Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CSA Week 19 and Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

I haven't been on here in a while. It's funny how time seems to just slip away.
One week I am meditating in Tobermory, the next I am back and working in the garden, amazed by how much food needs to be gathered and dealt with.
Honestly, I will say....it is the best of times. There is so much food, the weather is great to work in again, with the heat of the summer a memory.
But it is also the worst of times as my closest friend has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing treatment. Chemo is tough. I've been through it with my mom and it is a worry. One of my friends said to me that in a hundred years people may look back on our cancer treatments of today as being primitive and I hope that is true. I hope it gets better for people struggling to get well.
I think about her a lot when I am in the garden. The garden is a place of peace for me, especially at this time of year.
The girls are both back in school, the conservation area down the road is closed up for the season and it is just quieter here.
I'm getting ready for the winter. 6 cords of wood are stacked and there has been the occasional fire in the wood stove on a chilly night.

I've dealt with some of the food that needs to be tucked away for the winter...squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes and apples. Oh, the apples. I've made apple butter, applesauce, apple cider and am working on a brew of hard cider. Wish me luck.
I tried my hand at making soy milk too. Its easy and I have enough soybeans to keep me in soy milk for the whole year. My thing is though the soybeans are green, not your typical beige and the milk has a nice green tinge too. Mollie is not impressed. I told her I could also use my black soybeans. She was less impressed.
If you want to try your hand at making soy milk, I am happy to add soybeans to you CSA share next week. I'll tell you how to do it too.

I've still got lots of greens in the garden, carrots, beets, tons of peppers, still a few tomatoes, tomatillos, and other assorted small fruit. I am hoping for a good spell of sunny and warm to get all the beans dried. There's lots and lots. Some for seed and many more to eat as dried beans in the winter.
Today is the second to last delivery of the 2015 season.

Sometimes early in the season, I can carry multiple baskets at a time up to the drop off locations. Today it was one at a time. There was lots of food.
Squash, carrots, jerusalem artichokes, onions, thyme, parsley, chives, rosemary, sage, horseradish, watermelon, hot and sweet peppers, tomatoes, kale or chard and cut lettuce mix filled the baskets, boxes and the odd-assorted containers nicely.
The jerusalem artichokes are good in many ways. Mashed or fried and I have even been known to crunch on them raw. They have a nice distinctive and nutty flavour. Or perhaps roasted?

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Scrub and cut chokes into bit sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, sea salt, onion or garlic and chopped thyme.
Layer on a baking sheet and roast them for 35 or so minutes at 350. Carrots are nice to add to this too.

Enjoy and we'll chat next week! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

CSA week 14- Mollie's Guest Post and Potato and Green Bean Saute

    This week my mom has gone to a retreat centre up in Tobermory, lots of yoga, meditation etc. etc.
I know she'd be having a great time, things like this are just up her alley, and she deserves to get away sometimes. So this week the baskets were the responsibility of me and my lovely sister Emily. But mom still ended up doing most of the work for us on Sunday, oh well, I can't complain about that.
This summer I've been getting up pretty late and going to bed pretty late, I'm not gonna lie. But because my mom is away I've had to wake up early to take care of the animals and water the plants. At first that wasn't very fun, but around 7:00 I was out picking apples to put on the top of the CSA baskets and started to notice the little things all around me, like the dew collected in the spider webs hanging between the branches and the flowers that had just bloomed through that night. It's amazing the things you notice when you aren't too focused on anything else.

Back to the baskets, so this week they each contain lots o'beans, some potatoes, tomatillos and ground cherries, summer squash/zucchini, peppers (hot and sweet), cabbage, a few herbs and some tomatoes like the cherries on top.
There is probably more, forgive me for what I missed.
Anyways, the recipe I found this week is from a website called food.com, here it is:


lb potato, halvedlb  fresh green beans, trimmed12teaspoons  extra virgin olive oilgarlic clove, mincedsalt, to tastefresh ground black pepper, to tastetablespoons  fresh basil, chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add potatoes; cook about 15 minutes, or until almost tender.
  3. Add beans; cook about 3 minutes, or until tender; drain well.
  4. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  6. Add potatoes, beans, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook about 2 minutes, or until heated through, tossing to coat.
  8. Add basil and toss once more before serving.

The post tonight will be cut short, it's getting quite late and though we're many miles away I know that my mom has been asleep for a while now. 

Enjoy your veggies!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

CSA Week 13 and Beet Carrot Burgers

Always good to have a little help
It is a time of plenty.
The gardens are in full swing, and tomatoes and beans are plentiful indeed.

This year I have a few very interesting tomatoes that I am trying for the first time.
The tomato pictured below is a stunner. I sure wish I knew what it is.  I think when I was hoeing around the plants I must have buried the tags, and despite a bit of digging around the plant, I haven't unearthed the tags. My winter job is to figure it out. No matter, I am saving seeds.

Blue Green Zebra is another very pretty tomato.

Zebra Rita too. This gal seeded herself this year and is producing very well, pretty much at the same time as the others started in March.

It surprises me really the number of things that I direct seeded and how strongly they came on. I did some peppers, tomatoes, litchi tomatoes and eggplants and they are pretty much where the earlier seeded crops are. To me this seems to be a change. The world is changing, that is for sure, and if you tune into your backyard garden you will feel it too.
Other changes in my area are very evident.
When we moved here 20 years ago, I couldn't imagine this being anything but a quiet little hamlet.
It sure has changed, and this summer working in the garden, there are times that the noise has been deafening.
Next to me now is a Retreat Centre, and it required a vey large septic bed, with tandem trucks bring in soil, day after day. Now the trucks rumble down the road because of the wind turbine being installed.
On a whim, I went to look at a hobby farm for sale last weekend in an area a bit more remote and a wee bit quieter.
Doing something like that is good, because it helps me put it all in perspective.
I have it pretty good here. It would be hard to leave the river, hard to leave the trees from my parents farm, hard to leave my apple trees...the list goes on.
I am pretty settled here for now. It is pretty good.

Today's baskets were brimming with food. Lots of tomatoes, beans, sweet and hot peppers, carrots, beets, basil, leaf celery, dahlias and maybe something else too.
Perhaps something a little bit different to do with the carrots and beets?
This recipe is adapted from "Farmer John's Cookbook".

Baked Beet and Carrot Burgers

oil for baking sheet
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups peeled grated beets
2 cups grated carrots
2 eggs or substitute
1 cup brown rice
1 cup grated vegan or cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
hot pepper to taste

Preheat oven, grease baking sheet.
Toast sesame seeds in a hot skillet, transfer to a dish to cool
Repeat the process with the sunflower seeds.
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Shape them into patties, and bake at 350 for 20 or so minutes.

There-you got your veggies!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CSA Week 12 and Pictures

The heat, the torrential rain-today we had it all.
Sadly I didn't get all the baskets done before the rain and I think trying to rush it along messed me up.
I left the house without some of the Bamboo Natural Food store order, figuring that out about 20 minutes away from home. So I came back, only to end up in St Catharines without one of the shares.
Thanks to Linda (so much!) for helping out with that.
But it all landed where it needed to. The shares, the store orders and the rain. Again, we needed it.
The garden is producing a whole lot right now and there is lots of food in the shares at this time of year. I put all the ingredients in for fresh salsa...loads of tomatoes, peppers hot and sweet, onions and garlic. Shares also included summer squash, a mix of heirloom beans, beets, mixed  cut lettuce and other items as well.
Now...pictures. I hope you enjoy looking at them!