Sunday, 19 November 2017

Winter has happened

outside at 6somethingish this morning

Inside the Coop everyone is happy and peeping away






Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Settling Down, sort of

Where did the week go?  I started cleaning the house this week (finally), made soups today and have been eating arugula every single day of the week and weekend.  It’s a good thing we love arugula. 

I did a walk-about today checking out the gardens and covering the hot peppers in the greenhouses.  Every night I think will be the last night for those pepper plants and, nope, each morning they are still flowering and peppers turning red.  The leaves are starting to yellow a bit due to lack of daylight and we stopped fertilizing them a few weeks ago, not expecting this mild weather to continue as long as it has.  I can freeze a bunch of green jalapenos whole to use over the winter.  But honestly, I believe tonight will be the last night for the hot peppers.  Considering we sowed the seeds for them indoors at the end of January, that’s a very long time to be growing.  I‘ve been collecting seeds from a few of the ripest and look forward to starting new plants in a few weeks.  What!  A few weeks!  Good grief.

Some of the outside celery had the stalks bitten by the cold but most are quite fine.  We’ll pick as much as possible tomorrow before the extreme drop in temperature.  The beets are taking their sweet time to get larger.  There’s no use picking them if they’re tiny.  We’ll see what happens in another week or so.  I’m really hoping the lovely cilantro will survive the next several nights so it should be large enough to use.  The radishes and spinach planted a few weeks ago look great.  Hopefully they survive too, they should.   The kale and chard are doing great.  The next few days should prove interesting.   

We planted about 100 garlic cloves last week and will plant another 100 or 200 tomorrow, covering them with a thick blanket of straw so they can sleep until next June.  I started some edible flower plants which are doing great.  It’s nice to have flowers around. 

I’ve been experimenting with seeds and have three lemon trees working on their third set of leaves.  I’m also going to try avocado plants again.  I haven’t had much luck in the past and now consider it a challenge. 

The five little chicks are growing quickly.  Two look similar with definite markings on their wings.  One has a bump on the top of its beak which makes me wonder what kind of chicken it will be.  The last one hatched is the littlest and is a dark smoky yellow colour.  The little striped one still has its stripes and the yellowest one still looks like a marshmallow chick.  They zip around at a high speed so it’s hard to get a picture. 



We put many hours this fall into cooking and bottling sauces for you.  To make sure no one goes hungry this week and the coming season we offer:
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  apples simmered gently with a cinnamon stick, no sugar added, sealed
Arugula Pesto $4.50 250mL jar   I froze it right away after making it Sunday
Arugula   $3 bag  washed and table-ready
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:   cilantro, citrus thyme, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme  $2 each  
Kale  $3 / bunch
Leeks  $3 / bunch
Salsa, canned $8 500mL jar  sealed
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
Vegetable Stock, tomato based  $3 pint jar  frozen

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, 1 November 2017

That time of year again

There’s a sad part about Fall when some vegetables are no longer producing and the leaves on the stems are crispy or fallen.  Every night might prove to be the last for many foods.  Every morning is a guess as to what survived any severe temperature drops.  On the other hand, as well as the beautiful colours and restful feeling of Fall, there’s the exciting part of foods, like some greens such as kale and many herbs, being moved from the gardens to the greenhouse to keep us eating for the next many weeks until new sprouts form from our own doing in early Spring.  There’s seeing the radishes and green onions we planted a few weeks ago growing and the sowing of new seeds in the greenhouses.  And the planning and thrill of deciding what will go where in the new year, what we should grow that we didn’t this year and what we shouldn’t try again. 

We are not objecting to being indoors the first part of these mornings making applesauce where it’s nice and warm and dry.  Then when it warms up a bit, we’re out there collecting seeds, cleaning rows in the garden, laying down straw and mulched leaves, rolling up soaker hoses, broadforking and weeding, generally putting the gardens to bed for the next several weeks.  We still pick exuberantly Thursdays and Fridays for Friday afternoon deliveries.  The weekends are saved for last minute orders and Ottawa/Merrickville deliveries.

Let me tell you what loves this weather: celery, cilantro, arugula, kale and chard.  If the cabbages we planted survive the next few weeks they will be beautiful now that the bugs have moved out of the area.  The kale is so clean we don’t feel a need to wash it for you, really.  We do wash the arugula so it’s ready for eating when you need it. 

The potatoes are done, we have some fingerlings but the reds didn’t come back after the first picking.  We’ll not plant and hill them in straw next year, which was a trial thing, but will get them in earlier and plant deep into the ground. 

We’re thinking of growing sweet potatoes next year as well as our own oat straw.  Definitely more onions are on the list.  Garlic gets planted this week.  The hot peppers we grow for Wilf & Ada’s are doing surprisingly well considering the extraordinary amount of slugs from all the rain.  We threw an astonishing number of hot and sweet peppers out due to slugs and a new kind of bug I don’t recognize in the peppers – arghhh. 

Succession planting was key to our steady supply of salad greens. 

Here’s something for you to know.  I really appreciate any jars you return to me and want to tell you that I cannot reuse the flat top seal part again so you can ditch it.  Sometimes I can reuse the ring but if it’s rusty or dented from tapping I can’t.  So I’ll ask you to return just the jar.  Thanks.

Five of the baby chicks are doing well growing wings and big feet with long legs attached.  One little one didn’t make it.  I think it got squished by the moms the first night but they are really good new moms teaching the babies to eat and drink like they do.  We created a larger space in the coop for them to hang out until everyone can live together without incident and the littles won’t go places unsafe for them until they can get around better.   It's hard to get a picture right now since they jump around so fast and they are under the dropping board in the coop where it's not too bright for picture taking.

Salad Greens are growing but not too quickly so they’ll sit out this week.  The beets are taking their time but we have hope for them.
This garden is ready for spring.  The soil will be so nice once
we pull back the straw.  

We have some hot pepper plants still producing
enthusiastically and new seedlings started.

The little greenhouse still keeps going with kale, chard,
zinnias, green onions, radishes, celery, and hot peppers.

The outdoor celery is absolutely wonderful.

Cabbages hoping to become larger for us.

This is how much celery you get for $2 !!!!  It's more
than my hand can hold.


Available for your dining pleasure this week are the following foods:
Apples, dehydrated  $2 snack bag
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  sealed, can be stored for a year
Arugula Pesto $4.50 250mL jar 
Arugula  larger than baby arugula so more zip zip zippy flavour  $3 bag  washed and table-ready
Baby Arugula  $3 bag  washed and table-ready
Celery  $2 / bunch
Celery  $2 / bunch
Celery  $2 / bunch
We have Lots of Celery – the stalks are a good size now, remember you can freeze the tops and leaves for soups and stock.
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:   cilantro, citrus thyme, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme  $2 each  
Kale  $3 / bunch
Leeks  $3 / bunch
Potatoes, fingerlings  $2 / pound
Salsa, canned $8 500mL jar sealed, can be stored for a year
SPROUTS, Sandwich Booster (clover, alfalfa, radish & mustard)  $3 / bag
SPROUTS, Spring Salad Mix  (broccoli, radish, red clover & alfalfa)  $3 / bag
Tomatoes, dehydrated  $2 snack 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.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Fall Chicks

Who knew how much time it would take being a chicken grandma.  Three girls + ten eggs + 21, 22 and 23 days = 6 new baby chicks.  A nursery area was set up in the coop to keep the broody hens and their future babies out of harm’s way.  On the morning, afternoon and evening of the eve of the due date,  I anxiously kept listening at the nesting boxes for any peeping and looking under the girls for any breaking in the eggs.   Day 21, which was Saturday and not so much of a working day, found me lingering, I might even say loitering, around the nesting boxes, still listening, still watching until a teeny peeping could be heard.  I now know that new born chicks are ventriloquists as I couldn’t tell at all which box out of the three held the sound.   Once the baby chick emerged the peeping was so loud I had to wonder how it could possibly come from that tiny creature.  It was about as big as the egg from which it pecked its way out.  Several hours later this little bundle of yellow fluff was jumping around up and down and making its presence known.  There’s a barrier between each nesting box so the two without chicks could hear the sound but each had question marks on their faces.  None of these girls have been moms before.  Another one hatched the morning of Day 22.  Two more appeared first thing on Day 23.  I checked with Kate wondering if that was it out of the 10 eggs, she told me to wait another 24-36 hours after the last hatch.  On Day 23 two more hatched.  By Monday all the hens and the six chicks were out of the nesting boxes, eating and drinking on the floor of the nursery area. 







They are fascinating to watch.  The moms take turns teaching the newbies how to eat and drink.  They growl softly at them if they’re getting out of reach.  They growl at me when I do a chick count but they’re getting used to me and my camera now.  It’s a good thing I do check because twice now one has ended up caught in the feathers of one mom.  She seems to have something sticky on her belly feathers and her heat causes moisture so I had to gently remove one from the other.  I also had used caging to separate this bunch from the other girls but the little ones could hop back and forth through the cage, so I found some cardboard to use to stop this.  

The next couple of weeks should be interesting indeed.  I have a feeling the chicks are going to grow very fast and will run out of room in the nursery.  I hope everyone gets along once they all meet each other in the coop and pen.  I’ll take pictures and keep you up to date, in case you’re not on facebook. 
Oh ya, vegetables is why we’re here. 

I am kicking myself for not planting another row or two of salad greens two weeks ago but who knew we’d have such wonderful fall weather for growing.  We did plant more last week.  However, the arugula is the best I’ve ever seen growing here.  You might think arugula is strong flavoured.  It is if you’re just eating one leaf.  If you try some recipes you can find on google you’ll be surprised how mild and lovely arugula is, especially since it’s pretty young right now. 

We started clearing gardens this week.  All of the stakes and strings are now gone from the tomato garden, as well as the pepper garden.  We took advantage of the rainy Tuesday morning and cleaned up and organized pots and trays in both greenhouses. 

Oh and I bought four more 40-pound bags of apples from AppleStock Orchards on the weekend.  J

Last evening we were at Shawn Yakimovich’s Flu Prevention talk learning about more ways to stay healthy this season.   If you missed it, he's having another talk soon.  Give him at call to book yourself in.  Kemptville Naturopathic Clinic - 613-897-1000.


So … for your eating pleasure this week we offer:
Applesauce  $4 500mL jar  sealed, can be stored for a year
Baby Arugula  $3 bag
Beets  $3 / pound
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:   cilantro, citrus thyme, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme  $2 each  
Kale  $3 / bunch
Leeks  $3 / bunch
Onions, yellow  $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, 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
Baby 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.