Monday, July 1, 2013

Farm update followed by CSA Week #2 Newsletter (2013)

Happy Canada Day members!
We hope you are enjoying the long weekend.
The Westboro & Brewer markets were great this weekend, thanks to the sunshine!
Jonny & his mom at Brewer market in Ottawa
It was quiet on the farm yesterday – Joséphine and I puttered around while Ayla napped.  Jo is back for her second year of interning and is as hard a worker as ever.
She now has 4 chickens to look after and they provide her with 4 eggs everyday.
The rain is a bit excessive for us but we’re still getting some beautiful vegetables out of the field. 
Broccoli, cabbage and zucchinis almost ready to harvest!

Our clay loam soil retains the water very well, making it hard for us to do any tractor work.  Not only do we risk getting stuck but we also cause soil compaction by working in the mud.
You can see the water pooled on the ground, not draining very quickly.
 Clay loam soil
Our latest planting of lettuce seedlings (not quite as straight as the other rows!)
The weeds are enjoying the rain!  Since we are dedicated to organic practices, we will get out there and hand-weed instead of spraying chemicals, which would be faster, less labour-intensive and ensure a more abundant crop but hey, we don’t want to eat those chemicals OR put them in our soil!  Yuck.
 Here are weeds encroaching on the onions; despite our use of straw and black plastic mulch to suppress them, Mother Nature insists that these weeds survive!
The ‘lacy’ effect you see in these turnip leaves (and any vegetable leaf in the mustard family) is caused by hungry flea beetles.
Amongst the weeds: carrots
Brussels sprouts
Our potatoes are surrounded by grass (which needs to be yanked out) but are still growing well.  I checked both sides of the plants and could find no Colorado Potato Beetles, although the interns have gone through a few times already to pick them off.  Last year, we had a pretty bad infestation and our organic inspector suggested we use a bacteria on the Permitted Substances List (which is a part of the Canadian Organic Standards) to eliminate those pests but we decided not to incur the expense and still had lots of delicious potatoes in the fall.  We use crop rotation as a method of pest control; by moving crops to different parts of the field, the bugs have to search for their favourite food, giving the crop a head-start.  By the time the bugs locate their food, the crop is strong enough to handle the attack – most of the time.
The potato field (the dark rows are potatoes, the light green is grass.)
As a side note, there are no chemicals on the Permitted Substances List.  These pesticides are usually bacteria harnessed from the soil which are used in larger amounts to kill a specific pest, not the entire ecosystem, like chemicals pesticides and herbicides will do.  There are many misconceptions about organic procedures so I'd like to confirm that we don't use any chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers!!!
We’re almost finished harvesting the garlic scapes.  Here is one still on the plant.
By harvesting the scape (which is actually the plant’s flower) we direct the plant’s energy into the bulb instead of its reproductive system.  We’ll have gorgeous garlic come late-August.  We still have lots growing in the greenhouse for our succession planting, plus some flowers to pretty-up the place!
Red cabbage & Chard (behind) 

Sunflowers & Calendula
And finally, we’d like to welcome Kim to our team.  She joined us this week and has done a great job so far!  We’re so happy to have both of our stellar interns.  We would love to find one more person to complete our team so if you know of anyone looking for an amazing experience, let them know about us!

Luxy CSA Newsletter: Week 2
Hello members and welcome to your first week, Schedule B!  You can expect the following veggies on Tuesday/Wednesday (don’t forget to bring bags or boxes to your pickup):
  • Lettuce - either iceburg or red Boston
  • Baby lettuce mix
  • Broccoli
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi - green & purple
  • Garlic scapes
  • Kale 
You will receive a different type of lettuce almost every week.  Find some new salad dressing recipes to add to your repertoire.  Broccoli salad is quick and easy - try my recipe!  Steam your broccoli, sauté it with other vegetables or eat it raw; it's delicious and nutritious!  Coleslaw is another great salad for a picnic on a hot day.  Include your Napa cabbage as well as the kohlrabi.  This is your second week receiving kohlrabi, garlic scapes & kale.  See our week 1 & week 2 recipes for ideas or google it!  There are many options for all palates.  There are also a few relevant recipes from week 3 & week 4 of last year!

Enjoy your veggies this week and hope for warm dry weather so those tomato and bean plants get growing!

Team Luxy

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