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Posts Tagged ‘heirloom tomatoes’

The big excitement on the farm recently has been the discovery of a Fox Snake nesting site. We estimate there are 100 eggs laid by 8-10 adult female Fox Snakes in one location. Fox Snakes are Endangered with 70% of their population in Ontario. Luckily for us, and them, they are very common on our farm, and it pleases us greatly to know that we have been providing them with the right conditions to mate, hatch, feed, and overwinter.

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Photo of newly hatched Fox Snakes by Andrea Nickerson

August in our Family Garden has been more munching on veggies, and weeding, and watering (such a dry Summer, with every Rain Storm passing over our farm), rather than picture taking. Also, family adventures off the farm. Here are some shots of various Summer Squash with interesting shapes and colours. All photos by rashel t.

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One of the only Winter Squashes to produce any fruit – a Delicata – but we’re only going to get 2 Squash from a number of plants.

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The pest pressure on Summer Squash (Zucchini etc), Winter Squash, Pumpkins, and Melons has been the worst in recent memory. Between Cucumber Beetles who eat and destroy blossoms before the plant can set fruit and the Squash Vine Borer ….. these plants didn’t have a chance. Thankfully we didn’t grow them counting on them for food. They were planted in troublesome spots to help control Thistles (which they’ve done) and in areas with fresh compost (where other plants wouldn’t grow), so they have served their purpose. Still, it’s not easy to see them decimated by high insect populations, despite our efforts to control their numbers.

Below are the eggs of the Squash Vine Borer, usually laid on the underside of a leaf.

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Adolescent Squash Vine Borers.

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These aren’t the adults who bore in to the vines and kill the plants but they do grow up to be them. The adults resemble moths or hornets and they are pleasant to look at to watch …. if you don’t know who they are.

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A big downside of using any kind of plastic in agriculture is having to dispose of it. There are pros and cons to any method of agriculture and we continually strive to make more sustainable and ecological choices. We buy more expensive plastic so that it can be used for several seasons (and a surprise benefit is that it creates habitat for moles, voles, and snakes) but there are weed pressure issues that still need to be worked out. And when it comes time to remove the plastic …. well … we start to search for alternatives. We got together a large group of young people to have a “party” to remove most of the plastic. Their highlights were the creatures they found.

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Highlights of farmer Andrea’s Veggie-Table this month …aug 1 promo.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colourful Carrots.20626927_911678987424_1840938460693547923_oThe first of the Heirloom Tomatoes.20643276_911679057284_8019747055134273626_oPlum Trees that finally produced a bumper crop were a wonderful surprise!August 23 promo.jpgSpicy Salad Mix.21106535_1424229367697746_7177734924980830587_n.jpgColourful Tomatoes.21151676_1424229361031080_927617431668031181_n

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Summer’s almost over! Some of us are happy about and others of us are not. May the veggies continue to be plentiful for all!

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The end of the season is always bittersweet. We love growing food and working with the Earth and we’re also ready for some rest when the nights get longer and the days are colder, or in the case of today’s weather colder and wetter. We also miss the routine and seeing familiar faces every week as we also look forward to spending more time with our families. Before we can rest we still have a lot of Garlic to plant for next season, and a lot of beds to put to sleep to be ready to plant next year as well. The season doesn’t end when the veggies do.
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As this is the last week we thought it was time to make an announcement about changes for next year. Farmer Rashel is taking a leave from farming. As some of you know a small child came in to our care just before the growing season started. As a family we’ve all made sacrifices and worked very hard to keep the farm afloat while also raising a baby, we did what needed to be done. Some days and weeks it felt like all we were doing was treading water but we managed to keep the plants alive and delivered every week. It almost feels like a miracle. In no small part due to farmer Andrea, who we are happy to announce, has decided to continue running a CSA from the Tremblay Family Farm in 2017! Please keep an eye out on this blog and/or on Facebook for details about Andrea’s CSA plans for next season. Farmer Rashel will continue to grow food for and with their family, and continue to experiment with sustainable farming techniques and sharing that joy on this blog and on Facebook.
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Now on to the final Vegetable list of the season:
We’ve had a bumper crop of Peppers this season and we’re offering Green Peppers for only $4 a pound and as a 2 for 1 deal – 2 lbs of organically-grown Peppers for only $4!
We still have a lot of Scallions ready to go so we’re offering those as a 2 for 1 deal as well!
If the frost holds off we’ll have Hot Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes,  and Heirloom Tomatoes.
There will also be Green Tomatoes (to use for fried green tomatoes or to let sit and ripen, other recipe ideas on Veggies!), Sunchokes, Salad, Kale, Chard, Broccoli, Garlic (for planting or for eating), Celery, a variety of fresh and dried Herbs, Shepard’s Purse tincture, and bee pollen.
A big THANK YOU to all of our loyal and appreciative members – you keep us going when things get difficult and we couldn’t make this happen without YOU!
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Only these 4 Pears grew on 16yo Lennon’s baby Tree this year, each 1 the same relative size as each of the 4 farm children ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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Week #19 begins with a few updates.

For farm members: Saturday markets will start at 9 am (not 8 am) starting tomorrow, October 1st. Saturday October 8th will be the last market of the season and The Cheese Bar will be present – they helped us open the season and they’ll be there to close the season. Facebook event details. After that we’ll be emailing out a weekly list of the veggies we’ll have available and will be packing up individual orders that can be picked up at the farm. Check your emails for more details and please talk to us about these changes when you see us at the farm in the next 2 weeks.

For ALL members: Before the season began we had hoped to run for 24 weeks – until November – but that is no longer realistic. The CSA will end on Saturday October 22nd for farm members and Wednesday October 26th for ShopEco/Windsor members. If you have a basic, pre-packaged bag, we will be emailing you if your bag is to end sooner than the above dates. Please talk to us at the next few markets if you have any concerns or questions. We are letting folks know in advance because if you’re on the credit system you’ll want to make sure you use up your credits before the last week. There is a small chance we’ll be able to go longer but that will be a bonus rather than part of the core CSA program. The CSA has always been 20 weeks long, this year we were hoping for 24, and we could have started even earlier (we started 2 weeks earlier than ever), but these are all things we learn from each year as farming is always a work in progress.

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October Vegetable Share from 2015

We have ordered bulk potatoes, carrots, and beets that will be available on Wednesday October 5th and Saturday October 8th – in time for Thanksgiving! There are other options for using up credits as well – dried herbs and herbal teas, sun-dried tomatoes, tinctures, pickled asparagus, honey, and *fingers crossed* seeds to get you started on next year’s garden, dried beans (eg, kidney and black beans, for cooking), salves, hot pepper sauce, and pesto. Or simply stock up on all the veggies we have available and fill your freezers so you can make nourishing meals all Winter. We’ve found that the Scallion Roots make a very delicious stock! We came across this link for vegan “bone broth” that gives you lots of ideas for using up veggies ~ http://cleanfooddirtycity.com/recipes/healing-soup-with-vegan-bone-broth/

If you haven’t been convinced to start canning than maybe this comprehensive link (download included) will help ~ https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/135558/posts/1172189242

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Preparing a Digestive Herbal Tea

We’ve been lucky in many ways with this season so far. It’s been the most productive and the longest tomato season ever! The drought has given incredible bumper crops to every commercial Tomato grower, so much that we, and others, are letting the fruits rot on the vines because the demand isn’t there. I guess folks don’t want Tomatoes as much as we thought they would. We’ve also got more Melons + Squash to harvest, that’s exciting! But, we weren’t able to plant new crops to tide us over for the rest of the season. There is an insect in the soil in all parts of our gardens that eats every root crop, crops that we rely on to extend the vegetable season well into November. Other insects (due to no Winter kill) have decimated every seedling we planted and despite using organic insecticides we could not beat them this year. Every season is different – different highs and different lows – and we must go with the flow and cross our fingers that there will be enough for everyone. CSA’s – community supported agriculture – help farmers remain viable because they value community and take the risks as well as the benefits.

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VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS EGGPLANT + SUMMER SQUASH

We’ve had these 2 vegetables available for many, many weeks now, but never in enough numbers to be an “official” veggie of the week. But as staples of the garden they deserve recognition. Every year since we started being market gardeners we hear that there is too much Eggplant and Zucchini (a type of Summer Squash) and every year we plan to plant less and less of them so that we have a steady supply versus an over-abundance. Eggplant are ready to harvest early in the season and give a steady supply until frost comes. We started growing smaller sized Eggplant a few years ago so that no one is stuck with large amounts of large Eggplant. This website is chock-full of recipes – hundreds of them – for both Eggplant and Summer Squash. We actually planted over 200 Summer Squash (mostly Patty Pans) this year but the seedlings were eaten by Striped Cucumber Beetles, the seedlings that managed to grow couldn’t produce fruit because the Cucumber Beetle ate the flowers. Even growing a large variety of this prolific fruit didn’t help us to have very much of this garden staple.
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Q: Where do chickens come from?
A: The Egg-plant.
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Huh?

Produce available this week (may vary depending upon location and availability): Salad Mix, Kale + Chard, Scallions, Beans, Sweet + Hot Peppers, Tomatoes (slicing, canning, cherry), Broccoli, Mushrooms, mini-Cucumbers, Savoy Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Garlic, and fresh herbs.
Spotted at the farm this week, Several Swallowtails munching on the same Wild Carrot plant, so many that they couldn’t all be photographed at once!
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How many Swallowtails can you spot?

 Stay dry everyone!

 

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The Autumnal Equinox – the balance between the light and the dark, the day and the night.

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A perfect time to highlight the Super Squash Squad.

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L-R: Acorn, Honeynut, Butternut, Long Pie Pumpkin, Thelma Sanders (Sweet Potato), Heart of Gold

Autumn’s sweetness seems to come with Winter Squash. Check out the Veggies! page for storage tips, recipes, and variety information. Our Heirloom have been the best performers with all the problems plaguing the Squash this year (no Winter kill = more insects to eat all your blossoms + fruit + stems, for example).

“What game do Elephants like to play with mice? SQUASH!”

While the Equinox has come, the weather doesn’t feel like Autumn quite yet and we’ve been blessed with a long season of Summer’s fruits – the longest season we’ve ever had Tomatoes a’plenty (we can still squeeze you in for a last chance at a hamper of tomatoes for canning!!!) … we can still Eat The Rainbow ….

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We took the time this week to preserve the bounty and we pickled Beans and Ghost Peppers and Ring of Fire Peppers.

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New this week we’ll have available Shepard’s Purse Tincture. We gathered the fresh leaves in April to make a tincture for ourselves but we made so much that we wanted to share! Available in 120 ml glass jars, you only need to take 1 ml (1/5 a teaspoon) per day, and the tincture will keep for 2 years in a cool dark area. Shepard’s Purse is used to reduce bleeding. Take 1 to 2 days before menstruation and up to 3 days during menstruation. Also helps with nosebleeds. To find out more, including safety information, precautions, and dosages,  please check out this article on WebMd and detailed info from Herbalist Richard Whelan.

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After filtering out the tincture.

We also have small amounts of Yellow Dock Tincture but only if requested. If you want to know if Yellow Dock would be beneficial to you please read this article.

We’re very excited to be having local company The Cheese Bar at our farm market this Saturday September 24th! 100% Canadian Artisanal Cheeses! They will be at the farm from 10 am to 2 pm tomorrow, don’t miss it!  Facebook event and The Cheese Bar info here. We are still offering Dig Your Own Tree at the farm during market times on Saturday’s 8 am to 2 pm.

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This is what Fall looks like to Rashel …. the gorgeous hues of Goldenrod, Purple Aster, White Aster, and the ripening goodness of Rosehips that will be harvested after a frost ….

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Tremblay Creek bank, while looking for the Heron.

And just for fun …

A Melon blessed by our local Heron 😉

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We picked so many Beans on Tuesday that all we could see when we closed our eyes was Beans …. and that’s a lot of Beans! We made some canned dilly beans, froze some, all to our heart’s content but still harvested close to 150 lbs of Beans this past week. And there’s more to come!

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Lennon bringing in the Bean harvest

Since Beans have already been veggie of the week (and we don’t see the point in duplication for a simple and well-known veggie) we’ve decided to feature ….

Watermelons and Cantaloupes!

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We thought they were all dead but we’re still picking a few more every week and will be until there is a frost. The most productive Watermelons have been Blacktail Mountain, Cream of Saskatchewan, and Baby Doll. The most productive Cantaloupe has been Oka (which has personal family significance and great Canadian historical significance).

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‘Oka’

Tomatoes are still looking beautiful these days ….

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Striped German, Nebraska Wedding, Bosque Blue, Oxheart, and more.

We now have Sun-dried Tomatoes available for sale, superb snacks! Those who’ve tried them can’t put them down, something like healthy chips 😉 We also now have Ghost Peppers for sale until the frost hits. We’re going to try pickling some this weekend!

Other veggies available this week include: Kale + Chard, Salad Mix, a variety of fresh herbs, Sweet Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Scallions, Garlic, and some surprises.

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Salad Mix

A note for farm members – we are open at the farm, rain or shine; starting next Monday Morris Rd will be closed as crews do work on the bridge, we’ll post details for the detour next week.

One of our CSA members has started a new business called Trust Our Gut, check them out on Facebook. They use all organic ingredients in their bone broths, including veggies from the Locally Germinated farm.

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This week they got all the Celery tops that others didn’t want, great way to share the bounty!

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We’re offering dig-your-own Maple Trees from the farm for $5 a Tree, dig as many as you can. Fall is the perfect time to plant Trees and these have been generously fertilized by our pastured chickens. Available until October.

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Until next week …

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While we were finishing up for the day, farm child Lennon was still busy picking BEANS and came back with SO MANY BEANS that he couldn’t even pick them all! It’s amazing what a couple of good rains and prolific pollinators will do!

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Photo by Jessica McCracken

This is the perfect week to try your hand at pickling beans, we have them in bulk!, and Jess is joining us at the farm again to do a demonstration for an easy way to pickle a multitude of vegetables. Stop by tomorrow between 9 and 10 am for the pickling demonstration and until 2 pm for the farm market!

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VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS

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CELERY!!!

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This is our first attempt ever at growing Celery and it’s been a resounding success! This is a very advanced crop to grow, so we only planted a small amount, in our richest and fluffiest raised bed, we watered it every other day, planted it densely, and voila! Beautiful Celery! This is a member exclusive as we only grew a small amount. To make sure your Celery last as long as possible in the fridge please make sure to store it in a sealed plastic bag. We’ve kept the big beautiful top leaves on as they are perfect for freezing, as is, and using later for vegetable/soup stock.

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Eat The Rainbow!

Another new (ish) crop we tried this year was sweet corn but it turns out it needs it to rain to produce large cobs, a failed experiment. We’re giving what we harvested away for free (some of you have already received these). The dried beans we planted with the corn did well and you’ll see those later in the season once they’ve fully dried out and we shuck them.

Results from the Tomato Taste-Test Fest confirmed that our favourites are indeed the best and let us know which new varieties to keep growing.

Top rated heirloom tomato varieties were: Lemon Boy, Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, Chocolate Stripe, Banana Legs, Bosque Blue, Black Plum, Nebraska Wedding, Oxheart, Peach, Missouri Love Apple, Sweetie, and Elfin.

Thank you to everyone who tasted and rated our tomatoes!

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Some dear CSA members shared with us another of their family dishes made with their weekly CSA veggies. “So I had all these little peppers that I got from you and decided to make stuffed peppers! I cut them open and made little boats that were fantastic! I also roasted your tomatoes and used that to cook them in! Your kale made it to the plate as well! What a great dinner tonight! Thanks!

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Another lovely surprise this week was that not all the cantaloupes and watermelons were dead and we found a basket full of melons, with more to come!

Veggies available this week …

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Week 16, September 9th, Leafy Greens, Tomatoes, Sweet + Hot Peppers, Spaghetti Squash, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Parsley, CELERY, Winter Squash (sweet potato, acorn, butternut), Scallions, Patty Pan, Eggplant.

Not pictured: BEANS, Basil, fresh Mint, Corn, Fennel, Kale, GARLIC.

What an abundance we’ve received with Summer’s last hurrah!

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VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS SAUCE TOMATOES

If you want to can your own tomatoes, make tomato sauce, or salsa, this is your last chance! If you want to try some of the varieties of heirloom tomatoes we grow come out to our Heirloom Tomato Taste-Test Fest this Saturday September 3rd! We’ll be doing a blind taste-test where you’ll rate tomatoes and at the end of the market we’ll announce the winners on Facebook. Try varieties such as Striped Chocolate, Black Cherry, Brandywine, Japanese Trifele, Eva Purple Ball, Banana Legs, Sweeties, Coyote, Black Plum, Oxheart, Lemon Boy, Peach, Nebraska Wedding, Yellow Pear, Elfin, Bosque Blue, Bing, and Missouri Pink Love Apple. From 10 – 11 we’ll have an educational presentation on tomato canning, with hand-outs.

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A CSA member getting ready to can tomato sauce!

 

Why did the tomato blush? Because it saw the salad dressing!

From one of Rashel’s favourite movies, Pulp Fiction, the Fox Force Five joke: “three tomatoes are walking down the street- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. baby tomato starts lagging behind. poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooshes him… and says, catch up!” Mia Wallace [Uma Thurman]

How do you fix a broken tomato? With tomato paste!

Why did the tomato go out with a prune? Because it couldn’t find a date!

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A dear friend reminded us that vegetables with holes in them are healthier for you. Plants can “hear” when other plants are being chewed on by insects and they are able to protect themselves by creating anti-oxidants. Blemished, “ugly” produce is healthy produce! Find out more at the Huffington Post.

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Rainbow Chard from 2014.

Fresh-picked produce available this week includes: Salad Mix, Sauce + Beefsteak + Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Bell Peppers + Sweet Snacking Peppers, HOT Peppers, Spaghetti Squash + Delicata Squash, Broccoli, Beans, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Parsley, Fennel, Mint, Scallions, Garlic, Kale, Chard, and always some surprises! We still have Rondeau calendars from PAWS Nature Nuggets as well!

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The crystal event was had last Saturday was a huge success and we’re talking about doing it again. Andrea from Neo-Vintage Artistry created necklaces on-site for folks after they bought a crystal from Jackie of Another Way. Wonderful, creative energy all day!

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ShopEco is such a beautiful store and we’re so blessed to be bringing our produce to their store each Wednesday. Some shots from a recent market day ….

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Pictures by Marie Woodliffe.

Does it seem like Fall is around the corner? We’ll see soon, have a great week everyone!

Next week we’ll be having another educational canning presentation, this time about peppers and chard, from 9 am to 10 am at our on-farm market. Here are some of the canned veggies that Jess has made and can help you to make for yourself!

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Pickled Carrots, Salsa Verde, Roasted Peppers, and more.

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