Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Trying to keep you up to date

which isn't easy when it's summer, we're outside from 6ish a.m. to 8ish p.m., mostly tending to the veggies out there and when inside tending to sprouts.  Then there's the weekend events, birthday celebrations, a little travel, July 1, etc., so much to do, so little time - oh my.

Here's a recap of what's been growing on here for the last few weeks, it seems like months.

Well, it’s been too hot to be in any Greenhouse in the daytime for the last several weeks so I took full advantage of today’s coolness.  I potted up some flowers and herbs, made a couple of salad pots and weeded the inside beds and some of the herb garden – no sweat, literally. 

The four baby robins learned to fly the other day and are gone.  I miss their dorky little faces in the nest by the back door but I’m sure the parents will have another brood.  The eastern kingbird and flickers are often around.  It’s a pleasure to see them amongst the chickadees, orioles, finches purple and yellow, the woodpeckers teaching their babies to eat and all the other teeny songbirds with such many-worded songs. 

We’ve been prepping and transplanting and prepping and transplanting (yes I’ve been saying that for weeks now).   We should be done by this weekend, seriously.   There are still a few (hundred) plants to plunk into the rows.

Last week was spent seeding rows of root vegetables.  

Remember how I said to lay your tomato plants on their side when transplanting them.  I was amazed once again, as always, when we went in for lunch and came back out about a half hour later, they had already straightened up towards the sky.  That’s pretty cool. 

We ousted the celery from the little greenhouse this week, which had grown up to 3 ½ feet when it bolted.  Now the basils, chard, parsley and others which plant themselves when I’m not looking are able to see the light and start their growing season.  The new celery we seeded is quite happy as you can taste, it’s in your lad Greens too.It's only about 2 inches high right now, but just wait.  

I slipped some honeysuckle into your salads last week.  It seems each type of bloom lasts one week so every week will be different, other than the edible flowers I grow like chrysanthemum, nasturtium, marigold, pansies, zinnia, calendula, sweet William . . . which you’ll see from time to time. 

Here are some pictures of the new and upcoming Salad Greens.  Aren’t they lovely?  Some are under cover, but don’t tell anyone. 

The corn is doing well, some planted outside, some started in, I started more today inside.  You know how sometimes you don’t see me mention something again that I may have started?  That means it didn’t work out, it’s all an experiment in the end. 

This is fun news, I’m starting carrot sprouts, they take 8-10 days which is twice as long as the others so they should be ready next week.   Apparently, they taste like baby carrots, go figure.    

Thanks to you who have been providing me with empty yoghurt containers.  I appreciate you saving them for me as I always need more.  The labels are endless as I’m now cutting them up for next season. 

Well, well.  OMGoodness.  We’re almost done the Nightshade Garden.  We’ve been clawing, digging, weeding, amending, raking smooth and transplanting what seems like forabsolutelyever now and we have only two and a half more 50’ rows to finish.  We worked out in that cold face-pelting rain and the wind last weekend, as well as the heat of these last couple of days and will continue through tomorrow until we’re done.  We will be done tomorrow, I insist.  We’re actually running out of plants to put in, which is a good thing because we’re also running out of rows in which to put plants.  We now, not so affectionately, refer to the Nightshade Garden as “That Garden” and we’ll all be glad when it’s ready to leave alone for a few weeks until harvesting tomatoes, peppers and eggplant (and maybe fennel-we’ll see how that turns out).  But not to rush our excitement, I’m reminded we still need to pound in posts and string twine for the tomatoes vines, oh and pinch the new shoots between the main branches on an almost-daily basis.  The soaker system is set up and That Garden is being watered presently.

The corn, beans, cabbages and lettuces are growing like crazy right now along with the Red Orach (which you guys really really like-that’s good).  The kale isn’t growing as fast as you’re eating it so we’ll let it have another week to make itself better for you.   The peas are doing great in the Greenhouse so I have some, just little bags right now until the outside peas kick in.  The mustard greens and arugula are wonderful too.  You know that little holes in the mustards tell us that it’s so good the bugs are pleased to be enjoying bits of it too, right?  I did learn a new tip from a facebook group I belong to which I’m currently trying to see if we can keep those beetles out of our garden.  You’ll soon see if it works – I’m seeing a difference already. 

You may have noticed a green leaf in your Orach last week.  I did this to show you the similarity in the leaves between the Orach and Lamb’s Quarters a.k.a. wild spinach.  They are both loaded with nutrition and I know people pull the Lamb’s Quarters out like weeds.  Why are you doing that?  Eat it. 

About the carrots sprouts, I thought they looked ready, I put them in some bags, then tasted them.   They weren’t ready so I started a new batch which should be ready next week.  I’ll keep working at that until I get them right. 

June 22  DILEMMA
Definition of Dilemma:  a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two different things you could do. 
This is not as serious as it sounds.  It’s just that next Friday (aka delivery day) is also July 1.  As well, Tom is turning a certain age June 28.  The evening of June 30 is his big party, so everyone can have the next day off work.  We may have people coming from out of town and I’ll need to clean up and prepare for guests and do some shopping and cooking, etc.  We’re currently pressure-washing, mending and staining decks.  Next week is one of Tom’s busiest weeks at work so he’ll be office-bound for long days.  That said, I’m thinking of not delivering next week.  I can cut and wash a large amount of Salad Greens and Peas this week, cut and pick smaller amounts early next week for you to pick up at Heather’s and get back on track for you the week of July 4. 

In the meantime, back at the Farm, or Market Gardenall of the Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant plants are finally in the Nightshade Garden.  It covers 5000 square feet, a pretty good size.  There’s also a row of fennel at the end of this garden.  Fennel is not a friend to any plant, although peppers are not offended by it, so this garden seemed the most likely place to grow fennel. 

We’re back working in the Roots Garden: weeding, laying more straw in the aisles, weaving trellis for the peas, preparing rows for the cukes which are doing nicely in pots – we just started them last week, they are amazing.  I know peas and cukes are not roots but that huge garden (about 9000 square feet) is the one with the extra space as well as the iron t-bars so we’re just going with it this time.  All of the onion selections are doing wonderfully.  The carrots, beets and turnips have germinated. 

We’re still in the process of removing tired salad from the Greenhouse and replacing with hot peppers which of course I started from seed January 26.  What a long process, eh?  The new Lettuces in the Salad Garden are looking good and we should have a variety of heads of lettuce for you in two or three weeks.  The corn looks terrific.  A little rain sure goes a long way. 

I spent a glorious hour weeding out bolted arugula and mustards from the Salad Greens last night until the mosquitoes discovered me.  I’ll be back out there most of today pulling out unwanteds and tidying up. 

If anyone needs stinging nettle, I have a huge patch of it which you’re very welcome to take for free. 

The long weekend proved to be a total surprise which my son and daughter had planned for about a month now, and was it ever a surprise.  We were starting Tom’s birthday celebrations Thursday evening, son Thomas arrived a little late with daughter Julie from the airport!  I had no idea.  We had an absolutely marvellous unplanned, busy, yet relaxing weekend.  I hope you enjoyed yours as well. 

The garlic scapes are ready.  If you’re not sure what to use them for -  pretty much treat them like garlic;  fry them up with your favourite recipes, add them thinly sliced to salads, chop them up for dips – just pretend they are garlic, which of course they are, really.  We remove them to ensure the bulbs themselves receive all the energy to grow larger over the next few weeks. 

I want to show you the lovely lettuces growing and the current weed-free state of the Salad Garden, but my camera is broken L  I’ll get another this week, but in the meantime, I can tell you what’s to eat:  You can see how the heat is making things happen around here.

Heirloom Romaine Lettuce – before it bolts, it’s beautiful right now, there’s lots of it and the heat will hurt it next week.  The existing Salad Greens are starting to look tired so we’re about to seed new ones.  We’re not out of nice Salad, just giving you notice we might have less in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, we have Lettuces, several kinds:  besides loads of the Heirloom Romaine, we can fill bags for you of Mascara, Radicchio, Red Salad Bowl, Black Seeded Simpson, Speckled and Sunset, a mix is always eye-appealing and tasty. 

Everyone asks when the Tomatoes will be ready.  The extreme heat has been wonderful for tomato and pepper production.  We’ve pounded stakes in the rows and will string up the plants next week.  Each plant has many green tomatoes now and I can actually tell what variety most of them are from their size and shape.   That is exciting. 

The small greenhouse is out of control because it’s the one that gets care when it rains.  You can figure it out from there J

We were in Montreal at the Jazz Festival for the weekend so I did not get a chance to pick up a new camera, it’s on the list.  I miss taking photos of the lovely colours in the Gardens. 

For your dining and entertaining needs this weekend we have:
Chard  $3 bag 
Edible Flowers (mix)  $3 bag  I pack the flower heads whole but you shouldn’t eat them middles
Endive (frisee or batavian)  $3 bag 
Garlic Scapes  $2 bunch 
Herbs:  Basils (lemon, lime, salad leaf, genovese, greek), Citrus Thyme, Lemon Balm, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme  $2  bunch or $5 mixed bag
Kale  $3 bag
Lettuce heads  (variety mix)  $3 bag 
Peas  $2 bag  They just keep growing and producing
Red Orach (spinach more nutritious than spinach) $3 bag
Salad Greens (washed and table-ready)  $5 bag
Snow Peas  $3 bag

Granola, with fruit  $8  500mL jar
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10  500mL jar
Sprouts:  $3 bag
Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish and mustard) 
Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, alfalfa & clover)
If you pre-ordered Crunchy Bean Mix and/or Ancient Eastern Blend, I have those for you. 
I found a recipe for Bean Sprout Hummus, it’s quite good, but I can see changing it up a bit.  You can find everything you need on Google, eh?

Perhaps you might like to be added to our Weekly Delivery List.  I send my email out every Wednesday, collect orders Thursdays and deliver Fridays (or another day convenient to us and you if you're not too close to home).  See Contact information and email or call me.  Thanks.
Until next post, have a great every day.  

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