Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week #2 - Hurricane!!

This post is really late coming but we have a house full of family, four kids five and under and never ending dishes.  Life is good.  My sister and her family are visiting us from BC which has meant lots of play time for Ben & Jake.

Kids will be kids, gigantic controlled house fire and all they wanted to do was play in the big puddles

Too cute for words that kid

Silly kids at the beach

We just experienced the wildest weather that I can remember.  I'm not sure if it was technically a hurricane but the winds were crazy high all day yesterday sending branches flying, landscape fabric taking off and destroying many poor squash plants in the process, a greenhouse that threatened to tear apart and my poor nerves to almost shatter.  I was scared to look outside this morning to see what might be left of my precious greenhouse.  I peeked through the curtains and there it was, standing strong in all its glory.  I still haven't been out to really assess the full damage to all the plants but seeing the greenhouse still standing brought much relief. 

Week #2 had lots of greens again.  I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever have anything more than greens this season.  It's been a much different start to the season than the last two years.  I keep planting but the weeds keep trying to take over.  I'll have to have a crop rescue party soon.  This weeks shares included lettuce mix, spinach, beetgreens/swiss chard mix, summer turnips, radishes, Chinese cabbage, tatsoi and a spicy mizuna/arugula mix.  The grab boxes had gorgeous bok choy, swiss chard bunches, lettuce heads and more of the above mentioned veggies.


Beautiful Chinese cabbage


Love sharing the Charlottetown pick-up location every second Tuesday with these lovely ladies.  Sally and Lucy were there with their organic pastured chickens for their chicken CSA drop off.  http://barnyardchickens.blogspot.ca/

I hope you all survived the storm and if anyone is looking for a great outside escape and wants to see what a real good patch of lambs quarters looks like come on out and I'll find you a nice weedy patch to get lost in :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 CSA Week #1

The first CSA delivery of the 2014 season happened today.  We have a new location this year for weekly pick-up and I'm very pleased with it.  No more having to worry about traffic and high winds off the water.  Many thanks to the Spring Park United Church for allowing us to use their parking lot for our CSA pick-up location!!

It was a very green first share but folks seemed pleased so that was great.  This week share has lettuce mix, cooking spinach, baby spinach, radishes, hakurei turnips, hardy mix (mixture of arugula, mixuna and tatsoi) and bok choy. The grab bins had rhubarb, beet greens, fresh basil, basil plants, swiss chard, Chinese cabbage and more of the above mentioned veggies.

Week #1

It's a very busy time on the farm.  We still have alot of seeding to get done as well as try and keep up with the weeds!!!!  This year we are swimming in weeds!!

Enjoy all those farm fresh veggies!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Quick spring update

Well the spring sure got off to a damp chilly start leaving fields much to wet to prepare for early planting.  Last week we managed to work up a small section of ground and we transplanted our onions, shallots, leeks and direct seeded peas.  I have a list as long as my arm to direct seed and the weather this week looks very promising so I'm expecting to get alot of tasks scratched off of my to do list!!

I was invited to sell some herb and vegetable transplants at the first annual Herb Day at the farm centre in Charlottetown this past Saturday and it was a tonne of fun.  Saw so many folks that I knew and met so many great new people, I can't wait till next year.

Beautiful basil transplants which were available at the first annual Herb Day this past Saturday at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown
Below are just some pictures of recent activities here on the farm.  
Planting peas pretty much in the dark.  Rain was in the forecast for the next morning so it had to be done.


Before transplanting on Friday...greenhouse is full full full!!

After transplanting, finally some much needed space in the greenhouse for the next round of seeding this week!

Empty leeks/onions & shallots all planted in the field
Onions getting transplanted

Heading to the field with a big load of compost
Filling up the spreader

It was my first time running the manure spread.  It's normally Derek's job but scheduling has been a bit of an issue lately so figured it out and away I went!!


My silly little farmers!!
Greenhouse greens are slowly taking shape.  Arugula was the first crop harvested last week.  This week will be spinach and mizuna.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Employment Opportunity


We are seeking two energetic, hard working, reliable, physically fit and motivated individuals to work with us this season providing our CSA members and other clients with farm fresh organic vegetables. If you like working outside in all kinds of weather (yes, we work in the heat, rain, cold and wind), enjoy working with your hands, have a good sense of humor and don't mind getting dirty then you might just be who we are looking for. 

 You will often be lifting and moving bins of produce that could weigh up to fifty pounds so you will need to be physically fit. We work in a fast paced atmosphere as crops need to be harvested quickly to maintain a high level of quality. We grow over forty different types of crops so the work is always changing so I promise you'll never be bored. We need someone who can trouble shoot and think on their feet and who also has a keen attention to detail. 


No experience is necessary but a background or experience growing food would be an asset. Some of the duties you can expect will be transplanting, seeding in the greenhouse, weeding, harvesting, washing, weighing and preparing produce for our clients. 


Position #1 – 25-30 hours /week. Monday-Thursday. $12.00/hour
Position #2 – 14 hours/week. Monday& Wednesday. $12.00/hour
**There can be some flexibility in the hours between the two employees if need be**

These positions would start the end of June and finish the end of October. We also require extra help in the spring and later in the fall so an interested individual could start as early as the first of May but hours would be more flexible due to the nature of the work (ie transplanting). 


We are located in Wilmot Valley which is ten minutes east of Summerside and forty minutes west of Charlottetown. On top of the hourly wage we also provide free produce to our employees to take home and enjoy.

If you are interested in either position please contact us at JenAndDereksFarm@gmail.com  





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

18th CSA Week

Well, that's it folks.

The 2013 CSA season officially wraps up for another season this week.  It's been an amazing season although it was a tad bit stressful during the summer with the lack of rain but looking at the fall crops we had you'd never know it!!  I love this time of year when all of the old summer growth has been disked under and the dark blue/green cold hardy brassicas are going strong.  We have had amazing broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower the last few weeks and will continue for another few weeks as well.  We will be sending out weekly custom harvest e-mails to the CSA members for a few more weeks so there is still opportunity to receive more farm fresh veggies for a few weeks at least or until the ground freezes. 

This weeks large share has carrots, parsnips, spinach, broccoli, hakurei turnip, winter squash, green and red peppers, stirfry mix, onions and lettuce heads.  The grab bins were overflowing tonight with bok choy, beets, kale, chard, collards, hot peppers, parsley, tomatoes, purple and green cabbage, fennel, garlic, leeks, and green onions.


It's survey time of the year and we've been getting back some great feedback from our members.  It's always great to get to the end of a successful season and receive such great comments from members letting us know we are on the right track.  Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to complete their surveys and we look forward to reading more as they are completed.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this season amazing.  I don't like to name names in case I forget anyone but here goes nothing.  Thanks to the following folks for all their help harvesting, transplanting and/or weeding.  Christina, Rachael, Pauline, Erin, Coral, Sandie and Kim.

Thanks to Sally, Sarah and Shannon for their wonderful blogs which were entertaining and informative.

Thanks to my parents Gordon and Ruthanne for taking care of Ben & Jake often so that farm work could happen on weekends and during the week as well.

Thanks to B&B carpentry for the most awesome wash/packing building that has made such a giant difference in the day to day activities on the farm.

Thanks to my brother Andrew for creating the super awesome carrot digger that definitely saved my sanity this season. 

Thanks to Tim Dixon from Dixon Farms and his amazing beef and HoneyDew Apiaries for taking part and offering "add-ons" to our CSA program

Big thanks to Derek for often taking more than his fair share of "monster" duty during the crazy busy veggie season.

And last but not least, thanks to all our amazing CSA members for joining us again for another year of crazy farming adventures!!!!

I plan to blog now and then during the "off season" so check back now and again to see what we've been up to.  I was pretty slack lately with the picture taking but here are a few snap shots from this past week. 


Now that's some heavy cabbage!!!

Sweet baby spinach growing happily in the greenhouse

Such amazing red peppers this season

Leeks!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

17th CSA Week



It's the second last CSA pick-up for the 2013 season.  It seems crazy that its coming to a close already as the weather has been amazing and feels more early September than mid October.  I'm very thankful its been so nice as its made it much easier on the fingers harvesting.  I still have some pretty crazy cracked fingers and knuckles but it could always be worse.

This weeks large share has lettuce mix, spinach, tatsoi, carrots, parsley root, onions, shallots, bok choy, winter squash, lots of sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and white salad turnips.  The grab boxes had leeks, parsnips, cauliflower, beets, kale, collards, hot peppers, dill, cilantro, purple and green cabbage.  The herbs are pretty well toast so I wouldn't expect any in next weeks bins except good old parsley.

Beautiful direct seeded bok choy
So, I was all set to give everyone a nice large celeriac.  It's basically celery root but its not really celery like we're used to eating.  Anyway, its been growing since early April and this was the week to harvest it.  I was really excited as its the first year where they sized up nice.  So I used my fancy carrot lifter to cut the roots off because they can be a real pain to cut with a knife and got to work cleaning them up.  Much to my surprise many seemed hollow.  So I started cutting a few open to see what they looked like and everyone was either completely hollow or semi hollow!!!!!  Every single one!!!!!!  There goes 6.5 months of growing for nothing.  Grrrrrr.  But as they say, the show must go on. Check out some of the pictures I attached to check it out.  I'm leaning towards boron deficiency.  Crazyness indeed.

Everything looked great when I started into the celeriac patch.

Yikes!!!  This is what I found when I started cutting into a few of them



The worst were completely hollow and mush
But on a happier note the broccoli and cauliflower today were lovely so that more than made up for the celeriac.



We had a great Thanksgiving at my brothers and ate our faces off!!!  Wonderful.
Here are a few pictures from our first frost on Saturday evening.  We were lucky that it was so late this year!!

Frosty tomatoes

9:30am and the broccoli was still frosted

Basil the day before the frost.  Not looking its best but still growing and green

After frost.  Basil is always my tell tale plant on the degree of frost we had.
The eggplant were still flowering outside the day before the frost. 

Tomatoes were still thriving outside.  Frost took care of them
I harvested all of my sweet peppers from outside before the frost.   I got so many!!!




Fall clean up
Still lots of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage in the field



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

16th CSA Week

It was a rather damp start to the day with some interesting windy down pour moments but the skies cleared and it turned into a very lovely day.

This weeks large share has carrots, spinach, parsnips, leeks, brussel sprouts, winter squash, tomatoes (so many tomatoes!!!), peppers, garlic, lettuce heads, onions and cabbage.  The grab box selection was pretty awesome with dill, cilantro, parsley, mixed winter squash, hot peppers, salad turnips, beets, green onions, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, lots of extra carrots and swiss chard. 

We gave out the brussel sprouts on the stalk this week.  Last year we snapped the sprouts off the stalk with our thumbs but that was NO fun at all.  So this year I bought a pair of heavy duty loppers and I cut off the stalks and put one in every CSA bin.  I know not everyone likes brussel sprouts but I thought it would be interesting for folks to see how they grow.  To get the sprouts off just snap them with your thumb and then peel away any not so nice outer leaves. 

Ben and Jake showing off the brussel sprouts they helped harvest. 
We had our organic inspection on the weekend and it went very well. I always get nervous and anxious before hand and worry I will have forgotten something but all of our paper work was in order and our inspector seemed pleased with how things are going.  We are certified right now to grow "certified organic transplants" and next spring the entire farm will be certified organic. We currently are in "tranistion".  It takes three years from the last prohibited substance was used to be able to be certified.  We were certified on our last farm so are not new to the process. 

We have two weeks left of the CSA season.  I have mixed emotions about the season coming to a close, one one hand I'm happy and relieved that it was a successful year and we're ending with lots of veggies and lots of variety but I'll miss seeing everyone and hearing about everyone’s new favourite way to cook a certain vegetable or seeing the kids get so excited about picking out their veggies.  I am looking forward to getting some time to sit down and analyze the season and get caught up on some crazy stacks of paper work.  But the winter somehow flies by so I'll be back at it before I know it!!  It's been an amazing season despite the weather and I'm so lucky to have such a great group of CSA members to share in this crazy farming adventure. 

Here are just a few pictures from this past week.  Enjoy your veggies :)

Savoy cabbage

Getting the winter squash all gather and into the greenhouse.  What you see above isn't even half of what we collected.
Squash anyone???

The cutting bar is not just for carrots and parsnip.  Works great on leeks too

Beautiful swiss chard

Love love love my cutting bar.  It's saved me sooooooo much time this season

Jake showing off the potato he found in Gramy's field.