Farm news, Sept 18/2017

We’ll have the following veggies for CSA this week:

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

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 familair squashes(copied from the seed catalogue):

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.

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.


On the farm this week:

This is our 15th week of CSA, so the last week for some of you.  I hope to see you to say good bye at the market tomorrow.  Thanks for taking part in my CSA this year!

It kind of pretended to rain for a couple days.  In the end it didn’t’ add up to a lot of rain, but the ground is nice and soft now.  We’re watering the broccoli today and after that we’re going to take a break from watering for a little bit!

Because it was supposed to rain, we decided to dig up carrots and potatos friday morning because they come out so clean now and digging them up in wet ground is more like harvesting mud with some carrots mixed in.   We’re still having to stand on the back of the carrot digger for extra weight to get it deep enough.  Before hand we bring a scale out to the field and weigh in to see who gets to stand on the back and who gets to drive.

Also, if you find any of your potatos with quack grass growing in them you win a prize!

Once it started  to rain Friday afternoon we moved onto cleaning and bagging our storage onions for the winter csa.  Our goal is to get them all finished this week so we have room to move other things inside once we get some more serious frosts.    Speaking of which, if you like pesto this is your week.  We’ll be bringing lots of basil for csa members before frost gets the rest of it.   If you’re looking for nice basil, we don’t have it, but it all looks the same in pesto…

That’s it for this week

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina and Jaroslav


Farm news, Sept 11/2017

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, potatos, onions, carrots, beets, tomatos, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, melons or squash, cabbage, leeks, scallions, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil.

On the farm this week:

When I started wondering last week when we’ll get our first frost I didn’t think it would be the next day and was caught by surprise!  It was a pretty good frost and our cucumbers, squash and basil mostly didn’t survive the kiss of death.

So cucumbers will be slowing down for the rest of the season, but we have a different tasty fruit coming up – melons!

Here’s a picture of Jaroslav (happy to be back from holiday) holding up acorn squash which I figure is a close enough substitute for a melon picture and we’ll be probably starting to harvest squash next week.

People started asking last week if we’ll have leeks, and here they are!   If you’re wondering what to do with leeks, my favorite recipe is leek and potato soup.  It’s very simple and tasty.  My recipe literally has only 4 ingredients, potatos, leeks, water and a blender.

It feels like it’s been a couple months now since we’ve had rain, so we’ve been running 2-3 lines of sprinklers just about every morning in order to get the garden watered by the end of each week.  But it looks like we’re going to get some serious rain this week, so that will be nice ( I don’t usually say that!).  Here’s our very last planting of spinach of the year being watered.  We’ve got a few new different varieties that we’re trying for fall spinach, so we’ll be interested to see what people think.  In a week we’ll be on to harvesting from our last planting of lettuce and spinach – it’s starting to feel like the end is coming….

Well, that’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina and Jaroslav

Farm news, sept 4/2017

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

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

On the farm this week:

It’s my favorite time of year – fall!  I like it when it’s dark out around 9 and the days are cooler. It just feels more relaxed.  It’s also the time of year when we start wondering – when is the first frost coming?  Any predictions?  We’ve got a lot of picking to do before that!

Some things still grow quickly at this time of year.  Here’s on of our patches of oats and peas that was planted just last week.  In one month they’ll be knee high.

Jaroslav is away this week, he decided to take a holiday by going to volunteer on another farm to see how they do their livestock – there’s something wrong that man!  All day long Jaroslav listens to podcasts about farming and then at the end of the day he reads books on farming and then he decides to holiday on another farm.  I’ve been trying to get him to watch t.v and listen to pop music but no luck yet.

With just the three of us it’s been mostly myself and Irina doing the harvesting and I’ve come to the realization that Irina might be the toughest woman in the world.   After a couple hours my back gets pretty sore and I want to stretch but I look over and Irina doesn’t slow down.   So I’m having to pretend to tie my shoe, or that I have an important phone call so that I can stretch my back.   I’ve learnt that if I set my alarm it sounds like I have a phone call and just have it set to go off every 15 minutes.

We’ve finished brining in all the onions and there’s lots! Now with all the tomatos coming in it’s turning into a salsa hut in here.

That’s it for this week,

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, and Jaroslav

Farm news, aug 28/2017

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, potato, carrots, beets, onions, zucchini, cucumber, peppers, eggplant, beans, cabbage, corn, tomato, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, scallions and hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

It’s hot again!  I think everyone’s looking forward to it cooling down soon.  And a week after that when we’re picking spinach in the morning and it’s 4 degrees we’ll be wishing it was hot again…

It was Nicholas last day on Friday.  He’s starting carpentry school this week.  He also just moved to St. Norbert where he recently acquired  some land that he will be undertaking an agricultural adventure on.  He literally just got in his house and drove away!  How many people can do that”  Now if he doens’t pay his bills at the new place, no big deal- he’ll just get in his house and take drive away!

We also lost our star weeder, Celine who’s drove off in her house also which happens to be just a car right now and she drove off pretty quickly when I said we still had some weeding left to do.

Our tomatos have been ripening nice and slow, but this weekend they suddenly started to ripen pretty fast;   so by next week I expect to have extra bulk tomatos to sell.  I will email csa members about it.

Either this week or next week we’ll be starting on a delicacy called brussel sprout tops.   Right now the brussel sprouts are as tall as the sprinklers which you can barely see in this picture, so it’s time to cut the tops off.  We’ll have the normal brussel sprouts around the end of september or in October.   The classic way to eat brussel sprout tops is to fry them with onions and bacon!

I wanted to take a picture of this because for some reason bean leaves stick to sarah’s clothes so she’s pretty well camoflouged picking beans.  If you can spot Sarah in this picture you get an extra lb of potatos!

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

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina and Jaroslav.


Farm news, Aug18/2017

We’ll have the following veggies this week: 

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

On the farm this week:

We had our first volunteer of the summer this week: Celine from France.  She’s making her way from Victoria to Montreal and making stops along the way and is here for one week.  She said she doesn’t like weeding so much, so I got her to weed all week.  We have rye planted between all the squash, but it’s not perfect, so she went through to pull all the big weeds before they go to seed.  If you can’t see here, it’s because this picture was taken at the peak of the eclipse today when it was pitch dark.  If you can see her, you must have been eating a lot of carrots!  Who knows what squash that is she’s weeding??

So this week we are actually done planting for real, and so this morning I started planting oats and peas for green manure into all the crops we finished harvesting.  Here’s one section that was just seeded next to everyone huddling together to keep warm while picking beans.  

For the spider question in last weeks newsletter, there was apparently no right answer because everyone had a different answer.  I’ve always relied on democracy to find out  the answer to the questions I ask – but this time democracy didn’t work.  Maybe next week I’ll try a different kind of political system…  So if you guessed you won a lb of free potatos!

We had to finally go into the spiders shed because we hung the garlic in it and the next day there was another big web across it!   At least this spider won’t get bored with the spot it picked.   As usual, we’ll have some garlic for sale in the fall and I’ll keep you posted.

Winter onion harvest has started now also.   Here’s one bed out of 6 that we’ve brought in so far.  It’s going to be a steady stream of harvesting for winter from now until november.  Once the onions are cured we’ll be bringing in the squash.  I’ll be sending out an email to csa members regarding winter csa in the next week or two.

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Nicholas and Celine

Farm news, Aug 14/2017

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, beans, celery, onions, peppers, tomato, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, potatos, beets, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, basil, parsley, scallions and hot peppers.

On the farm this week:

We’ve finished all our planting for the year! ( well actually we have a little more lettuce to plant, but I’m telling myself we’re finished). So it’s one less thing to keep track of which is nice.  It kind of looks like spring again with two fields  of baby lettuce, broccoli, spinach, herbs. carrots and beets.    So now, just when we thought we were catching up to with the weeds, weeding starts all over again!  And because we didn’t have great control of the weeds in the spring I have a feeling it’s gonna be bad,  so I took some pictures now while it still looks clean.  

The field tomatos are starting to ripen quicker now and the plants are still healthy, so I think by next week we should have decent amounts for csa.  We had a group photo today at lunch, at which point everyone went into the washstation to cool down and Sarah complained about how cold she always is while wearing her winter jacket under her rain coat.  That air conditioner really works!

Now that we’ve gotten used to the new space, I was wondering how the h— did we ever fit this all in to a space 1/5 the size before?  When I measure it out it’s not even physically possible.  Somehow we did something for a couple years that’s not actually possible.

You might all get to meet Irina now as she’ll be trading off doing the csa pick up with me the next 2 weeks.

Finally, because I haven’t grossed anyone out with insects for a while.  I found a door to a shed had been left open and I couldn’t get in because a web covered the whole doorway and this spider was waiting to eat me.   If anyone knows what this is you when a free lb of potatos.   And do spiders move in the fall and hibernate or something?, because I’m going to have to get in this shed soon but it looks like it was a lot of work making a web that big and I’d feel bad to break it.  Does anyone know how to move a web?

That’s it for this week.

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Jaroslav and Nicholas.

Farm News Aug 07/2017

We’ll have the following veggies this week:

lettuce, spinach, chard, kale,cabbage, broccoli, beans, onions, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, potato, carrots, beets, turnip, kohlrabi, celery, dill, cilantro, basil, parsley and scallions,

On the farm this week:

Jaroslav was running the farm the last few days (and it looks like he did a pretty good job) as I was in Vancouver for my brothers’ wedding from Thursday until Saturday.   I think I might just leave Jaroslav in charge from now on because this summer holiday thing is pretty good!

Spinach is back this week.  We didn’t have spinach for a couple weeks because a couple plantings of it died from being too wet.   But we have a new planting that’s ready now and here’s some new spinach being picked this morning. 

The days are getting noticeably shorter now.  Each morning it’s a little bit darker, so I guess winter is almost here!

We’re also starting to see the first few red tomatos, so I guess summer is almost here also!

This picture was taken before I ate lunch, otherwise it would just be green tomatoes in the picture.  So far the tomatoes are all looking pretty healthy this year and we’re hoping they stay that way.  We’ve been taking extra precautions this year to control for septoria leaf spot which is the disease that has been plaguing our tomatos the last couple years.   We’ve got new stakes for trellising them and are spraying them with copper when conditions are favourable for disease.

We also tried tomato cages on the determinate tomatos hoping it would be less handling of the tomato plants.  That worked up until about one week ago by which time they were so heavy that when a breeze came they all blew over.  Oh well.  I guess I’ll scratch my head for a while and hopefully think of a really easy way to fix that.

We’ve had an amazing year for bugs this year: There haven’t been any mosquitos all summer!  But since I have to complain about bugs each year,  it’s house fly season and they are so annoying I think I’d prefer mosquitos.  I’m wondering if I smell like fresh manure because  they’re all over me and if I stand by a pile of manure they choose me over the manure!

Anyways, that’s it for this week

See you soon!

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Jaroslav and Nicholas