Farm Fresh Cucumbers!

dsc01817We grow gorgeous fresh pickling cukes at the farm. They are picked every 2-3 days, and though we do make lots of our own pickles on the farm, many cucumbers go to our customers who make their own.

How it works: We keep a list of names of those who are interested in buying pickling cucumbers. After, or shortly before a harvest we go through our list and call to see who can take them. Since picking happens every few days, this may not always be on a market day and so pickup is often at the farm (just 5 miles NE of Brandon).

The cukes are small and perfect for pickles. Varieties are Pioneer, National Pickling, and Cool Breeze.

CLICK HERE TO PLACE AN ORDER FOR CUCUMBERS FROM OUR FARM

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Sam, Mom, and Aunty Jayne making pickles in 2016

Pickling Cukes are $2.75/lb.
Larger Cukes for sliced/bread & butter pickles are $2.50/lb
Relish Cukes are $2.00/lb
We pick every second day or so and will be in touch when we have some available for you.

If you have a preference for when you receive them please enter it in the comments section on the form and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request!
Please do not call or email us about this order repeatedly as that will move your name to the bottom of the list.
We do not have carrots available for pickling this year.

 

Week 6 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

In the interest of keeping our community safe, we will be doubling down on distancing and sanitation measures during the pickups.  Please do not attend the pickup if you have traveled out of province within the past 2 weeks, have any symptoms, or are self-isolating for any reason.  If you can’t find someone to send in your place we can provide contactless delivery (there’s limited capacity for this, but we’re happy to go above and beyond in order to keep everyone safe).  If the current situation in our community has made you feel unsafe about attending the pickup, please be in touch with us and we will come up with a plan that works for both of us.

As we navigate this year we’re grateful we’ve made it this far and we hope we can continue our season safely.  The reality of us facing a shutdown if any of our farm team becomes ill is a pretty scary eventuality that would have a big impact on our farm.  At the same time, we are committed to growing food for you and ensuring that we can distribute it safely, and being transparent.  We thank you for your support in minimizing our exposure to risk and working together to keep everyone safe.

Pickup is:

  • Tuesday August 11 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park in Brandon (14th Street between Princess Ave. and Lorne Ave.)
  • Wednesday August 12 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Riverdale Community Centre (Rink) West Parking lot, Main Street, Rivers. (Under the shady tree!)

Pre-Order Form for Optional Order to come with your bag!

Click here to visit the Pre-Order Form and place an order for next week!

We keep a list of the crops we are able to harvest in addition to our CSA harvest for you to order from, if you wish.  Your order must be placed by MONDAY at NOON to come with your bag on Tuesday (Brandon) or Wednesday (Rivers).  This is to allow us time to plan and coordinate harvest between two locations efficiently.  Please order as soon as possible for the most selection, I remove items as they sell out so Saturday is always the best time to find the most selection!

Your order will come in a bag with your order sheet & total stapled to it, and it will be available for self-serve pickup beside the van.  You can pay for it via e-transfer, cash, cheque or debit at the pickup.

*Note: We have shifted some extra labour to Mondays and Tuesdays in order to fulfill the larger volume of pre-orders that we are receiving – Our members come first and so please don’t hesitate to place an order if you’d like something this week, we can handle it!  We’re finding this year to be incredibly busy but we’ve got Sam helping out a bit which makes all the difference right now, and Janelle is still unable to return to work at her full time job, and Laryssa’s season is winding down, so we’ll get ‘er done as a team!  Ensuring you, our members, get the veggies you want is our top priority.


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

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough for us 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, this posting will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for the week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to! (and please do check!)

Your Week 6 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:

Week5

Last Week’s Bag

You can click the links on the items above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season, storage tips, and lots more!

Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


About your Veggies!

Will be updated Tuesday with the pickup reminder, Check back soon!

Week 5 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

The first week of August is a payment week if you chose to pay in 3 installments.  The amounts due now for each program are:
14-week program $120
24-week program $194

An important update about Carrots and Potatoes:
Those two crops are in very high demand and we are short on them this year due to the weather/flooding.  We are limiting the amount we harvest and saving them for your future Veggie Lovers’ Club bags.  There is very little going to the weekly market and they are not listed on the pre-order form due to insufficient quantity.  We know you love these crops but we have a full season of veggie variety to supply and so we have to limit availability right now in order to have enough to fulfill our promise to our CSA members, while balancing the high demand there is at the markets this year.  Know that those in our Veggie Lovers Club are always our first priority when crops are short because you make a weekly commitment to our farm for the entire season.

Last week’s Chez Angela gift card winner was Meghan P!  (Each week we randomly place a $5 Chez Angela gift card in one of the red bags, so if you find it you’re the winner, and if I hear about it I’ll post who it was in the next newsletter!)

Pickup is:

  • Tuesday August 4 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park in Brandon (14th Street between Princess Ave. and Lorne Ave.)
  • Wednesday August 5 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Riverdale Community Centre (Rink) West Parking lot, Main Street, Rivers. (Under the shady tree!)

 

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

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough for us 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, this posting will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for the week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to! (and please do check!)

Your Week 5 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:

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Last week’s bag

You can click the links on the items above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season, storage tips, and lots more!

Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


About your Veggies!

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<<This is a Chioggia Beet!  When eaten raw they have candy cane stripes inside.  They turn a light pink colour after cooking and are the sweetest beets we grow.  Even if you’re not a beet lover, try these and you might!  I like them roasted until very soft and then served with a soft cheese and lots of dill, or Lady of the Lake’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.  (That being said, I’m not a huge fan of beets and neither is Jon, but man alive most people around here seem to love beets!  Blows my mind a bit.)

The tops of the beets are still nice and green and perfectly edible.  Member Judi subbed beet tops for Chard in her favourite pasta recipe lately and told me she couldn’t even tell the difference!  Make sure you cover them in the fridge if you are planning to eat them.

Note re: “covering” things in the fridge: Those mesh reuseable bags don’t count.  I’m not sure what those are for, I guess things like lemons and apples.  If they let air through, they won’t protect veggies from becoming dehydrated in the fridge.  Beeswax wraps work, sealed glass containers work, and plastic bags work too.  Those mesh reuseable bags have resulted in many veggie mishandling mishaps and I dislike them!!  (Also I tried sourcing compostable bags and found they let the air through as well… Not quite there yet, and now I’m stuck with 1000 useless compostable sandwich bags!)

Napa Cabbage!!  CSA Member exclusive (there is only enough for the CSA, none for markets!).  We’re excited about this one.  Last week Sam (who worked for us in 2016 and has returned to help during picking season this year) told me about this soup she makes with Napa.  She took one home after her hard day in the field and then shared the recipe with me. Here it is!

Watch for some grasshopper poop on your cabbage.  Cabbage stores best unwashed so we skipped that step: make sure you wash it before you eat it.  If you peel it back and find any damage on the inside please take a photo and send it to us so we can be aware of what happened and get you something to replace it!  (See below for a story about the last time we put Napa in the bags!).  Make sure you store it wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge so it doesn’t wilt.

It’s Garlic Harvest Week and so we are honoring that by sending you some fresh garlic!  It turned out beautiful and the heads have really sized up in the past few weeks.  On Wednesday Jon, Sam, Myrah and I are harvesting the rest of the garlic and starting the curing process.

We have some Peas and Beans from Marcus at Covenant Growers again for you this week.  The yellow beans are quite mature and I scoured them for quality as I was bagging them but also included 10% extra in the bag in case you find a rotter.  If you’re not planning to eat them all at once, eat the yellow beans before the green as the green are keeping better.  I spoke to Marcus yesterday and he is going to have sweet corn to supply us this Friday at market!!  I hope to make our annual drive out to Winkler in the next few weeks to connect with some for your bags.  We’re grateful for Marcus always but especially this year as we lost a lot of our beans to flooding, and his produce is helping us pull through an extraordinarily busy market season.

The Basil is ridiculous this year.  We trialled some outside of the tunnel and learned Basil does much better outside of the tunnel!  We picked 11 lbs yesterday so everyone is getting a hearty handful.  Basil doesn’t do well when wet and so it’s unwashed – generally we try to avoid washing fresh herbs unless absolutely necessary as it spoils the flavour and keeping capacity.

Basil actually pairs really well with beets, so here’s a recipe for a Beet & Basil Salad with fresh chevre

I made my Gran’s Bean Salad on Sunday and it’s gone already so I’m going to make it again on Wednesday!  I actually used the fennel tops instead of my typical tarragon and it was EXCELLENT.  Here’s the recipe:

 


(I sub honey for the sugar and melt it in the microwave a bit to mix it.  This time I didn’t plan ahead and have any cooked beans (or canned) so I skipped them and it was fine without!  For herbs I used fennel tops, dill, oregano, and tons of parsley).  You can easily cut this recipe in half but it’s really good so I recommend buying some extra beans at the mini market and going for the full version!)

Our Red Onions that you took home last week are not part of the current recall!  It must feel good to know that you don’t have to worry when you hear about these things in the news, I know it makes me feel good!


Bad Apple Policy: The 2018 Napa Cabbage Debacle
We first grew some Napa Cabbage in 2018.  That was our hardest year on the farm so far as we hadn’t figured out the limits of our irrigation system yet and it was horrifically hot and dry that year (and we were farming with a 1 year old to boot). We grew some Napa and thought it was a complete loss but then found when harvesting it that there were beautiful nuggets inside once we peeled off the outer leaves which had severe flea beetle damage.

When veggies are doing well and getting what they need from the rain and healthy soil they are resilient against pests and disease.  Think of it this way, how I justify eating chips semi-regularly in the evenings: When you are feeding your body nutrient-dense, healthy food most of the time, it pulls all the nutrition it needs from that stuff and it can handle a few chips here and there, eaten with great enjoyment.  If all you’re eating is chips, your body doesn’t have the building blocks it needs to make healthy cells and keep you healthy.  Without adequate water our crops suffer and are more prone to pest incursions, not to mention less able to pull what they need from the soil: The Napa had struggled to come to fruition.

When I returned home from the pickup I had an email from a member, telling me her Napa was all covered in bugs.  I realized that to us a few flea beetle is nothing to be concerned about, but our customers see things with different eyes and so I sent out a follow up email to all members explaining what they were and letting folks know if their cabbage was not up to par to let me know.  In response a small handful of people sent me photos of their cabbage, in a bag still, with a couple of bugs visible.  That’s not what I was getting at, so I then had to further explain to those members that the bugs are nothing to worry about and it’s what’s inside that counts.  We were well aware that there were a few stray flea beetle on the cabbages (you should’ve seen it in the field!!) and if we hadn’t done members the courtesy of bagging it then they would have all flown away during distribution and members would’ve been none the wiser.

It hurt our feelings that people would be so turned off by a couple of bugs: Those aren’t our people.  None of them are in the Veggie Lovers Club since that year and I don’t miss them!  Truthfully it really threw me for a loop and I struggled to communicate about it for weeks, mad that beautiful completely edible cabbages got chucked in the garbage because “OMG there was a BUG on it!!”.  (FYI We don’t charge extra when your veggies arrive with extra protein on them, and it should be rejoiced because it shows that they’re fresh, chemical-free and straight from the farm!)

This is hard work that we put our whole hearts into, so please keep that in mind as we get into the peak of the season and get tired and our patience wears a bit thin!

On that note, we have lots of skills but none of them are x-ray vision.  It’s impossible to know what a cabbage is like inside and so we DO count on you to let us know if you cut it open and there’s something up inside.  We have a grasshopper incursion in the cabbages this year and though we’ve done what we can, sometimes their chewing can do internal damage to the hearts that we can’t see when we’re harvesting.  There is definitely some grasshopper poop on some of the cabbages, but to wash a cabbage like that will shorten it’s shelf life and so we skipped the washing.
It’s never our intention to send you anything sub-par (without an explanation why, in certain circumstances). So, as per our Bad Apple Policy, if ever something you find in your bag isn’t up to par, send us a photo as soon as you can so we can investigate the problem and rectify it.  (A photo of an untouched cabbage still inside the bag that you throw in the garbage because of 4 flea beetle is not in line with our policy – one cut in half with a rotten middle is.)

By no means do I want this story to discourage you from sharing with us when things truly aren’t up to par: We can handle it!  I’ve gotten better at sharing than I was then, and I find it so helpful to move through the feelings and to help others to be educated and on the same page with us.  Communication is a gift and the only way to know where someone else is at.  I don’t think I was fully “over this” until after writing this bit.  Thanks for listening!!

We’ve got such a wonderful crop of Veggie Lovers this year and I am grateful for “The 2018 Napa Debaucle” as it makes me appreciate the great members we have now all the more!  I was so hurt I refused to grow it last year, but I’m glad I got over it because I love Napa Cabbage and I’m so excited to share it with you this week!

Check out our Napa Cabbage page in the Veggie Guide for some ideas and recipes!


I hope everyone had a great long weekend!  Take care and I’ll see you at the pickup!

Teri 🙂

Week 4 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Each week we are placing a $5 Chez Angela Gift Card randomly in one of the bags, just for fun!  If I connect with the winner I’ll announce who it was.
Last week’s was Megan E. in Rivers!
Good Luck this week!

There will be a (very) small mini-market at the pickup to shop from this week.

Jo from Real Garlic will also be at the pickup spot.  She will have:
Bags of Scapes for $5 or $10.
Garlic Scape Sea Salt $10
Jo’s Seasoning Blend $8
Coffee Grill Rub $8
Chili/ Fajita Mix $7
https://www.facebook.com/realgarlic/ to order!

Pickup is:

  • Tuesday July 28 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park in Brandon (14th Street between Princess Ave. and Lorne Ave.)
  • Wednesday July 29 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Riverdale Community Centre (Rink) West Parking lot, Main Street, Rivers. (Under the shady tree!)

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

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough for us 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, this posting will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for the week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to! (and please do check!)

Your Week 4 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:

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Last week’s bag, also included Cherry Tomatoes (Bdn) or Celery (Rivers)

Chard, large bunch
Rainbow Carrots, bunch
Celery, large head**
Butter Lettuce, 1
Parsley, small bunch
Onion Duo (Red & Sweet)
Cucumber,  3-4 small

**Rivers Members: You will receive Cherry Tomatoes from Laryssa at Emerald Earth Farm this week as we sent your Celery in Week 3!


Veggie Lovers Tips:

A beautiful bag for you this week!  (Well, truth be told, we think that every week when we make the first bag.  Jon usually says “This is a really nice bag!” and I agree!!)

Mom and Janelle harvested the rainbow carrots and cucumbers for your bags, and some of the parsley.  We grow most of the carrots at Mom’s in the “gravel pit” where the soil is nicer for carrots as ours is quite heavy clay (the official soil of Manitoba, Newdale Clay, to be exact!).  We’re grateful for some of the work being shared this week as we are finding the load quite heavy this year.  To be fair, we changed the structure of the CSA this year, last year we had an 8-week program begin in August and so through July we only had 55 CSA members versus 101 this year!  We did it though, without any shortages in produce, so I’m really glad we pushed the limits!

The value in those onions is not just in the bulbs: this time of year when they are still lovely and green, the entire tops can be used as well!  Make sure to cover them completely when you store them in the fridge so they don’t wilt.  The greens will spoil faster than the onion so use the greens first!

I know from experience that the trade bin will fill with Chard this week.  It happened last year and every year prior and it made me feel sorry for Chard and so we ate it more than ever last year and came up with a ton of favourite ways to use it.  It’s important to eat a range of veggies in your diet, including dark leafy greens like Chard.  But it’s also important to enjoy what you’re eating, so a great recipe or preparation technique can make all the difference!

Chard Leaves Stuffed with Rice and Herbs – I often swap out the cabbage leaves for chard leaves and make a version of “chard cabbage rolls”.  No recipe needed, just cook some rice and add some other veggies and ground meat if you like and roll them up and bake with tomato sauce!

Swiss Chard and Tomato Baked Eggs – again, here’s a recipe for this thing I make that I usually don’t use a recipe for.  I saute chard in a pan with some tomatoes and then make a well in it and cook some eggs.  It’s a great way to add some veggies to the breakfast plate!

Sausage, Potato & Chard Soup – Chard, like it’s leafy green cousin Kale, pairs really well with potato and sausage flavours in this soup.

Sweet & Sour Chard – Probably the most shared Chard recipe in existence– this is a great way to prepare it for kids & adult chard skeptics alike.  Myrah usually ends up ingesting some of it while she’s picking out the raisins, at the very least!

One-Pot Mushroom Chard Pasta

Garlic Sauteed Chard

Creamed Chard

If you aren’t much for following a recipe like me, then just know that Chard pairs great with rice as well as sausage, with vinegar or without as is your preference.  We often just saute it in a lot of butter and serve it with rice.  (Butter goes with everything in my opinion!!).  And I won’t judge you if you do use the trade bin to swap it out– it’s there to help you connect with veggies that are your preference, after all!

Parsley is a favourite herb of mine to use in salads.  If I were using the veggies in this bag I’d make a big salad with the lettuce, bunch of parsley and the celery.  It’s really great in large amounts in a chopped salad– think tabbouleh!  Here’s a recipe!

Creamy Cucumber Salad – uses both cucumber and sweet onion!  I’ll have some dill for sale at the mini market today if you need it.

Bag your Veggies!!
Just a reminder that your fridge is basically a big cold dehydrator, so if you place your veggies in the fridge uncovered they will not do well.  We know that our Veggie Lovers are above average engaged customers who can follow instructions, so we cut corners when getting your veggies ready by not bagging everything (which also vastly reduces our farm’s use of single-use plastic bags).  We like to focus on the veggies and the info, it would take us at least an hour to bag 100 celery and so we skipped that step and instead need you to ensure you place it in a bag when you get it home.  It will take a large one, possibly two, to ensure it’s fully covered.  Same with your chard, which may benefit from crisping.

Crisping: If your veggies wilt before you get them home, the secret for rescuing those greens is super simple: When greens wilt, they have become dehydrated. A simple rinse in tepid/lukewarm water (helps to open the pores of the greens and allow them to take on more water) a quick shake off or drip dry, and then into a plastic bag in the fridge will work wonders on your greens and bring them completely back to life! This is called “crisping”, and is a technique used by farmers and produce retailers alike to keep greens looking great.

Parsley can be trimmed and then stored upright in a glass of water in the fridge, or just in a bag or container.  Carrots also need to be completely covered up in the fridge.  If you want to ditch the tops to come back to the farm for composting/chicken food I’ll have a bin available for you to leave them in!  (the tops can be used to make pesto or paired with the parsley as they are actually in the same family!

Increasingly as I talk to members I hear that the storage tips are one of the most critical pieces of information we provide, so I focused on that this week.  You can find storage tips for most of the veggies in our online Veggie Guide.  As a general rule, “in the fridge covered up” works for most things!  Last year’s survey also showed that it wasn’t so important for us to provide recipe cards in the bags so we haven’t done that this year, but remember that all of our favourites are always available on our website for you here: https://brownsugarproduce.wordpress.com/recipes/

I’m enjoying not feeling guilty about not having a printed recipe card for every bag this year!  But know that I’m always here for you if you need some help using something up.  My favourite emails are ones that come from CSA members such as “What IS this?” or “What do I do with this?” or, “I tried your suggestion and didn’t prefer it, any other ideas?”.  So don’t hesitate to be in touch!


The Best Thing We’ve Ever Grown

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At market July 2020

Jon and I are really enjoying doing the markets with Janelle this year.  After week 3, we were talking and saying “What the heck are we going to do next year?” because we know that Janelle is moving to Plumas to be nearer to her boyfriend Eric this fall.

 

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Transplanting Lettuce 2016

Janelle is in her FIFTH season working seasonally with us on the farm.  I hired her, along with a few other gals, in 2016 when Jon worked an off-farm job and Mom and I ran the gardens at her place.  She stuck out among the applicants because she was raised on a farm and she quickly became our “lettuce champion” that year and looked after all of the weekly seeding and transplanting of our popular lettuce mix.  After 20 years doing this myself, I can tell immediately when working with someone if they’re going to be a good addition to the team.  Janelle is always chomping at the bit to get going, and she attacks the work with gusto and a good attitude.  It’s pretty much unheard of in this field to maintain seasonal employees for multiple seasons, and we are super grateful that she has returned every year in some capacity.  It means we can focus on getting better each year and always moving forward rather than repeatedly training new employees.

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Harvesting Beets 2018

While we added Myrah to our family, Janelle was a huge support, working full time for the first two seasons when infant/baby care was a big job for us.  It makes me tear up to even think about how grateful I am to have had the gift of less pressure during that important time.  Janelle also fits in with my normal-not-normal family (Who can really say they are “normal”, so if everyone’s not normal then I guess THAT’S the only real normalcy!), I think of her like the missing puzzle piece that we didn’t know was missing.  I am an only child and often it feels like I fall short being everything to Mom and Dad (of course, because I am only one person!).  My Dad Paul gets the motorcycle loving, mechanically minded, interested-in-that-stuff student that he’s always wanted (and definitely does not have in Jon or I).  He’s taught Janelle to weld and helped her fix her bikes and truck and he threatens to use her as his motorcycle racing driver because that girl is FEARLESS.  Mom gets the garden help she needs but can’t have from Jon and I because we’re busy growing at our place, which takes a huge amount of pressure off of everyone.  She is a friend to Jon, Myrah and I and also to Paul and Stephanie: More than a friend, she is part of our family now (whether she likes it or not, haha!).

Over the years, Janelle has pursued curling, her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Masters in Paleobotany, and Eric (!!) and through all of that she’s stayed working on the farm in the summers because she loves it.  She’s the kind of person who commits and never falls short on her promise.  She’ll put in long hours in the evenings and weekends to get the work done, she works harder than I am willing to, at 8 years her senior!  So, knowing that this is the last year we’ll be working with her in this capacity was pretty sad for us.

In recent years Janelle has decided that she wants to keep Market Gardening a part of her life.  Earlier this month my Dad brought out his tractor and tiller and Janelle’s boyfriend Eric’s family found her the best soil on the farm to be her future garden space.  It is now tilled and will be cover cropped this year and then she’ll be growing veggies there next year.  We asked her to consider continuing to do the markets with us next year and it was a quick Yes from her end, and an elated “SUH-WHEAT!!” from us!  I’m so happy that we can continue to work together and do what we can to support Janelle’s dreams and goals.

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Janelle, Eric, and obligatory farm dog Cheeka prepping future veggie garden space!

Janelle told me recently that it’s the way we run our farm and business that made her realize there could be a career in Market Gardening for her as well.  Of all the things we’ve ever grown, contributing to growing Janelle into a Market Gardener is definitely what I view as our greatest accomplishment!

Follow along and we’ll keep you posted about Janelle’s garden!  We are so immensely proud to know her and be a part of her life, and she has enriched ours so much.  When Jon and I left Nova Scotia we felt lonely for the amazing community of Market Gardeners and supportive organizations we left behind.  We are thrilled to have colleagues now in Janelle and Laryssa, Marcus from Covenant Growers and George and Barb from Grand Valley Strawberries, as well as relationships with great local supporters like Lady of the Lake, Chez Angela, and The Green Spot, and all of our loyal customers, who are the keystone behind what we do.  Relationships matter. It takes a village to grow a successful market garden business: Thank you!!


Yesterday at supper time our well pooped out and so today we have no running water, spotty internet signal, and a 3 year old pitching a complete fit (kicking and screaming and all!).  So, I must run to deal with that stuff and get the order totals emailed and assemble the bags.  If you’re interested I’ve got a series going on the socials this week “A week in my boots” about my day to day work on the farm.

Take care and see you Tuesday or Wednesday!

Teri 🙂

Week 3 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Rivers Members: We’ve had to defer your Cherry Tomatoes until next week.  It’s impossible to know how much the harvest will be when the fruit is on the plants, so this is a good problem to have– things are harvested so freshly that we don’t know how much we’ll have until the last minute!  You’ll get Cherry Tomatoes next week and this week instead you’ll get a beautiful head of Celery (which was planned for next week, so you’re just swapping those 2 items around).  We anticipate this may happen throughout the year as we planned to grow for 80 members this year and then shifted in June to increase to 100.

The first week I placed a $5 Chez Angela gift card randomly in one of the bags.  I told James and he thought it was a great idea so we’re going to do it every week for the next 10 weeks!  So if you find one in your bag, you’re the winner of the week!

There will be a (very) small mini-market at the pickup to shop from this week.

Pickup is:

  • Tuesday July 21 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park in Brandon (14th Street between Princess Ave. and Lorne Ave.)
  • Wednesday July 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Riverdale Community Centre (Rink) West Parking lot, Main Street, Rivers. (Under the shady tree!)

Pre-Order Form for Optional Order to come with your bag!

Click here to visit the Pre-Order Form and place an order for next week!

We keep a list of the crops we are able to harvest in addition to our CSA harvest for you to order from, if you wish.  Your order must be placed by MONDAY at NOON to come with your bag on Tuesday (Brandon) or Wednesday (Rivers).  This is to allow us time to plan and coordinate harvest between two locations efficiently.  Please order as soon as possible for the most selection, I remove items as they sell out so Saturday is always the best time to find the most selection!

Your order will come in a bag with your order sheet & total stapled to it, and it will be available for self-serve pickup beside the van.  You can pay for it via e-transfer, cash, cheque or debit at the pickup.


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

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough for us 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, this posting will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for the week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to! (and please do check!)

Your Week 3 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:

img_0348

Last Week’s Bag!

You can click the links on the items above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season, storage tips, and lots more!

Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


About your Veggies!

MyrahSpudsWe had a big day harvesting all the crops for your bags this week!  Myrah LOVED digging potatoes.  She helped to pull the plants, look for the tubers, and she put every single one in the pails!  Usually we gripe about potato harvest, but it was really fun with her along!

The Potatoes are new but large already!  Our potatoes and carrots are a bit off track this year due to the weather.  We typically would have gotten into them sooner, but we couldn’t, and with the extreme wetness they grew like crazy!  This row was a poor yielder and we’ll be a bit short on potatoes this year anyway, but luckily that’s an easy item to source elsewhere and I’m getting my first order from George and Barb at Grand Valley Strawberries this week for market.  The potatoes in your Veggie Lovers’ Club bags this are the reds from mine & Jon’s place.  None left after this!  We have some fun varieties for later that are partially drowned out but should pull through enough.

You can tell a new potato from the way it’s skin isn’t set, not from it’s size.  If it’s small and the skin is set then it’s just a baby potato, not a new potato.  New potatoes are special because they have a lower starch content and they taste amazing!!  We had a pot of them mashed up with a bunch of butter and dill last night.  Myrah even ate it! (She’s been mostly skipping supper lately, despite all the amazing summer flavours!)

Beets with gorgeous tops.  Make sure you eat the tops, it’s the best part in my opinion!  They are great sauteed in butter and lots of people enjoy a splash of vinegar in their greens.  I also really like this recipe for greens, it’s amazing served with rice, and it’s a favourite for kids too:

SweetandSourChard

(Beets and Chard are actually in the same family and so Beet Greens are an excellent substitute for any recipe calling for Chard.)

Sweet Onions are on the small side but I wanted to get you one this week anyway, because the tops are still nice and green and totally useable.  Think of it as a bunch of green onions plus a small onion!  They are growing well and will continue to grow larger bulbs each week.  If you think you’re not a raw onion eater, just try these and you might be surprised, they are amazingly sweet and I look forward to the first summer burger with a big slice of sweet onion on top!

(On that note, I recently bought some very delicious ground beef in The Green Spot from Boyd’s Beef/South Glanton Farms.  You can pop in there anytime The Green Spot is open and purchase from their freezer which is located near the front tills near the exit.  Just a little local eating gem I wanted to share!  They are also cousins of Laryssa’s, our friend and tomato grower this week!)

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I would love to have the time to prepare salad mix for your bags this week, but the remaining value to fill was too scarce and we worked 14 hours at it yesterday as it was.  Instead, we compromised and harvested a head of lettuce for you.  These are the multi-leaf heads we use to make our salad mix, so when you cut the core out it will fall apart into small leaves (and you’ll know the secret of the salad mix!).  Salad mix is best eaten within a few days but lettuce with the core attached keeps much longer, so you’ll have some more time with this option, too.

A lot of consideration goes into planning what’s going to be in your bag each week, and it all centers around the time available for us to harvest, as well as pairing nice flavours together.  I try to send one allium (onion family, aka flavour family!!) a week, always something leafy and green, plus the “meat & potatoes” veggies like carrots, tomatoes, peas, beets and, well, potatoes.  Usually we’d have harvest spill over into the weekend, we’re finding that with 101 members it’s more than we can achieve in 1 day, but this week we’re fortunate to have Peas from Covenant Growers and Mom’s to assist, as well as Cherry Tomatoes from Laryssa!

Peas remain a crop I put my foot down on and say “NO WAY!”.  Janelle chose to grow more at Mom’s this year and so they’re keeping them picked.  I know how things roll around here from week to week at this time of year, and there’s just not time to do all the weeding, planting, harvesting, admin, AND pick peas on top of it.  Mondays we harvest, Tuesdays we harvest and assemble bags and go to the pickup, Wednesdays we plant and weed and then harvest and assemble more bags and go to Rivers pickup, Thursdays we harvest, Fridays we’re at market, and Saturdays we weed and irrigate and harvest as needed.  Sundays we mow the lawn and do the yardwork and clean the house and do laundry and invite people over to visit.  Finding time to pick peas or cherry tomatoes would therefore, cut into my sleeping time, and so it’s a hard no for me!  I’m super duper glad we have Marcus so we can achieve more peas availability!

IMG_8815On that same note, Cherry Tomatoes aren’t something we grow anymore, again mainly because of the labour required in picking them.  Maybe when Myrah is a little older!  Also, for us to grow enough cherry tomatoes to put 101 pints in this week would mean a gigantic glut of them every other week.  So we are super fortunate to have caught Laryssa’s week of peak production this week for your bags!  Her cherry tomatoes are gorgeous and super yummy, sweet and flavourful.  They were literally glowing when she dropped them off at market on Friday, and I’ll bet they will be today too.  Laryssa will be at the pickup this week and will bring any additional harvest she may have for sale.  This week we had her tomatoes listed on the pre-order form as well and I will continue to do that whenever it works for her!

You can return the little fiber container that they come in to us next week or in the future and we’ll make sure she gets it back.  I’ve been reusing the same case of fibers in the CSA for 5 years now thanks to your diligence in returning, and I think that’s really cool!! (after a week long quarantine, of course!)

Laryssa Stevenson runs Emerald Earth Farm out of The Green Spot and has a market every Saturday from 10 – 2.  She also helps us on market harvest day getting all of our crops harvested and washed and packed.  Plus she and her husband Sid are our friends!  Follow her farm @emeraldearthfarm on Insta or on Facebook.

imageIf you’re still eyeing up that gigantic fennel from last week wondering what to do with it, here’s a recipe for a beautiful tomato and fennel salad!


We had our butts handed to us this week coordinating orders for the pre-order form (Thank you!), so I’ve gotta run for now, catch you later at the pickup, Veggie Lovers!!

Take care and talk soon!

Teri 🙂

Fennel

img_9447

We’ve tried growing fennel in the past and not had good success, but this year’s crop is gorgeous and ready for distribution in our Veggie Lovers’ Club CSA this week!  (July 14 & 15, 2020).

You may be familiar with Fennel Seeds as they are a widely used spice: Think Italian sausage!  Fresh fennel bulbs are a bit different but the flavour pairs well with anything you’re already using fennel seeds in.  The whites and entire green tops are useable.

Preparation Tips: Fennel is in the carrot/celery family (Apiacae) and has a pleasant anise flavour (licorice).  It is shocking how well that flavour pairs with tomatoes.  My secret to making the best tomato sauce ever, that tastes like an Italian grandmother slaved over it, is adding thinly sliced fennel to the onions and garlic while they’re sweating.  It balances all of the flavours and acidity perfectly, and tastes divine!

This is a “weird one” folks, so I anticipate the CSA trade bin will see some traffic this week, and that’s ok.  But I totally encourage you to try it!

The recipe that I first fell in love with Fennel over was this one:

FennelOrange Fennel Orange Salad

The link is to a very simple version, that can be easily improved by adding other greens.  Highly recommend the addition of massaged Kale, and make sure you use the top “fronds” of the plant as well!  Looks like dill, tastes refreshingly like licorice!  The orange is usually juicy enough to not require any additional dressing for my taste.

Here’s Martha again to teach you how to cut a fennel bulb!

Generally, it’s best to slice it as thin as possible as it can be a bit tough to chew otherwise.  I like to (very carefully!) slice it on a mandolin for even, thin slices!

Check out this recipe shared with me by a lady at market.  She is Italian and so had a ton of ideas of how to use fennel!  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249459/tomato-fennel-salad/

image

Tomato and Fennel Salad

Season: Fennel can be grown all year here but this planting was a trial.  We will see how it goes over and if it goes well we will plan to have a few plantings in 2021!  It is started as a transplant in the greenhouse but then quickly matures in the field, so we could easily do a few plantings most years.

Storage Tips: Keep this completely covered in a plastic bag or container in your fridge (you will probably need 2 grocery bags to cover it).  Cut fennel will turn brown (oxidize) quickly when cut so if you’re cutting it ahead of time make sure you squeeze some lemon juice or Apple Cider Vinegar on it.

I believe in people, especially CSA members, getting the whole vegetable when possible, not just “the part that most people think is edible”.  So we won’t be trimming this fennel much unless we need to for fitting it into harvest tubs or your bags.  The entire top is edible and very flavorful!  It might feel a bit overwhelming all at once.  It’s a great thing to chop up and keep in the freezer for in the fall when you have an abundance of tomatoes and want to make sauce!  I suggest eating the bulb now and some of the fronds, but maybe you’ll want to wash, chop & freeze most of the tops for later.  It’s even a great addition to Pho broth, which is mine & Jon’s current culinary obsession!

I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love your feedback if you get a chance!

 

 

 

 

Week 2 Veggie Lovers Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

Thanks for a great first pickup last week!  I kinda forgot to remind everyone that the first pickup is a payment due date for many, and it didn’t seem to matter as most of you were aware, which is awesome!

As we settle into a “perennial” CSA program, the rewards for us farmers have been great.  The first pickup day used to be a very stressful day, but this year Tuesday and Wednesday were both great days where everything ran smoothly and was on schedule and flowed nicely.  It’s partly about knowing what to expect, how much time things take, and having our systems down.  But in large part, the first pickup running smoothly is in large part due to YOU – many of you being returning members and knowing how things work, and for those of you who are new to it, doing your part reading the information and following along with our systems, and helping things to flow.  So, a big Thank You for that!

Everyone was so well spaced out last week, it was great!!  In fact, I brought Mom along Tuesday  because it was a payment week and probably could have managed on my own (but it’s always nice to have her along as Mom and I don’t spend that much time together anymore!).  Rivers first ever pickup was great!  It was nice to meet all of you and I was surprised (and not surprised) by how many other people stopped by to see what was up.  Small towns are awesome!  (I got “Everyday Encountered” of course, so watch for that in a future Rivers Banner!)

Apologies to Rivers folks, I am catching myself always writing “Tuesday” instead of “Week 2”, so just know that I am not intending to exclude you, I’m just in the habit of only Tuesday being the day, and now we also have Wednesday!  I’ll get it soon!
Also, if it ever works better for you to pickup in Brandon (or vice versa, Brandon folks!) just let me know in advance and it’s no problem!  If you miss pickup in Brandon and want to pick up the next day in Rivers, that will always be a firm No, as will Farm Pickups.

If you would like to add your partner’s email to the mailing list so they receive the Pre-Order form link and the pickup reminder, reply to this or send me an email and send me the email address you’d like added.

This week we plan to bring along some additional items for sale at the pickup as well as having optional pre-orders for those who want them.  See below for a link to the Pre-Order form!

Pickup is:

  • Tuesday July 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park in Brandon (14th Street between Princess Ave. and Lorne Ave.)
  • Wednesday July 15th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Riverdale Community Centre (Rink) West Parking lot, Main Street, Rivers. (Under the shady tree!)

Pre-Order Form for Optional Order to come with your bag!

Click here to visit the Pre-Order Form and place an order for next week!

We keep a list of the crops we are able to harvest in addition to our CSA harvest for you to order from, if you wish.  Your order must be placed by MONDAY at NOON to come with your bag on Tuesday (Brandon) or Wednesday (Rivers).  This is to allow us time to plan and coordinate harvest between two locations efficiently.  Your order will come in a bag with your order sheet & total stapled to it, and it will be available for self-serve pickup beside the van.  You can pay for it via e-transfer, cash, cheque or debit at the pickup.

This time of year, and this year in particular, we are running a little short on things so the Pre-Order list is fairly limited.  Our early potatoes and carrots at Mom’s suffered through the storms and have been set back so there is less available than we would like. It’s hard to judge how much is available so often if things are scarce it’s easier for me to bring what I can to the mini-market rather than open the item to pre-orders and receive more volume than I can fill.  But I respect that you want the seasonal goodies and we’ll do our best to keep this list as complete as is possible for us to execute!


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

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough for us 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, this posting will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for the week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to! (and please do check!)

Your Week 2 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:img_0173

Carrots, baby, bunch
Fennel, 1 large
Green Garlic, 1
Butter Lettuce
Kale, bunch
Sunflower Shoots, large bag

 

You can click the links on the items above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season, storage tips, and lots more!

Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips and Farm Update!

First, a story about Priorities:

At market we only had 23 bunches of carrots this week, and our longest lineup ever.  I have had to talk myself through the lineup issue over the years, because I’m continually seeing it as a “problem” when it’s actually a “thing” and people enjoy it.  I’m at the back of the trailer collecting payments now, so I check in with people and nobody seems to mind one bit that they have to stand in line to get the stuff they want.  In fact, people told me they are proud to stand in line and support us, and happy to see us so well supported.  That’s SO KIND!!

23 bunches of carrots were gone instantly and I still don’t like the idea that people come and are disappointed, so we continue to work on increasing supply.  (And that’s why I’ll laugh if you ask me if we’re going to be at The Green Spot every week: we can’t even keep our Lady market well stocked!  However, we are sending anything we can with Laryssa on Saturdays, so you will find some of our produce there every week from 10 – 2 as available.  At the very least go and get some of her tomatoes, they are wonderful!!)

In previous years we’ve worked to increase supply at markets so that there is a good selection all market long, but as soon as we do demand just seems to increase at a faster rate.  This year’s storm events have set back the carrots (at Mom’s) we had slated for your July CSA bags.  I’m sensitive about making sure our market doesn’t get prioritized over our committed Veggie Lovers.  So, after Laryssa and I harvested 23 bunches on Thursday, I scoped the field and said, “I’m not comfortable harvesting any more than that, just so we can be sure that we have enough for 101 bunches next Tuesday”.  The patch we were harvesting from was planted for markets, but with Mom’s set back now (carrots aren’t aquatic plants!!) we have decided to send them out this week to our Veggie Lovers, because you’re our first priority!

So when you see things hit markets before they hit CSA, know that it’s almost always a quantity issue.  We had hoped there would be turnips for CSA but we had trouble with getting them to germinate so there were only 36 bunches total, so to market they went.  Because of the crop losses we’ve had we’re going to try producing some things like that again, Jon and I are putting in a seed order today.  Know that you’re always our first priority, we just have to secure enough supply before a crop can come in your bags.  Things tend to start being ready in small amounts at the beginning of their season, and then by week 2 or 3 there is adequate supply.


About the Veggies:

Fennel!! Here’s the entry from the Veggie Guide about Fennel:

We’ve tried growing fennel in the past and not had good success, but this year’s crop is gorgeous and ready for distribution in our Veggie Lovers’ Club CSA this week!  (July 14 & 15, 2020).

You may be familiar with Fennel Seeds as they are a widely used spice: Think Italian sausage!  Fresh fennel bulbs are a bit different but the flavour pairs well with anything you’re already using fennel seeds in.  The whites and entire green tops are useable.

Preparation Tips: Fennel is in the carrot/celery family (Apiacae) and has a pleasant anise flavour (licorice).  It is shocking how well that flavour pairs with tomatoes.  My secret to making the best tomato sauce ever, that tastes like an Italian grandmother slaved over it, is adding thinly sliced fennel to the onions and garlic while they’re sweating.  It balances all of the flavours and acidity perfectly, and tastes divine!

This is a “weird one” folks, so I anticipate the CSA trade bin will see some traffic this week, and that’s ok.  But I totally encourage you to try it!

The recipe that I first fell in love with Fennel over was this one:

FennelOrangeFennel Orange Salad

The link is to a very simple version, that can be easily improved by adding other greens.  Highly recommend the addition of massaged Kale, and make sure you use the top “fronds” of the plant as well!  Looks like dill, tastes refreshingly like licorice!  The orange is usually juicy enough to not require any additional dressing for my taste.

Here’s Martha again to teach you how to cut a fennel bulb!

Generally, it’s best to slice it as thin as possible as it can be a bit tough to chew otherwise.  I like to (very carefully!) slice it on a mandolin for even, thin slices!

Season: Fennel can be grown all year here but this planting was a trial.  We will see how it goes over and if it goes well we will plan to have a few plantings in 2021!  It is started as a transplant in the greenhouse but then quickly matures in the field, so we could easily do a few plantings most years.

Storage Tips: Keep this completely covered in a plastic bag or container in your fridge (you will probably need 2 grocery bags to cover it).  Cut fennel will turn brown (oxidize) quickly when cut so if you’re cutting it ahead of time make sure you squeeze some lemon juice or Apple Cider Vinegar on it.

I believe in people, especially CSA members, getting the whole vegetable when possible, not just “the part that most people think is edible”.  So we won’t be trimming this fennel much unless we need to for fitting it into harvest tubs or your bags.  The entire top is edible and very flavorful!  It might feel a bit overwhelming all at once.  It’s a great thing to chop up and keep in the freezer for in the fall when you have an abundance of tomatoes and want to make sauce!  I suggest eating the bulb now and some of the fronds, but maybe you’ll want to wash, chop & freeze most of the tops for later.  It’s even a great addition to Pho broth, which is mine & Jon’s current culinary obsession!

I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love your feedback if you get a chance!

The Butter Lettuce is on the small side this week.  Our lettuce plantings got interrupted by the storms and so we lost 2 plantings.  (We plant lettuce every week for 16 weeks so that we can harvest it every week, that’s how growing lettuce works!).  We’ll be back online next week I hope, and then there will be another gap later as we couldn’t plant for 2 weeks due to extremely wet conditions.  At minimum it’s enough for a few leaves for your burgers, don’t plant to make lettuce wraps this week, but we hope to have full size heads in the CSA again sometime soon!

Carrots!!  After all that supply worry, we extracted 130 bunches from one bed yesterday and so we have another bed for market this week.  Mom’s grew like crazy and are catching up.  Soon there will be carrots for all!

Don’t waste your carrot tops, make Carrot Top Pesto!

We are sending out Green Garlic this week as a risk mitigation measure.  Our garlic crop is the crop we have the most time and seed expense invested into, and it’s been too wet for garlic to be happy lately.  I’m not noticing any effects yet but I’m worried about it.  We tore off the plastic mulch it was under (for weed suppression and because garlic often suffers if it’s too dry so it helps retain moisture when it is dry).  We were hoping to save our own seed this year but that’s the last of my worries right now, so I want to get some out the door to cover our expenses thus far.  This week our Veggie Lovers have taken $300 in Garlic, which is about half of our expenses (not accounting for time).

Green garlic is still forming, so you’ll find inside there are tender cloves inside encased in wrappers, as well as a hearty stalk that you can use.  I’m roasting a chicken tomorrow and then making Pho broth and I saved my garlic stem to use in that.  The stem may be hard in the middle but the outer green parts are usable as well!

From the Veggie Guide:

Very early in the season you can eat the entire plant, but once it starts to mature the stem will become hard in the middle. You can still use it all– think lemongrass, chop chunks of stem to add to soups (remove before serving) or stocks (stalk stock, haha, I’m so punny!), or any other slow cooking (in the slow cooker, with a roast, etc). Bear in mind that green garlic is milder and sweeter than the storage garlic– the oil is what makes it strong and the oil content is still developing in this crop.

(The reason I emphasize the Veggie Guide so much is so that you’ll remember to look there first if you’re wondering about something you’ve received in your bag!  I’ve put a lot of work into compiling it over the years and those who use it tell me it’s a great resource for them, and that way I don’t have to repeat myself over and over again!)

We were pretty glad for the Sunflower Shoots yesterday so that there was a job to do inside.  Those mosquitoes were bananas yesterday.  It was almost inhumane to work outdoors, thank goodness we had a tent for Myrah to be in while we harvested.  I rarely use chemical bug spray, usually a blend of witch hazel with a few drops of citronella and geranium oils is effective enough.  We are all covered in bites despite reapplying chemical spray regularly!  The worst part is that they inevitably get in the house and then there’s no respite.

But the sunnies are gorgeous, and the last of our Shoots as we shift gears towards summer.  You’ll see the microgreens again in the fall CSA bags, or if we have any more inclement weather.  This winter during stay home, Jon and I kept our immune systems healthy by consuming huge amounts of fresh shoots.  They’re a great crop that we can produce at any time of year and have control of the conditions more than outdoors!

KaleI have two favourite Kale Salad recipes.  The first one is suitable as a meal on it’s own and was submitted by Erin last year and I love it SO MUCH!KaleBlackBeanandQuinoaBowl

The second recipe tells you how to massage the kale.  I’ll post it on the socials too.  Basically remove the stem, chop the kale, add some salt, acid, and a bit of oil and then squish the crap outta it with your hands.  It makes the Kale such a nice satiny texture!

Fullscreen capture 2016-08-21 94905 AM

If you’re not a fan of the massaged kale, then another good way to enjoy it is cooked in soups or stews or curries or stir fries.  It can stand up to a lot more cooking/heat than most greens.  Mom loves this Kale and Chorizo Soup and makes it every year.  Kale, Sausage, and Potato in a soup is a magical combination!  Jon’s favourite way to enjoy it is just sauteed in lots of butter with some garlic.  (I swear, every single time I cook with garlic Jon walks in the door and says “Mmm, smells good!”)

Peanutty Sesame Noodle Bowl Recipe Shared by Heather
I made a version of this last night and it was delicious!


Farm Update:

It finally feels like we’ve come out the other side of those storms.  The bridge is open and the evacuees have been allowed to return to their homes as of yesterday.  The affects will last all season, some good, some bad.  For the most part it was really dry, so whatever didn’t drown appreciated the moisture.  We have ripe tomatoes already and I think that’s the earliest ever.  The cucumbers are just starting to produce and there are tiny beans on the plants.  Zucchini is underway though it will be a while before we have enough for the CSA.  The cutworms early in the season got most of our first planting.  Celery is ready and it feels like the flavours of summer are officially here!

As we become more known in our local area, the inevitable is happening, we have people “popping by to see if they can buy some veggies”.  The answer is No, so please spread the word if your friends are asking.  Mom used to allow farm pickups.  When she was on her own it made it easier for her, and of course we are on a different scale now so things that work at a small scale don’t always work when you grow.  In recent years we’ve wasted a lot of time with people popping by unexpectedly (the running joke when a vehicle drives in the yard is “Who the F is that?!”).  If you do it, I might not even be nice to you, as I was to a neighbor this weekend who interrupted our kid free weeding time!!  The clear and kind boundary is: We cannot accommodate farm pickups, ever.  (In cucumber season Mom still does it occasionally at her place with people who are existing customers with pre-orders.)

This is an important boundary for me (judging by my reaction when it happens!).  We live here and we work here and there is little extra time, our weeks are carefully planned and executed.  Not to mention, we have supply issues as it is, so anyone who is not a member of our programs and wants veggies can buy from us in front of Lady of the Lake on Fridays, and that’s it (& limited occasional veggies Saturday at The Green Spot with Laryssa from 10 – 2)  We don’t keep fresh veggies in inventory at the farm, because then they wouldn’t be fresh.  I wrote a post on Sunday about why we’re small and not planning to grow, you can read it here if you like!

I’ll have a mini-market along with me at both locations this week.  You are welcome to shop from it and items can be paid for at the time or added on to your account to be paid later!  Additionally, the Pre-Order form is available if you’d like to order anything, it is updated Saturday mornings and I send an email out afterwards.  You can order at any time but the selection won’t be updated until Saturday.


6226847a-d87c-4dc2-ba6f-d7480f4e1d4c

That’s it that’s all for this week folks! I wanted to share this photo of the farm team after market last Friday.  Janelle, Sid & Laryssa, and Jon and I.  We had a great very busy day at market and celebrated making it through the week with a cocktail!  Mine was a Paloma, which was delicious.  Lady of the Lake is such a nice place to spend time!  Not pictured: Mom and Myrah, who went strawberry picking that day!

Have a great week, enjoy your veggies, & please remember to share any recipes that you’re enjoying so I can share them with everyone!

Take care & see you later!

Teri 🙂

 

 

 

Week 1 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

Hi Veggie Lovers!!

The Veggie Lovers Club CSA begins July 7th (Brandon) & 8th (Rivers)!!

Pickup is:

  • Tuesday July 7th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Stanley Park in Brandon (14th Street between Princess Ave. and Lorne Ave.)
  • Wednesday July 8th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in Riverdale Community Centre (Rink) West Parking lot, Main Street, Rivers.

To assist with spacing out pickups, please don’t everyone come at once!  If you are also a Luna Field Farm customer note that their pickup time is 4:30 – 6.  Our pickup tends to be very busy at the beginning and far less busy in the final hour.  If it works best for you to come right at 4 pm, go ahead, but know that we’re just as happy for you to run some other errands first and come a bit later, too.  🙂


Pre-Order Form for Optional Order to come with your bag!

We keep a list of the crops we are able to harvest in addition to our CSA harvest for you to order from, if you wish.

**Update July 4: We have enough to deal with right now on the farm so we aren’t offering pre-orders this week for the pickup.  More info about that option to follow next week, link will be sent out on Saturday!


Red Bag Program

If you’ve been in our program before and have some red BSP bags to return, please bring them!  We are still using them to exchange produce in as we feel it is an acceptable option.  Once the bags return to the farm they are held for at least a week before being used again.  (Your week 1 bag is brand new and has been in storage for over a year. )

Throughout the years we’ve considered other options, and for a brief point this spring we thought we’d be using disposable plastic or paper this year, but the red bags win every time.  We will be running a bit short on them later this month as we are waiting until August 13th for our re-order, so if you have a lot at home, please bring them!  (No judgement, they accumulate fast in my house too!)

Plus, it’s my great joy in life to see folks coming and going with their red bags!  It feels like you’re toting around a small piece of the farm’s heart, which is a totally cheesy metaphor that accurately describes how I feel about sending veggies out in the world!


COVID-19 Protocols at the pickup: Our pickup will be physically distant, please respect 6 feet of space between you and us and other customers.  We are all adults so I am hoping not to need to incur the huge job of setting up markers for you to stand on and physical barriers to set up.  There will be a table behind the van for me to set your bag on and any orders will be self-serve pickup from beside the van.

We will provide sanitizer stations and please do not touch anything at the mini market (when there is one, probably not on week 1) that you don’t intend to buy.  For the trade bag, we ask that you sanitize your hands before removing any produce from your bag and trading it for something else.

Nobody has been in touch with me who seems overly concerned about this, but if you are, please do feel welcome to be in touch and we can set up contactless pickup to your vehicle.  If you can park close enough to holler at me, I can happily bring your bag over to you.  (Note that it’s really hard to see who is in a vehicle, especially when you’re parked right behind me!)


Spoiler Alert: If you would like to keep your first week’s bag contents a surprise, you’d better STOP READING NOW!!

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough for us 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, this posting will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for the week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to! (and please do check!)

Your Week 1 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:

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Garlic Scapes, bunch
Lettuce Mix, small bag (1/2 lb)
Pea Shoots, large bag (1/4 lb)
Green Onions, bunch
Peas,
 from Covenant Growers in Winkler, 1 lb
Radishes, bunch
Baby Dill, small bag

You can click the links on the items above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season, storage tips, and lots more!

Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!


Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips and Farm Update!
Hi Veggie Lovers!! This part of your newsletter is always optional reading but contains news from the farm and some photos and even recipes usually!

Check out our Recipes section on our website which has lots of our favourites, including my two favourite salad dressings Spicy Honey Vinaigrette and Poppyseed Dressing, both of which go great with our salad mix, spinach, and lettuce!

Always Wash your Greens from the Farm!
We RINSE greens at the farm before you receive them to remove dirt and maintain freshness, however they are NOT ready-to-eat. ALWAYS WASH YOUR SALAD!!
We rinse it at the farm for two reasons: to take the field heat out as soon as it’s harvested and lock in the keeping quality and flavour, and secondly, to get most of the dirt and bugs off. The key here is “most of”. No guarantees that you won’t find a bug, tree seeds, grass clippings, or some sand in your salad mix. Depending on the week, we can be dealing with a very, very dirty product to start with (THIS WEEK, YES!!). For instance, if it rains just before a harvest day, we harvest very muddy lettuce that is then soaked in water in the harvest pails for a few minutes, transferred to a second wash sink, and then a third wash sink, and then spun dry, stored in the cooler a couple hours to dry further, and then bagged. In order to say that is “ready to eat”, we would have to do all this in a commercial kitchen with treated water and the final rinse be with a sanitizer product. We don’t have the capacity to do that, so please wash your salad at home! Nothing ruins a salad more than a forkful of grit or a juicy caterpillar. Yuck!  (Seriously, I forgot to wash a bag from market last week and served it and Jon found a big ol’ cutworm wrapped around a nasturtium flower.  Grossed both of us out and we’re probably less squeamish than average).


I did a video Farm Tour last Sunday which was fortuitous timing as it was just before the big storm.  If you’d like to view it, click here (you need to have an Instagram account unfortunately, I think!).  Check my Stories Highlight in my Insta profile!


The Storms

We were really lucky to not have more damage from the storms last week.  THANK GOODNESS it wasn’t the first week of CSA as that would have been a mess…  It was a mess anyway and it’s had many hot days to dry up since!  Above you see two photos of a row of beans, one looking West and the other, East.  In that part of the field the water kept running through for days from the field North of it, so the beans actually drowned and won’t recover.  Dammit, those were the Dragon Tongue too.  Jon is reordering seed today as there might still be time to get a crop off this year.  But our grower Marcus at Covenant Growers also grows beans, so it’s not a super terrible loss for us.  Plus, less beans to pick, though I love it so!

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Same part of that field.  These radishes won’t make it, but they were for markets and yours made it perfectly just West of these ones!  Some potatoes on this row will probably drown too.

The lettuce got pretty hammered last week, but it kinda recovered.  It was the weirdest lettuce I’ve ever harvested yesterday.  The parts that were existing during the storm were shredded and drowning in mud– but the hearts regrew in a week and were sticking up and almost looked like they bolted.  It was the plant’s way of keeping on growing, so thank you lettuce for pulling through!

Truthfully, we were concerned about our lettuce supply for this week weeks ago when we were suffering extreme cutworm pressure.  GO CUTWORMS!!  I’m SO grateful we had them, because of them we had many cucumber, melon, lettuce and zucchini transplants sitting safe in the greenhouse during the crazy weather.  Often things that feel like they’re not working out turn into your saving grace in the end.

In the spirit of looking on the bright side, we were lucky as the flooding was bad all around us and not particularly bad here.  Mom’s place was worse and our early carrots and potatoes suffered (which hurts the bottom line!) and some of our storage crops.  We did get hail, but we get hail most years and it was mixed with rain and didn’t batter things too much.  The veggies will recover, most things already have!

We took on 20 more CSA members in Rivers this year as a risk mitigation strategy in covid times, turns out the affecting factor had nothing to do with that for now, so just like I can find gratitude for the cutworms, I’m so glad we took that strategy because missing a market in July really sucks.  It’s our peak month of the year and the month when over 25% of our  annual gross income comes in.  But we’ve simply shifted to doing more CSA, which takes some of the pressure off at markets.  Thanks for your support, it makes our farm more resilient in these crazy times!


The Veggies:

We were fastidious about harvesting, washing, and bagging your Salad Mix (which is actually just lettuce mix this time, 8 different types).  The hearts had regrown well with little damage so it actually turned out nicer than usual!  Hail or heavy rain shreds and bruises the leaves, which then die, ie become slime or dried brown yuckiness.  There shouldn’t be any issue with your salad mix this week, we’re happy to report!

Jon grew 28 lbs of Pea Shoots this week, which means everyone gets 1/4 lb!

Here’s a recipe which uses Peas AND Pea Shoots with some nice flavour combos of lemon and parmesan:

We did something different with the Green Onions this week, we left the roots on because these are true green onions (usually our early onions are green shallots, planted from a bulb in April, these were seeded and then transplanted).  So, you can store them in a plastic bag or container in the fridge OR standing in a glass of water.  You can also regrow more green onions by keeping the cut whites in a glass on the counter.  Jon and I were wondering why people even like green onions yesterday, so please let me know if you’re someone who goes crazy for them.  I use them at this time of year because they’re around, but other than in Pho I wouldn’t miss them!  Jon has been shocked by their popularity at markets!

Peas, from Covenant Growers in Winkler (Marcus Wiebe).  Not going to lie, these won’t be the best peas you’ll get from us this year.  Early peas are bred to be early, the best flavour is in the later regular season peas.  These ones endured a lot of power outages this week (ie breaking the cold chain of proper handling) and so aren’t in superior shape, but I’m still eating them and so is Myrah and the folks who helped us move 300 lbs of them from The Green Spot on Saturday.  I was so excited to connect with our first shipment of peas last week and then we had to cancel market!

Thanks to Laryssa at Emerald Earth Farm and Bernie at The Green Spot for saving the week and letting us sell there on Saturday.  No, it won’t be a regular thing (Are you CRAZY?!  We don’t have enough time & produce to stock one market as it is!!), but we WILL do what we can to support Laryssa’s regular Saturday market with some veggies from our farm.  She has beautiful tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and lettuce and is at The Green Spot every Saturday from 10 – 2.

The Radishes turned out perfect!  I’m always a bit blown away when we get the timing right, because there are so many other factors at play than just when they are planted.  Probably without that rain they wouldn’t have been ready until next week.  The plan was for this week, and they are beautiful and you’re getting a large bunch!

RoastedRadish
Here’s a similar recipe but the radishes are sauteed instead!

When we weren’t sure about market last week, I harvested some Baby Dill, so rather than it going to waste we bagged it up for you.  Last minute inclusion which rounds out all those spring flavours really nicely!  Here’s a recipe for a 4-ingredient creamy dill dressing, for salad dressing or as a veggie dip!

Garlic Scapes are the weird thing in your bag that you’ll be wondering about if you’re new to our program.  If you haven’t clicked any of the Veggie Guide links yet, now’s the time.  Here’s our entry about Garlic Scapes as an example of what you’ll find:

Garlic Scapes

If you don’t know Garlic Scapes yet, and even if you do, you’re in for a treat! Scapes are sent up by the garlic plant in early summer and would eventually form seeds (garlic bulbiles) on the very top of the plant. We farmers remove them to encourage the plant to focus more energy on developing a large bulb of garlic under the soil. So, scapes are the first taste of this year’s garlic crop!

Season: Garlic scapes are available in late June or early July, and are highly seasonal, so only around for about a 4-week window each year.

Storage Tips: Store scapes in a plastic bag in the fridge, OR you can trim the ends of the bunch and put them in a small glass of water in the fridge. Scapes will keep in the fridge for weeks, eventually the ends will yellow but you can cut them off and the rest is still good. As they sit in the fridge they dehydrate and lose their juiciness, so as always, the sooner the better with fresh veggies!

Preparation Tips: You can eat the entire scape, but the end part (where the flower would form) can be cut off – it tastes like garlic too but can be dry, depending on the application. The rest of the scapes are juicy and have a great mild sweet garlic flavour that’s unbeatable! What I love about seasonal eating is that all the veggies that come into season at the same time taste great together. Scapes pair just perfectly with tender spring greens, used in salad dressing or as a salad topper, and any other cooking you’re doing with early summer veggies from our farm.

Try this Garlic Scape Dip submitted by member Mo!  She looks forward to making this every year when the scapes are in season!!

That’s this week’s veggie roundup for you!  I won’t always go into detail about each veggie unless there is relevant weekly info to share.  That’s what our Veggie Guide is for, to take some of the pressure off of me needing to explain every veggie and storage tip each week.

Feel welcome to be in touch if you have any questions about this week’s veggies, or recipes to share (that’s a particularly fabulous way into my heart, helping me find good shareable recipes!), and anything else.  This week is one of the busiest of the year for us in terms of admin so if I take a couple days replying please be patient!


Thank you, folks.  Knowing that you’re there for us no matter what has helped move us through an otherwise crazy time(s) with confidence.  We are so proud to be feeding 101 families through our Veggie Lovers Club this year, our 20th year of operation.  Who would’ve thought that the 15 year old me who got reluctantly roped into weeding duty when Mom shifted careers would still be living in Westman growing veggies today?!  Not me!!  I’m also so grateful to my Mom for leading me to a life where happiness and fulfillment are just an inherent part of the whole.  I believe that honoring a connection to nature can save the whole world!

Ok, enough for now, thanks for reading and I am SO EXCITED to see you later today!

Take care,

Teri 🙂

 

 

Veggie Love begins July 7 & 8th!

Our Veggie Lovers Club CSA Program begins very soon!

Below is some important info about how things work.  Ideally, all of our members and any of their immediate family who are going to be sharing pickup duties will read this so that we are all on the same page and things run smoothly.

VeggieLovers

HOW IT WORKS:
Each week you pick up your bag of farmer-selected veggies and return the reuseable bag from the week before.

The Pickup Location in Brandon is at Stanley Park. Big Blue, our cargo van (covered with veggie decals and our logo) will be parked on 14th Street near the intersection of 14th St. & Lorne Ave. The street is a one-way heading North towards Princess Avenue.

  • Please park safely and come to the van for your bag. We will not distribute bags to “drive bys” as it is dangerous for everyone. If you need assistance bringing your bag to your car let us know!
  • Please be respectful of the neighbourhood, traffic, and other people at the pickup spot. It can get a bit busy at times but we haven’t had any complaints and would like to keep it that way!
  • Every second week, Luna Field Farm shares the Brandon pickup location with us.  You are welcome to visit their online farm store and place an order, and occasionally they have extra eggs available at the pickup location.  Be aware that it is busier at the pickup spot when there are two farms using it, their next delivery date is July 7th (& Bi-weekly following that).

Rivers Pickup Location: We have secured our business license and permission to use the Community Centre (Rink) front parking lot for our pickups.

Can I switch locations if Brandon/Rivers doesn’t work for me some week?
Yes!  I think that should work just fine, this is the first year that we’ve had 2 locations, but the CSA farm I used to manage in NS had 25 locations and members often switched between them and I managed that just fine.  We would need to know that you want to switch for the week by Monday at noon (same as the deadline for Pre-Orders and skipped weeks).

Week17But NO, you can’t pickup your bag in Rivers if you miss it Tuesday in Brandon: I don’t want to go there.  If you miss a pickup without notice I may have already donated your bag or mishandled it (ie left it in a hot van while I meet a friend for dinner).  The difference of planning ahead versus not planning is key to me.

Time:
BRANDON 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM on Tuesdays
RIVERS Wednesdays around supper time (exact 1 hour window TBA pending survey results!)
If you arrive early and we are already there, please wait until we have finished unloading and setting up the mini-market before approaching the van for your bag (unless you want to help unload!)

If you are someone who indicated a later Brandon pickup window would work better for you, please be in touch as I can happily work something out with you – I have a pretty routine Tuesday.

The Trade Bag: At the pickup there is an additional bag near the van which is labelled “Trade Bag”. If there is something in your bag that you won’t use we encourage you to trade it for something that you will! The trade bag is self-managed, so do what you think is fair and it should all work out.  It usually begins as a complete weekly bag and selection changes as trades are made.

The Mini-Market at the Pickup: Each week we will bring a few additional items for sale, they are typically set up in crates on the grass beside the van. You are welcome to shop from the mini-market and it’s intended to help you supplement your bag of farmer-chosen veggies for staples that you want. We are not able to have a full selection of items at the mini-market because we are too busy getting all of the CSA bags ready. For a full selection of all of our veggies please visit our Friday market at Lady of the Lake.

Pre-Orders: You are able to place an order of additional veggies that you would like to have come with your weekly bag.
More details to follow about this next weekend when the pre-order form opens!

**Sorry, you cannot order custom items for your weekly bag or trade items from your weekly bag for veggies from the mini-market at this time. It is immensely more efficient for us to have the bags all the same!

Week5What’s in the Bag?
Our veggie bags contain a wide range of vegetables that we grow on the farm and they change with the seasons. Expect lots of greens in the early bags and more root veggies in the later bags. You will get a good sampling of most of the items we grow, and we try to keep a mixture of staples and variety/unique items. We prioritize our Veggie Lovers’, but sometimes it takes a couple of weeks of growing until there is enough of an item for everyone to receive it.
Each week by Saturday we will post a list on our website blog with a list of what is expected to come in your weekly veggie bag the upcoming Tuesday. The list is an educated guess so sometimes will differ from the actual contents once we harvest on Monday and Tuesday.
We buy in small amounts of produce we don’t grow in sufficient quantity from other growers, mostly Peas & Sweet Corn (from Marcus at Covenant Growers), Potatoes (George & Barb Neudorf at Grand Valley Strawberries).  We are 100% transparent about this and will always note the source when applicable.

Our “Bad Apple” Policy: It is never our intention for you to receive sub-par produce in your bag, but occasionally there is a good reason for it (for example, if we have had hail). It will always be explained in the newsletter if this happens. But it can also happen that we miss a critical step of quality control and you end up with something that is not up to par. Please be in touch with us right away if this happens and send a photo if possible as it will help us figure out what happened and correct the error!

The produce you receive in your bag is not graded, which means it will be all sorts of sizes and shapes and not necessarily to the grocery store “standard”. It might not be perfect looking, but it will be delicious! (and if it isn’t, let us know!)

img_1516Don’t Forget! We won’t forget about you, so we encourage you to set appropriate reminders for each delivery to remember to pick up your bag. If you miss a pickup due to forgetting, you will still owe for that delivery: This is because we have done our part getting the produce ready for you and delivered it, and rescheduling pickups is a hassle we’d prefer to avoid. Farm pickups are very time-consuming and inconvenient for us and so are not possible in the summer, especially for missed bags.
If you miss a pickup due to illness or emergency please be in touch with us when you are able to!

WHAT TO DO IF YOU PLAN TO BE AWAY or have to miss a week of pickup with advance notice:
If you are going to be away and you know in advance, let us know by the Monday prior to pickup and you can do any of these options:
(a) Have a friend, family member, or co worker (etc) pick up the bag in your place. We like this one because we get to meet your friends and family, and also it’s the least amount of admin work for us (you don’t even need to let us know!). OR
b) put the skipped week on your account as a $20 credit and then you can use it towards purchases at the mini-market at the pickup or orders with the pre-order form.
c) Use the skipped week towards a double bag in the future

Payments: All members have paid a $20 deposit but some of you will have your first installment payment due at the first pickup.  The info about payment amounts and due dates is available in the Membership Guide.  If you are unsure about what you are owing or what length of program you signed up for please email us at sales@brownsugarproduce.com or ask at the pickup, I always have up-to-date account standings on the pickup list!

If you gave us post-dated cheques dated for the first pickup or before, just a reminder that they will be deposited the first week!

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How we roll at Brown Sugar:
We greatly value doing an exceptional job of what we do, and none of us on the farm team enjoy operating as though we are “putting out fires” all the time.  Vegetable farming  & toddler parenting is very busy and there is never enough time to get all the jobs done as it is.  We are thoughtful about our actions and where we expend our energy.  We do not jive well with disorganized and forgetful people, and so I encourage you to stay present and communicate with your farmers ahead of time whenever possible.

Extremely fresh produce automatically HAS TO happen at the last minute, but you do not.  We don’t budget time on harvest or pick up days to put out fires, so make sure you aren’t creating any unnecessarily!

(In the past there has been little problem with this, and I have successfully & happily had members in the program who missed more pickups than they attended, but since they had excellent communication it was not a problem.  Chances are if you are reading this you are not going to be the problem!)

Communication with the Farm and Farmers

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We prefer email over any other method of communication and will not accept contact regarding your account over Facebook, Instagram, or (especially!!) text message.  Email allows us to share the incoming messages easily with each other (Teri and Stephanie both manage the farm in different locations but share the sales@brownsugarproduce.com email account).  Having only one incoming stream of messages helps us make sure we don’t miss anything.
Each pickup requires a lot of organization and so the sooner you can let us know, the more easily we can accommodate your request.  It is almost impossible for me to check messages during the pickup, so emailing or texting during the pickup window isn’t a very reliable way to get a message through.  I use my phone to run the debit machine and so all notifications are turned off most of the time.

We do not have good phone reception at the farm and so that is another reason why email is preferred, but if you do prefer to call please leave a voicemail and we will get back to you from the reception spot (thankfully my office is the hot spot on the farm!).

I usually check emails before leaving the pickup spot, but that is not a guarantee that I can accommodate a last minute request.

img_4045-editedQ: Augh, Why so many Rules?!

A: Boundaries are important when the To Do list is always longer than what is possible, and the reward of us setting firm boundaries is that we get to operate a smoothly run business and have a less stressful lifestyle.  We are generally quite easy to get along with, but I appreciate if you can respect our time and processes.  With the efficiency of CSA we can serve tons more customers than we could any other way, thanks to your participation! (eg Delivery to 50 households takes 6+ hours, pickup by 80 members takes 2 hours).  = We couldn’t do this without our customers sharing some of the burden of making it work.  We are grateful for you!


Whoa, that’s a lot of info, that I hope you consumed easily in your excitement for the program to start (and for many of you it’s just a refresher!).  Welcome, and Welcome Back!

If you have a question, chances are others do too, so please don’t hesitate to ask: I hold some space for it at this time of year.  (That space is easily filled with weeding if you don’t ask questions!)

Thank you for being an important part of our farm and our lives.  When I tend to your veggies, I think about all of you and how much you’ll enjoy the crops we’re growing for you!  Knowing your customer in this business is really the most rewarding thing.

Emerald Earth logo_large_1586971294One last thing: Our friend/employee/colleague Laryssa is at the Green Spot today (Saturday) from 10 – 2 with her tomatoes, cukes, and lettuce (grown on site at the Green Spot!!), as well as some of our kale, green onions, and shoots.  It is immensely exciting to us to have a friend we can work with on veggies, go check her out!

She’s there every Saturday and you can check out her website: emeraldearth.square.site/ and Insta:
instagram.com/emeraldearthfarm/

We are at market every Friday from 10 – 2 in front of Lady of the Lake, and we *hope* to have some of Laryssa’s tomatoes along next week as well!

My next email will come in a week and will have the first week’s expected contents and the link to the pre-order form.  Rivers members, I’ll be in touch in a day or two with the confirmed pickup time.

Talk soon, and I am SO EXCITED to see you on July 7th & 8th!!

Teri 🙂

 

The Wonderful and Amazing Fran!

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Beet Leaf Buns return to market this week, which means Fran returns too!

I first met Fran by attending elementary school with her daughter Christine.  I remember being at her farm and the one and only time I’ve ever ridden a horse (I found it terrifying and not repeatable!!).  Fran came back into our lives the year that Christine worked for Mom.  She was interested in helping with getting ready for the markets and she hit it off with Mom and Dad and now Thursdays aren’t complete without Fran in the kitchen, laughing and rolling up beet leaf buns!

Fran is a retired HR specialist with a big family and a huge heart.  She is a ninja when it comes to avoiding photos, and it’s a testament to her spirit that the only photos I do have of her, is of her hard at work.  She’s the kind of person who sees a gap and fills it with exactly what you need.  She is a proud Grandma and Great-Grandma and a great friend, her and Mom go on trips and spend time together in the winter, too.  On the farm she can be found making beet leaf buns, bagging peas or beans or salad, and always showing up with some sort of delectable treat for us!

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Fran and Sam bagging beans, 2016

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Fran making sandwiches at Myrah’s baby shower, 2017

Thanks to Fran for being a staple of our farm team and family for years now!

Find the fruits of Fran’s & Mom’s labour of love, Beet Leaf Buns, at the market this week and every Friday until the end of September!