Nov 12, 2009
Green Croft Gardens News
Whats happening on the Farm?
Four weeks ago it was still summer and now fall seems to have come and gone and winter is looking around the corner. We already had the first snow and record cold three weeks ago with three nights of 10C. This was not very good for our potatoes still in the field and many got frostbite, we now have to wash them up fairly fast to still sort out any damaged ones. We probably lost about 1/3 of potatoes.
All our Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, salad turnips and lettuce was covered and survived fine and the spinach, kale and parsnips are ok too. Our greenhouse is planted in lettuce mix and corn salad and everything made it through the cold and is growing.
We had a record harvest of field tomatoes and great squash. Most of our crops did very well and our markets were well attended. We had great farm helpers this year Thank you to all the wwoofers and good luck on your travels, hopefully we see some of you again. Thank you to Philip, Thomas, Taylor, Simon, Binky, Diane, Josef, Rebeka, Amelia and Donna.
Simon left us to work in Fort Saskatchewan and will come back for Christmas and Wolf left to visit his family in Germany for three weeks and will be back Nov 19th. So at the moment I am Holding the Fort and find it a bit overwhelming with all the work that is still waiting to be done.
The Farm Animals
We slaughtered most of our lambs this year middle of August and they had the perfect weight and everyone left had more grass to eat. The last lambs and goats got slaughtered just a few weeks ago and now my freezer is full for ourselves and our dogs.
I sold one ewe lamb to Andrea who already has one of my flock and our guard sheep Muffis lambs went to Shannon who is now the proud owner of Icelandic sheep. Hopefully Muffi will join the flock and have her babies with the rest in April next year. All sheep look nice and wooly and get some hay now out in the house pasture where they will winter.
We raised 34 meat chicken for our freezer and all of them made it there, including the last lonely goose that the coyotes did not get. Our lonesome turkey mom got seven friends that we bought from our neighbour Carmen and they are happily gobbling away. Hopefully we will have baby turkeys next year.
The young hens that I hatched are starting to lay eggs and are moving soon into their winter home in the greenhouse. I was very lucky to get 18 hens from the 26 chicks I hatched. Usually we have more then a half roosters.
My goats are still milking well and I kept two doelings to become future milkers.
Now we still have to clean out the barns so they are ready for the winter and bring home some more hay home that I bought from my neighbour.
The wool and felting workshop in August went well and everyone went home with some nice felt.
Harvesting the Seed Savers Garden
My seed savers garden was amazing, the broom corn grew over 12 feet high, the sunflowers were so pretty and the calendulas and zinnias were glowing in vibrant colours. By the end it was a real jungle because I planted it a bit tight. The glads did not like it so crowded and my corms are very small. My helpers were instructed from Wolf (I was at the market) to harvest my peas but did not know to keep my two varieties separate so they are all mixed up. Wolf and I dont communicate well when it gets so busy in high season, I guess well have to work on that. I did save bacon beans, orka beans, five kinds of tomatoes, onions, herbs, broom corn and calendula seeds.
Kelowna Winter Market has started
The Kelowna Farmers Market is moving inside for the winter to the Parkinson Rec Center 9-1pm
The dates are
Nov 7, 21, 28
Dec 12, 19
January 9, 23, 30
February 6, 13, 20, 27
March 6, 13, 20, 27
Hope to see many of you there.
Enderby Christmas Market
Enderby has two great Christmas markets at the Drill Hall and we will have our vegetables and wool products there.
Come and see us Nov 20 and 21st and Dec 4 and 5
The Grindrod Market has been a real community builder and fun to go to driving my horses down the road to the market, but August and September got too busy and hot so that I could not attend any longer.
Produce for Sale
Carrots, Rainbow Carrots, Juice Carrots, Potatoes, Beets, Parsnips, Sunchokes, White Salad Turnips, Squash, Onions, Leeks, Kale, Kohlrabi, Spinach
Recipe of the Month
Jerusalem Artichoke or Sunchoke
This great vegetable is native to North America and belongs to the sunflower family. Sunchokes are a good choice for diabetics.
They possess a complex carbohydrate called INULIN that is metabolized differently than other complex carbohydrates. Fructose, not glucose, is the building block of inulin, so there is a smaller rise in blood sugar levels after eating sunchokes than there is with potatoes or rice.
Inulin is a naturally occurring substance found in over 35,000 plants and vegetables world wide. Chemically, inulin is a non-digestible carbohydrate in the class of fiber substances called fructans. Inulin and its subgroup fruit oligosaccharides (FOS), promote the health and balance of good bacteria in the colon by serving as a food for these organisms. The health benefits of lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria are well known. Through its role as a food source (also called a pre-biotic) which promotes proliferation of these organisms, INULIN-FOS helps maintain normal bowel function, regularity and urinary tract health. Recent studies have also found that INULIN-FOS supports proper mineral absorption (especially important for women), cardiovascular health and immune function, as well as proper blood sugar and blood fat metabolism.
You can eat Jerusalem artichokes raw in salads, as a salad of its own(like potato salad), or as a side dish. The skin is very nutritious(a great source of iron) so just wash it and cook and eat it with the skin still on. As a side dish you can braise it with butter and serve a nice béchamel or cream sauce and sprinkle with parsley. It also makes for a very good soup. Other ways of cooking it is battering and frying it, cooking and pureeing it, or even souffleeing it.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
Makes 6-8 bowls of soup
1 1/2 lbs Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed clean and dried
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 medium-size turnip, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed lightly with the side of a knife
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Small bunch fresh thyme tied with a string
4-5 cups of water(or vegetable stock)
1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place half of the Jerusalem artichokes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake until they are completely yielding when pierced with the tip of a knife.
2. Meanwhile, slice the rest of the Jerusalem artichokes in 1/2 inch slices. Heat a medium pot and add the remaining olive oil. Add the onion, turnip slices and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Sautee for 5 minutes. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and the thyme and stir to blend the ingredients. Check the seasoning. Sautee for 5-10 minutes and then add 4 cups of water.
3. Cook until the Jerusalem artichokes are completely tender, 25- 30 minutes. If the liquid reduces too much during the cooking time, add the remaining cup of water. Remove the roasted Jerusalem artichokes from the oven, quarter them and add them to the soup. Taste for seasoning and remove the thyme. Add the cream. Puree the soup in small batches in the blender (or with a hand blender) until smooth. For a more rustic texture puree only half, leaving the other half chunky. Serve with crusty sourdough or a seeded bread to bring out the naturally nutty flavor of the soup.
Icelandic Lamb skins
We got our beautiful and soft lambskins tanned and are selling them for $ 120 each.
You can choose from colours white, black and brown.
We are offering
Beautiful Icelandic raw fleece from our summer shearing in multi colours $ 25 per fleece
Wool bats for spinning, felting $2 per oz
Roving for easy spinning, hooking and felting $2 per oz
Hand spun wool in many colours for $4 - 5 per oz
Handmade cozy slippers, hats and scarves.
Farm gate Sales
You can come and buy directly from the farm
call or email to make an appointment email@example.com Call 250-838-6581
Check out our website www.greencroftgardens.com
LET'S TALK LOCAL FOOD
Saturday Nov 14, from 9 AM - 5 PM at Neskonlith Hall, 5km west of Chase
Below is the new agenda, a link to see our bioregion and attached flyers and leaflets for distribution.
A MAP OF OUR BIOREGION
Saturday Nov 14 Agenda
9 AM to 10 AM - Opening Ceremony followed by Dawn Morrison presents her experiences in Africa attending a global food conference
10 AM to 11:45 - Create a vision for the Shuswap Food Network and write out our most pressing food issues
11:45 AM to 12 PM - Vote for your top 5 issues
12 PM - 1 PM - LUNCH *there will be vegetarian/vegan options
1 PM - 3:45 PM - Rotating table discussion groups (with a 15 min break)
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM - Report Back
4:45 PM - 5 PM End with closing remarks
If you have any questions, write back or call me at 250 679 8421
Seed Harvest Celebration
The Shuswap Seed Savers are hosting a Harvest Celebration on November 18th at 7pm
It will be held at the Salvation Army Church, 191-2nd Avenue N.E., Salmon Arm.
Admission is by donation; the donations will go to the Salvation Army for their Community Services.
Two DVDs will be shown: "Banking Diversity" and "Tableland".
For those attending who have Heritage seeds, they have harvested this year, please bring the seeds for the Seed Bank. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome. For more information contact June Griswold at 250-832-2355.
Our daughter Jenny will perform
A Freight Train Folk Show
at the Cliffs Café in Enderby, Nov 27 at 8 pm , her brother Philip will be the opening band
at the Talking Donkey Café in Vernon, Nov 28 at 8 pm
More Info myspace.com/djennyheart. firstname.lastname@example.org
Food for Thought
Thanks to Rita Dawson for this- goes straight to the heart of our concerns about the reliability of BCs food supply from California.
Sign of the times in California. Farmers lining up for food handouts...farmers!
There are 16 million people...probably more...unemployed in the United States of America...16 million! A figure hard to imagine and even more difficult to wrap one's head around wondering how these people are surviving and what they are surviving on?
The following article sheds light on what is happening in California. The question we on this Island (and in this province) should be asking ourselves is how will we survive when the full force of this Recession/Depression hits here and why aren't we focusing on growing as much food as possible on this Island, especially in light of California's plight and the fact that much of our food is imported & shipped up here from California?
Damn Gordon Campbell to hell. Damn development on and within Agricultural Reserve Land. Let the Games begin!
Bottom line: We're on our own and collectively must organize & do something about this pending situation and fast.
"There's never been this kind of need in the Central Valley, ever," said Dana Wilkie, chief executive of the Fresno food bank. "In some communities, we're serving 80% of the residents."
The Central Valley, a 400-mile-long, 18-county inland area that relies heavily on agriculture, has suffered in the recession amid low demand for products like milk and almonds as well as a collapse in its once-booming housing market. At the same time, the region is grappling with drought and federal environmental rulings that have reduced water shipments to local farmers to as little as 10% of their normal allotments.
Some farmers have sidelined much of their acreage, throwing packers and field pickers out of work. In the Westlands Irrigation District, which serves about 700 farmers in the western part of the valley, more than 260,000 of the 600,000 acres that are typically home to tomatoes, lettuce and other crops have been taken out of production this year, officials say.
In all, farmers in the valley stand to lose between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion in revenue this year, with 60,000 to 80,000 people thrown out of work, projects a study by the University of California, Davis. "This is the worst I've ever seen it in the valley," said John Harris, chairman and chief executive of Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif., which is farming about 4,500 acres compared with a normal total of about 14,000.
Write to Jim Carlton at email@example.com Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A6
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