Michael and I would like to Thank Everyone for their support in our first year at Strattons Farm. We feel very lucky to have met so many wonderful people over this last year who have provided support, help, encouragement, advice and laughter!
We are both very excited about what 2010 will bring to the farm and we look forward to providing you all with lovely Veggies, Meat and lots more laughter and adventures for the year to come. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Application for next years CSA (community supported agriculture) Veggie Boxes are ready.
We can either e-mail or post the applications to you so please get in contact with us at the farm if you are interested in enjoying fresh, tasty, locally and naturally grown vegetables for an 18 week season. You are sure to enjoy the delights of a Veggie Box.
Please remember shares are limited and this allows Michael and I to maintain a high quality of produce for you all.
What is a CSA or CSA Farm?: CSA farms receive a set fee from the consumer prior to the start of the growing season. In return you receive a share of the harvest on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, but you also share in the risks due to weather and other factors beyond the control of the farmer.
The Season: Will run over 18 weeks from the the week of 16th June and will finish the week of 10th October Thanksgiving week.
What can you expect in your basket over the season: Arugula, Bush Beans, Runner Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Chard, Chilies, Eggplant, Herbs, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Radish, Rhubarb, Salad Leaf, Summer Squash, Sweet Corn, Winter Squash, Turnip, Tomatoes, Tomatillos and lots more to look forward to.
Pick-Up Location: Boxes will be available only from the farm and pick up days are either Tuesdays or Thursdays between 11am-6pm
Share Size: We offer two types of shares. Whole Share weekly basket and a Half Share a bi-weekly basket. A whole share will feed a family of four for a week or two adults who love veggies and love to cook. The half share is the same size box of veggies but you only collect your box every two weeks. This means if you are on your own, or don't eat as many veggies as some this will keep you happy and contented over a two week period.
How Much will it cost?: A whole share is $450 for the season, A half share is $225 for the season. This works out at $25.00 per box.
Payment Options: With your application you will need to enclose a $25.00 non refundable deposit cheque. You can pay for the season in Full or in 5 cheques which will be deposited over the season. All payments whether in full or installments are due by the 28th May 2010. If you choose to pay in installments over the season there will be an additional admin charge to each installment.
How do you apply?: Either e-mail or call the farm, or drop by the farmers market this weekend to pick up an application form.
If you have any questions on the CSA scheme please do not hesitate to contact us, or read one of our earlier posts about the CSA.
On a bright Autumn day, with a break in the rain we have managed to plant our first crop for 2010!
After a last minute panic we did find two really nice Organic varieties of Garlic. We have planted about 300 cloves of Music and tomorrow we will be planting a very small batch of Heirloom Fish Lake that we managed to get from the Sisters of Providence in Kingston.
We have placed the garlic in a well manured bed near to the Greenhouse. We have added a 4" covering of Straw to keep the warmth in and help set the roots. Then we have to keep everything crossed for Spring.
With the season drawing to a close, and only two more weeks left for the Stirling Farmers Market we are already looking at 2010.
In the next week we will have 2010 CSA Brochures ready for you all. As ever there are a limited number of places. We are offering two different types of shares. A whole share weekly and a whole share bi-weekly. If you are interested in CSA Boxes for next year please do e-mail or call and make sure we have your contact details so we can get the applications to you.
We will be increasing our range of Heirloom Vegetables for next year and if I am left in charge of seed orders again you can trust to see some weird and wonderful Veggies in your boxes or at the farmers market.
Friends have already made suggestions of some additonal vegetables they would like to see, so if you have a favourite that we have not grown this year please do let us know and we will see what we can do.
Fall is truly on its way when you see the pumpkin patch start to die back. With this comes the joy of finding out what delights have been growing through the summer in the patch. So far we have spotted some lovely Butternut and Acorn Squash the Cinderella Pumpkins are turning the most fantastic blood orange, and we have a few Howden's in the field. Sadly the stink bugs did kill several of the plants! We also have varieties of ornamental gourds that have grown well.
We have started to harvest the cabbage this week and these will be stored in the cellar of the house. Potatoes will be next!
If you ever need any of the staple vegetables during fall & winter it is always worth calling to see what we have in the cellar.
We have managed to find the most amazing Organic Music & Fish Lake Garlic. Planting will start towards the end of September, once we have decide where to plant the 500 cloves!
We did have a bit of a shock very early on Saturday morning as we left the house to pick veggies for Market. Small areas across the garden and been hit by a Frost! We lost several rows of tomatoes, Eggplant, Okra, sweet and hot peppers.
We where happy to see it did not hit all the plants, not sure if this is due to the garden running over a slight hill? We will take any break we can get!
These are two of many little helpers in pest control on the farm.
We have had our fare share of pests this year. From hornworms, stink bugs to aphids but we also have a great team that helps fight the battle. Michael and I have become quite the pro's at spotting Hornworms and the Chickens get rather excited at the extra protein they are about to receive.
We are very lucky at having lots of toads on the farm and I have several in my greenhouse who have got rather large over the summer and today we where delighted to find a Praying Mantis in the field.
Today Michael placed the bee mazes on two of the hives. The mazes can only be left on for the next two days this gives the bees time to leave the honey super and doesn't give time for the wax moth to take residence.
We hope to start extracting on Friday, not sure how much honey we will have from the hives as we made the decision to leave a super on each hive to give the bees extra honey for their winter stores.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a system that connects you the consumer directly to fresh, locally grown organic food in your area. In a CSA, farmers grow food for a predetermined group of consumers who pay an annual fee to purchase their share of the harvest.
This allows you to claim back a connection to the production of your food. Knowing it is grown within your community rather than traveling thousands of kilometers.
CSA's are locally sustainable and are shared risk agriculture.
Sadly we cannot control Mother Nature, but we will use all our farming knowledge and experience to make sure that you will receive a wide variety of vegetables each week. However, the farmer knows that if all else fails the CSA member will agree to give their continued support.
If you would like to try a Vegetable basket this season, then please do not hesitate in contacting us, or if you are interested in the 2010 season then send an e-mail to us at the farm and we will place you on our mailing list.
Even with the Hornworms we are delighted to see a bumper crop of fruit ready for the picking.
Tomatoes are not just for summer. This is the best time to start your canning for winter stores of home grown tomatoes.
Top Tips for Freezing..
We recommend medium size fruit that are slightly firm and unmarked.
Rinse well, place into freezer bags and freeze.
When you are ready to use remove tomatoes and run under a warm tap to remove the skins.
Place five 1 litre jars in a canner, bring to the boil and set timer for five minutes then add lids and boil for another five minutes, then remove canner from heat. Remove jars from canner. In each jar place a teaspoon of salt and a clove of garlic.
Use plum or paste tomato varieties. Use a sharp knife and make a cross on the bottom of each tomato, place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over the top.
Leave for several minutes till you see the skins peeling away, remove skinned tomatoes from water and place into jar. You need to pack your jars tightly with fruit. Pour boiling water over the top leaving 1/4" headspace. Place lids on top, and return jars back to the canner. Bring the water back to the boil and keep it on a boil for another 10 minutes. Remove all jars from canner and let cool. As long as the lids pop your tomatoes will keep for up to a year.