Sunday, 28 August 2016

Week #34 - Abundance of all shapes and sizes....

Harvest is in full swing both on our property as well as in the surrounding grain fields. The roads are busy with grain trucks rumbling past and the dust from the combines fills the air. Harvest on our farm lasts a long time and involves many activities. Given the diverse plants and animals we grow and raise, fall is an intense time! We pick for both our customers as well as for us and of course, then have to preserve, can, dry or store our food for the winter as well. This means lots of late nights in the kitchen....

The week held much excitement and milestones along with the steady harvest:

  • Patty and her grown piglets have spent the week escaping their corral... at times joining the cows and goats and other times ranging around the property. I think its turning into a bit of a game now for them. Funny in the abstract but tiring and time consuming in reality. 
  • We welcomed another new soul to the farm.... Oakley, a sorrel quarterhorse came to stay mid-week and is settling in well. Oakley was a rescue horse that has finally found her forever home. 
  • Our youngest celebrated her fifteen birthday.
  • We got off the farm to witness the marriage of Farmer Phil's nephew and his lovely partner. Congratulations to Kyle and Sam along with their children Sawyer and Lochlin.
  • My second batch of kombucha was a success and my third is on the go. I learned much with my first batch! 
  • We canned over 30 pints of salsa and pasta sauce! 
  • Our middle child got his driver's license! (look out world!)
  • We messed up the date for our chicken processing with the abbatoir and had to do a dash with about 2/3 of the birds in the back of the truck! 
  • Oh and we harvested day and night.....I actually caught myself thinking wistfully of winter...
Looking forward to the coming week, as all my duckies (children) are home, I have the week off my off-farm job and Farmer Phil doesn't go back to work until the following week! Hope your week is filled with laughter and love. 


Only on her birthday can she wear her boots in the house







Patty always has the last word...

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

FFF CSA - Week 9/12 - What's in the Box? - Squash of the season after autumn variety...

Squash.... one of the most varied and versatile crops in on our farm! As Week #9 of our CSA share comes round, we are seeing all varieties of squash maturing. Squash varieties are typically separated into two types or categories - summer and well... I hate to say it but well... that season that happens after autumn, starts with a 'w' and sticks around like an uninvited guest, you know the one. 

Anyway, suffice to say, there are two categories... Zucchini and pattypan squash are two summer squash that you have already enjoyed (or are sick of). The other variety.... ok, I'll say it straight, winter squash can include acorn, butternut, spaghetti, turban, and pumpkins! Over the next few weeks you will be getting all of these varieties. 

Winter squashes can be prepared in so many different ways.. Roasted, boiled, mashed, stuffed made into soups, sauces or fries - they are very versatile. I have made a faux cheese pasta sauce out of butternut squash that fooled my children! Of course spaghetti squash produces wonderful stringy noodles that can be used in place of traditional wheat noodles as well! Roasted squash, mashed and mixed with quinoa and black bean along with spices and breadcrumbs makes a great burger too! Mr. Google has oodles of more specific information and recipes, but the key to enjoying squash is being open to trying new things! 



So... What's in the Box this week?
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Baby carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers                   (regular and armenian)
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers 
  • Squash - pattypan, acorn and/or turban
  • Apples 
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans (fulls only)
  • Onions
  • Herbs in a cup - oregano, parsley, chives, basil

Note: We do rinse the produce but it would be prudent to wash all vegetables when you get them home. Keeping the herbs (ends) in a cup of clean water will keep them fresh longer. (unless of course, you are drying them for storage later.)


Reminder: Please return your empty box along with all re-usable containers (ice cream pails, plastic containers, etc) so that we can reuse them all over again. 


Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter at @FenezFollies

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Week #33 - Farm welcome!

Mama and Hazel checking out their new digs!
This week we welcomed Mama and Hazel to the farm. Mama is a cross between a Dexter and Swiss Dairy cow and Hazel is her two month old heifer calf. They came to live on the farm this week and ar hesitantly getting to know the other occupants - both two legged and four. 

Graceson was particularly interested in their arrival, as the sole bovine in the crowd. He is a Dexter bull who has been a bit lonely for his own kind lately..... Raised primarily with goats, pgs and chickens, he was having a bit of an identity crisis! He let the entire neighbourhood know of his joy, as he bellowed and hollered into the night!





We are looking forward to the potential for some fresh cows milk in our future but need to help Mama get used the place first!


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

FFF CSA - Week 8/12 - What's in the Box - Sunshine in your mouth!

Week eight of our twelve week CSA share, is here and so begins the true bounty of tomotoes. While everyone got a taste of cherry tomatoes last week, this week everyone will be truly enjoying the ecstasy of no spray, sun ripen tomatoes. Like sunshine in your mouth! 

As the bounty of tomatoes begins, you may be dreaming of salsa and pasta sauce! I made my first batch of salsa on the weekend and am looking forward to many more. My two favorite ways to make salsa are fresh and oven roasted: 

Fresh - Simply put, cut all ingredients (tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers) raw and place in bowl. Add lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cumin and herbs (cilantro and/or basil). And enjoy! Note: I'm sure I frustrate everyone with my lack of quantities... my apologies, my favorite way to make anything is test as you go. (except in baking... that doesn't end well). If you want more specific instruction... Chef Google should be able to give you a more exact recipe! 

Oven roasted - put whole or halved tomatoes, onions, garlic and peppers (remove insides and seeds) into roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, roast in oven on 300 degrees for about 30-45 min. Place all in bowl and using an immersion blender, blend contents until desired consistency (I like mine chunky). Add lime juice, cider vinegar, cumin and herbs. Can in mason jars using the water bath method for about 10 minutes. 

Some of you will notice that you have or have had some weird looking cucumbers in your box! The pale green, wrinkly looking thing is an Armenian cucumber! Sometimes called the snake melon, this is a new variety of cucumber that we tried this year. Crunchier than regular slicing cucumbers, with greener flesh they grow over a foot long before they are ready to be harvested. Let us know what you think! 

So... What's in the Box this week?
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Baby carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers 
  • Rhubarb
  • Pattypan squash
  • Apples 
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Herbs in a cup - oregano, parsley, chives, rosemary, basil

Note: We do rinse the produce but it would be prudent to wash all vegetables when you get them home. Keeping the herbs (ends) in a cup of clean water will keep them fresh longer. (unless of course, you are drying them for storage later.)


Reminder: Please return your empty box along with all re-usable containers (ice cream pails, plastic containers, etc) so that we can reuse them all over again. 


Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter at @FenezFollies

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Week #32 - August Sunday kitchen tour

Our kitchen is the centre of our house both literally as well as symbolically. 

Dominated by a huge table made by our oldest son that can comfortably sit 10-12 people, there is always something going on in this room. In August, that is particularly true as harvest is in full swing and there is generally some food being cooked, dried, fermented or frozen. 

Today, for example, we have a few things in process...

-Fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers ready to be roasted for a new batch of salsa

-Apple/Peach pie filling simmering in the slow cooker

-My first batch of kombucha is bubbling along! 

-My sourdough starter is getting its weekly feeding (not shown)

-Ever present bins of produce waiting to be processed or packed into our CSA boxes.

.... and the obligatory pile of dirty dishes







What's cooking in your kitchen this week? 


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

FFF CSA - Week 7/12 - What's in the Box? - Pattypan and Pesto!

Our shareholders are going to need some solid muscles to move this weeks' box. As we move towards the fall, the produce becomes heavier and more dense in preparation for the cold weather. 

This week we add some wonderful cherry tomatoes, peppers and pattypan squash to the usual offerings. For those that are not familiar with pattypan or scallop squash, you are in for a treat! A mild summer squash that can be used in a variety of ways. You can chop it up and put it raw on your salad, bake it, stuff it, pickle it, make soup from it, and dry it into chips (with or without seasoning).  We call it the sunshine squash in our household for obvious reasons (looks like a tiny sun) and hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 

We also have tucked in a bag or two (depending upon share size) of basil this week as it is enjoying this weather and is growing rapidly. This presents a perfect opportunity to make some pesto! Below is a recipe that you can use as a guide either reducing or increasing the recipe depending on what you have on hand. 


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach or even carrot tops! )
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts, or even almonds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Chop basil, nuts and garlic very well or place in food processor. Add cheese, salt and pepper and oil. One of my favorite ways to keep pesto is by freezing it ice cube trays and then popping into a ziplock bag. That way when I just want a little bit I can grab a cube or two! Either way its important to store in an air tight container as basil will go dark if exposed to the air. 


    So... What's in the Box this week?
    • Swiss Chard
    • Lettuce
    • Beets
    • Baby carrots
    • Zucchini
    • Cucumbers
    • Potatoes
    • Peppers New! 
    • Rhubarb
    • Pattypan squash New! 
    • Apples 
    • Cherry tomatoes New! 
    • Basil

    Note: We do rinse the produce but it would be prudent to wash all vegetables when you get them home. Keeping the herbs (ends) in a cup of clean water will keep them fresh longer. (unless of course, you are drying them for storage later.)


    Reminder: Please return your empty box along with all re-usable containers (ice cream pails, plastic containers, etc) so that we can reuse them all over again. 


    Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter at @FenezFollies

    Sunday, 7 August 2016

    Week #31 - A busy week!

    Busy crazy week as most summer weeks are around here. We've had visitors all week from around the world! (quite literally). Today we are off to enjoy the corn maze with a crew of eight and have a party tonight with dear friends. So.. going to let pictures be my story this week! 

    Got some fencing in! 
    Beautiful geese in the morning sun!
    The universal language of board games


    Double rainbow after it rained again and again! 

    Sunflowers are coming! 

    Got some funky squash this year! 

    Yuki caught a chicken

    Our visitors feeding the pigs! 




















    Hope you have a wonderful week and your home and heart as a full as ours!