Organic squash from Sandow Farm

Organic squash from Sandow Farm

We just tried a new recipe from a friend for pumpkin bread. With our abundance of butternut squash we replaced the pumpkin with squash, with tasty results.

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cup of pumpkin (or squash) puree
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/2 t. of vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups of flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. nutmeg
1 1/2 t. ginger
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. sunflower seeds

Mix dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients and combine at the end. Bake bread at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Alternatively bake muffins for 20 minutes.

 

Thanks so much to those who made it out to pick at Sandow Farm this year. We had a shorter u-pick season with many enthusiastic customers.

In the spirit of thanksgiving, we appreciate our customers in many ways, and particularly in the way you work to your limits to reach our high apples .. thank you !

Our U-pick will be closed for the season on Friday, October 10th at 7pm. Come on out before then if you want organic Sandow apples!
Next year we hope to offer a longer apple picking season.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Organic squash from Sandow Farm

Organic squash from Sandow Farm

A good friend recently prepared this delicious dish (squash and chickpea curry) at one of our monthly family feasts and we want to share it with you. Given the abundant organic squash at our farm we know they deserve to be paired with the comfort of a warm curry on an autumn evening.. mmmm!

Squash and Chickpea Curry

Ingredients

1/3 c slivered almonds
2 tbsp oil
½ c chopped onion
2 cloves mince garlic
1½ minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp curry powder
6 c butternut squash diced
¼ tsp pepper
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ c sodium reduce chicken broth
½ c raisins
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Toast almonds in a dry frying pan until they start to turn golden brown.  Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a tall saucepan; add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Cook until the onion is softened.  Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the squash, pepper, and tomato paste until coated with the curry mixture.
  • Add the broth and water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the squash is tender and the sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir once in a while during cooking.
  • Stir in chickpeas and raisins and cook until heated through.
  • Garnish each bowl with almonds and cilantro.

 

We will be OPEN for U-Pick apple customers starting this Saturday, October 4th.  We will be open 7 days a week, 11am to dusk, whatever the weather.  We will post when we are closed for the season.

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This is our second season as certified organic we have a couple different picking options available: we are providing drawstring bags in 2 sizes. The smaller size costs $15 and the larger bag costs $30 to fill. Customers are also welcome to bring their own bags. The apples are $1.50/pound.

Cash only please.

We also have the following items for sale at our farm stand:

  • Organic garlic
  • Organic squash (butternut, buttercup and spaghetti)
  • 100% beeswax candles
  • Organic apple jelly

We do have a lighter apple crop  and anticipate being open for a much shorter season this year.  

 

 

Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard, and Marieka Chaplin of Sandow Farm.

Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard, and Marieka Chaplin of Sandow Farm.

My first impression of Michael Phillips was a memorable one. Our Sandow Farm shirt logo instantly caught his attention. Many people have commented on our attractive logo but he was the first to instantly ask if we grow Sandow apples. I was chuffed that our farm namesake (named after our main apple variety) was instantly recognized by such a famous and accomplished orchardist.

Since we started out on our organic orchard adventures we have relied on The Apple Grower by Michael Phillips. His orchard is in New Hampshire but his principles relate directly to the realities here in New Brunswick. To prove the similarities, for the weekend of June 21st he even came to NB. The Orcharding Workshop that he led was held in Cocagne and organized by ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network). It proved to be an incredible experience and one that will motivate and inspire us in the years to come.

As many orchardists and home gardeners will attest, growing apples organically is a challenge. This truth is evidenced in our province as there are only two organic orchards: Hutlo Acres and our very own Sandow Farm. I truly appreciate Micheals’ holistic view and his focus on overall species diversity at all levels. A healthy orchard is one where diverse soil biota, insects, plant and animals can prosper. A healthy orchard has healthy trees: one of the ways to promote tree health is by mimicking the conditions at the edge of a deciduous forest.

Everyone who gardens knows crops grow better when the soil fertility is improved; the same principle applies in the orchard. Some people have the misconception that because apple trees are perennials they have built-in fertility but this is not the case. Consider that each autumn all the apples are picked and all the apple tree leaves blow off leaving the orchard with little to show for all its hard work. To compound this effect, when the trees are dormant in the late winter they get pruned and even more biomass (plant food) is removed. Caring holistically for the orchard means restoring these levels of plant food that are “lost” and improving soil fertility.

Higher levels of mycorrhizal soil fungi will lead to a healthier orchard. These soil fungi are fed by wood-based fertility. That makes sense, given the fact that fruit trees have so much in common with other deciduous trees. One of the ways of promoting higher levels of soil fertility is with orchard compost. To make an orchard compost the same process is followed as with a garden compost which includes adding manure. The manure that is sourced should be from animals that are fed GMO-free grain, and preferable organic grain. In addition wood chips from small deciduous trees are added to make an orchard compost. The orchard compost is aged for 6-12 months prior to being spread in the orchard. It should be noted that anyone farming organically should check their certification standards to determine what they can use for their manure source.

To learn more about Michael Phillips, please read his books, or visit his website with the Holistic Orchard Network at GrowOrganicApples.com

 

Pictured here from near to far: sunflower and bee floating candles, beehives, carved eggs and fern pillars.

Pictured here from near to far: sunflower and bee floating candles, beehives, carved eggs and fern pillars.

As the temperature outside drops, we light a candle to bring warmth inside our homes. Setting a table for friends and family, or drawing a hot bath for a solitary moment, we bring a special ambience by lighting a candle.

Light a single taper in a dark room and be amazed at how much it illuminates. It is also a slower burning wax. While the price of a beeswax candle may appear higher than a conventional paraffin candle, it is actually more economical in the long run.

Because they release negative ions as they burn, beeswax candles are believed to actually help clean the air. The internet is full of anecdotes from allergy and asthma sufferers, sharing stories of dramatic symptom amelioration.

Where does beeswax come from? Bees produce the wax in order to seal honey inside the comb. It is harvested by beekeepers along with the honey.

In the winter the Chaplins make beautiful beeswax candles that make the house smell gorgeous naturally.  On December 19th Marieka was interviewed by Paul Castle on the CBC Radio segment “Homegrown”.  Listen to her discuss the benefits of 100% pure beeswax candles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SandowFarm-Gleaner

Local orchard one of two certified organic in N.B.

Local orchard one of two certified organic in NB by Tara Chislett of the Daily Gleaner

A Keswick Ridge apple orchard has become one of only two certified organic apple orchards in the province.  Sandow Farm recently received its international certification through the Organic Crop Improvement Association.  Carleton County’s HutLo Acres is the only other certified organic orchard in New Brunswick.

Marieka Chaplin, who purchased the orchard with her husband Philip in 2011, said her family is excited to have its new status for the 2013 season.  “Typically for a farm to become organic, they would need three years of applying to be organic and doing all the paperwork and of course not using any synthetic herbicides or pesticides or insecticides or fertilizers,” she said.

“But in our case, we bought this farm from a family that had owned it 19 years pesticide-free so we had just an 18-month transition period allowing us to be certified this year.”

Chaplin said the process of being certified organic is rigorous with a lot of requirements such as not using chemical fertilizers and only using sprays that are approved for organic crops, something that can be a challenge for orchardists.

“They’re quite a heavily sprayed crop,” she said.  “Most people don’t realize that because apples have such a healthy persona, if that’s the right word.”  In many cases, Chaplin said orchardists spray for scab, a disease of apple trees caused by a fungus that produces dark blotches or lesions on the leaves and fruit.

Because the primary crop as Sandow Farm – the Sandow apple, an older variety of apple known for storing well over the winter – is scab-resistant, Chaplin said her family doesn’t have to use any sprays, even the approved ones for organic farms.

Although there are a lot of requirements to maintaining organic status, including an annual recertification process, Chaplin said there are a lot of benefits for the small orchard.  As a result of its certification, it is now listed with the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network and if in future years they want to add crops to the farm, they can also receive organic certification.

Chaplin said with interest in buying local increasing, her family is excited to be able to provide another opportunity for organic options to those who want them.

IMG_3935We have had very a positive response to our organic apple u-pick this year.  Our 2013 season lasted 23 days this year and in large part the lovely weekend weather created a bustling orchard environment on Saturdays and Sundays.  Thanks to all of you who made it out to our orchard this year and good luck with all your apple eating, baking and processing.

Thank you for your support!

We will be OPEN for U-Pick apple customers starting this Saturday, September 28th.  We will be open 7 days a week, 10am to dusk.  We will post when we are closed for the season.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is our first season as certified organic and our prices remain the same as last year.  We are providing our customers with a 20lb drawstring bag to fill for a cost of $20 (cash please).

We also have the following items for sale at our farm stand:

  • Organic garlic
  • Organic squash
  • 100% beeswax candles
  • Organic apple jelly

We do have a bigger apple crop  and anticipate being open for much longer than last year.  The apples are still ripening so don’t feel you need to rush out here (they sweeten with frost).  We are mostly opening up this weekend because we know there are a lot of keen organic apple pickers out there and the weather is looking grand!  And it is Organic Week…

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