I post a lot of photos to our facebook page, but they don't always make it up to the blog. I think part of having a blog is apologizing for not posting enough, so I will save you that right now and just post these nice photos that you can look at, and think warm thoughts about!
We didn't have any maple syrup available through add ons until recently, and Hutchinson's who does the maple syrup also does 5 flavours of infused maple syrup. We have the gastrique, which is subtly infused with apple cider vinegar and ginger. It's great as a salad dressing, and goes excellent in cabbage salads. It is not meant to be used for cooking, more like a final sauce or dressing (I know this because I tried to use it to cook veggies in and was a bit disappointed. Then I did my glazed carrot & parsnip recipe as normal and added the gastrique as a final touch, and was more impressed!).
Leanne at Hutchinson's called yesterday to share this recipe with us, so here it is:
This is a new recipe from Dave Smart from Front and Central restaurant using gastrique in a granola. I loved it.
1 cup walnuts- crushed with the flat of a knife and chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup PURE gastrique
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup apricots diced- I used Terra Beata dried cranberries from Lunenburg
1/4 cup fresh ginger grated
1/2 tsp salt
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. spread mixture onto a baking sheet, spreading mixture in an even layer. Bake, stirring and re- spreading mixture into an even layer very 5 minutes, until granola is light golden brown, about 15 minutes. When granola is cooked turn onto another baking sheet to stop cooking. Cool to room temperature. Break up granola and store in an air tight container.
The shares that are available ("50 Week Veggie Share 2014", "Fruit Share 2014", "Staple Share 2014" and "Flower Share 2014") are currently showing up at the bottom of the screen... Make sure you scroll down to find them!
This year we were able to open pre-registration for our current members 2 weeks ahead of public registration. That means even though public registration doesn't open until Monday, that meat and egg shares have sold out!
So... Why do we limit the number of these shares, when the demand is clearly so high?
We are limited by regulations as to how many birds we are allowed to have without purchasing quota (which is not an easy or cost-effective solution for us). The limit has just been increased to 200 birds (last year was 100), and so we had twice as many eggs on offer this year than last. Even at that, they sold out! The increase to 200 hens means that we have invested in a small-scale egg washing machine, to help out our wonderful egg-washers Betty and Evelyn (the machine still needs someone to load and pack the eggs).
We apologize if you didn't get eggs this year, but next year all of the 2014-15 members will get first dibs again prior to public registration opening next year!
We are downsizing our meat shares this year from 150 shares to 100, in the hopes that we can raise all of the animals at TapRoot and limit the amount of meat that we buy in from other producers. We have also streamlined the meat share to one size, which should make a huge difference in the amount of time spent administering this share.
We're not there yet, but with your support our goal in the next few years is:
To produce healthy, happy animals
To grow or source all GMO-free grain for all the animals on the farm
To use as much of the animal as possible
To provide the highest quality meats and cuts for you to enjoy
Symbiotic Relationship of animals on the farm
The animals we grow on the farm provide us with the nutrients and fertility to grow healthy vegetables. We are able to use the pigs to cultivate the fields for us, as the natural instinct of pigs is to dig up the earth with their powerful noses in search of nutritious roots. The sheep and beef will be on a rotational grazing routine, on land that is at rest from growing vegetables. Vegetables that don't meet our standards of marketability are recycled back into the farm as food for the pigs and chickens.
If you did not get in on the meat share this year, here are some other meat sources that we highly recommend:
I have to admit that I am no expert when it comes to fermentation... In the past, I have bought delicious kimchi and sauerkraut at the farmer's market (From Mercedes Brian, Pickled Pink Traditional Food and Drink), rather than making it myself. However, inspired by multiple sources telling me how simple it is, my New Year's resolution this year is to start making my own ferments.
It's hugely centered on health for me. I'm not the biggest fan of sauerkraut or kimchi, but I LOVE the way they make me feel when I consume them regularly. I can save $60 spent on a bottle of probiotics, and keep my gut flora healthy with the cabbage that comes in my CSA share. So, I figure... Why not?
January is greeted by many of us with health resolutions, so much that we in the produce world actually see spikes in demand for things like kale, beets, carrots, et cetera due to a large number of people starting juice fasts or cleanses. Unfortunately, January in Nova Scotia is not the most abundant time of year to be putting copious amounts of green veggies through the juicer... Fresh greens like kale and spinach can be pretty hard to come by. Cabbage, however, is definitely still abundant, and especially healthy when traditionally fermented to make it packed with probiotics. (and don't get me wrong, juicing is great... I just don't have a juicer, and I have more interest in kraut and kimchi for the moment!)
For now I've been starting to delve into the process, and have made one batch of kimchi that is not ready yet, but starting to smell pretty darn good last night when I checked it! Next I may invest in some equipment to make things easier. Amy got this crock on the left for Christmas and I am jealous!
A member passed along this one, that I am going to attempt Sunday:
K. Black – March 2013
Ingredients (for 1 large Napa cabbage)
1 head Napa cabbage (large)
Coarse sea salt
2 T fish sauce
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 small white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2-3 T white sugar
1 T ground ginger
6-8 T Korean chile powder (vary this depending on how hot you want it)
Plastic gloves (disposable or dish gloves set aside for this purpose)
1. Cut the cabbage in quarters lengthwise. Remove any wilted leaves from the outer layer and trim the ends. Place on a tray or in a large bowl and generously sprinkle coarse sea salt onto the cut faces of the cabbage. Use your hands to rub the salt in to the leaves (and spaces between the leaves). Leave the cabbage to sit at room temperature for about 6 hours.
2. Rinse the salt from the cabbage leaves, drain, and squeeze out any excess liquid. Cut the cabbage quarters into 2 inch sections and place them in a large bowl (e.g. plastic or stainless steel, but not aluminum). Some people use an airtight container, but I don’t. I prefer to use a large bowl and then cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap touches the cabbage. I then put a weight on the top to help seal out air (sort of borrowed from older sauerkraut recipes).
3. Stir in the fish sauce, green onions, white onion, garlic, sugar and ginger.
4. Put on the plastic gloves (do not skip this as your hands sting like crazy if you don’t). Sprinkle the Korean chile powder over the cabbage. Use your hands to rub the chile powder into the cabbage leaves until evenly coated. Vary the amount to suit your taste; my mix usually ends up quite red in color and is quite spicy.
5. Seal the bowl/container and set in a cool dry place. Leave undisturbed for 4 days. This can’t go in the fridge, but somewhere a bit cooler is good.
6. Refrigerate before serving. Usually at this point packing into glass jars is a good idea to make storage easier. The kimchi will last about a month refrigerated. As it gets older, it may taste less fresh when eaten as is, but is still great for stir-fry or soups.
I would LOVE if you have recipes to share (firstname.lastname@example.org). Amy's photo above is the batch she has on the go, and the ingredients. In the absence of daikon radish, she uses kohlrabi, because it's readily available at the moment. She did like I did, and subbed dried cayenne peppers for the Korean chile powder.
We'll have lots of Napa Cabbage this week at the Hammonds Plains Farmer's Market, on special this week for $0.99/lb!