Tuesday, September 18, 2012

13th CSA Week

It was great to see everyone who was able to come out to Saturday's CSA farm day.  Ben & Jake loved having so many people at "their farm".  I think they thought we were having a birthday party because they kept asking where the balloons were and when we got to have cake.  Pretty disappointed little boys when everyone went home and they realised there was no party.  But on the upside there was a bouncy castle which was awesome, thanks Sara, Duane and Angus for letting us borrow that for Saturday's event!!!

This weeks large share has lettuce mix, potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, cooking celery, cabbage and cucumbers.  The grab box had a few broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, beets, kale, dill, cilantro, hot peppers, parsley, basil and more of the above veggies.  As the cool weather returns veggie growth slows down quite a bit.  The zucchini pretty much stopped growing since the end of last week and I could not believe that I didn't have enough today to put in the boxes, sure is a different story from a few weeks ago when I took over 100 to the soup kitchen!!!  But I guess that's what seasonal eating is all about.  

Weighing out tomatoes

Today's grab boxes.  Towels are used to keep the veggies from wilting

I have to say I really love the view from my second Tuesday pick-up location at the Culinary.  So beautiful there!!!
Peppers just keep getting better every week.  More and more red peppers.  Yummy
Tomatoes are still doing awesome but they sure have slowed down ripening.  If the frost can hold off we sure have a tonne of tomatoes left to ripen.  We have another planting of broccoli and cauliflower yet to mature so we can still look forward to a few weeks of eating from those plants.  The planting we were picking this week is pretty much cleaned up so we might have to wait a week or two until the next planting is all ready. 

There should have some new greens coming along soon, I planted arugula, tatsoi, purple mustard, red kale, bok choy and chinese cabbage about 4 weeks ago and they are growing quite well.  They are all under row covers to protect from flea beetles and to help insulate a bit from the cooler winds.  I had hoped to have had mixed hardy greens today but when we went to harvest they were still way too small.  Maybe next week!!  We will for sure have radishes next week and the baby turnips are doing really well as well.  So, still a few new things to come yet. 

Cooking celery.  It's definitely not your grocery store celery.  We have not had much luck in the past with celery except for last year, it was awesome but it did rain like every other day and celery likes "wet feet" so last year was a great celery year.  This year not so much.  But what it lacks in the looks department it sure makes up for in intense celery flavour.  It's quite tough and strong so eating raw might be a bit much but its amazing in soups, stews, chili's and what I discovered on the weekend, salsa!!!  It added a really nice flavour to my salsa and I can't wait to make another big batch this weekend.
Cooking celery
I made a new salsa recipe on the weekend and it has what I would consider a few "cheater" elements like tomato paste and thickening with cornstarch at the end but what mattered to me was that I only had to cook it for 15 minutes and the end result was, amazing!!!  Grammy also said she put all of the tomatoes in the food processor, no peeling or seeding.  I thought she was a bit crazy so I only did 1/2 the tomatoes in the processor and half the old school way of peeling and seeding.  Well, the food processor took about 30 seconds for 6 cups of tomatoes and the other way took at least 1/2 hour.  I thought that maybe the skins would still be there (and I do not enjoy skins in my salsa) but no skins at all, brilliant.  Next time I make this I'm putting all 12 cups in the food processor!!!  Way too easy and saves so much work and mess.
Leeks.  Do you like them?  We are going to be having leeks for the remainder of the CSA pick-ups.  If your not sure what to do with them just use them like an onion.  This hasn't been our best onion year so just chop up some leeks and try them instead.  If you find you can't keep up they freeze really well.   I just chop the white/light green parts up in to 1/4" rounds and put them on a cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer.  Once they are frozen then I put them in a freezer bag, that way they are not all frozen together and its easier to take them out and use them as you need them.  They make a great addition to any stock or any stir-fry.  My favourite is still potato leek soup!!  But if your not a fan just leave them behind and take something else from the grab boxes that you'd rather use.  No sense taking home veggies that you don't want.

We had a great time on Sunday at open farm day.  We went to Ranald MacFarlane's farm, Pleasant Pork, in Fernwood.  The boys had a wicked time.  There were dairy cows being milked, a pig about to give birth, baby pigs running around outside in their pens and big giant pigs sitting in the mud.  There were chickens and roosters running around and a wack of farm toys to play with.  We must have been there for over two hours and they still did not want to go.  If you get a chance next year make sure to stop by their farm, its a great place for kids to just be kids on a farm!!!

Pleasant Pork

Feeding the pigs apples

Derek's brother dropped off a new bike for the boys.  They sure love it.  They say its their new "motorcycle" and insist that theirs is faster.  Too funny. 
Never too young to learn

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