So, the last two weeks have been nutty. COVID19 spared the farm for 2 years.. our time seems to be up :). Hanen came down with COVID three weeks ago and then Tim the week later. Neither got it too badly, but both are pretty critical to our operation, so not having the two of them has been crazy. There's more too, but suffice it to say that we've all been a little frazzled. BUT Tim and Hanen are both back now. I actually just got kicked out of the field as the team has a handle on harvest this morning. So now I get to catch up on a few things in the office.
Farm Concert Update - no fee for music!
We have decided to waive the general admission fee for our concert to make it more accessible. We will be passing the hat to help cover the cost of the band. We will refund anyone who has already booked a ticket, unless they want to keep that purchase as their contribution to the band. Let us know!
BYOB! We will have local kombucha for sale.
We will also be doing a farm tour at 4pm for anyone interested!
In the Field: Promoting biodiversity
I just got in from doing some mowing. While on the tractor I saw 5 monarchs! Also barnswallows, yellow finches, other song birds I don't know the name of, and a tonne of different pollinators. We set aside a good portion of our fields to protect endangered species, like monarchs and bobolinks We also time our mowing so we're not mowing during nesting season. Our neighbours are aghast at all the "weeds" but it is one of our goals as farmers and "landowners" to increase biodiversity on our small plot of earth we have the privilege of managing. It is a real joy to see all these creatures thriving!
The Veggie Crops
We're a little bit short staffed this year. With the rain and not-quite-enough people our fields are looking a little more weedy than we'd prefer. But we've made some gains this week, with Tim back and the rain holding off.
All of our fall crops are almost in. We've got a lot of carrots and beets and good-for-storage brassicas to keep you eating well all winter long!
It's actually been quite a cool summer, especially at night. Our field crops are a little behind, but our greenhouses are more making up for it!
In the Greenhouse
The greenhouse production of tomatoes is bonkers! Willow is managing the greenhouse tomatoes this year and doing a fantastic job. It's a lot of hot, sticky work and anyone working in the GH sleeps very well. The work is paying off and the taste is incredible!
Did you know that a lot of conventional tomatoes are grown in a coconut coir substrate and fed only liquid fertilizer? This really compromises the taste. We grow only in soil, even in the greenhouse. And the greenhouse soil is the most pampered on the farm--it's rarely tilled and full of microbial life that sustains the plant and results in amazing tasting fruit!
I'm not going to sugar coat everything: we have had a bit of a failure in the cucumbers. Cucumbers are pretty sensitive to pest and disease and we thought we were doing really well until we weren't. It's crazy how fast the disease spreads. So the greenhouse cakes are done. We'll do better next year. On the bright-side, we have more time to pull out this crop and prep for a wintercrop.
Recipe, food Ideas and adaptability
We know it can be hard for some to adjust their menus to a CSA basket. You're not buying for specific recipes, you have to adjust. It can be intimidating for some, but those who embrace the challenge find it exciting and gain new culinary skills.
The CSA facebook group is a great resource. If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend it. It's a great place to ask questions or get inspiration from you fellow CSA community members. This week a couple people asked about their large beans and what to do with them and they got a bunch of exciting ideas from other members
Ann, a CSA member posted this :
Zucchini fritters, kohlrabi home fries and pork chops with garlic scape pesto. All veg from the last basket
Emily (former R&S employee) shared this video by Slow Food about how to make sauces for everything. It's a long video but it's a recording of a live Q&A and a lot of questions are answered. It's worth a look : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ujIQZJ-MwM
Sauces are my go to all year long. It's the perfect place to combine the holy trio of Fat, Acid, Salt. With a bunch of herbs thrown in the flavour and nutrition is amped up. It's great on roasted veg and tofu, quick noodles, rice etc.
We are Hiring!
We are hiring. Part time or full. Anything really.
Are you looking to work outside in a challenging but satisfying field (pun intended)? We're hiring general labour positions for the rest of the season. Must be able to work efficiently and be fit: bending, lifting pulling are all part of the gig. Must be available to work 7-330pm, no evening or weekend shifts available for the field work
Shoot us an email if you're interested. Even if your'e only available on a part-time position. Serious inquiries only please!