All posts in category “On the Farm”

  • White asparagus soup revisited (Spargelcremesuppe)

    This post and recipe for white asparagus soup first appeared on this blog in 2012. It has been updated where necessary.

    Bleary-eyed and running on fumes, my husband and I landed on my aunt Sigrun’s doorstep in Germany almost a year ago to the day, only she wasn’t there.

    But her husband, Eckard was and he had a pot of my aunt’s Spargelcremesuppe (cream of white asparagus soup) ready for us.

    What he wasn’t ready for, however, was our appetite for what may just have been the best soup we’d ever tasted, especially after travelling thousands of miles and 14 hours. It was rich and smooth, creamy and bright. It took everything in me not to pick up the bowl set before me and pour its contents down my gullet. I struggled to pace myself instead and savour every spoonful.

    “Mehr?” Eckard asked us, somewhat reluctantly, in Ger-glish, the pidgin we speak to each other.

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    Category Food Finds, On the Farm, Recipes

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  • Peach Tree
  • Like buttah: Sweet potato chipotle dip

    I feel like I’m about to go into Mike Myers à la Coffee Talk with Linda Richman-mode as I type this.

    What makes hummus hummus?

    Is it the chickpeas? The tahini? Both?

    Discuss.

    Considering hummus is Arabic for chickpea, I’m thinking the garbanzo is critical to hummus being hummus. According to the mighty Wikipedia, hummus’s full name is hummus bi tahina, so I’m leaning toward sesame paste being equally as important to its identity.

    So when is hummus not hummus and just a dip? Sorry if you’re getting a brain cramp here. These are the philosophical questions I’ve been asking as I’ve been plotting what I thought would be sweet potato hummus but swapping the chickpeas for red lentils and the tahini for pumpkin seed butter.

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  • Peach Tree
  • Cricket and community building

    Playing soccer with farm workers. Photo from Southridge Community Church

    There is no worse feeling in sports than when your wicket drops.

    There are no second chances in cricket. When you are deemed ‘out’, you are permanently out of the game. To add insult to injury, you have the long walk off the pitch to contemplate your failure while everyone around you celebrates your misfortune.

    Why then would someone willingly confront such agony on a weekly basis? Because, in spite of its capacity to provide moments of lamentation, the sport also brings people together and encourages community beyond what could be gained in mere outreach. Continue reading

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  • Peach Tree
  • Thanking a farmer’s worker

    Photo by Jane Andres

    A pile of photographs sits on Jane Andres’s dining room table. In them, faces beam out at the viewer: middle school-aged students wear caps and gowns to mark the successful end of a school year; three women, dressed up, gather on an armchair, a baby between them; and a man in worn work clothes, his face weathered by time, stands in a snowy Niagara orchard.

    They’re perfect fodder for a family photo album, if people were still inclined to keep one. Instead, they’ll be part of an exhibit Andres is organizing to educate Niagara residents about the 2,600 men and women who come from the Caribbean and Mexico every spring to work in Niagara’s orchards, vineyards, and greenhouses for up to eight months a year.

    The photos were taken by some of those workers to show their lives here and in their homelands; the families who make do during their long annual absences and the households sustained by their income earned abroad.

    Andres, who operates a bed-and-breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake, displays the images to show Niagarans that those working on our farms as part of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) are valued members of their communities back home. She does it with the hope that people viewing the photos will make those workers feel equally appreciated here. “Our mission, it’s a simple one,” Andres says. “It’s to thank and welcome them, and you’re raising the profile of people who are essentially invisible.” Continue reading

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