Keep updated on all that is happening around Thiessen Farms!


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CSA 2021 – Week 10

This week we begin the 2nd half of our CSA program for 2021.

Saturday will mark the halfway point of our Georgetown farmers’ market.

Yesterday was the 1st of August.

Summer is really half over!

It has been a good summer so far. I know farmers have the reputation of always complaining – especially about the weather – but this year we don’t have much to complain about. While it started out dry, we have recently had some timely rains. After several dry summers this is a welcome change and we continue to be amazed at the growth we are seeing on our vegetables now and the amount of crop they are producing. Eggplant, zucchini, kohlrabi have all been especially productive. Blackberries, tomatoes, peppers … are all looking great so far too. We have been fortunate to have escaped the extreme storms that have hit some areas.

Our CSA is working well – we have a great group of members who are enjoying the vegetable box each week. Business is good at our farmers’ market – Amy & I always look forward to Saturday and seeing all our friends in Georgetown. Our summer work crew of 2 high school students is top notch. And a few faithful volunteers continue to show up and weed weekly.

We are anticipating and looking forward to an equally good 2nd half of the summer!

What’s in the box?

Baby fennel, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, beets, fresh herbs, lettuce, onions, green onions, garlic, zucchini.

extras – eggplant, kohlrabi & sunflowers.

We have reached the height of the summer growing season and this week’s CSA box reflects that, brimming with all sorts of fresh vegetables – plus sunflowers!

It is a colourful box too! The cucumbers might be green or white (don’t dismiss the white – they are crispy & amazing!). The tomatoes will be so many colours – red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, brown, white, green and everything in between – plus colourful stripes too. Along with the green beans we picked some Dragon’s Tongue – yellow with purple stripes. These have a more “beany” flavour than the green though the purple disappears when cooked. Beets come in dark purple, orange and the red & white candy cane striped. As usual we’re picking green zucchini, yellow, green striped and the yellow patty pans. Eggplant isn’t just dark purple, but many shades of purple & pink and green too. We even offer 2 different sunflowers – dark centres & green centres.

They say we eat with our eyes first, then our mouth. If so, then this week’s vegetables will be extra delicious!

One of our CSA members passed along this recipe that she made with our fennel fronds the other week. She says it is delicious!

Fennel Fronds Pesto

https://holycowvegan.net/fennel-fronds-pesto/#recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 packed cups chopped fennel fronds (from two bulbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds (you can use salted, but dial down the added salt in that case. You can also use nuts like walnuts, pecans, cashews or pine nuts)
  • 4-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor. With the blade running, drizzle in the olive oil until you have a coarse paste. Check for salt and pepper and add more if needed.

Notes

You can add more or less olive oil, per your preference. For a runnier pesto, you’ll want to use more oil.

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Around the farm this week …

2nd planting of zucchini almost ready to start harvesting …
… and just in time. The 1st planting is declining rapidly. The insects are moving in. Still picking some great zucchini though.
Awesome stormy sky last evening, glowing over a small patch of buckwheat cover crop all in bloom. Today I mowed most of it down to let it regrow. I left a narrow strip for the bees and other pollinators to enjoy.
Another beautiful sky – this one from last week after a rain.
Sage helping harvest beets.
Flynn helping control the mouse population.
Helping cut the grass – or at least push the new lawnmower around.
Happy to help!


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CSA 2021 – Week 9

What’s in the box?

Cucumbers, green beans, fresh garlic, tomatoes,

onions, zucchini, salad greens.

Extras – eggplant, kohlrabi.

Cucumbers are the crop that keeps us humble. They are not particularly difficult to grow – it just that we can’t seem to do it! This year it was the heat that wiped out our 1st planting shortly after transplanting to the field. Our 2nd planting is producing now – not an abundance, but enough for a taste. We are trying several kinds this season to see if one performs better and holds the promise of a plethora of my favourite vegetable!

Green Beans on the other hand grow very well for us. These we have an abundance of!

How was the fresh garlic last week? We will be including a bulb of garlic in the box every week now. Remember that it is still quite fresh and not completely dried yet. Once you break the bulb open, use it quickly. Or leave it to dry – room temperature in a spot with good air circulation.

The amount of tomatoes we are picking continues to increase. The size is increasing too. Along with the cherries, the medium size salad tomatoes are ripening, and we’re even picking a handful of beeksteaks now. (There should be enough of these for the CSA boxes in a week or two.)

Onions, zucchini & salad greens (probably lettuce & arugula) complete your box this week.

Extras include eggplant & kohlrabi. Our eggplant are thriving in this weather. The rains especially have been very beneficial for them and we’re picking many beautiful eggplant in many beautiful colours. It’s listed as an extra because we know it is a love-it-or-hate-it vegetable. So if you love it, grab one or a few and enjoy! And if you hate it, just walk on by. Or … maybe … why not give eggplant a try?

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Around the farm this week …

We are adding another layer of straw mulch to the eggplant to discourage the persistent weeds
The squash are flourishing! Under the squash plants and under the weeds are several kinds of cover crop growing. Later in fall once the squash is harvested we’ll mow the plants down and have a green carpet of clover, hairy vetch etc … to cover the soil for the winter.
Today I transplanted salad greens including kale, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, bok choy …
But there are always more trays of seedlings (including cucumbers) waiting to be transplanted to the field.
The young chickens are finally realizing that life is better outside.
One of the Flynns relaxing Sunday afternoon.
Then today it was back to work – the fierce hunter caught a snake (it was a catch & release).
Sage enjoying some relaxation on the deck …
… or running around when the mood strikes.


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CSA 2021 – Week 8

6 ears of sweet corn (1st of the season!), 1 pint of blueberries, a dozen apple fritters, 6 large soft pretzels, 4 vegetable samosas, 1 Amish donut (filled with homemade Nutella), 1 bag of kettle corn, 1 bag of vegan cheddar popcorn, 2 bouquets of flowers (pink snapdragons & black sweet peas), and a small piece of cheese (Graskaas seasonal).

That is what we returned home from market with on Saturday. Plus 4 beautifully decorated mini-cupcakes from 1 of our favourite customers (they didn’t make it home) and 2 homemade breakfast sandwiches from another customer which he makes and delivers to us – hot – every Saturday!

Now please don’t think we always come home with that many goodies. But this past Saturday was a rainy market day. And rainy market days are different. Business is slower so we have more time to visit with other vendors (at a distance of course). Less customers mean less sales, so many vendors are eager to share or trade with each other rather than take so much product home. So that’s why we were loaded down with such great stuff. Some we purchased but lots we traded for. It makes a wet, slow market day less depressing and lots more fun!

I think our market stall looked bright & beautiful, especially on such a dreary day!

Sales were ok – sunflowers, beets & eggplant were a big hit but zucchini not so much. There is plenty for the food bank now.

While we mostly had clouds & drizzle at market, it really rained hard at the farm. And that is a good thing! The blackberries are starting to turn colour and all this moisture will ensure large, plump & juicy berries. Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers – most of the vegetables actually – also appreciate the added water. There is some spoilage (rot, mildew, rust) showing up already in the zucchini, lettuce, beans, but overall the rain was a welcome bonus.

Plus we ate really well this weekend!

What’s in the box?

Green beans, fresh garlic, baby fennel, tomatoes,

onions, zucchini, beets, baby kale.

extras – kohlrabi, garlic scapes.

We have seeded green beans 9 times already this season – every Wednesday since May 19 – and we’ll seed them 3 or 4 more times. So we should have plenty of beans – starting this week! You probably don’t need any recipes or tips on how to cook beans, but Katherine at http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com has at least 20 recipes with green beans in case you’re looking for something new. (A subscription to this website is part of your CSA. Please email the farm if you need your access key to get into the site.)

Fresh garlic has wonderful strong, pungent garlic flavour – much stronger than the garlic scapes you have been receiving in your box. Because it has just been pulled and is not dry, it should be kept at room temperature, and in a place with good air circulation. You can leave it there and it will slowly cure & dry. Or enjoy it right away in your cooking, but know that once the bulb is broken open, it should be stored in the fridge and used within a few days. Enjoy!

Baby fennel is a less familiar vegetable to many. It has a beautiful anise or licorice flavour and is wonderful shaved into salads or sliced on a vegetable tray. Roasting or sauteing fennel results in a milder and very delicious flavour. Again, http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com has many recipes and tips for how to use fennel. Check out Simple fennel salad with lemon or Stewed fennel, onion & tomato.

Why baby fennel instead of big, round, fat, fennel? Mostly because it’s so beautiful now that we can’t wait! And the hot weather we’ve been having could send it to seed quickly, so we’ll eat it and enjoy these young, small, tender bulbs now.

We have been sneaking tomatoes into CSA boxes as they have been available in the last week or two. Now there should be enough for everyone this week – mostly cherry and smaller tomatoes in a range of colours. The large, red beeksteak tomatoes are plentiful on the plants – but showing no signs of ripening yet.

Onions, zucchini, beets, and baby kale complete the box this week.

Some CSA members are already turning down the zucchini – which is fine. That’s why we let you choose your own. We offer both yellow & green zucchini and also patty pan – the yellow-space-ship-shaped summer squash (it has similar taste & texture as zucchini) – in a variety of sizes. Choose small & tender ones for eating raw. Slice bigger ones, brush with oil, and grill on the BBQ. For baking zucchini bread, muffins or brownies, the largest ones are best. One CSA member slices the big patty pans to use as a pizza base. She layers her tomato sauce and pizza toppings on and then grills or bakes them. A great idea!

What isn’t in the box this week? Salad greens! We are hearing that many of you are overwhelmed with all the greens that have been in the box every week so far. These last few weeks we have been offering a few less greens, and this week the box will only have a small bag of baby kale (though we reserve the right to change kale to something else if we need to).

Garlic scapes & kohlrabi will be available as an extra for those who want them.

Something has been gnawing on our next planting of kohlrabi already. I’ve seen groundhogs – could be them? Unfortunately they take a few bites and then move on to the next one.

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Around the farm this week …

The new planting of zucchini.
We usually pick the sunflowers before they open, but after the weekend the patch is showing lots of colour.
Flynn relaxing in his favourite spot. How can you tell he doesn’t want his picture taken?
I always appreciate help feeding the chickens.

Thank you to our CSA members for remembering to return all boxes and containers for reuse!


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CSA 2021 – Week7

They say trouble comes in threes.

So here’s our trouble tally from last Friday …

  1. One of our golf carts simply quit running – at one of the furthest corners of the farm!
  2. The riding lawn mower quit running – just as Lorie started her weekend mowing.
  3. The cold storage didn’t stop running, but one of the fans on the compressor did, which made for a terrible noise and we had to shut the cooler down – even though it contained lots of vegetables that needed to be kept cool for CSA & market.
  4. When we wanted to load the van for market, it did not have a flat tire, yet – but the warning light indicated that it was heading in that direction.

That is more than 3 troubles!

None of these issues was major, but the way they happened one after the other, on our busiest day of the week, on the day we are the most tired, was most annoying and added a bit of unneeded stress.

But hey! If every day ran perfectly we would take it for granted, and not appreciate the calm, easy days.

And the outcome of our troubles?

  1. The golf cart was easily fixed with a new battery cable – we keep lots on hand for this very problem.
  2. Our most excellent garden equipment dealer fixed the riding mower before the afternoon was over and Lorie could resume mowing on Saturday.
  3. We have 2 cold storages so we turned the 2nd one on and used it instead. The broken fan should be fixed in a day or two.
  4. We pumped up the van tire (a few times) and crossed our fingers that we’d get to market and home ok – and we did! Tomorrow it goes to the tire shop for repairs.

Today – Monday – went quite smoothly without any troubles, which we noticed, acknowledged and were thankful for!

What’s in the box?

Onions, zucchini, beets, salad greens, fresh herbs, green onions.

Extras – garlic scapes, kohlrabi

The first onions of the season are ready – Spanish-type onions that are a little sweeter than some. We are excited to have them. Last year our onions were a failure as they got infested with thrips which chewed the plants & sapped their energy, resulting in a very small harvest of even smaller onions. This year they look great!

The rest of your box is quite similar to last week – zucchini, beets, various salad greens, fresh herbs, green onions.

Extras this week are garlic scapes & kohlrabi.

Why do we have these as extras? Neither vegetable is a favourite for many people and rather than include them in the box again, we make them available for those who really want them.

For example, one CSA member opened her fridge the other day only to be greeted by this …

Guessing this family will not be choosing kohlrabi this week! Hahahaha!

Coming to your CSA box soon …

Beans

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Around the farm this week …

After last week’s wetness, it was good to start catching up on the planting today.
Crops are growing well – weeds too!
Our student workers spend time picking potato bugs off the eggplant several mornings each week.
Now the Japanese beetles have landed as well.
Sage might be a princess …
… but she sure was a happy dog when I turned the compost pile!
Our official taste-tester eating cabbage leaves …
… and spinach & arugula seedlings.
It’s sunflower season!


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CSA 2021 – Week 6

It sure was hot today!

Fortunately, most of us can tolerate a lot of heat. Others not so much.

Our vegetables are the same. Some thrive in these hot & humid (& windy) conditions while others suffer greatly.

The heat-loving crops include squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes… All of these are putting on tremendous growth each day now.

Our squash patch.
The beefsteak tomatoes which we do not stake, are growing so much we are adding more straw for them to sprawl on.
Patty pan summer squash (above) and yellow zucchini (below) always start their season producing an enormous quantity of fruit. In a few weeks they will slow down and take a rest before (hopefully) resuming big production again.

The crops that suffer in this heat include most of the salad greens, broccoli, cabbage …

We pick our greens first thing in the morning before it gets too hot. We taste as we pick to ensure the heat has not caused bitterness.

Instead of forming beautiful vase shaped heads (left) the bok choy stretches it’s stems (right) – still great to eat, but not nearly as pretty!

We lost our next 2 plantings of mini romaine lettuce.

The lettuce in the one bed stretched it’s heads so much there really isn’t anything there to eat – it’s mostly stem. This is partly due to the weather & partly due to the weeds that blocked it from the light (our fault).
And this planting of green mini romaine got leaf tip burn from the heat – the edges of all the leaves turn black. Every single head is ruined! The red romaine was mostly ok.

What’s in the box?

Zucchini, beets, kohlrabi, fresh herbs, salad greens, green onions.

extras – garlic scapes.

Fresh herbs are the new items in your box this week. Choose a bunch of dill, parsley, basil, or cilantro.

Today’s pick of zucchini.

Here is a recipe for kohlrabi soup that one of our CSA members shared.

Kohlrabi Soup – Hungarian style

Sauté 2 cups cut up kohlrabi in sunflower oil and a little water. When you can pierce it with fork, mash with potato masher.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add a tablespoon full of tapioca powder or flour. Mix well.

Add 2 cups chicken broth – bring it to a slow boil.

Add 2-3 tbsp. of cut up parsley.

Add half a cup of sour cream with one tsp of apple cider vinegar.

You may want to eat it with croutons or for extra flavor add bay leaves at beginning of process.

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Around the farm this week …

We’re gaining on the weeds in most areas of the farm. Nice to see rows again!
There are lots of tomatoes on the plants!
The bees are busy in the zucchini blossoms.
The sumac along the railroad tracks already putting on a show.
Borage – a unique herb with a cucumber taste. The flowers are so beautiful I have to include 2 pictures!
Cats & dogs – chilling as best they are able in this heat.
Deadheading the calendula (along with lessons on the safe way to use sharp tools)

This is week 6 of our CSA – we are already 1/3 of the way through the season.

But still lots of great vegetables coming!


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CSA 2021 – Week 5

We received a lovely comment on the blog recently from a CSA member.

“Loved the Chinese Cabbage from week 3!
It made a delicious ‘Caldo Gallego’ that brought back sweet memories from my father’s homeland in Galicia, Spain. This soup is a staple there. A simple boil of cabbage, potatoes, and smoked bacon.
Wish I could post a photo here, it looks just delicious! Thanks Thiessen Family”

Here is the picture …

I think it looks delicious – so fresh & bright.

We always love to hear how our vegetables are used, and welcome pictures and recipes. It is even more special when the crops we grow can bring back happy memories for our friends.

Another member was excited for the kohlrabi as his mother made soup with them when he was a boy. Actually kohlrabi is the vegetable that seems to bring back the most memories for people – both CSA & market customers – as it was common in many parts of Europe & eastern Europe years ago. Seems a shame it is not more well known & liked here.

What’s in the box?

Kohlrabi, zucchini, beets, garlic scapes, salad greens, arugula,

bok choy, green onions, mini romaine.

Broccoli – Tuesday only

Kohlrabi was new to many of our CSA members last week. Did you like it? Check last weeks newsletter for suggestions on how to prepare it. We have been planting kohlrabi every few weeks since spring so it should be part of the box often. We’re pretty excited to be picking some beautiful kohlrabi this year after last year’s disappointing harvest.

Zucchini season has started with a bang – lots & lots of delicious, tender, summer squash in green & yellow, zucchini & patty pan and even some marrow. (We mostly grow the marrow for our British friend at market who ask for it because it reminds them of home.) We have been enjoying our zucchini raw so far – who even feels like cooking these hot days?

The recent rains have really helped the beets to grow and mature. There will be another bunch in your share this week.

We planted a lot of garlic last fall which means there are a lot of garlic scapes ready now. If you are making pesto and need an extra bunch, please ask Lorie when you grab your box.

And the same as every week, expect a bag or two of some kind of salad greens in your share – either our lettuce mix or spicy salad mix, baby kale, spinach … There will be a separate bag of arugula (in case you want it for pizza topping!), and probably bok choy too. Also mini romaine and green onions.

The hot weather has finished the broccoli in a hurry. We picked the last of it today – there should be enough for the Tuesday boxes.

We will be cleaning up the beds of salad turnips & Chinese cabbage this week and there could some available as well.

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Around the farm this week …

The weeds are continue to thrive – but we have made some amazing saves of some of our vegetables, and are making good progress overall keeping them in check.
New plantings continue – here are salad greens & various herbs.
I’m behind on mowing the cover crop, but it sure is beautiful! The problems come when it is allowed to flower, go to seed, and then can become a weed itself.
Lavender in bloom
Fennel growing well.
The first tomatoes are ripe! Still a few weeks until there are enough ready for our CSA boxes.
Thanks to the coyote we see very few of these guys this year – and have had no damage to our crops either.

But it is not all work around the farm. We still find time to play …

… and swim on a hot day (in the neighbour’s irrigation pond!)


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CSA 2021 – Week 4

It’s all about the wild areas of the farm this week.

Killdeer nests – we have not 1, not 2, but 3 nests with eggs in our fields right now. While the nests themselves are difficult to spot, the killdeer parents make a hug fuss when we are in the vicinity. Their cry is shrill & piercing – not at all pleasant to be working nearby. When we find a nest we mark it with a bright flag so as to not accidently drive over it. The eggs hatch quite quickly and the birds are gone in a few weeks it seems.

Our “friendly” coyote enjoying some lunch (probably a rabbit) and not at all worried about me on the tractor about 10m away. When I got off the tractor he ambled to the other side of the row of trees and watched me work. We see him around the farm several times each week.
The railway tracks and the wild area between them and our fields – always full of rabbits, groundhogs, our coyote – and beautiful in the morning sun.
The milkweed along the tracks is bursting into bloom. Milkweed is a host plant for monarch butterflies. They will lay their eggs here later in the summer.
The beautiful flowering vetch.
More wild areas on the farm – our vegetables! The recent rains, followed by sunshine and heat have caused an explosion of weeds. In many spots the rows of vegetables are not even visible. Wild indeed!

We continue to try and control the weeds where we can but we will also mow them on the paths between our vegetable beds. Mulching with straw is our main way of keeping down the weeds and still covering the soil – like this row of zucchini.

But sometimes we admit defeat – harvest what we can and walk away from a field.

We have been fortunate this season to have several volunteers who come every week or so and spend a few hours weeding. They are fearless in tackling some of the overgrown areas and bringing order out of chaos. They are much appreciated! I see weeding onions in their future …

What’s in the box?

Broccoli, Chinese broccoli, garlic scapes, kohlrabi,

salad greens, mini romaine lettuce, green onions …

I mentioned the other week that our spring broccoli seed was late in arriving and we used fall broccoli for our earliest planting instead, not knowing how it would turn out. Well it turned out great! Some of you got a taste of it last week when we ran out of beets and substituted broccoli. This week we have broccoli for everyone. Enjoy!

We also have Chinese broccoli. While Chinese broccoli has a similar taste, it looks very different from our usual broccoli. It has thinner stems, large flat leaves and tiny florets. The entire plant is edible. It is best after a quick steam, saute or stir-fry – maybe with oyster sauce & garlic (or garlic scapes!).

First it was green garlic. Now there are garlic scapes. Scapes grow out of the top of the garlic plant and curl around in a loose coil. If we left them they would eventually flower and go to seed. But we prefer that the plant uses its energy to form large garlic bulbs underground instead, so we remove the scapes. They are delicious! Use them wherever garlic bulbs are used – raw or cooked. Their flavour is a bit milder. They are also great on the BBQ. Coat the whole garlic scape with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill for a few minutes on each side until well charred & tender.  Garlic scape pesto is also a good way to use the scapes. Here’s a link to an interesting article, “10 things to do with garlic scapes, the best veg you’re not cooking yet”.  https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/garlic-scapes.

Kohlrabi is a strange-looking vegetable – sort of like a cross between a little cabbage and a turnip. It is usually considered a root vegetable, though the edible round globe grows above ground. Kohlrabi is usually eaten raw – just peeled & sliced. The taste & texture resembles fresh, crunchy broccoli stems, with a bit of radish thrown in. Use on raw vegetable platters and serve with a creamy dip. Grated kohlrabi can be added to slaws. We like to spiralize our kohlrabi and use it instead of pasta. Kohlrabi can also be steamed or boiled but don’t peel until after they are cooked. When the bulbs are tender, peel skin, and season with butter, salt, and pepper, a cheese sauce, or just enjoy plain. They are good for mashing with other vegetables – parsnips, carrots or potatoes. Kohlrabi absorbs the flavour of other ingredients making it ideal to add to soup, stew and stir-fries. The bulbs should be stored, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the fridge. They will hold for a week. Our favourite way to cook kohlrabi is to sautée it in butter & garlic for just a few minutes. Then add just a dash of nutmeg. Delicious!

It is still salad season. No shortage of fresh, delicious, crunchy greens here! As usual your box will contain several kinds of greens – perhaps lettuce mix, salad mix (lettuce plus any of mizuna, tatsoi, mustards, endive, or arugula), spinach, bok choy, baby kale … There will also be mini romaine lettuce & green onions.

***Remember to check out recipes for all the vegetables in your CSA box at http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com. A subscription to this website is included in your CSA membership. Please email if you have forgotten your access key.

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Around the farm this week …

Winter squash is finally transplanted to the field.
Trying to get the peppers all mulched before they are overtaken by weeds.
Our edible flower patch – a beautiful site even with all the weeds. Edible flowers are a good seller at market plus they make our display more attractive. These calendula will also go to a naturopath who will use them to make a healing salve.
I remembered to snap a few pictures of our setup at Georgetown Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning.
Our best advertisement for broccoli!
More of the local wildlife – here enjoying the morning sunshine.


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CSA 2021 – Week 3

The storm arrived quickly, lasted only a brief time, and then moved on, thunder rumbling into the distance. But it dumped about 15mm of rain and several minutes worth of hail – around the size of small gravel – on the farm yesterday afternoon.

While a farmer’s preference is always a slow, steady rain, during the night (with clearing by morning so as to not interfere with the day’s work) with climate change we seem more likely to get severe storms, and so we learn to accept & adapt. Regardless, while the rain was welcomed the hail was not!

It caused some damage – mostly tears & rips in the leaves of eggplant, beans, & zucchini etc. Not every leaf was hit nor every plant (hail is usually sporadic) and the vegetables should recover just fine. The concern is more about mold and disease entering the plant and causing long-term problems especially on full season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant … that cannot be replanted or replaced. The tomato stems have some wounds but we will spray a weak fertilizer solution on the plants to give them a boost and hopefully overcome any issues.

What’s in the box?

Mini romaine lettuce, salad greens, green onions, salad turnips, Chinese cabbage, beets, snow peas (Tuesday only).

We have grown mini romaine lettuce for a few years now and it is very popular amongst both our CSA members and our farmers’ market customers. People seem to prefer a smaller romaine that can be eaten in 1 or 2 meals – and it tastes great! We offer both a green & a dark red mini romaine.

There is no shortage of salad greens at this time of year. Once again your share will contain a varied selection of our spring greens – lettuce mix, salad blend, mustard, mizuna, arugula, bok choy, baby kale

There will be green onions & salad turnips to add to your salads. (There were supposed to be radishes too, but the hot weather ruined their texture and made them so spicy that we decided not to include them.)

Chinese cabbage is one of my favourite vegetables. Crisp, tender, and mild – it is delicious used fresh in a salad instead of lettuce. Or use the large leaves as wraps, make it into coleslaw, kimchi or stir-fry it. While the outer leaves are a lovely green colour, the inside is often creamy white. Chinese cabbage can be a heavy, solid, tight head or sometimes more like a head of romaine lettuce – loose & leafy, or something in between. It prefers cooler weather and does best in fall so we’re quite pleased to have some nice Chinese cabbage in June. Stored in a plastic bag in the fridge Chinese cabbage will keep for a long time – so no rush to finish it!

The first beets are ready! Small, sweet, earthy & tender, these delicious vegetables can be enjoyed raw in your salad, or lightly cooked (no need to peel them – they are that tender!).

*** CSA members who pick up on Tuesday will get snow peas this week. Everyone else received theirs last week. “Vegetable candy” one member called them & they are that amazing – but you only get them once.

Around the farm this week …

The insect cover protects the vegetables not only from bugs but also from the hail yesterday.
We finally got the peppers – both sweet & hot – planted in the field last week.
Tomatoes are staked and we’re pruning & tying now. The row on the left has been pruned & tied. The row on the right has not. We will continue to prune & tie regularly (or as time permits) until the plants reach the top of the stakes.
The garlic is forming its curly scapes. Expect some in your CSA share soon.
I mowed the field of cover crop before it went to seed, but left several strips uncut for the bees and other insects & pollinators to enjoy.
The elderberries are in bloom. We cut theses flowers to sell at market. They are used in drinks (elderflower cordial) or in baking.
Sunflowers & green beans – we seed these 2 crops every week, all summer long.
Blackberries in bloom.
Sharing snow peas.

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Even the Flynns were caught off-guard by yesterday’s storm and ran into the barn soaked & miserable … but nothing a bowl of fresh kibble couldn’t cure!


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CSA 2021 – Week 2

There were puddles on the farm last week.

While they didn’t last long it sure was good – for us and especially the vegetables! We had 2 decent rains over the last week totaling just over 30mm, enough to benefit the crops immensely.

The precipitation was followed by heat & humidity – great growing weather, and then strong, drying winds – not so beneficial for the crops or us!

What’s in the box?

Salad greens … green onions, salad turnips, baby broccoli,

(and snow peas by Thursday or Friday?)

Salad greens – there are lots of different kinds this week. Your share could include any of the following – lettuce mix, salad blend, spinach (yup, we saved some from the leaf miners!), mustard, mizuna, arugula, bok choy, baby kale … Everything is freshly picked the morning of your pick up and everything is delicious! Enjoy these abundant spring salads!

The green onions are small & tender – we have so many planted there’s no reason to wait for them to get larger. Let’s eat them now!

Salad turnips are small, round, white turnips that resemble radishes, but without the bite (usually)! Mild in flavour, crisp, and quite tender, they are best eaten raw – simply wash, cut off the tops and enjoy! They can also be stir fried, sautéed, or steamed – both the turnips & the green tops.

Broccoli is a crop that is very sensitive to the weather – especially heat. There are specific varieties to grow in early spring when the weather is cooler, and some for later that can handle the heat of late spring/early summer. Fall broccoli grows best when the days get shorter and the nights cooler. Unfortunately our spring broccoli seed did not arrive on time. (While there is no shortage of seed generally this year, the seed companies were overwhelmed with orders during the winter & early spring. Much seed is on back order & some of our seed – especially broccoli & peppers – arrived too late to plant or never arrived at all.) So we used what we had on hand which was fall broccoli. It is still several weeks away from harvest – if it gives a crop at all during this hot weather!

But we do have baby broccoli or mini broccoli. Same taste (maybe better!) but instead of big heads it forms lots of shoots with tiny little heads. This is great for food prep as they are already the right size for eating, but they are a lot of work to pick. There will be some in your box this week – maybe not a large amount but enough to try. Enjoy them raw or lightly steamed or stir-fried.

The snow peas are just about ready to harvest. Expect them in the box on Thursday or Friday. CSA members who pick up on Tuesday will have to wait until next week to enjoy these delicious peas.

Around the farm this week …

Various weeding equipment including wheel hoe with discs, hand hoe and bulldozer???
The 4th generation on Thiessen Farms enthusiastically learning how to do … everything!
By next summer Isaiah will be teaching his little brother how to farm. Jackson was born in April.
Isaiah is looking forward to meeting his new cousin Tegan who lives in BC. The rest of us are anxious to meet him too!

We hope you enjoyed your 1st CSA share last week.

Please remember to return your box this week, and exchange it for another –

filled with more delicious, healthy, fresh vegetables.


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CSA 2021 – Week 1

Here’s a shot of our compost pile today – perhaps a strange picture to start off our CSA season!

The greens strewn on top are spinach & chard leaves, and a few tomato plants.

The spinach was for the CSA shares this week – beautiful, lush, green, delicious spinach – until it was attacked by bugs (leafminers) and changed to this …

On the underside of the leaves are rows of tiny white eggs waiting to hatch and cause more damage. So we pulled the whole patch. Swiss chard too. And now they’re in the beets.

A bunch of our tomato plants in the field are dying too. We haven’t figured out the cause yet. And the weekend winds possibly ruined the cucumbers (waiting to see if they pull through).

A difficult start to the week!

But stuff happens sometimes!

And now the good news …

There is lots more spinach already growing and we continue to seed weekly. (We spent a few hours this morning covering our next plantings with insect cover to hopefully protect them. Fingers crossed that spinach will be in your CSA box within a week or two.) We’ll seed more chard as well. And we have plenty of tomato plants for replacements.

Most vegetables are looking good! A wonderful, soaking-in rain on Friday provided much needed moisture to the crops. Sunshine is forecast for much of this week, so things will really grow.

Snow peas are in bloom.
The garlic patch.
Vibrant lettuce mix for the box this week.

What’s in the box?

Lettuce mix, radishes, bok choy, arugula, green garlic, rhubarb.

All our lettuce & various greens are rinsed once to remove field dirt. You may want to wash them again. Stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, they should last at least 1 week.

Our lettuce mix is a delicious blend of different kinds of red & green lettuces. It makes a beautiful salad!

The radishes this week are called French Breakfast radishes. Long and pink with a white tip, they have a similar taste & bite to the more common round red radish. In France they prefer them very small, barely as thick as your baby finger, but I think they taste just fine at this size too.

Bok choy is one of my favourite green vegetables. It can be added to your salads, but most often is sautéed or stir fried. We like to cook some garlic or onion in a bit of oil (olive or sesame) for a couple of minutes, then add the bok choy and continue cooking until it is wilted & still bright green – around 5 minutes or less. Season with salt & pepper to taste. We usually grow several kinds of bok choy – white & green, small & mini, tight heads or looser heads. Some prefer hot weather while others like it cooler. This ensures we always get a harvest.

Arugula is delicious – a bit spicy & nutty. Use it in salads, on pizza. If you find the taste a bit strong on its own, combine it with our lettuce mix for an amazing salad.

Green garlic is a fresh garlic plant. At this time of year the bulb has not yet formed below ground, and the green top is still tender enough to eat, like a scallion or green onion. Green garlic is milder than fall garlic bulbs. Use them raw (eg. sliced into salads or mashed with goat cheese for a spread) or cooked (sautéed with scrambled eggs maybe) anywhere you would use garlic. They are also delicious coated with olive oil & tossed whole on the barbecue. Store green garlic in the fridge.

Rhubarb is a perennial crop which means it grows every year. It’s not a lot of work but yields an abundant crop. Because we have more CSA members this year, there will be less rhubarb in your share. But there should be enough to make a small pie, or – almost as good and way easier & faster – make a rhubarb crisp or crumble. We also enjoy stewed rhubarb. Chop rhubarb and cook in a saucepan with a bit of water until tender. Add sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup) to taste. We sometimes add apples or other fruit to cut the tartness of the rhubarb. Delicious on it’s own or poured over ice cream, pudding or custard.

Here is our go-to recipe for fruit crisp. It is quick & easy and great with our rhubarb!

Aunt Elvira’s Fruit Crisp

Cut up rhubarb (or your choice of fruit) and put in a pie plate.

Mix together:

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup flour

¼  cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

Sprinkle on top of the fruit.

Bake for 12 minutes in the microwave, or 20-25 minutes in the oven or toaster oven @ 350F. (while the oven takes longer than the microwave, the top will carmelize nicely and get a lovely brown colour)

*** As a member of our CSA you have access to http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com. This website has 900+ recipes, templates, storage and preserving tips, pantry stocking suggestions and vegetable prep videos, organized by vegetable and created using CSA Produce. Log in using the access key you received at sign up or ask us to send it to you again.

Around the farm this week …

Tomatoes are mostly mulched and we’ve started staking them.
Field of cover crop.
Beautiful & unique pawpaw blossoms.

Flynn & Sage encouraging us to keep our heads up, even on a difficult Monday.

Looking forward to seeing all our returning CSA friends and new CSA members this week.

Georgetown Farmers’ Market also starts this week, Saturday June 5. We’re excited to return for our 29th season!