As you can see, total value for this week's meat share is a little under, but we've been over for the last few shares, so everything is balancing out.
Quick meat ideas:
Rabbit pieces can be used in the same way you use chicken pieces. They're great on the bbq, roasted, and cut into strips for stirfries. Rabbit has a mild taste and goes great with everything. For some recipe ideas, check out this previous blog post on cooking with rabbit here.
You will either get a 2 pack of forequarters, belly (aka loin), or hindquarters. Here is what those pieces of meat look like.
Belly (or loin):
We're still waiting for our piglets to arrive! Every time Tim goes to feed the pigs, we expect to hear that the piglets have been born, but they're apparently not ready to meet the world yet. We'll keep you posted.
New ducks arrived on the farm last week. They're settling in nicely.
And here's Nathan with the TapRoot beef herd. They're slowly getting friendlier and enjoying their pasture up on Ross Creek Road. They love their salt block!
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about your meat shares you can e-mail me at Justine@taprootfarms.ca
Have a fantastic few weeks and talk to you next time!
I am learning that no amount of optimism will make the sun shine.
Many of you are patiently awaiting your Flower Shares. Hopefully this update will shed some light on progress so far this year.
The farm's perennials are doing well, although like most things this year, they seem behind. Our tulips were a dud and have caused a re-think on how to guarantee a good harvest in future years.
Thousands of transplants are ready for the ground and the space has been mostly prepared for them. Direct seeding of a few things is also planned for this week.
This year's Flower Share will involve approximately 60 members. Our goal is to send out shares when there are enough flowers to ensure you all receive shares of excellent value and quality. Last year we had fewer members and were able to “scrounge” from the farm to fill the first few weeks with beautiful and varied bouquets. Last year's bouquets were also smaller.
We began cutting and delivering flowers in June of last year. The hope is to do the same this year, although it is difficult to pinpoint a specific week. Things still have a lot of growing to do.
Until then, I will include a short list of some of the things we have prepared for your shares. The list would be too long to include here, but here are a few of our larger flower crops with a few of my favourites thrown in;
Asters, Sweet William, Snapdragons, Strawflowers, Zinnias, Gomphrena, Celosia, Statice, Carthamus, Peruvian Cherries, Ageratum, Carnations, Nigella, Yarrow, Cleome, Amni, Lisianthus (fingers crossed), Flowering Kale, Sunflowers, Glads, Dahlias, Delphinium, Craspedia, Foxglove, Sunflowers, a variety of herbs, woody ornamentals and existing perennials. And of course, numerous varieties of most of the flowers listed here.
If you have any questions about your upcoming flower share, would like to sign up, or have other flower needs throughout the growing season, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweet William rows with Jocelyn in background for perspective.
It's Monday at 2:00 pm, and I'm in CSA HQ office answering a backlog of emails from the weekend, came across this gem.... Oh, the delight in members sharing photos of their kids enjoying CSA veggies! This one comes in from Alicia, who says "Fiddleheads: This kids a fan!! Thought it was hilarious! He ate like 10. Then we went out in the woods and looked at them and talked about them, and where they grow etc. good science lesson :)"
Stinging Nettles: A Spring Treat, and so much more!
Recipes and Information
Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands when preparing nettles!
Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) grow in swampy places and riparian corridors along streams throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. They resemble a mint, though they’re in their own botanical family (the Urticaceae). They’re easily identified by their pairs of deltoid (slightly triangular), dentate leaves (opposite-decussate in orientation), with fine spines covering the stems and leaves.
Apart from the slight fact that even the very young plants sting, nettles are a wonderful ingredient to use in soups, pasta dishes, frittatas—basically in any cooked dish where you would use young spinach. They’re certainly worth the slight challenge involved in picking them, for they are rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, flavonoids, histamine, and serotonin—all the great chemicals one needs to reenergize after a cold winter and to combat Spring allergies.
SPRING NETTLE SOUP RECIPE (902) 542-3277
Submitted by Cyndi Fendley Sweeney
1 – 2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1 onion, chopped
2 cups brown mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bag TapRoot Farms Nettles: about 2 cups
6-7 cups good quality vegetable or chicken stock
Optional: dash of thyme or nutmeg
Optional: 1 cup of cream or almond milk. (This adds a richness to the soup but is not necessary. If you are not using the cream, add a little more potato and stock, purely to make the soup stretch.)
In a large stock pot, ‘sweat’ the onion in the olive oil, covered with a lid over low heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil kettle. Carefully tear open the nettle bag (without touching the nettles) pour into a large bowl and cover with the freshly boiled water. Let sit for 2 -3 minutes.
This should remove all the stings from the nettle leaves. Drain, and pick out and discard any stems or hard pieces. Roughly chop.
Add garlic and mushrooms to the onion pot, return the lid and sweat for 5 minutes.
Add chopped potato and stock. Bring to a simmer, partly cover for 15 minutes.
Add nettles, simmer for 4 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand mixer or blender.
Stir in cream or almond milk if using. Salt and pepper to taste.
Some Ideas for Nettles: Use in green smoothies | Enjoy a simple sauté with garlic and butter| Blanch and freeze for easy future use in stews and soups | Enjoy healthful nettle tea brewed as a simple infusion by pouring boiling water over nettle leaves and steeping them for as little as 15 minutes or as long as overnight. | Substitute for cooked spinach in recipes | Create a lustrous hair tonic by steeping nettle leaves for 2 hours and applying the cooled liquid to the scalp | Pairs well with goat and other creamy, strong cheeses | Great in savoury tarts, crepes, and egg dishes | Nettle Beer | Nettle Pesto | Create Nettle Vinegar by adding nettle leaves to organic Apple Cider Vinegar and steeping in a dark place for a few weeks
STINGING NETTLE FRITATTA RECIPE (902) 542-3277
PREP TIME: 15 min COOK TIME: 30 min YIELD: 6 servings
1 pepper, diced
6 medium stalks stinging nettle, chopped
1 tomato (or 2 roma tomatoes), diced
8 stalks chives, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 tablespoon cilantro, diced
Olive oil, for sauteeing
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup milk [to mix with eggs]
Begin by cleaning the stinging nettle thoroughly using rubber gloves to protect your hands.
Sauté/cook down in olive oil and a bit of water on low to medium-low for 10-15 minutes. This will "disarm" your stinging nettle and make it safe to eat.
Prep all other ingredients as indicated.
Sauté peppers, tomatoes, chives, & garlic in olive oil - add with already cooked down stinging nettle in cast iron. I suggest cast iron as you will be putting this into the oven a bit later, making for easy transition.
In medium bowl, combine 6 eggs & 1/4 cup milk, whisk thoroughly until well-combined.
After veggies are well-cooked, add egg & milk mixture to pan.
Continue to cook, covered, on a low simmer for about 10 minutes, or until egg begins to coagulate but before it really hardens.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°.
Put pan into oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until egg is thoroughly cooked.
The stinging power of nettles is instantly dismantled when they're cooked (and by cooked, we mean anything from pureeing into a soup or quickly steaming/blanching the leaves). What you're left with, once the scary stuff is out of the way, are delicate greens, with a flavor like a spinach-cucumber hybrid and so many nutrients we don't even have time to list them all. Nettles have long been used in natural medicine for their anti-inflammatory properties, and they have the added bonus of tasting delicious and not like medicine at all. You can really use nettles anywhere you'd use spinach, and we've collected a couple of easy recipes for you to try! For more info, please visit our website: taprootfarms.ca
STINGING NETTLE PESTO RECIPE (902) 542-3277
PREP TIME: 25 min YIELD: 1 cup
1/2 pound nettles
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer for the nettles. Add the nettles directly from their bag and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. (This denatures their sting.)
Dump into a colander to drain. When the nettles are cool enough to handle, wrap them in a clean dishtowel and wring out as much moisture as possible, like you would for spinach. You’ll have about a cup of cooked, squished nettles.
In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the paddle attachment, whirl the garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper to taste until finely chopped. Add the nettles, breaking them up as you drop them in, and the lemon juice and whirl until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, and process until smooth. Add the cheese, pulse briefly, and season to taste with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice.