Normally we host a potluck at the farm but with all the celebrations taking place around the region, we are off to check out the events! We wouldn't be hosting a potluck this year but you are most than welcome to come and walk around the farm. We are going to be hosting a farm to table event later in the year. Let us know if you wish to join us!
Family U-Pick Season
We were busy last week with the Family U-Pick season getting underway. Our first crop for the Family U-Pick crew was picking strawberries! We don't have berries in abundance yet and they cleared out quickly. We must wait a few weeks for the next bunch to ripen. The strawberries are ever-bearing and we will keep getting berries until Aug/Sept depending on the weather.
It was nice to hear the children’s cheerful voices and comments from parents and children on how much they had enjoyed the experience. For some children it was the first time they had visited a farm! Great to see the agriculture experience start at a young age. Raspberries and peas should be making a move soon! Keep checkingFacebook or our website for updates on the Family U-Pick Season which runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
We are excited to share with you that we have been accepted for a grant with Green Farm Stream Program. We are looking for an intern for a 4 month contract. Please check out our ad for all the details.
The greenhouse crops are happy with this warm weather. Cam is doing a great job maintaining the tomatoes, cucumber and basil crops in the greenhouse. We plant basil in between the rows of the tomatoes to maximize the growing space. Each tomato row has a different variety of Heritage tomatoes, from assorted cherries to beefsteaks. On the east side on the greenhouse I seeded an entire row of assorted salad cucumbers. All survived and we have picked our first cukes. A bed of pickling tomatoes has been seeded in Field 6 for the pickle makers amongst you. We will try to have enough dill and garlic to keep it company. The pickling cucumber are a U-pick crop, so you might want to have an able bodied picker along. The cukes had a tough time last year but these are looking fine.
Cams gift to the farm
Our young farm worker, Cam, has been taking the welding course at VIU while working at the farm. He completed his welding project by producing this portable fire place and gifted it to the farm. It is a lovely addition to the farm and we will cherish it. Thank you so much Cam.
Laying Hens Eggs have been in short supply at the farm since the mink got half our flock earlier this year. Some new chicks arrived this spring to take over the egg-laying responsibilities, but it is still going to take a couple more months before they are mature enough to lay eggs. We received them in the mail the first week of March, and it takes 20 weeks for the chicks to become mature enough to produce eggs. That will take us to the first week in October.
Lorne and I have given a lot of thought to the future of the farm and its’s role in the community. There are a number of diverse goals that come to mind: provide the community safe, highly quality nutritious food; encourage others to grown their own sustainable farms and gardens, and provide some guidance; encourage families to introduce their children to locally produced food and provide them with opportunities to visit the farm, learn about gardening and provide work experience. We are also rethinking our cropping plans and have made several changes to high value food crops that are possible to grow in this region: for example artichokes, asparagus, varieties of beets, high nutrition potatoes, and fava beans, edamame beans and other bean crops. We have also enlarged our berry crop acreage and added many new varieties of pears to our orchard. The aim is to develop a model for a sustainable organic farm that could become one of a number of local farms working together to provide our community with a secure supply of high quality nutritious food and a measure of economic well-being to the community.
We will be here for you all summer. We can always do with a helping hand and we really enjoy our visitors so please feel free to bring them around. We are intending to rent the Pond House. Please see our advert on line.
Thank you to all the box program members! It has been tough getting it started as we had so little produce available this Spring. Normally we plant a large variety of bi-annual crops which are harvested throughout the fall, winter and available in abundance in the Spring. Not this year. Most everything we had planted was winter-killed and we had to wait for the new Spring growth. Hard on the farm as crop required reseeding for spring production. We so missed all the cole crops -- kale, collards, sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage and the rest. We are moving right along now and strawberries should ready in a week. We have room for more members. You can join anytime. Please check our website. http://www.nanooseediblesfarm.com/csa-box.html to get the sign-up forms or visit us at the farm.
June 24 from 1:30-3:30pm at the farm is the next Roundtable and we will talk about ummer Solstice planting. What does the solstice do for you and your garden? The Solstice is the beginning and the end of your gardening year. Learn how to plant with the seasons and the with solstice!
Check out the Facebook event.
Bring a notebook and a drawing of your garden.
Come be apart of the conversation.
No registration required.
The Sustainable Roundtable is a farm initiative to build a community of gardeners to share their knowledge and learn from each other.
The peppers have made it into the pepper house and are loving the heat. They are heirloom peppers that will produce a range of different colors from red, orange and purple. Green peppers are unripe peppers and we like to eat as much nutrition as possible. It's all about heat with peppers. Keep them warm.
5 week old baby chicks have been moved to the poultry building. After an extraordinary amount concern for their well being, the chicks were finally moved. We just hadn’t had much practice, and didn’t remember how it all worked. You had to smile when it was all done as they just settled down in their new building as if they had lived there forever and wondered what all the fuss was about. We have a lot to learn.
Tomatoes and basil just go together. One cannot imagine it otherwise. I try to have lots of basil seeds on hand and sow it just like any other seed to have it available in abundance for mid-summer. It is so suited to summer. Easy to pick and easy to dry.
This is the first year we have seriously looked at U-pick as a way of marketing our produce. We really missed having families on the farm to visit and pick produce. We know it is going to be a long haul; and that it will take time before families remember why we are here and that they are welcome to come to the farm. Some young and enterprising members of the family may wish to pick for us while the family visits the farm. It is a great way for youngsters to get used to the farm and become associated with local farm families and to help out family member to make themselves a bit of pocket money.
To assist you with choosing what day you will come to pick, we will post available crops on Facebook each week.We are expecting to begin the strawberry pick very soon.
Natural Pastures Cheese Company
For more than 25 years we have been friends with Edgar and Mary-Ann Smith who own Natural Pastures Cheese Company. Located in Beaver Creek in Comox, we heartily recommend it for a walkabout when they have their Annual Open House. You will be amazed at their gorgeous farm. They have been making prize-winning cheeses for more than 25 years. If you haven’t tried them, you really should. They have many world prize winning cheeses to their credit. It can be purchased at our farm stand and in many supermarkets around the Island and elsewhere.
Red Can Gourmet
Red Can Gourmet can be found at Industrial Way in Tofino, just before you enter the town of Tofino – same street as the Tofino Brewery. im May is a splendid cook with a happy knack for cooking tasty and original food. We have been friends for endless years. He, Rodney Butters and I used to go to Feast of Fields in Victoria together more than 25 years ago. Great memories.
Check out some of the events that are happening at the farm and in the community. If you would like a hard copy of the events pick it up at our farm store.
June 24 Sustainable Roundtable - What can the solstice do
for you? 1:30-3:30pm at the farm June 24 & 25 Open House weekend at the farm 10am-5pm July 1 Canada Day - Open house at the farm
Do you want to pick for the farm in the summer?
We have planted more of berries this year and we will need people to pick for the farm. Come sign up and register at the farm store by putting your name and what days you are available. When we have berries to pick we will be going through the list of people to come in to pick for us. It is open for all ages (parent permission required). Please see our posted notices for summer workers and pickers.
This Saturday, come learn how to eat from your garden at the Sustainable Roundtable! It is from 1:30-3:30pm Saturday May 13, 2017. Stay for a walk around the farm after. By donation and no registration required.
My goal is for all of us are to maintain a sustainable small garden with choice Perennials, Bi-annuals, and Annual to feed ourselves and our family with all the delectable things we can think of. Please stop by at 1:30 on Saturday to plan your sustainable garden.
Bring your binder, lined paper, scissors, glue stick, seed catalog and a list of your best small garden ideas to share with gardening friends
We will also have Herbal bouquets for Mother's day!
Artichokes and Asparagus
Spring time is all about trying new fruit and vegetables for the garden. After learning that Artichokes and Asparagus were at the top of the list for nutrition, we produced several hundred plants of each for production this year and next. We may be eating artichokes later on this summer, but likely not asparagus for another year or two because the asparagus plant requires that you leave the foliage on the plant for two or more years as it requires is to produce photosynthesis. That answers from Lorne.
The greenhouse is slowly making a transition from a winter greenhouse to a tomato greenhouse. The greenhouse is unheated and allows the greens crop to produce until the weather outside warms up some. Half of the greenhouse is in tomatoes and soon it will be full of tomatoes and cucumbers.
We are planting, seeding, and making the beds to produce more local food. When the produce is ready, come down Friday afternoon and all day Saturday and Sunday to pick your own food. See the vegetables in the ground and pick food for yourself or your family. We had several customers last year come to pick a large quantity of beets, beans and berries. They canned and preserved them for the rest of the year. We have other customer who came and picked their groceries for the week. Kids are excited to pick their own food, be outside and eat what they have picked.
Check out our Facebook page on what is available, in season and our start date for the u-pick season!
Farm celery is quite strong flavor and a little goes along way. It is wonderful in soup stocks because of the flavor. When we talked to the Chef at Sobos in Tofino, they are pickling the celery to use in their Caesars! We will have to try it. Do you have a favorite recipe to use farm celery?
As well as vegetables, we are taking care of our bee population by developing a perennial flower garden for use by our farm customers guests can use as a demonstration garden for bees. Please, if you do have a very favourite perennial plant that you can spare we would love to add it to the mix, and we are certainly willing to share anything we have to keep bees well fed and cared for.
Two of our staff contingents have joined the Nanaimo Bee Club and help Lorne with our hives when required. Not nearly enough honey, but we are hoping for an increase in production when our new flower garden comes into production.
Chicks The chicks are a couple week old now! They are thriving and looking very happy. They are enjoying the chick balancing beam as they build up strength to roost.
Cold as it is we must plant those vegetable seeds. Besides all the usual vegetables, we are going a try out a selection of every Fava Bean variety we could get out hands on. All colours, shapes and sizes. We have a few serious and imaginative cooks about the farm, so I expect they will be bringing out some cooking bulletins as the season moves along. There are at least three specialized growers in Canada and we have seed samples from them all.
We are also growing Edamame Beans this year. We did it once ago, but not enough interest at the time. So, we shall see. Also nutritious, heritage purple potatoes to go into the ground when it dries out a bit. Don’t hold your breath. We have secret plans for discouraging the wireworm, with my homegrown recipe. We will soon see if we are successful or not.
Did you know that Occasions Fine Foods has been selling their salad dressings at the farm for over 20years!! They are so popular that we have customers from Vancouver that come over just to get the salad dressings.
Did you see on Facebook this week Huband Park Elementary school in Courteney showcasing their salad bar in their school with 50% of the food being local? Check it out here if you missed it. Do you have a salad bar program in your school? How is the program operated? Does it work with local farms? Share your story with us so we are able to share it with others! Email email@example.com
Green Soul Organics
When you go up to Tofino make sure to check out the health food store, Green Soul Organics. We supply them with weekly produce and eggs. They have been wonderful customers. Check out their Facebook page by clicking here
Check out some of the events that are happening at the farm and in the community. If you would like a hard copy of the events pick it up at our farm store.
Do you want to pick for the farm in the summer?
We have planted a lot of berries this year and we will need people to pick for the farm to see to our customers. Come down to the farm store, at the cash register there is a book to sign up and put your name and what days you are available. When we have berries to pick we will be going through the list of people to come in to pick for us. It is open for all ages (parent permission required).
Easter Weekend Open House Friday, Saturday and Sunday- special guest Rose McCulley from J&R Farm on the Saturday 1:30pm-3:30pm
We are excited to host another OPEN HOUSE Saturday, Sunday and Monday April 15-17, 2017 from 10am-4pm Bring your family and friends for a walk about the farm.
Come and check out the new Chilton garden - named after Barbara sister and brother. It is a trial garden that has 20 different varieties of pears. There is lots to see and do such as the fava beans that were planted in November 2016 have come up!
Check out ourFacebook event for more information
Community Supported Agriculture Box Program
We had hoped that the weather would have picked up by now. Since our winter was especially cold compared to previous years the plants aren’t growing as fast as we anticipated. The crops are in the ground and we watch them grow as the weather improves. We will be in contact by newsletter, Facebook and on our website when there is enough produce for the first box. I expect that will be in a month or so.
It's not to late to join the box program!
To join, please check outthe website and email us the application or come to the farm and drop it off with a cheque.
We will be hosting our SECOND ROUNDTABLE with special guest Rose McCulley from J & R Farm. Her specialty is mason bees and she is going to be bringing her supplies if you wish to purchase your own. Price listhere. Bring your mason bee questions and ask about her pollinators program.
We will also have pollinator transplants for sale at the farm and walk around to see our pollinator garden.
Bring your questions and knowledge to the table and be apart of the conversation.
Event is by donation. No registration required.
The Sustainable Roundtable is a farm initiative to build up a community of members to share their knowledge and learn from each other Check out theFacebook event.
SAVE THE DATE- Saturday April 15 from 1:30-3:30pm.
We are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm
If you are in need of bulk Seasoil please email us firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time for pick up.
Our first Pollinator Roundtable was a success!
A good number of people came out and shared their knowledge about pollinators. The sun was out and were able to look at the hives that were buzzing with honey bees. We got our hands dirty planting a bee garden near the hives and filled it with bee friendly plants. Thank you to everyone whom came out to the Roundtable to share their knowledge.
We want to hear from you on what you would want to learn or share your knowledge to become food secure through email email@example.com
Our reluctant Spring has been the talk of the town, but I do believe Spring is on its way. The nights are still cold and the days when we have wind and a downpour make it impossible to transplant the crop outside as early as we have done in the past. Our propagation house is still crowded with transplants. I believe we have some time to wait yet. However, the garlic is happy and the Fava Bean trials doing just fine.
The start of the Veggie Box Program will be delayed, but we do not know yet for how long. We will be in touch with people who have registered to give them an estimated start date; certainly sometime in April.
The open house hosted by the Brant Wildlife Festival on March 18 had a flurry of people come to the farm. The sun came out and we had lot of people walking around, checking out the greenhouse, buying Seasoil and transplants. Our staff enjoyed showing off the fruits of their labour.
We have about 500 artichoke plants coming along nicely in the greenhouse which I planted this winter. I really feared for them as it was very cold for so long, but on the first warm, bright day they popped through. Some of our old plants may have survived as well, but I am not counting on it. It may be one of those plants, like kiwi, that have been around the world for so long that it will tolerate almost any kind of weather. We shall see. Remember to order seed for the variety that the leaves tightly cover the top of the choke; otherwise you will be producing earwig apartments which won’t be too thrilling for your customers. They are short-lived perennials so you will want to replace them from time to time.
Eating on the Wild Side.
Anyone who wishes to be well-informed about what they are eating needs to read Joe Robinson’s “Eating on the Wild Side”. Take notes and adjust your buying and eating habits accordingly. For the past two or more years I have been encouraging everyone to buy local and plant a sustainable gardens. It will take some effort and study, but we can help you if you wish to attend our Round Tables on Sustainable Gardens and take advantage of the list of subjects you wish to discuss. You are also welcome to volunteer on the farm to learn more about local food production. See more information on our website NanooseEdiblesFarm.com It will take about three years before you can count yourself ‘sustainable’ but it will completely change the way you think about food. And it will add more than $5 billion dollars to the local agricultural economy when we stop buying truck food from the world food corporations and take responsibility for our own food needs.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday Family U-pick
Preparation is moving ahead for the weekly Family U-pick which to begin sometime after the beginning of May. We will have all manner of fruits and vegetables available for U-pick. We are so looking forward to seeing you, your family and friends out enjoying the farm and picking your own vegetables and fruit. We tried it out at the end of the season last year. People had such a good time. We are planning in a big way for this season. You can pick for yourself, or you can have someone pick for you – it all depends on how agile you are. You can also let us know that you are needing a volume of berries for instance, and we will have farm pickers available to pick for you.
Our customers have spoken and we are back with the box program for another year! We are pleased to be serving the community and we are excited about another year of growing, harvesting and eating nutritious organic food. The farm has always been a place that conversations start and we have been brainstorming.
Pick up your poster to put up to share the lovehere
Sign up for the box programhere
We will have forms at the farm store as well as Seedy Saturday Feb 4th at Qualicum Beach, and Seedy Sunday in Nanaimo, March 5th.
Throughout the past year or two the farm has puzzled over our role in the community and for ourselves. So much of what we are asked to do is information and teaching related, and that has led us to read more, study more, and undertake speaking engagements that are information related.
You will see from the Farm Events List at the bottom of the Newsletter that we have gravitated toward providing opportunities for more community participation in one way or another. As well, we have either enhanced our knowledge or chosen to educate ourselves about ten or more products that over the history of human food have been considered to be substantially beneficial to human health.
Pollinators are becoming a scarce commodity throughout North America, and considering that they are required to pollinate 60% of the food we eat, we need to know more about them and how we can help them to survive.
To start with the Bee Group from VIU is offering three educational classes in Spring and Nanoose Edibles will follow those up with the 'Pollinators on our Farms' discussion.
Our goal revolves around answering your questions. We will call it The Sustainable Garden and it will be all about understanding what it takes to create and maintain a garden that will support you and your family with healthy, nutritious food over the years. The Sustainable Garden Round Table will begin Saturday March 18th from 1:30pm-3:30pm at the farm. We will meet at the sales building on the 2nd Saturday of each month. The topics will be chosen by you. This event will be by donation. We will add more sessions if there is sufficient interest. Bring a permanent notebook and keep good notes.
If you want a local pollinator planting list click here for Barbara's list.
Another goal we have established is to bring the community to the farm for all manner of reasons. Getting children out to see where their food comes from; giving them an opportunity to pick their own food, visit the poultry, go for a walk and do a bird count, find out about honey bees and pollinators in general and perhaps plant some pollinator friendly seeds or plants or get themselves a berry picking job. To that end, when the crops are in abundance we have adopted Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday as Family U-pick Days. Everyone is welcome.