Farm News, Aug 19/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

Lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, beans, tomatos, peppers, eggplant, potatos, carrots, beets, onions, cucumber, zucchini, cilantro, basil, dill, parsley, hot peppers, green onions.

On the farm this week:

We are officially done planting now and the seeds are put away and the greenhouse is empty of all the tranpslants!  I made it another 5 months without forgetting to water the greenhouse and it’s a relief not to have to remember to do that anymore this year.

But the greenhouse is full again now –  this time with onions that we are drying for the winter CSA.  Hugos initiation to the farm this week was basically to haul onions everyday from the field to the greenhouse and sheds to dry.

This week Hugo will be pulling up all our garlic and hauling it into sheds to dry.    His posture is a little unusual for harvesting, but it somehow gets the job done.

And our potatoes are now ready to harvest!  We’ve been checking them the last couple weeks wondering where the potatos were and this week they  suddenly grew 3 x as much as last week!  I’ve been neurotically watering them and telling them to grown for the last the last couple weeks, so maybe that helped.  Anyways,  here’s Kelsey and Karyl loading up our first potato harvest!

And the flea beetles were crazy last week – so it’s a good thing we got everything covered.   If anyone wants to know what our kale would look like if it wasn’t covered : this is what it would look like…

And are broccoli is also safely covered, but we are down to our last couple rows of summer broccoli!  We probably have one more week of broccoli left and and then take a break for a couple weeks until fall.

And finally, there’s a reusable bag sewing party being held Tuesday Aug 20th at Robert A steen.   If you’re interested here is a message from Myriam who is organizing it:

Please join us on Tuesday, August 20st at Robert Steen Community Centre (next to the farmer market) from 4:30 to 6:30 for our sewing challenge.

The goal is to sew 100 fabric bags for the farmer market to reduce our use of plastic. 

What you can bring: your sewing machine and fabric (if you have those). Fabric can be old bedsheets or any other coton fabric that we could recycle into fabric bags. If you have some strings, you could also bring it with you! 

We will work by station and to go faster, you can bring you fabric already precut in rectangles (if you want) (an example of dimension could be 11 inches by 12, but it is up to you). 

Also if the date does not work for you but you want to contribute, you could sew a few bags from home to donate to the market or donate fabric you might have. 

Thank you so much for your help in this project! 
Myriam and Susanne.

 

 

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Shenggang, Karyl, Kelsey, Danielle and Hugo

Farm news, Aug 12/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, chard, kale, broccoli, broccolini, bell peppers, eggplant, tomatos, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, beets, onions, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, hot peppers, green onions

On the farm this week:

Love is in the air and his name is Hugo.  And Hugo just happens to be the newest addition to the farm crew this summer and today was his first day!    The reason Kelsey has spent most of the last couple years in Mexico is because of this handsome young man, but now Hugos here and is about to learn the real meaning of  ‘vacation’.

Ever since Hugo booked his ticket last week this exact smile has permanently been on Kelsey’s face and it’s starting to make me sick.  No one should look this happy.  This past winter I finished putting an apartment in at the farm and that’s where Kelsey and Hugo will now be living.  They will be seeing way too much of me for the next couple months and I’m hoping some of my unhappiness can rub off on them.

Another thing that’s in the air are flea beetles!    This time of year the flea beetles always explode and do some serious eating of the fall broccoli plants.  The plants are mature enough that they can survive the damage and still produce good yields though so I”ve never bothered to cover them.   This year we planned to cover them because I think it will make the flavour better (less bitter), and for the past 2 weeks we’ve been working on ‘covering them’.

 

I have this tendency to think that because the crisis isn’t here already I still have time.   Last week we moved the sandbags out, but there weren’t many flea beetles and lots of other things to do so that’s as far as we got.  Then a few days later brought out the covers, then a few days later made sure to weed them well before they get covered.  On Friday we covered half of them, but ran out of time.  Then today the crises came,  I walked into the broccoli and started inhaling flea beetles, so we somehow found time to cover the rest.    And the covers that were out in the field waiting to be unrolled had something eat right through it, so that’s Karyl (above) doing surgery and taping together rips in  the covers.

And finally it’s the beginning of the end.  We have finished  our planting for the summer!   Here’s Irina and Karyl planting the last of our head lettuce!     I’d like to say it gets easier after this….. ..With all the free time we have next week  we’ll be pulling onions and garlic and hopefully getting caught up on weeding(I’ve been saying that for the last 10 weeks though).  We actually got a start on pulling up onions this morning with the extra help from Hugo and Shenggang.  And finally it’s starting to get dark at 6 am now…

That’s it for this week!

See you soon,

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Shenggang, Karyl, Kelsey, Danielle, Hugo

Farm news Aug 05/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, carrots, beets, onions, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, broccolini, cabbage, eggplant, tomatos, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, hot peppers and green onions

On the farm this week:

I think tomato season is beginning!   We had our first big harvest from the field today.  Here’s Sarah in the washstation with the tomatoes and all the other veggies she washes.  Somehow she can wash and pack the veggies as fast as 5 of us can harvest them.   Right now all the veggies are getting heavy and she lifts about 1000 lb of veggies several times a day, first to wash them, then to pack them then to put them in the cooler and then to load them in the truck.

It was hot this week!    We often have a breeze so it never feels that hot but last week it was calm and humid and everyone was very sweaty.  We have head dunking bin in the washstation now to cool down,  but I think I dunked my head in the wrong bin and lost my headband, so if anyone finds it in the zucchini bin you’ll get a free zucchini!

And speaking of lifting things,  here’s a big rock that we hit digging carrots that I could barely lift into the tractor.  I’m guessing  it weighed around 150 – 200lb.   But then Karyl picked it up and put it back in the tractor like it was nothing!  I’m  pretty sure a lot of men twice her size wouldn’t have lifted it so easily.   And today we hit another really big rock.  So we’ll go back later and see can see if she can repeat the feat!

The other big news is that we have bright pink fanny packs now.  Having enough pockets is always a challenge on the farm.  We have knives, elastic bands, lists and walkie talkies that sometimes get dropped/lost.  So we’re trying fanny packs. But someone was saying last week that the more practical/convenient something is the less fashionable it is and that fanny packs are super practical (i.e super unfashionable).   But I don’t want to be the only one wearing fanny packs, so whoever shows up to the pick up with a fanny pack gets a free lb of vegetables (2 lb if it’s pink).  And if you really want to be practical like me wear socks and crocks/sandals as well for double the free veggies!

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Shenggang, Kelsey, Karyl and Danielle

 

 

Farm News, July 29/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

Lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, beans, cucumber, zucchini, broccoli, broccolini, onions, eggplant, carrots, beets, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, hot peppers, green onion,

On the farm this week:

Its starting to feel like summer now!  With the heat last week the cucumbers and other fruit have  started to pick up the pace and we’re picking much more than last week and our field tomatoes are starting to ripen so it will be tomato season soon!  Towards the end of August we will be doing bulk tomato orders again and I will email CSA members on the details for that in a couple weeks.  Here’s Karyl with the first few ripe field tomatos.

This week everything seems to have gotten a lot bigger!   Here’s Sarah with some 3 lb heads of broccoli. Our record is still 5 lb broccoli form a few years ago.  We’ll see if we can beat that this year!

Also here’s Kelsey with some really big head lettuce from last week.  I’m guessing whoever ended up getting these ones isn’t choosing lettuce this.  It turns out that only one person knew who Kelsey was from last weeks newsletter.   I tricked everyone with the comment about the parka and everyone guess Irina because she had the biggest jacket and hat on.  Early in the morning everyone seems to wear a lot of clothes because they’re so used to 30 degrees now that 15 degrees feels  cold.

And finally  even Shenggang’s hat has gotten bigger!  We measured it and it’s actually 2″ wider than last week somehow.  Here’s Shenggang picking purple beans.   This year we planted some purple beans for the first time in addition to the usual green and yellow.   People often ask me what the difference in taste is between the different coloured vegetables and I’m the worst at answering these questions because I think they kind of all taste like beans.   When Sarah was washing we did a blind taste test and I liked the green beans the best and she liked the purple beans and we both chose yellow beans as our second favourite.  I think the green beans are a little bit sweeter, but they are all really close.   But if anyone can tell me which bean is which by eating with your eyes closed you’ll win a free half pound of beans!

That’s it for this week.  Thanks and see you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Shenggang, Danielle, Karyl and Kelsey

Farm news, July 22/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week for CSA:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, brocccoli, broccolini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatos, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, beets, onions, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, green onions, hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

It’s hot and humid and smells like onions.  It’s the time of year when the smell of onions gets in my clothes I can’t avoid smelling myself all day.  It’s kind of unpleasant to smell all day but it also makes me hungry.   These first onions are mild sweet onions.  They’re my favorite in a cucumber salad with some vinegar.

 

We keep finding lots of mushrooms this year – a lot more than usual.  So this is a good sign!  I found these in the carrots today.   People have been asking me where are the trivia questions this year?  Well I’ve finally thought of one to ask today:  What kind of mushrooms are these, and are they edible.  If you know you win a free bunch of carrots!

Also, if you remember Kelsey from last year, she’s back from Mexico for the summer and is back working on the farm until fall when she goes back to Mexico.   It’s been a couple years now since she’s experienced temperatures below 20 degrees and actually wears a parka in the morning when everyone else is in t- shirts.     I think this is the first time that everyone is all working together and I got a picture of everyone!  If you know which one is Kelsey you win another free bunch of carrots!

And finally it’s also the time of year when the cabbage moths start getting crazy, so we’ve covered up all the broccoli.  Which is what it takes not to have worms without spraying pesticides.  We’ll also be covering up the kale and the brussel sprouts this week and probably the cabbage soon too!  If you find a worm in your broccoli let me know and you will win another free bunch of carrots.   So now there is the potential to win 3 bunches of carrots this week!  I hope I’ve made up for the missing trivia questions for the last couple weeks.

That’s it for this week,

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Shenggang, Karyl and Kelsey

Farm news, July 15/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, peas, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage/eggplant(fullshares this week), tomatos, broccolini, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, green onions, garlic scapes.   This is the one time of year you can get garlic scapes and I think everyone who tries them loves them.   You can use them just like garlic, pickle them and my favorite: make pesto  with them.   Some things, like eggplant  (and maybe cucumber, tomatos) are still just starting out  so we will just have them for full shares this week but there’s a long summer of all these things ahead.

On the farm this week:

I spent hours hooking up extra spinkler lines because I lost hope that it would ever rain.  And then as soon as I finished putting them all together and turned on the tap  this happened:

I guess I forgot the oldest trick to get it to rain:  spend a bunch of time hooking up  sprinkler lines !   All the farmers around here owe me one now!   The rain was very much appreciated, and all those weeds I was talking about last week germinated and I was able to kill  today and then we seeded green manure  between all the squash, cucumber and zucchinis.   And the green manure we planted last week is now sprouting between all the rows and you can see it here between the eggplant:

So we’ve taken care of the weeds in some crops but in other areas we lost a lot of ground this week!  Because we spent so much time (50 hours to be exact ) last week trying to keep up with picking the peas we didn’t do any weeding  in that one week some crops just vanished beneath the weeds!  At first I thought maybe aliens had abducted them, but then Irina pulled up some weeds and found all this dill underneath!  So the good news is we found the crops.   The bad news is we cant’ get them out without doing more weeding!

And finally – we have 3 colours of kohlrabi this year! purple, green and white.  I like the white a lot.  If you don’t know what to do with kohlrabi – try colesaw, sliced, or as fries!

That’s it for this week,

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Shenggang, Danielle, and Karyl

Farm news, July 07/2019

We will have the following veggies for CSA this week:

lettuce, chard, kale, peas, carrots, turnip, beets, broccoli, broccolini, zucchini, arugula, kohlrabi, cilantro, dill, basil, parsley and green onions

On the farm this week:

I’ve decided to start watering the weeds.   Yes that’s how dry it is.   We haven’t had rain yet this spring/summer;  so, on friday  I started putting together spinkler lines just to water the weeds!  I’m  not sure  this is the best use of time, but we have a few days until the squash, zucchini, cucumbers and melons  spread out into the area between the rows  and  once they spread I won’t be able to cultivate between them anymore.   It turns out the compost I used was pretty weedy and so there are A LOT  of weeds waiting to germinate once we get some rain.   So I decided I have to water them to get them to germinate so I can kill them before it’s too late or just hope it doesn’t rain until September.  So, I saw the weather and decided to wait to water them.  So, is it actually going to rain this time? If it’s not raining tomorrow the sprinkler lines are going out!

It’s usually around this time that we have the weeds under control on the long term crops and start planting green manure between the rows.   For reasons already mentioned we’re not doing this yet between the squash, cucumbers, etc, but this week we seeded rye between a lot of rows and did a final cultivation (that’s right, we’re done weeding those plants for the year!) on the onions, tomatos, peppers, eggplant chard, kale brussel sprouts,, leeks, parsley – basically lots of stuff!

 

Our 2 volunteers, Luke and Rachel left this weekend, but joining us full time now is Karyl who is a harvesting machine, and fo her first day she put in over 10 hours (because we’re silly and still believe the weather station when it says its going to rain all day tomorrow)

And we have soooo many peas to pick this week, but thankfully we’ve got help from some pros who live nearby: Mary and Ruth.  Mary, Ruth and Shengangg all picked peas today for the whole day straight!  It sounds inhumane, but they said they love picking peas!    You’ll only get to see Danielle at the market now, but I think she’s was pretty envious of what she missed today.


And finally,  I thankfully didn’t have to go back and change my previous post saying we’d have carrots July 9th to July 16th, because we have carrots for this week!

That’s it for this week,

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Danielle, Shenggang, Karyl, Mary and Ruth