Week 46 TapRoot Farms CSA Newsletter

Hello!

Each week I write the week on the newsletter title I am amazed at how quickly time flies!  Only 7 weeks remain in the current season (that's including this week!). 

I wrote a little blog post about this year's seed order which we just completed, if you're interested you can read it here: 2014 Seed Order by Teri


2014 Flower Shares By Tim C.

The response from last year’s Flower Share was overwhelmingly positive! It was a learning year for us in terms of time dedication, quantity, variety, quality, and transport. People told us the shares lasted well in vases, or they really came in handy for expected or unexpected occasions. There were also lots of fun conversations about the flowers themselves. The flower gardens became popular spots while visitors were exploring the farm.

Last year we grew flowers for about 35 weekly flower shares, sold a few additional add-ons each week, did mini bouquets for all CSA members, and helped out with four weddings. Seeding started in February and March to establish early annuals. We leaned heavily on existing perennials, biennials, woody ornamentals, and herbs, but the bulk of the flowers were grown from seed. The flowers were harvested the morning of the deliveries or in some cases the evening before. They were cooled and conditioned before being sent off in the delivery van.

Plans are afoot for the coming year. This year’s Flower Share will run for 20 non-consecutive weeks. Things will likely begin with tulips and spring bouquets, hopefully to mark Mother’s Day. After a minor gap, they will arrive with regularity at your CSA pick-up location.

Flower Shares are my favourite thing about my job, albeit a small part. It has always been my goal that growing flowers on the farm be able to justify the time and effort it takes. Your vegetables, meat, eggs and fruit are always the top priority for everyone at Taproot. And, while flowers play critical roles in maintaining biodiversity at the farm, they will not stock your freezer, or be your family meal at the end of the day. Flowers are for other reasons.

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for this year’s Flower Share! We anticipate a great season. And if there are any other CSA members with a reason of your own, there are still shares available.

Till spring…

Tim


Spinning Flax and Wool By Amy

This morning we decided to start trouble shooting what it would be like to spin flax with wool. Many yarn products marketed as linen are in fact blended with a high percentage of wool, a product that is much easier to incorporate into wool spinning systems than straight linen.

 

 

A much-loved local weaver and spinner, Pia Skaarer worked with Justine and I, taking us through the ropes (so to speak) of different wool/linen blends.

 

 

The wool we used is Justine’s Icelandic sheep wool, a breed favored for its versatile fleece -- a long topcoat and a very fine undercoat. Here is a pic of one of her beautiful female yearlings in the barn this morning.

 

The process today involved blending the fibers by hand, with a carder and then finally by spinning.You can see Pia working the wheel to twist the loose fiber into a yarn.

In the end we wound (haha) up with a handful of skeins of different blends, using industrially processed flax as a comparison product to our evolving flax fibre.

You can see the greeny plantiness of this batch of our flax, twisted throughout the base wool.

One take-away from today's process was to try pre-boiling the unspun fibre in order to degum it, making it smoother to handle and see what effect it has on the color.

 

Stay connected as we continue to untangle the mysteries of flax and linen production.


ADD ONS:  Show your TapRoot Farms spirit with a TapRoot Tee or a bumper sticker (just listed, under "other goodies"):


 

Recipes

Chocolate Beet Cake - sent in by member Kim,who adds: Here is a good use of extra beets,  in time for valentine's day... So fudgy and fairly easy to follow...

Grilled Apple Pizza - From Chef Michael Smith, this pizza uses apples as the base for the sauce... Who knew?!  Sounds interesting... A bit cold to grill today, but I'm sure you could also make this in the oven.

 

This recipe (right) is straight out of the Select Nova Scotia Calendar.  Josh is Mr. February and this is the recipe for February.  Be prepared to empty out the spice cupboard on this one!  Sounds delicious-- Amy made it last week and gives it the thumbs up!

 

CALLING ALL APPLE RECIPES!  Please email or Facebook your recipes, ideas and tips for what to do with apples!  I will share in next week's newsletter with everyone!


Meal Planning 101 - Here's an article from the Ecology Action Centre that I thought you might be interested in!


Shares Deliveries: Monday, February 10, 2014 - Sunday, February 16, 2014

50 Week Veggie Share 2013

Awesome Eggs 2013

Fruit Share 2013

Staple Share 2013

Meat Share 2013


Have a great week!

--The TapRoot Team