Farm news, Sept 16/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

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

On the farm this week:

We made it past a couple cold cloudy weeks and close calls with frost and now it’s way too hot – I want the cold back!  We seem to be going back and forth between winter jackets and toques to t shirts from one day to the next.  My body is getting really confused.  It’s normally cooler this week so we’ve got some soup ingredients this week like leeks and broccoli and squash.  Maybe you if turn your ac on high you can pretend it’s winter and enjoy a warm soup this week.

Here’s Shenggang harvesting our first leeks.   We always have one crop it seems like we spend 90% of our time harvesting.  First it’s peas, then it’s beans, and this week it’s leeks.  First we dig them up, then trim all the roots of along with the 3 lbs of soil attached to them, then trim the leaves peel off the outer skin and wash them.

We’re also bringing out the squashes starting this week.  In case you’re not familiar with all the squashes we have here they are:  From left to right there is buttnernut, pie pumpkin, sweet dumpling, orange hubbard, blue hubbard, spaghetti, acorn, kobocha, delicata and (not pictured here) is buttercup.   And one of these things is not like the other.  If you know what other vegetable that’s not a squash is lined up here you win a free lb of carrots!

Also, here’s some info to help you out with the less familiar squash:

Blue hubbard – 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.

Orange hubbard –  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.

Delicata:  very sweet and good for stuffing and baking.

Sweet dumpling:  Same colors as delicata, but in a round flat topped shape.  Very sweet, tender orange flesh and good for stuffing.

It’s been a week of heavy liftings.  Everyones biceps have grown at least 2″ in the last week.  First we harvested the squash and then we finished cleaning the winter CSA onions and got them all moved into the cooler on Friday.  It was a workout!

We’re also on the home stretch for weeding.   This was our final cultivation between the rows and now we just have to take care of the rest of the weeds in the rows and we’ll be free!


Also, for some of you it your last week (15 weeks).  I’ll be sending an email sometime this week reminding everyone how many weeks they signed up for but it will also be in the book beside your name.  If it’s your last week then thank you! I hope you enjoyed your veggies summer and I’ll see you this week at the market.

Thanks again,

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

 

 

Farm News, Sept 09/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

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

On the farm this week:

It’s really starting to feel like fall now and I always enjoy this in between time when it’s not too hot or too cold.   We’ve  had some close calls with frost now, but nothing yet fortunately!  I decided I’m going to stop checking the weather because ignorance is bliss, but then on Saturday afternoon just when lay down to try to take a nap, Sarah texted me to say there was a risk of frost and ruined my ignorant bliss.   So I got up and covered the cucumbers and peppers and am not going to let anyone tell me about the weather again.   Today everyone kept trying to tell me something about rain all this week but I just plugged my ears  before I could find out what they were saying.

We’re almost done with cucumbers and zuccchinis and beans now.  The days are getting short and cold and the plants have slowed down a lot.    But with the summer fruit coming to an end it means we’ll be moving on to the fall fruit – the kind of fruit you can make pie with:  Squash !   Today we started our squash harvest and there’s Kelsey in the distance with some butternet squash.  Kelsey and Karyl went through and cut all the squash and we’ll start bringing them in this week.

Things in the field are either getting old and brown or really new and green.  Here’s some fresh green manure besides some old beans.  It’s like we have spring and fall at the same time!  We’ve got lot’s of patches of green manure interspersed with our crops now in the field.

And we’re almost done cleaning the onions for the winter CSA!   All we need is one more rainy day and we should finished.  Once they’re all done harvesting is really easy.  We just have to grab a few bags of onions and we’re done!

That’s it for this week

See you soon,

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

 

Farm news Sept 02/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, celery, tomato, pepper, beans, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, beets, potato, onion, melon, cabbage, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, and hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

This morning picking spinach we were reminded that it’s now September because it was 4 degrees! 4 degrees is getting a little too close to zero and it’s the first time I’ve started thinking about frost which I guess could be anytime now.  But when your greens are already in the fridge before they’re even harvested they stay fresh for a very long time.  I actually had spinach that was still good into February last year that we picked in October!

It was also extremely windy for most of last week and I saw what looked like a white dragon flying high through the sky over the field across the street.  The thought crossed my mind that might be one of our row covers, but then I thought that was impossible and decided it had to be a dragon.  But then on Sunday I went for a run I found one of our row covers in the ditch beside the road  1 mile away!  And then this morning we found a pretty big piece of cover missing in the broccoli (below) and literally half the cover on the kale had ripped straight off and was completely missing.

So as I scratched my head trying to solve this mystery of the missing row covers I noticed the same was dragon was lying in the neighbors field.  So I walked over there and it turns out it was our row cover!   Would you not have thought this was a dragon if you saw it flying high up in the sky a mile away?

I still have trouble believing this blew this far on it’s own and think there has to be a dragon involved somehow.

The wind also did us a big favour by uncovering the  brussel  sprouts for us.  I was just  thinking how  I didn’t want to uncover the brussel sprouts when suddenly the cover flew right off of them!  We’ve got about one month until we start harvesting brussel sprouts, so now we’re cutting the tops off the plants so they stop growing up and in theory put more energy into filling out their sprouts.  Brussel sprout tops are also a once a year delicacy and are delicious fried with oil and onions.  Everyone who tries them likes them!  Here’s Shenggang wading through and taking the tops off the brussel sprouts.

And our tomatoes are ripening fast now (It’s like they know it’s fall).  We picked a lot today so we will start our bulk tomato orders for csa members this week.  We’re also picking more peppers this week and there were a number of ripesh (Like they’ve started to change color but not completely yet). ones today.  So if you feel like a green pepper you can eat the green side, or if you feel like a red pepper you can eat the red side!    Also, the peppers will continue to ripen once picked.

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

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

Farm news, Aug 26/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, beans, tomato, peppers, eggplant, celery, cabbage, broccoli, melons, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, beets, onions, potato, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, hot peppers, green onions.

On the farm this week:

We got our second rain of the year!  I didn’t actually believe it was going to rain;  so I started watering things on Sunday just to make sure it would and then Sunday night we got about 10 minutes of rain.   It wasn’t so much rain that the ground was super mucky  and the ground could use some more because there are still cracks in the ground, but at least they’re moist cracks now.   And now that we’re done planting I just seeded a bunch of green manure in the harvested and bare areas, so the rain was perfect!  Soon this will be a field of grass.

With the extra help we’ve had the last 2 weeks we’re close to being caught up on the weeding.   When we finish harvesting I actually have to think for more than 1 second for what’s next to do because I’m so used to thinking only of what should be weeded next.  If you can spot a weed the picture below you win a free lb of tomatoes and 2 lb if you know what it is!

We’re breaking out the celery this week. Our celery is very flavorful but more fibrous than typical celery, so in my opinion it’s better cooked or juiced (which is supposed to be all the rage these days – though I haven’t tried juicing it yet).

Last week Hugo brought in all the onions and this week he brought in the garlic everytime I walk by him I get hit with the smell of the enormous amount of garlic that has soaked into him and it makes me hungry.    This was Hugo’s last week.  He’s off to Ontario for bit now to experience some more of Canada though I really  don’t know what more there is to experience than this.

I had this idea this year that stuffing garlic through hung up plastic fencing would be a fast way to hang them and make it easy to sort the heads once they’re dry.   The verdict was:  it wasn’t that fast, but it looks pretty!  The garlic is curing now and we’re starting to take orders for garlic that we’ll deliver at the end of September.

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

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

 

 

 

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