Love Your Farmer

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Hi there!

Wow, who knew there were so many Lie To Me fans out there…I can’t believe I didn’t know about this show! I’m excited to get caught up.

It just dawned on me that I forgot to post about our weekly CSA surprises this week, so I did an impromptu photoshoot of the goodies.

First a few words from the farmers from Plan B:

“Hello Everyone,
We hope you’re all taking the heat ok, it is verrrrry hot up here at the farm these days, but our super-tough farm crew is out there working in the heat to weed and harvest the veggies regardless! 

The crops don’t seem to mind the heat so much, the peas, green beans, and zucchini are just loving it, and taking the opportunity to grow grow grow! We have a great crop of SUGAR SNAP PEAS this year, these are super sweet and have edible pods, so don’t shell them, just eat them whole!

This Week’s Summer Shares Feature:
Asparagus – ON
New Potatoes – Aylmer, ON
Sugar Snap Peas – Plan B – EDIBLE PODS!! (don’t shell these peas.)
Zucchini – Aylmer, ON
Red Leaf Lettuce – Waterloo, ON
Spinach – Waterloo, ON
Flat Leaf Parsley – Plan B
Beets with Tops – Waterloo, ON (tops are edible too!)
Arugula or Tat Soi (bagged) or Purslane (bunched) – Plan B – (all good chopped into salads.) OR Green Onions

Firstly I need to say that I think farmer’s have one of the most underappreciated jobs in the world!

I can’t imagine how exhausted they were this week in the fields during this heat wave!

They deserve to be paid much, much more than they are. When you cringe at the price of organic fruit and vegetables just think how much work it took to get that to your plate. I think many of us forget that organic farming requires a lot more work without the use of pesticides. Farmers have to deal not only with weeds overtaking and killing their crop but they also have to deal with more insects and animals too. My Aunt has an organic garden and she said that she has to spend over 12 hours just to weed her 10ft by 12 ft organic garden and often animals eat a lot of the crop. Sometimes the weeds will grow so quickly they ‘strangle’ the crop and kill the plant. It is hard work to be any kind of farmer, but I think this is especially true for organic farmers. They are truly unsung heroes.

Eric and I are quite frugal with money but the one thing we are willing to spend money on is good quality food!

We have another situation here…

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A lot of this is produce from LAST WEEK’s share..eek. Must. eat. more.

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Green onions are the new garlic scape, did ya know? 

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Eric heard about my near fall with the VOO the other morning so he put a crate for me to step up on!

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Embarrassing….  :tongue:

This looked like the perfect spot for a veggie glamour shoot…

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For all organic vegetables, we definitely are getting out money’s worth each week.

This cost us just $22.50 CAD (it’s a half share)

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Personally I think that is a steal for very fresh, organic produce. If we were to buy this at Whole Foods, it would probably be at double this amount if not more.

Fluffy lettuce!!

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Ok, back to the situation we have here.

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The green onions are seriously out of control! They must be drinking Green Monsters or something because they are growing like weeds!

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I put the zucchini next to it so you could have some perspective on how big it is!

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I can’t get enough of the green onions in salads lately.

Sugar Snap Peas!

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Cutest veggie, hands down.

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This was our first time having Sugar Snap Peas and Eric and I both are obsessed now. I love that you can eat the pods. They are so sweet and crunchy and excellent in hummus.

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Red Taters. I think I might make my Quick and Easy Potato Soup this weekend.

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What Green Monsters are made of…

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I can’t wait to try the beet greens. I don’t think I have ever had them before. What to do with them….

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Fresh parsley…mmmm.

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They also left us with some tips:

  • Beets – can be grated fresh onto any salad, adds amazing sweetness
  • Parsley – can be chopped and added to any salad or pasta dish at the end, adds a very fresh taste
  • Purslane – only in some shares, this is a succulent plant, lemony taste, very high in Omega 3s <—– yes!!!
  • Sugar Snap Peas – if you must cook them, they are great just lightly sautéed in any stir fry

 

Couple questions for you this afternoon:

1) Do you think organic food is priced too high, too low, or just right? Do you think that we pay too much for food in general or not enough? 

2) Do you have any fun recipes planned for this weekend or any new foods that you hope to try? Do tell.  :biggrin:

Lots of market prep left, see you earrrrrly tomorrow AM for the goodies!

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Mama Pea July 9, 2010

Awww…your peas are almost as adorable as mine! I may need to buy a few of those images from you for blog/book use…

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Jessica @ How Sweet July 9, 2010

Those pea pods are SO CUTE!! I honestly don’t know enough about food pricing in different areas to judge. Around me though, I can find some organic produce for what I think to be a good price!

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denise July 9, 2010

You can sauté beet greens (olive oil, garlic and onion)! I did it somewhat recently and they were delicious!!

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Clea July 9, 2010

I do this too! It’s also excellent with soy sauce, sesame oil and freshly-grated ginger.

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Paula July 9, 2010

LOVE beet greens! They are so tender and with a delicate, delicious flavor…

Saute with olive oil and shallots and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper is my favorite. I find garlic and onions a little too overpowering with beet greens. IMO shallots compliment the beet greens PERFECTLY :)

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Stacey July 9, 2010

I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and I LOVE it! Great ideas, and you seem like such a nice person.

Here is something I’m trying this weekend with beet greens — I’ve got six beets, three red and three gold, and am very excited to taste this gratin!! :)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/health/nutrition/05recipehealth.html?ref=nutrition

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Anna July 9, 2010

Thank you so much for the farmer shoutout! It’s hard work indeed, and the heat on Monday and Tuesday was pretty damn brutal. I drank literally 7 water bottles worth of water each day! Lots of my sweat (but no blood and tears haha) went into harvesting on those two days.

You’re right about the prices- since I started my farm job I have a whole new respect for the elevated prices of organic produce. Hand weeding can be pretty back-breaking and the weeds never stop!

As challenging as farm work is, I really do adore it. It doesn’t feel like work, it feels like play. I drive home from work at the end of a long day with a stupid grin on my face, I’m just so happy. In fact I just pressed publish on a post devoted to how much I love my job!

Enjoy those CSA veggies and stay cool!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) July 9, 2010

veggie mania! i love sugar snap peas…and you’re right, they are PERFECT for hummus!

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Megan (Running Foodie) July 9, 2010

I LOVE sugar snap peas! They are super yummy picked (if you like pickled things, of course!): http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/06/pickled-sugar-snap-peas/

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Jen @ Happy Heart, Happy Mind July 9, 2010

1) Organic is definitely more expensive, but only because the pesticide and chemically fertilized food is made so incredibly cheap. If we continue to support farms that grow their food using pesticides and chemical fertilizers, they will never have incentive to change their practices. The same goes for livestock.

2) You should try roasting your red potatoes under the broiler til cooked through and crispy. Just quarter them and stick them in a baggie with a little olive oil and seasoning. They give you a nice “french fry” fix, and they go great with black bean or veggie burgers. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat red potatoes!

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Diana July 9, 2010

I want to sign up for a CSA! Ours is way more expensive unfortunately. :(

#1 – I think organic food is a bit high, but I think the real problem is that most people don’t put enough $ to food (not in my country at least). Society has taught us that we need food faster and cheaper. My family taught me that we need food fresh and high quality. I prefer my fam’s teachings. :)
#2 – I’m thinking of trying Mama Pea’s cookies and cream vegan ice cream…or making cinnamon vanilla nut butter from scratch…or baking something delicious!

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Kirsten July 9, 2010

I know the green onions I have been getting the last few weeks in my CSA have been crazy huge and so tasty!

If you are interested you should check out the Apples to Oysters book by Margaret Webb. Is a great book and each chapter focuses on farming within a Canadian province. I blogged about it just after I read it: http://torontoworkout.com/2010/04/thinking-about-farming/

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Kristina July 9, 2010

PEAS ! that is an awesome photo! :)

we visit farmer’s markets for much of our summer produce, and it’s fairly priced. I would always pay more for fresh… while waiting for summer be able to plant my garden, I would HATE to purchase fresh basil, only to have most of it be bad the next day :(

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Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous July 9, 2010

I would love to join a CSA but they are all really expensive in Texas (several hundred dollars to join, and then weekly payments over 30 dollars each time)

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Therese July 9, 2010

I totally agree about peas being the cutest veggie! I have the most adorable (and funny) Engrish stationery that I bought when I was in Japan that features peas!

I’m possibly going to make some Vegan Mexican Chocolate cookies for the meet up on Sunday but we’ll see if I have time! I have a hot date with my boyfriend tonight and then it’s a 14k trail run along the Niagara Escarpment tomorrow!

As much as I can’t always afford organic (hence why I had to give up my own organics delivery) I’m alright with the price. Organic farmers don’t get government kick backs (as far as I’m aware of anyway) and work a LOT for what they produce. Not to mention it’s not yet mainstream and those products are always more expensive. Perhaps if more people start to put their money towards organics the prices would drop a bit.

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Charlotte July 9, 2010

If a green monster is on the menu this week, try throwing some fresh parsley in there! I LOVE fresh herbs in my GMs – basil, cilantro, and parsley are all excellent and I would love to try mint, too. I don’t know about green onion, though…

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Pam July 9, 2010

Fun recipe for the weekend: I’m planning to make a raw vegan coffee “creamer” I discovered last year. I was just loaned an espresso maker (uh-oh). The creamer is an extra creamy homemade almond milk blended w/ coconut water instead of plain water. Will be buying organic espresso. (Will try to go easy on the coffee drinking since I gave it up last year. Been wanting to go back in moderation)

Organic produce – I’m sooo lucky I have a little local market w/ great prices. But I hear Whole Foods is pricey. Sales help, and CSA’s if you can find one.

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Kelly July 9, 2010

Holy crap! Those green onions are insane!!!

I wish organic produce was cheaper.. Unfortunately I cannot eat it all the time, even though I would if I could afford it!

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Paula July 9, 2010

The price for organic produce is determined by the market for it, and I think for the most part it is fair. However, in general, I think people don’t spend enough money on food. It logically follows that high quality, fresh, all natural food would cost more; and I think people need to buy more of this kind of food and less cheap, processed, chemical laden food!

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Amber K July 9, 2010

I think farmers are definitely underappreciated.

I just wish organic foods weren’t so expensive because I’m so poor!

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Bridget July 9, 2010

Organic food is more expensive in general, but sometimes I can find organic produce for cheaper than the conventional produce if I look carefully. I try to buy organic fruits and veggies that are part of the ‘dirty dozen’

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Alexa@Running the Road to Recovery July 9, 2010

I think about teachers’ salaries when people talk about the price of food. Everyone says that teachers should earn more, but very few are willing to pay the extra tax money to give teachers a better salary! Similarly, people want low prices when they walk into the grocery store without thinking about the farmers who are the reason why food is on the shelves in the first place.

People today spend less money on food, as a proportion of income, than ever in history. Prices are artificially low because of government corn and meat subsidies – in other words, taxpayer dollars! So one way or the other, we’re paying for the true cost of our food; we just don’t realize it.

Personally, I’d prefer to pay a little extra for the guarantee that my money helps to support the lives and livelihoods of farmers who care about the food they produce and the environment they live in.

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Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life July 9, 2010

Mmmmm, I LOVE sugar snap peas! My dad used to grow a garden, and when I was younger, I would always go out during the day while he was working and eat them right off the vines. Yeah…he didn’t appreciate that very much! Or the fact that I’d pull up his carrots & onions as soon as I saw sprouts…woops!

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Lauren July 9, 2010

I get a half share CSA weekly too, and for a few weeks I was actually pricing out the CSA vs. Whole Foods. The CSA costs about $16/week and if I was to buy the produce at WF it was costing over $30!

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Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! July 9, 2010

Ooh, I am excited to answer both of your questions today! :)

1. I think organic food is totally reasonably priced, but we have become used to the prices of factory-farmed, mass-produced foods that they seem so exorbitant in comparison. Really, when we think about the importance of food – y’know, to sustain life! – not to mention the sheer amount of pleasure that eating brings, food, including organic food, is terribly underpriced. I mean, in some areas of the world, people spend 50% of their net incomes on food! I spend about 10%. Ridonks!

2. This weekend I am going to the United States, the Land of Plentiful Greek Yogurt! I know that isn’t such an appealing prospect for a vegan, but this Greek yogurt-deprived Canadian is STOKED. I am also going to seek out various nut butters of various types and brands ;)

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss July 9, 2010

The prices of organics are tricky. For someone who doesn’t know anything about organics, they’re priced way too high. For those who do know something, they’re priced just right. For the farmers, they’re priced too low. So it all depends on where you’re coming from! For me, I understand the farmers need the extra money because it is so labor instensive but I would love to see the prices go down. I think if people buy more organics they eventually will..but until then they have to stay high to cover the farming expenses.

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Vanessa July 9, 2010

My boyfriend and I have been living together for 2 years – I would say that most of our expendable income goes towards delicious produce, vegan substitutes, and eating at our favorite restaurants. We are both total foodies, and believe that spending money on good food is a great investment

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 9, 2010

I think organics are expensive (as compared to conventional foods) but it looks like you got a great deal of veggies for that price. I wish it weren’t so darn expensive to eat all organic, all the time.

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Daniel July 9, 2010

I love beet greens! I prefer to steam them and then give a quick saute with some olive oil and garlic before I eat them. I don’t salt them because they’ve actually got quite a salty taste and natural sodium in them by themselves!

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erika July 9, 2010

I take some olive oil and fresh garlic heat that in a pan let the garlic brown but not burn then I take zuchnni I spelled that wrong I know anyway cut the zucs the long way and quartered the I take a fresh ear of corn and take the corn off the cob and saute it with the garlic and oil. Add some salt pepper and cumin. Let the zucs get a tad bit soft then you know its done. I got this receipe from the Farmers Market in New York City. Enjoy. Anyone makes this let me know how you like it. I’m making it tonight.

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Meredith (Pursuing Balance) July 9, 2010

I think what you have to say regarding the price of organic food and how much more work the farmer has to put into it is totally true. Another perspective on whether the price of organic food is worth is this: it’s a lot cheaper than the cancer treatment that may be needed due to excessive pesticide exposure!

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Mellissa July 9, 2010

I think food prices are about right, organic produce should be more expensive because it costs more to grow it. What saddens me is how CHEAP crap food is!

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Lizzie July 9, 2010

When I am shopping for food I try to remember what my mum told me – it’s not a waste of money if you’re buying good quality, nutritious food – it’s a way of investing in yourself & your future :) That doesn’t mean our food bill is $200/week, but I try to keep it under $100 and still get what we need. The concept of being ‘in season’ has definitely come into play more recently. Your veggies look VERY yummy!!!!

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Little Aspects July 9, 2010

Yum – sugar snap peas are delicious! Throw them in your salad, they are so sweet and crunchy!

I think farmers are definitely undervalued. There is a large disconnect between what people eat and where it comes from. I would like to see more government subsidies going towards improving and assisting organic farming practices to make organic vegetables more accessible to more people. In my country at least, there are two huge supermarket chains that pretty much own the majority of the large businesses here, and they have a monopoly on the fresh produce. They pay the farmers very little and get them to sign up for long periods of time – the farmers have little choice but to comply. Because the farmers are not paid a lot, the produce in the supermarkets is relatively cheap (well, it can be – obviously it is controlled by the corporations and they do what they like!). I refuse to buy from these supermarkets, instead getting my produce from a coop arrangement where we get a veggie box delivered each week, as well as buying local produce (I live near a semi-rural area).

I also think that buying seasonally helps – if it’s not summer, tomatoes, zucchinis, mangoes and peaches shouldn’t be there!

So, I think that people should be willing to pay a little bit more for good quality fresh produce that is ethically produced. It has actually been shown that we spend much less on our weekly food bill than we used to, and than they do in European countries (France, Italy etc) where the emphasis is on quality and food plays a central role in people’s lives, it’s not something to scoff down on the run. I guess it’s about priorities – for me, food is important and pleasurable and I love creating and sharing food with friends and family, whereas for other people, they skimp on food to buy “stuff” (big flatscreen tv, 4WD car etc). I would never spend money on that kind of stuff.

Woah, novel much?!What can I say – I get excited by food! :-)

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bitt July 9, 2010

organic foods have been proven to have more nutrients, so it’s worth the extra cost for me. but, in general it is unfair that vegetable farmers do not get the types of subsidies that animal product farmers and grain farmers do. the country needs to find a way to make eating greens more affordable because our health is important!

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Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 9, 2010

Vegetable porn!
I don’t think organic food is that overpriced- so much more work goes into it, the farmer’s need to make their money!

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Gina (@ Looking Forward) July 9, 2010

I think organic produce prices are too high in Whole Foods, but just right from a Farmers Market or CSA share. I am so glad to have signed up for my share. I get fruits and veggies and the apricots this week are perfect, so crisp and delicious! We also got 4 ears of corn and plan to grill them tomorrow…so excited!

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Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 9, 2010

Those veggies look awesome and are such good value considering it does take quite a bit for you to get through them all. You’d better be careful those onions don’t start taking over your house, they’re insane!!

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tasha - the clean eating mama July 9, 2010

I posted a post on Organic food this morning! I think Organic is an essential part of my diet. While I no not buy all Organic, I understand the risks I am taking when i do not buy Organic. Wonderful Post and you are right – farmers are under paid and over worked.

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Camille July 9, 2010

Have you seen Toy Story 3 yet? The peas remind me of the “Peas In A Pod” in the movie :) So cute!
I don’t have a specific recipe planned, but I could really go for baking a loaf of bread right now!

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Maria @ Oh Healthy Day July 9, 2010

I LOVED Toy Story 3! Pixar has has outdone themselves again.

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 9, 2010

I think it depends on the store, the city, etc.. but I think the stuff at the farmer’s market is very reasonably priced.

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels July 9, 2010

I really do wish that food cost less . . . down the road when my salary is decreased I’m not sure I will be able to afford many of the things I am so fortunate to be able to consume right now

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