Monday, August 25, 2008

Bailey's Buying Club Aug 29

Hi Folks,

Is this week the peak of our local eating year? It could be. The week
when the most variety of local foods are available. We'll have to
remember this when it is February and we are feeling sorry for
ourselves that we live in Ontario and not California.

To be honest, I find this time of year overwhelming with all the local
foods coming in and all the foods I want to can or freeze. I just
can't do all that I want to! I've got peaches getting over-ripe
behind me. Will they become peach sauce that I freeze or will I get
them into jars? Last week I shocked myself by getting seven jars of
peaches canned. I've never done that by myself! I even did it with
three kids in my care and they were mostly happy. After that I felt
like I could do anything. Maybe that is why I then ordered 25 dozen
(yes DOZEN) sweet corn for my family to freeze. On Saturday with three
adults working on it we got 15 dozen shucked, steamed, and cut off the
cob (while repairing the roof, parenting and going to the Busker
Festival). Sat evening I was facing 10 more dozen. I chose to have a
sabboth Sunday morning and gave the last 10 dozen away rather than be
a corn-cutting factory all morning. I'm glad I made that choice. It
gives me joy to give away food and now I feel a bit more rested and
ready for another week. And those peaches behind me... If you want to
feel in solidarity with someone else who is figuring out how and what
to put up for the Winter, you can read a fellow buying club member's
blog. Carrie Snyder (mom with the red haired kids) has her laptop in
the kitchen and so a lot of what comes out in the blog is about food .

The peaches really were amazingly easy to can. This website has clear
directions and photos: .
I skip their step of adding citric acid. I don't mind if they darken a
bit. The key is to have all the supplies on hand so that when you get
two hours, you can go for it. We have dozens of boxes of lids, lots of
jars we collected over the years (for sale at grocery stores and home
hardware) and a water bath canner which is just a huge enamel pot
(also at home hardware). A jar lifter is a key tool that you can't do

There's a good chance I can get one last load of blueberries from
Simcoe. While I'm there, I'll pick up that canola oil I am excited to
have found. Here is the lovely website for the canola and soy oil. I
especially like the photo of Jason and his family in a field. The canola oil is
described as: "Dark golden colour, with a bold robust flavour makes
this a favorite amongst top chefs. Not to mention that it is the
lowest in saturated fat of all the oils." And the soybean oil:
"Brilliant yellow colour with a nutty aroma and flavour which can be
used with any of our recipes." Their oils have a two year shelf life
if unopened. If you share a 10 litre jug with a neighbour or two (fill
up an empty canola oil jug from Zehrs) it is $5 a litre where as if
you buy a fancy 250 ml bottle it is $24/litre. See also the Blueberry
Infused Wine Vinegar from Jason.

Do you like that blackcurrant jam from Foxmoor Farms? Since I'm
heading to Simcoe I can pick up cases of that again to stock you up
for the Winter (use for Christmas gifts?).

If you are wanting to can tomato sauce, the plum tomatoes will be
coming Sept 19 (probably). Red sweet peppers will be available in a
few weeks.

Do you wish that the Buying Club pick up location was closer to your
home? It can be if you and/or a neighbour want to host a satellite
site. If you can find twenty families that want to be part of the
buying club and pick up from your location, that would help ease the
crowds at this location and make it easier to welcome more people into
the buying club. Email me if you are interested in hosting a site.
The site needs a garage or large carport. I would still coordinate all
of the ordering and emailing from here.

My maternity leave is over and I return to work (21hrs/wk) on Sept 15.
This means we'll need to make our pick up more efficient so that I
can do it while parenting. One way to do this is to have YOU add up
the total of your order and hand me or my dad the cheque (or cash but
cheque is easiest). We'll have a big calculator for you to use if you
need it. Having a volunteer on pick up day like Kelly has done a few
times is also makes pick up times smoother and more fun for me because
I have time to talk to you rather than just taking money. Consider
joining us as a volunteer once in awhile and you can buy your food at
cost for that week. Kelly says it's fun : )

Shall we call this the week of the seedless, local and organic
watermelons? Do you have last-of-the-summer get togethers that would
go well with watermelon? If I get an order for 100 melons, I can order
a skid of them and they are a lot cheaper. If you each order 2 or 3
melons, we'll have enough. Let's see what happens. I'll put an
ordering option for "bulk watermelon" at a cheaper price. Order as
many as you want of that. I'll also put a back up ordering option for
if we don't get orders for 100. You'll get one or the other, not both.

I'm also going to offer Mapleton's organic yogurt this week. It keeps
a month or more in the fridge.

This week you can order 100 Mile Black Forest Ham or 100 Mile All
Natural Beef. These are both meats that I developed with Stemmler
Meats and Cheese and have been selling to Vincenzo's. They come in
packages of a pound or more - shaved. The beef is hormone, steroid
and drug free beef. If you have lunches to pack, these can be frozen
to use later too. My mom makes the whole sandwich (minus the fresh
tomato and lettuce), puts it in the freezer and then pulls it out
frozen in the morning to send along for a lunch. It stays nice and
cool that way too. You can also freeze a few slices in between wax
paper in a stack for easy sandwich making.

The carrots and cilantro seemed extra small last week. I'll be talking
to the farmers about increasing the sizes of those. Did you try the
white peaches? Whoa! They are even better than the Red Haven. This
week there is lower acid white peach called White Lady. It tastes
especially sweet because of the low acid. Bartlett pears and plums
this week too. If you want boxes of pears that are 2nds for canning
pears or pearsauce, see that option on the ordering form. The pears
need to sit out to ripen like the peaches.

Sorry about going overboard with pastries and such last week. I got a
little carried away when ordering. Everything sounded so good : ) Let
me know what pastries you want to see again.

There will be no buying club the week of Sept 12. That is the last
week of my mat leave so we are going to try to get away for a few

Will you join us for a 100 Mile Potluck Picnic on Sept 20? We are
inviting all buying club members to converge here at our place for a
celebration of local food. Miriam and Mervin who raise the chickens
and turkeys will join us too along with their children. It will be a
chance for you to get to know one of our farming families and for them
to see who is eating and appreciating the food that they are growing
for us. You'll also be able to share recipe ideas and meet others who
are excited about local foods. I'll ask for an RSVP on the order form
next week.

Enjoy your last week of summer!

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