Week 37 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Pickups are on for:
Brandon: Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park, 14th Street between Lorne and Princess Ave.

Rivers: Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the WESTOBA Credit Union parking lot, directly North of the Rink parking lot.

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag, please use THIS LINK. (CSA members only!)
For more info about orders and using our order form click here.

Coming in your Red Bag:

Week 36 contents

Carrots, bunch
Pea Shoots, 0.25 lb (large bag)
Yellow Onions, 1 lb
Celery, small head
Baby Dill, bunch
Celebration Acorn Squash, 1

If you are in our CSA and would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.

We are hosting a market
Friday September 17th
in front of Lady of the Lake
from 4 – 7 pm.


About your Veggies:

Shoots are back! We didn’t have good luck with late seeded crops this year, so we decided to start the shoots room back a month or so early. The grasshoppers are ridiculous out there. Fortunately, they cannot get into the shed! So we’ve got some pea shoots for you this week, and some other varieties growing for coming weeks. They’re also available in Chez Angela during their open hours (currently 7-7 weekdays and 8-7 Saturdays).

Our onion yield was low this year, they are small. But they are firm and flavourful! Jon and I finished the harvest Saturday, we’ve got 3 tables curing (normally would have 6 or more). Grasshoppers seem to really like the tops, which is possibly a contributing factor to their small size.

Fish en papillote. Basically some sliced veggies with fish, beans, dill and butter layered on top and then baked in a bag made of parchment paper.

Celery! Again, think “soup flavour” rather than “celery sticks”. I cut some of this up and added it to my fish en papillote (pickerel in a parchment bag) Sunday, it really complimented the fish nicely (also used carrots, zucchini, red pepper, dill, garlic, lemon, dragon tongue beans).

Celebration Acorn Squash is now the only Acorn Squash we grow. Those green ones just don’t pass the flavour test! These are much better in my opinion. Acorn Squash don’t require curing before eating so they are ready to go. I recommend eating this one up before Christmas as they are a short keeper. (For some reason, people love to show & tell me their really really old squash. I am honestly more impressed if you eat it within the window when it still tastes good! Hoarding is better directed to dry goods. :P)

Rounding out your bag this week is baby dill and carrots. Our late carrots are getting grasshoppered before they can size up, so we did bunches this week and will need to dig the whole works soon. I’ll have a better idea of available quantity then if you’re looking for some for winter (until then I thought I listed them at a high enough price to be cost prohibitive, but they keep going out the door).

The dill is BEAUTIFUL! Jen and I did it in bunches which was faster for us, and you’ll need to put it in a plastic bag, container, or stand it up in a glass of water in your fridge.

I’ve been getting creative with salads and including lot of herbs, chopped veggies like celery, fennel, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and some kind of beans (usually chickpeas) with a lemony, garlicky dressing. It wasn’t a good year for lettuce, but I actually prefer a chunky salad and they keep better over the week, too. Silver linings, always!
Here’s a link to that awesome salad Buffy posted recently!


Farm Update:

Myrah helping with carrot harvest yesterday

Pre-school was a hit last week, and Myrah returns today. She LOVES it and didn’t want to leave the second day. I had left some space for it this month (one of many reasons we’re not doing markets most of Sept), but hadn’t really thought about what it would look like in our lives. It sure adds a lot of driving! (An hour each day she goes, for a 2-1/2 hour afternoon – we are 10 mins from town. Mostly I feel for parents with multiple kids going in different directions!) But it is great for Myrah and so it’s very worth it. Over the winter especially, as it’s harder to connect with people then and she needs the peer social interaction.

What a beautiful late summer we’ve had! It *almost* makes up for that sun trying to murder me all summer. This was a hard season for us. The summer conditions frequently made it difficult or impossible to work as we’d like to or need to. So, to have a beautiful late summer without an early frost is such a gift! We’re making good progress on harvest, and have been able to arrange it more efficiently because of the conditions this year. AND we haven’t needed to haul water for at least a couple weeks.


I dug this photo up from the blog archives – it is our nephew Caeden’s 7th birthday today! This photo is from Sept 2, 2019, the last time he visited the farm. I always see so much Jenkins’ family resemblance between Jon, Myrah, and this fella!

See you at the pickup spot, folks!

Take care & stay kind,

Teri 🙂

Week 36 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Pickups are on for:
Brandon: Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park, 14th Street between Lorne and Princess Ave.

Rivers: Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the WESTOBA Credit Union parking lot, directly North of the Rink parking lot.

This is a PAYMENT WEEK if you chose to pay in 2- or 3-installments. Below are the different amounts due, depending on what you chose.

24 Week Option:
-two payments of $290, due June 22 and September 8
-three payments of $194, due June 22, August 4, September 8

14 Week Option:
-two payments of $180, due July 7 and September 8
-three payments of $120, due July 7, August 4, September 8

(If you’re not sure where you’re at, just send me an email or check with me at the pickup!)

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag, please use THIS LINK. (CSA members only!)
For more info about orders and using our order form click here.

Coming in your Red Bag:

Week 35 contents

Tomatoes, Ripening Quart (mix of ripeness to keep you in tomatoes for the week!)
Cucumbers, 2-3
Garlic, 1 head
Purple Shallots, a handful
Spaghetti Squash, 1
Kale, 1 bunch
Zucchini – self serve, optional
Cilantro, optional


If you are in our CSA and would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.

For the Friday Green Spot Pickup, Please use this link.


About your Veggies:

The tomato crop is decent, not great, this year, but we expect to get lots to you in coming weeks, and we’ll have bulk boxes available starting today (I’m bringing a few 10 lb boxes to Brandon, they’re $25) and on the order form for next week. Leave them on the counter and they’ll ripen over the week, if they get too ripe you can stick them somewhere cool to slow them down.

Your Spaghetti squash is our first of the squash harvest for the season! It is not cured yet and so it’s best if you let it sit in your house (NOT your fridge) for a week or two before you eat it. We’ll be working at getting the squash harvested and into the greenhouse to cure over the coming weeks… Not my favourite job of the season, that’s for sure!

The spaghetti squash split in the late season rain. The cracks *usually* heal over, but if yours rots just let me know and we can get you another one!

The shallots are small and not as nice as I’d hoped. Grasshoppers have decimated the tops of the other shallots (grown from seed, these are from sets) and so they are small as well. If I don’t get out there and harvest the leeks soon, they’ll get those too! I really didn’t realize grasshoppers ate onions so much. They’re getting into our late carrots now, too. Caramelized shallots is one of my favourite flavours in the whole world! These ones may require some additional cleaning up before you use them. We noticed some rot when cleaning them, and it was a slog for both Jen and I to get them ready.

Cukes and zukes perked up after that rain. I’ll have as much zucchini as I can fit in the van along today (Tuesday) and a good portion along Wednesday, too!

The cilantro was BEAUTIFUL and needs to be cut weekly to stay nice, so we are bringing it as an optional item as well.


Check out Buffy’s latest post in the culinary corner: Vibrant Beet, Blueberry and Greens Salad for the win!

Farm Update:
Well, last year we got frost on this day, so we made it longer than that at least! We’re working away at the pre-frost harvest and have brought in a good chunk of the tomatoes. The next full moon is the 12th so we will watch the forecast closely around then, and may get lucky and have a few more frost free weeks.

Our days begin a little later in this season. It’s not light enough to work outside until about 6:45, so sometimes we linger in the kitchen over coffee and our books. It’s a nice change after that hot summer which demanded we be outdoors as soon as dawn cracked to beat the heat. It’s also dark sooner, which means the chickens go to bed earlier and so can we! I love living close to nature and observing the seasons and incorporating that into my life.

PB & Jelly

Myrah starts preschool today! She’s going 3 afternoons a week and we are so excited for her. This summer we were fortunate to connect with her teacher Miss Jacquie, who came several afternoons to the farm to get to know Myrah. The other preschool teacher, Stacy, is a CSA member in Rivers already– so I warned Myrah, ‘Watch out, I know both your teachers!’ I also told her ‘Miss Jacquie and Miss Stacy are going to be jealous of these carrots in your snack’, and then she told me not to pack them! Last week, Myrah decided she was going to be vegan. She decided this while eating a hot dog, which I pointed out was unquestionably, not vegan. Then I pointed out that neither was the butter on her corn, and there was definitely gelatin in that marshmallow planned for dessert. She concluded that she’d better go with her strength, considering butter is her favourite food.


I hope you’re having a good back to school week! Remember today (Tuesday) is a fake Monday, perhaps the trickiest fake Monday of the entire year because it’s also back to school time!

Peace & Love,

Teri 🙂

September’s Culinary Corner… Vibrant Blueberry, Beet and Greens Salad for the Win!

with Elizabeth Cancade, Culinary Nutrition Guide & Veggie Lover of Living Simply Kitchen

Welcome to September, veggie lovers!

Blueberry, Beet and Greens Salad by Living Simply Kitchen/Elizabeth Cancade

Recipe Below!

I just had to share this vibrant, nutrient dense salad that you can enjoy making with all kinds of colourful veggies of this season, plus a sweet splash of antioxidant power from B.C. blueberries and an important, satisfying dose of healthy fats from pumpkin seeds and olive oil. With a simple dressing, this salad is perfect for meal prep as the crunchy components will stay fresh in the fridge for a few days if you keep the dressing on the side.

Note: I add about 1 tsp of honey to my dressing mixture.

This salad is broadly nutritious. It’s especially great for you if you are trying to support your mood balance, blood sugar, nervous system, stress resilience and immune system right now.

Pumpkin Seeds, aka pepitas, are wonderful seeds that are mild in flavour but big in nutrition. They are a very good source of plant-based protein, beneficial fats, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, Vitamin E and carotenoids.

Hello to mood balance, blood sugar control, healthy skin & nails, and immune support!

Living Simply Kitchen

This Blueberry Beet and Greens Salad is the ultimate late summer powerhouse when it comes to a variety of raw nutrients, not to mention flavour! Pumpkin seeds alone pack major punch, and so do the other fresh veggies along with a very simple yet nutritious dressing. Use what you have for veggies – carrot is wonderful; red onion works well; you can substitute kale with spinach, swiss chard, arugula, lettuce or a custom blend. And you could add roasted corn or thinly sliced cabbage from our Red Bag this week.

  • Kale: Prebiotic nutrients that nourish desirable gut flora; support for natural detoxification; antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; excellent source of Vit K, A, C, B6, manganese, and copper – just to name a few.
  • Celery: Protects against inflammation in the digestive tract; excellent antioxidant; and a wide array of phytonutrients.
  • Cucumber: Blood sugar regulation, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • Beets: I love beets for their rich and uncommon colour in the food world – this is how we know they have unique phytonutrients that we can enjoy! In this case, the colour in beets comes from betalains that support the body’s natural detoxification, as well as combatting inflammation. They are also supportive to our nervous system health.
  • Blueberries: Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidant properties… and so dang delicious!

Source: World’s Healthiest Foods, whfoods.org

Try These Boosts!

You can add cooked quinoa or lentils for more plant based protein & fiber or a salmon filet, or serve this salad with a local roast chicken for a beautiful fall meal. Another boost would be adding a lacto-fermented food like sauerkraut or sour pickles.

Serving size: this recipe “serves 1” as a meal salad so 2x or 4x up to suit your meal prep!

Week 35 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Pickups are on for:
Brandon: Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park, 14th Street between Lorne and Princess Ave.

Rivers: Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the WESTOBA Credit Union parking lot, directly North of the Rink parking lot.

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag, please use THIS LINK. (CSA members only!)
For more info about orders and using our order form click here.

Coming in your Red Bag:

Sweet Corn, 1/2 Dozen – Paul & Stephanie Dillon, Brandon
Green Cabbage, 1
Potatoes, All Reds and All Blues (Amarosa and Russian Blue) 1.5 lb
Red Onion, 1
Colored Beets, bunch with tops (ran out of colored so there are some just red bunches too)
Jalapeno Peppers, Optional (will be self-serve at pickup spot)


If you are in our CSA and would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.


Culinary Corner with Elizabeth Cancade

This week Buffy’s got a great Caesar dressing for you, as well as an Indian Palya dish that is a great method for all sorts of veggies!

Click here to visit the post!


About your Veggies:

This is the first of our storage cabbage harvest, and Jon was quite happy overall with them.

My Dad grew an acre of corn and it’s ready so we went over Sunday to help pick it for you. I’ll have some extra along at the pickup this week and next!

The potatoes are a mixture of all reds, all blues, and a favourite “Prince of Orange” which has very yellow flesh. Our potato yields were disappointing this year, but I have secured another 500 lbs for the fall from Marlin Peters (Peter’s Market Garden, Virden). And we’ve got Maria’s (Sandy Soil Gardens) for sale on the pre-order form and at the pickup right now! Ours are all done except for a few for storage for ourselves: I’m not going to run out this year like last year!!

Red Onions sized up better than the other onions, which is the opposite of usual. (That’s a good description of our entire 2021 season, actually: “the opposite of usual”!!). Overall, I’m finding our entire onion crop very strong flavoured this year, which reflects the stress it endured growing in the heat, smoke, and drought.

If you haven’t noticed, beets are one crop that did consistently well for us this year! Most of the bunches are colored, but we did run out of big enough colored ones so there are some just red bunches too.

Optional Jalapenoes! If you’re not into hot things, feel welcome to skip them. They will be optional and self-serve beside the pickup.

The zucchini has really slowed down lately so we won’t have that along this week, though I do expect to again in the future.

Funny story, on Friday after market I put together a quick Thai stirfry. Wanted some heat to it so I added a sliced raw jalapeno with the frying pork and onions. Then I coughed. And coughed. And Jon came in the kitchen and he coughed too. Then we turned on the hood fan and still kept coughing: Turns out, frying hot peppers release capsaisin (the thing that gives peppers their heat) into the air! Who knew. I remember years ago when Mom learned the lesson not to food process dried hot peppers. I guess I’ve always added my peppers to liquid or at the end of cooking. Anyway, if you plan to saute them, maybe open a window!


The Opposite of Usual

Myrah and I on Sunday after picking up the corn from Mom & Dad’s

Our last regular market was Friday, and it feels SO GOOD to be done markets and have a Friday off this week! I’m super grateful for last year shaking things up for us. There’s no way I would’ve ever been able to give myself permission to not do markets in September, but it’s totally the right choice for us! Markets tend to slow down in September, it’s cold, we have more to do on the farm because it’s time to bring the fall crops in before frost (last year happened Sept 7). Not to mention, Janelle is getting married in a month, Myrah starts preschool next week, and we’re tired. The kind of tired that has me reaching for endless cups of coffee that will only make it worse, dozing off during reading bedtime stories (or driving, oops!), sleeping in past 6 am.

We’ll have some optional Friday pickups on Friday Sept. 10th and 24th (in front of The Green Spot). You’ll get first dibs on the order form which will be in this newsletter (next week).

That’s another thing we didn’t think would work as well as it does for us. I thought custom pickup orders sounded like a terrible idea before we tried it, but it actually goes really smoothly and takes EXPONENTIALLY less energy than markets. It’s probably the new way: I don’t enjoy markets anymore. Pickups only require one delivery person to leave the farm, and then I come home and unload a van full of empty crates in 5 minutes. When we get home from market, by contrast, we spend up to 2 hours putting everything away and cleaning the trailer. Market is a 14+ hour day, with the added exhaustion of dealing with the public. I really just want to grow veggies for my friends. Thanks for being my friend!


See you at the pickup spot! Thanks to everyone for making pickups fun. I really appreciate those who take the time to chat and get to know each other! That’s what this is all about for me. Special thanks to the friends in Rivers who help me fill that 2 hour window (longer than necessary, but I love having extra time to visit with you and there have been so many amazing conversations this year!).

Teri 🙂

Culinary Corner August 26: From Scratch Caesar Dressing (great for kale!) and Indian Palya, a Special Carrot, Bean & Coconut Dish

with Elizabeth Cancade, Culinary Nutrition Guide & Veggie Lover of Living Simply Kitchen

Kale & Lettuce Caesar Salad by @livingsimplykitchen

It’s been another week full of happy food, cooking and processing in my kitchen! Every time I turn around, there is another BIG bucket/bag/box of produce to work with. I try to remember to have fun with it and not worry on the days when I don’t knock everything off the list (read: every single day, haha). Because I’m committed to advocating for joy & ease in the kitchen as a foundation for wellbeing, I try to keep a close eye on my mindset as I work through my lists and ideas. I hope you do, too.

Finding joy and health in the kitchen has a lot to do with creating the time and skills to enjoy it. If you find meal times crazy, I recommend trying to find a more suitable and enjoyable scenario for cooking and meal prep. If this feels really impossible, try it once. Decide the time and place in the next week and tell whoever needs to know. Problem solve childcare or any other barriers, and make your plan. This is not a day for grocery shopping, so you’ll want to plan in advance for when you will get ingredients (or who will shop) and what you plan to accomplish. Make a list of no more than 5 things (some dishes and some simple prep) as not to get overwhelmed.

This Week’s Recipes

This week, I’ve got two great recipes for you – a from scratch Caesar salad dressing with great ingredients and a simple Indian Palya that fragrant, nutritious and great for a weeknight.

Carrot & Dragon Tongue Bean Palya with Coconut

Takes 20 minutes. Serves 2.

Overdoing screen time? Carrots are said to have a cooling and relaxing effect on the eyes and may bring you relief if you’ve been spending a lot of time on your phone or computer. Aren’t we all……..

Palya is a dish of southern Indian origin referring to a quick fry of bite-sized veggies with fragrant seasoning. You can make this using a single veggie or a multitude! Beans, carrots, beets, potatoes and even some kale – many vegetables are fair game, and best if cut into bite-sized pieces. It makes a great weekday meal especially if you prepare the veggies ahead of time (ie. the night before or 1-2 days in advance) to serve with rice or roti or your favourite flatbread.

You need:

1 Tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp each lime zest and lime juice
1 cup dragon tongue beans, trimmed and cut into half-inch pieces
1.5 cups grated or diced carrots (3 peeled carrots)
¼ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 tsp cinnamon and/or garam masala
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
¼ cup water

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish and try this cucumber raita.

Add the ghee or coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and saute with a lid on for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lime zest and set aside the lime juice.

After 1 minute, add the beans, carrot, and coconut and cook for a few seconds more, stirring to distribute the oil and the spices throughout. Lightly season with the cinnamon and salt, then add the lime juice and water. Stir, reduce the heat to low and cover to simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve warm with rice, roti or a flatbread of your choice. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and cooling yogurt raita. Bonus: raita uses cucumbers and a few other simple ingredients like probiotic plain yogurt (referred to as ‘curd’ in the recipe I linked), cilantro, salt and cumin or paprika.

Real Caesar Salad Dressing (Dairy Free)

This Caesar salad dressing is made from great, whole ingredients. I made this dairy free with the addition of nutritional yeast*, but kept the eggs and anchovy paste for their healthy fats, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Did you know pastured, local eggs are significantly higher in these nutrients than conventional eggs and have a better ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids? Free-range local eggs are a fabulous swap to start making.

Try this dressing with kale sliced approximately 1 inch wide or use a 50/50 blend of kale and lettuce. If I am using some or all kale, I first toss it in dressing for a few minutes to tenderize before adding the lettuce and a bit more dressing to serve.

This recipe makes a good batch of dressing for about 8 side servings or 4 meal salads. It will stay well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

*you can substitute parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast.

Week 34 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Pickups are on for:
Brandon: Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park, 14th Street between Lorne and Princess Ave.

Rivers: Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the main Community Centre (Rink) parking lot, under the shady tree

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag, please use THIS LINK. (CSA members only!)
For more info about orders and using our order form click here.

Week 33 Contents

Coming in your Red Bag:

Dragon Tongue Beans (1/2 lb)
Cucumbers (2 lbs mixed varieties)
Pepper (1, Brandon) Eggplant (1, Rivers)
Carrots, 1.5 lb bag
Onions, 1 lb
Tomatoes, 2 (1 green, 1 ripening)
Zucchini (self-serve, optional)

If you are in our CSA and would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.


About your Veggies:

Tomatoes Update: Lots of folks have been asking about tomatoes. The crop is looking good so far this year but we don’t have them available in larger quantities yet. I will let you know when we do, and our CSA members are always prioritized for bulk orders! They will be $3/lb this year.

Tomatoes are starting to ripen a bit slowly this year (with the cooler weather lately) but we expect you’ll be getting lots in your bags in September, so look forward to that!

In general, our prices have gone up to reflect some of the weather/drought losses we are facing this year. We’ve always been generous in our CSA, so if you’re feeling a little shorted in quantity or variety this year, rest assured that we are too (and we’re remembering all those times we were able to load up the bags well over the base value). In the big picture, supporting us through good AND bad years means that we can keep going: Most of the remainder of our production is reserved for our CSA.

I know we’ve sent you a lot of cucumbers this season – they are one of the crops that is flourishing for us! For something different (and to preserve them for a bit longer) try this quick pickle recipe!

We’ll continue to offer zucchini on a “take if you want it” basis at the pickups, as long as we have it available in sufficient quantity.

The onion crop didn’t do well this year. They are small and we pulled all of the remaining sweet onions to complete this week’s bags. Warning: they are not sweet this year either!

Carrots worked out beautifully! We have reserved most of the crop for CSA members, so look forward to more of those this fall.


Farm Update:

This cooler weather and rain has been so nice! It’s also dark earlier (and later in the mornings) and it feels like the right time for markets to wrap up this week. Not doing markets in September last year was awesome so we will probably never do them again! September is a heavy time for harvest and when we get frost, so that requires some extra space.

We’re planning an evening pop up market Friday Sept 17 from 4 – 7 in front of Lady of the Lake. We’re also planning 2 optional Friday pickups, Sept 10 & 24. I’ll keep you posted!

Sheet Pan Ratatouille

This is the peak time on the farm, as we have daily picking requirements plus we’re starting to harvest fall crops. Myrah starts pre-school this fall (3 afternoons a week) which will be great for her! She’s been doing really great lately. We attended our first (that she remembers) kid birthday party on the weekend, it was lovely! Her friend Obrey turned 5.

I found Buffy’s addition in the Culinary Corner really inspiring last week, so I cooked along with her on Thursday – Sheet pan Ratatouille. Check it out here!
It’s amazing how far a little inspiration can go! We found this delicious, highly recommend.


Signing off now to send order totals and go help Jon finishing picking! See you at the pickup spot, rain or shine!

Teri 🙂

Culinary Corner Week of Aug 17: Five Easy Kitchen Clean Out Meals!

with Elizabeth Cancade, Culinary Nutrition Guide & Veggie Lover of Living Simply Kitchen

Let’s make Sheet Pan Ratatouille!

Catch @livingsimplykitchen LIVE TOMORROW on Instagram

Thursday at 4pm – Replay will be posted

I don’t know about you, but it’s high time in my kitchen to clear out some neglected odds and ends in the fridge after a good month of summer fun and family visiting. I’m back to routine this week and I’m ready to plan some meals that clear out a few veggies that have gotten pushed to the back – out of sight, out of mind.

First Things First

I opened the fridge and looked inside. (this is always a funny point when I’m working with people – “Oh yeah! Start by seeing what I have!” and we laugh. Seeing what you already have is such a great way to begin planning and not have good food go to waste). I went a step further and pulled everything out onto the counter (see the video here) so I could see and assess it, including our Red Bag contents from the pickup last night. Now I have a good idea of what’s on hand, and it’s a lot easier to come up with a few meal ideas that I can prep today and clear out the clutter. By far, one of my favourite activities is clearing up food clutter by prepping, organizing, and making great meals from what we have. It feels so good!

5 Whole Foods Kitchen Clean Out Meal Ideas

Doing a few kitchen clean out meals is one of the best ways to make sure you:

  • Go easy on yourself
  • Eat more great whole foods and support your wellbeing
  • Make the most of your spending on quality food
  • Avoid food waste
  • Feel good… better… BEST!

Here are the meals & prep ideas for what you may have an abundance of right now, including:

  • Beets
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Aromatics like fennel, celery, onion and garlic
  1. Double Up, Freeze Some’ Corn & Potato Chowder: This is a late summer winner in my books, especially if you are partial to using bone broth as your liquid to increase collagen, fats and an abundance of vitamins & minerals. But even if you use water, you can create a tasty simple chowder. Use celery, onions, garlic, corn and potatoes and allow the potatoes to thicken the soup with their starch, no flour needed (especially if you’re aiming for a gluten free soup). Stephanie’s Leek & Potato Soup is a good baseline recipe to work from – replacing the leeks with corn should work just fine!
  2. No Fuss Sheet Pan Ratatouille (CATCH IT HERE LIVE TOMORROW AT 4PM): This is beautifully simple French dish that is definitely on my meal plan this week to use up a bunch of extra zucchini, eggplant, onion, garlic, and tomatoes! Tomatoes are especially prone to a shorter life on the counter, so add this meal to your weekly rotation for the next month. It’s the best because it only requires rustic chopping of all the veggies and – no fuss – toss it all in olive oil, salt and pepper before baking on a prepared sheet pan at 400F for approximately 30 minutes, stirring once.
    • Tip 1: Leave space on the sheet pan between your veggies to promote caramelization
    • Tip 2: Use fresh herbs like rosemary before baking or fresh chopped basil after baking to serve
    • Tip 3: Season with additional salt and a drizzle of balsamic reduction just before serving, or perhaps olives and goat cheese!
    • Tip 4: Round out the meal by adding a flavourful local sausage to the sheet pan before baking or canned/cooked chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  3. Make Ahead Rustic Greek Salad with Creamy Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette (dairy free – recipe below): This is a great lunch to make the night before. The recipe for my dairy free creamy vinaigrette is below and you can make it for the week to keep in your fridge! Making bulk salad dressing is one of my favourite real food hacks. As for the salad, simply wash and chop up your cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, sweet peppers and a little minced garlic and mint or basil. It’s traditional to add feta cheese and olives if you have them. You may also step outside the box and add other veggies that you want to use up, like celery and fennel.
  4. Classic Square MealMake those leftovers! There is something so comforting about simple, fresh food. This week, our VLC Red Bags had beets, dragon tongue beans and you may have picked up some potatoes at the mini-market courtesy of Maria at Sandy Soil Gardens. Pick a day when you have time to roast a whole local chicken, creating a ton of leftovers for future meals and a carcass to make your own bone broth along with seasonal veggies.
  5. OK, Cake.Beet Chocolate Cake! Yes, we can roast beets. Yes, we can make soup. Yes, we can juice beets or grate them onto salad. BUT, when Teri suggests you can make CHOCOLATE CAKE with BEETS, I say let’s go for it! I haven’t made this recipe and I’m already excited about the colour. I also came across another Brown Sugar Produce member recipe for a cake with beets: Beet & Carrot Cake by Fran.

I’m working my way through these exact meals and my veggie excess is completely taken care of. We’ll be eating all this great food – nothing beats that.

Week 33 VLC Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Pickups are on for:
Brandon: Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park, 14th Street between Lorne and Princess Ave.

Rivers: Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the main Community Centre (Rink) parking lot, under the shady tree

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag, please use THIS LINK. (CSA members only!)
For more info about orders and using our order form click here.

To get your name on our Pickling Cucumber List please follow this link!

Week 32 Red Bag Contents

Coming in your Red Bag:

Daikon Radish (1 small)
Dragon Tongue Beans (1/2 lb)
Cucumber (2 small)
Beets (Red bunch with tops)
Celery (1 head) *See note
Eggplant (1) Brandon Pepper (1) Rivers
Garlic (1 large head)
Zucchini (self-serve, optional)

If you are in our CSA and would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.


About your Veggies:

*Note about Celery: When it is dry like it is this year, Celery (a water lover) tends to be more strong-flavoured and herb-like and better suited for cooking than for fresh eating. I wanted to give you a heads up to plan to eat this cooked rather than raw!

Check out Buffy’s latest post in the Culinary Corner: Local Quinoa Tabbouleh Full of seasonal veggies!

Daikon Radish are just like other radishes in terms of flavour. If you’re not into raw spicy radishes, try adding it the next time you’re roasting or sauteeing veggies. They taste great cooked and it mellows out the flavour a lot! I put radishes in my BBQ wok regularly.

There will be a self-serve zucchini station at the pickup. Take as much as you would like, or skip it – it’s up to you! We’ve got more than we can sell at markets but don’t want to force it on you in your bags each week.


Farm Update:

The news of the season is that we got manure delivered last week! (Most people pose in front of landmarks or beautiful scenery, Jon and I choose this pile of cow shit!). It came from the closest neighbor with cattle and was hauled by a local contractor.

Why is this so exciting? We don’t use chemical fertilizer, so animal manure is necessary for our veggie production. Without poop there would be no veggies! Farmer Jon will turn this pile during the fall as it composts and then it will be ready to apply on the fields next spring. Fortunately we have a manure spreader for that purpose. We are thrilled to connect with a neighbor who has this fertility available for us, s/o to Trevor & Amy Peters at Big Sky Simmentals and Johan Lok/Johan’s Construction.

We welcomed some visitors from the big city this weekend: Our dog Harper’s original owners, Hank, Jeanette & Hannah. Hannah and Myrah are close to the same age and had a great time playing together, especially on the tractor. Harper was delighted to have her entire pack together for a day!

Tractor operators

We’re wrapping up markets at the end of August which feels good. We’re planning an evening market on Sept 10th from 4-7 pm in front of Lady of the Lake, and we’ll probably have a couple optional pickup Fridays in September as well. I’ll keep you posted!


That’s all for now, Veggie Lovers!

See you at the pickup spot!

Teri 🙂

Culinary Corner: Local Quinoa Tabbouleh Full of Seasonal Veggies!

with Elizabeth Cancade, Culinary Nutrition Guide & Veggie Lover of Living Simply Kitchen

I love tabbouleh for it’s fresh, cool crunch and simple, light dressing of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to go along with all the herbs. When made with local quinoa cooked in authentic bone broth, this salad packs deeply satisfying nutrients including protein, fiber, and delicious fat to make it a great meal unto itself.

If you don’t have homemade bone broth, Bones & Marrow of Winnipeg sells authentic bone broth at many locations in the Brandon area (Two Farm Kids; Tendercuts) or you can substitute with lightly salted water.

Week 32 VLC Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Pickups are on for:
Brandon: Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park, 14th Street between Lorne and Princess Ave.

Rivers: Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the main Community Centre (Rink) parking lot, under the shady tree

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag, please use THIS LINK. (CSA members only!)
For more info about orders and using our order form click here.

To get your name on our Pickling Cucumber List (CSA Members only) please follow this link! **Please note: picking pickling cukes really hurts my back, I have an injured disc from 20+ years back (from picking cucumbers). I try to avoid it and hire for it but that didn’t work out this year and I am feeling a lot of pain these days, which affects the entire picture. I plan to wrap up pickling cukes as soon as I get through the orders and we will not grow any next year. Currently we only have about a week’s worth of orders left. If you want any more pickling cukes this year please make sure your order is in as I plan to stop picking them by the end of this month at the latest. If you can take them on a weekend (farm pickup) that really helps, I have struggled to find homes for them the past 2 weeks which wastes a lot of time.

Week 31 Red Bag Contents

Coming in your Red Bag:

Zucchini, 2-3
Cucumbers, 2 lbs
Tomato, 2-3
Onions, Sweet & Red Bunch with tops
Potatoes, Charlotte & Agria (Yellow), 1 lb
Dragon Tongue Beans, 1/2 lb Will be in next week’s bag, it was too wet to pick this week
Choice of: Fennel, Eggplant, Peas or Beets

If you are in our CSA and would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.


About your Veggies:

Unfortunately our potatoes just aren’t yielding as we would like & expect, so we only have a small portion (1 lb) for you this week. Hoping that Janelle or Maria end up with some extra crop we can buy at the end of the season! The potatoes we do have are super delicious, buttery Charlotte & Agria varieties. I grow the Agria for myself for storage because they get huge and are delicious. The Charlotte are a popular French variety. Enjoy the last taste of them, because from here on out we’re shifting to more drought resistant varieties. We watered and watered and watered and yet had a very poor yield on these spuds, especially compared to our Reds.

Onions in the neighboring rows also fared poorly. We’ll see about 1/3 of the typical onion harvest this year, they just never thrived and are consistently small. It sucks to go to all that effort and then not have a worthwhile harvest. But the bunches we harvested and Jen washed and bunched for you yesterday look great, and still have plenty of useable tops! Also, small onions are great because you can use them all up at once and not have little bits to store in the fridge.

Beans can’t be picked in the rain, it destroys the plants & future fruit set and the beans themselves get rusty (yucky brown). So we’ll get you some Dragon Tongue Beans next week! (I never in a million years actually expected it would rain after so many times it was predicted and didn’t.)

In lieu of a reasonable portion of potatoes, tiny onions and missing Dragon Tongue Beans, please accept extra cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini! Those crops are doing well for us, especially cucumbers!

If you can possibly choose Fennel today, please do! We don’t have enough to do the entire CSA again but it won’t sell at market and is going to go to waste otherwise. Which is a shame when we are coming up so short on so many items. We are NOT short on cucumbers, zucchini, kale, or beets, so when you buy those items it really helps!

Check out Buffy’s latest post: Culinary Corner Week of Aug 3: Quick rundown of meal, prep and storage ideas from my own kitchen!
“Meal prep doesn’t have to be a chore or a bore, and it can make a huge difference in the foods you end up consuming. Because, the truth is life gets busy and we get tired, and in those moments, it’s honestly a lot harder to choose well. And that’s ok, but over time, what habits can you create to get back enjoyable time with real food in your kitchen?” Read the post for some great tips!

Farm Update:

We got 3/4 of an inch of rain yesterday! I haven’t worked in the rain all season and so that was something different. Changed clothes about 3 times and got glorious mud all over the house and the shed. I don’t have good rain gear because I so rarely need it.

It was Farmer Jon’s 40th birthday yesterday! We celebrated on the weekend with lobster and a scavenger hunt for beer & chips. Thanks to all who gifted chips and/or beer for the cause! Jon and I don’t really do gift exchanges for occasions, but that was a fun way to make some memories, and connect with our community of Veggie Lovers: So many different chips and beer in stock here now!

A quick update on Fall storage crops: They aren’t looking good. The squash has been slow to get going and many of our varieties won’t set fruit this year. The potato yield is poor and carrots are in short supply. We lost multiple plantings of turnips and watermelon radish to pests. Onions are small this year. The garlic is harvested and curing and looks great. Celery and Celeriac (who are water lovers) aren’t looking very happy. We lost the last 4 plantings of lettuce to heat damage. We’re grateful for any rain that we get, but 3/4″ on top of a dust bowl that has been the entirety of the season isn’t really going to make much impact. We are certain that we can fulfill our CSA commitments, but will not be taking on any additional fall members or markets.

If anyone knows of something that would be a good fit for me (Teri) for winter employment, please be in touch! Currently we’re down about 25% of where we were at this time last year, and with such tight margins and low yields I know the farm can’t bear that and will have to suspend our salaries over the winter. We haven’t decided if we’ll run a winter shoots program this year or not. Truthfully, it makes more overall sense for one of us to work off the farm when we are in a poor financial spot, the return on microgreens is too little to support us.

Sorry if this sounds a bit depressing. It feels a bit depressing. I’m doubling down on self care practices to support myself right now, and overall our mindset is positive. This is the reality of what we do, margins are very tight and when we have poor growing seasons there’s not a lot of wiggle room.


Congratulations to members Grant & Amy who got married this weekend! It looked like it was a beautiful wedding with close friends and family!


Thanks for supporting what we do & enjoy your veggies!

Teri 🙂