatoes and peppers are not too far behind!
Snapdragons – Jess’ flowers continue to impress, and were a beautiful complement to a beautiful ceremony we attended over the weekend when two of our friend were married. The calls keep coming in for organic flowers, and we hope this is the turning point were people realize that it’s not just food that should be organic. . . #organicflowers #localflowers !
Art for money – I got to hang out with my 7-year-old nephew last weekend, and he has gotten into the art business. Specifically he wanted me to buy one of his drawings for $5. I looked them over and asked him if he had about farming. He went off and came back 20 minutes later with this little treasure, which I am hoping will be worth a cool million when he makes it big in a few years.
The new lansdowne market is going strong now, though there is controversy about the new location, and more than a few customers have mentioned their lack of enthusiasm for the commercial nature of the new development. Have you been to the new Lansdowne yet? What do you think? We’d love to hear all about it!!

CSA Week 3 – Happy Canada Day!

IMG_1805

Recipe: Garlic Scape Pesto!

News:

Canada Day – The first break of the summer, and it falls on a CSA day of course. It’s only happened once before in Roots and Shoots’ history, and it sent us into conniptions like lemmings on a solar eclipse. So we moved time itself, and now Wednesday has become Tuesday, and half of you lucky sharemembers get to pick up today instead of tomorrow. Don’t Forget!!!

IMG_1775

Olivia has become the defacto transplant manager, which is a huge relief to the rest of the farm team, cause now we just say “transplant” and all of a sudden the Landini’s hooked up and a team of three are barreling down the bed, laying out plants as they go.

Broccoli! Jess called the broccoli harvest this week, as the planting is starting to sprout heads like a hydra. It’ll definitely be in today’s share though it may be an option, (along with another treat!!!), for Thursday’s share.

Zukes for all, and all for zukes: As the weather heats up the zuke harvests just seem to accelerate. It’s one of those crops where you spend the first couple weeks wondering if you’ll ever get anything from the plants, and the next two months wishing it would stop! This means getting out there every two days to ensure the zucchinis don’t get gargantuan. It also means a nice supply of zukes for the CSA, which is why we share some great recipes that will help use them up. . .
Potatoes are growing. . .  Robin is proud of his potato patch as he’s been staying on top of the cultivation this year. The goal is to do it frequently enough that hand weeding is unnecessary, which has yet to be accomplished on R&S Farm. In the picture below you can see how he did it, on the old Farmall Super A, which hails from 1955, making it the oldest thing on the farm, aside from some of the rocks and trees.
What a sweet tractor! With little effort we can weed everywhere but that thin line right around the plants. If the potatoes outgrow the weeds a little, we can start hilling them, which will take care of whatever weeds are around the plants!
Danny in his domain Danny has several domains actually – one being the Westboro dropoff, the second being Lansdowne market, and the third is the wash station/cold room. He manages the flow of veggies into the pack station and out to the world, which is why Cailyn is hanging from his every word. We’re not sure what he’s saying here, but if you can think of something funny, email it to me and we’ll facebook it.
B-b-b-b-b-b-b Beets! I won’t make any beats puns here, which could encompass anything from headphones to hip-hop to Apple’s new streaming music service. I’ll just say that these beets are gorgeous and we’re pretty psyched to have them in the third week. I think that may be a record in fact.
Tomatoes are getting a little out of control, and so even when the weather’s nice, we might find a crew of four or five madly pruning. The pruning process involves removing “suckers” and leaves, so that the plants stay slim and focussed on producing fruits. Two whole greenhouses takes a toll on our schedule though!

CSA Week 3 – 2015

IMG_1805

Recipe: Garlic Scape Pesto!

News:

Canada Day – The first break of the summer, and it falls on a CSA day of course. It’s only happened once before in Roots and Shoots’ history, and it sent us into conniptions like lemmings on a solar eclipse. So we moved time itself, and now Wednesday has become Tuesday, and half of you lucky sharemembers get to pick up today instead of tomorrow. Don’t Forget!!!

IMG_1775

Olivia has become the defacto transplant manager, which is a huge relief to the rest of the farm team, cause now we just say “transplant” and all of a sudden the Landini’s hooked up and a team of three are barreling down the bed, laying out plants as they go.

Broccoli! Jess called the broccoli harvest this week, as the planting is starting to sprout heads like a hydra. It’ll definitely be in today’s share though it may be an option, (along with another treat!!!), for Thursday’s share.

Zukes for all, and all for zukes: As the weather heats up the zuke harvests just seem to accelerate. It’s one of those crops where you spend the first couple weeks wondering if you’ll ever get anything from the plants, and the next two months wishing it would stop! This means getting out there every two days to ensure the zucchinis don’t get gargantuan. It also means a nice supply of zukes for the CSA, which is why we share some great recipes that will help use them up. . .
Potatoes are growing. . .  Robin is proud of his potato patch as he’s been staying on top of the cultivation this year. The goal is to do it frequently enough that hand weeding is unnecessary, which has yet to be accomplished on R&S Farm. In the picture below you can see how he did it, on the old Farmall Super A, which hails from 1955, making it the oldest thing on the farm, aside from some of the rocks and trees.
What a sweet tractor! With little effort we can weed everywhere but that thin line right around the plants. If the potatoes outgrow the weeds a little, we can start hilling them, which will take care of whatever weeds are around the plants!
Danny in his domain Danny has several domains actually – one being the Westboro dropoff, the second being Lansdowne market, and the third is the wash station/cold room. He manages the flow of veggies into the pack station and out to the world, which is why Cailyn is hanging from his every word. We’re not sure what he’s saying here, but if you can think of something funny, email it to me and we’ll facebook it.
B-b-b-b-b-b-b Beets! I won’t make any beats puns here, which could encompass anything from headphones to hip-hop to Apple’s new streaming music service. I’ll just say that these beets are gorgeous and we’re pretty psyched to have them in the third week. I think that may be a record in fact.
Tomatoes are getting a little out of control, and so even when the weather’s nice, we might find a crew of four or five madly pruning. The pruning process involves removing “suckers” and leaves, so that the plants stay slim and focussed on producing fruits. Two whole greenhouses takes a toll on our schedule though!