Pumpkins, sweet corn & plant breeding–a helpful mix

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by Jay Reesor

It’s the time of the year when we head to the field to cut pumpkins. No, we don’t go and make jack o’lanterns, but we do cut the pumpkins from the vines and put them in bins to bring to the market. And we do have some nice pumpkins in the field this year despite the dry, dry summer. All of the pumpkins are a little bit smaller than they would be if we’d had normal rainfall, but the quality is still very nice.

And speaking of quality: plant breeders have not only produced some much improved pumpkin varieties, but improved varieties of other crops as well. They’ve improved the sweetness and tenderness of our corn and the stem quality on the pumpkins and bred green beans to mature uniformly on the plant to facilitate harvest. All of this has been done with plant breeding and not genetic engineering.

Hey there high school and university students who love science. Looking for a calling? Consider plant genetics and plant breeding and make an important contribution to our community and the world’s food supply!

It’s time to pick your own strawberries at Reesor’s Farm Market

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Come see how strawberries grow and enjoy a farm experience while you have fun picking our juicy, delicious Ontario strawberries. It’s our 30th year of Pick Your Own (PYO) strawberries and it’s so much fun to meet grandparents, parents and children who make it a tradition to pick strawberries together in our fields.
No time to pick? We have plenty of ready-picked strawberries available by the litre and by the flat in our Farm Market and at Reesor’s Market & Bakery, Main St., Stouffville.

We plan to have PYO strawberries available until early July, but strawberries are very sensitive to the variables of heat and rain, so please plan to pick soon. Our planned PYO hours for June 18 and June 20-25 are 8 am-5 pm, but may change according to the weather. Please call 905-640-4568 for a pre-recorded message about hours and picking conditions for the day you plan to come pick. Please remember we are closed Sundays.
Here’s what to expect when you pick strawberries at Reesor’s:

  • Free admission to the field.
  • Straw between the rows and under the berries making it more comfortable for you and keeping the strawberries cleaner when it rains.
  • Helpful, friendly staff at the fields to assign you rows of strawberries from which to pick, so you can pick more berries more quickly.  You won’t be picking from picked-over berries.
  • Bring your own containers or purchase baskets from our staff in the strawberry fields.
  • Convenient field-side parking.
  • Hand washing & toilet by the field.
Find out more about our strawberries and pick your own on our website:

You getting lost in our corn maze raised $2,148

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Having fun and raising money at the same time is a great combination! Thanks to everyone who ventured into our farm’s corn maze this year. You helped raise $2,148 for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank for international aid.  Thanks also to Burkholder Farms who harvested the feed corn for free, so that an additional $650 was raised from the sale of the corn itself.

New! “Take & Bake” Reesor’s Cookies

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We’ve recently begun packaging our frozen, unbaked Classic Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin in re-sealable freezer bags.  They’re the same cookies we make from scratch and bake for you, but now you’ll be able to bake up just a few or a whole bag and enjoy them warm from the oven at home.

Bake up a couple of them for a snack or go a little bit decadent: make your own warm cookie, ice-cream sandwich with your favourite flavour of Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream.  Double yum!

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New! Reesor’s Apple Pecan Crisp

We’re pleased to introduce classic Apple Pecan Crisp to our selection of desserts. It’s sweetened only with apples and apple concentrate without any white or brown sugar. It has large and small oats, pecans, cinnamon and butter for good, crunchy flavour. There’s no wheat flour, so it’s gluten free. Let us know what you think about it.

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Win A Gift Box!

You might win a gift box–please come fill out a ballot during our 10th anniversary celebrations!

As a way of saying thanks to our customers for your support for the past 10 years we have three gift baskets for you to enter your name to win this week. Just come in to the store and fill out a ballot–it’s free and no purchase is required.

We’ll be drawing a winner on Thurs., Fri. and Sat. So, come in early to enter for the best chance of winning a basket containing maple syrup, pancake mix, granola, cookies and more.

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Is it our imagination or do flowers look the most beautiful during winter in Canada?

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From young to old most everyone appreciates receiving flowers, but it’s in the wintertime that flowers really bring a smile to your recipient’s face and bring life and freshness to your home.  Keep checking at Reesor’s throughout December for cut flowers, seasonal centrepieces, potted outdoor urns, poinsettias and potted plants.

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Do you want to know more about what’s new & fresh at Reesor’s in between our e-news updates?

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We post several times a week on Facebook about what’s happening on the farm, our bakery and kitchen. Even if you’re not “on” Facebook you can still look at our pages; you don’t have to be a “member” of Facebook.

So, if you would like to keep in touch more often, you can go to both of our Facebook pages and see what’s cooking and growing.

Here’s the link to our farm on FacebookClick Here

Here’s the link to our town market on FacebookClick Here

Here’s the link to our website:  www.reesors.ca

Quick-baking Meatloaf “Muffins”

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You can follow this recipe or use your own favourite meatloaf recipe and divide the meat into muffin cups instead of a loaf-pan. It’s a great way to pre-portion food for a family dinner, a pot-luck or for stashing in the freezer.

Makes 12 “muffins” or 6 larger portions. The photo is of the 12 portion size.
 
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
½ can tomato paste (2 ½ ozs.)
1 Tbsp or to taste of dried thyme, oregano or your favourite herb
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper or ¼ tsp hot sauce
½ cup rolled oats
½ onion, finely chopped
 
For the topping
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 ½ tsp mustard
1 ½ tsp prepared horseradish
 
Preheat oven to 375° F.  Lightly oil or spray a muffin tin.
Lightly whisk the egg in a large bowl. Whisk in the tomato paste and seasoning.
Add the ground beef, oats and onions.
Use your hands or a spoon to blend everything together. (Use a light touch to avoid over-working the meat which can make the meatloaf tough.)
Evenly spoon the seasoned ground beef into the muffin cups. 
Whisk together the topping ingredients and spoon or brush evenly over the meat.
Bake until cooked through and glazed; about 20-30 minutes.

Adapted from Chef Michael Smith’s Fast Flavours Cookbook.

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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.