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Items available for order this Fall and Winter

Walking through our garden in preparation for the last CSA basket, we decided that we still have an abundance of food to offer.

The list of items we have available, their prices, and an estimate of how long or when they are available is below. You can order by calling 892-8575 or e-mailing csa@rjrfarm.ca and letting us know how much you want. Please have orders in by noon Thursday so we can prepare and arrange for delivery for Saturday morning  9-10:30AM at the farmer's market. This can be subject to change.


Poached chicken, pesto, Swiss chard, and zucchini pizza

So what do you do when you have Swiss chard, zucchini, pizza crust, chicken, cheese, and other vegetables in your fridge that need to be used up? Well you might look at recipes that use one or two of these things. Maybe make something like a pasta with Swiss chard pesto, soup, stir-fry, or casserole.

We managed to combine these ingredients all into another delicious pizza. Almost all of them sourced from RJR Farm (not the sauces, crust, zucchini or spices).

This was inspired by a few other recipes but is somewhat original so I will show you what I did in pictures...

First I poached 3 chicken breasts in just enough water to barely cover them. To add a little flavour I used 1 spoonful of dried basil pesto from the Farmer's Market, 1 carrot chopped in large chunks, 1 onion quartered, and a dash of salt and pepper.












The left over water from I stuck in a jar to put in the freezer and use as a 'chicken broth'.  Then we used a little bit of barbecue sauce and 2 spoonfuls of the pe…

What to do with those squashes and gourds?

We're starting to harvest our first round of squashes. We have buttercup, acorn, small pumpkin, and spaghetti squash. While squash can be a bit intimidating to cut up, once you have the cut up squash in hand there are so many possibilities. You can roast it, eat it boiled in cubes or mashed, put it in a soup and puree it.

Spaghetti squash is unique in that when you bake it and scrape out the insides it comes out stringy like spaghetti noodles. You can eat these on their own with some garlic butter, or service it like noodles with pasta sauce.

My favourite way to prepare it is to cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, then bake it with garlic butter, salt, and pepper for about 20-30 minutes or until it is tender. Some people face it down onto the pan, but I like to have it facing up so the butter stays in the squash. Just like it shows here.

As for other squashes, I once took a trip to Guyana, South America, where they have a delicious dish called pumpkin curry. They usua…

Improvised soup and stir-fry!

It's really nice to be able to open up my fridge and see loads of fresh vegetables just waiting to be combined into something healthy and filling. Though I didn't have kidney beans or zucchini I decided to make a sort-of minestrone out of the beans, onions, celery, green pepper, potatoes, carrots, parsley, basil, and Swiss chard that all came from the farm.
 First I sautéed the celery, onions, carrots, then I added the potatoes and green pepper. Then I added vegetable broth, garlic, seasoning and just kept adding vegetables.

 The Swiss chard came in at the very end after it had been rinsed, soaked, and chopped roughly.
 Served it with salad- of course cucumber and lettuce from the farm. We didn't have any meat so we had fried eggs for a protein. Maybe that is weird, but we liked it.



Now I didn't chronicle my improvised stir fry but I stir-fried carrots, a wack of snow peas, onions, garlic, and strips of steak. I made Rita's classic stir-fry sauce of broth, soy sa…

Cauliflower sauce

As someone who is lactose intolerant and not a huge fan of cauliflower I was intrigued by the idea of making sauce out of it, I had seen a couple alfredo recipes that still used cream in them but I tried this recipe from the Detoxinista blog

You saute onion and garlic, then add water and the cauliflower chopped up to oil until they are tender. I made sure to wash and soak my cauliflower as I did find a couple critters hiding in it and some dust, I had to be careful while cutting it to check for these as well.
Then you puree the contents of the pan water and all and add salt to taste. I added salt, pepper, and a couple basil leaves then reheated the puree in the same pan.  Had it on some penne and I can't say it is the same as Alfredo sauce, but it was really delicious.


A couple recipes

Have been trying to find the time to put this up. Here's a few more food pictures!

 Pork chop with mashed red and sweet potatoes and a salad on the side with snow peas, green onions, tomatoes.
 Tried the recipe from savoycabbage.org Brown the wedges in a bit of olive oil...
 Then bake them in the oven for 20 minutes at 200...
 Then serve with your CSA Swiss chard and potatoes! Was pretty good. I ate it twice again with leftovers re-fried.
 We also were able to make a simple coleslaw out of the savoy with some poppy seed dressing and shredded carrots.
To make use of several of the CSA ingredients I used this recipe for Swiss chard and corn pizza from Sweet Sugar Bean. Turned out very delicious. Just used a pre-made flatbread for the crust so didn't need as much cooking time. Also added some meat, because we like meat.

Busy times...

We have been very busy of late on the farm. We have lots of things coming in ready to be harvested like savoy cabbage, green cabbage, kale, several varieties of Swiss chard, several lettuces, beets, carrots, potatoes, snow peas, yellow string beans. Soon we'll hopefully have blackberries... it seems like the summer has just begun and it's already August!

We also got some new geese, ducks, and a new batch of chicks for eggs and meat.



 One adventure we had recently was trying to move the mama  pig. The piglets are easy because they weigh maybe 20-30 pounds but she... you don't want to get her angry. Even with her piglets being taken away from her she refused to cross the line where she knew the electric fence used to be! It hadn't even been working for a few days.

It's funny the memory she has. We poked and prodded, but nothing would convince her to come. She just went back inside and laid down. We're going to need to figure something out soon so we can get her t…

Some more meal ideas...

I love taking pictures of food we made using ingredients from the farm.

 This is a mango, banana, soy milk, and orange juice smoothie with some kale added in to give it that green colour and a vitamin boost. You could do that with any combination of fruits or yogurt you like. Even add in a sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
  Parboiled new red potatoes cut in halves then fried with spices and oil is a great side dish. Beet greens, with a big or small beet attached are delicious boiled whole with some salt and butter or margarine on top. Greens like bok choy, kale, swiss chard mixed with onions, snow peas, green onion fried with oils and spices are great as well. Can you tell we like to fry things?

Island Taylored Meats preservative-free sausages on a whole grain bun with a salad of mixed lettuces, cucumber, and tomato. Also on the side is a mix of garlic scapes, onion, kale, joi choi, sweet red Italian braising pepper, and spices.







Barbecued chicken in a whole wheat tortilla wrap with …

This week we have potatoes!

This week's basket you can expect much of the same but with a few new things (marked *):
beet greensSwiss chard kale spinach* Pak (Joi) Choipotatoes*mixed lettuce bunching onions maybe Snow Peas* We'll have a table again from 9AM to 11AM at the Saturday market.

A couple people have been bringing us egg cartons and a few other items already, but we also wanted to let you know that if you have re-usable items which are clean and in good shape like plastic bags, egg cartons, rubber bands, twist ties, we would gladly use them.

A few meal ideas..

These meals were so delicious and I was happy to be eating my farm vegetables so I had to document them. Thought I would share with you a few of the things I've done with my vegetables.
Boiled whole beet and margarine with salt and pepper sandwich.


 Meatloaf containing onion and organic red pepper. Salad with organic mixed greens, radish, cucumber, tomato, and red pepper. Fried greens with spices; kale, joi choi, garlic scapes, onion, and swiss chard.


 Fried choi qing mei and chives. Organic mixed greens with tomatoes, chives and radish. Barbecued chicken in a wrap with mixed greens and ranch dressing.


Garlic scapes and more

Hi everyone, Tomorrow's basket will include: Joi choi Kale Radish Lettuce mix Bunching onion
Swiss Chard English cucumber Garlic scapes- stalk of garlic plant that's going to blossom. A nice mild garlicy flavour. Use it in stir fry, make into pesto, freeze it chopped up, or put it in soups.



We will also have some romaine lettuce for sale. We'll be at a table outside from 9-11 at least. James also wanted to share what he likes to do with radishes. They are delicious if you slice them thin and put them with some salt and pepper in a bowl of vinegar.

He also likes to make radish sandwiches where you spread generous layers of mayo on two slices of bread and thin slices of radish with salt and pepper. You can put them after they've pickled for a while in a bowl of vinegar or just have them plain. Homemade bread and mayo makes it even better. See you tomorrow!

You'll be green with envy

This week as our first harvest we have a wonderful variety of greens for you. Don't worry, more and more varieties of vegetables will come in season as the summer rolls on.

James will be at the Farmer's Market Parking lot near the pond, from about 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Look for a blue Dodge Caravan the hatchback will be open. The earlier you pick up the fresher your vegetables will be.

If you are not able to pick up your basket at this time, please contact us to make other arrangements.

In this week's basket you can expect:

joi choi - a leafy green Chinese vegetableblack magic kale - a dark leafy green vegetableradishgreen onionschivesmixed lettucesbeet greensstrawberries If they are ready we may also have Chinese cabbage and some choi mei.

I have put up some details on what to do with some of these as well as nutritional information on the new recipes and ideas page.


Please note we are still accepting sharers for the CSA, passed weeks will be pro-rated.


Here's what thi…

Robyn Miller of CBC visited today July 9th, 2013

Robyn Miller of CBC came to the farm today, she was interested in learning more about our 100 Acre Farm and our CSA.

Robyn toured the farm with me and then I was interviewed.  It will be aired at 11:00 pm tonight (July 9th) on CBC Late Night and again on CBC Compass 5-6 pm July 10th.

She also interviewed Fan Zhang one of our customers. She was fascinated that little PEI has so many newcomers and that farmers like me are growing different crops for these new Islanders.

She seemed to enjoy seeing the hens and roosters walking around the farm and enjoying the beauty of the view.  Visitors often remark on the beauty of the view.

Robyn was charmed by the sight of our seven two day old piglets. These are Berkshire hogs, a heritage breed. They are known for the quality of their meat and flavour and their good mothering instincts. Here are some photos of the new additions to the farm.

The new arrivals...


Update: Here is the video, story starts around the 6:20 mark


Link to video

Als…

Seed saving

This is a parsnip that we let go to seed. It was planted as a seed last year, spent the winter in the ground and is now producing seed heads. We plan to plant the seeds next spring. As you can see it is taller than me!

What we are doing is producing a locally adapted parsnip. If we continue saving seeds from selected plants and grow the saved seeds we could avoid buying seed. The basic begining of agriculture through time.

There is only one problem, the current government is planning on signing a trade agreement with the European Union "CETA" that would make saving seeds against the law.

Saturday July 13 is the first CSA Basket day

Saturday the 13th of July we will deliver your first basket of vegetables for the season. James will be at the Farmer's Market Parking lot near the pond, from about 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Look for a blue Dodge Caravan the hatchback will be open, if it is not raining.  If it is raining look for the STOP PLAN B bumper sticker. The earlier you pick up the fresher your vegetables will be.

If you are not able to pick up your basket at that time, please contact us to make other arrangements.

Egg production is down because some of our hens have meet an untimely end in the jaws of Mr and Mrs Fox.  It was Murder of Most Fowl! Sadly, the pun is intended.

We will set some eggs aside for our sharers if you let us know at csa@rjrfarm.ca, how many dozen you want. 

A list of this weeks basket of vegetables will be sent to you Thursday evening. Recipes and serving suggestions will be included in the email. The first basket will include a fair amount of green produce.

Here is a link to some g…

Changes to egg pricing, referral bonuses, and some things done.

We are adding in a referral bonus. If you sign up a friend, you can get a week off the price of your share. For example if you have a half-share you will get $25 off and only have to pay for 15 out of 16 weeks for signing up a friend. If you plan to refer more than two friends please let us know.

We are also updating our egg prices to $3.50 for regular size, $4.50 for extra-large and those who are signed up for a CSA share get $0.50 off making it $3 for regular and $4 for extra-large.

 Got our cabbages, kales, brocolis and so forth planted a few days ago.
Also started on the project of replacing an old livestock barn. Maybe we'll have a barn raising day later?

Planting time, chickens, and more

Phew, taking a break inside the potato box. Had to put them by hand into bags so they could be loaded into the tuber unit planter. That's a tractor attachment that we bought used, it takes whole potatoes, cuts them into twos and fours, then plants the potatoes. So far we have two varieties in the ground, and more to come.





Had a visit from some younger family members who enjoyed chasing the chickens around.

We have a large outdoor temporary fenced-in area for the chickens. Every once in a while it gets moved around for greener patches then they dig away at it until it looks like the ground here. The fence is more for the chickens protection than anything.

They know when to go inside at night, but unfortunately when they are outside of this enclosure we have foxes, eagles, and other predators that we've already lost several hens to.





Our biggest rooster. He has a nice shine in the light. He and the other rooster do their best to protect the hens.


 We have some corn sprouting in…