Smiles from the Riverglen crew!
Two pictures that I just had to share with you from our greenhouse adventures last Wednesday:
Yes, David and Steve had a good time trying to put up the greenhouse. Spirits are high when something you have been waiting a long time for is finally happening! Part two of the arches is due to go up this Wednesday. My favourite part was standing at the top of the step ladder, on the trailer (to get the height we needed) while David carefully backed the trailer up so that we could bolt on the next section of arches. It is much easier now that there are enough arches to support themselves. That first set felt rather wobbly up on the ladder, despite Steve standing on the bottom to steady it!
Harvest days fly by now, and we spent all of Saturday bunching onions and moving them from the trailer to the rafters of the barn. There are still more onions to hang up, waiting patiently in the field. This week you will be getting a baggie of onions whose leaves were not long enough for us to hang – they’re no different otherwise from last week’s onions. Please get them out of those baggies so they can dry! It’s hard sometimes having to use the plastic bags to make ”portions” of different vegetables, when the vegetables themselves would prefer not be in a plastic bag. It is the best way we’ve found of keeping it fair, and getting each of you a pound of onions or two pounds of potatoes.
Feast of the Fields made for an exciting Sunday – a big fundraiser for the Ottawa section of Canadian Organic Growers. Feast of the Fields is where twenty teams of organic farms and restaurants set up stands and serve up their best food for you to wander around and taste. Riverglen provided the Black Cat Bistro with some beans and scallions which they made up into a salad to serve. Since only David and Carolyn could get in with the farm… Steve and I got to go as paying guests and chat with other farmers and interns while seeing what else is happening in Ottawa’s organic agriculture scene! If you’re interested in supporting local organic growers, consider heading out next August to Feast of the Fields for a true feast.
Next year’s registration package is getting its finishing touches, and CSA baskets for 2012 will be available soon at a farm near you!
We get excited about nice lettuce leaves too… I tried to hide before gobbling this one up. It got separated from the rest of its lettuce head.
What’s in my Box?
- Lettuce: It’s back! After several weeks of heavy, sweet and tasty summer produce it’s nice to sit down with a bowl of tender salad. We’ve soaked our heads of lettuce to enhance its keeping ability, but make sure you keep it in a clean crisper until you need it.
- Radishes: More radishes! Yes! I love radishes. This French Breakfast variety has a spicy flavour without being overpowering. The French eat them raw with salt, butter and a fresh baguette, but you can just slice them into a sandwich if you prefer. Yup, it’s sandwich season! If raw radish is too much for you, add them to a stew, casserole, stir fry or even a soup. The spice tones down drastically, turning into a warm, earthy, crispy experience.
- Potatoes: We’ve got lots of potatoes for you. Still traumatized by the Atkins fad? The trick is to eat those calories earlier in the day, limit your portions when accompanying meat and… exercise!! No, really, fresh organic potatoes are good for you. They contain many vitamins and minerals that help you along your day. Store them out of the fridge in a dry location.
- Tomatoes: Pasta, sandwiches, soups, stews… Get your tomatoes out of the plastic bag ASAP. These gems do not like close contact with plastic, or any other closed container, for very long. They do best in a basket on the counter. Romas (hard and red) make good sauce and all the others are salad/slicing tomatoes.
- Beets: Red beets are making the news as a super healthy vegetable. Beet tops can be chopped into soups or sauces. You can even eat them raw by chopping them up fine and mixing them with tender greens in a salad. For best results, cut the tops off immediately and store them in the crisper. Beets are two for one!
- Onions: A few more onions… Sometimes I feel a meal isn’t quite a meal until it’s got onions in it. These fresh onions have not been dried or cured. This makes their flavour a little sharper/tangy and a little less earthy.
- Sweet Peppers: Sweet peppers go in the fridge and into whatever dish you like.
- Hot Peppers: Treat them the same as sweet peppers but keep them separate. You have the choice between Hungarian Wax (yellow, medium hot) and Jalapeno (green, very hot)