Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Surroundings

Well it has been an extraordinarily long time since anyone has written on the blog. Although we would love to have been writing lots has been going on for the farm. First off the farm has moved (we moved with it of course). Just down the road a little into St.Catharines on Lakeshore Rd. It was a pretty exciting move as it means that we now own some land ( have had previously been renting). This newly acquired land was an orchard (key word was as it has now been torn down). In its place there is nothing just a big piece of open land that will be the new home for our vegetables.
While we are now all moved over to the new farm we started a new project a barn. It is not a barn in the traditional sense it is a prefab structure. I shall get a picture of it. They are putting it together as I type. It purpose will be that of a barn though housing all our tractors and other farm stuff.

While all this has been going on we have of course also been running our CSA program. We wrapped up summer a few weeks ago and have now begun our winter one (this is week two). Interested in enjoying some winter veggies stop by the farm on Tuesday 3:30-6 and Saturdays 12:00-3:00 and you too could enjoy some great local food.
Right now we have:
and Walnuts

Wondering what to do with your beet tops?? Check out this great idea http://foodandstyle.com/2009/07/16/spicy-beet-green-crostini/http://foodandstyle.com/2009/07/16/spicy-beet-green-crostini/

Well CSA pick up starts shortly so I had best go finish up getting ready.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Updated Winter CSA

We have updated our winter CSA information for this year and have changed a couple of things.  The season has been shortened to 12 weeks with the cost reduced to only $300 now as well.  Also, we have added a drop-off in Hamilton at or near McMaster on Thursdays.  For more information do not hesitate to contact us or check out the pdf file with the application form at www.creekshorefarms.ca/winter2012.pdf

Thanks for looking and hope you might be interested in joining with us in eating great this winter.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

2012 Winter CSA

Well here it is at last...our information brochure and application form for our 2012 Winter CSA program.  Despite the tough summer with a lack of rain we are looking ahead to an exciting winter full of fresh and stored vegetables straight from our farm to you.

The Basics

  • 17 weekly boxes starting November
  • Share Cost: $400
  • Application Deadline: October 12
  • Delivery options are available including home delivery

Please note that the farm pick-up location has changed to 1167 Lakeshore Rd W. in St. Catharines.  More on why that is later....

If you have any questions please do not hesistate to contact us.  More information and the application are available at: http://www.creekshorefarms.ca/winter2012.pdf

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Knew I Shouldn't Get Excited...

Most of our readers know how hard this summer has been with the lack of rainfall and I am losing track of the number of times it has forecasted rain with nothing showing except for a few drops.

Once again it was showing 90% chance of 20-30mm of rain for tomorrow this morning and I thought we were saved.  Watering has been tough and plants are really showing the stress.

I just checked the weather...

Down from a glorious 20-30mm to "close to 5mm".

How can they get it so wrong again and again and again.

At some point I would hope they would just forecast no rain ever and I would eventually get a nice little surprise...instead I am left heartbroken again and again...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Week 1 CSA cooking adventures with Liz

Week one's bounty

fresh lettuce with garlic chive and scape vinegrette

freezing the oregano for when tomatoes are in season

sunflower sprouts are tasty while writing

lettuce, sunflower and pea sprouts with home made croutons and crispy bacon

roasted, balsamic-glazed turnips and radishes

garlic scape pesto on penne with bacon wrapped scapes

tasty sandwich with scape pesto, sunflower shoots and bacon on toast
                            Thanks to Liz who documented what she did with her first CSA basket

Moving Along

Well it has been some time since a post has been left here but it does not mean that things have not been very busy around the farm. What has been going on you ask? Well lots of planting and of course our summer CSA swung into gear last Thursday which also means lots of picking.
We are currently harvesting delights such as lettuce, garlic scapes and this will be our first week with peas. I have to say that fresh peas are one of my favorite parts of summer.
And what could be better on a hot summers night then some fresh garlic scape pesto? Well I'm pretty sure that it is a perfect choice for a hot night. Thanks to Liz S for sharing her recipe.


  • 6 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture. Blend until the pesto is a brilliant green color and smooth in texture. Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A New Surpise

Things have gotten a little busier the last couple days here at Creek Shore Farms.

To find out why visit Junior Farmer Blog to see the exciting news.

Stay tuned for more farm updates.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Growing in the greenhouse

Over the past couple of weeks we have been doing a lot of seeding in the greenhouse. Everything is growing really well so we have also been doing a lot of up potting. Up potting is simple moving the seedling into a 4 inch pot. Therefore giving them more growing room. This year we also are growing some flowers which is a new venture for us. We have not gone too wild on the flower front just a few variates.
Its been so hot in the greenhouse (35+) that we have been spending over an hour a day watering. This is mainly due to the fact that we water everything by hand. Why do we water by hand?? Well there is a watering system in the greenhouse but they run fertilizer through the line and we just use plain old tap water.

Of course we are still planting but not at a large scale just when we want to top things up here and there
Broccoli. Our first planting was big enough to go into 4inch pots

Basil and Oregano about a week ago. They four times bigger now

Lupins sprouting up they will be ready to uppot soon



nasturtiums (started in the dark)

nasturtiums with there leaves opening

It is nice to grow something new and watch it grow. We hope to have good success with the flowers at the farmers market.

Bean and Oats are having a great time with the warm weather. We had them spayed/neutered a couple of weeks ago and are both doing great. We of course are happy that there will be no kittens joining the farm family.
Bean hanging out on the picnic table

Oats using the grass as scratch matt

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 Summer CSA...is there still room?

Just a quick note to anyone still considering a summer CSA for this year. While the deadline for application has passed we still have a few spots available if you get your forms in soon and since our vegetables are this good its an opportunity you really don't want to miss.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

In the News!

The St. Catharines Standard wrote a little diddly about us in the paper yesterday. Here is the link to the article to read it yourselves: Local Farm to Help Food Bank

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Business Cards

Well it has been a pretty quiet week so far. Last Saturday was the busiest in the last few days as we took out all the fence post from our sheep fencing. The yard looks a lot different now that it is all open. This year that area will be full of veggies which will look great.
Today we got some new business cards as well. We had some last year but these are a new design and much nicer I think. Any suggestions for improvements let us know as we only got 100 to start.



And We're Back!

Some of you may have noticed our website and blog have been up and down over the last couple of days.  We were making some technical changes behind the scenes which caused a few disruptions.  Needless to say we are back on track and hoping to have some fresh news soon!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Growing outside

Well today after a nice wander through the fields it was easy to see that the early spring is causing some growth out in the fields. The first thing which we knew was growing is garlic. The bulbs already have significant portion growing above the ground. I tried to look up when our garlic sprouted last year but I couldn't find a date so its hard to say how far ahead we are from last year.

Garlic well on its way!

Also arriving out in the field are all the annual herbs that we have planted. A lot of them stayed nice all winter such as oregano and thyme. Others are coming back with a vengeance. As part of spring prep today we trimmed the herbs and cleared any weeds away from them allowing optimal growth.

Garlic chives coming up out of the ground 

 As part of our herb trimming process we also have a few catnip plants that needed to be trimmed back. While things went smoothly at first our two cats (oats and beans) decided that they should get involved.

This is my plant

No really back off, its mine

Where cats go after catnip

Bean having a go at oats leftovers
Needless to say it is not easy to trim catnip plants when two cats are trying to eat the plants that you trimming. After three plants we gave up on the rest.
Our other project today was putting up a divider in the chicken pen. The purpose of the divider is so that we can plant some pasture mix for the chickens to eat. The plan is to keep the chickens out until there is a good amount of pasture growing on the other side off the divide. Otherwise they would just eat the seed and anything that happened to grow out be consumed before it could grow to any decent size. The divide is not finished yet but this is how it looks so far,

Putting t-posts in to support a length of chicken wire

T-posts in. On the left you can kind of see a  hole in the ground. We will put some straw bales here, otherwise the chicken just walk under the wire.

Here the chicken wire is up. You can maybe see the hole better still on the left. That Ryan's homemade post pounder there on the ground.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back in the swing of things!

Well as of today we have filed up our heat bench in the greenhouse. The bench holds 38 trays and each tray contains 72 plants. My dad and have actually become very proficient at planting the trays and it really only takes us a couple of hours to do 38 trays.
Our current planting includes the following: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Leeks, Celery, Eggplant, Kale, Tomatillo's and a selection of herbs. The herbs are the easiest thing to plant as we want more than one plant to grow in each cell so we just sprinkle some seeds into each one. With all the veggies we are more particular and only want one seed per cell. This can be very tricky with things such as celery that has tiny little seeds like the head of a pin. Honestly I'm sure when they are that small there is more than one going into each cell.

Planted trays. You can see a little white thermometer to the left. It was almost 40 today in the greenhouse.

The more time consuming part of the planting process is cleaning the heat bench after being unused all winter. Generally there is just some dirt that need to be swept up and luckily we had already done this. However we do have a low spot in the very middle of the bench where we always have problems with water collecting especially after it rains. Well I knew there was some water we need to get off the bench so on our way to the greenhouse we stopped and picked up a sponge to soak up the water.

I know pretty nice sponge eh! It was even made in Canada.

Well little did I know that what I thought was just going to be a little bit of water turned out to be a 1.4 of a bucket full of green slimy water with lots of dirt. I ended up using the above pictured container with the sponge to collect the water. The sponge was pretty nasty looking but the above picture is post cleaning. Pretty good I thought.

Nice sludge water from the table. Probably would be great on the garden.

Post water removal on the table. You can see that the sand under the plastic is also wet.
On a belated note our winter CSA is finished now. We feel like it went well over all and are looking forward to our summer session which will begin in June!

These were the baskets that went out on our the last week. Full of tasty food all from our farm.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Aftermath of Wind

Well this last weekend saw some pretty strong sustained winds with gusts of over 80km/hr.  While most things around the farm seemed to go unharmed and almost nothing but the cat's water dish blew away (it was later recovered), we did end up experiencing one small problem:

Both of our hoop houses where we keep our winter greens and rutabaga warm enough to survive winter suffered damage to the plastic from the wind (oddly enough these two houses have had survived harsher winds over the winter).  House 3 above (we only have 2, but the end panels are recycled) suffered the worst damage with the plastic ripping right off the east side for the entire length of the house.  House 4 suffered less damage with just some tearing on the bottom near the front as can be seen above.  There are also some other smaller tears on house 4 along the top where it rubbed on some exposed steel in the wind.

If you enlarge this picture you can see why we had the problem.  Despite being U-bolted to the arches the wooden frame ended up sliding up the arches which relaxed the plastic allowing to flap in the wind, which slid the wood up even higher.  Closer inspection has also revealed that the arches seemed to be pushed further into the soil then we had which also slackened the plastic.

In this photo you can see the end wall of house 4 bent in on an angle as it bent the rebar which was holding the top straight.  In the next photo you can see an arch I found while taking photos that came out of its rebar anchor....the only one I found but it gives you an idea of the power of the wind.

While disappointing the houses did get nearly to the end of our winter CSA.  This next week is warm so we shouldn't have a problem with finishing the season.  Hopefully we can fix up house 4 enough to get an early spring crop in there, but the plastic on both houses, which should have lasted 4 years, will need to be replaced this year after only a single season of use.  In the end I chalk it up to a learning experience and hopefully we will be able to build a better, stronger hoop house for next winter.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ryan's Winter Projects: Part 1, The Shed...

Well I know I have not been very busy on here, but I am going to try and post a few of things I have been doing around the farm this winter.  One of my first projects was to build an insulated shed so that we could store potatoes and squash for our winter CSA. While it took me a while I was eventually able to finish before things got too cold.
For insulation I managed to source 4" thick foam for a really great deal that I cut to fit in between the studs (I need some more pictures).  The floor and ceiling also have an added layer of 2" foam which finished it off nicely and made for a really nice, warm and well insulated shed.

You can see off the back of the shed 2 pipes I use for ventilation.  While 1 may have been sufficient I wanted to be able to ventilate either half of the shed independently in case I made a separation wall as potatoes and squash require different temperatures.  Alas, as is often the case I ran out of time and they were both kept at the same temperature, but seem to have done alright.  Next year we will likely have 2 of these sheds and then we can get different temperature and humidity zones for each.
Hopefully I will get more photos of the shed, and for those who are interested stay tuned for more of my winter projects...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The Crostata all finished.

Sideways picture of the rhubarb waffles. They were really good but did not really have a rhubarb flavour.

Frozen Rhubarb

As you can guess there is currently no rhubarb growing here in Ontario. We in fact do not even grow rhubarb. However our neighbour does and he kindly let me collect some throughout the summer. As summers are very busy for us I chopped it up and stuck it in the freezer. Well now its February and I look in my freezer and see bags of frozen rhubarb and think to myself what shall I do with it??
Well my favorite summer item is strawberry rhubarb pie but I am not that great at making pie. Really they generally fail. Not just the crust but I also fail at pie filling (I know its sad). So i went on the search for some interesting things to do with rhubarb.
The first recipe I found was for whole grain rhubarb waffles. I have not tried them yet but I think they are on the docket for lunch today. The recipe can be found here: http://www.fakefoodfree.com/2010/06/whole-grain-rhubarb-waffles-with.html
So I still needed something else to make and I decided on a Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata. For those who are versed bakers yes this is basically a pie. However I am always will to give things a go. We don't have any raspberry's so i threw in strawberries instead. Instead of one giant one that the directions called for I made two medium sized ones and four small ones (to give away). The filling tastes good (I licked the spoon) and the crust seems pretty good although now that they are in the oven they are looking a little wobbly.
There is sixteen minutes left on the timer and then I will post a picture and let you know how they turned out.
This is the recipe that I used: http://gastronomyblog.com/2011/06/18/rhubarb-and-raspberry-crostata/

So for anyone thinking of freezing some rhubarb this coming summer, I would say good plan!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Summer 2012 CSA

Well, as some of you have been waiting for, information for our 2012 summer CSA program starting in early June is up and available online.  You can find all the information at: www.creekshorefarms.ca/summer2012.pdf

We hope you are able to join us for an exciting new season and look forward to sharing our ideas and vegetables with all of you this year.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Producer of the Year

Next week is the annual Canadian International Farm Show held at the International Centre in Toronto, ON.  While this show caters more to larger farms, especially those involved in cash crops or large scale livestock operations, there may be a few things at the show that will capture our attention.

Each year for the last few years the event has showcased what they call the 'Producer of the Year' or rather producers...  Three farms are chosen from a series of nominees, one small, one medium and one large operation, to receive this award.  Nominations are submitted anonymously and a committee then selects the winners.

As it happens, Creek Shore Farms has won the award for 2012 in the small producer category.  We are very excited about this and would like to thank (and know who you are, we really would) the person who anonymously nominated us for this award.  While it is a bit ironic that such a new farm has won we are thankful for the recognition and hope that we can continue to pursue the foundations of our farm we have established to support our community in any way we can.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weird winter weather

Well it has been a really interesting winter so far. In our area it has been mostly rain, which has led to lots of mud. We have also been experiencing a lot of wind (well it feels like a lot to me anyway). So far it has not affected our winter growing too much. Our hoop house is standing strong full of greens and our squash and potatoes are safely tucked away in a wonderful shed that Ryan built.
We did get some snow last week which was a nice change accept for the fact that it was also windy making it mildly unpleasant to work in. Below you can see some pictures of my father (David) and I cleaning up some electric fence in the snow.
Our outdoor chicken area. As you can see the chickens are in hibernation

Self portrait. It was cold

Best place for kittens in the snow? Under the chicken shed of course

There is my dad hard at work rolling fence wire

Smart chickens inside

 On a delayed note we cooked one of our own geese for Christmas diner this year and I would like to say that it turned out pretty well. It was a lot of work but well worth the effort in the end I thought.

Homemade salad dressing to go with fresh picked greens for a salad
Goose going into the oven. Yep cooked on its side almost the whole time

2 hour gravy from Julia Childs cookbook. Well worth the effort

On a final note if you are interested in our summer CSA program please watch for that information to be available soon on our website: www.creekshorefarms.ca