Hi Veggie Lovers!
Whoa, last week was a bit of a gong show! I can’t believe so many of you made it to the pickup. Serves me right for being cocky about us tough Manitobans! Fun fact: it’s incredibly hard and my least favourite thing to make a call about the weather in the winter. When we lived in Nova Scotia I was managing a large CSA and nearly every week we would have to reschedule a pickup all winter. It was actually pretty ridiculous and incredibly stressful, because it required not only heaps of communication, but huge amounts of rescheduling and the coordination of dozens, hundreds, of people (the farm team and the members). Half the time we’d cancel delivery by making a call in the morning, the sun would come out in the afternoon and the roads would be just fine. I know many of you are teachers, and I sure have a lot of respect for whomever it is who decides when classes are cancelled– and eventually we just made the rule that if school was closed, deliveries and pickups on this particular farm were cancelled, too.
Even if we had that rule in place here it wouldn’t have changed us being out on the roads Tuesday. By all reports all day they were snow covered and slippery in sections but generally fine. However, what happened is the temperature plummeted right at 4 pm when I was already en route. In fact, I was carefully creeping along only going 70 kmh when I crested the hill on PR270 just before #1 highway… And despite that, me and Big Blue sailed right across both westbound lanes of the Trans Canada, as if we didn’t try to brake at all! Rear wheel drive cargo van with no weight in it on a skating rink isn’t a good recipe. And also, as it turns out, an uninsulated box which doesn’t stay above zero even with the heat running the whole pickup! So, you’ll find us in our personal minivan this week. Her name is Margarita and she’s a beauty of a brown 2005 GMC Safari with Brown Sugar decal stickers on the sides, and mud up to the windows!
So yeah… It’s never our intention that we or you be out picking up veggies when the roads are unsafe. If you missed due to the conditions please be in touch so that we can get you your Week 19 bag this Tuesday. We’re always happy to reschedule pickups if the conditions are unsafe to be out on the roads, so don’t hesitate to stay safe, even if we haven’t cancelled the pickup that day because things can change in an instant!
Here’s the link if you’d like to place a Veggie pre-order!
You can place an order anytime before Monday at 5 pm for the coming week and not much changes as far as availability from week to week this time of year so you can order any day, including Tuesday, for next week’s pickup if you want!
We encourage you to make use of the Pre-Order form if you would like additional veggies, preserves, pickles, etc. There will no longer be a mini-market at the pickup.
The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much/any notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest or pack it freshly for your bag. So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens! At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!
Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!
You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more! Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!
About the Veggies in this week’s bag:
Beets are my current favourite example of what a little persistence and the right recipe can do. Full disclosure, I used to say we “didn’t prefer” them, but it’s actually more along the lines of, I would try to sneak them onto Jon’s plate when he wasn’t looking, and then he would offer them back to me, as though he was too full to finish them: We actually hated them. I wondered what the heck people were doing with them. And eventually, I figured it out, and now we love them. Thanks to a few recipes that hide them well (Beet & Carrot Cake, Chocolate Beet Cake) Mom’s Ukrainian Borscht, and the discovery of: roasted beets, and that colored beets are the gateway beet (less earthy tasting than red ones), and that we LOVE raw beets. Like, so much that I crave them now. So, if you still don’t like beets (or any other vegetable), keep eating them and trying new things and you may find that you learn to love them!
If you’re stuck and don’t know what to try next, send me an email. That’s what I’m here for!
Carrots: The last of the carrots from my place. They are more knobbly than the ones grown at Mom’s place, but they are also a darker orange color, probably due to their struggle growing in our harder soil and slight nutrient differences between the two farms. Yes, carrots have terroir too!
I’ve already said everything I can possibly ever say about Pea Shoots in my life, and compiled it all on our Pea Shoot Page, which is a great resource if you want some ideas of what to do with them! As a general rule, I find that washing them and chopping them into small pieces is essential. Think outside the box and use them anywhere you want a pop of fresh green: They are especially great atop hot soups and in raw beet salad.
If you really love shoots then keep reading for exciting new details about our 2019 Spring Shoots Program!
We never plant enough Acorn Squash, so this year we did! I rarely even get to eat any they are in such short supply. I’ve really been enjoying them, and I hope you have been too!
A kitchen hack I use a lot: Whenever the oven is on, it’s full! That means if I’m roasting a squash then I’ve also got some beets in there as well, or if a chicken is cooking for supper then I roast some extra veggies to have on hand all week. Prepping twice as many roasted veggies only takes a few extra moments, and taking advantage of the oven being on means MB Hydro gets less of your paycheque: They already get way too much of ours! If I’ve got beets already roasted then I’m much more likely to use them up where I can, in hummus, or in salads, or just frying them for a few minutes to heat them up. Same with squash: If I’m only eating half, I still cook the whole squash and then I can use the cooked squash creatively over the next few days. You’d be surprised the things you can hide cooked squash in – your morning oatmeal, mac and cheese, soups and stews, tomato sauce, pizza, even lattes!
I really like this Pea Shoot and Roasted Carrot Salad! We’ll put the recipe in your bags this week or you can Click Here to see it.
We don’t have a ton of Onions left but we hope to get them to you at least once again before the program ends, including this week. We have sold out of leeks, parsnips, celeriac, cabbage, and lots more. In your remaining bags there will be potatoes, beets, squash, carrots, some preserves, and a few other items to come in the next few weeks, as well as shoots every week if all of our plantings work out!
Spring Shoots Program Registration Now Open!
In 2018 our farm ran 40 weeks of CSA Programs! That was a little bit too much and so I’ve been reluctant to figure out the details for next year’s spring program because of it. However, thanks to the excitement of a few members for helping me pull through and sort out all the details: Registration is now open and all the details can be found on our website here! You are the first to know! I will reach out to our 16-week members next, and on December 1, our mailing list. So you have at least until then to think about it, just don’t wait too long as there are only 40 spaces!
We plan to run it a bit differently than last winter’s Pea Shoot Program, this year it will have more of a range of items, run for a shorter period, and is WEEKLY pickup. Make sure you read though the entire page before you sign up and let me know if you have any questions as you read it (because those edits I do help everyone!).
Since I spent all of my budgeted time for this week’s newsletter on fine-tuning the details for this program, I’m going to skip the general farm update this week: This is it! Our update is that we have opened registration for our spring 2019 program and if it sounds like it will work for you then we hope you sign up!
Have a great week & see you at the pickup! Hopefully it will be a bit nicer than last week.