Friday, June 29, 2012

The Beginning of the Summer of 2012!

Time for a quick crop update with a bunch of photos I took today. It is dry out there.  Very dry and irrigating has become essential for the future development of the crops.

  Potatoes are doing well, but we noticed as soon as they began to get 'thirsty' the potato beetles started moving in fast and hard! Nature and her creatures always have this way of being able to tell when stress sets in.  
Our lettuce is pretty much finished.  With the heat a lot of our hardy heads bolted.  There is nothing to do about that. Just the year. Our peas are also not that great - again the heat.  The kale is doing fab as shown in the above photo. Kale is a very easy crop to grow, and is so, so good for you!! The broccoli looks like it's melting in the summer heat! We'll have nice heads at market tomorrow, but I am sure glad we didn't go hog wild and plant a lot of it this year.  Broccoli is another crop that doesn't love the intense heat. 

Now, what is absolutely thriving are the tomatoes, eggplants, peppers & onions!  We have spent hours upon hours hoeing and cultivating these onions, not once, not twice but four times so far! We have our weeding logs neatly organized in our 'chronological log' all ready for our organic inspection this Tuesday via Pro-Cert Inc. The basil is also rooting down and green as grass and growing nicely!  The basil will pair nicely with the heirloom tomatoes that are starting to ripen in the 'covered fields'!! Whoo check these puppies out:

Yes, the pictures of the tomatoes were taken today!  If I was not greedy and harboring all these newly ripening ones for myself I would bring them to show off at market!  We'll definitely wait until we have more to share with everyone! Have a great summer everyone filled with tons and tons of fresh organic vegetables! ;)  We'll keep you updated on farm progress as often as we can! Time for this chick to head outside and sweat some more in the fields! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Strawberry Season!!

(***Hey Smashy! Just a quick note to say 'hi' and that we're all thinking about you and really missing you! Laying in the yard, petting big Panzer eating Strawberries would sure be great to share with you! Lady Bug really likes Strawberries too, like tomatoes! She 'grumbles' with flared nostrils for them! Adventures yesterday as Dennis's damn cows were loose in our vegetable fields when we came home from market! Oooo, I was quite 'angry'... Bug was freaking out, doing that blowing smoke, pricked tail storming around at them. More of a guard horse!.... Dad mentions you almost every day and always smiles and says 'Austin'....Babca is just very sad now and doesn't understand. Please be well and come home to the farm soon!)

So last year we spent a great deal of time planting and caring for this new strawberry patch! It's nice to see your hard work pay off with all the customers literally diving at the tables to snatch a few quarts of our fresh strawberries! In order to grow organic strawberries we readied a nice plot for them. Rich, heavier soil back in Field 105. The plants came from G.W. Allen in New Brunswick. Certified Organic plants are not readily available, so we do buy the conventional ones. So last year we got the shipment of 'druggy' dormant plants and planted them in our organic soil. I look at this process as like 'rehab' for the young strawberries plants! They root down into organic compost rich soil, are weeded by hand and cultivated. We also bed them down with organic straw! By this year when they began to blossom and grow they were just fueling themselves with all organic goodness! The patch was alive with bees and critters and most importantly NO chemical CRAP like fungicides or pesticides have been dumped on them!!! Organic strawberries smell amazing! We grow an early type which is smaller and softer but with a sweet, 'wild' strawberry flavour. Our main season variety is a lot bigger, firmer and throws an excellent flavor too! We should have an abundance to share for the next two week! Yes, strawberry season goes fast! Eat your fill now!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Enjoying a lot of Avocados lately..

Before I begin blogging about *Strawberries* I thought I'd sneak in a quick note about my obsession with avocados. I now frequent the website: World's Healthiest Foods and the write up about avocados is quite thorough. This is a healthy fat people! I'm so damn tired of all these fake 'fat free' plastic foods that are mainstream. Shopping in a regular grocery store makes me very angry. Ok, ok, no time to rant! I ate the most amazing Fish Tostadas at 'Cool Hand Of A Girl' cafe Saturday after market. Lucia, the owner has been buying our cabbage for ages at Dufferin Grove and it was time to sample her creations! Ben and I along with my market helper Toshimi and her husband Sam had an excellent meal! The tostadas were soo crispy! A base of yummy black beans, bed of Haddock fish, topped with the most amazing avocado topping! A side of coleslaw containing our beets and cabbage with a hint of curry, apple cider vinegar - fresh and delicious! Lucia came and sat with us and we had a great chat while we enjoyed our meal. Toshimi and Sam swooped in to pay the tab and then hugs all around. Man, these folks sure love to spoil farmers! (Well, I know a few people who are getting a few flats of free strawberries!!) Check out www.coolhandofagirl.com and if you are ever in The Junction area of downtown Toronto hit her up for breakfast or lunch!

I've seen a lot of different Avocado Hummus's on the market lately. I decided to make my own today! Simple, delicious and I'll be munching on this for breakfast and dessert!
AVOCADO CILANTRO HUMMUS:
In your large food processor with heavy blade process:
-Handful Cilantro
-1 Jalapeño (with seeds!)
-I add 1 tbs Habanero Sauce from 'Cool Hand', but you may find the heat from the Jalapeño is enough.
(give this a wazz before adding the next ingreds)
- 3 Avocados
- 1 can of Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)with some juice. You'll see as you process if you need a bit more for texture)
- 1/2 a Lemon
- 2 tsp Unrefined Sea Salt.
Now, if my Garlic was ready I would have added a couple cloves too!
Process until smooth and delicious! Use as a dip for nacho's, smother on toast or a baguette! Ooo, or I'll toast some of St. John's Olive and Cilantro loaf and spread it on that!
I used my own Cilantro, my own pickled hot Jalapeños (fresh would be best). The rest of the ingredients are all readily available organic now. Yes, even the thin crisp nachos I buy now are unsalted and organic! Enjoy!