It was super lovely to have members and friends join us at the farm on August 12 for a farm open house, tour of the gardens and meal. We got to highlight some of the culinary skills of our own farm team as well as the produce of our friends and neighbours (see menu in the photo and the great producers highlighted there!). Thanks to everybody who came out and enjoyed the day with us. It was a great day and we’re excited to do it again next year!
It’s very satisfying to be able to show our members where and how we grow your food and allow you to really get a feel for how things happen on the farm. Even better when we can share some of the fruits of our labours with you in a delicious meal and feel the connection that comes from an understand of our shared reliance on the land.
The farm is heading into that late summer/early fall feeling with golden rod blooming in the field, late summer crops ripening (hello beautiful peppers!) and garlic and now onions curing in the barn. The team got our full fall/winter harvest of garlic into the barn for curing between numerous bouts of rainfall (and hail!) and have begun pulling out our early maturing onions and soon our winter onions. We’ve seen early winter squash peeking through the vines and the potato crop is sizing up nicely.
This summer’s weather has been overall a bit challenging with actually quite a bit of rain and strong storms having some impact. We’ve been struggling with serious earwig infestations in our lettuce causing us to leave a lot of lettuce in the field due to damage and leaving us without lettuce for two weeks! We also lost some to the hail we got two weeks back which also damaged a few flushes of zucchini and a few other things here and there in the garden (overall we were very lucky though). The humidity has ramped up the disease presence in our main cucumber greenhouse as well and we’re really hoping our third planting of cukes starts producing soon and doesn’t also succumb!
This week you’ll receive some lovely melons in your shares that you’ll need to eat RIGHT AWAY! The vines and fruit of our melons haven’t loved the high moisture either and the fruit went from green to overripe pretty quickly. They’re still yummy but need to be enjoyed the day you receive them (for some caramelly aromatic melon goodness!).
All in all however, this part of the season is looking great. We’ve been super happy with our sweet pepper crop due in part to finally getting the pruning technique for these plants just right (and despite losing 1/4 of the crop to aphids). Ditto for the eggplant which we moved into greenhouses this year and pruned and is pumping out big, gorgeous fruit.
And speaking of curing onions. We LOVE growing onions at Cedar Down Farm. Maybe it’s because this staple crop is actually quite challenging to grow and we’re proud of the lengths we’ve gone to to grow big, beautiful onions. Disease, weeds and insect pressure have all been challenges to growing organic onions and we’ve put a lot of intention into our onion growing practices. We select disease resistant varieties and have worked on our spacing and density to prevent the conditions favourable to disease. We release native parasitic wasps weekly into our onions and garlic to combat the highly damaging leek moth (which has destroyed large portions of our crop in the past) and we diligently scuffle and hoe our onions many times throughout the season to make sure this non-competitive crop still manages to outcompete the weeds. And we are rewarded with big, beautiful orbs of oniony goodness that make us very proud. So, while the humble onion may seem like nothing much to consider, please do! They are your farmers’ pride and joy!
Now here’s to enjoying the fruits of summer while they last and getting cozied up to the thought of fall goodness in the near future.0