Posts Tagged ‘rainbow carrots’

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.


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.





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.


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.


Adolescent Squash Vine Borers.


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.


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.




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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Some highlights of our gardening adventures in July

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A mid-July harvest of Kale, Collards, Radnips, Carrots, Beans, and Romaine Lettuce.

Happy Smiling Sunflowers.




Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Farmer Andrea’s Kales are Trees.

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Farmer Andrea’s Companion Planting of Beets and Broccoli is thriving.


The heat of Summer brings on goodies like Tomatoes (variety: Bosche Blue), Eggplant, Summer Squash (Zucchini + Patty Pan), Winter Squash (like this Acorn Squash), and Watermelon.

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Farmer Faenin is proud of how large his Onions are, these are early ones.


A Pear Tree planted for baby Lennon 17 years ago has it’s first Red Pear; a lovely Butterfly is sipping sweet juice from rotting fruit.

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‘Seal’ Lavender throwing up the largest spears of all our varieties.


First time growing Wild Tobacco, for ceremonial purposes.

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View of perennial beds of Sorrel, Onions (for seed), Chamomile, Plantain, Calendula, Horseradish, Chives, Strawberries, Asparagus, and Raspberries, with some Ground Cherries thrown in.


One of only a few successful Cucumbers.


It might be time to stop trying to grow Cucumbers outdoors. Between the insects and the mildew it’s a whole lot of work for nothing most years. We keep on trying because we love the taste of field Cukes in varieties not found in any store.


July is Garlic harvesting, and hanging to dry time. Many thanks to Paul + Andy for getting most of these beauties out of the field.



pretty little garlic all in a row

Farmer Andrea’s mom came to visit and they harvested some monster Kale!

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Farmer Andrea also introduced the Veggie-Table. Held outside an art studio she shares with her partner, they are bringing Fresh, Local Veggies + Art to downtown Tilbury.



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Certified organic Portabello Mushrooms from Highline Mushrooms in Kingsville.

This week and every week to come make sure to check out the VEGGIES! tab on the blog for updates and recipes for every vegetable we grow and sell. We also update with all the varieties we’re growing in 2016. This week we added fantastic and easy recipes for Portabello’s including Grilled, Vegan Pizza, and 24 ideas from Canadian Living. This week only we’re offering a reduced price on these super fresh and local goodies.

After the last 2 very hot weeks I was inspired by this link for No Heat Summer Potluck Dishes for all from thekitchn.

From the farm children – Jokes of the week:

Q: Why was the mushroom invited to lots of parties?
A: Because he was a fungi to be with!
Q: What do you call a fast fungus?
A: A mush-vroom.




Produce available this week includes: the last of the Alliums for a couple of weeks (leeks, scallions, baby garlic), Portabello Mushrooms, the last of the Rainbow Carrots until later in the season (perfect for making Soup Stock), Potted Basil for the home garden, Radishes, small amounts of Broccoli, our unique Salad Mix (includes a wide number of lettuce varieties as well as arugula, parsley, fennel, and sorrel), fresh herbs (Cilantro, Sage, Thyme, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Arugula, Fennel, Mint), herbal teas (mint, lemon balm, nettles).


French Breakfast Radishes are the fastest growers!

We get a lot of our fresh herbs from Union Herbs, a local small-scale start-up located in Ruthven. Check them out on Facebook to see what they’re up to! In exchange for herbs they receive a share of our produce, here’s a picture from Union Herbs of last week’s offerings ….


Radishes, Salad Mix, Rainbow Carrots, Baby Garlic, Leek

For our farm market members and customers – it’s the last week to pick up your certified organic vegetable seedlings, maple trees, and potted purple coneflower.


Artwork by Andrea Nickerson of Neo-Vintage Artistry

Our first market day with The Cheese Bar went very well! Some pictures….


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We’ll regularly have fresh cut farm flowers from seasonal blooms ….


ShopEco took a great little video of our first CSA Member Pickup and Market day, you can find it on their Facebook page.

This Saturday we’re joined by MFA Tavis Lea of Petropunk for a “plein-air” landscape painting class. See event details on our Facebook page. Keep updated on all our market events on Facebook or on the tab “Foraging + Market Events“.


Tavis Lea, MFA, of Petropunk

Around the farm this week ….


Harvesting Wildflowers from a nearby wild space.


Frog Friend we found on our wildflower adventure.

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The largest Fox Snake we’ve seen in many years. It thought it was well camouflaged in this location.





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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!


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?



Carrots make for the funniest pictures



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

What cheese is made backwards?


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 ….


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


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.


Nettles + Motherwort hang as though in an art gallery



Mint + Lemon Balm hanging to dry

Even our Plantain is a magickal purple colour ….


Plantain will make it’s way into healing salves

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


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.



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.


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!


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


Bumblebee and Magnolia Tree

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








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We’re not quite all done with our farming season – there are still beds to be put to rest for the Winter, and preparations for next season – but we are done with our regular weekly vegetable harvesting. After receiving some beautiful pictures taken from the last week of our CSA season I realized that all along the pics I post are from the previous week’s adventures. So of course I have to have a postscript to share these wonderful images. Many thanks again to Andrea Nickerson for all you’ve done for us this season, not the least of which is being a wonderful friend and photographer.

View of the fields showing the Brussel Sprouts before harvest. The Rainbow Chard is next to them.

View of a field showing the Brussel Sprouts before harvest. The Rainbow Chard is next to them.

Harvesting Brussel Sprout stalks required using Tree trimmers to get through the woody material.

Harvesting the Brussel Sprout stalks required the use of Tree trimmers to get through the woody material.

Can you see the spiral-like pattern on these Brussel Sprout stalks?

Can you see the spiral-like pattern on these Brussel Sprout stalks?

9yo Oddy harvesting Leeks. Our first time growing them so we only grew a few to experiment.

9yo Oddy harvesting Leeks. Our first time growing them so we only grew a small amount to experiment with.

Two new crops this year - Fennel and Leeks. We are letting the Fennel go to seed to see if we can collect it for next season and to see if it will self-seed. Perhaps we'll have enough to sell the seeds as a culinary treat. If nothing else the Swallowtails, Bees, and other beneficial Insects are appreciative that we left these Umbels.

Two new crops this year – Fennel and Leeks. We are letting the Fennel go to seed to see if we can collect it for next season and to see if it will self-seed. Perhaps we’ll have enough to sell the seeds as a culinary treat. If nothing else the Swallowtails, Bees, and other beneficial Insects are appreciative that we left these Umbels.

10yo Faenin harvesting Salad Turnips, our new favourite vegetable.

10yo Faenin harvesting Salad Turnips, our new favourite vegetable.

A beautiful morning for our last harvest day. Thanks to Amanda P for all her help. This is the Radish harvest.

A beautiful morning for our last harvest day. Thanks to Amanda P for all her help. This is a Radish harvest.

Winter Radishes and other Root crops provide beautiful and funny veggies for eating.

Winter Radishes and other Root crops provide beautiful and funny veggies for eating.

Heritage Pear Tree.

Heritage Pear Tree.

Fresh view.

Fresh view.

Squidget the Hunter. Circle of Life.

Squidget the Hunter. Circle of Life.

Mineral + Vitamin rich soil. Clay can be hard to work but the health benefits and more flavourful veggies are worth the trouble.

Mineral + Vitamin rich soil. Clay can be hard to work with but the health benefits and more flavourful veggies are worth the trouble.


A much appreciated thank you note.

A much appreciated thank you note.

Local veggie lover Jessica McCracken brought home a whole lotta produce to stock up for the Winter and shared these pics and some of her pickling, canning, and dinner efforts:



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

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

A lovely gift of Spicy Pickled Chard Stems.

A lovely gift of Spicy Pickled Chard Stems from Jessica McCracken.

Deliciously dirty.

Deliciously dirty.

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We are at Week 10 – the halfway point, the middle – we are betwixt and between. To celebrate we’ve added up everyone’s total credit used so far this season, feel free to check in to see where you’re at. 🙂

An important note for members who pick up at ShopEco! Pickup will be at their NEW location this Tuesday August 18th – located at 1645 Wyandotte St E (with Envy Boutique). To reach the parking lot, just turn down Windermere, and then make a right at the little alleyway. The parking spaces for Envy and ShopEco are the first five spaces right outside the shop. ShopEco will NOT be open this Tuesday as they are moving but will re-open on Wednesday August 19th.

11112481_799600493493973_7599578116448054026_oOur Kale has been hit hard by little green caterpillars who somehow got under the insect netting and hatched out by the hundreds and have decimated the crop. We’re giving the Kale a break but will have more next week along with some delicious new recipes to try.

There are some caterpillars we don’t mind seeing…..We shared pics of Swallowtail caterpillars in with the Dill but now we are finding them in with the Fennel….Love these creatures!

fennel swallowtailNew this week is Fennel!

fennelSome recipes for Fennel….

From chef Dan at the Beacon Alehouse in Amherstburg: Apple Fennel Slaw, it’s great with pork dishes or a salad. I got a sample of this and it was awesome!

3 apples, shredded or mandolined

1 Fennel bulb, shredded

1/2 tbsp fresh cracked pepper

1 Garlic clover, minced

1/3 cup of oil

3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or malt vinegar)

Mix all ingredients together

We’ll have more chef recipes for Fennel next week but keep an eye on our Facebook page for more yummy ways to eat this unique veggie!

Other recipe ideas can be found on allrecipes.com, Canadian Living, Fennel Zucchini Tomato Soup, and if you’re adventurous on Martha Stewart’s website.

In limited quantities this week we have…..

Inter-varietal Carrot Love

Inter-varietal Carrot Love

bunching carrotsOn the pick list this week (will vary from location to location):

Rainbow Carrots

Heirloom Tomatoes

Wild Rainbow Salad Mix

Pea Shoots + Parsley

a variety of Herbs – Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage


Garlic and Onions

Field Cucumbers

Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Okra, Eggplant

Cabbage – Red, Chinese.

Delicata Squash

We may even see some early Cauliflower! We never know what surprises lurk…..


Cool Kohlrabi

Cool Kohlrabi

We had to pick most of our Squash and Pumpkins this week due to the Squash Vine Borer and it’s now curing for later use. More on that next week but at least the chickens got some good treats! Speaking of chickens…..some new chicks came this week and we discovered something sweet and cute with our broody mom and her wee ones ….

Broody mama has 4 chicks and they sleep like this every night - 2 under her wings, 1 underneath her, and 1 on top.

Broody mama has 4 chicks and they sleep like this every night – 2 under her wings, 1 underneath her, and 1 on top.

Time to sign off and get some rest in preparation for the Belle River Farmers Market tomorrow and another busy farm week ahead – can’t wait to hear what you’ve all been cooking up this week!

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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!


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


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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