Tuesday, July 26, 2011

4th CSA Pick-up

It was a perfect harvest day today, overcast, not hot and a slight breeze. The bugs were still fierce but at least it wasn't hot. The shares today looked alot less green as many of our greens are now past their best days. We will be replanting them again soon so that we will be able to offer them again in the fall. We will still have some greens every week as the lettuce mix is still growing as well as the kale and swiss chard but we don't want to over whelm everyone as there is quite a bit of variety starting to become available.

The large share had lettuce mix, summer turnip, green cabbage, cilantro, dill, carrots, beets, green onions, broccoli and radish. The grab box had chinese cabbage, super sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, baby green zucchini and lots of the above veggies.

Ben was very excited to see broccoli that was ready to harvest in the field on the weekend. He was wearing his little bug coat and all of a sudden all I could hear was "broccoli, broccoli" and I looked up from what I was doing and there he was bent over a broccoli plant trying to munch on the broccoli through the mesh on his bug coat. Too funny!!

Green cabbage and cilantro

Here is a recipe sent in from a CSA member for Kohlrabi but she said it works well with the summer turnip as well.

3 small kohlrabi, peeled
4 large radishes
1 large carrot
2 tsp orange juice
2 tsp lime juice
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp walnut oil
1 tbsp snipped chives
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the veggies PAPER THIN into circles. Place in layers on a shallow serving dish. Combine the juices, salt and pepper, and oils and drizzle over. Let stand up to 1 hour at room temperature, then add the chives and walnuts and serve.

We didn't have walnuts or walnut oil and it was still really delicious! Enjoy!

Fresh Beet and Cilantro Salad

One bunch of beets
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped
¼ cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Wash beets and slice. Place sliced beets in pot, add enough water to cover. Add sugar and salt and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on a medium simmer until they are just fork tender – between 5 -10 minutes depending upon how thickly sliced the beets are. Drain.
Place cooked beets into bowl and cool completely in the refrigerator. Once chilled, take out and add lemon juice, chopped garlic, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, vinegar and stir till combined. Add additional salt if necessary and serve. Keeps well in fridge.

Thomas the travelling mechanic spent three full days with us here on the farm. We wondered what he would do for three days but he managed to get all of our tractors tuned up, all filters and liquids drained and replaced, the G investigated and cleaned up. He was a very humorous guy, he told us all kinds of stories from farms he had visited over the past two summers and showed us some great pictures. We were very lucky to have had an opportunity to have had Thomas visit us and do maintenance on our tractors and other equipment.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

3rd CSA pick-up

It was a very hot harvest day today, little wind, lots of sun and tonnes of black flies!! Luckily the bug coat keeps them away so I'm able to harvest without getting eaten alive.

The large share this week has strawberries, cilantro, baby beets, green onions, snap peas, swiss chard, red kale, arugual, mizuna, radish, baby carrots and spicy red mustard. The small share had lettuce mix, spinach, arugula, green onions, baby carrots, kohlrabi, summer turnip and strawberries. The grab box had chinese cabbage, dill, lettuce heads and lots of the above.

Sun ripened to perfection!!! Sweet and juicy. I had a hard time bringing them to the pick-up as I really wanted to eat them myself!!

Mizuna - Mild salad green or it can also be added to the tail end of a stir-fry

Swiss chard - Can be eaten raw, lightly steamed, sauteed or enjoyed in an omelet.

Spicy purple mustard - Chop and add to salad greens or enjoy sauteed with other greens. It loses alot of the spiceyness when its cooked

Most of the bins ready to get loaded back into the truck.

Picture perfect summer turnip

Everyone lending a hand

Such great helpers

Family shot of us all geared up in our bug coats!!

Perfect arugula - Add to a salad for a bit of a kick

Red kale - A member of the cabbage family and is very rich in vitamin A, C and has the highest protein content of all cultivate vegetables (source: From Asparagus to Zucchini)
Nancy Jane Pierce's Spicy Kale
kale leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves or use scapes if you have some
crushed red pepper flakes
1/3-1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add kale, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook 7 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Squeeze water out of the greens. Heat olive oil in the same pot and add garlic and red pepper flakes to taste. Sauté 1 minute, then stir in kale and chicken or vegetable broth. Simmer 4-5 minutes. makes 4-6 servings. (Source" From Asparagus to Zucchini)

Super sugar snap peas - Awesome snack food. You eat the pod and all.

Double rainbow, a great way to end a busy harvest day

If you have some Kohlabi kicking around from last week or in the small basket this week there are several possabilites in cooking. We have eaten it raw but I have a great cook book with the following recipe that I'm looking forward to trying.
Sauteed Kohlrabi
2 kohlrabi
2 tablespoons butter or light oil
1 medium onion, diced (or use a few of the green onions)
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (they suggest thyme, chives, sage, but try the dill or cilantry from the grab box)
1 teaspoon salt
Grate kohlrabi, place in colander, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 minutes to drain. Heat butter over medium heat, add onions, and sauté a few minutes. Stir in kohlrabi, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook 2 moree minutes. Remove from hat and stir in fresh herbs. makes 2-4 servings. (source: From Asparagus to Zucchini)

We had a nice birthday party for the boys this past weekend and we celebrated with our families and strawberry short cake!! Ben & Jake love strawberries!! It's hard to believe they are two already.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2nd CSA pick-up

We had a great rain last night, almost an inch. I could almost see the veggies growing thanks to all the moisture. This weeks share is still pretty green but the carrots are just starting to bulk up so hopefully next week's shares will have bright orange treats. I forgot to take a picture of the share but I have some individual ones from this morning.

This weeks large box contains lettuce mix, spinach, chinese cabbage, mixed turnips, kohlrabi, daikon radish, beet greens, green onions, lettuce head and garlic scapes. I made a really yummy fritatta last weekend with spinach, eggs, cheese and bacon. I just sautéed the spinach, fried the bacon, mixed up 10 eggs, poured the beaten eggs into the frying pan, put in the sautéed spinach and fried bacon and covered in cheese. I let it cook slowly on top of the stove and finished under the broiler, talk about yummy. It would work well with kale or swiss chard as well.

The beet greens will need to be washed extra well as they were bunched in the field and washed in the tubs but lots of dirt will still be hiding in there.

Chinese Cabbage - The following recipe was popular last season so I added it again

Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad
3 packages (3 oz each) chicken- flavour noodle soup mixture
8 cups shredded Chinese (Napa) cabbage (1 medium head)
4 cups cut-up cooked chicken
1 cup shredded carrots
1⁄2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup sesame-ginger dressing (purchased or use recipe below)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup wasabi peas (optional- available at Bulk Barn)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted (to toast, sprinkle in ungreased skillet. Cook over
medium low heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until browning begins, then stirring
constantly until golden brown.)

In 2 quart saucepan, heat 1 1⁄2 cups water to boiling over high heat. Break apart noodles before opening soup packages. Stir 2 of the seasoning packets and all of the noodles into boiling water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until noodles are tender. Do not drain.

In large bowl, toss noodles, cabbage, chicken, carrots and onion. In small bowl, stir together 1 cup of dressing, sugar, and remaining seasoning packet. Toss dressing with salad.

Cover and refrigerate. Stir in wasabi peas and sesame seed just before serving.

Ginger-Sesame Dressing
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.

Garlic scapes. We remove these scapes so that the garlic plant will put its energy into the bulb and not into these scapes. Just chop and use as you would garlic, so yummy!!

Swiss chard - awesome steamed lightly or sautéed with a bit of butter

Daikon Radish - a nice spicy white radish, try grating it over a salad or on top of spaghetti

Beautiful mixture of lettuce heads, all washed and ready for the cooler

Turnips, Hakurei and purple top. Many like the purple top raw just like the hakurei but I find it a bit stronger and like it better cooked. Also a few tiny carrots for the kids.

Kohlrabi - remove the leaves, peel the outer lawyer and eat the inside raw. It's amazing

Kale getting spun in the lettuce spinner

The start of today's harvest was very very muddy but thankfully the weather improved mid morning so we did not have to sloop around in the mud. We have washed all the greens but you might want to give them all an extra wash to make sure all the dirt is gone, especially with the beet greens

Muddy veggies

Some of our harvest knives

Lettuce getting a "bath"

Wash station, now under the tent

In other news, Ben & Jake will be turning two tomorrow. Wow, can it be true? Two years ago today I was picking potatoes and wondering what all the "baby" fuss was about. That seems like a very long time ago!!! A CSA member and I were chatting today about the dreaded terrible twos and I wonder if were headed for the terrible twos times two!!! Time will tell but they sure are awesome to have around. Not much work gets done but we sure do have fun going on our daily farm adventures.

Ben & Jake checking out their weekend baby sitting bunny rabbit. They had fun feeding her and trying to make her nibble on their fingers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1st 2011 CSA Pick-up

Well another season of CSA pick-ups started today with a full truck load of farm fresh veggies headed for the Charlottetown deliveries. It was the perfect harvest day, overcast all morning which allowed me to get all the veggies picked before the heat of the sun came out to try and wilt everything. The kale and arugula did get harvested after lunch so it did not get as much time in the cooler as the rest of the greens.

Not a bad view for my Charlottetown pick-up location

It was great to meet all the new members as well as to see old friends. The large share had lettuce mix, spinach, hakurei turnips, bok choy, arugula, red russian kale, green onions and a black seeded simpson lettuce head. It was also supposed to include a bunch of Giant Red Mustard but there was just no room in the bins so it went in the grab box which also had mizuna, rhubarb, radish and Chinese cabbage. There was lots of grabbing going on so I think people enjoyed the extra selection. The grab box is nice as we can offer those veggies that are not that plentiful as a grab option. The radishes were the most popular grab item today. The picture of the share this week did not turn out that great but as you can see it was quite green.

My new favourite vegetable, hakurei turnip. I'm loving it raw, its really crunchy, sweet and delicious. The greens can be eaten as well

Giant Red Mustard - Gives your salad an extra kick

Beautiful Black Seeded Simpson head lettuce

Bok Choy - Great start to a wonderful stir-fry. Chop the stalks and leaves separate. Saute or stir-fry the stalks first and then add the leaves just at the end. The stalks give a really nice crunch

Green onions - great chopped into salads or scrambled eggs or my favourite with egg salad sandwiches

Bins all filled up

Oh so spicy Arugula - try it on pizza or on steak or just toss in your salad. Its not everyone's favourite so just test a leaf first before you make a big meal.

Red Russian Kale - super food!! You can chop it up and add it to your salads or its also great added into a quiche or frittata.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone Thursday at the Summerside pick-up.

In other news our 1951 Allis Chalmers G cultivating tractor was delivered to the farm on Saturday. We needed to get a new battery for it which I got tonight and Derek is out as I type driving around in the dark. It's quite the little rig, "cute" is what everyone says when they see it for the first time. Ben & Jake refer to it as "mommy's G". We have high hopes for this little tractor to be able to do the weeding that the eco-weeder can not. We need to rig up some cultivators for this season but we are looking at buying a basket weeder next season. The highlight of this tractor is that the engine is behind you so you have full visibility of the crops you are weeding, just awesome.

Ben giving the G a good look over

Going for a spin - quite noisy and very smoky, but still awesome

I think the Ford is feeling a little "blue"