For the Love of Leeks!

1.What goes into creating a vegetable?

2. The revolutionary carrot

3. Earliest Bird Special for 2015 Summer CSA

4. 2014/2015 Winter CSA Update

5. Tantalizing Turkey Leek Casserole

6. Want to Apprentice at an organic market garden?

7.Chainsaw Safety Kitchen Table Meeting @ Kolapore Gardens

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What goes into creating a vegetable?  I don’t mean how does one grow a leek or a cabbage, but what made the leek a leek, and similarly how did a cabbage become a cabbage?

The roots of all modern vegetables can be traced back to their distant ancestors of wild, undomesticated, and sometimes unsuspecting ancestors.  Through countless generations of varietal selection – farmers and gardeners growing specific crops year after year, selecting for varieties that produce big yields, good flavour, and grow in a more or less predictable manour.  Seeds are saved.  Lots and lots of seeds.

Imagine how many seeds were saved to bring any one vegetable species into modernity: how many carrot seeds went into the isolation of nantes varieties of carrots?  How many cucumbers did it take to get lemon cucumbers isolated?  Red Sails Lettuce?

It’s absolutely staggering, but if nothing else, this legacy offers a great opportunity to bow down in humility to the generations of green thumbs that came before us and worked hard, despite the awful news they heard on the news, or the fact that there were always more tasks to be accomplished than time allowed, or that the world seemed to be “going to hell in a hand-basket”.  They worked consistently towards the perfect shallot, the perfect beet, the perfect head of kohlrabi.

“The day is coming when a single carrot freshly observed will set off a revolution.”

-Paul Cezanne

carrotTime is running out to get the Earliest Bird Special for the 2015 Summer CSA!  Prices starting as low as $325 for a season’s worth of grade-A nourishment.

But don’t worry, if you don’t get your deposit in by Jan 1st, you can still take advantage of the next round of savings – sign up by Feb 1st and reserve your small share for only $335, or a large share for only $470.

Not sure which share size is most suitable for you?  Check out this page about CSA Information.

The Winter CSA is well under way, and Jan 8th & 10th will be the third week of pick-ups.  So far we’ve had a mix of carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, garlic, giant kohlrabi, savoy cabbage, turnips, daikon radishes, kale, spinach, parsley and leeks.  And there’s more to come!  During this latest warm spell which has just ended I was able to harvest the rest of the leeks from the field with the help of some very enthusiastic international volunteers – thank you!

Here’s a funky recipe for Turkey Leek Casserole that may put to use any left-over turkey that happens to be hanging out in the fridge…  Or better yet, cook up another fresh turkey next week!

Turkey Leek Casserole

Ingredients

5 1/2 cupsTurkey Stock
3 tablespoon butter
1 bunch thinly sliced leek
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or onions
1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chopped cooked turkey (light and/or dark meat)
1 cup grated fresh Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Bring Turkey Stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks to pan; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt. Place leek mixture in a small bowl. Add shallots/onions to pan; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup stock; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, gradually, stirring constantly until each portion of the stock is absorbed before adding the next (or not).

Stir in turkey and leek mixture; cook until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, thyme, sage, and pepper.

Enjoy!

 

Want to Apprentice at an Organic Market Garden next year?  Visit our Apprenticeship Page for more info.

 

Kitchen Table Meeting

Chainsaw Safety & Care

When: Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 1:00pm
Where: Kolapore Gardens. 587530 9th Sideroad, Clarksburg, which is quite close to the hamlets of Ravenna and Redwing.
Host:  Mike Reid, can be reached at 519-599-5363.
Please RSVP directly to the host!

For more information about the Ecological Farmers of Ontario visit www.efao.ca

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