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

 

 

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