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New Terra Farm News -- Factoids of Interest to the organic foodie
July 24, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Written & Published by Scott Kelland
Written at New Terra Farm
13510 County Rd 15
New Terra Farm News is sent only to those who have requested it. We value your privacy and never share our mailing list with anyone. To Cancel or Change your subscription, use the links at the bottom of this e-mail.
Anyway, here's whassup in this issue:
1. Opening Notes
Lots of these products are from local and Canadian sources, and are made in the most natural way. I've checked out each of the manufacturers and am satisfied they deliver a quality, eco-friendly product. You can get everything from grains and cereals, to dried foods and canned foods, to personal care products and natural cleansers delivered right to your door
If you didn't receive a catalog, or have misplaced it, contact me and I'll get another one to you. You can also call me at 613 269-3884.
1. Opening NotesIt is now official; this is the COLDEST JULY ON RECORD! Welcome to the new world of weather in Ontario, where spring continues until fall! It seems like our growing season is sliding to the right; we have a wet cool summer and then an extended fall.
I know the delivery boxes have been a little monotonous; we are eagerly awaiting some variety ourselves. We have big beautiful tomato, squash, pepper and cucumber plants, with not a ripe fruit on them. I think the eggplants are a write-off, single-digit temperatures at night (in July!?!) have prevented them setting fruit. We need about a week or so of uninterrupted sunshine to get things back on track.
In the meantime, we have increased our plantings of fall veggies; if the long-range forecast of hot, dry weather is true, we may harvest a bounty late in the season. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!
On with the garden update!
p.s. if you haven't made other arrangements, please submit your final CSA installment this month. You can mail us a cheque (address is on the website, bottom of every page) or leave it with the delivery driver, or use the credit card payment link on our farm web page below.
The lettuces and mesclun have been reliable producers so far (too much so in some cases). The mesclun will be coming to an end for a while; we will do more of a different variety in the fall. The cabbages are looking good, but the broccoli was only so-so; it never achieved a good size before starting to go to flower, and stayed yellowish. This is a function of too much cloud/rain and not enough sun. There are still a few broccoli coming that looks better, and we have started a LOT more for the fall.
The peas are kind of straggly, they were hammered pretty good by the heavy rains. We are starting another planting of those as well. The carrots also got flattened a bit by the rain, but most should still produce and we have back-up beds coming along. You should see carrots in your delivery bags shortly, if you haven't already got them. The early beets are in the same shape, not responding well to the heavy rains; later plantings look better and we are planting more batches for the fall.
As mentioned, the squash, cuke, tomato and pepper plants look healthy (we have a lot of little tomatoes on the vine) but we need a week or two of good sun to really get them growing. We guesstimate the warm weather crops are 2-3 weeks behind the norm (if there is such a thing). You may have noticed, if you have flowers at home, that they are either not flowering or are flowering later than usual.
The onions and leeks look a LOT better than last year; we planted them on higher ground and they are shaping up well. The only real disappointment has been the herbs; they thrive in hot, sunny weather, pretty much the opposite of what we are getting so far.
Still lots of season left, and we are planning a blockbuster fall bounty of goodies. Keep your fingers crossed for a little sunshine.
2. Market Gardener Minute - Never Stop LearningYou might think, because I wrote a book and all, (couldn't resist plugging Bootstrap Market Gardening) that I have 'all the answers' about market gardening. Rest assured, if I ever start believing that, the reality of day to day gardening (also, Suzie) will remind me that I still have a lot to learn.
I am continuously reading, researching and hunting for better ways to manage my garden and deliver value. Some of the places I hunt for information include:
Other farms' websites: I regularly Google 'organic farm' and look at what 'turnip' (pun). Many farmers give you a lot of information about how they operate on their web-sites. Its also fun to see what and how other folks grow.
Gardening and market gardening forums and list-servs. Here's a good place to find answers to questions (and to find out that other people have the same questions you do). Check out this link for a sampling. Market Farming
Great gardening books (besides mine, of course). Go to this link to see a few you should own. Book Reviews
Visit other farms. You REALLY should make time to visit other organic farms and market gardens. Most organic gardeners in my experience are happy to share their knowledge with you. Be courteous and arrange the visit at a time when they can talk to you i.e. probably not on Market Day.
I have visited farms up to 2 hours away; those trips take a whole day. Believe me when I tell you that getting just one good idea or learning one new way of doing something will make the trip worthwhile (p.s. I GUARANTEE there will be more than one good idea if you keep your eyes and mind open).
Learn the business, too. Remember to keep learning about the 'marketing' part of market gardening as well as the gardening. For example, another good reason to check out farm web-sites is to see how they are put together. A lot of stuff on my site was inspired by others I have seen.
I also found a good company to help me build the site. By 'good' I mean they provide more than just a web-hosting service. They actually taught me step by step how to build a web-site that 'gets the clicks', as well as providing quite a few meg of information about marketing goods and services via the web.
For more on this check out How we Grew a Web-Site
3. Book Review - Cholestrol-Free CookingI was recently diagnosed with a slightly elevated cholesterol level, probably due to a genetic tendency. But the doctor also suggested I should get back to a healthier weight (it's the old joke, 'I'm in shape, ROUND is a shape'). I'm my own best customer here at the farm, and fortunately or unfortunately I love to cook, so . . . got about 30 lbs to disappear.
After my lovely chat with the doctor I went looking for some more information about cholesterol and diet; here's one of the books I found.
Heart Healthy Foods and Recipes is an e-book full of information about managing cholesterol through appropriate food choices. It provided me a lot of information about the condition itself, backed up by the research sources. Note: previously I had 'surfed' a few sites and found some of this information, but this book put it all together in an easy to follow way.
Naturally the book also has lots of recipes; they tend to be quite flavorful, spicy dishes, a lot of which are based in Indian cuisine (suggested spice list is included, many of which you will find in your catalog from New Terra Natural Food.)
Soups, salads and healthy dressings, vegetarian dishes, smoothies, pickles and chutneys; they are all healthy and hearty dishes.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol, or just want some good meal ideas, check out Heart Healthy Foods and Recipes
4. Farm Fun - New low-ku
I've umm, produced another low-ku, consume at own risk.
lettuce all be green,
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