Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Harvest is looking incredible!

Count down is on and this year I don't care about the first fall frost!  If we loose the sucky pepper patch, big deal.  Field tomatoes were desecrated weeks ago.... The cooler weather and first frost means sweet brussel sprouts, sweeter kale, won't hurt the broccoli and cauliflower, celery root or the cabbages. Last pick of corn is this week, so we won't be worried about that.  Beets and carrots are phenomenal as well and in abundance and harvest is definitely in full swing!  This is a very very productive month on farm as we scurry to load up the barn with the fall crops!  Mass potato harvest soon underway too.....

So enjoy the beautiful fall weather, head to market to stock up on all your fall favs and talk to us about your supply of juice carrots this winter!  We'll have lots to share thats for sure!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

No case/bulk Roma sales this year :(

Due to this cold, rainy summer our organic tomatoes took a beating. The crop will be composted due to mass anthracnose and blight diseases. So, unfortunately just not a tomato year! 

It's a loss, however it will not ruin us. We no longer have that need to 'control' Mother Nature and spray the hell out of everything, so we move on and concentrate on our crops that enjoy this rainy cooler weather. Carrots, beets, Kale, greens, fall broccoli, onions, celery, celeriac, fall cauliflower looking INCREDIBLE! As organic farmers we are not banking on one or even a few main crops - we move on! Psst: our Heirloom Tomatoes in the old greenhouses look great still thou ;)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our 2014 Corn Story

Our sweet corn starts this week! Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding regarding this late year with the corn! Your faces of anticipation at market when inquiring make growing the sweet corn so so worthwhile!  Late spring, cool weather = late corn. It's very rare we have July corn. The most asked question to us annually is "Why is there so much sweet corn available in July but yours isn't ready yet?" That's because most conventional sweet corn seed is chemically treated and is planted in cold spring soil. With our organic sweet corn we seed the corn when the soil is naturally warm later in the spring season as the seed is untreated and would otherwise rot. 

We've weeded and cultivated this crop and all plantings look fab! With all the rain we have not had to irrigate at all either. More time to weed :). This sweet corn seed is untreated and a non-GMO variety. The variety name is 'Vision'. All our seed invoices were collected and reviewed this year by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. Therefore you can have peace of mind that a third party has verified this information. We have sprayed this sweet corn with absolutely nothing!!!!!
Insect pressure is low this year. No doubt thanks to the long, cold winter. But we're sure the odd worm will be nibbling. A cob is not ruined if you find a corn boer worm nipping the top. Simply snip the tip of the cob off and you're good to enjoy the bounty of the rest of the sweet, succulent cob! It's a good thing when the creatures of the earth sample your food first!! ;)  And people, you don't need to open each cob to check for readiness! We do that when we harvest!!! Ask me (us) as market and I'll show you what makes a good cob! Quickly, a nice plump cob with deep brown silk is a good sign! 
Not only do we grow organic sweet corn, but this year we grew grain corn as well. We purchased this seed from DeDell Seeds. This company prides themselves in no-GMO varieties! We have not had grain corn on this farm for 20 years plus - but decided it would be good for our rotation this year. So here's a nice shot from our Instagram of Sade's licking the grain corn....and below Ben and Sade's standing by the tall, vibrant grain corn :)
And we also have some nice looking iroquois white corn we are growing for Chocosol this season pictured below. They will use this corn to construct their yummy yummy tortillas :))
It's organic corn city at our farm this year! Please enjoy folks!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today on the farm :)

It doesn't seem like the end of July already... I'm just now looking at our sweet onions, carrots, beets and other crops to harvest when they should be in full swing. The result of late plantings this year. And that means one thing: August is going to be very busy! All these blog pics were taken today on farm. 
Sweet corn is in tassel and the first pick should be in a couple weeks.  REMEMBER: because we grow certified organic sweet corn we do not plant treated seed. This means we plant later in May once the soil is naturally warm resulting in August corn annually :) We've weeded all the corn plantings and they are looking good. We should have glorious corn well into the fall months this year for all to enjoy. Always, Always NO GMO!!!!
Summer cabbage is now available :)
Our broccoli is also now available :)
Golden Beets are growing away and will be in abundance by next week. Same with the good ol' purple beets!! 
This is a second carrot patch geared more towards winter storage. Our first patch is ready for this week. I just had to share a picture because I am SO PROUD of how clean the patch is! It took a few days but my crew of 4 men did an awesome job weeding. I love them :) 
Patty Pan summer squash are plentiful but taking their sweet time! The cool nights have made them ripen slower and later. However shortly we will be swimming in them!!
And this week's brag photo! Our orange carrots will make an appearance at the Saturday market along with our sweet onions. Nutri-Red and Purple Haze carrots by next week. I need some more growth on them. Beets by next week too. Heirloom tomatoes are in full swing! Field cherry tomatoes are firing up too. Today we cleaned up the plants by going through and removing any cracked and harvesting the first :) 
We have an abundance of Cucumbers, zucs, kale, swiss chard, beans, peas and kohlrabi too at the markets! Enjoy summer eating with more coming :))

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ripeage, Stripeage and Sexy Sets!

The tomato jungle is in full swing and I adore wandering through the rows assessing and seeing the 'firsts'! The first sprig of colour showing through all the dense green foliage. The masses of bloom sets. The plump, heavy branches laden with glorious heirlooms! Ah, what an awesome way to kick start organic tomato growing!
We use certified organic composted manures to nourish these soon-to-be giants and though we could use fish emulsion too, the need has never presented itself. Rich, healthy dirt :)  The seeds to grow these beauties are sown annually no later than January.  Open pollinated, save your own seeds with most of these varieties - oh yeah!!
These are our covered fields and they house beets, lettuces, kale, radishes in between the vining tomatoes on non-walkways. Once those early crops finish they are rotto-tilled and kept sassy clean ;) Each tomato plant (we house 800 approx in each) is lovingly suckered and twined around tomato twine and reach the sky! Well, almost ;) They get up to 12-13 ft and are tossed over the steel beams and then grow downward! A sight to see seen this fall.
Heavy laden branches with the big first sexy sets of toms!
RIPEAGE! Hello beauty! The first sprig of colour peaking through...
Huge masses of sets with this particular variety which is a total winner! I call him simple 'lemon' but I think it's 'plum lemon' to other collectors. Prolific, prolific, prolific (and popular!)
STRIPEAGE!! The infamous Green Zebra. I've grown many a stripey's and this one's flavour and lime green colour is a very, very popular fav! 
I've done the over 100-200 varieties heirloom tomato trip, but decided to render my addiction down to 40 or so total on farm. A good two dozen are home in the covered fields, the rest grow in the outdoor fields. I found a lot of the varieties to be very similar and some we're very delicate, and not suitable for my climate and some with no disease resistance at all. I still find myself trying at least one or two new ones each year! (Psst..I'm a total sucker for the big heart shaped, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish types.)  It's been well over a decade now of growing and selling these Heirloom Tomatoes and I dare say I don't ever see myself slowing down! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quick Pic Farm Update ;)

Ok, so we are speeding right along now! The cool spring certainly set us back (onions are in a month later this year!) but crops seem to be on the upswing!
Strawberries are full swing. This week will be our most plentiful, then by next week they will dwindle. The flavour on these berries were excellent however the sweetness was not there. Cool weather I suppose. We've certainly enjoyed them and got our annual fill! 
The heirloom tomato jungle is going crazy!! We are so busy outside that these giants have to wait for a rain day or late eve suckering job! 
Kale!! Looking pretty decent! Huge patches of all green curly, RedBor and Dino kales. We did have some cut worm damage under the ground cloth, but we've also planted more than twice as much this year, so that should make up for it!
Peas!! Sugar snaps and shelling type. Like I mentioned in the market newsletter, Ben and the men worked very hard to keep this patch clean! Full swing this week and next for peas!
Boring lettuces...haha! This gorgeous patch is readily being harvested every other day now. Soon it will be finished...
Corn!!! We grew grain corn this year for the first time in over a decade! Of course nonGMO, certified organic and should be good for our rotation. We've even put in an acre of white grain corn for Chocosol this year for their tortillas! Exciting! 
So head out to market to see my other two partners- Ben and MarketBaby! We are optimistic about this season. So come see us soon at Dufferin or The Brickworks :)