Introductions Gena and Mabel

We have had fun introducing Mabelita (Mabel when she’s big) to other animals on the farm.

Introductions Caesar and Mabel

We are busy on the farm transplanting. There are always a lot of plants to go in after the danger of frost has past and hopefully after the last week of over 30 degree weather we are there now! The sweet corn transplants went in yesterday and the squash and sweet potatoes Monday. We are gearing up to do the melons, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, outside tomatoes, and then the second planting of brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower). We are also hoping to take off our first hay of the season today.The hot weather is good for that.

Because we are expecting Chester our Suffolk Stallion to arrive in the near future we are having to sell our gledings. We run our horses together in a herd and stallions and gledings don’t always mix well when there are mares in heat around. Zeus has been traded for a young Suffolk mare from the farm where our Whinnie went last fall. Zeus and Whinnie were born the same year and are good friends. We look forward to working with Jazz, who should be arriving this weekend. She was an orphan foal and has been giving her “mom” who raised her some challenges. Hopefully, her new surroundings will help her to adjust to being a work horse.

I have had a couple of recipes forwarded to me by CSA members and will be posting them in the recipe section as well as below.

From Dianne (& Mac) MacVicar

BROTHY CHINESE NOODLES WITH TURKEY

Makes: 6 servings about 1 ½ cups each
Active Time: 30 minutes Total: 30 minutes

2 T toasted sesame oil OR hot sesame oil, divided
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger
4 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
¾ C water
3C thinly sliced bok choy OR pak choy OR spinach
8 ounces dried Chinese noodles
1C sliced mushrooms
3 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 small cucumber sliced into matchsticks for garnish

1. Heat 1T oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add ground turkey, all but 2 T of the scallions, garlic and
ginger and cook, stirring and breaking up the turkey,
until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a
plate.

2. Add broth, water, bok choy OR pak choy OR
spinach, noodles, mushrooms, soy sauce, vinegar
and the remaining 1T oil to the pan. Bring to a boil
over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the
noodles are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the
turkey mixture to the pan and stir to combine.
Serve garnished with the reserved 2 T scallions and
Cucumber (if using).

CSA member Rob Wilkin sent the following email after bringing us some bread made with 60% Orchard Hill Flour. It was very tasty and had a very nice texture.
Here is a link to a version of the bread recipe I use.

http://www.crumblycookie.net/2009/09/11/100-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread/

The site makes a reference to Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads. This book is an excellent resource for serious bakers of whole grain breads.
http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Reinharts-Whole-Grain-Breads/dp/1580087590

Peter’s blog:
http://peterreinhart.typepad.com/

3 notes regarding the recipe.

1. It calls for instant yeast–I substitute an equal amount of Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast.
2. I use hard white wheat in the Biga.
3. I use butter milk in the soaker which gives a slightly acidic flavour note.

Finally the recipe may seem a bit complicated. However the biggest difference is the creation of 2 doughs–the Biga and the Soaker–which are allowed to ferment for at least 12 hours. I usually prepare these the day before. The next day, after combining the 2 doughs together the process is very familiar to any bread maker.

The New Addition

We have had a busy week on the farm! The newest addition is a very sweet jersey calf. We hope that she will become our future milk cow on the farm…Caesar is very interested in her, but especially likes to lick our hands after we have fed her.

We harvested some beautiful head lettuce and Pac Choi from our hoop houses for the first pick-up of the season. (See pictures in the blog from the beginning of April when they were planted.) It is always great to see all our old CSA members again when the pick-ups begin and to welcome new members to the farm.

Sheri, Nora and Elaisa harvesting in hoop house for first pick-up

CRAFT DAT at Orchard Hill

Wednesday we had the first CRAFT Day of the season at our farm and over 80 farmers and apprentices from southwestern Ontario came to our farm for the day. How wonderful it is to see so many young farmers in the making! As the “work project” for the day we mulched a 50’x 375′ plot in the garden with old hay for the squash and pumpkins. It only took about 10 minutes to mulch the whole area! We have a link to CRAFT if you are interested to learn more about it.

Jesse and Nora single row cultivating with Gena

Nora and Jesse have been doing quite a bit of work with the horses this spring and I finally caught them in action with a single horse.  Working with a single horse is one of Jesse’s  favorite horse driving activities. It sure beats the rototiller in terms of enjoyment!

We are gearing up for the first pick-up on Tuesday, May 11.  Yesterday, we began the spring cleaning in the pick-up room, half of which serves as a wood shed during the winter months.  It always amazes me how much “stuff” accumulates in a temporarily unused space! Our planting of seeds in the greenhouse and outdoors continues at a great pace.  We tuck in the outdoor plantings with row cover to get them off to a good start.  There are a good stands of peas, spinach, beets and carrots already up and growing to provide our CSA with lots of produce in a few weeks.  In the meantime, the hoop houses will be supplementing our rhubarb and asparagus plantings with lettuce, radishes, green onions and even some Pac Choi.

Chester

Our big news is that we are purchasing a new stallion with another Suffolk breeder from Ontario. “Chester” will be coming to the farm sometime in July. Ken just couldn’t help himself from going back into the breeding of Suffolk draft horses. This means next year we should have some foals again…

Our CSA is full for the 2010 season. We begin our pick-ups next week Tuesday, May 11 and Saturday, May 15. Members can come to the farm on their chosen pick-up day any time between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. They need to bring their own containers to hold produce.

Transplanting Kohlrabi

Team marking out rows for brassica transplants

Grafting Tomatoes

Elaisa with Sweet Potato Slips

Sheri teaching basket making from Dogwood branches

We have had a busy week. Elaisa arrived from Germany on Monday for three months. Her arrival was delayed because of the volcano in Europe. We transplanted leeks, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, fennel, kohlrabi, radicchio and head lettuce into the main garden. We also planted our seed potatoes and finished planting our oats.

Work in the greenhouse also continues. We are trying two new things this year. Growing our own sweet potato slips and grafting tomatoes onto a stronger root stock to produce more vigorous plants for hoop house production.

Around the edges we have been making some baskets from Dogwood branches under the instruction of Sheri. She has made some beautiful baskets that she brought with her to show us. As we attempt to make our own we appreciate the skill she has acquired.

First pickups will be Tuesday May 11 and Saturday May 15. The pick-up times are at the farm from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Please bring your own containers to hold produce and payment for the remainder of your share cost if you haven’t already done so.