First Winter CSA pick up

Produce Food Bag!

First Winter CSA pick up

Oh this is exciting.  You are the early adopters who have signed up for our inaugural year of the Winter CSA program.

We’ve had a beautiful 2 weeks since the store closed.  Farmers have taken advantage of the nice weather to get crops off of the field, thin the raspberries, trim the apple trees, clean up their yards, get the compost turned,  cut the fire wood, and fix the fences.  I just can’t stress enough how GRATEFUL all farmers are for this long warm fall.  After a cool wet summer and early fall, this weather was exactly what we all needed!

For the first few weeks of the winter CSA, we’ll be pushing the veg.  For many fresh veggies, we only have a few weeks left to enjoy them.  So yes, in this first CSA you’ll be getting more veggies than you bargained for.  Brace yourselves, we’ll be doubling and tripling you up on Kale, Swiss chard and Apples.  I know, I know.  You CAN’T EAT THAT MUCH!!!!  Not to worry.  Now is the time to freeze some greens.  Click on this link and you’ll see a video of how to easily clean kale.  Once you have it all cleaned up, just spin it dry, and chuck it in your freezer.  Many people suggest blanching kale for 2-3 minutes to preserve taste (blanching means boiling for a short amount of time, then plunging in ice cold water to stop the cooking process).  My palate is not keen enough to detect any undesirable flavours in non blanched frozen kale.  I choose being lazy and just freezing the kale over blanching and freezing.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.   Mostly you’ll be watching the video wondering where you can find a snazzy apron like I’m wearing in the video.  It’s a fabulous apron.

So get your kitchen sorted out for a Tuesday night kale freezing session!  In about 30 minutes, you should be able to strip, chop, wash, spin dry, bag and freeze enough kale to use for foreseeable future.  And that’s part of the secret to healthy eating.  You need to have those healthy things on hand that you can easily add to meals.  With a bag of frozen kale in the freezer, you should be putting a handfull of it in every sauce, soup, stew, omelet, smoothie, quiche, and stir fry that you make.  Just a little handful each time adds such a nutritional punch.

The apples from the season are still quite tasty though they have lost that early season crispness that makes them extra delicious.  We are still enjoying eating them out of hand, but if they are too soft for your liking, it’s time for baked apples, crumbles, pies, sauce or drying into apple chips.  You can attempt to make an apple tart as beautiful as Deb’s from Smitten Kitchen.    But if your talents are similar to mine, yours may taste divine, but will NEVER look like the photos.  No matter what the recipe says, I can never bring myself to peel an apple.  Especially a spray free Manitoba apple.  There are just too many good things in the peel, colour, texture, fiber, taste, flavour, nutrients.  Plus I’m lazy.   My apple dishes will remain with peel attached forevermore.     More apple recipes here. 

I know that there are some of you (Ian), who really don’t like squash.  We’re not going to overload you with squash, but we are going to patiently introduce you to different ways to use the squash that you get until you realize how versatile a veggie orange fleshed squash is.  This week, try

1. Cut your butternut in half legnthwise. scoop out the seeds.  Roast both halves cut side down in a pan with a little water in it.  I set my oven to 350 and check the squash for doneness after about 30 minutes.  Keep roasting until fork tender.  Scoop the flesh out of one half of a squash, place in a food processor add about half a cup of tzatziki or yogurt or sour cream and blend until smooth.  Don’t have a food processor?  Mash with a potato masher, or blend with an immersion blender.  At this point in time I like to add in some freshly cracked black pepper, some dill, cilantro, coriander or cumin.  Spoon the mash in an oven safe pyrex type dish, smooth it out and top with some grated parmesan and pop into a 350 degree oven until the cheese is all golden and beautiful and the squash mash is back up to a hot temperature.  (about 10-15 minutes)

2. Take the second half of your roasted squash and make these pumpkin waffles for Sunday brunch.  Are you on some kind of Paleo diet that I don’t understand? There’s a  paleo recipe for pumpkin waffles too!  See!  Everyone is doing it:)

Or 3. Try this Lasagna recipe which I have made substituting chard or kale for the broccoli rab.  Prefect for this week’s CSA share.

Chard, this week you’re going to use your Chard leaves as romaine and make a mean Caesar salad, OR click on the chard link and make lettuce wraps with the chard leaves.  When we’re busy, I’ll lay out clean chard leaves and just lay on top a slice of ham, a piece of cheese, spread on some mustard, and a slice of tomato, roll up, and eat on the run.  When I have more time, I make wraps with a whole bunch of chopped veggies.  You can also make cabbage rolls with chard leaves.  It’s just so much easier.

Week One for the Winter CSA.   Remember, we only include produce in our shares that is GMO Free, Spray free or Certified Organic, and from Manitoba.  We only include protein in our shares that is freely ranged or freely run,  fed no growth hormones antibiotics, or animal by-products in the feed, and is raised in an ethical and sustainable manner.  All fish is caught sustainably.

All mixed shares, Produce only shares and Produce Plus shares to contain….

Butternut squash, spray free

Chard , spray free

Kale, spray free

Strawberries, spray free

Potatoes, organic

Carrots, organic

Apples, spray free

Bok Choy, spray free

Produce Plus shares to receive the following in addition to the above

Parsnips, organic

Beets, organic

Leek, organic

Canola Oil, spray free, GMO FREE!

Produce Only Shares to receive the following in addition to the above base.

Parsnips, organic

Beets, organic

Leek , organic

Garlic, spray free

Extra Greens

Mix shares to receive the following protein

Pickerel fillets, sustainably harvested in northern Manitoba

Chicken legs, freely run.

 

 

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