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Planting season has begun! In this issue: 8th annual Plant & Play, meet Courtney K and some vivo Ristorante love!

Weather

This is happy farmer spring weather. A week that has a little bit of warm sun mixed with a good dose of fresh rain means our fields are primed for growing. This is Aaron's favourite time of year. We've got so much energy and we're itching to get out there and work the land!

Veggie Update

We've begun planting veggies! Just before the rain last week, we put the first planting of radish, carrot, dill, spinach, beets, peas and swiss chard into the ground. We couldn't have asked for better conditions: we seeded them just hours before the rain came to soak the soil and germinate the seeds!

Farm News

We have lots of news this week!

To begin, we're so excited to let you know that our greenhouses are OPEN! It's time to start dreaming about your gardens. Come out for a visit, wander through our blooming greenhouses and find the plants that are going to make you smile all summer long. We've got all kinds of flowers, herbs and tomatoes just calling your name.

Greenhouse hours are:
Monday - Thursday 10am - 6pm
Friday-Sunday 10am - 5pm

Also, mark your calendars for our 8th annual Plant & Play on May 25! If you've never been, you've been missing out. This family friendly day is the event of the season. We have kids games, tractor rides through the forest, make your own planter stations and deals on all our bedding out plants. Yes there will be hot dogs, and yes there will be a bouncy slide. 

Living along the North Saskatchewan river, we're lucky to get to see a lot of bird life and each year we look forward to the spring return of the pelicans. We're happy to report that they're back! Nothing says it's spring quite like a squadron of pelicans whirling over the farm.
 
If you haven't yet, remember to sign up for our 2014 CSA!

This year we're happy to bring you more pick-up locations, a wider variety of veggies and more flexible week-to-week ordering.

Remember there are limited spots at each location, secure yours today! www.riverbendgardens.ca/csa

Photo of the Week:

Carly's favourite thing in spring is to go for a walk along the fields.

See more photos from our daily farm life on our website.

Get to know Riverbend Gardens

Let's be friends!


Courtney Konschuh

Her Riverbend Gardens responsibilities include but are not limited to:

 
  • Cabbage knife ninja
  • Resident vegetarian
  • Wild animal rescuer
  • Porter connoisseur
  • Pseudo spanish translator
  • Greenhouse waterer
  • Dog whisperer
  • Pea and cauliflower lover

 
Courtney has been a part of the Riverbend team for 3 years now and is the farm’s jack of all trades. She has a degree in environmental studies and biology and is a huge asset to our team in the field. We manage to pull her away from the veggies just long enough to deliver your weekly CSA.

We love Vivo Ristorante!

One of the great things about being a farmer is working with local restaurants. We're proud to have our veggies on Vivo Ristorante's menu and think that all their food is phenomenal. Gregg is a regular visitor at the farm and he took some time out of his day to talk to us and send us a few photos. 

Q. Tell us about yourself!

A. We serve very rustic & classic Italian food, using fresh & local ingredients, as well as importing traditional product from Italy. We serve large portions for the entire table to share and enjoy several different dishes "family-style". We have an open kitchen for all Guests to see. Directly lining the front of our open kitchen is our Chef's Counter which is a row of 20 comfortable stools which showcases our Chefs preparing every dish to order. We have been in business for almost 3 years.

Q. Tell us something we don't know about you or something we wouldn't expect about you, your staff or your work.

A. We really pride ourselves on our daily "Staff Meal"; - a sit down break for all staff just prior to service to relax & enjoy a bite to eat. We discuss menu changes, issues and reminders to provide a superior experience for our Guests. We also constantly review menu ingredients and talk about our how & where we get our product, especially highlighting our local suppliers. The meal itself can range from new items we see at the markets to new ideas we may add to our menu. 

Also, we are heavily involved in helping various charities, providing significant Silent Auction prizes for Kids Kottage, Breast Friends Society, Canadian Red Cross, Festival Hatzafon, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Edmonton Inner City Children's Program & many more.

Most importantly, this summer will be the 2nd Annual vivo Heart Open Golf Classic in support of the Mazankowski Heart Foundation. Last year, we raised almost $300,000.00 which was enough to purchase them a new 3D Imagining Machine.

Q. What is your favourite Riverbend Gardens veggie and what's your favourite dish to make (or consume) with it?

A. Two of them:
1.) Your brussel sprouts when in season with Beanstock Dandelion Honey & spicy pepperoncino flakes & house cured pancetta
2.) Using the cipolline onions you grew just for us, with balsmic with grilled muli-colour cauliflower

Q. What are your restaurant hours?

A. Open daily @ 5:30 pm, with reservation until 9:00 pm on weekdays, & until 10:00 pm on Fridays & Saturdays.

Q. Anything else you want to add?

A. It is extremely important to nurture relationships between the restaurant & its' community by buying & promoting local. For smaller, independent businesses, patience, flexibility & trust are key ingredients to build & maintain lasting relationships. Riverbend Gardens is a wonderful role model & continues to inspire us to continue, develop & support them even more. We are truly proud to use your products and tell as many of our Guests about that will listen.



 
Follow vivo on twitter: @vivoristorante

Check out their website: www.vivoristorante.ca

Taste for yourself: Hawkstone Plaza, 18352 - Lessard Road