On this blog we will share things that are happening, past, present and future, on the farm, recipes, photo stories, videos, and so much more. We have some great ideas that we hope to bring to you by way of this weekly (give or take) blog.
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|Posted on November 16, 2018 at 6:15 PM||comments (10941)|
This easy squash soup is as healthy as it is comforting!
Voted "Best soup ever" by some tough to please 8 year olds.
What you need:
One medium size butternut sqash or similiar such as other acorn squash or zucchini - we still have fresh butternut squashes at the farm store.
500ml - 1l or water (based on water content of vegetable).
1-2 boullion cubes from the farm store, either vegetable or chicken, or both, one for 500ml of water)
Optional: one medium onion, roughly cubed and sweated in 1 tsp of fat such as oil or butter
What to do:
Sweat onion if using.
Add water, bullion cubes and squash cut into 1 inch cubes.
Boil for 10-15 minutes until squash is completely soft.
Let sit for few minutes to cool, then blend in blender or with stick blender until very smooth.
Your soup is ready to eat.
Dress it up! For an extra touch of taste, add any of the following to taste: Salt, pepper, tumeric, cumin, coriander, a swirl of full fat cream or a dallop of sour cream, fresh chopped rosemary or thyme, flavoured olive oil or a really nice touch would be a small pinch of smoked salt on top.
|Posted on September 27, 2018 at 12:00 AM||comments (7236)|
This is Canada, EH!
Barbecue isn't just for summer anymore. Us Canadians have long been known to dig out the BBQ from time to time in a foot or more of snow. Good news is, it's only fall, no snow shovel or mittens needed just yet, although you might want to bring an umbrella along with your BBQ tongs.
Because lamb is not as common as beef or pork sometimes how to prepare a delicious cut of organic ontario lamb...or goat, can be confusing. As a general rule, meat is meat, and with the fat content of lamb, you're almost always guaranteed to and up with a tasty piece of meat off the BBQ.
Traditionally the French Rack is cooked medium rare or even blue in the middle in fine dining establisments, however that's not everyone's cut of lamb. In Germany it's unheard of to eat meat that raw, we like it cooked all the way through, and it's much safer from a food safety stand point. However, our lamb is vaccum packed and deep frozen within a day or two, so it's very safe as long as you cook it a short time after thawing or thaw it out in the fridge to keep it cold. So go ahead and cook it to medium rare if that's how you like it, or leave it on a bit longer if you prefer it that way.
We start out with a nice rack - although you can pretty much cook any cut with this method. From there you can get creative. This time I kept it super simple, but you can let your imagination and taste buds go wild. You can keep it easy like I did, or you can start a few hours to a day before cooking with a marinade. Here's a simple marinade recipe that's great with lamb or just about any other red meat:
- 1/4-1/3 cup vinegar your choices include balsamic (which I would prefer for lamb), apple cider or red wine or any other high quality vinegar... don't use malt or white vinegar
- 1/2 -3/4 cup high quality oil. I recommend extra virgin olive oil as it will add to the flavour, or a lighter oil that will take on the other flavours such as grapeseed
- 1-3 cloves of garlic, minced or smashed
- 1 or more fresh sprigs of one (or more) of the following: rosemary, tyme, sage, oregano, lemon balm, mint... if you have an herb garden just walk around and rub each between two fingers. If you can imagine it on lamb, give it a try. You can't really go wrong. You
- Salt & PepperIf you want to get even more creative consider adding some of the following
- worchester sauce
- indian spices
- hot peppersor top with this after cooking:
- crumbled feta or blue cheese
- roasted garlic
- balsamic glaze
- honey glazed nutsCooking isn't just about nutrition, make it a family event and have fun!
I simply added a bit of coarse sea salt and pepper to my lamb after brushing it with olive oil and rubbed some fresh rosemary over the meat while it warmed up to room temperature. The oil keeps the juices in an makes sure that even the lean edges that touch the BBQ don't stick.
Heat up your BBQ to 400-500*F and get that fatty side down first. Close the lid and after about 2-3 minutes and gently lift with a spatula and tongs (if it sticks too much give it another minute) and then place at a 45* angle from where you had it and give it a couple more minutes to create a nice cross pattern.
Full admission, I got distracted and ended up with a pretty charred edge, but hey, some people go for the 'blackened' edge on purpose for a smokey flavour. So check your meat every couple mintues to prevent it from burnig, but not too often or you loose the heat.
It was still pretty tasty, I just trimmed that off before eating it. You don't want all the fat to cook off, as you want it to baste the meat as you cook it on the rib side.
Cook it on this side for 3 minutes, then stand it up (hold it with the lid open if necessary) for about 1/2 minutes and rotate again for a X pattern.
At this point you want to remove it and let it rest on a plate for about 5-10 minutes or you will loose the moisture when get to the next step. The inside will be pretty rare. After the resting period use a big sharp knive and cut apart between each rib, standing them up on a cutting board. You can save the drippings to dribble over the finished chops before serving.
If you like them nearly rare, you can serve you french chops just like this, if you them cooked more...
Get the BBQ back up to 450-500*F and cook the chops for 30 seconds - 1 minute, then rotate for a nice pattern. If you want you can add salt and pepper at this point. Repeat on the other side.
After you have cooked both sides, use a finger or spoon to feel the meaty part. If it's soft or squishy that means it's medium-rare. Cook it longer or enjoy this way. I finished mine pretty well.
For a fall plate, serve along with some BBQ butternut squash (simply brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper) and a juicy tomato salad or go with a more traditional pairing of mashed garlic potatoes or yams.
Lamb pairs nicely with a rich red wine such as Gamay Noir, Cabernets or Merlot from https://www.frogpondfarm.ca/our-wines/red-wines/" target="_blank">The Frogpond Farm Winery. This is what they say about how they grow their grapes:
"By farming organically, we not only help the environment, but we also ensure that our property is a clean and safe place for staff and visitors alike. While growing our grapes, we do not use any chemically based herbicides or fungicides and only organic manure and grape pomace to nourish the soil. In our wine-making process, we do not use any chemical or synthetic products, so that the resulting wines are a natural expression of the grape varieties’ true characteristics and flavours."
The same is true for our Lamb of course. Our sheep and lambs have outdoor access all year, and pasture weather permitting. Along with fresh grass they are fed the highest quality hay form our meadows and grains from our fields, which are fertilized only with composted manure from...you got it, our sheep and goats. We don't use any pesticides or herbicides and rely on the health of the soil to keep our crops strong and resistant.
Our lamb is not as gamey as other lamb, it is tender and has a mild flavour and can be enjoyed without overpowering mint sauce. Even novices enjoy our Organic Ontario Lamb from The Meier Family Organic Farm in the heart of Niagara. Stop by our farm on any Saturday to see what cuts we have currently available and be sure to sign up for our newletter to stay up to date on seasonal produce, new products and fresh lamb or goat.
Happy BBQing, EH!
|Posted on September 23, 2018 at 1:50 AM||comments (11184)|
Our grand prize winning poster:
The winning poster can be seen at the farm store for the next while.
Congratulations to Jojo, Aayushi, Brody, John and Aaron, our colouring contest participants.
We really loved your colouring!
Thank you so much for brightening our day with the vibrant colours and hard work you did for our colouring contest. We hope you like your prize. Along with some special items and things from our Farm Store, you get some great organic treats and snacks.
Did you know that every time you eat an organic snack you are changing the world for the better one bite at a time? I bet you wonder how what you’re eating can be good for the world we live in.
Well, when you eat organic food and appreciate the taste you get from REAL food, your parents think “oh boy, this stuff is good, I will buy more!”. Every time your parents buy you organic fruit, veggies, snacks, treats and other food, they are telling the businesses who make those foods and the stores that sell them to keep selling things that are ‘organic’.
Organic means no chemicals are used when growing the food and no fake colours or flavours are put in your food. Because everything we eat starts out on a farm, the businesses that make your snacks say “hey, we are selling lots of these organic snacks to parents of kids who like real food. We need to tell our farmer so keep growing things without herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals”. ‘What are herbicides and pesticides?’ you might wonder. They are chemicals that kill weeds or bugs or stop them from growing. They can hurt bees and other pollinators, wildflowers, and they can even harm us.
But the good news is, on Organic Farms like ours, these chemicals aren’t used. We want to help the environment by keeping it clean and safe. And, when businesses that make organic snacks, and your parents buy the things we grow, we and other organic farmers can continue to farm in a way that helps the planet.
So, you are helping the environment every time you eat organic.
You’re an organic super hero.
Keep eating it real!
Thanks again for doing a wonderful job.
The Meier Family
Our second prize winners are tied with these wonderful submissions:
To thank our winners for their hard work, they won some great prizes:
We love to give back to our community of Farm Friends and their families.
Thank you for supporting your local farmer and stay tuned for our next special event.
|Posted on September 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM||comments (2326)|
This decadent zucchini cake recipe is not only a great way to use up even large zucchini, it's also versatile enough to go from afternoon coffee to fancy celebration.
A rich orange infused genache adds a fudgy, sweeter layer to the moist chocolate cake.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 cup organic sugar*
- 3 farm fresh organic eggs* - preferably at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- zest of 1 organic, washed orange
- 2 cups grated organic zucchini*
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour* or 2 3/4 cups organic light spelt flour*
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl
- Cream softened butter with sugar, slowly adding eggs and vanilla until fluffy
- Add dry ingredients to creamed and combine quickly
- Add grated zucchini, orange peel as well as walnuts and chocolate chips if using
- Stir together adding milk slowly until fully combined
- zest of 1 organic orange
- 3/4 cup - 1 cup of 35% cream (less for spreadable genache, more to pour)
- 100g bar or dark chocolate (45% - 60%, your preference - more cacao means less sugar)
- Break or chop chocolate into small pieces and place in ceramic or glass bowl.
- In sauce pan combine orange zest and cream and very slowly bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Use a small sieve to separate the orange peel from the cream as you pour it over the chocolate. Let the cream sit on the chocolate without stirring for several minutes to melt it, then stir together with a spoon. If all the chocolate does not melt after several minutes you can heat the mixture in the micro wave, 15 seconds at a time if needed.
- To pour, cool the mixture for 5-15 minutes. To spread, cool for 1 hour on counter or store in fridge until ready to use.
|Posted on August 19, 2018 at 2:20 PM||comments (5724)|
... Mr & Mrs Meier
Sr. to the left, Jr. to the right.
This is us! Our latest family photo.
We are slowly turning into a large Family. From left to right we have the youngest Meier daughter's family: grandson Noah, Franz, baby Max and Diana, then Farmer's Rosemarie and Hans. Their newest granddaughter Christine with son Dan and new daugther-in-law Jessica. Finally granddaughter Juliana next to her mom and eldest of the Meier children - Rita, with her husand Mike grandson Jacob. Together across two continents we make up the Meier Family.
The Farm has been in the family since 1983, and Hans and Rosemarie moved to Canada with their three kids in 1999. Since then, farming organically and sustainably has been our focus, with a goal to make affordable organic food and products available to our community, friends and neighbours - our valued customers.
You can browse our website to get aquainted with some of our products. See you at the Farm Store.