Strawberries - Conventional, Organic, and Harvest Haven Certified
I’m sure many of you have heard my strawberry speech before, so I’ll make this short.
Don’t buy conventional strawberries. They’re horrid. They taste like soured cardboard and are saturated in an unprecedented and unregulated concoction of harmful chemicals. They’re a lab experiment gone really bad.
Don’t buy conventionally-grown certified organic strawberries, either. They’re grown in fields of plastic weed barriers that suffocate the soil and heat up the roots for maximum production and minimal flavour. They’re picked under-ripe. Fruit that’s picked under-ripe has never reached peak sugar content. Fruit that doesn’t reach maximum sugar content is seldom targeted by fungus or pests. Plants that don’t have to respond to stress don’t create polyphenols (i.e. antioxidants) to defend themselves.
In other words, the organic strawberries you thought were loaded with antioxidants are just the empty shell of what they should be. They’re not just void of flavour, they’re void of nourishment potential, as well. The organic strawberry might not be toxic, but you’re definitely not getting what you’re paying for.
Harvest Haven Certified
Harvest Haven certified strawberries are the real thing. Grown in an actual field of straw. They’re picked when ripe. The roots of the plants are cool and well oxygenated while remaining consistently moist. This maximizes both the flavour and the nutrient density of the fruit. Our frozen berries are amazing and carry the healing goodness of the summer sun into the winter when you need it most.
In short, my sales pitch is simple, and call it elitist or egotistical if you must, but my recommendation is to eat only Harvest Haven strawberries. And eat as many as you can! As soon as possible, or better still, even sooner!
Closed Mondays for Farming and Construction
Farming and construction continue.
This week, the guys have been covering the strawberries with straw to protect the plants from the cold and snow. It was nice to be able to work in the sunshine instead of a snow storm, which has been our experience in the past.
Brett, owner of Purewood Design, installed shelving in the storage room of the new store. Something as simple as shelving has Brett’s masterful touch; the edges of each shelf are finished perfectly and the whole structure is strong enough for a 200-pound man to swing from it if he was so inclined.
Wild Oil of Oregano
Wild Oil of Oregano belongs in every medicine chest. It has antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven in laboratory studies, making it a natural, versatile, and effective option for so much of what ails you.
And here’s another good reason to have Wild Oil of Oregano on hand: drug resistant super-bugs cannot develop resistance to it, unlike how they do to the patented antibiotics on the market. Good news, indeed.
Hedd Wynn Wild Oil of Oregano is an excellent product:
- Made with wild, Mediterranean Oregano, free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides;
- Diluted in Organic Cold Pressed Olive Oil;
- Boosts the immune system to help prevent colds and flus when taken at the onset of symptoms;
- Relieves pain and speeds healing of bruises, sore or torn muscles, or other injuries.
- Effective against fungus, parasites, and viruses with no negative side effects.
- Potent remedy for a wide range of afflictions.
On sale now…10% off all sizes.
Lamb Shoulder Steaks- Sale $9.29/lb Reg. $10.89/lb
Beef Garlic Sausage- Sale $9.49/lb Reg. $10.99/lb (See Recipe Box)
Turkey Drumsticks- Sale $4.29/lb Reg. $5.49/lb
Large Eggs- Sale 3 dozen for $16.00 Reg. $6.00/dozen
Squash- Sale $1.50/lb Reg. $1.75/lb (See Recipe Box)
Frozen Strawberries -Sale $6.99/lb for 3 or more 1 lb bags Reg. $8.49/lb (See Recipe Box)
Bee's Bread Wrap- Sale $13.00/pkg Reg. $15.00/pkg
Hedd Wynn Wild Oil of Oregano -Sale 10% off all sizes
The Recipe Box
Please note, all ingredients in our recipes are organic.
Whisk together 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 1/2 milk, 1 1/3 cup mashed Harvest Haven squash, egg, 2 tbsp sunflower oil, and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla.
In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 1/2 tsp Harvest Haven pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp salt.
Stir dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat.
Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into frying pan.
Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Carefully flip pancake and cook until browned on the underside.
Serve with maple syrup.
Sausage Parmesan Cream Cheese Soup
1 lb Harvest Haven Garlic Sausage
1/2 Harvest Haven onion, thinly sliced
3 Harvest Haven garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup Harvest Haven chicken bone broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
Heat frying pan and add olive oil and onions, and cook until slightly soft.
Add sausage meat, break up with a spatula, and cook until it’s no longer pink, stirring frequently.
Transfer to large pot. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, cream cheese, and chicken bone broth. Give a quick stir to mix everything together.
Cook for 30 minutes.
Stir in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Divide the sausage parmesan cream cheese soup into bowls, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and more parmesan; then serve immediately. Enjoy!
Strawberry Yogurt Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large Harvest Haven eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces plain or vanilla, Greek yogurt
1 lb Harvest Haven strawberries
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (10-15 cup pan.) In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.
Toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter.
Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Once cooled whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.
Down on the Farm
Dinnertime at the Van Poptas is usually quite entertaining with lively discussions and amusing stories. The children take turns playing their piano pieces before and after dinner, giving us a pleasant concert. And everyone likes to give us the details of their exploits from a day down on the farm.
Recently, Konstantijn was apprising us of her new chores. Because she loves the sheep so much, her dad thought it would be good for her to have the responsibility of feeding them morning and night. She’s familiar with each woolly, has them all named, knows which ones like to be scratched and petted and which ones prefer to be left alone. And it appears that most of the sheep like K, too. They eagerly come running up to her for a little lovin’.
The conversation turned to the kittens, as they are in the barn next to the sheep and apparently, some of these girls find the kittens interesting.
“Freckles likes to sniff the kittens, but I don’t know why. She just does,” Konstantijn tells us, shrugging her shoulders.
Konstantijn has been doing a fine job of kitten “kare.” The little guys are growing well and venturing out and about the farm.
“They’re not afraid of Harriett [our guardian dog], either. They just hiss at her when she tries to play with them.”
Most of the cats scurry out of Harriett’s way, but not these tiny fur balls. No fear here.
Continuing with her cat capers, Konstantijn tells us about Grampa Max, a big black and white tom who is the oldest cat on the farm.
“I don’t know how Max does it, but he somehow gets all the kittens to sleep on him, providing a nice furry blanket,” she quizzically declares.
A conversation about Max’s age ensues. No one knows how old Max is. Some say he was with Noah on the ark. At this point, Marseilles leaves the table, returning shortly with her depiction of Max on the ark and his journey through history.
Marseilles has a special talent for putting into humorous cartoons the conversations she hears. You can see her skill in these pictures.
Life on the farm is sharing our individual gifts and abilities with others and enjoying the results.