First farm market on Canada Day!

Wow veggies, wow summer, welcome to another season of good fresh food! We are now open to the public for Friday farm market days, 3-7pm, from Canada Day until Thanksgiving. Stop by for some extra veggies and bring your friends and neighbours. Stop in also to see the new additions to the market, cards, herb salts and teas. See you soon!

Watch for this sign on the highway!

First Harvest!

It’s finally here! The first Friday harvest will be June 24 3-7pm. The first Tuesday harvest will be June 28 3-6pm. Please remember to bring your own bags/boxes. You can review how the CSA works on the CSA page on the website. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

So, what goes into deciding when to start harvesting? I usually aim to have at least five items and herbs available for the first pick-up. Springs are so variable it is hard to tell when some of the crops will be ready. As we approach Summer Solstice, plants tend to grow extra fast, so what is not ready one week, can be over ready the next. I won’t usually post what the harvest will be each week, but just to share with you the challenge of the first pick-up… I know there will be lettuce, kale, scallions and some herbs. There may or may not be peas, spinach, radishes, kohlrabi, sprouting broccoli, chard or frisee.

Last year the radishes, lettuce, and spinach were over mature by the time of the first pick-up. We planted the radishes and spinach a wee bit later this year to try to prevent that problem, but since last spring was hotter than normal, and this spring has been cooler, they may not be ready by the first harvest. Just to say the first couple pick-ups may be smaller than some years, the crops overall are doing well, and I’m looking forward to a bountiful harvest.

See you soon!

Horses and drivers in training

The days of sun this week have given us the chance to work more with Flora and Marcus, the new power-houses (horses) of the farm. The goal for the summer is to have the team, which is both of the horses as well as the driver, cultivating rest areas of the garden where we can plant cover crops to continue feeding the soil during the season.

It’s really fun to see the horses get into the groove of working, they blow through their noses and set into a good walking pace together. These horses want to do work, and it’s a really amazing thing to see them listening well to their driver, Cory, and following commands in formation. It’s a bit of a process to acclimatize the horses to the farm and get them used to working again after a few years of a relaxed life, but it’s been going well, and ultimately we’re building a team in the process, the horses and the driver. “Good work team,” Cory says as Flora and Marcus head into the next garden bed.

Spring…?

Snow-covered currant bushes

Yes, this is what we woke up to this at Saugeen River, and there were a few “Merry Christmases” going around. Luckily, if you take a step through that greenhouse door you’re transported right into spring, it’s like going into another dimension. Seedlings are looking wonderful and we’re potting up tomatoes and peppers like crazy (SO many varieties to look forward to).

Potting up parsley

It has been a longer spring, it’s true, but we’re prepared and ready to to spring into things when it does arrive, which should be in the next week or so! Beds for peas were made in the fall, so we can plant as soon as the ground dries up a little. Yes, you can start dreaming of spring food, we definitely are!

First lettuces and onions!

The coming season!

I’d like to update you on some plans for the farm. As many of you may already know, Lydia Dyck will be joining the farm for the coming season.  You may have seen her at the art supply and framing store in Durham, since her family owns the Colour Jar. She’s grown up a part of the CSA, with her family having a working share picking peas and beans for nearly twenty years now (mostly Barb)!  Lydia’s spent the last couple years involved in other farming ventures, and will be ‘renting’ some land here to do her own project as well as helping with the CSA.  This has been called an “incubator” arrangement, where existing farms can help up and coming farmers get started without them needing to buy all their own equipment and land as they figure life out.  This is very much a win/win since she knows the farm so well already… She will be doing some of the postings and contributing in many ways, so I wanted to let her introduce what she is planning for the coming season: 

Hey everyone! I’m excited to meet you all in the upcoming season. I know it seems far away but we’ve already been planning for it since last year! I’m super excited to be apprenticing with Cory as well as growing a small garden plot of my own and starting a new venture to add to Saugeen River CSA. In developing this venture I am seeking to address two important points: 1) YOU want more eggs (or so a little bird told me) and 2) the farm wants more animals. It just so happens that the perfect solution is to pasture-raise a flock of laying hens. So I look forward to keeping you up to date as this adventure unfolds, keep your eyes and eggs peeled for more info!

2022 Season!

Happy New Year everyone! With so much uncertain in the world, one thing I can say is that the days are already getting longer, and seeds have begun arriving for the coming season! As in other years, I start signing up previous members in the month of January. In February I open shares up to others if there’s space. Many of you have already signed up, but for those who have not, if you could at least let me know your intention if you want a share this season. Winter plans are underway, and neglected bookkeeping. I’ll post more details about the coming season soon…

Grassland bird study at the farm

A group of biologists from Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario have been studying ground nesting birds (Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Grasshopper Sparrows) in this area for several years. This past year they did a study of our farm, among others. Their goal is to help farmers develop pasture and haying practices that can take into consideration the needs of these endangered birds. It was a great experience to learn how adjusting grazing and cutting timing can make it more possible for these birds to raise their young. I’ve attached the report they gave me about the farm. They also recorded all the bird species they observed here (47 total!).

Organic Wood Fired Sourdough Bread

Just a reminder that you can get bread delivered for you at the CSA on Tuesdays.  Aster Lane Farm’s bread is amazing and easy to order.  Go to http://www.asterlanebread.com to see what they do.  Send them an email to orders@asterlanebread.com and get on the list to order from their weekly selection. They send out what is available each week on the weekend, you just need to fill in their form by Monday morning.  All communication is with Bennett and Catherine, so ask them more questions through the email.