Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Markets July 2010....

Well, we've got a new addition to our busy schedule!  The new 'Bay & Adelaide Farmer's Market' put on by Evergreen ( Go to Evergreen! ) and will run each Thursday from 11:00am until 2:00pm.  We'll sell until 1:30pm, as we've got to hike it over to the Dufferin Grove Organic Market ( Go to Dufferin Grove Park! ) to set up and sell from 2:30pm until 7:00pm.  The Bay & Adelaide space really did need some 'greening' up and the business folk who look down at us from their office towers seem very interested in what is going on! Not only can you find our fresh produce at this market but the best honey, Merchants of Green Coffee, Monforte Dairy, Chocosol, Bruno and his mushrooms, excellent food from Brian Burk Wine Bar, Jamie Kennedy Fries, all vegan and raw foods from Hearty Catering and the list goes on. Grab a coffee, or an ice coffee, lemonaide, gourmet lunch, cheeses, fresh bread, fresh organic produce all during your lunch hour! Your air conditioned office space will keep her cool until quittin' time! The Bay & Adelaide market will run until September 9th, so please come and enjoy!  Dufferin Grove continues to be a winner for our farm.  A great atmosphere, great people, droves of familar faces and returning customers week after week, year after year.  This market continues to keep 'the organic aspect' alive and well.  Our farm volunteer Tomhas (pictured in the top pic!) has been with us almost 3 weeks and he's leaving us this weekend!  The time went by fast and he did a great job! Thank You Tomhas! 

Crop Updates...

As folks continue to ask, I'll explain again: Our heirloom tomatoes are grown in our old cold frame greenhouses.  We are able to plant them in early April and can harvest a good month before our field tomatoes start.  I hesitate to call them 'greenhouse' as our tomatoes are grown in field soil and compost - not synthetic soil.  We do not heat or 'light' the houses. We essentially use these houses to protect from overhead moisture and early frost and are able to squeak out the fruit early without being an energy using pig.  A lot of work goes into this process.  All by hand, as tractors do not fit in these houses, so cultivating is by small rototillers and hand hoes.  The suckering and twining of the plants is a timely process as the plants continue to grow, thrive and throw suckers.  The flavour is amazing because they are grown in the best soil! The varieties are all about TASTE, and it's just a great thing that folks have decided that these tomatoes are no longer 'ugly' but consider them as I do --absolutely gorgeous!  I had to include some photos of me with a 'striped chocolate' and 'green zebras'. It's totally worth all the hard work to showcase these beauties.  It's always such a pleasure at market to see the reaction to these tasty awesome looking tomatoes! 
We've had some crop failures such as broccoli and the cucumbers are not so hot this year.  It started off with fighting 'damp off' this year with the seedlings followed by some disease out in the fields now....We have planted another late crop and fingers crossed may have some August cucumbers.  We drove through the 'hail' and massive rain storm last Saturday coming home through Brantford, so we were lucky as our farm did not receive this onslaught - but it is soo close! It could always be worse.  We will not have summer carrots or beets.  These crops will hit hard come September and stored for winter - yes, tons of 'golden beets' too! For August our farm will be bringing on a bevy of field tomatoes, sweet corn and all sorts of peppers! Right now is green bean city!  I have been taking any and every spare minute to 'freeze' as many green beans as I can for winter sales.  In fact, I was written about in the July 1st issue of Macleans Magazine talking about the freezing process!  Besides spelling our name wrong and getting our acreage wrong, it's a sweet article! I'll link to it shortly.   Our field tomatoes look great so far!  In fact the roma and cherry tomatoes are just starting now!  So for those (like me!) that have missed salsa, fresh tomato juice, bruschetta, etc,etc, - THIS is the year to catch up!  I've included other pics of me in my 'tomato jungle' and one of Ben and I in our tomato field! 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mobile Blog Test!

Time to blog on route! I have no time to sit at a computer but always have farm stories and updates to share! Mobile blogging and mobile facebooking will be our way to communicate from now on for the majority of posts. It is busy time and today was just beautiful to harvest in the cool showers after all the heat we've had! Beets, the first bunches of Sweet Spanish Onions, huge bunches of Kale, sweet Peas in a Pod, Heirloom Tomatoes & fresh Basil plants are some of the crops heading to Toronto this weekend! Next week: Cucumbers, Green Beans & fresh dug Potatoes!
We've started a new Thursday market: The Bay & Adelaide Farmers' Market right downtown among the skyscrapers. This market is operated by Evergreen and managed by the sweetest lady Marina, the Argentinian 'empanada' maker most know and love from various markets. 11:00am - 2:00pm every Thursday. I have hopes of pulling all those business folk down and out of the office towers for the lunch hour where they can grab a fabulous meal and buy the freshest farm goods and organic produce! The first market showed a lot of potential with great interest! After this market we venture over to Dufferin Grove Park and continue to sell our produce there from 2:30pm until 7:00pm...every Thursday.
I must also mention that I am doing my best with responding to customers' emails! I know folks need to order cucumbers and need to know when Roma tomatoes start, but please check this blog first - I will update more often! My email account gets jammed full each day, a lot of junk and a lot of deleting - but I will make more of a response effort for the important ones! ;)

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