Friday, July 22, 2016

A dry, dry year BUT we are doing ok!

Well, our crops are doing quite well I must say.  Our strawberries were excellent. Our peas, zucchini and lettuces also did decent.  Now we are onto cucumbers and tomatoes as the big(er) crops and smaller item stuff like onions, potatoes and soon to come sweet corn and our colourful carrots and beets!  Growing a way is our cauliflower and cabbages, which look nice so far.
We will also be busy harvesting our garlic shortly - but then entire crop is going for seed this year.
Yes, it is dry.  But for us, this is not a total tragedy. And I'll share why.
Our tomatoes on drip irrigation

Heirloom, artisan, cherry, grape, beefsteak and roma from the fields this year.
We have 25 acres of market vegetables to care for. We can quickly and efficiently irrigate this amount of food.  By using the drip method and mulch our peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are thriving.
Because of the heat and dryness there is little to no disease we are encountering thus far. Even insects are not that bad. The plants are massive and healthy and the veggies themselves have amazing concentrated flavours.  Field tomatoes are exceptional. I expect our peppers to be gorgeous and have amazing flavour as well because of this heat. There will be additional expenses due to running the irrigation pump what seems like almost daily, but that will quickly be offset by the additional produce our fields will be producing this season. So, for us, when a 'dry hot' year comes around once a decade or so, we always do pretty well, because disease doesn't shut us down.  The only concern comes from watching storm clouds.  Hail can wipe us out. So the extreme heat and potential thunderstorms do cause great fear in my gut.  But, so far we've been lucky.  

IF we knew then what we know now, we would have hauled ass this spring and staked the tomatoes!  Getting them up off the ground. Half our patch is beefsteak and romas which are determinate and don't really need it, but for the heirloom and cherry - it would have been fantastic! Ususally on the years we take the time to do it, it rains and pours and they all get blight.  lol. So, instead we baby the greenhouse tomatoes by stringing and suckering them and let the field tomatoes go wild! 
Our onions and beets
  Carrots and beets are so so, as the patches got very weedy fast (while we were picking strawberries!!) but Ben has seeded lots for the fall.  So, our colourful carrots will be starting soon.  It sure was nice to have beet bunches from the greenhouse in the meantime thou! We've just started digging potatoes, and will have some nice yellow flesh and fingerlings to go along with our whites soon!

We are able to offer bulk cucumbers for family pickling and also to businesses as wholesale as well. We always try to offer cucs, but most years they don't turn out to us due to mildews.  No mildew out there yet ;)  !!! Also roma tomatoes will be offered in bulk too.  Your best bet is to head to our market booth at either Dufferin Grove or Brickworks, as I am not taking small email orders.  Just too busy enjoying my babies this year!  If your order is 2 bushels or more, I will accept your email and do the best I can to get Ben's attention. He is keeping VERY busy in the fields this season.  We are hauling ass trying to make up for the cabbage/cauliflower loss of 2015. So far it looks like this season will bring us back to where we need to be ;) 
Enjoying lunch hour at the beach.
Keeping cool: We've been heading down to our local beach at least once a week with the kids during the lunch hour.  The new baby Jonah seems lulled by the sound of the water and Sadie and Nate get a good soak and play before afternoon nap time.  Both  Ben and I are witnessing the fast pace at which these tiny children of ours are growing and I'm doing everything I can to put the breaks on. That means for me a lot of home/family time right now.  I am rarely at markets these days and while I do really, really miss that environment and my customers - I am totally taking this time for my kids. It really is true - they do grow fast, and I don't want to miss a second.  They are so awesome on the farm and seeing them grow and get more interesting in all the farm stuff each year is just wild.  I'm looking forward to getting them ALL down to market in a couple weeks thou!  Now, THAT will be an adventure!

Log onto our INSTAGRAM account by seeking SosnickiOrganic to keep updated on whats happening on our farm!  I'm always snapping and sharing quick crop photos and the odd family shot!
Enjoy the harvest - it's a good one!