Cornucopia | October 2016

The passing of the equinox has launched us straight into fall and we are loving this cool, crisp weather. Our fall crops have come in just in time for the last Farmers’ Market of the season on October 5th. We’ve got root crops—including carrots, beets, turnips, radishes and potatoes—along with a wide selection of braising greens, from napa cabbage to rapini to choy sum. Come on out to market this Wednesday for one last chance to get some rooftop vegetables.

Although the market season is ending, we still have a few events to look forward to. Our annual Fall Harvest Party is coming up on October 24th where we’ll be celebrating the cornucopia of the Urban Farm. There will be workshops on mushroom cultivation, garlic planting, and vermicomposting along with pollinator-themed games and prizes, snacks made by Ryerson Eats, locally brewed beer and cider, and to top it off, a Contra Dance with a live band. We will continue to meet on the rooftop for our monthly First Friday events and at the ground-level for our weekly Get Growing Monday sessions right through to the first week of November. So come help us prepare for the winter garden and celebrate the end of a great growing season!

Napa cabbage swirls

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 7th | p.m. – 4 p.m.
First Friday
Monthly Rooftop Volunteering

Every Monday | p.m. – 4 p.m.
Get Growing Monday
Weekly Ground-level Drop-in Volunteering

October 5th | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Last Farmers’ Market 
Last market of the season

October 17th | p.m. – 4 p.m.
Volunteer Orientation for Harvest Party

October 24th | 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Harvest Party

Save the date for the Harvest Party

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer at this month’s First Friday: October 7th

Ryerson Urban Farm hosts volunteer sessions on the first Friday of every month from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. This is a great opportunity to visit the farm, meet other garden enthusiasts, and learn more about urban agriculture. This month we’ll be preparing for the winter garden by pulling out hot crops, sowing cover crops, turning compost, and prepping beds for overwintering crops such as garlic and spinach. We’ll be receiving a fall shipment of compost, so come prepared to get dirty!

What: Pre-registered volunteer event, every first Friday of the month
When: Friday, October 7th, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome, bring your colleagues, friends and family!
Where: Ryerson’s rooftop farm on the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof located on the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre (245 Church Street).
Directions: To get to the farm, go to the fourth floor of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre located at 245 Church Street. Head to the stairwell in the North-West corner of the building. You’ll find the stairs to the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof there.
Instructions: Dress with the weather in mind and be prepared to get dirty! We also highly recommend you wear close-toed shoes.
Registration: There is a limited capacity for volunteers on the rooftop farm. Please RSVP by registering with Eventbrite here. If you do not RSVP, you will not be able to attend this volunteer session.

Get Growing Every Monday (Except on Thanksgiving Monday)

This fall we will be working to develop our flower farm and pollinator gardens, drawing on principles of ecological garden design such as incorporating local resources, focusing on soil building strategies and using low-impact techniques. This is a great opportunity to volunteer on a weekly basis and learn more about ecological gardening.

What: Drop-In Volunteer Event
When: Every Monday, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Please note there will be no volunteer session on Thanksgiving Monday, October 10th.
Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome, bring your colleagues, friends and family!
Where: Ryerson’s ground-level gardens. Meet at our Gould Street Garden (across the street from the Student Campus Centre at 55 Gould Street).
Instructions: Dress with the weather in mind and be prepared to get dirty!

We will be moving around multiple gardens throughout the season so please RSVP by sending an email to urbanfarm@ryerson.ca to make sure you aren’t left behind!

Volunteer Orientation for our Harvest Party: October 17th

We are looking for volunteers to help out at our upcoming Harvest Party on October 24th. We’ll need help with setup and teardown along with assistance in managing event activities such as garlic planting, pollinator identification, and mushroom cultivation. We will be meeting for a volunteer orientation and to begin preliminary preparations on October 17th at 1 p.m. in front of the Gould Street Garden. If you are interested in joining the organizing team, please email urbanfarm@ryerson.ca for more info!

What: Harvest Party prep and volunteer orientation
When: Monday October 17th, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Gould Street Garden (across the street from the Student Campus Centre at 55 Gould Street)
Who: Anyone interested in getting more involved with the Urban Farm!
RSVP: Email us at urbanfarm@ryerson.ca.

Janice Winton, Ryerson’s VP of Administration and Finance addressing attendees of the 2015 Harvest Party

Events

Ryerson Farmers’ Market: October 5th

Join us this Wednesday, October 5th, at our Farmer’s Market stall for the last market day of the season! It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up fresh Ontario produce for your Thanksgiving meal.

What: Ryerson Farmer’s Market
When: Every Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Gould St. between Bond and Victoria
Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome

Arlene, Manager of the Ryerson Urban Farm picking the last of the season’s eggplants for tomorrow’s market

This Month’s Feature Edible: Cabbage

Cabbage is a proud member of the Brassica family and, as such, it is packed with nutrients. In the garden, Brassicas are heavy feeders and grow best in cool weather. These cold hardy crops not only thrive in low temperatures, but frost draws the sugars out, making these plants taste even sweeter. Marcella Hazan has a recipe that will warm your belly on cool fall day. We recommend green cabbage—a rooftop favourite at the Urban Farm. Come pick some up at the Gould Street Farmers’ this Wednesday between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.!

Green cabbage is a rooftop favourite at the Urban Farm!

Rice & Smothered Cabbage Soup
Recipe by Marcella Hazan, adapted from Food 52

Ingredients

  • Smothered cabbage (see below for instructions)
  • 3 cups homemade broth
  • 2/3 cup rice, preferably Arborio
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Smothered Cabbage:

  • 2 pounds cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar (white or red)

Method: 

  1. Shred the cabbage leaves into fine shreds, avoiding the core (you can compost the core, or save it for sauerkraut).
  2. Heat the onion and olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion until it becomes colored a deep gold, then add the garlic. When you have cooked the garlic until it becomes colored a very pale gold, add the shredded cabbage. Turn the cabbage over 2 or 3 times to coat it well, and cook until it is wilted.

  3. Add salt, pepper, and vinegar. Turn the cabbage over once completely, lower the heat to minimum, and cover the pan tightly. Cook for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until it is very tender, turning it from time to time. Add 2 tablespoons water as needed if there isn’t enough liquid as it cooks. When finished, adjust salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and allow it to sit a few minutes before serving. Note: The smothered cabbage can be prepared 2 or 3 days ahead of the soup, or served as a side dish from here. It also freezes well.

For Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup:

  1. Add cabbage and broth to a soup pot over medium heat.

  2. When the broth comes to a boil, add the rice. Cook uncovered, adjusting the heat for a slow, steady boil, and stir from time to time until the rice is done (al dente) at around 20 minutes. Add a ladleful of broth or water if the soup becomes too thick while cooking. When finished, the soup should be rather dense, but there should still be some liquid.

  3. When the rice is done, before turning off the heat, swirl in the butter and the grated Parmesan, stirring thoroughly. Taste and correct for salt, and add a few grindings of black pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, and allow it to settle just a few minutes before serving. Serve with more grated Parmesan.

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