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Posts Tagged ‘spicy salad mix’

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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It was nice meeting all of you last week and seeing new faces as well as returning members – thank you all for being on this local farming journey with us!

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At Take Back The Farm in South Windsor

We haven’t had a break in the rain and so we haven’t been able to plant many new crops but so far the ones that were in the ground before the floods are doing just fine. We’ve been tending them while wading in water halfway up our knees and we tell ourselves we’re at the spa as the water is quite warm and that helps us get our work done. Our farming would be a total loss if not for our raised beds and we’ve been busy cleaning them up after getting out crops like bok choy and getting ready to put in broccoli and cauliflower and other fun goodies, we’ve had to use diatomaceous earth as the slugs as quite prolific this year. Our garlic crop would be a loss if not for the raised beds so we’re grateful for all the hard work we put in last year to create them.

IMG_0177Unfortunately most of the folks who signed up to do the work share option have not been able to come through and help us and we are in big need of some volunteers to help us with harvesting on Mondays from 8am-12pm. If you’re interested but want to volunteer at a different time or day please contact us as we might be able to use your help. Last week we had a lovely time with volunteers harvesting and sorting spinach, bok choy, kale, and garlic scapes (thank you to Marie for showing us a trick to get a more abundant harvest) – it’s great conversation and laughs 🙂

IMG_0231New this week you will see some fresh herbs….

L - R Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Arugula

L – R Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Arugula

We’re taking off a small amount of peas and by next week we’ll be swimming in them!

IMG_7601We’ll have some rainbow radishes as well but they aren’t faring so well with all the rain.

IMG_7594We’ll have more rainbow salad mix and rainbow kale as well as a savoury salad mix with “spicy” mustard greens and scallions. When we opened up some of our beds to harvest we found MONSTER kale and MONSTER collards in there!

IMG_0199We’re bringing in more mini-cucumbers, tomatoes, and mushrooms to help round out the baskets while we wait for the flush of peas.

Now if it would just stop raining so we can finish planting…..see you all soon!

Week 1 offerings at Take Back The Farm in South Windsor

Week 1 offerings at Take Back The Farm in South Windsor

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