P.O. Box 8306 Saskatoon, SK, S7K 6C6 Google Map 306-222-6666
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Posted 3/14/2017 6:22am by Dennis Skoworodko.

Artichokes!  

Previous to 2016 we had never grown artichokes, and did not even know if they would grow here. I did not know anyone who had successfully harvested any here so we just trialed a handful of plants to see what would happen. The “Artichoke Center of the World” is in Castorville, California, where their weather is just a little bit different than ours! They have been grown there since the 1920s, first planted by Spanish settlers who brought them from Europe. The planting of artichokes exploded there and now it is such a big deal for that area they have a 3 day Artichoke festival every year. California grows 99% of the artichokes in North America and Castorville supplies 2/3 of that. In areas with milder winters than Saskatoon, artichokes are perennials. Here the winter is far too cold for them and we have to replant them ever year. A quirky trait of artichokes is that they need to have a time of cold while they are growing to tell them they have come through winter, and that it is time to form a flower...the head that we eat is actually an immature flower bud. Because we have to grow them as an annual here, we need to make sure that the plants have 10 days or more of temperatures between +4.5°C to +10°C so they think they have gone through “winter” so they are “tricked” into flowering (a process called vernalization). So once our seedlings are well on their way we need to make sure that they have this temperature experience...either from the weather or we need to temperature control where they are if the weather does not cooperate. We were really happy with the results of the few artichokes we grew last year...and had great feedback on the taste and texture from the lucky few customers who managed to scoop some up (oh, those early birds at the market!). So we have expanded the space we have allotted to artichokes at the farm and planted the seeds this week (photo above).  

They take a long time to grow and we are hoping the success of last year will happen again this year. If all goes well, you should be able to put these in your belly late July.

Regards, Our Farm Team  

Tags: Artichoke
Posted 3/12/2017 8:41am by Dennis Skoworodko.

Onions!

 

The starting base of so many great and tasty recipes. So flavorful and aromatic. An essential basic in a gourmet’s kitchen. And even though we have to start them indoors in February in Saskatchewan, this is a great place to grow them. Many onions are what is called “Long Day Onions”,...they need 14 – 16 daylight hours per day to form a bulb..and with our delightful long summer days, this is a wonderful place for them. Many onions need to be grown above 43 degrees latitude to get those long days, and Saskatoon is at 52 degrees latitude, so we are in prime location. We love growing our onions and we love how our customers love eating them. And I need to give credit to the onion- helping us on our journey to decide to grow organically. In our research on growing, we discovered that industrial agriculture routinely sprays onions with Maleic Hydrazide  (a toxic chemical – just check its Material Safety Data Sheet to see what I mean!) to limit sprouting in storage. It is sprayed on the growing plant at least two weeks before harvest, so the plant can absorb it into the onion bulb – right into the part we eat, let me say that again..right into the part we eat! Can’t wash it off in any way – to inhibit sprouting in storage. I don’t think our bodies can be healthy ingesting toxic chemicals! And all this for no benefit to the consumer, only benefit is to allow sloppier storage solutions in the sales chain. So I tip my hat to the onion in helping us to become Certified Organic and for being such a reliable friend in the kitchen.  

 

Our baby onions (photo at top) 2 weeks old and onions we had stored since last fall – beautiful as the day we harvested them and with no chemicals!  

Regards, Our Farm Team  

Tags: Onions
Posted 3/5/2017 8:22am by Dennis Skoworodko.

The Story of Your Food started February 28.

Celery, Celeriac and Onions met the soil.  

Today we will talk about Celery!

Step one, Soil Blocks.

   

  

 

In the first photo we are making "soil blocks". The second photo shows a single block. We place the seed into the divot in the center of the soil block. These blocks give us an excellent starting home for the plants. The seed sprouts sending out roots, the roots stop at the edge of the block, because roots do not grow in air. Then, the roots wait there until we transplant the block. The plant continues to send more roots through the soil block stopping when they reach the edge. We end up with a dense healthy root system that in not "root bound". (You may have encountered root bound plants at some time. These are roots that are wrapped and twirled around and around inside a plant pot.) When these plants in our soil blocks are large enough to transplant, they grow with gusto because the roots were poised and ready. The third photo is a single celery seed. Yes, that is one celery seed. They are so tiny... seeds really are miracles... growing into large and tasty plants from something that started so very small. The 4th photo is seeding the tray of soil blocks. Celery is a bit weird, as it needs light to germinate, most plants do not. So we just very lightly cover with soil and leave under the grow lights (5th photo). And celery is a very slow germinator- it can take 3 weeks to sprout. We are always on pins and needles hoping they sprout, because if they don't, it is too late to try again.  Celery takes a long time grow to maturity.

 

Watch Dennis harvest celery in Our Farm video tour.

We hope you enjoyed this Story of Your Food. If all goes well we should have celery ready for you late July! 

Regards, Our Farm Team     

Tags: Celery

CSA sign up for 2018 is Now Open!October 23rd, 2017

Our Farm CSA 2018  subscription sign up is Now Open. We have the information for the Summer/Fall 2018 Season Available on our website. We are very excited to offer you fresh, local, certified or

Prescription: Nutrition VideoMay 13th, 2017

“Eat your vegetables” our mom’s used to say. They seemed to know intrinsically that veggies are good for us. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy f

New recipe: Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs with Pasta May 2nd, 2017

Serves 4 Ingredients: 500 gms (1 pound) organic pasta- of your choice, cooked. (We like penne) (Save some of the pasta cooking water. If finished dish is a bit too thick, add some of this water to g

Organic Vegetables

Certified Organic by Pro-Cert

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