Hello from the farm in April!
I often try to send these out at the beginning of the month, but I intentionally waited this month because I knew we had 30 new workers starting April 8th. They’re still 5 months away from being able to perform their required duties, but their training has begun:
Chicks! 30 baby laying hens (sexed/pullets from Berg’s Hatchery). These will eventually take over for our current flock of 10 birds who lay eggs for us and the farm team. We’ve always gotten our hens as fully grown up until now. I thought it would be a fun project for us with Myrah this year, and let’s be honest, for myself. I actually find it a little stressful having 30 newborns depending on me! I couldn’t sleep last night until I went out to the shed at 1 am and checked on them. We are spending lots of time handling them so that they grow into a friendly flock of hens like our current ladies.
Baby chicks are cute for a couple of days and then they start growing feathers and looking rather awkward. It’s incredible how active they are on day 1 of life, right after hatching! By day 3 they are already flapping their little nubbin wings and shooting around their home! I’ll definitely keep you posted on them in these newsletters (and check out my Instagram stories & Stories Highlight where all the stories are saved to).
In addition to these 30 new “employees”, there’s a couple other cool ladies I’d like to introduce you to in this newsletter, so keep reading!
Veggie Lovers Club CSA Update
Most of the $20 deposits are in, thank you! (If you need to send yours in, you can e-transfer to sales@brownsugarproduce or mail a cheque to Unit E 1300 18th Street Suite 317 Brandon MB R7A 6X7. If you don’t remember if you’ve paid or not, send me an email and I’m happy to check for you! Due by May 1 to secure your spot).
The veggie transplants are doing well and we’re crossing our fingers for rain, snow, any kind of precipitation as it’s the driest I’ve ever seen already this year! Such a juxtaposition from last summer when the woods were soggy with standing water. It’s so dry the nettles haven’t even popped up yet.
We aren’t doing an optional pickup at the park in April because there’s not really anything available right now. But our Shoots are still in stock at Chez Angela 6 days a week! By May we hope to have some spinach and nettles and maybe asparagus too: Without some rain or snow we won’t. (Snowing today, woo!!) If you want some beets feel welcome to be in touch and I’ll hook you up!
The snow melt was early this year, but that doesn’t change where we live. It isn’t warm enough here to set most plants out until June (after last frost), but the early melt has allowed us more time for building projects… Which were then promptly cancelled due to the skyrocketing cost of lumber! It amazes me how much of an impact people shifting their purchases can make on every industry. Imagine if we all started prioritizing local food supply chains, instead of building decks and hoarding toilet paper!! You vote with every dollar you spend, make it count.
24 week program begins Tuesday June 22 in Brandon
14 Week Program begins
Tuesday July 6 in Brandon;
Wednesday July 7 in Rivers
I’ll keep you posted as we get closer to the CSA start time, especially if we encounter any necessary changes or adjustments!
Meet your Farmer: Jen
I’ll be the first to admit we were planning to execute our season without hiring this year and so I put zero effort towards it, but when somebody like Jen applies it feels like a gift! We are really looking forward to working with this gal who brings her own experience and skills to the table. We’ve sure connected with some amazing folks over the past few years, and find that having the right people around helps so much and can really add to the joy we have while working. Not to mention, someone new for Teri to talk to! Look out, Jen… Laryssa says I am constantly expressing my internal narrative out loud!
Hi! My name is Jen. I grew up in rural Manitoba and moved to Saskatoon, SK in my early twenties to study horticulture science at the University of Saskatchewan. While in school I worked on a local market garden during the summer and loved it! Since then, I’ve worked in various sectors of the horticulture industry. In my spare time I love spending time with my family and being outdoors. I was drawn to Brown Sugar Produce because of their passion for local food and commitment to intentional living. I’m excited to learn, help grow some delicious produce, and meet new people with the Brown Sugar Produce family this season!
Elizabeth Cancade (Buffy) is a culinary nutrition expert and integrative health coach – she’s also a friend of mine, as well as a CSA member and the person behind Living Simply Kitchen!
I know how much you appreciate recipes, preparation tips, and meal ideas around the veggies. Plopping a google-search-result recipe that I’ve never tried into this newsletter feels inauthentic and flat. Partnering with Buffy, who is someone in our community who creates content that really resonates for me, feels like a better fit. We are stronger together, after all!
So, Meet Buffy!
Hello from this new little culinary corner of the Brown Sugar Produce newsletter!
Teri & I have been talking so much about food & holistic living this past year that it’s becoming a bit of ‘a thing’ and she graciously invited me to team up so I can share thoughts on food while they’re busy growing it! Thanks Teri, Jon & Myrah!
As a lover of real food, longtime cook, restaurant owner and a culinary nutritionist, I’m passionate about reconnecting us to joy & health through the kitchen – where we fortify our health with simple & delicious everyday whole foods and living in ways that support health, healing & wellbeing. I’m here to help make eating whole, nutrient dense food as easy & enjoyable as possible.
In a few days, Spring will be back in Manitoba (so they say!) and it’s very much a season of opportunity for renewal, rejuvenation and realigning with nature. To step out from under the uncertainty of the last twelve months. To step into the beautiful freshness of a brand new Spring.
Naturally, this is a great time of year to connect with food to support your energy and to move and release built up tension or stagnancy. Here is a short checklist of simple things that will help you shift with the energy of the season and a fave recipe to boot!
- Plan meals this month that emphasize more raw veggies and use lighter cooking techniques like steaming and stirfry. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli & cauliflower are a great choice as they support natural detoxification processes in the body.
- Add in antioxidant-rich microgreens (like fresh, locally grown BSP shoots!) and other antioxidant, anti-inflammatory foods like green tea, parsley and spinach.
- Eat a variety of healthy, natural fats. For example, opt to finish meals, soups, and salads with nuts, seeds or a drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil. Do your best this month to avoid inflammatory fats found in highly processed or convenience food – these will drag your energy and vitality down.
- Challenge yourself to walk daily after lunch or dinner. Gentle movement helps increase circulation and relaxation, shift stagnancy and support the body to flush toxins. Not only will you feel refreshed, you’re more likely to get deeply beneficial rest and sleep.
Recipe: Pea Shoot Tabbouleh (Grain Free) I love finding ways to use these vibrant mixed fresh shoots that Brown Sugar Produce has been growing much of the winter – what a great way to extend the fresh food season here in MB! Here is a grain free tabbouleh recipe you can use to make a lunch salad or as a part of a simple Spring dinner using your favourite shoots.
- 1 cup Microgreens (Fresh pea shoots, medium chopped)
- 1 cup Parsley (tough stems removed, finely chopped)
- 1/3 cup Mint Leaves (finely chopped)
- 1 Cucumber (medium, finely diced)
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (large, finely diced)
- 1/4 cup Red Onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 tbsps Lemon Juice (to taste)
- 2 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt (to taste)
- 1 1/2 tsps Balsamic Vinegar reduction (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the pea shoots, parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion. Toss together with lemon juice, olive oil and season with salt to taste. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction. Enjoy!
Elizabeth Cancade, Culinary Nutrition and Integrative Health
Upcoming Spring ‘Replenish’ Program begins April 26, 2021
Next 3 week series of Virtual Cooking Club is ‘Meal Prep’ and begins later in April.
Follow me or email for details
Shoots for sale in Chez Angela Bakery & Cafe!
Finally, a reminder that you can purchase our Shoots in Chez Angela Bakery and Cafe. We are quite happy with how that has gone this winter (and count ourselves lucky to have a fantastic place like Chez A to retail them!!)– though we sell less clamshells per week as compared to when we did it as a CSA style program, and lately have had a few weeks with overages. It’s hard to predict demand and losses really cut because it is wasted time, energy, seeds and packaging. Overall, it’s all good, but I like to share the realities of how things work for us so our supporters can best know what we need.
If you want some shoots, please head to Chez Angela Monday through Saturday and pick some up! They’re restocked on Tuesdays so long as the roads are safe for travel!
Buffy recently made the Pea Shoot Pesto recipe, so I thought I’d share that here as well!
Now for a few more Chick Pics!
Thanks for being an important part of our farm! Please feel welcome to be in touch if you have anything to share, I miss you!!