September Song

 

Tomato Still Life

Heritage & Cocktail Tomato Still Life

 

Dear Farmer, I must confess. I have a few zucchini living in the back of my fridge. Am I a bad person?
Dear Member, No, you are not a bad person. Here is a recipe for the Best Zuchinni Bread Ever Make it and freeze it and think of us in January.
Dear Farmer, I love tomatoes, but I can’t seem to eat them all up before the next basket arrives. Is there something wrong with me?
Dear Member, You may be normal. Here’s a recipe for a Quick Tomato Sauce that you can make that will leave you wanting more.

September is full of change in the garden. Summer vegetables are waning (no more zuchs & cukes), the tomatoes are slowing down and the beans are on their way out. The fall vegetables are gearing up and with this heat, the autumnal bounty is coming on fast.

As you’ve discovered, we grow different types of tomatoes: cherries, cocktail and the colourful, and sometimes oddly shaped, heritage varieties. The cocktails are great for salads as they hold their shape. We’ve also discovered that they are very good roasted. Just cut them in half, place them in a 9×13” cake pan, sprinkle with sliced garlic, drizzle with a little olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast at 325 for 90 minutes. Keep the windows closed as the scent is certain to attract uninvited dinner guests. Try them on top of a toasted baguette with crumbled feta and the herb of your choice. Close your eyes and be transported to Provence!

The heritage tomatoes are the best for sandwiches, and along with the corn, we’ve sat groaning and moaning on the front porch on several occasions. The corn was from Mensen’s Family Farm in Lynhurst. They are a Memorial Centre Market vendor. If you want more, get there soon.

We’d appreciate it if you returned you tomato baskets to us. Just leave them in the tote.

The peppers have been amazing! Again, we have several varieties and all are sweet, not hot. The tiny ones are called “lunchbox” and somehow kids will want to take them in their lunches? Maybe not. We love the colour and they are great sautéed or grilled.

For the third year in a row, we’ve been unable to achieve much in the way of an eggplant crop. You may have received the odd guy in your basket. They’ve been taking up valuable real estate in the greenhouse. Next year, they’re getting kicked to the curb. This variety is called “Millionaire”. I have a feeling this label isn’t intended for the farmer!

We were excited to present our first melon crop this week. The early baskets got sweet little watermelons. Today and next week’s shares will receive cantaloupe. Figuring out the best time to pick can be tricky. Store the cantaloupe in your fridge the minute you receive it as they are very ripe!

The lessening light is hard on our summer lettuce blend. This year, we’re trying something a little different. We’re growing a variety of fall lettuces, Asian greens, kales and other edible plants and mixing them together for a colourful blend of different tastes and textures. Feel free to review and report back. Straight out of the bag, you might find the flavours strong, but once dressed, they become more subtle. The leaves are larger, too. You may need a knife and fork to eat your salad from here on in! Try adding fresh garlic to your dressing. Don’t forget a sprinkling of sea salt, too, which makes the greens softer.

There’s five weeks left of our season. Coming soon to baskets: fall kale, beets, spinach, winter squash, and more carrots! Until then, happy savouring!

50 Shades of Pink

50 Shades of Pink

Bright Lights Swiss Chard; Eat a Rainbow!

 

It’s hard to believe but we’re at the half way point! The mornings are chilly, the crickets are singing and the light is changing. And so is the garden! Here come the mid-season favourites! We’ve added a partner for the sungold cherries. His name is Sakura and we think he tastes great, too! Remember never to put tomatoes in the fridge.  The field tomatoes are starting to ripen and they will appear in baskets soon. The peppers are in full swing and the eggplants are slowly coming on. The potatoes are late to appear, but well worth the wait. Yellow and green beans will take turns and will be around into September. We say good-bye to the beets temporarily, but a fall variety is already up and growing.  What a relief to have a fresh crop of garlic; it’s so crisp and juicy!

And… there’s still more bounty to look forward to: corn, melons, winter squash, fall crops of kale, spinach, beets and broccoli.

This week’s herb is a bouquet of parsley, rosemary and thyme. All compliment the potatoes and are terrific sprinkled on grilled veg. The new green is Swiss Chard. It can be eaten fresh, or lightly steamed , but can easily replace spinach in recipes. It is chockfull of vitamins. One cup of cooked Swiss chard provides approximately 716% of vitamin K needs, 214% of vitamin A, 53% of vitamin C, 38% of magnesium, 29% of manganese, 27% of potassium, 22% of iron, 17% of vitamin E. Take that kale!

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Lunch on the porch by Johanna

The French lads have left, but now we’re joined by an Austrian girl, Johanna. Johanna is taking a nutrition course and is required to work on a farm outside of her country. Lucky us! She is a fantastic cook and has been treating us to lunches that should be on magazine covers. I haven’t been able to convince her that flip-flops are not the best garden footwear. However, she discovered on her own that picking zucchini in a bikini is not a good idea!

Farm Camp

Friends are offering children a really unique summer camp experience. Operating out of the well-established Dowling family farm on Howe Island (home of Root Radical CSA and Doublejay Farms), Rad Kids is offering a one week day camp for children aged 6-10. The theme is “The Ecology of a Farm”. Each day will involve a variety of activities using the “breathe in, breathe out” idea (active time followed by quieter activity, repeat!) including farmaerobics, yoga, vegetable seeding, weeding, and harvesting, food and farm arts & crafts projects, observation of farm animals (chickens, dogs, and cows), workshops with farmers, drama activities, nature walks and more.

Camp runs from August 24th-28th, with daily hours 8am-5pm, and transportation is offered from downtown Kingston.  E-mail radkidsradkids@gmail.com ASAP to express interest and receive registration forms.

Burger Bash

Sunday, August 16th, is burger day at the Memorial Centre Farmer’s Market.  Burgers will be made using as many local ingredients as possible.  In addition to local beef & pork, a veggie option will be offered.  Toppings will include local goat cheese, brie, relishes & preserves.  Even the buns will be made by the famous Goaty Girls. The grill is hot from 11am-1pm.

Until next time, happy savouring!

 

Garden of Eatin’

Little Farm of Horrors!

Little Farm of Horrors!

This garden is the ultimate!  We’re not sure if it’s the weather, our soil being in balance after 8 years of love and attention, the Parisian influence or Mercury in retrograde, but we are overwhelmed with the size of the plants and the yield.  You must come and see it for yourselves!

It’s short notice, but we invite all to have a garden stroll this Monday evening between 6:30-8pm.

We’ll serve iced tea and zucchini bread.  You can meet our wonderful helpers and enjoy a mid-summer’s eve in the country.  To get here, drive 20 minutes north of the 401 on Montreal St./Battersea Rd.  Turn right at the Battersea store.  We’re at 1863.  Drive past the bungalow.  The garden awaits!

 

 

Product of France!

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July is the month when the garden kicks in to overdrive. Bees are a buzzin’, vines are taking over and the promise of the first field tomato is visible, even though it’s still green. We say good-bye to spring vegetables, like radishes and spinach, as we gear up for zuchs, carrots, potatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers. Little Italy, our brimming greenhouse, is a sight to behold. The sun gold cherry tomatoes, a CSA favourite, are just starting and should appear in baskets by month’s end.
We harvested our first zucchinis this week. At this point it’s manageable. I know it’s only a matter of time before the swearing starts. We have 50 plants, which seems crazy. It is crazy. But we like to harvest them small and like all cucurbits, it’s only a matter of time before pests catch up and take over. There are many types of zuchs, though we mostly see the generic dark green skinny guys in the grocery store. This year, we are growing Zephyr. Don’t be thrown off by his pale appearance. He’s very tasty.
Like zuchs, carrots grown organically stand out compared to their conventional counterparts. This early variety is particularly flowery in our opinion with undertones of violets. What do you think? We judge vegetables like wine!
The beets are called “Baby” and can be boiled or roasted. The greens can be steamed. Topped with butter, S&P and a little vinegar, they make my Ukrainian heart sing. To keep both carrots and beets firm, remove the tops ASAP.
The sugar snap peas are starting this week in small amounts which will surely whet your appetite for more! You may want to de –string them by pulling from the stem end down to the tail.
Even though they aren’t on the menu until the 4th week of July, the cucumbers have found us today so we’ve slipped one into each basket as a special surprise.
This is the year of the brassica as conditions seem to be what they enjoy the most. Who knew? We have an insane amount of kale and invite you to bring a machete and help yourself if you would like more for processing or juicing. We’ll be turning it under next week. Fall varieties will appear in the baskets in late September. We’re excited to have a bumper crop of broccoli as it is a very challenging vegetable to grow. We leave a few leaves on as they are edible and can be chopped up into a salad. The cabbage is a European variety and is soft and sweet and makes a fantastic coleslaw. It also stores really well if you are unable to eat it all within a couple of weeks. Speaking of European varieties……
The French boys are here! Pierre Alain and Edouard from Reims, an hour outside of Paris, are a welcome addition to the team. The weeds have never been so threatened, and, like our daughters, seemingly fall down at their feet! When he is not in school, Edouard is a champagne server at the house of Pommery. Imagine!
For the first time in 8 years, I’m going to leave the farm for a four day mini-vacay. I’m going to Manitoba to celebrate the 90th birthday of dear Uncle Bill. Some of you may remember him from last year’s newsletters. He was our number one farm hand! Will is very nervous about me leaving. I may find only his feet sticking out buried by cukes and zuchs upon my return! Until then, enjoy the bounty!

Hail To The Kale

 

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According to the master plan, peas and broccoli should be in the baskets this week. They are in the field, but they are delayed due to the drought earlier in the Spring. Luckily, we have lots of kale and turnip to hold us over! Believe me, we’ve been on a mission to find new and interesting recipes to deal with the kale bounty. We made Kale and Lemon Pasta with Toasted Walnuts today and it is sure to please many. Above is a photo we took of the dish.  It can be made in 30 minutes or less and its picky teenager approved. We made it using garlic scapes instead of garlic cloves. If you shop at No Frills, try the Molisano brand of pasta. It’s a little more expensive, but it is superior. Que bueno!

We were pleased to hear reports of members making use of the turnip greens. Some have made soup with the bulbs and others have roasted them.

What’s new in the basket this week?
We had fun picking strawberries at Fruition yesterday and were glad to have beat the rain. The air smelled so sweetly of ripe berries that it reminded me of the cotton candy scent at the fair. The season is short, so if you want more for jam, you’d better head out there soon. I ordered a bottle of whipping cream from Limestone Creamery to top the berries for when the Parisians arrive, which is tomorrow.  What a difference cream without additives makes!  The girls have been primping and priming for a week. They even vacuumed!

Garlic scapes are the curly green stems. Scapes are the actual stem and flower bud of garlic. It needs to be removed in order to allow the bulb to develop properly. The bonus is a delicious vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. Our favourite is to lightly oil and then grill them. They also make a great pesto and garlic butter. Try them chopped into scrambled eggs, in salad, or in the middle of a grilled cheese.

The little herb bundle is summer savoury. We like it tucked underneath chicken skin, or used in dressing. It also goes well with pork and with roasted potatoes. Green beans are this herbs best friend! Click here for the lowdown on summer savoury.

Housekeeping
We may have made a mistake in choosing our new containers. White probably isn’t the best colour to try to keep clean and the frames are starting to rust! Kindly keep them out of the rain if possible.

Every share should have received a jar of maple syrup. Please let us know if you were missed.

Farm News

Greenhouse #1 is filled with cherry tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, rosemary and thyme.  We’re now calling it, Little Eataly.  There are lots of blossoms on the tomatoes and even some fruit!  We can’t wait for those little golden balls of sunshine.

Until next time,

Happy Savouring!