Cold Cucumber Soup from CSA member Colleen Burns
A great summer soup. MAKES 8 SERVINGS
3 Tbsp        butter
1 cup          chopped onion
4                 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups        chicken broth or vegetable broth
4 cups         seeded, diced, unpeeled cucumber (2 medium)
1 cup          chopped swiss chard or spinach
1 cup          sliced, peeled potatoes
1 Tbsp        fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp        salt or more to taste
1/4 tsp        freshly ground pepper
tsp each      basil & dill (optional)
1 cup          table cream
Heat the butter in large saucepan & saute onions & garlic until soft. (don’t let brown). Add broth, cucumber, swiss chard or spinach, potato, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Simmer, covered times 10 minutes till potato is soft.
Either put batches of the mixture thru the blender or food processor to puree. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add more spices if desired. Let cool. Add cream and serve in chilled bowls.
EFO Field Day at Orchard Hill Farm Horse Drawn Cultivator in Action
EFO Field Day at Orchard Hill Farm
Horse Drawn Cultivator in Action
Raking Wheat Straw
Raking Wheat Straw

Every week continues to be filled up with events here at Orchard Hill Farm. On Wednesday, July 17th we had a Ecological Farmers of Ontario Field Day to demonstrate how Draft Horses can be successfully used for a small vegetable operation. It was an interesting day for participants despite the intense heat! Bill raked the wheat straw at the same time and we were able to get it into the barn the next day without any rain on it! The apprentices enjoyed throwing around straw after the heavier hay of the week before.

On Monday, we harvested our 2013 garlic crop using our Suffolk Punch horses to plough out the garlic with the riding plough. It worked like a charm and we had all nine – 375 foot rows ploughed out, tied together in bundles and hung up in the barn to dry in three hours. That is a record! Using the riding plough was a great improvement. Here are some pictures of the event!
Ploughing out Garlic with Sufflok Punch Horses
Ploughing out Garlic with Suffolk Punch Horses


Bill Lifting Garlic Weights
Bill Lifting Garlic Weights

Stephanie Tying Garlic Bundles
Stephanie Tying Garlic Bundles

Sam Harvesting Garlic
Sam Harvesting Garlic

Garlic Harvesters, Stephanie, Sam, Bill Jean Francois, Ken
Garlic Harvesters, Stephanie, Sam, Bill Jean Francois, Ken


CRAFT DAY at Orchard Hill Farm
CRAFT DAY at Orchard Hill Farm

Yesterday we had about 50 South Western Ontario CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) interns from other organic farms in Southwestern Ontario come to our farm. The  day included an extensive tour of the farm, pot-luck lunch, a soils workshop and demonstration of various horse drawn implements in the main garden. We enjoyed hosting this group of fine young  people who have given the season over to learning about organic farming on various farms in our region.

CSA member Marianne Campbell has shared a couple of recipes that she has enjoyed. With the anticipation of Zucchini coming and for those of you who still have fennel in the fridge and aren’t quite sure what to do with it…keep in mind that any summer squash can be substituted for zucchini.

Zucchini Relish

 5 cups ground zucchini with peel

2 cups ground onion

2½ tbsp. coarse (pickling) salt

1 small green pepper, seeded and ground

1 small red pepper, seeded and ground

1¼ cups white vinegar

2½ cups granulated sugar

1 tbsp. celery seed

2 tsp. cornstarch

1½ tsp. dry mustard powder

1½ tsp. turmeric

1½ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. pepper

Combine zucchini, onion and salt in large bowl. Cover and let stand overnight on counter. Drain. Rinse in cold water. Drain. Turn into large pot.

Add remaining ingredients. Heat on medium-high, stirring often, until it boils. Boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into hot sterilized jars to within ¼ inch of top. Seal. Makes 5 to 6 half pint jars.

Source: Company’s Coming “Preserves” by Jean Paré


Shrimp and Couscous Salad with Fennel

1 ¼ cup whole-wheat couscous

1 ½ cup boiling chicken broth

3 tbsp. olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 large orange

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. red pepper flakes

12 large shrimp

½ fennel bulb, diced

½ sweet red pepper, diced

¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

½ cup fennel fronds

Place the couscous in a medium glass or stainless bowl. Pour the boiling chicken broth over top. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

In a medium glass blow, combine the olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine. Add the shrimp and set aside.

When the couscous is cool, add the fennel and red pepper.

Add the dressing with the shrimp.  Add the almonds and fennel fronds. Toss well.

Season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve.

(Serves 4) Source: London Free Press


With the warm weather comes basil and garlic scapes. Here is a recipe to use both. We gave a box today in the pick-up with the last of the garlic scapes.
In food processor puree:

1 quart of basil leaves loosely packed and 2-3 garlic scapes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

We have a had a busy month visiting with our daughter, Ellen and son-in-law, Aaron with granddaughter, Della who came for her first birthday. Della learned to walk while she was at the farm and enjoyed all the animals and strawberries!IMG_9368

Making Garlic Scape Pickles
Making Garlic Scape Pickles
Ploughng 2014 Garden Area
Ploughng 2014 Garden Area