Good morning, everyone, and Happy Friday!
It has been a busy week on the farm and we're a little late getting the newsletter out. We have most of the tunnels up and shoveled out--ready to house all of the seedlings we have been nurturing in the greenhouse. The snow is melting away, crocuses are pushing through the earth, and the pigs are happily rooting and plowing. We will be planting in the fields before long. This makes us very happy. :)
A "platform" for community building
If you've been on our Facebook page, you know we have applied for a $10,000 small business grant through ADP Canada.
$10,000 will enable us to carry out our farm's vision of providing our community with experiential education opportunities on the farm. Last summer, we started hosting "pop-up" dinners and organic birthday parties. You may have been to one. :) Our guests toured the farm, learned more about where their food comes from, and how it is produced. We are particularly passionate about engaging youth and believe that educating our young people can change the way people think about food. This summer, in addition to the birthday parties, we have plans to implement a week-long summer farm camp. We're very excited about this! The $10,000 would be used to build a raised deck structure in the midst of the farm where we can hold more of these dinners and events permanently--a dedicated space to experience all the farm has to offer, regardless of the weather.
We want to connect with, involve, and educate our CSA farm community. Having the capacity to host more events and bring more people to the farm is paramount to our vision of creating community through food, family, and the natural environment.
Like Canadian Idol, winners are chosen by the number of votes they receive. To date, we have over 200 votes but are trailing some of the leaders by 200. If you would like to help, follow this link: Help TapRoot Win $10,000 to the contest site. You will need to provide your email address to register and vote, and then you can go in everyday to vote for TapRoot Farms. Easy peasy. :) There is just one more week to vote. The contest closes on April 30. Thanks so much!!
Earth Day at the farm
We give thanks everyday for the healthy, rich soil that allows us to grow veggies and fruit and flowers and raise our animals. We marked the occasion with a hands-on tutorial on how you can make your own composting bin from a plastic garbage can. Denise led the step-by-step process from drilling the holes to filling and stirring the "ingredients." :) We now have a compost bin next to our flower garden that will be ready to provide nutrient-rich soil in about 2 months.
Want the "recipe"? Follow this link: Make your own compost bin.
We are in need of newspaper on the farm. Would you consider recycling with us instead of your blue bin? Just bring your old newspapers with you when you pick up your weekly share and leave them (in a nicely stacked pile) for Ed to bring back with him. We appreciate your help! :)
Exciting food news!
Beanstalk Baby Food is a new, locally-owned baby food company based out of Halifax, co-founded by two passionate foodies--Aimee Carson and Angela Hersey. They use local and organic ingredients to make handcrafted frozen baby food that's packed with nutrients and is absolutely delicious. Beanstalk Baby Foods include combinations of seasonal fruits and veggies, whole grains and legumes, as well as interesting herbs and spices- nothing else added. They will be open for business in May (mother's day weekend!) at the Alderney Landing Farmer's Market in Dartmouth, NS and online.
Recipes from Denise's Test Kitchen
We can finally see the BBQ! This past week saw the final snow melt in my backyard and we can finally get to the BBQ again. That called for big celebrations yesterday in the form of planked salmon, marinated tofu, and these beauties--Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes. Just enough bite to give your lips a tingle but not so much that you're reaching for a carton of milk. Delicious.
Sauerkraut + rabbit + sausages = the perfect "bigos." Bigos is a traditional Polish stew with peasant beginnings that has evolved into a delicious, foodie-worthy dish. I'm vegetarian but Andy enjoyed a big bowlful at the Polish Festival in Roncesvalles a few years ago and declared it, "Holy rockin' yum!"
My mother-in-law is the jam and jelly maker in our family and we've enjoyed a wide variety of delicious spreads over the years. At 81, she has announced she's not making any this year. "Too much bother," she said. She's earned it--she's been preserving for over 60 years! So this spring, with the abundance of over-wintered apples in the Valley, I've decided to try my hand at herbed jellies. This apple sage jelly is on the agenda for this weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out!
Whenever I make gnocchi, I'm always amazed at how easy it is to prepare. This sweet potato spinach gnocchi recipe is no exception. I whipped some up last night, heated up some leftover marinara sauce from the fridge, and enjoyed a delicious meal. And because Andy's away, I'm enjoying the leftovers tonight!
I'm planning to make this on the weekend. How can I not try something that is KayoticKitchen's new addiction? This balsamic onion and potato frittata seems pretty perfect for Sunday brunch. Add some grilled ham or sausage, a fizzy beverage, and a sunny patio (dare we hope?) and you have the makings for that happy, uncomfortably full, Sunday brunch feeling. :)
Want to supplement your share this week? Come see us at the Prospect Road Community Center tomorrow from 10-1pm to say hi to Gilbert, Lily, and Justine and pick up some great fruit and vegetables! We will have spinach, pea shoots, sprouts, whole free range chickens, free range and organic eggs, apples, cider, Pickled Pink kombucha and kimchi, grape tomatoes, and more!
Have a great weekend, everyone!