This is the final week of our CSA for 2018!
Overall it has been a good & successful season and we are satisfied. The feedback from our CSA members would indicate that most are satisfied as well. Certainly we appreciate the comments we get each week about our produce.
Not having to pick & prep the produce twice a week for pick-up eases our workload considerably.
However our farmers’ markets continue – Georgetown until 13 October and North York until the end of October. And so we continue to seed & plant. Things are growing well.
Crops we transplanted this past week & today …
Vegetables we are harvesting now …
It’s quite unusual to have the tomato plants still so lush & green at this time of year. While there are lots of fruit, the quality has diminished – lots of cracking & splitting, softness … and we will stop picking soon.
What’s in the last box?
Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard or kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, arugula, garlic,
sweet peppers, beans, squash.
- We were hoping the Chinese cabbage would be ready in time. It just made it! Though still quite small & not filled out totally, it is part of the box this week. It was part of the CSA share back in week 6 too. Then the next plantings didn’t survive the drought. But now we have it again. Chinese cabbage is so tender & mild – eat it fresh in a salad instead of lettuce. Use the large leaves as wraps, make it into coleslaw or even cook it (stir-fry, saute …) While the outer leaves are a lovely green colour, the inside is creamy white and delicious!
- Swiss chard or kale – choose one or the other. Both can be enjoyed raw or cooked. I have included a simple chard recipe below.
- Kohlrabi always makes a great snack. Just peel and eat! Of course you can turn it into a slaw or saute it or cook & mash it or spiralize it & turn the kohlrabi into noodles. Certainly it’s a versatile vegetable!
- Many of our CSA members want lettuce every week. This year we managed to include lettuce 13 times out of 18 weeks. Enjoy your last bag of lettuce mix. Add some arugula to your salad to spice it up. There is also garlic and sweet peppers.
- This week we move into our last planting of beans – how’s that for good timing?! Beans are another popular crop & we included them 8 times this season.
- We continue to work away at our winter squash harvest. It’s a lot of heavy lifting – there’s a big crop. Choose several squash this week. Stored properly (room temperature & dry) they will last for weeks and even months.
Easy Swiss Chard Recipe
- 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds (The coriander seeds are optional – but coriander is wonderful with chard!)
1 Prep the chard stalks and leaves: Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Either tear or cut away the thick stalks from the leaves. Cut the stalk pieces into 1-inch or smaller pieces. Chop the leaves into narrow strips. Keep the stalks and leaves separate.
2 Sauté garlic and crushed red pepper flakes: Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add garlic slices, crushed red pepper, and coriander seeds (if using), and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
3 Add Swiss chard stalks: Add the chopped Swiss chard stalks. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
4 Add the chopped leaves: Add the chopped chard leaves, toss with the oil and garlic in the pan. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Turn the leaves and the stalks over in the pan.
If the chard still needs a bit more cooking (remove a piece and taste it), cover and cook a few more minutes.
Thank you to everyone for a great season! CSA is a great fit for our small, family farm – we not only have the security of knowing that our produce is sold before the season begins, but we also get to meet & know the people who are eating what we grow. Thank you to all our members for being a part of our CSA! Hope to see you in 2019.
Sage has also made some new friends & will miss greeting them each week!
It was a beautiful Monday morning drive around the farm today. The dew was heavy on the plants, the sun was bright, and the colours & textures amazing!
There were some good surprises too!
The long-awaited (at least by us) beets are big enough to begin harvesting, as are the salad turnips.
The Chinese cabbage is almost ready. Maybe by next week – our last CSA pick-up – we can pick some? The other cabbages will not be ready in time.
While CSA is coming to an end, our farmers’ markets continue into October so we’re still planting. We will continue to seed lettuce, arugula, spinach, bok choy & baby kale … for another week or two. This will give us vegetables to harvest until the last market on October 25 (providing we don’t get a heavy frost before then!).
What’s in the box?
Salad turnips, beets, beans, squash, lettuce, sweet peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic.
- Way back in weeks 3 & 4 we had salad turnips in the CSA box – and now we have them again. They prefer the cooler temperatures of spring & fall rather than the heat of summer, which is why they disappeared for so many weeks. Enjoy them raw as a snack or in a salad. Salad turnips can also be sliced and stir-fried or sautéed. They have the texture & flavour of a radish but are usually much milder.
- Beets have also not been around for a while. It has been a bad year for beets, at least on our farm. But we finally have some – the usual dark purple (red) beets, yellow beets, and the striped candy cane beets. Regardless of colour, they all taste great!
- Have you tried the Dragon’s Tongue beans yet? These flat, yellow beans with purple stripes are very tasty – with a more “beany” flavour than the green beans. Both colours will be available this week.
- We’re picking more varieties of squash now, as they mature & ripen. There will be at least 4 kinds to choose from this week. Right now we have all 4 roasting in the oven so we can give a first-hand report to you on flavour, texture, sweetness etc … Remember that squash stores well. Keep it dry & about at room temperature.
- Lettuce, sweet peppers, tomatoes (probably only the bigger field tomatoes, not cherries), zucchini & garlic round out the box this week. Still lots of good eating for the middle of September!
Heading out to pick squash on a Monday morning!
The morning rains kept us out of the fields today, so we traded our farming gear for aprons and went to work using some of the leftovers from Saturday market.
Grape tomatoes were slow roasted with olive oil & garlic until they turned absolutely delicious! We’ll eat our fill now and the rest will be tucked into the freezer to be enjoyed during the winter.
An oversize patty pan summer squash became a batch of muffins (recipe below).
The leftover sweet corn from CSA was husked, blanched, cut off the cob and frozen for winter use – enough for 76 + meals. (And the cobs are being enjoyed by the chickens. No waste!)
Tomorrow we’ll scramble to catch up on our picking, and prepare for CSA pick-up. Here’s hoping for sunny weather!
Saturday morning at market, a regular customer looked at our table and declared that she was finished with all the summer vegetables – the cooler weather had her craving fall flavours! Fortunately, not everyone felt the same way and we had a good market day selling our “summer” products. The CSA box this week continues to offer an abundance of summer vegetables as well as some signs of fall.
There are only 2 weeks left in our CSA after this week. Still to come – weather permitting – are cabbages, beets, more peppers & winter squash …
What’s in the box?
Sweet corn, kale or swiss chard, sweet peppers, winter squash,
summer squash or zucchini, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic.
- Enjoy a few more ears of sweet corn in your share this week. The flavour is very great – and the quality is good too. While the corn in last Tuesday’s box was perhaps a little young, Friday’s pick was close to the perfect ripeness, and tomorrows pick should be excellent too! Looks like there will be enough good corn for Friday as well.
- Swiss chard & kale. While kale is more common, chard is not as well-known. The stems come in a rainbow of colours – white, red, pink, yellow & orange. The wrinkled leaves can hold a lot of dirt & grit so they may need several washings. Whereas kale stems are usually removed & not used, chard stems are eaten. But separate the stems from the leaves and cook the stems first, until tender. Then add the leaves as they only take a few minutes. Both kale & chard can be sautéed with onions & garlic in a bit of oil. Perhaps add some tomatoes or even corn to complete the dish.
- The sweet peppers continue to take their sweet time ripening. That’s why we have more green peppers available right now than red, yellow or orange.
- The rain kept us out of the winter squash patch today so I can’t say what kind of squash will be in the box this week. But we’ll find something that is ready to pick & be enjoyed.
- The zucchini & patty pan summer squash have been producing so much these last couple of weeks. Now the plants appear to be losing strength & vigor rapidly. Enjoy them will they last.
- There are still plenty of beans coming. Beans must be picked when the plants are totally dry, to avoid disease issues. This can be a challenge in fall with the more plentiful rains, and morning dews that sometimes last until afternoon. But as long as they dry in time, we’ll have beans to pick & place in your CSA share.
- Lettuce, tomatoes & garlic complete the box again this week.
I don’t usually favour recipes that include produce we can’t grow here. But I’m a big fan of limes and of Ricardo. This recipe is excellent!!
- 2 cups (260 g) grated zucchini
- 1 cup (210 g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 limes, zest finely grated
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) lime juice
- 1 3/4 cups (265 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 limes, zest finely grated
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) lime juice
- 1 cup (130 g) icing sugar
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-muffin tin with paper or silicone cups.
- Place the zucchini in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes.
- In a food processor, purée the zucchini with the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs, lime zest and juice. Mix for a few seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups (see note). Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Ice the muffins, if desired.
For a nice touch, sprinkle the unbaked muffins with grated zucchini. Grate about 3/4 cup (100 g) extra zucchini and divide among the muffins. And don’t forget to add icing for the perfect after-dinner cupcake!
Market on Saturday in downtown Georgetown.
Some of the newer plantings on the farm.
Signs of fall.
Sage getting bored watching us husk corn!
The skies over the farm were beautiful this afternoon …
… before the storm,
… and after the storm.
The rains came down hard for a short period of time – almost 1″ fell.
I had transplanted in the morning – lettuce, arugula, baby kale, spinach, & baby chard. Then I watered it in … and watered, and watered. The ground on top is very dry.
Thankfully the rain completed the job – and did it far better than I could!
Some of the vegetables got flattened by the intense rain, but they’ll be up and straight by tomorrow.
It’s good to see some puddles! They will soak into the dry ground & disappear quickly!
What’s in the box?
Sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, garlic, shishito peppers, (winter squash).
extras – hot peppers
- Those of you who have been a part of our CSA before know that we make 1 planting of sweet corn each year. Depending on how it turns out, it will be in your box for 1 or sometimes 2 weeks. This year it is looking good – the cobs are smaller, but they appear to be cleaner (ie not as many worms) then usual. Good news since we choose not to spray! Your corn will be picked the morning of CSA pick-up (or the day before for North York market pick-up), so you know it will be fresh & delicious!
- It’s unusual for the 2nd planting of zucchini & patty pan summer squash to be so healthy & lush & producing so heavily – but we’ll take it! The patch is amazing! Enjoy a few zucchini in your box again this week.
- Tomatoes, beans, lettuce & garlic are the staples of the late summer CSA box and will continue to be for several more weeks.
- We have been hearing good things about the shishito peppers, so we decided to include them again this week. While you can use them as you would any other sweet pepper, they are at their best when charred in olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add some minced fresh garlic. Cook the peppers whole, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Sprinkle with salt (and maybe a splash of lemon or lime juice and some parmesan cheese) and serve immediately. Eat the whole pepper – except the stem.
- There will probably be a winter squash in your share this week too! I don’t recall ever having summer squash/zucchini and winter squash in the box at the same time. But when I walked through the squash field today there appeared to be some that were mature & could be eaten – especially spaghetti & perhaps sweet potato (delicata) squash. So why not have a taste of fall along with all the summer vegetables?!
- Hot peppers (jalapenos, serranos … ) will be available for those who would like some.
The sweet peppers continue to ripen ever so slowly. We will pick what is ready tomorrow, and perhaps there might be a pepper in the box as well. Here’s hoping! Our cucumbers had a great run, producing much longer than most years. Now the plants have finally given up & the cucumber season is over.
Labour Day was a busy day for us – until the rains gave us a break! But I guess not everyone was busy ….