We had a lovely afternoon for the pot luck despite the rain on Saturday! Martin Cardona has grown a year older and we have another picture of him on the pumpkins! Wonderful food, lots of visiting, horse drawn rides and a chance to mark 30 years of farming for Ken and Martha at Orchard Hill Farm.

Just a reminder the last pick-up days are Tuesday, October 6 and Saturday, October 10.

Dianne MacVicar has given us a couple of good recipes. We had the tasty Leek and Potato Soup on Saturday night.

Leek & Potato Soup from EatingWell: January /February 1994

6 servings, about 1 cup each

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced (3 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into small chunks
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan or stockpot over low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook for 2 minutes more. Pour in broth, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

2. Pour the soup through a strainer set over a large bowl. Puree the leeks in a food processor or blender until smooth, Adding some of the broth if necessary. Return the puree and broth to the saucepan. Add potatoes and simmer, covered, until potatoes are soft, 10 -15 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher.

3. Stir in sour cream, salt and pepper. Return to low heat and heat until hot, but not boiling. Serve hot or chilled.

Quick Shredded Beets

Peel and coarsely shred 6-8 medium-sized beets. Add 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender – stirring twice during cooking. Add butter and season with salt and pepper. (sugar optional)

We are looking forward to the Harvest Pot Luck on Sunday, 2-4 pm and are hoping for good weather.
The past couple of weeks have been quite busy here at Orchard Hill Farm. We held a Draft Horse Workshop last Thursday – Saturday and six people came to the farm for an introduction to driving horses. With the meals and the Saturday pick-up it was a lot to juggle. We really appreciated the help from our working shares with the CSA harvest. Devin and Jonathan also managed to get a major part of the final lime wash on the exterior of the bunkhouse during the workshop time! Saturday night we ended up having a somewhat unexpected gathering of past and present apprentices as well as a few friends. What a lovely group of young people who are committed to the honorable vocation of growing food for others. It is very affirming for us to have been able to share our experience and knowledge with them and see them continue on the path. We show a picture of the group as they gathered before supper represented are young CSA farmers from three different farms as well as our current apprentices.

For those of you who are wondering we do have a bumper squash crop and expect to be bringing up the squash and pumpkins from the field next week. We have decided to have the raspberries be pick-your-own on pick-up days for the rest of the season. This week we are giving the last cabbage of the season. We also have some winter radish that are either green or pink inside. They can be grated up into salad or coleslaw. If you still have the celeriac from last week grate it up with the radish and make it into a coleslaw.

Mixed Greens Saute from Simply in Season

8 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup boiling water
Combine and let stand 30 minutes. Drain

2 cups onion ( vertically sliced)
1 red sweet pepper ( cut in stripes)
2 cloves garlic ( minced)
In large fry pan saute in 1 tablespoon oil. Add the tomatoes.

5 cups mixed dark greens
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Stir in and bring to a boil. Simmer until greens are tender, 15 minutes. Garnish with 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( optoinal).

See the Curried Butternut Squash recipe in the index. You can use other squash as well. We have a lot of squash and pumpkins this year so get ready with your favorite recipes. Squash also keeps well at room temperature.

There will be pick-your-own raspberries on pick-up days. We have been picking a box for everyone after that we open it up for pick-your-own.

The annual Harvest CSA Pot Luck will be on Sunday, September 27 from 2-4 pm. Please bring food to share, your own plates, cups, cutlery and lawn chairs. We expect to have horse drawn rides through the woods. There are many great cooks among our members and it is always a fun, delicious afternoon as we celebrate our food community together. Ken and I started farming in 1979 and it seems appropriate to have a cake to mark the 30 years of Orchard Hill Farm’s existence! Maybe we will even get out some farming pictures of us without gray hair.

As many of you may have noticed we have the final lime/sand coat on the bunkhouse! What a relief to have reached this point. Go and have a look if you are curious.

Ken and Anna are plowing tomorrow at the Elgin County Plowing Match with our Suffolk horses, Zeus and Gena. We wish them well. If any of you have the time and are interested you can stop by the plowing match and see them.

Our last Tuesday pick up is October 6 and last Saturday pick up is October 10.

Remember to sign up for next year early to retain your spot in the 2010 garden!

I just thought I would send along a picture of Caesar sleeping with his teddy bear during “Saturday night at the movies”.

We are ready to put the final lime/sand coat on the bunkhouse. We have been working away on it all summer between the rains. You are welcome to have a look on your pick-up day.

Applications for the 2010 CSA garden are available in the pick-up room. We will be accepting applications from current members until September 19 after that we will open it up to new members. We are not expanding our CSA and we do have a long waiting list of people who are interested in joining the garden so don’t delay in getting your application in to reserve your spot.

The fall is upon us and we have the first squash and rutabaga of the season in the share this week. We have recipes from last year in the index at the side for you to check out. We are also always happy to add your recipes to the blog if you email them to us.