Week 12 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!

Week 12!  This is the 3/4 point if you are a 16-week subscriber and the halfway point if you’re in the 24 week program.

The 16-week program concludes on Oct. 16.

The 24-week continues until Dec. 11 and there is no additional space available in that program, however you are welcome to make use of the Pre-Order form and mini markets to stock up before the 16-week program finishes!  We intentionally save a portion of the harvest for our veggie lovers and you have exclusive access to it after markets conclude in less than 2 weeks.  I have begun listing larger quantities of items that we have availability on.  A few people asked about pickling packs and boxes of canning tomatoes, we haven’t had an exceptional year on those items and so haven’t had them available (still possible for tomatoes, I will let you know!).  We expect to get a load of storage potatoes from George and Barb as soon as they dig them (hopefully this week), and so will be able to offer those at a more reasonable price than the tiny scarce potatoes we grew this year!  Larger sizes of beets, carrots, squash, leeks, onions, etc are on the list now.


The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest it freshly for your bag.  So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens!  At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!

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Your Week 12 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag  for pickup on Tuesday September 18 contains:

Spaghetti Squash – 1 large
Celery, 1 small
Carrots, 2 lb bag
Chard, small bunch
Edamame, small bag about 1/2 lb
Hot Peppers*, 1/2 lb

*There will be a sweet pepper substitute available at this week’s pickup if you can’t do hot peppers!

You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more!  Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


News from the Farm and Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips:

I ate a spaghetti squash last night just for you, Veggie Lovers!  While we were at market yesterday my crock pot was cooking some tomatoes, beans, and pork hocks into a delicious stew, about 45 minutes before I returned home Jon threw a spaghetti squash in the oven and so we ate the stew atop a very green spaghetti squash.  If you’ve been in the Veggie Club a few years now you’ll know my distaste for this particular squash.  Actually, I don’t hate any vegetable and I make sure to eat all of them, but customer’s exuberance for spaghetti squash and my frame of mind in late September usually is a good recipe for a serious Teri eye roll!  It was still relatively tasteless and stringy as usual despite the one we chose being a little bit on the under-ripe side– People have been asking if you can eat them when they’re a bit green and so now we know!  Yes.  I rolled my eyes the whole time, Myrah actually liked it a lot!  I just think all the other squashes are so much better, but we grow lots of spaghetti because it’s a favourite of many folks.  To each their own!

This time of year is great for cooking saucy things like soups or stews and then cooking a squash to eat with it!  If you are consuming your squash(es) as soon as you get them you’ll find the cooking properties a bit different than later in the season when they’ve been fully cured.  They are a bit starchy right now so perfect to eat with something saucy, or to make the kind of squash soup that turns into one gelatinous blob in the fridge overnight (my favourite kind!).  Think dry potato and you’re on the right track.  The benefit is a dry squash absorbs maximum butter.

For reals, we’re going to get Chard in the CSA one week at least!!  Chard and Kale haven’t been included this year and those are two of our CSA crops that we rely on to always be there.  We’ve had a good selection without them but soon enough the chard is going to freeze and so we might as well eat it now that there’s finally enough for everyone to get some.  It tastes even better at this time of year because the water in the plants’ cells converts to sugar so it can function like antifreeze and keep the plant alive in the cold weather (many veggies do this, including carrots and parsnips!  We don’t dig our parsnips until after a frost for this very reason).

Favourite thing to do with Chard: Serve it with rice!  You can make Chard Cabbage Rolls (Roll it up with rice and/or meat filling) or just serve rice with your sauteed chard.  It’s a magical flavour combination!

The celery is on the small side and “herb-like”, which is an acceptable level of celery fail in my opinion.  It was a very dry year as you know and one of our celery plantings just didn’t thrive.  This won’t be the kind of celery that you use as sticks in your lunches as it is a bit fibrous, but it will be great for flavouring soups and stews and broths and as a base to nearly anything you’re cooking now that it’s acceptable to cook inside your kitchen again!

You can use all of the celery leaves, and if you can’t use them up right away you can dry them or freeze them for winter use.  To dry, layer the washed leaves on a cookie sheet on your lowest oven setting or intermittent heat until they are crispy, or use a dehydrator.  If you wash, chop & freeze them they’re great for addition to soups and stews in the winter.

Hot Peppers!  I asked Gale if I could share her story.  She bought some jalapenos at the mini market last week and then made salsa.  She didn’t wear gloves.  She seeded the peppers with her hands and realized too late that they were a lot hotter than she had expected!  She had to avoid touching her grandbaby the next day even!  By the time I saw her on Saturday she said she still wouldn’t touch her eye in case there was any lingering spicy on her hands!  Don’t learn Gale’s lesson the hard way, folks!  If you are chopping peppers, wear gloves if you can and definitely don’t touch your face or go to the bathroom without liberally washing all of the pepper juice off.  It is very potent, especially the seeds and white membrane inside the peppers.  That’s where most of the heat is, so if you’re not a big fan of spicy you can make things a lot more reasonable by removing the seeds and membrane (with gloves!) before you use the peppers.

We used to grow an inconsistently hot variety of jalapenos, but changed varieties and then it was super hot out this year (which makes peppers hotter, too!), so it’s a perfect storm for really frigging hot jalapenos.  Mom and Dad thought they were a bit too hot for jalapeno poppers last week but Jon and I thought they were perfect.  Here’s the recipe:

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There are also some Hot Banana Peppers in your bag this week.  Peppers keep for a really long time in the fridge (a month likely!) but if you won’t use them up before then I recommend that you chop them and freeze them for winter enjoyment!

Edamame: These are immature soybeans, which are still green and in the pods. It’s so rare to get to taste a fresh-never-frozen version of these beans. You use your teeth to pull the beans from the fuzzy pods, and they are deliciously nutty tasting and creamy. Edamame is a popular appetizer in Japanese restaurants, look for them next time you go for sushi!

Steam or boil 6 – 8 minutes until fully cooked, salt, and serve! Use the best sea salt you have on hand for the optimal result!

You can also remove the beans from the pods (shell them) and cook them separately, & add them into soups, stir-fries, or salads.

Farm Update: On Saturday we picked edamame, We got all the squash harvested on Sunday and yesterday we finished harvesting everything else frost tender (zucchini, beans, tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers) as there are low temps forecasted this week and Janelle came to help.  It’s always a good feeling to have all of the tender crops out!  Last week Jon made some progress on the greenhouse with help from my Dad Paul.  They have the hoops up now and so we just have to put on the plastic before it gets too cold and then the end walls can be finished this fall.  After markets are done in a week and a half it gets a lot easier to get all the jobs finished.  There are still all of the storage Beets and Carrots to come in, Celeriac, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, & Leeks.  These tasks are almost always done in the freezing cold in October.  I actually prefer it over the scorching temps of July & August!

IMG_1321Today we have ACC’s Horticulture Students out for a farm tour, this is the second year we’ve had the group out.  I think we’re the example of the “small, crazy farmers” and that’s ok.  Sometimes even I wonder how we make it all work!

We attended the Brandon Garden Club’s 125th Anniversary celebratory dinner on Saturday night which was a lot of fun.  I love that group and there was a real sense of community at the event.  We were honored to attend, and I won an Instant Pot at the raffle so let the Instant Pot recipes ensue!  (No seriously, tell me your favourite recipe, I am looking forward to experimenting with this thing and I’ve always been a bit afraid of pressure cookers so I’ve never used one!)

Have a great week and see you tonight at the pickup!

Teri 🙂

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Week 11 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hello Veggie Lovers!

The contents of your Week 11 bag are posted below and the Pre-Order link has been updated with the addition of squash and pumpkins!  Just like pickles and other breakable stuff, I hate hauling squash and pumpkins around just for fun so it’s always best if you pre-order your heavy and breakable items — I don’t mind bringing them at all if you are for sure taking them home!

img_6129I LOVE squash!!  There are some very common FAQs associated with it.  The basic rundown on squash: In my view there are two kinds: Mushy and Stringy.  Spaghetti and Jack O Lanterns are stringy, and all the rest are various forms of “mushy” variety.  You can use all of them for roasting and/or soups and/or stuffing but some are slightly better suited for different purposes than others due to flavour or more likely, shape.  Red Kuri and Kabocha are your best picks for soups, they are sweet and dense and big.  Acorn and Delicata are best for stuffing and roasting or individual servings, don’t plan to peel an acorn squash!  Buttercup and Honeynut are pretty all-purpose and good for every application.  If you go on and on to me about how you use your spaghetti squash like noodles with tomato sauce I will probably fall asleep in front of you from being subjected to hearing THAT again… Clearly no one has ever done that with a spaghetti squash, EVER, before you tried it!  (It’s actually kind of hilarious how excited people are to share this preparation, which is why I call Spaghetti squash a “gateway squash”!).  Don’t be afraid to experiment with the different kinds of squash, and don’t over-think it, they are flexible and versatile and basically the same on the inside.  Lots will be coming in your bags this fall (probably one a week for the forseeable future), so you only need to order if you want extra!


Here’s the link if you’d like to place a Veggie pre-order!
You can place an order anytime before Monday at 5 pm for the coming week.


The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest it freshly for your bag.  So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens!  At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!

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Last Week’s bag!

Your Week 11 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag  for pickup on Tuesday September 11 contains:

Pink Beets, 2 lb
Acorn Squash, 1
Butter Lettuce, 1 small
Spinach, 1/2 lb
Sweet Peppers, 1/2 lb (2 – 3 peppers)
Tomatoes, 1 – 2 of mixed ripeness

You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more!  Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


News from the Farm and Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips:

Good morning & Happy Tuesday!

Acorn Squash: I’m not sharing a specific recipe for this one because there are literally endless things you can do with it!  They are a great size and shape for stuffing, and whenever I stuff squash I usually make use of whatever leftovers I have on hand.  It’s best if you roast it for a while first so that the squash is cooked.  I like to roast squash by cutting it in half and placing it cut side down on a baking pan with a bit of water and butter in the bottom.  That makes a really soft texture, if you want it less so then dry roast it or cook it cut side up!  Acorn is a middle ground in terms of flavour, it’s not the sweetest and so you can go either way with it, sweet or savoury.  Just remember to cook it first if your recipe calls for just the flesh.  Or if you attempt to peel an acorn squash make sure you budget lots of time and don’t cut yourself!

A FAQ from market: For some reason we had a few people tell us their carrots wilted when they put them directly in the fridge uncovered this week: Yep, that’s what your fridge is, basically a big cold dehydrator!  Veggies need to be wrapped in plastic or inside a container in order to keep well in the fridge.  It’s the reason we tend to bag more items than we need to for our shares, because we know you’ll have to put it in a bag when you get it home.  This week’s peppers are bagged!

Butter Lettuce: It’s small and the heads aren’t fully formed, but still perfectly edible and just enough for a few sandwiches or burgers this week!

Spinach: We have a gorgeous crop of spinach right now!  It’s been our most successful green this year and the kale and chard hasn’t worked out, but I like spinach better anyway!  If you’re sick of it you can freeze it– you don’t even need to blanch it first.  I just wash it and then stuff it into freezer bags.

Pink Beets: The sweetest beets we grow!  They are just gorgeous and I made a huge roasted pink beet and goat cheese salad on the weekend that we are eating our way through.  I cut the tails off the beets and cut them so they’re all the same size, plop them into a roasting dish with a lid and about 1/2″ of water, and then throw them in the oven for at least an hour when I’m cooking something else anyway.  Then I let them sit until cool (which usually means the next morning as I often fall asleep immediately after we eat dinner!).  The skins slip right off that way and then I dice them, mix in soft goat cheese and fresh dill and voila, beet salad for days!  I use it on top of greens, in wraps, in tacos, or just as a salad on it’s own.


Farm Update: IMG_1428September has been a great month so far despite the touch of frost last week, and we’ve been working away getting the squash brought in and the carrots and beets in from the fields.  We expect you’ll be getting a squash per week in your fall bags up to Week 16!  The average size is down this year but there are still lots and lots of squash.  So far we’ve harvested the Spaghetti, Sunshine Kabocha, Red Kuri, and Winter Sweet Kabocha.  Most years we store them in Mom’s greenhouse and then move them to the crawlspace for winter storage but this year we are curing them and storing them in the upstairs of our pack shed.  It means we have to lift all the squash by tractor bucket load up to the mezzanine and carry them all down by hand, but it’s still better than having to move them after a few weeks!  My back is aching already.

Having a CSA makes the planning for what to grow and what to harvest so much easier than if we just had to do markets all the time. We’re actually pretty happy with the variety we have been able to achieve this year despite some major hurdles to growing, and I don’t think we’ll run out (That’s the first time I’ve said that with any amount of certainty since the beginning of August!).  Still to come are Edamame, Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips!

On that note, if you signed up for the 16 week program and you are interested in extending to the 24 week, we do not have any spaces open in the 24 week program this fall.  Usually we opened that up for whoever wanted to continue but this year due to limited veggies we can’t.  We aren’t even sure we’ll be doing a winter Pea Shoot Program, or at least we’re not making any promises or commitments for that quite yet.

On Sunday Jon and I zipped into Winnipeg to see one of his favourite DJs Skratch Bastid, which was super fun and just what two tired farmers needed!  We are fortunate to have Mom to babysit when things like this come up.  This weekend we are attending the Brandon Garden Club’s 125 Anniversary Dinner with some friends.


Have a great week and see you tonight at the pickup!

-Teri 🙂

Week 10 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hello Veggie Lovers!!

Tuesday September 4th is a payment week if you’ve chosen 2 or 3 installments. The payment dates and installments are just a suggestion so if you can’t swing it this week just let us know when you plan to get your next installment to us. Post-dated cheques will be deposited on Wednesday Sept. 5th.

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The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest it freshly for your bag.  So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens!  At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!

Your Week 10 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag  for pickup on Tuesday September 4th contains:

Spinach Lover’s Salad Mix, 1/2 lb
Teri’s Favourite German Butter Potatoes, 1-1/2 lbs
Leek, 1
Carrots, 2 lbs
Green Tomatoes, 2 – 3 medium

You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more!  Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so that all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


News from the Farm and Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips:

Green Tomatoes:
If you want to try something different this week we’re sharing our recipe for fried green tomatoes with you!  There are many variations on this dish and it can be made by breading the tomatoes with breadcrumbs, or they can be just sauteed with onions without the gluten coating: either way is delicious!  I even made a green tomato pie last summer!  (It was good but not repeatable unless I really felt like making pie and didn’t have any fruit on hand.)
If you’re not feeling like you want to try a new recipe then you just have to wait a week or two for your green tomato to turn red!

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Germans make the best potatoes: This I believe to be true, at least for my own taste preference.  The potato parentage of a German Butter (aka German Butterball, German Butterfly) is the same as those yummy Linzer Delicatess Fingerlings you got on Week 7.  A friend of mine grows a whole gamut of yellow potatoes each year in the quest to replicate a favourite yellow Ukrainian potato from his past.  He hasn’t found it yet and possibly never will.  In order to keep the seed of a potato line going you have to plant it every year and so it could die out in a single year!
We are starting to see some rhizoctonia on the potatoes which is normal for this time of year.  The common name for this potato affliction is “black scurf” and it is a fungal disease that exists in the soil at both of our farms and causes the potatoes to have a black spots that are easily scraped off with the back of a knife or your fingernail, or you can peel them.  It doesn’t hurt you even if you eat the potatoes with it on, but it can be gritty so I do recommend removing it.  We stopped growing Yukon Gold potatoes because the German potatoes have a nicer consistent size and also they are more resistant to scurf.  If you’ve been eating our veggies for years you will probably hardly notice it on these!

In 2016 we applied a fungicide on some of our potatoes at Mom’s farm to try to prevent the scurf.  It didn’t make enough of a difference to be worthwhile, and fungicides are scary and not something Jon and I want to use.  We don’t use any pesticides or fungicides on our potatoes currently.  When (not if!) the Colorado Potato Beetles find us we will use an organic approved pesticide (Entrust) because the other option is no potatoes.  Monoculture commodity crops breed ridiculous pest populations which is why we struggle with Colorado Potato Beetle, Flea Beetle, and Cabbage Loopers in Manitoba.  We are just glad to not have Cucumber Beetle, Tomato Hornworm, or Bean Beetles here!

Spinach Lovers Salad Mix: It’s hard to estimate how much of a crop we will have until we harvest, but I am certain that the salad mix this week will be very heavy on Spinach as the spinach is more bountiful right now than the salad.  I hope this will not be the last time you get salad in your bags but it’s hard to say as we go into fall.  It’s less buggy than last time as it’s grown too cold for the loopers to thrive.  But as always, wash it!  You may notice some white dry spots on the spinach, which is from a sap-sucking insect like an aphid or tarnish plant bug going after the spinach for moisture before it rained.  Harmless, and the bugs have moved on thankfully!  The spinach tastes glorious, especially with the cool weather lately.

*Addition Sept 4: It is still pretty buggy.  When we double rinsed it there were lots of aphids and when I was bagging it I still saw the occasional caterpillar chysalis.  They attach to the undersides of the leaves and so are really hard to see and impossible to wash off.  So, do your Veggie Lover due diligence!

Carrots: The carrots were grown at mine and Jon’s place and got stuck in the clay with the long stretch of hot and dry weather this summer.  They are finally coming out now that it’s rained!  They are knobbly and not uniform at all but they are still delicious!  The buzz word in nutrition, farming and food these days is “nutrient density”.  I’m certain these are nutrient dense carrots, you can taste it because they are SO delicious!  Just like people it doesn’t matter what they look like on the outside.  Sometimes the best looking carrots are assholes!  These ones had to struggle and they are better for it.

Leek & Potato Soup Recipe: Such an oldie that it has the old logo on it still, but it’s a good one and we make it all the time!

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Ms. Vachon returns to school this week and so as of today we are without her help!  Help is actually an understatement… I told Mom the other day, “I could do the amount of work that Janelle does if I didn’t have a kid and a house to look after” but the fact is I do, and so having someone come here every day and just log hours of pure hard work has been a life saver!  It means that we don’t have to work until dark most nights and can spend more time with Myrah during the days and not have to be stressed out.  I used to think that being stressed out was a necessary part of life but now I know better.  I think stress and worry just eat away at you and make life worse.  So, I’m not worried about the frost in tonight’s forecast, or the volume of crops we need to have to keep the CSA going until December, or what we’re going to do now that Janelle’s back in school… I’m just rolling with it and taking it as it comes, because that’s all we can do anyway.  We planned for this and we’re ready!

Janelle shares a quality with all of us that makes her different than the average person and it also makes her fit in really well around here.  We are all extremely passionate about what we do.  There can be passion in big things, such as: I am passionate about feeding people nutritious healthy food that we grow, and being a farmer, but there can also be lots of passion evident in the little things, such as celebrating a job well done, and all the little pieces it takes to make the whole.  So, you can groan and moan about weeding, or you can just get out there and get it done and take pride in staying on top of a nearly impossible task.  Janelle faces her sometimes-monotonous and often-repetitive jobs on the farm with such a great spirit.  I often check in to make sure she’s happy with what she’s doing and it’s going the way I expected, and I encourage everyone on the farm to do the same… I’m the one who is known to come out to the field, dig one forkful of rainbow carrot clubs out of the clay, throw down the fork and say, “that’s ridiculous.  We’re not digging those!”.  It is rarely Janelle or Jon who give up!

20180715-IMG_3133Janelle is has passion.  You can see it in her day to day work, but even more so in the way that she pursues curling and the way she grabs life.   Curling is Janelle’s passion, and as she’s been going to school the past few years she manages to fit in curling with her school schedule and also work any multitude of random part time jobs to earn enough money to pay for it all and make it work.  I know that she is going to do big things in life with that passion and never-give-up spirit that she has!  She turns 26 tomorrow (Sept 5) and I’m in awe of her ambitions and goals and her passionate spirit, which will forever have a place in my heart and on this farm.  Chicka chicka boom boom!

See you at the pickup tonight!

Teri 🙂

Week 9 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hello Veggie Lovers!!

Just a heads up, next week September 4th is a payment week if you chose installments, it is your final installment payment (2/2 or 3/3).  If you gave us post-dated cheques they will be deposited on Wednesday.

Last week’s basil was a mix of green and purple, and I intended to warn you that the purple basil has a bit of an anise/fennel flavour, which actually pairs really nicely with tomatoes.  However, some folks just can’t do that flavour (black licorice) and so I hope no one was unpleasantly surprised!  Thanks to Erin for reminding me about it.  There’s a lot of irons in the fire this time of year and so sometimes I don’t remember to share everything that I want to about the veggies with you… Also, I write too much every week as it is!

Janelle has started curling practice and returns to school next week, so this week is her last full time week working for us!  We are going to miss her and it really feels like summer is over now.  The hard and heavy work of fall is always a little bit dreaded after a long and hard growing season, but we have had so much great help from Janelle all season that we are ready for it!

She is still looking for sponsors for her curling team if you’re interested!


The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest it freshly for your bag.  So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens!  At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!

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Week 8  bag: Summer abundance!

Your Week 9 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag  for pickup on Tuesday August 28 contains:

Onions, 2 lb bag
Green Cabbage, 1 round
Celery, 1 large
Head Lettuce, Assorted types, 1
Sweet Pepper, Assorted types, 1
Choice* of  item: Chard, Beets, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cucumber, Zucchini

*We don’t have enough of any of these items to fill all the bags, but we have a good portion of them so we are going to offer a choice, first come first served, of some popular summer items.  $4 value, so you can choose Chard OR beets OR a combination of some $2 and $1 items to make up the $4 value.  This isn’t usually what I would say is ideal for the CSA, but if it works out well it might be a kinda cool way to get some choice and variety into your bags without us having to have 80 of one item!  If you come late there will be less choice likely.

You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more!  Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


News from the Farm and Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips:

Wasn’t that corn great last week?!  We had such a good day going to pick it up and I’m certain that makes a difference.

The image below was emailed to me by one of our best customers and usually the first person in line at markets on Fridays.  She had a large group of people to feed a few weeks ago and so prepared these veggie bakes.  The beets, carrots and potatoes were parboiled first, and then everything laid out on sheet pans and drizzled with olive oil and then baked in the oven until roasted and golden.  What a beautiful way to share local veggies and also retain the ability to host your own party without being stuck in the kitchen the whole time!

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Celery!  We are fortunate to have two farm locations or there would be no celery this year.  Celery is a water lover and the planting at our place has suffered and is not really saleable, but Mom’s place with irrigation has done alright.  In fact, it’s beautiful!  If you think celery is a boring vegetable be prepared to be blown away, local celery is so flavorful and lovely!  It’s a little bit more fibrous than last year’s crop due to the growing season– with local veggies you get to taste the season in everything you eat!

Onions: Janelle brought in all of our onions last week, we estimate she lifted about 1200 lbs of onions over a couple of days.  They will dry and cure in the shed for a few weeks and then we will clean them for storage.  This week you are getting a bag of our smaller, uncured Cortland onions and I recommend you keep them in the fridge or watch them closely if you keep them out of the fridge as they may not have papery skins yet and so may not store in dry storage well.  (Each bag will be a bit different and so if yours have golden papery skins they are likely ok kept in a cool dark place or even just on your counter.  If you get juicy white onions without golden skins, use those ones first or keep them in the fridge!)

Update from down the Well: The Water Situation at Jon & Teri’s Farm
Jon and I just heard back from the well guy yesterday (M & M Drilling) and it turns out we are lucky to have a well at all on our property, so we should be glad for our brown & rusty limited water!  Many of the places around don’t have any water on their property and so have to haul all of their water for household use.  We haul drinking water only which amounts to about 3 x 5 gallon jugs each week, and is much easier now that Mom’s farm is on town water and we can just fill them up there.  But it still makes you think a bit harder about your water consumption than if you could just turn on the tap!

Our well was drilled in 1965 and is 64 feet deep.  The municipal well which is about 2 miles away is on top of a hill, very deep and clean water, but the aquifer which supplies it is not under our property at all.  We were hopeful that maybe we could access the same aquifer but we are glad to be connected with a local well driller who knows the area and has access to the records from our property.  He recently tried to find water on a property just South of us and they never did find water and still incurred the expense of looking and drilling for it; folks North of us also have no water and have to haul.  So it cost us nothing to find out what we need to know, which is really great and unexpected.  We have quite a few projects on hold right now until we can afford them (redoing water lines and hooking up the shed to water, bathroom in the shed, eavestroughs on the shed, digging a dugout, snow guard on the house, the car needs repairs, and property taxes are due) but had planned to put some resources towards finding out about our well, because water is our limiting factor on the farm right now.

So, what does this mean for us?  We are very much hoping that the proposed rural water line for this area goes ahead.  We are in the Rural Municipality of Riverdale (Formerly Rivers-Daly) and do not have water service.  A couple of years ago my parents, who are in the RM of Elton, got the option to hook onto a rural water line and so now they have piped water from town.  This would be a complete game changer for our farm.  So much so that despite the fact that I have already indicated that we are very, very interested on the survey they sent out earlier this year, I plan to also write some letters to applicable folks to explain how much of a difference this would make for us (if you also want to write some letters on our behalf let me know, we’ll make a respectful ruckus together and see if it gets us anywhere!).  Unfortunately our immediate neighbours are not interested and don’t see the expense as worthwhile (it can cost upwards of $15,000 – $25,000 to hook onto the line and of course more if your neighbours aren’t sharing the cost, but is instantly reflected in the value of your property, in MY opinion.  And it can be financed through your RM or bank, which is the only way we could do it).

However that project is years out even if it does go ahead.  This means we need to make immediate changes to our plans for next year, as this is the second year in a row that has been desperately dry and it is predicted to be this way for at least the next 4 years.  Who can tell for sure, but our limiting factor on this farm is water and it just makes sense to concentrate our efforts on things that we can produce successfully.  It means less of crops like celery and lettuce which require large amounts of water to grow.  It means moving much of our production to a closer field where we at least have the option of irrigating (luckily this is already in the works).  It may even mean cleaning out and filling the two cisterns under our house so that we can haul water for household use and allocate more water for irrigation in future years.  It definitely means splitting our crops between our farm and Mom’s farm which has a creek running through it and so more irrigation potential.  We had hoped to simplify things eventually and just farm at one location but it just makes sense to use good fenced irrigated farmland that is only 20 minutes away.  However by using it we also delay our organic certification, which is no big deal (we plan to certify but can’t operate under the same business if the other location isn’t and I don’t blame Mom for not wanting to bother with all the paperwork, the business is incorporated and it would be ridiculous to create another one just for that purpose.  It’s a personal preference of ours to be certified but doesn’t really matter for how we market, we can tell you everything we do and that’s as good as any certification – Know Your Farmer!).

Water is life.  And we don’t have enough of it in years like this to keep all of our balls in the air.  So, we will adjust our plans to fit the resources available, which really is the key to farming: being adaptable, observant, and able to manage the resources available well.  Just like all of the people who farmed this land before us, we will find a way to make it work!  Stubbornness and a never-give-up spirit is also an essential quality of being a farmer.

(And a P.S. on the above: I am angry to learn that as someone who mostly avoids reading the news, I still hear everything that Donald Trump is tweeting but nothing about the severe heat wave and drought that much of Europe is facing right now!  This season is affecting people worldwide, and that’s really scary.  Google it if you also haven’t heard about it.)


See you at the very local awesome pickup this week!

Teri 🙂

Week 8 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hello Veggie Lovers!

This weekend we are hosting a couple of farm tours, a triple birthday party, as well as a couple and their two kids who are staying a night at our place on their cross-Canada trek to find a place to start a farm (they have already stayed with some of our friends along the way on the East Coast!).  It’s a busy weekend but it should be lots of fun!  First thing Monday morning Mom, Myrah and I head to Winkler to pick up corn for your veggie bags this week!  If you would like to order any additional corn this week please send us an email BEFORE MONDAY so we can pick up some extra for you ($10/dozen).  I am getting a dozen for myself to put into the freezer!

Last week EIGHT people didn’t show up to pick up their bags, which is over 10% of members and is really disappointing after working hard for 2 days to get beautiful bags of veggies ready for you.  PLEASE have the courtesy to let us know when you can’t make it to the pickup so we don’t make a bag for you!  Even if you let us know at the very last minute so I don’t have to drag a bag along with me all evening on my errand run and then come home and put it away (ie: feed your salad mix to the hens).  You made a commitment to the farm when you joined this CSA and part of that commitment is communicating with your farmers when you will be away.  (I know we get paid either way but I’d much rather you get the veggies!)


Here’s the link if you’d like to place a Veggie pre-order!
You can place an order anytime before Monday at noon for the coming week.

Also, this week is a delivery week for Luna Field Farm (pastured meat & eggs).  You can visit their most recent newsletter here and follow the link to place an order from Lydia and Wian’s farm, they will be at the pickup location from 5 – 6 pm on Tuesday.


The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest it freshly for your bag.  So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens!  At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!

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Last Week’s Bag!

Your Week 8 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag  for pickup on Tuesday August 21 contains:

Carrots, 2 lb
Red Onion, 1
Tomatoes, 2-3
Jalapeno Pepper, 1
Cucumber, 1
Romaine Lettuce, 1
Basil, small bag
Sweet Corn, 1/2 dozen, from Marcus at Covenant Growers in Winkler

You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more!  Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


News from the Farm and Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips:

Aug 21 addition:

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Having an ice cream break

After all that business with corn yesterday, and after eating the Mordenite Perogy soup at The Olive Tree in Morden, I am picking up some cream tonight and making corn chowder!  Here’s the recipe I plan to use: Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

Mom, Myrah and I at Covenant Growers’ farm stand!

We had a great trip yesterday, much better than the 2017 Corn Pickup Journey when Myrah was only 3 months old and had a rough day.  It was almost like a day off, and Mom, Myrah and I had a great lunch and a nice visit with Marcus.  Jon and Janelle stayed home and got all the things ready for your bags!

Just an interesting tidbit: Covenant Growers is the official corn grower for the Morden Corn and Apple Festival that is happening this weekend, August 24 – 26.  It’s a nice drive there and totally worth checking out!  Morden Sweet Corn is kind of a “thing”, which is why we take the time to drive all that way to get some fresh for your bags!  I will bring some extra along today for the mini-market in case you want more than 6 cobs.

Farm Update: Disclaimer: I have a pet peeve with CSA newsletters that contain lots of negativity and complaining, and so it’s in the spirit of educating & informing you that I write this weeks’ farm update.  I think it’s more important that I be transparent and honest with you than be positive all the time, and so please read this as an honest conversation from your farmers.

It’s raining two miles South of us as I write this.  That’s been our typical experience this year, nothing but brief scattered showers that miss us.  It’s been 27 days since we had a drop of rain.  I feel like I’ve been mildly complaining all summer but trying to stay positive for the most part, but this week I’m going to share some photos & more detail of the impact this is having on our crops, because I can sense that some of you can’t comprehend it.  Veggies are the wimpiest of crops and need about an inch of rain per week to thrive.  There is also something magical in an electrical storm that veggies need to do well, and nothing beats a long, slow soaking rain, which we haven’t had all summer!

Grain farmers are having a tough year too, but for the most part commodity crops (wheat, soy, canola, etc) tend to have more drought resistance and a wide array of things you can spray on them when they’re suffering from pests, we don’t have the same options.  Remember that grain farmers are farming SEEDS, not fruiting parts of plants, so hot weather tends to make things go to seed faster (no doubt with an impact on yield), so combine harvesting is actually ahead of usual this year.  They also have the option of crop insurance that we do not.  Our resilience is in our diversity of crops and our connection with our customers, like you!

This sunflower grew to be over 10 feet tall but then died from lack of water.  The smoke kept the blazing sun muted for a couple of days last week.

However, we need your support and in order to have your support I feel you need to fully understand the magnitude of what we are facing this season, instead of glossing over the unpleasant parts with a smile and some positivity like I’ve been doing.  It bit us in the butt with the napa cabbage and our feelings were deeply hurt by some of your comments and unwillingness to wash off a couple of bugs from your cabbage for the sake of the greater good.  That’s not the kind of CSA I want, nor the kind of members we need.  What we do is hard work, and so keep that in mind when it’s late in the season and your farmers are feeling tired, defeated, and stressed– not to mention all of us being sick from heat multiple times this season. We need you, our members, in good times, but we especially need your support to help us weather the hard times!

Some of the impact of this year’s weather includes:

  • An example: Usually by the third week that we pick chard in mid June, it turns into a chard hedge and we have all that we could ever want.  This year, we have to be careful not to over harvest it, as our needs are exceeding it’s growth each week.  Unless we get rain you won’t even get chard in your bags this year! This is the same for many of our crops, they are just not producing the volume of a typical year and so despite our buffers for making sure we have enough, we are short on many items from what we planned to have.
  • This is one kale plant after 1 day of cabbage loopers eating it.  If we didn’t have row cover and use BtK, all of our kale, cabbage, and kohlrabi would look like this.  After 20% defoliation veggie plants start to suffer (this is about 60% in this photo): this plant died.
  • Same deal with Kale as with Chard, except it is suffering even more because when veggies suffer, pests move in and take advantage, and this is an epic year for flea beetle (which likes kale as it’s in the brassica family).  If you follow any farms in Winnipeg you will know about this, in fact I think the problem is much worse there.  All of our brassica crops are being annihilated with flea beetle and cabbage looper pressure.  We can spray BtK for the loopers but there is no recourse for flea beetle as we are already diligent about row cover.  Our cabbage crops were a huge expense due to row cover and labour involved, and are a loss for us (so be grateful when you get a cabbage in your bag, it represents a negative income for the farm, as in, it may be only worth $4-$5 for you but it cost us more than that to produce).
  • Another issue with pest pressure in a tough growing year is that veggies are less nutrient dense when they struggle like this.  So it makes it easier for the pests to attack them because their defenses are depleted (i.e. when they are healthy, plants have an ability to release a pest deterrent when it hears/feels that it’s being eaten!), and the pests have to eat more to be satiated because the crops have less nutrients per bite.
  • We are experiencing lots of blossom end rot in our tomatoes this year from nutrient lock up due to extreme heat.  It is just simply too hot each day for the tomato plants and they can only access the nutrients they need from the soil (in this case calcium) within a certain window of conditions, the heat has taken us outside of the goldilocks zone that tomatoes like.  Over 25% of our crop has been lost.  Those that do make it have sun scald from the extreme temperatures this year.
  • Crops that have completely or nearly completely failed include: watermelon radishes, edamame, snap peas, turnips x 2, kohlrabi, arugula, late season dill, garlic, most of the romaine lettuce.  Much of the celery is a fail.  Our Katrina cucumbers died last week after it swung from 39C to 3.7C within a day last week.  Many of our trees have dropped their leaves since that day too– it is just too hot and too dry for them.  Cucumbers also need warm nights to grow and it’s been shockingly cold at night.
  • These zucchini fruits have wilted and died due to inadequate moisture.  They must be removed from the plant so it can focus energy on the good fruits.  So zucchini harvest isn’t very fun, most of it consists of cutting rotten fruit off.  Those that do make it are wonky and knobbly! (and kind of hilarious!)
  • There isn’t a glut of zucchini this year, because most of the fruit that forms just rots off of the plants due to inadequate resources to take it to maturity.  We are barely scraping by with enough which is why it hasn’t been in your bags very much.
  • Lack of moisture anywhere on the farm has caused an incursion of caterpillars and caterpillar larvae into the lettuce crop, the only crop we are watering due to our well not being able to keep up with our needs.  We do our best to rinse them off but it’s very slow and tedious work and so we need you to be vigilant and wash your lettuce at home (as you should be all the time anyway).

We’re happy most of the time to celebrate our small victories, like the napa cabbage that we didn’t think would make it, or the fact that our peppers are happily turning color, or that we got 1 Romaine Lettuce planting (of 6!) to successful fruition.  Other things we are proud of this year include: weeding!  We were able to keep up this year and so the fields look great, we have prepared a new field for use possibly as soon as next year, and it looks like we are going to have our propagation greenhouse finished this fall.  Our market sales have continued to be strong and I feel like folks at market are happy to buy whatever we have which is super helpful.  The construction on 18th Street was an unexpected hurdle that is the cherry on top of an otherwise tough season, market attendance was definitely down yesterday.

So, what can you do to help?

  • Remember what your farmers are facing this year and be supportive, it’s surprising how far a little comment such as “Wow, tell Jon how great those tomatoes are tasting this year” (Judi) or “the green pepper in last week’s bag was amazing. So flavourful and not at all bitter like some can be. Kudos!” (Ally) can go in terms of boosting our spirits– I shared both of those with Jon last night and he lit up!
  • Designate as many of your food dollars as you can to a farm– that means placing a pre-order or shopping from the mini-market at the pickup or coming to a market.  I’m not asking you to buy anything that you won’t use, but if you can buy your lettuce and onions that you were buying anyway from a farm instead of the grocery store it is a huge help and also strengthens the local community that you are a part of. It doesn’t even need to be our farm, we are all in the same boat!  If you can’t make it to our market there are plenty around that you can support.
  • Be the best CSA member that you can be: Be engaged.  Read your newsletter, pick up your bag on time, don’t make us chase you for payments, stick around for a chat at the pickup, shop from the mini-market, share with us when things are good and be understanding when they are slightly imperfect (I am not meaning to discourage you from sharing with us when you have an actual issue, like if your cabbage is rotten inside).  We absolutely never intend to send you things that aren’t good to eat, but our realm of what is edible might be a bit broader than yours.  Contrary to what you see in the grocery store, slightly imperfect vegetables are perfectly edible and probably tastier, too!  Your carrots this week are knobbly and crooked like carrots stuck in the clay are.  It took Janelle and I the better part of a day to dig them and I ended up sick from dehydration.  However, they are SO sweet and so delicious!  Worth it.

Our philosophy with CSA is to treat our members as our best customers and prioritize our Veggie Lovers’ Club, so be assured that you will receive the full value of your share this year and will not have to shoulder any of the burden of a tough growing year in the form of undelivered produce– we don’t believe in members taking on risk in that way.  What we are lacking is the variety that we had hoped for and the volume we would like to have.  So, for instance you have gotten some tomatoes, but not as many as we’d like to give you.  Half of the kohlrabi planting died so it won’t be in your bags this year but there has been some at the mini-market and the Friday market if you are a big fan and still want some.  Going into fall we have high hopes for the squash patch, the onion crop is doing well, the leeks look great, and the parsnips are planted at Mom’s on an irrigated bed– so are the sweet potatoes, which look great as far as I can tell, it’s our first time growing them.  When things don’t work out we just adapt and shift, and we’re pretty proud of the veggies we’ve put in your bags thus far and we’re also looking forward to fall and all the future bags!  8 remain after this week if you’ve signed up for the summer program, if you’re in the fall program (24 weeks) as well then you still have 16 weeks of bags to come!  We are 1/2 way through the summer program and 1/3 of the way through the full-length program.  We have decided not to run any winter programs this year (like the Pea Shoot Program) due to an anticipated lesser quantity of storage veggies. (P.S. I (Teri) may be looking for part-time employment if you know or hear of anything!)

Thanks, dear reader, for reading the newsletter and for being a great member!  I look forward to seeing you at the pickup every week, see you on Tuesday!

Teri 🙂

Team Vachon – Sponsorship Opportunity

20180715-IMG_3154Hi Veggie lovers! My name is Janelle Vachon, and I’m a proud (and the only) employee at Brown Sugar Produce. Before I get into my spiel I just want to say how grateful I am and what an awesome summer I am having working for Jon, Teri and Stephanie. Their passion for growing and providing quality vegetables to the Brandon area is inspiring and motivates me every day to work hard. You know that you’ve found an amazing job when you’re excited to go to work and disappointed when you must leave. Of course, getting to see cute and curious young Myrah everyday helps too!

janelleI am so lucky that I have such a great seasonal job that works around my curling schedule. Many of you may not know but starting in the end of August every year, no matter how hot it is outside I lace up my curling shoes and spend hours in the rink pursuing a competitive curling career. To wear the buffalo on my back (representing Manitoba) at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and ultimately the maple leaf, has always been a dream and now a realistic goal of mine. In order to achieve this goal I spend hours every day training in the gym, on the ice, and training mentally to perform my best. Last year was a very exciting year for me playing second position for Briane Meilleur out of Winnipeg. Our team had a high enough ranking to get into the Olympic Pre-trials and went on to play in the final on national television which we unfortunately lost. The experience was amazing and taught me a lot, and more importantly gave me confidence in my ability. This season, I have stepped back into the skipping role with a new team. I could not be more excited about what the future holds!

20180723-IMG_7269However, curling isn’t cheap. Nationally funded teams like Jennifer Jones stay on top because they can afford to travel, have the best equipment and pay for coaches. Every year we look to local businesses to help support us through a sponsorship agreement where in return we advertise their business by showing off their logo on our jackets and promoting them on our social media pages. We have four different levels of sponsorship: our largest is the title sponsor position for a sponsorship of $4,000 or more which receives the largest spot on our jacket on the front or back, next is a $2500 contribution for the second largest spot on our jackets, and then $1500 for a spot on a sleeve and anything less will not get a spot on our jacket, but will receive regular mentions on our social media pages. We also offer to help with any other promotional events the business may have or to wear any other promotional items they may have. An entry fee to a single event is often close to $1,000 plus travel expenses and accommodations so sponsorship becomes the only way we can afford to chase our goals! We love and appreciate everything that local businesses do for us to make our goals possible. Fun fact, Brown Sugar Produce is one of our sponsors this year! Thanks BSP, you’re awesome!!

If anyone is interested in sponsoring my team, I can be contacted by email at janelle005@gmail.com. We also love having lots of fans and supporters that follow our progress throughout the season! If you want to follow what we’re competing in and how we’re doing you can like us on Facebook by searching for ‘Team Vachon’ or give us a follow on Instagram (@teamvachoncurling). Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope everyone has a great day!

Week 7 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hi!

Make sure you wash your salad and spinach this week: This time of year is very buggy and there are lots of juicy green caterpillars in the greens right now.  Basically it is bone dry everywhere on the farm except for the lettuce patch and so that’s where they have taken up residence.  We rinse the greens for keeping quality and to wash most of the obvious dirt off, but I am POSITIVE there is at least 1 caterpillar who escaped our inspection yesterday and I don’t want you to find it on the end of your fork!  We picked and washed over 100 lbs of greens yesterday so Mom and I spent the day up close and personal with caterpillars and caterpillar poo (which is basically just chewed up lettuce!). You should always be washing your veggies, especially salad and spinach, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  My salad spinner lives on the kitchen counter in summer, I use it constantly!

If finding a bug in your veggies is intolerable for you, talk to me at the pickup please or if you can’t then send me an email.  We want this to be a good fit for everyone involved and so if it’s not working for you we are happy to issue a refund for the remainder of the season.  This has been a tougher than average growing season and the role of a CSA member is understanding and trusting that we are doing our best at all times, the lack of rain and pest pressure is beyond our realm of control and obviously not ideal.  Many of our crops have not succeeded this year and we have cancelled our plans for winter programs.  As a Veggie Lover you are getting the best of our production and our commitment to fill the bags with our tasty veggies for another 17 weeks (or 9 if you’re in the summer program only). 

Here’s the link if you’d like to place a Veggie pre-order!
You can place an order anytime before Monday at noon for the coming week.


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Last week’s bag

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest it freshly for your bag.  So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens!  At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!

Your Week 7 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag  for pickup on Tuesday August 14 contains:

Salad Mix, 1/2 lb
Spinach, 1/2 lb
Sweet Onion, 1 large
Linzer Delicatess Fingerling Potatoes, around 1 lb, Certified Organic from Oak Valley Vegetables in Morden
Colored Beets, 1 bunch with tops (Red, Gold, and/or Pink mixture)

You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more!  Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


News from the Farm and Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips:

Yay Team Brown Sugar!!

Pretty sure you can tell how much fun they had from their faces!  (By the way, Janelle’s super power is weeding and closing her eyes for photos!! Almost every time lol!)

Jon and Janelle did a great job on the Manitoba Mud Run on Saturday despite the 37*C temp and poor air quality, and the most important parts: they didn’t die of heat stroke or get any injuries and they had an absolute blast!  They were both a bit concerned (as anyone is before any event like this, I am sure) that they hadn’t prepared enough and would struggle, but they blasted through it no problem and completed every obstacle!  This makes me really happy, to know that not only does the food we grow add to the health and wellness of our community who consumes it, but the physical work of growing the food keeps the 4 of us in great shape too!  #farmstrong for the win!

janelleOn that note, the amazing and wonderful Janelle Vachon has prepared a special blog post for you this week.  She is skipping her own curling team this year and they are currently looking for sponsors.  Please check out Janelle’s post here for more info and to find out how to contribute!  I am confident that we will be watching this gal represent Canada someday, she is the most hard working and committed person I have ever met, and she goes after her goals like she attacks the weeds here on the farm: with gusto!!

Spinach in a heat wave: That’s a super big accomplishment, go Mom!  The spinach was grown at Stephanie’s place.  It is hard to grow spinach in the middle of summer, never mind when it is close to 30*C every day!

That potato has a big name… Matched only by it’s flavour!!  The Linzer Delicatess/Delikatess Fingerling Potatoes are SOOOO good: Buttery, flavourful, creamy texture.  I don’t usually eat very many potatoes at this time of year (after gorging on new ones in July and then resigning myself to them come winter), but we’ve been having potatoes every second night these days since they are SO good.  (If you’re a real potato nerd like me, the LD Fingerling derives from the Sieglinde line of Germanic origin, aka the same potato parentage as the German Butter that we grow that I always go on and on about how good they are.)

Look like her Daddy much?!  Learning how to wheel hoe.  Never too young!!

Roast your Beets:  Since we figured out roasting them, we never boil beets anymore because it makes a mess! Roasting them brings out their sweetness and keeps your kitchen from looking like someone was murdered in it. The gold & pink beets bleed a lot less than the red ones, but are still most easily managed by sticking them (skins on) into a casserole dish with a lid and about an inch of water for 60 – 90 minutes, until they are cooked through. Once they cool a bit, the skins just slide off, and then you can add them to salads, BBQ them a couple minutes to add a smoky flavour, serve them as a side dish or simply go wherever your creative cooking spirit takes you! A good food prep tip is to roast your beets next time you are using the oven and then store them in the fridge for up to 5 days until you have a use for them. They take a long time to cook, so having them cooked ahead makes for an quick & easy addition to your hectic weekday meals! (This heat defies anything reasonable, so alternatively to roasting them like this in the oven, you could also do this on the BBQ or wrap the beets individually in foil and roast them slowly on the BBQ.  Because I refuse to turn on my oven these days!!)

We also enjoy raw beets grated on top of a salad.  Just make sure to add a little acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc) to prevent them from discoloring!  The colored ones are really beautiful, especially when served raw.  Here’s a nice recipe for a raw grated beet, carrot & apple salad with ginger lime dressing.

The farm is gorgeous right now!

Farm Tour Saturday August 18: We don’t have any plans this coming Saturday so if you’d like to come to the farm for a visit we’d love to see you!  Please add your name to the interested list here and we will be in touch later this week with details!  Even if this week doesn’t work for you, make sure you’re on this list so we can let you know when might work for us.  In the past, we organized a tour day but always find there to be very poor attendance despite there seeming to be lots of interest so this year we are doing things a bit differently and arranging more informal tours.  Please send us an email if there is a specific time that works for you and we can let you know if it will work for us!  Weekends are usually the easiest time for us to accommodate but we are very flexible and would love to see you on the farm!

That’s all for this week, if you’re looking for some recipes make sure to visit our Recipes section of the website where we post all of our favourites!!  You’ll need to whip up a batch of Homemade Salad Dressing for all those greens in your bag this week, and maybe a Nicoise Salad or Spinach Salad with Poppyseed dressing or check out this handy veggie Grilling Guide!

See you at the pickup, thanks for your patience last week as it was extra busy and some of you had to wait in line for a while!

Teri 🙂