Keep updated on all that is happening around Thiessen Farms!

CSA 2015 – Week 11

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I had someone else take some pictures of the farm for the CSA newsletter today. When I looked at them, there seemed to be a theme – a purple theme …

… purple plums. These are Damsons, a small, tart plum usually used for jam & baking. Many customers at our farmers’ markets are eagerly waiting for these. They should be ripe in a week or 2. While these Damsons have a good crop, most other plum varieties have none. Our row of early blue plums yielded a grand total of 3 baskets instead of the usual 100+. Only the Italian prunes seem to have a reasonable crop – they will be harvested in September.


… purple peppers – almost ready!


… purple cherry tomatoes. We grow many kinds of purple tomatoes in all sizes – they not only look good, but taste good too!




… purple elderberries. Last year we planted some elderberry bushes & they are loaded (and almost ripe). We’ll see who gets them first – us or the birds?



Our garlic is not purple (some varieties are), but it’s all harvested now & drying on racks in the barn. Once it’s dry (in a few weeks), it will be showing up in your CSA boxes.



What’s in the box?

Lettuce, collards, beets, tomatoes, onions, peaches.

extras – eggplant.

  • We snuck in a late spring planting of lettuce & it’s ready now. The more moderate temperatures lately means it tastes great (hot, humid weather like we experienced the other week makes lettuce bitter).
  • This is our 2nd year growing collards – probably one of my favourite greens. Collards are a nutritional goldmine, similar to kale & broccoli. They are low in calories, high in fibre, & rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium &  B vitamins. They are rarely eaten raw, but are best prepared by boiling rapidly for 5-10 minutes which preserves nutrients, colour & taste. Then the collards are drained, dried & sautéed in a little oil with other vegetables or herbs & flavourings. Sauteing collards without boiling first is another cooking method. It results in slightly stronger flavoured greens with a chewier texture. We have included a simple collard recipe below.
  • Beets make another appearance in your box this week. They may be orange or red beets or a combination.
  • Finally the large tomatoes are ripening (we enjoyed our first tomato sandwich today at lunch). There should be a few in your box along with lots of smaller cherry tomatoes.
  • Yes, we’re behind with our weeding (as usual) so the onions are not as big as we would prefer, due to competition from all the weeds – but the flavour is great!
  • Peaches continue to be the favourite item in the CSA boxes lately. Enjoy them again this week! Remember to store them in the fridge & bring them out about 1 day before you want to eat them. This gives them time to warm up & soften.
  • There will be eggplant available for those who want it.

Sautéed Collard Greens


  • collard greens
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon  butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste


Remove and discard stems and center ribs of collard greens. Cut leaves into 1-inch pieces. In a kettle of boiling water cook collards 5-10 minutes – until tender, but still bright green – and drain in a colander.

Mince garlic. In a heavy skillet heat butter and oil over moderately high heat until foam subsides and stir in garlic, collards, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté collard mixture, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Drizzle collards with lemon juice and toss well.

An option is to substitute carmelized onion (from your CSA box) for the garlic.
How about adding bacon?
Without the high humidity this week, the skies over the farm have been beautiful!

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