- ⅔ cup olive oil,
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar,
- 2 tablespoons honey,
- 2 tablespoons mustard,
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds,
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic or garlic scape, and salt to taste in a small bowl.
- Whisk all ingredients together
So, it looks like I’m the world’s worst blogger of all time, not having posted a blog since last winter or so. So, I’m officially ending trying to have a blog. Please see the newsletter section of the website for stories from the farm and keep checking in or an up and coming photo page which is really the best part of this blog anyway!
Things can definitely change dramatically on the farm in a short period of time. A few weeks ago we were looking out the window and sighing at all the rain coming down, wondering when we would ever plant. Now, just two short weeks later, we’ve got most of our spring crops in the ground, an orchard almost planted and 2 acres of grain sown!
What an amazing two weeks it has been! We happily welcomed the arrival of Bennet Deakin about 2 weeks ago. He’s the (awesome) third member of our farming team the season and we quickly got down to planting our spring crops – broccoli, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, onions, bok choy, fava beans and more! Bennet also prepped the ground and sowed 2 acres of spring grain – trials that he is heading up in preparation for a grain CSA we hope to start in the near future.
After all that – we had a massive tree planting day this past weekend and got about 135 fruit trees planted in what is now, our orchard! We planted apples, pears, plums, cherries and Asian pears as well as some raspberries, blueberries and other small berries. The orchard will be managed by our great friend Ali English and hopefully will allow us to offer some fruit to the CSA in the near future!
Most of the spring crops are either transplanted and looking great or direct-seeded and beginning to come up! A field walk this weekend saw the tiny spinach and lettuce mix seedlings emerging along with carrot, beets and peas. The broccoli and cabbage as well as chard, lettuce, bok choy and kohlrabi transplants are looking good and we’ve got almost a quarter acre of tiny onion seedlings swaying in the wind!
Jeff has been tinkering with our Farmall cultivating tractor which we purchased at the end of last summer and we hope to start in-row cultivating (weeding that is!) all these crops this week, if it dries up. We’re rigging up some trenching equipment on the Farmall as well so that we can plant our potatoes and we’ll plant about 450 feet of early tomatoes in our 90 foot greenhouse this week as well.
All in all a very satisfying couple of weeks with more to come!
Well, I guess there’s nothing like the weather to keep you humble as a farmer. This time last year we had already had almost two months of warm, dry weather. We were leisurely working the fields, planting whenever we wanted and the soil was warm. This spring is another story completely! As I write this, I’m watching the rain fall for the umpteenth time, still wearing my winter jacket and forcing a smile to cover up a growing anxiety – when are we ever going to be able to plant?!?!
Luckily, we had one day this week where we were able to get on the field and we used it to manically spread compost, work the early crop ground and actually seed some crops – carrots, beets, peas and herbs. But the forecast calls for rain, rain, rain so who knows when we will get in next. The greenhouse is full and beautiful though and as soon as we can, we’ll be out there planting. Cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi and bok choy, onions, chard and lots of greens can all go in whenever the soil is dry enough and hopefully the weather will warm up some so that these crops will actually grow! This wet weather not only can put off planting (and therefore harvesting) but it also creates more favourable conditions for disease – especially in the greenhouse. The cool, overcast weather means the greenhouse doors and sides have to stay closed more of the time to conserve heat – this means less air flow inside and means the soil in the transplant plugs never dries off – conditions that fungi and disease love!
But! So far, so good. The plants in the greenhouse look great and there’s plenty of them! One of these days, they’ll go in the ground….
I haven’t written for awhile on the blog. This probably reflects the intense change of pace that has happened here since the summer CSA ended and snow came to blanket the farm. Less to report, that is. We are in the midst of both relaxing some and planning lots for next summer. There are so many things to think about – we’re analyzing last year’s garden, making changes for our crop plan next year and thinking about hiring someone for the spring. We’re going out and taking snow off the greenhouses and thinking about maybe building a root cellar in anticipation of a bigger winter CSA next year. We’re considering doing a farmers’ market and looking at how to increase the profitability of the CSA.
So, lots of big things to think about with some time for cross-country skiing in between!
See you in the spring!
I’m happy to say that I have been too busy harvesting spectacular amounts of beautiful food to write on this blog. The past few weeks have really illustrated in a BIG way how incredibly abundant our harvests have been and how amazing this season is for growing vegetables. Watermelon, that sweet, delicious, beautiful thing is literally rolling out of the fields – we have all had a watermelon-induced stomachache (that’s what happens when you eat three per day) for the last three weeks.
I could say that the only thing to complain about recently is that things are growing TOO fast! We put in our fall brassica crop over the last few weeks (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, chinese cabbage etc.) and I swear if you had sat in the field and watched, you could have seen them growing. The two kale plantings are pretty much ready to harvest and, though planted three weeks apart, look almost the same size! The chinese cabbage is starting to head (only a month too soon!) and that whole section of garden looks like it wants to take flight or something, the plants are so huge they are bursting from the ground.
We’ve started to work in some of the summer-planted cover crops and have pretty much mapped out the garden for next year so that we can start to sow fall cover crops and apply compost. The orchard section is carpeted in a lush rye cover and we’ve got onions curing and garlic cured and stored away. Despite this past week’s heat, it does feel like fall is coming and we are starting to think about fall harvests and winter storage. The winter squash is taking after the watermelon in being huge and copious and we are excited for that most favourite of harvests – so colourful and leaving you so thankful for the richness and nourishment of that wonderful crop.
The farm is really looking beautiful also because of the huge, plump straw bales that are now sitting in the back fields where Warren Becker (our neighbour) had his oats and barley crop. The hay that he under-seeded in these grains is coming up green underneath the bales and Jeff and I are eyeing these fields to determine where we will plant our lentil and bean test crops next year.
All in all, things are great, so here’s some photos.
Not too much to report. Better, drier weather means we’re getting lots of cukes and zukes and hopefully the tomatoes will speed up. The tomatoes in the greenhouse are finally looking good with lots of tomatoes on them. The cucumbers may not be long for this world as they are infected with downy mildew. I applied compost tea in the hopes that I can slow down the progress of the mildew so we’ll see how that works. Otherwise, we’re hoping the melons (which also have some fungal thing) will hold out until they ripen all the beautiful watermelons and cateloupes that are growing there. The winter squash – oh the winter squash! It’s so beautiful, with huge, already ripening squash on the vines and lots of it. It too has some disease symptoms but we think it’s way ahead of it.
Fall brassicas are looking great as well under their layers of row cover. The rutabagas, which we transplanted (we normally direct-seed) are huge after only a couple of weeks and the kale, broccoli, chinese cabbage and cauliflower are all looking great. So nice!
Here are some nice farm photos: