Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10th CSA Week

Finally, a harvest day without sweltering heat!  There was a bit of shower activity this morning so the rain suits were out but it didn't last too long.  Luckily it rained here tonight so hopefully the garden got a bit of a drink.  Derek said it poured a little after supper and I drove through some really heavy thunder showers on my way home around 8:00.  It was actually a pretty good harvest day as we did not have to worry about the sun or heat wilting the veggies. 

The large shares were filled again with all kinds of yummy veggies.  The large share this week had potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, cilantro, garlic, green peppers, leeks, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce mix, beets, beans, tomatoes and onions.  The grab box had fennel, dill, basil, parsley, lemon cucumbers, kale, hot peppers, swiss chard, green onions and more of the above mentioned veggies. 

Caraflex cabbage, I prefer to call it "torpedo cabbage"

Lemon cucumbers, so popular!!

Hot peppers

Green onions and fennel

It's getting to that time of year where my body is really feeling the wear and tear I've been putting on it since the season got busy back in early May.  My knees are sore, back is always stiff and I just can't seem to get caught up in my sleep.  I keep telling myself its a short season and that once November comes I'll be able to "relax".  But in a strange way I enjoy the sore muscles and even though I can hardly get out of bed in the morning I love each pick-up day and getting to see the expressions on our members faces when they get to see what veggies are in their boxes that week.  I got to the pick-up a few minutes late today and all those folks waiting jumped in to lend a hand and helped me set up!!  Thanks guys, your the best.  And thanks to all those who just drop that little extra encouragement or how much they are enjoying the veggies, it really means alot!!

Not a great picture and hard to see anything but this is the early garden section and all that's left is the bed of sad onions, it sure hasn't been a trophy onion year around here!!

So, the following info is in regards to next week's Tuesday pick-up.  Sally from Barnyard Organics will be at the Arlington Orchards pick-up location from 4-5:30 with certified organic chickens for sale.  They will be frozen and are approx 6lbs.  They are $3.75/lb or they are having a special next week for 5 chickens for $100.  She will also have edamame for sale as well.  She had given me a few bags tonight at the pick-up as samplers so hopefully you were able to snag a bag to try them out.  Here is some info she sent me tonight:

Edamame is simply soybeans, harvested before maturity, popular in Asian cuisine, but growing in popularity in North America too!  They are high in fiber (same as 4 slices of whole wheat bread), has as much protein as it does carbs and has as much iron as a roasted chicken breast.  They are cholestrol, wheat and gluten free as well.  The perfect snack!  Just boil for 4-5 minutes (or to desired texture), drain, sprinkle with salt and pop out of the pod right into your mouth. $3.00 for a half pound bag.  Available Tuesday, September 4th at Ellen's Creek Plaza pick up.  Volume discounts available. 
Certified organic, pasture-raised chicken available now, vacuum packed, weighed and labelled.  Special on right now of 5 chickens for $100, avg. 6lbs/chicken.  Or you can pick your own at $3.75/lb. 
Barnyard Organics is an organic family farm made up of Mark, Sally, Lucy, Wilson and Thayne Bernard.  Producing primarily organic grains for livestock feed, the family also grows edamame, pastured chickens and lamb.  Check out their website at www.barnyardorganics.ca or email them at info@barnyardorganics.ca
I'm not sure if Sally is planning a Summerside drop off but I'm sure she could be convinced if there was some interest.
The Bernards.  Busy family and great farmers.  They were awarded this years Atlantic Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers!!!     

Enjoy this weeks veggies and hopefully the cooler weather is here to stay.  I do enjoy nice warm weather but the 30 plus degree heat was getting to be a bit much!! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

9th CSA Week

Hard to believe but this week marks the half way point for the 2012 CSA season.  Fall is just around the corner which means leeks, winter squash, pumpkins and hopefully lots of yummy tender fall greens.  I've got some serious planting to get done at the end of the week once the ground dries up.  I was quite happy to see all the rain this weekend, veggies are very happy!!!

This weeks large share has carrots, garlic, beets, lettuce mix, onions, green onions, cauliflower, fennel, tomatoes, green peppers, beans, cucumbers & zucchini.  The grab boxes had swiss chard, kale, basil, lemon cucumbers, hot peppers, coloured carrots and more of the above mentioned veggies.  I was in a big rush today trying to get everything harvested, weighed, packed and ready to leave on time but there just was not enough hours in the day today.  My Tuesday crew worked awesome and I'm so lucky to have such great helpers.  My friend Natalie who helped out last summer was home for the weekend so she stopped in today to lend a hand.  Silly me, forgot the potatoes in the basement!!! 

Natalie, she's quite the entertainment!!!  Thanks for the help today lady!! 
Well, today was a bit hectic and I'm done in so this weeks blog is going to be short but there's lots of pictures.  Enjoy!!
Ripe tomatoes, does it really get any better than that???

This weeks pick-up, beans and tomatoes to be weighed out and lots of grab items!!

Oh Laura, your so purdy!!!  Nice green pepper you have there.

Peppers are starting to turn colour!! 

Purple cauliflower

Tomatoes in the greenhouse on right, peppers on left

Fall carrots and parsnips

Ben discovered how to carry extra tomatoes

Cool dude

Pepper plants are loaded this year

Some cherry tomato plants are over eight feet tall

Boys will be boys!!  Loving the dirt. 

Hanging with my happy little boys, we love playing in the dirt!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

8th CSA Week


We finally had some rain over the weekend, just about an inch and it sure was nice to harvest veggies with mud clinging to my rubber boots, lovely, just lovely!!!

The large share had carrots, potatoes, beets, onions, green onions, lettuce head, cilantro, zucchini, cucumbers, garlic, broccoli and cauliflower.  The grab boxes had tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, basil, parsley, dill, yellow beans, radicchio and more of the above mentioned veggies.  Lots of variety this week again.  The tomatoes are really doing well, its been a fantastic growing season for the heat loving crops like tomatoes and peppers.  I thought I might have a few peppers this week for the grab box but I ran short of time.  Next week for sure!!!

It's a very busy time of year, harvest is in FULL swing and I'm trying my best to keep up, but some veggies like the beans are getting ahead of me.  But, there are only so many hours in the run of a day and when you've got two three year olds running around some times things don't get picked when they should.  I've also got to get myself organized to get fall greens/veggies planted.  I've got lots of greens plus radishes, turnips and more herbs that can be direct seeded any day.  We seem to be invaded with flea beetles this summer so I'll have to cover all the plantings with row covers to try and protect them.  

Here are some pictures from this weeks harvest and CSA pick-up.  Enjoy.

Charlie admiring the purple cauliflower!!  He cracks me up each week, always guessing what the veggies are when I load up their basket.  What a great kid!!!!

Purple cauliflower, there was one in the grab bins but there should be more next week
More yummy treats from some very special CSA members.

Oh so yummy!!

Mouth watering!!  
So many tomatoes this week, awesome!!

Radicchio - not my favourite vegetable but we know some of our members love it so its just in the grab boxes

This weeks grab box tables.  Potatoes were included in the shares but folks had to do the weighing!!

Some shares had regular beets and some had golden beets!!  Both are delicious!!

I decided that we needed a family day on Sunday so we all headed down to Old Home Week early in the morning to take in some of the events.  We saw a draft horse show, walked around the empty midway as it wasn't open yet, saw some very cool reptiles including a crocodile (which the boys thought was super cool), the boys got to sit in a John Deere tractor that had a tv screen hooked up so it looked like they were driving (very cool), and they enjoyed digging potatoes in the activity centre.  They loved seeing all the animals in the 4H section and got a very up-close view of some very large roosters in the bird section. 
Not a good blue tractor but it was pretty fun all the same

Boys just love digging in the dirt, well so does their Mother!!
Finished off a fun morning with an ice cream cone
Ben being too cool for breakfast!!


Ben, my little ham!!
Happy farmers spending some quality time working together!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7th CSA Week

Sure was another hot harvest day again today!!  Seems to be the theme this summer.  It was a good harvest day and everything on the list got picked as per the plan so that was nice.  Sometimes I run short on time and some things might not get harvested, or worse, forgotten in a bucket as they were put accidentally under a table!! 

This weeks large share has carrots, beets, cauliflower, lettuce mix, yellow and green beans, fresh garlic, onions, green onions, zucchini, cucumbers and red potatoes.  The grab bin had baby swiss chard, lettuce heads, broccoli, purple cabbage, basil, kale, tomatoes and more of the above mentioned veggies. 
The grab boxes.  Members can essentially customize their boxes based on what they like.  Works awesome!!

It is now officially bean season and it seems I may have over planted but just a little bit.  Beans are a very popular summer crop for our CSA members but my back sure does not feel the same way.  Bending over picking beans for hours at a time sure has a way of making you feel old!!  We have been talking about building a lay down harvest cart for a few years now and it seems Sally's brother has one for sale over in New Brunswick so hopefully that might work out to help take the "pain" out of bean picking. 

Beans early in the morning

The bean section.  We have five plantings in total this year.

Yellow beans, this first planting was just loaded. 

I am spoiled.  I was delivered freshly picked blackberries and a freshly backed zucchini loaf during pick-up tonight.  Thanks to my lovely members for thinking of me!!  Both were amazing!!

The tomatoes are coming along very nicely.  We have been picking them daily and it was so nice to be able to bring so many to the pi
ck-up tonight.  The harvest is still pretty slim but there are more ready every day so hopefully there will be enough for everyone to have some next week.  The peppers are growing like crazy and there are 2-3 nice sized ones on each plant.  I've never seen such early peppers, awesome.  I'm really hoping we can get some red peppers this year!!

Golden cherry tomatoes!!  I did what any good mother of twins would do, I ate them before anyone else saw they were ready!!  And they were awesome!!

Bell peppers coming along nicely
Carmen peppers, my favorite!

Zucchini!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My goodness the zucchini.  I totally went a little crazy planting this spring.  We harvested well over 200 zucchini's today, now that is alot of zucchini.  I'm not sure what I"ll do with all of them but hopefully they will all find a home before I pick more for the Thursday deliveries. 

Lovely zucchini

Way too many zucchini!!!
For as long as the eye could see!!!  Zucchini
Zucchini flower

I often get asked what we do with leftover produce.  Because of our grab box system we often have extra produce left over at the end of the week.  I do a few house visits on my way home to friends and family and often I'm able to find a home for most of it but we often end up composting some veggies at the end of the weekend.  So, I made a call last Friday to the Salvation Army in regards to extra produce.  We often have extra stuff left over at the end of the week after the CSA pick-ups are done and I always feel bad putting them in the compost knowing that there are people out there in need of fresh produce.  So, they called back today saying they would love to have any extra produce as they can put it in the weekly boxes they provide their clients or it can be used in the soup kitchen or if its something they can't use right away they will blanch it and put it in the freezer for winter eating.  I am very excited about this and am so glad that they are in need of fresh veggies!!!  What a win win for everyone.

Just some pictures from this past week to show you what we've been up to and how the garden is progressing.  
We started picking this lettuce mix planting this week.  It's at the perfect stage. Yummy!!

Next lettuce mix planting is coming along nicely.  The basket weeder is doing its job, a few weeds escape but not many.

Last planting of broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage on the left, on the right is the second last plantings that really need to get weeded!!

The seed onion and leek section. Some shallots survived the early season root maggot infestation but most were eaten, bummer.
Squash section is doing great. 

Hard to tell but these are carrot rows.  An early morning shot just as the sun was coming up.  My favorite time of the day.

Now those are nice carrots!!
Romaine lettuce
Garlic drying
Sally and I having maybe just a little too much fun washing those carrots!! 

Boys and their toys!!