Thursday, 17 August 2017

Let me explain all the excitement here

It’s time to shake it up around here.  I woke up the other morning with a revelation!  What?  I was thinking that we start many seedlings for the growing season indoors at the end of January and bring all those seedlings outdoors in April.  Then we start more seedlings in April, May, June and continually until about now.  Why, oh why, are we selling our wonderful non-GMO, “cide” free, organically-grown food to you only one day a week?  With full-time help now, there’s no reason we can’t deliver most products to you every day we work which is Tuesday through Saturday.  I need some time to take care of the house, grocery shop (not that I need many groceries) order new supplies and do a bit of catching up on fallen-behinds.  As you’ll see on the Local Line site, I need at least twenty-four hours’ notice for your order.  That way I can pick fresh for you.  The only thing that wouldn’t be available daily is Salad Greens as they are a full-day process once a week needing all hands on deck.  We never know how many bags we’ll have at the end of the day.  Sometimes we get twice what we need.  Other times we have exactly the amount we need for those of you who pre-ordered.  Weather is a big factor in how fast and well things grow, as you know.  You’ll see if they are available when you check the catelogue.  It changes every day, sometimes more than once each day.  

With the new Local Line ordering system you should be able to enjoy our foods when you like and order when convenient for you.  Some of your towns are not recognized by Google Maps.  In that case, you can put Ontario as your address.  Select what you want to order and your delivery day.  It’s best to keep payments as they are right now: cash, cheque or e-transfer.  We can set up more options when we get rolling. 

Day Brighteners Farm Online Store.  I’ve put a lot of effort into pictures (more to come as we make more food) and descriptions of each item for you.  I’m always open for suggestions to better the system for all of us.  There’s also a YouTube video Local Line prepared for us at https://youtu.be/AzrhTNY_1GA to make it simple – I need it to be simple. 

I do have to tell you though that the tomatoes and cucumbers are coming in fast and furious now, onions are superb, kale just keeps growing and growing, garlic is ready and everything else is growing as it should.   We’ll be adding fresh salsa to the list in a few days.  I have a summer cold right now and don’t really like to handle food while I’m all sniffly and sore throaty but will be wonderful again in a day or so. 

Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm, where we practice sustainability and environmentally-friendly farming.  We always use non-GMO and organic/heirloom seeds, no pesticide, herbicides or fungicides (“cides”) or chemicals here.  You are very welcome to drop by most days.  Calling or emailing first is a good idea so we’ll be here for you.  We do appreciate your business very much and would like to hear from you with any comments or questions you have.   
Thanks.  

Until next post, have a great every day.
Jo

Thursday, 10 August 2017

To wash or not to wash

What are we telling you on those labels?  Salad Greens are always washed and table-ready which means we have cleaned them back and forth and up and down until the water they are in is crystal clear and spun-dried them until your greens are clean, dry enough and ready to eat. 

Sometimes we’re pressed for time and not able to wash some vegetables thoroughly (like kale or chard) for a number of reasons:  one of our team is away so we’re under-staffed; rain the night before or early morning has splashed up a lot of dirt from the ground onto that vegetable; we get too busy picking one vegetable and don’t want to not have a particular item available due to washing another thoroughly.  However, we do remove 95% of anything undesirable from all vegetables, they’re just not quite “table-ready”.   We communicate this to you by printing “Washed” or “Please Wash” on the label.  This will happen more frequently as a larger amount of produce becomes available.  We don’t want to lose the nutritional value or freshness by picking too many days before delivery so we leave everything in the ground as long as possible and scramble to get everything picked, washed and packed.  So read your label to see the best action to take. 

Speaking of under-staffed I’m looking for someone to help us here Thursday and/or Friday mornings for the rest of August.  If you are that person or know of someone please have them email or call me.  Thanks. 

Tomatoes are looking great for everyone next week.  We do have some ready now, more by Friday but it’s a first-come/first-served game this week.  In a week or two we'll have so many and you will know about it for sure.  I almost fell over when I went to pick a few cukes for an order and picked FOURTEEN – wow.  We pulled all the white onions yesterday which are now sitting washed and awaiting your order.  They don’t keep like the other onions.  Some red onions are ready now.  I’m afraid the beans are pathetic this year.  I have never had problems with beans in the past – we’ll put this year down to a fail in that department.  We’ll still keep trying.  What can I say?

Garlic will be nicely cured and prettied up for you by next week. 

Order OnLine
This past week, I've been working diligently to set up my Local Line store.  Local Line is an ordering system that makes it easier for you to select the products you want and place an order every week. I’m making life easier for you.  This also helps me keep track of your orders and my own inventory levels.  There you’ll see my catalogue with pictures and a little description of some of the items.  It was fun to spend some time doing this and I’ll be adding more as we go. 

The Local Line store makes it easy for you to select your products, choose pickup or delivery, and easily checkout with a few clicks.  For a video to show you how easy it is to place an order, go to  https://youtu.be/AzrhTNY_1GA

Click here to visit my new online store - Day Brighteners Farm Online Store.​

Let’s see how it works.  Let me know your thoughts. 


Until next post, have a great every day. 
Jo

Thursday, 3 August 2017

New Foods Available - finally


Quickly, here’s what is available for eating this week – it just keeps getting better.

Baby Carrots  NEW  $3 bunch
Basil  Pesto  $4.50 125mL jar 
Basil Plants:   $2 each 
Celery  $2 bunch
Cucumbers  NEW  $2 each
Edible flowers   $3 bag
Green Onions:  $2 bunch of 10
Herbs, fresh:  bay leaf, citrus thyme, dill, lemon balm, oregano, sage, savory, thyme  $2 bunch  
Herb Mix: a mix of several fresh herbs  $3 bunch   
Kale  $3 bunch
Mustard Greens   $3 bunch
Orach, red  (spinach better for you than spinach)  $3 bag
Peppers, sweet  NEW  $4 pound
Romaine Lettuce  $2
Salad Greens, washed and table ready:  includes arugula, strawberry spinach, orach, arugula, mini-mustard greens and various soft and crunchy lettuces and other green stuff growing on the property, herbs and edible flowers  $5 bag   
Sunflower Shoots  $2 bag 
Swiss Chard   $3 bunch
White Onions  $2.50/pound


Mind you, the carrots, cukes and peppers above-mentioned are not plentiful, but some are ready now, with many more to come in the near future.   Also keep in mind you don’t need to order items by the pound, it’s just the base price I set.  For example, you can order one or two peppers if that’s all you need.

The purple basil is doing so well I made the pesto with it this week.  How cool looking is that.  Same great taste, entirely different look.



Garlic is curing for another week.  Peas and beans are taking their time.  The tomatoes are coming along nicely colour-wise and size-wise.  I’m hoping they’ll be on your plates next week – hooray for the summer heat. 

I grow sprouts for those who have regular weekly delivery.  If you want me to grow some for you, please let me know.  It’s certainly do-able.  I don’t like to waste the seeds if the sprouts aren’t going to be delivered to someone. 
  
Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm, where we practice sustainability and environmentally-friendly farming.  We always use non-GMO and organic/heirloom seeds.  You are very welcome to drop by most days, but if it’s picking/packing/delivery day (Friday) you take your chances on getting the tour.  Calling or emailing first is a good idea.  We do appreciate your business very much and would like to hear from you with any comments or questions you have.  

We deliver to Kemptville and area Friday afternoons to and to Merrickville and Ottawa Saturday or Sunday.  We start picking Thursdays, so please email me or call me by Thursday afternoon for delivery to you.  If you’re outside our delivery range, we’ll make a special plan for you. 
Thank you.  

If you'd like to purchase any of the above items, I'm happy to provide them if available after our regular customers have ordered.  If you want to know how to receive delivery of our nutritional goodness, see Contact information and email or call me.  Thanks.
Until next post, have a great every day.  
Jo


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Stuff is growing here - big time

I found my camera.  Oddly enough, it was right where I left it 😏.
little Indigo Rose cherry tomatoes - should be ready this week?
I haven't grown these before so I'll keep watching them


so many tomatoes on each plant
I understand plants send out an SOS to grow more seeds or fruit, which of course contains seeds, when they feel threatened, and threatened they must be with constant attempted drownings from day to day.  Some tomatoes I've not grown before like the Oxhearts have a large amount of huge tomatoes, but the plants themselves appear to be dying off, basically drowning.  Oh I hope the fruits turn red soon.

huge yes
lots of fruit

these Purple Russians really want to be ready in time
for the party - what party? - they seem to know

yes!  they are starting to turn colour - whew - I thought
this was never going to happen 






tomato plants as far as the eye can see - well not really but
loads of tomato plants doing very well


heirloom romaine getting nice and plump for eatin'

happy cukes and carrots - to be ready soon, very soon

I see you hiding behind those big leaves

ah ha! you can't hide from me


Jimmy Nardello (that sounds so cool)
peppers are starting to colour up 

Bullnose peppers getting ready to go to your house






eggplants getting bigger in the greenhouse

 Just wanted to share my happy place with you.
Jo

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Hooray for Raised Beds


Raised beds are our salvation this year.  I knew they were a lot of work when we originally started the gardens.  There was some complaining from the boys a few years ago, but I insisted we plod along and get the twenty-five 50’ long, the eighteen 100’ and the five 60’ rows, all 30” across, done.  I wanted the hills to be high enough that we didn’t have to dig deep down to plant our beloved seedlings.  It turns out I didn’t realize how making those “hills” would be the best thing we could have done to ensure the growth and non-drowning of our tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs, onions, peas and beans this year. 

Aside from the lack of sunshine, the tomatoes are growing at an alarming rate.  I can’t count how many times we say “These tomato plants are crazy” when we’re pruning them.  There are so many tomatoes.  I understand the plants have sent out an “SOS” message and are producing like crazy, but it still is amazing to see it happening.  Some are starting to show their true colours, particularly the purple ones.

I received a good response on facebook yesterday when I posted free carrot thinnings/tops.  If you missed it, it will happen again soon with the next round of carrots.  I do believe we’ll be eating lovely fresh carrots in a couple or a few weeks.  The beets are growing sporadically as we planted them that way and will continue until end of summer, whenever summer gets here. 

I am really banking on a long warm fall this year – oh please let it be a long warm fall.  None of this below zero temperature at the beginning of September, then another to finish off our food. 

The Salad Greens – what can I say – they absolutely Love the cloudy days, cool nights and are thankful for all the water.  I have yet to turn on the irrigation system in the gardens.  I have used it a couple of times in the greenhouses, but not lately as the ground is flooded in there.  I actually have bruises on my shins from my rainboots, which I wear just about every day. 

The cucumber plants now have cucumbers on them.  What a relief.  We had no cucumbers last year since we didn’t put the plants in until the end of summer.  No matter what job you do, there is never quite enough time to get everything done, right?  Last month we put a priority on making sure those cukes were planted and made trellises for them to climb.  We’re good now and looking forward to that first juicy crunchy bite. 

We started harvesting the garlic today.  It’s quite a process.  Each bulb and stalk are carefully dug out of the ground, and there are hundreds, fewer than last year, but still hundreds. We gently place the entire stalks with soil still attached on racks in darkness so no bulb is touching another.  They will sit drying and curing for two weeks.  Then we’ll brush off the soil and the outer dirty skins and cut the little root hairs to look pretty and the stalks to about two inches in order to present to you the most lovely, and huge this year, white garlic bulbs.  I’ll let you know as soon as they’re ready to buy. 

Each week now provides us with more wonderfully nutritious food to eat such as:
Beets  $3/pound
Beet Greens  $3 bunch
Celery  $2 bunch
Chard  $3 bag
Edible flowers   $3 bag
Green Onions:  $2 bunch of 10
Herbs, fresh:  basil, bay leaf, chives, citrus thyme, dill, lemon balm, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme  $2 bunch  
Herb Mix: a mix of several fresh herbs  $3 bunch   let me know if there’s an herb you’re not fond of
Kale  $3 bunch
Lettuce heads:  heirloom romaine and iceberg (not like that stuff at the grocery store)  $3 mixed bag   
Mustard Greens   $3 bunch
Onions, white  $2.50/pound
Orach, red  (spinach better for you than spinach)  $3 bag
Salad Greens, washed and table ready:  includes green spinach, strawberry spinach, wild spinach, orach, arugula, parsley, mustard and various soft and crunchy lettuces and other green stuff growing on the property and edible flowers  $5 bag   
Swiss Chard   $3 bunch

Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar
I make it fresh when you order  

Pesto, basil  $4.50 125mL jar

Plants, basil:  Genovese, Greek, Lemon   $2 each  

Sunflower Shoots  $2 bag  I add “if they choose to be ready”, but it looks good as of today

I really want to attach pictures but my little digital camera is missing.  I think the cats hid it on me.  I know it’s in the house because I have the memory card from it and I wouldn’t take that out of the camera outside.  If you know where it is, please tell me. 

I grow sprouts for those who have regular weekly delivery.  If you want me to grow some for you, please let me know.  It’s certainly do-able.  I don’t like to waste the seeds if the sprouts aren’t going to be delivered to someone. 

Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm, where we practice sustainability and environmentally-friendly farming.  We always use non-GMO and organic/heirloom seeds.  You are very welcome to drop by most days, but if it’s picking/packing/delivery day (Friday) you take your chances on getting the tour.  Calling or emailing first is a good idea.  We do appreciate your business very much and would like to hear from you with any comments or questions you have.  

We deliver to Kemptville and area Friday afternoons to and to Merrickville and Ottawa Saturday or Sunday.  We start picking Thursdays, so please email me or call me by Thursday afternoon for delivery to you.  If you’re outside our delivery range, we’ll make a special plan for you. 
Thank you.  

If you'd like to purchase any of the above items, I'm happy to provide them if available after our regular customers have ordered.  If you want to know how to receive delivery of our nutritional goodness, see Contact information and email or call me.  Thanks.
Until next post, have a great every day.  
Jo

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

It is definitely growing season here now

A lot is happening here these days.  
The basil inter-planted between the tomatoes and in various gardens is doing great.  
Garlic should be ready to harvest in a week or so. 
Green onions are plentiful.  
My bay plant must love the un-sunshine as it’s growing better than any I’ve had in the past.  
I always think how peculiar it is that dill and cucumbers aren’t ready at the same time.  That’s why we’re growing it at different stages, in the hope both foods will meet eventually.  
White onions are big enough to share with you right now.  They are great flavour raw sliced thinly.  
We pick the kale plants clean every week and every week they grow back hardier, which is quite amazing. 
Eggplants in the greenhouse are doing better than the ones in the garden, which is the way it should be, otherwise why a greenhouse at all.   
We might be eating carrots in a couple of weeks.  
I’m really betting on red tomatoes soon (think positive happy encouraging thoughts).  
Pole beans are rapidly reaching for the sky.  Bush beans are producing but not quite enough for orders yet.  I pushed more beans, peas and snow peas into the ground this weekend so they’ll come about in a few weeks adding themselves to the ones already growing. 

I’m out of granola myself so will be making it again this week.  Let me know if you’d like some.

Here are some pictures of everything growing here so you can enjoy and get excited along with us about the foods to come.
some pansies and sweet william for our salads

sweet william up close

stunning calendula flowers

tomatoes trying their very best to be red or whichever
of the many colours they intend to be

bachelor buttons hanging out with calendula and
sunflowers - who planted the sunflowers in there?

varieties of basil plants

cucumbers climbing our hand-made trellises 

first planting of carrots growing for us

mostly onions here

eggplant currently the size of ... an egg, oddly.

one happy bay leaf plant


I have to say that the mosquitoes are absolutely brutal out there chewing on any skin we might leave exposed, which is sometimes lots due to the high temperatures.  No pictures of mosquitoes are there – who needs that negativity? 

Eats this week are:

Beets  $3/pound
Beet Greens  $3 bunch
Edible flowers   $3 bag
Garlic Scapes:  $3 bunch of 15
Green Garlic  It’s picked fresh, to be used right away, not cured yet, mild garlic flavour  $2 each
Green Onions:  $2 bunch of 10
Herbs, fresh:  bay leaf, cilantro, citrus thyme, dill–so much beautiful fresh dill, mint, rosemary, sage, tarragon   $2 bunch  
Herb Mix: a mix of several fresh herbs  $3 bunch   let me know if there’s an herb you’re not fond of
Kale  $3 bunch
Lettuce heads:  flame, heirloom romaine, speckled, tennis ball, red salad bowl  $3 mixed bag   
Mustard Greens   $3 bunch
Onions, white  NEW  $2.50/pound
Salad Greens, washed and table ready:  includes green spinach, strawberry spinach, wild spinach, orach, celery tops, sorrel, arugula, parsley, lovage, mustard, cress and various soft and crunchy lettuces and other green stuff growing on the property and edible flowers  $5 bag   
Swiss Chard   $3 bunch

Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar
I make it fresh when you order  

Pesto, garlic scape  $4.50
Pesto, basil  $4.50 125mL jar

Plants, basil:  Genovese, Greek, Lemon or Thai  $2 each  See picture attached.

Sunflower Shoots  $2 bag  

I grow sprouts for those who have regular weekly delivery.  If you want me to grow some for you, please let me know.  It’s certainly do-able.  I don’t like to waste the seeds if the sprouts aren’t going to be delivered to someone. 


If you'd like to purchase any of the above items, I'm happy to provide them if available after our regular customers have ordered.  If you want to know how to receive delivery of our nutritional goodness, see Contact information and email or call me.  Thanks.
Until next post, have a great every day.  
Jo