Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bailey's Buying Club - Ordering is now open for January 18, 2010

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A message from Rachael
Happy New Year! I hope that you enjoyed some holidays and are ready for 2010! I just got back from my Aunt's house in Simcoe where we finished yet another holiday meal.

After attending the Waterloo Region Food Summit in November and later talking with a friend who works at House of Friendship I realize how many people are not so lucky to be able to choose and afford local foods.
Food banks and other agencies were hit really hard with requests this holiday season. It's been bugging me for a while and in addition to sending extra food to worthy causes at the end of our pickup day I'd like to offer another way to help others. I've added a $5 donation button that we can all use to give food to others. 100% will go to a food related charity that is local. A soup kitchen, the House of Friendship, the Waterloo Region Food Bank, whatever. If you would like to suggest a way to put these donations to use we welcome your suggestions.

Nina's suggestion was to use the money to buy beans and peanut butter from local farmers to donate to the Waterloo Region Food Bank. Both items are in high demand and we can support local farmers and eaters at the same time!

If you look in the 'other' category you will find a new $5 donation button. I will send updates as this project takes shape.

Thanks for your help!


Hello Local Eaters,
I was standing at the kitchen sink today looking out the window at a backyard full of snow with my hands in a sink of dirty carrots and thinking of Angie. Angie Koch is the farmer of Fertile Ground CSA who sold us the bags of unwashed carrots in December. I was thinking of her out in her fields with her spaghetti strap tank top, low slung denim cut-offs and strong brown hands planting the carrots in long rows in the fertile earth near Schneider Bush. Thank you Ang, for working for less than minimum wage to follow your dream of starting a farm and growing us carrots. I was also thinking of you and wondering if any of you were washing carrots too. When I dumped the carrots into the sink the aroma of CARROTS and EARTH filled the kitchen. I don't know if I've smelled that in my kitchen before when there was snow in the ground. A sensual delight. And then I stood there rubbing each carrot - giving it a little massage - crunching on a small sweet one and thinking of Angie and you.
The carrots were the vegetable part of our pizza supper this New Years Day. I tried a new recipe for a thin crust pizza dough that turned out delicious with pesto, cheddar, onions and hamburger. Add sparkling apple cider from near Simcoe and two grandparents and it felt like a party.

I asked Angie how she harvested and stored these carrots. Here's her description:
The carrots you got in December were harvested the last week of October. They were a mix of Nelson & Berlicummer seeds. The ground was quite wet (hence them being so dirty). We loosen the carrots with a digging fork, then pull them by hand & clip the greens off.

We leave the dirt on and pack them into bins of damp wood shavings because it helps moderate the moisture level so the carrots don't get rubbery. We then put the bins in cold storage (either my brother's basement or the cooler at the farm with a space heater set to keep the temperature above freezing). This year was a bit of a challenge since November was so warm. We ended up harvesting some more carrots late November to replace some of the earlier ones that had already started sprouting in storage.

Turkey Drama
How did your holiday feasts turn out? I heard that the goose at Nath's feast turned out wonderful. Properly greasy, she said. At the last minute Paul offered me a pasture-raised turkey. I happily accepted even though he said it was 30lbs and I have never prepared a turkey that large. Well, it was actually FORTY pounds! The same size as my four year old daughter. My mother-in-law offered to prepare it and baked it in a huge electric roaster. After about 4 hours she realized that the breasts were not baking fast enough because they were sticking up our of the roaster (only covered by aluminum foil because the lid could not fit). So she cut off the ENORMOUS breasts, put those in a pan and baked them separately. At dinner, she reassembled the pieces back into the original shape and my father-in-law was barely able to carry it to the table. It tasted wonderful and would've been a happy ending if my father-in-law had not decided to put it on the porch to cool. So, yes, the dogs enjoyed a turkey feast. When we realized what was going on, we rescued a still-large turkey carcass, rinsed it and boiled it for soup. Still a happy ending. I have two jugs of turkey broth in my freezer waiting to become squash soup or vegetable barley soup.

Speaking of turkey, Matthew used the ground turkey in lasagna yesterday along with frozen swiss chard and more. It was wonderful. I love that we can order turkey breasts, legs, etc now!

Soiled Reputation
Antony of Soiled Reputation is one of the few farmers around here who keeps farming all year long. He now has a funky website where you can go read more about him - and see his paintings. Turns out he's an artist too!
He thinks he'll have more of his gourmet salad mix for us in Feb or March. To tide you over until then, we've added "living" salad greens from Slegers near Stratford

Later Tomater
We'll have to wait a couple months for more of those yummy grape tomatoes from Floralane. They pulled up the old plants in December and the new ones should be ready in March. At our grand opening in June Stuart said how long the tomato plants get. I think he said 30 meters! Each! If you're curious how they grow, you can stop in at their farm just north of Elmira. They are on the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! map.

Creme, Crema, and Creamy Cheeses
A highlight of our December 21st pick up for me (besides the smooth and organized system!) was meeting Amarjit (he goes by Singh) and tasting his creams and cheeses. At one point toward the end of the evening I had a hot tamale in my hand and Singh was insisting on dribbling Crema la Vaquita on it each time I was about to take a bite. He assured me that the fat in cream is good for me. It tasted so good!! A few days later I served Supremo Nachos at a family gathering with Crema la Vaquita on the side (along with guacamole and salsa). Imagine McKechnie tortilla chips with the following toppings: Hillbilly Small Red Mexican Beans, black olives, green onions from Paul, grape tomatoes from Stuart, and old cheddar from Millbank - all melted into gooey goodness. We devoured two cookies sheets of nachos like a pack of wolves. I think we'll have to make Supremo Nachos more often. I haven't tried the Queso Blanco yet or the Paneer. Maybe they'll inspire a couple meals this week as we shift back to regular life.

Green Onions Not Pretty But Oh So Fresh
I heard from a member that the green onions were ugly. I should've explained ahead of time how wonderful they are despite the outer slimeyness. Paul planted green onions out in the field in late August. By the end of September he realized that they were not going to mature before the season ended. So he dug up the row tractor bucket by tractor bucket and gently placed the chunks of soil and green onions into his hoop house (unheated greenhouse). Inside they were protected and slightly warmer so they were able to mature and then stand there waiting to be harvested. By Dec 21 they had been frozen a few times despite being inside and so the outer layer had been damaged. Paul left the outer layer on to protect the next layer from drying out with the assumption that we'd remove the outer layer before using it.

Foods to Look for This Month:
  • If you're looking for shallots, they're in the onion section
  • This may be your last chance to order local squash (frozen will still be available)
  • Frozen squash puree for easy soups and "pumpkin" pies
  • Beef or Beef/Pork Patties sale by Traditional Foods
  • Hunks of high quality meat to throw in the crockpot for easy meals
  • Beans for "beans and rice" with Crema la Vaquita - and tortilla chips
  • Grainharvest will be supplying us with their high-quality baked goods (coming soon!). They use local soft wheat flour and spelt flour while the hard wheat flour comes from Western Canada.
  • Organic local popcorn now here
  • Tart cherry juice (concentrated!)
Foods in Jars for 2010?
Edna and Melinda of Country Flavour are asking us what new preserves we'd like them to make this year. Are there foods in jars you love that you wish would be made with local foods? They have quite an impressive selection already, the only things I can think of are minced garlic (super handy!) or hot sauces.

One-sided Paper for Us?
We try to save trees by using one-sided paper for printing the pick up slips. Do you have nice neat stacks of paper without staples that you want to see used? The lovely stacks I had have dwindled. If you do have lots, please drop it off at my house or bring it to the next pick up.

Have a Farm Dream?
Angie Koch is facilitating a FarmStart course for people who have a farm dream:

Exploring Your New Farm Dream Course
Thinking about starting your own farm business? Want to learn more about the opportunities and realities of farming? Exploring Your New Farm Dream: Is Starting an Agricultural Business Right for You? is a course designed to help aspiring farmers learn what it takes to start and manage a commercial agricultural business. If you're interested in considering a future in farming this course will help you weigh your options and decide whether a farm business is the right path for you. Angie Koch of Fertile Ground CSA will be facilitating the Kitchener course which includes 4 evening sessions and 1 day of farm tours.Kitchener - The Working Centre (58 Queen St. South)
Evening sessions (6:30pm รข€" 9:30pm): Wednesdays, Feb 10, Feb 17, Mar 3, Mar 10
Farm tour (full day): Saturday, Feb 20

For more information and to apply visit If you have questions contact Gayl at or (519) 836-7046 x105 or talk to Angie 519-569-8690 or

By eating local foods you are making farm dreams possible. I see a KW with urban farm plots in nooks and corners of the city. I see bicyclists going by with rakes and hoes sticking out of their trailers. I see fresh produce stands at City Hall, church parking lots, in the parks and along bike paths. I see greenhouses using waste heat from the building next door and warming a winter crop of grape tomatoes - on your street.

Thank you for choosing a resilient local food system and helping to make it a reality,
Bailey's Local Foods
P.S. We can use your fruit baskets and jars from preserves again if you return them.
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