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Garlic and Evolving Pickups

Good long weekend Saturday to you all,

May you rest, play and harvest lots of vegetables. And if you don’t have your own garden, come get some of ours! Caro and I have been filling crate after crate of fresh, ripe produce from our gardens every single day here at Riverglen.

At this point in the season it doesn’t matter what’s late, early, weedy, whatever. It’s ready! Carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower, red and golden beets, three kinds of lettuce, kale, chard, cucumbers, squash… the list goes on.

Visit the farm and take advantage of our beautiful setting on the Ottawa River, with walking trails and waterfront picnic areas just around the corner.

We’ve started pulling garlic, which you will see hanging by the thousands from the beams in our barn. From there it will cure and ripen, developing it’s distinctive, earthy flavour. We grow our own variety of hardneck garlic, selected over the past six years from a combination of over two dozen varieties from Beaver Pond Estates.

Our garlic will be available from the store sooner than later, but we also plan to show it off at Savour Ottawa’s Harvest Table, coming up in just a few weeks.

Sunset by the water

Centretown Pickup
The Epic Saga Continues

The Centretown Pickup dates back to 2007. Back then I was renting a half acre of fenced area from a lady named Linnea and her family. The official farm vehicle at the time was a Trek bicycle, suped-up with an ‘Extracycle’ Extension and a ‘BionX’ electric motor. A ‘Bikes-at-work’ cargo trailer allowed me to load up to 15 shares at a time.
I took the veggies to Karen’s appartment on Lyon- just one of the fine people I knew in the neighbourhood. Members would pick up their veggies and I would relax or catch up on some computer work. By the end of the pick-up my battery had recharged and I headed back to the farm.

Alot has changed since then. Most of my friends moved out of Centretown after graduating or buying houses in the burbs; pedal power was replaced by a series of three donated, beat-up station wagons; the tenants on Lyon changed over twice before the pick-up moved to James street and it survived a tenant change-over there, as well, before Lauren offered to host our new location this spring.

One thing which stays the same is my eagerness to take fresh produce into the downtown core. After participating in a study called, Where’s the Food in Centretown, I am only more convinced of the need for better access to fresh produce in the city. Over two hundred fast food joints, only 2 grocery stores, the highest concentration of elderly people in any Ottawa neighbourhood, a large concentration of walkers and cyclists, a mix of high and low income… This place needs accessible fresh veggies.

So Riverglen stays in town. Our latest hurdle is a cranky neighbour who feels our program is interfering with his life, causing him to loose his time (worth $500 per hour) and is just simply unacceptale considering he paid a 3/4 million for his house and, etc, etc. So we leave. Nevertheless, many thanks go to Lauren and Natalie for offering their space. Your participation makes our CSA program possible.

New Centretown Pickup

Centretown pickup is now located at 605 MacLaren, just a couple blocks away. You will see a small, hedged-in yard in front of the house, with an entrance on the side. We’ll have our bins setup there for you. Your host’s name is Sarah. If you cross paths, please express your gratitude for her generous gesture.

CSA Update
More vegetables!

Look forward to heavy loads in the next few weeks. We’re hauling in lots of veg.

lettuce: Big heads of lettuce to help you get your daily, leafy greens. Stay healthy. Eat your greens!

Kale/Chard: Hardy greens that can be blended into a salad or cooked. Wilt them in butter on their own, or add them to any dish, being careful not to over cook.

Scallions: Seasonal onions for any meal.

Garlic scapes: The last of the garlic scapes. The bulbs are now curing in the barn, so they’re on their way.

Carrots: Look forward to a steady supply of orange carrots

Red and Golden beets: Seperate the tops, which you can store and cook seperately like swiss chard.

Radish: Hot and crispy – We prefer to cook these radishes in stir fries or soups. These will be the last radishes for now, until the fall.

Summer squash: All shapes and sizes, they can be sliced into pasta sauce, grated raw onto salads, puréed, skewered, roasted…

Cukes: Here are a few sugestions from our members:

Slice cucumbers thin and sprinkle them with a bit of vinegar and sugar (yes, sugar).  It may sound strange, but when I serve a plate to uninitiated friends, it’s always emptied in minutes.
Cucumbers are a delicious and inexpensive addition to juicing. Try half cucumbers and half watermelon, rind and all, for a delicious and refreshing, slightly sweet summer drink.

Cauliflower: Store in the crisper and use piece by piece. We won a ‘Most original dish’ prize at Feast of Fields last year with the cauliflower fritters made by Oz Café. This vegetable is much more versatile than you might think and the stuff we produce is MUCH tastier than store bought… Just sayin’…

Beans: Ce sont des haricots français de la variété Maxibel. Ils sont fabuleux sautés avec du beurre et du sel… miam, miam

Tomatoes: A mix of heirloom and modern, open-polenated varieties for suit your various tastes.

Open House & Farm Tour
Come see what we’re all about

Curious to see where all this food is coming from? Stop by for a visit on Saturday, August 24th. We will be the time to talk a little bit about what we do here and show you around the farm. You’ll have the chance to ask questions, meet the farmers and critters, and see the gardens. More details coming soon.

Need more ideas to use all your vegetables? Find a recipe for literally ”any vegetable” on Samurai Kitchen, a fun blog with great ideas for simple Japanese cooking.

This is a single weblog entry, posted on August 3rd, 2013. Comment here »

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