Farm Market News

You’ll find familiar and new faces ready to serve you this summer at our farm market. Last week the staff came together for training and they’re eager to stock our shelves with Ontario produce and help you find your favourite fruit pies, cookies, frozen meats, Reesor’s own frozen prepared foods and more!

This week we have lots of asparagus, rhubarb, greenhouse vegetables, baking, preserves and hanging baskets and as the summer goes on, more and more Ontario goodness will be here for you.

New this year are pretty hanging baskets with a unique green moss-like basket and chain.

Key Dates for Ontario Produce

Depending on the weather, here are some seasonal produce start dates to keep in mind:

  • Asparagus: Now
  • Rhubarb:  Now
  • Strawberries:  About June 15
  • Pick Your Own Strawberries: About June 21
  • Peas: Pick Your Own & Ready-Picked About June 21
  • Green beans: Late June
  • Sweet Corn: About July 21
  • Pick Your Own Pumpkins: Early October

Easy dinner ideas

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When you’re at Reesor’s in Stouffville pick up one of our fresh entrees, such as our new Four Cheese Penne with Fresh Ontario Asparagus (in the photo above). Slip it from the foil tin into one of your own casserole dishes. Bake it in the oven or heat gently in the microwave.  A minute or two under the oven broiler can give it extra colour.  Serve to your family or guests and they may never know you didn’t make it from scratch.

Drink your greens! Try our newest soup made with Ontario asparagus.

Drink your greens! Try our newest soup made with Ontario asparagus.

Enjoy a regular or mini-sized quiche made with fresh Ontario asparagus.

Enjoy a regular or mini-sized quiche made with fresh Ontario asparagus.

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Slip a Reesor’s fresh entree into your own casserole dish and take the glory for cooking up a great meal. (We won’t tell.)

Oven Roasted Asparagus & Garlic

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Roasting or grilling asparagus enhances the sweetness of these delightful spears of spring.  You can add your favourite seasonings or keep it simple with just salt and pepper.

1 lb. Ontario asparagus
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt, pepper
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
Balsamic or red wine vinegar, or lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 450 F

Snap off or trim one inch from the bottom of each spear to remove any tough parts.
Rinse or soak in water to remove any sand. Pat dry.
Arrange spears in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. (Lining the sheet with parchment paper makes clean up easier.)
Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and minced garlic.
Bake for 6-9 minutes until it reaches your preferred tenderness. Arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle with a little balsamic or lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Ontario Asparagus are now in season

Ontario Asparagus

Ontario Asparagus

These gorgeous spears of Ontario goodness are delicious grilled, steamed, roasted, stir-fried and raw. They’re loaded with nutrients and fibre.  Get them at Reesor’s and enjoy the Ontario asparagus season!

Snacking Good Asparagus Quesadillas

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Try this  very easy and delicious quesadilla as a snack or appetizer.  If you like to eat savory food in the morning it’s a good healthy breakfast since it includes protein, vegetable and whole grains.

Ingredients
1/2 cup grated cheese
2 x 10” whole wheat tortillas
6-8 spears of asparagus
2 slices of ham

Wash asparagus.  Lay flat in a microwaveable dish, add a few tablespoons of water, cover, cook on high for 3 minutes.  Slice into 2” pieces after steaming to maintain nutrients.  Or lightly sauté raw asparagus in a tablespoon of oil until tender.  Slice into 2” pieces.

Sprinkle cheese on half of each tortilla.

Cut ham in strips and distribute on top of the cheese.  Lay tender-cooked asparagus on the ham.  Fold each tortilla in half and press closed.

Lay each half side by side in a heavy frying pan, such as a cast-iron pan.  Cook until lightly browned, turn, and cook until cheese is melted.  Cut into quarters and serve while warm.

Eat them plain to really taste the asparagus or serve with salsa.

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When To Expect Local Goodness

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Ontario strawberries:  Available now

Ontario rhubarb: Available now

Ontario asparagus:  Available now

Reesor’s Farm strawberries:  About June 22

Reesor’s Farm pick your own strawberries:  About June 24

Reesor’s Farm sweet corn:  July 21

Celebrate the flavours of spring at Reesor’s

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Are you ready to add fresher and livelier flavours to your cooking and eating after the long winter? Fresh rhubarb has already arrived and asparagus and strawberries will soon follow. 

Fans of our Rhubarb Streusel Muffins will find them every Saturday during May and June on our muffin racks. You’ll also find Ruthie’s Rhubarb Coffee Cake on our bakery shelves.

Check out The Rhubarb Compendium: for all things rhubarb including main course recipes such as Persian Beef & Rhubarb.

Asparagus Growers of Ontario give tips here about selecting, storing, and nutrition info about asparagus.  Did you know asparagus is a good source of protein and low in calories? Just 20 calories per serving (8 medium spears).

Here’s a simple pasta dish using ham and asparagus courtesy of Foodland Ontario.

Producer Profile – Charlie Welsh

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Charlie Welsh of Scotland, Ontario is one of our asparagus producers.

By now, you’re probably craving fresh-from-the-field Ontario vegetables on your plate – and at last, you can have your fix with the first crop of Ontario asparagus. At Reesor’s, we eagerly anticipate the first stalks of asparagus because it kicks off the Ontario growing season, which we always wait for.

At Reesor Farm in Markham we specialize in growing strawberries, sweet corn, and other vegetables.  So we count on farmer Charlie Welsh and other farmers from Norfolk County to grow asparagus for us.  Last week Charlie and his partner (and uncle) Peter Welsh harvested their first crop of asparagus, and as he sees with every harvest, the arrival of spring’s first vegetable is greeted with smiles. “When I bring asparagus to market every year, people are very excited. I’m happy to be growing something that people get excited about,” says Charlie.

The Welsh family has been growing sweet corn since the 1930s and started growing asparagus in 1989. On the shores of Lake Erie, Norfolk County has been an ideal growing location for asparagus because of its sandy loam soil.  Since his father retired in 2007, Charlie has been farming in partnership with his uncle Peter Welsh.

“The most challenging part about growing asparagus is like any crop, you are at the mercy of the weather,” says Charlie. “If it’s cold, it stops them from growing.  If it’s hot they grow too quickly and we can’t keep up with the picking.”

His tips for home gardeners who want to plant asparagus:   “Make sure your soil is well-drained and well-weeded.  It’s tricky weeding asparagus, so this is one of the challenges of raising it.”

Did you know?

• Asparagus can grow so fast during very warm weather that pickers go through the fields twice a day to harvest them before they get too large

• Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10″ in a 24-hour period

• A well-cared for asparagus planting will generally produce a crop for about 15 years without needing replanting

http://www.asparagus.on.ca/