Tuesday, July 30, 2013

6th CSA Week

We are now 1/3 of the way through the 2013 CSA season.  Things are in full swing and the harvests get better and better each week.  We are so very grateful for the rain we received over the last week which has turned the farm from a dust bowl to a nice damp soil condition.  We could use some nice warm clear sunny days to help dry everything up so that we can focus on getting our garlic harvested and more seeding and transplanting done. 

This weeks large share has lettuce mix, spinach, beets (golden or candy cane), coloured carrots, beautiful mix of summer onions, lettuce heads, collards, kohlrabi, green cabbage, zucchini and cucumbers.  The grab boxes had broccoli, green beans, swiss chard, green onions, kale, basil, cilantro, dill, parsley and more of the above mentioned veggies.  The small share has spinach, coloured carrots, lettuce heads, collards, kohlrabi, zucchini and cucumbers. 

Collards growing in the field

Collard Greens

Tower of kohlrabi

Such a tasty vegetable.  Just peel it and either eat it raw which is awesome, or chop and roast with olive oil and salt and pepper!!

Tower or coloured carrots

Baby carrot production is now in full swing.  We harvest twice per week for our custom orders

I love making towers of carrots
Golden beets!!!  These are my favourite beet.  Amazing roasted.

Yummy - Golden beets
Candy cane beets!!!  Feels like Christmas

These onions are perfectly sweet. 
 It was a very exciting weekend as we moved our wash station and all things "veggie" out of the garage and into the new building.  Today was the first day in full production and Pauline and I both agreed that its a wonderful space to work in.  We still have lots of adjusting to do to make it more efficient but for now its pretty darn great and I'm so happy to be moved in!!
First day making use of our new wash station.  Lots of improvements to make but it was awesome to work in. 

Wash station before we got it all dirty!!!

I have the sweetest CSA members.  Fresh zucchini loaf and a slice of fresh homemade bread with our fresh dill.  Thanks guys!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

5th CSA Week

Well, after four weeks of pretty much no rain....it's raining.  I was in a rush as usual to get to the Charlottetown pick-up and I didn't take my rain pants, I figured the forecast was wrong again so no need for extra rain gear.  Thankfully I had enough sense to grab my rubber boots and my rain jacket was already in the truck. 

It rained cats and dogs from the minute I got there till the minute I packed up my second CSA pick-up location and headed home.  It poured most of the way home until I got close to Bedeque.  I was a bit disappointed to only see 6mils in my rain gauge but I have to remember its 6 more than we had this morning.  I can hear the rain softly falling as I type this blog so I'm happy to see we're getting more than the 6mils.  Vegetables like about an inch of rain a week (in a perfect world) which is 24 mils and we have only gotten about 1mil in the past four weeks.  The ground is so dry and the plants are really feeling the stress.  Compared to my records from the last few seasons some vegetables are 2-3 weeks behind. 

I try not to get too freaked out about things like the weather as its something that just can't be controlled (well not easily and not without high costs) but its still a worry.  We currently do not irrigate but that is something we know we need to look at seriously.  We spoke to a sales rep last year in regards to our options and they are all expensive, but looks like the discussion will be back on the table.

This weeks large share has lettuce mix, spinach, baby carrots, red salad onions, green onions, dill, zucchini, daikon & watermelon radish, cucumbers, lettuce head, broccoli and snow peas.  The small share has lettuce mix, beets, baby carrots, green onions, dill, zucchini and cucumbers.  The grab box has red and white turnips, cilantro, basil, summer savory, sage, green cabbage, swiss chard, kale, garlic scapes and more of the above mentioned veggies.

The peas have come to a rather quick end.  Last week we were over run with super sugar snap peas and this week, done like dinner.  It's funny the amount of work some crops take and the short harvest window that can follow.  But peas are popular so I'll continue to grow them. 

Daikon radish.  What?????  I know, kinda strange.  We grew them in Guelph and I always thought they were rather strange.  I haven't grown them in a few years but decided to put them back on the menu after someone mentioned them on last years CSA survey.  So, what do you do with them?? Here are two websites with great suggestions.  Daikon Site #1, Daikon Site #2

The large shares also got two watermelon radishes.  They look a bit like the white turnips but cut them open and you'll find they are bright pink inside. This is my first year growing them, the catalogue had me at "watermelon".  Just slice them up and enjoy like a regular radish.

The carpenters left today with instructions that I can officially move into my new wash station!!!  There are still some things left to do on the main building and they are waiting on some materials but the lean to is all mine!!  Of course the plumbing is not finished nor the electrical but hoses and extension cords from the house will have to do for now.  I found some used stainless steel items on the weekend including a nice sized table and two smaller wash basins.  I'm still on the hunt for some more tables and other stainless steel items but its nice to have a few things now.  I'm planning on having as much stainless steel items as possible in the new wash station to be more professional and to be more food safety conscious.   

I'm so excited to get all of the "vegetable stuff" out of the garage and away from the front of the house and down into the new wash station.  CSA bins, black harvest crates, barrel washer, etc etc etc can all be moved permanently to their new home.  Oh happy day!!!

Enjoy your veggies :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

4th CSA Week

4th CSA Week
The truck was full full full this afternoon when I headed to Charlottetown.  So many farm fresh veggies!!

It was a full house!!

Really have to sort this truck situation out.  I need more space!!!!

Yesterday's hot weather was pretty intense so harvesting today felt downright wonderful.  The field is really dry so I'm really hoping we get some good rain very soon.  And I don't mean a "shower", I would like nice gentle rain for a day or two.  That would be lovely.

We celebrated Ben & Jake's 4th birthday over the weekend and enjoyed having friends and family over to party it up under the trees.  It was a lovely day and the boys really enjoyed it being their "special" day. 

Ben & Jake decorated their own cakes.  Interesting concept!! 

Zucchini having a quick bath before being packed in the CSA boxes
All pretty and ready for town

Some pretty patty pan and small zucchini


Turnips.  I decided to only put turnips in the grab box this week, they still went like hot cakes!!

The veggie shack is coming along nicely

I am so going to love working in there!!

I didn't have any empty containers so I put the zucchini in the passenger seat.  Worked great

Early cucumbers.  These little jems are amazing!!!

Some very tasty purplette onions.  Awesome quartered and roasted with other summer veggies
Enjoy this weeks veggies!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

3rd CSA Week

So very very glad that the hot weather left and much nicer cooler weather came in its place.  I did a lot of weeding on the weekend and although it was almost unbearable at times those darn old weeds took a real beating and the crops are looking so much better now.  Still lots of weeds out there but seems more manageable now.

We had a giant harvest day today and we still managed to get a whack of transplants in the ground including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green onions, fennel, basil, swiss chard, lettuce and eggplant.  It's getting pretty late for the eggplant but I'm planning on putting a mini greenhouse over it to hopefully help it along.  I never seem to have much luck with eggplant anyway. 

This weeks large share has lettuce mix, lettuce head, spinach, broccoli, green onions, white and red turnips, chinese cabbage, swiss chard, garlic scapes, kohlrabi, choice between arugula and a spicy mustard mix and cilantro.  The grab box has beet greens, green cabbage, baby beets, bok choy, kale, basil, parsley, summer savoury and more of the above mentioned veggies.  The small share has lettuce mix, spinach, green onions, white turnips, chinese cabbage, swiss chard, garlic scapes and a kohlrabi.  I don't think I could have fit one more lettuce leaf in those large shares this week!!! 

The peas are just about ready and man those plants are loaded with little green gems.  I think its going to be an awesome pea harvest this year.  I was up digging around the carrots and we should have baby carrots next week which is super exciting.  I love baby carrots steamed with new potatoes with butter!!  

Peas were in full flower earlier this week
Here are a few pictures from the weekend and this week so far.  Enjoy those veggies :)

Zucchini just about ready

Peas!!!  Just waiting for them to fill out

We rigged up a new system for rolling up the row covers.  Worked amazing. 
Garlic Scapes
So tasty!!  Lovely mix of tatsoi, purple mizuna and red mustard
Summer Savoury

Kohlrabi getting all purdy!!
Another shot of this weeks large share

My super heroes!!!  Turning four on Saturday!!  Where does the time go.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2nd CSA Week

It was so refreshing to see the rain this past weekend.  I'm sure it was a bit of a downer for the concert goers but it was all smiles around here.  Vegetables need about an inch of rain/week for optimal growth so us farmers enjoy a nice day of rain.

But, with rain comes weeds!!  Someone mentioned the other day that they couldn't see a weed anywhere on the farm.  Well drive by today and its like a weed explosion!!  I get a bit anxious seeing all the weeds but once the ground dries up in a day or so we'll turn into weed killing machines.  Our ACG (allis chalmers G) cultivating tractor is able to do the majority of the weeding but there is still lots of hoeing that needs to be done too.  I actual love weeding, not so much the work of it but the before and after.  I do love a nice clean field.  

Our big bad weed killing machine.  Love this tractor and its electric!!

Our newest weeding tool.  It's a lay down cart so we don't have to bend over anymore when doing long stretches of hand weeding.  It's a beautiful thing :)
We spent quite a bit of time this weekend in the greenhouse tending to the tomatoes.  They needed to be pruned and staked and we left it about 2 weeks too late and man did we have our work cut out for us.  We are far from professional greenhouse growers and I think we have ALOT to learn!!  I'm thankful our friends at Heartbeet Organics are growing heirloom tomatoes for us this season and we will focus on the blight resistant varieties.

I have alot of lettuce ready this week and I mean ALOT!!  It would seem I have two plantings ready at once and as always I planted just a wee bit too much.  So if you know of anyone who needs a boat load of lettuce heads just let me know.  Some seriously beautiful lettuce out there!!!


So, what super star veggies are in the box this week you ask??
The large share has: spinach, lettuce mix, beta mix, arugula, red and white turnips, radishes, broccoli, green onions and a lettuce head.  The small share has a lettuce head, green onions, red turnip, broccoli, tatsoi, lettuce mix and beta mix.  The grab boxes were full to the brim with bok choy, chinese cabbage, swiss chard bunches, beet greens, kale, basil transplants, fresh basil and more of the above mentioned veggies. 

Be sure to check out our awesome bloggers when you get a chance. 
They are not big but green onions make such a great addition to salads and my favourite, egg-salad sandwiches!!

Beet greens - just chop off the beet ends, wash really well as they tend to hold alot of dirt and then throw in the steamer.  Butter, salt and pepper and there you go!!

Red Scarlet Turnip.  Beauties

Fresh basil from the greenhouse is ready

Lots of broccoli, not the biggest stuff I ever grew but it sure is early!!
Ruby Red Swiss Chard


Beautiful "beta mix", its a mixture of beet greens and swiss chard.  Tasty tasty tasty!!

I've put the basil in a mini greenhouse in the greenhouse.  It gets crazy hot in there but they are loving it so far!!

And last but not least, the boys and I raided a strawberry patch on the weekend and they were delicious
We hope everyone had a wonderful Canada Day Weekend!!