Showing posts from September, 2008

Farmers & Chefs.........

If done right, there can be quite a unique relationship built between select chefs and organic farmers. This is what has happened with us now. We have been successfully able to create over the years, relationships with some really awesome smokin' chefs! These are the ones that are regular shoppers at our markets, 5 currently during each week. They are constantly asking how the weather is affecting us, what new crops to expect shortly, anything new, anything ending for the season? These are the chefs that truly care about eating local, eating with the seasons etc,etc. I can tell that if these particular professionals lived in my small town, they would be regulars on my farm and take pride in showing their staff how to pick off the vine and what quality truly tastes like. Plus, I take pride and grin like hell when they insist on telling us how they used our produce and how their clientel was 'wowed'! Love the 'good news food stuffs'. They also understand and

Something new..........

This picture was taken July 2008. Beautiful cabbage field at the top left, all our market veg. on the left, our hay field behind the barn etc,etc. (The photogapher came by and gave us a 4 X 6 for some vegetables!) Fields looked promising then. It's suppose to pour today again. The tomato patch is black with death. Oh hell, this is not a 'whine-cry' blog about all the rain. Let me spin this around a tad. Because we diversify our crops, we can get by. You see alot of your hard work head down the drain as disease or just plain 'rot' sets in (potatoes)....whoa, starting to whine I think. Financially it's a kicker SOOO is is essential to plan every year and learn to expect anything. We do not count on one single crop to pay the mortgage. Since we don't resell, it is up to us to produce for ourselves the bounty that will keep us going. We are always coming up with new ideas and plans. No time to whine if you want to keep farming, sometimes you have to change. W

Make tomato sauce!!

I used my last Sunday to can tomatoes! I have limited time, and I LOVE to preserve, so my only day off is spent doing just that! (Today is pepper jelly - recipe later..) Depending on how much you are doing and how fusy you are, there are many ways and many recipes. THIS is easy and fast. For just juice, I have the old squasher that removes seeds and skin, but this way you are left with more 'pulp'. I wash and scrub jars. I buy new seals each year. (I don't have time for risking spoilage) I wash up batches of our romas, simply cut the stem end out, chop in half, toss into my 'cuisinart chopper' and puree. If you want to leave a lump here or there, sure. I usually puree until very smooth. Each batch is dumped into a large cooking pot. Once the pot is 3/4 full, I put on med/high to boil and cook down. (I don't start on high, as IF you have a thin bottom pot, you may burn it). The kitchen soon smells wonderful and reminds me of growing up around m

The model Organic market....

Dufferin Grove Organic Farmer's market is truly a pleasure to be a part of. The organizers and market manager strive for quality and truly organic products. Farms are visited and not much gets past this smart bunch! They organize community suppers and keep the park buzzing. It's nice to know customers by name now. Like I've told many before, the markets 're-charge' my batteries and make it easier to hit the fields the day after and do it all over again! Dufferin runs every Thursday, all year round. Visit our links section for directions on our mother site. I've included a pic of some awesome helpers we have this year!! It is impossible for Ben and I to run it alone now, so "Ben" and "Podge" are excellent additions to our crew! (yes, two 'Ben's!) This is prime harvest time and within the next few weeks, customers will begin to see the quanities on our tables change and slow A BIT! Still lots of harvest left, but get in those toma

What to expect at an organic farmer's market....after a farmer's gripe..

These days for Ben and I are either spent harvesting, picking everything, grading, always "crop watch" (aka, cultivation, weeding, assessment for 'disk action' -lololol!!) planting, (yes, just a short while back Ben did some direct seeding for some fall spinach and other greens); keeping up with produce orders; making sure the government is happy with all our 'forms' regarding payroll and WSIB -Weather makes no difference, paper work must be processed on time or you get some nice fines, not to mention being certified organic and keeping constant records, -BUT this benefits US in the long run. (for example Ben and I are able to look back at our chronilogical log from Aug. 2007 and see how many tomatoes we sold and in which field and how often he cultivated and weed pressure - this is key to our future success! Certification keeps you on your toes but is noteworthly for sure!!) .... and then we get to load up and sell at the markets and deal with all of you k