A lot of exciting things to happen this upcoming season (see last post), but for now, a couple pictures of the wacky weather (so nice to have a 'real' Canadian winter this season :)
17 Jan 2018
Ultimately I found 2017 to be a good farming season. The thing with farming is that you never really know what to expect exactly, because you are at mercy of the weather (and climate change). This year saw lots of rain (and I know for some farmers, too much rain) but for myself, the season was much better than a super dry and unpleasantly hot season. The CSA ran smoothly, but I had some issues with re-sellers at the downtown farmers market and decided not to participate in that specific market anymore, because it wasn’t worth competing with the non-organic sector, nor the “farmers” that picked up produce at the Ontario Food Terminal, repackaged it, and sold it as “farm fresh.” I had one great market-helper, but no workshare for the entire season. That was a blessing in disguise, as I was able to see what I was capable of on my own, with few, scarce greatly appreciated! volunteers, which was a good experience as well. I'm very excited for the 2018 farming season - the CSA will continue this year and a few exciting changes, such as the option for delivery, a different farmers market (hopefully more geared towards actual producers and small scale farms, rather than resellers and conventional farmers), a chance to teach an intern, have more volunteers, and create a greater impact on my local community. I’d also like to put into action the ideas I’ve been bouncing around for the last couple years – such as a Wild Edible Walk through the farm, identifying edible plants with educated guides. I also would like to set up a tea garden, to make and sell local tea blends. In the fall, I will be producing and selling different hot sauces as well. In addition, I’ll be featuring recipes and health tips specific to the CSA basket contents with a local holistic nutritionist, Jessica Stopard! (details TBA)… So a lot of exciting things happening in the 2018 season! Looking forward to sharing this with you all :)
|In Loving Memory of Mama: June 2nd 1951 to November 27th 2017|
19 Oct 2017
I've been trying to get this project up and off the ground for the last few years, and I finally invested in quality stock from The Cutting Veg in Toronto. I received a wonderful selection of bulbs this year, in order to replicate/participate in the Global Garlic Project and a note from one of my farming gurus, Daniel Hoffman 😍😍😍🙇 Thank you The Cutting Veg! Rose de Laurtrec is one of my favourites this year - beautiful deep pink colour and a variety I've never tried before!
Here are some pictures from planting, I'm really excited to see them grow!
|Last of the tomatoes|
|The kind of thing that amuses me.... a Kale Monster! "It'll Kale ya!"|
|Kale, Arugula Mustard game strong|
|Field and shadow art|
|Great crop of Sweet Corn this year|
|Making radish bunches|
|A variety of goodness for you|
7 Sep 2017
For those wondering what kind of peppers are in your baskets. I actually grew a number of various hot and sweet peppers this year. Ranked from the hottest to the sweetest:
"Super Hot" Territory
Scotch Bonnets (325,000 Scoville units) are popular in the Caribbean, packing twice the heat of jalapeños or serranos. *none yet.
Habanero Chiles (100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units) have a fiery flavor that’s not for the timid. They are one of the most popular of the hot varieties, with fruity undertones of apple and tomato flavors. *none yet.
Hot Thai Dragon / Thai Chilies (50,000 to 150,000 Scoville units) pack an incredibly fiery punch for their small size and should be used sparingly. Only 3/4 inches long, they range in color from red to green when fully mature.
"Intense Hot but not Super Hot" Territory
Cayenne Long Slim / Cayenne Peppers (25,000 to 50,000 Scoville units) are extremely pungent, even when small. They grow to 6 inches long and come in green or red varieties, of which the red are hotter. Cayenne peppers are widely used in sauces and salsa, and are preserved by either drying or pickling.
Chili de árbols (“Tree Chili”) (15,000-30,000 Scoville units) are small, extremely potent peppers. They start out green then ripen to a bright red color. They may be used fresh or dried. (Appear very similar to Hot Thai, but are slightly longer).
“Medium Hot” Territory
Hungarian Hot Wax / Hot Banana (5,000-15,000 Scoville units) If allowed to ripen they mature fully, they will turn to a rich red color. Toss them uncooked into salads, pickle them, or add them to stews.
Jalapeno Raam / Jalapeños (2,500-5,000 Scoville Units) have a slightly smoky flavor that ranges from sweet to mild to hot. They grow to about three inches long, starting out green and ripening to a bright red color. When smoke-dried, jalapeños are known as chipotle peppers. These are the peppers used to make Sriracha sauce.
Jimmy Nardello: Long, thin, and a bright red color when mature. The peppers start out green and quickly change to a glossy red. They average between 6 and 9 inches, and are curved and are sometimes oddly twisted or bent. Jimmy Nardello peppers have a thin skin and the cavity isn’t overloaded with seeds. Known for their sweet and fruity flavor. When dried, the flavor becomes rich and somewhat smoky.
California Wonder typical, sweet bell pepper found in most groceries