Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Now Filling your Fridge, Cupboard and Stomach

Spinach / Red Orach

You know how spinach likes to grow in cold weather and that’s why it’s hard to find in the mid-summer months?  Orach, also known as Mountain Spinach” grows here during our entire growing season.  Upon googling “orach” once again, I’m reminded and in turn reminding you of its nutritional value.  This plant is packed with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesiumanthocyaninsphosphorous, iron, proteinzincselenium, tryptophan, vitamin C, vitamin Kcarotenes and dietary fibre.  Orach is a nutrient-rich superfood.  Canadian Living  magazine (May 2016 issue) calls orach “the new kale.”   It also has a long history of use as a medicinal plant.

Descriptions include “possibly one of the more ancient cultivated plants” and “a substitute for spinach either fresh or cooked”.  The seeds are edible and rich in Vitamin A, can be ground into a meal and put into stews, breads, cereals, etc. and are also used to make a blue dye. 

You can substitute orach in any recipe calling for spinach or Swiss chard such as soups, salads, quiches, lasagnas, etc. The red color of the foliage disappears during cooking, leaving you with a green vegetable, but stains the water in which you cook it red.  In Italy, orach often cooked with pasta and rice giving them an attractive pink coloration.

I’m on a mission to use orach at least once a week, maybe more, so have made my first Orach Salad.  I used the same ingredients as if I were making a Spinach Salad:

ORACH SALAD according to Jo

Orach cut in ½ slices, sliced or slivered almonds, toasted sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, red onion (I would use white or spanish onion next time), orange segments, sprouts, goat cheese, blood orange infused olive oil

The result was wonderful.  You can toss in any mixture of nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruits, sprouts, shoots, cheese . . . limitless options.  Add a bagel or some multi-grain bread on the side and it makes a complete meal. 

Zucchini, Yellow and Green

These little puppies are still playing the “maybe I’ll be ready Friday, maybe I won’t be” game.  I’m trying to make sure each of you gets some when you order. 

Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Different name as above, same game.  Each day when I do my walkabout through the gardens I pick a few cherry tomatoes and a few larger ones, not really an orderful but enough to say some are ready . . . today.   These should all be available to order next week. 

Peppers, Dill, Parsley, Basil and Tomatoes
all working together for us

Despite the amount of cucumber beetles which feel they own these plants there are many baby cukes growing pretty quickly.  As for Friday, I may have to change my delivery dates this summer to coincide with plant growings.   I’ll provide if available, otherwise next week will 
be better. 
Cukes looking good


The peppers are loving the rain and are producing very well.   So far, I have green jalapenos and yellow alma paprika peppers for you while the others are reddening or yellowing up. 
The jalapenos will turn red eventually but the green ones are what we use in our fresh salsa and can be used on pizza without burning your mouth.

Alma Paprika peppers are interesting.  They are round about the size of a medium tomato. They start out yellow, then turn orange and finally a bright red which makes them look exactly like a tomato and can be confused for one if in the same basket as tomatoes.  They are not considered a hot pepper but definitely add a bit of “zing” to a salad.  I plan to dry some this year to make paprika. 

Kale and Chard

These have now been weeded and are going to take a little break from picking so they can grow up big and strong. 

Eggplant / Aubergine

Have you ever said “I love to eat eggplant but don’t know how to cook it.”?  I certainly have.  The old standard roasted (or barbecued) 1/2 inch slices which have been soaked in salt and rubbed with olive oil just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.  I need more recipes for this truly beautiful looking and fabulous tasting vegetable.  We’re growing hundreds of eggplants which are getting larger by the day and I really want us all to enjoy them.  We have two varieties:  round striped and deep purple (not sure what size yet nor the proper names but they are lovely). 
Back to googling recipes again I found a few.  The one I’ll try first is Indian Spiced Roasted Eggplant, which calls for turmeric and red chili/cayenne pepper.  That sounds pretty healthy.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I see Martha Stewart has a slew of recipes for eggplant varieties. 
Do you have a favourite Eggplant recipe?  If you do, please share. 

I just remembered I have these two cookbooks called "Plenty" and "Plenty More" that are both loaded with delicious looking recipes for Eggplant.  I am excited to try as many as I can.  


I pulled out all of the garlic the other day and gently placed it on shelves in the garage to cure for the next two weeks.  There were no small or damaged bulbs.  All in all it’s a good year for garlic. 


When I went out in the rain to take some pictures for you I didn’t think to take a basket so came back with a tee-shirt-apron holding about a pound of beans.  I guess they love the rain too.  These are the bush beans.  The pole beans aren’t quite ready yet. 

Arugula and Red Cabbage
Microgreens and Pea Shoots

Kale, Broccoli and Radish

Trays of Sunflower Shoots (Sunnies)
ready for their new homes
calendula (edible petals)

strawberry spinach


Pot o'Parsley
Green Onions

Marigolds (edible petals)

Bachelor Buttons (edible petals)

Sunflowers holding up pole bean vines


Lack of rain didn’t help the onions grow large but we do have many.  I’ll start by picking the largest ones and hope the others will follow suit. 

Starting Again

In order to have cilantro for the fresh salsa when the time comes, we sowed a fresh batch in the greenhouse and will do the same outdoors this week.  We also started more sunflowers for fall decor as well as beets, green onions, parsnips and carrots, dill and chard.   

To please your palate and pallet this week we have: 

APPLES, organic, dehydrated  $2 / snack bag
BASIL:   Genovese, Greek, Holy, Large Leaf Italian, Lemon, Lime or Purple  $3 / BIG bunch
BASIL PLANTS  NEW   $3 each   Genovese, Greek, Large Leaf Italian or Purple
BEANS NEW   $4 / pound  It’s hard to tell how many there will be by Friday, but they will keep coming
CELERY,  thin and flavourful  $2 / bunch  remember you can freeze the leaves for future use
Edible FLOWERS    $3 / bag
EGGPLANT:  NEW  Striped or Purple  $4.00 / pound
GREEN ONIONS  $2 / bunch
HERBS, fresh:  Bay leaf, Chives, Citrus Thyme, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme    $3 / bunch
MICROGREENS  $2 / snack bag
  Sunflower Shoots
MICROGREEN MIX  $3 / sandwich bag  (arugula, broccoli, kale, radish, red cabbage) 
ONIONS:  NEW   $3 / pound
  Sweet Spanish, Yellow, Sweet White, Red, Multiplier or a Mix
  Alma Paprika  $4 / pound
  Jalapeno  $0.50 each
PESTO, Garlic Scape and Basil   (garlic scapes, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, walnuts or almonds, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
PESTO, Garlic Scape and Basil WITHOUT CHEESE  (garlic scapes, fresh basil, walnuts or almonds, cashews, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
PURSLANE   $4 / pound  you can order less
Red ORACH   $4 / bag
SPROUTS  $3 / 4oz bag
  Broccoli Brassica Blend  (broccoli, broccoli raab, radish, mustard & arugula)
  Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  
  Spring Salad Mix (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)

Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm where we practice sustainable methods free of any
GMOs, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or “cides” or any kind.

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  

Until next post, have a great every day.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Us Cool, Veggies Hot

When the weather is this hot, I am so thankful to have indoor gardening and food preparation to keep us busy.  We start the day outside doing various chores like setting up remaining irrigation systems, picking veggies that are ready like snow peas, basil, doing some weeding and sowing.  Mid-morning, (we go outside before 7 a.m.) when the heat really starts to kick in we move indoors to rinse sprouts, make pesto, and start and/or cut microgreens.  Thursday is picking day no matter what temperatures or rain may fall.  We then wash and pack our salad greens.  Friday we finalize any further pickings of kale, chard, fresh herbs, flowers and other orders for the week.  Local deliveries are Friday afternoon.  Non-local deliveries are made Saturday and Sunday.   
At this rate of heat I suspect tomatoes will be ready earlier than last year.   You’ll hear squeals of delight from me when they are ready. 
We thought some of you who don’t eat cheese might enjoy Pesto sans fromage so we used cashews instead of cheese for some of our Pesto this week. 
AND we made some with almonds rather than walnuts.   You can tell by the label on the jar which cheese and nuts we used or didn’t use.
AND we made a few larger jars, so you wouldn’t need to buy two at a time (and because I ran out of small jars 😊).
Please know that, aside from the pesto not being processed and that you need to keep it in the fridge, you can also freeze any that you don’t eat right away right in the jar. 
I have many small onions from last year’s harvest if you’d like.  There are yellow, Spanish and red multiplier.  They’re perfectly fine, just small. 
Ordering Amounts You Need
Another question asked of me is if you can order amounts different than what I post.  The answer is "Absolutely Yes”.
That’s why I call our service a “CSA with a twist”.  You can order a half bag of salad, small portions of herbs, a half order of lettuce OR you can order more if you need more, if I have it.  You can ask for regular delivery of certain items from week to week or some items every other week.  It’s pretty easy if you find you’re not getting around to ordering.  Let me know what you’d like and I can keep track for you. 
Yogurt Containers
Thanks to all of you who provided me with empty yogurt containers for my plant labels.  I believe I have enough now combined with your donateds and what we’ll eat over the next many months. 
Foods for you to enjoy this week are:
APPLES, organic, dehydrated  $2 / snack bag
BASIL:   Genovese, Greek, Holy, Large Leaf Italian, Lemon, Lime or Purple  $3 / bunch
CELERY,  NEW  pencil thin but flavourful  $2 / bunch
CHARD  $3 / bunch
Edible FLOWERS    $3 / bag
GARLIC SCAPES   $3 / bundle of 10
Garnet Stemmed CHICORY  NEW  $3 / bunch
GREEN ONIONS $2 / bunch
HERBS, fresh:  Chives, Citrus Thyme, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Stinging Nettle   $3 / bunch
KALE   $4 / bunch
LETTUCE VARIETY MIX:   $4 / bag   
MICROGREENS MIX:   arugula, carrot, kale, radish and red cabbage   $3 bag
MUSTARD GREENS (red and green)  $3 / bunch            
ONIONS   Small from last year’s harvest  $2 / pound
PESTO, Garlic Scape and Basil   (garlic scapes, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, walnuts or almonds, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
PESTO, Garlic Scape and Basil   (garlic scapes, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, walnuts or almonds, lemon juice, pepper)  $9 / 250 mL jar NEW JAR SIZE
PESTO, Garlic Scape and Basil WITHOUT CHEESE   NEW  (garlic scapes, fresh basil, walnuts, cashews, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
PURSLANE   NEW   $4 / pound  you can order less
Red ORACH   $4 / bag
SALAD GREENS, washed and table-ready  $6 / bag   sold out
SPROUTS  $3 / bag
  Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  
  Spring Salad Mix (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)
Tomatoes, frozen whole  (Gardener's Delight - ping pong ball size) $2 / pound  

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  

Until next post, have a great every day.