winter greetings

end of january

Winter at the farm can be pretty barren and wet. The withered squash vines are brown and the chard plants are black in the field. The sections of the field that were sown in fall rye are green. The kale towers tall and the collards are holding their own. We have a collection of leeks still in the earth that we are enjoying too.

We have had a chance to rest, reflect and spend some time in recreation. We’ve also plunged into getting outbuildings organized and records and files in order inside. A good block of seeds for next season have been ordered and irrigation equipment and other useful things are being acquired. We’ve also made a concerted effort into building up our supply of compost. Feeding the soil that gives such great food is a top priority.

Looking back at our Autumn a few things stand out. We brought in a fantastic crop of winter squash followed by an early hard frost and plunge into freezing temperatures mid-December. This brought us knowledge about how much protection our greens in the greenhouse needed and how hardy kale can be.

Prior to the frost, Andy got our garlic planted just before some heavy rains. Our hens got moved to a more sheltered winter situation in a greenhouse.  They enjoyed finishing off the greens there and later foraged for bugs and plants in the area of the field they had access to.

Like every year, we gathered more knowledge through experience and networking with others. We’ve taken notes on topics including varieties of squash requested from customers and ideas for managing the carrot rust fly larva that get into our carrots. We’ve made a plan to plant some field tomatoes and sweet potatoes this year as well.

Our Autumn CSA Vegetable box in Abbotsford went well as did the Saturday markets. I noticed quite a hunger for kale at the market this fall and it was neat to see a new group of young people eagerly loading up on vegetables each Saturday.

Spring crops we are looking forward to this year include early greens, lettuce, beets, carrots and rhubarb.

Registration for our Abbotsford or Chilliwack 2014 CSA starts Feb.1st, 2014. We hope to hear from you if you are wanting a weekly mixed box of organic vegetables, fresh from our farm here in Greendale.

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