The greens in the tree leaves have shifted from their rush of spring to their soaking summer sun. The days are getting noticeably shorter.
I wanted to remind members who opted for payments spread throughout the season that another payment would be beneficial, and all payments should be complete before the end of the season.
We will start taking orders for canning tomatoes. Like the pickles, a minimum of half a bushel can be reserved for a specific harvest day. We can sign you up until the middle of September. We’ll try to fill all the orders, but it’s never 100% certain what the harvest will be.
I also wanted to tell the tomato’s story so far. The plants are looking great, and it appears it will be a very good harvest. When the plants were potted up back in April, in the greenhouse, there was a problem because we had to change the lime ingredient of our soil mix, and it seemed the new lime was not dissolving and available to the plants. The struggled to develop their roots. We supplemented them with a nettle and compost tea which brought them around to be strong healthy plants. After we planted them out in early June, the weather turned quite cold and windy for a couple weeks, and the plants wished they could have been back in the greenhouse! We even saw frost on June 19th (now the record for latest frost I’ve seen). It didn’t do any damage, but shows how cold the nights were. The plants reacted by trying to make fruit right away, and held off growing. There was a tiny flush of fruit, but then they got into the summer mode and started growing like mad, holding off more fruit production. Now they’ve set a good harvest, although it appears to be ripening a couple weeks later than other years. Every year is different, and I’m always amazed at the adaptability of plants, and feel honored to be in partnership with them!
Just a reminder that in addition to the vegetables and herbs that you get as a CSA member, we have available for sale: herb salts and tea, salve, currant coulis, and duck from our farm. We also carry chicken and pork from Burdock Grove Farm near Williamsford. Aster Lane bread is available by pre-order on Tuesdays.
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!
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…
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!).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The space previously reserved for apprentices has been changed to a Bed and Breakfast. A new page has been set up for it here on the website. If you know anyone looking for a farmy place to stay, have them contact us.