Sunday, April 29, 2012

Growing Taste Buds!

Yesterday I had a riot at Evergreen Brickworks teaching 'Growing Taste Buds' with Kate Leinweber. (check this nutritionista gal out!) The kids were fantastic and a lot of learning and fun was had! To learn more about this program go here:

Growing Taste Buds! At Evergreen Brickworks!

They got their hands dirty right away planting some heirloom tomatoes! After tomatoes we started to cook! In season at Sosnicki's is the Ostergruss radishes, so chopping and pan frying was one station's job, making 'cabbage plates' was another task, sautéing the radish greens, pan frying sweet corn and making a bechamel cheese sauce rounded out all the jobs the kids took part in! We chatted about the ingredients as we cooked then everyone got to eat! It was a great class and I will definitely teach and assist with more in the future! Great bunch of kids! A truly great facility and great program!

The Ostergruss are back!

The big pink 'carrots' have hit the market scene again! Absolutely not carrots - there is no way I could grow them this fast, but Radishes are another thing all together!! The Ostergruss are actually a fall German radish but they do so well in our covered fields they have become a spring and fall crop on this farm! Mild, spicy flavour that add the colour and zing to a field spinach salad this time of year for sure! Or a side dish by pan frying the roots until tender in olive oil, butter & sea salt and at the end of cooking toss in the radish greens that will render in no time! Enjoy the Great Ostergruss again!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thems the breaks...

Ok, so from one extreme to the other. Welcome to farming. Apparently we may get some snow this coming week. Not surprised and we'll roll with it just fine. I've been pinterest-ing beauty pics of lettuces, chickens, planting. All was well...or was it? Nope. Last week we had wind. Major wind that for a few hours in the afternoon created a sand-blast effect that seriously halted my day. We have a little sandy knoll in field 101 that I often call 'the beach'. Sweet potatoes grow well there, carrots like it too. That blasted wind was clipping in the right direction picking up that sand and firing it directly, and I mean directly, at everything we planted. The result was devastating. I actually went out on the quad during the storm, got a face full of sand feeling it whip with such force. It literally shredded the lettuce. The baby kale was laying over shredded too. Nevermind broccoli, collards, cauliflower plants all beaten into submission by frickin' sand. After she stopped blowing at dusk the effect was gut wrenching. I actually cried. Ben however much less dramatic saying very little except for: "If roots strong, tree survive" (Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.) Ben did mention he's never seen it like that before. So much so that the entire lawn by the apple trees lining the driveway was caked with major sand too! Ben is very good at accepting what he can't change and not stressing or ever freaking out. I always wish I could handle things as calmly as Ben! Stress kills man! Eventually I'd accepted that we will likely have to re-seed and that lettuce may not be a crop we carry this season. Move on. Added to this mess was the dryness. We desperately needed rain. .....Ok, ok so now for the good news. We got some rain these past couple of days. Yesterday morning for the first time since the sand from hell came Ben and I went out to see the crops. Well hot damn! Roots were strong! Those damn little lettuces have wickedly strong little hearts and they are pulling through! Even the kale! Standing back up, making roots and growing!! A HUGE sigh of relief! Now, not perfection and we suffered at least a twenty percent loss overall. I'll take that! So as things get tighter financially on the farm we will power through and be even more frugal and adapt. As always ;)