Thinking back 31 years

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by Jay Reesor

Wow! Another year almost finished and if you’re like me it’s hard to believe! This year marks the 31st Christmas of Reesor’s Farm Market. It’s easy for me to remember that anniversary because that’s the year our first daughter was born, and 31 years later I’m now a grandfather!

In those 31 years lots has changed here on the farm. I now have many more people to help harvest the corn and pick the strawberries and make sure all of the crops are tended well and sold at our market.  Back in the old days it was just me!  As well, we have more labour-saving equipment which is a real help to everyone here.

When I was a younger farmer we even had livestock here on the farm including pigs and chickens which made for lots more work!

But some things haven’t changed. We are still doing our best to care for the soil and grow healthy, nutritious crops.  We are still trying to be good neighbours to those near and far and still wanting to live simply so others can simply live.

Have a Merry Christmas and may 2017 be a wonderful year for you and yours.

In the photo above photo Jay is in a sweet corn field that was planted with oats last summer to protect and build the soil for next year . 

Reesor’s specialty cookies, soups and more make your holiday season scrumptious

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We’re here to help you make your dinners and parties delicious.  Cookie trays, soups, quiches, tourtières and our huge selection of frozen and fresh entrees such as lasagnes and chicken pies let you enjoy your own parties or make pot-lucks more fun for you. Here is our Christmas baking list.

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It’s quiet time on the farm

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by Jay Reesor

Mid-December is a very quiet a time around the farm compared to any other time of the year. Sure, there are some things to do in the farm workshop and a few details to take care of at my farm desk, but with the last jobs in the field complete, it’s time for a change of pace. I am looking forward to doing those jobs in the shop and thinking and preparing for next season.

It is remarkable though how quickly another farm season comes around because in about two and a half months it will be time to frost seed the wheat field with red clover seeds to follow the wheat crop. And every year many farmers tap their maple trees in February. But in the meantime I am looking forward to the Christmas season with my family and enjoying the slower pace that winter provides me as a farmer. Wishing everybody a wonderful holiday season!

Squash & Sweet Potato Soup with Flavours of the Caribbean

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This easy and delicious winter soup has lovely seasonal flavours delicious for Christmas-time.   Don’t worry about the long list of ingredients which is mostly aromatic herbs and spices that pay off with big flavour.  If you don’t have every spice or if you want to use dried spices go ahead and make it to suit your taste. Strategic use of the microwave to cook the squash and sweet potato makes this soup come together very quickly.

For extra flavour, peel and cut the squash and sweet potatoes into 1” chunks and roast them at 350 ° for about 1 hour. But using the microwave saves a lot of time and effort and the soup still tastes great.

Ingredients

2 lbs. butternut squash or your favourite squash or cooking pumpkin
1 lb. sweet potato

2 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped finely, or part of a hot pepper to taste
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp orange zest
1 Tbsp curry powder
1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp black pepper

1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
1⁄4 cup 35% cream (optional)
1⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (optional)

Directions

Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  (Save the seeds to roast separately at 350 ° with your favourite spices such as cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper.)  Scrub the potato and stick it several times with a fork, so it doesn’t explode in the microwave.

Microwave the squash and sweet potato until soft.  Let cool until able to handle them and then scoop out the flesh of each of the vegetables and set aside together in a bowl.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot with the oil over med-high heat.  Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add the sweet red pepper, garlic, and ginger and cook just until fragrant.
Add the thyme, orange zest, curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves, mixing everything thoroughly. Add butter, brown sugar, salt and black pepper.  Stir together until well mixed.
Add the squash and sweet potato and stir well.
Add the chicken stock, stirring to blend everything together.

Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Allow the soup to cool a bit and carefully use a stick blender or a blender to puree until smooth.

Add the cream and coconut milk if desired and stir.  Reheat gently if necessary.
Garnish with additional cream or coconut cream when serving.
Yield 10 cups.

Reesor’s 2015 Holiday Hours

Please note we’ll be closing at 3 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Mon. Dec. 21– 9 am to 7 pm
Tues. Dec. 22 – 9am to 7 pm
Wed. Dec. 23 – 9 am to 7 pm
Thurs. Dec. 24  – 9 am to 3 pm
Fri. Dec. 25 CLOSED
Sat. Dec. 26 CLOSED
Mon. Dec. 28 – 9am to 7 pm
Tues. Dec. 29 – 9am to 7 pm
Wed. Dec. 30 – 9am to 7 pm
Thurs. Dec 31 – 9am to 3 pm
Fri. Jan 1, 2016 – CLOSED
Sat. Jan 2, – 9 am to 6 pm

Our hours are posted here too:  Reesor’s Holiday Hours

Our suggested ingredients for your tasty and stress-free Christmas

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Here are some ways Reesor’s can help make your Christmas and seasonal celebrations taste great with our unique selection of savouries, meats, side dishes and sweets for all your celebrations.

From office parties to family dinners

The Main Event

It’s the sides that make the meal

Make your party sweeter

Gift-giving made easy

Family meals when you’re too busy to cook

It’s the sides that make the meal

Make your favourite bread stuffing using Reesor’s Pilgrim bread, mash up beautiful white Ontario potatoes, slice up sweet potatoes for a casserole, roast some Ontario squash, or make a fresh cabbage-slaw. Remember to pick up enough of our Ruby Red Cranberry Sauce for Christmas dinner and for turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

Make your party sweeter

Take your pick from our beautiful selection of handmade Christmas cookies, squares, desserts and seasonal specialties. Buttery shortbread, Nanaimo bars, luscious lemon bars, sticky toffee pudding and so much more!  New this year we’re offering our most popular squares pre-cut on two sizes of trays.   See our Christmas Cookie & Square collection here: Reesor’s Christmas Baking

Family meals when you’re too busy to cook

Check our fresh entree fridge for heat and serve meals that change daily.  Keep frozen soups, lasagne or butter chicken on hand, so your family can sit down together for a good meal and you’ll have renewed energy to go Christmas shopping after dinner!

Thanks to our corn maze explorers for donating to Stouffville Food Bank

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by Jay Reesor

This past fall at our farm corn maze we gathered the entrance fee and accepted donations from customers to give to the Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank. This month I was very happy to present Board member Charlotte Chesham with a cheque for $1147.75 on behalf of our customers at Reesor’s Farm Market.

Recently we harvested 8,000 lbs of corn from the maze (grain corn, not sweet corn in case you’re wondering) and we’ll be donating the proceeds from the sale of the corn to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. CFGB is a great organization that works in the developing world helping people grow more food to better feed their families and providing food in times of crisis for hungry people.

On behalf of my family and all of the staff at Reesor’s, I wish you a very happy Christmas and holiday season and I hope for all good things for you and your family in 2015.

Learn more about both of these charitable organizations here:

http://www.wsfoodbank.com
http://foodgrainsbank.ca