Thank you for purchasing a CSA Share for the 2018 Season. We welcome our many families returning and a number of newcomers for another season of veggies., ''On the Farm'. We look forward to getting to know each one of you throughout the season.Each winter we hideaway on the farm , evaluating our past season, setting new goals and dreaming about the upcoming season. From countless hours reviewing our seed catalogues to learning new and innovative farming methods not a moment of the snow covered days are wasted. Our CSA program is key to financing the farms annual activities. Each season the proceeds from our CSA sales is directed into our growing season operating fund and is used for seed purchases, supplements and supplies, infrastructure pieces and farm rehabilitation. This year in addition to our seeds and supplements we purchased a 30 by 50' high hoop greenhouse for early season starts, upgraded another greenhouse structure and are in the process of building our walk in cooler and new covered processing and washing station.Many of our returning families will recall our difficulties with field water last season that left us with the Tractor buried to the seat in the middle of our field. The 8 by 10' crater 5' deep that was left in our field from having the tractor dug out turned out to be a welcome gift. It appears that one of the reasons the tractor was swallowed up in the field was because of an underground waterway that runs through the centre of our main growing field, unbenounced to us. The crater became known as our field pond which is continually filling with water from the newly uncovered waterway. This season we have been using the pond to feed our irrigation system and fill water storage and fertilizer fermenting barrels for summer use. When you get lemons....... In addition to our large high hoop greenhouse which is currently growing early season crops (carrots, radishes, mustards, lettuces and beets it is soon to harvest and just recently inter-planted replanted with our awaiting tomato, pepper and eggplan crops for the season. An additional smaller greenhouse was added and had raised beds installed for early season seeding and for one of our summer cucumber crops.Moving in to May our front garden area has sprouted and quickly maturing and our main growing field has been tilled, supplemented, seeded and mostly filled with our transplants. Our vegetables transplants for crops such as Squash, melons, field cucumbers is ongoing for about the next 3 weeks. We are planning for our Early Season Baskets (Homestead and Flex shares) to be offered on two dates May 30 or June 06, 2018. It is anticipated that our Main season baskets will commence around June 20, 2018. We will keep you posted as crops mature.Over the past couple of years we have worked at making a number of changes to our CSA program and our planting schedules. We have adjusted our number of plantings we are doing, which will result in a greater rotation of vegetables in the baskets throughout the growing season. We have changed a number of our seed suppliers due to corporate buyouts 'by Big AG Companies' and added additional varieties of carrots, radishes, turnips and tomatoes. We have added additional varieties of greens, such as arugulas, alternative salad mixes and additional varieties of winter squash. Throughout the season we will be doing our newsletter and will beincluding tips and tricks for storing, canning and preserving the harvest and the weekly recipes to assist in using all that is offered in your basket. Our goal is to ensure that there is zero waste from your basket. We look forward to a great year and are hopeful you will enjoy your 'On the Farm' CSA Baskets.
In the fields.......
Our first, second and third plantings have been completed in our spring crop growing area, and many of those crops are maturing. Our lettuce, turnips, kale, chard, radishes, mustards and arugulas are all nearing harvest form and will appear in the early season baskets for those who have purchased a Homestead share or a Flex share..
The first sets of carrots, beets and peas have been seeded, sprouted and are growing nicely tucked under their crop cover. They will be ready for harvest shortly after our Main Season commences in late June/early July.
We took a gamble again this year in late march and planted a set of early Banana fingerling potatoes ( my absolute favourite potato). They have sprouted and are growing nicely.
Our new High hoop house. Please note the photo on the right was taken 1 week after seeding (April).
On the animal front.
Dereck (Our Indian Runner Duck) and his family have greatly enjoying the wet winter and spring. With our main field being under water for the most of it they have spent their days swimming and sloshing in the field clearing any bugs and weed seeds they could find.
We did a small hatching in our incubator this spring that netted 6 more egg layers. Unfortunately the hatching also included 6 Roosters, the have since moved off the farm.
As we continue to expand our vegetable fields and our animal areas we find ourselves in need a little assistance with the ongoing maintenance. I suspect that a couple of goats or even a few sheep may be arriving this season.