Monday, July 11, 2011

Farm Talk: "Weeds" the podcast

Hello Farm Folk,

Please help others to learn about what we are up to, and how to get involved: 1. Twitter (http://twitter.com/): Follow us at @thecuttingveg; 2. Facebook: Like us at http://on.fb.me/iTSbQQ, 3. E-mail this newsletter to anyone who may be interested; 4. Share the link to this newsletter (http://bit.ly/ga5Am0) on Facebook or Twitter. 5. Bring a friend with to the farm or a CSA pick-up. Thanks for helping us to spread the word!

Podcast & The Cutting Veg in the Media:
Farm Update:
For farmers throughout North America, spring planting was severely delayed this season, due to the abundance of rain in April and May. In my experience, it is customary for planting of the heat-lovers - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cukes, zukes, etc. - to spill over into mid-June (mid-late May is ideal for planting heat-lovers in our climate in Southern Ontario). However, it wasn't until last week that we finally finished planting our heat lovers, with the sewing of 24 beds (100 ft x 4ft) of Winter Squash. Winter Squash is so named not for when you grow or harvest it, but because it is storable for the winter, due to its tough outer shell. Anyway, we are optimistic we planted our Winter Squash just in time, and we have delicious Acorn, Delicata, and Spaghetti Squash to look forward to. The other exciting update is the growth of our rhubarb plants. We added 250+ rhubarb plants on June 16th to our Sutton location, and already we have seen fantastic growth. We will start reaping the rewards of these new Rhubarb plants next spring. Meanwhile, we are hyper-focused on nurturing our plants these days. Weeding is key --- to reduce competition for space, moisture, and nutrients. We've also been top dressing our beds with compost, and watering our plants with nutrient-rich organic liquids (such as compost and nettle tea) to get as much nutrition to the plants as possible. We are hoping these teas will provide a boost to the crops that are struggling (due to soil saturation), and we've already seen positive impact on our parsley and eggplant crops. It is uncertain times on the farm. As we visually survey our plants, we do not see the visual vibrancy we are used to, as a result of the spring soil saturation. We are hoping all this plant nurturing will provide us with a reasonable, if not abundant, harvest. The heroes behind all this loving care of our plants are the Organic Farmers on our team --- Paul Clarkson and Jessica Gibson --- our motivated and inspiring Intern Team --- Jesse, Linda, Tunde, Meghan, Jane, Tom, Kirsten, Janaki, Leanne, Paolo, Sandra, and Tara --- and the endless stream of volunteers who join us daily to learn organic farming skills while feeding the community. And you too, are the heroes, for supporting this work, and choosing to be part of a healthy food system --- including the ups and downs that reality brings.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Each week, we welcome volunteers to the farm from Sunday-Friday, 6:30am-3:30pm. If you are interested in helping on the farm this week, please rsvp to jessica.gibson81@gmail.com, and let her know what day you want to come, and if you need directions to the farm, or a lift (leaving at 6am from Davenport and Bathurst area). Hope to see you on the farm this week!

CSA Update:
Our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members continue to delight in their weekly share of the harvest, at one of our 4 locations in the GTA. We are up around 280 members now. This week members will be delighting in the following local, organic veg: Basil, Cukes, Kale, Zukes, Head Lettuce, Beets, Mushrooms, Asian Greens, Green Onions, Garlic Scapes, Turnips, and Mustard Greens. It's not too late to join at a pro-rated cost. More info at http://www.thecuttingveg.com/CSA, or email daniel@thecuttingveg.com.

RECIPE: Kale Chips (from http://www.thecuttingveg.com/recipes)
8-10 medium kale leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Pinch of salt
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • Rinse kale under warm water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Detach the kale leaves from each stem. Transfer the leaves into a clean bowl and discard the stems.
  • Coat the kale leaves with olive oil. Add salt and sesame seeds. Mix well.
  • Transfer to a baking pan and bake in the oven for about 6-10 minutes, until crispy.
That's the news from the farm for now. Until next time, Keep Livin' on the Veg!

Daniel


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