Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

We wish all our customers and friends all the very best during the holiday season! Your patronage and smiling faces make working the farmers' markets a true pleasure.  May 2015 be full of the best organic non-GMO food, be full of happiness and vitality for you and those you love! May you surround yourself with people that inspire you and make you smile daily! 
From our family to yours,
Jessie, Ben, Sadie and Nathan Sosnicki 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December and January Winter Staples!

The winter looks great for storage crops this year! Look to us when you need yellow fleshed buttery French Fingerling Potatoes, Sweet Carrots for stews or fresh eating; juice Carrots in any quantity you require for all your energy juicing needs; Cabbages for braising, slaw, home made sauerkraut etc. We've got Red and Savoy Cabbages this winter too.  Punchy huge Cooking Onions and Beets too!

No prepared foods this year as you all should know by now :)  My 20 month old daughter and 1 month old son stopped food production in its tracks for one good year. Our veggie operation will remain full steam and expand but my other baby (food prep) is on hold very temporary. I am typing this entry with one hand as I hold a fussy Nate and Sadie naps. My new job of being the mother is top priority for me and I'm loving every minute. Ben remarked yesterday how he wished Sadie could stay a year and a half old forever. She's so cute and amazing and growing way too fast... Being with her full time, time is still flying. I feel like this is the best time of my life and I am so excited for the future and fun times and adventures with these kids! No room in our lives for crap and drama, full speed a head doing what we love - farming and raising these incredible babes!

We hope to see all you wonderful people at market before the new year! Adios

Friday, November 14, 2014

What we have available this November

Ahh the sweet little whisps of snow that get your butt in gear firing up the wood stove and prepping yourself for the winter harvest!  We've had both little kids in the barn with us today while we graded for Saturday's market and all went pretty good.  Warm in the shop so our 19 month old runs around, .... and our 2 week old son sleeps soundly all bundled in his stroller by the wood stove.  Really nice to be able to work with the kids around.
We are still field harvesting a lot of crops.  Fresh from the fields we have Cauliflower, Kale, Celeriac, bunched Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, perhaps some Swiss Chard (not really a priority and it's getting old) and Broccoli!
From storage we have Rainbow Carrots, Juice Carrots (the uglies), Beets, Potatoes, Cabbage and Onions.   

Our Cabbage storage is looking nice. We've got Reds, Winter Greens and the above sassy Savoy's too!
Carrots are just incredible. All that rain really allowed them to germinate wonderfully and grow a great size.  And SWEET! Even the larger ones are not woody, they are packed with awesome flavour and sweetness! We have glorious oranges plus the rainbow types with added 'purple haze'.  
Be on the lookout for 'Cheddar Cauliflowers' during mid November as well as Romanesca's and big whites.  
We'll keep harvesting the Kale in the snow!  
The French Fingerling Potatoes with their golden buttery flesh are amazing roasted or making killer oven fries with coconut oil and sea salt! 
We are headed into winter with a really nice bevy of winter crops for all to enjoy. Come visit us at The Brickworks some Saturday soon!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A New Sosnicki

On October 31st, Halloween, our son was born! Labor and delivery was uncomplicated and pretty quick! Nathan Edward Joseph Sosnicki arrived at 5:24pm weighing 7lbs 13oz.  Nathan is a name both Ben and I liked right off the bat. Little Nate.  Edward is after my father and Joe is after Ben's father. At 4 days old now he is actually looking a bit more like ME than Ben! But they change so much...so fast...He drinks breastmilk like a horse and is happy and thriving.  His big sister likes to 'pat' his head....gentle at first..then not so much. She is good at ignoring  him for now.

Ben left 10 minutes after the birth to organize the Saturday market load! This time of year we are scampering to get the crops off and into storage before the help leaves! And since babies come when they are ready - you adapt! No maternity leave around here!! But we have helpful family members and so much support that I get all the rest I need. I feel great though and had Nate in the carrot patch at two days old and in the barn today for a visit. 

We'll continue on at market as usual with me staying behind for a bit, but not for long...market baby #2 will be around with his big sister sooner than later ;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Harvest is looking incredible!

Count down is on and this year I don't care about the first fall frost!  If we loose the sucky pepper patch, big deal.  Field tomatoes were desecrated weeks ago.... The cooler weather and first frost means sweet brussel sprouts, sweeter kale, won't hurt the broccoli and cauliflower, celery root or the cabbages. Last pick of corn is this week, so we won't be worried about that.  Beets and carrots are phenomenal as well and in abundance and harvest is definitely in full swing!  This is a very very productive month on farm as we scurry to load up the barn with the fall crops!  Mass potato harvest soon underway too.....

So enjoy the beautiful fall weather, head to market to stock up on all your fall favs and talk to us about your supply of juice carrots this winter!  We'll have lots to share thats for sure!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

No case/bulk Roma sales this year :(

Due to this cold, rainy summer our organic tomatoes took a beating. The crop will be composted due to mass anthracnose and blight diseases. So, unfortunately just not a tomato year! 

It's a loss, however it will not ruin us. We no longer have that need to 'control' Mother Nature and spray the hell out of everything, so we move on and concentrate on our crops that enjoy this rainy cooler weather. Carrots, beets, Kale, greens, fall broccoli, onions, celery, celeriac, fall cauliflower looking INCREDIBLE! As organic farmers we are not banking on one or even a few main crops - we move on! Psst: our Heirloom Tomatoes in the old greenhouses look great still thou ;)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our 2014 Corn Story

Our sweet corn starts this week! Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding regarding this late year with the corn! Your faces of anticipation at market when inquiring make growing the sweet corn so so worthwhile!  Late spring, cool weather = late corn. It's very rare we have July corn. The most asked question to us annually is "Why is there so much sweet corn available in July but yours isn't ready yet?" That's because most conventional sweet corn seed is chemically treated and is planted in cold spring soil. With our organic sweet corn we seed the corn when the soil is naturally warm later in the spring season as the seed is untreated and would otherwise rot. 

We've weeded and cultivated this crop and all plantings look fab! With all the rain we have not had to irrigate at all either. More time to weed :). This sweet corn seed is untreated and a non-GMO variety. The variety name is 'Vision'. All our seed invoices were collected and reviewed this year by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. Therefore you can have peace of mind that a third party has verified this information. We have sprayed this sweet corn with absolutely nothing!!!!!
Insect pressure is low this year. No doubt thanks to the long, cold winter. But we're sure the odd worm will be nibbling. A cob is not ruined if you find a corn boer worm nipping the top. Simply snip the tip of the cob off and you're good to enjoy the bounty of the rest of the sweet, succulent cob! It's a good thing when the creatures of the earth sample your food first!! ;)  And people, you don't need to open each cob to check for readiness! We do that when we harvest!!! Ask me (us) as market and I'll show you what makes a good cob! Quickly, a nice plump cob with deep brown silk is a good sign! 
Not only do we grow organic sweet corn, but this year we grew grain corn as well. We purchased this seed from DeDell Seeds. This company prides themselves in no-GMO varieties! We have not had grain corn on this farm for 20 years plus - but decided it would be good for our rotation this year. So here's a nice shot from our Instagram of Sade's licking the grain corn....and below Ben and Sade's standing by the tall, vibrant grain corn :)
And we also have some nice looking iroquois white corn we are growing for Chocosol this season pictured below. They will use this corn to construct their yummy yummy tortillas :))
It's organic corn city at our farm this year! Please enjoy folks!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today on the farm :)

It doesn't seem like the end of July already... I'm just now looking at our sweet onions, carrots, beets and other crops to harvest when they should be in full swing. The result of late plantings this year. And that means one thing: August is going to be very busy! All these blog pics were taken today on farm. 
Sweet corn is in tassel and the first pick should be in a couple weeks.  REMEMBER: because we grow certified organic sweet corn we do not plant treated seed. This means we plant later in May once the soil is naturally warm resulting in August corn annually :) We've weeded all the corn plantings and they are looking good. We should have glorious corn well into the fall months this year for all to enjoy. Always, Always NO GMO!!!!
Summer cabbage is now available :)
Our broccoli is also now available :)
Golden Beets are growing away and will be in abundance by next week. Same with the good ol' purple beets!! 
This is a second carrot patch geared more towards winter storage. Our first patch is ready for this week. I just had to share a picture because I am SO PROUD of how clean the patch is! It took a few days but my crew of 4 men did an awesome job weeding. I love them :) 
Patty Pan summer squash are plentiful but taking their sweet time! The cool nights have made them ripen slower and later. However shortly we will be swimming in them!!
And this week's brag photo! Our orange carrots will make an appearance at the Saturday market along with our sweet onions. Nutri-Red and Purple Haze carrots by next week. I need some more growth on them. Beets by next week too. Heirloom tomatoes are in full swing! Field cherry tomatoes are firing up too. Today we cleaned up the plants by going through and removing any cracked and harvesting the first :) 
We have an abundance of Cucumbers, zucs, kale, swiss chard, beans, peas and kohlrabi too at the markets! Enjoy summer eating with more coming :))

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ripeage, Stripeage and Sexy Sets!

The tomato jungle is in full swing and I adore wandering through the rows assessing and seeing the 'firsts'! The first sprig of colour showing through all the dense green foliage. The masses of bloom sets. The plump, heavy branches laden with glorious heirlooms! Ah, what an awesome way to kick start organic tomato growing!
We use certified organic composted manures to nourish these soon-to-be giants and though we could use fish emulsion too, the need has never presented itself. Rich, healthy dirt :)  The seeds to grow these beauties are sown annually no later than January.  Open pollinated, save your own seeds with most of these varieties - oh yeah!!
These are our covered fields and they house beets, lettuces, kale, radishes in between the vining tomatoes on non-walkways. Once those early crops finish they are rotto-tilled and kept sassy clean ;) Each tomato plant (we house 800 approx in each) is lovingly suckered and twined around tomato twine and reach the sky! Well, almost ;) They get up to 12-13 ft and are tossed over the steel beams and then grow downward! A sight to see seen this fall.
Heavy laden branches with the big first sexy sets of toms!
RIPEAGE! Hello beauty! The first sprig of colour peaking through...
Huge masses of sets with this particular variety which is a total winner! I call him simple 'lemon' but I think it's 'plum lemon' to other collectors. Prolific, prolific, prolific (and popular!)
STRIPEAGE!! The infamous Green Zebra. I've grown many a stripey's and this one's flavour and lime green colour is a very, very popular fav! 
I've done the over 100-200 varieties heirloom tomato trip, but decided to render my addiction down to 40 or so total on farm. A good two dozen are home in the covered fields, the rest grow in the outdoor fields. I found a lot of the varieties to be very similar and some we're very delicate, and not suitable for my climate and some with no disease resistance at all. I still find myself trying at least one or two new ones each year! (Psst..I'm a total sucker for the big heart shaped, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish types.)  It's been well over a decade now of growing and selling these Heirloom Tomatoes and I dare say I don't ever see myself slowing down! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quick Pic Farm Update ;)

Ok, so we are speeding right along now! The cool spring certainly set us back (onions are in a month later this year!) but crops seem to be on the upswing!
Strawberries are full swing. This week will be our most plentiful, then by next week they will dwindle. The flavour on these berries were excellent however the sweetness was not there. Cool weather I suppose. We've certainly enjoyed them and got our annual fill! 
The heirloom tomato jungle is going crazy!! We are so busy outside that these giants have to wait for a rain day or late eve suckering job! 
Kale!! Looking pretty decent! Huge patches of all green curly, RedBor and Dino kales. We did have some cut worm damage under the ground cloth, but we've also planted more than twice as much this year, so that should make up for it!
Peas!! Sugar snaps and shelling type. Like I mentioned in the market newsletter, Ben and the men worked very hard to keep this patch clean! Full swing this week and next for peas!
Boring lettuces...haha! This gorgeous patch is readily being harvested every other day now. Soon it will be finished...
Corn!!! We grew grain corn this year for the first time in over a decade! Of course nonGMO, certified organic and should be good for our rotation. We've even put in an acre of white grain corn for Chocosol this year for their tortillas! Exciting! 
So head out to market to see my other two partners- Ben and MarketBaby! We are optimistic about this season. So come see us soon at Dufferin or The Brickworks :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"What are Sosnickis' up too, and when are they coming back to market???"

Everyone is anxious to receive word when we'll be back at markets and what is coming.... well folks - not for a while. It's cold and a bit late this year. (That's the field crops- better news in the 'covered fields'.....)
Good news is we've broke soil! Ben plowed and cultivated readying the ground for seedlings.  We have to watch it, as you don't want to jump the gun. If you can't smell the soil and the earthworms aren't around, your early plantings are just going to sit and not grow too well. Peas will go in, but I think we'll wait a few more days for onions, lettuce, kale etc. even with row covers (that are a must for us this year) the plants will thrive sitting on the wagons, drinking fish and hanging out for a few more days. MarketBaby Sadie has been tractor riding a lot with Ben ;)
Market veg is going along the east side of the house this year. My absolute favourite place for the veg! Looks amazing when I walk out the door and have a monster garden right there!  For now we are busily working in the 'covered fields'. And have seeded beets and huge tomato transplants already! We are using two glass cold frames, with a total of 9000 sq feet to grow 16 rows of heirloom tomatoes, beets and early greens. The new seeder we got through the 'natures finest fund' is working excellent. Fresh bunches of beets in a short while ;)  June heirloom tomatoes.  We've only had the one house with tomatoes - this year two, so lots to share early!!
Baby Sadie overlooking the first of the big tomato plants going in :) And the tomato row is only crooked because We followed Ben's beet planting! Haha... Blame Benny :p
Our third greenhouse is home to the seedlings. There is currently 4500 sq ft crammed packed with our field veg, Evergreen wholesale cow pot seedlings, and seedlings for 5 other farmers. I. Am. Busy. But happily so. The heat when the sun comes out is awesome and I look forward to the long, hot, summer harvest days...(the last blog post from last week has more info and pics of the seedling greenhouse if you want to take a peak). 
Well besides the growing that is main priority we've fixed up the bunkhouse for the workers arriving in a few weeks. This year a new kitchen ceiling went up, new dry wall upstairs, new plumbing, new toilet and a lot of scrubbing and cleaning to get that house rolling for another year. The health department did it's annual inspection yesterday, and our bunkhouse is approved for 7 workers. We can't afford that many, but added one more cousin this year for a total of 4 guys. Manuel and Sebastian are coming in May and the two brothers Domingo and Miguel arrive in June!
We've been grading out and selling potatoes still, all wholesale. It will be nice this year as we've managed to secure our own stock of seed potatoes this year! That's my afternoon job today - washing and grading potatoes :) That will wrap up potato sales for now. 
And getting books to the accountant and reconciling the first quarter of 2014 are other tasks we've been attending too! (Office work is dead last - I can't stand office days!!!!!) It's business, so you learn to tolerate the paperwork. I happily do organic paperwork, but the government stuff?...blaaa... Haha. 
So when are we coming back to our favourite city to see our favourite customers?? By the end of May at the earliest but it may push into June as well. It will be weather dependant.... Hmmm, would be nice to plant on Friday but now it's suppose to rain. You know the drill. Ben will be back as soon as we have those fresh lettuces and covered field beets and other spring treats. We miss you all too very much! Especially our fellow vendors and friends.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring farm update!

It would be easy for me to whine about the hard winter, cold spring, all our various hardships - but I'm not going to do that. Ben and I decided that we would kick ass the best we could paying off the mortgage and deal with all that farming brings so that when we are 60 years old we can inspire young farmers and show them how to get through the rough patches.  We are going forward with optimism about the rest of this growing year :) Just check out the plants! Whooo!! 
These giants are the heirloom tomatoes that will be planted once again in our covered fields (this time two greenhouses full!) Seeded in between the tomatoes are beets for extra early bunches. Usually these toms would be in the ground by now but it's just too cold. It was below 6 last night and the water pipes were frozen so I had to wait until mid morn to water. Ben had to drain the big water tank and the pump to ensure they didn't freeze last night. Warmer temps from now on I hope!  We've created the plastic barrier to maintain heat in half the middle house. The other side is for onions, lettuce, kale etc - the cool loving crops.
Kale, Kale and more Kale! We have transplanted an early planting to have larger plants to put out in the field if we can't get out to plant early. There was a Kale seed shortage this year of everyone's favourite green curly but not to worry - we secured a hefty amount and will have plenty to go around! We have redbor curly, Dino and the Russians again this year. Even a bit of White Russian Kale too ;)
Lettuces are growing nicely. The leaf lettuces, butterheads and romaines will be in abundance... Below are yet more kale and those oak stained butters and other lovelies. Ok, I'm hungry for a big salad now!
Our onions are doing well. Though we will not be planting them as early this year, we seeded them a bit later so their growth is not out of control. They'll probably be moved to the wagons soon in anticipation for planting. We'll have those big sweets and lots of cooking onions this year.
Beautiful Swiss chard :) We're growing lots of early chard and a bunch of transplants for other farmers too.
I can tell you that we've got a lot on the go out there in the greenhouses. We've also been scrubbing, cleaning and fixing the ol' bunkhouse as our first two Men arrive in a few weeks so we need to get the inspection completed. The pipes burst in that old house, the roof leaked to the point where we had to replace a lot of dry wall upstairs and redo the kitchen ceiling! It's once again ready to be inhabited. What a beating that old place has taken! AND our little ONE year old daughter is all over the place!! So miss Sadie is very accustom to hanging out in both the bunkhouse and greenhouses so far this spring!
Marigolds waiting patiently to be transplanted! Ever wondered all that we grow out in those greenhouse? I surprised myself when I started looking around. No wonder going 7 days a week is mandatory!!  We're growing: 
kale, lettuce, onions, broc, cauli, chards, celeriac, celery, leeks, basils, thyme, marjoram, savory, oregano, borage, dill, chamomile, mint, chives, amaranth, stevia, cilantro, sage, parsley, okra, collards, peppers, eggplants, tons of tomatoes in so many different stages, zucs, cucs, melons, squash and sunflowers. I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch of crops :p.   Our plants are sold at Evergreen Garden market available Victoria Day weekend in all their glory! With an emphasis on 70 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes. We won't be attending market until the end of May/ into June and due to major start up costs on farm we needed a good venue to moving volume for seedlings. That is why you won't see us with the plants ourselves. We are just behind the scenes doing all the work! So head to Evergreen if you want some choice certified organic veg and herb seedlings this season!
We are happily growing for other producers as well this year. Currently we have 5 other farmers that count on us for their field crop seedlings. We are able to max out the old glass beast to the brim with plants!! 
Stay tuned... The weather is changing and I'll be wanting to blog and share :)