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The blog has moved!

November 9, 2010

Hello blog readers, from now on the Cedar Down Farm blog can be found at http://www.cedardownfarm.ca/blog.

See you there!

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September Photos

September 27, 2010

The melon summer!

September 3, 2010

I’m happy to say that I have been too busy harvesting spectacular amounts of beautiful food to write on this blog. The past few weeks have really illustrated in a BIG way how incredibly abundant our harvests have been and how amazing this season is for growing vegetables.  Watermelon, that sweet, delicious, beautiful thing is literally rolling out of the fields – we have all had a watermelon-induced stomachache (that’s what happens when you eat three per day) for the last three weeks.

I could say that the only thing to complain about recently is that things are growing TOO fast! We put in our fall brassica crop over the last few weeks (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, chinese cabbage etc.) and I swear if you had sat in the field and watched, you could have seen them growing.  The two kale plantings are pretty much ready to harvest and, though planted three weeks apart, look almost the same size! The chinese cabbage is starting to  head (only a month too soon!) and that whole section of garden looks like it wants to take flight or something, the plants are so huge they are bursting from the ground.

We’ve started to work in some of the summer-planted cover crops and have pretty much mapped out the garden for next year so that we can start to sow fall cover crops and apply compost.  The orchard section is carpeted in a lush rye cover and we’ve got onions curing and garlic cured and stored away.  Despite this past week’s heat, it does feel like fall is coming and we are starting to think about fall harvests and winter storage. The winter squash is taking after the watermelon in being huge and copious and we are excited for that most favourite of harvests – so colourful and leaving you so thankful for the richness and nourishment of that wonderful crop.

The farm is really looking beautiful also because of the huge, plump straw bales that are now sitting in the back fields where Warren Becker (our neighbour) had his oats and barley crop.  The hay that he under-seeded in these grains is coming up green underneath the bales and Jeff and I are eyeing these fields to determine where we will plant our lentil and bean test crops next year.

All in all, things are great, so here’s some photos.

Summer Photos

August 8, 2010

Not too much to report. Better, drier weather means we’re getting lots of cukes and zukes and hopefully the tomatoes will speed up.  The tomatoes in the greenhouse are finally looking good with lots of tomatoes on them.  The cucumbers may not be long for this world as they are infected with downy mildew. I applied compost tea in the hopes that I can slow down the progress of the mildew so we’ll see how that works.  Otherwise, we’re hoping the melons (which also have some fungal thing) will hold out until they ripen all the beautiful watermelons and cateloupes that are growing there.   The winter squash – oh the winter squash! It’s so beautiful, with huge, already ripening squash on the vines and lots of it. It too has some disease symptoms but we think it’s way ahead of it.

Fall brassicas are looking great as well under their layers of row cover.  The rutabagas, which we transplanted (we normally direct-seed) are huge after only a couple of weeks and the kale, broccoli, chinese cabbage and cauliflower are all looking great. So nice!

Here are some nice farm photos:

Summer is here!

July 20, 2010

Wow, time flies it seems, especially on the farm. All of a sudden, the early spring greens are gone, the ground is warm and loads of summertime food is coming out of the fields.  The past week or so has been quite exciting with lots of fun things happening on the farm and beautiful food being harvested.  Some major milestones for our crops have been: mowing the buckwheat cover crop between our rows of winter squash, harvesting our garlic and laying it out to cure, beginning to see mini watermelons and cucumbers forming, harvesting summer squash, basil, new potatoes and onions and a real nice CSA open house day.

We’ve had quite  a bit of rain, some of it torrential, which has been kind of scary. The potatoes are showing signs that they may want some dry weather and the tomatoes have a larger foliage to fruit ratio than I would like but overall things look pretty good for having been so wet over the past couple weeks.  Fruited crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons etc. really don’t like such wet and cool-ish weather so it’s always a little nerve racking to have so much rain.  The other downside is just not being able to get any work done!  Our major planting of fall brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kale etc.) starts going in now and we have to have some dry weather so the soil can be worked.  Weeding has also been on hold for a few days and we’re really itching to get this work done.

Oh well, we really can’t complain. The food that is coming out of the fields is gorgeous and we’re having lots of fun harvesting and bringing it to our CSA members!

Eating Well

June 27, 2010

Phew! We’re two weeks into the CSA and it feels great to be harvesting food and bringing it to our members.  The garden is really producing well so far – the first two pickups were abundant and the next couple seem set to follow suit.  We took a walk in the garden, just looking, over the past couple days and almost everything looks amazing. We’ve been keeping an eye on our bean and zucchini crops because we have a bit of a hunch on a possible potassium deficiency, but, for the most part, everything seems to be really taking off, despite a little too much rain and too little sunshine.

It’s been so incredible to see things mature. It always seems a miracle that the tiny seeds or baby seedlings that we put in the big big field will become big, juicy crops that will feed 75 CSA members and ourselves.  But every year it happens and it’s never less amazing.  The lettuce heads are a great example of this.  The first planting we put in – the seedlings were less than vigorous and got a hard frost just days after going into the ground.  We’d go out and look at them and shake our heads.  But now, ready for harvesting this week, they are big, fluffy, tender-looking heads that will probably make 2 or 3 salads each!

We have bee eating so well! We just sit at the dinner table and shake our heads at the way that food can taste and the incredible abundance that we have each day.  We made this incredible stir-fry with our peas, bok choy, kohlrabi and Ahren Hughes’ absolutely mouth-watering shitake mushrooms  and it was literally baffling how good it tasted. There was hardly anything on the vegetables but they just vibrated with flavour.  If only everyone could experience that, the world would be a different place. Okay, enough gushing.

As for some practical bits – our wash station (really a bathtub on legs!) is performing pretty well. Not the most efficient set up yet but functional.  The walk-in cooler (made from a modified air conditioner using the Cool Bot) is keeping things nice and chilly and our awesome garden cart! Well, it’s awesome.  Jeff and I refurbished an old home-made garden cart that we bought from a farmer for a few bucks to be a rickshaw-style cart and it’s really great – so fun to load it with vegetables and bring them in to the wash-station!

That’s all for now…I’m beginning to ramble…

The CSA Begins!

June 12, 2010

Yes, despite some ups and downs in temperature, weather and, well, moods, the CSA is here! Next week we will start pickups. A little earlier than we had anticipated and totally great.  We’re so excited that what has been in our minds for so long is finally going to happen. And the vegetables look (and taste!) amazing.

It definitely was an up and down week. We had more rain, a bit of frost and now it looks like we’re going to get some sun.  The rain has been challenging as we still had crops that needed planting and lots of weeding to do this week and it’s always stressful when you have to rush rush rush to get a huge amount done in one day because the rain is coming.  Not to mention we had to throw row cover (a fabric covering we use for pest and temperature control) over the peppers, eggplants and tomatoes in a hurry to protect them from frost. But we managed to get tons done this week nonetheless.  What did we do?

Well, we planted more cucumbers, zucchini and melons, beans, dry beans, flowers (yay!) and potatoes. We got the winter squash all out from it’s row cover and weeded the little guys, got some baby chicks to keep us happily tending livestock and, did I mention?, finished the moveable greenhouse!!! Yes, that was the icing on the cake for sure. A 90′ moveable greenhouse which we will tomorrow pack with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and basil and later cram full of yummy greens. With a little help from our friends, neighbours (and a cameraman!?!?!) the thing is up, beautiful and going to produce lots of food. Hooray!