Let’s kick start February with an artistic slideshow highlighting some interesting shapes I have been collecting. The eye of my camera can find some unusual shapes when I have time to slow down and look closely around the farm. Perhaps you will only see some weeds, trees, mushrooms and other weird pictures. Or maybe you will see a moose shaped potato complete with nostrils, a dog’s face depicted in burrs dusted with snow and two hugging flowers as I saw when I was taking the photos. Of course you might see something completely different. Whatever your perception is, I hope you enjoy this slideshow! If you would like to see more fun shape photos you can visit “Simply Shapes” which was one of the original artistic blogs I put on our website four years ago.
Southern Ontario was hit with substantial snow over the weekend. How do we cope with clearing all the driveways, laneways, pathways and walkways here at the farm? We bring in the big equipment naturally! The photos above show John using the loader tractor and RJ using the backhoe to clear snow. All done under the watchful eye of Murray of course! To see some photos of unusual winter phenomenon I took here at the farm you can visit “Weird Winter Weather.”
Happy New Year everyone! All of us here at the farm wish you peace, health and happiness in 2020! RJ and myself started this new year with a rare free afternoon, so we decided to truck to our back 40 and explore the forest. First we collected kindling (me) and played with the chainsaw (RJ.) Secondly we checked in with our rivers to see how flooded they were and drove the trails checking for downed trees.
Lastly we checked in on our tree. This ancient, majestic tree is quite a landmark on our farm. It’s anyone’s guess as to how old she really is but since my arms don’t even go halfway around her, we know she is rather elderly. And since tree hugging is good for the soul, we both gave her a big hug and told her we would be back soon to check on her. To see some other interesting pictures of nature I took here at the farm you can visit “Buds & Blossoms” and “The Sky.”
I am very excited to release my Baked Potato Bar Recipe which has involved over two years of research, development, trial, error and even a taste testing party! I am thrilled to present this recipe that was created with my very imaginative, talented and patient friends Chris Aiken and Christina Tinsdill.
Our baked potato bar is special because we have created ten different themed toppings. Each one comes with a special sauce and a garnish. You bake the potatoes and prepare as many different toppings as you like. Your dinner guests are offered a choice of what they want. How many different toppings you choose to make is up to you. And the final genius is that everything can be made the day before which leaves you lots of time to kick back and enjoy your guests instead of working away in the kitchen!
If you were to ask me what my favourite topping is I would say without a doubt “Heavenly Ham.” Or maybe “Seafood Sensation.” Or perhaps “Tangy Beef.” Although I do love “Mexican Fiesta.” Okay, who am I trying to kid? They are all fantastic and taste even better than they look in the pictures above. Without a doubt you will find your own favourite once you try them. I hope you enjoy this special recipe and as always I would love to hear feedback from you once you try it.
Go ahead and click on the PDF file above to download or print the recipe. To have a look at our signature recipes you can visit “Spud Smarts – About Cooking Potatoes.” Bon Appétit!
This video was shot in the fall for a segment in Snapd magazine that featured the farms that were participating in the East Gwillimbury Farm To Fork Tour. Perhaps some people would call this an infomercial. But since I am writing this blog I choose to call it my acting debut! Not bad considering there was no script and the only sets were the ones we picked that day as we roamed the farm in the Kubota. Many thanks to Mack for capturing the essence of our farm in this 26 second clip. To find out more about what we offer at the farm door to the general public you can visit “What We Offer – At The Door.”
I have often wondered why winter is personified as a cranky old man. Today we definitely found out why. Blustery, crusty, cranky weather descended upon us with a vengeance! Just yesterday John was working as fast as he could to wrap up as many fall chores as possible before the snow fell hard. This picture shows him using a soil saver cultivator in light snow. As you can probably surmise from its name, the cultivator plays an essential role in improving our soil. It loosens the ground that has been compacted by heavy equipment, improves water drainage, works up the organic manure and is invaluable in preventing wind erosion over the winter. To find out a little more about our fall field work you can visit “Fall Field Chores.”
We still have a nice selection of homegrown winter squash available at the farm door. The pepper squash grown by John & Curtis is very similar to acorn squash. The light orange flesh is ideal for mashing and adds a splash of vivid colour to your dinner plate. This recipe is super simple, it can be made the day ahead and leftovers are freezer friendly. The squash is lightly sweetened with brown sugar and dusted with cinnamon to create a veggie dish that kids will gobble up. Click on the PDF file above to download or print the recipe. To have a look at our signature recipes you can visit “Spud Smarts – About Cooking Potatoes.” Bon Appétit!
We certainly have enough pumpkins to share with everyone! John & Curtis grew several different varieties of pumpkins this year. All the orange pumpkins are a lovely shade of orange and are perfectly shaped. They also grew giant white pumpkins if you are looking for something a little bit different. They have you covered no matter what you want for your Halloween jack-o’-lantern! To see some picture of the boys planting their crop last year you can visit “Pumpkins & Squash.”
And just like that it’s a wrap on #Harvest19. Five weeks of long and hard days came to an end last week when we put the last load of potatoes in the storage for the winter. The weather cooperated for the most part, the machine and equipment breakdowns were minimal and as usual everyone here at the farm put a huge effort into the harvest. The potato windrower and potato harvester shown in the photo have been dubbed “The Iron” by RJ. And now we thank The Iron for a job well done, clean them up and set them to rest until next fall. To see a video of these machines in action you can visit “The Potato Windrower” and “The Potato Harvester.”
Life is busy here at the farm! The sweet corn still on and the potato harvest is in full swing. The Farm To Fork Tour is just one week away so we are really starting to prepare for all our visitors. And there are pumpkins and squash to pick. Every pumpkin is carefully selected and hand harvested. This photo shows one load coming back to the farm in anticipation of a very busy selling period for the fall produce. We are open to the general public daily from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information about the award winning Farm To Fork Tour you can visit http://experienceeg.ca/farm-to-fork/ To have a look at the photos we took here at our farm on the tour you can visit “Farm To Fork Tour Recap.”
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!