Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Leek Harvest

Well, we worked very hard this year growing our leek patch!  This will give us another crop to head into winter with along side the bulk cabbage.  We'll have enough obviously for all markets and even some to share wholesale with select retailers and food box shares.
Ben and the lifter. We've used the 'lifter' to uproot the leeks to make for easy pick up. Our carrots were a crop failure this year and usually we use the lifter this time of year on the storage carrot crop.  Works like a charm.
Our men sorting, knocking excess soil from roots and piling for pick up.  The leeks will be stored in large bins in our cold storage area in the barn.
Benny and quality control! They are gorgeous and most are a large size!  He hilled them with the potato hill'r only once this year.  You end up with a longer white, edible part that way.
Ben spends a lot of time instructing our young Shepherd, Panzer. One of the smartest pups we've ever had! He absolutely LOVES the fresh soil after the lifter goes through!  He was just rolling and rubbing his face in the dirt!!
~Our leeks will be available at Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market and The Brickwork's Farmers' Market all winter! ~

Leeks, Chicken & Mushrooms
Next to leek soup with bacon, this is another favorite leek recipe of mine!
3-4 lbs of Chicken pieces.  In a very large skillet I brown my chicken, skin too, in some coconut oil. Give each side a good browing on medium high heat for 5 mins or so each side.  Remove to plate.
2-3 tablespoons dark yellow organic butter goes into the same skillet with the chicken/coconut render.
Add 3-4 large chopped leeks to the skillet next. Optional a chopped shallot or two.
Add as many shittake and oyster mushrooms as desired next in skillet!  Lots are best!
Render down until leeks are soft.  10 mins or so.
Add 2 tablespoons organic flour and stir and cook in for a couple minutes.
Add 3 cups Chicken Stock to your skillet next.  Bring to a boil and stir until creamy! If it's too thick, add more stock.
Add your Seasonings! We use thyme, minced garlic, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  All to taste.
Add your browned chicken back into the skilled and cover.  Simmer over low heat for a good half hour until chicken no longer bleeds when pierced.
Serve with wild rice.  This was supper last night and the whole house smelled wonderful, warm and very appetizing!  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Putting it all away

The weather has been pretty nice this fall allowing us to be able to attend to the important task of storing our vegetables for winter!  We've worked hard all season growing this cabbage from seed then planting, weeding, cultivating, hand weeding and now harvesting.  Bugs were definitely there, but we did not let them devastate the crop.  The heads are beautiful and plentiful! We've grown a lot more red cabbages this year and about the same amount of green as past years. You can count on this farm for local, certified organic cabbages until well into next year!  This is definitely a crop that does not have to be imported!
We've also grown Savoy Cabbages this year and Brussel Spouts and Celeriac (aka Root Celery).  These crops will all tolerate frost. I find the Brussel's get sweeter after a good frost! The celeriac will have to all be topped and binned for the winter.  We leave the roots nice and dirty and cut and clean as needed per the winter months for market sales.  Celeriac is one of those yummy specialty vegetables a lot of folks question what to do with.  It is lovely roasted, added to mashed potatoes, with chicken soup or even a creamy soup on it's own. Beautiful celery aroma and flavor! I've made an awesome cabbage, apple, celeriac slaw that is certainly enjoyed!
Another crop that gets sweeter as the weather gets colder is Spinach! I love spinach!  My mother hands down makes the best spinach dip around with tons of garlic! Spinach lasagna, creamed spinach and eggs, fresh spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes etc,etc. We'll harvest spinach until it is completely covered with snow!! A great time of year to get your fill for sure!
The harvest this year includes a lot of Beets as well!  Tops survive a good frost, so we'll keep bringing the bunches for a while yet!  Later this month we will begin to top and bin up all the beet root for winter storage.  It's a healthy looking crop this year so we should have some great beets to offer well into the winter months.
 I took this pic a couple days ago in the morning.  Lots of beets, spinach and the last planting of our sweet corn in the back ground! As the weather gets colder, we'll still have lots of local, organic goodies to offer not to worry! See all at markets!!