Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Spring, spring, spring. Spring?

The new Team is now ready to roll.  It was inspiring to interview many like-minded people, some of whom probably know more than I do about soil and such things as they have degrees in Environmental Studies, etc.   Each chosen member is enthusiastic, ready to learn, ready to share and raring to get their hands and feet deep into the soil. 

But first things first.  I’ve begun many seedlings myself to get a jump on the long-growing vegetables like hot peppers, onions, some herbs and flowers as well as the continuing supply of microgreens and sprouts - to the point where we need to build more shelves this weekend.  Each new Day Brightener will join me for a few days in March and then we’ll be in full swing by the beginning of April when we’ll start tomatoes, sweet peppers and everything else in the greenhouse. 

It's always exciting when those first seeds germinate. 
Here are some lettuce mixes I'm testing. 
and of course, the first hot peppers of the year.



As I say every year at this time “And so it begins again”.  Days are definitely getting longer, nights shorter and excitement around here is rising for the upcoming growing season. 















We're currently putting together a brochure/pamphlet with information about Day Brighteners Farm, a General Price List, some lovely pictures of what grows here and Upcoming Events such as the annual Sustainability Fair to be held April 22 for Earth Day, a Garden Tour here in the height of growing season, Customer Appreciation Day in the fall and I’m thinking of some teaching sessions.  I’m very happy (and relieved) that the seeds I saved and have tested so far are viable.  If you’re interested in a Seed Swap let me know. 

When we were sowing microgreen seeds at the school, I offered the kids a choice between sunflower seeds and pea seeds.  Each group made their choice until a group asked if they could have both.  I hadn’t thought of that.  I know they grow at different rates but let them go ahead with it anyway.  I’m always saying that gardening is full of experiments, so why not.  I also discovered this about you a few weeks ago when I had a variety of microgreens.  Some of you asked for a mix.  I wouldn’t have thought to do that yet this year.  So this week you can have a mix too. 

Here's a picture of those little baby chickens at age almost four months.  Spring must be soon as we got two eggs this week.  I can’t even remember the last time I held an egg from our own girls. 
We think the largest white and brown one is a rooster. 
And there's a little frizzle hiding behind the others.

As promised last week, this week’s menu is larger and will continue to be so each week from here on (basil is doing great so pesto will be coming soon).  Here's what's to eat this week:

Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  
Hummus:   chickpeas*, tahini*, olive oil*, lemon juice*, roasted garlic*, a teeny bit of hot pepper flakes* and cumin  (*organic)  $5 250/mL jar   
MICROGREENS:  $2 / bag
Kale
Radish
Curly Cress
MICROGREEN MIX:  (kale, radish, curly cress, red orach, mustard)  $3 / bag
SHOOTS, Sunflower  $2 / bag
SPROUTS, Broccoli Brassica Blend (broccoli, broccoli raab, radish, mustard & arugula)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Tomato Sauce  $6 /500mL jar  sealed
Tomatoes, cherry, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Tomatoes, frozen   $4 /4Cup package  great for sauces and soups
Tomatoes, Gardeners’ Delight (ping pong ball size) frozen whole  $3 pound

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  

Until next post, have a great every day.

Jo
joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Everything is back to normal

i haven't been away, just doing other things like working in my husband's office last week, interviewing and hiring.  The office week is over and I’m back in my own world now.   I'm done interviewing and in the midst of choosing the best members for the Team.  

The log/record keeping/journal I referred to a few emails ago is proving itself very useful this week.  I’m looking back over the last couple of years to see when certain seeds were sown and my notes which tell me to hold off on some things and don’t bother with others.  I am in the process of starting fresh microgreens, several flavours of basil, more herbs, flowers and some hot peppers.  The bright days (never mind all that snow) are very inspiring while I collect and wash trays and pots from storage, then carefully choose which seeds will be meticulously placed in tiny 1” cells or gently sprinkled on top of seed starter in pots and spritzed.  Everything sown from here on will need my attention every single day until they are up-potted, some several times, and eventually moved out to their designated spots in the gardens.  I am in my happy place – until April when my happy place will be outside and in the greenhouses. 

I ordered seed potatoes today, some reds, yellow and russets – totalling 100 pounds!  They’ll arrive in May to be planted shortly thereafter.

The menu is compact this week, next week will be larger:
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Hummus:   chickpeas*, tahini*, olive oil*, lemon juice*, roasted garlic*, a teeny bit of hot pepper flakes and cumin  (*organic)  $5 250/mL jar   I’ll make it when you order
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Tomato Sauce  $6 /500mL jar  sealed
Tomatoes, cherry, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Tomatoes, frozen   $4 /4Cup package  great for sauces and soups
Tomatoes, Gardeners’ Delight (ping pong ball size) frozen whole  $3 pound

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  

Thanks.

613-258-7970

joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com

Until next post, have a great every day.
Jo

Thursday, 18 January 2018

HIRING FOR 2018

HIRING - FULL-TIME and/or PART-TIME for the Gardening Team of 2018

Job Details:

- seed starting - begins in greenhouse April 1, includes sowing seeds, up-potting seedlings, building table space as needed, watering, maintenance and care of seedlings
- row making and soil-amending - begins when ground is not frozen, usually mid-April, the first step for the newly tilled gardens, adding compost and making 30" raised rows to allow plants to survive through flooding conditions
- direct sowing and transplanting - can begin mid-April and continues through the entire season, also includes prepping garden rows with compost or other soil amendments and/or laying plastic mulch
- weeding - with various implements, mostly by hand
- sowing new seeds  - a constant task to ensure regular transplanting of seedlings, mostly salad greens
- tending to approximately 1000 tomato plants - involves transplanting, post-pounding, stringing and constant pruning to ensure tomato production through the entire season June through September
- picking/washing/packing - picking quickly in the earliest hours of the day to provide fresh quality produce, manipulating wash stand with weigh scales, packing coolers and boxes for delivery
- delivering - we deliver to more customers now and to more areas
- kitchen - making and canning salsa, tomato sauce, pesto, freezing produce

- seed saving - when some things "die off" it's time to save as many seeds as we can - it's a learning process right now
- operation of tractor - new Kubota with front bucket, tiller and rotary cutter

A knowledge of plants is definitely an asset, an eagerness to learn is beneficial.  

Special Note:  Em, who has volunteered many precious hours here over the last couple of years, out of the goodness of her great big heart, asked me to mention the following about working here:

I am open to people with ideas who want to try things out - like being present at a local farmers' market  or managing a new greenhouse.  When there's time, we all get together to eat good food at lunch.  We have hot coffee/tea to warm our hands when they’re almost frozen from cutting salad greens.  We like the atmosphere to be light-hearted so we listen to music while working (taking turns choosing of course) and talk about everything under the sun. It’s hard work, but we make it fun with food, music and conversation.   
Contact me by email or by phone to apply.  

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Indoor Planting and Planning

I had occasion to see and listen to Diana Leeson Fisher speak last week.  She is smart, interesting and funny.  Before her talk, she asked each of us in the room if we ever kept a diary or a journal.  Some answered yes with little stories attached and a few answered no.  I was the last to answer which gave me time to think – I certainly have been and am currently keeping a journal but have never thought of it as such.

I was given one of those Lee Valley 10 -year Garden Journals many years ago, jotted down a few notes from year to year, put it aside and didn’t think about it very much after that.  When this business started to be a going concern I dragged the book out to the greenhouse (it’s big) in the spring and now, each spring when we start our seeds we carefully write down when and how many seeds we plant in how many cells or trays and follow through (mostly) on dates and times of up-pottings.  This ritual continues each year so much that I may have to buy another one of those Journals soon. 

And since I send emails to you each week and post as often in my blog that is, in fact, a journal as well as my record keeping.  So my answer was that I certainly do. 

I’m very thrilled to be included in the advancement of the Holy Cross School garden project which begins this week.  It’s a little too soon to start sowing so I’m bringing a small portion of my world of microgreens to the school.  If the kids share a fraction of the excitement I have for growing food, then they are on their way to a wonderful gardening season.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  A parent is going to talk about beekeeping at some point and you can be sure I’ll be there to take in as much info as I can.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could do Everything we want to?

I am actively advertising for full-time and part-time help.  I want to put together an amazing team for the growing season and would ask you to mention this to everyone you know so I can have the opportunity to interview many and pick the best to grow here.  Thanks.  The details are on my previous blog here posted January 10, 2018. 

I ordered the first batch of seeds last week and hope to see them arrive any day now.  Then the fun really begins.  I now have the seed potato order form and am choosing which to grow this year.  We experimented with growing them in straw last year – failed – so will be back to the good ole tried and true method of plunking them deep into the soil, continuously hilling them up, digging and enjoying them.  And putting them in earlier than we did last year will be a better way too.   

microgreens to keep us healthy during the cold season
pea shoots/pea shoots/sunflower shoots
radish/radish/kale,
red cabbage/arugula/arugula
There are more sunflower shoots above these and more in trays started the other day.  They are the favourites so I'll keep them going for a steady supply.  

Until then, we have the following wonderfulness of nutritional goodness J
Apples, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  I make it when you order
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  I make it when you order
Hummus:   chickpeas*, tahini*, olive oil*, lemon juice*, roasted garlic*, a teeny bit of hot pepper flakes and cumin  (*organic)  $5 250/mL jar   I’m making it today
MICROGREENS  $2 / bag:
  Arugula
  Kale
  Pea Shoots  should they choose to be ready by Friday (sigh)
  Radish
  Red Cabbage
  Sunflower Shoots  should they choose to be ready by Friday (sigh again)
SPROUTS:  $3 / bag
  Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard
  Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa) 
Tomato Sauce  $6 /500mL jar  sealed
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Tomatoes, frozen   $4 /4Cup package  great for sauces and soups
Tomatoes, Gardeners’ Delight (ping pong ball size) frozen whole  $3 pound

Note:  If you would like me to do up Crunchy Bean Mix Sprouts, Ancient Eastern Blend Sprouts and/or Wheat Grass, let me know.  I can do that but I don’t unless I know you are interested. 

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  

Thanks.

Until next post, have a great every day.
Jo


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

WE ARE HIRING

New Year.

New Gardens.

New Delivery List.

New You – if you have resolved to eat better, to learn more about new and familiar foods, to take an active role in your health and well-being.

Let’s do this.

A variety of microgreens is currently under way in the plant room.  Sprouts are sprouting in my north window.  The first order for seeds is going in this week.  The now frozen bale of seed starter is inside thawing.  Various edible flowers, leeks, herbs and all hot peppers will be started before February kicks in. 

The Mother Earth News Vegetable Garden Planner for 2018 has been purchased and begun in my computer.  The builder for the new greenhouse (aka Hot Pepper Palace) is set to go as soon as we can break ground on the newly tilled garden – most likely mid to end of April.

The valued piece missing from my pretty little picture is gardeners.  I need a team of strong reliable early-risers and outdoor-loving, dedicated market gardeners.  

*********************************************************************************
HIRING - FULL-TIME and/or PART-TIME for the Gardening Team of 2018

Job Details:

- seed starting - begins in greenhouse April 1, includes sowing seeds, up-potting seedlings, building table space as needed, watering, maintenance and care of seedlings
- row making and soil-amending - begins when ground is not frozen, usually mid-April, the first step for the newly tilled gardens, adding compost and making 30" raised rows to allow plants to survive through flooding conditions
- direct sowing and transplanting - can begin mid-April and continues through the entire season, also includes prepping garden rows with compost or other soil amendments and/or laying plastic mulch
- weeding - with various implements, mostly by hand
- sowing new seeds  - a constant task to ensure regular transplanting of seedlings, mostly salad greens
- tending to approximately 1000 tomato plants - involves transplanting, post-pounding, stringing and constant pruning to ensure tomato production through the entire season June through September
- picking/washing/packing - picking quickly in the earliest hours of the day to provide fresh quality produce, manipulating wash stand with weigh scales, packing coolers and boxes for delivery
- delivering - we deliver to more customers now and to more areas
- kitchen - making and canning salsa, tomato sauce, pesto, freezing produce
- operation of tractor - new Kubota with front bucket, tiller and rotary cutter

A knowledge of plants is definitely an asset, an eagerness to learn is beneficial.  

Special Note:  Em, who has volunteered many precious hours here over the last couple of years, out of the goodness of her great big heart, asked me to mention the following about working here:

I am open to people with ideas who want to try things out - like being present at a local farmers' market  or managing a new greenhouse.  When there's time, we all get together to eat good food at lunch.  We have hot coffee/tea to warm our hands when they’re almost frozen from cutting salad greens.  We like the atmosphere to be light-hearted so we listen to music while working (taking turns choosing of course) and talk about everything under the sun. It’s hard work, but we make it fun with food, music and conversation.   
Contact me by email or by phone to apply.  
joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com
613-258-7970
Thanks.

*********************************************************************************

To eat this week, I offer to you:
Apples, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Hummus:   chickpeas*, tahini*, olive oil*, lemon juice*, roasted garlic*, a teeny bit of hot pepper flakes and cumin  (*organic)  $5 250/mL jar   I’ll make it when you order
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Tomato Sauce  $6 /500mL jar  sealed
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Tomatoes, frozen   $4 /4Cup package  great for sauces and soups
Tomatoes, Gardeners’ Delight (ping pong ball size) frozen whole  $3 pound

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions.  

Thanks.

Until next post, have a great every day.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

staying warm these days?

Happy New Year 2018 to all!

The kids were elsewhere at Christmastime so we’ve been enjoying their company this week instead.  I have Pea Shoots and Radish Microgreens right now and will be starting everything else in full swing this weekend. The armchair gardening in January and February is as exciting as the actual outside event. 

We’ll start leeks and basil next week, hot peppers in a couple of weeks and then will really take off in February.  When it was -18C last week outside, it was -2C in the greenhouse so I am looking forward to working out there. 

The arugula, spinach, herbs and salad greens, etc. under cover out there are also looking forward to warmer days and nights to become food for us around end of Feburary or beginning of March.

If you would like anything from me this week I do have the following foods and am happy to bring them to you:
Apples, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Hummus:   chickpeas*, tahini*, olive oil*, lemon juice*, garlic*, a teeny bit of ground hot pepper* and cumin  (*organic)  $5 250/mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Microgreens, Daikon Radish  $2 / bag
Pea Shoots  $2 / bag   
Tomato Sauce  $6 /500mL jar  sealed
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Tomatoes, frozen   $4 /4Cup package  great for sauces and soups
Tomatoes, Gardeners’ Delight (ping pong ball size) frozen whole  $3 pound

I look forward to receiving Your Special Order.  Call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions you may have.  Remember you can order any day

Thanks.

Until next post, have a great every day.
Jo


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Wrapping it up for the year

                                          












My house is clean, spot-less, cobweb-less, dead ladybeetle-less, spider-less and dust rhino-less (that’s like dust bunnies but bigger).  I even took pictures off the wall to vacuum the dust collections behind them – how does that even happen in just several months?

We had Tom’s office Christmas dinner here last night.  It was nice to sit and enjoy out-of-the-office chatter, but yes there was still some office talk too.  We’re all connected in that regard so it’s okay.  I love to cook simple meals with simple food.  It was a pleasure to go on an herb hunt in the greenhouse to see what was available.  It makes me smile when I’m washing and cutting veggies either grown here or purchased from local farms I am familiar with.  And there’s a certain satisfaction knowing that in a few weeks the planning and sowing will begin for a whole new season.  The sunshine adds to the flavour of the day as well. 

I’m around next week, but I might get into a book or two so you may not hear from me.  I’m happy to come out to your place if you order or you could come here. 

If I don’t bump into you before Christmas Day, I wish you a relaxed Christmas. Enjoy family and friends, drive carefully and stay healthy.

Here’s the menu for this week. 
Apples, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  apples simmered gently with a cinnamon stick, no sugar added, sealed
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  I’ll make it when you order
Hummus:   chickpeas*, tahini*, olive oil*, lemon juice*, garlic*, a teeny bit of ground hot pepper* and cumin  (*organic)  $5 250/mL jar   I froze it right away
Microgreens, Daikon Radish  NEW  $2 / bag
Pea Shoots  $2 / bag   three trays full should be ready by Sunday, I’m happy to deliver to you then
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Sunflower Shoots  $2 / bag
Tomato Sauce  $6 /500mL jar  sealed
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 /snack bag
Tomatoes, frozen   $4 /4Cup package  great for sauces and soups
Tomatoes, Gardeners’ Delight (ping pong ball size) frozen whole  $3 pound



Monday, 18 December 2017

gifts to give

Hi, if you'd like me to put together a gift bag with items listed below, here is what your present will look like.


Day Brighteners Tomato Sauce with spaghetti noodles

Day Brighteners Tomato Sauce with noodles.

Day Brighteners Salsa with chips

Day Brighteners Applesauce and
Day Brighteners Granola
(granola is made fresh to order with 2 kinds of nuts/one fruit
or with two fruits)

All gift bags are $20 and can be picked up or delivered, must be ordered by no later than Friday December 22 at noon - sooner is better.  
Thanks. 

a Gift of Health

Image result for christmas clipart border




If you or someone you know would like to receive delivery, to home or office, of local organically grown vegetables, herbs, shoots and sprouts, consider a present of a

GIFT CERTIFICATE 

We can deliver weekly, bi-weekly or one can "order as you like".

Contact me for details.
Jo
613-258-7970
joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com