Posts Tagged ‘harvest’

Pickling Cukes!

The Farm is a-buzz with visions of pickles, and the time is now for making them.  Pickling cukes are crawling out of their beds and into the rows, lending their spiny green skins to harvesting hands, revealing cool cucumbery flesh…  but more so they are ready for pickling!

Did you know? Pickles are loaded with Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Potassium, and are a good source of dietary fiber (the skins!).  The combination of hydrating flesh with fibery skins containing silica, K , Magnesium and other minerals make for an awesome, and nutritious snack.

Mmm, Mmm.  Pickles, gherkins, baby dills.  In a sandwich, on a stick, or by the jar full!  These days a majority of pickles are store bought and available in countless vinegar-based varieties.  You may have tried your hand at preserving your own or had a generous friend pass on a home-canned jar.  Ever had a sour or brined pickle?  I remember a kosher deli in the neighbourhood I grew up in, I’d order a bowl of soup, and most of all enjoy the never ending bowl of  brined pickles and beets on the counter – YUM!  Fermented pickles are easy to make and offer the additional benefits of fermented foods – contributing to a healthy digestive system for starters.

This week the farm has two opportunities for you to engage with Pickling Cukes!  Come on over to the Saturday market for pickling cukes, fresh garlic and herbs, in addition to the many other farm fresh offerings.  Extra special this week is a free Fermentation Demonstration at the Saturday market!  Explore further with the popular Food Preservation by Fermentation workshop on the evening of August 17th.  Join Chef Andrea Potter as she guides participants to create cucumber pickles, sauerkraut, and demonstrate kimchi making (check out the previous blog post about  Growing Seasons workshops or http://fermentaugust2011.eventbrite.com/ to register).

To avoid finding yourself in a pickle, come learn how to make your own – see you at the farm!


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We had our first big Friday harvest today in preparation for our farm gate sale. Ever wonder what it takes to get all that farm-fresh produce ready for market? Check it out!

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it's harvest... it's harvest time!

it's harvest... it's harvest time!

In the dark, cold, exam-filled winter of 2005/2006 I huddled in the UBC Farm Centre kitchen, surrounded by grafting knives, tape, bundles of unlikely looking twiggy things and mugs of hot tea.  Keen students and volunteers joined me, and thus began the UBC Farm Heritage Orchard!

We grafted 155 trees, including 60 different apple cultivars – over 50% of which  originated between 1600-1899 A.D.  (Very very old.  Very very cool).

I held my breath through till the spring when, miraculously, the buds on the unlikely little twiggy things (which were stored in pots  in an outdoor  shelter) began to break… Bright green leaves, which unfurled into perfect little flags of life. We cared for them over the summer, planted them into the UBC Farm soil in the rainy fall of 2006, established irrigation and trellising, pruned them, trained them, talked to them (at least I did) and weeded them.  And now, nearly three years later, we are harvesting gorgeous fruits from these  un-twig-like, lovely trees.  I fully admit my bias – but I think they are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!

AND NOW FOR THE EVENTS!! This weekend the UBC Farm is participating in the UBC Botanical Garden’s AppleFest, Oct 17-18.  AND!!!  On Saturday October 17 – you are cordially invited to join me (Sarah Belanger) on one of three tours of the UBC Farm Heritage Orchard: 10am, 12pm, 2pm. We will meet at the UBC Farm gates and, though it may rain, it will be a lovely time.  A great outing for those interested in apple production and culture! For a little more info, please check out the UBC Farm Website.

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squashPlease join us for our fall Harvest Festival at our Saturday Farm Market on October 3rd, 2009, from 9am-1pm. Our Harvest Festival will feature live music, face painting, pumpkins for sale, spiced apple cider from Happy Planet, scarecrow making, plus an assortment of vendors as well as fresh, organic produce from the UBC Farm. For scarecrow making, please bring old clothes (or pick some up at a thrift store) and the farm will provide the rest of the supplies. See you there!

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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

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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Cutting flowers at 8 this morning

flower bucket

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First garlic harvest of the season

garlic roots

Yum! Green, un-cured garlic is for sale today at the market.

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