We have arrived at the first week of our fifth growing season! Thank-you to all our new and returning share members for choosing to support local, organic food and to vote with your dollars! We are privileged to be growing vegetables for you over these next 20 weeks.
Everything is growing well here on the farm, despite having some rather wild weather so far this season. (Yes, us farmers talk A LOT about the weather! It's the one variable we simply cannot control and can be the biggest growing challenge or benefit provided to us each season). I've lost count of the number of violent thunderstorms with high winds we have experienced so far this season! The first one brought down a huge spruce tree on our walk-in cooler and wash station, which created some unneeded work for us in the busy spring season but thankfully did not destroy the building. We were unable to do any plantings the first week of May due to extremely wet conditions, which tends to be our busiest planting week of the year. This means that a few crops will be slightly delayed (peas and onions, namely) but most other crops have caught up now that we have received a week of hot temperatures. The heat did make our spinach crop bolt but we will try again once the temperature levels off a bit! For those aren't familiar with my farming lingo, bolting simply refers to a plant sending up a flower stalk in preparation for producing seed. Once a plant bolts, it is largely inedible because the leaves will turn tough or bitter. The crops most likely to bolt on us are the lettuces and leafy greens such as spinach and arugula. All of these crops love cooler temps and will bolt in response to heat stress. Lucky members will find some delicious spinach in the the trade-in bin to enjoy!
You will notice that everyone received eggs (1/2 dozen for small shares and 1 doz for large shares) this week as part of the share. Eggs are not typically included in the shares but because we have quite a surplus we thought we would share the bounty in the first share while we wait for more vegetables to be available! For those that do not eat eggs, they can be traded in, just like any other item. You will receive a mixture of chicken and duck eggs. Our duck eggs are very similar in flavour to our chicken eggs but will be slightly larger in size and the whites will cook up firmer than a chicken egg. If unsure how to use a duck egg, just throw them in any baking or pancakes and you will never know the difference. In fact, egg connoisseurs suggest that duck eggs produce superior baked goods. Additional eggs will be available for purchase ($6/doz) this week and each week going forward.
We will also have our Raw Wildflower Honey and Frozen Whole Chickens available for purchase. If interested in a chicken, please pre-order as I will not bring these with me unless an order has been placed. The prices are as follows: Honey 500g $8, Honey 1 kg $15, Chicken $5/lb.
Here's a quick reminder of share delivery and pickup details:
Home Delivery Members:
Starts Tuesday, June 20th in the afternoon. No need to be home - simply leave a cooler or box out for me to fill. Please watch you inboxes for the weekly 'trade-in' email. For further details, please reference our welcome letter that was emailed to you at the end of May.
Guelph Pickup Members:
Starts Thursday, June 22nd at St. James Anglican Church (86 Glasgow St. N, Guelph) between 4 - 6:30pm. For further details, please reference our welcome letter that was emailed to you at the end of May.
Farm Pickup Members:
Starts the week of June 19th (actually date dependent on your arrangements with me). For further details, please reference our welcome letter that was emailed to you at the end of May.
Many people are unsure what to do with the spring turnips and kohlrabi that are key features in the early weeks of the CSA. So, I thought I'd start the season out by giving you a few simple ideas for each!
Spring turnips are a mild, crisp early treat similar in texture to a radish but without the heat. Turnips are equally enjoyable raw or lightly cooked (heavy cooking is the death of these spring turnips, so please no boiling!). At their simplest, turnips can be chopped, grated, or sliced and added to salads or eaten with a variety of dips. We also like to lightly saute the turnips in olive oil, coconut oil, or butter along with some chopped garlic scapes and a splash of soy sauce or tamari. They make great additions to a stirfry as well. And don't forget to eat the greens! Turnips greens are highly nutritious and have a spicy bite, similar to mustard greens.
Kohlrabi are the funny-shaped green or purple veggies that are part of the cabbage family. The bulbous portion of the stem has a flavour that's similar to apple and cabbage mixed together. And the leaves are very similar to a mild cabbage. Like turnips, the bulbous portion can be eaten raw in salads or sliced and served with dips. I tend to throw the leaves in smoothies, soups, or stews. Recently, I chopped several kohlrabi and mixed with zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, onions, olive oil, and sea salt and roasted in the oven at 425 for approximately 15 - 20 minutes. These were delicious served with garlic aioli on the side!