Week 6 TapRoot Farms 2014 CSA Newsletter

Greetings, folks!

Welcome to sunny week 6! 


IMPORTANT NOTICES:


Welcome, Jill!

Jill is this week's recent addition to the TapRoot crew. She is an avid organic gardener in her own right and has joined us this summer to work with the Herb/Flax Team and the Vegetable Production Crew. She'll be spending the summer out in the dirt, building beds, sowing, WEEDING and harvesting. She's jumped right into things on her first day, and is seeding onions and celeriac in the greenhouse. Great to have you with us Jill!


Meat Share - Week 3 from Justine

Click here to see a cost breakdown & details of what is in your meat share this week

TapRoot Animal Update: Some of the pigs were all moved into their summer homes last week. Josh moved some on to a patch over in Canard that had winter rye on it, which has started to come up and the pigs just love it. They plow with their noses just under the soil, rooting up the bit of grain still under there and the green shoots as well. Here's a picture of them that Josh took, you can just see them across the road in their new pasture. The gilts over by swallows nest are going to have piglets soon, so we'll have piglet pictures as soon as that happens I'm sure.

Last Friday we got our second flock of free range chicks.  The first flock is now out of their brooder (the area they're in at first until they are feathered enough to be without extra heat and protection) and into their free range area where they'll stay until they are grown and ready to be part of our meat share.

We are also getting two hundred new layer chicks this week, when they are grown and ready to lay eggs they will replace the older birds that are laying eggs for us now. Chickens only have so long as a productive egg layer, but after that they make great stewing hens. Stewing hens have more flavour and are tender when they are cooked at a low heat for a long time, like in a slow cooker, or the French dish coq au vin (rooster in wine!)

The barn in Canard is just chock full of poultry of one sort or another! At least there are no mature roosters to keep the neighbours up!

If you have questions or comments please e-mail me (Justine) at Justine@taprootfarms.ca.

Hope you enjoy your meat share and have a great week, it's supposed to be sunny!


Hardy flax has solid Nova Scotia roots - Chronicle Herald Article

(read entire article - click here!) TapRoot was eager to be the testing ground for the crop. This past year, they’ve grown their first two acres of flax and have hired farmer Amy Lounder to lead their so-called “fibre lab” project. Amy is a young but seasoned farmer with 10 years of farming under her belt and was immediately drawn to the project.

“It was the idea of localizing another part of our economy that really excited me,” she says.

According to her, the job is all about problem-solving and being comfortable with unknowns, which sometimes means calling flax farmers in the U.K. for advice. She’s searching for the perfect equation of plant spacing, seed depth and weed control on the organic farm, not to mention honing processing techniques that will make the flax usable for textile artists (read more)


Recipes

Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, have a crisp, clean flavor reminiscent of water chestnuts. This native North American tuber is a member of the sunflower family and looks like a cross between ginger root and a potato.

Sunchokes don’t need to be peeled; their thin skin is packed with nutrients. Clean them by scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Trim to a similar size for even cooking. Once cut, use immediately; the flesh browns when exposed to air. Do not prepare in aluminum or iron cookware, as the flesh will turn gray.

Among the most versatile of tubers, sunchokes are terrific raw, adding crisp flavor and crunch to salads. Slice and sauté for a crunchy snack. When baked, steamed, or stir-fried, the sunchoke takes on a rich, buttery texture and makes for a filling side dish. They’re frequently pickled in the southern United States. Bonus: Sunchokes are loaded with fiber, iron, and potassium.

Sunchoke and Parsnip Soup topped with Crispy Mushrooms

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into a large dice
3 stalks celery, diced (TapRoot tip: substitute celeriac!)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled parsnips, cut into a large dice
2 cups sunchokes, skin-on, cut into a large dice
1 quart vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chives, chopped (garnish)

FOR CRISPY MUSHROOMS:
2 portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/4" thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

 Directions

For the mushrooms: Preheat oven to 400. Gently toss mushrooms in oil, until lightly coated. Spread onto baking sheet in single layer. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are crispy. Check occasionally to prevent over-crisping.

For the soup: Sautée onions in olive oil until translucent. Stir in celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables soften.
Add parsnips, sunchokes and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes.
In batches, blend soup until it's as smooth as possible.
Add salt and pepper to taste, top with chives and crispy mushrooms.
 

<-- Here's a beautiful photo of a delicious-looking smoothie, made with carrots from a TapRoot share!

 

 

*From Noggins: Carolyn’s easy snack for the kiddos: "One of the things I do with the kids a lot is cut up mini cukes, apples and cheese.  A simple and healthy snack that you can do with your fruit share this week!"

What is an "overwintered parsnip"??  The basic explanation is this: over the winter, starches in the parsnip convert to sugar, which acts like "antifreeze" to keep the roots from freezing solid.  When these are dug in the spring, they are extra sweet!

Sausage & Root Veggie Casserole from Meagan -->


Shares Deliveries: Sunday, May 4, 2014 - Saturday, May 10, 2014

Meat Share 2014

50 Week Veggie Share 2014

Egg Share 2014

Fruit Share 2014


Aliah pruning raspberries a few weeks ago -->

Have an awesome week, and enjoy the SUN!

--The TapRoot Team