Monday, July 30, 2012

Farm Talk: When it Rains, it Pours (HOORAY)

Hello Farm Folk,
Farm Update from Farmer Daniel
When it rains, it pours. And that's a good thing! The farm team has been euphoric over the past week, thanks to the multiple inches of rain we've received. I'm not sure what has been louder --- the sighs of relief from the team, or the sound of the plants gulping as fast as they can. It seemed that within minutes of the first rain, the kale had grown several inches. The eggplants burst to new heights. The zucchini plants responded by gifting us with 100 zukes within 24 hours. The first cantaloupes started to emerge. The basil quickly bulked up. The hot pepper plants seemed to double in size. Of course, we're not the only farmers dancing in the fields, as much of Ontario received rain this past week. Conventional farmers, organic farmers, produce growers, livestock producers...we're all so thankful for the long awaited precipitation. Now, if we could only order up another inch or so, every 3 or 4 days! And only between 8pm and 6am please --- when we're not in the fields or at the markets. :)

The Garlic Harvest
It's time for the annual garlic harvest, and we've got 35,000+ bulbs of Persian, Korean, Italian, Tibetan, Israeli and 15 other varieties to harvest and hang in the barn to cure! Please join us for the garlic harvest on Sunday, August 5th, and/or Monday, Aug 6th (Civic Holiday) from 7:15am-4pm. If you are interested in helping with the garlic harvest, please rsvp to catherine.j@thecuttingveg.com and let her know which day you want to come, and if you need directions to the farm, or a lift (leaving at 6am from the Bloor & Christie area). Looking forward to harvesting garlic with you very soon!

Stories From the Field
My name is Jackie Gamble and I'm an intern on the farm this summer. In the spring, I started a juice cleanse which entailed drinking 4-6 quarts of vitamin rich, organic green juices every day. As a result, I needed to seek out a source for all of this organic veg I was consuming. I quickly realized how expensive organic produce is and figured that if I could grow it myself, I could cut my costs considerably and feel good about my small contribution to healthier local food systems. Except there was one problem...I had no idea how to grow food and I lived in a basement apartment. I have done many things but I have never grown my own food, so I thought it was high time I learn how. Serendipitously, it was around this time that I first heard about the internship at the Cutting Veg, and I knew it would be a great fit. I am currently employed as a flight attendant, which means I spend a lot of time inside airplanes and hotels. I wanted to do something this summer that would ensure that I got outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air. Mission accomplished and then some!! I was also looking for a more direct connection to my food source and to meet new people who have similar interests in healthy food systems, healthy living and urban agriculture - Check! Check! And Check!  My favourite part of the internship is first and foremost the people that I have met and come to love over the course of the past months. There is a strong sense of commraderie and common purpose that binds us all together as we go about our daily tasks, rain or shine, on the farm. We encourage each other in ways many of us have not been encouraged in our daily interactions at school, at our jobs or even in our families. We share our stories and dreams, we laugh, we curse at insects, and while all this is going on, we learn how to plant, care for, and harvest the healthiest, tastiest food imaginable. The benefits of such an undertaking are, in my eyes, endless and invaluable. Of the many tasks that we do on the farm, the one I enjoy the most is harvesting green onions. There is something so satisfying about plucking them from the ground and hearing the roots tear. You have to be quick but gentle, so as not to break the green onions. In fact, I love the whole process, including cleaning them up and making them shiny and appetizing for the CSA drop-off!

Produce this Week
This week membeCSA members can expect to see most of the following items:  Garlic Scapes, Green Onions, Kale, Beans, Zucchini, Sunflowers, Potatoes, Red Leaf Lettuce, Mushrooms.  The Potatoes, Lettuce, and Mushrooms were outsourced from other local, organic farms.

Volunteers Welcome
Each week we welcome volunteers to the farm from Sunday-Friday, 7:15am-4pm. If you are interestedin helping on the farm this week or next, please rsvp to catherine.j@thecuttingveg.com and mention what day you want to come, and if you need directions to the farm, or a lift (leaving at 6am from Bloor & Christie
area).  Hope to see you on the farm soon!

Healthy Bulk
Introducing this week, The Cutting Veg's Healthy Bulk Order Form! The Cutting Veg has teamed up with an organic foods wholesaler in order to provide CSA members with a direct connection to organic bulk foods. Look for the form and more details on the ordering process at your CSA this week! You will also be receiving an email about the Healthy Bulk program.

Recipe: CHILLED ZUCCHINI SOUP (www.thecuttingveg.com/recipes)

4 medium zucchinis, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic scapes, chopped finely
1 Tbsp dill, chopped finely
Salt
Pepper

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
Chill in the fridge before serving.
Tip: to add colour and more nutrition to this soup, leave on the zucchini peel. Enjoy!

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

Daniel

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