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Posts Tagged ‘swallowtail butterflies’

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.

marigolds

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

alyssum.jpg

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!

peppers

peppers2.jpg

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.

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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.

rudbeckia

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

yarrow colour

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

flutterby.jpg

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

lemon balm

Hummingbirds enjoy visiting this Nasturtium Forest.

nasturtium

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

fennel

Fennel fronds are beautiful and tasty.

fennel1

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.

cabbage

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.

mantis

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!

sept13-garlic-promo.jpg

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

andrea.jpg

andrea1.jpg

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 ….

shadow.jpg

Monarda (Bee Balm) in Fall colours.

bee balm

Yarrow flowers in Fall colours.

yarrow.jpg

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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This has been a week of illness, injury and serious raining that has kept us from being able to be at some of our pickup locations and seriously hampered our ability to get into the fields and do more planting. A very big thank you to Marie, Deb, Andrea, Amanda, and Mike for stepping up and stepping in when they were needed. Big, big appreciation for these folks. Note: We are open this holiday Wednesday for CSA pickups and for our on-farm market at our regular time of 4 – 7 pm. We’ve had to look at our plans and to abandon some crops as it’s just too late to be able to plant them at this point. So sad to not have a Watermelon crop this year though we managed to sneak a few in for a small crop because otherwise the farm children would never have stopped pestering us to plant them. There is still a chance we’ll get more Cucumbers and Squash in but that possibility is slim at this point. There are many crops still waiting to be planted and we’re not sure what the veggie offerings are going to look like in several weeks from now with such a large gap in our planting schedule, only time will tell. Life around the farm this week as told in picture collages….

From top L - Beets are germinated and waiting for the Rain to cease to be planted; Squash blossoms; Tomatoes are fruiting!; Beans inter-planted with Chard have blossoms and small fruit!

From top L – Beets are germinated and waiting for the Rain to cease to be planted; Squash blossoms; Itty bitty Tomatoes fruiting in their tray!; Beans inter-planted with Chard have blossoms and small fruit!

From top L - Fungi popping up everywhere; Unknown Caterpillar; Zebra Caterpillar (a crop damaging insect); Brussel Sprouts looking good under floating row cover

From top L – Fungi popping up everywhere; Unidentified Caterpillar; Zebra Caterpillar (a crop damaging insect); Brussel Sprouts looking good under floating row cover. This week we’ve also seen a Grasshopper emerging from it’s old “skin” and Tortoise Beetles being “born” and feasting on Thistles (yay!) as well as several Snakes who are helping our Farm Cat take care of the Mole/Vole/Mouse problem.

From top L - Cool view of our greenhouse; more Beehives have arrived!; beautiful Rainbow Chard; Pumpkin Patch.

From top L – Cool view of our greenhouse; more Beehives have arrived!; beautiful Rainbow Chard; Pumpkin Patch (with BIG thanks to Daniel, Tammy, and fam for helping to lay down the rotted hay between the rows).

From our Facebook page this week….

It was a thrill to get some of our produce into the hands of the chef at the Iron Kettle!

It was a thrill to get some of our produce into the hands of the chef at the Iron Kettle in Comber!

An awesome foraging walk around the farm for Wild Strawberries and Mulberries, we had a feast!

An awesome foraging walk around the farm for Wild Strawberries, Mulberries, and Service Berries – we had a feast! A young friend picked himself a “tree” as a “treat to-go”. Most of the Mulberries will have been knocked down from all the wind now….sadly for us humans.

Swallowtail Caterpillar eating Dill, there's enough for everyone; CSA pickup outside ShopEco.

Swallowtail Caterpillar eating Dill: There’s enough for everyone; CSA pickup outside ShopEco.

How to properly store our Rainbow Salad Mix: Spin dry or pat dry the leaves and then store in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge, add a towel for extra moisture absorption. We got an industrial salad spinner this week that will dry off the leafy greens more efficiently so that your Salad Mix lasts longer. 10400032_791581667629189_705065778279196958_n It is possible to change your pickup location if you need to make a change. Just let me know 1 day in advance that you want to pick up at a different location so that I can plan to bring enough produce. This week’s crop list (as far as I can tell without having been out harvesting due to the torrential rain and winds): Sugar Snap Peas – they have plumped up and sweetened up, a really delicious seasonal treat! There will be some Purple Peas mixed in there, too, a new crop we’re trialing this year. Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Rainbow Kale, Rainbow Chard, Dill, Arugula, a limited number of Scallions (green onions), mini-cucumbers, mushrooms, portabellos, and eggplant. I hope to find something new as a surprise….you never know what you might find out there! One last note – if you’re ever willing able to help out at the farm we won’t turn down an offer of help! We’d love for every member to see the farm at least once so that you know how and where your food is grown so please let us know if you’d like to come out and see us!

Garlic is coming soon! With thanks to Andrea Nickerson for most of the photo credits in this post!

Garlic is coming soon!
Thanks to Andrea Nickerson for most of the photo credits in this post!

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