SEED PRODUCTION AND CLEANING is all done for the year. In two weeks time, Feb 4, we head off to Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach to celebrate the harvest, sell our surplus seeds and plants and to promote farm activities planned for the farm for the 2017 season. .
Currently, we are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. We have greens, carrots, leeks, radishes, collards, hazelnuts, dry beans, fava beans and much more!
We have Albion New York raspberry canes for sale at this time 5 canes for $20 and Cascade delight strawberry plants in bundles. They are amazing fruiting plants.
Vancouver Island University bee club is putting on 3 seminars at VIU.
Pollinators are an important part of our farm and food. Even if you aren't interested in keeping bees it is good to be informed on how each of us can help out.
We will be putting together our own pollinator working group at the farm - stay turned for more information!
WHISTLER PRESENTATION, Back from doing a presentation called “ Planning and Building your Sustainable Garden” at Nourish at Whistler's Cornucopia in November.
The presentation was well attended and there are a great group of knowledgeable people asking questions. Barbara did this presentation in Tofino as well.
One of the main topics we enforce at the farm and in presentations is to plan and grow foods you want to eat; AND grow nutrient dense food. After reading Jo Robinson's book 'Eating on the Wild Side' we have made significant changes to our current varieties of fruit and vegetables to those with higher levels of nutrition including beans, onions, beets, corn, carrots and potatoes.
From this presentation we have started to create a resource of a farming database, food ideas, seed catalogs and much more. Check it out on ourwebsite - under resources
Many changes are happening on the farm to make the farm friendlier for our family U-pick days, planned for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the 2017 production season. This is an attempt to make the farm friendlier for families with young children to have the experience of seeing and picking fruits and vegetables for themselves and their families. Farmers are always in need of young folk who can take on for farm chores and be helpful on the farm at whatever level is suitable for their age. Sign up at the farm to be put on the list for the summer time to help out at the farm.
CROP RENOVATION. Back to working on renovations to the berry crops gardens. Replacing or replanting: – strawberries, raspberries, marion berries, thornless black berries, blue berries. All these plants are relatively trouble free, but at least once a year we truly need to pay attention and see that they are pruned, tidied up and in tip-top shape for the coming season. This is a great time of the year for these tasks as cropping slows down as we move toward the Winter Solstice.
We have raspberry canes for sale at this time 5 canes for $20
Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am-5pm we will be cleaning garlic and talking about how to plant it.
Come down for some tea and coffee and bring your family to learn how to plant your own garlic.
The garlic has been dried but it needs to be cleaned up. Learn about the method that Barbara uses to clean garlic and why she does it this way. The garlic heads are big and beautiful but they didn't start off this way. Learn about selecting garlic and different garlic types that grow well in our area.
We also need your help in planning for the next year as we want to have a larger area for Family U-pick. What would your family eat in a large quantity or what can you create to store up for the winter next year?
FOR YOUR HOME CREATIONS -- READY FOR THE OVEN -- FOCACCIA/PIZZA ROUNDS
Beginning Thursday, the 8th of September the farm will begin carrying Focaccia/Pizza rounds, ready for the oven from BODHI'S BAKERY, with organic flour purchased from Vancouver Island Grain and Milling. We have wanted to do this for ages, and with the help of Bill and his staff at Bodhi’s Bakery we are ready for the launch. This is truly the time to start. We have an abundance of fresh fall produce and local add-ons. It’s a great way to support local vendors and create a unique culinary offering. Help us collect a selection of the best local recipes to pass along to our customers.
OUR NUTRITIOUS FALL VEGGIE BOX PROGRAM begins Friday September 9th. Pick-up is at the farm from 2:30pm-5pm. You are welcome to come early and take a walk about the farm. Proceeds from this Fall Veggie Box will pay for staff salaries into the fall and winter to enable us to complete all manner of season chores.
You will receive fresh produce directly from our fields; products from fellow farmers in the area; and produce which we have dried or frozen for late season eating. Contact us at email@example.com if you would like to sign up or check out our website NanooseEdiblesFarm.com
Now is the time to stock up on GARLIC for the winter months. We will have our garlic packed for gift giving, and in various sized lots for fall planting. It is now time to prepare your planting location and have your garlic purchased and ready to go into the ground. Planting date Thanksgiving Weekend, depending on the weather conditions.
We are blessed with some short and long-term volunteers – some who may have gone for good and others planning to return as time becomes available. We were recently blessed with a visit from Lorne’s nephew Don from Eugene Oregon. He is the nicest and handiest guy you can imagine. It was great having him with us and we are happy to report that he intends to return. Don helped us with the farm and built a new drain board for the farm store.
MARKETING HAS BEEN DIFFICULT this year, possibility because of the numbers of new farmers entering the market, not enough people buying local and little improvement in the development of secure markets for certified organic produce. Coupled with difficulties in finding staff with good farm experience, and the farm having not enough income to pay them what they deserve and need to live in this area. It is a demanding job and deserves a high rate of pay and greater appreciation by the community in general.
We have enjoyed our teenage staff – Holden, Spencer and Cam, all working full-time for us this summer. With so many tasks automated these days, we find ourselves constantly passing along skills that might be missed in modern everyday life. Farms are good for skills testing, as the have heaps of challenging tools to try out on the job.
STRAWBERRIES have been splendid. We all agree that growing fruit of every sort is a pleasure and something we should consider concentrating on in the future. The taste of our strawberries gives folks a lot a pleasure, and the farm has sufficient berries for freezing for the winter. Berry production is an acquired knowledge and we are constantly discovering new methods of production and varieties to try. It ties in well with the farm’s U-pick weekends which have worked well for us this summer. It is lovely to have children, families and friends stop by to visit the farm and enjoy stocking up on winter fruits and veg. Currently we are picking table grapes, delicious Canadice, a small seedless pink grape for snacking on or tossing into a nice salad.
Some interesting crops have produced well this year. We have grown Artichokes for the first time in ages. It is interesting to grow and is popular with our restaurant folk. We also have replanted asparagus, plus more varieties of specialty fruits. Artichokes for example turn out to be seriously beneficial to your liver and is a bile booster. Seems crazy, but there you are. The Romans knew this and grew them in abundance.
I’m off to Victoria later this month to do a local sustainable gardens workshop at Marla’s HOLD GENERAL shop on Craigflower Rd in Victoria. More information following shortly. Also I've been invited to present on Food Sustainability From Your Home Garden in November in Whistler at Nourish Cornucopia.
This is an exceedingly important topic for me and I wish everyone to take it seriously and use our natural and technical resources to teach ourselves about food sustainability, for ourselves and our community. Check out our bi-monthly produce list guide.
BUSINESS HOURS AT THE FARM WILL remain the same for the time being, Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm. Likely we will not change until Thanksgiving Weekend. We are continuing our u-pick hours from noon until 4 Fridays, and from 10-1 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Thanks everyone for coming out and supporting the farm and for your help in attracting new customers for our Certified Organic produce. We so much enjoy having you and your families visit the farm. It’s all part of being a community, creating food sustainability, and celebrating locally produced healthy food. Please pass along to us any ideas you have for making your time more enjoyable.
Canada Day turned out to be a lovely day – we even had a guest drone turn up to observe the festivities and check out the menu. All that was missing was a Canadian flag trailing out behind it. Thank you Peter.
FALL VEGGIE BOX
In just over one month we will begin our Fall Veggie Box Program: Friday, September 9th. Your will find all the sign-up information on our website NanooseEdiblesFarm.com The farm has an abundance of produce in the fields. You may wish to consider sharing a box with a neighbour or a friend. This veggie box is picked up at the farm on a weekly basis, or arrangements can be made for deliveries. If you wish to talk to us about the Fall Veggie Box Program, please contact Barbara at the farm or call 250-468-2332, or review the information on our website.
We realize that it may be a large amount of money to put out at one time, and the farm is agreeable to breaking the total amount into three post-dated cheques. If you have a suitable vehicle you may wish to consider doing box deliveries for our box customers, thereby covering the cost of your personal veggie box. This has worked well in the past.
This is the month when many of our employees leave us to pursue their careers elsewhere. We hope their time with us has been fruitful and that they have learned many new skills and grown fond of the idea of farming and gardening. We thank them for their contribution to the well-being of the farm.
LIVE-IN FARM ASSISTANCE
Because we need more permanent support staff, in the near future we are wishing to hire an experienced live-in farm couple to share farm activities and responsibilities, including a 200 bird poultry operation. Please contact the farm for further information firstname.lastname@example.org The farm is offering independent living space. This additional staff would allow us to continue to improve and enrich farm production on the farm. Lorne and I have for some time been considering our vision for the future of the farm and could see it becoming a regional agricultural training facility offering courses and demonstrations in all manner of food production for young and old. We all about food sustainability and see that as the underlying theme for a farm training facility.
The farm is encouraging anyone who wishes to do a horticulture apprenticeship to come and join us. Hours are somewhat flexible but mostly we will follow the guidelines from the apprenticeship manual and introduce the candidate to all aspects of certified organic farming, including bees and poultry. These positions should begin in the near future so that candidates have the opportunity to learn care of crops for the fall, winter and spring, including orchard and berry plants. Our first undertaking will be the seeding and development of our fall greens crop as both indoor and field crop. Please check out our website NanooseEdiblesFarm.com for more information
The BC Farm Writers' Association stopped by and had a nice visit at the farm. A wonderful group of people that had a nice tour.
Except for early in the season, pollen and nectar seems to have been in short supply. In the hot season it seems the flowers were short of nectar and not supplying their needs. We have some early honey from the farm but much less than we had expected. We had one hive go visiting and collect and serious load of veroa mites. Otherwise they have been healthy and for that we are grateful.
Mobile poultry flock has lost quite a few of their numbers to hawks and eagles, and owls earlier in the season. The birds are fairly small and light and the larger birds can fly in and carry them off in spite of our best effort. They are in mobiles and that makes it much more difficult to provide good security. They remain a very popular item in spite of the high cost of feed.
Beginning next week we will have vegetable transplants available at the farm market. These can be purchased in smaller volume over time as they become available from our propagation area. Also have 2016 Yugoslavian Garlic to purchase for culinary use or for transplants. The farm has been maintaining this garlic crop for more than 25 years. We grow a number of berry crops and can supply you with transplants as we move later into the Fall. We have an order book at the farm market and can order plants you wish to add to your garden. Several varieties of strawberries, as well as raspberries – new and good variety, Marion Berries, Black Currants, Thornless Blackberries, grapes.
FREEZING AND CANNING SEASON IS UPON US
We have a great selection of vegetables, specialty products like Artichokes, new planting of asparagus, sunchokes, cabbage and more; and each year we are increasing varieties of fruits and berries to canning and freezing. Come and check us out. Right now we have a great picking of basil which you can hang and dry for later use. Most other herbs are ready for picking and drying as well. as well. Just coming is our planting of tomatoes and peppers in all colours, shapes and sizes. It all sounds like a good pickle and jam making day to me.
If you would like to sign up for the box program to support your local farm please download this form or visit our websiteNanooseEdiblesFarm.com . It has been a splendid year for crops and allows us to plan ahead for crops at the farm.
We will have u-pick for about another month to supply your self-sufficient household.
What a crazy start to the summer June has been! The team at the farm is busy keeping up with all of our suddenly succulent offerings that are ready for the picking!
We have Fava Fever here at Nanoose Edibles. The tasty broad beans are very versatile. They are a favourite among vegetarians because of their high protein content. At 26 percent protein, they even give Bessie and Babe a run for the money. You can use Favas in salads and stir fries, saute dishes as well as prepare them as humus. Favas store well dried, frozen, or canned; but they are a wonder to enjoy fresh while they are in season, which means right now! Because this is Fava Week in many place is North America, this weekend we are offering U-pick Favas at $1.00 per pound, pick your own, for volumes of 10 pounds or more. Farm price picked is $2.00 per pound. We produce four different varieties, as the plant breeders have made significant improvement in recent years. So do yourself a Fava!
Our usual hard-working and talented crew had some extra help this month with some generous volunteers. Susan and Daphne brought us their orchard expertise, smartened up the apple orchard and thinned the crop for us. Stephanie was in the area on her way working around BC, and stayed to assist with any task we could throw at her. We welcomed her timely visit, and hope she enjoyed her stay as much as we appreciated all of her efforts.
BEWARE OF DOG....IT MAKES HIM FEEL IMPORTANT.
Kathy's sidekick Shiny has been doing his best to pull his weight around the farm as well, and has appointed himself chief in charge of chasing any brazen deer intruders. Any four legged pea thieves that let themselves in the gate when it is open for customers best beware of our fearsome hero.
We hope that you will join us for Family U-Pick Weekends this summer. You are welcome to bring friends and family on Fridays from noon until 5PM, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 until 5PM and enjoy the experience of doing your own picking. There is a continuous supply of fresh produce for harvesting and we encourage you to take a walk about our beautiful property and enjoy the butterflies and birds. Take time to reconnect to nature and enjoy some fresh organic fare.
It's a rewarding way to spend quality time together. So bring your picnic lunch and a camera to capture your favourite moments!
On July 1st we celebrate Canada Day with our annual Farm to Fork potluck dinner for family, friends and folk in the neighbourhood. Come along and meet some old and new friends, have a walk about the farm and play a few crazy games.
Please bring your favourite Canadian dish and some portable chairs and join us - the more the merrier! If you want to come earlier and take a walk around the farm you are welcome to do so. Also plan to have a swim if it is a nice hot day. Dinner will be served about 5PM, leaving plenty of time to catch the fireworks in Nanaimo or Parksville.
Folk are inquiring about our certified organic produce box program. We will start-up again at the beginning of September and run through until close to December. That is such a rewarding time of the year to produce a veggie box: both for the farm and for the customer. We look forward to having you join us then. You are welcome to sign up at any time this summer. Stop by the farm and walk about the garden and speak with staff about what you would like to see in your veggie box. If you are a small household you may wish to sign up with a friend and take turn-about from week to week. This has worked well in the past.
Featured Restaurant – Local businesses have helped the farm increase their production as chefs try out different produce to pass along to their customers. Each of our customers has been hugely generous in supporting the farm. Bistro 694 in Qualicum Beach has been a buying from us for many years now. Their customers love the greens that are picked fresh each week. Make sure you check them out the next time you are in Qualicum Beach. Chef Eric and his staff at Tigh-Na-Mara have been our friends forever. We truly appreciate his support and friendship. Realm in Parksville has been buying more and more from us as their business takes off! These young chefs at Realm have focused their meals on local food and we couldn’t be happier.