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Posts Tagged ‘experimental farming’

Farmer Andrea has been busy this Spring getting ready for the 2017 CSA + Market Season! Spreadsheets, Seed Catalogues, Sterilizing Seedling Trays, SEEDS, Planting, all part of the Farm Lyfe.

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Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson + rashel t

Seedlings Indoors …

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Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson + rashel t

Seedlings Outdoors …

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Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson

Over-wintered and self-seeded Spring surprises …

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Scallions, Gorgeous Lettuces that popped up in beds, outside of beds, gorgeous Lettuce everywhere! Photo credit: rashel t.

Every year we let a couple of broody Hens hatch out a clutch of eggs. We don’t purposely breed them so they become Tremblay Farm Mixies. Farm child Oddy wanted to make sure we had some new chicks this season and Farmer Mike (Pepe) helped get them all set up before his major heart surgery this Spring.

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These Mamas are very protective of their babies. Here they are showing their newly hatched offspring how to scratch and forage for grains and seeds. After eating very little while incubating their eggs these Mamas are ravenous! Photo credit rashel t.

 

Interesting things found around the farm in May …

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Wallflower, ancient Pear Tree covered in blossoms, Wild Ginger, Fungus, Lilac, Chives with Busy Bees, Kildeer eggs, Scat, Insect Eggs. Photo credit: rashel t.

While Farmer Rashel is taking a break from Market Gardening they are turning their focus towards creating and maintaining a new Wild Space in an awkward part of the farm. This will serve as an Insectary (habitat) for beneficial insects + pollinators, as well as a space for Medicinal Plants. The focus is primarily on Indigenous Perennials and self-seeding annuals with the goal of having the space be self-sufficient and diverse, as well as a place to learn from and harvest medicines.

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Plantain infusing in oil, Chamomile, Nettles. Photo credit: rashel t.

This blog will have a different focus in 2017. Instead of being a weekly round-up of farm happenings and seasonal veggies it will be a monthly update of interesting things found around the farm, musings on gardening with children, current experimentations in permaculture and sustainable ecological food growing.

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Our “little” garden this year – only 15 4×18 ft beds – and our new little helper. Toddler S is a natural forager! Photo credit: rashel t.

More fun around the farm in May …

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The big farm children take the toddler on adventures, pea shoot snacks, plants in flower / seed saving, rainbow, potatoes planted by Rashel + Toddler S in an experimental hay bale bed, carrots, flooding. Photo credit: Mike Tremblay, rashel t.

Unsurprisingly Rashel’s favourite bed is the most diverse one. Lettuce self-seeded, Parsley over-wintered, Sunflowers showed up, and Rashel didn’t want to remove anything so they planted seedlings in the available spaces. Trying out Celeriac + storage Kohlrabi for the first time. Also planted Collards, Brussel Sprouts, and Radnips.

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Photo credit: rashel t

A new experiment this year is Trench Composting. This bed was in need of remediation so it was the perfect first experiment. A trench was dug out of the middle of the bed and in it’s place we placed unfinished compost and seaweed. Various squashes have been planted in to the middle where the compost is. If this is successful we will do a variation on this in years to come. Each year one third of a bed will be dug out and composting materials thrown in as the season progresses. The following year we will plant on top of the trench, rotating which area gets the compost from year to year.

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Photo credit: rashel t

We are also experimenting with more Companion Planting, with plants in closer quarters in our 4 by 18 foot raised beds. Some friends include: Peas + Carrots with Lettuce; Cucumbers + Squash with Radishes + Beans; Alyssum all over but especially near Lettuces; Garlic + Tomatoes with Basil; Marigolds + Pole Beans.

Looking forward to sharing more Cute Creatures, Garden Stories, and Farm Lyfe with everyone 🙂

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Newly hatched Praying Mantis in a pot of Succulents. Photo credit: Andrea Nickerson.

 

 

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By the time many of you read this we’ll have officially opened for the season! Our first market is Saturday May 28th and it also marks the beginning of the Community Supported Agriculture – CSA – weekly member basket program!

Our veggie of the week is CARROTS!

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Carrots originally and naturally came in colours such as purple, red, and white. Some are red on the outside and purple on the inside, or purple on the outside and white on the inside. So many Carrots to choose from! These Carrots have been happily living and growing all Winter long and in our experience the best keeping carrots are the purple ones, the orange ones didn’t fare so well.

These Carrots are best suited for cooking so here is a collection of recipe ideas to spice up the humble Carrot ~ http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/20-carrot-recipes/16/ – these recipes also use other seasonal veggies such as kale, parsley, and garlic, and includes easy pickled carrots ; http://damndelicious.net/2015/01/17/garlic-roasted-carrots/ – also uses thyme and parsley ; http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-carrot-refrigerator-cake-recipe  ; http://www.theroastedroot.net/raw-carrot-pasta-ginger-lime-peanut-sauce/ ; http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/recipes.html Carrots have their own museum website!

Jokes of the week (a new weekly item that the farm children wanted to start) :

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Q: What did one carrot say to the other carrot?

A: Is it orange in here, or is it just me?

Q: What did the other carrot say back?
A: Hang on a minute while I root around for the answer!

 

 

What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?

A carrot!

 

How do you make gold soup?

Put 24 carrots in it!

 

What’s a vegetables favourite martial art?

Carrottee!

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Carrots make for the funniest pictures

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Since we’re being joined by the Cheese Bar for our opening day a cheese joke:

What cheese is made backwards?

Edam!

One last joke for one more seasonal item we have this week:

What is small, red, and whispers?

A hoarse radish!

(We have horseradish root available!)

Other seasonal veggies we have available for Week 1 (items vary depending upon location: Scallions (green onions), Baby Garlic (we’re debating calling it Scarlick or Gallions as it’s a mix of Garlic and Scallions – a truly unique product! an experiment that we tried that turned out perfectly!), Parsley, Salad Mix, Baby Kale, Arugula, Chives, Fennel Fronds, Leeks, Portabello Mushrooms, Potted Basil, Dried Herbs and Herbal Teas, Seedlings (including Sweet Peppers, Ghost + Scorpion Peppers, Kale, Chard, Scallions), Potted Coneflower, Flower Bouquets, and Maple Trees.

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Walking Onions, Salad Mix, Baby Garlic, Spinning Lettuce, Fennel

 

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Local honey products and pickled products

The farm children are inviting you to come this way ….

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Updates on what we’ve been up to ….

We’re trying a new pest control method this year – Nematodes. They are soil dwelling creatures that prey on other creatures while not harming beneficial insects such as earthworms. If this shows success we’ll switch to this method of insect control completely.

Scanmask organic pest control ~ http://www.biologicco.com/products/scanmask/lawn-and-garden-scanmask

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We had a busy weekend planting most of our heat-loving crops. First we have to lay down the plastic mulch…..

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Then we can use the water wheel planter…..

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Squash Seedling, Cooperation, Baby Watching us work

This year we’re going to focus on harvesting more medicinal and beneficial herbs to share with our members and out community. We’ll be drying them for teas and making tinctures and salves.

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Nettles + Motherwort hang as though in an art gallery

 

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Mint + Lemon Balm hanging to dry

Even our Plantain is a magickal purple colour ….

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Plantain will make it’s way into healing salves

We’re adding new herbs to our gardens as well …

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Lavender, Sweet Grass, Yarrow, Bee Balm, and more

On Mother’s Day we found the time to hold ceremony with some very special local Knowledge Keepers (Elders), and to plant Trees. We planted over 100 different native species.

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We held our first Seedling Sale at ShopEco on Mother’s Day weekend and it was so successful that we’ll be holding it again next year! And this time we’ll be ready for the hordes of folks interested in organically-grown seedlings for their home gardens.

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Photo courtesy of ShopEco

New this year, we’re trying to grow Celery, if we’re successful it will be for members only. So far they look great!

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Every blog has to have an amazing photograph of the simple beauty of the farm as captured by our amazing farm friend Andrea.

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Bumblebee and Magnolia Tree

And last but not least a cool panaromic view of our HUGE Garlic patch….

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