We have a number of things to remind you about, and the first one is that this weekend we are holding our Easter Weekend Open House on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please see our attached poster and pass the information along to family, friends and business associates. We’ll treat you to coffee, tea, juice and goodies and provide an opportunity to walk about the farm. More information attached, or see our website at:www.nanooseediblesfarm.com
The farm store will be open and staff available to answer your questions; sell you produce; sign you up for our eight week Veggie Box Program; or ask us about the FREE Workshop with Barbara on April 18 through Regional District’s Spring Gardening Workshop. Sign up though the RDN at 1-888-828-2069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please let us know if you are interested in a guided walk about the farm, as this can be arranged. Don’t forget your camera and good walking shoes! We do not necessarily want to receive your good walking shoes, but we would appreciate copies of any good pictures you take of the farm.
The past three months must have been the longest Spring on record! We started back in February renovating fruit crops. So far we have worked our way through Rhubarb, Marion Berries, Raspberries, three varieties of strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears and grapes. We were greatly blessed with all that great farming weather and staff have done a superb job. We are looking forward to an early crop of strawberries from their new location across from the sales building. Much of our berry crop is pick-your-own. We will have the sign-up book available at the Open House if you wish to put your name down for picked or U-pick organic berries. Also this year, U-pick peas and beans.
This is all part of the Region’s Eat Local – Buy Local campaign. Currently on Vancouver island, we are only producing three percent of the food we consume, so fresh locally grown produce is a great way to start to improve on the food you eat, along with supporting local farmers and the economy.
One good way to make sure that you are eating locally is to join our Community Supported Agriculture veggie box program, starting with the eight week Spring Session that begins the first week in May. Please see attached Box Program material or our Website www.nanooseediblesfarm.com
We have been blessed with good staff. Two new Apprentices: Sean and Eddie, are both doing very well- learning the business of organic farming. Caleb, our principal field person sadly is leaving us this spring. He and his wife and family are returning to their roots in Ontario, and he will be sorely missed. Liz our university student and greens expert is with us part-time and helps me out with her computer expertise. Shiralee Mulder, who you will likely know from the Parksville Museum Market, has done a great job for us over the winter months taking care of the shop, plus everything else, and keeping us supplied with jams, relishes and pickles. Happily we have been joined by Sonja who has been helping us harvest our wonderful greens. Also our last year’s students are drifting back and that is very nice to see.
I was in Vancouver last week and paid my usual call at Whole Foods in Park Royal. I was so impressed – truly that is marketing organic on a grand scale. The big surprise was all the B.C. grown certified organic over-wintered vegetables they now carry. All those acres of foreign-grown winter vegetables have disappeared and been replaced by splendid B.C. grown produce. We don’t have to listen to our supermarket attendants saying that these products are not available in the wintertime – it's not true! There are bountiful amounts of British Columbia winter produce available – we just have to take the trouble to ask for it and purchase it when it is there. No price difference.
You can also grow your own. We will have lots of available assorted vegetable transplants, as well as strawberry, raspberry and Rhubarb transplants. They don’t take up much space and they are there for you with a small amount of care for years to come. Not too late to plant.
We are feeling very bereft of farm animals. We have lost our farm cats and dog and it is kind of sad not having them about. Especially as the dog liked to chase geese off the pond. We can provide lots of care and exercise for a farm dog. The dog would need to be friendly toward adults and children as well as chickens, as we have them pastured in the orchard.
This year is all about seeds and growing nutritionally dense food. The gardeners and organic farmers of this world have taken up the challenge of providing healthy food for all those folk who do not wish to consume GE foods. We will grow our own open pollinated seed suitable for the regions where we live. And we are going to grow nutritionally dense food that has been scientifically tested to assure us that it has the highest nutrient content. There are literally hundreds of research papers to provide us with the answers for what we should grow, and it is our job to decide which of them suits us best and is well-suited to our climate and culinary needs. Besides the information is all there is one easy-read book which I purchased at Mulberry Books in Parksville. EATING ON THE WILD SIDE by Jo Robinson. (Remember – Buy Local) It’s a great lesson in food history and an entertaining read. We are using the information this growing season to select nutrient dense food for you and your family. Because of our organic status and interest in healthy eating we needn’t make many changes, but there certainly are some surprises.
The farm provides casual labour for students and adults who wish to work part time on farm tasks or picking. Children under sixteen need written parental consent and we like to receive a brief resume from applicants describing the kinds of work they are able to do and days and hours they could be available. One of our families who shop at the farm is planning to work for us as pickers to pay off the costs of our Veggie Box Program. Now there’s an idea! Please address applications to Barbara and Lorne Ebell.
We just came back from Tofino after seeing Lynn Crawford from the show Pitchin In on the Food Network. We had a fabulous 5 course dinner with matching wine all from Vancouver Island. Many thanks to Lisa atSoBos, Lynn for a charming evening and Long Beach Resort for a delicious bed.
Are you wanting to plant nectar and pollen producing plants for our region? Have a look here at some of the plants to help our bee friends