First Ontario Tomatoes of 2016

Ontario hothouse tomatoes are finally here and they couldn’t be any better timed than the first week of Spring. Ontario root vegetables are amazing and we were fortunate to have a steady supply to keep our boxes as local as possible but I can’t imagine anyone will be sad to see some home grown bright colours in their box this upcoming month.

If you have any spring time favourite produce or a recipe you would like to share with us feel free to email me at manager@haltonfreshfoodbox.com and we will do our best to source anything in high demand!

In Your Halton Hills Box This Week:

 

In your $10 bag we have included: Ontario Apples, Oranges, Romaine, Zucchini, Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Spinach, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots and Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Ontario Apples, Oranges, Romaine, Zucchini, Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Spinach, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli as well as Celery

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Ontario Apples, Oranges, Romaine, Zucchini, Ontario Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Spinach, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli, Celery as well as Cauliflower and Ontario Mushrooms

Tomato and Zucchini Spring Tart

  • 1-1/3 cups  flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 tbsp  olive oil
  • 1 medium Zucchini, diced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 thinly sliced Ontario Tomatoes

Mix flour salt and butter in a large bowl. Gather into rough ball. Press dough onto bottom and up side of 9-inch (23 cm) fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Prick all over with fork. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool completely on rack.

In a heated oiled frying pan add zucchini, garlic, basil, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender. Cool to room temperature.  Top with zucchini and Parmesan. Arrange tomatoes in circular pattern, overlapping slightly. Serve immediately at room temperature.


Photo credit: hallosunnymama via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Last Box of the Winter!

It’s hard not to notice when you look outside but Spring is just around the corner and produce prices are starting to come down from the sky high levels we saw this winter. By your next box in Burlington we will likely have Ontario peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and possibly even some Ontario grown greenhouse romaine. Farewell winter!


Your Burlington Box for March 15th:


In your $10 bag we have included: Ontario Apples, Oranges, Romaine, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Spinach, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots and Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Ontario Apples, Oranges, Romaine, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Spinach, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli as well as Celery

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Ontario Apples, Oranges, Romaine, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Spinach, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli, Celery as well as Cauliflower and Green Peppers

Spinach and Broccoli quiche

 

6 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 cup diced onion
1 minced garlic clove
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup chopped broccoli
8 ounces chopped spinach
2 cups grated cheese
1 pie crust

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Steam chopped broccoli until tender and set aside.
    3. Melt butter in a pan and add onion and garlic. Add salt and pepper then set aside.
    4. Beat eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the onion garlic, then cheese, broccoli and spinach. Mix well with spoon.
    5. Pour mixture into a 9 inch pie dish with prepared pie crust and bake for 35-40 minutes

Photo credit: Dave77459 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

2016 Crops on the Horizon

Through winter storage vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, squash and onions as well as certain greenhouse grown items like English cucumbers we are able to keep our boxes at least 50% local even in the coldest of months. Many Ontario greenhouses scale back their operations during winter months March and April will start to bring the 2016 crops of Ontario greenhouse grown tomatoes, peppers, romaine and eggplant. You may start to see some of these products on shelves in early March, due to the quantities needed from the HFFB you will likely start seeing these in your Fresh Food Box starting in late March or early April.

Over the next few months we will start our conversations with local growers to plan out the upcoming season and maximize the amount of Halton Grown produce that you see in your boxes. If you have any favourites that you didn’t see last season or ones that you would love to have in your box more often feel free to email me at manager@haltonfreshfoodbox.com. (Recipe ideas are always appreciated as well!)

Your Milton Box for March 1st:

In your $10 bag we have included: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Ontario Mushrooms, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots and Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnip, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli as well as Spaghetti Squash

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario White Turnips, Ontario Sweet Potato, Mango, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli, Spaghetti Squash as well as Romaine Lettuce and Celery


Photo credit: eVo photo via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Halton Region Food Summit

Next Thursday will bring the third annual Halton Food Tourism Summit. A terrific initiative aimed at increasing dialogue and awareness of agriculture and local food issues in the Halton Region. Halton residents have an opportunity to learn more about local food growers and producers and get an insight into what it takes to grow in Halton Region. You can sign up for free at halton.ca/foodtourism.

From the Halton Region Website:

Halton Region is committed to supporting and preserving our vibrant agricultural community. The Third Annual Halton Region Food Tourism Summit will once again bring together the local farming and culinary communities to encourage growth in the culinary tourism industry and to help support a sustainable local economy.

This year’s event will showcase entrepreneurial initiatives in the industry and provide insight on how to grow your agri-business while further contributing to the economic vitality of the community.

Event details

This event is free of charge!

Featured topics and speakers

  • Making a living on a small farm – from start up to profitability
    • Brent Preston, Owner, The New Farm – Creemore, Ontario
      2015 Recipient, Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence
  • What I learned about tourism from the Butter Tart Trail
    • Linda Reader, Economic Development Consultant, Farmgate, Ontario

Speakers panel

  • Farm Women of Halton – Working together to cross-promote farm businesses while engaging and educating the public on local food
    • Liz Lambrick – Busy Liz’s Farm Shop
    • Meaghan Richardson – Mabel May Farms
    • Heather Fraser – Wheelbarrow Orchards/ Harvest Goodies
    • Tracy Breckon – ECHO LANE Lavender and Fiber Arts

Who should attend?

  • Farmers
  • Chefs
  • Food producers 
  • Restaurateurs
  • Interested residents
  • Food educators
  • Tourism officials
  • Economic development officials

Your Halton Hills Box for February 23rd:

 

In your $10 bag we have included: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Ontario Mushrooms, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Sweet Potato, Kiwi, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots and Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Sweet Potato, Kiwi, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli as well as Green Kale

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Sweet Potato, Kiwi, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli, Green Kale as well as Green Leaf Lettuce and Celery

 

Zucchini Pizzas

  • 2 medium zucchini (1 LB)
  • 1/3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/8 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • Any toppings you desire

Directions

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
    • Cut each zucchini into halves through the length, you can slice off a thing layer at the bottom to prevent rolling. Pat insides dry with paper towels (cut portion). Align on prepared baking sheet.
    • In a bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic then brush lightly over tops of zucchini.
    • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste then brush a slightly heaping 1 Tbsp marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated.
    • Sprinkle tops evenly with mozzarella cheese then with parmesan cheese.
    • Top with desired toppings.
    • Bake in preheated oven 12 – 18 minutes depending on how thick your zucchini is and desired crispiness.

Photo credit: moonlightbulb via Foter.com / CC BY

 

High Produce Prices Sending Fresh Food Box Orders to Record Numbers.

We are seeing some of our largest orders in quite some time this month and we only have to look towards grocery store prices to find out why this is. Wholesale produce prices fluctuate week to week and being able to pick the specific items at the best deal we are able to deliver prices that can’t be touched even by the most discount of grocery stores. I recently did a price check at local grocery stores and to put together an equivalent to our $20 box this past week you would be spending a minimum of approximately $30 on less than fresh produce at a discount grocer right up to $45-$50 at some of the more well known chains. We are also able to source the freshest possible ingredients by skipping the need to overstock shelves and keep fresh items in a backroom for sometimes up to a week like many grocers. Not to mention the fact that our produce avoids all the wear and tear of your grocers, try finding an avocado at your grocer that hasn’t been squeezed by at least 20 hands!

Your Unbeatable Burlington Box for February 16th:

In your $10 bag we have included: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Ontario Mushrooms, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Sweet Potato, Kiwi, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots and Broccoli

In your $15 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity  with additional items: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Sweet Potato, Kiwi, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli as well as Green Kale

In your $20 Box we have many of the same items in greater quantity with additional items: Ontario Apples, Clementines, Ontario Potatoes, Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Ontario Yellow Onions, Ontario Sweet Potato, Kiwi, Ontario English Cucumber, Bananas, Ontario Carrots, Broccoli, Green Kale as well as Green Leaf Lettuce and Celery

Kale and Veggie bean soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Bunch Chopped Kale
2  cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
1 can  black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.

2.  Add remaining vegetable broth, cannellini beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar.

 


Photo credit: Mangilao30 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND