Week 24 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.

Coming in your Red Bag Nov. 30th:
-Assorted (Choice of) Shoots, small bag
-Carrots, Rainbow, 2 lbs
-Beets, Red, 2 lbs
-Red Cabbage, 1
-Citron Marmalade, 250 ml, Made by Mom (Stephanie)

(Also, credit goes to Mom for the Spaghetti Squash you got on Week 23, I forgot to say they were from her place!)

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.
(24-Week CSA members only on this form please, we are mostly sold out of produce now. Previous members (14-week), please use the link provided in email to access the pickles and few other things we have left!).


About your Veggies!
Member Kelly says the Citron Marmalade makes the best lemon loaf, so if you’re not into eating it on toast, try using it in baking!

Citron are a little-known heritage melon that Mom grows. Myrah and Jon took one to the chickens today (they are also known as “fodder melon”) and Myrah noticed, “hey, it smells like watermelon!”. They don’t have much flavour on their own and are full of red seeds. Over the years, I have connected with people all over the world about this melon, as we must be one of the few places in the world still blogging about it. I’ve shared seeds with others, too!

Every year I wish we grew more cabbages. This year is no different, but I am excited that we have some beautiful red cabbage to send you home with this final pickup!

We couldn’t choose, so Jon grew some of every shoots this week and you get to choose from Radish, Sunflower, Pea, Spring Salad, Broccoli, Fava. (And if you’re really not a shoots lover, I’ll have some frozen spinach and frozen dill along too!). Thanks to everyone for telling me how much you love shoots last week! Our feedback survey showed that some people are not a huge fan, so I feel like the shoots lovers stood up last week! We never expect everyone to be happy all the time.

Buffy mentioned to me that she loves the adaptation that she sees us doing with shoots. If we hadn’t grown shoots this fall, we probably would have been a week or so short of produce this season. They have quick turnaround, are not seasonally dependent, are fresh & nutrient dense, and help me meet my health goals (ie not getting greens panic by March!). Anyway, I’m not trying to sell you on them, just assure you that they are important to us and we’re going to keep growing them for the CSA, but will be mindful to try not to rely on them so much in the fall, or possibly make them a separate opt-in program.

We’re not stocking shoots in Chez Angela anymore, but we might do a shoots CSA in the spring, I’ll keep you posted!

Rainbow Carrots! We didn’t grow many of those this year, and no purple because they get stuck in the clay. Plus, they don’t even taste good anyway. There’s nothing worse than working hard for something that doesn’t even have good flavour! There are a range of shades from white to orange.

And beets! I pulled out my favourite beet recipe the other day, Beetroot Masala Dahl. Not gonna lie, it’s our favourite because we can barely taste the beets! We haven’t eaten any yet this year because they are a non-loved winter staple. They are so darn easy to grow, and most people like them, so we persist!

I encourage you to check out some of the recipes folks shared at the bottom of the VLC survey this year!

Farm Update
This is it! The last CSA pickup of the year. We are SO glad that we started a couple weeks early and so we are finished a bit early too. It’s my birthday later this week and we’ve got some plans for that, too. (Heads up, if anyone needs a cut-your-own Christmas Tree, our neighbors’ Walker’s Greenhouse is the place to go!)

We are ready for a break and love the slower pace of winter. Any sunny day you can find me curled up in the sun like a cat in the greenhouse with a good book. Otherwise I’m probably in the kitchen tending a cauldron of soup. We make sure to spend lots of time outside in winter, because it is important to us as humans and keeps us feeling good. Jon has been doing morning yoga with me lately and he’s as hooked as I am. We’ve been connecting with friends and it’s the tonic our spirits needed!

Our greenhouse is open to anyone who would like to visit this winter! It has to be a cloud-free sunny day to be nice in there (from about 11 am – 2 pm in Dec-Feb), and we just set up a compost toilet (which is FAR better than peeing outside as I have always done in the past! Brr!!). I’ve found it’s better to just go for it on a suitable day rather than plan it ahead, so if you are interested let me know and I can keep you posted! Vitamin D therapy, I call it (though I am not actually sure if vitamin D passes through greenhouse plastic, it sure feels nice!).

Have a great winter folks! I’ll be opening registration in Jan or Feb and will keep you posted!

Take care,

Teri 🙂

2021 VLC Survey Results

Jon and I sat down today and read all the end-of-season surveys filled out by our Rivers, 14-week Brandon, and 24-week Brandon CSA members this afternoon.

Going over surveys!

I’m always a bit careful to be in the right frame of mind when looking at feedback: We put a lot of our hearts into this and criticism can be hard to hear (though it is the most helpful of all feedback). We’ve never had anything outright mean said on our surveys and this year was no different! In fact, we were in a bit of a down mood, and after reading all the surveys (aloud to each other) we felt really great and shared a high five!

It was a tough growing season for us with the heat, drought, and smoke. It made it hard to work outdoors many days and we spent countless hours hauling water to keep things alive. It sounds like all of you understand that, and a few mentioned how much the communication about the ups and downs of veggie farming help you to understand where we’re coming from. I believe this is the reason why relationships between those who produce food and well, everyone who eats ie everyone, are so critical. Thank you for making this important in your life and family as well!

On the Quantity/Quality/Value/Freshness/Variety/Storage Capacity question we got mostly rated “Excellent” and nothing below “Adequate”. There were some things in lesser quantity (eg leeks, lettuce mix, spinach, shallots, early carrots) and quality (eg leeks, celery) than we would prefer this season. We always try to explain in the newsletters when things aren’t up to par, and it seems like everyone understands that well (thank you!). We do plan to amp up the variety next year!

There were no identified issues with either of the pickup locations – I really liked how one person noted that though parking at Stanley Park may only get an “adequate” score, “I enjoy picking up my veggies next to a park in a community that feels alive”. I completely agree! We lucked out on the shoulders of Luna Field Farm and previous CSA farmers and we have an excellent location in Brandon, and also in Rivers!

The biggest work of going over the surveys every year is compiling all the “less” and “more” items. Jon helped, and here they are:

So, for context, the first column is things that you would like more of, including things that you regularly buy at the store. So, for example, mushrooms aren’t in our plans, but it’s good to know that people do enjoy them and if we ever connect with some or want to grow them or support another grower, there is interest.

Of note to us on the “More” column were:
– Broccoli (we plan to grow lots more next year)
– Corn (My Dad Paul says he is willing to grow it again)
– Peppers (something we had already identified as wanting to grow more of, there didn’t used to be any market for peppers but you must’ve all figured out how yummy they are!)
– Lettuce (yes. We lost FOUR whole plantings due to the heat. Not what we planned! It sucks to do all the work and not reap the harvest, that’s never ideal. So tell the sun to cool it next year, and we’ll also be branching out our varieties to mitigate that.)
– Arugula (now that we have a greenhouse we may be able to do it early, it’s a tough one due to flea beetles)
-Romaine Lettuce (we will try again and look for a heat resistant type or grow it in the early season. Head Lettuces are hard because we have limited space and find a low seed-to-marketable-head ratio… ie, the last time we grew them I planted 128 seeds and ended up with only 62 useable heads. But you don’t get better or a different result if you don’t try, so we will!)

Of note to us on the “Less” column:
-Beets (I’m with you, but they grow so well for us they become a staple crop in tough years. It wasn’t our intention to put them in so many times this season, thanks for bearing with us!)
– Kale (yup… Saw that coming too. Every year, Kale is too much for some! The Kale did well in the barn field while the Chard suffered in the main field, so we will move the Chard next year and hopefully need to rely on Kale less. Without lettuce we were just happy to have anything green and leafy!)
– Shoots (I’m a bit disappointed, but I get it. We used them in the beginning and resumed them earlier in the fall because we could see it was going to be tight as far as variety. Many of our later season crops just didn’t thrive and so the shoots are something we can turn around quickly when a field crop doesn’t come to fruition. People who love these, LOVE them, but many expressed not making use of them or struggling to. There will be less shoots in the program next year!)

All of the comments were really supportive and positive: thank you! We feel very loved, supported, and an important part of your family after reading them.
-Yes, we will send you a basil plant at the start of cucumber and tomato season next year, that’s a fantastic idea!
-We have thought about a smaller bag size as one member mentioned, and in my experience, everyone shifts to the smaller size and the entire thing crumbles. The high admin of CSA means we can only service those who can handle a decent amount of weekly veggies. Not to mention, keeping it at a reasonable value for the customer picking up each week. We are considering a bi-weekly share for this reason (though I find that a MESS to administer, nobody can ever remember when it’s their week to pick up). I hear you and agree that our bag size doesn’t work for everyone, completely understand if this is a deal breaker for you to re-commit.
-We liked the early start to the season too, and I sure as heck am excited about the early conclusion as well! Will probably do much the same schedule next year for 24 week.
-Perogies! We would need a commercial kitchen for that I believe. And someone willing to make them on a scale, I am certain Mom isn’t! But I love your ideas!

I’ve tried to share the general findings, please know that we did read every single survey and you are welcome to reach out if you feel something you contributed wasn’t heard, or if going over this summary brings up an idea or question or more feedback for you! Email me anytime at sales@brownsugarproduce.com

Lastly, the fun stuff! I’m SO GLAD I put that recipe question on there, even though only a few filled it in. How fun to have some recipes to share with you now!

Chłodnik- Polish cold beet soup
6-8 Pickled baby beets, shredded
1/4 cup pickled beet brine
1l buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped green onions
6-8 radishes, shredded
1/2 english cucumber, shredded
Optional: hardboiled 2 eggs diced or sliced

Place all chopped and shredded ingredients in a bowl, add buttermilk and brine. Stir, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

I have a cookbook called Yum and Yummer by Greta Podleski and the Kaleslaw Salad is a good one!

https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-garlicky-roasted-broccoli-quick-side-dish-recipes-from-the-kitchn-199310 – this is a favorite side dish for us…lots of flavor.

My new favourite recipe would be Cowboy Candy! https://justinpasutto.com/food/how-to-make-the-perfect-batch-of-cowboy-candy-candied-jalapenos/ I love to put cream cheese on crackers and top with a jalapeño. So yummy!!

This morning I loaded my food dehydrator with three trays of marinated tomatoes (https://foodinjars.com/recipe/marinated-dehydrated-tomatoes/). They’re more flavourful than sundried tomatoes and I snack on them like they’re candy. They’re excellent on pizza, salad, etc.

Queen of the Chickens!

Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to send us feedback about your experience in our 2021 Veggie Lovers’ Club CSA. We don’t make huge changes from year to year, but our members have been critical in helping to shape what this program has become. Relationships take both sides working together for a common goal. We are so honored to be your farmers and to serve this wonderful community!

–Teri, Jon & Myrah 🙂

Week 23 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.

We’ve been having the neighbor’s puppy “Rip” over this week, fun for all of us!

Coming in your Red Bag Nov. 23rd:
Broccoli Shoots, small bag
Spaghetti Squash, 1 large
Yellow Onions, 1.5 lbs
Frozen Dill, small bag
Celeriac, 2

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.
(24-Week CSA members only on this form please, we are mostly sold out of produce now. Previous members (14-week), please use the link provided in email to access the pickles and few other things we have left!).

Our CSA Program continues for 2 more pickups, until November 30th.

About your Veggies: At last week’s pickup a couple of us were talking about how good for you Broccoli shoots are: Enjoy these sulforophane-rich micros! We aren’t stocking shoots in Chez Angela this winter, but we will keep you posted if we decide to run a shoots CSA-style program.

The last of the onions!

Spaghetti Squash! The last of those too. And a couple good recipes to try:

From Buffy:

From Judi: Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Recipe and she notes, “A friend recommended this recipe, saying it was delicious. It’s the best spaghetti squash recipe yet from my perspective. And it’s a perfect BSP recipe because it so easily can be adapted to whatever fresh ingredients one has available. For example we had Roma tomatoes, so those went into the salad. The pesto could be with whichever herbs are on hand. I had basil in the freezer which worked great in pesto. The combo of squash, chickpea salad with fresh and crunchy flavours and textures, and a pesto dressing are fabulous.

We were blessed with an abundant baby dill crop and we are grateful for Mom’s hard work washing, chopping, and bagging it for you! It’s ready to use straight out from the bag, keep it in the freezer for fresh dill flavour all winter! (Ironically, had I harvested more before it froze, I would still have fresh dill available! What an extended fall season we had.)

Celeriac! Something you can forget about and leave it rolling around in your veg drawer until you’re making a big sheet pan bake, some mash, or soup.

I’m going to share this recipe from Kyla as well, great use for that frozen spinach from Week 22:

That’s it for this week’s newsletter, I left myself some extra space to go over the 2021 feedback survey results, which Jon and I did yesterday. You can check those out here, including the collection of recipes people shared on their replies!

See you at the pickup!

Take care!
Teri, Jon & Myrah ❤

Week 22 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.

Week 21 contents

Coming in your Red Bag Nov. 16th:
Pea Shoots, small bag
Carrots, 2 lbs
Potatoes, Russet 3 lbs (unwashed)
Frozen Spinach, 1/2 lb
Kohlrabi, 1

If you would like to place an optional pre-order for additional veggies to come with your red bag next week, please use THIS LINK.
(24-Week CSA members only on this form please, we are mostly sold out of produce now. Previous members (14-week), please use the link provided in email to access the pickles and few other things we have left!).

Our CSA Program continues for 3 more pickups, until November 30th.

About your Veggies: Veggie Lover Isobel (6 years old) recently concluded “these are the best, best, best carrots I’ve ever tasted!”. I think it was partly the timing. We didn’t succeed in weeding all of the storage carrot beds the week they needed it. So we replanted them, the grasshoppers devoured the tops, the carrots didn’t grow to full size. But they got really sweet!

Kohlrabi! Truthfully, I forgot about the 2 tubs of kohlrabi in the cooler that we had saved for fall. Until we oversold on squash because I wasn’t paying attention, and I faced the possibility of a winter without my favourite veggie! So we did some swapping around and fixed that. Call me selfish, but my own storage veggies come first! That’s kind of the whole reason we do this, to sustain our own food needs as much as possible.

Kohlrabi growing in it’s natural habitat

Anyway… Kohlrabi. It’s the texture of an apple with the flavour of cabbage/broccoli. Kind of like a broccoli stem. Indeed, Kohlrabi IS a swollen stem (as opposed to a root or fruit). It grows at ground level and looks like an alien spacecraft. My favourite way to enjoy it is raw with hummus, but it’s also great added to roasted veggies, sautes and stirfries, mash, soups, grated in coleslaw, etc. The green outer skin should be cut (not peeled) off to reveal the crisp white veggie inside.

Pea Shoots: The OG & most popular shoots! I always recommend they be chopped before eating, but you do you! Myrah made a corn tortilla wrap of orange segments and pea shoots last night… It didn’t execute well, but she ate it so who cares?! Jon and I had “tacos” but I mixed cooked lentils and squash into the meat mixture, inspired by one of the recipes in the Fall Freezer Meal Challenge. That’s the new way! It kept the taco shell from falling apart and was delicious! Usually I eat half a taco and then use a fork to finish the mess on my plate.

Russet Potatoes are best for mashing and absorbing butter or gravy! I learned the secret to really smooth mash is to put your cooked & peeled potatoes through the food mill (you know, that thing I’m always going on about for tomatoes!). But extra steps for the sake of achieving an ideal or perfection don’t often happen around here, so I’ve never tried it. Maybe for Christmas or some other special time, otherwise I usually mash them up skins and all (the skins are the most nutritious part!).

Farm Update: Snow! After an extended fall cleanup with beautiful weather, it feels good to put a period at the end of the 2021 season. We hope to get lots of snow this winter and have some moisture to start 2022 off right.

I mentioned last week that I would share some of the shifts we’re planning for next year! We plan to continue with both Brandon and Rivers pickups, but not with restaurant supply or regular scheduled markets. We will add an online store with order pickup option occasionally. We are planning/working on a new share size for the member who is extra-committed. Our water situation on the farm limits what we can do, so we have decided to not have employees and to work off the farm in the winter as needed.

Basically, we found this year that we need less time at markets and more time on the farm. Need, and want. Our summers are so tightly scheduled that we feel as though there’s no room for life. With Myrah being 5 next year, we want more freedom to enjoy time in the summers with her. We don’t do this for the money (!), we do it for the lifestyle, the perks of healthy food, and the outdoors & physical work we enjoy.

On another note, Jen had her baby! A hearty 10 lb – 13 oz boy named Orin Thomas. They are both doing well. When Jon and I worked at the Farmer’s Market in Calgary, there was an apple called “Sweet Orin”, so I find that name so fitting. He’s the best thing we grew on the farm this year, I’m so grateful Jen could be working here while she was nurturing & growing that baby!

A couple of good conclusions this week! The end of the season, and the birth of Orin. Looking forward to rest season (aka winter), and also to the renewal that comes every Spring!

Take care,

Teri 🙂

A Real Pumpkin Spice Latte and Thoughts on Comfort Food

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

Real Pumpkin Spice Latte

A real pumpkin spice latte is a perfect fall treat for this month without compromising on flavour while hitting nutrition high points!

I’ve noticed comfort foods kind of get a bad rap. It’s a term so often used for foods that seem indulgent, that we “shouldn’t be eating” aka ‘cheat foods’, that we believe aren’t good for us and yet we still have a strong desire to eat.

The thing is: comfort foods can give us comfort. Sometimes they have a deep cultural or traditional connection, or remind us of something meaningful. Or it’s something we were looking forward to and brings us delight. Perhaps it’s the occasion of sitting and enjoying that brings rest and relief after a long day. Often, they may just need a second look – many “comfort foods” made from scratch actually have some good base ingredients. They may need a bit of updating or swapping to make them a little better, but are totally worth hanging on to. To me, in creating a healthy relationship with food (all food) and our bodies, it’s really important to notice what it is that is giving us comfort and embracing it.

However, sometimes said ‘comfort foods’ – particularly those that are highly processed – are laden with added, highly refined ingredients and void of nutrition, which doesn’t actually comfort our physical bodies – in fact, foods like that cause a stress response in the body, increasing inflammation and the release of stress hormones while putting a serious damper on healthy body functions like immunity and digestion. That doesn’t sound very comforting, does it?

Sit with that for a moment. At this time of year, when the Pumpkin Spice everything is beckoning – what if we created comfort foods from scratch that were deeply enjoyable and satisfying, while also nourishing our bodies with rich vitamins and minerals? Now that’s a comfort food!

So today I’m offering a cozy pumpkin-based latte that will give you so much comfort on these cool autumn days, rather than reaching for the usual cafe version that is loaded with flavoured syrup and other additives. This version is nutrient rich, made with real local pumpkin, Canadian maple syrup and the milk of your choosing.

What does it mean for you? This whole foods latte has a balance of fat and carbohydrate, including fiber and less sugar. Thanks to real pumpkin, it also has much of the daily RDI of Vitamin A which will boost your immune system and soothe tired eyes, along with a host of other nutrients.

Whole Ingredients

And it supports local. Making your PSL from a local pumpkin, using good quality Canadian maple syrup, birch syrup or even raw local honey, and dairy milk or oat milk are all ways to step up your investment in local food.

What it doesn’t have is: refined sugar, condensed skim milk, ‘natural flavours’, colouring agents, potassium sorbate, carrageenan, more syrup, added citric acid and sulfiting agents for preservation and to prevent spoilage.

…what sounds more comforting to you? Check out my recipe below.

What is a comfort food that you love at this time of year?

Is it a traditional family favourite? I’d love to help you review the recipe to see how we could make it more truly nourishing.

Feel free to message me on Instagram @livingsimplykitchen

RECIPE: Real Pumpkin Spice Latte

My favourite way to create this latte is to first roast a real pumpkin from Brown Sugar Produce. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds (save & clean to roast another tasty treat!). Place the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh feels soft when you push the skin with your finger. Remove from the oven and let it cool until you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh. Reserve 1/4 cup for your latte and freeze the rest. I like to freeze it in 1/2 cup or 1 cup portions.

By all means, if it means you’re more likely to make this and enjoy making it, buy a can of PURE pumpkin puree at the grocery store. Same goes – freeze the rest for pumpkin muffins and other great recipes.

Storage: Make 2-3 servings of the spiced milk (reserve the coffee for later) and store in the fridge for a few days. Stir well before reheating.

What is Dandy Blend Coffee Alternative?

Dandy Blend is a caffeine-free instant herbal beverage made of four ingredients: roasted barley extracts, roasted rye extracts, roasted dandelion root extracts, and roasted chicory root extracts. Take it from this coffee drinker… this is a fairly good substitute and gives you many added herbal benefits. You can read more about that here: Dandy Blend Fast Facts. It’s available at many health food stores in Brandon, MB.

Week 21 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.

Coming in your Red Bag Nov. 9th:
Onions, Yellow, 2 lbs
Cabbage, Green 1 head
Beets, Red, 2 lbs
Sunshine Kabocha Squash, 1
Buckwheat Shoots, small bag

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

Our CSA Program continues for 4 more pickups, until November 30th.

About your Veggies: Sunshine Kabocha Squash is a favourite of mine for soup, especially at this time of year. It’s starchy and makes the best thick soup! Plus, you can leave the skin on if you want (make sure to cut off any hard brown scabby bits if there are any). These are the last of them!

Also the last of the Green Cabbage coming this week. Our crop was decent this year but we generally lose money growing cabbage because of the cost of row cover. (It’s worth it because we forgo the larger cost of environmental impacts of spraying.) The wind destroys it so we have to buy new every year to keep out those cabbage loopers and flea beetles. I’m impressed we hauled sufficient water to grow cabbages!

I LOVE cabbage. I tend to keep a bowl of shredded (mandoline-d, if that’s a word!) cabbage in the fridge at all times this time of year. Every week or two I start a new batch of sauerkraut, so I usually do a bunch extra and keep it on hand for salads, stir fries, soups, etc.

Another thing I keep in the fridge at all times this time of year is cooked squash. It’s so easy to use it up if you’ve got it ready to go (along with the ingredients to make your own real pumpkin spice latte! Here’s a post from Buffy with a recipe for that!!). One of my favourite things is to make a “cheese sauce” packed with squash which Myrah will happily devour (The kid would otherwise only eat things made of wheat flour, it’s ridiculous!!).

Buckwheat Shoots this week! Those are the most Lettuce-y ones of all (mild and lettuce-flavoured). The seed is locally grown organic by Dan & Fran DeRuyck in Treherne. The hulls tend to stick a bit, and they are fine to eat if you’re in a rush (less fibrous than sunflower hulls), but they’re best picked off. I make sure to leave space for it and try to focus on the meditative quality of picking through the stems to find the hulls, or at least enlist Myrah in helping! Vigourous washing will remove most of them as well.

Farm Update:

Looking forward to winter Greenhouse days! On this day it was so cold out (-50 ish) that Sandy’s car wouldn’t start when he went to leave after 30 mins.

We have actually finished EVERYTHING that we can think of this fall and have started on the bonus list! What a great fall to make up for a hard-veggie-growing-weather summer. Yesterday we got the greenhouse set up for winter: Jon and I hauled out all the seedling tables and replaced them with all of our outdoor chairs, tables, umbrellas, Myrah’s outdoor toys. We spend a lot of time in there all winter, the power of the sun means it can be -30C outside and a pleasant sunny 25C inside! If you want to come spend time in the greenhouse this winter you are welcome, just make sure it’s a sunny day when you come! (It is NOT warm when it’s cloudy!). I tried to look it up and can’t find with certainty if Vitamin D can be absorbed through the plastic, but I know it makes me FEEL better to be in there, and that’s all that matters to me.

Jon washed veggies all afternoon yesterday (Saturday) as well. We’re trying to do as much of that as possible before it snows!

The hens are in their winter setup now, the fields are stripped of irrigation equipment and ready for snow, the larder is full and so is the bookcase: Time for the deep rest of winter is upon us. I love living closely connected to the earth and the seasons. It’s one of my favourite parts of growing veggies, sharing the different rhythms of life that plants & animals observe. I can hear my heart speak more than ever living this way, and I can honor it and listen, too.

If you’re part of Buffy’s mailing list, you received info Friday about the Adagio Acres Grain CSA, but I wanted to stick it up here for you as well. There is a Brandon pickup option this year, and I encourage you to read about the Winter Grain CSA on Amy’s webpage. I don’t know her, but we speak the same language of valuing CSA and what that means for producers. I’m excited for my January bundle! What a great way to stock your pantry up with organic dry goods, and to push yourself to experiment with something new & locally grown!

I hope you are navigating the world with an open heart that you can listen to these days. Mine is craving space and rest, and has some excitement about the changes we plan for next year. More about that next time!

Peace & love,

Teri 🙂

Week 20 VLC Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Week 19 bag

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

Coming in your Red Bag:
Fava Bean Shoots, small bag
Shallots, pint
Carrots, 2 lbs
Celeriac, 2
Kale, large bunch

Me trying to choose a flavour!

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

*New!* this week on the Pre-Order Form: Boho Soul Kombucha! 4 delicious flavours, 500 ml for $7.

Our CSA Program continues for 5 more pickups, until November 30th.

About your Veggies/Farm Update:

Some recipe & squash support!
Check out the Fall Freezer Meal Challenge for some great recipes using the seasonal produce available right now!  
Also, here’s a link to Buffy’s post about Squash, filled with great tips for how to use this great winter veggie.
Also, here’s my Squash Guide from last fall.

It was a poor year for shallots, we hoped to have lots more than we do, and they are much smaller than last season. It was just too hot in July when the onions do the majority of their growth. But they’re yummy and grown with love anyway!

I’m SO GLAD we held carrots back from markets this summer! See, typically most of our carrots are grown at Mom’s. This year, Janelle and us split the production and anticipated collaborating at market. She faced an even drier year than we did and so couldn’t get hers to germinate. We could see we were headed for trouble, so at the dismay of many market shoppers, we held them back. Poo to them! (many of them weren’t very nice and quite complain-y) Our CSA members come first!! We’ve got a good supply and should have them available at least until the end of the 24 week program at the end of November.

We are almost out of Potatoes, but Mom grew some and has more than she needs so those should be available until the end of November too. There’s not a lot more scheduled to come in your bags, I think 3 lbs on the second last week.

The Fava Bean Shoots are grown with seed sourced from Hailey and Cale at Prairie Fava, a new local seed supplier to us (previously Sid & Laryssa Stevenson).

Celeriac! It’s first appearance, I keep forgetting to list it and Jon harvested it a couple weeks ago as it can’t handle too cold. We really struggled getting it (and the celery) established this year, so they are smaller than usual but bigger than I initially feared! I love celeriac, it has a pleasant warm spice scent and flavour that pairs so well with all the fall veggies. A great addition to soups, stews, potatoes, or anywhere you would use celery (including raw sticks with dip!).

If you think you hate Kale, this is the best time of year to give it a try again. Fall kale is coveted (by me, anyway!) for it’s sweetness. The cold temps cause it to convert the water in it’s cells to sugar which acts like an anti-freeze. It’s the best tasting kale of the entire season!

Jon and I harvesting the last of the carrots on Friday

Well, that’s a wrap for Harvest 2021, other than some of that prolific, gorgeous Kale left in the field. Jon and I finished harvesting carrots on Friday afternoon finally. We’ve been struggling to keep up with the volume of orders we have been getting on Tuesdays so there hasn’t been as much time to get things wrapped up as you’d think. Now we can focus on getting the drip lines out of the field, as well as the tunnel plastic, and cleaning up all the things outside before winter.

In addition to fall harvest, I’ve been fitting in some time at my new job (Office Assistant for Crystal Johnston at Wildflower Business Solutions in Rivers). I’m really enjoying it! So far I’ve been able to fit time in while Myrah is at Pre-School in Rivers, which is perfect.

We’re also working on an off grid cabin here on the farm, and I just wanted to put it out there that we are on the lookout for a used woodstove: Ideally a wood cookstove affordably priced, but we’re open to a basic (and small) stove too. If you have one for sale or know of someone who does, please let us know!

Update Tuesday: We over-sold on squash yesterday and so rearranged some of the future CSA contents so there is a bit more available (and some for my own personal storage, whoops!). There was less Kale than anticipated and we expect it froze hard overnight and won’t recover, so it is likely done. There will be small amounts of tomatoes available over the next week or two. We’re coming to the end of our season and have run out of most items now, but still have lots of great things in store for the remaining 4 weeks of CSA!

Thanks for prioritizing local food producers and voting with your food dollars!

Have a great week!

Teri 🙂

Week 19 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.

The end is near!

Coming in your Red Bag:
Radish Shoots, small bag
Red Potatoes, 2 lbs, Grown by Marlin Peters, Virden
Red Onions, pint (small)
Parsnips, 2 lbs
Radishes, bunch with tops

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

Our CSA Program continues for 6 more pickups, until November 30th.

About your Veggies/Farm Update:

I thought we’d use up all the garlic last week but we didn’t, so that is back on the order form. Also listed is whole frozen corn ($12/doz) and frozen dill. Last week to order fresh dill! This is near the end for Kale, so a good time to stock up with a 4 lb bag. If I’m able to pick spinach I’ll have it for sale in the mini-market at the pickup on Tuesday (not on the order form). We have bulk radishes available by the pound, they keep for a really long time!

Previous parsnip harvest, 2018, Photo by Laryssa

PARSNIPS!! We are planning to dig them on Saturday and send along a hearty 2 lb portion for everyone. I don’t know what to expect in terms of yield, so I will post an update here on Tuesday and cross my fingers that we’re ok to list them on the order form. (We were! But barely. We are sold out now.)
Digging parsnips is one of the hardest jobs we do in the fall, they are well-anchored into the clay and pretty much each root requires a fork insertion. We will have sore thigh muscles on Sunday (which I plan to stretch out with some dancing in honor of Bastid’s BBQ – join us if you like! https://www.twitch.tv/skratchbastid Sunday 2 – 6). It’ll be nice to have the parsnips done, and then we only have some Carrots to dig and Kale in the field until that freezes (it holds until it gets seriously cold).

Whoops, Radishes and Radish Shoots on the same week. I probably could’ve seen that one coming, but I didn’t.,.. So, I guess you’ll get to taste radishes at every stage this week. Radish greens sauteed with roasted roots, topped with baby radish shoots? Maybe a bit of a macabre Hallowe’en salad idea, serving babies alongside the fully mature!
Funny story: I had been exclaiming about the LOOK of the radishes for 2 full weeks before I actually tasted them! They are delicious. And I made Jon taste them yesterday, too! We aren’t big fans and they’re something that is typically in short supply so we’re just not in the habit of eating them! So juicy and mild and crunchy!

This time of year has us drinking lots of hot coffee and tea while doing lots of waiting and then bouts of furious working, alongside the restoration of slow morning reading time, which we love. See, it’s too cold in the mornings now and the ground is frozen, so we can’t harvest until the sun warms the soils and it thaws. Which means we only get a brief harvest window on cold days. Thursday we brought in all of our personal storage potatoes, Russets for Week 23, and the last of the beets. In the mornings, we fill the time with cleaning the shed, washing veggies, cleaning trays, cooking, or bagging veggies. And taking the seasonal opportunity to enjoy morning reading.

Jon is reading “Original Wisdom” by Robert Wolff. He just finished “The Secret Life of Plants” by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, which I plan to read next. I am reading “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Love, love, LOVE!!), and just finished “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein (I never thought I’d say a book about economics was invigorating, but it was!). We’ve been inspired to consider systems & ways of knowing lately and exploring those ideas. We have nightly conversations about the information we’re exploring, and a morning reading ritual where we sneak downstairs before Myrah is awake and read on the couch together (covered in snoozing cats, always!).
I love books and reading and would love to hear what you’ve been reading lately, and if you have any books you’d recommend!

Jen, who worked on the farm this summer growing your veggies while also growing a baby boy, is in her final weeks/days of pregnancy and I’ve been enjoying delivering prepared food from the Fall Freezer Meal Challenge that Buffy is hosting right now! Last week I made the Creamy Fall Veggie, Kale & Lentil Casserole and this week I made the Curried Chicken Slow Cooker Stew and some Broccoli & Cheddar Quinoa Bites. If you’d like to connect with the package of Fall Freezer Meals Recipes, check out this post!

I’ll probably insert a few updates here on Tuesday, so please check back if you like! Nothing to report, except that my calves are sore from dancing, and my cheeks are sore from smiliing! It was a good weekend. ❤

A huge THANK YOU to everyone, the last 2 pickups have been smooth as butter! I appreciate all that you do to make things run smoothly for us, thank you!

Happy Trick or Treating!

Take care & stay true,

Teri 🙂

Week 18 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.

Week 17 Contents

Coming in your Red Bag:
Rainbow Carrots, 2 lbs
Beets, 2 lbs
Honeynut Squash, 1 (small)
Sunflower Shoots, small bag
Garlic, 2-3 small heads

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

Squash Support Group!

Last week, Buffy (Elizabeth!) reached out on Instagram and asked folks what veggie they needed inspiration for right now. She says, “Here’s a summary of the responses: Squash, squash, squash. And squash. (and pumpkin by association).”

So, she wrote up an awesome Squash Guide! Check it out here. Packed with ideas and solid general tips to make the most of these cucumber relatives (yes, seriously!).  I’m super grateful for this, because Squash is a personal favourite and so I find it easy to use, which often makes it harder to help people!

Creamy Fall Vegetable and Lentil Casserole prep, including delicious pumpkin-based creamy sauce!

If you want a kick ass gluten & dairy-free pumpkin-based cheese sauce, check out the “Creamy Fall Vegetable and Lentil Casserole” in Buffy’s Freezer Meal Challenge Guide. We were impressed with the texture and flavour, and the entire dish was delicious! Highly recommend.

The Fall Freezer Meal Challenge is posted now, too! I got started this week and plan to participate and share as I make all the meals, and I’m sharing them with Jen who worked with us this summer and is expecting baby early next month. Basically Buffy is providing a bunch of awesome whole foods recipes for stocking your freezer with the local flavours of the season. It’s filled with great tips to make it easy and do-able, so if you’d like to participate, check out this post and follow the instructions to download your free copy of the guide!

About your Veggies/Farm Update:

Honeynut Squash is the alternative we grow to Butternut, which despite being the most “popular” squash (as in, most recipes are written for it because it’s widely available… so it becomes the only one people know, and then the only one they want, and that, my friends, is how we lose all our diversity in this world and become boring!) – doesn’t match well with our production, so we don’t grow it. Honeynut are more reliable and marketable for us. They’re really a perfect size to roast for 2 people, or to have some squash for a recipe without having to bring out the machete and cook enough squash for a whole cauldron of soup!

Sunshine Kabocha butchering

On that note: Here’s a photo Jen sent yesterday as she was starting a cauldron of soup, I presume! I laughed because earlier this week I was rushing to finish a pot of Winter Sweet Kabocha soup and the knife slipped and cut my palm. So, the (safe) use of a hammer is advised. Apparently you can microwave them for a few minutes and they’re easier to cut, I’ve never tried it. Either way, please be careful!

Check out Buffy’s Squash Guide for some great ideas!

This week we can finally get at the remaining root veggies in the field! We still have carrots, beets, potatoes, and parsnips to come in. While we’re at it, we’re stocking your bag with carrots and beets! Our winter wash station leaves much to be desired, (kitchen sink with a scrub brush) so we hope to be able to wash as much as we can going into storage if the weather cooperates this week.

Sunflower Shoots don’t often make it into the shares because they are the most labour-intense shoots we produce, due to their hulls. I volunteered to help Jon a bit this week with it, so we have already been working at that. He mists and tents them to increase the humidity and encourage the hulls to fall off, then we gently pick them off. Each seed lot is a bit different and requires Jon to adjust his production a bit, so he is always learning and improving! (If you’d like to check out our Shoots production area, I posted a 30 minute tour last week here on Instagram). You will still find some hulls in your sunflower shoots, so make sure to budget time to pick them and rinse them before using!

I think we’ll move through most of our remaining garlic this week, but if we have any left it will go back on the pre-order form next week. *Update Tuesday: There is some left! It’ll be back on the list next week, we don’t plan to send any more in your bags this year.

Most years we hang on to pie pumpkins, hoping we’ll have some orders from friends and members around Halloween, and then inevitably we compost most of the harvest. Thanks to member Steph requesting some for a Halloween party and giving me an idea, I got my butt moving, posted them on Facebook and reached out to teachers, and now they’re all gone! So, we have no more pie pumpkins left, sorry if you needed one — but selling every scrap of our production really helps us, especially this year. (On that note: if you can use some tomatoes and kale this week, that helps!) *Update Tuesday: Actually, I just chased people around on email all weekend and only half of the pumpkins are gone. Reminding myself that it’s better to compost pumpkins than waste my time, I suppose! So, they’re back on the list for next week, haha!

Spoiler Alert: Still to come!
Still to come in your bags this fall:
-Another large Spaghetti Squash (so you can make that BLT Squash recipe in this newsletter)!
-FYI You’re not getting Squashed every single week (just most of them!)
-Shallots, red onions, yellow onions!
-Frozen Dill and Spinach
-Citron Marmalade made by Stephanie
-Red and Russet Potatoes
-More Radishes!

Miss Myrah

I switched to writing the newsletter on the weekend, to help take some pressure off Tuesday mornings, since there is a bit more space in our lives these days (But really not on Tuesdays!). There may be some additional details added on Tuesday if anything else comes up!

Thanks, see you at the pickup!

Teri 🙂

Week of Oct. 12: Squash and More Squash

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

Loads of resources here! Try the BLT Spaghetti Squash recipe below and download the recipe package & prep guide for our Fall Freezer Meal Challenge.

I posed the question on Instagram @livingsimplykitchenwhat veggies do you need inspiration for this week? Here’s a summary of the responses: Squash, squash, squash. And squash. (and pumpkin by association). 

YES! Ok, first – I get it.. the post Thanksgiving squash & pumpkin onslaught is happening in the Prairies and we’re here for the long haul. We’re going to need to be creative, people. Second – yay! – there are many ways to use the varieties of squash in fun and interesting ways as part of a colourful, diverse diet.

Different squashes have varying qualities that make them better suited to certain cooking applications. Teri knows her squash varieties and has had a lot of feedback from the Veggie Lovers Club, so she’s a great person to ask specifics.  I’ll keep this post to generalities because I find squash to be very adaptable in cooking. You may also substitute squash anywhere you need pumpkin or sweet potato.


There are MANY ways to cook or roast squash pieces. You likely have a favourite. This is one very simple way to cook your squash.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully cut your squash or pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on the size) until the flesh seems soft when you push down on the skin. 

We’re hosting a Fall Freezer Meal Challenge and it includes at least two recipes that use pumpkin or squash! Link to the Free Guide below

Check out the Brown Sugar Produce Recipes for a Classic Squash Soup and Curried Squash Soup with red curry and coconut milk. These recipes are excellent and flexible for using up what you have around.


Roasted squash is wonderful as it is with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil along classic entrees like roasted chicken, fish and veggies. But, it’s also

  • A great salad topping
  • Filling for tacos & burritos
  • Cubed, roasted squash is great with eggs in a breakfast hash
  • As part of mashed potatoes or mashed root vegetables (sweet potato, carrot, potato, squash – and cauliflower is a great addition here, too!).
  • Freeze the cooked flesh of any squash (but spaghetti) in 1 cup portions to use for baking, soups, stews, and even a smoothie! Don’t fear – think of a sweet and spicy pumpkin spice smoothie.
  • Incorporate cooked, pureed squash into hummus, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce and lasagnas.

Spaghetti squash is fun and different, in that it naturally releases its flesh in noodle-like strands after baking, making it a neutral yet flavourful veggie base for many dishes. Here are some simple meal ideas that incorporate it as a substitute in favourite dishes.

  • Ginger Beef or Mushrooms on Spaghetti Squash Noodles
  • Alfredo Spaghetti Squash: Use cooked spaghetti squash instead of or as some of your pasta
  • Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
  • BLT Spaghetti Squash Bowls (Recipe Below)


This easy dinner will help use up your fall tomatoes, too! Make it plant-based by substituting the bacon with kidney beans (use an oil of choice to saute the onion).