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.
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.
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!