Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Happy Summer Solstice

Not a lot of time for chit chat this week.  “Whew you say”?  Tsk tsk.

If you can believe it, we are still trying to get all the tomatoes in the ground.  Yes, I am aware we have about 8 or 9 weeks before the first frost.  But the first frost doesn’t actually kill the plants, it just scares them. It’s the second frost that does them in.  And besides, I have frost blankets.  Dream on I say and stay positive at all times. 

The new tractor is a dream apparently.  I have no intention of working it but we are enjoying the help it’s providing for all of us.  The old tractor is for sale.  I’ll remind you of the details.  It’s been good to us for four years, we just need one that can do more now.
1952 Massey Harris Pony tractor: has PTO, belt pulley, hydraulics, one-furrow hydraulic plow, hydraulic disc set, extra set of turf tires, new front tires, new carburetor and inline fuel filter and a 5’ Woods hydraulic lift belly 3-blade lawn mower; just  had fuel line and condenser replaced, points cleaned, valves freed up, ignition coil, spark plugs and spark plug wires replaced, transmission/differential oil replaced, engine oil changed, has been pressure washed – it’s in pretty good shape – It works - all for $3,000.00

All the vegetables that are actually in the ground are doing great and allowing me to provide you with the following: 
Herbs, fresh:  citrus thyme, baby dill, garlic chives, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, stinging nettle, tarragon,   $2 bunch  
Herb Mix, a mix of several fresh herbs  $5 bunch   let me know if there’s an herb you’re not fond of
Kale  $3 bunch
Lettuce heads:  romaine, tango, speckled, tom thumb  $2 each
Red Orach  (spinach more nutritious than spinach)  $3 bag
Salad Greens, washed and table ready:  includes green spinach, strawberry spinach, wild spinach, orach, celery, sorrel, arugula, parsley, lovage, mustard, mizuna, cress and various soft and crunchy lettuces and other green stuff growing on the property and edible flowers  $4 bag   
Swiss Chard   $2 bunch

Shoots:  Sunflower $2 bag
The chipmunks got into the pea shoots, I’ll be growing them indoors now as well. 

Sprouts  $3 /bag
Sandwich Booster  (clover, alfalfa, radish and mustard)  
Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, alfalfa & clover) 

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, 14 June 2017

We're moving ahead and up

Exciting news – we’re getting a new tractor delivered tomorrow.  Going on what every single farmer/market gardener/grass cutting land owner has verified, we have entered into the world of Kubota and look forward to many years of easier-on-our-bodies labour with this new friend to our farm. 

Therefore, the 1953 Massey Harris Pony tractor is for sale, details are:
has PTO, belt pulley, hydraulics, one-furrow hydraulic plow, hydraulic disc set, extra set of turf tires, new front tires, new carburetor and inline fuel filter and a 5’ Woods hydraulic lift belly 3-blade lawn mower; this week has had fuel line and condenser replaced, points cleaned, valves freed up, ignition coil, spark plugs and spark plug wires replaced, transmission/differential oil replaced, engine oil changed, has been pressure washed – it’s in pretty good shape – all for $3,000.00

Once the new tractor arrives, we’ll be really smokin’ out there – nice clean rows of fluffy soil, bio-mulch laid out, tomatoes and peppers and eggplants transplanted – it’ll look like we have gardens of food – because we will.

We have been busy, however, with our hands and can provide the following this week:

Herbs, fresh:  garlic chives, lemon balm, mint, oregano, rosemary, savory, stinging nettle, tarragon, thyme   $2 bunch  
Herb Mix, a mix of several fresh herbs  $5 bunch   let me know if there’s an herb you’re not fond of
Kale  $3 bunch
Radish  NEW $2 bunch
Salad Greens, washed and table ready:  includes green spinach, strawberry spinach, wild spinach, orach, celery, sorrel, arugula, parsley, lovage, mustard, mizuna, cress and various soft and crunchy lettuces and other green stuff growing on the property and edible flowers  $4 bag   
Swiss Chard   $2 bunch

PLANTS 
Please see Prices for details – not all plants are still available – ask and I’ll let you know

Sprouts  $3 /bag
Sandwich Booster  (clover, alfalfa, radish and mustard)  
Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, alfalfa & clover) 

Sunnys, not for everyone this week – the chipmunk couple decided to turn over most of the seedlings in the trays so I’ll be growing these indoors from now on – cute little critters they are. 


Pea Shoots might not be ready this week, but definitely next week.  

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 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

We still have plants for your garden



PLANT SALE
SUNDAY JUNE 11
8 a.m. until noon

Heirloom Tomatoes, Peppers
Edible Flowers

DAY BRIGHTENERS FARM
805 Slater Road, Heckston
613-258-7970


See Prices for details

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Plan Sale going on today and tomorrow



PLANT SALE
SAT. JUNE 3 & SUN. JUNE 4
8 a.m. until noon

Organically grown HERBS
Heirloom Tomatoes
Peppers
Edible Flowers
and more


DAY BRIGHTENERS FARM
805 Slater Road, Heckston

613-258-7970

See Prices tab here for details

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Enjoy the Smells and Sights of Spring - ahhhhhh yes.

Everything happens so fast now.  The lilacs just came into bloom last week (one week’s salad worth) and now they are done.  The honeysuckle is now in bloom.  I hope it will last, the little flowers smell so sweet and are also edible.  The yellow irises in the backyard smell absolutely wonderful.  The jacob’s ladders have flowered along with the lungwort.  Evening primrose is getting so tall I’m sure its petals will grace our salads soon too.

Here are a few pictures for you.  Spring is such a refreshing time of year.





The continuing Plant Sale here is going well.  I do have hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of quite a variety of heirloom tomatoes and almost that many peppers available if you’re in need.  We had quite a crowd here Tuesday morning up-potting tomatoes until every single little tomato seedling on the property was happily placed into a larger pot to ensure continued root development and rapid growth.  What a productive time it was. 

The Greenhouse beds are getting more and more full of hot pepper plants each day.  The salad greens growing outside are enjoying the rain, sun isn’t greens’ best friend so a little cloud is welcome.  We were setting up soaker systems in many of the gardens today and will keep that up until it’s completely done.   Carrots, onions, beans, peas, snow peas and more salad mixes have been planted and more are waiting to go in.  Several of the lettuces designated to be heads are coming along nicely. 

We’re still and will mostly always be seeding new plants to give them a head start in pots before transplanting time.  Pea Shoots (they call them Pea Tendrils in the City but I find that name a little creepy like they’re going to wrap themselves around you) are ready this week.  We’ll start more sunnys tomorrow. 

The chipmunk couple living in the Greenhouse thinks they are better gardeners than we are and keep planting sunflowers seeds amongst our vegetables, not only in the beds and gardens but right in the pots beside the stem of the plants!  The little darlings :) 

If you want to be on our Weekly Delivery List, contact me by email or phone.  

Until next post, have a great every day.  

Friday, 26 May 2017

Okay, it's time to plant

I believe we can now plunk our plants into the ground, BUT you might want to keep an old sheet handy to throw over them if those night temps drop below 3C.  I check the weather station several times a day, not so much for the high temperatures but mainly for the lows.  It changes so often.    

I put out several trays of lettuces, herbs and tomatoes this week to harden them off (get them used to the real world).  It rained so hard yesterday afternoon and evening I had to empty the trays of water before saying "Good Night" to all.  

We're still up-potting some tomatoes but already have a good variety for you which have been quickly growing and looking forward to their new homes.  The pepper plants we started in January and February, are very ready to be in garden beds.  

See the "Prices" tab here for varieties of PLANTS FOR SALE SATURDAY MAY 27 AND SUNDAY MAY 28 8:00 A.M TO 5 P.M.

I'm usually here every day during the week too, but it's best to call or email if you're thinking of coming on a weekday.  I might be out delivering.  

See you tomorrow or Sunday! 
Jo


Saturday, 20 May 2017

I haven’t been absent or sick, just really, really busy operating the seeding, greenhouse maintenance, indoor to outdoor transition of peppers, seedling growth and dancing around the weather, particularly the nights and their coldness.  I’m losing track of how many times I have folded up the frost blankets, put them away and brought them back out again.  No more I say – no more - ya right.

I’m posting a list of the plants for sale this week and the next couple of weeks.  I strongly caution unless you have a plan in place for protecting these little babies, please don’t put them in the ground yet.  I started the tomatoes so they would be ready for transplanting during the last week of May and first week of June, which is when I’ll be putting mine in.   Some of the hardier plants, of course, can go in now if your garden is prepared, which we’re still working on here.  

We’ve transplanted some kale, chard, lettuces and herbs and are growing spinach and mesclun mix from seed in the outdoor beds – they all seem to be doing well.  Remember to put row cover over brassicas and arugula or the bugs will destroy every single plant while you’re sleeping.   

You can purchase your favourite plants from me now.  I’m happy to hold them for you until the right time. 

Please go to my Prices tab to see the list of available plants for your gardening pleasure this season. 

Thanks.




Wednesday, 15 March 2017

so this is March

a month later and we look like this

kinda like last month but more snow
even though we've had grass that looked like it was greening up, lots of warmth, started most of our seedlings for the season and continue to grow microgreens, pea shoots, sunflower shoots and basil indoors.

We took the top and bottom of an old futon and made seedling tables with legs on wheels - that's pretty cool I think.

We prepped the raised beds in both greenhouses and covered them with straw and plastic to warm up the soil so, hopefully next week, we can plant out there.

The pepper plants are doing great and really want it to be warmer outside so they can be transplanted into the Greenhouse.  The nights are just too cold right now.
We lost several flowers during these nights even though they were covered with the tray lids, sometimes doubled, and frost blanket on top of all of that.

Until next post, stay warm and drive safely.
Jo


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Winter Snow


must get to greenhouses
must clear the doors

I did it













and this is why - these guys need to be taken care of,
they were cheering me on from inside the greenhouse


Snow
Snow
Snow
Shovel
Ice – fall down
Snow
Shovel
Snow and ice
Shovel
Build a Wall of
Snow to block the
Snow
Snow covered van
Snow covered greenhouse
Snow
Shovel
Snow
S’no keeping up with the snow
Sow more herbs and flowers
Up-pot pepper seedlings
Snow
Shovel snow

Eat: 
Garlic  $2 large, $1 small or $10 /pound mixed 
Herbs, fresh:  Cilantro (growing indoors), Citrus Thyme, Thyme  $2/bunch 
Hot Peppers, ground dried   $2.25 /100 grams  - varieties are D’espellette, Hot Portugal, Red Cayenne, Thai

Applesauce (organic apples gently simmered with a cinnamon stick)  $4 /500mL jar
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar
I make the granola fresh when you order - between shovelling snow
  
Shoots/Microgreens
Kale  $2 bag
Pea  $2 bag
Sunflower  $2 bag

Sprouts  $3 /bag
Sandwich Booster  (clover, alfalfa, radish and mustard)  
Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, alfalfa & clover) 
I’ll grow Crunchy Bean Mix and/or Ancient Eastern Blend sprouts or Wheat Grass for you if you order in advance – I need to know this week to have them ready next week

Remember, no order is too small.  I’m out near you anyway and always happy to see you. 

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 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.  

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 


Friday, 10 February 2017

Sunshine amongst the cold

Promotion Time

My super-star (like a sunshine star) this week is Nancy Morgan of The Workshop Dance Studio, located downstairs at the Raina Mall, 215 Sanders Street in Kemptville – 868-9062.  Six days of the week, Nancy greets every customer with a huge smile and knows each by name, asks how our weekend or our week was, enquires about our family members and shares bits of her own life with us regularly.  Her husband and kids have been known to attend some exercise and dance classes.  And she does this over and beyond helping us take care of our bodies each time we go there.  We all exercise facing the wall-to-wall / ceiling-to-floor mirror so she can see if we’re keeping up with her or if anything is amiss.  She constantly watches her exercisers to make sure knees are bent or legs are straight or backs are in the correct position when they should be.  She also makes note if someone seems to be favouring a knee or shoulder and discretely checks up on them during the class or when our hour is done.  The lights in the room are low.  She starts each class by telling us no one else is watching you and it’s not a competition, we’re all here for our own reasons.  She’s absolutely right.  However, I can’t help but notice the other “dancers” as Nancy calls us and how happy each of them looks and how comfortable we are in our own bodies.  Most of us are smiling while we throw our arms up to the music, jog or walk quickly backwards around the room and listen carefully to learn why Nancy is having us move our toes and fingers in various ways.  It’s all about being strong.  The music is great and you lose your thoughts while noticing each time you go there that it feels good to move so freely.  We are all there to feel better.

I go to Nancy’s Workshop Studio, not to lose weight (although there are those extra little pounds that have attached themselves to my waist between Christmas and now) but to gain strength.  I need to be strong for my upcoming market garden season.  I can’t be popping a rib every time I lift something heavier than I am, nor can I stop pulling weeds or bending while transplant or hauling soil or compost simply because I might be tired or achy.  I need to walk, run, lift, bend, pull and push every hour of every day for several months.  Since I started back at Nancy’s classes I’ve noticed my overall strength is returning and I feel generally wonderful.  Trudging through the ice-covered snow is not an effort.  My forearms are stronger so I can spritz my hundreds of plants twice daily without taking a break.  One of the best things to do is to participate in a dance class just before grocery shopping.  It’s amazing how your freshly toned and energetic body migrates towards the produce department and you crave fresh greens and fruit – mmmmm spinach and kale and apples. 

I woke up this past Sunday morning thinking to myself “Oh boy, tomorrow is Monday and I exercise Monday.”  I try to get out Wednesday evenings too, which can be tricky, but Friday mornings are a sure thing.  Check out the schedule and perhaps you’ll find yourself there too.  And it’s not just exercise, there’s so much more. 

Sowings

As promised, new Sunnys are ready this week.  Pea Shoots will be ready next week.   They take longer than the sunflowers.  Almost all of the peppers, leeks, onions and edible flowers sown are now up with their perky first leaves craving light and their roots digging deep for water.  I’m almost out of space in the house so have started various lettuces and herbs on heat mats in the Greenhouse. 

We’re in between basil plants currently but the new ones are growing nicely. 

Pictures

I love to show you a few pictures so you can get excited about stuff growing here too.  



 
Good eating this week looks like this:

Garlic  $2 large, $1 small or $10 /pound mixed 
Herbs, fresh:  Cilantro (growing indoors), Citrus Thyme, Thyme  $2/bunch although the -21C tonight might affect them
Hot Peppers, ground dried   $2.25 /100 grams  - varieties are D’espellette, Hot Portugal, Red Cayenne, Thai

Applesauce (organic apples gently simmered with a cinnamon stick)  $4 /500mL jar
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar
I make the granola fresh when you order 
  
Shoots/Microgreens
Arugula  $2 bag
Kale  $2 bag
Sunflower  $2 bag

Sprouts  $3 /bag
Sandwich Booster  (clover, alfalfa, radish and mustard)  
Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, alfalfa & clover) 
I’ll grow Crunchy Bean Mix and/or Ancient Eastern Blend sprouts for you if you order in advance – I need to know this week to have them ready next week

Day Brighteners is a non-certified organic farm, where we practice sustainability and environmentally-friendly farming.  We always use non-GMO seeds and products and take pride in all we do.  You are very welcome to drop by most days, but if it’s picking/packing/delivery day 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 you have.  

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, 1 February 2017

My go-to meal - Frittata

As you may know, we have chickens, 11 now.   They are laying hens.  They are silkies and d'uccles. Silkies are beautiful birds but they don't lay too many eggs and our d'uccles are really really cute but they don't lay too many eggs either.  Oh dear.


When we do have eggs, my favourite dish to make and eat is frittata.  It is so easy and a great way to clean out your vegetable drawer before re-filling it.

Our chickens are little so they lay little eggs.  When baking I use 3 little eggs for every 2 in a recipe.  No two frittatas have ever been the same here.  This particular one is made with potatoes and kale.

I had 10 eggs, so I used 10 eggs.  I usually use a dozen, which
allows for a couple of dinner-sized portions of frittata plus a
lunch-size portion for the next day.
I peel and cut the potatoes into pieces to fry up quickly in olive oil.  I like to use an herb infused oil unless I have a large amount of fresh herbs on hand.  In mid-winter, I don't always feel like putting on my big coat, boots and mitts to go out to pick fresh herbs.  I also add chopped onions or leeks.  A little later, I toss in kale broken into smaller pieces (spinach or chard could be  used in place of kale).  I gently fry all of this until it's cooked.    

I whisk the eggs in a bowl with some milk, salt, pepper, a little
dash of ground hot peppers and some shredded cheese.
 Then into the frying pan goes the egg mixture, cooking it slightly so it's not quite liquid.
It's not much to look at before it's cooked, but wait.
I put the frying pan into the oven and bake at 400F for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is browned and the entire mixture is firm.

Scatter some chopped green onions or chives on top.
Now it's beautiful.  
Remember the handle of your frying pan is hot for a long time!  I leave a hot mitt on it so I won't forget.

I usually serve the frittata with homemade salsa and a salad.  It is an excellent meal which isn't complicated.  No need to go out and buy special ingredients to make it.  Use whatever is in your kitchen.  You can start by frying up broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery or pretty much any raw vegetable along with your onions.  You can add your favourite cheese with the eggs.  Sometimes I sprinkle crumbled feta over top of the frittata before it goes into the oven rather than adding cheese to the mixture.  Or I put slices of brie on top before baking.  Ninety per cent of the time I do have fresh herbs and I chop them, then sprinkle them on top after the pan comes from the oven.  Leave the whole thing for a few minutes to let the frittata absorb the flavours of the herbs, just like when you make pizza - ah pizza, that's another blog-to-be.

Enjoy.