Posted by: bwoof | April 13, 2010

Farmer Claire

I have a friend, Claire, who attends one of my book clubs. She and her husband  and extended family live on an apple farm where they also harvest berries (gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc), melons, and root vegetables, among other things. Tonight Claire blessed us with an apple pie made with Ida Red apples. She has a lengthy explanation for why some apples are better than others. It would take all day to archive her expertise.

Did you know that lots of people like Honeycrisps? The crunchy texture is a big hit. But don’t try to make a pie with this variety as it will be a tasteless disaster.

From Claire I learned the following  bits of info:

~ We need to trim our raspberry bushes and snip the tips, approximately three inches from the top. This will force them to branch out and produce more fruit.

~ We need to thin out our raspberry patch and have no more than 14 stalks per metre. Select the best, ditch the rest.

~ Goat’s milk is excellent for young kids, partly because it has no bacteria for the first three hours after milking. It’s alkaline and does not require pasteurization until the three hours is past.

~ It’s parsnip season, and this winter the parsnips are especially sweet and big. In fact, they are as wide and as long as a woman’s leg. No kidding!! Claire sells the parsnips to a man who lives in a school bus (yes, that’s right!)  and roams the province to follow various crops: he then sells Ontario produce to fancy restaurants in the big city.

Grateful for:

  • Laura and her combo of nursing/sister/stand-in-mom skills
  • Jonny and his wonderful wrist doctor’s surgical skills
  • Gateway
  • Kind interpreters who know how to translate in various languages
  • A song…sung by a boy who has aspirations and dreams, and who is not, after all, mean-spirited
  • the Barton Street bus which goes in a straight line all across the city on exactly the route that someone needs in order to get to a special learning place

Curious about:

  • LOST! The TV show which is getting more intriguing all the time

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