fresh from the farm

It’s been awhile..

Hi everyone! 

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted. The last few weeks have been busier than usual as we sorted, cleaned, braided and bagged thousands of bulbs of garlic, in addition to our usual daily farm tasks in preparation for a two-day garlic festival in Carp last weekend. To follow are some pictures from the past few weeks :) 

The beautiful farm centre, which will house a communal kitchen, bathroom and common area is almost complete! Construction of the new intern cabins were finished a few weeks ago so we are anticipating to officially move back to the farm the first week of September. Very exciting!

We are over half-way through the 16 week CSA program we offer. Becca and I were in charge on the on-farm CSA pick-up this week. Above is a list of what members received in their baskets this week. 

These beautiful eggplants are a variety called ‘fairytale’. 

Peppers… 

Delicious heirloom tomatoes (Fun fact: I’ve never enjoyed raw tomatoes until I came to work on this farm. I guess I just haven’t been eating the right tomatoes. These are like candy! Soooo sweet!) 

We used the tractor to harvest melons for CSA again this week and instead of unloading them all we just backed it right in next to the table with the veggies so members could just grab them straight out of the bucket on their way out :) 

Speaking of watermelons, these are hands-down the absolute best watermelons I have ever tasted. I think our CSA members and everyone else who has tried them agrees. We have been enjoying these veryyyy frequently. Watermelon season on the farm is almost over and we’ve all remarked that we’ll be sad when the very last one is eaten. That’s seasonal eating for you: eating and enjoying a lot of a certain food when it’s in season because you know it only comes around for a period once a year. It makes you truly appreciate your food even more :)

The apples are already quite ripe and delicious and it’s only still August! This is likely due to the early summer weather and very hot and dry June and July we experienced. 

This apple tree is located directly above the picnic table that we eat lunch at every day.. how convenient ;) 

Zach and Kylah planted an experimental patch of grapes this year, which proved to be a success! They hope to include this sweet and refreshing treat in next year’s CSA boxes. 

These onions are an Italian heirloom variety called Red Tropea. They are a sweet onion with a mild kick and are delicious raw in salads or caramelized. 

And to close, a picture of me hiding in the kale patch. Eat your greens! :) 

Cleaning out the fridge…

Days off on the farm are for relaxing, recharging and preparing for the busy week ahead. For me this means sleeping in (now, anything past 6 am counts as sleeping in for me), making a nice breakfast (pancakes!) reading, going for a walk or run, doing random errands in town and just general lazing around :). I also usually use this time to cook up a big pot of something to make packing lunch at 6 am a little easier.. This usually involves cleaning out the fridge- chopping up that last bit of kale… throwing in those few tomatoes left in the bottom of the pint box.. which is exactly what I did this week. 

 

Yellow and green zucchini, tuscan and curly kale,  korean purple ic…

Sauteed in a little olive oil.. 

Throw in the last few cherry tomatoes… 

Whisk up a simple dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper… 

Add everything to cooked and cooled red quinoa and bulgar, top with some diced avocado or crumbled feta before eating… and you have lunch for the week! 

Simple and fresh.. the way food should be :). 

All in a hard day’s work…

So this is slowly turning into a food blog.. I just can’t resist though. We are right in the peak of summer season so there is an endless supply of delicious veggies, and posts like these are so quick and fun to write :). 

Here’s tonight’s dinner: a grilled cheese sandwich.. the epitome of quick food. 

Made using locally baked bread and local cheese, garlic scape pesto (made for us by one of very generous CSA members and made with our scapes!), and thick slices of juicy tomato. I’ve learned a cast iron skillet and real butter ensure the best grilled cheese sandwiches. Served up with some simple steamed kale topped with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper, and a beer! Hey, it’s finally the weekend for me :). 

Anonymous asked: Hi I would like to know how to make the pancakes! Thanks

Hi! The pancake recipe is actually from a Dietitian’s of Canada cookbook which I have modified slightly. Here it is: 

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt 

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1 egg (I have omitted this before and they still turned out great!)

1 3/4 cup milk 

1 tbsp canola oil

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, combine wet ingredients in a 2nd bowl, add wet to dry, stir and you have your batter :). It makes quite a few!  

The little things…

…waking up with no alarm and wandering down to the raspberry patch, 

pancakes, coffee and a good book…

:) 

Meals.. fresh from the farm!

When you’re working over 10 hours a day, with much of that time being spent doing some form of physical work, you definitely need good food to keep you going! …and obviously working on an organic vegetable farm means that the majority of your meals will include ample amounts of vegetables. Below are some of the nutritious and delicious meals (and snacks!) we’ve been enjoying made by us using the fruits (vegetables :) haha) of our labour! 

Tuesday’s dinner: A vegetable feast! Steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes with fresh garlic and green onions, sauteed zucchini and eggplant with garlic scape pesto and a simple tomato salad with cucumber, parsley, olive oil and salt and pepper. 

First melons of the season eaten today at lunch! 

Last night’s dinner: Spicy tomato, zucchini, and eggplant sauce (first of the season!) served over whole wheat rotini with local extra sharp cheddar cheese from St. Albert’s Cheese Co-op! (located about 2 hours east of us)

Ate lots of these delicious rainbow carrots (the broken ones) while bunching them this afternoon. 

Tuesday night veggie feast! 

Spring salad: Oak leaf lettuce mix, shredded carrots and chioggia beets (storage crops from last summer), hakurei turnip, and strawberries tossed in a homemade honey-dijon vinaigrette 

Vegetable Noodles with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Despite the scorching temperatures and extreme lack of moisture that the majority of Ontario is currently experiencing (in fact, at the present time this is currently the driest it’s been in this area in 50 years!), the zucchini plants on the farm are still flourishing. There are a few crops which we harvest several times a week, as regular picking encourages the plants to produce vegetables which are of an appropriate size. The crops which we harvest every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, include peppers, tomatoes, summer squash and cucumbers. The summer squash and cucumber patch has been designated as my crop to regularly harvest. Every harvest day, I regularly harvest on average 5 to 7 crates of yellow and green zucchinis as well as patty pans, a yellow flying-saucer-shaped variety of summer squash.

 As a result our fridge is currently crammed full of zucchini, and today on my day off I whipped up lunch and managed to use up a few from our large collection.

 

Vegetable Noodles with Spicy Peanut Dressing

To make the vegetable “noodles” I simply sliced one green and one yellow zucchini very thinly lengthwise and then cut the strips into a size mimicking fettuccine or soba noodles. I repeated the process with a few freshly harvested rainbow carrots and one large cucumber (also picked by me!).

 I tossed the noodles in a spicy peanut dressing made up of peanut butter and olive oil (about a tablespoon of each), a splash of soy sauce and apple cider vinegar (rice wine vinegar would be great!), two cloves of grated Korean purple garlic (our massive garlic harvest/curing process has just begun – a post on this will be coming soon!) and a finely chopped dried chili pepper. A sprinkle of sea salt and pepper and a quick whisk and you’re good to go.

 I added a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and some toasted sunflower seeds and enjoyed my lunch outside with a ginger beer – one of my latest addictions.. sooo refreshing in this heat! 

 

welcome!

After following and reading numerous blogs for quite some time, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start my own. While posting will likely be sporadic, I can assure you that content will be varied! Here you’ll find photos, recipes, thoughts and other random musings from my life on the farm. 

Thanks for reading! 

Leah :)