CSA members Tessa Kuipers and Lisa Fehr - Signing up Working Share

CSA members Tessa Kuipers and Lisa Fehr – Signing up Working Share with their Electronic Calendars

We are happy to have strawberries and beets to add to the CSA line up this week. The radishes are on their way out, but we still have some and here is a nice salad that uses both beets and radishes given to me by CSA member Kathy Hagerman.

RADISH AND ROASTED BEET SALAD

6 small beets, about 1 pound
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp granulated sugar or liquid honey
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
8 red radishes, cut in half or quartered
1 small head butter lettuce, leaves separated
2 oz. blue cheese crumbled (1/3 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Peel beets and cut off long tap roots. Cut each into 4 to 6
wedges. Toss with 1 tbsp of the oil and salt and pepper to taste, in
a large baking dish. Spread into a single layer. Roast in preheated
oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beets are
tender. Let cool slightly or completely. (Roasted beets can be
wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let warm to room
temperature before serving.)

3. For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, sugar, and thyme in
a bowl. Gradualy whisk in remaining oil, then season with salt and
pepper to taste.

4. Add beets and radishes to dressing and toss to coat. Arrange
lettuce leaves on serving plates, top with beet and radish mixture and
sprinkle with blue cheese.

Serves 4

CSA pick-up Room in June

CSA pick-up Room in June

June always brings with it the big push to get all the main transplanting done. Monday, we got the winter squash and pumpkin transplants planted. Wednesday, with the help of our new horse drawn transplanter, we planted out the melons, summer squash, second succession planting of brassicas and sweet potatoes. Thursday, we were planting the first succesion planting of sweet corn transplants when we got rained out. We are hoping to finish it tomorrow afernoon, if it is dry enough. Today, we covered all the melons and summer squash with row cover (CSA working shares helped too), weeded the hoop houses and started in on trellising the tomatoes all before we began the harvest and washing of the CSA vegetables for tomorrow’s pick-up.

Sam, our apprentice, was cooking supper on Tuesday afternoon, when a CSA member came into the house. The Spinach Casserole he was making smelled so good that the recipe was requested so here it is:

Spinach Casserole 
Cook four cups of brown rice
In a skillet, sauté onions and garlic. Add in chopped fresh sage, thyme, and oregano. Add a small bowl of chopped spinach, and stir it in until wilted. In a separate bowl, beat four eggs and combine with two cups of milk and a big handful of grated cheese–I used gouda. Stir the eggs, milk and cheese, and the spinach and seasoning into the rice. Spoon into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

We have been working so hard to get the spring work done that the Apprentice Introductions are long overdue. We appreciate all the efforts of everyone on our farm team this spring and look forward to seeing results of all the preparation that has gone into production thus far as the season unfolds. Spring is always welcome after the winter, but it is always an anxious time for me as I care for all the little plants and try to work with the weather not knowing what the spring will be like. Once the seeds and transplants are in the ground and growing I am always relieved. We are almost there now, with the exception of succession plantings. Now I am hoping for some warmer weather to make things grow!

Jean-Francois Langlais

Jean Francois Langlais

My name is Jean-François Langlais. I come from Québec. I studied organic agriculture at Cegep de Victoraville. I took a break of my studies to come at Orchard Hill Farm and I will finish my programm next winter. I wish to develop more practical agriculture skills and learn more about drafts horses. I wish to have a farm using them later! I want to learn English too, because, as you probably guess, my first language is French! Don’t be shy to talk to me, I enjoy every occasion to meet people and improve my English by the same occasion! See you next time!

Sam Bass

Sam Bass

Written by Sam Bass: I am so happy to be here helping in a small way to grow your vegetables on this beautiful piece of land. This is my first month in Canada. I grew up in Austin, Texas, but left home to attend college in Massachusetts, where I studied literature. When I graduated I decided to pursue agriculture, and worked for two years on a vegetable farm in New Jersey. I came to Orchard Hill to learn to work with draft horses, after meeting a former apprentice, Lisa Miskelly, who spoke very highly of the apprenticeship here.

Learning to care for even a small piece of earth is so humbling. All that I do not know and want to learn often overwhelms me. I am deeply grateful to Ken and Martha for allowing young people like myself to come onto a farm and into a home that is so nurturing, and giving so generously of their time and knowledge. I look forward to coming to know you, the members, over the course of the season. You make all of our lives possible by your support. I am sure this farm gives beauty and sustenance to your lives as it does to mine, and it will be good to share its bounty with you.

Stephanie Valiquette

Stephanie Valiquette

Hi! My name is Stephanie Valiquette. I’m from Quebec. Before I arrived at Orchard Hill Fram I did some fruit picking, dairy farming and did a little market garden with my pony. I’ve studied Organic Farm Management a bit and now I am really enjoying learning here. I’m glad that CSA members come to Orchard Hill Farm to be part of encouraging small diversified farming. I would like to see more farms like this around the world. Farms where we can enjoy good work while empowering ourselves and our communities with good food to root our bodies to the earth. I think farms can be places where we find partnership and sharing to strengthen our humanity. I’m grateful to learn here and meet everyone that is part of the farm, each with their own unique vision and experience. I am looking forward to meeting more CSA members during the summer!

Bill van Zanten

Bill van Zanten

Hi there, Bill here for another year at OHF. Alongside my responsibilities as senior apprentice, I have undertaken a small farm project of my own with the guidance of Ken and Martha. With this project I intend to move toward greater agricultural independence (with the help of some horses of course) and provide fresh food choices for those who would like them. This season I will be offering you the usual pork sausage selections, as well as bacon and whole chickens. Thank you for your support.

Thanks to CSA member Judy Sinasac for the following recipe. She said that she searched for a recipe that wasn’t too sweet.

Dee-lish!!!

Rhubarb Crisp

1 1/2 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes -about 6 cups
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup a.p. flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix well, spread in greased 8 (9″) cake pan

Topping
1/2 cup a.p. flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats (regular, not quick cooked)
1/2 cup butter, melted

For the topping, toss everything but the butter together. Drizzle in butter, mix well. Sprinkle over the rhubarb. Bake in 375 F oven for 30 minutes.