Sunday, June 14, 2009
It's been a cool spring, but the strawberries are making themselves known now! I find the sweetness to be lackluster and am hoping with warmer temperatures this will be remedied. We don't have a huge patch, 11 rows all about 500 ft long, but they are healthy and look like they are going to kick out a lot of berries for the retail markets! We grew two varieties that were planted last year. You can go back in our blog and view pictures of our men planting the strawberries in 2008. I've also posted an 'irrigation picture'. Berries need water, so we fired our guns and will water when they need it. We did not take ONE PIPE out last year at all for any crop! Lots of rain!! Set up this year was nasty, as we had to check each pipe for animals before hooking together. (I've dealt with skunk in the pipes before and it's not fun!!) Our strawberry varieties are not super huge, average sweetness and pretty good shelf life. (Meaning we won't be selling the tiny mushy super sweet ones which a lot of folks assume are the norm on an organic farm. This pissed me off a bit, as I want some tiny mushy super sweet ones!!! Great for jam!! I'll be putting the plants in this year for 2010 for super sweet mushers!) Anyhow, that aside, the ripe ones I've been sampling are fabulous, so they will not disappoint! There are 3 main determining factors for the best strawberries: the variety, good soil and good weather. We have excellent, healthy soil, good varieties and the weather is so-so. They will be just fine! Come to market all next week and find out for yourself! Ben will be running Riverdale on Tuesday, Dufferin on Thursday and we'll be pulling 3 markets on Saturday all over downtown T.O. - Withrow Park (south of the Big Carrot), Evergreen's Brickworks and Wychwood's Green Barn market...
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
More catching up with blogging. May was colder than I would have liked, but hey, you deal. Greenhouse #3 allowed us to bring on the early greens. Next will be early surprises like heirloom tomatoes and zucchini! All trial runs this year- we are experimenting!! I had to share early pictures of the greenhouse zucs, tomatoes (taken last week) & a nice snap of our field lettuce patch taken today! We will probably begin by cutting fresh romaine for the weekend! Busy, busy, busy! We have planted all our cucumbers, all tomatoes in, basil, eggplants, herbs, etc,etc. Ben just got finished seeding out some 'golden beets' too!! If that's not enough, I get the great news from Revenue Canada to expect an audit within the next few weeks! Yippee perfect timing!! I swear to god, why can't it be the dead of winter?.....anyhow we keep good books, so it won't take too long AND I usually use this opportunity to ask tons of questions. We had a payroll audit a few years back and as the farm's bookkeeper I am required to fill out a ton of various forms 'on time' like source deductions for employees and quarterly GST to name a few. I always have issues and questions. No time more perfect time for answers than having the government sitting right at your dining room table!!! You have to use these opportunities to your full advantage!! Fresh this week at market will be our field spinach.........and perhaps a government agent with a laptop looking over my shoulder..LOLOLOL!!!
Yes, I should have completed this blog in May - took all the pics, never blogged. Better late than never. We have planted more potatoes this year than any year prior. With new markets, more winter demand, it is important for us to be able to offer more of our own! We used untreated seed in 3 varieties - a red, yellow (golden) and whites. Our goal is to certainly save our own potato seed, but we always end up selling or 'perogie-ing' every last one!! The glorious 'green' picture is of our early whites which was taken today! They will be available at all markets come mid July!! We actually still have some late yellows to put in the ground yet! They will be late storage. My stepdaughter was over when we were planting some of the potatoes this year, so she got to run the 'stick' and make sure the potatoes were flowing into the planter properly. The planter has spinning arms with spikes on them that are sharp as hell, so my stepdaughter just laughs at me when I instruct her to be 'careful', and not to 'put her arm in there' (really?) LOLOL!! Pics: 2 planting on May 3rd. 2 hilling on May 27th and todays green growth!