Now that the first share pickup of the 2014 season is under my belt, I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief. There is an anxious anticipation that comes with the first pickup as I wonder if I will remember what to do and how to do it. Luckily, my memory served me well and everything went smoothly!
This week has been similar to last, with most of our time spent weeding and maintaining the crops. I had been noticing some damage on some plants (swiss chard and basil) that was a bit mysterious, but I've decided it's a result of wind damage. Our farm is located in the north of Wellington County and is one of the highest elevations in Ontario (...really! I was surprised too!). This high elevation means two things: first, we are in a 4b growing zone compared to a 5a zone which surrounds us (including Guelph). For non-gardeners, growing zones are based on the number of frost-free days in the years; the higher the number, the more frost-free days there are. The second thing this high elevation means is that we often have high winds. More than disease, insects, water needs, and heat, I find the high winds to be the hardest variable to manage. If you ever drive by, don't be surprised to see us wrestling row cover, fighting with tarps, or chasing our hats across the field. To ameliorate the affects of the wind, we have planted a wind break of spruce and popular around the entire 10 acres. We have also planted alley crops of nut trees throughout the hay field. However, trees are not instantaneous in their protection and it will be a few years before we reap the benefits.
On the non-vegetable front, we added another two animals to our menagerie this weekend: Thelma and Louise, two Nigerian Dwarf goats. In addition to providing Theo (the Llama) with company, we plan to milk Thelma and Louise for personal use. Although tiny, Nigerian Dwarf goats are excellent milkers and have one of the highest butterfat contents of all dairy goats. Which means their milk is excellent for cheese! And, really, who are we kidding, that's what we really want...
A Special Thank-you...
An important part of marketing our shares to new members are the personal referrals we receive from existing share members. Thanks to our fabulous members, we received 9 new share members as a direct result of personal referrals! Below are a list of the share members who made these referrals, and the number of members they referred:
Melanie S., 4
Laura K., 2
Rich S., 2
Dave B., 1
Thank-you very much, share members! For every share member you referred, you will receive $20 in farm credits. These credits can be used on items like honey, eggs, apples, beeswax candles, and other products we sell. Or, they can be saved until next year and used towards your 2015 share. Please speak to me directly about using these credits. And we can't forget to thank St. James Anglican Church, for the advertising they have done on our behalf. I know numerous members have found us as a result of their advertising.
Garlic Scape Pesto
2 cups garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until mostly smooth. To make this pesto dairy-free, you can substitute 1/3 cup nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese.
This pesto is delicious tossed on pasta, spread on crackers, or served with fish.