August 13th Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hi folks!!

Welcome to August 13th!  A big meaty update this week, with some info on Coffee Pre-Orders for next week, A flash deal on cases of peaches for August 23rd, info on pickling veggies and canning tomatoes, A crop update on some of the veggies and how they’re coming along this season, and lots more!

Construction near the pickup: 13th, Lorne, and 14th Street were all closed as of last week, so the easiest access to the pickup spot is from the West end of Lorne (18th Street), or to go around the park from 15th Street.


Pre-Order Form
There is a minimally stocked mini-market at the pickup, but you can also PLACE A PRE-ORDER to ensure that you get the items you want with your weekly bag.  It helps us to know what to bring and it helps with reducing our waste.

Placing an order does NOT affect your weekly bag contents, anything you order is IN ADDITION, not “instead” of what is coming in your weekly bag.

Here’s the link to PLACE A PRE-ORDER for the August 20th pickup!  (This link is the same each week and so you can visit it any time you want to place a pre-order) – Order deadline is Monday at noon!


Spoiler Alert: If you would like to keep your bag contents a surprise, you should STOP READING NOW!!

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest 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!

Week6

Your August 13th Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:

Potatoes, German Butter – 1.5 lb
Zucchini, Green and Yellow – a few assorted
Tomatoes, a few, ripe & ripening
Sweet Onion, 1
Basil, small bag
Rainbow Beets, 1 bunch
Green Pepper, 1

You can click the links on the items above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season, 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 this Week:

I smell a Greek Salad sometime in your near future!  I like to make mine with Sweet Onions rather than red onions as they often call for, because I don’t like strong raw onion.  Waiting until your tomatoes are deep red and nearly over ripe is my Greek Salad secret!

A bit about Ethylene:
Tomato season! Tomatoes are an ethylene-sensitive fruit.  Ethylene is the “aging” hormone present naturally in some fruits, i.e. it will cause things to ripen.  So, a neat trick that you can do at home if you want to speed up your tomato ripening is to place it near a ripe banana or a ripe avocado (Ethylene producers – in a paper bag works fastest).  Ethylene producers should never be stored near veggies like carrots or potatoes, they can cause them to go bitter.

Never store Tomatoes in the fridge!!  It spoils their texture and flavour.

Rainbow Beets: We are short on colored beets this year, and so we may not have enough gold to send those along, but we sent a mixed color bunch this week.  I really like the colored beets and find them less earthy than red beets.  The tops are still nice and still totally useable!  Make sure you wrap up the whole works in a plastic bag or container in the fridge, otherwise they will wilt.

We’re careful each year not to overwhelm folks with zucchini, but prepare to have a good amount this week, enough that you can make our favorite zucchini recipe on the farm, Zucchini Bake!  We grow a green variety as well as a yellow one, they are basically the same as far as flavour and cooking characteristics.

We’re sending a little handful of basil along to go with those tomatoes!

Make sure I put the tomatoes in your bag at the pickup, we bring them on the side so they don’t get squashed in the van (literally, squashed by summer squash!).  I’m usually pretty good but I’m sure I miss one or two here and there so don’t hesitate to be in touch with us if something is missing from your bag and we’ll get it to you next time!


PEACHES direct shipped from BC:
If the peaches are anywhere near as good as the cherries we recently sourced from BC, then you’re going to want a case of them!  $80 for 20 lbs, by the timing they will be freestone (later season) perfect for canning and preserving.  That’s basically our cost on them, an exclusive deal for you Veggie Lovers, and we need to know TODAY (August 13th) if you want one for pickup at the Friday August 23rd market!

Coffee Pre-Orders from Ten Thousand Villages for August 20th pickup
You can pre-order a bag of this top-notch fair trade coffee (454g) of either bean or ground for $14.50 (regularly $15.95) & pick it up at the August 20th Veggie Lovers’ pickup.

The options are:
– Ethiopia dark roast, bean or ground
– Colombia medium roast, bean or ground

Please place your pre-order directly with Meeghan: The email address to place an order is brandon@villages.ca
She can accept debit, visa, mastercard or cash at the pickup.

She will be on site with the coffee August 20th, and if you forget to order there will be some available (for full price) without pre-order.


Veggie Crops Update: Here’s a few notes on how some of the crops are coming along!

20180723-IMG_7063.jpgThis is the first tomatoes in your bags this year.  We are growing more than we have ever grown and anticipate there should be lots more to come!

Cucumbers had a bit of a struggle getting started this year and so we are about 2 weeks behind usual.  We have gotten you one (I know, that’s not much!!) in each of the past 2 bags and we do plan to keep them coming!  Cukes are one of the crops we increased this year in the hopes to put more in the CSA bags.

We have some melons coming and hope there may be enough for the Veggie Lovers’ bags this year!  Mostly salvaged muskmelons, our watermelons and cantaloupes had the same issue as the cukes: a bit late planting exacerbated by too high of soil temps due to using plastic mulch in our new field.

We grew more eggplant this year but changed seed suppliers and the plants are not performing to expectations, so we don’t think we’ll have eggplant in the bags this year, to the dismay of at least one person (or maybe not, more for you Cathy Jane!!).

Our celery has a disease.  The crowns are rotting when the plants are mature, but the roots are completely unaffected.  We sent some samples off to Winnipeg yesterday to see if they can figure out what it is and that will give us more information as to what we can do to mitigate it in future.  Luckily we have 2 baskets and rarely put all of our eggs into only 1!  Most of the celery is at Mom’s place, only 60 plants were here and it looks like we’re going to lose them all, and possibly half of the 2019 celeriac that is planted beside it.  Can’t win ’em all!  It’s a bit mysterious as the field they are growing in was fallow last year and was the site of our barn that burned down, so hasn’t been grown in for years.  You’ll definitely get more celery this year in your red bag!

Garlic is looking great this year and we still have the softneck crop to harvest next week.

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Brown Sugars at the Covenant Growers’ farm stand last August!

Marcus and I are currently discussing dates and shipping details to get some sweet corn in your upcoming CSA bags!  We don’t grow corn ourselves at all anymore because Marcus’s is so good.  His farm, Covenant Growers, is the official corn grower and supplier for the Morden Corn & Apple Festival coming up in late August!

Still to come in future bags: so many Squash, Leeks, Parsnips, Specialty Potatoes, possibly turnip and watermelon radishes, colored carrots, and lots more!


Veggies for Preserving:

Pickling Cukes?  As I mentioned on Facebook this weekend, we are no longer taking names for bulk orders of pickling cucumbers for this year as we anticipate we have already pre-sold all of our crop.  (Don’t worry, you didn’t miss the memo, we rarely advertise our pickling cukes as we are trying to decrease this crop but already have a huge following for them).  However, as a Veggie Lover, you are one of our best customers and get special privilege, so if you are looking for pickling cukes send us an email and we’ll get you on the “maybe” list for now.  If we run short we may fill our Veggie Lovers’ orders before others, so it’s somewhat hopeful!

I just added Bean & Carrot Pickling Packs to the “Bulk Buys” section of the Pre-Order form.  They come with enough produce to make 6 – 8 pints of carrot or bean pickles, and also come with Stephanie’s recipe! FYI: It’s doubtful that cucumber pickling packs will ever be available on the Pre-Order form this year, but if you want one let us know (8 lbs cukes plus dill and garlic and a recipe for $25)

Tomatoes for canning/salsa: We should have some!  It’s likely we can list them on the form at some point, but best if you send us an email and let us know how many you will be after this year.  They will be ready in a few weeks as the tomatoes are just starting.


Farm Update: We have a new part-time (2 days/week) employee on the farm, Laryssa.  She grew up on a farm just outside Winnipeg where her parents grew many crops including strawberries, and she has lots of experience and knowledge of the ag industry from being involved in the Soil Science Society of MB and Pulse Growers Association.  We met at the Direct Farm Marketing Conference in February and she expressed interest in learning more about what we do by working with us.  We are thrilled to have her help for a couple of days a week right now, because it’s the time when the jobs get heavier and the days get longer (despite the days actually being SHORTER, such a cruel joke!).  She helped with the harvest yesterday and it was such a lovely day, made better by achieving our goals faster and more easily with 3 sets of hands!  I always love seeing the farm freshly through someone else’s eyes.

We managed to get all the harvest brought in before the rain started yesterday, which is always a bonus.  We got about 3/8″ and then another 1/4″ overnight, Mom got closer to 1″.  We’re so happy for the rain!

We took some time this weekend to re-install the siding on our house that was missing after we tore down the garage this spring.  It looks much better now!  Vinyl siding is so ugly but the effect overall makes the house look alright.  Our house is over 100 years old and has a lot of issues, but we’re not so fancy and so we love it.  We added some insulation behind the siding because we’re in a serious relationship with MB Hydro that is mostly one-sided and they take 1/6th of our annual household income so we want to do anything we can to decrease that!

MomTeriBrandonSun_08-09-19
Did you see us in the Brandon Sun on Saturday?

Correction from last week: Riverdale Early Learning Centre DID win the Manitobaville contest!! Yay!! Thanks to all of you who helped by voting, Myrah’s daycare will be spending the money on playground equipment for the kids.  Every week we donate 2 big red bags full of veggies to the daycare, one for the kids’ snacks and one for the staff.  We are so grateful for this centre and the people who work there and look after Myrah 2 days a week so we can do our jobs!  It takes a village.

Myrah has been doing so well in bean picking season!  She kept picking sunflowers and bringing them to me the other day.  So much love happening while that pail gets full, I’ll bet a lot of it rubs off on the beans and makes them taste better!!  It might sound silly if you think about it too hard, but we believe that the intention with which the veggies are grown and our business is run, matters.  Our tagline should be “Brown Sugar Produce: Taste the difference love makes” Haha!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with kindness and gratitude!

Take care!

Teri 🙂

 

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