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Archive for July, 2015

It’s hard to believe that after all that Rain and flooding – and some areas that are STILL flooded – that we had to irrigate this week. But here we are. It’s important for Tomatoes and Peppers to have consistent watering and this year they have been accustomed to a lot of water but the soil has turned into cement underneath them and they are full of fruit! So we irrigated and fertigated with molasses (for calcium) to avoid blossom-end rot. Time will tell if it helps. With irrigation brings the inevitable holes in the irrigation lines that need to be repaired…

IMG_7694This broken line in the Rainbow Chard reminded me to take pictures of a Chard root. Most people are quite surprised to learn that Chard and Beets are the same plant – one was bred for it’s leaves and the other for it’s roots. But Beet leaves are tasty and edible just as Chard makes a Beet-root but a rather “ugly” one…

IMG_7707Around the farm this week … one of our broody hens hatched out 4 little chicks, each a different colour. We’ve been feeding them tent caterpillars to hone their foraging skills (the alternative would be to burn the caterpillars).

11754326_805178066269549_5341734747503205271_oGrowing around the farm this week…

Around the farm: various types of Squash; Kohlrabi starting to beautifully bulb out.

Around the farm: various types of Squash; Kohlrabi starting to beautifully bulb out.

From Facebook this week …

Kale and Chard made into soup and mac'n'cheeze

Kale and Chard made into soup and mac’n’cheeze

Some benefits to a wild edible you’ve likely found in your Wild Rainbow Salad mixes – Purslane.

Despite the heat alert last Saturday we had a wonderful turn out to our Foraging Walk. A reporter from the Tilbury Times was there and wrote a lovely article (unfortunately it’s not online), thank you Dan!

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Tasting Mulva (Common Mallow). Photo credit to Susan Platsko.

We will be highlighting some of the Orgunique fertilizers that we are selling on our Facebook page. Right now our featured fertilizer is Green Up – This garden amendment is a 0-0-15 water soluble mix of Kelp and Potash and the perfect choice for Vegan and Cruelty-Free Gardeners (we also carry ‘Rapidgrow’ as a Vegan fertilizer). Potassium deficiency affects plants such as potatoes, brassicas (kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi), tomatoes, apples, and raspberries. Unlike the production of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, the manufacture of potassium fertilizer appears to be relatively harmless to the environment, not being a major pollution source. OMRI listed, 100% organic, Product of Canada. $12 for 350g. Mix 4-5g in a litre of water. Use every 3-4 weeks or as needed. We carry this at our farm (20600 Morris Rd or Canal St West, Tilbury), every Tuesday at ShopEco from 4-7pm, and at the Belle River Farmers Market on Sundays.

green upAnother new item we have for sale are 2016 Calendars. The photographs were taken by local nature enthusiast and photographer PAWS, this gorgeous calendar features wildlife shots taken in Rondeau Provincial Park.

11755705_805178219602867_2397866539883179801_nNow for this week’s pick list! A note….not all of these items will be available at every location this week, we will be rotating availability to make sure everyone gets all the produce but we don’t have enough quantity of each item to make them available at all 4 of our pickup locations.

Rainbow Kale + Rainbow Chard

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix

Garlic

Fresh Beans – Rainbow Mix

Field Cucumbers

Field Tomatoes

Onions, storage – limited

Red Cabbage and Chinese Cabbage – limited availability

Kohlrabi – I love to eat this raw – just peel, chop and chew. It’s a crunchy Cabbage! The leaves are also edible. Limited availability

Purple + Green Basil

a variety of fresh Herbs

Chinese Eggplant – a smaller version of eggplant, limited quantities

Purple Peppers – limited availability

Summer Squash (Zucchini) – very limited; how strange that the most productive veggie of all hasn’t grown well at all this year.

Rainbow Carrots (very limited quantities, only those grown in a raised bed have produced so far)

Portabella Mushrooms

Recipes to try!

Top 10 ways to cook Kale!

Kohlrabi Coleslaw!

5 Tasty Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi

How to cook your strange CSA vegetables!

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

7 Asian Eggplant Recipes

Ideas on cooking Chinese Eggplant

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We are going on 8 weeks with too much rain, 8 weeks ago is when we were supposed to plant the Beets and the Turnips that you’d be eating this week. 8 weeks with too much rain and we’ve had to cross off Cantaloupes, Honey Dew Melons and 2,000 Squash from the “to plant” list. 8 weeks with too much rain and the full effects of that are still to be seen fully but are already apparent in the unhappy (yet still growing) Tomatoes and Cucumbers. The only crops growing well, and extremely well, are the Kales and Chard and we can’t do a market or a CSA with only Kale and Chard. And so … we pause … and let the land drain and let the crops thrive and grow with the heat. We will be at the Belle River Farmers Market tomorrow (Sunday July 19th) but we will NOT be at ShopEco on Tuesday July 21st nor at Take Back The Farm on Thursday July 23rd and we will be taking a break from the Belle River Farmers Market on Sunday July 26th.

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A modified plow along with the human-power of J and Mr. Muscles dug these trenches so that our fields could finally start draining.

We did manage to work up a small garden and plant Beets and Turnips this afternoon – small success! As a back up plan we are trying a straw-bale garden based on the success of one of our farm friends and we transplanted Tomatillos and planted a few Summer Squash in to it.

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Do I thank our work share folks and volunteers and employee and family every week? If I haven’t then I need to start doing so. We have an amazing group of farm friends who pull through every time we need help – thank you to every one of our very special farm friends, we couldn’t do it without you!

That includes…..Tyler and Katrina Strickler of Union Herbs who’ve been providing the CSA with the lovely Basil and ever-fragrant Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, and more! They are based in Ruthven, ON and follow organic methods for their growing. They are trying their hand at small-scale gardening and decided that herbs were a good place to start. We’re very happy to be able to provide these quality herbs to our CSA members thanks to Union Herbs!

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Around the farm this week….

Andrea is training Cucumbers (coming soon!) and Pumpkins that are full of Blossoms as we prepare to take a weed-wacker and lawn-mower in there to keep down the weeds. Only the weeds seem to grow with all this Rain!

Andrea is training Cucumbers (coming soon!) and Pumpkins (full of Blossoms) as we prepare to take a weed-wacker and lawn-mower in these areas to keep down the weeds. Only the weeds seem to thrive with all this cool-weather and Rain!

In bloom….

Edible Lillies and other pretty pollen-rich food sources.

Edible Lillies and other pretty pollen-rich food sources.

The good and the bad….

A white caterpillar moth's chrysalis; ladybug larvae feasting on aphids

A white caterpillar moth’s chrysalis; ladybug larvae feasting on aphids

Coming soon….

Around the Farm - Coming Soon! Top L to R: Napa Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Pea Blossom, Red Onions, Spanish Onions.

Top L to R: Napa Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Pea Blossom, Red Onions, Spanish Onions.

Have a lovely week friends, we’ll see you on the flip side!11717531_802328803221142_8468885833243725272_o

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A few notes to start … We will be starting to sell to the public on Tuesdays when we are at ShopEco, I didn’t realize how much attention our stand would garner so we decided we would share our veggies with the wider ShopEco community.

market stand

Market stand our our farm….where we like to be silly and sassy as well as have laughs and share our produce.

More news from ShopEco…..stay tuned for more details…

11112481_799600493493973_7599578116448054026_oThere have been a lot of no-shows lately and while a couple are not a problem we’ve wasted a lot of good food this week and that is a hard thing for us to do. If you know that you will be away on vacation or that you can’t make it please send us an email to let us know, preferably the day before your pickup so that we don’t bring or harvest more produce than necessary. This will save time, energy, and food waste.

Farm update of the week: You know there’s been too much rain when…..even the thistles are dying from being waterlogged.

IMG_7643On to the projected pick list for the week (subject to change and surprises) – Salad mix, Rainbow Leafies, more fresh Garlic, a variety of Herbs,  Pea Shoots, Portabello Mushrooms, button Mushrooms, Mini-Cucumbers, greenhouse Tomatoes, Eggplant, and maybe a surprise like Beans (wouldn’t that be so nice!).

Pea shoots are a favourite of the farm children. A periodic treat!

Pea shoots are a favourite of the farm children. A periodic treat!

No matter how many years I’ve been doing this I never tire of these colours!

IMG_7613IMG_7615We’ve had amazing help this week from members, work-share helpers, and volunteers – community shows up and steps when it’s needed! This sweet family was a welcome surprise at the farm.

11701134_797972586990097_4080887680323772054_nIn the “What you missed on Facebook” segment …

garlicLastly our next FORAGING WALK is Saturday July 18th from 2 – 4 pm, we’d love to see some member faces there as it’s a great opportunity to see our farm! Have a great week everyone!

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Not a very appealing title for a blog post but I’m a big fan of honesty so at least I’m being accurate this week *smiles* With non-stop rain for over a month we haven’t been able to get crops in that would have been ready by now and the crops that are already planted haven’t had enough heat or enough time to be ready to harvest yet.

Note: I know that when a blog post goes to your inbox it looks like an email but when you hit “reply” to send me a message it creates a blog post reply, not an email to me. I tend to delete these as most of you don’t intend to create a blog reply. Just an FYI 🙂

whatsgrowing

From top L: Squash fruiting; Kale bed; perennial raised beds; Horseradish, Salsify, Scorzonera.

We’ve been busy putting in posts and stringing up Tomatoes using the Florida Weave method to trellis them. The plants are full of big green fruits already!

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From top L: our trusty little tractor; one of half a dozen regular on-farm Snakes who eat mice and voles for us; Master Farmer Mike supervising and directing the farm children in creating removable bed covers; our trusty hunting Cat who thrives on the variety of raw meat available at the farm.

From top L: our trusty little tractor; one of half a dozen regular on-farm Snakes who eat mice and voles for us; Master Farmer Mike supervising and directing the farm children in creating removable bed covers; our trusty hunting Cat who thrives on the variety of raw meat available at the farm.

We still have standby’s like Salad Mix and Rainbow Kale while we wait for more veggies to be ready. We’re pulling up some Garlic this week as a special treat – super fresh and juicy! We’re curious to see which Garlic has fared better – the ones planted in black plastic, the ones planted in a raised bed with hay mulch, or the ones in a raised bed without mulch. At least they didn’t rot with all the rain we’ve had!

This week’s pick list includes: Salad, Kale, Chard, Garlic, Pea Shoots, and a selection of herbs (chocolate mint, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, and more!)

A note on uncured Garlic – we enjoy this very fresh Garlic but it’s strong and juicy and not for everyone so we suggest trying a bit of it fresh and if you don’t enjoy it then just put it in a paper bag in a cool and dry location for a few weeks so it can cure.

In bloom around the farm from Top L (edible blossoms): Lillies; Calendula; Arugula; (pollinator plants) Daisies, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea); Black-Eyed Susan;

In bloom around the farm from Top L (edible blossoms): Lillies; Calendula; Arugula; (pollinator plants) Daisies, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea); Black-Eyed Susan; Hollyhock

A special shout out and THANK YOU to members who’ve volunteered to help harvest – what a wonderful time we have chatting and working – and to new work share folks who have stepped out to help out!

11221431_795465460574143_3983240283797984326_oWhat you missed on our Facebook page this week….

From CSA member Monique:

From CSA member Monique: “My chicken wrap was delish…. Tomato, lettuce, feta, ceasar dressing, green onion and lemon juice in my green wrap!” Collard leaves make amazing wraps!

For local folks – we always try to have salad mix and rainbow kale for sale in our self-serve fridge located on the farm.

We are also now selling Orgunique Fertilizers for your home garden as well as Compost Accelerator. We have these available at the farm and at ShopEco on Tuesday afternoons. Find out more about Orgunique at http://naturelanefarms.com/products-services/orgunique/

Got a new smaller tent to use at ShopEco so I don't have to bake in the Sun!

Got a new smaller tent to use at ShopEco so I don’t have to bake in the Sun! Tuesdays from 4-7pm, get your fresh organic veg on!

See you all next week and may we have lots of heat and sunshine to get these crops growing and this land drying!

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