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CSA 2020 – Week 17 – 2nd last week!

Here’s what we’ve been up to these last few days!

The squash is all in. There’s lots of it and it’s big!! Actually some of them are huge – one weighed almost 36 pounds and another 39. There’s a lot of eating in a squash that size!

We had a light frost this morning. Not enough to do any damage, but a good reminder that it is fall and we should not take this mild weather for granted! We feel fortunate. Some of our farmer friends from Georgetown market and areas north received a killing frost on the weekend which brought their season to an abrupt end.

Our CSA program continues for this week and 1 more, and our farmers’ market at Georgetown carries on until October 17. Here’s hoping for good weather and no more frost, so we have crops to fill our CSA boxes and market tables to the end.

What’s in the box?

Squash, sweet peppers, green onions, salad greens, kale, garlic.

  • Choose several winter squash for your CSA box this week. Take your pick from a few different varieties – either something familiar, or perhaps a new squash that you have not tried before. Squash stores well – keep them dry and at room temperature. Actually the flavour of most squash improves after a few weeks of curing. So no rush to eat them!
  • Our sweet peppers continue to produce! Remember that peppers can keep for several weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. They also freeze well and are great to use for cooking in the winter. Just remove the stems & seeds and cut into pieces – whatever size you like. Freeze overnight on a baking sheet and bag the next day. Then grab whatever amount you need when cooking – they’re great in anything from omelets, stir-fries, stews, sauces … Or try roasting sweet peppers. It’s a bit of work but worth it – they taste amazing! Find instructions for roasting peppers at (a subscription based recipe & information site that is free with your CSA. It includes 900+ recipes, storage & preserving tips etc. Please email us for your access key if you have forgotten it).
  • Green onions, salad greens (maybe lettuce, spinach, salad mix or arugula), kale and garlic complete this week’s CSA share.


Around the farm this week …

It is starting to look like fall.


Good picks of beautiful eggplant – especially for late September.


We’re still planting!

Sage with her best friend Milo.

Watching bugs.


Remember – next week is the final week for CSA 2020!




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CSA 2020 – Week 16

They say that farmers always complain about the weather and are never completely satisfied.

Not true!

I am totally satisfied with the 25mm of much needed rain that we received on Sunday morning, and the comfortable temperatures we enjoyed today, and the sunshine that is in the forecast all week … though it would be helpful if the nights were a little bit warmer … and maybe the days too – just a couple of degrees (to help ripen the peppers) … and we could use another 25mm of precipitation (during the night, of course) … but other than that, I’m totally satisfied 🙂

The rain was a soaking-in kind of rain and the crops responded immediately. The entire farm looks refreshed! Our greens including lettuce, spinach, salad mix, arugula… are loving these seasonal temperatures and growing so well. Even the tomato plants have perked up and don’t look quite as weary & stressed.

What’s in the box?

Flowering broccoli, winter squash, shishito peppers, sweet peppers,

 salad greens, green beans, beets, garlic.

  • Flowering broccoli or hon tsai tai is a new crop for us. Beautiful green leaves & stems with a hint of purple veining, they are tender, mild & juicy with a hint of broccoli taste. These young shoots are delicious in fresh salads, stir-fries and pasta dishes. Ours have no flowers yet but we don’t want to wait, choosing rather to eat them when they are still so tender. Flowering broccoli has become my snack of choice when I’m out in the field!

  • We picked the first of our winter squash today. Turns out that it is a good crop of good-sized squash. This week there are 2 kinds to choose from. There is a mini butternut called Brulee which has a rich, nutty orange flesh with a hint of sweetness and Sweet Dumpling which is a very sweet, small squash with moist, yellow flesh.
  • The shishito peppers were a big hit with many of our CSA members – so we’ve included them again this week. The traditional way to prepare shishitos is to char them whole in a cast-iron skillet with a bit of olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until they begin to blister on all sides. This only takes a few minutes. Sprinkle with salt and maybe a splash of lemon or lime juice and some parmesan cheese, and serve immediately. Eat the whole pepper – except the stem. Remember that 1 in 10 can be slightly hot! While shishitos are from Japan, we have a market customer who grew up in northern Spain where shishitos are grown as well – with a different name of course!
  • Also included in your CSA share this week …  Sweet peppers – mostly red shepherds which are delicious & sweet, or coloured bell peppers. Salad greens – probably a salad mix which includes a beautiful mix of various greens, or spinach. Green beans – we’re picking a fresh patch of beans this week.  Beets – the beets are larger than we have had previously and therefore not as tender. Our favourite way to prepare them is to cut into smaller pieces, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with (fresh or dried) herbs such as thyme or rosemary and roast slowly in the oven until they are tender & delicious! Garlic – we finally took the time to sort our garlic & set aside what we need to save for seed for next year’s crop. What’s left is enough for the CSA boxes this week (and maybe next), but the bulbs are getting a lot smaller now. That’s because we plant the biggest ones to ensure we get the best garlic next year!
  • Extras – hot peppers


Around the farm this week …

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CSA 2020 – Week 15

Suddenly it feels like fall!

The nights are getting colder, the morning dews are heavier, it’s still dark long after I get up. Some mornings I even wear a sweatshirt for awhile!

It is beginning to look like fall too.

Along the railroad tracks the goldenrod is turning yellow …

… and is full of bees & other insects.

The sumac is changing colour …

… and the ornamental grass along the barn is blooming.

On the farm the later crops are (mostly) coming along nicely.

Of course there are lots of weeds and messy patches too.

The squash plants are finally dying back and we can see the fruit – an average crop with above average size squash.

The tomato plants are weary and looking dishevelled – but still producing tasty tomatoes.

But the blackberries are finished – just the odd cluster of small berries left.

Some of us are also getting tired!

What’s in the box?

Sweet peppers, Chinese cabbage, kale, beans, bok choy, tomatoes, green onions, garlic.

  • The sweet peppers are coming on strong now – the large bells as well as the red shepherds, which are very sweet …

… and the mini bells too. These are a perfect size for putting in the lunch box, or stuff them with cream cheese etc … for a colourful & delicious hors d’oeuvre.

  • There will be another Chinese cabbage in your share this week. Tender, crisp & mild, they are delicious in salads, slaws or cooked. Stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, Chinese cabbage will keep for several months – so no rush to finish it!

  • This week’s kale is too big to be called baby kale and too small to be bunched like full-sized kale. It is somewhere in between! Still small enough for salads but big enough to be steamed, sauteed, stir fried or …
  • Once again the beans in your box could be green beans or the dragon’s tongue (yellow beans with purple stripes). They are both great but I think the dragon’s tongue are a bit tastier. To preserve the purple stripe, blanch them very briefly. A longer cooking time results in plain yellow beans.
  • Tomatoes, green onions and garlic round out the box this week.
  • Extras – hot peppers


Around the farm this week …

Cracking garlic for planting next month.

Hiding under an eggplant.

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CSA 2020 – Week 14

Here’s a view of our pepper patch.

It is always a long wait for peppers to mature.

They first ones were seeded back in late February. In April we transplanted them into bigger pots. About mid-June we planted them in the field. Since then we have tended them and waited … We picked the first peppers – jalapenos & shishitos – at the end of July. Gradually other varieties matured and now … finally … it’s pepper season!

Along with the jalapenos …

and shishitos …

we are picking lots of others – some sweet & others hot, both big & small, long & short, and all colours …

and still waiting on more to ripen …

They are beautiful to look at, fun to pick, and exciting to eat – especially the hot ones !

What’s in the box?

Peppers, kale bunches, cucumbers, beans, edamame, tomatoes,

zucchini, salad greens, garlic.

  • Find a sweet pepper or 2 in your box this week – maybe green or red or orange or purple …
  • Baby kale for salads has been in the CSA box several times this season. This week we move to larger kale. While it can still be used fresh in salads, it is also sturdy enough for cooking. Don’t have a favourite go-to kale recipe? Check out for a large selection. (this recipe site is included with your CSA share. Please email us for your access code if you have forgotten it.)
  • Our next planting of cucumbers, which we planted in the greenhouse, began producing last week. We’re hoping there is enough for everyone this week. They certainly turned out better than our first few plantings, but even these have a few scars and marks on them. They still taste great though!
  • Beans – either green beans or the yellow-with-purple-stripes dragon’s tongue beans will be in your share.
  • We offered edamame (fresh soybeans) a few weeks ago and it was well received. Boil in salted water for 3-5 minutes. Pop the beans out of their pods, eat & enjoy! We like to sprinkle some lime or lemon juice on them.
  • Tomatoes, zucchini (and summer squash), a salad green (spinach, lettuce, arugula, or salad mix …), and garlic complete the box this week.
  • extras – hot peppers for those who enjoy them!


Around the farm this week …

Transplanting when tired = crooked rows!!

Flynn calls this hunting!




CSA 2020 – Week 13

It’s late August and the farm is a study in contrast.

Some areas are waist deep in weeds while other parts are neat & tidy.

There are beds full of vibrant green & thriving crops next to rows of weary & sad looking vegetables.

Overall I think it is accurate to say the farm looks a little rough around the edges.

And we’re okay with that. We’re at the height of harvest, and still seeding & planting weekly, watering daily, and weeding – when we can find the time, and energy! Plus we really, really need a good rain!

What’s in the box?

Chinese cabbage, fall radishes, zucchini, blackberries, tomatoes, 

green onions, garlic, beets …

  • Chinese cabbage is another of my favourite vegetables. Crisp, tender, and mild – it is delicious used fresh in a salad instead of lettuce. Or use the large leaves as wraps, make it into coleslaw, kimchi or stir-fry it. While the outer leaves are a lovely green colour, the inside is often creamy white. Our Chinese cabbage is normally a heavy, solid, tight head, but these are more like a head of romaine lettuce – loose & leafy. If we wait until they form a tighter head we may lose them again like we did the spring cabbages. This hot & dry weather is not ideal for cabbage!
  • Fall radishes (or winter radishes) are different from spring radishes. They take much longer to mature and the result is a larger, but milder, crispy radish. They are most delicious eaten raw but can also be stir-fried, or roasted. We seeded 8 different kinds this year – white, red, purple and watermelon radishes (pale green with pink centres). They had been growing well, but aphids suddenly got into the patch and sucked the life out of the green leaves. Without leaves the radishes cannot grow. We’ll lift the insect netting and get a closer look tomorrow – at least several varieties should be large enough to harvest.
  • The new zucchini patch is producing prolifically now – both green & yellow, along with several kinds of summer squash – yellow patty pan, round yellow and lemon (so named because they resemble a lemon in both shape & colour). Despite the differences in appearance they all taste much the same and can be used the same way. Our favourite way to enjoy zucchini is sliced thickly, brushed with olive oil and grilled on the BBQ until tender. Season with salt & pepper. One of our CSA members uses slices of summer squash as a pizza base, spreading her toppings on then grilling or baking them.
  • The remainder of the CSA box is familiar – blackberries, tomatoes, green onions, garlic & beets.
  • ??? We’re also picking some other vegetables this week – cucumbers, beans, carrots …  There is  not quite enough of any of these for everybody. But you should find at least one of these additional vegetables in your share.
  • Our hot peppers are slowly ripening. Some of the milder ones have already been available and as the hotter varieties mature we will have them on the table as extras for those who like some heat! From our experience so far they are really HOT this season!!


Around the farm this week …

Amy is still seeding (mostly just greens now), so I still have lots of transplanting to do!

More contrast … A new planting of spinach (left) is doing well, while the lettuce (right) has mostly died. This is despite daily watering. We’re probably losing at least 1/3 of our new plantings these days. It’s just too hot & dry for them to get established & grow.

Lots of weeds = lots of fun for somebody!

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CSA 2020 – Week 12

It’s been a while!

After a disappointingly dry weekend – despite rain in the forecast, rain on the radar map, and rain falling around us – we finally received a good downpour late this afternoon.

And here is the proof – puddles in the yard!

But more importantly, when I dig down in the vegetable fields the rain has soaked right in. What a blessing!

It came at the best time too. I had spent much of the day transplanting vegetables on the farm. Where the onions were recently harvested, I planted lettuce mix and spinach.

Where I had put in beets a couple of weeks ago, I replanted beets again – another 2000+ beet plants to replace the 2000+ that didn’t make it through without rain (despite my daily watering).

I had just filled the sprayer with water to water these transplants in when the precipitation began.

Plus, the water truck had just emptied 2500 gallons of water into our cistern so I could begin watering the tomatoes, peppers & eggplant which are showing signs of stress.

Today’s rain will help all the crops on the farm. The new vegetable transplants will get off to a great start, and the blackberries, tomatoes and other vegetables will be refreshed & re-energized.

And I won’t have to spend so much time watering – for at least a few days!

What’s in the box?

Edamame, shishito peppers, green peppers, salad greens, green beans, blackberries, tomatoes, zucchini, onions or green onions, garlic.

(Please remember to return your boxes and any containers for reuse. Thank you!)

  • We have grown edamame for years, to sell at our farmers’ markets, but have never offered it in our CSA boxes – till now! Edamame are fresh soybeans that are picked when the bean pods are plump & ripe but before they start to dry up. (They are not the same as the fields of soybeans that are grown all over the province.) Edamame are full of protein, fibre and loaded with vitamins & minerals – a very healthy vegetable. Traditionally served as a Japanese bar snack, they are easy to prepare. Simply boil the pods in salted water for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the water, drain and sprinkle with lime juice. Then squeeze the pods to pop out the beans and enjoy as a healthy snack. Delicious!
  • Shishito peppers are another Asian delight – a small, thin, bright green pepper, with a sweet, fruity flavour and thin, tender, wrinkled skin. What makes a shishito exciting is that 1 in 10 peppers will be hot! They are simple to prepare and delicious to eat! While you can use them as you would any other sweet pepper, they are at their best when charred in olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan over medium-high heat. Cook the peppers whole, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. This only takes a few minutes. Sprinkle with salt and maybe a splash of lemon or lime juice and some parmesan cheese, and serve immediately. Eat the whole pepper – except the stem.
  • As usual the sweet peppers are taking their sweet time to ripen. Rather than wait for colour, we’ll pick some green and enjoy them now. There will be plenty of red, yellow & orange peppers later.
  • There will be another pint of blackberries in your share this week. Please check last week’s newsletter for details on our use of pesticides on the blackberries.
  • The rest of your box this week will include a salad green (lettuce, spinach, baby kale or arugula), green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, an onion or a bunch of green onions and a bulb of garlic. 

Enjoy the abundance of August!


Around the farm this week …

Another planting of beets just weeded.

Green onions, basil, dill … waiting to be weeded!

Summer squash.



The winter squash patch.




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CSA 2020 – Week 11

What’s in the box?

Blackberries, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, garlic.

  • When blackberry harvest begins we know that summer is at least half over! Blackberries are always a highlight of the season. It seems almost everybody enjoys blackberries. Picked properly they are a little sweet & a little tart. If they aren’t quite ripe, they are sour. Too ripe and they are soft & mushy, but incredibly sweet. We try to pick them as ripe as possible, but still firm. Unlike raspberries, blackberries are not hollow, but have a centre core which is soft & edible. The only way to eat a blackberry is to pop the whole thing in your mouth. Try to take a small bite, and you are covered in black, staining juice. Blackberries are best eaten fresh, but also make great jam, juice, sauce, ice cream …
  • Please note that we do use pesticides on our blackberries. For many years we did not. That was one of the good things about growing blackberries – no spraying necessary! Then along came the spotted wing drosophila. Spotted wing drosophila is an invasive vinegar fly that has the potential to cause extensive damage to many fruit crops – especially soft and dark coloured fruit like blackberries. In the last number of years it has been found throughout much of southern Ontario and most of the fruit-growing areas of North America, and has become a chronic pest in berry and tender fruit crops. Effective biological controls are not yet available. There are cultural practices that we use to help reduce the insect populations, but the only effective control right now is chemical. And so we spray regularly to try to kill the spotted wing drosophila and protect our blackberries (and elderberries). We would rather not! But then again, we would rather not have worms in our blackberries!
  • Carrots and I have a complicated relationship. First of all, I prefer not to eat them – especially raw – except maybe shredded in coleslaw or salad. Then, we find them difficult to grow. I’m not sure why. 2020 was going to be the year we grew lots of amazing carrots – carrots of every size & colour. Beautiful carrots! Alas it was not to be. We seeded carrots 5 times this season. Two times they never even germinated. Twice they came up spotty but ok, and once we got a lovely patch of carrots. Not a good average at all! We have spent way too much time weeding them, watering them and encouraging them! This week the CSA box will include a bunch of carrots from the good patch. We’ll pick them tomorrow so fingers crossed there will be an abundance of sweet & delicious carrots. But you’ll have to tell me how they taste – I probably won’t try them!
  • Green beans will be in the box this week, along with tomatoes (beefsteak & cherries), zucchini, green onions and garlic.


Thank you for the many good wishes, cards, emails, flowers, food … and love that we have received this past week since the passing of Lorie’s dad. He was a fixture on our farm for many years and many of our CSA members & market customers knew him well.

He was well-loved and is greatly missed!


CSA 2020 – Week 10


An inch (26mm) of rain fell on the farm over the weekend – a very, very welcome inch of rain! All the crops (and weeds too) are looking refreshed and healthier this morning. While an inch isn’t a lot after so many weeks of drought, it will still go a long way to helping all our vegetables and the blackberries.

What’s in the box ?

Jalapeno peppers, fresh cut herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro…), tomatoes, beets, zucchini, onions, fresh garlic, salad greens.

extras – kohlrabi, sunflowers, basil ?

  • We don’t often put hot peppers in our CSA box, offering them as an extra rather, since many people do not prefer them. But our jalapenos are so beautiful this summer we couldn’t resist. You will find just a couple in your share this week. Jalapenos are usually on the milder end of the hot pepper spectrum – but they can sometimes pack a punch! It’s a bit of a surprise! Slice them into your salad, or morning eggs, or whatever sauce or dish you are cooking for a little something extra. We like to scrape out the seeds and stuff them with whatever cheese is around, wrap them with bacon and bake or roast them until the bacon is cooked and the cheese is melted. Or instead of cheese we’ll use a piece of fruit.
  • Choose a bunch of fresh cut herbs this week – parsley, dill, cilantro …
  • The rest of your CSA share includes the bounty of summer – tomatoes, juicy & flavourful, sweetened by the sun, beets, zucchini (amazing how some hot sun & a bit of rain on the weekend plumped them up. Most of them are grilling size – perfect for the BBQ), onions, and fresh garlic. The salad greens this week will be either spinach or a lettuce mix. Most of the spinach & lettuce we have planted in the last few weeks has succumbed to the heat and lack of moisture (despite our efforts to water & keep it growing) but a few small patches made it! Maybe they were planted at the right time & caught the few raindrops we had the other week, maybe the moon was right, maybe they were in better soil, maybe I watered them a bit more or prayed over them more ???? But enjoy a mid-summer salad this week. This weekend’s rain will certainly benefit the salad greens and hopefully increase production again in the next few weeks.
  • Also available for those who choose are kohlrabi, sunflowers & maybe basil (weather dependant).


Around the farm this week …

Blackberry harvest has begun! We will pick blackberries every Monday, Wednesday & Friday now, until the season is over – usually mid-September. It may take a another week or 2 until we get enough for our CSA boxes.

Lettuce patch ready to harvest – the first nice lettuce we’ve had in a few weeks.


Other crops have struggled.

Transplanted these vegetables last Thursday. Thanks to the rain they are (mostly) doing well.

77 large round bales were delivered – for mulching crops next year.


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CSA 2020 – Week 9

If it won’t rain we have to make our own!

It’s been a long, loooong time since we have had a good soaking rain on the farm – and the crops are showing it! New transplants especially have an almost impossible chance of getting established and growing well. But we keep trying, and give them a daily watering for the first week or so. Success is limited!

Rainwater is collected from all our barn roofs and stored in several large cisterns. Then we fill our old sprayer and use a hose to water the little seedlings – usually from the tractor seat, though sometimes we have to drag the hose down the rows. It’s the easiest & most efficient way for us to get life-saving moisture to the vegetables. However if a good rain doesn’t come soon, we will have to start watering even the established vegetables like tomatoes & peppers and the blackberries too. That will mean buying water by the truckload (if it’s available) which gets expensive. Plus it is a time consuming task during an already busy season.

Come on rain!!!

What’s in the box?

Mini red romaine lettuce, Spanish onion, beets, tomatoes, fresh garlic, basil.

green beans? salad greens?

extras – kohlrabi, eggplant, zucchini.

  • Another variety of mini romaine lettuce is ready. This one is a very dark red/burgundy colour.
  • We have been waiting for our big Spanish onions to grow larger – but without rain, growth has stopped and the tops are drying off rapidly. So we will pick them! Most years we have onions for several weeks, sometimes even for the rest of the season. However this year the seeds germinated poorly and then more seed was not available during the height of the pandemic. By the time we could get seed, it was too late to plant. So we will have big onions only for a week or two. But we’re still planting green onions and will have them in the box again soon.
  • More beets are ready for harvesting. Beets continue to be one of our most popular vegetables for CSA and at the market. This week we will have orange beets and candy cane (red & white striped), along with the usual dark purple (red) beets.
  • Tomatoes big & tomatoes small, this week we’ll have them all – lots of cherry sized fruit especially, and the first few larger beefsteak tomatoes too.
  • Everyone was excited for the fresh garlic last week. We will be including a bulb in each CSA box for the rest of the season. Garlic lovers can enjoy the strong, fresh flavour now – but the bulbs can also be dried for using later in the year. Keep them at room temperature away from any moisture and they will dry out nicely in a few weeks.
  • Basil is one crop that really, really likes this dry weather. There will be another bunch in your share this week – either lemon (which was a big hit!!) or regular Genovese basil (also delicious!).
  • Green beans are starting – but there will probably not be enough for everyone this week. We seed beans every week – 8 times so far, and will continue to seed them for another 3 or 4 weeks. So there will be lots of beans coming. Same with other salad greens. These continue to struggle through the heat but there should be some ready (later) this week.
  • Extras this week include kohlrabi, eggplant & zucchini. Some members have had enough of them (kohlrabi) or have lots in their own gardens (zucchini) or don’t really enjoy them (eggplant) but we will have them available for those who would like them.

** Please remember to return your vegetable containers & boxes so we can re-use them!


We enjoy tomato salads these days. Here are our 2 favourite recipes.

1. Quick Tomato Salad

Chop some tomatoes – any size, shape, colour, quantity … Add a handfull of dill … For the dressing combine equal parts sugar & vinegar (or less sugar depending on taste). Salt & pepper to taste.

2. Tomato Salad

For the dressing combine –

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1½ tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon each salt & pepper


1 clove fresh garlic

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups chopped cucumbers

½ cup each chopped green & red pepper

¼ cup chopped (red) onion

1 can chickpeas (drained)

Combine and add to the dressing. Marinate for 2 hours.

Then add ½ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

½ cup feta cheese.


Around the farm this week …

The blackberries are beginning to show some colour! Usually their season starts during the 2nd week of August. They sure could use a few inches of rain to help them get some size and energize the canes.

It’s Japanese beetle season – they show up in July, do their damage and disappear sometime in August. Here they are on the edamame (soybeans). Sunflowers are another favourite of theirs.


Most of the greens have to be covered now. The insects are hungry & thirsty and are even eating the kale  and other crops that normally are pest-free!

A new sweet pepper we are trying – candy cane!

Hot peppers and a new planting of cucumbers in the greenhouse. They both need weeding but it’s too hot to work in there these days  😦

Can you spot Sage hiding in the squash?

Everyone likes ice coffee on a hot day!

Georgetown market



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CSA 2020 – Week 8

A bright green field against a background of dark green trees under a perfect blue sky with white fluffy clouds. Not a bad place to spend some time this afternoon!

This field is not growing any vegetables in 2020. We are fortunate to have enough acreage available that we can take fields out of production and grow cover crops for a year, both to give them a rest, and to improve the soil. I seeded this field back in May to a mixture of oats, peas, several kinds of clover, buckwheat and hairy vetch. The plants grow and bloom and then I mow them down before they go to seed. This afternoon was the 3rd or 4th time I’ve done this. And I’ll keep doing it until fall. Then I might till the plants into the soil, spread manure or compost and reseed another cover crop for the winter. Or if this one is still growing well, I might leave it until next spring. Then I’ll work the ground and we’ll grow vegetables here again.

We grew a mixture of cover crops because they each provide some benefit. Some are good at smothering weeds. Others provide nitrogen to the soil, or have deep roots that bring nutrients closer to the surface for our vegetables. All add organic matter which will decompose and improve the texture of the soil. On our farm we can see the improvements the cover crops have made, especially how our soil can hold moisture and keep our vegetables growing better even during this dry spell.

When I mow the cover crop down I usually leave a section unmowed, letting these plants flower to provide food & shelter for insects. As I mowed today there were all sorts of insects, moths, dragonflies … flying around. A flock of barn swallows followed the tractor, swooping & diving, catching insects to eat. A hawk soared overhead and then landed next to me – looking for mice. It is amazing how much life there can be in such a small area.

Not a bad place at all to spend some time this afternoon!

A few sunflowers self-seeded from last summer’s crop.

What’s in the box?

It’s mystery box week!

Fresh garlic, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, plus …?

  • We picked all our garlic last week – and it looks great! Lots & lots of beautiful bulbs! Fresh garlic has wonderful strong, pungent garlic flavour – much stronger than the garlic scapes you have been receiving in your box. Because it has just been pulled and is not dry, it should be kept at room temperature, and in a place with good air circulation. You can leave it there and it will slowly cure & dry. Or enjoy it right away in your cooking, but know that once the bulb is broken open it should be used within a few days. Enjoy!
  • The tomatoes are ripening faster & faster now and we are picking more & more. It is still mostly the smaller tomatoes that are ready, but the big beefsteaks are not far behind!
  • What goes with tomatoes? Basil. Great in a simple tomato salad. Or use your basil in bruschetta, a frittata or of course pesto. (lots of recipes & suggestions at *Treat basil like you would a bouquet of flowers – in a jar with water. DON’T put it in the fridge – the cold temperatures will turn it black.
  • plus … The remainder of the CSA box this week is a bit of a mystery. Mostly due to the weather we will have a bit of this and a bit of that. So the CSA boxes will contain different vegetables on each pick-up day …
  • There will be zucchini.
  • There should be some salad greens – probably lettuce, or baby kale, arugula or a greens mix. While we lost several new plantings during the heat the other week, some greens managed to grow & even regrow after cutting and are now ready for harvest – or will be later in the week.
  • We are finishing up with the 2nd planting of kohlrabi and just grabbing a few that are big enough from the 3rd.
  • Cucumbers are a failure for us so far this season. The 1st planting which we are picking now, suffered a lot of insect damage which affected both quality & quantity of the harvest. We are picking some nice ones now – but not many! The 2nd planting all died in the heatwave. A 3rd planting is doing great, growing in the greenhouse, but still a long ways from harvest. We have even seeded a 4th time now. Cucumbers are one of my favourite vegetables so we are not giving up!
  • The heat has also been hard on the broccoli (a cool weather crop). We are picking a smaller quantity.
  • And eggplant is just starting to come into season. Any of these vegetables might appear in your share this week.


Around the farm this week …

Is it groundhogs or rabbits that have been tasting the sunflowers? Fortunately they are just nibbling at a few plants next to the train tracks and leaving the rest alone – so I’ll leave them alone!

Pink sunrise this morning.

A beautiful sunrise the other Saturday on our way to market in Georgetown.

Our market setup this week.

Wild skies resulted in only a few raindrops – but no damaging storms either!

Sage enjoys cooling off at Lake Ontario …

… or chilling on the deck.

But Flynn can relax anywhere.