Posts Tagged ‘nasturtiums’

Fall has arrived but it seems the weather has decided that we need more Summer and I’m happy about that.

By September we see what experiments and new techniques have failed or succeeded in the gardens.

Big failures were Cucumbers, Squash, and Melons. The companion planting technique of growing radishes nearby didn’t stop the voracious appetite of the Cucumber Beetle, not even a little. Without a Winter-kill these insects have HIGH numbers and they not only munch on blossoms (so that fruit doesn’t set) but they also eat tender fruits. Cucumber beetles enjoy the whole Cucurbit family which includes Cucumbers, Zucchini, Squash, and Melons like Cantaloupes. The Squash Vine Borers put the nail in the coffin of any hope of having Squash and Pumpkins this year. It seems that the best strategy will be to not grow any of these crops for a number of years in order to discourage the insects by not giving them their favourite foods to eat.

It was also a bad year for Watermelons and a sad year for us as we grew out the last of the seeds that Farmer Faenin has been saving for 8 years. Not sure what happened with the Watermelons – raised bed, too much shade, not enough water, something else? – but they were a failure.

Fortunately other techniques and crops worked out very well.

These Marigolds successfully kept away insects from the Pole Bean seed crop.


Alyssum made a wonderful companion in many beds, to many veggies.


This was the first year that Tomatoes and Peppers were grown in the raised beds and at first I was skeptical that they would turn out due to the high nitrogen in the beds (which encourages leafy growth and discourages fruit production). I was very pleasantly wrong!

The Sweet Peppers were a bumper crop again this year! They love the heat and don’t mind not getting rained on!



We theorized that we wouldn’t have many Hornworms this year, as the Tomatoes were planted quite far away from any place they’ve been planted ever, but they arrived anyway. It wouldn’t be Summer without a pic of these creatures.

hornworm collage1.jpg

The Tomato plants and fruits were the largest we’ve ever seen. Tomatoes that should have been on the smaller size were as large as any other Beefsteak. Some grew like Tree trunks!

tomato tree1

tomato tree.jpg

In Fall we see new blossoms and new blooms.

From the Wild Area….

Some unknown flowers

unknown bloom

unknown bloom1

Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)

This wildflower has really taken off and spread despite 2 years of drought.


Colourful Yarrow still producing blooms. Two different colours on the same stalk.

yarrow colour

There are many new creatures, and food for the creatures.


The Lemon Balm is also thriving despite 2 droughts and getting frost-bitten in April.

lemon balm

Hummingbirds enjoy visiting this Nasturtium Forest.


Fennel is planted as a host plant (food source) for Swallowtails and a late season treat for humans.


Fennel fronds are beautiful and tasty.


Behind the Fennel you can see a small “tunnel”, it’s a way to protect crops from insects but also from frost. We have a small patch of Red Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, and Cauliflower that we’ll be harvesting and eating in to November.


Can’t get enough of the Praying Mantis. This female is in her Fall colour and looking for a suitable place to lay her eggs.


From the Veggie-Table….

Our beautiful Garlic can’t be beat, be sure to stock up and get bulk amounts to last until next June!


Farmer Andrea having fun with Peppers …. “Hello, Operator? These Peppers are off the hook!”



Despite what heat alerts say, Fall has indeed arrived and we are getting less and less Sunlight every day …. There’s something about Fall shadows ….


Monarda (Bee Balm) in Fall colours.

bee balm

Yarrow flowers in Fall colours.


Soft and fuzzy Yarrow leaves.

yarrow sof

My last chance to get dirty and enjoy the heat before Winter sets in …

dirty feet




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A reminder that the final week of the CSA veggie pickup is currently undetermined and may be in up to a month (or more) from now, it depends on the weather but there will be 1 more final veggie pickup. We will send out emails and post on the blog when we know when the final pickup will be.

One thing we did on our “week off” was plant Garlic in several different places to see how well it does – in black plastic (after removing the previous crop), in a compost-rich raised bed, and in this raised bed made of spoiled hay.





Pick List Week #18:

Dried Black Beans: we grew out a pole bean called Cherokee ‘Trail of Tears’. It was supposed to be harvested as a fresh bean but we had so many Dragon beans that we decided to keep these heirloom beans as a seed and dried bean crop. The seeds we planted this year have been saved by Rashel every year for the last 7 years. When the Cherokee were forced from their homes and made to walk what is now called the Trail of Tears one of the only things they had left when the walk was over were these beans. They have an incredible tale to tell. Keep them to use as a dried black bean or save them to plant or to share with others.

Watermelon, Squash, or Pumpkin courtesy of Meme and Pepe’s garden in Pointe-Aux-Roches


Rainbow Kale

Lettuce – this week’s lettuce mix is a spicier, more flavourful mix of mostly Asian greens. It has a mix of Tatsoi, Mizuna, Red Giant, Scarlet Frills, Arugula, and more, mixed with Pea Shoots, Parsley, and Nasturtiums. Most of the greens can also be used for braising or in a stir fry.003



Photo Courtesy of Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin

This past week we were fortunate to attend the launch of the Good Food Charter of Windsor-Essex, the culmination of years of work from dedicated community members currently operating as Food Matters Windsor-Essex. There were over a dozen local chefs featuring a wide variety of delicious dishes made of local ingredients. Chef Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin of the Iron Kettle B&B in Comber used our Sunchokes to make a delicious creamy soup as well as a cornbread.


Photo courtesy of Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin


Photo courtesy of Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin











Remember to watch out for grubs in the Sunchoke tubers (we are looking into this problem but as you’ll see in the following link everyone says there are no problems with pests in Sunchokes), Chef Ben suggests putting the tubers in hot water to flush out the grubs before scrubbing and prepping for a meal. You can also plant them! Find out more and get some great recipes from Mother Earth News.

 Week #18 Basket

Pictured: Watermelon, Salad Mix, Rainbow Kale, Sunchokes, Garlic, Dried Black Beans, Red Kuri Squash

Pictured: Watermelon, Salad Mix, Rainbow Kale, Sunchokes, Garlic, Dried Black Beans, Red Kuri Squash


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Happy Fall Equinox! We have been preparing for the cool weather and the end of the weekly veggies by planting out the last of our crops. We’ve seeded Beets, Turnips, Radishes, and Salad Mix, and transplanted Scallions and Brassicas (Kales, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kohlrabi). We made room in raised beds for the Brassicas as well as experimenting with transplanting them into the black plastic where other crops have finished their time.


Red Cabbage inter-planted with Scallions

We spent an interesting afternoon harvesting all of our Watermelons and finding space for them. I am declaring Watermelons our official bumper crop for 2014!

Pick List (items vary depending upon location) :

New this Week, Tomatillos. Native to Mexico and part of the Tomato family, there are many ways to enjoy Tomatillos – Salsa Verde and Green Sauce are the most popular ways, you can find more recipes at All Recipes! They are good eaten as they are, added to salads, or as a farm member suggested, slightly warmed up as a side to eggs. It’s just a small sampling this week, this is our first time growing Tomatillos so we didn’t plant very much. But they have thrived in an area where nothing else has grown very well so they will likely make it in our regular rotation in future years.

Pictured below: Toma Verde and De Milpa Tomatillos















Watermelons – they might be pink, red, yellow, or white inside but they are all super sweet and delicious!

Sandwich Tomatoes -if we decide to pick them again next week they will be green and I’ll have to search out some recipes beyond “fried green tomatoes” as a way to use them up

Cherry Tomatoes – very limited quantities and the last week for them

Hot Peppers – Maya Habanero and Black Hungarian

Chinese Eggplant, Sweet Peppers

Baby Beets – limited quantities

Spaghetti Squash – very limited quantities

Leafy Greens – Rainbow Kale, Rainbow Chard, Parsley, Salad Mix with Nasturtiums


Pretty, edible, flavourful – Nasturtium flowers. This week we saw Hummingbirds sipping their nectar.

There is no weekly basket picture this week. We’ve had to make a patchwork of sorts for this week and there are too many variables in each share to take a picture of this weeks “typical” veggie haul. Plus, our photographer is out of town 😉





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Note: this was just a quick and abridged version of the weekly blog post. (Stay tuned for pictures to be added as well as links and more info.)

Every Tuesday except for 1 in the last 11 weeks it has rained and stormed and yesterday was no exception. We were sopping wet. Pictures were not taken. The bare minimum was done to get the veggies harvested and put away. It seemed ridiculous to be hand-washing Beets in the pouring rain but there we were. And the veggies are waiting to be packed up and taken to Windsor this afternoon.

On this week’s Pick list (items will vary with location) :

Salad Mix (Nasturtium flowers)

Candy Cherry Tomatoes – if you find you are getting too many of these try slicing them in half and dehydrating them to have a supply of sun-dried tomatoes for the Winter

Sandwich and Sauce Tomatoes – great week to turn our delicious tomatoes into sauce for the Winter

Delicious Sauce Tomatoes!

Delicious Sauce Tomatoes!

Sweet Peppers – Lunchbox (the small red ones look like hot peppers but they are super sweet and tasty!), Glow (orange bell), Islander (purple pepper), King of the North (red bell), King Crimson (red bell).

Eat the Rainbow!

Eat the Rainbow!

Lunchbox Snacking Peppers

Lunchbox Snacking Peppers

Hot Peppers

Eggplant or Summer Squash (this is likely the last week for Summer Squash, the plants will be done by next week)

Cucumbers – Armenian “Snake”, Slicers, Lemon, Boothby’s,

Rainbow Beets and Turnips

Select locations are getting Watermelon – please be assured everyone will get a Watermelon. This week Watermelons are going to members who pick up at Take Back The Farm and The Urban Greenhouse, where I will be from 4pm until 7 pm today. Don’t forget I’ll have Organic Pickles and Local Honey for sale!

A note about the Watermelons – many of the fruits that are ready right now are yellow or white inside so please don’t fret and think that you got an unripe one, you won’t know until you try it!

Farming note: Mildew and mold have swept through all the plants due to the cold and wet weather, mostly the wet. Basil has been decimated, Dragon Beans, too. Our first plantings of Cucumbers are done. It is affecting the Tomatoes badly though they are still producing. <fingers crossed> it doesn’t get any worse!

Bounty of the County Week! Too much to all be pictured! Several POUNDS of Sauce Tomatoes, Candy Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Armenian Cucumber, SWEET Peppers, Salad mix with Nasturtiums, Rainbow Beets + Turnips, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Watermelon.

Bounty of the County Week, too much to all be pictured! Several POUNDS of: Sauce Tomatoes, Candy Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Armenian Cucumber, SWEET Peppers, Eggplant, and Summer Squash. Salad mix with Nasturtiums, Rainbow Beets + Turnips, Watermelon, bonus Hot Peppers.


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Pick List (for certain):

Please note that amounts and types of produce may change, are subject to availability, and when there is a choice, are first come first serve.

fresh uncured Garlic

the last of the Peas

Salad and Lettuce Mix with Nasturtiums

a mix of Kale, Collards, and Rainbow Chard

Carrots (for Regular and Large only)

Summer Squash (a large variety of Zucchini, also Yellow Crookneck and Patty Pan)

Pick List (maybe):

Daikon Radishes

Turnips and Beets

Broccoli florets

Recipe: Try this Massaged Kale Salad with shredded (or diced or sliced) Turnips, Daikon Radishes, Summer Squash, Peas, and Garlic.

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