Recipe: Vinegret

Not to be confused with the salad dressing that shares its name, vinegret is a traditional Russian salad that's always found on the table at a dinner party or festive gathering. It's popular both because of its colourful look and the fact that it's made from hardy storage veggies that can be pulled out of the cellar in the depths of winter. Growing up in a household of Russian emigrees meant vinegret was present at every single celebration, although picky kid eater that I was, I usually wanted nothing to do with its vinegary flavour. With a more grown-up appreciation for this vibrant salad, I decided to oven roast the beets and carrots instead of boil them so as to better bring out the earthy sweetness of these delicious root veggies. It takes longer, but the taste is well worth it. If you're interested in other more traditional touches you can try adding some peas and sauerkraut, although if adding the latter I would dial back on the white vinegar and pickle brine.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

- 2.5 cups (375 g) each of beets, carrots, potatoes
- 1-2 dill pickles
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp pickle brine liquid
- 2 tbsp diced white onion
- salt and pepper to taste


1) Drizzle unpeeled beets in olive oil and wrap individually in aluminum foil (if beets are large, cut in half or quarters first to save time in the oven).

2) Peel carrots and place in shallow baking pan, drizzle with olive oil. Place foil wrapped beets in same pan and roast at 425 F until tender. The carrots will likely take about 30 minutes, the beets about 60 minutes.

3) Peel potatoes and boil until tender, about 20 minutes.

4) While the veggies are cooking, assemble dressing ingredients and dice pickles. Set aside.

5) Drain potatoes and dice when cool enough to handle. Place in colander and rinse under cold water to wash off the starch and separate the diced cubes.

6) Remove carrots from the oven and dice when cool enough to handle.

7) Remove beets and take foil off. Rub peels under running water to remove. Dice beets when cool enough to handle.

8) Combine ingredients with dressing in a salad bowl and mix well. Chill until ready to serve. Can be stored in the fridge for 3 days.


Summer is officially here and so is the heat! The garden is soaking up the sunlight on these ultra-long days and growing fast.

In Fields 2 and 3 are potatoes, garlic, onions and various cover crops. Nearby are the two greenhouses. The old greenhouse in front is home to the tomatoes and the new greenhouse behind is still where seedlings mature before moving out to the field as transplants.

Through the roll-up sides of the old greenhouse (put up in the daytime for ventilation and put down at night for warmth) you can see the tomatoes are getting tall.

Inside view of the tomatoes growing up the string trellises.


In Field 1 are the peas, broccoli, eggplant, radishes, lettuce, spinach, bok choy, kohlrabi, beans, turnips, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, corn, carrots and beets. Most of the mid-late summer veggies are still small but growing by leaps and bounds every day.

Lettuce is one of the first late spring veggies to appear and we've been eating it for the past couple of weeks. It's so exciting to start digging into fresh garden produce after a long winter of root cellar veggies, preserves and pickles and the few things we buy at the grocery store. I'm never disappointed at the amazing taste of the food our land gives us.

Veggies aren't the only thing growing at the farm this season. Baby #3 is due to arrive in two months with all my late summer favorites like corn, peppers and zucchini.

The kids have started their own little garden in the front near the house. They check daily on the progress of the cherry tomatoes, beans, peppers, cucumbers, peas, carrots and lettuce. There's also a small corn plot nearby.

Stay cool during these sweltering days! Visit our CSA page for info on our local pick-up options.

Root Cellar Soup

On this frigid Saturday evening deep into February, I'm warming us up with a soup made from some of our stored fall harvest veggies. Into chicken stock seasoned with tamari, sesame oil and kombu seaweed I tossed some lentils, potatoes, beets, carrots, winter radishes and garlic. I could have added some onions too, but the kids always pick them out with wrinkled noses, so I decided to pass for tonight and challenge them with onions another time. All but the lentils came from our basement storage and all were fresh and ready to be used.

Yum! I hope everyone out there is staying warm and dreaming of spring!

Recipe: Winter Radish Salad

Strikingly beautiful black radishes are larger and spicier than your usual May radish, but the long, cool nights of fall give them a sweetness and soft texture. They get milder tasting when cooked and are pretty intense raw, however rubbing slices with salt and letting them sweat for 10 minutes or so takes some of the heat off. Grating or cutting into thin slices or matchsticks is the best way to prepare raw winter radishes, and they go fantastically well with salads of all sorts. A simple vinaigrette is the finishing touch.

- 3 medium size black radishes
- 1 large or 2 small carrots
- 4-5 stems of parsley
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp minced ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced

1) Grate radishes with largest size grater and place in a small bowl. Add salt and mix well. Leave to soften while you prep the other ingredients.

2) Grate carrots with largest size grater. Finely chop parsley and combine with carrots.

3) Mix dressing ingredients.

4) Squeeze excess water out of radishes and move to a colander. Rinse well and add to salad bowl with carrots and parsley.

5) Add sesame seeds and dressing and mix well. Let rest for 5 minutes to allow flavours to mix and then serve.

This is our final recipe of the 2015 season. We will start up again with weekly recipes featuring the seasonal bounty of the farm in June 2016. Until then, we'll be blogging about life on the farm in the off season - the work never ends!

Thanks to all our CSA members for supporting the farm this year!

Recipe: Carrot Apple Slaw

Colourful carrots make for a vibrant salad, and this time of year we have carrots in spades and are looking for ways to use them. Visit an apple orchard and pick some red apples to toss in for even more colour. A bright, citrusy vinaigrette and some toasted nuts tie all the flavours together as well as keep the apples from turning brown. I made this recipe for our big Thanksgiving feast, so it'll serve at least 4 adults. Cut the amounts in half for a smaller, more mundane occasion, like Tuesday night.


- 3-4 carrots (ideally in a mix of colours)
- 1 large or 2 small apples
- ½ cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt

1) Peel and cut carrots into thin, matchstick-sized strips with either a knife, mandolin or grater.

2) Cut apples into similarly sized thin strips or matchsticks (I leave the apple peel on).

3) Melt butter on medium heat and toast pine nuts until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

4) Finely chop parsley.

5) Combine carrots, apples, parsley and pine nuts (when cooled).

6) Combine dressing ingredients and pour over slaw. Mix well and serve.

Recipe: Rainbow Coleslaw

When cabbage starts coming in from the garden I always make coleslaw. This recipe throws in some other seasonal veggies for a deliciously colourful result. You can use regular store bought mayo but I promise that when you try homemade mayo - easier to make than it might seem - you'll never want to buy it premade again. Once you get the hang of the basic mix of egg, vinegar, salt and oil you can experiment with different vegetable oils (try
swapping half of the oil for something more strong tasting like olive, avocado or walnut oil), different acids (ie, lemon juice in place of vinegar), and different flavourings to add in. Garlic is perhaps my favorite but I've had yummy results with additions like saffron, tarragon and rosemary.


Garlic Mayo:
- 1 egg
- 2 cups mild flavoured vegetable oil (such as grapeseed oil)
- 4 tsp white vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1/2 tsp salt

- 1 beet
- 1 small green cabbage
- 1 turnip
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large apple
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice


1. Place the egg, vinegar and salt in a stand mixer or food processor. Set to medium speed and run for 1 minute.

2. Slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture as your mixer or processor is running. This should take several minutes. It's helpful to pause every half cup or so and wait 30-60 seconds before starting to pour oil again (while letting the machine continue running). You should see the mayo start to thicken by the time half of the oil is in and  continue thickening as you add more oil.

3. Add minced garlic and run for another 1-2 minutes.

4. Finely slice or grate the veggies and mix together into a large bowl. I used a mandoline for all but the cabbage but that's up to you.

5. Add the mayo, Dijon mustard and lemon juice to the veggies and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately or refrigerate. As is typical with coleslaw the flavour will improve after 24 hrs of resting in the fridge.