This week is Kimmy’s last week with us and it’s hard to believe six months have gone so quickly! At the end of the week, Kim will be returning to Ottawa to work and save money during the winter months. After that, she’s hopefully off to Hawaii! Thanks for all your hard work Kimmy and best wishes on your future travels!
While I still have an extra pair of helping hands, Kim and I have spent time the last week moving our caterpillar tunnels. One tunnel is now in place and ready to go for tomato and pepper transplants next summer. The other caterpillar is covering some greens, lettuce, and carrots that we hope to harvest for ourselves over the winter months. After years of growing our own food, we just can’t stomach the lettuce from the grocery store in the winter months, so we try to grow as much as we can for our own use.
Since this is our second-last week in the CSA season, it is the perfect time to gather feedback from our share members. Please complete this online survey to help us with our crop and business planning for next season. The survey is very short and should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. Using the results of the survey, I make decisions regarding which crops to grow and in what quantities, as well as any administrative improvements we could make to our CSA program. Thank you in advance for your responses.
Weekly Share Contents:
Arugula OR Savoy Cabbage
A new addition to shares this week are parsnips. An often unloved vegetable, I think parsnips can be adaptable and delicious! Our favourite ways to eat parsnips are: cooked and mashed with mashed potatoes, chopped into oven fries, or made into parsnip soup. For some more ideas, try this link out.
Have you ever had a week that was a complete 'gong show'?! I think last week qualified as one for me and the farm! As many of the Guelph share members know, Rob had to do an emergency drop-off of veggies last Wednesday because my appendix decided to rebel with force mid-way to Guelph. After spending time in the ER being poked and prodded, I am doing much better! It seems that my appendix has decided to be less recalcitrant and I avoided surgery :)
Rob and I would like to offer a big thank-you to all share members for your patience with Rob’s late set-up. And thank-you to the share members that helped Rob get all the produce on the table and labelled. This is what community is all about! Of course, the batteries in the scales chose that day to die a slow death, so I’m sure that was an inconvenience for members. I have bought several new batteries – here’s hoping I remember to bring them with me!
On a sadder note, we had to euthanize our one goat, Louis, on Saturday. When Kimmy woke up at 5am she heard a goat in distress. After waking us and Rob examined him, we called the vet. Unfortunately, he had developed a urinary blockage that couldn’t be remedied due to him being young at the time of his castration. He was in significant pain so euthanization seemed like the most humane choice. His best goat friend, Thelma, is feeling lonely without him but we hope she starts feeling better soon.
Now on to brighter news...
Several share members have been asking out reserving their shares for next year. For now, I am keeping a waiting list of interested members. Once we have the details for next year solidified, I will email everyone on the list to confirm their interest. Please email me if you would like to be added to this list. While we haven’t finalized everything for next year, here is what we are hoping for:
We ask for payment to reserve a share but don’t start accepting payments until January 2016. This makes our accounting easier if we keep 2016 sales in 2016.
Weekly Share Contents:
Spinach or Kale
With the advent of weather that feels very much like fall, roasted root vegetables seem like a great meal. Here is a recipe for some hearty roasted vegetables. http://www.canadianliving.com/food/roasted_root_vegetables_with_thyme.php
Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! I hope each of you has gathered with friends or family and eaten lots of delicious local produce! We are off to my parents today to enjoy some Thanksgiving feasting.
I have so many things to be thankful for. The two that seem most relevant today are the daily opportunity to work in partnership with nature and our full pantry stocked with healthy and homegrown foods. I am privileged indeed to live in a country that allows me the freedom to run my own business and provide others with the fruits of our labour.
This past week, Kimmy and I were busy planting all our garlic for 2016. You can look forward to greater quantities and several different varieties next year! Rob is also experimenting with growing garlic from the bubils (the seed of the garlic). This is a much more economical way of increasing your yields, but it takes two years to produce full size cloves.
Thank-you to everyone who reserved a fall box: we are now sold out. If you are still interested, I can put you on the wait list in the event that we have enough extra vegetables to fill another box.
Weekly Share Contents:
Arugula or Kale
Two new items in this week's share are daikon radishes and winter kohlrabi. Winter kohlrabi is very similar to spring kohlrabi, except that it generally grows bigger and the skin is thicker, so should be peeled. It stores very well at fridge temperature and is yummy made into fritters, fries, or grated raw into salads.
Daikon radishes are a winter radish that are white and oblong. Similar to spring radishes, they have a bit of spicy bite and are best used raw in salads. They are also the classic radish used when making fermented kim chi.
For more information and recipe ideas on these new vegetables, check these links out:
This morning Kimmy and I were busy pulling out eggplant, pepper, and some tomato plants. It's a sure sign that summer is over when these crops make it to the compost heap! While there are still many crops in the field, many of our beds are empty or covered with dead and mulched crops. October is not the most attractive time in the market garden, nor is it the most exciting. Many of the tasks revolve around pulling dead or spent plants, packing away supplies, and trying to keep our fingers warm on harvest days!
Nonetheless, there are still exciting things going on around here. We are preparing to plant our garlic this week. We are tripling the amount of garlic we harvested this year with the intention of growing our garlic production significantly over the next few years. Eventually, we would like to grow garlic in wholesale quantities. I have also been doing some tentative crop planning for next year. While I do the final plan in the winter months, I do the preliminaries now so that we know which beds will need manure spread on them this fall. On that vein, we invite share members to let us know which vegetables they'd love to receive more of or which they'd rather not get so much of. I will be sending out a formal survey in later weeks but we always welcome informal feedback.
This week our farm was featured in the Rural Voice publication that is delivered to rural addresses in Wellington, Huron, Perth, Grey, and Bruce Counties. At the beginning of September the editor of the magazine visited our farm and chatted with Rob about his efforts to plant high numbers of fruit, nut, and hardwood trees on our property. Those of you who know Rob know that he is passionate about mitigating climate change through the planting of trees. We have come to a time on Earth that simply recycling and using compact fluorescent light bulbs is not nearly enough. A paper published by Oxford University demonstrates that planting large numbers of trees on the landscape is the most feasible and effective method for preventing climate collapse.
A few members indicated that they were interested in purchasing a turkey. Please confirm with me via email if you want one for to be brought with shares this Wednesday. I will only bring turkeys for those that have pre-arranged.
In addition to our regular shares, we still have 6 fall boxes available for purchase. These boxes are $40 and will be pre-packed and delivered on the last day of the regular share pickup. Included in the fall box are all the fall storage crops such as: potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, squash, onions, garlic, and others. These crops will be cured for storage and should last for at least 1-3 months, depending on the vegetable. If interested, please email me.
Weekly Share Contents
Pie Pumpkin OR Acorn Squash
This was our first year growing ground cherries for share members and they have been a very popular item! There will be plenty to go around this week and I thought you might like to know a little more about the ground cherry and some interesting ideas for using them up! http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/five-ways-to-eat-ground-cherries-98470003/?no-ist