Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 begins!

Hello friends, members and organic agriculture enthusiasts!

The CSA is filling up quickly, since we've decided to reduce our number this year from 68 to 60 members.  I'm working on finding employees for the upcoming season and endless paperwork, while Jonny peruses the seed catalogues and keeps Ayla busy (when he's not milking cows for the neighbours).  I'll be sending flyers to the printer for Russell's annual Living Locally Fair, which happens on January 18th.  We love spending the day with other vendors, promoting our CSA and eating good food!  You'll find me chasing after Ayla between the various rooms, who now walks like a champ!  Come by and say hello!

http://www.russellgardeners.ca/livinglocallyfair/

We planted the garlic in November, later than usual because October was too wet.  Our tractor and rototiller are of no use in muddy conditions.  We had ordered straw to mulch the garlic, which keeps the ground warm enough for the roots to become established before the ground freezes, but we never received it, so the ground was bare.  One issue with being certified organic is that supplies are not always available.  Since there is no certified organic straw being sold in our area, we had to find a supplier who has not sprayed their crop within 60 days of harvest.  We were able to find someone but he never delivered.  Hopefully, the garlic survives because soon after it was planted, a nice layer of snow covered the beds, providing some insulation.  The other nice thing about straw mulch (or grass clippings or dead leaves for smaller gardens) is that it keeps the weeds down and warms the ground faster in the spring, giving the garlic a nice head start.  We're crossing our fingers for a good crop this year!

I'm looking forward to trying new crops this year, such as different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, possibly purple beans, parsnips, and buttercup squash, which we grew two years ago and were so delicious.  I know Jonny has some ideas too and I'm excited to see what he picks!  I'm even more excited about firing up the greenhouse March 1st.  Working in the warm greenhouse with emerging baby plants is my favourite job on the farm.  I love the act of bundling up in warm clothes to face the biting minus 20 degrees, walking through 3 feet of snow, then stripping down to a t-shirt in a tropical and sunny 25 degree shelter.  It's heaven!
Happy new year everyone!

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