The Green Family Farm - Fresh Seasonal Salmon and Salad Recipes (2024)

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Hobby Farming On Vancouver Island

I recently had the great opportunity to spend a couple of days on Northern Vancouver Island visiting andphotographing two hobby farms, the Green Farm (Kate) and the Menzies Farm (Angela). These two family run small-scalehobby farms have been working together for awhile, sharing a table at the Port McNeill Farmer's Market, coordinating the produce they grow to maximize variety and alternating weeks running the table on the weekends. They recently decided to make it more official and have named their cooperative "Creekside Produce".

While they each have a small acreage, the amount dedicated to growing produce and raising their chickens would fit on a large city lot so it was neat to see the large variety of food they are able to grow in this space and have enough excess produce to sell at the local farmer's market.

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Spendinga day with each of them was not only really fun, it was really inspiring and I learned a lot from both of them. This is the first of a 2part series on these wonderful small scale growers and is all about my daywith Catherine Green (Kate or Katie). (Read part 2 on the Menzies farm here.)

Nurse, Farmer, Mom, Wife And Chicken Momma

Katie and I have been friends for years and as soon as I arrived I was greeted with excited hugs, a baby chicken (Chickypooo, Killa or KFC depending who you ask, lol) cuddled up in Katie's arms (apparently cute baby chicksseriously competed forKate's study time while recently acquiring her masters degree) and the promise of a delicious lunch with some fabulous Saltspring Wild Cider. I already wanted to move in!

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Kate and her husband Mike live on a small acreage on the beach with a beautiful sunny exposure. They have built a beautiful West Coast style home with gorgeous spruce beams and fircabinets. Kate has decorated their house with interesting and beautiful local art (much from local Port Hardy shop Café Guido) potteryand other finds from island markets and when I was there, she had vases of blue and purple flowersfrom her gardeneverywhere including her outdoor patio table. Her attention to detail makes the space both breathtakingly beautifuland comforting at the same time.

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The Vancouver Island propertywas homesteaded bythe Tarkanen side of Mike's family many years ago andthere is even an old graveyard on the property! They have built a large fenced square garden area (necessary for keeping the deer from eating everything) and a large chicken coop with a fully netted in chicken yard surrounding it (to keep predators away from the chickens). Katie raises chickens for eggs (and for the fun I suspect) andsupplied many classes in local schools with chicks to incubate and hatch this past spring andnowhas a very large flock! Their future plans include adding a greenhouse to extend the relatively short growing season.

Hobby Farm Crops

They grow a variety of produce some which are permanent; raspberries, tree fruits, blueberries, rhubarb, beautiful multicolored eggs (which I wrote aboutin this postabout urban chicken farming) and otherfruits and veggieswhich change seasonally and yearly but usually includekale (one of Kate's personal favourites), radishes, cucumber, zucchini, many types of lettuces, arugula,tomatoes, potatoes, squash, peas, beans, herbsand so much more.

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Why Have A Hobby Farm

The garden started as a hobby and to feed and teach her children about growing. While I was there, Kate's passion for teaching and making healthy food accessible for all was very evident. Not only does she want to grow food for her family and the farmer's market, sheloves to encourage othersto grow food for themselves even if they only have a small space.

Encouraging Health With Food

As a publichealth nurse, she also loves the opportunity to walk young mothers and other clients through cooking basic, healthy, nourishing food for themselves and their families. She sees first hand the change that this can make for people who didn't grow up with fresh home cooked meals. She gets excited as she teaches and sees them realize how simple it can be to make a vegetable or chicken soup, a salad of fresh vegetables or cook some fresh fish and that it can be affordable too.

Running A Small Town Farmers' Market

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Kate and Angela have been instrumental in getting their local farm market off the ground and keeping it going. In previous years they have tried selling at a rotating location (Sointula, Alert Bay, Pt. Hardy and Pt. McNeill) butthat made it hard for people to know which week they would be in each town and did not help create a regular customer base. They now sell at the Pt. McNeill market which runs bi-weekly though the summer.

One of the programs Kate is most excited about is the farmer's market food coupons for expectant mothers. The couponsare given out as healthcare professionals see need and can be used at any farmer's market for fresh food. She sees this as a way to not only meet a need but to helpbuild a strongcommunity as well.

An excerpt from the BC Farmer's Market website states, "The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP) is a healthy eating initiative that supports farmers’ markets and strengthens food security across British Columbia.Community partner organizations hand out coupons to lower-income families and seniors participating in their food literacy programs. These coupons can be spent at all BC farmers' markets that participate in the FMNCP to purchase vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, dairy, cut herbs, meat and fish.Each household enrolled in the Program is eligible to receive a minimum of $21/week in coupons."

You can read more about it, donateor even get involved at the BC Farmer's Market webpage or join one the the Facebook groups, North Island Farmers and Artisans Market-Port McNeill or HardyLocalFoods FoodShare to read moreabout their involvement in it.

Food Fresh From Kate's Garden

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As we talked, alternately sitting and sipping the delicious Elderberry/Flower Cider and taking photos, Kate picked a beautiful salad of green and red lettuces, arugula, flowers from her radishes and more. We then moved into her kitchen where she offered the kids fresh mint tea (simply fresh mint leaves in a mug, hot water poured over and steeped a few minutes-one of her kid's favourites) and pulled some perfectly baked salmon out of the fridge from dinner the night before.

I made a simple salad dressingout ofsome just-picked raspberries from her garden to dress the salad, Katie added chunks of the delicious salmon and we sat down to a simple and delicious lunch that I have been dreaming about ever since.

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Below is the salad dressing recipe, the instructions for simple baked salmon and Kate's wonderfully simple and delicious fresh Peppermint Tea. Whether you are picking your own or supporting your local farmer's market, there's no better time of year to eat fresh and local.

Related links to this story

Here's how to find Kate's fabulous gardening shoes (rubber to keep dirt out) for any chicken lovers, the cookbooks in this story and the pectin she uses for jam and jelly:

Sobo Cookbook, an extensive collection of recipes from the iconic Tofino restaurant. (I also have this cookbook and highly recommend the Margaritas and Polenta Fries!)

Sea Salt Cookbook, simple and delicious West Coast recipes geared to cooking on a boat. I wish I had this back when I was fishing with my dad!

Bernardin's Complete Book of Home Preserving, classic and handy for jam to pickles and everything else preserving.

Certo Pectin, reliable standby for jams and jellies.

Chicken Gardening Shoes, there are no words, just chicken emoji's and yellow hearts <3

Cheers to you all and to cooking with real food.

ox Sabrina

📖 Recipe

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Raspberry Salad Dressing

Super fresh and easy. Great on a simple salad of garden greens or kick it up a notch and add some shaved fennel into the salad for extra crunch and flavor. This makes about 100 mls or just between ⅓-1/2 cup of dressing.

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Course: Condiment, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 4

Author: Sabrina Currie

Ingredients

  • ½ c Fresh Raspberries Or thawed from frozen
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 teaspoon Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Mash raspberries up with sugar and salt in a small bowl or measuring cup.

  • Add mustard, oil and vinegar and mix quickly and well with a small fork or whisk until emulsified and pour over fresh salad greens.

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @wckitchengarden or tag #wckitchengarden!

📖 Recipe

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Perfectly Baked Salmon

Basic, easy instructions for a perfectly baked salmon fillet. I've used fresh BC Sockeye Salmon but this will work with any, just adjust the cooking time; less for a smaller fish and a little more for a bigger fish. This is great hot out of the oven for dinner or let it cool and serve it with a salad for lunch or summer dinner.

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Course: Lunch, Main Course

Prep Time: 2 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 4

Author: Sabrina Currie

Ingredients

  • 1 BC Sockeye Fillet (approx 1.5-2 lb or 800 grams) or other salmon fillet
  • ½-3/4 teaspoon Coarse or Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450' F

  • Put fish fillet on a baking sheet, lined with parchment or tinfoil if you want an easy cleanup 😉

    Sprinkle salt and pepper over fish fillet

  • Bake 10-14 minutes, watching carefully at the end and taking the fish out immediately once barely cooked through. My oven cooks on the cool side and took 13 minutes for my 800 gram fillet.

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @wckitchengarden or tag #wckitchengarden!

📖 Recipe

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Kate's Fresh Peppermint Tea

This is as simple as can be and what a wonderful and easy way to use mint. Mint is so easy to grow and does as well in a garden as in a patio container.

Sweeten with honey or sugar if desired but Kate likes hers unsweetened with just the beautiful fresh mint flavour.

5 from 1 vote

Print Pin Rate

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 1

Author: Sabrina Currie

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Sprig Fresh Peppermint (About 7-8 mint leaves)
  • 1 c Water

Instructions

  • Heat your water in a kettle or the microwave until just about boiling.

  • Pour the water over the mint leaves. Stir and gently bruise the mint leaves against the side of the cup to help release the flavour and let steep 2 minutes.

  • Sweeten with honey or sugar if desired and enjoy.

    Mint is soothing for the tummy and relaxing for the soul.

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @wckitchengarden or tag #wckitchengarden!

The Green Family Farm - Fresh Seasonal Salmon and Salad Recipes (2024)

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