Hi folks, as I was driving back from the city yesterday I was thinking I should write a blog post about the day to give you a little insight as to what kind of things can happen and how we problem solve them on the farm.
Yesterday Jem and I and the Blue Team from Applewick's were making shares in the warehouse. Meagan was right on schedule and left the farm at about 2:30. At 2:58, my cell phone rang. It was Meagan, saying the van had no power and she was pulled over on the side of the highway. I immediately dropped what I was doing and gave Patricia a heads up and then called Andrew Bishop at Noggins to see what vehicles we could borrow. Andrew is Patricia's dad, and he's an efficiency expert and great problem solver. While I sorted that out, Meagan called our mechanic to see if they had any advice and then our wholesale delivery that we do on the way to reschedule it for the drive home (saving us some time on the way there). Meagan was stuck at exit 11, only a couple kms away from Noggins, and so Andrew dropped whatever he was doing and headed over with the truck and trailer.
After popping in the office to send a quick email and facebook message to the Monday Hawthorn members, anticipating that we would likely be late for the CSA pickup, Patricia and I headed over at 3:10 to meet Meagan. By the time we arrived, Andrew and the two guys he brought with him had nearly everything (shares, flowers, eggs, wholesale order, add ons) neatly loaded into the trailer. We had to switch drivers as Meagan has never driven the Noggins trailer before, so I grabbed the list from Meagan and was moving on the road again at 3:29 pm. As I found out, Hawthorn is exactly 61 minutes away from Exit 11, and I pulled up right on the nose of 4:30 pm, the start of the pickup! I was stoked to unexpectedly get to see all the friendly faces at Hawthorn-- Not what I had planned for my Monday afternoon, but a great surprise nonetheless!
Thanks to the patient members, who braved the constant line up yesterday to pick up their shares. There are 90 members at Hawthorn who pickup in a 1-hour window, which I realized yesterday is too many! We will do our best to try to have Meagan arrive 15 minutes early from now on, but it's not always possible unfortunately.
It ended up being a fuel filter needing replacement on the van. Our van is serviced every 8-10 weeks as it uses a synthetic oil and thankfully only requires a service every 12,000 kms. We put on over 1200 kms per week with deliveries alone. On Friday, the van was 200 kms away from needing a service, which means it was only about 200 kms over by Monday and had a scheduled appointment for Friday-- As Patricia said: "It didn't want to wait until Friday!". It's both annoying and a relief that it was such an easy fix-- Meagan and I do our best to keep the van running smoothly and making sure its regular maintenance is up-to-date, as it is a very critical piece of farm equipment. The van is already zipping around the farm this morning, getting ready to go to the city this afternoon.
A big thank you to Andrew and crew at Noggins for their help yesterday! Something I love about my job is that there are often moments that require quick problem solving, even on a day that seems to be running smoothly -- You never know what might pop up! Great to see everyone yesterday, and I hope you have a great week!
I'm a little ashamed to admit that though we grow amazing, delicious, and wonderful veggies here at the farm, Jon and I don't always do the best at getting them into our bellies. Due to a lot of the same issues that I'm sure some of you members experience, too-- We forget to pick up our share, we aren't home to cook, I can't eat most veggies raw and Jon can't eat most fruit raw-- so quickly grabbing a snack is a hurdle sometimes-- and various other excuses, often that I am too lazy to cook and we live right behind a chinese restaurant and a pizza place, and after a long day at 9 pm it's easier to pick up the phone than a pot.
At any rate, this weekend we had two shares worth of veggies in the fridge and I was determined to make lunch so that I would actually eat lunch. I skip breakfast and lunch most days (I KNOW-- terrible, but I have some digestive issues I need to sort out, and right now I do better totally avoiding food rather than eating the wrong foods and getting a crippling stomachache-- the "wrong" foods for me appearing to be a long list of delicious vegetables that I love-- Poo!!).
So, I roasted a smoked ham, I cooked up a bunch of potatoes, I cut my losses with the over mature beans and yellow broccoli which hit the compost, and the rest I turned into two pasta dishes which made enough meals for Jon and I to eat lunch for the week. One is Salmontail River Sausages, zucchini, and corn, and the other is everything else that was in the fridge: Basil, bean, tomatoes, celery, fennel, jalapeno, parmesan, bacon. Both delicious, but I do think I will avoid corn from now on, as it doesn't make my belly feel good. :(
Paired with pasta (or rice would be great, too), these were an easy lunch solution for us this week, and minimal effort. I didn't use a recipe, just my choice of what flavours I wanted together and bacon. Lots of bacon. (Not kidding: all of this was cooked in bacon fat. Jon and I work hard enough that eating bacon fat is okay!)
We tried both flavours on Sunday night, topped with some arugula from our salad mix patch:
Members, I'd love to hear some of YOUR fridge forages and how you make things work. I love picking up little tips to make life and managing the fridge easier-- I'm sure we all do! What are your secrets?
I just want to let you know how much I enjoy receiving my shares each week. We are excited to try new things, so when the veggies come in we experiment with recipes using the new veggie(s). My house is filled with great veggies and fruit now, some of which are familiar and some not so familiar. I love having someone else do my shopping – cooking is a lot more fun these days. Joining TapRoot shares has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.
The ideas have been rumbling around in our heads and we've finally made it to a plan.This coming week Amy, Patrick and Steve are planning to harvest the garlic and we've asked they leave some for us for a Garlic Harvest Weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Yahoo!
Garlic Harvest Farm Tour- Saturday
3 PM meet up with Patricia at 451 Canard Street. (Park in the farm yard, we will walk to the garlic and please try to be on-time.)
Bring a garden fork if you have one and a bag to take your garlic home in.
Cost: pay as you can, suggested $12 for tour and 1lb of garlic
(If you wish to harvest more garlic for your kitchens you are welcome to do so. We ask you pay $8 per lb)