Farm Blog

Winter Cooking

Phew. Holidays are over!

I don’t know about you, but I’m craving some clean food.

I used to love spending hours cooking each evening, but I don’t have the time I used to.

So how do I get quick, healthy food that is also seasonal? it’s a tall order, but with some basic kitchen staples and a bit of planning, it’s totally doable.

My kitchen staples are tahini, rice, olive oil, sesame oil, lentils, glass noodles, udon noodles, kimchi or sauerkraut and all the vegetables in our coldroom.

A combo of rice or noodles, baked veg, tahini sauce, kimchi and cooked lentils is an easy go to around here.

Tahni sauce is full of protien and iron and adds a great flavour to a bowl of rice.

Winter Cooking
an easy dressing that will make a winter bowl of veggies and rice delicious .
Recipe type: Tahini Dressing
Cuisine: seasonal
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • pinch of fine sea salt, or to taste.
  • ½ cup well-stirred tahini
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice or lime juoice
  • ¼ cup water.
  • ¼ cup olive oil.
  • 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  1. put all ingredients in a wide mouth container (like a mason jar). Use emulsion blender to blend well.
  2. store in fridge.

if you don’t have kimchi on hand (we make our own version for personal use), you can marinate a small onion and watermelon radish in a pinch of salt and a 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar.

You should also try your hand at making your own fermented “kimchi” inspired saurkraut

Here is a blog that is better than mine that lists some other easy bowls that you can whip up.

It’s All About Rice Bowl – 6 Beloved Rice Bowl Ideas


Turnip the beets

A big staple for us are root based salads. Turnips feature prominently in these dishes. I know! Really, turnip? But these things are actually super sweet and crunchy. Mixed with our beautiful watermelon radishes, this salad is gorgeous, crunchy and full of nutrients.


Turnip Radish Salad
An easy salad with bright flavour and sweet crunch
  • 1 large purple top turnip
  • 3 small watermelon turnips
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ cup of julienned cabbage
  • ¼ cilantro or cilantro sprouts (optional)
  • dressing
  • 1 Tbls of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbls of apple cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbls of olive oil
  • 1 Tbls sesame seed oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • salt to taste
  1. Put together dressing first, allowing the onion to marinate.
  2. peel cut watermelon radish in half. slice as thinly as possible. Peel turnip and juliene. Juliene cabbage. Toss together with dressing. Its best if this salad marinates for at least half an hour before serving.

This is also an amazing recipe that uses winter radishes. You could replace some of the radishes with the turnip.


This is another great recipe using beets.  A perfect side dish for the holidays!

Holiday Beets
This easy salad is as beautiful to eat as it is too see. I love to use Milkhouse dairy's creamy sheep feta (available at the Ottawa Farmers Market). You could also replace a beet with a carrot or two.
  • Salad
  • 3-4 medium sized beets
  • ⅓-1/4 C feta cheese
  • ½ cup of cooked lentils (green or black)
  • 1 green onion
  • ½ C juliened spinach
  • 2 tbls of toasted sesame seeds
  • Dressing
  • 4T olive oil
  • 2T cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1stp cumin
  • zest of half a lemon
  • salt&pepper
  1. Slice beets into think medalions. Toss with small amount of olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until they begin to curl
  2. Finely chop onion. Toss with dressing ingredients and lentils. Set aside to marinate.
  3. Once the beets are cooked, add to marinating onions and dressing. Toss in Sesame seeds and spinach and top with crumbled feta. Serve warm.
  4. Serve!

2017 Summer Share Summary

The 2017 farm season is pretty much a wrap! We have compiled our data and put together a summary for you to see the value of what we included in our share this year. Our prices are based on market prices.

Full Share Half Share
Total Share Value $728.50 $364
You paid $594 $324
Discount $ $134.50 $40.00
Discount % 18.46% 10.99%
weekly average $40.47 $40.44


To see a breakdown of what was in your basket week-to-week, please open this attachment: CSA_2017_Values

If you really want to get farm-nerdy with us, we’ve included a summary of each crop below.

Onions and Garlic (alliums)

We had a bit too many onions last year, so we reduced our planting a bit. Unfortunately, due to the cold weather, the onions did not size up the way they have in previous years, which means our yields were significantly down. We will probably go back to our 2016 seeding numbers next year, because more is better than less in this case. The big win in 2017 was the transition to active drying of the onions, which saved a ton of time from the big harvest to being able to bag and store the onions. We also saved a lot of our garlic through active drying, as many of our neighbours lost their garlic after harvest from all the moisture this year.


The brassicas this year really loved the heavy soil to the north of the farm house. They also loved the cooler temps and the surplus water. We messed up a bit with Kale plantings, but still had plenty for the CSA – just had to short wholesale and markets a little bit. Kohlrabis were productive but folks don’t seem to know what to do with them, more education needed! A big success was coming out of the fall with loads of turnips, black radish, and watermelon radish. Better would have been more rutabaga, but there’s always next year!


We skipped greenhouse cucumbers this year, which was a wise move, and still had more cukes on offer than last year. Sadly the season for them was very short! Too much water and cool temps were responsible for lots of disease in the plants, and they succumbed quickly. . . The zukes were just as plentiful as ever, and we did a better job of managing successions this year, with three different plantings keeping up the production until frost. The winter squash was both productive and delicious, though we had some issues with some of the pumpkins going off quickly. We won’t be growing that variety again! Otherwise the mix and variety were great this year, and everyone’s happy that we got rid of the ol’ acorn squash.




The Roots

Carrot quality was superb, but quantities were down significantly. The cold weather and rain kept our fall plantings from reaching full maturity before we ran out of heat and light. The carrots harvester made all the difference in getting them all out of the field though. We are still amazed at how very sweet the carrots are from this soil!

Beets were much better than last year, in terms of quantity, though we have to learn to balance the amount we give the CSA. . .


Yields were down from last year, once again due to cold weather, but we were happy with the quality and the varieties. The dreaded potato beetle showed up but not with enough force for them to effect yields.



We only grow tomatoes in the greenhouse. It takes a lot of management and time trellising and pruning, but it is worth it- we had a great tomato year, despite the cool weather. We skipped grafting them this year, which was a mistake. Blight and mould took a hold quickly and decreased yields slightly. Perhaps we will grow some canning tomatoes next year!




We grew a lot of really nice blooms this year. We have decided to stop doing weddings and grocery store bouquets. We’re undecided about growing any flowers at all, but we have a lot of leftover seed so we may throw some in for wholesale markets. We love having flowers in the fields for the beauty and for the pollinators!




CSA Week 4 2017

Dear <<First Name>>,

This week is WEEK B. Full Shares and Half Share ‘B’ pickup this week. Half Share A picks up next week.


Three Great Recipes – Fresh Shoots PastaCreamy Beet Salad, and Chard Pizza!

If you missed it last week, Collard Wraps are all the rage right now! There’s a great recipe in the last newsletter.

And Radish haters can use up those spicy little orbs in Jess’ new recipe: Spring Couscous!

It’s getting hotter but the rain ain’t slowing down! But we have carrots and zucchini this week, so things are looking up!

In the Share this Week:

Garlic Scapes
Chard OR Collards
Bunching Onions
Head Lettuce

Carrots are here! The second planting is now ready which means non-stop carrots from now on. “Phew” say the farmers at the farm with carrots in the logo!

Radishes again??!! Some of you love them snazzy and spicy globes, though we’re sure some of you out there may not be so hot on them. So we’re packing extra kale in each trade box, as well as other goodies. Check out Jess’ new recipe above for more radish-y inspiration!
I guess our soil here grows some good squash, because we have another bumper yield of squash foliage and flowers this year. Hopefully the big plants can resist the advances of the cucumber beetle, as bug pressure is pretty high this year!
Danny’s rocking the pack shed yet again. He won’t be in Westboro again this week (boo) so he can get home early for the baby (yay), but Robin will hopefully make do for this week anyway.
Who’s happier than all you CSA members AND us farmers about carrots being ready? A certain jr. farmer expresses her delight at the orange development.
The zone in between the caterpillar tunnels really benefits from added heat and reduced windiness. Jess has planted 4 varieties of mint that she uses in fragrant bouquets, and which you’ll see in the CSA in coming weeks!
Sprout is back from the vet’s with a whole life of not having puppies ahead of her. We”d like it if she also mellows out a bit, and the fact that she’s not pouncing on Frances the cat as he saunters by gives us hope.
The kale patch. Looking good there, kale patch.