Friday, July 31, 2009


Spinach goes well in soup, see this post. And in salads.

We have prepared and frozen packages for use through the winter. Washed, chopped and packed tightly into ziploc sandwich bags, then frozen for later use.

It was really neat to find a new use for my pizza cutter ... yup, it works really slick to chop the spinach. Even the guys took it for a drive, hehe! So cool! The job was done in no time at all.

Another favorite way is in Spinach Loaf. I like to serve this with other appetizers for a light Sunday supper.

Spinach Loaf

2 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 pkg chopped frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup mayonnaise
1 clove minced garlic
2 loaves pumpernickel bread (or other favorite bread)

Mix ingredients. Make a bowl out of one loaf and fill with spinach mixture. Wrap in foil or place in a covered casserole dish. Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve with the rest of the bread broken into pieces.

Planning for the Future

This spring we planted 300 cherry trees in our orchard PLUS 15 honeyberries. This summer and next they are getting tender-loving care. Hopefully by their third summer we'll be able to taste them and then in their fourth summer we should have a nice harvest already.

Wednesday we traveled just over an hour to pick four pails of raspberries from the excess in my SIL's garden (Bless you, Diana!). We are so grateful for this good food! This Fall, we intend to plant raspberries & strawberries - they should be bearing right here @ Klasse Woods in a couple years. Oh-h, that will be so nice!

Grapes are on our want list also (hopefully this Fall also).

And asparagus (next spring?).

Perhaps more currants (our one small bush yielded one soup bowl full - we enjoyed it as a sauce on pancakes @ breakfast Monday morning).

In the future, we hope to provide our CSA garden customers with a fruit basket as well as a vegetable basket.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30/09 Garden Pak

This was a big basket full to the brim, including new items like:
- potatoes
- zucchini
- peas
- sweet basil
and more.

Food is Food ... Or is It?

A new movie is about to be released. It explains why we do what we do here @ Klasse Woods Natural Farm.

Watch a trailer of the movie here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garden Plenty

There are a lot of new veggies ready this week: peas, potatoes, zucchini ... and more. It is an exciting week to fill the baskets!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Zucchini Stir-Fry

'Tis the season for stir-fry. With all the garden vegetables ready now, stir-fry season is upon us. Well, truth be told, we enjoy stir-fry anytime with the seasonal variations.

Our family enjoys zucchini in a lot of different ways. The stir-fry is just one of those delicious meals.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23 Garden Share

Just for the record, this is what a half share looks like this week:

A few of the first carrots and an onion were new items this week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In the News

Look who showed up at Klasse Woods Natural Farm today:

Carla Bosaki from CKX TV in Brandon will feature Klasse Woods on "The Noon Show". Watch for it.

We'll be getting a dvd copy of "our story" later, once it has aired. We'll try to share that with you via YouTube once we get it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bounty - ful Blooms




Frost in July?

Yes, we've had frost in July this year.

Here is the light damage to the beans that happened on the morning of July 11:

Likely this little frost will not affect the harvest too much. It was just kind of amazing ... an interesting thing to note.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16/09 Garden Pak

In this week's Garden Pak there are Mustard Greens see previous post for uses. You can see a larger image by clicking on the photo.

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens add color & flavor to a summer salad. Their pale green color makes a nice addition. You may wish to keep the leaves out of the salad for your children because they can seem kind of hot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pest Control

Our five year old twins, Benjamin & Bronlin, are our very willing Pest Control Officers. Here they are waist high in the potato patch doing their job & taking it seriously,lol:

No chemicals on the plant or on the boys - the best way we know to grow healthy produce ... and healthy boys!

Edit note: Thanks for asking Carolyn. It gave me a good idea for a post.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Markmann Meals

Thanks to Carolyn for this delicious guest post:

Yum, yum. Delicious.

I wanted to share with you what I did with my "greens"...

Throw in a big bowl a handful of each of the beet greens, baby lettuce and spinach.
Chop up a sweet, crisp apple (I used Gala 'cause that's what was in my fridge)
Chop up a green onion or two
Add some hard-boiled yummy fresh Klasse Woods egg
Top with your favourite organic dressing (I used Italian-Roasted Red Pepper I had languishing in my fridge, just waiting for something special):

Ooooo... can't you see the goodness?

Anyways, a slice of whole-grain toast, and it was a deeeeeelicious lunch!!! :)

I also wanted to share what I did with my Johnny Jump-Ups and rhubarb last week. I felt the need to make a cake.

Johnny's Rhubarb Cake

1/4 c vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg (or egg replacer if making vegan)
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 c. pastry flour
1/2 c. quick oats
1 c. buttermilk OR 1 c. sweet milk with 1 tbsp vinegar OR 1 c. milk replacement with 1 tbsp vinegar

Mix all the ingredients on high for 2 minutes or until smooth. VERY gently fold in:

3/4 c. chopped rhubarb
handful of Johnny Jump Up flowers, carefully washed and spun dry (about 1/3 cup)

Try not to mush the flowers.

Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Sprinkle top with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes or until cake tester come out clean.

Best if eaten same day.

It's nice because you get the crunchy brown sugar topping, the tartness of the rhubarb, and the unique flavour of the flowers and certainly the novelty of finding these little "treasures" as you cut into your cake!

Edit note: Please feel free to share your great ideas too. I know someone had mentioned to Ken at pick-up last week that they had made a delicious sounding sorbet from the rhubarb ... please share?! We can all use a fresh infusion of culinary ideas.

Look How Your Garden is Growing





Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fresh Herbs

Would you agree with me that the culinary art is enhanced using fresh herbs? I use a lot of herbs in my cooking both fresh, dried or frozen. Fresh is definitely BEST, but freezing fresh herbs from summer's bounty is second best for winter meals.

Extra herbs can be dried for storage ... or vacuum sealed & frozen. What? You don't have a dehydrator nor a vacuum sealer? Neither do I -- except on my wish list, hehe --

So here's one quick way to freeze extra herbs: place herbs into a sandwich size "Zip-loc" baggie. Zip it closed nearly to the end, insert a drinking straw into the open end and inhale to draw the excess air out of the baggie. Remove straw and seal the baggie all the way. Label the baggie with content & date then toss into the freezer for use at a later date. While this is not a fool-proof method (a vacuum sealer would do a better job) it can work in the interim until the sealer makes it off my wishlist and into my kitchen.

July 9/09 Garden Pak

New items this week are Summer Savory & onion greens.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Peas are Blooming

We have both snap peas and green peas for shelling.

I don't recall, but the little internet research that I did on peas tells me that they should be ready for picking in 4-8 days. Whoohoo!

That seems fast to us. We'll just have to wait and see if there are some ready for this week yet or ... not?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Salad Greens & Soup Fixin's

Some of you have asked what the little greens with the red veins & roots are ... they are baby beet leaves - Yes, later you'll be getting the beets themselves.

For now, we're thinning our patch and sharing the greens with you. Beet greens are great in salads and super in soups. If you find that you're not able to use them all in a week, consider freezing them for winter use in soups.

My sister-in-love has a great Mennonite, ethnic soup recipe called "Summa Borscht" (or summer soup) that uses beet leaves as well as chives, spinach & sorrel (hopefully next year @ Klasse Woods).

Her recipe and how she prepares greens for winter soups is here. I make this soup also, we all enjoy it - but I figured since she'd already posted the recipe I would just direct you there. Thanks Diana.

Blue Giant-Hyssop

What is this stuff? Very healthy!

Our field guide states:
"This leafy plant with its pleasant anise-like fragrance, has often been used for food and medicine. Young plants provide cooked greens and flavoring for soups and stews. The fresh flowers add splashes of purple to salads and cooked dishes. Fresh or dried leaves, covered with boiling water and steeped or simmered, produce a delicately licorice-flavored tea. The leaves also add flavor to commercial teas. Cooled giant-hyssop leaf tea is still drunk occasionally to relieve coughs and chest pains. The flower clusters also dry well and look beautiful in dried floral arrangements."

There you have it. You may just choose not to use the hyssop and that's fine too. We thought it added a bit of interest to the garden pak this week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2/09 Garden Pak

The hyssop was added later, thus it missed the picture.

Cherry Recipes

Cherry Filling

1 - 2 lb tub cherries
1 - 2 lb tub water
1 1/2 cups sugar (I've also used 1 cup honey instead of the sugar)
5 Tbsp. cornstarch (or half tapioca starch / half cornstarch)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Put cherries and water in a pot. Cook cherries
gently until soft. Add sugar and stir. Mix cornstarch with
lemon juice and a little more cold water. Add to boiling cherries stirring
constantly. Boil 3 minutes longer until cornstarch has thickened and sauce is clear, stirring constantly.
Pack into hot jars, seal and turn jar upside down OR Use immediately or store in refrigerator once cooled (keeps in the fridge for about a week).

Use filling in any of the following recipes, in pies and tarts or as a sauce over perogies, cheese cakes, ice cream, pancakes, cream puffs…use instead of cranberries with stuffing … we even use it like jam!

Cheubarb Sauce
This is a variation of the recipe above - we like it just as well or better...and it makes the cherries last longer and the rhubarb not as tart.

Make the recipe above but add a good cup of rhubarb before cooking. You may wish to add a little more sugar (1/3 cup) as well. Try and see what you think.

Cherry Smoothie

2 cups yogurt
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen cherries
2 T. honey
12 ice cubes

Blend and serve.

Cherry Cobbler

Place cherry filling in a glass pan then top with dollops of batter:

½ cup sifted flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp. soft butter
1 egg, slightly beaten.
Beat with spoon until batter is smooth.
Drop by spoonfuls over cherry filling. It spreads over
The filling during baking. Bake in 400 degree oven up to
20-30 minutes, until brown.

Cherry French Toast

12 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
2 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup cherries, chopped
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup honey

1 cup cherries
½ cup honey
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. butter
Cube bread and cream cheese. Put ½ bread cubes into 9 x 13 pan. Then put cubed cheese over bread. Sprinkle with 1 chopped cherries and remaining bread cubes. In bowl, beat eggs, add milk and honey. Mix well. Pour over bread in pan. Cover, chill overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, bake 25-30 minutes more until center is set and top is golden brown. Cut into 15 servings. Prepare sauce and serve over toast.

Cherry, Cream & Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup oil
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. vinegar
t tsp. vanilla, optional

Cheese Mix:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 small egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
pinch sea salt
Cherry filling for garnish

Mix the dry ingredients well, then add the oil, water
& vinegar. Blend all well. Fill muffin tins ½ full with batter.
Cheese Mix: Combine softened cream cheese, egg, sugar, and sea salt. Drop a dollop of cheese mix on top of each
and then garnish with a cherry with a bit of filling, pushing cherry gently down into the cheese and batter.
Bake in 325 degree F. oven. Makes 20 to 25 cupcakes
or 36 mini cupcakes.

Cherry Coffee Cake

1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
½ tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups durum flour
1 cup white flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
Beat together sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla and eggs.
Add the 3 cups flour with baking powder. Spread 2/3 of this
Mixture in a greased 11x17 cookie sheet. Top with cherry filling. Drop the rest of the dough by spoonsful on top of the cherry pie filling. Bake @ 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes.


Edible flower garnishes add beauty, taste, nutrition and elegance to your family meal table. Johnny-jump-ups are delightful in salads or to garnish a dish ... particulary chocolate or white desserts!

Preparation, uses, and tips:

Immerse blossoms in cool water to flush out any tiny insects, and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner. Add to field greens or use as a garnish for desserts.

Buying and storing tips:

Johnny jump-ups can be found primarily in specialty markets. Look for fresh blossoms with no signs of wilting or browning. Store them loosely wrapped in a paper towel placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

What about Chives?

Chives are ready early in spring. Though this year we're already into summer ... can you believe it??

Chives is something I look forward to using lavishly in our meals. They add color, nutritional health benefits and taste to our diet, waking up the taste buds to summer selections.

Chive cheese was introduced to us by some dear friends a few years ago. It is now a staple spread at our house throughout the summer:

Chive Cheese

1/2 cup chives, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Use chive cheese: on bread, crackers, veggies, in egg, fish, or meat sandwiches ... and it is super good with a burger - it can even redeem a lowly hotdog!

- add chives to salads: green salads, macaroni salad, potato salad or egg salad.

- add to soups, sauces & casseroles.

- chop & freeze for use later in soups, sauces & casseroles

Did you know that the chive flowers are edible? Not only edible, but decorative as well. The chive flowers can be torn & tossed in salads adding a delightful color along with their delicate taste. Or use the whole blossom to garnish a dish.