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

Farm news, July 01/2019

We will have the following veggies this week for CSA:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, broccolini, zucchini, bok choi, beets, arugula, mustard greens, radish, turnip, dill, cilantro, parsley and green onions.

On the farm this week:

It’s our last week with our two Awesome volunteers Luke and Rachel.   We are going to work them extra hard this week so that they’re too tired to even drive and will be stuck here.  Here they are planting broccoli.  This year I bought a water wheel transplanter which we used a lot in the spring for planting.  I used to think a transplanter wouldn’t be worth it for the scale that I plant, but 9 years of bending over has started making me see a lot of things differently! The water wheel pokes holes, fills them with water while 2 people sit on the back and push the plant in the hole.    No backs got sore planting broccoli today and it got done fast. I don’t have a creeper gear on the tractor so they had no choice but to plant faster than they’ve ever planted in their life and they kept up the whole time!

I was happy to find mushrooms growing in the turnips today.  Mushrooms are an indicator of a healthy soil with lots of microbes.  I heard mushrooms are good for you so I ate a couple but I don’t know what kind they were.  Shortly after some purple unicorns ran through the field which was really weird.  If anyone knows what kind of mushrooms these are they win a free bunch of beets. ( I just realized I haven’t had any skill testing questions yet this year).  We are onto our second planting of radish, turnips and arugula now so they’re  nice and young again.

I’m guessing it was hot the last couple days  because we went from having 0 zucchini to picking 300 lb in 2 days.   Zucchini cake season!  Also whoever can make the best zucchini cake will win 10 lb of free zucchini ( I’ll have to judge the cakes though).

We may or may not start peas this week.  We started picking them today but they seem like they need another couple days yet….Sooo close.  But if there aren’t many peas that means you can spend more time enjoying the beets this week 🙂 .

And finally Friday was a weeding Marathon.  We managed to hoe all the newest seedings of carrots and spinach and beets and even pulled all the thistles out of the rows of potatos so now they have the illusion of being weed free (for a little while until they all come back…)

Well that’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Danielle, Shenggang, Luke and Rachel.

Farm news, June 24/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

Lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, radish, turnip, arugula, mizuna, mustard greens, beet greens,  bok choi, chinese cabbage, broccoli, broccolini, dill, cilantro, parsley, pea and pea shoots.

 

On the farm this week:

We’ve got 2 volunteers,  Luke and Rachel (seen below picking bok choi), starting this week and hopefully staying for a couple weeks.  They’re planning to start market gardening and are travelling across Canada volunteering on different farms and finding where they want to start.  They said they like to also learn what not to do and so they really wanted to come here.  I’m just going to take that as a compliment.

Rachel and Luke’s arrival is perfect timing because it’s almost time to start picking peas! (probably the most time consuming job on the farm we ever do).   Every year when it’s time to pick peas Irina gives me this look and says ‘don’t you have anyone who wants to volunteer this year?’.    When she found out that this year we have volunteers during pea picking season she looked so happy!

It’s now officially summer, which means it’s really the beginning of winter as the days start getting shorter.   But on the longest day, June 21 everything grew 2x as much and it’s now broccoli season.  I also had extra help carrying broccoli this weekend from my parents who were visiting from Nova Scotia.  All this extra help is pretty nice!

With the cool spring finally over it looks like everything is growing well even though it’s about one week later than normal.  So, we have broccoli ready this week, and next week I expect to have peas and beets and 2 weeks from now zucchini and…..carrots!  Everyone keeps asking when will the carrots be ready, so at the risk of seriously disappointing every one I”m going to say we’ll have them July 9! ( I might come back and edit this to say July 16th in 2 weeks).

With the extra help this week and everyones time soon to be taken up picking peas it’s time to get some serious weeding done this week!  Here we have the mother son team of Irina and Nick weeding the onions.   I asked Nick how he likes working with his mom all day and he said “I love my mom”.    Today everyone got the onions weeded and we’ll hopefully make it all the way to the other end of the farm by the end of the week!

That’s it for this week

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Danielle, Shenggang, Nick, Rachel and Luke ( I hope I didn’t forget anyone!).

Farm News, June 17/2019

We will have the following veggies for CSA this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, radish/turnip(full shares), asparagus (half shares this time), bok choi, chinese cabbage, arugula, mustard greens, mizuna, broccollette, dill, cilantro, pea shoots and green onions.

Easton at plum ridge farm said he could provide enough asparagus for half shares now, so we decided to at that for half shares this week so they could get it too.  Here’s Irina in our herb patch that we’ll start cutting from this week:

On the farm this week:

It’s still kind of cool,  but it’s perfect weather for working in and everyone is so much happier on cooler overcast days.   And we actually had another frost last week – June 12th!  While harvesting Tuesday I checked the weather and couldn’t believe when it said risk of frost.  So after harvest we pulled some sprinkler lines out on the Tomatos and Peppers just to be safe and on Wednesday morning there was ice in the water lines.  Everything is ok though, but the said it’s not putting up with any more of this and threatened to die if it gets cold again.

We also almost had rain this weekend!  It was overcast and drizzling all day, but only added up to 10 mm.  When it’s raining is a great time to run the sprinklers, so I ran spinklers all weekend and the garden is pretty well watered now.  We still haven’t had rain yet this entire spring/summer; so rain you can come anytime now.

And Shenggang is back helping out a bit.  He’ll probably be coming to help out on Mondays.  He worked here around 3 years ago but since then we get him to come back at least once a year.  I still remember last year when he was digging a trench on Friday that didn’t get finished and when I woke up Saturday morning his car was in the driveway.  I walked around and found him back digging the trench because he wanted to finish it.  What a guy!

I’m also so amazed by everyone who got together to sew reusable bags.  Myriam wanted to organize a get together to sew reusable bags and brought all these to give away at our first CSA pick up last week.  She wanted to thank Susanne especially who made all these bags here and is a sewing machine!  They’re planning another get together and if you’re interested in donating old bed sheets or other materials or joining them there’ll be a sheet by the sign in sheet with the info for that.

Finally we had a major greenhouse repair day on Friday.  I had told Danielle if she should take the rest of the day off once the tomatoes were pruned.   Well I sure know how to set someone up for disappointment because when we got to the greenhouse the trellis had all broken and we ended up working overtime instead.

I thought I had come up with a good system to transfer all the weight of the tomatos to the base of the greenhouse so they don’t pull in the end walls.  And it was working pretty good until the weight snapped the lumber it was anchored too.  But it’s fixed and upgraded now and will hopefully work.  I also do unlicensed structural engineering on the side if anyone needs a bridge or something like that designed for cheap!

That’s it for now.  See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Danielle, Nick and Shenggang

Farm News, June 10/2019

Hello everyone!  Veggie season has begun!

This week we will have the following veggies for CSA:

lettuce, spinach, radish, turnip, pea shoots, bok choi, brocolette, arugula, mizuna, mixed mustard greens, leaf chinese cabbage, and green onions.  Sadly we will only have asparagus for the full shares.  The last couple years we’ve added the asparagus from Plum ridge farm to our CSA box for the first pick up, but I was just informed that the asparagus has not been producing nearly as much with this cooler spring and he does not have enough for us.  So, for half shares we will substitute by adding an extra item – i.e – instead of choosing between something you will get both.

The mustard mix  is the spiciest and most colourful one .  The bunched loose leaf chinese cabbage( tokyo bekana)  is a lighter sweet flavour and makes a good substitute for lettuce.    The mizuna is always popular and not very spicy with a nutty flavor and has the serrated edges.  They’re all great eaten raw in salad or mixed together and lightly sauteed or braised.

 

On the farm this week:

This year back on the farm I’m so happy that we have Sarah and Irina again!  I think this is year 7 for Sarah and year 4 for Irina.   You will see Irina every other week at the CSA pick up again and you’ll see Sarah in pictures of rain gear and long gloves washing veggies.

New this year is Danielle who’ll be working on the farm Mon, Wed, Friday and at the Wolseley market every Tuesday and Thursday so you can say hi to her then!  Danielle loves farmers markets and sells her soaps and all kinds of other things at the Lac du bonnet farmers market and Beausejour farmers market on the weekend.   I’m hoping she will teach me how she has such a busy schedule and is still always smiling.

And finally we have Nick, Irina’s son helping out for a while.  He’s a pro at pounding stakes into the ground and put in all the stakes for our pea trellis last week.

 

The first thing I like to do each year is complain about the weather. It has been a cold spring this year with a lot of cool nights.   We even had a couple frosts in June which is a first for me!  Now I know why the smart farmers always wait to plant things.   The first surprise late  frost we had we spent a day covering plants.  The weather looked good after that and so I thought we should uncover everything.  Sarah said “are you sure you don’t want to wait and see if there’s more frost?”  And I said “what are the odds of that happening, let’s uncover it “.  And sure enough the next week we had a frost and spent a whole day putting up hoops and covering things back up again.  Oh well…

With the cool spring things have not been growing as fast this year as usual.    They’ve just been hanging out in the field waiting for some nice weather to grow.  But it looks like we’ve finally got some nice weather now and hopefully things will grow extra fast to make up for lost time!


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

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Danielle and Nick