Farm news, Aug 29/2016

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, cucumber, zucchini, celery, carrots, onions, beets, spaghetti squash/melons/corn, green onions, cabbage, dill, cilantro, parsley and basil.

On the farm this week

The weather is cooling off thankfully!  There’s a shadow on the farm in the morning that lasts until about 3 pm and then is back again at 4 and the nights are getting cold! I hate to be the one to ruin the party, but it’s almost winter!

Speaking of winter,  lots of people are asking me about the winter csa.  I don’t advertise  it because we always sell out, but I will email csa members sometime in later september with the info on signing up.    This year we’re trying to see if we can have some greens in the winter and planted the greenhouse with some chard, kale, lettuce, spinach and cucumbers in the greenhouse.  I’ve never done this before, so I planted a little bit of everything and we’ll see what happens.  There’s more weeds than lettuce and more cabbage worms than kale so far.  The only way to know if we’ll end up having greens is to sign up and find out!  Shenggang thankfully has lots of experience trellising cucumbers and trellised these cukes up nicely.


We’re missing Lance!  It’s a lot more work to do when he’s not around.  He’s moved back to the city and is still not recovered and so isn’t planning on coming back out this year.   But we got some extra help from a local, Owen for 2 weeks until he goes back to high school.   After one day of work, he decided to use his brain of all things to carry the veggies out of the field.   He showed up with a sled to drag the bins of vegetables off with.   Oh kids these days.  So now I’m having to teach him that biceps will get him much farther in life than than brains and am showing him by carrying all the heavy bins out the hard way.

We’ve also discovered that you can tie the sled to the back of the truck and go for a pretty good ride through they hay field.  We’re going to construct some sweet jumps to go off of next.



That’s it for this week

See you soon!

Jonathan, Nicole, Shenggang, Irina and Owen.




Farm news, Aug 22/2016

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, carrots, beets, onions, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers, eggplant, beans, basil, dill, cilantro and parsley.

On the farm this week:

It was a busy week!  We harvested and hung all the garlic and started to pull all the onions.  Unfortunately,  Lance also became sick so I couldn’t just let him do all the work. Lance is now awaiting surgery for his wisdom teeth and will be moving back to the city and we’re not sure when he’ll be back.

Shengang and Irina were nice enough to work this weekend.   Shenggang even brought his family and said he’d rather volunteer than work on saturday( I know, that makes no sense) Shenggang is very nice guy but not a very good negotiator.   But we got all the garlic harvested and curing now.  Most of it will be for replanting but we’ll also have some for sale.  If you like the smell of garlic come hang out in this room.


We also had help from a CSa member Manny today, and thanks to Irina and Manny, the onions are all pulled up now also and starting to dry.  At the end of the day of pulling garlic and onions I  boiled my shirt in a pot and it actually made a delicious soup broth.


I should also give my dad some credit for once.  These rickety greenhouses that he’s standing in front of are what I’ve been using to start all my plants in for the last 6 years (I can’t believe it’s been that long).  Every year they collapse under the snow and every year I rebuild them because I’m was lazy to shovel them off and every year I tell myself I’ll shovel them off this year.  It’s amazing how much work being lazy can be!  I’ve been telling myself I’ll rebuild them every weekend, but haven’t done it yet.  So thankfully my dad came out as he often does to help me out when I’m behind and rebuilt them.  We’ll be moving the onions and squash in here soon to start to cure them also.  I guess this means fall is coming!


That’s it for this week,

See you soon,

Jonathan, Nicole, Shenggang, Irina and Lance


We will have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale,  broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, beets, turnips, bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, beans, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, onions and maybe corn

On the farm this week:

We’re being sprinkled with rain at the moment- and for once this year I’m hoping we get it a good rain.  I think it’s been a month now since we’ve had rain and so we have been doing a lot of watering the last week and it would be nice to get a good rain to save us from having to do that.

So, our corn’s not doing super great.  I planted the corn in a new area along the new ditch which I thought would drain it adequately, but it didn’t quite go as planned,  So a good deal of the corn is pretty stunted from being too wet most of the early summer.   So, we’ll have to see how much corn we end up with.   The potatos are also a little later than usual also.  I planted the potatos in the beginning of May, but they didn’t sprout until July (I’m not even exaggerating! – ok, maybe it was the last week of June).  The best explanation I’ve been offered is that the company that I bought the seed potatos actually sold me table potatos that had been treated so they wouldn’t sprout.  So I went and got more seed potatoes and the day I got more potatos they started sprouting!  So the potatos are, good, but just a few weeks behind.



The good news is that a neighbour of mine (by neighbor I mean he lives only 20 km away), Martin, grows a lot of potatos and corn  and wants to trade veggies because he’s short other veggies for his csa.  So, next week I’ll get some potatos from him and hopefully that will work out until mine have grown a bit more.

More good news is that we got the carrot lifter working!  All it took was an extra 1500 lbs sitting on top of it.  One could argue that paying people to be dead weight is not the best use of their time, but if it means I dont’ have to dig carrots then I disagree!


That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Nicole, Shenggang, Irina, Lance

Farm news, Aug 08/2016

We will have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, beets, turnips, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, beans, peppers, cucumber, zucchini, onions.

On the farm this week:

This week is our 9th csa pick up, which means we’re already half way through our 18 week season!  Though we may offer a 2 week extension like we often do depending on how many bananas we’ve eaten and how much energy we have left.   I can’t believe how fast the time is going!

Today I planted our last planting of spinach for the year.    On Friday we’ll hopefully plant the rest of the head lettuce and then celebrate the end of planting.  Though I’ll probably get nervous and plant more next week, and then the same thing will happen again the next week.  But at least in theory we’re done!

Last weekend I picked up a carrot undercutter bar.  I borrowed one from Jean Guy last year to dig all the winter csa carrots and I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting lazy or old, but after trying that I never wanted to dig carrots by hand again.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get it to work today and ended up digging them all by hand again.😦  But it’s going to be a good day when we get it working!




And now for an amazing poem from Ariel Gordon, a csa member who’s doing a project where people give her words and she writes a poem with those words in exchange for something.  So I supplied the words:  Nicole, bearded-monkey, rhinoceros, electric, hot-wings. and in exchange for a bag of zucchini flowers she wrote this poem! ( I hope it’s correctly copied here, it did something weird when I pasted it in.)

For a bag full of zucchini flowers

By Ariel Gordon

For Jonathan Stevens

After-dinner walk by the side

of the road. Mostly ditchflowers & soda cans—

vigorous seed drift & rusted-out litter. Sugar & sugar & gas

& walking head-on into traffic, all big trucks streaming by. You could say

they were electric rhinoceroses, all snorting grays

& browns, that I’m a bearded-monkey, playing on the highway,

the river to one side, waterweeded lake to the other. A flock of pelicans moves

whitely between them, between us, filtering water

out of their throat pouches like it was nothing. And then, a thin patch

of escaped dill, already gone to seed. Between its fronds,

a dead crow, bones laid out neatly,

like a suit for a wedding: shirt, tie, jacket, pants. The skull

beak are light & porous, like driftwood. Its feet are recognizable

but its long pointed wings, the inky darkness in its primaries

& secondaries, its coverts & alula,

are reduced to rows of white-tipped quills in the gravel,

to the teeth of a novelty comb. They look nothing like hot-wings

in a sports bar, ranch dressing slopped out

of a no-name jug or even frog’s legs in a bistro, served

with seasonal veg. Male zucchini flowers, maybe,

stuffed with cheese. Or candy cane beets served in thin slices, tasting

of earth. That night, the full moon falls in strips

across the bed where the curtains don’t quite meet: Thunder Moon.

Hay Moon. Hungry Ghost Moon. My phone buzzes from the bedside table,

telling me there’s a Drowzee in the room.

And then it’s perched on my feet, rocking back & forth, waggling

its fingers. Sleep & sleep & my toes, reaching for the end

of the bed. The last thing I remember as I laid there, trying to make

constellations out of the Glow-in- the-Dark stars glued

to the stucco, was thinking that I should name the Pokémon Nicole.

Everything—everything—should have

the luxury of a name.

Supplied words: Nicole, bearded-monkey, rhinoceros, electric, hot-wings.

Edibles: soda, rhinoceros, bearded-monkeys, pelicans, dill, crows, chicken, frog, zucchini flowers,

cheese, beets, Drowzee,

Ariel Gordon is a Winnipeg writer. Her second collection of poetry, Stowaways, won the 2015

Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. When not being bookish, Ariel likes tromping through the woods and

taking macro photographs of mushrooms.

That’s it for this week.

See you soon,

Jonathan, Nicole, Shenggang, Irina, Lance




Farm news, Aug 1/2016

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, carrots, beets, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers, sweet onions, beans, cucumber, zucchini, dill, parsley, cilantro and basil

On the farm this week:


Lots was happening this week.  It was finally dry enough to bring some trucks in for phase one of building the grand wash station central.   They moved the mud from the ditch they dug last winter over to build up an area for putting the future washstation – it still hasn’t been designed yet but I hope someone designs it before I start building it. Our wash station is currently a very cramped shed.   Irina was very happy to see this underway.   Today she she got trapped in the washstation because there were so many boxes of veggies piled up around her.


We had annual day our day of working in the rain today.  It has to happen once a year, so I’m glad we got it out of the way now when it’s plus 30 as opposed to late october when it’s like 3 degrees – those days aren’t fun.  Today it was kind of refreshing.

I think Shengang also got hit by lightning today.  He decided to hold up this metal fork to point towards some dark clouds and the next thing I knew there was a blinding light and a sound like a shotgun going off in my ear.  I looked at Shengang and his hat was one fire! (you can see where the front burnt off) and the handle burned off of the fork he was holding!  I don’t know what it did to him, but ever since then he’s been talking really fast and scribbling down really complicated math formulas.


The sweet onions are finally nice and big.  They’re a little later than last year, but they’re looking good now!  These ones are juicy and sweet.   I recommend cucumber, onion and salt and vinegar salad everday.


That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Nicole, Shenggang, Irina and Lance



Farm news, July 25

We will have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, carrots, beets, turnips, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, peppers, dill, parsley, basil and cilantro

On the farm this week

It’s getting hot and  we had the crazy storm here last week.  Everything was fine, but the lettuce and spinach got a little ravaged by the hail and wind.  The cucumbers have exploded now though, so I recommend substituting a cucumber whenever a recipe calls for lettuce or spinach.  I just sauteed a cucumber instead of spinach and I can’t tell the difference!

The cabbage moths are out now, so we covered up the kale again.  This year I decided to a new cover that breathes well, doesn’t trap any heat and most amazingly doesn’t rip and I’m hoping it will help reduce the likelihood of disease.   I’m a little bit jealous though now that the kale has nicer clothes than I do.  At the end of the year I’m going to have to make myself  some pants out of this cover just so it’s fair.  If anyone else wants a pair let me know – I’ve got lots of material!

IMG_2109I finally got a picture of Irina.  She’s usually washing veggies so isn’t around when I’m taking pictures.  But she’s a machine in the wash station getting everything washed and bunched and put into the cooler as fast as we bring them to her.


Finally, it’s bean picking time again!  I try to plant the beans late enough so that we get a week off from picking peas before we start picking beans, but our peas were ready a week later this year, and the beans were a  little  early, so we got no break this year.  Lance started picking this weekend because we were worried about them getting to big, and to my surprise every time I’d go by he’d have a big smile on his face  as if he was enjoying himself  – there’s definitely something wrong with that boy.


That’s it for this week.  See you soon,

Jonathan, Nicole, Irina, Shenggang, and Lance





Farm news, July 18/2016

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, scallions, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil.

On the farm this week:

We got the rain we wanted but didn’t want, but we were lucky and it only rained on our lunch breaks and just after the market finished!  We’ve been really lucky have only been rained on once in 5 years since our csa pick up has been at Robert A steen.

After almost 2 months, our mud road is starting to dry out, but the truck got stuck last week in it and somehow that resulted in a 2 ft hight pile of mud right in the middle of the road that we are now driving through.   I don’t know, it might be time to just get some gravel….IMG_2092

I’m  thankful that  I won’t have to start eating 30 bananas a day now as Lance did slow down from his original pace but is still going strong. We had a squat off last monday and he’s been walking a little funny ever since.   Today we had round 2 and even convinced Julia to join in, so I think we all might be walking a little funny tomorrow.   Here’s Shenggang watching and wondering why everyone’s walking so funny while were planting broccoli last week.  Maybe he’ll join in next week!


It’s Julias last week here.  It was great to have her help for the last 3 weeks.  Now she’s moving on the the calgary stampede and then B.C.   Julia and super volunteer Robert found a couple ripe tomatoes and are dreaming about basil and tomato sandwhiches.


That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Nicole, Shenggang, Irina and Julia.