Buttons and Gwen at IPM in St. Thomas, Ontario

Ken has spent the week at the International Plowing match in St. Thomas.  It is taking place only about 5 km from the farm and seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.  He has been plowing with Buttons and Gwen.  Elwyn McGuire has also been plowing at the match with our older team Jasmin and Gena.  Our apprentices have been a great help with the horses as well.  Friday is the last day of the the four day plowing competition and then it will be back to the real farm work for everyone. It has been a lot of fun and a good chance to show everyone our calm, steady Suffolk horses.  Suffolks are a rare breed and it is unusual for them to be out in public.  We have been happy to see some of our CSA members who have stopped by to visit at the match!

Our squash harvest has provided a bounty of beautiful squash to share with our members. The mountain of squash is gradually going down in our front yard.  It is good that they store well.  An excellent website that explains about the different varieties of squash has hints on cooking and lincs to recipes is: whatscookingamerica.net/squash.htm

We expect to be digging the remainder of our potato crop next week and will have a bounty to divide up for our final weeks of the CSA.  We are really pleased with our first sweet potato crop.  We gave our first sweet potatoes on Tuesday and have quite a few more.  The fresh dug potatoes are not as sweet as the ones that have been cured. We are attempting to cure some in our greenhouses to give in the final week. We are new to growing sweet potatoes and are learning as we go.

Orchard Hill Farm CSA Fall Potluck will be held October 3rd from 2-4 pm

Bring: food to share, plates, cutlery, cups and lawn chairs.

Last pick-up dates:

Tuesday, October 5

Saturday, October 9

Potato Digger in Action
Potatoes Ready for Picking-up

Some of you may have seen Ken working on getting our “new” old potato digger back into working order last week. One CSA member asked him, “Are you ever going to get that rust bucket working?” The answer is YES! We have pictures to prove it.  (If you double click on the photos they will enlarge.) One of my stipulations for growing the CSA was to have a potato digger and now we do! Those working shares who have helped us dig potatoes with a fork or paw around in the soil after the horse drawn potato plow went through can attest to the amount of work it is.  So, I am delighted with our “rust bucket” that works! We have a big potato crop this season and it will be well used. It is still a heavy pull for two horses, but we hope to split up the harvest between two or three digging days.

The squash and pumpkin crop is also coming in. Check out the recipe section for some squash and pumpkin recipes. Keep in mind that any pumpkin recipe can also be made with squash. Go to the search box and type in squash or pumpkin for some of the older blog recipe entries from past years.  The following is a recipe from a past entry:

Leek and Potato Soup by Jill Wilcox
1 lb. leeks (about 3 medium)
3 tbsp butter
1 cooking onion, chopped
1 rib celery, finely sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3c water, chicken or veg. stock
2c milk or cream
chopped chives for garnish
To make the soup
1. trim the coarse green portion of the leeks. Cut leeks in half lengthwise, leaving the bulb end intact and clean well under running water. Shake off excess moisture and slice the leeks thinly, discarding the root end when you get to it.
2. In a stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook the leeks, onion and celery about 5 minutes until soft.
3. Add the potatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
4. Add the milk (or cream) and return to a bare simmer. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. (You can puree the soup with an immersion blender at this stage if you wish or pass it through a food mill.)