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Meat Share Week 20

Posted on by Justine Mentink

 This week your share contains:

 
1 whole chicken, $4.50/lb, average weight 3lbs          $13.50
 
1lb pack ground pork, $5.50/ pack                              $5.50
 
1  1.2 lb T-bone at 14.00/lb  or                                      
 
1 1.5lb Sirloin steak at 11.00/lb                                  $16.50
 
                                                     Total value:          $35.50
 
This is the first week for TapRoot beef! All members are receiving either a T-Bone or Sirloin steak. Remember that steaks are great thrown on a pan as it, but to make a whole meal simply partially thaw (it's easier to cut when still a bit frozen) and cut into thin slices for quick stir frys.  
 
We have had a few comments recently from members that they have quite a few whole chickens building up in their freezers. We do have an assortment of chicken pieces in the freezers, maybe enough for another week, otherwise the remainder are whole chickens. 
 

Here are a few ways to cook a whole chicken, that may make using them up easier:

Many will not realize but you can cook a whole chicken from frozen with great results. We almost always do this now in our house, we find the chicken even more moist and tasty than those cooked after thawing. All there is to it is to place your frozen chicken in a covered dutch oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours (this is for a four pound chicken), or until the internal temperature is at 180 degrees fahrenheit. You can also throw it in the slow cooker frozen in the morning and it will be falling off the bone, ready to eat in the evening.
 
You can also thaw the whole chicken and easily cut the bird into pieces. Then one night you can have a stir fry with chicken breasts, then another night have drumsticks, thighs, and wings in the oven. And make sure you make broth out of that carcass, or freeze it for making broth another day. I've been tending lately to put it right in the slow cooker after I'm done cutting off all the cuts. You just fill the slow cooker up with water and turn it on, you can also add spices and vegetable scraps. Once done strain out the bones and vegetables, making sure to pick through for good chicken meat to put back into the soup.
 

Animal Update:

We have a lot of rabbits! The rabbits are doing well and that will be reflected in the meat shares in the coming months. We are getting them cut into pieces by Joseph Crocker of Peasants Pantry in New Ross. If any of you are out that way (except on Mondays, they're closed) stop into his shop, where he serves in store smoked meat sandwiches, soups, and TapRoot popcorn as an option for a snack.
 
Thanks for your support in 2014 and we are excited to have an excellent 2015 working together!
 


New Way Ahead - maybe?

Posted on by Patricia Bishop

Hello CSA Members and friends of the farm:

I am trying so hard to get things ready to launch for this week. As I do this I am reviewing all of our information and our 'policies' and I am reflecting on what is working, what is not, and what we can do differently. I would love your feedback.

What do you think about this new payment policy and below it, the new draft of the membership agreement? These are working documents - so please let me know the good, bad and ugly. Thanks!!!!

Payment Options

*NEW in 2015*

All accounts will have one annual invoice. There will be no monthly invoices. There is one annual cost for your CSA share. It is based on an assumed or approximate weekly amount, but the price is an annual price.

You are invited to pay this invoice in full with money order, email transfer, cash or cheque prior to the start of the season on April 6th 2015. Doing so provides you with a $25 savings.

Payments can be emailed to info@taprootfarms.ca or mailed to:

TapRoot Farms
1736 Church St.
Port Williams, NS
B0P 1T0

If paying in full does not work for you, you are welcome to pay whenever you are able. It is expected that you will pay regularly and that you will pay in full for your CSA membership as soon as possible and most certainly in advance of receiving food from the farm.

 

Membership Agreement

2015-16 Season

 

As a member of TapRoot Farms Community Shared Agriculture Farm I agree to:

 

  • ensure my CSA share is picked-up at the location I have selected

  • keep my account in good standing

  • review weekly emails for important notices

  • communicate with the farm regarding concerns or celebrations or changes of email or phone contact information

  • maintain an open mind, ask questions, and give the farm the benefit of the doubt

  • try new things, share ideas, and recognize that I am a part of a community striving toward a healthier vibrant local food system.

As a member of TapRoot Farms Community Shared Agriculture I understand that no refunds will be provided. It is up to me, as a member to find someone to take over my commitment to the farm if I choose to stop my share for whatever reason. Otherwise my share will be donated each week to a family in need.

 

As a member of TapRoot Farms Community Shared Agriculture I am aware and appreciate that administration costs (HarvestHand (the CSA database) and CSA related book keeping is not included in the cost of my share and is an annual $25 per member per year fee is added to each invoice)

 

All members will receive regular email communications from the farm and by agreeing to this membership agreement, you are giving us consent to send you a weekly newsletter and other email communications as required.

 

All members are welcome to visit the farm anytime for self guided walk abouts.

Thank you for your commitment to TapRoot Farms! We look forward to a wonderful season sharing food together.

 



Flax Meeting Notes

Posted on by Patricia Bishop

I am sorting through paper work today, cleaning up my desk. I have come across notes from when Zdenek was here teaching us about flax and flax processing equipment. I have no idea where to put these rough notes so I will be able to find them again (yes I have a hard time with organization that works for me later).  I decided a blog post would work as a safe place to store this maybe necessary, maybe not necessary info. Note to reader: these are just a few things i jotted down in one of our talks.

So here are my rough notes:

Flax is a complicated plant. It is necessary to start step by step.

First summarize what you have done as of now.

Then what we will do up until the end of the year.

Check out laboratory equipment in Montreal.

Seeding Rate

Weed Protection

Necessary to recognize what kind of weeds we have here.

Flax must be clean - very clean.

ready to harvest: 2 cm maximum, 120 lbs per acre, brown/black seeds too old.

Time to harvest for fibre is when seed are yellow/green

15% moisture

unretted fibre will be yellow

Harvest

Dry until yellow 3-6 days it is okay to get wet.

1 kilo of good quality tow $1/CDN

1 kilo of long fibre $4 CDN

Prices of flax depend on cotton prices - cotton goes up flax goes up.

Craylar technology.

2% flax used in clothing around the world.

Polish Institute for Natural Fibres

Get quote for roller/breaker and small sctuching machine in Poland.




TapRoot Meat Share Week 19

Posted on

Merry Christmas meat share members!

Reminder that this will be the last meat share you receive until we resume share deliveries in January. 

This week your share contains:

1 whole duck, $6.00/lb, average weight $5.00            $30.00

1lb pack Buttered Leek Sausages, $8.50/ pack            $8.50

                                                     Total value:          $38.50

This week you will be receiving a TapRoot duck as well as a package of Helen's sausages from Salmontail River Farm. In addition to using our pork for these sausages, Helen has also used our own farm-grown leeks. We hope you enjoy your share!

At the end of this blog post, you'll find Justine's favourite duck recipe if you need a tried-and-true idea for preparing your duck.

Animal-related farm news:

As we get ready to enter a new calendar year, we do so with a new face around the farm. Justine's husband Nathan has started working at TapRoot farms! Nathan will be managing a lot of the animal husbandry responsibilities on the farm and will have direct input into what kinds of meats and cuts we will continue to offer through our meat shares. Welcome Nathan! Meanwhile, Justine is still enjoying her maternity leave with the young (and VERY adorable) Gilbert.

In other exciting news, TapRoot's own very first pastured beef will soon be available! Currently hanging at the butchers, cuts of our own beef will making their way into your shares in the new year. It feels great to be expanding our TapRoot-grown meat selection for you. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As we take a break over the holidays here at the farm, we hope that you also have a chance to slow down and enjoy all the people in your life and celebrate this time of year in whatever way resonates with you. We'll see you in 2015!

Perfectly cooked crispy duck with spiced plum chutney

Serves 4

For the roast duck:
a small bunch of fresh sage, leaves picked
2 tsp sea salt
1 duck
1 orange, halved
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated and bashed

For the spiced plum chutney
1/3 C sugar
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1 star anise
6 large red ripe plums, pitted and chopped
a strip of orange zest
a pinch of ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

a small bunch of watercress, washed and dried

Preheat your oven to 350F. Get 5 or 6 sage leaves and bash them up in a pestle and mortar or Flavor Shaker with salt. Rub this all over the skin of the duck, then shove the rest of the sage and the two orange halves inside the cavity.

Get yourself a roasting tray in which the duck and the veg will fit snugly, put the veg and garlic into it and pop the duck on top, breast-side down. Roast in the preheated oven for 2 hours, turning the duck a couple of times during cooking. Halfway through you will probably need to drain away most of the fat that has come out of the bird. Don't throw this away! You can pass it through a sieve and keep it in a jar for a couple of months (as long as it's just the fat; no meat juices) and use it to roast potatoes.

Meanwhile, make your spiced plum chutney. Pour the sugar in a saucepan and add just enough water to dissolve it. Place on the heat, drop in the cinnamon and star anise and bring to a boil.

Simmer the syrup until it reduces right down and the bubbles start to get bigger. As soon as the syrup starts to turn golden, add the chopped plums, orange zest and cumin and turn the heat down to low. The plums will release their sticky, sweet juices and after a few minutes the sauce will cook down to a thicker consistency. Take the pan off the heat, season the chutney with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

For the last half hour, make sure that the duck is breast-side up so the skin gets crispy. To test whether it's cooked, pinch the leg meat and if it comes easily off the bone it's ready. Shred the meat and crispy skin on to plates and serve with some watercress on top and your spiced plum chutney.

Enjoy!