Keep updated on all that is happening around Thiessen Farms!


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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.