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CSA 2022 – Week 17 – Final week!

The final week of CSA brings mixed emotions – as usual.

Certainly we are happy & excited to be finished – the picking, washing, & packing of the vegetables, along with setting up for CSA pick-up and the actual pick-up itself. Together with the growing – seeding, planting, weeding, watering … it has been a busy time.

Of course Lorie enjoys seeing and visiting with all our CSA members and will miss this part of it very much.

But while the summer CSA program winds up this week, our new fall CSA begins next week. So there is really no rest – yet. We had a good response to this new venture (it is now full & no more applications are being accepted), and are looking forward to it.

Plus, we still have 3 more weeks at the Georgetown Farmers’ Market to grow & prep for.

Thank you to all our CSA members!

Thank you for your confidence in us to grow safe, healthy & delicious food for you & your family, for your dedication to coming to the farm each week to pick up your box, and for your willingness to eat whatever you found in the box. CSA is a big commitment for the members as well as the farmers.

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What’s in the box?

Winter squash, sweet peppers, edamame, salad greens, garlic, green onions

  • Choose from several varieties of winter squash again this week. We will have them labelled along with a brief description to help you make your choice.
  • Today was a good day. When I picked sweet peppers I was putting more in the basket than I was throwing away – that’s a first for this season! There are even some coloured peppers (Thursday & Friday pick-up last week saw a few of these already).

  • The last CSA box of the season includes the last of the edamame. That worked out well!
  • The salad greens are enjoying this cooler weather. Lettuce is still in short supply, but there could be spinach, bok choy, arugula, or mixed salad … in the box.
  • Garlic has been part of the box for 11 weeks now. Keep it dry and at room temperature or slightly cooler and it should last well into the winter. If at some point you feel it is getting soft and are worried it might spoil, then freeze it. Break the bulbs apart, peel the cloves and put them in a glass jar in the freezer. Then whenever you need garlic for a recipe grab as many cloves as you need. We suggest using a glass jar because the strong garlic odor can seep out of a plastic jar or bag into the other food in your freezer.
  • Green onions complete this final CSA box .
  • Extras – eggplant, tomatoes, hot peppers …

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Around the farm this week …

At this time of year the farm includes both nice, clean, new beds of vegetables (above) and tired & weedy vegetables (below).

The fall/winter cover crop is coming up in our big field. This is where we will be growing vegetables next year.
Eggplant still growing strong

Thanks again for being part of our CSA!


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CSA 2022 – Week 16

The passing of time can be marked in various ways – by weeks, or months, or seasons …

But here on the farm we most often measure time by crops.

And right now it is squash time (otherwise known as fall).

While our customers have been asking about it for awhile, we have been in no hurry for squash. Our stock answer is that we haven’t even looked at the squash patch since we planted it. And that is not far from the truth.

We started the squash seeds in the greenhouse at the end of May and then transplanted the seedlings to the field a few weeks later. A mixed cover crop was seeded into the field about the same time. We hoed the squash once and then never set foot into the patch until last week.

This is what it looked like, so we really had no idea if there was any squash there or not.

Why do we neglect our squash? Because squash is not a high value crop. It takes up a lot of space, for a long time, with little return. So it is not worth putting much time or effort into raising it. Fortunately squash doesn’t demand much attention. We grow it because it matures at the end of our season, when we need to fill our tables at market and need a new vegetable for our CSA box. It looks beautiful, tastes great and people love squash – especially the heirloom varieties we grow.

When we finally ventured into the patch last week, we discovered a decent crop of most varieties. (We grew 15 kinds this year.)

And the real reason we are never in a hurry for squash season? Harvesting squash involves a lot of bending & heavy lifting and we are tired & weary from the long season. But we finally got at it and squash will be available at the farmers’ market this week and in the CSA box.

What’s in the box?

Winter squash, green onions, fennel, fall radishes, salad greens, beets, green peppers, tomatoes, garlic.

  • Here’s part of our squash harvest so far. Choose from several varieties this week. We will have them labelled along with a brief description to help you make your choice.
  • Green onions are back after a long absence. They don’t grow well in the hot weather but are looking good now.
  • Another crop of fennel is ready for harvest. Fennel has a beautiful anise or licorice flavour and is wonderful shaved into salads or sliced on a vegetable tray. Roasting or sauteing fennel results in a milder and very delicious flavour. The green fronds are also delicious and often cooked with fish or added to salads. Check out fennel recipes & tips on how to use it at http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com.
  • How did you like the fall radishes? Enjoy another radish in your box this week.
  • There will be a bag of salad greens in the box – maybe spinach, bok choy, or baby kale …
  • Beets, green peppers (the coloured ones continue to spoil from the rains), tomatoes & garlic complete the box.

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Around the farm this week …

The buckwheat field has been mowed, turned under and reseeded to a fall cover crop of oats, vetch, clover and peas. Next summer we will grow vegetables here.
Cover crop already growing where vegetables are finished.

Our market stall at Georgetown this past Saturday.

After this week, there is just 1 more week of CSA!


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CSA 2022 – Week 15

Life is quiet and peaceful on the farm this time of year.

It’s just us here. Our summer student crew has long since returned to school. It is off-season for the strawberry farm next door, so no activity there. Across the road, the neighbour’s peaches are picked and the orchard is empty – of both fruit and people. It is quiet all around.

Depending on the wind direction we might hear the kids playing outside at recess at the school just down the road. Of course the trains go by and whistle for the crossing, but we barely notice. The occasional flock of Canada geese flies over honking. And that’s about it for noise.

Usually.

Friday was different. It was neither quiet nor peaceful.

The neighbours had come the previous night and removed their bee hives from our buckwheat field. Whether some bees were left behind or perhaps some returned looking for their home I’m not sure, but there were a lot of loud and aggressive bees on the farm Friday. And they took their aggression & anger out on us! Vegetables had to be picked – for CSA pick-up and for Saturday market – but the bees wouldn’t leave us alone. We resorted to wearing complete hazmat suits, with only our faces exposed. Not very comfortable on a hot, humid day! We would rush out to the patch, pick for a few minutes until the bees found us then return to the barn for a break, bees chasing us all the way. This continued all day. We never did get everything picked. Finally by late afternoon the neighbours returned with some empty hives for the bees to hopefully gather in.

I suppose it sounds funny and probably looked funny too – but we failed to see the humour. We were hurting from the many bee stings we all received.

Here’s hoping any remaining bees have settled down and are calm for our vegetable picking this week.

Or else your CSA box just might be empty!

What’s in the box?

Fall radishes, kale, salad greens, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, garlic.

Tuesday only – green beans

  • Fall radishes (often called winter radishes – but I can’t bear to say that in September!) are large, beautiful and delicious. They have the same flavour as spring radishes – but slightly stronger & sharper. Slice them thinly into salads or slaw, or roast them along with other vegetables. Check for recipes at http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com. (Look under daikon or watermelon radishes.) Choose from 3 colours – pink, white or purple. Wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge they can keep for a month or more.
  • This will be the first time we’ve offered bunches of kale in the CSA box this season. Earlier we had bags of baby kale and often there is baby kale in the salad mix. But this week it’s full size kale. Eat it for the great taste and eat it because it is healthy! We are growing black kale (pictured below) – also known as dinosaur kale – as well as curly kale.
  • We know you have been missing our lettuce. It is back! This week’s box will include a bag of salad mix – mostly lettuce, plus some add-ins such as arugula, mizuna, mustard, baby kale … Enjoy!
  • Jalapeno peppers (for those who want the heat), tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers & garlic round out the box this week.
  • There will also be green beans for Tuesday’s pick-up only. Thursday, Friday & Saturday members received beans last week. (There are still several plantings of beans growing. Depending on the weather they may appear in the box again this season (there are only 2 more weeks after this week) and will certainly be a part of our fall CSA.)

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Around the farm this week …

The tomato plants are looking weedy & weary – they have been producing tomatoes since late June.
The weeds are flourishing – they love all the rain we’ve been having.
A few rows of just planted spinach and kohlrabi.

Rosemary continues to amuse us with her kitten antics!

Her and Sage are slowly getting used to each other. It does NOT always go well!

After this week, there are just 2 more weeks of CSA!


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CSA 2022 – Week 14

It’s raining today – a lovely, slow, soft, steady rain.

This rain is very welcome.

While we had some rain last week and the week before, it is ideal to get rain every week in the summer when the crops are growing – and thirsty.

The downside of this rain is the damage it can cause to the vegetables – tomatoes tend to crack, peppers rot, greens too. The weeds will flourish. Our picking schedule is thrown off.

And since Monday is the day we finalize the contents of the CSA box for the week, this precipitation causes some uncertainty there.

What’s in the box?

(Here is our best estimation for the box – but it could be different at pick-up!)

Beets, salad greens, sweet peppers, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic,

and ???

  • Beets are back in the box this week. We are picking 3 varieties – the common red beets, which are a lovely dark colour, golden beets, and the candy cane which are red & white striped. You may find any of these or a mixture in your share. They all taste similar (perhaps the candy cane are slightly sweeter?) and are delicious!
  • We are hoping to include 2 salad greens this week. There could be mini-romaine lettuce, lettuce mix, spinach, arugula or bok choy.
  • Sweet peppers will continue to be picked green rather than waiting for them to ripen and turn colour and risk losing more to rot.
  • Another planting of green beans is ready to harvest – when the weather allows.
  • There are plenty of tomatoes on the plants in the field. Many will crack & spoil in today’s rain but there should still be enough for the boxes this week.
  • Zucchini & garlic complete the box.

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Around the farm this week …

Some of our recent plantings.
The weeds are coming on with a vengeance!
Waiting out the rain in the barn.