July 25, 2013 Farm Newsletter 20-4

Hey, that's what's his name (me) all dressed up like a steam locomotive engineer. What has this to do with Devon Acres Farm. Nothing. nothing at all, it was just a very interesting, fun experience driving a steam railway locomotive, Ask me about it.

Hey, that’s what’s his name (me) all dressed up like a steam locomotive engineer. What has this to do with Devon Acres Farm.
Nothing. nothing at all, it was just a very interesting, fun experience driving a steam railway locomotive, Ask me about it.

Hello everyone;  We survived the storm of last Friday incurring only a few small tree branches broken. We were very lucky compared to places not far away. Marie and I were away for two days this past week … a very short holiday. Sunday was mostly spent on doing little jobs around the house so I have been out of the garden for three of the past seven days. The weeds have been doing very well as one would expect with all the rain that we have had for the past few weeks, but, we have kept ahead in many areas and much of the garden is doing quite well.

This week we will have summer squash, zuchinni and the like; the potatoes this week are the fingerling types, the variety being Linzer Delicatess, a yellow skinned, yellow fleshed type. They are not very large, most are actually quite small, but this should be regarded as gourmet variety, so try to use it with a little finesse, ie, cook them well, fried or boiled then mashed, but add things that are cooked more carefully such as kale finely chopped, even bruised before chopping, or add gently cooked onion including the greens along with a smaller amount of uncooked onion before serving, or try the potatoes with some minced garlic, again some could be gently cooked, some not.  Another way is to add all three ingredients, kale, onion and garlic together, not too much of any but the garlic. Always use a lot of garlic. Butter used sparingly will also add to the flavour. We will have a lot of garlic this week, much of our garlic is small but the flavour is intense. We will also have Kale, not sure yet which one, the red leaf or the green or maybe both. There will be lots of green beans and probably the purple too. You will have noticed that the purples turn a green colour when cooked. They can also be used to add colour in a salad either just partly cooked or raw. The beans are now getting a bit tougher than we’d like but they are still quite alright. The first pickings were the best but either next week or in two weeks we will have another row of green beans and a row of yellows come ready for first picking. We will also have some peas, these are sugar snaps, the fat edible pod type called Sugar Anne. This type tends to be sweeter when they get more mature and start to appear somewhat paler in colour and to look, generally, not so fresh. So the worse looking ones will likely be sweeter and better tasting just not so pleasing to the eye. The green onions are the thinings from our developing slicing onions and of which most are now growing a decent sized bulb. We will have lots of cilantro again and cilantro can be frozen without blanching however blanching gives better flavour and colour. Blanch cilantro and other herbs by holding stems with tongs and dip them and swish them in boiling water for only a few seconds, until the colour brightens then remove from the water and spread them on a towel to cool and dry somewhat, no need to cool them in running cold water. To freeze in a plastic bag, place an amount that would seem to be what you would usually require, in the bottom of the bag arranged to give a more or less uniform thickness along the bottom then make a tight fold above the herbs and add another layer being sure  to keep the fold tight so that the first and second layers are separated, then repeat for a third layer and so on for as much as you can squeeze into a bag. At the end you will have a bag folded back upon itself three or more times. Best to secure with an elastic band before tossing it into the freezer. We will also have more of the very little shallots. Some of the shallots are soft and not useable. If when they are peeled and they don’t look nice and white, then likely they won’t have a nice flavour and would be best discarded. Not sure why we have so many soft ones. See the great recipe for using our shallots on our Facebook page maintained courtesy of Stacie, many thanks. Do check on us on Facebook for other interesting and useful recipes and information.

We have the chickens laying fairly well now so we will have a hopefully inadequate supply. We need to have an idea how many of you would have an interest in getting eggs from us. Maybe we should get a few more chickens. Let us know if you would like eggs and how many dozen you think you might like to get and how often. The price right now is $3.00 as the eggs are still a bit small. The price will rise to $4.00 in a couple of weeks when the size is more consistently larger.

This weekly newsletter is posted, for our CSA members primarily, every Wednesday no later than 7:00 in the evening.

So remember to ask me why we have the Steam locomotive pictures in addition to the  several garden photos taken late this afternoon.

The Portage Flyer of the Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway pulled by the 21 ton, steam locomotive built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1926. You can't see it but that is me in the drivers seat on the left side of the engine.

The Portage Flyer of the Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway pulled by the 21 ton, steam locomotive built by the Montreal

Locomotive Works in 1926. You can’t see it but that is me in the drivers seat on the right side of the engine cab.

The winter squash and pumpkin looking good though a little weedy.

The winter squash and pumpkin looking good though a little weedy.

From the left; Potatoes, 2 rows of kale, yellow and green beans, 2 rows of dry beans, summer squash, then off to the right are weedy cucumbers and snap peas.

From the left; Potatoes, 2 rows of kale, yellow and green beans, 2 rows of dry beans, summer squash, then off to the right are weedy cucumbers and snap peas.

The two rows of kale with the wheeled stirrup hoe at the right of them. This is a valuable, very useful tool, simple but effective and fast.

The two rows of kale with the wheeled stirrup hoe at the right of them. This is a valuable, very useful tool, simple but effective and fast.

These 4 rows of Kennebec potatoes are still looking pretty good whereas to the left the Yukon Gold and the Norlands and to the right the Chieftans, are mostly died off and are ready for harvest.

These 4 rows of Kennebec potatoes are still looking pretty good whereas to the left the Yukon Gold and the Norlands and to the right the Chieftans, have mostly died off and are ready for harvest.

Newly transplanted camomile, basil, borage  and some of the Broccoli, this lot being the most recent transplanting.

Newly transplanted camomile, basil, borage and some of the Broccoli, this lot being the most recent transplanting.

Aerron picking the purple beans. The plants are now starting to look a little old having been picked for 3 weeks now.

Aerron picking the purple beans. The plants are now starting to look a little old having been picked for 3 weeks now.

A Sulpher butterfly 'puddling' on the mud in the garden, it looked cute, somewhat unusual, so I took a picture.

A Sulpher butterfly ‘puddling’ on the mud in the garden, it looked cute, somewhat unusual, so I took a picture.

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