Keep updated on all that is happening around Thiessen Farms!


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Spring yet?

Winter appears to be finally losing it’s grip on our part of the world, though there are few signs of spring out on the farm yet.

The snow has mostly disappeared, melting its way across the orchards leaving only a small strip along the railway tracks – always the last to go because it’s on a north facing slope shaded from the late winter sun by the trees & scrub growth there.

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By this time the cherry buds are usually swelling & showing traces of life – but today I saw no change yet. (Last year on this date, we had lightly worked the ground, and planted the first of the vegetables outside.)

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Many, many people have been asking how the fruit trees and buds came through the winter.

Apparently they survived quite well – at least in our area.  While the winter was extremely cold it was consistently so, which is better than the temperature fluctuations we often experience. There was plenty of snow cover which insulates & protects the tree roots as well. Official bud counts indicate sufficient buds are alive for a decent crop. We did some of our own checking too and the results look good!

The only tools required for checking the fruit buds are a sharp knife and good eyes (or at least good glasses).

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Slice cleanly through the lower part of the fruit bud. Live buds will be green and dead buds will be black. The day we cut these I could not even find any black buds to take a picture of (though of course there will be plenty). This makes us optimistic for a good crop.

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So while the orchards are not showing much spring movement, the farmers are coming out of hibernation.

A lot of tree pruning has been done in the last few weeks and we will start pruning raspberries this coming week.

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And in the greenhouse it is definitely spring!

Seeds continue to germinate and grow. The continuing cold night temperatures mean we often have to carry the trays of seedlings back into the warmer barn in the evening – but even the nights are beginning to get warmer.  Growth has not been too affected though – if anything it might make the plants tougher?

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The vibrant colours, smells, shapes and textures of the new plants are so exciting & encouraging! Each one holds so much promise of the season ahead.

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The only one on the farm still clinging to winter is Meesha – still enjoying the cold, still relishing the snow!

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Dreaming of CSA 2014

Onions, garlic and and a few apples.

That’s all that remains from last year’s harvest.

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The onions are good – still firm & pungent. The garlic is the smallest of the small but not yet sprouting. Many of  the apples – not super crisp anymore – are firm enough to eat. The softer ones we make into apple sauce, the even softer ones are enjoyed by the rabbits, and the chickens feast on the apples that are spoiling.

Of course there are fruit & vegetables preserved in jars on the shelves of the fruit cellar in the basement, and bagged in the freezer. But how I long to bite into a fresh, ripe & juicy peach! Or grab a handful of sweet cherries as I walk through the orchards …

We’re doing what we can!

Along with our dreaming about fresh fruit & vegetables, we are also planning and planting. The first seeds are already germinating and growing – tomatoes, eggplant, peppers both sweet & hot, and lots of different herbs …

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The details of our CSA (community supported agriculture) program for 2014 are finalized and posted here on our blog.

Here are some pictures to remind us of last season, and what we are looking forward to …

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Remember – 1st CSA pick up is in 2 1/2 months!