Saturday, May 31, 2008

Asparagus & Perennials

Derek and I finally planted the asparagus. Sixty crowns in all, hardly what you would call commercial size but we'll start with those. It will take three years before the first harvest but it'll be worth the wait. The first asparagus feeding with melted butter and a dash of pepper and salt, can't beat it.

Asparagus crowns

Asparagus planted in rows

Derek planting asparagus (notice the bug coat, black flies are out with a vengeance)

Our organic inspection went really well. We have to work on a few things which include better record keeping but over all she was quite happy with our system. In a few short weeks we should be "certified organic in transition". Next year once we've completed the three years of transition we'll be fully certified organic, how exciting.

Today I planted some purple haze, rainbow and sweetness III carrots. 600 row feet altogether. I sure hope people are going to like the purple carrots because there will be lots of them!!

We also did a perennial dig today at my Grandmothers place. She is moving and has a big flower garden so we dug up all kinds of lily's, hosta's and a variety of other things that I'm hoping were flowers and not weeds. Now where to put them all???

We're exciting some rain tonight and the next few days are looking overcast and drizzly. It will give our newly planted seeds and seedlings a rest from the sun. It will also give me a chance to catch up on some overdue paper work.

Enjoy the rain!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Planting at last

Well the rain held off for the last two days so that I could finally get some planting done in the garden. I made the most of my time and transplanted all the leeks, onions, celery, celariac, onion sets. I also got lots of direct seeding done including beets, spinach, radish, bunching onions and bulb onions. It is now raining out pretty good so I'm glad I got everything put away before it started. The rototiller is finally up and running and what a difference that makes. Instead of it taking me about 30 minutes to get a bed ready it now takes about 5 minutes. What a difference and no aching back from raking in all the compost.

Our Earthway Seeder, we use this for direct seeding all of our crops

Evening view of newly planted seedlings

Newly planted bulb onions

We are having our first organic inspection tomorrow. The inspector will look at our records, our farm and try and ensure we are following the standards. As this is our first inspection its hard to know what to expect. I think I have all of the paper work filled out but I'm sure there will be something we missed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rain, rain and more rain and Crows

It has been raining steady for about a week now. The odd sunny break here and there but the soil is cold, damp and nothing is growing. At this rate nothing will be ready for the farmers market. We had almost 2 inches of rain in the last two weeks. If I had more things in the ground I would not mind so bad but not being able to plant seeds for the last two weeks has been getting hard on the nerves. Paper work is pretty much caught up and now all I need is some sun and a slight breeze to keep the black flies at bay.

I had an incident with the crows last night. I had put my leek and onion seedlings outside on the watering table for the last two nights because I am all out of space in my greenhouse shed and I thought this would be good for hardening off the transplants before they go into the field this week. The crows had a better idea. They decided to knock the trays over and pull out the seedlings and throw them on the ground. For the trays that they did not knock over they must have dug at them with their claws because where yesterday all the leeks were standing straight they were all laying down and the roots were sticking up. I was so frustrated. I was outside first thing this morning trying to put all the seedlings back in the trays and trying to make sure all their roots were covered. Another lessons to be learned on the farm. I'm just glad they didn't do more damage. I'll have to find an owl decoy to scare them away.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


We were finally able to get our potatoes in the ground yesterday. The weather has been a bit uncooperative lately with on and off again showers and extreme winds. We planted seven different varieties. Eramosa, Irish Cobbler, Red Norland, Superior, Yukon Gold, Fabula and Russet Burbank. We used the hillers to mark out the rows and then planted the sets into the hills.

Derek making rows with the hillers

Derek planting the potato sets

Gem eyes

Rows of sets (notice they are not that straight, oops)

Jen raking soil over the sets

Rows of potatoes

Once the potatoes were all planted we had the daunting task of laying perforated row cover over the rows. The wind picked up just as we had finished planting so the race was on to lay the plastic before the wind turned it into a big kite. This plastic will help to increase the soil temperature which will allow the sets to sprout faster and grow quicker. This is the first time we used this particular type of row cover and we're eager to see the results.

Up close shot of the perforated plastic

Plastic cover over potato rows

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Windy Days & New Toys

The last three days have been incredibly windy. Yesterday I had wool socks, winter hat & coat and I was still cold. Today is a bit better but the wind is still raw. This is my second week home on the farm and I'm finally starting to feel at ease. There are a hundred projects to complete but I try to just take one day at a time and complete things as I can.

This week we purchased two new items to add to our farm "toys". We bought a 1979 Troy built Horse Rototiller and a set of discs. We had been looking at the discs for three or four weeks and thankfully the owner accepted our second offer. They are awesome. We are going to test drive them tonight. The Rototiller needs a bit of TLC and Derek currently has it in several pieces as he is trying to take it apart to fix something in the transmission ( at least I think thats what he's trying to fix).

The greenhouse shed is getting very full. Today I made more potting soil as we had completely run out. Cucumbers, summer squash and pumpkins are on the planting list for today.

Check out photos below of pics of our new discs, hiller project (in progress & completed) and seedlings.

Dad torching a seized bolt.

Completed picture of our hillers.

Our new discs, how awesome

seedlings basking in the sun

yummy lettuce transplants almost ready for planting

new garlic poking up

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Home on the Farm

This is my first week home on the farm full time. What a feeling Monday morning when Derek left for work and I was home as my own boss. It was mixed emotions but I quickly got to work and all apprehensions quickly left. I was able to seed carrots, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce mix and peas. It was a great feeling to be on the land again.

Other exciting news is that our 2008 CSA shares are now all sold. We have been very pleased with the response to our new farm program and look forward to our first CSA season with our members. Thanks to everyone for your commitment.

We have been having great weather and the seedlings in the greenhouse shed are growing tall and strong. It will still be a bit before they can be planted into the field but they are all doing very well.