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Showing posts from July, 2009

And I thought it was bad last year: 2009 The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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I had a freak this morning. Ben has been prepping me for days and I have been in total denial and can cast him a frightening evil eye any time he would mention: "tomatoes not looking too good out there". I have been afraid to look. Afraid to deal with the fact I may have toiled away for months and months all for nothing.....I sucked it up and went for a peek this morning. I can honestly say that we will not have ANY and I repeat NOT ANY field tomatoes this season. All 100 varieties of heirlooms are riddled black with blight and potato beetles. Same goes for all the romas and round slicing varieties we hoped to sell in bulk quantities this year. It was bad last year because of the rain, BUT this year the rain and cool weather started A LOT earlier, along with no sun - a breeding ground for disease and infestations. The greenhouse heirlooms are awesome BUT I do not have quantity this year, so it's going to be scant at each market. I am done my spazz. I farm, th…

Cheesy Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

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Both Saturday night and Sunday we ate Bruschetta! I kicked it up a bit this year by baking it with cheese. Very, very good!!! Sunday my sister made it with our roma tomatoes. People always assume that romas are just cooking tomatoes. No way! With meaty, thick walls they cut into excellent 'pieces', perfect for this recipe! So use regular red romas OR use our greenhouse heirlooms! I use mostly 'stuffer' type heirlooms, the ones that are accordian, ruffled shape for good pieces, then some beefy other colourful ones I used Yellow Ruffled, Pink Zapotec, Black Krim (not a ruffle, but meaty with excellent flavour!), Green Zebra (great look and flavour, but pretty juicy!) & Flamme (awesome bright orange and meaty!) and other various types like Costoluto Genovese!

Jessie's Cheesy Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta:
6-10 medium Tomatoes*
8 cloves Garlic minced* (oh yes, perhaps more, esp. if they are small cloves!!)
1 medium sweet white onion, chopped*
big handful of Basi…

G.S.T., WSIB premiums, Source Deductions, Audits & Inspections: The Joys Of Business, advice to other farms and businesses...

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I'm in the office all day today....time to break and do a blog!!
You would tend to think that busting butt in the field then grading the harvest, then traveling to Toronto to sell would be work enough, but not for our organic farm. We are a business and paperwork is part of it. There is a great sense of pride when the government calls you back after a lengthy audit and tell you: "We see no reason to make any changes to your returns. Have a great day." I experienced this a few weeks ago. Through our bank, our accountants & my computer records, the auditor spent all day going through deposits and records. I spent the day cooking a cleaning, made the best of it. Keep it straight, keep it clean - audits are a breeze. Rounding the second quarter of 2009 now, G.S.T. is due by month's end as well as Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums. Every transaction via the bank and on credit cards is run through "QuickbooksPro" (an awesome accounting program I hi…

GREENHOUSE HEIRLOOMS (project greenhouse #3)

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Well, if all goes well and the heirloom tomatoes continue to look and taste like they do so far, I may just only use our greenhouses to grow these magnificent gems! I swear to god growing tomatoes this way is embedded in my genes! I picture Ben's dad and my grandpa together with me while I'm working. I really think my grandpa Mike would be proud of this project. I love seeing them grow and climb and produce gorgeous tomatoes!! I have a new obsession now- pruning by removing the suckers off my plants. Like a grooming session or a 'tomato haircut' I now CANNOT just water or harvest, I have to stop and fiddle with suckering and winding the leader stem up the twine... It has now become a Sunday morning ritual and I LOVE IT! Gently hoeing then raking up suckers, then watering when I finish grooming. Great results are now following! Some pictures of Ben watering after all maintenance completed, my black/green tomato hands showing the removal of a sucker, and the ripe…

Harvest kicks into full swing this week.....

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This week expect more fresh dug Red Norland Potatoes, Superior White Potatoes, bunches of Sweet White Onions, fresh Beets with tops, perhaps the first of the Carrots, *Green Beans*, *Cucumbers*, fieldTOMATOES - some romas and round slicing are showing their pretty faces out there now!! Cherry tomatoes, some Zucchini and zuc blossoms, more Broccoli, Greenhouse and Field Heirloom Tomatoes, this year's summer Cabbages, big Basil plants with intact root (use the entire plant for pesto or quick recipes OR simply place in a vase or glass with water and let sit on your kitchen counter all week to use at your lesiure OR plant outside, pinch the main leader stem and continue to grow this gorgeous plant yourself in the garden or pot!) More gold and red Swiss Chard, summer PEAS - the sweet shelling type; fresh Herbs including parsley, margoram, sage, thyme & stevia. While grading our onions out last week I came across this little snail. Enjoying the cool weather just slugging along …

Yesterday & Today; market & farm.....

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We are in full swing at the brickworks farmers market each Saturday from 8am till 1pm, along with Green Barns & Withrow Park. We have an abundance of fresh dug potatoes, broccoli, swiss chard, beets, peas, last of the strawberries, fresh basil plants, spinach & herbs. Lettuce harvest is officially over. We'll pick up with the salad greens come fall. Cucumbers should arrive next week and more greenhouse heirlooms....Just checked the fields today and it looks like our sweet onions are ready for market next week too! We also have a new helper on the farm and his name is 'Ben' too! This Ben is quickly becoming a familar face at all our weekly markets! He has lived in Cairo, Jordan and is currently living in Guatamala with his mother, and has traveled all over the globe. This student is cleaver as a whip and seems to be enjoying his time on our organic farm! The mornings are tough for both him and my stepdaughter, esp. the 4 am wake time on Saturdays!! Having …

Ahhh, July!

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Some pictures taken just this past week! We are harvesting lots of Swiss Chard, Beets & reaping the very first harvests of my greenhouse heirlooms! They are beautiful and their taste is absolutely fabulous! Great soil, great taste!

June photos....

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Greenhouse heirlooms!! Coming along nicely during the month of June! We suckered them and have them growing up on tomato twine. The clusters of tomatoes are beautiful...A quick snap of our garlic scapes sauteed with our sugar snap peas...

June farm photos...

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Busy, busy times! But what an amazing time of year! I'm just going to post pictures today and quick thoughts about crop produce around here the past few weeks! Strawberries are coming to a close. A successful first year growing. 7 baby chicks born by the end of June, Big Jiggs one of my favourite barn cats doing what he does best - not much at all. And I always take time to smell my own roses....