Friday, May 31, 2013

Volunteering at The Backyard & Farmer's Market Grand Opening

Hello Farm Folk,

The Backyard Farm & Market at Erin Mills

The Cutting Veg, Garden Jane, and The Daniels Corporation are hosting a new Farmer's Market in Erin Mills! Our Market will run every Saturday from 10am-2pm starting June 8th. Local farmers, producers and artisans alike will join our community food hub to bring the Mississauga area amazing local foods, chemical-free produce, and scrumptious delicacies! There will be live music, entertainment and gardening opportunities to enjoy weekly! Set in front of a ravine on 1.5 acres of land, we are your farm-getaway right in the city!

What else is happening at The Backyard?
There's something for everyone at The Backyard! Bring the family for a day of fun and interact with:
  • Our Straw-bale veggie garden
  • Free & Fun Kids Food Education Programs
  • Outdoor Waste-Free Kitchen and Picnic area
  • Recreation and Play Spaces including Straw Bale forts, and labyrinth!
Where to find us
We are located on the North East corner of Eglinton Ave. West & Erin Mills Pkwy at 2475 Eglinton Ave. West, Mississauga.

We're new to the neighborhood! Please help us spread the word!
Volunteer Days at The Backyard!
Interested in helping out at The Backyard Farm & Market at Erin Mills? We will be on the farm from 9am-3pm on June 2nd, 4th, and 7th. RSVP to, and be sure to bring your lunch, snacks, drinking water, lots of layers to adapt to the changing weather conditions, suscreen, and a hat. Tools and golves are provided, and we work rain or shine. Looking forward to seeing you at The Backyard!

Recipe: Rhubarb Lemonade (
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 8 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 3 tbsp lemon rind
  • 1 ½ cups lemon juice
In a large saucepan stir together water, sugar, rhubarb, and lemon rind; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring until sugar is dissolved and rhubarb breaks up. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Strain liquid through fine sieve (or colander). Allow to cool. When ready to serve, mix 3 parts of water to 1 part of rhubarb lemonade syrup. Serve in glass with ice cubes.

Keep Livin' on the Veg!

Friday, May 17, 2013

4 days on the Farm in Mississauga: Join us!

Hello Farm Folk,
I want to tell you about one of the coolest projects with which I've ever been involved. The Backyard Farm and Market at Erin Mills is a small, urban farm and farmers' market in Mississauga, Ontario. An urban agriculture hub for the GTA, The Backyard provides opportunities for people to learn about (and delight in!) all aspects of the food system --- from growing to cooking to eating to sharing. The site features a straw-bale veggie garden, a compost demonstration site, a zero-waste outdoor kitchen, natural kids play spaces, and lots of visiting wildlife! The market runs on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm (starting June 8th).
Garden Jane (, The Cutting Veg, and The Daniels Corp (cutting edge developers with an appetite for sustainable urban agriculture) are all collaborating to make it happen. The Backyard is in the very early stages of getting set up, and we could use your help! We will be welcoming volunteers to help build the farm on four days over the next two weeks:

  • This holiday Monday, May 20th, 9am-3pm
  • Friday, May 24th, 9am-3pm
  • Tuesday, May 28th, 9am-3pm
  • Sunday, June 2nd, 9am-3pm
Interested in helping out? Please rsvp to and let her know what day you'll be coming. The farm is located at 2475 Eglinton ave. West, at the corner of Erin Mills Parkway and Eglinton. Here's what to bring:

  • lunch, snacks, and lots of water
  • lots of layers to adapt to the changing weather conditions. A raincoat and rainpants are essential, if there is any chance of rain.
  • protect yourself from the sun: hats, sunscreen, etc are strongly advised
  • your friends and family
  • gloves and tools are provided
Hope to see you at The Backyard Farm! Until then, Keep Livin' on the Veg!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Farm Talk: Introducing our Baby Farmer

Hello Farm Folk,

On April 18th, we welcomed a new addition to the farm team. Terri, my wife, gave birth to our first child, a 7Lb, 11oz baby girl! It's been a challenging and remarkable first few weeks of the baby's life, and we're thrilled to say that at only 4 weeks old, our baby is already driving the tractor, running the rototiller, and building greenhouses. Despite nine months of advocating to name our baby after my favourite crop ("Garlo" if it had been a boy, and "Garli" for a girl), in the end we settled on Ayla Joni Segal Hoffmann. Terri and I look forward to you meeting Ayla on the farm! Speaking of my favourite crop, the 60,000 garlic cloves we planted last October are thriving! The warm stretches of weather, in combination with great soil, and ample moisture has our garlic looking big and a beautiful, deep green colour. In 12 weeks or so, it'll be garlic harvest time! Additionally, our perennials have come back beautifully. The rhubarb, chives, oregano, and mint are all looking robust, and within a couple weeks we'll be drunk on strawberries! And then there's our 1.5 acres of organic asparagus. Planted last spring, we're waiting until 2014 to start distributing this crop, in order to allow the plants to establish themselves. But, can we be blamed if we harvest a delicious spear here and there for supper? We have a good excuse --- nothing supports the nutritional needs of Mommy and Baby like some fresh green veg!

As the Cutting Veg moves away from managing and growing for CSAs, we are thrilled that our friends and partners at Shoresh and Frall Foods are stepping in to maintain and further develop the CSA network. Shoresh will be managing the Holy Sprouts CSA and Kavanah Garden CSA, in partnership with Highmark Farms. Frall Foods will be managing Park Road Organic Harvest and the Elmgrove CSA, in partnership with Terra Organics. For more info about the Holy Sprouts CSA and Kavanah Garden CSA, visit or contact Shoresh at or 416-805-8382. For more info about Park Road Organic Harvest and the Elmgrove CSA, visit or contact Frall Foods at, or 647-973-2501.

If you are interested in getting outside and getting your hands dirty, and you have a passion for food and sustainable food systems, you need to check out the Elmgrove Organic Collective (EOC) this growing season! We are on the farm Sunday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:00pm - Rain or Shine! May through October. No car? Email Pam to inquire about volunteering and possible car pooling opportunities (

The Farm Family is growing --- several more organic growers have joined the farm. This small, grassroots group is called the Elmgrove Organic Collective (EOC), and includes Pam Jackson - EOC Volunteer Coordnator and Market Manager, "Terra Organics" (Paul Clarkson), "Black River Bees" (Tom Nolan), "Cultivating Opportunities" (an internship program led by Zandra Zalucky for adults with mental health challenges), "Frall Foods" (Paolo Lavalle), and "The Cutting Veg" (Daniel Hoffmann). The Collective is passionate about building community through organic agriculture, and welcomes all farm helpers.
      Recipe: Dill Dressing (
This is a great dressing for salads as well as cooked cauliflower and hard boiled eggs.

1 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp dill, chopped
1 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper

Whisk everything together or use a blender.

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