Newsletter # 13: Week of September 9th

Basket contents: Peppers, swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, choice of zucchinis or cucumbers, carrots, mesclun, cilantro, ground cherries

Recipe of the week: Swiss Chard Dolmades with Tomato Sauce

Brrr!  Fall is coming!  We had our first frost scare after a chilly drop-off in Montreal last Thursday night.  Luckily we didn’t actually get any frosting in the field and most of our frost-sensitive crops made it through.  This is only our second fall in the area, but it seems that this is quite early compared with most years, and it marks a new period for us.  The most frost-sensitive crops include field tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, tomatilloes, ground cherries, basil, cucumbers and zucchini.  Although we’ve had good harvests so far off of most of these crops, we’re still hoping to get a few more weeks out of them, especially the peppers, which we’ve only just begun harvesting.  The winter squash, too, are damaged by cool nights, so their harvest will be one of the main priorities for this week.

Which brings me to the mains focus of this newsletter- our annual harvest party! As we near the close of the main harvest season, we like to take the time to celebrate together, and express gratitude to you, our partners, and to the Earth for her bounty.  This year, we’re celebrating on the Fall Equinox- halfway between the summer and winter solstices,  and the official start of Autumn.

We’ll start the day with a few hours of harvesting from the field.  This may be carrots, potatoes, beets, or any other number of crops.  We hope this will help you deepen your connection with your food, and better understand your farmers’ reality.  Everyone is welcome, of all abilities and ages- we’ll find an appropriate task for you!  Kids are very welcome, and must be under the supervision of an adult at all times.  Please wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, as well as work gloves if you have them and a bottle of water.  Although you can come to any part of the day- field work, potluck, party- without having to stay for all, if you are planning to help with the afternoon’s work, please do try to arrive at 13h sharp, so we can give instructions to everyone at once and divide into work groups.

When we’ve tired ourselves out, around 4pm, we’ll come into the house for a potluck dinner.  Everyone is invited to share a dish, with ingredients listed for those with allergies or dietary requirements, please.  We will have a big pot of vegetarian chili to compliment your contributions.  Also, please bring your own dishes and utensils to make sure we don’t run out.

Around dusk, we will do a ‘Field walk of gratitude’, where we’ll simply circle the field, and take the time to remember the amazing transformation from seeds planted to dinner on your plates.

Later on, we’ll move to the loft of the barn for a music night and/or to the fire pit for a bonfire.  Bring your instruments! We’ll do an open mike, as well as casual jamming, and oh sure recorded music if we really want to get our dance on.

All in all, we hope the harvest party will be a relaxed day for us to get to know each other better, and enjoy the changing seasons together.

Date: Saturday, September 21st, 2013

1-4pm- Harvesting field crops (please arrive at 13h sharp!)

4-7pm- Potluck dinner (arrive anytime…)

7-10pm (or so…)- Music, fire, dancing…

Transportation to the farm: We want to encourage partners to carpool, and are happy to pair you up.  Please let us know if you have space in your vehicles, or alternatively if you are looking for a ride out.

Address and directions: 398, route du Canton, Brownsburg-Chatham, QC

From Montreal: Take the 15N until exit 35 to take the 50-west.  Continue until exit 254, rue Principale of Lachute.  Turn left, and continue on the 148- this is ‘Route du Canton’, and we’re number 398.  With no traffic, it takes about 1h15 from downtown Montreal.

From St-Eustache: Take the 148-west to the 50-west. Continue until exit 254 for the rue Principale of Lachute.  Turn left, and continue on the 148- this is ‘Route du Canton’, and we’re number 398.  With no traffic, it takes about 45 minutes.