Farm news, Oct 21/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, leeks, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, squash, celeriac, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, onions, pototoes, dill and hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

This is our last summer pick up for the year.  I can’t believe another season is done!  The summer went by so fast, but then when I think back to spring it feels like that was a long time ago.  It was fast and long at the same time somehow.

Thankfully this week was a lot nicer than last week!  It was warm and there was no snow!  Overall I think we’ve had pretty nice weather for working outside this year.  There were no mosquitos, it was never hot and humid at the same time and we only got snowed on once.   And now the ground is slowly drying up; so we were able to plant garlic this week.

Now that summer is done, the last big thing we have left to do is harvest the potatos and carrots for the winter CSA – and this could be a challenge because it’s still so wet.  But we’re starting on the higher drier spots and keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain again until next year.  If you know what plant is growing in the middle of these carrots you win a free lb of carrots!

Also we’ve got some much needed extra storage space now.  The workers started this addition on Friday and finished it today (less than 2 days).  They built a building in less time than it takes me to assemble an ikea bookshelf!  In the winter I’ll be organizing tools and equipment in here and we’ll hopefully have a little less choas next summer.  And if you want to know how muddy it is- that’s supposed to be gravel in front of the washstation!

And finally,  someone said to me last week “I’m suprised you didn’t have a contest to guess what’s growing under the snow last week”.    I don’t know why I didn’t think of that!  So, for an extra free pound of carrots, guess what’s growing under the snow?  (the row in the centre is something different from the 2 to the right of it) . If you guess them both you get you 2lb!

Well that’s it for this year.  We’ll be seeing lots of you still during the winter for the winter CSA pick ups.  Thanks again to everyone for signing up for a CSA with us this summer and I hope to see you next year!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Kelsey, Karyl and Danielle

Farm news, Oct 14/2019

 

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

spinach, chard, kale, tomatos, leeks, peppers, broccoli, celeriac, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cabbage, squash, carrots, beets, potatos, onions, dill, and hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

All I can say about this week is ‘good times!’    I’m happy at least that the snow happened over the weekend and we didn’t have to work in the snowstorm on Friday.    We would have been in serious trouble if was snowing like that today! Today was warmer and sunny and a lot of snow melted, but there is still quite a lot of snow on the fields.

The lettuce and spinach is buried under so much snow right now that for greens it might be more of a kale and chard  week… but who knows – tomorrow it might all be melted!

The most fun thing to harvest in the snow was broccoli.  We had a cover over the broccoli and weight of the snow on it made it pretty much impossible to uncover.  So, we ended up shovelling the snow off the sides and pulling the the sides over towards the middle and then ripping the cover right down the middle to get to the middle of the  broccoli. It was a very ripped up cover already that was at the end of it’s life, so I didn’t feel to bad about that.

And  the person having the most fun is Sarah who has to wash all these incredibly muddy vegetables.   Here she is shovelling out our drain pit that has been clogging with mud quite a bit recently.

And finally, this is just a reminder that for the next two weeks there is only the one pick up for on Tuesday for those that signed up for the extra 2 weeks (Oct 15 and 22).

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

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

 

Farm news, Oct 7/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, celeriac, tomatoes, peppers, leeks, winter squash, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, dill, cilantro, parsley and hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

How about this weather?! Am I right?  Has anyone not turned their furnace on yet?  If not you’re tougher than me…I turned mine on in September!    We got a nice sunny break from rain today, but it was still so muddy!  I think the driveway in front of the wash station is actually more mud than gravel now.

But the vegetables  are still doing fine and everything is nice and green.   Here’s Irina picking through the kale forest today – which is pretty tall by now.

And so much of the farm looks like this now – just big patches of oats mixed in with patches of lettuce and other vegetables.  I’ve discovered tall grass is a really good place to put your tools down in.

Finally,  with winter coming I’ve been scrambling to finish all the work on the water lines so I can make sure there are no leaks and then hopefully bury them this year.   This summer I added a water line and taps to the other side of the farm where I’ve been growing a green manure of clover and plan to plant vegetables in a year.  So, the whole farm has water now and for the first time  ever: no leaks!  It only took me 5 years to fix all the leaks,  I’d like to see another plumber that good!   Now the only bad news is that realistically I’m not going to dig a 2500′  trench in this wet mud, so it might be a few years yet, but it will happen!  I’d show you a picture, but it gets dark so early  (and I don’t remember to take them during the day)

 

Finally, this is our 18th week; so it’s the last regular pick up for most of you.  Thank you everyone for taking part in my CSA and I really hope you enjoyed all the veggies over the summer.  I had hoped to to be at both pick ups this week to see everyone, but I actually still have 2 leaks to fix in the water line…..so Irina will be thereTuesday and I hope to be there Thursday.  And  for everyone that signed up for the extra 2 weeks, well, I guess I’ll still be seeing you for another 2 weeks!

That’s it for this week,

Thanks again and see you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Kelsey, Karyl and Danielle

Farm news, Sept 30/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, celery, peppers, eggplant, tomatos, leeks, brussel sprouts, squash, cabbage, potatoes, onions, beets, carrots, dill, cilantro, parsley and hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

It got nasty on us!   We’ve had a really warm September overall though so I still feel fortunate that this has been our only bad day to work in so far this year.   I was mentally prepared for much worse and wore so much clothing that I thought  it was actually kind of nice!  No one else except Irina agreed with me and she wasn’t even wearing a rain jacket!

The favourite part of my day is when the truck got stuck and we pushed it out and Kelsey was right behind the wheel and got sprayed all up her body with mud!  This is after she cleaned herself off.

We had a serious frost this weekend and so all our tomatos, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini  and epplants froze.  If you can tell what plants these used to be you win a free lb of tomatos!  We picked all the field tomatos and peppers before the frost so will have peppers and tomatos for a while still.

Although frost makes some vegetables worse (i.e dead),  it makes others so much better.   The first one that comes to mind is Brussel sprouts and so this week we are bringing out the brussels sprouts!

You’ll also notice over the next few weeks that the carrots, spinach, kale and other vegetables get a lot sweeter as it gets colder.

That’s it for this week

See you soon,

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Kelsey, Karyl and Danielle

Farm news, Sept 23/2019

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, squash, tomato, peppers, eggplant, leeks, potatos, carrots, beets, onions, celery, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, hot peppers.  We’ll try to squeeze out one  more week of cucumbers and zucchini also, but we’ll see…

On the farm this week:

I think it’s safe to say we won’t need the irrigation anymore this year.   This year seems a lot like last year : we had no rain all summer and now that it’s fall it doesn’t stop raining.  The difference is that it’s hot this year and last was so cold!  So,  I’ll wait to complain about the weather at least until it gets cold.  We’ve actually not had a frost yet which is really rare!

My goal this year was to bury the main water line for the irrigation system(it was also my goal last year and the before that) and a little bit each week I’ve been working on it but I’m running out of time!   Karyl and I worked on putting risers on it Friday morning  until we realized working in the rain and lightning wasn’t as fun as it sounded.   But on Sunday my dad came out and dug this trench for his 75th birthday.  He said it was the best birthday ever!  If I don’t get this done in 2 weeks though I’m afraid it will be my goal for next year also….

The only thing that is really annoying to do when it’s wet (other than walking) is digging up carrots and potatos.   We’ve been taking advantage of every drier day we have to get them  done.   It’s starting to dry up a bit from the weekend, so hopefully we’ll get these carrots dug up tomorrow before it rains again!

Also, with the hot weather the last 2 weeks broccoli is ahead of schedule and it’s making me nervous!  A lot of things can be left in the field for a while, but when broccoli is ready it has to be harvested, so ideally we don’t have too much ready at once.  They’re also bigger than I expected.  Look at the broccoli on the top of the bin Kelsey is carrying ! (they’re not all that big)  The broccoli is around 1-2 lb each and we plan to have 2 heads for full shares and 1 head for half shares this week, so I’ll hope to hear from people after this week if it was too much broccolli.   Remember you can always freeze it!

With the season winding down now Shenggang is finished working for the season.  We were lucky to have Shenggang come out each Monday because he has Mondays off from his other job and Monday is our always our busiest day.  We will miss him and hopefully get him back when we dig up all the winter carrots.

That’s it for this week,

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Kelsey, Karyl and Danielle

 

 

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