Part of being biodynamic is to learn to use the wild natural vegetation on Rumar farm in our preparations to help the soil and plants thrive. Preparation 504 is made up of nettle which stimulates soil health and provides plants with the individual nutrition components needed. It also enlivens the soil. Preparation 508 is horsetail which serves as a preventative to lessen the effects when conditions conducive to fungus problems exist. Both are plentiful on our farm.
We also are very interested in other wild foraged plants that grow here such as Sumac. A variety of flowering shrub that belongs to a family of plants known as Anacardiaceae, people can steep the fresh fruits to make tea or dry and powder them for use as an herbal supplement or culinary seasoning. It is rich in antioxidants, which work to protect your cells from damage and reduce oxidative stress within the body. It may play a role in lowering blood sugar and alleviating muscle pain.
How to use Sumac? To make a sumac tea, soak the berry cluster in a pitcher of cold water over night or longer to enhance the flavour. Next strain the tea through a coffee filter or cheese cloth to remove the berries and particles from the fruit so all you are left with is the tea. You can add sugar, honey or other additives of your choice to suit your palate. Be aware that this plant is in the cashew family and if you have any allergies to nuts, especially cashews you may want to pass on this beverage. Want a boozy sumac-aide? Add 1 oz of your sprit of choice to a glass filled with ice, add ½ oz simple syrup and top with sumac tea. It has a tart, lemony flavour that makes a refreshing summer beverage.
Here is what is in your basket this week:
Peaches – Can you ever get enough of these beauties? We have a big crop this year and part of being in our CSA is sharing in our bounty. If you need help using them up, try a fresh peach pie or simple crumble. It is sure to be a hit with the family.
Lettuce Mix – First cut of our new Rumar farm lettuce patch. A wonderful base to create your own custom salads. I add whatever is in the fridge for toppings including sliced left over chicken, fish, rice or quinoa. Marc makes a big batch of dressing each week with whatever herbs we have on hand. It makes for a hearty fast lunch.
Yellow Beans – Here is a clever yellow wax bean dish that’s easy and flavourful. Can serve warm or cold so perfect for mid summer meal. Chop beans, smash some garlic cloves and sauté in heated oil for 2-3 minutes. Add a cup of water and cook for 20 minutes. Drain, add more chopped garlic and fresh herbs like parsley or dill, salt and pepper.
Fresh Carrots with greens – Don’t toss veggie tops and greens, here’s how to use them instead. Think of carrot tops as an extra bonus, not a burden. When you get home, process them first. By storing them attached to the vegetable, the greens will draw moisture and nutrients out, so cut them off. They have a very short shelf life and will need to be processed within a few days. Store greens wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel in a bag, in the crisper until you are ready to use.
Garlic Bundles – A small bundle of cured garlic to get you through the next few weeks, there will be more to come. The cute bundles make a nice little hostess gift for those BBQ invites and summer parties. Order more through our online store and we will have them ready with your CSA share.
Cucumbers – Make this super easy, delicious summer salad. Thinly slice cucumbers crosswise on a mandoline. Toss with 1 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar. and 1/2 small onion thinly sliced. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then serve. This simple recipe brings out the awesomeness of the cucumbers.
Wild Sumac Berries – We really wanted to expand our offering from time to time to include natural wild products that are new to you. If you are adventurous please be open minded and try Sumac berries (see recipe above). If not, pass it on to someone else. Let us know how it goes:)