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 :)