Keep updated on all that is happening around Thiessen Farms!


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CSA 2021 – Week 14

Carrots – the preferred car snack for this little guy. He doesn’t mind that they are misshapen & ugly. They taste great!

Anyone who has been a CSA member here for a few years knows that carrots are not a sure thing for us – for some reason we always struggle to grow a nice carrot. I see no reason to recount the details of our carrot misfortunes again this season. Suffice it to say that there will be no carrots in your box this year.

Actually, we have issues with all the “C” vegetables. Carrots, cabbage, cucumbers – these we attempt yearly with varied results. Cauliflower, celery & celeriac we have given up on. And corn is way easier to buy at market each week.

I do not think our inability to grow these vegetables makes us failures as farmers … it just feels that way sometimes 🙂

So, while carrots & cabbage were scheduled to be in the box this week, there will be no “C” vegetables – not this week … or any week!!

What’s in the box?

Peppers, blackberries, tomatoes, onions, zucchini,

green beans, garlic, salad greens & beets.

Your box this week is similar to last weeks, but there are a few things to note.

The quantity & variety of peppers is still increasing, but blackberries & tomatoes are on the decline. We have a great onion crop so you can expect several onions in your share this week. This is probably the final week for zucchini.

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Around the farm this week …

Today’s planting – lettuce, salad mix, arugula, baby kale & bok choy.
We received approx. 1/3″ rain overnight – not a lot, but enough to freshen things up.
Picking beefsteak tomatoes.
Picking beans.
Signs of fall …
Sometimes it just feels right to sit …


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CSA 2021 – Week 13

Growing up, my siblings and I were expected to help out on the farm starting when we were very young. But my parents were fair, giving us jobs appropriate for our age & experience and paying us for all our work. I remember having to pick 1 basket of cherries before I could run next door to play with my cousin. The next summer it was 2 baskets, then 3 … Each summer the amount of work was increased. By my early teens I was usually working full days. Probably 10 or 11 was the magic age – while I had to work until lunch, in the afternoon I was allowed to ride my bike to the swimming pool at the local Lions Park and swim with my friends. Those were the days!

I was thinking about those times as I sweated in the fields today picking zucchini & tomatoes, transplanting seedlings and weeding. A swim would have been a great way to cool off! Or having the afternoon off would have been good too!

I suppose in a few years I might return to working less hours, at jobs appropriate for my age – but I’m not quite there yet!

But others are …

One of the Flynns was caught resting in the cool shade of the beans & sunflowers. He seemed to feel guilty and immediately jumped up and headed off “hunting”.
Though usually they feel no shame for loafing about on a hot day – or any day!

What’s in the box?

Peppers, blackberries, Chinese broccoli, tomatoes,

onions, zucchini, green beans, garlic, salad greens & beets.

Extras – fennel & hot peppers.

Our peppers are finally ripening. We have bell peppers in red, orange, yellow, purple & green. Shepherd peppers are long, tapered, red, very sweet peppers. We also grow mini-bell peppers in red, yellow & purple. Your box could include any of these this week.

Enjoy another box of blackberries this week. While the plants are still full, we are seeing a sharp decline in quantity & quality. Today’s pick saw us discarding a lot of sun-damaged berries. The lack of rain is beginning to affect the size as well. It appears that blackberries will end sooner than expected.

Another planting of Chinese broccoli has matured and a small bunch will be in your box this week. It has thin stems, large flat leaves and tiny florets. The entire plant is edible. It is best after a quick steam, saute, or in a stir-fry with oyster sauce, fresh ginger & garlic. Add the tomatoes, onions, zucchini, green beans, and garlic from the box for an amazing stir-fry meal!

Salad greens and beets finish off your 13th CSA box of the season.

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Around the farm this week …

The bees are active wherever there are flowers.
New plantings of greens are covered with black shade cloth or white insect netting to try and keep them alive & growing in this heat.
Panoramic view of our entire stall at the Georgetown Farmers’ market.

Thanks to a CSA member for sending this comic. (sorry I don’t know the source to acknowledge it.)


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CSA 2021 – Week 12

What’s in the box?

Green peppers, blackberries, salad greens, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, green beans, garlic.

Our pepper plants are hanging heavy with fruit, though the plants themselves are smaller this year. We will start to pick them now as green peppers. Within the next few weeks they will begin to turn colour (a few already are) – orange, yellow and red.

Blackberry harvest is in full swing and a lot of our time & energy is going into picking them. It’s a good thing they are a pleasant berry to pick. Not as much bending involved as strawberries, and no prickles or thorns like raspberries – almost everyone enjoys picking blackberries!

We keep planting various salad greens and despite the extreme heat last week, most of them are doing well. The shade cloth we put over the lettuce is really helping to keep them alive and even thrive. Find a bag of greens in your box again this week – probably a salad mix with lettuce, arugula, mustard, mizuna …

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Around the farm this week…

Last week’s heat pushed the next sunflowers ahead and most of them were ready to harvest on the weekend instead of throughout this week. The result is 2 long rows of flowers that we mostly can’t pick because they won’t last until Saturday. So we probably won’t have many sunflowers at market this week – but they sure are pretty now!
The weeds are gaining ground (literally) this time of year.
Someone loves golf cart rides – on the roof!


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CSA 2021 – Week 11

He was a grumpy man, and not very friendly.

A carpenter by trade, his passion was growing blackberries – huge, dark, delicious & juicy, thornless blackberries – and his large backyard was taken up with row upon row of them. The plants had come with him (hidden in his socks) when he emigrated from Holland after the war and he carefully propagated replacements as needed – but only for himself. Many people wanted his plants – thornless blackberries were an unusual novelty – but he refused to share. Rumor has it he would even sneek into his neighbour’s yard under cover of darkness and remove any shoots that had spread under the fence. His blackberry plants were only for himself.

Until he decided to share them – with me!

I’m still not sure why. But one day he came to the farm and said he would be giving me blackberry plants. He didn’t ask if I wanted them. He simply told me I would be growing blackberries. And so I did. Gladly! He gave me the plants and taught me everything about growing them.

That was more than 30 years ago now, and while my mentor and his plants are long gone, we are still growing & enjoying blackberries.

What’s in the box?

Blackberries, shishito peppers, tomatoes, beans, salad greens, onions, green onions, garlic, zucchini.

Extras – kohlrabi, eggplant.

It is finally blackberry season! And what a season it is. The berries are bountiful & beautiful – and they taste great! For those not familiar with blackberries, they are a bit sweet & a bit tart. If they aren’t quite ripe they can be sour. Too ripe and they are soft & mushy – but incredibly sweet. We try to pick them as ripe as possible but still firm. Unlike raspberries, blackberries are not hollow but have a soft, edible center core. The only way to eat a blackberry is to pop the whole thing in your mouth. Try to take a small bite and you will be covered in dark, staining juice! While best eaten fresh, blackberries also make great jam, juice, sauce & ice cream. (Lorie has her homemade blackberry jam for sale in the barn.)

*Please note that we do use pesticides on our blackberries. For many years we did not. That was one of the good things about growing blackberries – no spraying necessary! Then along came the spotted wing drosophila. Spotted wing drosophila is an invasive vinegar fly that has the potential to cause extensive damage to many fruit crops – especially soft and dark coloured fruit – like blackberries. In the last number of years it has been found throughout much of southern Ontario and most of the fruit-growing areas of North America, and has become a chronic pest in berry and tender fruit crops. Effective biological controls are not yet available. There are cultural practices that we use to help reduce the insect populations, but the only effective control right now is chemical. And so we spray regularly to try to kill the spotted wing drosophila and protect our blackberries. We would rather not! But then again, we would rather not have worms in our blackberries either!

Shishito peppers are one of our favourite vegetables. They are a small, thin, bright green pepper, with a sweet, fruity flavour and thin, tender, wrinkled skin. What makes a shishito exciting is that 1 in 10 peppers will be slightly hot! They are simple to prepare and delicious to eat! While you can use them as you would any other sweet pepper, they are best eaten charred in olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan over medium-high heat. Cook the peppers whole, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. This only takes a few minutes. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and a splash of lime juice and some parmesan cheese, and serve immediately. Eat the whole pepper – except the stem.

The garlic is now dry and can be stored at room temperature in a dry area for many months. The bulb can be broken open and partially used without the remainder spoiling. Enjoy!

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Around the farm this week …

I mowed the field of cover crop down short and then worked it in and reseeded to buckwheat. Hopefully we get some rain this week to encourage germination. Buckwheat grows quickly – usually faster than the weeds. When it blooms it is a magnet for bees & other pollinating insects.
I transplanted some salad mix, arugula & lettuce early this morning before the heat got too intense.
Then I watered and covered it – the salad & arugula with the white insect cover to prevent bugs from chewing on the leaves and black shade cloth on the lettuce to protect it from the sun.
Everyone needs a drink of cool water on a hot day!


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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!)