Monday, 11 June 2012

Rowantree Farms' Newsletter - Notes from the Farm

Notes from the farm...

Wow – so much going on at the farm right now! I haven’t had time to write the newsletter before now, so there are lots of updates...

Garden Report
We were so glad to get the rain last week – now everything in the garden is looking good! We have had quite a bit of bug damage on certain crops (mizuna, mibuna, bok choy) but generally the garden looks lush and productive. So much so that we were able to get our first CSA veggie boxes delivered last week – that’s 4 weeks earlier than promised! Our first box contained Bon Vivant salad mix, Grand Rapids lettuce, Green Banner bunching onions, Easter Egg radishes, Mizuna/Mibuna mix, spinach and mint.

While many crops are doing great, we did have a large set-back with our tomatoes and winter squash. Two weeks ago we got hit with an unexpected hard frost and lost over 100 tomato plants and many winter squash plants. Fortunately we had back up tomato seedlings in the greenhouse, but our tomato harvest is going to be delayed this year, when it should have been extra early! Arrrgh. The winter squash was a bit more of a challenge because we were fresh out of seeds to plant. Our friends Dave and Chantal at Dalew Farms came through and gave us 4 varieties of winter squash for a second planting. But again, our winter squash will be late, which may mean a very small harvest as these plants take a long time to grow.

Farm Helpers!
We have been very fortunate to have 2 farm helpers for the past 10 days. Leo and Loic are travelling from France and stayed with us on their way out to BC. They have been fabulous helpers and have allowed us to get lots done this past week – they even prepared a wonderful French meal for us and proved to be excellent cooks as well! They are hitting the road tomorrow morning to hitchhike and are hoping to make it to Thunder Bay by Wednesday night. They will be missed!

Bears, Bears, Everywhere!
This seems to be a big year for bears. Already I have seen 8 bears and 2 of those have been very close encounters. There is one bear who has been hanging around the house – first he got into our compost, but now he just seems to like it here – Aaron caught him sunning himself on our driveway and snapped some beautiful (yet slightly scary) pictures:

Chicks and Ducklings!
Last week we got 100 day-old laying chicks – so cute! These chicks will replace our current flock of laying chickens. What happens to the old laying hens? We will be getting them butchered in the fall to sell as delicious soup hens – let us know if you’d like to place an order!

We also were able to purchase some baby Khaki Campbell ducklings to start replacing our duck flock – thanks to Jeff the Friendly Worm Guy! We will be getting more this week as the rest of his eggs hatch.

Allison Muckle
Rowantree Farms

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