Monday, October 25, 2010

A moment of pride?

OK. So I've tried for 3 years to grow broccoli. The first year all 1000 row feet bolted before they were big enough to harvest. Epic fail. Last year I scaled back & just did some small test crops. Some bolted again, but 1 of the fall test plots worked out great. Unfortunately, that only amounted to about 15 heads.

THIS year I decided to give it a full try again with a planned fall crop of broccoli for all CSA members (and a test of 50 cauliflower plants). The foliage came along beautifully, but I was nervous when, come October, there was still no sign of them heading up. Then this:

Because my biggest problem in the past has been bolting, I decided to err on the side of caution on the heat front & take the row cover off good & early. This, however, left the plants more susceptible to pest damage. Decided to just hope for a worm-free crop without the help of the physical barrier that row cover provides...

...AND the result??

OOOOEEEE!! I have rarely been such a proud mama!

As a bonus, we got almost 100% harvestability off the cauliflower test crop - might just try more of those next year....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fertile Ground in Foodlink newsletter

Fertile Ground is featured in Foodlink's October Newsletter. Thanks to Anna Contini for a great write-up.

Also featured - turnips! Funny, since they're one of my least favourite veggies... Although there's one recipe I do enjoy that I posted in the website recipe archives for Maple Sage Glazed Turnips. Maple syrup & fresh herbs can redeem just about anything!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A few snapshots of why I love CSA farming

We had 50lb of garlic left to crack before the CSA pick-up started last week.

And then it was done.

THIS is the type of thing that makes CSA pick-ups feel so good. It's not just about a bunch of people grocery shopping during limited hours. The pick-ups are such a great gathering place - neighbours' kids run around playing together, recipes are swapped, weekly updates are exchanged, AND people are willing to hang around & crack my garlic for me. Special thanks to Sarah Hemmingway & her girls for doing so much of it!

Here's a few more picks of the weekly pick-up vibe:

Pretty good place to spend an afternoon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It finally hit for real last night. We had a light frost a few weeks ago that settled in the lettuce bed but left everything else alone. Today though, I arrived to swaths of death in the frost tender areas. I mowed down the blackened zucchini, peppers, eggplants, tomatillos & ground cherries this afternoon. They've been producing so slowly in the cool fall weather that they were barely worth keeping around anyways, but it's so hard to mow down healthy (if slow) plants! Hoping the rain holds off long enough for the ground to dry so I can disc them in & get the last of the fall rye sown.