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Do Not Use Garlic As a Prophylactic

So we’re in the bakery and farmersdotter has her hands covered in roasted garlic goop. Won’t go into the details as to why but it did bring to light the notion that garlic is a natural vampire repellant. We haven’t had any encounters with vampires. And we grow garlic. Makes one wonder if garlic truly works as an effective vampire prophylactic

So we decided I should research the subject cause garlic goop smears easily on the keyboard, and Lo and Behold a group of Norwegians has performed just a study. Only they used leeches. Not vampires. Both suck. Good enough.

No Garlic

Anyway, in their study they smeared garlic on one hand and the control hand had no garlic. Turns out the garlic-smeared hand was preferred in two out of three cases.  Not only that but the leeches attached themselves in a blistering 14.9 seconds to the garlic smeared hand, compared with 44.9 seconds to the non-garlic smeared hand.

So it seems the traditional belief that garlic has prophylactic properties to repel vampires is probably wrong. Indeed the opposite may well be true. Someday I’ll let farmersdotter know.

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Starting Bread Starter

For a number of weeks farmersdotter has been working diligently on the bread starter for this years bake. She began with a dormant starter from last year which responded very well and will yield a wonderful sour dough. She also developed another starter from pineapple and red grapes.

Bread Starter
Bread Starter

The fruit provides the sugar on which the yeast feeds allowing a preferment and a longer fermentation time for the yeast enzyme and bacterial actions on the starch and proteins in the dough. This in turn improves the keeping time of the baked bread, and it creates greater complexities of flavour.

Halving the starter everyday to feed it means there is an abundance of starter dough left over so one problem is what to do with the left over starter. No doubt farmersdotter will come up with a solution but in the mean time we are developing a great store of frozen waffles!

Yesterday we started firing the wood oven in the Bakery. It will take a few burns to get the oven well primed for the first bake for the Penticton Farmers Market May 5.

Bakery Oven
Bakery Oven
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So Looking Forward to Harvest

The past couple of years of living in limbo def: the uncomfortable state 40-50 somethings find themselves when they become empty-nesters, is finally coming to an end. Its time to settle on a path for our next chapter. Yve and I just made the commitment to purchase an organic garlic farm in Cawston, BC. There. Done and done. For better or worse. In sickness and health.

After leaving the harsh climate of Northeastern BC and in Yve’s case a good career with great job satisfaction, we settled in with family in Keremeos, BC to assist with Parsons Farm Market, a family operated orchard and fruit stand. We soon discovered that farming life isn’t all that bad. Hard work yes but really quite satisfying. But we also learned you can not roommate like a 20 something in university. Been there, done that.

So onward and upward. Our new farm, officially; farmersdotter organics, is PACS certified and in great condition. Our new neighbours say the property has some of the best ground crop soil in the area. We had our collective eye on this property since early last summer and in anticipation of purchasing it we prearranged with the seller to plant the garlic crop for this summer. We are really looking forward to experimenting with other ground crops but for now we can not wait until the harvest. The cleaning, grading, and getting our very own product to market for the first time will be really exciting.

Personally, I am looking forward to establishing a culinary and perennial herb garden. Ever since managing Raven Hill Herb Farm in Saanich during the 90’s I have longed for my own herb garden. And now, well now I get to do just that.

We are fortunate too in that there is a bakery on the property so now Yve can ply her trade in earnest. The bakery is a straw bale constructed building with a beautiful wood fired oven that can bake upwards on 100 loafs of bread a time. The previous owner sold bread at the Penticton Farmers Market and Yve hopes to carry on that tradition plus offer up whatever pastry strikes her fancy. I know she has a passion for good bagels.