TapRoot Farms / Blog


Week 23: TapRoot CSA

Posted on by Patricia Bishop

Joining a CSA is about more than food. It is about building a trusting relationship together. Each week we send out a newsletter to  CSA members. This newsletter is intended to keep members informed of what the 'day to day' or 'week to week' activity is on the farm. Join us on the farm, become a member today.  

Hello CSA Members.

We are nearing the 1/2 way mark in our year together. Some of you will be leaving the CSA, some joining and some of you carrying right on along. We have lots of space so please feel free to continue to share your experience.

Josh is coming home most evenings now with reports of how the crops are looking. The kale and swiss chard and lettuce is sizing up and we think next week we will have some fresh kale and or swiss chard in the shares. 

This week I have been learning some new tricks with posting things. It is truly amazing how quickly one can become outdated. Colleen who is interning at the farm is savvy with social media and has provided me with some useful tips. One things we discussed is the use of hashtags. I would like to invite everyone to make a post about a reason they participate in the CSA and use the hashtag #5reasonstojoinacsa. This hashtag is 'ours' so if we all use it then we can populate it and make it more useful. 

Ben who is the summer coop student from Acadia has also created a campaign to build awareness of the farm via a facebook contest to get people to share and like our page. He is also planning a fun run at the farm something this summer or fall. More to come. 

This summer we are having one Jamaican jerk pork roast and one Jamaican independence day celebration, both on August 5th. The dinner will start at 1 PM and the celebration begins at 4 PM. To learn more or get tickets check out www.foodeast.ca . We have confirm the Mark Riley Project Bandfor the afternoon celebration. Tickets for the dinner are $57 (includes the late afternoon celebration) and for the evening event $25. The idea is to come with a big picnic blanket, enjoy great food, great company, & fantastic music for an afternoon of relaxing and enjoying the farm.

A few other thoughts and considerations:

Our meat shares and full monty shares were fewer in numbers than we were planning for the first 24 weeks of 2018 therefore we have meat inventory. Before we work to sell it elsewhere, we thought we would ask you if you'd be interested in purchasing a box of meat (chicken and pork) or have regular weekly add on's of meat items. You are already able to add a meat share on each week if you wish, this would be in addition to that. I will add some options, so look for them in the add on section. IF you have suggestion please share them with me. Moving some of the meat inventory without impacting our meat share members would certainly be helpful. We have reduced the amount of chicks we are raising to balance out with the number of shares we have sold. AND thank you for helping to build awareness and spread the word about the shares being available. 

In the shares this week you were provided a bunch of tatsoi that wasn't listed. It is used in the mixed spicy greens, but when it grows up nice and tall it is also good bunched and can be eaten raw or in soup, pasta or sauteed. My favourite meal is sauteed veggies I use just oil, salt, pepper and veggies. This week we made purple top turnip carabinara sauce. I sauteed chives and sliced purple top turnips. Added some TapRoot deli ham and let it cook up together. Then Frank mixed the two egg yolks and the two eggs together with some parmesan cheese. I mixed the veggies with the noodles then added the egg and cheese and stirred together. WOW YUM! Everyone was happy! Noodles + Veggies! 

Have a fantastic rest of your week everyone! Three of the TapRoot team were at a conference these first 4 days of the week so I was coverting for three people as best I could. I will be posting the shares this afternoon. Next week look forward to a big load of staples. The cooler still has a lot of potatoes and onions. We will share these with you along with some sprigs of fresh greens. 

Good health and love to you all, 



(in the images: tomato tunnels looking great. we have yet to lay out the straw for mulching between the rows, some of the team were weeding the next plantings of spinach, and these apples have seen better days (frost damaged). 


Turnip or Rutabaga?

Posted on by Patricia Bishop

Both are part of the brassica family, including brussel sprouts, broccoli & cabbage to mention just a few. More often than not, when people use the word "turnip" it's really a rutabaga. We all know what we're talking about, but what's the actual difference between the two? 

Turnip are white fleshed with purple & white skin and are usually far smaller as they start to get woody if left to get too big. They have a sharper taste, are harvested in the summer, and are considered seasonal, rather than a winter storage crop.

Rutabaga (or wax/yellow turnip) like the one pictured above, is far more common, has yellow flesh, and a yellow/purple skin. It's harvested in the fall, an excellent winter storage crop, and is sweeter than turnip. They're also equally delicious if large or small. They are thought to be a hybrid of cabbage & turnip, but if they weren't related to turnip at all, I think you'd still be pretty safe asking for a turnip at your local market.

Wilted Turnip Greens Side Salad

Posted on by Patricia Bishop


This week, the farm has been harvesting gorgeous Purple Top Turnips for CSA share members and for sale locally. In addition to the sweet spring turnip itself, the greens are delicious!

Try them as a side dish tonight: Rinse and chop the greens, sautée in olive oil with garlic chives, add dried cranberries and chopped nuts, add 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey. Keep on low heat until wilted, stir and serve. 

#dontwasteittasteit #localandorganic #5reasonstojoinacsa#csasignupisopen #scotiandiet

Ginger and Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Posted on

Ahhhh fall... tis' the season for delicious, hearty soups. I got my hands on some butternut squash recently and to be perfectly honest, I have never cooked a squash before in my life and was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I got home last night, and I'm feeling a little under the weather. What I have is a loaf of bread that I purchased earlier that day, squash, and some things in my pantry. The bread is a delicious sourdough loaf from Marie et Guy French Bakery in Kingston, NS that I purchased at The Noodle guy and I would highly recommend it!

I start googling some recipes, and came across a delicious sounding curried soup that I modified slightly. When reading the original recipe, I thought I saw ginger instead of garlic. Upon discovering my mistake, I decided to add ginger anyways...because why not? Between the curry, ginger and squash, I was in for a tasty, healthy soup! Curry and ginger both have lots of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and squash is a great source vitamin C, E, iron, magnesium and it's low calorie! The nutritional value of the soup listed below is based on the original recipe. Here is the original recipe if you're not a fan of ginger, but if you like ginger flavour you can follow my modified version instead. 


Ginger and Curry Butternut Swuash Soup

Serves 4-5 people depending on bowl size. 

Vegan and gluten free.

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cubed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 14oz can of organic coconut milk
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp of maple syrup
  • salt and paper to taste

*for garnish I used organic green onions from my CSA box*


  1. Place your soup pot over a medium heat and add oil, onions, garlic and ginger. Saute until onions are lightly browned.
  2. Add squash, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to cook, lower the heat to low (just above simmer) and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionaly. 
  3. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth and maple syrup and stir until well mixed (about a minute)
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until squash is soft. You can poke with a fork and if the fork goes in easily then the squash is ready. 
  5. Use an immersion blender, or place the soup in a food processor/blender and puree until smooth. If you're using a blender, return the soup to the pot. 
  6. Taste the soup and add spices and sweetners to your desired taste. 
  7. Serve into a bowl and top with green onions. (Optional, you can add a bit more full cream coconut milk for a thicker, creamier soup)
  8. Store left overs in fridge for 3-4 days. You can freeze leftovers for 1 month in your freezer. 

Serving size: 1/4 of recipe* Calories: 231 Fat: 9.3 g Saturated fat: 7.8 g Carbohydrates: 36.8 g Sugar: 10.9 gSodium: 455 mg Fiber: 4.2 g Protein: 6 g

Waste Management Update - Oct. 13 to Oct. 26

Posted on

Happy Curbside Pick-up Day!

It's a beautifully warm, windy day here in the Valley, and we had our 4th successful curbside pickup at TapRoot Farms! In exciting waste management news, we have officially diverted over 200lbs of waste from the landfill and into recycling streams! In just under 2 months we have successfully diverted 228.9 lbs (103.9kg) from the dumpster and from the landfill. That's over 100lbs a month of diversion, and we're very proud of our staff. Everyone has been really great in helping the program be successful, and doing their part to help. There are very few places around the farm now that don't have sorting stations or access to them, and staff is really making an effort to sort their own waste. What a great team to work with! Our Jamaican co-workers are definitely setting the bar high in terms of waste management, as they again had less than 1 full bag of garbage between 2 full houses. We set out 15 bags this week, 5 of which were garbage, and the other 10 of which were paper/recycling.


Here are the totals so far of weights diverted or separated waste on-farm (employee stations/other):

Garbage: 130.3lbs (59.1kg)

Recycling: 146.9lbs (66.6kg)

Paper: 68.3lbs (31.0kg)

Refundables: 13.7lbs (6.2kg)

TOTAL WASTE SORTED: 359.2lbs (162.9kg)


All our 15 bags curbside and our new green bin!


Other Waste News!

Food Waste Fair for Waste Reduction Week 2017

We were very lucky to take part in a new Waste Reduction Week activity this past Tuesday. We were part of the Food Waste Fair 2017 and co-hosted with Valley Waste Resource Management, FOUND and Forgotten Food, and SOUP New Minas! We had a blast making connections with others interested in reducing food waste. We co-hosted because CSA's are a great way to reduce food waste for multiple reasons. CSA boxes cut down on the amount transportation and storage needed between the Farm to your table. CSA's also have direct communication with their members and often grow what is needed. Yes we have food waste on the farm, however we compost or use it for feed for our animals and goes back into the system. These are just a few ways we try and cut down on food waste around the farm. There is a great article here with more information. 

Valley Waste Resource Management (VWRM) was there with helpful hints on how to reduce food waste in your fridge, information on myths surrounding best before dates, food preservation, and a draw for a beautiful TupperWare container set! Divert and VWRM were trying to show people how much the average person throws out in food, which surprise, it's a lot. For instance, did you know that 47% of food waste in Canada occurs at home, and $31 billion dollars worth of food is wasted every year in Canada! Thankfully Divert NS, and VWRM all have great resources on how to reduce your food waste at home if you ever need some great tips!

FOUND and Forgotten Food were also co-hosting the event. For those of you who don't know who or what FOUND is, it's a group of community members that team up with local gardeners and farmers to help glean excess food, and distribute it throughout Halifax Regional Municipality and the Valley. There are lots of times that fresh, local produce is left in the field or turned in for nutrients. Although this food is perfectly fine, it's often forgotten about as a potential food resource! Food that is immediately perishable is often used in workshops and events by FOUND and turned into shelf-stable preserves. At this event we made freezer jam from frozen strawberries that were donated from Costco during the summer. It was super eas,y and took about 15 minutes. I currently have 4 small jars sitting in my freezer! Found has lots of information available on their website, and they post events, workshops, and volunteer opportunities on their Facebook and Instagram regularly: http://foundns.com/ 

Finally, there were the volunteers from SOUP New Minas. SOUP stands for Sharing Our Ugly Produce. It's a community organization that works to reduce local food waste, increase local food security and knowledge, and help build skill sets for people! Sarah (middle) often works close with us at TapRoot Farms to catch any food that isn't quite market-friendly or would otherwise end up in our compost bin. Just recently we had a great FOUND - SOUP - TapRoot Farms collaboration. TapRoot farms had a field of butternut squash that had already been harvested, so FOUND and SOUP sent out some volunteers (including myself from the farm) and we gleaned almost 1500lbs of squash  from the field that was later turned into delicious soup and donated to various Food Banks in the area! It was a great example of the community working together, and various organization supporting each other to get local, healthy food out to the community. You can find out more about SOUP and their organization through their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/soupnewminas/about/?ref=page_internal

TerraCycle Cigarette Receptacle

We recently recieved our TerraCycle cigarette receptacle to start collecting our cigarette butts around the farm. It's a beautiful stainless steel receptacle that we are putting on a stake so that we can move it around as needed in the different seasons! It generated a lot of interest at the Food Waste Fair with some of the other volunteers as I explained what it was, and how it worked. It also stirred up conversation with the fact that Nova Scotia currently does not have a butt recycling program (even though a lot of other provinces do), and that Halifax is currently trying to create a program. We hope to be a part of that discussion in the future. 




That's all for now! It's a long update, but a good one! Lots of great community action work and sharing. 

Thank you all for checking,