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.

Garlic Planting

It's the time of year for garlic planting. I wrote a long post last year describing the process, and am pretty much following the same routine this time around. I'm using the now vacant potato bed. The season of potato cultivation followed by the chicken cleanup patrol results in low weed pressure and slightly depleted fertility, which makes garlic a good fit (garlic is very sensitive to weeds and a light feeder in terms of fertility).

After lightly tilling in some amendments, the last step is to loosen the soil with a broadfork like above. It is very labour intensive, but aerates the soil without inverting the layers, which is much better for the soil ecology. Once the soil is prepared, individual cloves can be planted. Cloves are painstakingly selected by hand based on size and overall quality. Friends and family who have visited the farm around this time of year have all been roped into clove popping. Miraculously, they have still wanted to return for more visits...

Little hands make for good clove popping. Below is photo from 3 years ago, when we had just moved to the farm and were still living in a tiny trailer while building our house.

That's 3 year old Rose, working hard to pop and sort cloves while 8 month old Sylvia tries to figure out which end of the garlic bulb to put in her mouth.

Recipe: Eggplant Rice

This recipe is a bit like a deconstructed baba ganoush, remade as a rice dish. Feel free to load it up with more veggies or some meat, or just have it simply as it is, on the side of a main course. We made it to take to a harvest BBQ to celebrate the end of summer, and a late season veggie like eggplant feels just right on a day that turns cool as soon as the sun goes down. Our hosts were the lovely folks of Knuckle Down Farm, fellow Toronto ex-pats turned farmers. Thanks guys!

- 2-3 small eggplant
- 1/2 cup of rice
Tahini Sauce:
- 5 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2-4 cloves of garlic

1) Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut eggplant into 1 inch chunks. Place eggplant in colander, salt lightly and leave to drain until the oven is ready.

2) Spread drained eggplant chunks out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

3) While eggplant is roasting puree tahini sauce ingredients. Cook rice on the stovetop or in a rice cooker.

4) Thinly slice basil into chiffonade strips.

5) Combine eggplant, tahini sauce, basil and cooked rice in a bowl and mix well. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe: Onion Marmalade

Sweet onions take a bit longer to caramelize because of their higher water content, but the results are sweet enough to make into a jam. Slow cooked in a balsamic reduction along with some basil and garlic you get a lovely combination of sweet and savory flavours that can be used to dress up a multitude of dishes. Try it in a sandwich or with a soft cheese, mixed into a salad dressing or on the side with a roasted meat. It looks so pretty in the jar you may consider giving it as a gift.

- 3-4 onions, sliced thinly
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch basil, cut into thin strips
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar

1) Heat olive oil on medium and fry sliced onions until soft and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.

2) Add sugar, minced garlic and balsamic vinegar and turn heat down to low. Simmer until reduced to a thick, jam-like consistency, about 60 minutes.

3) Add butter and basil and simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Spoon into a jar and refrigerate. Will last for several weeks. Gift accordingly.

Recipe: Beet Pasta

The way beets colour everything they touch is amazing (if sometimes overwhelming when it feels like my entire kitchen has turned red). In this dish they lend their vivid scarlet hue to a comforting bowl of pasta. And don't even think about tossing out the beet greens after you've peeled and chopped your beets. Greens can be easily incorporated into many beet recipes, this one included. The addition of Parmesan gives this dish a bit of heft, but you could leave it out or substitute a different cheese if so inclined.

Roasted beets are also delicious cooled and sliced into a salad.


- 5-6 beets, peeled
- 300 g dry pasta
- 100 g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 500-750 mL water, depending on pasta cook time
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt to taste


1) Chop beets into quarters and place in an oven safe dish or pan. Drizzle with olive oil until evenly coated and cover with aluminum foil. Roast at 450 F until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

2) While beets are roasting, heat another pan on medium-low and cook onions until softened, about 5 minutes.

3) Chop beet greens. The stems can sometimes be a bit fibrous so you can opt to discard these or trim off the woodier ends. Add greens to onions and cook until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.

4) Add garlic, dry pasta, water and about 3/4 of the grated Parmesan. Mix thoroughly until liquid is creamy from the cheese. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer. If pan starts to look dry add a bit more water and stir. Depending on the type of pasta it will take approximately 8-12 minutes to cook.

5) While pasta and veggies are simmering, check on the beets. When fork tender remove from the oven and puree. Adding a bit of water to the blender can help it puree smoothly. Add pureed beets to the pasta.

6) Mix beet puree in with the pasta thoroughly. If pasta is not yet cooked, simmer until complete. This is a good point to taste a noodle and see if you need to add salt.

7) After you plate the pasta sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over top. An alternative topping if you're going cheese-less is chopped parsley or chives. Prepare yourself to be blown away by the beautiful colours and flavours! 

Recipe: Pickled Radishes

Crunchy, spicy radishes are one of my favorite spring veggies. Mostly I eat them raw in salads or just grab a handful from the fridge to munch. To explore some of the softer flavours in radishes you can try them butter braised or pickled. This quick and easy pickle mellows their peppery bite and is delicious in sandwiches or salads. Try setting out a jar at lunch or dinner and let everyone heap  a spoonful of pickled radishes onto their plates - they are a great accompaniment to just about any savory meal. 


- 6-8 radishes, trimmed
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. honey


1. Use a sharp knife or a mandoline (carefully!) to slice radishes into thin discs.

2. Mix brine ingredients (vinegar, water, salt and honey) in saucepan and set on medium-low heat. Stir while heating until just dissolved, about 1-2 minutes.

3. Put garlic in the bottom of a clean 1 L jar and pack all the radishes in on top.

4. Pour brine in over the radishes. Make sure it's not too hot, you don't want to cook the radishes. They should be completely covered by the brine so add extra water if needed.

5. Let cool until room temperature and then refrigerate for 24 hours before eating. Expect to see a lovely pink hue within an hour or so as the brine starts to work its magic on the radishes.

This pickle will last 3-4 weeks in the fridge, assuming you don't devour it first.