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Posted 4/15/2017 11:50am by Dennis Skoworodko.

Peppers!  

 

I’ve never met a pepper I didn’t like! And yes, I have a weakness for peppers! What is not to like? Tasty and flavorful, sweet or spicy, (or very, very spicy!), and oh so colorful!

Peppers are a long season, heat loving plant. So in our part of the world, we definitely need to start them indoors long before we plant them out. (We started these pepper seedlings March 27th). In the spring, once the weather is nice and warm, they are then planted out into the field. And then depending on what happens with the weather, sometimes we cover them with a temporary row cover to give them protection from the wind and a warmer environment for them to grow faster in. So with a little care and sometimes a little babying, we can get them to ripen into the delicious colorful veggies we love so much.

Regards, Our Farm Team  

Tags: Peppers
Posted 4/5/2017 6:06am by Dennis Skoworodko.

 

Potatoes!

Time to “Chit” away! Chitting is pre-sprouting our potatoes before we plant them out to give us a head start on the growing process. We set out our “seed” potatoes in crates and expose them to light and warmth. Then they start sprouting little green sprouts, which form into the plants leaves. This way, when the ground is warm enough for us to plant them out, they already are actively growing and on their way. This gives us a head start on growing them so we can offer to you this tasty and versatile veggie sooner in the season. This season we will have 10 varieties of potatoes – the seven top favorites from last season and 3 new varieties to keep it interesting. I always thought a potato is a potato, until we discovered how many different varieties there are. And the tastes and textures and colors! So different and delightful! If you think potatoes are boring, let us entice you with some amazing tasty potatoes like you have never had before. 

Our potatoes (as all our veggies) are certified organic. Potatoes, like onions, helped us make the decision to grow organically. When potatoes are grown industrially, they are often sprayed with a growth inhibitor while the plant is still growing, to be absorbed into the fruit that we eat, to prevent sprouting in storage. Also, when grown industrially, they can also be sprayed with a desiccant, to kill off the foliage, to make it easier for harvesting. We feel that ingesting these chemicals into our bodies does our bodies no good, so we do not use any of these methods, and we get a beautiful potato that is chemical free, tasty and healthy. 

So cheers to the potato! Looking forward to being able to offer you a delightful range of tasty potatoes this season!

”What I say is that if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” - A.A, Milne

Want to catch up on some of our stories? Click here.  

Regards, Our Farm Team

Tags: Potatoes
Posted 3/27/2017 11:59am by Dennis Skoworodko.

We first watched this film in Jan 2014, and have watched it a few times since then.  

Food Beware - The French Organic Revolution  

(French with English subtitles, 2008)  

Available at the Saskatoon Public Library, iTunes, and the movie’s own web site (http://firstrunfeatures.com/foodbewaredvd.html).    

 

Synopsis

For the first time ever, our children are growing up less healthy than we are. As the rate of cancer, infertility and other illnesses linked to environmental factors climbs ever upward each year, we must ask ourselves: why is this happening?

Food Beware begins with a visit to a small village in France, where the town's mayor has decided to make the school lunch menu organic and locally grown. It then talks to a wide variety of people with differing perspectives to find common ground - children, parents, teachers, health care workers, farmers, elected officials, scientists, researchers and the victims of illnesses themselves. Revealed in these moving and often surprising conversations are the abuses of the food industry, the competing interests of agrobusiness and public health, the challenges and rewards of safe food production, and the practical solutions that we can all take part in. Food Beware is food for thought - and a blueprint for a growing revolution.

Featuring original music by Oscar-winner Gabriel Yared.

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Berlin Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Montreal Festival of New Cinema

http://firstrunfeatures.com/foodbewaredvd.html 

 

Posted 3/26/2017 9:55am by Dennis Skoworodko.

 

 

Our eggplant seedlings had 100% germination this year which makes me very happy! Eggplants are the heat loving cousins to peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos and potatoes. They dislike cold even more than peppers and tomatoes, so the kind of summer weather we get makes a different to how well eggplants grow. Last summer we had high temperatures, especially June and July, and the eggplants did very nicely. We are hoping for good weather again this summer. We start the seedlings very early (2nd week of March) and plant them out quite late (early June). So we will be babying these plants for a long time. Once planted out we really do hope for lovely weather! The biggest pest we have found in our eggplant patch is the Colorado potato beetle. Eggplant seems to be their second choice of food- they still prefer potatoes. So we regularly inspect the plants and remove any intruders.

The variety we are growing has a beautiful dark purple color on the exterior but has a lovely mild flavor.  

 

Regards, Our Farm Team

Tags: Eggplant
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 3/5/2017 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

The Story of Your Food: ParsnipsMarch 23rd, 2018

In defense of the lowly Parsnip. This wonderful vegetable has been relegated to the sidelines and it seems that only your grandparents still eat parsnips. However, I say, we are missing out! This bea

The Story of Your Food: LettuceMarch 16th, 2018

A beautiful crispy and sweet lettuce crunch is so refreshing! Lettuce is one of the most perishable crops. When you are able to buy local, you realize how wonderful lettuce can be. Lettuce, when it h

CSA sign up for 2018 is Now Open!March 13th, 2018

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

Organic Vegetables

Certified Organic by Pro-Cert

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