In past seasons, this time of year was a bit frustrating because the hot weather would come, but we would still be waiting for tomatoes and other warm season delights to ripen. With the heated greenhouse, we have had tomatoes in limited amounts for some time and big harvests are coming soon. Peppers and onions are sizing up, eggplants are in full bloom, the ginger and turmeric stalks are beginning to swell and colour up at the base of the stems. In other words, the height of harvest is almost upon us! Oh, and another thing. One more week until we start digging new potatoes. We planted enough to offer them for several weeks, and then we will buy in certified organic ones from farms in PEI that are geared up to grow them more profitably than us.
We made an extra effort when planning our early season production to offer a wide selection of crops. This was done to avoid “farmshare kale overload syndrome.” This syndrome has been proven to cause all sorts of problems for small-scale farmers and local food lovers alike. While this is not an actual syndrome, enjoying local, in season food is a new way of eating that we are committed to helping people enjoy.
It seems like we did better this year. More carrots and beets were planted in the early hoop house, and we planted peas, beans, and potatoes a lot earlier, which has worked out well except for the first planting of beans which were almost completely lost to that frost in June.
We are certainly open to feedback at any point in the season, so feel free to let us know how things are working out for you. We know one thing for sure, happy farmshare members are crucial to our farm’s success. We have 201 shares signed up which is an all time high. We are so happy to have all of you invested in this journey with us. Most of our new customers come from referrals, so please let people know about us, we are still open to taking on new members throughout the season and are hoping to grow to 250 members by next year.
Ok, back to the tomatoes. Once they come in abundance, we like to put some away for the winter using the following technique: We cut cherry tomatoes in half, larger ones into small chunks, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast on a cookie sheet in a 350f oven until they just start to brown. Slide the tomaotes into a heat resistant bowl, let cool, and then freeze in ready to use portions. You can add peppers, eggplant, whole cloves of garlic, onions and woody herbs like thyme and oregano.
Its a fair bit more work than other ways of preserving tomatoes, but the results are so good, words fail me to describe the utter deliciousness these few hours in a hot summer kitchen bring to our winter meals.
Once again, we are so grateful to be growing food for you,
David, Jen, Marshall, Erin, Hyla, Nicola, Rhi, Siggi, Kathleen, Naomi, and Audrey
Below are photos from this week on the farm.