Wednesday, 18 October 2017

I am so very sleepy today

Why am I so sleepy?  It’s not from planting 1.5 bags of fall rye in the New Garden Beds: part of the one 50 X 100 feet and the other 50 X 50’.  It’s not from chopping the rest of the tomatoes, some peppers, onions, jalapenos and garlic for the latest batch of salsa.  It’s not from roasting and canning two more cases of tomato sauce.  It’s not from visiting the new location of Homestead Organics in Morrisburg and discovering what a wonderful place this is to shop.  It’s not from moving all the grown basil plants out to the greenhouse for the rest of this warm week.  It’s not from spritzing new pea and sunflower shoots every single evening before bedtime.  It’s not from rinsing the sprouts we all love to eat every morning and every evening.  It’s not from looking up recipes for arugula since we have so very much of the loveliest arugula growing right now - it loves the cool weather and lack of bugs.  It’s not from keeping a close eye on the night temperatures, covering and uncovering the greenhouse hot peppers with frost blanket when appropriate.  It’s not from gathering seeds for the new group I have created called “Kemptville and Area Seed Savers” so we can exchange wonderful new ideas and seeds in the coming year to expand our gardens with tried and true vegetables and flowers which grow in our climate and soil.  This is where you let me know if you’d like to be part of this new and knowledgeable group.  If you are on facebook, check it out.   These are all just normal day to day routine tasks which I love. 

I am sleepy because I woke up at 3:00 this morning stressed as I had not yet prepared the nursery in the Coop for the new baby chicks.  My mind started to race imagining how we would do this so all three hens sitting on ten eggs ready to hatch any day now, perhaps tomorrow but most definitely Friday, would be comfortable and out of harm’s way from the other girls and their curiosity.  Kate, who provided the eggs from her own flock on October 1st was so gracious to chat with me on the phone at 6:30 a.m. Monday with tips and advice.   With Mark's unsleepy brain and supplies we had on hand, we did it.  This is certainly a distraction from the everyday occurrences here and there are many for sure. 
Little do these girls know that their sisters are hatching eggs
tomorrow - maybe ten new siblings to scratch with


The tiller did arrive late Friday so Mark was able to make the first two of our new and larger gardens.  The rye cover crop we scattered like they did in the olden days will sprout and grow over the next couple of weeks, we’ll leave it for the winter and mix it into the soil in the spring. 
future home for the Tomatoes of 2018

and probably more Tomatoes of 2018


This is what's  going on right now in the garden - October 18!



I’ve been asked to and am working on a truly over-the-top-with-garlic tomato sauce.  I think I nailed it this week.  Be sure to let me know what you think.

I may get more apples since I am quickly running out of canned applesauce.   

We’re going to make arugula pesto, test it and get back to you on the result.

I checked the gardens and pantry this afternoon to see what they offer us this week and found the following:
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  sealed, can be stored for a year
Arugula  $3 bag
Celery  $2 / bunch
Chard  $3 / bag
Garlic  $3, $2, or $1 each
Garlic  $12 / pound
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
Herbs, fresh:   basil, citrus thyme, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme  $2 each  
Kale  $3 / bunch
Leeks  $3 / bunch
Onions, yellow  $2.50 / pound
Onions, large sweet Ailsa Craig  $2.50 / pound
Onions, sweet Spanish  $2.50 / pound
Potatoes  $2 / pound 
Radicchio  $2 each
Salad Greens  $5 bag  washed and table-ready SOLD OUT
Salsa, canned $8 500mL jar sealed, can be stored for a year
SHOOTS, Pea  $2 / 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, can be stored for a year
Vegetable Stock, tomato based  $3 pint jar  I froze it right away

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.  We use no “cides” of any kind.  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.   

Please call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions you may have.  Remember you can order any day.  Give us 24 hours to pick freshest for you.  I deliver to Ottawa and Merrickville either Saturday or Sunday each weekend. 
Thanks.

Until next post, have a great every day.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The times they are a-changin'

The shorter cooler days, the long nights for reading and planning and a chance to give this body a rest – that’s what I’m talking about.  I actually took several hours off this weekend between chopping, canning, saucing, shopping for supplies and delivering.  I hope everyone had a terrific long weekend and enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible. 

At the beginning of today I said I was done with tomatoes.  By the middle of today when three more boxes of freshly picked tomatoes from the field were brought in I realized I am not done with tomatoes after all.  
You might think you've seen these tomatoes before, but oh no you haven't.  These were all picked just before noon today.  They definitely look like they want to be salsa this week.  


We made three case of applesauce today.  I am now done with apples, really, done.

Today Mark and I started to plan the location of new gardens for next year – imagine.  The new ground-churning-garden-making thingy to attach to the tractor arrives tomorrow or Friday – what fun Mark will have with it over the next couple of weeks.  Me – uh – I’ll be making more tomato sauce, sowing onions, radishes and lettuces in the greenhouses – and not sitting on the tractor.  I’m okay not sitting on the tractor thank you.  Mark and Tom love it though. 

I met a lovely young lady yesterday who is opening a shop to sell local produce and locally made healthy products in Brockville.  Her business is called By The Seasons – check out her facebook page or her website – livenlearn.ca to see where Sara has been and where she’s going.  It’s quite clear how she and small business owners from our community can add much more goodness to the area. 

Well, the beans are done being beans for eating and will now become beans for planting.  I’m letting them go to seed so we’ll have plenty to sow come Spring.  The carrots and beets will wait another week until we pick more.  Their flavour will become sweeter with the upcoming cold weather, if it does actually get cold. 

Now is definitely seed saving time.  Those tomatoes and peppers which grew to their fullest before we could pick them and are quite gross with rottingness – they’re the ones with the best seeds - yechh. 

The fresh food supply dwindles at this point in the season thus kicking off the availability of homemade salsa, tomato sauce, dehydrated and frozen tomatoes, granola, maybe some baking with overgrown zucchinis which were shredded while fresh then frozen, applesauce and, of course, super-nutritious sprouts, shoots and microgreens.  Non-gardening weather doesn’t stop us here.

The lettuces we planted are enjoying the cool weather and hopefully will grace our tables in a couple of weeks.  The cabbages we transplanted are happy out there too.  I hope the moth/egg cycle is done now and we can have veggies without the holes.  We’ll soon see. 

Be sure to come out to the Kemptville Naturopathic Clinic on Van Buren Wednesday October 25 at 7 p.m. where Dr. Shawn Yakimovich is running a Healthy Winter Workshop.  It’s always good to learn new ways to stay healthy and also to be reminded in case you forgot some important tips. 

Speaking of staying healthy, how about some local organically grown food such as:
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  sealed, can be stored for a year
Arugula  $3 bag
Celery  $2 / bunch
Chard  $3 / bag
Garlic  $3, $2, or $1 each
Garlic  $12 / pound
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar
Herbs, fresh:   basil, citrus thyme, dill, mint, oregano, sage, thyme  $2 each  
Kale  $3 / bunch
Leeks  $3 / bunch
Onions, yellow  $2.50 / pound
Onions, large sweet Ailsa Craig  $2.50 / pound
Onions, sweet Spanish  $2.50 / pound
PESTO, basil  $4.50 / 125mL jar I froze it right after making it
Potatoes  $2 / pound 
Radicchio  $2 each
Rapini $3 bag.
Salad Greens  $5 bag  washed and table-ready
Salsa, canned $8 500mL jar sealed, can be stored for a year
SHOOTS, Pea  $2 / bag
SHOOTS, Sunflower  $2 / bag
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Tomatoes, cherry  $3 / pound
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 snack bag
Tomatoes, mix $3 / pound  mostly paste now like roma, san marzano, black plum
Tomato Sauce  $6 500mL jar  sealed, can be stored for a year
Vegetable Stock, tomato based  $3 pint jar  I froze it right away

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.  We use no “cides” of any kind.  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.   

Please call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions you may have.  Remember you can order any day.  Give us 24 hours to pick freshest for you.  I deliver to Ottawa and Merrickville either Saturday or Sunday each weekend. 
Thanks.

Until next post, have a great every day.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

We are STILL picking tomatoes!

I tell people I don’t really grow fall vegetables like pumpkins, butternut and acorn squash anymore since the “squashbug” year.  But as it turns out tomatoes and peppers are the new fall vegetables and they do like to grow here.  I never dreamed we’d be picking fresh tomatoes and peppers in October.  If weather is going to throw nastiness at us in the spring, it’s very kind to give us back the warmth we need to produce our (previously known as) summer vegetables. 

There are a few housekeeping issues I’d like to take care of. 
1.      Salad Greens – one of you told me that the Salad Greens two weeks ago tasted so bad that you threw them in the garbage.  Thank you so much for telling me that.  I really need to know if this happens.  I want to be the first to know after you. 
I can understand and explain how this might happen.  We cut the mixed greens from one bed for three weeks.  Then it’s done, the arugula and mustards in that mix have bolted and the lettuce just tastes “tired”.  We clear that bed, amend the soil and either leave it for a week or plant again and move on to the next bed that’s ready.  With the crazy heat we had a few weeks ago, this particular greens bed probably should have been cut only twice.   We always taste a few of the greens before we delve into cutting mode.  If they do taste okay to us, we go ahead and cut for your Salad Greens.  Most weeks there are not enough for us to take for ourselves at the end of the day so we’re not experiencing the same foods at home as you are.  I do apologize and want all of you to keep me informed about such things.
2.      Online Shopping – Local Line tells me that some of you are looking to shop on line, many times.  In case you missed it, Day Brighteners does not currently have an Online Store.  It didn’t work for everyone and it needs to work for everyone.  We’ll look into getting something set up in the new year.  It’s just too busy around here right now to make it happen. 
3.      Tomato Sauce – if you’re new to our tomato sauce and you see little black bits in it, that’s okay.  The vegetables which make the sauce are roasted in the oven at a high temperature for a long time.  Even though we stir it at the half-way point, the top layer sometimes gets crispy black, especially the peppers and herbs.  I leave these “bits” in intentionally as I believe they add flavour to the sauce.  Just so you know, it’s bits and not bebittes.  :)

When we make the tomato sauce, we drain the “juice” from the glass roaster pans and transfer it into jars.  This makes a wonderful vegetable stock for tomato based soups.  It’s been suggested that some of you would buy this.  So I can certainly offer it for your soup making needs. 

Now is usually the time to be indoors, usually.  We’ve been outdoors as much as in these days, as I was saying picking more and more and more tomatoes and peppers.  The tomato plants have actually started to regrow themselves and have flowers too!

The onions are all out of the gardens now and curing.  The leeks are still in the ground but we can dig some up for you.  Some carrots and beets are pulled and packaged, the rest can stay in the ground for the cool weather.  Granola is made for this week, as is applesauce.  We dehydrated some apples already.  They are such a wonderful snack.  There are still 80 pounds of apples to be processed.  That’s one thing I’ll be doing this weekend.  Funny, we put the apples out in the garage last week to keep cool, now it’s not so cool out there.  Good grief. 

Something has chewed the leaves off many of the potato plants so it’s a crap shoot as to how many potatoes will actually be in the ground when we check tomorrow.  I just checked a few plants and it seems we’ll have some. 

Salsa is made and put up in jars for the coming months and we’ll be making more next week.  We have 10 cases of tomato sauce in jars so far and there are 17 more on the go.  We’ll make fresh salsa perhaps for the last time this week, maybe, I think.  We’ll be making tomato sauce until what seems like the end of time, or until we run out of tomatoes, whichever comes first.  Many have already been frozen and dehydrated

Remember, I’m always happy to have jars returned to me.

So, for your Thanksgiving weekend we have:
Apples, dehydrated  $2 sandwich bag
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  sealed, can be stored for a year – goes well with Granola
Beans  $3/pound   you can order ½ pound if you like
Beets, red and golden  $3/pound
Beet Greens  $3 bunch
Carrots  $3 bunch
Carrot TOPS  free with your order if you need them for your little bunnies or horses, etc.
Celery  $2 / bunch
Chard  $3 / bag
Garlic  $3, $2, or $1 each
Garlic  $12 / pound
Granola, with fruit  $8 /500mL jar  is nice with Applesauce
Granola, with nuts and fruit  $10 /500mL jar  is nice with Applesauce
Herbs, fresh:   basil, cilantro, citrus thyme, DILL(so much dill), mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme  $2 each  
Kale  $3 / bunch
Leeks  $3 / bunch
Mustard Greens  $3 bag
Onions, yellow  $2.50 / pound
Onions, large sweet Ailsa Craig  $2.50 / pound
Onions, red multiplier  $2.50 / pound
Onions, sweet Spanish  $2.50 / pound
Peppers, sweet $4 / pound  we have lots
PESTO, basil  $4.50 / 125mL jar 
Potatoes  $2 / pound 
Radicchio  $2 each
Rapini NEW $3 bag.
Salad Greens  $5 bag  washed and table-ready
Salsa, canned $8 500mL jar sealed, can be stored for a year
Salsa, fresh  $4 / 250mL jar
SHOOTS, Pea  $2 / bag
SHOOTS, Sunflower  $2 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Tomatoes, cherry  $3 / pound
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 snack bag
Tomatoes, mix $3 / pound  mostly paste now like roma, san marzano, black plum
Tomato Sauce  $6 500mL jar  sealed, can be stored for a year
Vegetable Stock  $3 pint jar

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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.  We use no “cides” of any kind.  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.   

Please call or email me with amounts you’d like and any questions you may have.  Remember you can order any day.  Give us 24 hours to pick freshest for you.  I deliver to Ottawa and Merrickville either Saturday or Sunday each weekend. 
Thanks.

Until next post, have a great every day.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

tomatoes tomatoes tomatoes

There are not too many moments of the day when my hands were not touching a tomato over these past few weeks. 
I think maybe we picked the last of them on Thursday - but you never really know with this crazy weather. 


Yesterday was tomato sauce day again, today was pesto day since we picked 75% of the outdoor basil, tomorrow will be dehydrator and freezer day, Monday will be salsa day.  Then there's those apples to put up.  We did 44 jars of applesauce and dehydrated twice this week and may try to be more creative if we have time over the upcoming days.

I'm still selling tomatoes and peppers but you need to buy them soon before they start to go bad in the house.  Every tomato and pepper will be used here in one form or another. 

Until next post, have a great every day. 
Jo

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

I LOVE tomatoes

And peppers and onions and garlic and beets and carrots and chard and kale and potatoes and … okay I’ll stop now. 

We’ve been kind of busy here, making tomato sauce and more tomato sauce and since I picked up over 200 pounds of apples on Monday we’re also making applesauce – lots and lots of tomato sauce and applesauce – oh my.

200 pounds of apples

we found something to do with those apples

and the dehydrator gets some apples too


































Just a heads up – we’re going to skip Salad Greens this week for a few reasons, the main two being:

1.       I need all hands on deck tomorrow to pick more tomatoes.  Temps might drop to close to zero in the next several nights and I don’t want to be out there picking up what’s left by myself on the weekend. 
2.      The Salad Greens could do a little more growing this week to ensure we will all have plenty for Thanksgiving weekend coming up. 

I’ve also decided to let the beets and carrots grow for another several days to be their best for you next weekend.  Granola, Fresh Salsa and Pesto are also off the menu today but will be back next week.  I simply don’t have the time to make these items on top of getting all the tomatoes roasted right now.  We picked several pounds of beans yesterday and will again tomorrow. 

BUT next week, adding back the usual Salad Greens, Fresh Salsa, Pesto and Granola, there will be extra wonderfulness for you and your guests and perhaps some gift-giving, specifically Applesauce and Tomato Sauces.

No need to despair though, we have the following this week:
Beans  $3/pound   you can order ½ pound if you like
Celery  $2 bunch
Chard  $3 bag
Garlic  $3, $2, or $1 each
Garlic  $12 / pound
Herbs, fresh:   bay leaf, cilantro, citrus thyme, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme  $2 each bunch
Kale  $3 bunch
Leeks  $3 / bunch
Onions, yellow  $2.50 / pound
Onions, large sweet Ailsa Craig  $2.50 pound
Onions, red multiplier  $2.50 pound
Onions, sweet Spanish  $2.50 / pound
Potatoes, red and fingerlings  $2 pound
Radicchio  $2 each
SHOOTS, Pea  $2 / bag
SHOOTS, Sunflower  $2 / bag
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Tomatoes, cherry  $3 / pound
Tomatoes, heirloom $3 / pound  Order as many as you like, we have lots.

That’s not so bad a list for the end of September, I’d say.

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.  Give us 24 hours to pick freshest for you.  I deliver to Ottawa and Merrickville either Saturday or Sunday each weekend. 
Thanks.

joanne.daybrighteners@gmail.com