I think I speak for everyone when I say to spring, "Happy to have you and the beautiful produce that you bring".
But boy did it come on strong, with some hot days and high humidity. Then to drop back down to sweater worthy temperatures. Just make your mind up already and give us some consistent weather (warm please)!
We've all noticed the drastic change in temperatures, having our (hopefully) last frost on May 22. This is a tricky time for us growers- you have to watch the forecast closely. Had we planted vegetables such as our organic tomatoes, cucumbers or zucchinis outside before the frost we would have had to cover them all with cloth, or they would have been damaged. Good planning is crucial in vegetable farming.
But not all weather is bad. We recently had a big rainfall and after weeks of dry weather I didn't mind at all getting rained on walking to my car. We love when our vegetables get showered on and we don't have to use irrigation. Our water comes from the Egbert Creek, which runs to the Nottawasaga River, and we like to take as little as possible.
What's available and what's coming soon?
Besides our green and white asparagus that we've been enjoying over the past few weeks, we just harvested the first small bunch of broccoli florets this spring. I used to pick and eat broccoli at the beginning of every walk last season. I continue to be pleasantly surprised by its sweetness and flavour!
Our first seeding of organic Mixed Lettuce, Baby Arugula and Asian Mustard Greens (or Hot' n Spicy Salad Blend) have been harvested this week from the field. Thank you rain! :)In a few weeks we'll get to taste Baby Spinach, Breakfast and Easter Egg Radish, Baby White Turnips, Cucumbers and - wait for it - beautiful Squash Blossoms! If you aren't convinced that some flowers are meant for eating please read and try these various mouthwatering squash blossom recipes!
What organic vegetables are we planting now?
Sweet Corn!! We're transplanting our corn into Field 12 (I had to drive the truck over to take this picture, it is quite the walk from the main building - or what we call the "shed")We've just planted peas and beans for July and August enjoyment (the sweet tasting shelling and sugar snap peas come first). And remember when I said good planning is crucial? We have to think months ahead, like this weeks planting of organic parsnips, parsley root, onions, salsify and jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) for fall harvest. The fun never ends here on the farm. There's always something to do and something to plan.
What else is happening?
On our farm we implement crop rotation and cover crops. This means, instead of growing on the same field year after year, we give the land a break for 2 years, and plant green cover crops, such as rye, clover, wheat or vetch as a method of mining the deep soil reserves. This week we are flailing down the vetch and rye in Field 8. The chopping of the green cover crop fertilizes the topsoil and (helped by the earthworms) builds organic matter. This is a natural way of building the nutrients back up in the soil. Did you know there is a direct link between nutrients and flavour?
And there's more!
Of course there's more! I could probably post another 50 photos of happenings around the farm: Chrystal and Megan transplanting edible flowers in Field 1 (ok I did post this picture), the new juliette tomatoes in Field 12, the guys preparing beds for the seeding of organic fall produce, and of course the everyday harvest, washing and packing. Phew!! I'm sure you get the point. This time of year is a busy one for us farmers. And we love it! :)Good things come to those who wait, so stay tuned for more updates and delicious veggies!