Thursday, December 30, 2010

A whirlwind month!

It has once again been a ridiculously long time since I wrote anything on the blog. But today I not only have farm information but also some great picture from our epic move of the animals. The move actually happened at the end of December because we went away for a few days and a neighbour at the veggie patch was taking care of them (thanks Ron!). The whole process of moving the animals was not difficult but lots of work. The first animals to go were the sheep. This meant that the sheep had to be loaded up which of course was a lot of fun. Then there pen which is very large had to be moved in a truck which thanks to our friends over at Whitty Farms was possible.
Next to go were the ducks and chickens. This process really was not too bad as we have nice cages to transport them in. All you do is catch them load them in and drive away. It does take awhile though especially when you have to catch 75 chickens. The whole process did take us all day but things went pretty smoothly and everyone is happily settled in at there new home.
In terms of the vegetables at the farm we are now heading into the freezer for our CSA. This week we are giving out, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, herbs, kale and more. We look forward to the spring when we can start planting out fresh items again. We do still have some things outside but it has been getting colder over the past few weeks making it more difficult to harvest items such as leeks and beets. Any time it thaws out a bit we are out picking them though!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

what goes down must come up

Today was the start of some more planting in the greenhouse and my hope is that what goes down into the soil will pop back up as some delicious eating! Today i planted peas and garlic in the greenhouse. The peas will go out with our CSA as pea shoots which are delicious in a salad or in a stir fry. The garlic will also go out in our CSA probably close to the end when it will hopefully have developed into a beautiful bulb.
The weather has been very cold the past few days and this has led to the ground getting very hard making it difficult to harvest things such as leeks. It also means that cauliflower and broccoli are quickly on there way out. Although they are both cold tolerant when the temperatures are currently in the negative the plants do start to suffer.
Everything else has been pretty uneventful this week. Hopefully things continue to go smoothly!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Its been too long

Well it has been a long time since we updated the blog. I feel bad about it sometimes however I will give one excuse which is that we don't currently have internet at our house and I can't figure out how to blog from my phone! Beyond that mildly lame excuse things have remained busy here on the farm. In November my father and I planted all of our garlic, which included varieties such as Leningrad, Asian tempest, and music. I am very excited for this crop next year and look forward to enjoying the many delicious varieties of garlic that will be popping up. The crops in the green house have been growing as well. This week I harvested the arugula to go in our CSA, there are radishes popping up and I can see the start of some basil and lettuce. It feels great to eat fresh greens when there are snow flurries in the air.
The CSA so far has been going well, the last three weeks we have been still harvesting all fresh vegetables!!!!! It is very satisfying to pull (or dig because the ground was very hard today) a radish our of the ground on the 2nd of December. We are also harvesting broccoli still which i find even more amazing. It has turned out to be a very good crop for us. On Tuesday the buds were frozen and covered in frost but they still taste great and seem to continue growing.
Kale is another spectacular crop this year. We are still harvesting from our first planting which was started in the greenhouse in February of 2010. The leaves are still beautiful and have actually been getting nicer because they are curling around the edges which in my opinion makes the kale look very attractive. We have had good response from people with kale and I even had one CSA member tell me her kids love it.
I could write about loads of crops the I love harvesting in the winter but the blog might start getting a little long. But I've also been amazed by our continued harvest of cauliflower, cabbages, green onions and spinach. I have to say wow spinach is hard those little leaves just keep growing and they taste soooo good in a nice fresh salad. My amazement could come from a lack of education in the agricultural world but every day I learn something new. The only crop I was expecting to live the winter other then kale were leeks and they are doing great. Maybe i haven't seen a lot of leeks but I have harvested some huge ones. Probably as big around as my forearm.
Well of course this time of year also lends itself to thinking about our crops for next year. Ryan and I have conversations about where we want to buy seed, what kinds of things we want to try growing next, wow much of what should we grow etc.... Well nothing has been decided for sure but decisions will have to be made sooner than later. I look forward to posting our seed list probably in February. We are always looking for nifty things to grow so if you have any suggestions please feel free to write to us. We love wild and crazy too.
Ah yes not to be left out we have our first batch of chickens going to the butcher next week and our second batch of ducks. It is actually nice to have them go because it reduces our work load every day. Less animals to feed equals less time out in the cold snowy weather freezing your hands (it is hard to wear gloves).
The sheep are also doing well. The two rams that were born this summer will be off to the butcher soon leaving us with seven sheep for the winter which will hopefully turn into a minimum of thirteen in the spring. Hopefully it will be more than that if we get a set of twins, which is common with sheep. The sheep have also been moved back into there winter pen and are being fed hay from now until spring. They like hay especially the flowers that are dried in with it. They will root around making a big mess looking for them.
Well I hope that catches you up at least a little bit on what has been going on around the farm. I will try my hardest not to leave the blog so long this time. Enjoy the Snow :)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Frosty Morning

Well its a very chilly morning here in Vineland. The weather network is reporting -1 which is fairly brisk. There is a good layer of frost on the lawn and car although it is starting to melt now that the sun has come out.
Things have slowed down now around the farm to a certain extent which is nice. Yesterday our first CSA's went out uneventfully. We had a great selection of fresh produce to give out from broccoli to leeks and everything in between. Friday is our big CSA day so hopefully that goes as smoothly as yesterday.
We have a few things starting to come up in the green house right now. This includes a nice crop of radishes and arugula (rocket). Yesterday we planted basil and lettuce which will probably be sprouting in just a few days. It was 40 in the greenhouse yesterday which feels pretty nice with the cool temperatures we have been experiencing.
We were also recently interviewed for the eating Niagara blog which you can check out at

That's all for now

Monday, October 18, 2010

What's for diner dear??

Well over the past couple of weeks we have been eating a lot of veggies from our own farm. Along with this we have been trying really hard to make our meals as local as possible. Well tonight being a chilly evening I decided to make a hashbrown casserole. This is not in anyway a healthy meal it consists of hashbrown, butter, soup, cheese and cereal crushed on top. It tastes delightful though. So along with this meal we will be having a huge green cauliflower. This is the first coloured cauliflower that we have eaten all summer. I am very excited to partake of it.
Today was overall a busy day. I spent the morning on the farm thinning winter carrots, weeding beets, picking beans, and tomatoes. All of these things just add up and the morning zipped by. Lunch was of course full of veggies tomatoes, purple broccoli, chives, sweet pepper. I made it all into a very nice pasta salad that my father and I enjoyed. The afternoon was then spent freezing carrots and tomatoes for our winter CSA. Tomorrow will probably hold much the same.
On saturday I worked on saving some gourd seeds. We did not grow gourds this year but I plan on having them "on the menu" for next year. I think gourds are just fantastic even if you can't eat them. After I scrapped the seeds out i feed the gourd to our ducks. They seemed to like them.
Also included is a picture of a round bale of hay. These bails are large and the picture shows what a few sheep can do when they access over four days!

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Update on the Ducks

Over the past week or so I have been working on three pens for our ducks. The ducklings (21 of them) have been growing rapidly and were in desperate need of some more space. Each pen measures about 8x12' and are 6' high at the center. Today Amanda and I moved the last of them into the pens in the back field with the sheep so we will see how they turn out. The following are some photos we took of the building process. Enjoy!

We missed taking a few pictuers but after the plywood, tarps were installed over the plywood and chicken wire was installed on the rest of the cage. They have doors on both ends to make access a bit easier. At some point we will also be making some pens for the chickens, just a bit shorter.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So much to say so little time.

It has come to our attention that people feel we have neglected the blog over the past month or so! Well that may be true but it also means that there has been a load of stuff going on around the farm. A quick overview would include, the fact that we have enjoyed delicious lamb a number of times, the arrival of 100+ chickens (egg and meat birds), the arrival of some new ducklings, new duck pens, harvesting popcorn, the first lima beans, loads of preparation for the winter CSA and so much more. Hopefully over the coming days we will be able to write more detailed accounts of each event that has been going on.
Last night we enjoyed a wonderful local meal here at home with family from all over. There were a total of six of us. We had our third serving of lamb, this time a kind of stew which turned out really nicely. With the stew we had fresh carrots, lima beans, broccoli, spinach salad (with radishes), local bread, local pie for dessert. All of it was very good and made me wonder how you can even compare a grocery store vegitable to one fresh from the farm. Well you can't! I think everyone enjoyed the meal greatly and it is deffinetly something we try to do often (that being local eating and sharing local food with friends).

Hope that you continue to enjoy the blog

Saturday, September 4, 2010

After Math of a Hubbard Squash

So the squash is baked (although i'm mildly doubtful that it is fully cooked) but never the less it made a perfect puree for my soon to be muffins. The first half i tried to scrap out with a spoon but it did not work so well, so for the second half i flipped it up so I could see the skin and cut off the skin with a sharp knife. This worked really well. Okay on to the muffins

Visit the farmers Market!

So today was a terrific day at the farmers market, despite the crazy wind and cold. Which by the way i really don't mind, I find it refreshing. We not only sold a lot of stuff, but i made some great purchases. The first was a cup of tea for me a coffee for my dad!!! Next i had a delicious cinnamon bun from another vendour, that made my morning terrific (although I have to say that I started the day with some fresh eggs from Grimsby farmers market). Next I picked up some fingerling potatoes. Mmm they are so good roasted in the oven. Lets add to that fresh onions, and the piece de resistance an orange Hubbard squash the size of my head. Well currently the squash is in my oven hole. I heard about it on CBC radio that you can cook squash hole so i'm giving it a whirl. Apparently hubbards have very hard skin so hopefully this will resolve the issue. My intention is to make some "pumpkin" muffins. I can taste them coming out of the oven already warm and crumbly already. Also today we started our garlic collection for planting. In total we are going to plant 200+ garlic, so next year is going to be wild. But i'm excited about it we are getting some terrific kinds of garlic. Our main kind of garlic is going to be music but we are also going to have: Leningrad Garlic, Susan Delafield garlic, Fish Lake Garlic, Fiona Garlic,
Ukrainian Mavniv Garlic, and

Asian Tempest Garlic. I'm not really sure how you couldn't be excited about such a great selection. We also having selling CSA shares like crazy!! OOO it's been a good week.
Ah yes things I forgot but will still add. This week we picked some huge carrots. My dad thought the one in the picture was perhaps a foot long and really fat. They are so hard to pull out I almost feel right over into the mud. Also I'm going to include a picture of our good neighbor farmer Darren (see previous post about compost pile) who has headed back to university in Winnipeg, where perhaps it is already snowing!
Oh and I also forgot that we have two new male Musckovy ducks, one has a creepy eye and I feel like he's always watching me. We also have a new ram Sheep his name is screech (we did not name him) Rogue our old Ram has gone back to his old flock because we need some genetic diversification.

Hope you enjoy another disjointed blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dead as a Duck

So as I sit here Ryan is removing the heads and feet from our 11 (10 actually) ducks which were butchered today. We went and picked them up and I was pretty shocked when i looked in the bag and there was a beak staring back at me. The man before us had picked up some chickens and they looked just like at the grocery store so that was how i was expecting the duck. Ryan said that if he'd though about it then he would have known because restaurants like the whole duck.
Well the ducks are all in the freezer now and ready for sale and consumption. Its wed now because blogger wasn't working last night! Anyway its going to be another hot one today. I'm off to pick some broccoli for the freezer and then maybe swimming?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Compost Pile Vs. Car

So today I was at the farm picking some squash (honey boats, sunshine and spaghetti variates), which i failed to take any pictures of. The honey boats are my favorite they are yellow with green stripes and are small. I can't wait to try one, although they would make a very pretty table arrangement. Well i was getting ready to take them over to the barn and noticed kindly neighbor Darren working away on his tractor. Thinking that i would leave the road open for him i started driving on the grass up to where i had left my bins. Well it was one of those split second things where you think to yourself "hmm this is a bad idea I think that compost pile is straight ahead" and at the same time " while its small I can probably make it over". Well thought number one was the winner and i got stuck. But thankfully kindly neighbor Darren was there to push the car out! All ended well except that the car wheel got a little covered in compost.
We also have gotten our hands on a dehydrator which is a load of fun. Yesterday i dehydrated some carrots which was pretty exciting. I'm working on making a soup mix for our winter CSA boxes! Its going to be great.
Sorry about the upside down picture. I couldn't figure out why it was doing that! Perhaps it will correct upon publishing

Monday, August 16, 2010

Its Been a While...

Well it certainly has been a while since I last posted and boy has this summer been busy. Even my experience from working nearly 10 years with Whitty Farms did not quite prepare me for farming on my own with Amanda, but regardless I am enjoying every minute of it and have learned a ton about small scale farming that will readily apply to next years second round attempt at farming.

Speaking of next year (which we are already thinking about...yikes!!!) we have a great winter project we are working on which Amanda has already mentioned. Relatively unique in Canada (I can only find a few references) is our first attempt at a winter CSA. Rather than explaining it all here, I will provide a link to the document we prepared explaining our CSA. Besides a passing curiosity, it may be something you, our reader, may even be interested in being a part of (sorry Allison, but it might be hard for you). You can read more about it here:

Creek Shore Farms 2010 Winter CSA

Besides the regular summer routine and preparing for the winter CSA there are many other exciting things going down on the farm. Next week (hopefully) the ducks are off to the butcher in Smithville and we are looking forward to trying a fresher, younger duck on the bbq. Still havnt taken any lambs as I am having some technical difficulties, but that will hopefully happen soon.

We are also getting chickens! Managed to get an order in for September 14th and by a shear stroke of insanity I ordered a ton of them. It should be an interesting ride, but it is all in preparation for a hopefully larger leap into the world of a small chicken producer as a compliment to our vegetable production. We will see where it goes, but look for some super cute pictures of little red and white chickens (two different colours) come mid September.

We are still chugging along and hopefully we will get a bit better at updating the blog for you guys if we can ever get our act together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Some pictures and suprises

As many know farming is always full of surprises and for us this week it came in the arrival of six new baby ducklings. We were not expecting the eggs to hatch and it was a great surprise when we went outside and saw a little yellow ball of fur in the nest! Two of them were only born this morning so they are not yet fluffy but they are on there way!
The male ducks from the first hatching are leaving us on Tuesday. They are going to the butcher and then will be for sale. Of course we will be trying one ourselves possibly on the BBQ.
I'm including a few pictures from previous weeks. These include a weird split tomato, a storm we had and few of our current veggies.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Frozen in the dead of summer

So we have started a new project which we are both really excited about. The project will be a winter CSA which I will clearly have a load to write about in the future. Today the first steps were takes in planning the CSA (or community supported agriculture). This first step was creating a list of what will be available over the winter months. Which to be honest is actually a lot. I also started the freezing process which includes stir fry mix. The stir fry mix includes: broccoli, zucchini, kale, carrots, and eggplant. I think it is a pretty terrific mix myself.
We are also planning a weedy Friday for next week. We are getting volunteers to come and help weed like crazy and get things all set for fall planting. It promises to be a great afternoon followed by a terrific BBQ. So if your reading this and think hey I could do that your clearly welcome. Just send us note!!
Today was another busy market day with lots of selling and buying going on . I had a terrific chicken ceaser sandwich from Willow Creek bakery. They also have really good pastry's.
We also have some new product coming available which includes: eggplant, carrots, beans (in a load of colours), and cauliflower. OH and lots of tomatoes coming too. Today we had Stupice, Sun Golds, Green Grape, Isis Candy, Yellow Pear, Snow White, Sugar Snack and Juan Flamme. All really tasty but I have a soft spot for sun gold's myself.

I know its short and sweet but i'm going to go eat some pizza!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kale Trees and Eggplant

It was another very warm day today but that did not hold Chloe and I back. My trusty employee showed her great spirit and smiled despite the fact that she even got some sun burn. Today we worked hard and got some needed weeding done in the carrot beds. We actually harvest some nice carrots which will appear tomorrow at the farmers market in a stir fry mix. The mix includes carrots, zucchini, eggplant,kale and broccoli. I think it will be a terrific seller and we don't have too many of them because eggplant and carrots are just starting for us. Non the less I and Chloe are excited that they will be presented at market tomorrow. I will do my best to try and take a picture of one.
Tomorrow will also include another fresh pick of kale which has grown into tiny trees. Today we harvest our usual mid-sized leaves for fresh bunches as well as tiny leaves for the stir fry mix. Although the kale is still doing great tomorrow will likely hold some planting for fall kale!!
Zucchini is holding strong with lots to harvest and today also was the first day that we harvest eggplant. We have a couple of neat varieties and all will appear tomorrow at the market. We also will have our first cauliflower at market tomorrow. Ryan and I ate one earlier in the week and it was delicious.
The food co-op is also an exciting place as we have started to offer vegetable boxes there. So far a number of them have been ordered and we hope that they become a popular addition to our orders.
Well that is all for now!

p.s- i do have some pictures but the netbook is being difficult and won't let me get them off my phone. Will have to do that later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Popping up

As usually it has been a couple of weeks that have been busy. Which of course is common at this time of year! We have lots of great veggies in production right now including: heirloom tomatoes, broccoli, peas, cabbage(first one picked today), and of course kale. A lot of things are soon to be as well. Last week we were thinning the carrots which is a pretty big job and they are big enough that you can eat them. Still too small to harvest though. Ryan says they are very delicious.
So needless to say that veggie picking is well under way right now.
We also have a new duck that we are caring for. It came from a lady who found in her swimming pool filter. He is a wild duck so he is separated from our flock for numerous reasons. He is very small but cute. I will post a picture next week.
I am having a bit of a time crunch but hopefully i'll have another update soon.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big Ducklings and Fresh Peas

The ducklings that only a few short weeks ago were small and cuddly have now grown into very large ducks. Really sometimes it is hard to tell them apart from there parents. They also eat like pigs. I would say that we are easily feeding them 10 cups of food a day plus fruit and veg. They also probably drink liters of water a hot day even more. They will probably be ready to eat come august. Also snowball our first
sheep is ready to go to the butcher today. We 'weighed' her today (on a bathroom scale to needless to say the weighing was a bit subjective) and she came in around 77lbs. Ryan says that will be about 50lbs dressed (or once she has gone to the butcher).
Fresh peas are abounding right now and tonight Ryan and I had barbecued potatoes with peas and peppers (and some chicken). It all turned out really well and we ate a delightful super. Overall things keep moving on and tomorrow will be another busy.

Good bye Beets

So we had a tragic event this week. Now don't worry because it is not an injury or anything. Our beets which were not really doing that well to begin with got mowed down due to some extreme weed issues. We did manage to save a few zucchini plants and some tomatoes (the ones that self seeded from last year). I was really sad to see them go because we had some really great varieties going. Hopefully we'll have a second crop in the fall.

The Burger

As some may know we have been growing a spring crop of kale. It is I would say not a really well known vegetable. It is part of the cabbage family and can be used in loads of different ways. This week we gave away kale chip recipes at the farmers market. Kale is a very healthy vegetable so if you have not given it a try I would recommend that you look for it at your local farmers market. It is usually more readily available in the fall. Kale is also popular in mashed potatoes but on the 14th of June we gave it a whirl on burgers. What we did was to chop up some garlic and onion along with the kale in thin strips (and some olive oil). I put the onion and garlic in a the pan with the olive oil and cooked them. Once the onions and garlic are nicely cooked add the kale which will quickly become soft. Then you are ready to top your burger (of course home made with local beef). Over all I would say this gets 5 starts!!

Moving the Sheep

Okay so there has been a lot going on here. There is really so much that I am absolutely sure that I will leave something out. I will try and go in chronological order as best as I can remember. So looking all the way back to June 11 we moved the sheep into a new part of the field. Being the positive people that we are we assumed that this would go smoothly. But as usual the transition did not go smoothly. It turns that sheep can be very stubborn ( I know shocking) and they didn't feel that the lovely fresh grass on the other side of the fence was really where they wanted to be. With a large amount of corn and some wild chases around the field, all of the adult sheep found there way to the new field. However Ted, Lamaroo, and Friday felt that they were exempt from moving over. Here is a picture of how they got moved!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The 100th Post! And Food Co-ops!

Well I feel I should have something special to say about the 100th post, but I don't. We are always trying to update the blog, but it gets really hard in the summer months as things get busy.

On some more exciting news we are now on board with the Niagara Local Food Co-op. Basically it is like an online shopping basket that members order from, then we get the information and on Tuesdays bring it to the Trinity United Church in Thorold where the customers will come and pick it up. It is very exciting for us because it will another outlet to not only sell our product, but to get our name out there to a large number of people.

There are currently about 30 producer members selling everything from fruit and meat, herbs, baked goods, honey...the list goes on. At the moment there are not very many vegetable members and this gives us a bit of a niche. Hopefully things go well for us as we are finding the St. Catharines market on Tuesday a bit of a tough sell as most people likely wait for Saturday when things really pick up.

If you are interested in learning more about the co-op you can check them out at There is a $50 lifetime membership fee for consumer members and then they add 5% to the bill for administration, but the great part of it is that you can do a whole bunch of your local shopping in one place without having to drive around all over the place. Currently they only have one pick-up location in Thorold, but if membership numbers increase they will move to more branches.

Thanks for checking in with us and look back for more picture updates in the near future (I am thinking maybe tomorrow since it is supposed to rain so much).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

a photo update


Here photos included what our market stand in St.Catharines looks like, a fuzzy picture of my figs growing and so much more! Some of the pictures are from a few weeks ago which is why everything looks so small.

We're getting FRESH

Well that's right we are getting fresh here on the farm. Whats fresh
you Ask? Well lots of things, we have hired a summer employee (her
name is Chloe), we have kale ready to be eaten by you, peas are
growing (i ate my first ones today), and the greenhouse tomatoes are
getting huge. The Ducks are all growing like weeds including chirpee
the newest member. Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful today
which makes Market even that much more enjoyable.
Saturday was a busy day here as I went to market Ryan with the aid of
a few helpers worked at the high farm. They completed a lot. The
irrigation system is in, mulching against the ever riseing weeds,
beens were planted, and oh so much more. Needless to say everyone was
very tired at the end of the evening and we all enjoyed a mr. Freezie