June 21, 2012 Farm Updates and Newsletter

Newsletter 19-3             Devon Acres  Organic  Vegetables                      June 21  2012

Hello:    We have had no significant rain, and significant means more than 1/2 inch or more, this past week. So, Monday and Tuesday meant a lot of watering and since this is being  written on Tuesday evening, then likely more watering will be done on Wednesday as the forecast for rain doesn’t look too promising. We have been busy, as usual, with a lot of weeding by hand, hoe and wheel hoe and a good lot of seeding and transplanting done as well. Aerron used the horses to disc up the last untilled part of the garden and used the horse cultivator to do seed bed preparation, and row cultivating on the sweet corn and potatoes. We also hitched the horses to the Cockshutt No. 1 transplanter which we used to mark a single deep groove for seeding more  sweet corn, decorative corn, popcorn and flour corn, and for some transplants. We have moved nearly all the trays full of transplants from the greenhouse to the holding area where the plants are kept before they go into the garden.  Our neighbour from whom we have been buying hay for many years  called us to say the hay was cut and baled and ready, 30 of the large round bales. We will go down to their field with our wagon and horses, use their tractor to load the bales on to the wagon and bring home 2 or 3 at a time. The wagon can take 4 bales but several factors; decrepit wagon, decrepit farmers, excessive heat, and aging horses are dictating that we take it a bit easier. With the large round bales there is not the hurry to get it to the barn like there is with loose or even small bale hay. There is an advantage to leaving the bales to cure up more in the field. We had three of our Shorthorn cows come into heat together so we had the AI technician come out to do his thing and he declared that the timing seemed perfect. So likely the  cows are caught and we will have calves on the ground in about 280 days; early next spring.

This week we should have more lettuce both heads and looseleafed mixed, spinach, garlic heads, kale, green onion, arugula, oregano, broad beans, snap peas and one last time, garlic scapes. Not sure yet of the quantities of beans and peas. We should have some handouts for the beans and the snap peas are the edible pod type, the fat ones; the one whose flavour actually sems to improve as the peas mature and appearance worsens. We are not washing anything as things mostly will keep better rinsing is left until just before use. This is the last of the scapes; we need to get them off so that the garlic will put on a larger underground bulb (head), garlics like to keep their heads in the sand. Another use for scapes that Rachel made us aware of last week was to use them to make a pesto; basically substituting scapes for basil in the recipe. It is can be used on fried eggs and in salads, though it is a bit difficult to spread pesto evenly through lettuce salad, and of course use it as you would any pesto.

Finally an appreciative Thank You to everyone who has been turning out over these past weeks to lend a hand working in the garden. The work has been vital. In no particular order: Tamarah, Jordan, Sam, Lu, David, Anca, Ted; thanks very much.

thanks   —  Marie, Robin, maggie and Aerron.

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