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CSA 2020 – Week 17 – 2nd last week!

Here’s what we’ve been up to these last few days!

The squash is all in. There’s lots of it and it’s big!! Actually some of them are huge – one weighed almost 36 pounds and another 39. There’s a lot of eating in a squash that size!

We had a light frost this morning. Not enough to do any damage, but a good reminder that it is fall and we should not take this mild weather for granted! We feel fortunate. Some of our farmer friends from Georgetown market and areas north received a killing frost on the weekend which brought their season to an abrupt end.

Our CSA program continues for this week and 1 more, and our farmers’ market at Georgetown carries on until October 17. Here’s hoping for good weather and no more frost, so we have crops to fill our CSA boxes and market tables to the end.

What’s in the box?

Squash, sweet peppers, green onions, salad greens, kale, garlic.

  • Choose several winter squash for your CSA box this week. Take your pick from a few different varieties – either something familiar, or perhaps a new squash that you have not tried before. Squash stores well – keep them dry and at room temperature. Actually the flavour of most squash improves after a few weeks of curing. So no rush to eat them!
  • Our sweet peppers continue to produce! Remember that peppers can keep for several weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. They also freeze well and are great to use for cooking in the winter. Just remove the stems & seeds and cut into pieces – whatever size you like. Freeze overnight on a baking sheet and bag the next day. Then grab whatever amount you need when cooking – they’re great in anything from omelets, stir-fries, stews, sauces … Or try roasting sweet peppers. It’s a bit of work but worth it – they taste amazing! Find instructions for roasting peppers at http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com (a subscription based recipe & information site that is free with your CSA. It includes 900+ recipes, storage & preserving tips etc. Please email us for your access key if you have forgotten it).
  • Green onions, salad greens (maybe lettuce, spinach, salad mix or arugula), kale and garlic complete this week’s CSA share.

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Around the farm this week …

It is starting to look like fall.

 

Good picks of beautiful eggplant – especially for late September.

 

We’re still planting!

Sage with her best friend Milo.

Watching bugs.

 

Remember – next week is the final week for CSA 2020!

 

 

 


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CSA 2020 – Week 16

They say that farmers always complain about the weather and are never completely satisfied.

Not true!

I am totally satisfied with the 25mm of much needed rain that we received on Sunday morning, and the comfortable temperatures we enjoyed today, and the sunshine that is in the forecast all week … though it would be helpful if the nights were a little bit warmer … and maybe the days too – just a couple of degrees (to help ripen the peppers) … and we could use another 25mm of precipitation (during the night, of course) … but other than that, I’m totally satisfied 🙂

The rain was a soaking-in kind of rain and the crops responded immediately. The entire farm looks refreshed! Our greens including lettuce, spinach, salad mix, arugula… are loving these seasonal temperatures and growing so well. Even the tomato plants have perked up and don’t look quite as weary & stressed.

What’s in the box?

Flowering broccoli, winter squash, shishito peppers, sweet peppers,

 salad greens, green beans, beets, garlic.

  • Flowering broccoli or hon tsai tai is a new crop for us. Beautiful green leaves & stems with a hint of purple veining, they are tender, mild & juicy with a hint of broccoli taste. These young shoots are delicious in fresh salads, stir-fries and pasta dishes. Ours have no flowers yet but we don’t want to wait, choosing rather to eat them when they are still so tender. Flowering broccoli has become my snack of choice when I’m out in the field!

  • We picked the first of our winter squash today. Turns out that it is a good crop of good-sized squash. This week there are 2 kinds to choose from. There is a mini butternut called Brulee which has a rich, nutty orange flesh with a hint of sweetness and Sweet Dumpling which is a very sweet, small squash with moist, yellow flesh.
  • The shishito peppers were a big hit with many of our CSA members – so we’ve included them again this week. The traditional way to prepare shishitos is to char them whole in a cast-iron skillet with a bit of olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until they begin to blister on all sides. This only takes a few minutes. 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. Remember that 1 in 10 can be slightly hot! While shishitos are from Japan, we have a market customer who grew up in northern Spain where shishitos are grown as well – with a different name of course!
  • Also included in your CSA share this week …  Sweet peppers – mostly red shepherds which are delicious & sweet, or coloured bell peppers. Salad greens – probably a salad mix which includes a beautiful mix of various greens, or spinach. Green beans – we’re picking a fresh patch of beans this week.  Beets – the beets are larger than we have had previously and therefore not as tender. Our favourite way to prepare them is to cut into smaller pieces, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with (fresh or dried) herbs such as thyme or rosemary and roast slowly in the oven until they are tender & delicious! Garlic – we finally took the time to sort our garlic & set aside what we need to save for seed for next year’s crop. What’s left is enough for the CSA boxes this week (and maybe next), but the bulbs are getting a lot smaller now. That’s because we plant the biggest ones to ensure we get the best garlic next year!
  • Extras – hot peppers

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Around the farm this week …


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CSA 2020 – Week 15

Suddenly it feels like fall!

The nights are getting colder, the morning dews are heavier, it’s still dark long after I get up. Some mornings I even wear a sweatshirt for awhile!

It is beginning to look like fall too.

Along the railroad tracks the goldenrod is turning yellow …

… and is full of bees & other insects.

The sumac is changing colour …

… and the ornamental grass along the barn is blooming.

On the farm the later crops are (mostly) coming along nicely.

Of course there are lots of weeds and messy patches too.

The squash plants are finally dying back and we can see the fruit – an average crop with above average size squash.

The tomato plants are weary and looking dishevelled – but still producing tasty tomatoes.

But the blackberries are finished – just the odd cluster of small berries left.

Some of us are also getting tired!

What’s in the box?

Sweet peppers, Chinese cabbage, kale, beans, bok choy, tomatoes, green onions, garlic.

  • The sweet peppers are coming on strong now – the large bells as well as the red shepherds, which are very sweet …

… and the mini bells too. These are a perfect size for putting in the lunch box, or stuff them with cream cheese etc … for a colourful & delicious hors d’oeuvre.

  • There will be another Chinese cabbage in your share this week. Tender, crisp & mild, they are delicious in salads, slaws or cooked. Stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, Chinese cabbage will keep for several months – so no rush to finish it!

  • This week’s kale is too big to be called baby kale and too small to be bunched like full-sized kale. It is somewhere in between! Still small enough for salads but big enough to be steamed, sauteed, stir fried or …
  • Once again the beans in your box could be green beans or the dragon’s tongue (yellow beans with purple stripes). They are both great but I think the dragon’s tongue are a bit tastier. To preserve the purple stripe, blanch them very briefly. A longer cooking time results in plain yellow beans.
  • Tomatoes, green onions and garlic round out the box this week.
  • Extras – hot peppers

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Around the farm this week …

Cracking garlic for planting next month.

Hiding under an eggplant.