Farm news, Sept 17/2018

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, onions, potatos, carrots, beets, broccoli, squash, leeks, tomatos, bell peppers, eggplant, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil and hot peppers.

So we’ll have broccoli as a choice this week and just to warn people there will likely be some worms.  They wash out pretty easily once you cut open the broccoli if you’re ok with that.  By next week I think they’ll be much better as the cabbage moths are pretty much gone now for this year.

On the farm this week:

Well, I’m pretty sure we’re not going to have to water again this year, so that’s a plus.  On the down side we got almost 3″ of rain on Thursday, so getting the truck out to the field is always an adventure.  In the spring I meant to get some more gravel, but then it was so dry I thought maybe I didn’t need to.  Now I’m thinking I need to.  But maybe it will dry up again and I’ll start thinking I don’t need to again.

It’s officially soup season now; so we’re bringing out the leeks this week.   Just looking at Sarah harvesting leeks this morning made me want to get into bed with some warm leek and potato soup.

We’ve also harvested all the squash now and most of them are curing in the greenhouse.  Just looking at this makes me want to eat some squash soup   – or a pie!  The squash is the one thing we didn’t water this year, and yet it seemed to do better than everything else…hmmm… so if plants don’t get water they grow better.  This is good to know for next year!

For squashes we have: acorn, butternut, spaghetti, blue hubbard, red kuri, red kobocha, buttercup, sweet dumpling and pie pumpkins and some regular pumpkins coming later. Here’s the quick down low on the less familiar squashes.

Blue hubbard – the only blue one we have.  Sweet flesh  bright orange fiberless flesh.  Skin is tender compared to other hubbards making it easier to cut.  It’s good for soups and pies.

Red Kuri –  An oragne hubbard squash.  It’s teardrop shape will help distinguish it from the  red kobacha which is flat and round.   It’s good for pies and purees bc it’s specks of skin will not show.

Red Kobacha:  Tender flesh is smooth, sweet and bright orange for baking, mashing and pies.  They’re flat and round

Buttercup:  Have deep orange fiberless flesh with a rich sweet flavor.

Sweet dumpling:  It has the ivory color and dark green stripes of delicata, but in a round flat topped shape.  Very sweet, tender orange flesh and good for stuffing.

Our cover crops are also taking off now.  You can see some oats and peas in the background and behind Sarah in the leeks above.  We also planted a big field of clover this year and I tried planting clover in some of the pathways this year and it worked out really well.  All those white spots on the clover roots that I’m holding up are beneficial bacteria that are working hard converting atmospheric nitrogen into plant food!

With all the rain the last couple weeks all of our final plantings have exploded and everything is looking super green which we’re happy about.

 

And finally, it’s the 15th week of CSA this week.   So for some of you it’s the last week.  I’ll be emailing everyone a reminder of what duration they signed up for, but thank you so much for taking part and I hope you enjoyed the veggies this summer and I hope to see you all this week.

See you soon,

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Renee and Liam

 

 

Farm News, Sept 10/2018

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, celery, tomatos, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, beets, onions, potatos, cabbage/melon/squash, basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, hot peppers.  The celery is not super tender for eating raw has lots of flavour and is good chopped up or in cooking.

On the farm this week:

We almost had frost on Tuesday morning!  There was a tiny bit of frost but no damage was done.  And then Wednesday when there was supposed to be frost we prevented the frost from happening by covering things up, because it’s a rule of nature you never actually get frost if you cover things.  So for everyone who didn’t cover their cucumbers this week you’re welcome.  So now we’re going to uncover everything and I’m not falling for that one again –  next time there supposed to frost we’re not covering things up.

But apart from a couple cold mornings, we couldn’t ask for nicer weather.  We’ve been getting rain every weekend for the last 3 weeks now, and only on our days off and this morning during the harvest the weather was perfect for picking greens!  Here is  our last planting of greens that is now almost all ready for picking!

 

Friday was major onion cleaning marathon and people were crying and sweating in the greenhouse.  Sarah who’s always wet and cold loved a day of being dry and hot. Either way, it’s  a great place to be if you like the smell of onions.  We’re almost done cleaning and bagging the winter onions now, and  once we’ve got the onions out of the greenhouse we’ll start harvesting all the squash and moving them in so they can cure.

That’s it for this week,

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Renee, Liam

 

Farm news, Sept 03/2018

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, tomato, melons, cabbage, eggplant, peppers, beans, tomatos, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, beets, potatos, onions, basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, green onions, hot peppers and brussel sprout tops.

 

On the farm this week:

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend.  think we at the nicest part of the year where the weather is perfect! We get one week a year when it’s not too hot or not too cold and I think this is the week so I”m going to try to enjoy it because Pretty soon we’ll be in parkas!  This cooler weather is good for greens so we expect to have some nice spinach and other greens for the rest of the year.

And here’s a photo of everyone picking tomatos because we’ve been spending so much time picking tomatos these last couple weeks.   The tomatos just keep coming and there seems to be  no way to stop them!

This last friday was another marathon day and this time the them was weeding!  Now that the days are getting short all the weeds are going to seed fast so we were pulling as many weeds out of the field as we could.  There were lots in the brussel sprouts that Irina and Renee pulled out (below) which haven’t been weeded since may!    This week we’ll be cutting the tops off the brussel sprouts which (according so some people) are super delicious! .   The classic way to eat brussle sprouts tops is to sautee them with onions and bacon.   If it sounds like I”m trying to sell them it’s because I am.  2 years ago I vowed to eat all the brussel sprout tops that were left behind and I almost died doing it.  So try them and tell me how much you liked them!  We’ll have the actual brussel sprouts coming out probably around the beggining of October.

And we still have Renee!  Except it’s spelled differently now because it’s a different person.  Renee has joined us to to work at the market and is helping out at the farm too now that Renae is gone.  Last week they were both at the farm at the same time and it got very confusing!

That’s it for this week,

See you soon,

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina and Renee,

 

Farm news, Aug 27/2018

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, potatos, carrots, beets, onions, cucumber, zucchini, tomatos, peppers, eggplant, cabbage/melons, corn, beans, parsley, cilantro, basil, green onions, hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

The weather is so nice right now!  It’s a little cold in the mornings now – as you can see by the way Renae is bundled up,  but apparently if  you stuff  your face in a watermelon it keeps you pretty warm.  And yes we’ll have some melons coming out soon!  It’s also Renae’s last week here at the farm.  She’s Driving back to Ontario Sunday and then starts school the next day!  She also started work the day after she finished school – she just goes non -stop.   I offered Renae an extra $0.50/hr to drop out of school and work one more month and then get laid off and I think she’s seriously considering it.  So maybe it won’t be her last week after all….   Renae was here everday at 5:45 and worked super hard carrying around 2x her body weight all day and is always cheerful so everyone will miss her.

We were busy Friday seeding cover crops before the rain.  Here’s our spring/summer broccoli patch that is now tilled in and planted to oats and peas.  We did get some rain last night, but not a lot, so hopefully it was enough to germinate the seeds!  It was only our second rain of the summer!  We are finished with our summer broccoli now and it will probably be about 3 weeks until our fall broccoli is ready.

And our fall spinach is now germinated.  So the only thing we have left to worry about is weeding  The spinach was planted where the spring peas were planted and now we have a massive amount of pea weeds, but it’s almost all weeded now.

And finally we’ve got some extra help for a bit from a young local chap Liam seen here picking beans.  This is the time of year when everything is so heavy and he didn’t get to ease himself into it at all.

Well that’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Renae and Liam

 

 

Farm news, Aug 20/2018

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

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

On the farm this week:

We had our farm day this Saturday.  The weather was great one thing I learned is that kids know how to have fun! and it was pretty entertaining just to watch it.  This plastic pipe lying in the road created hours of entertainment – I would never have guessed!

We also had a scavenger hunt and in no time they found all the big beets.  And I tricked everyone into weeding by putting weeds on the scavenger hunt list.  So everyone got the authentic farm experience after all.

And Renae came in Saturday( which was also her birthday ) to pick cucumbers and zucchini and was treated to a bunch of strangers singing her happy birthday in the field and was thoroughly embarrassed.

 

I wasn’t sure last week if it was dark in the morning or if it was hazy, but today when we started digging carrots and I had the head lights on the tractor I figured it might just still be dark out.  So, everyone voted that we should start later from now on.   So sleeping in season has begun!

Above is Renae mowing our green manure crop again in the haze that we had for a lot of last week.  If you can guess what time of day this was you win a free lb of beets!

And a lot of peppers are ripening now so we’re going to start brining out more peppers over the next few weeks.   We’ve got some red, purple, yellow, orange and green that are partially different colors and will actually finish ripening if you leave them.

And finally Fridays seem have become our ‘marathon’ days.  Last week it was planting lettuce.  This week it was pulling up all the winter onions to start drying them.  Emelia, Renae and Irina worked hard Friday moving about 4000 lb of onions.  I actually wasn’t helping them because I was doing some tractor maintenance,  but somehow they actually thought I was lifting weights in the garage while they were carrying heavy bins of onions.  I don’t know how that rumour got started but it not’s true!  Though it would be funny if it was.

And speaking of winter, the sign up for our winter csa is now up on the website.

Well that’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Renae and Emelia

Farm news, Aug 13/2018

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, corn,  tomato, cucumber, zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, potatos, , carrots, beets, onions, beans, corn, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, hot peppers.

 

On the farm this week:

The most exciting thing is that we finished the rest of our planting this week!  We planted out the last of our head lettuce – I think it was like 6000 of them and it was a collective 20 hours of bending over between all 4 of us.    We usually plant lettuce every week, but now that the days are getting shorter the lettuce won’t bolt and we can plant the last few weeks of lettuce out all at once and be free! We also planted the rest of the spinach, dill and cilantro.

If you can tell who it is hooking up sprinklers you win a free lettuce! We definitely had to keep watering the transplants this weekend because it was hawt.  On Sunday morning I opened the door and immediately started sweating and then quickly closed it and ran back inside.    

We also got some more weeding done.  Our fall carrots and broccoli are almost all weeded!  Now we just have all the spring crops to finish weeding.  I’m hoping we can be finished by November….

Also,  just a reminder that  we are going to be having the farm tour this Saturday August 18 at 1 pm!   It’s  for anyone who’s interested in coming out and seeing the farm.  I’ll give a short little tour of the crops at 1pm and then we’ll have a little scavenger hunt for the kids and people are welcome to hang out as long as they want and roam/do whatever people do.  I thought I could see if people wanted to weed for a bit for an authentic experience, but Renae scolded me  saying “Jonathan! you can’t ask people to work!”.  So if you were wanting the authentic farm experience I guess we can thank Renae for ruining farm day.  If you’re coming can you please r.s.v.p to jonathansfarm@gmail.com.  It’s at 700 Mcphillips road just north of lockport road.  The easiest way to get there is to take hwy 8 to Mcphillips road.

And people are asking if we’re selling bulk tomatoes again this year and also when sign ups start for winter CSA.   So, for bulk tomatos, they’re ready for next week! and I put a form on the website to sign up for them if you’re interested.  I also put the winter CSA sign up form up now, but I’ll send an email about that in September.  Some details are still being worked out.   Here are our field tomatos in the background behind Renae and Emelia (our extra helper for this week).    And we’re still looking for extra help, so if you know anyone who would be interested please spread the word!

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, and Renae

Farm news, Aug 06/2018

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

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

On the farm this week

I hope everyone had a good long weekend!

It finally rained on the farm!  I was lying in bed Friday complaining to myself ‘oh man, I got to get up move a bunch of sprinkler lines tomorrow’  and just then it started pouring rain out of nowhere and it made me so happy.   And then it rained again Saturday night.   I love it when it rains Saturday night and then dries up a bit for Monday.  Although it was still a little bit wet digging up potatos today which made for a little extra work.  The veggies are getting heavier now…and everyone’s getting stronger.

Its’ August now and it’s the time the cabbage moths get a little bit crazy, so we’re covering up the kale and broccoli to protect them from worms.  If you ever find a worm you win a free broccoli!

Jesse had to leave suddenly and unexpectedly for Calgary last week.  We’re hoping he’ll be back in a couple weeks, but in the meantime we’re looking for extra help.  So many people have come this year I can’t even remember who works here anymore.  Kelsey’s back doing the market until she heads back to Mexico with her friend Hugo in a couple weeks and Hugo came to pick beans for a day. I thought Kelsey had a nice squat, but check out Hugo’s amazing posture!

We’ve been having some issues with our cucumbers this year.  I’m not sure what it is, but many of the fruit are dying; so we’re not having the same amount of cucumber’s  expected.  I’ve sent some samples to the lab and that will hopefully let us know what’s going on.  We’ve planted another row that’s looking better that should start producing fruit in the next week, so I’m hoping we keep having cucumbers into sept, but probably not as much as usual.    Sometimes I just close my eyes and pretend a zucchini is a cucumber and it works!  It also works if you want chocolate cake but only have Kale to close your eyes and pretend it’s cake.

But all our other veggies are doing really well and tomato season is here now…

And I almost forgot – people are asking to see the farm, so we’re going to try to do a farm day Sat, Aug 18th.  Stay tuned for the details.

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

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Renae and Kelsey