Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Okay, this time it's here, really. Spring IS here, no joke, right?

We're not fooling around anymore.  All the signs are here, again.  

Most of the songbirds are back, waking us with their delightful shrills and trills each morning, now that we can open the windows for that lovely fresh cool spring air.  
The warmer nights are a promise of seeds popping up from the soil wherest they were planted a couple of weeks ago.  The longer days are providing more light to the hundreds of seedlings waiting to earn their place in your garden beds and our acreage of food plots.  

We had a great time at the North Grenville Sustainability Fair on Sunday.  We saw many familiar faces from years gone by and lots of new eager gardeners-to-be.   

The tomatoes are starting to gain their second, third and fourth leaves.  The precious peppers are still indoors and their leaves are hitting the grow lights.  They're excited about going out in the next few weeks.  They can't get out to the Greenhouse until the plants in the Greenhouse are selectively placed in their plots outside.   The plots outside can't be worked and rowed up until the ground is a tad drier.  What a process!

Meanwhile, in the Herb Department, we have Chives, Sorrel and Thyme available, the Winter and Summer Savory, Cilantro, Tarragon, Sage, Oregano, Parsley and Chervil (at least I think it's chervil-time will tell) are not quite beautiful enough to make an appearance, but they are working on it.  They hope to garnish our plates next week.  

Our Salad Greens contain pretty much everything green which is edible and grows on the property plus edible flowers.  Therefore, every week will be different.  I don't put controversial herbs such as cilantro or chives into the Salad Greens as many people find them - um - too flavourful.   For instance this week, you'll find a mix of spicy greens, mizuna, pepper cress, spinach, lamb's quarters, dandelion leaves, baby kale, lettuce varieties soft and crunchy, arugula, mache, mustards, red orach, parsley, batavian endive, baby chard, tatsoi, colourful pansies - that's all I can think of for now, but there's probably more.  A nice mix, I must say.  

Just keeping you up to date.  
Until next post, have a great every day.  

Delivery 2015

Hi, We would be delighted to deliver Excellent Organic Produce, Herbs and Edible Flowers to you this eating season.  Deliveries begin now.  

We grow the usual summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and bean varieties.  I like to say we specialize in Salad Greens because that is our biggest seller and has been for the last 3 or 4 years.  The Salad Greens are provided to you washed and table ready.  We grow varieties of summer and winter squash, root veggies such as onions, leeks, beets, turnips, parsnips.  We grow fall veggies - cabbage, kale and chard - we're presently trying cauliflower for the first time, that should be interesting.  Then there's the other foods like celery, broccoli, the list goes on.

Herbs love to grow here and we've expanded our list of edible flowers, which we also include in the Salad Greens as often as possible.
I strongly encourage everyone to grow as much or as little as you can yourself so we sell hundreds of plants to new and avid gardeners at the end of May each year.  I like to save most of my own seeds from the previous year's harvest.  Our Plant Sale begins May 23 until you're done shopping or we run out of sale plants.  

I hate wasting food so have begun preserving, freezing and/or dehydrating any food that may not sell at the end of each week so it's always fresh in the end.  

Delivery:  Each Special Customer on our Delivery List will receive an email on Wednesday setting out what foods are available that week.  Customers who are interested in purchasing from this list order by Thursday afternoon.  Deliveries are made Friday to your home or business.  We understand that it's more exciting to eat a variety and maybe try new items from time to time, rather than receiving the same food each week.  Sometimes people are just too busy to eat at home one week, or might be on holiday for a week or two and would prefer not to order.  We're not offended by this at all.  We know you'll want to order again as soon as possible. 

Payment:  Some of our customers pay cash at time of delivery, others provide a certain amount every few weeks and whittle away at that until they owe more.  Also, some prefer to stop by and pick up their order as they're not quite sure what they'd like.  Seeing all the colours growing here is very inspiring to eat well.  The farm is open to visitors, we love showing off the work we do.  

If you have friends or family who might be interested in the services offered by Day Brighteners Farm, please let them know about us, let us know about them.  We currently deliver to North Grenville, Merrickville and parts of Ottawa.


Sunday, 26 April 2015

North Grenville Sustainability Fair - today

Come see us at the Municipal Center today - specifically the North Grenville Sustainability Fair - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Day Brighteners Farm has a booth.  I'll also be at the COG (Canadian Organic Growers) booth for a bit as well.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

April showers, yes and April wind, Big Wind

Trying to keep the backyard furniture in the backyard is an issue these days.  We bought a couple of IKEA items, table and chairs, which are really heavy and weren't moved at all by the wind the last few days.  But the lightweight stuff - right across, upside down and sideways - yup. 

Our seedlings are doing great!  
We're running out of table space in the greenhouses as every 72-plant tray we up-pot turns into four 18-plant trays.  That's a lot of trays of future food.  

Seven new chickens moved in last weekend, 3 silkies and 4 d'uccles.
We get about 3 eggs a day now, the newest hens are about 6 months old and are starting to lay eggs.  They're awfully adorable, both the chickens and their eggs.  I'm thinking of selling the eggs 1/2 dozen at a time at first, until each girl steps up to the plate and contributes to the cause.  

I got a good response on the new Sprout Blend last week so am preparing that one again.  I'm hoping to have for your eating enjoyment next week (subject to weather co-operation of course) baby sorrel, thyme, sage, baby arugula, small portions of salad greens.  Pay particular attention to the "subject to weather" part.  The snow peas are becoming more recognizable each day - future yumminess.   

We'll be at the North Grenville Sustainability Fair Sunday April 26 - 10-2 at the Municipal Center.  I'll have some Sprouts with me if you find you've run out by then and can't get through another day without them.


Until next post, have a great every day.  

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Happy Wednesday, Happy Week, Happy Spring, Happy Happy!

Doesn't the sun just massage energy into your whole being?  It's hard to believe that last Friday we were up to our knees in water and mud.  Then came the rain, the wind, the sun and yesterday we were kneeling on the ground weeding out garden rows, planting carrot seeds and transplanting companion flowers and not getting wet.  Go figure.  

We've been up-potting peppers, tomatoes, herbs and flowers almost every day and watching all our little ones facing and racing towards the light.  We've now planted almost all of the tomatoes that will grow here (I found a variety we haven't yet planted so will do that this week).  We've planted with everyone in mind - for the Plant Sale, good eating during the summer and for sauces to be put up in jars for the Winter months.  We also started some eggplant seeds.  Eggplant is just fun to grow and such a treat to eat - mmmmm think pizza, stir-fry, lasagna - mmmmm.  We've seeded in the little old Greenhouse, the plan being we should be eating salad greens from there until we can harvest from the outdoor gardens. The radish seeds we planted in November are showing signs of life and we have a lovely toad standing guard over the whole affair.  
a few trays- several hundred plants

Interim Salad Greens starting

plants and some hundreds of
 tomatoes on heat mats

waiting to move outdoors
We made "pallet tables" in the new Greenhouse which are now holding trays of new tomatoes, kales, broccoli, cabbages, herbs, leeks, onion varieties and flower seedlings.  We've built more shelves and installed more lights and heating mats in the house for the abundance of peppers and starter tomatoes until it's time for them to all live outdoors.  

In a few weeks, when the floor in the bigger Greenhouse is actually soil and not pure boot-sucking mud, we'll start some rows of cukes and the starter plants of squash varieties which many of you will choose for your own gardens. We decided to build a few raised boxes for the specialty cukes like the Soyu Long and the English which do much better in a greenhouse than outside. 

We'll be prepping more rows today, planting golden and red beet seeds and making trellises for the peas and beans.  We still have some up-potting of newer tomatoes and various other veggies to keep us busy indoors for the next few rainy days.

Oh, and we're getting ten more chickens by the end of this week some bantam d'uccles and more silkies - they are so pretty. 

That's it for now.  You may notice less posts nowadays, we're just busy outside, which is a wonderful thing.  Grounding and earthing, good for our health and well being.  

Until next post, have a great every day.