Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A quick story about our vegan cabbage rolls...

Vegan cabbage rolls are easy for us to make.  With a bit of planning through out the summer, ingredients are easy to come by.  They differ each year depending on what crops did well and how much extra time I had during the summer to can or freeze.  This year was awesome for tomatoes and peppers so I was able to squirrel away a lot of roasted red peppers and roma tomato sauce!
Kale is new this year in the filling and it turned out excellent.  We are still harvesting fresh kale out of the greenhouses and the fields. The ladies at the hall are always interested to see what new ingredients I will be incorporating! Above Anne washes and preps the kale for cooking down. I pretty much just stir fry the kale with a bit of sunflower oil in a big pot to render it down to add to the rice mixture.
Above, my grandma and Sheila are busy peeling our cooking onions.  Onions are a staple in all cabbage rolls I make.  Stella peels lots of our garlic.  The garlic is added into the mix just before roasting, so they are nice and garlic-laced! Jars and jars of our roma tomato sauce is at the ready.
Our frozen roasted red peppers are heated up.  We strain the juice from them and add this amazing juice to the tomato juice!  We do the same with the onions that were cooked down with sunflower oil and unrefined sea salt.  A beautiful concoction of roasted pepper juice, tomato juice and onion juice are added to each layer or rolls in each roast pan. This was 86 year old Anne's idea this year and man, let me tell you, it is good! We have nicknamed them 'Christmas Cabbage Rolls' because the roasted red pepper and the kale make a beautiful red and green color combination!
 Once the filling mix of brown rice, kale, red peppers, onions, garlic, sunflower oil and unrefined sea salt is mixed and tasted, we roll them in our cabbage leaves.  The cabbage has been cored and boiled out and leaves torn into sized pieces for easy rolling. After each layer is created, it is topped with the glorious tomato, pepper, onion juice mixture.
I always get a kick out of the roast pans at the hall.  They have cooked a lot of food over the years and to see the faded masking tape with our town's name on it, you can only imagine what the ladies were roasting and where they were taking the food and who they were feeding.  The cabbage rolls are roasted for no less than 3 hours.  They are topped with remnant cabbage leaves to protect them from burning.  They are packaged and more sauce is added before they are covered.  They are then frozen and ready for you to buy! They will be at all markets this week and over the holidays and into the new year.  I do sell out, so feel free to order by emailing me at jb@sosnickiorganics.com indicating how many packs of 6 rolls you need at $12 each and which market you want to pick up at.  We are active at Dufferin Grove each Thursday from 2:30 pm until 7:00 pm and Evergreen's Brick Works Saturday morns from 8 am till 1 pm and Wychwood Green Barns market from 8 am till 1 pm on Saturday morn as well.  Enjoy them folks - they are very, very good this year! Oh yeah, and they are certified organic too :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Time to order holiday foods!

Because it's disappointing when I am 'sold out' and it's hard to gauge how much of what to bring to each market, I'm taking orders for our holiday food this year!  Please note that these food are available after these holiday dates as well. We'll keep making these foods well into February, so please feel free to enjoy them for the next few months :) If you have a special event and need to order quantity for dates not listed, email me a heads up and I'll see how I can help you :)

Simply email me at jb@sosnickiorganics.com with your preferred market for pickup and the foods your heart desires and I will make sure you get your goodies :)

Markets: Dufferin Grove Organic Farmer's Market: 2:30pm until 7:00pm each Thursday. Taking orders for December 13th  & December 20th.
Evergreen's The Brickworks Farmer's Market:  8:00am until 2:00pm each Saturday. Taking orders for December 15th, December 22nd.
Wychwood Farmer's Market: 8:00am until 1:00pm each Saturday.  Taking orders for December 15th, December 22nd.

Our foods available:
Vegan Cabbage Rolls ~ $12 half dozen large, fully roasted, frozen. Contains our own organic cabbage, organic onions, organic kale, organic red peppers, organic garlic, organic tomatoes. Also contains organic long grain brown rice, organic sunflower oil and unrefiined mineral rich sea salt. Heat and serve! So good, I don't make meat ones anymore!

Perogies ~ $8 half dozen or $30 for 4 packs which is 2 full dozen.  Jumbo, handmade, fully boiled, frozen. 2 filling choices: "The Decadent" organic potato, organic cheddar, organic onions, organic butter, organic flour, organic eggs, organic sunflower oil, unrefined mineral rich sea salt. OR "Buttery Onion & Sauerkraut" organic sauerkraut, organic onions, organic eggs, organic butter, organic flour, organic sunflower oil, unrefined mineral rich sea salt. Thaw and pan-fry both varieties!

Unpasteurized Sauerkraut ~ $7 per jar or 3 jars for $20. (please note that $1 from the proceeds of each jar of our organic sauerkraut will support Community Food Programming at Evergreen Brick Works.  We are proud to support Evergreen this holiday season!) Raw, organic and unpasteurized our sauerkraut is the old family recipe. We grow a lot of cabbage, so it made sense for us to create this super food to share with our customers! Simply refrigerate! 

Frozen Sweet Corn & Green Beans ~  $5 corn $4 beans. Frozen 3/4 lb tubs. Blanched at the peak of the season and frozen for local eating all winter long! Heat and serve.  The corn is just as sweet and tasty as you remember in the summer time!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Novembers Offerings

November has been quite a decent month weather wise! The October rains made it very hard for us to harvest our storage crops and there are ruts in the fields to show for it. We were not able to get everything off while our workers were here, but we managed to get the cabbage in and garlic planted. Once the snow flies we'll definitely have less variety than last year. But these warm temps the last few weeks have made it possible to keep field harvesting. Ben and I have been very busy out there! Currently at markets you will find our field harvested Beets, Spinach, Broccoli, Kale and Tatsoi. From storage we have a few Leeks left, lotsa Cabbage, Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Onions and some Garlic. We've just made the first batch of Perogies and also have raw Sauerkraut available as well as frozen Sweet Corn and Green Beans :)) We also still have some Heirloom Tomatoes in the greenhouse! Nice treat for this time of year for sure :))

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Extending the growing season

As the days get shorter and weather cooler, we all seem to sleep better and our appetites increase! The markets are bustling this time of year as the fall crops hit the stands. Ben and I went for a long field tour to check the crops and are happy with what we see. There are some losses, as with the dry summer it was hard to keep everything alive and well. Success stories: our Broccoli is amazing! We planned this last year - have fall broccoli! The worms are also not insanely bad. Still some, but cooler temps I will thank for the lack of an infestation. Spinach and Tatsoi are impressive. Leeks are decent - planted less this year. Brussel Sprouts got topped a bit late, so they are throwing smaller sprouts but to put a positive spin on it - they look like 'christmas trees' and customers and kids dig it! Cabbage will prove to be our winter staple, and time permitting, we've got a lot of beets out there to eventually top and bin up. Celeriac is not as plentiful as last year, but we'll still have a decent amount. Onions are very plentiful and all binned up in the barn. We'll have garlic, but are once again harboring the best for seed. 0 carrots. Now Kale. How we've grown to love kale! We put in a huge second planting for the fall. Also another plan from last year. We also planted it in greenhouse no. 1. It's safe to say we'll have kale well into the winter months. We've also managed to stay on top of greenhouse work to ensure an extended growing season this coming winter. The 12 ft heirloom tomatoes have a lot of green fruit on them yet and with sunny days now that we've closed the greenhouses up, they should keep growing and ripening. We do not heat this greenhouse, so once it gets really cold, we'll strip the plants of fruit and place in hampers in the barn. Some continue to ripen and this is how we had tomatoes well into December a few years back! We are still harvesting green beans and peppers at this date! We've just started mass digging the potatoes too for storage. Reds and fingerlings will soon join our golds! And on top of all this our three guys have just finished hoeing the strawberries again!! A LOT of work to cultivate good June/July berries! Enjoy our fall harvest and follow us on twitter @SosnickiOrganic for very regular farm news!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Celebrating Organic Week!!!

What a weekend! My sister was married on Saturday and I've been planning a farm tour for today, Sunday to celebrate Organic Week! You know, because I like to complicate things for myself! We pulled it off and it was fabulous! I'm tired tonight but reflecting on both events leaves me smiling. The day started early as I prepped some veggie platters and made some coleslaw for an after tour snack. The cabbage carrot slaw made with olive/sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, sea salt and pepper is always appreciated. COG (Canadian Organic Growers) were first to arrive and it was lovely to meet Tan Mayo and the other ladies! Once the bus from The Big Carrot arrived, and folks got settled (after petting Lady Bug the horse who was almost sticking her head in the bus!!) we loaded the wagon for the veggie field tour. Everyone enjoyed seeing where their tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other summer veg came from! Then on to the big strawberry patches then the fall crops like spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, leeks, celeriac etc. We then all hoped off the wagon and harvested kale!! Then a wagon ride across the fence and over the creek to Schibli's to visit their pasture raised Berkshire pigs and their beautiful dairy operation! Then back over to our farm for our veggie delights and Schibli's awesome contribution of Harmony chocolate milk and Harmony ice cream! (oh man, that milk is good!!) We also set up a farm market so folks could buy vegetables to take home. Then a quick tour of the greenhouses and the day was done! It all went very fast and I think a great connection was forged today with a lot of folks! Happy Organic Week everyone! Ok, I'm going to bed now ;)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September already?!

So it's been busy! Roma tomatoes did fairly well for us this year with the hot dry weather. This has helped level out sales with the lack of beets and carrots. Orders were at an all time high along with the compliments. Hopefully we can have them again next year but it's always weather dependent. So with fall just around the corner it's time to jump right into preserving the seasons and getting ready for winter. This past week we hit the kitchen and blanched, packaged and froze all our sweet corn and green beans for the winter. Freshly picked, tender new croppings, nicely frozen for winter feedings now. I absolutely love this time of year!

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's time to order your Certified Organic Roma Tomatoes!

Because of this hot, dry weather our Organic 'Viva Italia' Roma tomato crop has no disease! We have been able to irrigate when needed during the cool evenings, that combined with these hot, Mexico-like days on this dusty, dry farm the tomatoes have flourished! It is definitely what I like to call a 'tomato year'!  We have enough this year that we can sell wholesale for all your Sauce Making Needs!!

All wholesale cases are 25lbs for $25. (25lbs is a half bushel amount). These tomatoes are the thickest, meatiest, tastiest, organic sauce tomato around!  It's simple. All you have to do is email me your order. (You can also head to our website at www.sosnickiorganics.com and use our contact form to place your order.) Let me know how many cases you need, which market you want to pick up at and a phone number to either call and text you at as a reminder.   Feel free to visit me at market where I make the time to talk to all my customers and can share recipes and canning advice!  We do not require a deposit.  Most folks that order are serious buyers and I rarely get stuck with any orders!  It will be first come first serve and I will alert you if I do not have enough to accommodate you. At this time, the crop looks bountiful, but we never know what the weather will do within the coming weeks.

EMAIL: jb@sosnickiorganics.com   Indicate your name, how many 25lb cases you need and which market you will be picking up at. Include your phone number so that I can contact you as a reminder and let me know if I can text you. Text'ing is best for us.

Markets and Dates for Pick-up:

Thursday, August 16th: Dufferin Grove. (2:30pm until 7:00pm)
Saturday, August 18th: Evergreen Brickworks; The Junction; Wychwood Green Barns; Withrow Park. (All Saturday markets are mornings. Typically 8-9am until 12-1pm)
Thursday, August 23rd: Dufferin Grove
Saturday, August 25th: Evergreen Brickworks; The Junction; Wychwood Green Barns; Withrow Park.
Thursday, August 30th: Dufferin Grove.
Saturday, September 1st: Evergreen Brickworks, The Junction; Wychwood, Withrow.
Thursday, September 6th: Dufferin Grove
Saturday, September 8th: Evergreen Brickworks, The Junction, Wychwood, Withrow
Thursday, September 13th: Dufferin Grove
Saturday, September 15th: Evergreen Brickworks, The Junction, Wychwood, Withrow
(I know all these markets have websites that are pretty easy to find with google should you require directions!) I may have some later into September, but it's best to order during these times!

Looking forward to your order today!
Jessie & Ben Sosnicki :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The dry dog days of summer

It's dry. Very dry. The last few nights Ben's been up until after 3am irrigating. He's completely hardcore this guy as even during the intense heat of the day when all the animals are passed out in the shade, everyone else is in the barn, Ben is hauling ass out in the field cultivating under that hot July sun. He just doesn't stop. A very hardworking dedicated farmer. I am pretty glad we've got so many appreciative customers because Ben deserves it. Ben's one of those guys that can take a beating and just keeps on going. Never complains or whines and even on the worse days has the biggest smile you've ever seen! He's a good man and deserves nothing but the best. As we trudge on through the next few years paying down the debt, I am hopeful Ben can learn what a holiday is all about. It's funny, as we always say we'll take a break in February but it never happens! We have many obligations at this point in our lives and working the farm to honor those obligations is key right now. We're good at nose down, keep working, but it gets really frustrating when the weather is extreme like this. We are really hoping it decides to rain at some point in time this summer. It's big trouble. A lot of corn is stressing, it's in 'pineapple mode' as it goes all spikey due to lack of moisture. Our sweet corn will be ok as we can irrigate our small farm but it's freaky how low the water is getting.... Even being able to irrigate the extra time and work involved to lug all the pipes, (this is where Benny's muscles come from), running the tractor for hours on end to pump the water, and the FUEL costs associated with that all effect the bottom line. It's going to be a rough, rough year. At least we have access to some water for now. The good thing for us is very little disease. The field tomatoes look great, so I am going to push Roma sales like crazy and count on these crops to help pay these extra expenses that have popped up due to extreme weather conditions. We always seems to find a way to manage. So do us a favor. While your sitting back at the cottage or out playing at the beach know that the farmers that feed you need your support and expect to see you very soon at the markets!!! Even our little Indian runner duck is sad as his little pond in front of the sweet corn is all dried up this year. He now hangs out at the house under the picnic table with a bucket of water!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

All Markets tomorrow ;)

We've got fresh Basil coming!! More Heirloom Tomatoes for EBW (and a few Peas and Broccoli) Garlic, Sweet Onions, Beets, Swiss Chard, fresh cut Cabbages, New Potatoes too! Oh, and tons of Kale! Green Beans start next week! Besides being SO DRY, I am enjoying harvest this year! See you at market! ;)

Monday, July 9, 2012

July field treasures...

We planted strawberries today, washed out cabbage bins, topped the basil (remove the top so the plants gets 'bushier') and cultivated and hoed some more! Layed pipes and are getting ready to irrigate again. I went for a wander around the fields today to scout the crops and was excited to say the least! Found a ripe oxheart tomato out there, Roma's are absolutely gorgeous too! I think it may be a 'tomato year'!!! Cucumbers are vining out nicely and I actually found a few for supper!! Peppers are sucking in the heat and I found the first jalapeño and hot banana peppers out there! Green Beans are blossoming, watermelons are vining, eggplants are growing like crazy!! They endured a lot of pest damage as they always do, but we used some Entrust and got rid of the pests so the plants could continue to thrive! Usually something negative catches my eye out there, like I spot a possible infestation, the onset of some disease, weed pressure that makes me wince- but you know what? Today I have very little to complain about. Sure, it is not perfect out there but I tell ya, the early treasures I found and the strength of those beautiful plants make me very happy and very proud today!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Beginning of the Summer of 2012!

Time for a quick crop update with a bunch of photos I took today. It is dry out there.  Very dry and irrigating has become essential for the future development of the crops.

  Potatoes are doing well, but we noticed as soon as they began to get 'thirsty' the potato beetles started moving in fast and hard! Nature and her creatures always have this way of being able to tell when stress sets in.  
Our lettuce is pretty much finished.  With the heat a lot of our hardy heads bolted.  There is nothing to do about that. Just the year. Our peas are also not that great - again the heat.  The kale is doing fab as shown in the above photo. Kale is a very easy crop to grow, and is so, so good for you!! The broccoli looks like it's melting in the summer heat! We'll have nice heads at market tomorrow, but I am sure glad we didn't go hog wild and plant a lot of it this year.  Broccoli is another crop that doesn't love the intense heat. 

Now, what is absolutely thriving are the tomatoes, eggplants, peppers & onions!  We have spent hours upon hours hoeing and cultivating these onions, not once, not twice but four times so far! We have our weeding logs neatly organized in our 'chronological log' all ready for our organic inspection this Tuesday via Pro-Cert Inc. The basil is also rooting down and green as grass and growing nicely!  The basil will pair nicely with the heirloom tomatoes that are starting to ripen in the 'covered fields'!! Whoo check these puppies out:

Yes, the pictures of the tomatoes were taken today!  If I was not greedy and harboring all these newly ripening ones for myself I would bring them to show off at market!  We'll definitely wait until we have more to share with everyone! Have a great summer everyone filled with tons and tons of fresh organic vegetables! ;)  We'll keep you updated on farm progress as often as we can! Time for this chick to head outside and sweat some more in the fields! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Strawberry Season!!

(***Hey Smashy! Just a quick note to say 'hi' and that we're all thinking about you and really missing you! Laying in the yard, petting big Panzer eating Strawberries would sure be great to share with you! Lady Bug really likes Strawberries too, like tomatoes! She 'grumbles' with flared nostrils for them! Adventures yesterday as Dennis's damn cows were loose in our vegetable fields when we came home from market! Oooo, I was quite 'angry'... Bug was freaking out, doing that blowing smoke, pricked tail storming around at them. More of a guard horse!.... Dad mentions you almost every day and always smiles and says 'Austin'....Babca is just very sad now and doesn't understand. Please be well and come home to the farm soon!)

So last year we spent a great deal of time planting and caring for this new strawberry patch! It's nice to see your hard work pay off with all the customers literally diving at the tables to snatch a few quarts of our fresh strawberries! In order to grow organic strawberries we readied a nice plot for them. Rich, heavier soil back in Field 105. The plants came from G.W. Allen in New Brunswick. Certified Organic plants are not readily available, so we do buy the conventional ones. So last year we got the shipment of 'druggy' dormant plants and planted them in our organic soil. I look at this process as like 'rehab' for the young strawberries plants! They root down into organic compost rich soil, are weeded by hand and cultivated. We also bed them down with organic straw! By this year when they began to blossom and grow they were just fueling themselves with all organic goodness! The patch was alive with bees and critters and most importantly NO chemical CRAP like fungicides or pesticides have been dumped on them!!! Organic strawberries smell amazing! We grow an early type which is smaller and softer but with a sweet, 'wild' strawberry flavour. Our main season variety is a lot bigger, firmer and throws an excellent flavor too! We should have an abundance to share for the next two week! Yes, strawberry season goes fast! Eat your fill now!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Enjoying a lot of Avocados lately..

Before I begin blogging about *Strawberries* I thought I'd sneak in a quick note about my obsession with avocados. I now frequent the website: World's Healthiest Foods and the write up about avocados is quite thorough. This is a healthy fat people! I'm so damn tired of all these fake 'fat free' plastic foods that are mainstream. Shopping in a regular grocery store makes me very angry. Ok, ok, no time to rant! I ate the most amazing Fish Tostadas at 'Cool Hand Of A Girl' cafe Saturday after market. Lucia, the owner has been buying our cabbage for ages at Dufferin Grove and it was time to sample her creations! Ben and I along with my market helper Toshimi and her husband Sam had an excellent meal! The tostadas were soo crispy! A base of yummy black beans, bed of Haddock fish, topped with the most amazing avocado topping! A side of coleslaw containing our beets and cabbage with a hint of curry, apple cider vinegar - fresh and delicious! Lucia came and sat with us and we had a great chat while we enjoyed our meal. Toshimi and Sam swooped in to pay the tab and then hugs all around. Man, these folks sure love to spoil farmers! (Well, I know a few people who are getting a few flats of free strawberries!!) Check out www.coolhandofagirl.com and if you are ever in The Junction area of downtown Toronto hit her up for breakfast or lunch!

I've seen a lot of different Avocado Hummus's on the market lately. I decided to make my own today! Simple, delicious and I'll be munching on this for breakfast and dessert!
In your large food processor with heavy blade process:
-Handful Cilantro
-1 Jalapeño (with seeds!)
-I add 1 tbs Habanero Sauce from 'Cool Hand', but you may find the heat from the Jalapeño is enough.
(give this a wazz before adding the next ingreds)
- 3 Avocados
- 1 can of Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)with some juice. You'll see as you process if you need a bit more for texture)
- 1/2 a Lemon
- 2 tsp Unrefined Sea Salt.
Now, if my Garlic was ready I would have added a couple cloves too!
Process until smooth and delicious! Use as a dip for nacho's, smother on toast or a baguette! Ooo, or I'll toast some of St. John's Olive and Cilantro loaf and spread it on that!
I used my own Cilantro, my own pickled hot Jalapeños (fresh would be best). The rest of the ingredients are all readily available organic now. Yes, even the thin crisp nachos I buy now are unsalted and organic! Enjoy!