Borscht-in-a-bag is back: 2 pounds of beets, 2 pounds of potatoes, 2 red onions, 10 small carrots and one culinary-sized garlic bulb -- $10 in an Agriculture Canada bag or $8 if you bring your own. There's a you tube video of our recipe for borscht. We don’t use any fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides or plastic. All our produce is hand planted and hand harvested and grown in dirt. Our produce is full of flavour - sharp and really tasty. Here's a list of what's available as of August 6, 2019:
50 cents each
$1/pound for red, white or fingerling.
The Baba Bowl is a mix of raw and roasted seasonal vegetables - a prairie spin on a Buddha Bowl. Beet greens are so lovely at this time of year and we're trying to find new ways to use this nutritious, plentiful ingredient. For sure the leaves can be added to other greens in any salad, but for the Baba Bowl they're the main base. I left the onions raw because they're so awesome at this time of year. We have deer eating our peas this year, so if we want any, we have to eat them before they fill out, so we used them like snap peas fresh in the salad - but shelled raw or cooked would taste great. Then we roasted vegetables to serve hot on top and drizzled dressing over all. We made a basic vinaigrette, but I also think a hollandaise sauce would work with the Baba Bowl - I put the recipes on the garlic goodness facebook page on July 25, 2019 if you're interested in them. The recipe name is a tribute to the great Ukrainian gardeners I've known - their ability to make everything they could grow to taste great and to never waste a thing!
been using scapes in our marinade and loving
We are eating garlic bulbs now, too, as of July 5th. They have a super great taste and texture – crisp and slightly milder than they will be when fully grown and cured, but so much better than garlic that’s been shipped from elsewhere. Local and fresh is the best, right? They're $1 each - same as they will be when they mature.
The Highland cross offers a superior-tasting well-marbled beef with a smaller carcass size than a commercial breed. There are well-researched health benefits to the Highland meat, including lower cholesterol levels and higher protein and iron content. We don't use any hormones and our grass is natural - no fertilizers or pesticides are used anywhere on our farm.
Please let us know if you’re interested in buying a side of beef. We have animals booked in for November 12th, and with a 14-21 day hanging period it will mean end-of-November or beginning of December for pick-up.
If you haven't checked out our instagram feed please do when you have time - we're posting more regularly as of summer 2019.
June 24, 2019
Last week I attended a soil workshop featuring Dr. Kris Nichols hosted by the GWFA in conjunction with RD County. What a fascinating presentation – the value of topsoil can hardly be overstated and there’s a lot we can do to preserve and build up our soil. We want to add carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the soil – increase aggregates, create and encourage mycorrhizal fungi – and embrace diversity. Dr. Nichols said we need a brown revolution.
Everyone who’s been out here knows we don’t spray for weeds or pests and we have a wide variety of plants growing everywhere. Our inspiration is nature – in the woods we see so many different shrubs, flowers, legumes and grasses growing naturally among the spruce and aspen. We see mosquitos, wasps, bees, dragonflies, flies and so many different bugs – both pollinators and food for the huge variety of birds we see along the Red Deer River. Small animals like mice, weasels and rabbits thrive and support the eagles and owls – it’s a complex and hugely diverse system that we use as inspiration in our planting.
Dr. Nichols said that if you lose soil health
you lose food nutrients – maybe we instinctively understand
that, but it’s the first time I’d heard it said from someone who
studies the matter. Vegetables grown in dirt taste great – and
maybe they’re actually healthier for us! She has a soil
consulting service and a website www.KRIS-SYSTEMS.com
which I recommend, and for anyone local I highly encourage
membership in the Grey Wooded Forage Association – they have a
wealth of information and they host really interesting talks.
Garlic bulbils are small clones of the garlic plant that grow on top of the scape of hardneck garlic. The scapes are gorgeous and tasty, and the bulbils should be great for growing new plants. Here at the farm, though, we haven't had success in planting the bulbils - we don't spray for weeds and our soil is full of seeds and roots, so the bulbils get 'lost'. We're trying to find a good way of planting them, and this year we've put some in planters - hopefully they grow!
We planted lots of all three main types of garlic - rocambole, porcelain and purple stripe. I think of roca as regular garlic - we planted German Red and Yugoslavian -- medium heat and lovely taste. Porcelain types are often a hotter garlic taste and have beautiful white, large cloves. The porcelain strains we planted are Music, which is a Canadian-developed garlic, and Georgian Fire. We'll have a bit of Northern Quebec which is a porcelain, also. The last major strain is purple stripe, and it's the type that has the highest allicin content, for those who like garlic for its health benefits -- this is the Chesnok Red which we've grown for years. In June we can say that the garlic looks great! We're waiting for scapes to form.
just uploaded a video showing how to make garlic puree.
One of the best innovations we’ve tried in the last couple of years is our newspaper pots. We start seeds usually in peat pellets or flats of soil and then when they’re well sprouted and need more room and some dirt we put the pellets or rooted soil into a dirt-filled newspaper pot where they continue to grow until they’re ready to go out to the garden.
go straight into planters or the garden so there seems to be
very little transplant shock. Roots grow easily through the
paper when they’re ready to, and the newspaper composts over
the season. Everything I’ve read says that the ink on the
paper is no problem for the plants or the soil. If a plant
seems cramped in its pot you simply put soil in a bigger pot
and put the smaller pot into the larger one without removing
the smaller one, then put the whole thing in the garden. If
the pot gets weak from a long season indoors or if one waters
a lot and the pot seems shaky it’s easy to put it into another
pot, again without removing the first pot. There is no
disruption of the roots with these pots. Another super feature
is that you can feel how moist the pot is - you can feel it
from the outside, which is really useful. I can find it
difficult to know when seedlings need water, but there is no
such difficulty when you can see and feel the
made a video showing how to make the pots and
there is another video
showing the box in a square form, which makes it easier to see
the tucks. There is another short video showing the geranium cutting
in a newspaper box.
Our Red Deer County address is 35540 RR12
Lorraine & Kevin Bannister