Sunday, 24 May 2015

I get thrilled about Other People's Gardens too

It was so exciting to see the shoppers here yesterday.  Gardeners love to talk about their own gardens, successes and attempts.  We're always ready to learn, or re-learn.  It's always fun to discuss what other gardeners and cooks do with their home grown veggies.

In looking through my list of Tomatoes and Peppers, you may have gathered I'm into the sauce veggies.  (no I'm not into the sauce, I mean salsas, peppers, pizza and tomato sauces, etc.)  Our growing and fresh-eating season is so very short that we must keep those wonderful true flavours with us throughout the "cold months", in turn reminding us with every bite that Spring will, indeed, return again.

The Plant Sale will re-open Wednesday May 27 at 9:00.  I'm usually not too far away, but to be sure, give me a call or email if you know you're coming over.  That way I can set down that rake, hoe, hose, garden cart of transplants or wheelbarrow full of grass clippings to spend some valuable time with you when you come.  I also love giving the tour if you have time.  

Thanks again for dropping by yesterday.

Until next post, have a great every day.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

What did you buy again?

this looks a little sloppy but it was a lot of work to do and I don't know how to attach an attachment onto this blog - sorry 'bout that


If  label reads      You bought                                        Details
CUK LEM              Cucumber, Lemon                             round, yellow tennis-ball-size fruits, high yielding, tolerates drought
CUK MM              Cucumber, Marketmore                  7-8” long dark green, great for eating fresh
CUK NP                 Cucumber, National Pickling           Highly-productive, disease-resistant vines start producing early
& produce an abundance of dark green fruit, crisp white flesh, black spines, retains quality over a longer season than most. Fruit can be picked small (2-3") for gherkins or larger (5-6") for full-sized pickles
CUK TG                 Cucumber, Tendergreen                   straight, thick, tender cucumber, skin is medium-green with fine black spines, pickling or salads

BSL GEN                Basil, Genovese                                 large leaf, best for pesto and bruschetta
BSL GK                  Basil, Greek                                        compact, perfect for containers
BSL LMN                              Basil, Lemon                                      great for tea and in vinegar
BSL LIM             Basil, Lime                                 zesty lime scent 
BSL Ti                    Basil, Thai                                           distinctive anise scent & flavour/Thai & Vietnamese cooking 
BSL SWT DB          Basil, Sweet                                       
PRSLY, IT               Parsley, Italian                                  
SG                         Sage                                                   
PPR ROF                 Pepper, Ring of Fire Cayenne           hot, high yielding              
PPR LRC                Pepper, Long Red Cayenne              fiery hot, dries well
PPR Ti                   Pepper, Thai                                       loads of tiny red very hot peppers, dries well, save seeds
PPR HHW             Pepper, Hungarian Hot Wax            medium heat, fresh in salads, or pickle for appetizer
PPR MSW             Pepper, Marconi Sweet Red            fruits can grow to 8-12" long and are 3" across at the shoulders,
                                                                        start out green, mature to fire-engine red, are incredibly sweet,
wonderful roasted or grilled, staked plant, can grow to 30"
PPR BC                  Pepper, Bulgarian Carrot Hot          very hot, long fruit that resemble carrots, good for salsas, chutney
 and roasting. Growing to 18" tall, 
PPR JAL                 Pepper, Jalapeno                               short, 2-3" fruits, thick-skin and juicy and are great eaten fresh,
cooked, dried, and in salsa
PPR HAB                              Pepper, Habanero                             hottest chile
PPR HP                 Pepper, Hot Portugal                        Long, thin, bright-red fruit, very hot, produced abundantly on
 sturdy plants
PPR DES                Pepper, D’Espellette                         really, really HOT
PPR AP                 Pepper, Alma Paprika                      loads of small, thick-skin, 2" round peppers mature from yellow to
                                                                       orange to red. Distinctive taste - very sweet/ bit of bite
PPR RB                  Pepper, Red Bell                                large, for fresh eating in salads or cook
PPR ORNG            Pepper, Tangerine Pimento             orange, thick skin, round, sweet
PPR RRP                Pepper, Red Ruffled Pimento          medium, compact bushy plant, sweet fruit
SQ DEL                  Squash, delicata                                winter, cylindrical fruits, which are cream-coloured with green stripes
SQ TQ                    Squash, Table Queen                         sweet golden yellow that turns more orange in storage and the rind
 is dark green and ribbed, fruits grow to 6"

SQ B BUT              Squash, Burgess Buttercup               winter squash, produces 3-4 lb. blocky, dark green fruits, tender
golden flesh is dense-textured, rich, buttery flavour, good storage
SQ SK               Squash, Sweet Keeper                 winter, tremendous storage ability, blue/grey fruit grows to 10-15 lbs
on long vining stems, bright orange flesh is very sweet, excellent for roasting or baking
ZK BB                Zucchini, Black Beauty                summer, earliest and most productive of the black/green zucchinis,
dark green and straight
SQ TKS TRBN    Squash, Turk`s Turbin               winter - bright orange fruits striped with cream & olive-green. grown for
both decoration & eating, grows to 6 lbs and up to 8" wide, the fruits
have light orange, fine-textured flesh that is good for baking or roasting
SQ SP                Squash, Spaghetti                      winter - need to fully mature before harvesting
SQ YCN             Squash, Crookneck                    light yellow fruit with crooked neck, white, sweet flesh, pick when
skin can be cut with a fingernail
ZUK GLD           Zucchini, Golden                        summer - produces bright golden-yellow fruits in abundance.
WHT PPN           Pumpkin, White                         

TOM PR                Tomato, Purple Russian                beautiful, juicy, plum paste tomatoes 3-4" long, meaty &
blemish-free, heavy producer
TOM RC                Tomato, Red Cherry                          small round abundant with fruits
TOM SM                              Tomato, San Marzano                      heart-shaped fruits, sweet, few seeds, excellent sauce tomato
TOM YP                Tomato, Yellow Pear                         loads of small pear-shaped tomatoes, attractive colour
TOM BL PLM        Tomato, Black Plum                          paste tomato creates a beautiful dark sauce, 2" fruits ripen from
deep mahogany to black-brown, heavy yielder
TOM PK PL           Tomato, Pink plum                           large pink, plum shaped, great for fresh eating and sauces
TOM BSt or BS     Tomato, Belstar                                 matures earlier than most plum tomatoes, large fruit, compact
plants loads for fresh eating & wonderful sauce
TOM GIL           Tomato, Gilbertie                       long, narrow red fruits with crook at their end have thick, meaty
Flesh, perfect for soups and sauces and grilling, prolific producer
TOM ROP             Tomato, Ropreco                                             outstanding paste & sauce tomato, very early maturing, produces
an average of 30-35, bright red, meaty, 2 oz. fruits/plant, makes delicious sauce, well-suited to short season area, disease-resistant
TOM GD            Tomato, Gardener’s Delight        Packed with bite-size fruit which are extremely sweet in flavour
TOM GZ           Tomato, Green Zebra                lovely yellow/green stripes, citrus flavour, great for guacamole too

TOM RMA        Tomato, Roma                          oval, meaty red fruits that are perfect for sauce, paste & salsa

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Preparing for Plant Sale

takes a lot of thyme, if you have sage advice on how to create more, please lettuce know.
Silly eh?    

We did get those last nine chickens, so we now have twenty altogether.  Egg production should be back up in a few, or a couple of, weeks.  

the new girls
The greens in the field are growing at an astonishing rate now that we have the soaker system hooked up.  Some pepper plants have started to grow . . . peppers, oddly enough.  The garlic seems to be involved in a race of some sort to be taller every hour - scapes should be visible any day now.  Over the next week or so, we'll be ousting everything from the little Greenhouse so we can get the peppers in there.

The Plant Sale Saturday, May 23 and again May 27 until done will free up space for tomatoes and cukes in the Large Greenhouse.  Our rototiller broke when the boys were making rows in one garden, so we've ordered another bigger, stronger-than-rocks one, which isn't here yet.  When it arrives, we'll have the space in two new gardens and one hugely enlarged garden for everything else.

In the meantime, you can see under "prices" here what's for sale.  You can reserve plants, as I think it's too soon to put them into the ground.  I can mind them for you.  

Just a few pictures of plants other than food plants.  I love spring, the season of lovely aromas.

Until next post, have a great every day.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Calendula, for the future, from the past

It seems terrible to look to the future when we've been waiting so long for today to come about.  Many of us attended a lesson on making calendula salve led by Dr. Shawn Yakimovich and hosted by Sustainable North Grenville the other night.  What a wonderful lesson to (re)learn.  I now know what I'll be doing at the end of this growing season and through the cold months, besides putting up tomato products, curing and dehydrating, and growing sprouts for us all.  I'm quite excited about it, not so much the cold months, but the fact that we'll all be saved from various ailments from the salve we'll be making here at Day Brighteners Farm.  Dr. Shawn made it look so easy.  After all, we grow calendula here, from his seeds I might add.  Why not take it a step beyond eating the flower petals in the Salad Greens.  Hmm, I wonder what else we grow here which can be used for furthering its potential.  We'll soon see about that.  

Sprouts:  So the sprouts aren't as popular now as they were over the last four months.  I'm not surprised.  They are still as good for us but we are quite distracted by the fresh spinach, salad greens, herbs, kale and all the other veggies preparing themselves out there for our future meals (there we go again looking to the future, it just happens). So, rather than growing too many sprouts or not having enough of that certain kind you may like, I've decided to not sprout on my own discretion but will only sprout when you pre-order.  So if you'd like me to have sprouts available for you, please order the week ahead and I'll be happy to make it work.   

Eggs:  A few things are happening here.  Out of our eleven hens, we usually get five eggs a day, except when we get two or three.  Three of the older girls are broody right now which means they won't be laying eggs for a few weeks.  Therefore, we're down a few dailies already.  A couple of the new little ones are starting to lay eggs, sporadically, so we might be back up to four, five or six a day, depending on the weather.  It turns out the nine laying hens we reserved from our chicken supplier may not be coming after all.  I'll look into it, between planting, up-potting, soil and garden preparation, harvesting and delivering, but I may be out of luck until fall for buying new birds.  I'll keep you posted for when that blessed day arrives when we're getting more than a few eggs a day.  I know you understand, it's nature, right?  I've been working on this egg production thing for a couple of years now, it's not as easy as people let on.  

Salad Greens:  This week, you'll see what I mean about the lettuce varieties being able to grow once we ate up a good portion of the aggressive arugula.  From now on, the Salad Greens will also be hosting more edible flowers, some of which may surprise you.

The beans, snow peas and radishes are getting bigger every day.  All of the onion sets we planted a couple of weeks ago are up several inches now.  The garlic is growing at an astonishing rate.  It seems early this year.    

Garlic Scape Pesto here we come.

I believe we're good for salad until
 the outside rows are ready. 

We found this little kale plant growing,
where there was kale last year.   

I love allium flowers.  These are just the beginning of all the beautiful colours and smells to arrive in the upcoming weeks and months - lovin' Springtime.

We're busy getting ready for the Plant Sale here beginning May 23.  It's also the weekend of the North Grenville Dandelion Festival but we're on the edge of Townships and I feel many people closer to us have never heard of that particular festival (if you can imagine) and we and they will do well.  I also feel any earlier is too soon to plant out.  After all, we're expecting a low of 3C tonight - ugh.  My little girl will be visiting from that big old city for a few days but the Plant Sale will continue again from Wednesday the 27 until we're done selling and you're done buying.  

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

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Rocks for Sale

I have to tell you there is not a square inch in any garden on this property that does not have a rock of some shape and size.  Every single time we put in a stake or a shovel or a row cover hoop, we hit a rock.  It does make me wonder how anything can possibly grow in this region of ours.  But it does.  And it does very well.

I also have to share something else with you.  Arugula is not a team player.  It's more of a leader by showiness.  Surely you noticed that your Salad Greens last week consisted mostly of Arugula, that wonderful, spicy and fresh taste of the green which falls into its own category.  It's sort of a cross between a lettuce, a spinach, a mustard and a cress.  But it is delicious.  Arugula has decided to take over the salad space in the little greenhouse.  Once we eat bunches of Arugula, though, the green and red deer tongue lettuces, the tango, the black seeded simpson, the red salad bowl lettuce and batavian endive, the various mustards, mizuna, tatsoi et al,  will be able to see the light and get a little larger themselves. 
see what I mean about the Arugula

We built raised boxes in the new Greenhouse on Sunday.  We filled them with garden soil today and planted several cucumber seeds - lemon, marketmore, english telegraph, suyo long, longfellows and national pickling - that should get us started at least.  Think ahead a month or so and imagine climbing vines thick with broad leaves, dripping with cucumbers waiting for a place on your table. 
Some plants are getting used to being outside and are waiting to be transplanted.  We have hundreds of leeks, more kale, bunching onions and some herbs in this holding bay.  

With the recent afternoon heat, our days begin much earlier.  The up-potting, seeding and any constructing in the new Greenhouse get done before 9ish as it's just too hot in there after that.  We then move the operation out to the Salad Garden in the north field where there's usually a lovely gentle breeze blowing across the rows in which we're transplanting and seeding, placing row cover and cutting and laying soaker hose.  By just after lunch it's time to go in, write and answer emails and read much about organic gardening and chickens and make tomorrow's planting plan.   Don't get me wrong, I'm loving this weather, it's just hard to work out in it after a certain point, the body and mind both slow down after about 8 hours of digging, lifting, bending, pushing, climbing . . . you get the picture.  

We're expecting to have three new gardens prepped to plunk plants into in the next week.  Then we'll be getting ready for the Big Plant Sale which begins May 23.  I'll post a list of plants and prices soon.  You can reserve plants for your own garden if you like.  

So if anyone needs rocks, we got 'em.  Actually, they're free.  Let me know what time you'd like to pick them up.  

Until next post, have a great every day.