On the farm these days we are really full on busy with trimming leeks and plucking Brussels sprouts. The leeks are harvested into bins in the late fall right from the field into the bin without any trimming or cleaning up. Throughout December and January we pull a leek out of the bin, trim the roots from the bottom, peel back the outer layers and then trim the top, wash and either put into your CSA share box or bunch them for Noggins and the other locations that purchase are veggies like Organic Market, Pete's locations, Heartwood and Local Source. It takes about between a minute to two minutes to trim a leek ready for washing depending on the trimmer. Plucking Brussels sprouts is a job for people with strong hands and thumbs. You hold the stalk of Brussels sprouts and pluck of each sprout with your thumbs. At this stage we only pluck what looks and feels good, if it is too small or rotten it is left behind. The Brussels sprouts are then bagged or boxed and in order to do this we need to pull off the few yellow layers that occur because they have been in storage. It is great to stay busy in January on the farm!
Steve has been hearing at pick-up that some of you have had difficulty selecting your choice from the weekly YOU CHOOSE add on. Please be sure to select your payment method, cash, for your $0 choice. If you find it still isn't working, please try another browser and if that doesn't work, please email us and let us know because it should work and has worked for many of us.
If you wish to see what is in your shares please go to our website, click on shares and the list will appear.
Here I will highlight a few things....
MacIntosh Apples - It is best to store your apples in a cool place. The fridge or a cool entry way. MacIntosh are a great eating apple although the skin can easily puncture. This makes them more difficult to transport. I remember growing up with loads of MacIntosh trees being planted. Back then it was one of the #1 apples to be growing. As breeding programs advance and we are growing more and more, our choices change and so often the MacIntosh is pushed aside for the Honeycrisp and other newer varieties. What I love about our apple farming is that there are so many different varieties to choose from and they all have interesting flavours and stories as to how they came into being. Enjoy your 3lbs of Mac's.
Apple Cider - keep refrigerated and enjoy regularly. Often people who are wanting to reduce sugar (including natural sugars) intake will dilute the cider with water.
Frozen Basil - Pheobe makes the frozen basil pucks in the fall. The ingredients are organic olive oil and basil. Add butter, nuts, and cheese for a delicious pesto .
Frozen Tomatoes - we love to send out the basil and tomatoes in the event you wish to make a tomato basil sauce or soup. We often have an open bag of tomatoes in our freezer at home and add a few frozen tomatoes when making soup or roasts or mixed stir fried veggies.
Napa Cabbage - eat raw or cooked. Frank our youngest chops cabbage up for his snack at school. Napa is very easy to incorporate into any dish. Great in soups too.
Small Carrots - our carrots didn't size up as large as we were hoping and so we have many many small carrots. I don't peel our carrots, I just wash and eat or cook.
Finally, this week on Monday and Tuesday the Nova Scotia Horticultural Association had their annual conference. Josh has been president of the association for the past 3 years. I am happy to report he is finished his volunteering at Hort NS. It has been a very good learning experience and the industry is always thankful when someone steps in to lead and now that time of over. (me having a little happy dance) At the banquet on Monday evening we had the pleasure of sitting with Jessie Jolymore of Hope Blooms. She gave the key note address for the banquet. If you haven't heard of Hope Blooms please look them up. Jessie and the youth are an inspiration. I was filled with feelings of joy and hope and passion after she spoke. I want to do more in 2018 to partner with amazing organizations like Hope Blooms in whatever ways we can here at the farm.
Josh is finalizing the seed order this week. We are getting things geared up for seeding in a couple of weeks.
In other news, the Community Shared Linen (CSL) first item is completed and being send out to CSL members. You can check out the TapRootFibreLab instragram account or facebook page to follow the progress of clothes from the farm.
AND, the machines we have manufactured for processing bast fibres (nettles, flax and hemp) are arriving in France (our first sale) on Sunday. This has been a multi year adventure.
This Friday we will have our 2nd staff lunch and film at the farm. We are watching a few films together this winter about organic farming, agriculture, food, and global food politics. We watch while we take our lunch break and I (Patricia) try and cook up something nice for us to eat while we watch.
It is a lovely day here today, warm and sunny. Wherever you are, we hope you are having a great day too!
Happy Week 2 from Patricia & all of us here at the farm !