Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mille Bornes, Poppies, Curry and Pie

A half day off. Vibrant Poppies. First crop of peas to snack on.  Mille Bornes (a favourite game in our family - my one from childhood misplaced in the last year but another one found at the thrift store last week and played endlessly since). A cast iron pot of curry on the stove made with loads of veggies from the garden (including garlic scapes and mustard greens), and rhubarb cut up on the counter ready to be made into the last rhubarb custard pie of the season and then shared with friends tonight.

Our dog "testing" new dog biscuit recipes E is making to sell at the farm stand.  A different recipe in each hand and finding out which hand he licks the most. ;-)  The apple and greens recipe seemed to be his favourite.

Life is good!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Pie

A friend (a fellow pie-lovin' friend) sent me a link to this recipe - Rhubarb Custard Pie "to be Reckoned With".  How could I not make a pie with that name?!?

And so I did make it.

Then I made it again.

And then again.

And yet...not one photo of the baked finished pie.  Why's that?  It's simply too good.  We couldn't wait to eat it.  It truly IS a rhubarb pie to be reckoned with.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I've already posted about how well the farmstand is coming along on the market garden site but I couldn't resist sharing it here too.

It really is looking just as I'd hoped and I'm so pleased.  A few more things to do still but it's lovely already - what a talented family I have, I feel very blessed that S and the boys were able to make this happen.

If you'd like to see a bit more you can check here or, better yet...drop by and visit in person. ;-) 

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Farmers' Market and Lots of Radishes

Well, it seems Blogger has completely changed while I was busy in the market garden.  It took me a few minutes to even figure out how to post now. ;-)

Tomorrow is our first farmers market and I'm feeling quite excited!  Initially I had thought I would try to quickly harvest everything on the morning of the market (love fresh just-picked!!) but after considering it for a bit changed my mind. 

We starting harvesting first thing this morning and it's a good thing we did, it took longer than I thought and that was with one harvesting and one washing and bundling.  We've got most of two fridges packed with bags of lettuce and spinach, bundles of radishes and kale.

The radishes are truly stunningly beautiful, even though we were hurrying to get the harvest done so we could get back to planting I made time to snap some photos. It's possible I may have had a hard time not taken a ridiculous amount of photos of radishes.

Fresh, ripe vegetables are as beautiful to me as flowers in bloom.  It is important to me to use as little plastic as possible and so as much as we can we are bundling with compostable twine, we will need to use plastic bags for our leaf lettuce and mixed greens but our head lettuces I'm hoping customers will pop right into their cloth shopping bags.

Tomorrow morning I'll harvest the head lettuces and the little bit of rhubarb we have and head to the market.
All the head lettuces look beautiful to me and (a small) part of me wants to just leave them there growing in their lovely rows and beds. ;-)  Freckles (above) is so fun and this one - Marvel 4 Seasons - is truly gorgeous!  Love the colours.

While I'm there my family will be working on the farm stand as we plan to open it this coming week - or next Saturday June 2 at the latest. 

I made a bit of time for my banner sewing.  I had just about given up the idea of taking time for sewing the triangles right side together and then turning them right side out - too time consuming just now - and had decided I would just sew each triangle on the twine as is (so, one sided) when my friend suggested I just zig-zag them right side out and be done with it.  That sounded very good to me.  They're all zigged and zagged and now I just have to space them out on the twine once I see how I want them to hang on the stand.

Along with my farmer tan I'm also keeping farmers hours - awake before the sunrise shortly after 4 am - which means I'm also ready for bed before my boys are. ;-)  I keep thinking things will slow down a bit "once everything is planted" but I'm realizing that with this much property and succession planting that there is no once everything is planted.  I'm having a fantastic time though and looking forward to meeting some people at the market tomorrow and sharing our love of fresh vegetables with our community.  We've been at this for several months now and it feels So Good to finally be harvesting something to sell.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Farm Stand, Fabric and Morels

We've been working everyday at the market garden trying to get things ready,  I've been busy in the field and greenhouse, and my family has been working hard on the farmstand.

It is such a treat to look up from my work and see my boys working with S at building a gorgeous stand.  It's going to look wonderful when it's done.  Yesterday they put the roof on and did most of the shingles, today they will do the siding.  Our signs were ready this week as well and it really feels as though everything is coming together - we've even got irrigation up and running in half our north field so we were able to plant half our main potatoes.

I've been planting, planting and planting some more and potting on loads of tomatoes.

I did take time out yesterday to go for a walk with a friend along the creek.  We were walking back along the path and saw a man with a bag in his hand and we both guessed that he was collecting mushrooms.  We talked with him for a bit- saw his bags of loot! - and then we also started looking for mushrooms.

It was interesting to both of us to see how many mushrooms we'd walked right by the first time when we'd been so busy talking and catching up that we weren't looking for anything else.  Once we knew there were mushrooms right alongside the path we started seeing them everywhere.

Over a month ago I started cutting out some fabric to make a pennant banner for the farm stand.  It seems the stand will be built before I get it sewn together...actually, at the rate I'm going, it may  well be built before I even finish cutting the triangles out. ;-)

Life is very busy but very, very good.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Well...things have been a little...erm...hectic around here and it seems it has been some time since I've visited here.  Thank you to those people who emailed me and offered such kind thoughts and compliments, I do appreciate it!  This weekend, life seemed to get a little more on track (something to do with three days at home?) and we had plenty of time for enjoying lots of family visiting, walks, a hike (with some geocaching), work in the yard and, of course, egg dyeing.  This year, thanks to my visiting sister-in-law, we had the opportunity to dye duck eggs and E even got to do a goose egg.
The eggs picked up the colours brilliantly and it was extra fun to get to dye them with Auntie C.
E was pleased with his goose egg, he wanted to do one similar to his favourite one from last year.
Of course there were chocolate eggs - inside and...
Egg hunts can offer such a great lesson - you'll always find something good if you're willing to look. ;-)

Quite a lot of time lately has been spent at the market garden, if you're at all interested in following along with us as we make our way through our first year of market gardening you can see what we've been up to here.  It's a new website that W put together for us and I'm planning on catching things up there too as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sourdough Starter, Sprouts and Yogurt

It's been a bit of a frazzled week around here - restoration workers (still!) in the basement, dental issues, sickness - but there was also comfort to be found in the kitchen.  I always think that centuries of women must have found comfort and calm, during trying times, in their daily rounds in the kitchen, and in the rhythm of food preparation.
I've been wanting to make sourdough starter for ages and when I came across this wonderful tutorial I couldn't resist.  I made the starter with the help of our oven light and, once it was ready to use, then put it to good use making a couple loaves of sourdough.  I ended up using the starter to make the whole wheat sourdough bread recipe from my Salt Spring Island Cooking cookbook.

One loaf was a boule shape which we quickly finished off with our lunch and the other loaf was made in this thrifted bread pan.  French is not something my boys are very familiar with but I was surprised when they both asked me why it said "pain" on the bread pan - was it meant to imply that it was a pain to make homemade bread?  I told them that pain was bread in French and then thought back to my own years of French lessons and then wondered if the boys would know more french if we ate more processed food - my brother and I used to practice our French by reading labels on cereal boxes, etc. at our breakfast. 
At any rate, this bread was not a "pain" to make and I've tucked the starter away in the fridge so that we will be able to enjoy it regularly. 
Since I had to have the oven light on for the starter I thought I might as well make another batch of yogurt in the oven.  I used to use this method to make homemade yogurt but recently found it to be much easier just to pour the mixture into a casserole dish and set it in the oven overnight. 
There is no need to put the light on for the yogurt - you can just warm the oven for a minute before placing the dish in but I found the oven light worked nicely as well.
And, since we're all feeling hungry for greens and fresh...anything...we've started making sprouts again. I love to have these on sandwiches but E likes them so much he will just snack on them while he reads.
Sprouts aren't the only thing sprouting around here - there are lots of onions on the go as well as some (early) tomatoes and peppers that are just about ready to move to the greenhouse.  Nothing like veggie seedlings to make one feel more springish.