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Market Feature: Kale

A New Leaf Farm is proud to announce this week’s market feature, kale. Highly versatile and loaded with important nutrients, kale is a genuine super food. A member of the cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts) vegetable family, kale is high in vitamins K, A and C, as well as valuable minerals such as manganese, copper, calcium and potassium.

On top of its wealth of nutrients, Kale is also a highly versatile in the kitchen. It makes a wonderful addition to your morning juice or shake. Kale makes a delicious side, simply steam and toss in your favorite dressing or sauté in oil with garlic and crumbled feta. Kale also makes a fantastic filler; add it undressed, sautéed or steamed  to your favorite pasta dish (it’s great in lasagna), meat loaf, omelettes, soups and curries. And of course, young kale can be eaten raw in a salad.

Excited to give kale a try? Come visit us today at the Ancaster Farmers Market. We look forward to seeing you!

Quick Kale Recipes

Five Minute Kale

Kid Friendly Kale Chips

Kale-Aid

Kale, Potato, and Onion Frittata

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Useful Odds and Ends

An important part of being a lean green farming machine is reusing or repurposing whatever we can.  At A New Leaf Farm we’ve gotten so good at this we sometimes find ourselves short on reusable material. As such, we would like to encourage our CSA members to help us by recycling certain items with us.

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons can be used over and over again, even after they fall apart. If an egg carton is no longer in good enough condition to be used to store eggs it can be cut up and used to plant seedlings. The cardboard is biodegradable and ads carbon that helps attract worms to the gardens.

Egg Shells

Egg shells are a compost goldmine, rich in much needed calcium. Crushed egg shells also help deter common garden pests like slugs who find it difficult to traverse the sharp edges of the broken shells. If you don’t have a use for your egg shells, we would be happy to have them.

Coffee Grounds

Another compost treasure, coffee grounds add phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper and nitrogen. Throw them in the garden, filters and all, for a wonderful nutrient boost.

Mason Jars

A New Leaf Farm has been overjoyed to share our home canning with our CSA members. The mason jars we use can be reused over and over again, so we would like to ask that you please clean and return them when you pick up your weekly basket. The screw bands can also be reused but the snap lids cannot.

Plastic Containers

When you have over 200 varieties of tomatoes alone, you’re going to have to do a lot of labelling. Large (500ml plus) plastic containers (yogurt, sour cream, etc.) can be cut up and used to make tags.

Rubber Bands

While we try to limit our use of non-biodegradable materials, sometimes we have to much produce to tie by hand. Rubber bands are a perfect quick solution and can be used repeatedly, keeping them out of landfills.

Plant Containers and Trays

So you finished your garden this year and you have dozens of pots and a trays lying about, well we’re happy to take them. They’re great for starting seeds and we have lots of space for them in our greenhouse.

If you have household goodies you would like to recycle with us, please feel free to drop them off when you pick up your basket. Thank you for being a CSA member and for helping us keep our farm as green as possible.

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Basket Bits: June 20, 2014

Hopefully you’ve been by A New Leaf Farm to pick up your CSA today. If you have, you’ll notice an exciting assortment of goodies to kick off the season. Just in case you’re not sure how to use your produce, here are some helpful hints to get you started.

Garlic Scapes: I’ve already written a blog post dedicated to this early season treasure, but to recap, garlic scapes can be used any way you would use garlic. You can eat them raw over a salad, sauté them gently in a little oil and pepper, pickle them, puree them; the possibilities are endless.

Mustard Greens: One of my favorites! These are the curly greens in the bag marked “Spicy!” and beware because they are. Biting in to a mustard green is like having a spoonful of spicy Dijon so they may be a little overwhelming to eat as a salad. We would suggest you use them as the base of a salad dressing (Delicious! Especially with that little bundle of oregano and basil in your basket), or blended in to mayo. You can also use the greens on burgers to give them a little kick.

Green Garlic: This is young garlic that has yet to form multiple cloves. Use it any way you would garlic.

Turnips: Yes, those itty bitty white bulbs are turnips and benefit from any treatment you would give their larger cousin with the exception you can eat them raw! Shave them over a salad, add them to a veggie tray, or roast them in tinfoil. Yummy!

Rhubarb: Often seen as second fiddle to the more popular summer treat, strawberries, rhubarb is more than capable of standing on its own. You can make a quick rhubarb freezer jam, sugar stewed rhubarb, rhubarb muffins, and even rhubarb compote! Don’t be afraid to let your rhubarb shine.

Baby Chard: You don’t have to wait for chard to be all grown up. The baby leaves are lovely and tender with a mild flavour perfect for salad mixes, or for adding to a smoothie.

Sugar Peas: There are few better treats in the world than a sugar pea fresh off the vine, crispy and sweet, delicious to eat. If you don’t just gobble them down raw, they make a wonderful addition to salads and stir-fries.

Kale: There is no plant in such demand from A New Leaf like kale. Our CSAs can’t get enough of it! But just in case you have a little too much and aren’t sure what to do with it, may we suggest: kale chips (a kid friendly favorite), and green smoothies (an awesome way to start the day). When kale gets larger it tends to become more fibrous and less pleasant to eat raw. Heat a little oil in a pan and add chopped garlic, pepper and salt to taste, dried chili peppers (for those who like it hot) and kale. Cook until greens are gently wilted and serve alongside your favorite BBQ.

Lettuce: A wonderland of salad awaits you in this week’s CSA basket. Don’t forget to add this beautiful lettuce to your sandwiches, wraps and burgers!

Sauce: When you’re known for growing over 200 varieties of tomatoes you’re going to have to make some sauce. This batch is an original Carlos Creation, sweetened with fruit instead of refined sugar, made with love and every tomato that wasn’t perfect for our CSA baskets.

Are you missing out on all of this tantalizing produce? There is still time to sign up for Peak Season CSA Shares. For more information, please contact anewleaffarm@gmail.com

garlic scapes

Market Feature: The Garlic Scape

A New Leaf Farm is proud to announce the arrival of an early season treasure, the garlic scape. The hardneck or flower stalk of the garlic plant, the scape (also known as green garlic) is cut away in spring to promote the continued growth of the garlic bulb.  Left to its own devices, the scape will form its own small bulb that can be planted to grow more garlic. However, it takes several years before the scape can form a large garlic bulb. Don’t worry; we’ll talk all about growing garlic in the fall.

In terms of texture, the garlic scape is like a cross between an asparagus stalk and a chive. It has a delicate garlic flavour that can be enjoyed raw in salads or roasted over pasta.  The garlic scape can be prepared the same way as garlic but expect a much milder flavor. Young stalks are best eaten raw, while more mature stalks (the ones that have become curly) benefit from gentle cooking.

Garlic scapes will be available from A New Leaf Farm for a limited time at our booth at the Ancaster Farmers Market, as well as in our CSAs. Looking for a versatile and delicious way to use your garlic scapes? Here are some easy to prepare recipes.

Pickled Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scape Carbonara

Garlic Scape Pesto

Have your own beloved garlic scape recipe? Share it in the comments section!

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Pasture Raised Pork at A New Leaf Farm

This year A New Leaf Farm has embarked on a new adventure: pasture raised pork. What’s so special about pasture raised pork, you may ask? For us, it begins with our pigs. Continuing our mission to encourage diversity and promote heritage strains, we have selected some unique pig breeds.

The Tamworth: You may have noticed some charming ginger-coloured pigs foraging about our farm; these are our Tamworth pigs. A descendant of the Old English Forest Pig, it is one of the oldest pure English pigs in the world. The Tamworth is considered a bacon breed, meaning it has a longer, leaner body ideal for meat. It is smaller and slower growing than its commercial cousins, but Tamworth pork is considered to be the tastiest in the world.

The Berkshire: A favourite of the Queen, the Berkshire is another treasured British breed. They are friendly and curious with a handsome black coat with fashionable white “points.” The Berkshire has a more compact, stocky body than the Tamworth, and produces white meat. The meat of the Berkshire is darker in colour (affectionately referred to by the Japanese as “black pork”) than commercial pork, and has a superior taste. Berkshire pigs are celebrated for their delectable bacon and prestigious hams.

The Yorkshire: I like to call them the proto-pig since the Yorkshire has the look most people associate with pigs. They are a soft white colour, with pointed ears, a pug nose and long body. They make excellent mothers that produce large, hardy litters. The Yorkshire is a wonderful meat pig that adds value to any breeding stock.

Currently our piglets include two Tamworth/Berkshire crosses and two Yorkshire mixes.

Pastured raised pork isn’t just dependent on heritage pig breeds, but the way those pigs are raised. At A New Leaf Farm our pigs are put to pasture, meaning they are able to wander and forage freely and as such, eat more of the things that make them happy. Their diet also include a generous serving of apples and the occasional poultry dish – don’t worry pigs are omnivorous!  Forage feeding means it takes the pigs longer to reach their ideal weight, but the superior meat is worth the wait.

Pasture raised pork will be available from A New Leaf Farm this summer. Order information will be posted when product is available.

CSA Basket

Sustainable Farming, the Green Revolution and the Fear of a Fish-mato

At a New Leaf Farm we are proud to be a part of a growing food movement that focuses on sustainability. What exactly does that mean? The techniques we use ensure we are not over taxing our environment and land resources. We do not use pesticides, herbicides or Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops and our animals are pasture raised without growth hormones, steroids, or non-therapeutic antibiotics. Sustainable farming is more work; weeds must be pulled by hand, plants pollenated by our bees, and crops rotated to ensure the soil is safeguarded. But in the end, we produce crops, eggs and meat of quality and variety few people have ever seen in their local grocery store.

Why is this a “movement” and not standard practice, you might ask. Well for thousands of years, sustainable farming was the only method. Farmers and consumers of their product were hostage to weather conditions, blights and disease.  But in 1944 there was a change.

The Cooperative Wheat Research Production Program was founded to help boost Mexico’s production of grain, the vast majority of which they had to purchase from the USA (at detriment to their own economy). The team was comprised of a soil scientist, maize breeder, potato breeder, and possibly the most incredible humanitarian that ever lived, Norman Borlaug – the man who fed a billion people, that’s billion with a “b”. Together this team toiled to create a high yield, disease resistant dwarf wheat crop. This was before the advent of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), so the wheat had to be bred through meticulous hybridization.  The super seeds combined with nitrogen rich fertilizer, and proper irrigation made the project a success, so much so the project was expanded to South Asia, in what we now know as the Green Revolution.

Norman Borlaug’s work increased crop yields by a fantastic amount, and as a result fed billions, increased national food securities for many countries, and (in theory) helped decrease deforestation by making smaller plots of land work harder. However, Borlaug’s work drew some criticism, issues that still affect us today. The most impactful concern was the large scale spread of monoculture, meaning farmers had become dependent on one “super” plant, rather than planting multiple varieties to insure against disease and drought. There were also concerns about the use of inorganic fertilizers and herbicides; all problems that have been made worse by the introduction of GMO crops.

Now, I am not a geneticist. I cannot comprehend the effort and science involved in creating a GMO, whether it is a plant, animal, or bacteria. I am, however, a big fan of science and appreciate the incredible potential such technology can offer humanity. That being said, the introduction of GMOs to the public has been, to say the least, a flop. There is a lot of misinformation circulating that has the public alarmed, and the scientific community baffled. For example, most anti-GMO proponents bring up the infamous “fish-mato”, a variety of tomato enhanced with the genes of a flounder to make them cold resistance. This tomato enjoyed a brief three month existence in laboratories before it was declared a failure. It seems the flounder genes did little to improve the plants cold tolerance, as such the fish-mato never made it to consumers.

I don’t want to get into the thick of all the concerns associated with GMO crops, but I will highlight the very legitimate reasons why A New Leaf Farm does NOT use GMO crops.

Monoculture: Because GMO crops are typically very commercially successful, farmers will only plant one variety. This robs consumers and the environment of diversity, which can be very dangerous. If a disease or insect becomes attracted to one particular plant they can wipe out the entire crop.

Super Weeds: That’s right: super weeds (ex. Palmer amaranth). A number of GMOs have been manipulated to be resistant to most herbicides (in particular glyphosate or Roundup) in an effort to make weed control more manageable. As such, farmers became dependent on a single herbicide and method of control, resulting in super weeds poised to crowd out an intended crop.

Suicide Seeds: This particular GMO trait is a sin against nature. A variety of GMO seeds have been developed to only produce one generation of fruit, their seeds are sterile. With heirloom, and most varieties of non-GMO hybrids, seeds can be collected and replanted for generations leading to more flavorful, successful fruits. Single generation seeds mean farmers are dependent on the companies supplying them every season to get new stock. The cost to farmers and the environment is detrimental.

Potential for Cross Contamination: Though it is not known for sure if this occurs (there have been mixed reports), there is a potential for the transgenes used in GMOs to spread to other crops.

Taste: GMO seeds have been developed to produce high yields of fruits and grain; they are not concerned with flavor.

As we learn more and more about the impacts of GMOs and certain farming techniques, sustainable farming becomes more important for our health and environment. Help A New Leaf Farm and others like us grow a more sustainable future for everyone.

Want to learn more about GMOs? Here are some helpful resources:

Union of Concerned Scientists

Nature

 

 

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The Most Versatile Veggies You Can Grow

With all the rain we’ve been getting it feels like we’ll never get a chance to start our gardens. But the delay has provided us a wonderful opportunity to pause and plan the perfect crop. When I think about what I want to plant I don’t just think about what I like to eat, I think about the veggies I can do the most with.  Here is a list of my favourite, most versatile, backyard vegetables.

Tomatoes: There is no veggie (I know, I know, fruit) as versatile as the tomato. You can eat them raw in salads, or on a BLT, you can turn them in to sauce, salsa, paste, freeze them, can them, and even dry them. If you have a plan, there is no such thing as too many tomatoes. I personally love to can diced tomatoes. All year I have access to farm fresh, chemical free tomatoes I can add to chilli, turn in to sauce, or pop in a soup. The nice part is that tomatoes have enough acidity that you can can them using the boiling water method. No pressure canner required.

Bush Beans:  Beans are a wonderful summer treat, and there are lots of ways to make them last. They are very easy to freeze, and make a very tasty pickle. They can be canned but because they are very low in acidity they must be pressure canned. Pressure canning sounds intimidating but it is actually pretty easy; just be sure to follow all of the safety instructions.

Cucumbers: Cool and refreshing to eat, cucumbers are a summer staple. But their fresh flavour isn’t limited to just salads and tiny tea sandwiches. They shine when fermented in to pickles, and today there are an endless number of flavour contributions that can be achieved through pickling. Whether it’s the time honoured dill, the treasured Bread and Butter, or the modern cucumber lemon pickle, there is a pickle for everyone. Feeling especially naughty? Treat yourself to a cucumber martini.

Peppers: Hot or sweet there is no end of use for peppers. Roasted red peppers add a kick of flavour to any pizza or pasta dish, and add depth to soups and sauces. Peppers can be pickled on their own or with other produce, made in to jam or jelly, and made in to ketchup. Like it hot? You can make your own hot sauce and explore all the peppers on the Scoville scale. Infuse hot peppers with vodka for a red hot martini or spicy Caesar.

Herbs: I love having a selection of herbs on hand during the summer. Parsley, coriander, rosemary, mint, lemon verbena, thyme, basil, etc; each offers a unique scent and taste to enhance summer dining. Herbs can be used fresh, dried, frozen, or infused in vinegar or oil. You can freeze herbs like mint, lemon verbena, lavender or rosemary into ice cubes to add something special to ice tea.

Garlic: The very utterance of the word fills me with joys. Raw, roasted, or sautéed, garlic adds flavour to everything it touches. Roasted, its taste mellows and takes on caramelised characteristics ideal for dips, or as a spread on crostini. Grew too much to handle? On top of having a long shelf life, garlic is also easily dried or pickled.

 

yellow tomato

Picking the Best Vegetables for Your Garden

The Victoria Day long weekend is upon us, which means we can finally get planting! To celebrate the start of the season A New Leaf Farm is having a plant sale. We will have a wonderful selection of transplants including kales, eggplants, peppers (both hot and sweet), and our farm specialty, tomatoes. Our farm team will be on hand to help you choose the best veggies for your garden and give you advice on growing and maintenance.

But before you come out and buy every colour of kale or variety of tomato with a charming name, there are some thing you should consider.

What Will You Eat? Pretty basic I know. But when you’re introduced to a world of beautiful, heirloom vegetables it’s easy to get a little carried away. The first year I had my vegetable garden I planted everything I had ever eaten. I tried tomatoes, butternut squash, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, corn, fennel, etc. It was a disaster!  Think about the produce you consume the most and go from there.

How Much Will You Use? Measuring usage can be tricky. You want to be able to eat everything you plant, but you want to plant extra so if any of your crops fail you still get the produce you want.  First off, consider how many people you are feeding. Then think about how you will use the vegetables, are you only eating fresh? Are you storing food for future use (i.e. freezing, canning, or dehydrating)? Last year I planted four varieties of cherry tomatoes because my husband loves them, I on the other hand do not care for them.  I was overrun, couldn’t give them all away, and had to add them to my canning batches. It’s not much fun coring and peeling something the size of a grape.

How Much Space Do You Have? You can grow a surprising amount of produce in a small area, but there are certain vegetables you may have to exclude due to space. Most varieties of gourds (like cucumbers) grow on long, highly invasive vines that can overwhelm other plants in your garden. If you’re heart set on having cucumbers in a small space, look online for more compact bush vine varieties like Spacemasters. Other plants don’t take up much space, but have a low yield. For example cabbages don’t need a lot of room but only produce one head so may not be worth your effort.

Do You Get Enough Sun? It’s a sad reality that most vegetables require full sun. However if you don’t get full sun it doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life without home grown goodness, you just have to look for leafier greens.

Whatever your growing situation A New Leaf Farm can help you develop a successful plan. Our plant sale will take place this Saturday May 17th to Monday May 19th, from 9am – 2pm at our farm 9720 Chippewa Road West, Mount Hope (right across from Chippewa Creek Golf Course). If you can’t make it out to the farm, we will have a table setup Saturday May 17th, 8am – noon at the Mustard Seed Coop, 460 York Blvd, downtown Hamilton.  We sincerely hope to see you at the farm this weekend so you can meet the farm family, tour our fields, and pick up some of the most beautiful GMO-free, heirloom vegetables you have ever seen.

pigs

WHO Will Watch the Farmer

I apologize in advances for this lengthy and possibly frightening posting. But I want to assure you I would never write about anything in agriculture that we, as consumers didn’t have the power to change. The issue below is cause for alarm, but the more we know the better prepared we are to affect change. It is one of the many reasons A New Leaf Farm was started. We care deeply about agriculture and its impact on both human and animal populations. We strive, through sustainable practices and small flock/herd management, to provide consumers with the healthiest and safest product. If you are ready, I will introduce you to one of the most dangerous issues in agriculture today: antibiotics.

WHO Will Watch the Farmer

The World Health Organization (WHO) has made an alarming announcement; the number of drug resistant microbials is increasing at an alarming rate. This means that soon antibacterial and antiviral medications will be ineffective at fighting infections, or for use in the treatment of disease.   But how has it come to this? There are a myriad of reasons: over and improper use of antibiotic medications, counterfeit antimicrobial pills (in particular malaria pills), and possibly the most alarming, the reckless use of antibiotics in agriculture.

With the development of large scale confined animal feeding operations, farmers began running in to problems with the health of their animals. Animals that had once roamed large pastures foraging for their food were suddenly forced in to barren pens with thousands of other animals in unsanitary conditions. The close proximity meant the rapid and devastating spread of disease. In order to maintain the health of their animals farmers began introducing antibiotics. The antibiotics had the desired effect; the animals maintained their health through increasingly miserable living conditions. As a bonus, animals fed a steady diet of antimicrobials were larger, and had fewer issues with fertility. Soon the non-therapeutic use (i.e., use for other than treating a sick animal) of antibiotics in farming became common place.

The result: antimicrobials leaked into the environment at an uncontrolled rate through ground water, and meat. In the USA studies have been able to link resistant infections in humans back to specific meat and poultry operations. There is no denying the harm that the unregulated use of antibiotics in agriculture is causing both human and animal populations.

There is still time to prevent disaster but we must act quickly. Currently the WHO is working with key stakeholders in healthcare and agriculture around the world to develop new policies and regulations. In Denmark, a study entitled “Changes in the use of antimicrobials and the effects on productivity of swine farms in Denmark” monitored the use of antibiotics in Denmark’s pig populations. There was a 50% decrease in antibiotic usage over a number of years, yet pig populations remained healthy and consistent, meaning there would be no long-term negative impact on agriculture should the use of non-therapeutic antimicrobials be reduced.

As individual consumers, we must change our purchasing habits. Instead of blindly grabbing at meat in the grocery store, we must demand “traceable” meat. What do I mean by traceable? Traceable meat comes from a local farm, where each animal is provided an individual health record. This health record tracks what food the animal was fed over its lifetime, what aliments, if any, it was treated for, and any other events of significance.

Making the switch to traceable meat isn’t as difficult as it seems. Generally you want to find a butcher that also owns a farm, and talk to them about how they raise their animals. Farmers love to talk about their animals. Trust me, come out to A New Leaf Farm sometime and ask Josh about our pigs, you will be regaled with virtues of raising Tamworth pigs. You will also want to buy a pair of rubber boots and visit some farms. The last suggestion may sound like a lot of work, but it’s worth it, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to get your friends and family involved with where their food comes from. You may even discover a beloved new family tradition.

At A New Leaf Farm we look forward to soon being able to offer our CSA members pasture raised pork and chicken free of antibiotics. We are particularly proud of our future pork offerings. You may not know it but Tamworth pork is considered some of the finest tasting pork in the world. It takes longer to raise, and does not achieve the massive size of most commercial pigs, but the final product is well worth the extra effort.

Helping prevent the abuse of antibiotics in agriculture will take the combined effort of policymakers, drug manufactures, farmers and consumers, so please help us affect change by getting to know your meat.

To learn more about antimicrobial resistance, visit:

The World Health Organization

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA)

chickens

Raise Your Egg-spectations!

Ah, the humble egg. Best friend of bacon, the toad in “Toad in a Hole”, the backbone of brunch, delicious on their own, or as the base for a meal. Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein, rich in essential nutrients such as iron, folate, and vitamins A, D, E & B12. Unfortunately the widespread demand for eggs has come at an expensive price for the hens that lay them.

Large scale confined animal feeding operations, force millions of hens into deplorable living conditions. Dozens of hens are crammed in to a single cage, stacked on top of each other, unable to build a nest, and forced to constantly lay eggs. As a result of these conditions the hens suffer from deformities, maladjusted behaviours such as injurious pecking and cannibalism, and a form of osteoporosis known as “Cage Layer Fatigue”.

As more and more Canadians become aware of the plight of these animals the demand for cruelty free options increase. Many markets now offer free range, organic eggs, but even these labels can be deceiving. The best option is to find a local farmer, visit their flock and go from there.

At A New Leaf Farm we are proud to offer humane, small flock, free range eggs to our members. Our chickens are truly free range so when you come to visit, please drive up slowly. Our girls love to forage in the bushes around the house. The flock’s favourite activity seems to be digging beneath the tree stump by the driveway. The birds take turns rolling in the dirt and vigorously kicking up dust. At night the flock returns to the safety of the coop where they are protected from predators and the elements.

You will notice a world of difference between commercial and free range eggs. The difference is immediate once you crack them open. Fresh free range eggs have a bright yellow yolk, like a dollop of lemon curd, and thicker albumen (the clear goo) that stays tight against the yolk. Free range eggs are also higher in vitamins, in particular vitamin D. Not to mention their superior taste.

As an extra treat for the egg aficionado, A New Leaf Farm also offers a limited run of duck and turkey eggs. These eggs have a larger, richer yolk, and very thick albumen, ideal for use as a binding agent in meatloaf, pâté, and my personal favourite, homemade mayonnaise.

Because A New Leaf Farm only keeps a small flock of chickens, we can only offer a limited number of eggs. If you are interested in receiving a regular supply with your CSA, or as an independent order, please email us ASAP. Chicken eggs are $5 a dozen, duck/turkey eggs are $6.50 a dozen. Want to check on our birds? Feel free to come by the farm for a visit!

Homemade Mayonnaise

In an effort to eat less processed food I’ve been dabbling at making certain kitchen staples from scratch. So far my favourite is mayonnaise. The ingredients and process are simple you just need a steady hand and a little patience. If you have a stand mixer at home I highly recommend using it for this process; you will be performing a very slow poor throughout so it’s handy to have both hands free. Make sure to use the wire whisk attachment.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk – this should be from the freshest egg possible as the yolk will not be cooked.
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 cup oil – I have been playing with the oil I use over several recipes, so far my favourite is Grapeseed oil. It is a healthier option as far as oils go and it produces a flavour closest to commercial mayonnaise. Olive oil is also an acceptable option but the end product will have a distinctly olive oil flavour.
  • Salt to taste
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

Put the yolk and the water in a mixing bowl and begin whisking. When the yolk is broken and the water incorporated, add the first few drops of oil. It is very important you add the oil slowly or the yolk can separate and you’ll have to start over. To pace myself, I rest the spout of my measuring cup against the rim of the bowl and let the oil trickle down into the yolk. Keep whisking at a vigorous pace until the oil is incorporated. Add another bit of oil and mix until incorporated, repeat until all oil has been added. As the oil binds with the yolk you will notice the mixture begins to thicken, and the colour lightens. You’ll know your recipe has been successful if stiff, nearly white peaks have formed, and there is no oil “bleeding” when you stop whisking. Add salt and lemon juice if desired, pack in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week.