Tuesday, August 30, 2011

weeding, canning and growing

Well despite the fact that we are reaching the end of the summer there is still a lot going on around here. Not only are we busy growing new things we are still weeding. Luckily we are more on top the weeding now then we were in the spring. Today my dad and I weeded cabbage, leek, and asparagus transplants. We did about 16 rows in an hour and a half which just goes to show that there are not too many weeds out there yet.

After we finished the rows we went over to take a look at my row of sweet potatoes. Ryan had little faith that I would be able to grow the sweet potatoes but over half of the slips survived and are now growing like crazy. The weeds were also growing like crazy around them so we started to dig them out. I think there is going to be a great bunch of sweet potatoes come the fall!

Sweet Potato Vine

For a little bit of fun today we also made a batch of applesauce. I may be a bit biased but i have to say it turned out fabulously. I also think that applesauce is super simple to do. If you have never done it you should give it a try. All you have to do is through some apple chunks in a pot with a pit of water, boil until soft and voila applesauce. If you like it not so chunky just use an immersion blender to get rid of the lumps.

We also have two new members here on the farm. As you can see from the photo they are the two cutest kittens ever. We have named them oats (the gray one) and beans (the orange one). They are both very spirited and are adjusting to life here on the farm very well.

Well I think I will make some more muffins now and maybe another pot of applesauce.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fall is in the air

Well it seems that fall is on its way here with the wonderful cool that we have been having. It is definitely a nice change to be out working in cooler weather. This week has been a filled with planting, weeding and getting ready for our winter CSA. Yesterday I was out hoeing in the asparagus and found that our farm seems to be very happy.

The happy face which I found just as you see it is made of two peach pits and a stick.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Chicks

It has continued to be a busy week with lots of picking and some planting for our winter CSA (information can be found on our website www.creekshorefarms.ca). We also received a bunch of new chickens. We got 120 new chickens 100 of them were baby chicks who are jut adorable and 20 were ready to lay hens. The baby chicks went into one of our moveable pens that has chicken wire as part of the pen structure. Well I was a little concerned that because the chicks were so small they would be able to fit through the holes. And of course they good. So my dad had to deal with a stream of chicks who thought they should be out wandering the yard. We solved the problem by putting boards up around the outside of the pen, which has seemed to deter them so far.

This is what I like to call exploded corn!
I don't know what causes it.

This week we also picked our first batch of corn. Growing corn organically can be a bit risky because you can easily get lots of bug damage. However it seems this year we have only had a little bit so far which is great. This week we picked peaches and cream corn (it is actually the variety peaches and cream not just bi-colour corn). We have not eaten any yet but it is on the menu for tonight diner.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garlic Day's

Yesterday was another great day despite the fact that they had called for a bit of rain we only received some late in the evening. So if you have a splendid day to work with what do you do? Well my father (David) and I decided that we had best be getting our garlic out of the ground. We probably could have done this two weeks ago but it is one of those things that is in the forefront of ones mind. So we harvested 1 3/4 of a row all of which was Music garlic. Our first batch was a bit small but our second batch all of the bulbs were very large.

Garlic right after it was pulled out of the ground

My dad shoveling garlic out of a very grassy patch

So after the garlic was all picked we took it back to the barn where it has to be dried for a number of weeks. It is important to keep lots of air circulation around the bulbs so that they dry well. You can see in the picture below that they are on wooden boards with slats between to encourage air circulation.
Once the garlic is dry we will clean them (they are pretty dirty), cut off the stems and roots and have them ready for our winter csa (information available on our website www.creekshorefarms.ca).

So because I don't have enough to do already I have again been making raisins. I bought my first batch of grapes at the farmers market from my neighbour vendor Kathrine. They were sovereign coronation grapes and they make wonderful raisins. They are very sweet but they make wonderful snacks and are excellent in muffins or any baked good.

Dried grapes!

You may ask well what is the process to make raisins. All I can say is simple. So purchase some grapes i did a 1.5 liter basket. This only made one ziplock bag full of raisins. Remove them from the stems place on dehydrator sheets whole (I sliced them last year to make the processes quicker but I would not do it again. The whole raisins are better). Slide the sheet into the dehydrator and turn onto high. Let them stay in there for about 48hours. And you have raisins. Making raisins may not be cost effective but it sure beats store raisins!

There is a falcon in this picture possibly an ospray?
It is basically impossible to see though. It is around the
farm all the time.

Another visitor to our farm last week. A blue heron.

CSA veggies

The sheep eating some Kale

Our stand at the Niagara on the Lake farmers market

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pictures from around the farm

Eggplant and Peppers


Chickens enjoying some tomatoes and summer squash

CSA basket

Apricot that rolled under the stool at market

My dad hard at work

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Well it has come to be that our chickens are far more free range than we had anticipated when we first got them. They have a very large pen with an indoor shed to lay there eggs and hang out in. However the chickens seem to think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. This has led to mass escapes of the chickens into our yard and into our neighbours yards (who have all been very patient). Well over the past couple of days I have been working to fill in all the holes that they have been digging. Yes chickens can dig and they seem very proficient at it. Currently I can see a spot where they have a very large hole underway, it must be a multi-chicken job. So having believed that all the holes were filled in I came home yesterday to find a load of chickens milling about in the duck pen, which is right next to the chicken pen. So i dutifully put all of the chickens back and went about my afternoon. Well come around six o'clock I head out to feed the animals only to find the chickens all crowding in to the duck pen again. Well I was not pleased and went on the search to find there entry point. The best that I can figure is that they all press against the fence until they make and gap and then they squeeze underneath. Well I piled more straw around the bottom of the fence and so far it seems to be holding. I will see later if my hard work has held the chickens in or if I will be back on the search for more holes tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Its been a Corny day

I have been told that I need to write more blogs so this again is me trying to start to write more blog entries!!
Someone asked me last week at CSA pick up if there were any new products coming out for the rest of the season. Well i can firmly say that indeed there are going to be a number of new things to come still. What do these new things include you ask?? Well we are going to have corn, melons, cabbages, carrots, leeks, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes (19 varieties), sweet potatoes, garlic, tomatillos and I am sure there are more things that I have left out. And we will have even more new stuff in the fall for our winter CSA.
The two things that I am currently most looking forward to are corn and melons. The corn is very close to ready and today I pulled a cob off to see. It looked beautiful but the kernels are still white and a little small. I did try eating it and it tasted pretty good which I believe is a good sign.
The melons are also starting to be seen out in the field. I look forward to eating there deliciousness soon.

Unripe peaches and cream corn (Yes the real PC)

Minnesota Midget melon

In the midst of all this fresh food that we have been enjoying we have of course also been enjoying a large amount of fresh fruit. Just yesterday we went and picked up some strawberries, plums, black berries, blueberries and peaches. Now of course we both enjoying eating all of these things fresh but after a long hot day our favorite way to eat fruit is in a smoothy.

Fruit getting ready to go in the freezer

We have found after some trail and error that one Ryan is the one skilled in smoothy making and two frozen fruit is required to get an ice cream like consistency (note a good quality blender is required to do all that icy chopping). Should you know feel spurred to creat a smoothy of your own we recommend the use of water to help ease your blenders hard work and Ryan likes to add yogurt. Ah yes and the secret ingredient a spoonful of concentrated orange juice.

Wishing everyone a chilly evening,