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Some photos from January

Posted on by Teri Dillon

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!



Hutchinson's PURE Maple Gastrique recipe

Posted on by Teri Dillon

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.

Sweet Granola

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
Instructions
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.



REGISTRATION is OPEN for 2014-15 TapRoot CSA Shares

Posted on by Teri Dillon

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Alright, folks, the moment you've all been waiting for:

Registration is OPEN for TapRoot Farms' 2014-15 CSA Season!

50-week Shares Delivery beginning March 30th, 2014 to April 25, 2015.

We have available (click for more info about the share):

Veggie Shares

Staple Shares

Fruit Shares

Flower Shares

(Meat and Egg Shares have sold out, apologies!

Registration is all done through our website and the lovely folks at Harvest Hand:

To sign up, please visit

http://taprootfarms.ca/shares/register

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!

Here's a few links that you may find helpful:

CSA Delivery and Pickup Locations

Descriptions of all the Shares for 2014-15

Meat and Eggs are sold out - more info!

How CSA's work - General Info

TapRoot's CSA FAQ

Thanks so much for your interest in our 2014-15 CSA.  For more information please visit our website, http://taprootfarms.ca/, call (902) 542-3277 or email teri@taprootfarms.ca

Thank you & all the best from the TapRoot Team!

 



Meat and Egg shares are all sold out!

Posted on by Teri Dillon

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?

 

Eggs

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!

 

Meat

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:

 

Oulton's Meats/Martock Glen (Windsor) (902) 798-4734

http://www.oultonsfarm.ca/Meatshop.html

 

Highland Drive Storehouse (North End Halifax)  (902) 454-0094 http://www.highlanddrive.ca/storehouse/

 

Jeff McMahon - Longspell Point Farm 902-582-3930 http://longspellpointfarm.wordpress.com/

 

Lance Bishop - Wild Mountain Farm http://wildmountain.ca/

 

Centreville Hutten Farms (902)-680-2310 https://www.facebook.com/CentrevilleHuttenFarm

 

Emily and Susan teBogt  -  902.670.2153  http://tebogts.harvesthand.com/Livestock

 

 



Kick off the New Year with healthy fermentation!

Posted on by Teri Dillon

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!

This is the link to the recipe I used for batch #1: Simple Kimchi from The Kitchn

A member passed along this one, that I am going to attempt Sunday:

Kimchi Recipe
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)

Directions
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 (teri@taprootfarms.ca).  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. 

Happy Fermenting!

We'll have lots of Napa Cabbage this week at the Hammonds Plains Farmer's Market, on special this week for $0.99/lb!