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Archive for July, 2009

My last one! It’s been a joy to bring you photos each week, and I will miss it very much. However Halifax calls, and I must answer. Amy will be rocking the blog though, so I leave you in good hands. Enjoy these farewell shots of a gorgeous day.

Many good farm wishes,

Ayla

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If you’re interested in volunteering with the UBC Farm the first step is to join us for an orientation session. We’ll be holding a general orientation today, Tuesday July 28 from1-2:30pm.

Following the general orientation, our market coordinator Vanessa will be holding a market crew-specific orientation from 5:30-6:30pm. We’re still trying to line up volunteers for the remaining markets this year, so we’d love to have your help.

UPDATE! Tonight’s market orientation is canceled, but will be rescheduled soon. Stay tuned!

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UBC Food Services Blueberry Fest

photo by Flickr user dwstucke

photo by Flickr user dwstucke

UBC Food Services, the UBC Bookstore and the BC Blueberry Council present the first annual Blueberry Fest July 28-30, 9am-1pm each day at the Bookstore Plaza. The event will include BC blueberries sold by the flat, daily prize draws, free recipes and UBC Bookstore discounts. A blueberry menu by Award-winning Executive Chef Piyush Sahay will feature blueberry pancakes, parfaits, cream blintzes, muffins, scones, and UBC Farm mixed greens with blueberry vinaigrette.

The UBC Farm will have a table at the event on Tuesday July 28th where we’ll be selling produce and UBC Farm merchandise. This will be in lieu of any campus sales outside of MacMillan next week, so make sure to stop by and see us!

Mark your calendar and join us at the Bookstore Plaza next week, bring your own bags and/or containers for all your purchases, recipes and information.

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Sorry about the tardiness, technical difficulties kept me from posting these until now.

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Farm Fresh Garlic

Fresh Garlic: The Most Glorious Market Treasure

Fresh Garlic: The Most Glorious Market Treasure

Most people associate July bounty with fresh summer fruit but in my opinion, fresh garlic is the most glorious market treasure. (No disrespect to the fruit; apricots and berries are a close second!)  We’ve been harvesting garlic over the last three weeks — selling some fresh at the market by the wheelbarrow-full and curing the rest.

Now if you’re wondering what other parts of the garlic plant are edible, how to cure and store it or what to use your fresh garlic for, read on!

The Harvest Breakdown

Garlic GemsSince garlic is planted in the Fall, the first harvest is actually in early spring.  Garlic greens, around a foot tall, can be used like scallions.  The second harvest is late June/early July when the scapes are ready.  Scapes are the delicious, curly flower stalks on hardneck varieties. The third harvest, and main event, is of the bulb itself.

Curing & Storage

Decorative Garlic BraidsCuring prepares garlic for winter storage.  It’s the process of allowing excess moisture in the bulb to dry turning the outer skin into a protective papery covering, preventing molding, and sealing in the aromatic oils.  We’ve been curing our garlic by hanging bunches in dry, well-ventilated sheds away from direct sunlight.  In about two weeks’ time, they’ll be ready!  After curing, garlic is best stored in a cool (but not refrigerated), dark, relatively dry environment.

Recipe: Garlic Arugula Linguine

Sunflower Garlic Arugula Linguine

Fresh garlic has a subtler flavour and keeps a lovely, firm consistency when cooked. This pasta toss serves two.

200 grams dried linguine pasta
5-6 cups washed arugula greens, coarsely chopped
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
2 garlic scapes, chopped
1 small bulb fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Optional:
1/2 tsp fresh savory, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Start cooking linguine as directed on package. Preheat frying pan to medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and saute sunflower seeds, garlic scapes, garlic and fresh herbs until golden and aromatic.

When linguine is ready, strain pasta and incorporate the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and arugula. Toss in sauteed garlic mixture, lemon juice, walnuts, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Plate and enjoy!

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Campus sales today!

Just letting you know we will be having a mid-week sale today, Wed, July 15th outside the MacMillan building (2357 Main Mall) from 12:00 – 1:00pm. Stop by for some farm-fresh produce, including good supplies of our popular salad mix, radishes, raspberries, beets, snow & snap peas, arugula, garlic scapes, basil, edible flower petals, etc.. Cash only please, and don’t forget to bring your own bags.

Also – last chance to get your tickets for this weekend’s Outstanding in the Field dinner at the UBC Farm!

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Apprentice Post: Farm a Buzz…

Like a colony of bees, saturday morning sees a hive of activity. Central is the harvest hut, where volunteers, staff, apprentii, and those who vend, swarm and descend, fresh goodies in hand. The carrots and broccoli are new, and the meaty beets would crowd out the rest if they could; their bushels of  green and red tops take up the counter space they deserve. ‘Early Wonder’ indeed!

So we bumble off to gather the herbs, and find Ayla in passing, nursing a half stung finger in amidst the medicinal flower garden. The morning grog has yet to pass, and some bees are not at their sharpest.  But once they get going, their toil seems unending. The oregano is in full bloom, and the bees make their pass. Some hang so heavy with pollen it seems a defiance of gravity, as they swager through this warm morning’s air. Seeing our pollinators drunk with the bloom eases my guilt as I steal these fragrant herbs out from under them. One could lose hours down here, but the market does not wait for dreamers, as the burgeoning lineup will attest. Those with a hunger get the freshest and the best. So I scurry back up, mint, sage, oregano, bronze fennel, and savoury bunched and ready for sale.

Morning task complete,  it is time to seek out the action in the field. “To the peas!” someone calls. Surely, if those I see in the distance were not human, bees they would be, the way they methodically pour over the peas. Plucking high and low, sugar snap and snow. These are bountiful times, and for that I am grateful. Every day, it seems there is more freshness and vitality bursting forth of the earth. My buzzin buddies have it good, too. Everywhere I look, there are Honey and Bumble bees, going about their business. From blackberry blossoms, to echinaccea, to pea and bean flowers, the maya garden squash petals and blooms unnamed in my mind, there is the hum of our most prodigious helpers. The ones without which we would have little to eat. And I don’t mean honey.

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