We are so excited to bring you wonderful, fresh produce, eggs, and bread. The first couple of weeks will be pretty green, so we’ve included salad dressing recipes, and smoothie ideas below. If all goes according to plan, the first week vegetables will likely include: beets, head lettuce, spinach, salad mix, arugula, green onions, and beautiful little zucchini. We are hoping to have strawberries, but it would be quite unusual to have them so early in the year (cross your fingers!). We will adjust the price of the produce pack to reflect the actual value of the food you are getting. It will never be more than the $40 or $50 you signed up for unless you want extra items.
A note about bread and eggs
First, bread. We are working with our local bakery, The Bread Gallery, to produce sourdough loaves made with organic Red Fife flour from Speerville Mill. It is the same bread we make and love at home. Red Fife is a heritage variety that did very well in my bread wheat trials and bake tests back in the late 90s. We increased the seed, and now farmers are growing it commercially throughout Canada. We have found that some people who have sensitivities to wheat can tolerate it without ill effect. Also, we discovered that it is more resistant to fungal disease than other bread wheat varieties. It is also a great tasting wheat. The bread we are offering is made with 100% whole wheat flour, so it produces a dense loaf and each slice is very filling. It is a small loaf but will give far more nutritional punch and long-term health benefits than a typical loaf. It makes great toast, but is more challenging to use for sandwiches (we use it though). Please let us know at least 4 days ahead if you want to cancel your bread option. If we don’t hear from you, we will assume you want it and bring it in for you. *Unfortunately we won’t have bread for Sackville customers in the first week. Apologies!*
Second, eggs. We want to bring you really great-tasting and nutritious eggs from hens on pasture. Pasture-fed hens eat grass, clover, weeds and bugs –and only a small amount of whole grain. This reduces the grain that needs to be purchased from off-farm to feed the birds. It is a more self-reliant, farm-based system. Also, grass-fed chicken and hens’ eggs are better for you, according to an article in Mother Earth News. Compared with conventional eggs, a study in Oregon shows eggs from free-range hens have 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene. I kid you not. We are bringing you eggs from our farm, as well as from another farm we know and trust with real pasture-run hens. These eggs are as rare as hen’s teeth. Please let us know if you don’t want eggs as part of your Pack.
Produce Pack Pick-up Everyone signed up for one of two locations.
Tuesday June 19: from 4-6:30 pm in Lower Sackville at the Knox United Church, 567 Sackville Drive. Find us in the parking lot beside the church.
Thursday June 21 from 3-6:30 pm at Victoria Park in downtown Halifax. Find us at the base of the Robbie Burns statue in the area close to the corner of Spring Garden and South Park Streets. *Please note that we are starting this pick-up early.*
*Please bring large shopping bags to carry your produce.
*Please let us know at least a week ahead if you won’t be there or if someone else is picking up your Produce Pack.
*Your deposit of $100 pays for your last two weeks of produce so please bring cash or a cheque to pay at the time of pick-up.
*We may have some extra items for sale at the time of pick-up, depending on availability.
*If you do not appear to claim your Produce Pack by 6 pm on the day of your pick-up, we will give you a friendly reminder call. That is why we asked for your cell phone numbers.
*Victoria Park will not be available July 19 and Aug 13 for pick-up. We have an alternate location on the corner of South and Queen for those days. If any of you have another suggestion, please let Jen know. Thanks!
You are invited! Open Farm Saturday, July 14, Aug 11, Sept 8, and Oct 13, starting at 2pm: Everyone is welcome to visit the farm on the second Saturday of each month up to and including October. We are available to meet you, give tours, and answer questions. For more information, check out http://abundantacres.org/open-farm-days/.
Communication strategies… We have a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/AbundantAcresProducePacks) where people can get weekly newsletters, regular updates from the farm, and ask questions. Everyone can see the questions and the answers. The community can also contribute recipes and ideas for using the produce of the week. We invite you to visit our website (abundant-acres.com) where people can see, in more depth, what’s happening on the farm. With each blog post, there is an option to comment and ask questions. Both David and Jen have cell phones if you need to email or call us. Our preference is communication via Facebook (not that we’re Facebook fans) because it is a good tool to share information within a whole group. Let us know if this works for you.Salad dressing ideas:
Home-made salad dressing can save a lot of money on the grocery bill and also reduce sugar intake. Commercial salad dressings have a lot of sugar and other additives in them. Salads at this time of year can be dressed up with small amounts of sautéed mushrooms, beets, bacon pieces, etc.
Very simple dressing: In a small jar, add one cup of olive oil, half a cup of lemon juice, 1 tbsp honey, a slosh of some fruit juice, and a little salt & pepper. Shake well. It will keep in the fridge for a week or two.
Intermediate salad dressing: Make the very simple dressing, with garlic pressed in.
Fancy, creamy salad dressing: Make the dressing above, with dried dill, and plain yoghurt or sour cream added.
Arugula salad is great with any of these dressings, along with some cooked bacon pieces. It is one of our most favourite salads at this time of year.
Smoothies: Here on the farm, we make fruit smoothies most mornings. Jen usually adds greens to hers because she is such a freak for greens. She’ll add dandelion greens, arugula, borage, comfrey, and/or stinging nettle leaves. It is just too much fun to eat healthy!
******* We’d love to know your favourite ways to use your veggies. Please share them with our Produce Pack community on the Facebook page or this web page. ******