Sunday, September 25, 2011

Farm Talk

Hello Farm Folk,

Harvesters Needed Tuesdays:
We are looking for folks to help with the harvest on each of the next 5 Tuesdays. If you cannot make it on a Tuesday, we'd love you to help with the harvesting on Sundays and Mondays as well. Each day, we are on the farm from 6:30am-3:30pm. If you are able to help out on any of these days, 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). Looking forward to farming with you soon!

Farm Update:
September is proving to be one of our most productive months of the season. The greens are fabulous -- the arugula, Asian greens, and salad mix are all vibrant in appearance, nutrient rich, and delicious. The heat lovers continue to produce as well --- the tomatoes are still coming on, as well as the eggplants, zucchini, hot peppers, and beans. Harvesting takes up most of the week. Meanwhile, we are starting to get ready for the garlic planting. My wife Terri (who changes the world through her incredible social enterprise www.rhythmicbynature.com) commented last night how there's always a new stage of the garlic process to manage. This is partially true, as the process runs intensively from late-July to mid-October. In late July and early August, we harvest our crop, which was planted the previous October. After curing for 3-4 weeks, we need to clean and label the bulbs. Then we start distribution (through our CSAs, farmers markets, bulk orders). Then we prepare for planting (making beds, sourcing straw for mulch, separating bulbs into cloves). Then, we plant in mid-October. So, from the end of July to the end of October, Terri is right --- there's always something that needs to be done with the garlic. However, from November to the end of July, the garlic needs little attention. Just a little weeding, harvesting of the garlic scapes, and delighting in watching our thousands of garlic plants grow! This October we are aiming to plant 40,000+ cloves, which will turn into 40,000+ bulbs next summer. So, we are preparing for the planting, the final stage of the July-October garlic push. Those interested in planting their own garlic this year can learn the steps at http://bit.ly/tyJiz. You can also get garlic for planting (we are sold out) and learn more about garlic at the Toronto Garlic Festival this Sunday (today) (http://www.torontogarlicfestival.ca/). Happy Autumn!

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, 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 soon!

Recipe: TOMATO RICE WITH ASIAN GREENS (from http://www.thecuttingveg.com/recipes)
1½ cups tomato juice
3/4 cup water
1 cup brown rice
1 cup Asian greens, chopped
½ cup zucchini, cut into small pieces
½ cup corn, cut off the cob
½ cup green beans, cut into small pieces
1 small onion or leek, chopped finely
garlic (quantity up to you)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
Salt
  • Cook the rice in tomato juice and water. Add your favourite spices and mix.
  • In a medium pan, sauté the Asian greens, zucchini, corn, green beans, garlic, and onion (or leek). Cook for about 10 minutes, until soft.
  • Combine cooked rice with the sautéed vegetables. Add the lime juice and mix.
  • Garnish with pine nuts.
  • Serve by itself, or with roasted chicken or grilled fish.

That's all the news from the farm for this week. Until next time, Keep Livin' on the Veg!

Daniel

P.S. Remember to check out our podcast at http://bit.ly/nDQAsq, and view photos of your farm at http://on.fb.me/mUsbMU


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Farm Talk


Hey Farm Folk
,

Volunteers Needed for Tuesday:
We are looking for volunteers to help with the harvest on this Tuesday, Sept. 20th. We will be on the farm in Brampton, from 6:30am-3:30pm. If you can make it, please rsvp to jessica.gibson81@gmail.com, and let her know if you need directions to the farm, or a lift (leaving at 6am from Davenport and Bathurst area). Otherwise, each week, we welcome volunteers to the farm from Sunday-Friday, 6:30am-3:30pm. Please let Jessica know if you would like to come any day. Hope to see you on the farm soon!

Farm Photos and Podcast:
Lots of fun photos of the farm at http://on.fb.me/mUsbMU

Check out Episode 5 of The Cutting Veg Podcast at http://bit.ly/nDQAsq, which follows the day in the life of a CSA --- from harvest to distribution.

Vote on Food & Farming:
Get educated about the Parties' Food Platforms here: http://voteonfood.ca/

Farm Update:
Cooking can be a chore, and it can be a pleasure. When life is hectic, it is often just another thing to check off the 'to do' list. However, when there isn't a million other things to do, settling in to a cooking project can be such a nourishing creative outlet. Almost all of our time on the farm is spent harvesting these days. Summer crops have collided with fall crops --- tomatoes, eggplants, zukes, for example, coinciding with arugula, radishes, acorn squash. After a seasons worth of planting, weeding, and caring for our plants, there's nothing we'd rather be doing than harvesting. The variety of crops provide endless possibilities for fun cooking projects. Personally, with a fridge full of farm veg, I am ensuring I make time to cook in a leisurely way. Sautéed arugula with roasted sunflower seeds. Homemade tomato sauce with farms tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, parsley, hot peppers, and zukes. Baked acorn squash with butter, salt, and pepper. I'm also loving freezing veg for the winter. Last weekend it was blanching and freezing kale. This weekend, parsley pesto, and freezing tomatoes (just cutting the tops out and freezing whole, in ziplocs). Soon, the summer veg will pass, and then the fall veg will be gone too. In the meantime, I am cooking, savouring, and preserving.


Recipe: BAKED SQUASH & ARUGULA PASTA (from http://www.thecuttingveg.com/recipes)
1 small acorn squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried sage
½ cup skim milk
2 cups arugula leaves
½ cup vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
2 cups dry pasta (e.g. spaghetti or fusilli)
¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • Cut the acorn squash into half. Take out the seeds using a large spoon.
  • Bake in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Use a fork to determine if it is ready (it should be tender).
  • Let the squash cool and then puree it in the blender.
  • Put some water to boil for the pasta.
  • Sautee the onions in a large pan, over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until tender.
  • Add the garlic and sage. Stir well. Add the milk and bring to a boil.
  • Add in the arugula and cook until wilted.
  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions. The desired texture should be al dente.
  • In a large bowl, mix the vegetable stock, pureed squash and salt. Add to the onion mix.
  • Remove from heat when the mixture begins to bubble.
  • Add the pasta to the pan and mix.
  • Transfer all the ingredients to a shallow casserole dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and walnuts on top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

That's all the news from the farm for this week. Until next time, Keep Livin' on the Veg!

Daniel

P.S. Remember to check out our podcast at http://bit.ly/nDQAsq, and view photos of the farm at http://on.fb.me/mUsbMU

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Farm Talk


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!

Farm Update:
One of the greatest gifts of this farming season has been the discovery of our new land in Sutton. Plants and veg thrive here, unlike in any growing location I've farmed before. Every crop we've tried here has flourished: Salad Mix, Arugula, Asian Greens, Rhubarb, Winter Squash, Radishes, Turnips, etc. The organic farming techniques we've used at our farm in Sutton are no different than the techniques we've used on our Brampton farm. And in one location our crops have thrived, and in the other, struggled. The difference? The soil. Not that one soil is more nutrient-rich than the other...they are both vital. It is the growing medium that varies --- the dense clay, as opposed to the fluffy sandy loam. Suffice to say, we are excited to move our entire growing operation to Sutton next year. This past week was a big step in that direction, as we did our first planting in our newly tilled 6 acre field at the Sutton farm: some arugula, Asian greens, salad mix, onions, and radishes for a fall harvest - about twelve 150 x 4ft beds. If there is one thing I have learned this year, it is how unimportant the skills and knowledge of the farmer is relative to the growing medium. Plants, like people, simply cannot be their healthiest if they do not have the right environment in which to set roots. In addition to the plants thriving in Sutton, whenever we are working at this location, a feeling of wellness and connectedness seems to emerge for all of us. We feel so thrilled to have found the right environment for both the plants and planters to flourish. This past week's planting within in our new 6 acre field was a big step forward for The Cutting Veg.

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, 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 soon!

Recipe: PIZZA ARUGULA (from http://www.thecuttingveg.com/recipes)
Dough (makes two pizza doughs):
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1½ tsp (8 g packet) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup skim milk (or soy milk)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt


Toppings (for one pizza dough):

  • 4-5 Tbsp basil pesto sauce (see our Basil Pesto recipe)
  • ¾ cup chopped arugula
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 red pepper or zucchini, cut into smaller pieces (optional)
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (optional)


Instructions:

  • Mix flour, yeast and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Add the warm water and milk. Mix well and knead the dough. The ideal pizza dough should be neither too dry nor too wet. Add more flour or water to get the desired texture.
  • When the dough is almost perfect, add the olive oil. The oil will make the dough softer and easier to work with.
  • Place the kneaded dough in a clean bowl and cover with saran wrap or a damp towel.
  • Let the dough rise for about half an hour in a warm spot. Punch down the dough and let it rise for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Spread about 1 tsp of flour on a pizza baking stone or baking tray. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll out the first pizza dough on the baking stone/tray. (The other piece should be kept in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap until you use it. You can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it for about a month.)
  • Spread the basil pesto sauce on the pizza dough. Add the toppings and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  • Place the baking stone in the oven and preheat to 400 F. Bake pizza for about 35 -40 minutes until crispy (the cheese will melt).

That's all the news from the farm for this week. Until next time, Keep Livin' on the Veg!


Daniel
Daniel Hoffmann
Organic Farmer
The Cutting Veg
(647)388-7444
www.thecuttingveg.com
twitter: @thecuttingveg
facebook: http://on.fb.me/iTSbQQ

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Farm Talk: Fall Planting

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!

Farm Update:
It's now or never if you want to get some crops in the ground for the fall harvest. In our newly acquired greenhouse, we will be planting up a storm this week: onion sets, radishes, salad greens, and Asian greens. The idea is for these crops to get nice and big before the end of Novemeber. They will reach a point where they will stop growing due to the cold; however, with the insulation of the greenhouse protecting these crops from the frost, they will maintain their size, and be available for harvest throughout November and December. Meanwhile, we will also be planting outdoors: specifically, arugula, radishes, and more Salad Greens and Asian Greens. These are all fast growers, and hopefully will be available for the last few weeks in October. Aside from the garlic planting, which will take place in mid-October, this week will mark the end of a season's worth of planting. This season, we planted our first crops on April 14th. Five months later, we wrap up our final planting this week. If you too want to experiment with planting for a fall harvest, I highly recommend arugula and salad greens, as they are quick growers, and you will love having your own homegrown greens in mid-October. Happy planting!

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, 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 soon!

Recipe: Basil Pesto (from http://www.thecuttingveg.com/recipes)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup walnuts or pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice

  • Rinse the basil. Leave to dry for about 5 minutes.
  • Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  • Serve on toasted baguette slices, or as a sauce in pizza or pasta.
  • If you have any leftovers, store them in a tightly covered container in the fridge.
  • Lasts for up to 3 weeks.

That's all the news from the farm for this week. Until next time, Keep Livin' on the Veg!


Daniel