Thursday, 21 May 2020

Plants for Sale 2020


PLANTS FOR SALE 2020

Given what we are all going through right now and how many people are keen on growing their own food, my prices are lower than previous years.  Growing your own food and having a garden can be the best and most enjoyable stress relievers and I’d like to help you make this happen. 

FLOWERS, Edible  $2 each
Marigolds
Shingku (Edible Chrysanthemum)


HERBS  $2 each
Basil, Italian Large Leaf
Basil, Greek
Chives
Marjoram
Parsley, Large Leaf Italian

HOT PEPPERS  $3 each
Alma Paprika – not really a hot pepper but spicy, can be eaten in salads, yellow/orange/red as they ripen
Cayenne – foot long fruits
Cyklon
Hot Portugal


TOMATOES  $3 each
Black Prince
Green Zebra
Purple Russian
Striped Roman
Tangerine Orange
Terra Cotta

TOMATOES, cherry  $3 each
Amethyst Cream
Black Cherry
Yellow Chery
Yellow Pear



Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Let's Talk Tomatoes


I heard that some people turn away from my tomatoes with cracks at the top or what is considered not ripe or discoloured.  I'm shocked by this.  The tomatoes I grow are field grown heirloom tomatoes and I follow with a quote from the Cottage Gardeners Heirloom Seedhouse website, from were I buy the bulk of my seeds.


"All our seeds are non-gmo, non-hybrid, non-patented,  untreated and open-pollinated. They include rare & endangered heirloom varieties that have been loved and saved for generations and newer varieties developed specifically for organic agriculture."



For much more information on each type of seed and tomato you can check out their lovely website.

Amethyst Cream Cherry – the best cherry tomato I have ever grown.  There’s no mistaking it’s beautiful burgundy shoulders and cream coloured bottom.  Then there’s the taste – oh my, the taste – nothing compares. 

Blanche du Quebec a Canadian Heirloom which name speaks for itself.  The medium fruit is white to pale yellow and has a wonderful sweet flavour.

Black Plum and Black Prince – the ones which add so much colour to sauces.  They are heirloom tomatoes and are not so much disease resistant but the flavour is worth every bit of cracked top you may have to take off to get to the real good stuff.   Try them and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

Ceylon – small red ruffled little pumpkin shaped tomatoes, perfect for salads and keep well a few days after picking

Crimean Rose and Black Cherry – I get these two mixed up when I’m picking, they resemble each other.  They are good sized cherry tomatoes with lovely dark tops and rose-coloured bottoms.  Both have great flavours.

Gilbertie Paste – my most favourite paste tomato.  They are long like a pepper with a little point at the end.  I like them because they slice nice and evenly so are great for the dehydrator, which makes for wonderful tomatoeyness mid-winter on pizzas, etc.  The cut off ends go into anything I might be making at the time.

Green Zebra – How can a tomato taste so different than any other tomato?  I call it citrus-like.  Aside form the absolutely brilliant, flashy yellow and green stripes, these tomatoes add quite a statement to any dish whether it be a tray of slices or a salsa.  I always chop some to add to my quacamole. 

Jaune Flamme Cherry – I’ve been saving seeds for this cherry for years because it keeps popping up voluntarily in the greenhouse.  I let a few plants grow so we can enjoy their bounty after the field ones are gone and to save the seeds.  They are so delicate that some split from the time I pick them in the field to when I get them into the house.  They should have a little teeny label on them saying “Handle with great care” or “Eat immediately” which of course I very often do.

Martino’s Roma and San Marzano –the paste tomatoes used for most sauces.  I vote these the “Most Considerate Tomatoes” of all.  They are not bothered by bugs or weather.  When I approach the plant to pick I can almost hear it saying “Ok, here she is, all tomatoes that are ripe drop gently to the ground to make it easier for her.”  The tomatoes have the decency even to stay on the ground if they’ve fallen when they’re not quite ripe enough and say “You don’t want us yet?  No problem, we’ll just lay here and ripen up in the sun until you come back in a day or two.”  And they do and are still perfectly firm.

Matt’s Wild Cherry – small red cherry tomatoes from seeds I’ve been saving for years – great in the Mix.

Tangerine Orange – I must have purchased the seeds for these a few years ago and have been saving them since then.  They are the favourite smallish tomato of everyone who works here.  Not only is the flavour as sweet as candy, the smell when you’re slicing it is enough to make your mouth water. 

Thorburn’s Terra Cotta – This one is the brown/clay coloured tomato in the mix.  Apparently, the seeds were introduced in 1893, disappeared in 1921 and re-appeared in 1993!  If not for its wonderful taste, why not for its unusual colour, name and history.  I love growing them for this reason.

Yellow Pear – again a name speaking for itself.  These are just fun to grow, to have in a mix and to eat. 

These are most of the varieties I love to grow from year to year.  I grow mostly paste tomatoes for my sauces but find it hard to resist the colours and flavours of the other heirlooms. 

I save several of my own seeds from year to year and would be happy to trade with you if you have some unusual varieties.   Let me know. 


Thursday, 16 August 2018

Let the Sauces Begin

I am overwhelmed with tomatoes and spaghetti squash and cucumbers and zucchini.  I have the dehydrators on every day and have made zucchini breads and zucchini muffins and am starting tomato sauces today.  I hoped for red peppers by now but the green ones will do for the first batch or batches.
There are so any spaghetti squashes and they are so large, I wondered if they were indeed spaghetti squashes, so we had one for dinner last night.  Oh yes.  Oh yum.  It was what it claimed to be and it was delicious.
We have our first watermelon!  I’ve tried to grow watermelon in the past without luck.  This is the year.
As some of you don’t have the means or the inclination to shred zucchini, I’m happy to provide you with two cup measurements of same, which is what most recipes call for.  I can pack them in a Seal-a-Meal wrap so you can freeze them. 
By the way, all of our tomatoes are field grown.  A couple of roque tomato plants have popped up in the greenhouses and I let them grow.  We’ll get some loveliness from them after the first (I can’t say it – starts with “F” and ends in “rost”) hits the field ones. 
I’m trying really hard to get some pickles and relishes made but am finding it hard to do with picking, watering, delivering and attempting to plant so I’ll keep selling those items until I have time. 
In order for me to get back to my kitchen duties, which I’m thoroughly enjoying, let me tell you what’s on our menu this week:
APPLES, organic, dehydrated  $2 / snack bag
BASIL:   Genovese, Greek, Large Leaf Italian or Purple  $3 / HUGE bunch
BASIL PLANTS   $3 each   Genovese, Greek, Large Leaf Italian, Purple, Thai
CABBAGE, green   $3 / head
CELERY   $2 / bunch   remember to freeze the leaves for future use
CUCUMBERS   $1 each  NEW ridiculous PRICE
EGGPLANT:   Striped or Purple  $4.00 / pound
GARLIC    2 each for a good sized one
HERBS, fresh:  Bay leavesChives, Citrus Thyme, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme    $3 / bunch
PEPPERS
  Jalapeno  $0.50 each
SALSA, Fresh   $4 / 250mL jar  not sealed, meant to be eaten fresh
SPROUTS  $3 / 4oz bag
  Crunchy Bean Mix  (peas, lentils & garbanzos) 
  Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)
  Spring Salad Mix (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)
SQUASH, Spaghetti  $3 each  NEW ridiculous PRICE
TOMATOES, Cherry   all colours, shapes and sizes  $3.50 / pound
TOMATOES, heirloom  all colours  $3 / pound  Order as many as you like, please, really
ZUCCHINI, green and yellow  $2 / pound  
ZUCCHINI, shredded  NEW  $2 / 2 cup pack


Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm where we practice sustainable methods free of any
GMOs, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or “cides” or any kind.
We use organic ingredients in our creations whenever possible. 

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  
Thanks. 

Until next post, have a great every day.
Jo        
joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com

Thursday, 9 August 2018

"Bees" is the word


Is the word, is the word, is the word . . .   With so much sunshine, the weeds grow quite quickly and flower so there is a bee on almost every plant on our property.  I have been stung five times in the last week.   On Monday while moving water hoses around I changed from my flip flops to boots so I’d be less likely to get stung.  Nope, a bumble bee got caught in between my shin and my boot – OUCH!  Luckily for me I was at Dr. Shawn Yakimovich’s talk at the Backyard Apothecary Saturday and learned to grab a leaf or two of plantain (which happens to grow on every square foot of our property), rub it to create a “juice”, then apply it to the stung area.  I did this right away.  The sting stopped in a minute and I applied Dapis gel when I got back to the house.   It hurt again yesterday so I took some echinacea to combat any infection the bee might have left with me, then put some calendula ointment on it last night.  I think I got it right because the rash stopped getting larger and it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Tomatoes are changing colour rapidly so I have many for you this week.  I’m getting about 2 or 3 cukes a day now.  It’s a very good year for eggplant.  I’m still eager to try some eggplant recipes but have been a tad busy with all the other veggies.  The sweet peppers are large and green and are also available for you. 















Garlic is ready although I need to move it into the basement as it’s too humid in the garage to cure properly. 

Some green cabbages are large enough to grace your table.   The red cabbage is taking a little longer.

Zucchini plants are producing like crazy.  I can hardly pick them fast enough before the fruits become huge and I’m talking about hours between normal size and Z.O.U.S. (Zucchini of Unusual Size).  And it turns out I have more spaghetti squash plants than I realized – oh my.  Watermelons are doing well – can you believe it - and we should get musk melons in a few weeks.  Two other squash plants were entirely done in by the notorious squash vine borer – ugh.  There are some lovely green acorn squash and pumpkins growing. 

The basil just keeps growing and doing its wonderful smell thing. 

I find myself spending as much time in the kitchen these hot afternoons as I spend in the gardens in the cool mornings.  I think of salsa while picking tomatoes, tzatziki while picking cukes, hummus while trimming the curing garlic, slaw while picking cabbages, veggie tray for all of the above – you get the picture.  I made about 20 jars of salsa this long weekend and dehydrated zucchini, cucumber and eggplant slices.  I made tzatziki and hummus today and will make fresh salsa tomorrow.  


There’s definitely some zucchini baked goods in the foreseeable future. 

As promised I started microgreens for you.

The list keeps getting larger each week as you can see:

APPLES, organic, dehydrated  $2 / snack bag
BASIL:   Genovese, Greek, Large Leaf Italian or Purple  $3 / HUGE bunch
BASIL PLANTS   $3 each   Genovese, Greek, Large Leaf Italian or Purple
CABBAGE, green  NEW $3 / head
CELERY   $2 / bunch  and you can freeze the leaves for future use
CUCUMBERS   $2 each
EGGPLANT:   Striped or Purple  $4.00 / pound
GARLIC   NEW  $13 / pound
HERBS, fresh:  Bay leafChives, Citrus Thyme, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme    $3 / bunch
HUMMUS  NEW chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ground hot pepper, cumin  $5 / 250mL jar
  not sealed, to be eaten fresh
MICROGREENS  $2 / snack bag
  Arugula
  Broccoli
  Kale
  Mustard
  Radish
MICROGREENS MIX  $3 / sandwich bag 
ONIONS:   $3 / pound
  Sweet Spanish, Sweet White or a Mix
PEPPERS:  
  Green Sweet NEW  $4 / pound
  Jalapeno  $0.50 each
PESTO, Basil   (garlic, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, walnuts or almonds, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
PESTO, Basil  NO CHEESE  (garlic, fresh basil, walnuts or almonds, cashews, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
Red ORACH   $4 / bag
SALSA, Fresh   $4 / 250mL jar  not sealed, to be eaten fresh
SPROUTS  $3 / 4oz bag
  Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)
  Premium Mix  (Alfalfa, Red Clover, Broccoli, Arugula and Basil)
  Spring Salad Mix (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)
SQUASH, Spaghetti NEW  $4 each
TOMATOES, Cherry   all colours, shapes and sizes  $3.50 / pound
TOMATOES, heirloom  all colours  $3 / pound
TZATZIKI  NEW  Biemond organic yogurt, cucumbers, garlic olive oil, chives, salt & pepper  $4 / 250mL jar    not sealed, to be eaten fresh
ZUCCHINI, green and yellow  $2 / pound  


Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm where we practice sustainable methods free of any
GMOs, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or “cides” or any kind.
We use organic ingredients in our creations whenever possible. 

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  
Thanks. 

Until next post, have a great every day.
Jo             
joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com


Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Now Filling your Fridge, Cupboard and Stomach


Spinach / Red Orach

You know how spinach likes to grow in cold weather and that’s why it’s hard to find in the mid-summer months?  Orach, also known as Mountain Spinach” grows here during our entire growing season.  Upon googling “orach” once again, I’m reminded and in turn reminding you of its nutritional value.  This plant is packed with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesiumanthocyaninsphosphorous, iron, proteinzincselenium, tryptophan, vitamin C, vitamin Kcarotenes and dietary fibre.  Orach is a nutrient-rich superfood.  Canadian Living  magazine (May 2016 issue) calls orach “the new kale.”   It also has a long history of use as a medicinal plant.

Descriptions include “possibly one of the more ancient cultivated plants” and “a substitute for spinach either fresh or cooked”.  The seeds are edible and rich in Vitamin A, can be ground into a meal and put into stews, breads, cereals, etc. and are also used to make a blue dye. 


You can substitute orach in any recipe calling for spinach or Swiss chard such as soups, salads, quiches, lasagnas, etc. The red color of the foliage disappears during cooking, leaving you with a green vegetable, but stains the water in which you cook it red.  In Italy, orach often cooked with pasta and rice giving them an attractive pink coloration.

I’m on a mission to use orach at least once a week, maybe more, so have made my first Orach Salad.  I used the same ingredients as if I were making a Spinach Salad:

ORACH SALAD according to Jo

Orach cut in ½ slices, sliced or slivered almonds, toasted sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, red onion (I would use white or spanish onion next time), orange segments, sprouts, goat cheese, blood orange infused olive oil

The result was wonderful.  You can toss in any mixture of nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruits, sprouts, shoots, cheese . . . limitless options.  Add a bagel or some multi-grain bread on the side and it makes a complete meal. 

Zucchini, Yellow and Green

These little puppies are still playing the “maybe I’ll be ready Friday, maybe I won’t be” game.  I’m trying to make sure each of you gets some when you order. 

Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Different name as above, same game.  Each day when I do my walkabout through the gardens I pick a few cherry tomatoes and a few larger ones, not really an orderful but enough to say some are ready . . . today.   These should all be available to order next week. 

Peppers, Dill, Parsley, Basil and Tomatoes
all working together for us
















Despite the amount of cucumber beetles which feel they own these plants there are many baby cukes growing pretty quickly.  As for Friday, I may have to change my delivery dates this summer to coincide with plant growings.   I’ll provide if available, otherwise next week will 
be better. 
Cukes looking good

Peppers

The peppers are loving the rain and are producing very well.   So far, I have green jalapenos and yellow alma paprika peppers for you while the others are reddening or yellowing up. 
The jalapenos will turn red eventually but the green ones are what we use in our fresh salsa and can be used on pizza without burning your mouth.


Alma Paprika peppers are interesting.  They are round about the size of a medium tomato. They start out yellow, then turn orange and finally a bright red which makes them look exactly like a tomato and can be confused for one if in the same basket as tomatoes.  They are not considered a hot pepper but definitely add a bit of “zing” to a salad.  I plan to dry some this year to make paprika. 



Kale and Chard

These have now been weeded and are going to take a little break from picking so they can grow up big and strong. 

Eggplant / Aubergine

Have you ever said “I love to eat eggplant but don’t know how to cook it.”?  I certainly have.  The old standard roasted (or barbecued) 1/2 inch slices which have been soaked in salt and rubbed with olive oil just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.  I need more recipes for this truly beautiful looking and fabulous tasting vegetable.  We’re growing hundreds of eggplants which are getting larger by the day and I really want us all to enjoy them.  We have two varieties:  round striped and deep purple (not sure what size yet nor the proper names but they are lovely). 
Back to googling recipes again I found a few.  The one I’ll try first is Indian Spiced Roasted Eggplant, which calls for turmeric and red chili/cayenne pepper.  That sounds pretty healthy.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I see Martha Stewart has a slew of recipes for eggplant varieties. 
Do you have a favourite Eggplant recipe?  If you do, please share. 


I just remembered I have these two cookbooks called "Plenty" and "Plenty More" that are both loaded with delicious looking recipes for Eggplant.  I am excited to try as many as I can.  















Garlic

I pulled out all of the garlic the other day and gently placed it on shelves in the garage to cure for the next two weeks.  There were no small or damaged bulbs.  All in all it’s a good year for garlic. 





















Beans

When I went out in the rain to take some pictures for you I didn’t think to take a basket so came back with a tee-shirt-apron holding about a pound of beans.  I guess they love the rain too.  These are the bush beans.  The pole beans aren’t quite ready yet. 



Arugula and Red Cabbage
Microgreens and Pea Shoots

Kale, Broccoli and Radish
Microgreens

Trays of Sunflower Shoots (Sunnies)
ready for their new homes
calendula (edible petals)

strawberry spinach

Celery

Pot o'Parsley
Green Onions

Marigolds (edible petals)

Bachelor Buttons (edible petals)

Sunflowers holding up pole bean vines

Onions

Lack of rain didn’t help the onions grow large but we do have many.  I’ll start by picking the largest ones and hope the others will follow suit. 

Starting Again

In order to have cilantro for the fresh salsa when the time comes, we sowed a fresh batch in the greenhouse and will do the same outdoors this week.  We also started more sunflowers for fall decor as well as beets, green onions, parsnips and carrots, dill and chard.   

To please your palate and pallet this week we have: 

APPLES, organic, dehydrated  $2 / snack bag
BASIL:   Genovese, Greek, Holy, Large Leaf Italian, Lemon, Lime or Purple  $3 / BIG bunch
BASIL PLANTS  NEW   $3 each   Genovese, Greek, Large Leaf Italian or Purple
BEANS NEW   $4 / pound  It’s hard to tell how many there will be by Friday, but they will keep coming
CELERY,  thin and flavourful  $2 / bunch  remember you can freeze the leaves for future use
CUCUMBERS  NEW  $2 each
Edible FLOWERS    $3 / bag
EGGPLANT:  NEW  Striped or Purple  $4.00 / pound
GREEN ONIONS  $2 / bunch
HERBS, fresh:  Bay leaf, Chives, Citrus Thyme, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme    $3 / bunch
MICROGREENS  $2 / snack bag
  Radish
  Sunflower Shoots
MICROGREEN MIX  $3 / sandwich bag  (arugula, broccoli, kale, radish, red cabbage) 
ONIONS:  NEW   $3 / pound
  Sweet Spanish, Yellow, Sweet White, Red, Multiplier or a Mix
PEPPERS:   NEW
  Alma Paprika  $4 / pound
  Jalapeno  $0.50 each
PESTO, Garlic Scape and Basil   (garlic scapes, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, walnuts or almonds, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
PESTO, Garlic Scape and Basil WITHOUT CHEESE  (garlic scapes, fresh basil, walnuts or almonds, cashews, lemon juice, pepper)  $5 / 125 mL jar
PURSLANE   $4 / pound  you can order less
Red ORACH   $4 / bag
SPROUTS  $3 / 4oz bag
  Broccoli Brassica Blend  (broccoli, broccoli raab, radish, mustard & arugula)
  Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  
  Spring Salad Mix (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)

Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm where we practice sustainable methods free of any
GMOs, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or “cides” or any kind.

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  
Thanks. 

Until next post, have a great every day.
Jo

joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com