I've had hit and miss luck upon signing up to a variety of different programs offering weekly baskets of produce. When I heard about the delivery service offered by Clearwater Farms (from a friend who's one of their farmers) I felt kinda obliged to give it a try BUT after receiving their baskets these past 2 week, I'm totally hooked on their produce because the difference in taste is truly apparent!
Located on the south east side of Lake Simcoe, the Clearwater Farm is an unusual example of agro-ecological, regenerative farming. I love that they are really rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in 're-wilding' Lake Simcoe which as a cottager up there, I can assure you is in need of a whole lot of TLC!
Why is the food you get from Clearwater different?
Well, besides being grown in harmony with the surrounding land and lake, the natural growing techniques employed by their agri-preneurs farmers include adding organic matter to the soil to increase the minerals and nutrients available to the plants.
This regenerative technique helps rebuild topsoil and in turn captures, stores, and filters water more effectively. Harvested just before you get them (not having been in a truck for 2 weeks) the produce is über fresh.
The result is that when you get your veggies from them, they're extremely mineral rich - just like an old-fashioned carrot your grandma would have chewed on as opposed to one like you'd get from Walmart today!!
So when they say their food is better for you, they REALLY mean it!
Because Clearwater doesn't use pesticides, they do have a few bugs that nibbles on their plants BUT besides the occasional little hole, this is actually a good thing because it causes the plants to create a defense mechanism and send out internal chemicals to repel that bug. These internal plant chemicals are the very same chemicals that help our bodies fight off cancer and infection, so upon eating, you get the benefits of eating produce that is supped up on extra nourishing and beautifying phyto-nutrients.
One of most fave treats from my Clearwater basket has been garlic scapes! With grilled scapes, their taste changes, offering an utterly delicious tangy sweetness.
High in antioxidants, garlic scapes are also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin A (which works to protect your lungs and skin), selenium, calcium, manganese and fibre. To boot, the juice you find in garlic scapes and bulbs reduces oxidation of blood cholesterol and build-up of plaque in arteries, reducing risks of heart diseases. But best of all, they're super delicious!
Grill garlic scapes, tossed with olive oil, sea-salt and pepper, over direct heat for about 5 minutes.
Flip them once, halfway through.
Finish them off with some salt and hefty squeeze or two of lemon juice.
Serve over your grilled veggies, brown rice, eggs, on a burger or fish.
I usually make a big batch and pulse them in my food processor with some extra olive oil, salt, lemon and pepper to make a chunky pesto.
Add some parm and pine nuts if you want more richness. Delish!!