Winter CSA 2019
Interested in our Winter CSA? Here are some highlights from our last season. Each year we try to improve the quality of our produce by focusing from the ground up: feeding our soil and growing strong transplants is how we begin. Caring for our seedlings comes next and cultivating our beds with hand tools and minimal tilling. We are always experimenting with varieties, trying to find vegetables that adapt to our regional soil type and climate. We use row cover to protect against frost and insect damage and for some crops we use caterpillar tunnels or our greenhouse in order to extend the life of those crops into the cold months of Winter.
Last season our two caterpillar tunnels allowed us to keep harvesting Fennel, Radicchio and kale throughout the month of January ... and then they collapsed under the weight of a freezing rain storm! Season 2020 will be a year to redesign and experiment with stronger caterpillar tunnels so that we can provide kale and other cold hardy crops until the end of February!
Some excerpts from our weekly newsletters & examples of what was in our baskets last year:
Two or three heads Cauliflower, Large bulb Fennel, bunches of Asian Greens & Kale
Whether you like salad or stir fry, these are pairings of veggies that can be combined in many ways. Chopped Fennel & Cauliflower can be baked with parmasean cheese, caramalized stovetop in olive oil and maple syrup or eaten raw, finely sliced in a coleslaw type salad. Fennel is also delicious on maple glazed salmon! We love making tangy dressings with tahini paste and balsamic vinegar and chopping combinations of veggies & greens into a creamy salad! Feel great about consuming these foods: Fennel is especially good for the digestive system and Kale is full of iron and fibre.
Roots! Potatoes & Carrots
You can bake or mash, roast or fry, but we’ve been enjoying making stews and soups as the weather gets colder. Bone broth soup with boiled potatoes and carrots provides the body with so much needed good fats and nutrients. Bones for making bone broth can be acquired from your local market meat provider, just inquire!
If you amass a ton of carrots, a great option is to slice, boil in a pot of water, blend with an immersion blender and add some coconut milk to make a delicious soup. We make big batches with our number two carrots and store them in meal size containers in the freezer.
Red Cabbage & Red Onions
Purple veggies are good for you! And contain a ton of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. As Winter approaches, it's helpful to keep in mind that members of the Allium
family (onions, garlic & leeks) contain important antiviral, internal heat producing qualities. They have high levels of sulphur, anti-inflammatory benefits and can help to balance blood cholesterol and fight bacterial infections. Cabbage – a member of the brassica family is helpful in warding off sickness because of its high levels of Sulphur and Vitamins C & K.
From our partners at Ferme L’Hirondelle : Caramalized Onions & Amaretto Pear Sauce !
Carrots, Leeks & Parsnips
The season for soup is upon us. If you haven’t used them much or aren’t partial to the earthy taste of parsnips, they can be combined with a salty stock and other veggies to make a root vegetable soup or they can be cooked and then pureed into a creamy soup, using coconut milk or dairy. They go really well with raw or stewed apples combined into the soup.
This week pair Ferme L’Hirondelle’s homemade chutney with carrots and parsnip fries.
Sauteed Leeks go well with everything from stir fry to pad thai. You can also chop them and dehydrate to make soup stock.
Green Cabbage, Salad Mix & Kale
Get your greens in this week with some salad ingredients. We always try to incorporate greens into our breakfasts by adding sautéed kale or cabbage into scrambled eggs or making a breakfast curry with fried potatoes, cabbage, kale and mushrooms. It’s especially important to consume greens during the Winter to boost the immune system and ensure a high amount of good quality fibre in your diet. Despite our best efforts, the Winter can be hard on us and some comfort foods can leave us feeling less than comfortable. Try adding greens into any recipe: shredded Kale on nachos (added close to the end of cooking so it’s not overly crispy), shredded cabbage into your lasagna …. The possibilities are endless. Good luck!
This is a versatile squash that keeps really well and grows really quickly. We had a great harvest of Spaghetti Squash this season and this small variety, called Small Wonder, makes a good meal-size squash. Simply cut in half, scoop out the seeds and bake both halves (open face down) on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 350 for about 30 minutes or until you can scoop out the cooked strands of squash.
The meat of the squash is very stringy so can be substituted for pasta. We like to use spaghetti squash on its own as a dish with melted butter or a creamy pasta sauce.
From our partners at Ferme L’Hirondelle : Basil Salt & Garlic Basil vinagrette!
WEEK FOUR ~ Holiday Meal Edition
2.5 lbs Carrots, 3 lbs Potatoes, 2lbs Onions, 3 lbs Rutabega, Garlic & Butternut Squash or Pie Pumpkin
This week we decided to provide some of the staples that you might be using in family Christmas or holiday meals. Most of you probably have traditional means of preparing the seasonal root vegetables that are often the basis for meals at this time of the year & we’ve added a few suggestions, from our own traditions, in case you’d like to try something new!
2-3 lbs Rutabega, peeled, cubed & boiled until soft.
Add 2 tsp Cumin & Cinnamon, 1 tsp salt. Add 1 egg & 2 tbsp butter & mash all ingredients
Oil or butter a casserole dish and add turnip mix.
Topping: 2-3 cups bread crumbs or ground oats with 1 egg & 3 tbsp butter and optional 1 tbsp maple syrup (this is like an apple crisp topping but a little bit less sweet)
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until golden brown on top.
Sweet Roasted Carrots & Squash
Chop squash (or peeled pumpkin) and carrots.
Toss with 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp summer savory or chopped sage & roast at 350 for 35 minutes
Mince 3 cloves garlic, sprinkling over veggies and drizzle with 2 tbsp maple syrup. Roast for another 5 minutes (until veggies are done)
From our partners at Ferme L’Hirondelle : Raspberry Cocoa Jam !! And Spanish Diced Tomatoes